Valentine’s Day Wedding Theme

A Valentine’s Day theme wedding is sure to be a romantic event with careful planning and operation. Here are some ideas and tips for your big day.

* Invitations: There are plenty of romantic wedding invitation designs out there, choose one with doves, roses, hearts or other Valentine’s Day typical signs to set the mood for your wedding ceremony. Pick your favorite envelopes with red liners and don’t forget the double heart stamps.

* Color Scheme: Pink, purple, red and white are traditional Valentine’s Day colors. However, just choose your favorite shades and hues to decorate your wedding party.

* Wedding Dress: A romantic bridal gown is a must for a Valentine theme wedding. Fluffy skirts, off the shoulder collars, puffy sleeves, sweetheart neckline and appliqués are ideal incorporation for Valentine’s outfit. You may even add a little red or pink touch to your dress, or choose a pink wedding dress for a sweet princess look. Hot lace or light-colored pearl embellishments are also amazing.

* Attire: The groom and his best men should wear formal tuxedos to match the romantic atmosphere. They may even try red or pink shirts to match the color scheme. The bridal party gowns should be as romantic as the wedding theme, but not overpower the wedding dress.

* Flowers: Undoubtedly, roses are the favorite flowers for a Valentine wedding, and pink, purple, red or white blooms match the theme. Pink lilies or tulips are also great choices which add a unique touch.

* Decorations: Besides flowers, there are still other decorations such as candles, lace and ribbons. Scatter heart-shaped confetti on guest tables and hang heart-shaped balloons over the entrance arc for a whimsical touch.

* Menu: A romantic menu could include any foods you like, such as your first date dinner. Choose chocolate covered strawberries as your appetizers. Rich hot cocoa is warm and popular in the winter holiday. Pink champagne is a superb choice for a romantic wedding.

* Wedding Cake: White chocolate and red roses covered heart-shaped wedding cake would be a perfect match for your Valentine’s wedding.

* Wedding Favors: Heart shaped favors may offer your guests a touch of romance. Colorful candies, strawberry jams, sparkling spoons, double heart photo frames are perfect for Valentine favors.

* Wedding Music: Choose love songs for weddings to play during reception.

Wedding Dessert Ideas

In addition to the wedding cake, some couples also splurge on a Viennese table/buffet, an impressive display of assorted cookies, mini pies, pastries or fresh fruit, for dessert. Some couples even opt for a fun, colorful candy bar straight out of “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” or a dessert station with gourmet cupcake towers and cookies but another great dessert option to consider is the interactive dessert station. Interactive dessert stations allow guests to get involved and actually create their own delectable desserts or watch as their desserts are created by a chef. Here are a few interactive dessert station ideas to consider that will have everyone talking well after the wedding is over.

Ice cream bar

Not just for kids’ parties, ice cream bars are a big hit with adults too! Ice cream bars are versatile and offer multiple dessert options. They can be sundae bars with lots of toppings for guests to select from like sprinkles, candy pieces, nuts, fresh fruit, flavored syrups and whipped cream. Add some fresh baked waffles, and the ice cream bar becomes a waffle and ice cream sandwich bar. Add some root beer, cola or club soda, and the ice cream bar becomes an ice cream soda station. Crazy for ice cream? Offer all of the above options. Your guests will thank you.

Bananas foster or crepes

Bananas foster is a popular New Orleans dessert that is created in a flambé pan with bananas cooked in brown sugar, butter, banana liqueur and rum and served with vanilla ice cream. The rum gets ignited during cooking, making this a showy dish that is delicious and fun to watch get made. Crepes are French pancakes that are also fun to prepare and eat. You can fill crepes with a variety of items like syrups, fresh fruit, nuts or Nutella spread and top with them with whipped cream for a sweet and satisfying dessert.

S’mores station

Who doesn’t like s’mores? Nothing brings out the little kid in you like making some s’mores. Guests can make them the old fashioned way by melting the marshmallow over a flame or electric burner and nestling the marshmallow and chocolate between two graham crackers, or for a more modern take, dip chocolate covered graham crackers in marshmallow fluff and have a server melt it all with a mini blowtorch.

