9 Ways You Can Help Your Friend Plan A Wedding

Image result for dress shopping

On the surface, weddings seem like pure joy: flowing drink, ample food, and awesome dance moves. Not to mention, a radiant couple who’s happiness is infectious. But anyone who has tried to plan one knows that a wedding is way more than just fun and games. The months of preparation and tons of decision-making are not exactly easy, and it can sometimes be more than two families can handle.

That’s where friends step in. We’ve partnered with State Farm to help you help others, giving you 9 ways to alleviate your bud’s wedding planning blues.

1. Offer to help with the “extra” parties

Getting engaged is fun, but terrifying. We aren’t just talking about wedding jitters, either. Planning a wedding is full of social anxiety, from figuring out who to add to your guest list, to gaining the courage to let a friend know when you need their help.

What you can do: According to Joelle Duff, a 4-year wedding planning veteran from JoelleCharming.com, the best thing you can do is offer to help before you are asked. “She hopes that the people closest to her want to help,” Duff said about the bride. “You need to come up with the idea of how to help, instead of just asking what she needs. It might be the bride’s personality to not want to expect anything from her wedding party.”

Reach out to the bride and see if she wants a bridal shower, who you can start talking to about a bachelorette party, and if she is having any external traditional affairs, such as a Henna or Jewish Sheva Brachot.

The bride will be forever grateful for not having to be put in the position of asking a friend to throw a party for her. However, Duff warns that you shouldn’t take it too far: “Offer to help, but don’t feel like you are obligated to attend every shower and bring a gift.”

2. Go dress shopping

Shopping is stressful, even if it isn’t for the biggest day of your life. So when it comes to wedding shopping, the ante is upped about a thousand percent.

What you can do: Be the bride’s cheerleader, secretary and bursar all rolled into one. “Dress shopping is one of the biggest events in a brides process,” says Duff. “It is obviously a delicate and emotional time, so be careful with how you address things.”

Before you go, ask her what her budget is, and if she WANTS you to stop her from trying on anything that might go above budget. Get a feel for what styles she does and does not like, any accoutrements that might be up her alley, and more. During the actual trying-on period, write down the characteristics of each dress on a piece of paper, along with pros and cons. Not only are these things that the bride might not be able to assess on her own, but it will take a significant portion of stress off her shoulders to know that she does not have to be the only one keeping these things in mind.

The big no-no though is bringing your own personal choices into the mix: “There is a difference between not liking a dress because its not your taste, and not liking it because it’s not right for the bride,” Duff warns. “Just be careful how you word it.”

3. Act as a buffer

Time for some math: Money + deadline + family = an impending disaster.

What you can do: Be the sea wall to your friend’s choppy waters. Whether it is a micromanaging mother, an irresponsible wedding planner, or even a groomzilla, try to gently protect your friend if, and when, need be. Can you swing by her soon-to-be mother-in-law’s home to pick up the programs? Does she give you permission to be the stand-in for photo positioning? Protecting her from added stress can sometimes be the best present of all. “It is important for the bride to know that you are her main priority,” Duff explains. “There is no other reason for you to be a part of this process besides for her.”

4. Help keep things in perspective

She calls you in a panic to say that the WORST thing POSSIBLE just happened; the caterer she absolutely loved was just booked by another couple!

What you can do: This is a little bit difficult, since you want to make sure not to offend her while still helping her see that things will be okay. First, validate her feelings. Tell her that yeah, it really sucks that this happened. Don’t justify it by saying “but” — simply commiserate with her for a moment, even over the smallest thing.

Then, put a solution into action. Help her figure out the next steps, and find actionable ways of getting there.

“Put things into perspective in a kind way, not a ‘you’re stupid’ way,” Duff explains. “There are little things that come up. Don’t belittle their concerns; just be aware of how you are speaking.”

When the bride feels like she has more control over the situation, focus on all the things that are going well. Tell her how much you love her photographer, that her dress is absolutely perfect, and that to be honest, your friend hired that catering company and the potatoes were decidedly bland.

5. Spread the news (or the word)

Newsflash: Not all brides are the same. While some may love big flashy presents and want all the guests to wear silver lamé, others prefer you just contribute to their honeymoon fund and don’t make any speeches.Subscribe to The Morning Email.Wake up to the day’s most important news.

What you can do: Be a gossip. Ask your friend if there is anything that she really hopes does/ does not happen at the wedding, and try your best to drop the hint to as many people as possible. Take her word at face value; if she says no embarrassing bachelorette party games, keep the shiny beads at home. “I think it can be awkward, trying to navigate those waters,” said Duff. “It’s great to be able to put things into perspective through your friend.”

6. Pick your battles

We are up to number 6 on this list and have yet to use the B word: Bridezilla. Now is the time.

What you can do: If your friend is being over the top about almost everything, don’t be afraid to level with her. After all, you are friends for a reason. Hopefully she will want you to be honest if things are spinning out of control.

But sometimes there are really just brides with specific tastes. Do you look horrendous in the bridesmaids color she picked out? Annoyed that the bridal shower is a two-hour drive from your house? Remember that it is, in fact, her day. A little taffeta never hurt anyone, and the look of sheer delight on her face when she sees everyone in matching shades of mustard yellow will make it all worth it. “The most important job is to make sure the bride and groom isn’t bothered,” says Duff. By making your tastes part of THEIR wedding, that can be pretty bothersome.

7. Research

DOYOURRESEARCH

If your BFF isn’t the type to have a bride bible, it’s time for you to swoop in.

