Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Maid of Honor Duties

Weddings are hard work, and it falls to the maid of honor to help handle some important details. She's the go-to person for the bride when it comes to guidance, a fresh perspective and, well, some of the heavy lifting. Being tapped as an honor attendant can be a chore, but it's also a tremendous compliment and a lot of fun. If you're on the lookout for fresh information you can use for your own wedding, participating in a friend's arrangements can be an eye opener that may save you time and some potential gotcha moments later, too.

Helping the Bride

The temperament of the bride and the scope of the wedding will have a big impact on how much or how little of the planning and organization the maid of honor will be responsible for. When assisting the bride, the maid of honor may be part facilitator, secretary, delivery person, counselor, decorator, or just about anything else. This partial list will give you an idea of some helpful ways you may be pressed into service:
  • Scout wedding locations.
  • Select invitations and help with invitation prep.
  • Explore floral options and other decorative choices.
  • Help the bride shop for her wedding dress and choose bridesmaids' dresses.
  • Oversee delivery of the dresses, monitor fittings and assist with other wardrobe functions.
  • Encourage the bride to register for gifts, spread the word about where the bride is registered and answer any gift questions that may arise.
  • Help with honeymoon planning.
  • Help with seating chart details.
  • Attend the cake tasting and make recommendations.
  • Attend the catering meetings or tastings and make recommendations.
  • Host the bridal shower.
  • Host the bachelorette party.
  • Maintain timetables and be of general assistance to keep things moving forward.
  • Attend the rehearsal dinner.
  • Keep a list of gifts received.

Maid of Honor Duties for the Big Day

The maid of honor also has some specific wedding day duties beyond wearing a big smile and keeping the bride happy:
  • Help the bride dress and deal with her hair, jewelry and the unavoidable wedding day jitters.
  • Check the last minute details, like instructions for the photographer and deliveries to the hall.
  • Act as a messenger between the bride and groom (and various and sundry family members).
  • Handle dress and veil issues. Maneuverability could be important here, even in the restroom, so this is an important and sometimes unexpected duty involving lifting, fluffing, arranging and rearranging.
  • Hold and protect the groom's ring.
  • Hold the bride's bouquet for the duration of the wedding ceremony.
  • Witness the marriage license signing.
  • Be part of the receiving line at the reception or act as a greeter.
  • Toast the bride and groom.
  • Participate in the first dance at a formal reception (partnered with the best man).
If the bride has help from family members, the groom or lots of bridesmaids who want to pitch in, the maid of honor's responsibilities could be limited to wedding day ceremonial functions and a few other helpful contributions.
The dynamic between the bride and the maid of honor will impact how the planning process unfolds. It's a sure bet, though, that if you're a maid of honor it couldn't hurt to have a sympathetic ear, limitless patience a day planner and a sense of humor.

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Wedding Day Duties for the Best Man

Best Man

Wedding Day Duties

In addition to the speech, there are a few other duties expected of the best man on the wedding day. Preparation is key, so you can enjoy the day as much as everyone else.
Getting the Groom there, on time
Your responsibilities start with getting the groom to the church, registry office, etc. on time and ready for the service. Have a plan of how you are travelling to the venue and allow plenty of time to get there. Also have a couple of back-up plans (e.g. taxi numbers), a fully charged mobile phone, and plenty of cash. Aim to be there early, about half an hour before the service starts, to greet the guests as they arrive.
The Service and the Rings
If you and the groom are at the wedding venue early and you have the rings safety in your pocket, then there is not much else you need to worry about for this part of the day. Now is the groom's time to sweat! The person taking the ceremony will tell you where you need to be and when. A tip for keeping the rings safe is to place them both on your little finger until you take your place for the service. It is difficult to trust those small waistcoat pockets.
General Administration
Generally the bride and her mother would have done most of the organisation for the day, but you will still be expected to do some of the administration on the day. This will mostly be directing the guests to where and when they need to be in certain places. If you are the quiet type there is no need to be worried about this as most guests expect information from the best man and ushers. You may also be entrusted to settle some of the payments such as the church fees, so find out in advance.
Presents and Cards
One of the best man's responsibilities is to accept wedding presents and cards from the guest throughout the day. If you do not have somewhere to put them this can become annoying, especially as you have other things to be concerned with, like the ceremony or your big speech. A solution is to designate a table at the reception for all the presents and request that the guest keep hold of their gifts and deposit them there.
Dealing with any Problems
As best man, you are the main trouble-shooter should anything arise. It is the bride and grooms day so they should not be expected to worry themselves with any problems. It will be down to you, the ushers, and maybe the parents to enlist the venue's staff in finding a solution. Don't panic, most things are easily sorted out, and try to delegate as much as possible to the venue's staff so you can concentrate on your other responsibilities.
The Speech
This is the big one for the best man. You are expected to entertain the guest with a witty speech! Please refer to the several articles on this website for help with the big speech. If doing a speech isn't enough you may be asked to act as the master of ceremonies as well. Check this out beforehand.