Chocolate Fountain

Guests select items like pound cake, pretzel nuggets, Rice Krispies Treats, fresh fruit and marshmallows, skewer them up, and then dip them into the cascading fountain of melted chocolate. A chocolate fountain not only looks great, it tastes great too.

Fried dough

Fried dough in any form is fabulous and there are several variations on fried dough that would work well for an interactive dessert station. Perfect with a cup of coffee, there’s nothing better than freshly fried donuts rolled in sugar or cinnamon or donut holes with chocolate or caramel dipping sauces to top off the night. Zeppole, Italian deep fried dough balls covered in powdered sugar, taste great plain or filled with custard or pastry cream. Then there is the fun and more casual option of a funnel cake station. The deep fried batter is sprinkled with powdered sugar and can also include a topping of fresh fruit or jam.

Interactive dessert stations are sinfully sweet and a big hit at every wedding. Ask your caterer or reception venue if they offer interactive dessert stations, and if not, perhaps they’ll allow you to bring in an outside vendor that rents the equipment and provides the necessary supplies and servers.

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Guest List & Budget
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Engagement Activities
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Bridal Shower
Bachelor and Bachelorette Parties
Post-Wedding Activities
Honeymoon
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Costs and Payments
Vendors and Contacts
Out of Town Guests
Gift Registry
Create and Collect Notes Electronically
Organize Notes into your own Categories
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Share Notes with Family and Friends
Maintain a Master Email List for your Wedding
Create Customized Lists
Send Email in Bulk
Works with your Existing Email Address
and so much more!!

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Choosing Your Wedding Colors

Choosing your wedding color theme is one of the first decisions you’ll need to make when you start planning your wedding. Colors will set the tone of your wedding and determine the dresses, decor, and stationery that you order. Whether you’re thinking about a bold color combination or something more subdued, considering these factors will help you choose the right wedding colors theme.

First of all, consider the colors that will make up your background. For most couples, this will be a church or religious establishment followed by a banquet hall. Take trips to the place where your ceremony is going to happen. What color are the carpets? What color are the walls? If there is stained glass in the windows, what colors are used? Take notes and even take photos of your ceremony location. Then take a visit to your reception hall. Again, jot down or take photos of the general decor.

Think about what colors would and would not go with your wedding ceremony and reception locales. If the church you’re getting married in has red carpets and primary colors in its stained glass windows, a lime green and hot pink combination just might clash. Red, navy blue, dark green, or other bold primary colors would go well with the windows, while in summer you can probably do pastels. Loud neon colors would just be too much when there’s already a lot of color happening.

If you haven’t chosen a ceremony location yet, try to find something with a blank pallet of white walls so there won’t be any limitations in your wedding color combination choices.

Don’t forget to think about your bridesmaids. Although you may look good in every color of the rainbow, your gal pals may not. Some people just don’t look good in mustard yellow or fire engine red. Ask your girls if there are any colors they usually try to avoid and cross those colors off of your options list. Remember that darker colors can have a slimming effect, and weight conscious bridesmaids will certainly not want to wear a shade of white.

Once you’ve narrowed down your wedding color theme choices, think about what colors generally go with the season of your wedding. Oranges and yellows can work great for a fall wedding, while light blue and silver surely speak of a winter wonderland theme wedding. Darker colors are usually used in for a winter wedding, while pastels reign for spring weddings.

Bold colors are great for summer weddings or beach-themed weddings. Although those may be the trends, don’t be afraid to break from tradition to use your favorite color combination. Make sure you choose wedding colors you enjoy, and not an outrageous combination you’ll be sick of by the time your honeymoon rolls around! Follow these tips and you’re sure to come up with the perfect combination for you.

Stocking Your Wedding Reception Bar

The amount of alcohol consumed at a wedding reception varies widely. Hopefully you and your future spouse know your wedding guests pretty well–this should help you determine what types of alcohol and how much you need for the bar. Will they choose liquor or do you think they’ll go for wine and beer? If your friends are part of the beer drinking crowd, don’t overbuy on hard alcohol, and vice versa. In most weddings, the crowd is multi-generational, and as a result, you’ll probably have a range of preferences.