What you can do: Pinterest, Etsy, The Knot, repeat. Chat with her about what she does and doesn’t like, and shoulder some of the researching burden for her. Duff suggests that you ask specific details, like if she wants you to research caterers or send along place setting ideas, dresses, party favors and more based on her tastes. Even better: Offer to do the boring stuff, like finding the cheapest chair rentals or wedding tents.

8. Know when to back off

Easy does it, eager beaver. Being helpful is great and all, but there is a fine line between being helpful and overbearing.

What you can do: “Sometimes they are going to need quiet,” Duff warns. Be communicative with your friend. Try to read when your help is, and is not, wanted. If she tells you that it would be best for you to step back for awhile with the wedding plans, don’t be offended. According to Duff, the best thing you can do is simply say, “I am here when you are ready or if you need me.”

9. Be ready to NOT talk about the wedding

Believe it or not, there are other important topics to discuss during the months, or even years, before a wedding. It is highly likely that the bride-to-be wants to chat about politics, work, and the awesomeness that is Bey, amongst other non-wedding related subjects.

What you can do: Treat her like a person and talk about other things. Feel free to check in on wedding planning, but don’t forget to share snippets of your life as well. Duff suggests planning something non-wedding related. “You also need to lead real life when you are planning your wedding,” she notes.

10. Show up

This seems pretty simple, but a rarely discussed bridal secret is the sadness that comes with a “regrets” RSVP.

What you can do: If you are invited, show up. Sure, weddings are expensive and the family is banking on some people who can’t make it, but sharing that special day with the people you love is an unparalleled happiness. You want to be a part of that, and the beautiful bride wants you there too.

WHAT’S THE MOST POPULAR TIME OF YEAR TO GET MARRIED?

By Dan Kopf

Picking a wedding date is likely the single biggest planning decision a couple will make in their lives. The chosen date impacts the expense of the ceremony, venue possibilities, and the plans of possibly hundreds of people.

The conventional decision is to pick a Saturday in the warmer months of the year. And, if possible, to grab a three day weekend like Memorial Day or Labor Day. 

But, of course, not all couples can or want to pick a traditional date. Some people have always dreamed of a winter wedding, while others are just looking for cost savings on this now exorbitantly expensive event. 

Just how unusual is it to get married on a Friday or in the depths of winter? We collected data to find out.

Over the last several years, hundreds of thousands of couples use the website The Knot to create a wedding page for their big day. On this free wedding page, couples are required to list their names and the date and location of their wedding. Most of the pages are public.

In order to figure out the popularity of different nuptial dates, we collected the location and day of over 40,000 weddings listed on The Knot. Though these data are probably not a perfectly representative sample of American marriages—people who set up websites could be different than the general population—it’s probably pretty close.

So when do people get married? Let’s start with the day of the week. The data is restricted to marriages in the United States in 2015.

Data: The Knot

According to the data we collected, over 70% of couples got married on a Saturday in 2015, and nearly 95% of weddings occurred on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

About one quarter of the nearly 11% of weddings that occur on Sunday happened on one of three holidays weekends: Labor Day, Memorial Day, and Columbus Day (in some places known as Indigenous Peoples’ Day). The Sunday of Labor Day weekend is the most common Sunday, but still ranks 28th overall—all 27 above it are Saturdays.

Though historically taboo, Friday night weddings may be becoming more popular as a way to save a ton of money. The main drawback is that you might annoy friends and family by forcing them to miss a day of work.

Beside choosing the day of the week, the other key decision couples make is picking the week of the year. The following chart shows the most popular wedding weeks across 2015.

Data: The Knot

Our data show that just about 80% of all weddings happen in the six months between May and October. About two-thirds of the weddings in these months happened on a Saturday, so put together, only a little over half of weddings occur in the warm weather months on a Saturday. If you had a cold months or non-Saturday wedding, you are not as unusual as you might think.

The week of Columbus Day weekend just beat out the week of Labor Day for the most popular week to get married. Both account for a little over 4% of all weddings. Looking at specific days, the Saturday of Columbus day weekend (October 10th in 2015) was the number one day to get married—it alone accounted for more than 3% of all weddings.

But the popularity of particular times of the year varies significantly by region of the country. The following chart shows the popularity of weddings by month across the United States’ four different regions as defined by the Census.

Data: The Knot

Couples doing their nuptials in the South differ in their choice of wedding dates more than any other region. While September and October are the most popular wedding months throughout the rest of the country, in the South, April through June dominate. This is mostly because most Southern couples avoid the sweltering months of July and August.

The most concentrated wedding season for any region is August through October in the Northeast. More than 56% of all marriages in that part of the U.S. occur in just those three months.

November through February is almost universally unpopular across the country. Even with the good weather during this period in much of the West and South, not many couples choose dates in these months. The resistance to choosing dates in this period is likely to due to some combination of not wanting to compete with the holiday season and leftover tradition from when most Americans lived in the colder parts of the country.

Finally, we examined the most popular wedding week for every state. These are the weeks that are either to be grabbed very early or to be avoided.

Data: The Knot

Though most Americans clearly prefer to get married on a Saturday in the warmer months, the most popular wedding dates are scattered throughout the year and depend on where you live. But almost everywhere, for those who have already been to their fair share of wedding this year, rest assured that the peak of nuptial season is finally coming to an end.