Other Duites
It is likely that your role will mean you are expected to do a lot of other things, e.g. first dance with the chief bridesmaid. It is best to arrange some time with the bride-to-be (grooms only tend to know the time and place!) to find out the plans and expectation for the day.

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Thursday, December 5, 2013

Christmas Weddings

Christmas is  the most wonderful time of the year, your family is gathered around you, and the church is already decorated. Why not have a Christmas wedding? Here are ideas and tips to have a fantastic Christmas wedding with all the trimmings.

Wedding Colors:

Red and green are natural colors for a Christmas wedding – It is likely that your church or reception site will already be decorated in red and green for other events and holiday parties. But don't feel limited to this palate. Other possibilities, which will work with existing decorations, include:
  • silver and white
  • silver and light blue
  • burgundy, forest green, and gold (as long as the existing decorations aren't too primary)
  • gold and cream

Christmas Wedding Invitations:

You'll want to reflect the season and your theme, but you won't want it to look like a holiday card. The solution? Forgo a folded card, opting for the traditional thick white card, with a border and engraved or thermo-graphed text. You can highlight the Christmas wedding theme in the border with white snowflakes, an elegant holly trim, or a drawing of a poinsettia. 

Since people make plans for the holidays early, and often have many parties and events to attend at this time of year, you'll want to send your invitations a little bit early – about 12 weeks before the event. You might also consider "save the date" cards in addition to the invitations, which will ensure that those most important to you will be able to attend.

Wedding Cake:

Having each tier look like an individually wrapped package is a popular look that is perfect for a Christmas wedding. You might also do a take on a buche noel or yule log, with a tiered chocolate cake that has holly – either real or made of gum paste – cascading down the side. Use marzipan, an almond paste used in many holiday desserts, as a filling.

Bridesmaids Attire for a Christmas Wedding:

My favorite bridesmaid look for a Christmas wedding is long dresses with shrugs or capelets and a big faux-fur muff. But you can dress them in your wedding colors, give them long wraps or sparkly accessories, all of which will help evoke your theme.

And the Bride Wore:

A Christmas wedding dress needn't be that different from any other kind. Wear the one that flatters you most, and top it off with a long red velvet cape. Or embrace the trend of color in wedding dresses by adding a beautiful red silk sash to the waist of your gown. You could also seek a dress with lots of sparkly beads and sequins to evoke the snowiness of the season. And of course, a faux-fur wrap and muff are always fun.

Flowers and D├ęcor:

Since flowers can be more expensive at this time of year, think creatively. A mirrored platter with pillar candles and sprigs of holly is both elegant and romantic. Buy ornaments in bulk on-line, and create centerpieces of bowls or vases of ornaments. For a simple but elegant look, put pots of poinsettia with a ribbon trim in the center of each table. Fake snow used to be tacky, but there are now very good products available. Set candles or small flower arrangements in the middle of snow. And for my favorite touch, use fake snow instead of an aisle runner. Or, you can always hire a snow-making machine to really make your Christmas wedding a winter wonderland.

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Choose your Wedding Flowers...