Many people have found themselves asking, “How much alcohol should I get?” Overbuying is extremely costly and wasteful, and underbuying is a major faux pas.

Here is a great break down for fully stocking the bar at your wedding:

Full Bar Setup for 100 guests:

6 bottles of Coke
6 bottle of Diet Coke
4 Bottles of Sprite
4 Bottle of Ginger Ale
5 Bottle of Seltzer
5 Bottles of Tonic

2 Bottles of Orange Juice
1 Bottle Grapefruit Juice
2 Bottles of Cranberry Juice
2 Bottles of Pineapple Juice
1 Bottle Tomato Juice

1 Bottle Sweetened Lime Juice
1 Bottle Grenadine
1 Bottle Sour Mix
1 Bottle Bitters
1 Bottle Tobasco
1 Bottle Worcestershire

6 Lemons
6 Limes
1 Jar Olives
2 Jars Cherries

200 Cocktail Napkins
200 Stirrer-Straws

2 Cork Screws
1 Bottle Opener
1 Knife
1 Cutting Board
3 Cloth Napkins

15 Bags of Ice

2 Liters Rum
4 Liters Vodka
2 Liters Tequila
1 Liter Scotch
1 Liter Bourbon
2 Liters Gin
Also, maybe – Vermouth, Triple Sec, Kahlua

Red Wine – 3-4 cases
White Wine – 2-3 cases
Champagne – 1 case for toast, 2 case for general consumption

Beer – 4-6 cases of 2-3 brands of beer, or ½ keg equals 7 cases

Remember to always try to purchase what you like to drink.

Order of Events at the Reception

Cocktail Hour

By beginning with a cocktail hour, you will give your guests a chance to gather at the reception facility, deposit their gifts, and meet and mingle with other guests. It will also provide time for lost guests to find their way to the reception. Meanwhile backstage, this time can be used by the photographer to take portraits of the wedding party. If desired, the bridal couple can arrange to eat at this time, ensuring that they will indeed get to eat, thus freeing up their time to mix and mingle with guests later on during the lunch/dinner portion of the reception. The cocktail hour usually takes place at the reception hall.

Receiving Line

The bridal couple can open up the reception hall with a receiving line and invite everyone inside. This will ensure that the bridal couple will have the opportunity to greet each guest at least once during the festivities. The reception line traditionally includes the bridal couple, the couples’ parents, the best man, the maid-of-honor, and any special guests.

Introduction of the Wedding Party

Once the guests are inside the reception hall, the wedding party is then introduced by the emcee as they parade inside. First comes the
groomsmen and bridesmaids, then the flower girls and ring bearer, the parents, and the bridal couple.

Dancing (Option #1)

The First Dance, Father and Daughter Dance, etc. can occur before dinner immediately upon the Bride & Groom’s introduction to the reception area. This will allow the dancing to begin much earlier in the reception thereby eliminating a lull in activities that so often happens. Once the bride and groom have danced, and then the parents and attendants, then the guests will feel comfortable dancing while others may be eating or in a buffet line. This will allow many of the guests who know how to ballroom or maybe Latin dance to do so on a non-congested dance floor.

Toasts

The best man will then make the first toast, followed by the maid-of-honor, the father-of-the-groom and the father-of-the-bride. If they so choose, the bridal couple can make a speech thanking the guests for coming, the parents for paying, and anything else
they may wish to say.

Lunch/Dinner is Served

During this time, the bride and groom (if they have already eaten) can mingle and make informal visits to each table, or even have table pictures taken by the photographer. If guests wish to make speeches, sing songs, tell jokes, do a skit, this would be the ideal time.

Dancing (Option #2)

If the bride and groom haven’t danced their first dance yet, they may now take the opportunity to open up the dance floor with their first dance. Then the father/daughter dance, then the mother/son dance. The attendants then join in the dancing and then the guests are invited to dance as well.

Cake Cutting

The bride and groom cut the cake for dessert. Additional toasts may be made at this point.

Bouquet and Garter Toss

More Dancing, if time allows

Departure of the Bridal Couple

Amid sparklers, confetti, bubbles, birdseed, or rice.