10 Best Honeymoon Cruises

Couple honeymooning onboard Caribbean Princess (Photo: Princess Cruises)
Couple honeymooning onboard Caribbean Princess (Photo: Princess Cruises)

Brittany Chrusciel Editor

With so much to plan for your wedding, the last thing you want to do is stress out about your honeymoon. Cruises make excellent honeymoons because they combine pampering with travel — the vacation is in the destinations and onboard the ship. After all, cruise ships have spas, celebrity-chef restaurants, culinary classes, butlers and swanky bars, plus the sea as your backdrop.

Cruise Critic breaks down cruise honeymoon perks and packages, so you can get from the aisle to the gangway as breezily as possible. The following 10 best cruise lines for honeymoons offer the right mix of relaxation and romance.

On This Page

  1. Azamara Cruises
  2. Celebrity Cruises
  3. Disney Cruise Line
  4. Norwegian Cruise Line
  5. Oceania Cruises
  6. Paul Gauguin Cruises
  7. Princess Cruises
  8. Royal Caribbean International
  9. Silversea Cruises
  10. Windstar Cruises

1. Azamara Cruises

Azamara appeals to honeymooners seeking personal attention and an intimate onboard atmosphere. With service gratuities (as well as many beverages and shuttle buses into town) included in the cost of the cruise, you can focus more on enjoying the trip than crunching numbers.

Plus, the line’s port-intensive itineraries offer occasional overnights in port, permitting you to immerse yourself more in the local culture or have romantic dinners onshore. Nearly every itinerary offers an “AzAmazing Evenings,” an exclusive, complimentary nighttime event curated once per sailing such as a choir performance at St. John’s Co-Cathedral in Malta or a symphony orchestra performance in St. Petersburg.

Azamara does not offer specially designated honeymoon packages, but you can take advantage of the complimentary services of a concierge to plan your own surprises, or create a customized experience in advance with spa appointments, specialty dining reservations with private tables for two or breakfast in bed.

In addition, wine is included with meals, all cabins are adorned with fresh flowers and suite passengers benefit from the service of English-trained butlers.Related: Azamara’s AzAmazing Evenings: An Exclusive Glimpse Into Local Culture

2. Celebrity Cruises

Couple Enjoying Meal at Restauraunt Blu

Celebrity Cruises offers a sophisticated onboard atmosphere and personal service at lower rates than the luxury lines. For top amenities and service, book a Retreat cabin, which comes with a private butler and access to an exclusive lounge and suite restaurant.

If you’re avid spa-goers, spring for an AquaClass cabin, with in-room wellness amenities and exclusive access to the chic specialty restaurant Blu as well as the spa’s relaxation room and Persian garden thermal suite. Concierge Class provides access to nightly canapes, priority boarding, pillow menus and more, without the full cost of booking a suite.

Celebrity offers three celebration packages that can be ordered to commemorate your honeymoon. The Classic package includes a bottle of wine, flowers and chocolate-covered strawberries, while Deluxe includes Champagne, in-cabin breakfast with mimosas, fresh flowers, a dozen chocolate-covered strawberries and your choice of a personalized cake.

The Premium package includes everything from the Deluxe package, except the flowers are red roses, the Champagne is Dom Perignon, and you also get reservations for two at one of the specialty restaurants onboard.Related: Renewing Your Vows At Sea

3. Disney Cruise Line

Despite what you might think, Disney Cruise Line caters to adults as much as to kids, offering special adults-only pools, restaurants and nightclubs along with a stellar spa. Still, you probably should be a serious Disney fan to consider this cruise for your honeymoon. If you are, keep in mind Disney’s Dream Class, which offers a second adults-only restaurant designed by a Michelin-starred chef as well as a trendy nightlife area.

Disney cruises offer dozens of gift and package deals. You don’t need to be a honeymooner to book them, but it’s certainly appropriate. Four romance packages at different price points include all the cliched but cute extras: chocolates, roses, sparkling wine and robes. If you abstain from the hard stuff, Disney offers two nonalcoholic romance packages with sparkling cider instead.

You can also stop by the guest services desk to ask for a pair of “honeymoon” buttons; wearing them during the trip might get you some special attention.Related: 7 Life Events That Call For a Cruise Celebration

4. Norwegian Cruise Line

Mandara's Hot Stone Heaven

If you don’t want to stick to a schedule on your romantic getaway, Norwegian’s “freestyle” concept lets you eat when and where you want, with a choice of various restaurants and cuisines onboard. Plus, multiple bars, lounges and discos ensure happening nightlife if you and your new spouse like to stay out late.

Norwegian hosts too many honeymooners to give away costly freebies, but you can book one of five packages. With the Ultimate Romance package, you’ll get sparkling wine and chocolate-covered strawberries, a dozen red roses, a couple’s massage, breakfast in bed (twice), in-cabin tea service, nightly canapes, two formal portraits and dinner for two with wine in the French restaurant Le Bistro as well as Cagney’s Steakhouse.

Norwegian also offers a partnership with Honeymoon Wishes, allowing couples to set up an onboard registry.Related: 8 Special Ways to Celebrate on Anniversary Cruises

5. Oceania Cruises

Oceania Cruises is an excellent choice for low-key honeymooners who want interesting itineraries, sophisticated onboard ambiance, and fantastic dining and service.

While Oceania does not make a big effort to attract honeymooners, its mature (50 and older) passengers flock to the line for the aforementioned understated trips and affordable luxury. And, even if there are no rose-petals-on-the-bed packages, you’ll find plenty of romantic spots onboard these cozy and intimate ships.