"How to choose your Wedding Flowers" 

Among all the other details you have to plan, choosing your wedding flowers is one of the most important decisions you are going to make.  They carry your own personal theme through, from fragrance & colour, to mood and style, and finally to precious memories in your photographs.
Your wedding bouquet is the finishing touch to your gorgeous gown, and a well designed, beautiful bouquet will enhance your dress, and bring out your best features and compliment your bridesmaids.
It can seem overwhelming to begin with, so here are some tips from your local florist, to help make choosing your wedding flowers a little easier.
It will save you time, and make you feel a lot more confident talking to your professional florist, if you do a little bit of homework before your consultation.  Google Images, wedding blogs (Click here to go to our portfolio of photos of real wedding flowers), bridal magazines and photos from other weddings are a great source of ideas and inspiration.  Take along any pictures of bouquet styles, special flowers, accessories, or anything else that catches your eye.
Think about if your wedding has a theme, and how you feel flowers will carry that through.   I.e. including shells in the bouquet for a Wedding on the beach is perfect!   A popular look for Waitakere Weddings is to include Paua or ferns and palms to bring through the Waitakere bush and beach feeling.
Have a swatch of your bridesmaids' fabric for colour matching of flowers and ribbons.
Pick at least one or two types of special flowers that you would like to feature if they are in season.  Blooms may be included because of their special meaning or they could hold personal memories to the bride and groom.  For more information on the meanings of flowers click here for our meaning of flowers page.
Work within the seasons.  Although many popular flowers like roses, lilies, Singapore orchids etc are white hydrangea bouquets with mauve bridesmaids dresses available all-year round, many other flowers are seasonal, so prices fluctuate depending on which month you are getting married in.  Flowers can be imported, however this becomes very costly, so it is better to be in-tune with nature and plan your wedding bouquets around the season you are marrying in.
And, PLEASE remember that Valentines Day, although romantic, is a very expensive time of year for flowers!

Know your budget.  It can be extremely helpful to the florist if you are armed with a budget.  This allows you both to discuss the best way for you to get the best value for your money.  We have more information on prices for bridal bouquets and wedding flower budgets here.
Don't skimp on the bride's bouquet – it is your special day and you are worth it!
-But you can certainly be creative with the bridesmaids' flowers – a popular trend today is 3 or 4 showy large blooms like gorgeous lilies or gerberas, which gives you real bloom-for-your–buck!  We have lots of suggestions of ways to stretch your budget and to give you WOW wedding flowers.
You can also consider doing the reception table flowers yourself – armed with a team of willing helpers and some champagne of course!    A glass bowl with floating rose heads, or a single Singapore orchid in a bud vase is a lovely effect and certainly achievable for the novice floral artist, however do be aware, that doing their own flowers often takes a lot longer than many brides anticipate, and adds a huge amount of pressure and stress to the last days before the wedding - let alone the damage to your fresh manicure! Think about it - Is it really worth it?

Your professional florist is a real asset to you on your big day, and you should feel confident when booking with them, that they understand you, your needs, and can help turn your dreams into reality, to create that magic you are looking for.

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Monday, November 11, 2013

Hair & Make Up

Julie is a licensed cosmetologist specializing in print, fashion, television, special events and weddings. Likewise, Julie has an extensive portfolio, with clients such as Melissa Ethridge, Phil Jackson, as well as top models and actors as seen on her website.

In addition to offering on location hair and make-up, Julie teaches photography make-up to upper division photography students at Brooks Institute, a world renowned photography school in Santa Barbara California. Julie uses many make up lines ( Chanel, Too Faced, Christian Dior, Lancome, Laura Mercier etc ) including Julie's own exclusive line of cosmetics.

Known by her clients for her clean work, Julie strives for an soft, natural look or an elegant " Red Carpet look " perfect for a bride on her wedding day.

"I feel that most anyone can apply make-up. However, the challenge and true artistry of the professional hair and make up artist is in the ability to create a final look where all eyes are on the individual.....not merely focused on the make up or the hair. This is especially important on the wedding day when a bride wants to look her best! Make up needs to be applied properly to look great on camera, while also looking great for friends and family.
Therefore, my ultimate goal as a hair and make-up artist is to enhance my client's best features, but also not to distract from their natural beauty with too much make-up. The end result should be, the client feels that they are not wearing a mask, but they feel comfortable and like themselves, but better. "

Serving Northern California (San Francisco, Napa, Carmel) Southern California (Santa Barbrara, Los Angeles, Palm Springs) Hawaii and worldwide.