Departure of the Guests

In structuring your reception timeline, make sure to consult with your photographer, your disc jockey or musicians, your reception facility representative and/or caterer, and your bridal consultant if you have one. Also make sure your master of ceremonies is familiar with the scheduling of events.

Wedding Traditions and Customs

  • Best Man:

As marriages were historically accomplished by capture (the groom would kidnap the woman), a warrior friend was often employed. This Best Man would help the groom fight off other men who wanted the captured woman, and would also help in preventing the woman’s family from finding the couple.

  • Bridal Party:

The bridal party has many origins, not the least of which are the Anglo-Saxon days. When the groom was about to abduct his bride, he needed the help of many friends, the “bridesmen” or “brideknights.” The “gentlemen” would make sure the bride got to the ceremony on time and to the groom’s house afterwards. The bride also had women to help her. These were known as the “bridesmaids” or “brideswomen.”

  • Bridal Showers:

The Bridal Shower originated with the intent to strengthen friendships between the bride and her friends. In this gathering, the bride’s friends would give her moral support and help her prepare for her marriage. The idea to give gifts is fairly new; originating circa the 1890’s. At one shower, the bride’s friend placed small gifts inside a parasol and opened it over the bride’s head so that the presents would “shower” over her. When word of this hit the fashion pages, people were so taken with the idea that they decided to do the same at their showers.

  • Bride on the left, Groom on the right:

When the groom fought off warriors who also wanted his bride, he would hold onto her with his left hand, while fighting them off with his sword in his right hand (we suppose there were no Southpaws in those days of yore), which is why the bride stands on the left, and the groom on the right.

  • Diamond Engagement Rings:

These lavish gifts were given by medieval Italians in the belief that the diamond was created in the Flames of Love.

  • Garter Toss/Bouquet Toss:

Many things are thrown through the air at weddings: rice (for fertility), bouquets (for luck and protection), and garters (also for luck). The garter is my favorite.  Apparently, in the good old days, before wedding dresses cost as much as small cars, people used to rip off chunks of the dress for good luck.  In long-ago England, in a slightly related custom, friends of the groom would rip off their socks and throw them; the first to hit the groom’s nose would be the next to be married. In the 14th century, it was customary for the bride to toss her garter to the men, but sometimes the men got too drunk, and would become impatient and try to take the garter off her ahead of time. (Eventually the groom got into the act and saved his bride from the unruly mob…we hope). All the same, it got to less trouble for her to toss her bridal bouquet instead.

  • Honeymoon:

Following the abduction, the groom would put himself and his bride into hiding – the Honeymoon – so that by the time the bride’s family found them, the bride would already be pregnant.

  • Shoes on the Bumper:

Tying shoes to the bumper of the car represents the symbolism and power of shoes in ancient times. Egyptians would exchange sandals when they exchanged goods, so when the father of the bride gave his daughter to the groom, he would also give the bride’s sandals to show that she now belonged to the groom. In Anglo-Saxon times, the groom would tap the heel of the bride’s shoe to show his authority over her. In later times, people would throw shoes at the couple.

  • Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue and a Silver Sixpence in her Shoe This rhyme originated in Victorian times. ‘Something Old’ signifies that the Couple’s friends will stay with them. In one version of the tradition the ‘Something Old’ was an old garter which was given to the bride by a happily married woman so that the new bride would also enjoy a happy marriage. ‘Something New’ looks to the future for health, happiness and success.

    ‘Something Borrowed’ is an opportunity for the Bride’s family to give her something as a token of their love (it must be returned to ensure Good Luck), and ‘Something Blue’ is thought lucky because Blue represents fidelity and constancy. The custom began in ancient Israel where brides wore a blue ribbon in their hair to symbolize their fidelity. A sixpence was placed in the shoe to bring the couple wealth in their married life. Some brides still place a penny in their shoe during the marriage ceremony.

    Stag Parties:

    Ancient Spartan soldiers were the first to hold stag parties. The groom would feast with his male friends on the night before his wedding. In this event he would say good-bye to the carefree days of bachelorhood and swear continued allegiance to his comrades.