The ship’s Champagne breakfast — available only to passengers in Concierge-class rooms — is sweet; a full hot and cold menu, including the bubbly, is served on your private balcony. If you and your new spouse bond over food, Oceania pairs its onboard Culinary Center and kitchen with Culinary Discovery Tours — exclusive culinary enrichment and dining experiences in port.Related: 5 Best Cruise Lines for Romance

6. Paul Gauguin Cruises

Polynesian blessing ceremony on Paul Gauguin Cruise

Paul Gauguin Cruises, a small-ship cruise line, spends the year sailing in the far-flung South Pacific and has repeatedly been voted a top cruise line for romance by Cruise Critic.

The honeymoon package includes a pillow gift, a photo, a Polynesian blessing ceremony with other honeymooning couples and a bottle of Champagne. The best part? The package is included if you indicate at the time of booking that you will be on your honeymoon.

For a fee, you can upgrade to a more lavish honeymoon package that also includes a letter from the captain, an invitation to dine with the captain or hotel director, canapes every afternoon, a miniature wedding cake, a box of chocolates, a special flower arrangement, and Champagne and caviar. The cruise line also offers a gift registry option.Related: Cruise Packages: 9 Best Types to Try

7. Princess Cruises

“The Love Boat” line offers all the optional amenities necessary for onboard romance: fabulous dining, including a VIP dining experience in the galley and catered dinner on your private balcony; indoor and outdoor pampering with alfresco massages in The Sanctuary and couples’ treatments in the Lotus Spa; and, for onboard date night, a variety of entertainment options ranging from outdoor movies to Broadway-style production shows scored by multi-award-winning composer Stephen Schwartz.

Princess Cruises offers two honeymoon packages. The first includes a bottle of Dom Perignon Champagne, two engraved glasses, chocolate-dipped strawberries delivered to your cabin the first evening onboard, a couple’s pass to the onboard thermal suite and a deluxe balcony breakfast for two. For a bit more, you can upgrade your honeymoon package to include a couple’s massage in the Lotus Spa.Related: 6 Best Adults-Only Cruise Sun Decks

8. Royal Caribbean International

Some active cruisers think surfing, rock climbing and working out together is romantic — especially when you can unwind in the spa, relax in a hot tub or indulge in some Ben & Jerry’s ice cream after you’ve worked up a sweat.

You can choose the Royal Caribbean romance package, which includes a bottle of Moet & Chandon Champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries, a mirror cling and magnetic door sign, decorations and a commemorative frame. The cruise line offers a gift registry that applies to these packages, as well as to shore excursions.Related: Hot Stone Restaurant on Marella Cruises

9. Silversea Cruises

Silversea is a great option for serious pampering and service, as well as exotic and far-flung itineraries to escape to with your new husband or wife.

This is the jackpot of honeymoon cruises. First of all, since Champagne is included in the cost of the cruise, you’ll not only have a chilled bottle waiting in your cabin on the first night, but you can ask to have one iced every night (and sent with your breakfast every morning). You’ll also get a box of chocolates on arrival, and you’ll find fresh orchids in your room. (Don’t feel too special — they’re in every room.)

Even though you know you’ll get these perks when you book your cruise, they do manage to surprise you. You may request to have canapes delivered to your suite each night before dinner, but if the Special Services department is notified at least four weeks in advance, you’ll also get a cake that says “Happy Honeymoon.”Related: What to Expect on a Luxury Cruise: Cruise Ship Ambiance

10. Windstar Cruises

Windstar Cruise Watersports Platform

The laidback vibe onboard Windstar is perfect for honeymooners who want a lot of romance without a lot of fuss. The ships are also ideal for active honeymooners interested in water sports, including snorkeling, windsailing, paddleboarding and water skiing. Those water activities come complimentary aboard the yachts. (Scuba diving is also available for an additional fee, depending on the destination.)

In Bora Bora, couples have the option to book an over-water bungalow for a fee. Accommodations feature large glass floors, views of Mount Otemanu and direct and private access to the water. Plus, the overnight stay comes with three meals. Onboard your ship, Candles is a fine dining restaurant with romantic tables for two and features open-air tableside preparations on deck.

Learn more here: https://www.cruisecritic.com/articles.cfm?ID=2198

Amazing Wedding Entree Dishes

Treat yourselves (and guests!) to one of these unique culinary delights. By Andrea Fowler.

When it comes to figuring out your reception menu it’s easy to feel underwhelmed by dishes you’ve seen a hundred times. You want to serve something special, right? But also within budget. First thing’s first: ask your venue what their catering policy is. They may have in-house catering services that you’re required to use or charge a fee if you want to bring someone else in. From there, you can work out things like seasonal selections, presentation specifics and serving logistics. 

The biggest dinner trend we’re seeing right now? Interactive stations. Couples are moving away from a sit-down three or four course dinner where the food is brought to guests by waitstaff, and instead having passed hors d’oeuvres during cocktail hours or self-serve food stations. Guests still have the opportunity to sit down and enjoy their meal, but there’s less table-time and more mingling time. Let our favorite amazing wedding entree dishes inspire your reception menu. 