Northern California's Finest Wedding Venues:
V. Sattui Winery St. Helena, The Meritage Resort Napa, Kenwood Inn and Spa, Charles Krug, Viansa Winery Sonoma, Barndiva Healdsburg, Hans Fahden Winery Calistoga, The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn Golf Course, Domaine Chandon Yountville, Estate in Sonoma, Atwood Ranch Glen Ellen, Harvest Inn St. Helena, Westerbeke Ranch Sonoma, Madrona Manor Healdsburg, Beaulieu Vineyard Rutherford, The Carneros Inn Napa, The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa, Bear Flag Farm, Murrieta's Well Winery Livermore, Cornerstone Gardens Sonoma, The Clift Hotel San Francisco, The Fairmont Hotel San Francisco, Chalk Hill Estate, Jacuzzi Family Winery, Little House in Alexander Valley Sonoma, Healdsburg Country Gardens, El Dorado Kitchen Sonoma, Paradise Ridge Winery, Ambiance Antiques in San Francisco, The Sonoma Mission, Flying Cloud Farm Petaluma, Tawantan Napa Valley, Bellisimo Vineyards Calistoga, Ramekins Sonoma, Carmel Mission, Milliken Creek Inn, B.R. Cohn Winery Glen Ellen, Sonoma Coast Villa and Spa, Hilton Sonoma Wine Country, Sunol Valley Golf Club, The Hill House Inn Mendocino, Beltane Ranch Glen Ellen, Tra Vigne St. Helena, Calistoga Ranch, Bernardus Resort and Winery Carmel, Beltane Ranch Glen Ellen, The Mountain Winery in Saratoga, Chateau Julien Wine Estate Carmel, Cline Cellars, The White House Inn, Churchill Manor Napa, Vinters Inn Santa Rosa, Clos LaChance Winery San Martin, TestaRossa Winery Los Gatos, Stanford University Weddings, CordeValle San Martin, Westin St. Francis, Savannah Chanelle Vineyards in Saratoga, The James Leary Flood Mansion San Francisco, Union Hill Inn Sonora, Sir Francis Drake Hotel, Silverado Country Club and Resort Napa, Merryvale Vineyards, MacArthur Place Inn and Spa, The Kohl Mansion Burlingame, The Pavillion at the Vintage Estate Napa Valley, Arista Winery Healdsburg, Avia Hotel Napa, Kunde Estate Winery and Vineyards, Greystone, Solage Calistoga, Gaia Napa Valley Hotel and Spa, Aaron's Vineyards Napa, Nicholson Ranch Winery, Russion River Vineyards Forestville, The Asian Art Museum San Francisco, Nestldown Los Gatos, Wildwood Acres, Ruby Hill Golf Club, Elliston Vineyards, Annadel Estate Winery Santa Rosa, Hyatt Vineyard Creek Santa Rosa, Ledson Winery in Kenwood, Hakone Gardens Saratoga, Harvest Moon Estate and Winery, The Old Whaling Sation Monterey, Ventana Inn and Spa, Gundlach Bundschu Winery, The Lodge at Sonoma, Westerbeke Ranch Sonoma, Chardonnay Golf Club Napa Valley, Tournesol Vineyards Napa Valley, Bardessono Vineyards, Napa Valley Country Club, The Bently Reserve San Francisco, Santa Rosa Golf and Country Club, The Bridges Golf Club, de Young Museum San Francisco, Green Valley Country Club, The City Club of San Francisco, Old Saint Hilarys Church (Tiburon), Mayacamas Ranch (Calistoga), Bernardus Lodge Winery in Carmel, Villagio Inn and Spa, Asian Art Museum San Francisco, Vintners Inn Santa Rosa, Saratoga Estate Winery, The Mountain Winery, Meadowood Napa Valley, First Presbyterian Church of Napa, Landmark Winery Kenwood, Paradise Ridge Winery Santa Rosa, Harvest Moon Winery, The Metropolitan Building New York, Plaza Hotel New York, Waldorf Hotel New York, Palace Hotel New York, El Cortez San Diego, Darlington House, Hotel Del Coronado,Ivy Hotel San Diego, La Valencia in La Jolla, Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa, The Abby on Fifth Avenue San Diego, Seven-Degrees Laguna Beach, and Marvimon House. 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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Melbourne Cup Carnival 2013: Race Day Fashion Explained