  • Tie the Knot:

This wonderful expression originated from Roman times when the bride wore a girdle that were tied in knots which the groom had the fun of untying. As a side note, this phrase can also refer to the tying of the knot in Handfasting Ceremonies, which were often performed without the benefit of a clergy.

  • Veil:

Along with these kidnappings and bartering, there were also arranged marriages. In these, the groom’s family informed him that he was to marry…but they very rarely let him see the bride. After all, if the groom didn’t like the bride’s looks, he might not agree to the marriage. With this in mind, the father of the bride gave the bride away to the groom who then lifted the veil to see his wife of all eternity for the first time. (I have to wonder how many of these grooms voiced their reactions aloud.)

  • Wedding:

Although the aforementioned events were common, marriage by purchase was preferred. Quite often the bride was exchanged for land, political alliance, social status and/or currency. Indeed, the Anglo-Saxon word “wedd” meant the groom would vow to marry the woman – and that the bartered goods and/or currency would go directly to the bride’s father. (Side note: the very word “wedding” comes from the root term meaning “gamble” or “wager”.) In short, a wedding seemed little more than the purchase of a bride for breeding purposes. Not a particularly liberated point of view.

  • Wedding Bands:

It is unknown when wedding bands were first worn. They were probably made of a strong metal such as iron. (One can easily guess the portent of an omen if a wedding band broke.) As far back as the ancient Romans, there was a belief that the vein in the third finger ran directly to the heart, so the wearing of rings on that finger joined the couple’s hearts and destinies.

  • Wedding Cake:

Like most any other ritual handed down from the ages, a wedding wouldn’t be complete without fertility symbols, like the wedding cake. Ancient Romans would bake a cake made of wheat or barley and break it over the bride’s head as a symbol of her fertility. (Whether this meant cracking the cake above the bride’s head or actually bonking her on the noggin with it is rather unclear. We’re not sure we want to know…) Over time, it became traditional to stack several cakes atop one another, as tall as possible. The bride and groom would then be charged to kiss over this tower without knocking it over. If they were successful, a lifetime of good fortune was certain for the new couple. Finally, during the reign of King Charles II of England, it became customary for cake to be a palatable palace iced with sugar.

  • White Wedding Dress:

Anne of Brittany made the white wedding dress popular in 1499. Before that, a woman Just wore her best dress. It should be noted that a white wedding dress is in no way indicative of The “purity” of the bride-to-be. Indeed, white is not accorded as a symbol of chastity, but of joy.

Wedding Party

Early in the planning stages of your wedding, you and your fiance should choose those special people who will be your attendants. Usually you choose your closest friends and relatives to share in the excitement of your big day. Following is a list of the traditional wedding participants and their responsibilities.

Maid of Honor

The maid of honor is usually a special friend or sister of the bride. She is expected to help the bride as much as possible.

  • Helps the bride with addressing invitations, serves as a shopping adviser, helps bride with gifts, etc.
  • Attends all pre-wedding parties, showers, etc.
  • Pays for her own wedding attire.
  • Helps in organizing the bridesmaids and their wedding attire, and makes sure they know their ceremonial duties.
  • Is in charge of the groom’s wedding ring until the appropriate time during the ceremony, when she exchanges it for the bride’s bouquet.
  • Along with the best man, signs the wedding certificate as a legal witness.
  • Helps the bride in arranging her veil and train, and also when dressing for the wedding.
  • She is also a member of the receiving line.

Bridesmaids

The bridesmaids are primarily to add a warm, personal, colorful touch to the wedding festivities. They are always invited to all pre-wedding parties, showers, etc.

  • Bridesmaids are responsible for the purchase and fitting of their wedding attire (the bride may wish to buy their accessories).
  • Bridesmaids may assist the bride with pre-wedding tasks and errands.
  • Bridesmaids participate in rehearsal and ceremony and also in the receiving line.

Best Man

The best man is usually a brother or best friend of the groom. He is the groom’s right-hand man in organizing his activities for the day.