  1. Lobster With Mashed PotatoesLobster dinner idea for a wedding reception entreeLOVEDAYS PHOTOGRAPHYFrom: An Elegant Wedding at The Phoenix Room in Newburyport, Massachusetts
  2. Vegetarian Vegetable and Couscous SaladVegetarian couscous dish for a wedding reception entreeDAMION HAMILTONFrom: A Contemporary Jewish Wedding in Sonoma, CA
  3. Seasonal Food With Flavorful Seasonings and SaucesThanksgiving-inspired menu idea for a wedding reception entreeROBIN VAN DYKE PHOTOGRAPHYFrom: An Outdoor Fall Wedding at Leslie-Alford-Mims House in Holly Springs, North Carolina
  4. Filet Mignon With Green Beans Filet mignon and green beans dinner idea for a wedding reception entreeCAROLINE TRAN PHOTOGRAPHERFrom: An Oheka Castle Wedding in Huntington, New York
  5. Barbecue Favorites: Fried Chicken, Mac and Cheese and BiscuitsBarbecue menu idea for a wedding reception entreeTANVEER BADAL PHOTOGRAPHYFrom: A Green Building Wedding in Brooklyn, New York
  6. Seasonal SaladSeasonal salad idea for a wedding reception entreeONELOVE PHOTOGRAPHYFrom: A Whimsical, Rustic Chic Wedding at Tiato in Santa Monica, California
  7. Chicken and WafflesChicken and waffles dinner idea for a wedding reception entreeHEATHER & JARED PHOTOGRAPHYFrom: A Shabby-Chic Southern Wedding at Historic Masonic Amphitheater in Clifton Forge, Virginia
  8. Fajita and Taco BarMexican-inspired dinner idea for a wedding reception entreeTAYLOR RAE PHOTOGRAPHYFrom: A Bright, Backyard Wedding at a Private Residence in Yardley, Pennsylvania
  9. Cucumber-Rolled Fresh Greens and PeppersCucumber-rolled salad idea for a wedding reception entreeTHERESA CHOI PHOTOGRAPHYFrom: A Walters Art Museum Wedding in Baltimore, Maryland
  10. Wood-Fired Family-Style Pizza DinnerFamily-style pizza dinner idea for a wedding reception entreeTIFANI LYN PHOTOGRAPHYFrom: A Vintage Garden Wedding at a Private Residence in Saugatuck, Michigan
  11. Family-Style Fall Vegetable and Fennel SaladFamily-style fall vegetable salad idea for a wedding reception entreeJBM WEDDINGSFrom: A Industrial Elegant Wedding at 501 Union in Brooklyn, New York
  12. Brunch-Style Bagel BarBrunch-style bagel bar idea for a wedding reception entreeHANNAH ARISTA PHOTOGRAPHYFrom: An Organic, Rustic-Themed Backyard Wedding at a Private Residence in Los Angeles, California
  13. Freshly Grilled CornFreshly grilled corn idea for a wedding reception entreeDETOUR WEDDINGSFrom: A Colorful Mexican Fusion Wedding at Four Seasons Hotel in Mexico City, Mexico
  14. American Family-Style DinnerAmerican family-style dinner idea for a wedding reception entreeREADYLUCKFrom: Hip, Vintage Americana Wedding at TBD Brooklyn in Brooklyn, New York
  15. Grilled Chicken and Cherry Tomato SkewersFreshly grilled skewer dinner idea for a wedding reception entreeJAMIE MERCURIO PHOTOGRAPHYFrom: A Whimsical and Nautical Wedding at Bold Colorful Life Estate in Boothbay, Maine
  16. Spring Green SaladSpring green salad idea for a wedding reception entreeEPAGA FOTOFrom: A Modern Orange Wedding With Rustic Twist at The Guild in Kansas City, Missouri
  17. Butternut Squash, Fresh Fruit and StakeButternut squash, fresh fruit and stake dinner idea for a wedding reception entree

Wedding Table Games

I Spy Wedding Games

When the guests are seated for dinner, there can be a lot of downtime before food is served or before tables are called to the buffet. Stave off hunger and awkward moments by providing  wedding table games to encourage your guests to mingle and have fun.

I Spy Wedding Game

One of the more popular wedding table games, the I Spy Wedding Game is a win-win for guests and the newlywed couple. Similar to a scavenger hunt, this wedding games activity instructs guests to use their personal cameras or disposables provided by the couple to seek, find and snap pics of different moments from your memorable day. The guests have fun doing it, and you get to see events from the day you might’ve missed. Win-win! Below are a few pictures to include on the guests’ I Spy Wedding Game hunt:

  • A group selfie
  • A picture of the bride in her dress
  • A funny face
  • A kiss
  • A sparkling drink
  • A tasty treat
  • An old-school dance move
  • A person laughing
  • A table clinking glasses
  • A favorite decoration

DIY Tip: Print up cards to place at each guest’s seat or create a sign or chalkboard with the instructions. If you want your wedding photos shared on social media, include a hashtag so you can see all the fun from your wedding games.

More Wedding Table Games

  1. Wedding Couple Mad Libs: Want marriage and love advice from your family and friends? Create a Mad Libs-style template for guests to fill out at their tables. This is one of the wedding games guests can do alone, or the whole table can get in on the fun, sharing their tips on how to keep the spark alive, where to go on “married dates,” and other words of wisdom.
  2. Bored-No-More Board Games: Take a playful—and colorful—approach to your centerpieces by using board games as mid-table eye candy. Dominoes, decks of cards, Trivial Pursuit, Life and Yahtzee all make for crowd-pleasing wedding games guests can play.
  3. I Dare You: Have a few wallflowers among your guests? Help them join in the fun by placing fun dare options on each table. Keep in mind who will be seated at each table when you prepare the dares. Ideas include: “kiss the person to either side of you,” “take a selfie with a funny face,” “bust a new move on the dance floor,” and “do a group shot at the bar.”
  4. Bride and Groom Trivia: Let one lucky guest from each table make a play to take home the centerpiece or a prize. Create a list of trivia questions about the bride and groom for guests to answer. Have the DJ or a wedding party member read the answers. The person at each table with the most correct answers wins.
  5. Couple’s Crossword: Another way to test your guests’ newlywed knowledge is to create a crossword puzzle entirely based on information about the bride and groom. Winners with the most correct answers for this wedding game don’t have to win anything beyond bragging rights.