OCTOBER 31, 2013, 3:59 PM

With Melbourne Cup Carnival just around the corner, it's time to start planning our best race day outfits. We give you some racewear dos and don'ts to help you get by this season fashion faux pas free.
The Melbourne Cup Carnival is made up of four key race days at Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne.
Each day has its own style with specific days designed to appeal to ladies, racing enthusiasts, socialites, families and more, providing a wide range of hospitality options, exciting entertainment and activities both on and off the track.
Here's a breakdown of each race day. Plus, Melbournian Fashion Blogger Lauren Brain (mastermind behind the fabulous style blog, The Cut & Paste shares her top tips on what to wear, and where to shop for your ultimate racing look.
AAMI Victoria Derby Day – Saturday 2 November
The first day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival is considered one of the most prestigious days of racing in Australia. It is the oldest classic race on the Victorian calendar – it was first contested in 1855, six years before the Melbourne Cup.

Style: Derby Day fashion calls for classical elegance with a traditional black and white colour scheme.
Flower: Blue cornflower 

"On Derby Day you really want to stick as close to the traditional black and white dress code as you can. This year there’s sure to be plenty of white-on-white looks at Flemington, as it’s one of the biggest overall trends for spring. Hopefully you can keep it looking clean and crisp all day!"

Emirates Melbourne Cup – Tuesday 5 November

Australia’s most famous race is always run on the first Tuesday in November over a distance of 3200m (2 miles) at Flemington Racecourse. It is the Southern Hemisphere’s richest race ($6.2 million) drawing international competition and more than 100,000 people to the track. Australia’s master trainer Bart Cummings holds the record for the number of Melbourne Cup winners currently sitting at 12.

Style: With its celebratory air, Melbourne Cup is the day for a strong fashion statement, from bold colours to striking design and detail. Hats are customary.

Flower: Yellow rose.

Melbourne Cup is one big party. It’s a public holiday in Melbourne, and the celebration mood really carries into the outfits you see at the track. If there’s one day you want to have fun with colour and print, Cup is the day to do it.

Crown Oaks Day – Thursday 7 November

Crown Oaks is Victoria’s premier event for three-year-old fillies. It’s also regarded as ladies day, when women dress in their most feminine ensemble. The winner of Fashions on the Field, the national fashion competition of Australian department store Myer, is also announced on this day.

Style: Romantic, feminine looks and delicate fabrics.

Flower: Pink rose.

Take the chance to dress like a real lady on Oaks Day, in feminine colours and styles. Pastels and florals are always great on ladies day, just keep it chic and simple.

Emirates Stakes Day – Saturday 9 November

The Melbourne Cup Carnival finishes with Emirates Stakes, the premier mile race in Victoria. Stakes Day is known for its relaxed, garden party atmosphere and is recognised as the Carnival’s Family Day, a highlight being the children’s Fashions on the Field where the young ones have the chance to to parade their race day fashions.

Style: Something more relaxed but still festive.

Flower: Red rose.

It’s the end of the carnival, and ‘family day’ at Flemington, so the kids are dressed up adorably and things are generally a bit more relaxed. Feel free to go with something a bit more contemporary or edgy on Stakes Day, and if you’ve been every day so far – the ladies will want to wear their most comfortable shoes!!

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Choosing a wedding dress

1-Go au naturel Don't wear anything other than moisturiser. You don't want to leave lipstick orfoundation marks on any expensive frocks! 

2-Bring a pair of heels
You'll need comfortable shoes on for shopping, but take a pair of heels with you so you can try them on with the dresses. You need to see where the hemline will be and how the dress will hang.

3-Bring your friends

It's difficult to form an objective opinion on your own, so take one or two close friends along with you. Ask them to be honest and take note of their positives and negatives as you try each dress on. 

4-Bring a notebook
Given that you'll be trying on miles of tulle and silk, you could easily end up forgetting what 's what. Make detailed notes including the name of the shop, the model you tried on, and what you did and didn't like about it. Once you get back home, you'll have clearer ideas to help you narrow the list down.


You need to be able to move in your dress. Try out a few dance moves and try taking long strides in the shop. You need room to move: it would be a shame not to be able to boogie away on your wedding day because you can't move or you're worried about ripping your dress!