  • Helps to host the bachelor party (or dinner, which is optional).
  • Pays for his own wedding attire.
  • The best man transports the groom to the church, and helps him dress for the ceremony.
  • Supervises the groomsmen and ushers and makes sure they are properly dressed and that they know their duties.
  • The best man takes care of the bride’s ring until the appropriate time during the ceremony.
  • He presents the clergy person with his/her fee either just before or just after the ceremony.
  • The best man, along with the maid of honor, signs the wedding certificate as a legal witness.
  • The best man offers the first toast to the bride and groom at the reception.
  • He transports the newlyweds to the airport or from wherever they are leaving for their honeymoon.
  • The best man returns the groom’s formal wear either to his home or back to the formal wear shop.

Groomsmen

The groomsmen are usually close friends, brothers, or relatives of the couple.

  • They pay for their own wedding attire.
  • They attend the bachelor dinner or party (if one is held).
  • They attend the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.
  • They escort the bridesmaids during the ceremony processional and recessional.

Ushers

Ushers have more details to attend to. They should be specifically instructed as to their responsibilities.

  • They pay for their own wedding attire.
  • They should arrive at the church at least an hour before the ceremony.
  • They light the candles about 15 minutes before the ceremony begins (if this assignment is given to them by the clergy).
  • The ushers should obtain from the couple a list of guests for special or reserved seating.
  • They should make sure that grandparents, godparents, etc. have their flowers before they are seated.
  • The ushers distribute wedding service programs to the guests while seating them; or they may put the programs in the pews ahead of time.
  • The usher should introduce himself/herself to the guest and should ask whether he/she is a guest of the bride or the groom.
  • The bride’s guests are traditionally seated on the left side and the groom’s guests seated on the right side. Sides are reversed in an Orthodox Jewish wedding. Ushers may choose to balance the sides if one is filling up much faster than the other. In many church weddings, parents now go down the aisle with their respective children.
  • The usher should offer his/her right arm to the woman of a pair of guests, or to the oldest woman of a group. Other members of the guest group walk slightly behind as the usher escorts them to their seats. Single men may simply walk beside the usher.
  • The groom’s parents should be seated last of all. They should be seated in the right front pew, and then the bride’s mother in the left front pew. After the head usher escorts the bride’s mother to her seat, no more guests are seated until after the processional. In some cases, the families are just simply seated as they come in.
  • After carefully unrolling the aisle carpet, the ushers should take their places. An extra usher should remain to seat latecomers.
  • The ushers should escort the parents of the bridal couple and any special designated guests out of the church after the recessional.
  • The ushers then indicate to other guests pew by pew, when they may leave their seats following the recessional.
  • Check over the church/synagogue to see that it is clean and orderly.
  • At the reception, ushers generally do not sit at the bridal table(s), but sit with the other guests

Mother of the Bride

  • Assists the bride in selecting gown and accessories, wedding colors and attendant’s attire, and personal trousseau.
  • Helps in compiling the guest list, and in addressing invitations.
  • Provides friends with information about gift registry preferences of the bride.
  • Assists in ceremony and reception details.
  • Selects her own dress and consults with the groom’s mother on their styles and colors of dresses.
  • Keeps the father of the bride and the groom’s parents informed on wedding plans and preparations.
  • May take care of incoming gifts.
  • Acts as the official hostess at the wedding and reception. She is the last person to be seated at the ceremony and the first to greet the guests in the receiving line (see previous usher section). The bride’s mother also sits in the place of honor at the parents’ table. However, this is at the discretion of the bride and her mother.
  • May ride with father of the bride to the ceremony or assist in dressing the bride the day of the ceremony.

Father of the Bride

  • Rides with the bride to the ceremony.
  • In the traditional procession, he escorts his daughter during the processional, then sits with the mother of the bride in the left front pew. However, many brides walk down the aisle with both parents. (See also groom’s parents.)
  • Preferably stands in the receiving line or may mingle as the host of the reception.
  • The father of the bride should dress in conformance with the groom and his attendants.
  • The father of the bride is usually the last person to leave the reception, and also bids guests farewell.

Groom’s Parents

  • The groom’s parents should call on the bride’s parents to express their approval as soon as possible after the engagement.
  • The groom’s parents might walk down the aisle with their son.
  • The groom’s parents sit in the right front pew during the ceremony and they are special guests at the reception.
  • The groom’s mother always stands in the receiving line, and the father may stand in the receiving line or mingle with the crowd.