    Find more games here https://www.theknot.com/content/wedding-games

The Meaning of Popular Wedding Flowers

Peony

Image result for peony flower

The peony is significant both historically and mythologically, and thus is tied to many different meanings and symbols. Common peony meanings include romance, prosperity, good fortune, a happy marriage, riches, honor, and compassion, but peonies can also mean bashfulness. There are two common myths about the peony. In one, the peony is believed to be named after Paeon, the Greek physician of the gods. According to the legend, Paeon was a student of Aesculapius, the god of medicine. When Paeon used a peony root to heal Pluto, the first time this was tried, Aesculapius became jealous of his talents and tried to kill him. To save Paeon (and show compassion to him), Pluto transformed him into a peony, because he knew it was a flower that people would admire and praise. Thus, one peony meaning is compassion.

Anemone

Image result for anemone flower

The Greek myths lend the Anemone flower dual meanings of the arrival of spring breezes and the loss of a loved one to death. The Victorians took a slightly different slant on the loss embodied by the flower and used it to represent a forsaken love of any kind in their intricate Language of the Flowers. Chinese and Egyptian cultures considered it a symbol of illness because of the coloring, while European peasants carried them to ward off disease. The flower’s natural reaction of closing up at night and opening for the morning means it symbolizes anticipation for something soon to arrive. It’s a symbol of bad luck to many Eastern cultures, but Westerners tend to see it as a protection against evil and ill luck instead.

Dahlia

Image result for dahlia flower meaning

Dahlia flowers are often associated with various meanings that may range from messages of enduring grace to signals of warning. They symbolize elegance, inner strength, creativity, change, and dignity. They are also known to represent one who stands strong in his/her sacred values. During the Victorian era, these flowers were believed to be an indication of personal sentiments. They meant commitment, or an everlasting bond or union. The qualities of elegance and dignity were also associated with them in the Victorian language of flowers. Furthermore, it is said that this symbolism is still used today. Moreover, these flowers are widely used during marriage celebrations. Some others believe that it is a representation of diversity.

Lilac

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Lilacs have a deep rooted history originating in ancient Greek mythology. It was said that Pan, the god of forests and fields was hopelessly in love with a nymph named Syringa. One day he was pursuing her through a forest and, afraid of his advances, she turned herself into a lilac shrub to disguise herself. To Pan’s surprise, he could not find Syringa, but he did find the shrub. Because a lilac shrub consists of hollow reeds, he cut the reeds and created the first pan pipe. The scientific name for lilac is Syringa vulgaris, and the name is derived from the Greek word “syrinks” which means pipe. The common name, lilac, was borrowed from the French and Spanish word of the same name. Similarly, the Arabic word for this flower is “lilak”. The word lilac refers to the light purple color of its flowers. The meaning of the lilac flower has diversified throughout the ages. Lilacs originated in Southeastern Europe and are a popular part of the Mediterranean culture. They are frequently associated with the Easter holiday, which occurs during the peak of its bloom time. Because lilacs have one of the earliest bloom times, they symbolize spring and renewal. There are many meanings that lilacs have that can best be classified by color. White lilacs symbolize purity and innocence. Violet lilacs symbolize spirituality. Blue lilacs symbolize happiness and tranquility. Magenta lilacs symbolize love and passion.Lilac, the color for which this flower is named, is a light purple that symbolizes a first love. Although various colors of lilacs have different meanings, the lilac has always had a strong association with love and romance throughout history.

Outside Wedding Games

Checkers wedding lawn games

Take advantage of beautiful weather and a gorgeous outdoor venue by kicking off the post-ceremony celebration with wedding lawn games. Set up on the grass for couples or groups, yard games for weddings are not only fun to play but can also act as an extension of your décor, be it rustic, beachy or boho. When selecting outdoor wedding lawn games, play up your theme, wedding colors and anything that helps to tell your love story.

  1. Ring Toss: Honor the exchanging of rings with the wedding games version of ring toss. Make your own ring toss set with painted glass wine or soda bottles in your wedding colors and decorate with faux jewels to make the tossers reminiscent of your wedding rings.
  2. Cornhole: Turn this tailgating favorite into a great wedding game for guests. Customize the boards with your wedding date and your new last name, and you’ll have a memorable backyard game to use in your own yard for years to come.
  3. Giant Connect Four: Step this classic childhood game up a notch by making it giant-sized. For a fun touch, paint the playing pieces in two of your wedding hues and let the connecting fun begin.
  4. Badminton: Set up a net to encourage guests to volley the birdie back and forth. If you’re looking to round out a boho vibe, have a bit of fun with your net choice by hanging a wide macramé curtain from a rod on stands. For a nighttime option, lace twinkling lights into the net to keep the wedding lawn games going long after sundown.
  5. Giant Checkers: Create this well-known game board using spray paint on grass or chalk on pavement, or even roll out a checkered game board rug for a reusable option after the wedding lawn games are done. Incorporate your wedding colors by painting the pieces accordingly.
  6. Ladder Golf: Another popular game played at parking lot parties, ladder golf is fun for two or more people to play. Teams take turns throwing bolas (two golf balls attached at either end of a nylon rope) at the ladder. First team to 21 points wins! 
  7. Giant Jenga: Marriage is a game of balance, and no game better represents that than Jenga. Use a large, outdoor-sized version as a wedding game and include “Did You Know” facts about you and your partner on each block for a personalized touch.