Flower Girl and/or Ring Bearer

  • The flower girl is usually between the ages of 4 and 10. Her dress may be exactly like the bridesmaids’ or something similar. She should carry a small bouquet, or basket. She precedes the bride and her father.
  • The ring bearer is usually between the ages of 3 and 6 years of age. He carries a small pillow with a ring stitched onto it (preferably a fake ring). He also precedes the bride and her father.
  • The ring bearer may be dressed in short white pants, with a fancy white shirt, bow tie, and white shoes; or he may be dressed to match the men in the wedding party.
  • The parents of the flower girl and ring bearer pay for their children’s wedding attire.
  • The flower girl and ring bearer should be included in transportation arrangements.
  • The children and their parents should be included in the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.
  • The children do not have to stand in the receiving line.
  • It is a wise suggestion to have a baby-sitter to take care of the children during the reception so that the parents can relax and enjoy the evening.

Other Participants

You may find that you would like more friends and relatives involved than the size of your wedding party allows. There are a number of other duties that need attention. You might have a friend read a scripture passage at the ceremony; or serve as a candle-lighter; or greet guests as they arrive.

You may need assistance at the reception also. You could possibly ask a group of friends, or relatives, to decorate the hall, and to be in charge of the wedding gifts – take them either to your parents’ home or your home. You might ask younger cousins or friends to attend the guest book, and clean up after the reception.

Tips for budget bridal showers

When hosting a bridal shower, it can be easy to get carried away. Hosts, typically a close friend or relative of the bride, often feel obligated to give the bride the “perfect” party — a concept as elusive as it is expensive.

 
However, if you find yourself planning an upcoming bridal shower on a budget, have no fear: It’s entirely possible to plan a tasteful, fun and sentimental gathering without breaking the bank. Here are five time-saving and cost-cutting ways to throw a beautiful bridal shower:

Invitations

It can be tempting to blow your entire budget for the party on the invitations, but consider saving money (and time) by sending them electronically. Web sites like Pingg.com make sending invitations and tracking responses electronically a breeze. And with an enormous online image database, it’s almost guaranteed that even the pickiest planner will find the perfect invitation design.

Food

Skip hours of baking and frosting and provide your guests with a creative and low-fat ice cream cake. Ice cream sandwiches from The Skinny Cow look sweet when stacked in a pyramid and topped with creative garnishes. Your guests will be thankful for a low-fat snack option, and you will have time to actually enjoy the party. Sandwiches come in strawberry shortcake, chocolate, vanilla, vanilla/chocolate, chocolate peanut butter, mint and cookies n’ cream flavors. Use one flavor for a consistent look or mix and match flavors for extra guest options.

Drink

Sangria is an unexpected and delicious drink to serve at your shower. Added bonus: the ingredients are inexpensive and easy to find. You can even substitute grape juice and seltzer water for wine for a tasty non-alcoholic version. The only other ingredients required are slices of fresh fruits such as oranges, pears and peaches, and about 1/4 cup of sugar. For variations on the classic recipe, check out Cooks.com or AllRecipes.com

Games

Rework an old classic by playing a game of Bridal Shower Bingo. First, create copies of a blank grid resembling a bingo card. As the guests arrive, have them fill out the grid with gifts that they think the bride will receive. (The free space is in the middle and players can write their own gift in this space.) As the bride opens a gift, players cross it off their bingo card. Award a prize to the first person to fill five spaces in a row, across or diagonally.

Favors

Pamper your guests with homemade body scrubs in simple, elegant glass mason jars. You can even customize the recipe below to include your favorite scents and colors.

You will need:
3 cups Epsom salt (or coarse sea salt)
1 cup oil (almond, canola or olive oil usually works best)
Essential oils for fragrance
Mason jars

Instructions:
First, measure out your salt and pour into a large container. Measure out the oil and slowly pour into the salt while stirring. Finally, add the essential oil to the desired strength. Attach any desired ribbons, hang tags or other decorations to the outside of the jar.

Wedding Colors

To many grooms, selecting a wedding day color may seem quite trivial in the realm of planning the entire wedding event. However, for most brides, choosing a wedding color and/or colors is the glue that connects the dots. It helps define the mood and theme, as well as extends into every aspect of the wedding: the invitations, table décor, centerpieces, cake, flowers, and in some cases the bride’s dress itself.

The trend today is to go big and bold with color everywhere—to make a statement with every little detail to signify your event. Color is now showing up in signature drinks, the hor d’oeuvres, lighting, candles, etc.

So, how do you go about choosing the perfect colors or color scheme for your wedding? Of course, there are many factors to consider in this all-important decision.

First off, consider your favorite color or colors. That just might work for you. If you like pink, incorporate soft hues and shades of pink. If you like more dramatic colors such as burgundy or magenta, infuse those into your creativity. Pick your most-desired colors and done.

To help you choose colors that may not be your preferred choice, look for inspiration in bridal magazines, fabric stores, or even by looking at a Pantone book that showcases tones and variations of colors. You may love green, but by using these resources, you can narrow in on which green. Is it kelly green, forest green, or sage green? You might even select a range of colors that evoke a particular theme. Combine various tones you find in shells like subtle yellows and delicate pinks, with shades of sand and light ocean blues to represent “Summer at the Cape.”

Also, take into consideration the wedding location and ceremony, the time of year, and which colors are in style now. For example, accents of brown and even black are extremely popular with today’s contemporary brides.

Let’s break this down further.

First off, your wedding location may dictate a color scheme for you based on its interior décor. For example, if your reception site is a country club that has navy and gold carpeting and draperies, lavenders, pinks and yellows will definitely clash.

Regarding time of year… if your event is a winter wedding, you may opt for richer colors of deep reds or sapphire blues. For a summer beach-themed wedding, soft tones of peach and oranges might complement the scenery just right. These are all things to consider when accentuating your occasion with color.

Also take into account the feeling you want to evoke on your wedding day. Do you want it to be upbeat and fun? Then choose bold, bright colors. Do you want it to be sophisticated and romantic? Maybe go with a combination of red, black and ivory. Do you want it to be peaceful and Zen-like? Choose soft sages and tans. For a multiple room event, it is also perfectly acceptable to pick one color scheme for your cocktail hour and one for the reception. The possibilities are endless.

Ideas on the easiest wedding uses of color:

Attire

One of the most notable trends right now is to select a unique color for your wedding gown itself. More and more couture designers are showcasing dresses made in blush, silver, grays, and shades of champagnes in their collections. They are also adding colorful accents to their dresses, i.e. colored sashes, black and brown trims, combination beading (blues and silvers together), and stand alone appliqués like chiffon flowers in pinks and taupes. In addition, your color palette should extend into your groomsmen’s attire and bridesmaids’ dresses as well. A current trend is for each bridesmaid to have a variation on the style and/or color of the attendant dress. It is perfectly acceptable to forgo being completely “matchy-matchy.”

Invitations

As the first thing people see, invitations set the stage and initial mood for your event. It’s simple to add “your colors” to the font, personal monogram, or ribbons when announcing the wedding.

Flowers

When it comes to flowers, there is most likely a particular flower available in your exact colors. Keep in mind however that they may or may not be affordable and in-season at the time. If that is the case, simply select white flowers as your base and small accent flowers in your particular colors to add consistency to your wedding details and décor.

Cake

Applying color to your cake is one of the easiest ways to use color. White fondant icing is essentially a blank canvas for colorful detailing with flowers, stripes, or polka dots in your favorite colors. Most fondants can also be made in any color or shade of color today. Another idea, showcase a different color on every layer of your cake for maximum impact.

Favors

Simply showcase color in your favor packaging. Use gift tags, paper, fabric, and ribbons to add little touch of your color for your guest gifts.

Cocktails

Colorful cocktails are very popular today. Some ideas include bright yellow Mimosas for an early brunch wedding; pinkish red Cosmos for a destination wedding; or Blue Martinis for a Winter Wonderland evening affair. Yum.

Remember there are many other ways to incorporate color into the small details of your wedding. Think about the napkins, centerpiece containers, colored wine glasses, bridal accessories, guest book, drinks, appetizers, food staging, etc. Be creative, the list goes on and on.