    Find more games here: https://www.theknot.com/content/wedding-games

Popular Anniversary Gifts & History

Marriage is an important occasion in anyone’s life.  When you make the choice to spend your life with that special someone, each year that goes by is a testament to that loving unification that was your wedding day.

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A wedding anniversary is the opportunity to celebrate how much you love each other, how strong your marriage is, how long you have been married for, and how you have withstood the tests of time,  together.  It is a promise to build on that love for another year and the best way to show you mean that promise is with anniversary flowers.

Flowers are usually a part of relationships from the beginning.  From that first date, to Valentine’s Day, Birthdays, right through to your wedding day; It is only befitting that your anniversary be marked with a beautiful fresh floral arrangement.

Flowers are a universal way to celebrate wedding anniversaries and each flower has its own meaning. For every year of your wedding anniversary there is a traditional anniversary flower to offer to the one you love.

Flowers, with their combined beauty, vitality, colour and scent are an appropriate means to express emotions, desires and heartfelt feelings.  Without knowing anything about flowers, they are still a beautiful and meaningful gift, but there is so much more to flowers.  The natural diversity of flowers helps us communicate a wide variety of sentiments, conveying a message where words may fall short.  Sometimes delicate, sometimes robust, flowers transcend language and cultural boundaries to deliver a poignant emotional statement. 

The idea that flower bunches or arrangements conveyed a series of secret meanings between lovers was popularised in Europe, especially France, in the early 1800s.  This ‘secret’ language using flowers was first introduced into Europe through the letters of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu in 1718.  This romantic notion that lovers could speak with each other through a ‘secret’ language quickly gained favour in the 18th century Europe. 

The language of flowers has evolved to the present-day where thoughtful sentiment and powerful emotion are still communicated with carefully selected flowers.

Top 10 Most Popular Gifts for Anniversaries

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1. Flowers:

Love is a pledge; a promise of sharing and caring and a memento—never let love disappear from your married life. On your anniversary consider giving him/her a bouquet of red roses to illustrate your undying love for your partner. Let the passion of the rose say a lot.

Send a bunch of roses with a card to say how the year of marriage has meant to you and start falling in love all over again.

2. Chocolates:

 Treat your beloved with chocolates on this special day. Demonstrate your love with chocolates and pamper him/her with the flavour of the dark chocolates and with the taste of the almond and nuts filled chocolates. Surprise him/ her with a nicely wrapped chocolate tray on your wedding anniversary to sweetly say “I love you”. 

3. A Romantic Getaway:  

“Fade far away and dissolve” to the land of dreams; consider gifting him/her a fantastic dreamy getaway to prove how very much you love and intend to be with him/her at the tranquil luxury of some romantic place. Say bye to the mundane activities of daily life and bring back romance in your married life by giving your partner this wonderful gift.

4. Perfumes: 

Illustrate your deep love for your partner on your anniversary. Give him/her the perfume of his/her choice. Let the eloquence of the perfume do the wonder whilst articulating your undying love in a passionate way. Rekindle your emotion with the fragrance and bring that smile on his/her face.

5. Candle light Dinner:  

Take a break from the daily routine. Your anniversary is indeed the day to express your love for your partner; to thank him/her for being with you, to love you and to care for you. Make your anniversary lot more vibrant. Book a table for a romantic candle light dinner with your love to whisper those sweet nothings amidst the tender hue of the candle flames. This is definitely a romantic anniversary gift idea which will surely add that spark to your love life. When setting up your table decoration find votive candles, rose petals or floral centrepieces to decorate your table.  Order in from your favourite restaurant or better still dabble in the kitchen with your favourite food.

6. Keepsake Books:  

Would you be interested to add little bit of personal touch in your anniversary gift idea? Well, consider giving your beloved a personalized keepsake book. This romantic gift is indeed one of the best ways to show your love for your beloved. Let your beloved to note down her sweet reminiscences in this book and to relive those moments over and over again.

7. Make up kit:  

Appreciate her beauty with a makeup kit on your anniversary day. This is definitely one of the best romantic anniversary gift ideas for your partner to reassure her, how time has not being able to fade her prettiness. Give her a makeup kit on this special day and experience the beam of joy on her face.

8. Designer clothes:

Designer clothes are the perfect anniversary gifts for your partner to epitomize your deep adoration for him/her. Cheer up your beloved with the finesse of the designer clothes and redefine your love for your beloved in the most elegant way. Pamper your beloved with this anniversary gift that has been reckoned as one of the top ten anniversary gift for your special someone.

9. Jewellery:  

Take care of her with the purple hue of the amethyst, divine dazzle of the diamonds, crimson radiance of the corals on your wedding anniversary. Consider gifting her jewellery to show your deep love for her in accord with the shimmering elegance of gold and silver. Bring that precious smile on her face with jewelleries on this special day.

10. Watches:  

Make your beloved to feel special. Gift him/her a nice watch to show your undying warmth and love for Him/her. Pick a watch in keeping with the choice of your beloved to pamper him/her with its brilliance. Be it an elegant or the trendy watch it is the very majesty of the gift which will certainly woo your partner whilst reflecting your affection and passion and warmth for him/her.

Find out more here https://www.flowersbytina.com.au/shoppingcart/pages/popular-anniversary-gifts-history.html

Advantages To A Winter Wedding

Bride surrounded by bridesmaids in cranberry dresses
PHOTO BY CRYSTAL LIEPA PHOTOGRAPHY

written by Elizabeth Mitchell 

You heard it here first: Winter weddings have a lot going for them. Yes, summer weddings sure are stunning but there are some downsides to consider. Sweltering heat could make a hot mess of a bride’s carefully coiffed wedding hairstyle. And with a hectic itinerary packed with other summertime nuptials, some guests might be forced to RSVP ‘no’ to your warm-weathered bash. Bummer, right? But with a winter wedding, you can avoid all that and get stunning snowy wedding photos, holiday-themed wedding decorations, and more. 

Still on the fence about throwing a winter wedding? Then you’ll warm right up to these winter wedding advantages. From less stress over the weather to better venue rates, here’s why you’ll be grateful to get married in the winter season.

1. Less Stress

One thing Dezhda “Dee” Gaubert, owner of No Worries Event Planning, loves about winter weddings is the lack of stress about the elements since they typically take place inside. The risk of rain and wind can make the planning period extremely stressful and potentially costly if you need to add a tent, she says. “Also, guests are frequently exposed to heat and cold in all outdoor weddings and they can be very uncomfortable. Taking Mother Nature out of the equation means less stress for you, your vendors, your guests, and your family.”

2. No Humidity

Living in the south—Charleston, SC to be exact—Francesca DiSalvo-Follmer, owner of Pure Luxe Bride, notes one of her favorite winter wedding perks is the lack of humidity, which, if you’re from the south, you know is a huge plus. Both your hair and makeup will thank you.

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PHOTO BY DANIELLE DEFIORE

3. More Venue Dates and Better Rates

As wedding planner Kelli Corn of Kelli Corn Weddings & Events points out, most locations and vendors book up quickly during the summer months and come with a hefty price tag, whereas those same locations and vendors are available for a lower price during the colder months. Because the winter months aren’t as busy as others, they’ll also be able to focus more of their attention on your big day, adds Debbie Ley, venue owner of The Corner District. “Fall is tough for vendors and venue owners as they’re juggling so many events, brides, families, vendors, and logistics. 

You’ll have more flexibility to come in and set up early or break down late, as there’s likely not another event right after yours that the venue needs to prep for right away.”

4. Bonus (and Free) Decorations

Although the time of year might not be the reason you chose a winter wedding, there are many benefits to a celebration aligned with the holidays, notes Corn. “For one, any venue you select will most likely already be decorated for the holiday season adding a more celebratory feel to your special day.” And, at no cost to you.

PHOTO BY TRAVIS J PHOTOGRAPHY

5. Cheaper Travel and Accommodations

Travel and hotel stays are at peak pricing in the summer, when school is out and families take their vacation, tells Gaubert. Thus, “winter weddings allow guests to take advantage of off-season pricing for their travel and accommodation options.” This is a win-win for everyone, we think.

6. The Wedding Fatigue Won’t Be Real

The spring and summer months can get so jam-packed with weddings that your family, friends, and guests can start to get a serious case of wedding fatigue, says Rachel Silver, founder of Love Stories TV. “A January, February, or March wedding is likely to be the only one your guests attend that winter (unless of course you’re living in South Florida or somewhere warm), which makes it something that people will really look forward to.” Another bonus? “You’re likely to get your wedding film back faster in the winter because your videographer is less slammed in the spring and summer months.”

PHOTO BY MAGGIE GRACE PHOTOGRAPHY

7. It’s Something Out of the Ordinary

Smash And Co. wedding calligrapher, Ashley Meyers Combs’s favorite advantage is simply that it’s something different. “From color palette to flowers and décor, there are elements of the season to inspire your theme that will stand out in a sea of peonies.” If your style is romantic, she recommends trying shades of winter white and lots of greenery, and if you’re going for a rustic-cozy vibe (think “Aspen Cabin”), use lots of wood and deep hues.

Embrace the season by throwing blankets over guests’ chairs or keep them warm by serving a hot signature cocktail, Combs suggests.

8. It’s the Best Time for Black Tie

If you’re planning a formal wedding, you can bet you’ll hear much less complaining from your guests in black tie attire when it’s cold outside, says Tracie Domino, founder of Tracie Domino Events. “Tuxedos weren’t meant for outdoor ceremonies and cocktail hours in the heat of the summer, however, they are the perfect choice for indoor winter weddings, as are gowns covered in sequins.”

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PHOTO BY ERIC KELLEY

9. You Won’t Be a Hot Mess

Some people seriously don’t deal well in the heat. It makes them irritated, cranky, and not to mention, a sweaty mess. Wedding planner Leah Weinberg, owner of Color Pop Events points out that when it comes to weather, you can always add layers to combat the cold, but in the hotter months, well, you can’t exactly take off your clothes. “If you’re stressed about being hot and sweaty for your wedding photos, then a winter wedding is perfect for you.”

10. Stunning Snowy Wedding Photos

If you’re blessed with a sprinkling of snow ahead of your big day, you can snap some stunning snowy wedding photos that’ll rival any sun-drenched summer snapshot.

Meaning & Symbolism of Roses

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Long a symbol of love and passion, the ancient Greeks and Romans associated roses with Aphrodite and Venus, goddess of love. Used for hundreds of years to convey messages without words, they also represent confidentiality. In fact, the Latin expression “sub rosa”(literally, “under the rose”) means something told in secret, and in ancient Rome, a wild rose was placed on the door to a room where confidential matters were being discussed.

Each color offers a distinct meaning:

Red: Signifies enduring passion

White: Humility and innocence

Yellow: Expressing friendship and joy

Pink: Gratitude, appreciation and admiration

Orange: Enthusiasm and desire