6-Check the lighting.
In the shop lights a white dress will look immaculate, but ask if you can go out into the natural light to check that it dosn't look yellowish in the daylight. And think about how see-through skimpy materials are going to be: if it's sunny on your big day, you don't want to reveal too much!  

7-Imagine the photos.

Faced with all that choice, you could be so lost you end up falling for a real no-no that's just totally inappropriate. To stay focused and avoid buying a dress with violet feathers, imagine how you want to look in your wedding photos!

8-Accept your body for what it is.

Don't plan on going on a miracle diet to squeeze into the dress you want. Buy a dress that fit, and if you do happen to lose a few pounds before your bid day (through stress, for example), adjustments can always be made.

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

How to choose your bridal party

Decisions, Decisions: Choosing your bridal party

Choosing your bridal party can be one of the most exciting parts of planning your wedding, but it can also be one of the most stressful. If you choose pink flowers instead of purple, the purple flowers will get over it. However, if you pick one of your best friends to be a bridesmaid, but not the other, it can lead to hurt feelings. The group you choose should represent your closest friends, family members or loved ones who will be there for support, guidance and help plan for the big day. Here are some helpful tips to consider when selecting your bridal party:

Think long-term

Heavily weigh the importance of the people who have been in your life for a long time. It’s probably best not to pick somebody you like to gossip with at the gym or your favorite barista unless you see your relationship evolving into something more meaningful. It’s important to select people who have played an important role in your life leading up to your wedding and that will remain just as important in the future. Who will you choose to be your baby’s godmother or will you invite to celebrate your 50th birthday? Facebook allows you to classify your contacts into groups. Do you consider the person to be a ‘close friend’ or just an ‘acquaintance’? Play it safe and choose from the ‘close friends’ list. Keep in mind that the people you choose will forever remain in the photos from your wedding day. Don’t let yourself open your wedding album in twenty years and ask…”what was her name again?”

Leave out the drama

With women involved in a wedding it’s likely that drama will arise at one point or another. As a bride, the best way to avoid unnecessary drama is to exclude those that create it! You may want to re-think including those who can’t hold their liquor, are on bad terms with their ex-boyfriend (the best man) or refuse to wear the lovely shade of pink you selected for their bridal gowns. The biggest blunder would be to choose somebody who disapproves of the upcoming marriage. The bride and groom’s love for one another is the entire reason the wedding is happening. A saboteur has no place in your bridal party.

All or nothing

If you are a bride with a large family and group of friends, you may be feeling pressured to squeeze everyone into your bridal party. This doesn’t have to be the case. There are plenty of ways to ensure that your loved ones can be involved in your wedding day. For example, if you have a large group of friends and cannot have them all in your bridal party, why not find another role for them such as giving a reading or handing out booklets at the ceremony? If anyone is musically inclined you can even invite them to sing during the celebration. Regardless of how you decide to incorporate friends into the planning, remember that ultimately it is your day and you should be able to choose who and how they will be involved. There are plenty of other opportunities to make others feel included in the details of your big day such as holding an engagement party, inviting them to your bachelorette party or even just having a dinner date with a few friends to celebrate your engagement.

Family matters

Since family is forever (both your own and your new family to be!) it is likely that their presence will be most important to you on your wedding day. When two families are joined, it can often result in a bridal party comprised mainly of brothers and sisters (depending on how large the immediate families are). If you have a large group of siblings, you can either include some or all of them, but avoid singling out one person (this is where feelings get hurt and issues arise). While a bride and groom may make independent decisions about whom they choose for their bridesmaids and groomsmen, if they are including family members in the wedding party, those decisions should be made together.
Since it is common to choose a sibling to be your maid/matron of honor or best man, it should be noted that there’s no rule against having more than one. If you are a bride with two sisters, why not have two maids of honor? Additionally, if you are a bride and have no sisters, rather only a brother or a close male friend, it is perfectly acceptable to make them your “man” of honor. Hey, Patrick Dempsey did it (or at least tried to)! The same works for the groom. Regardless of the situation, gender should not be a deciding factor.
What about kids? As with other members of the bridal party, deciding on whether children should be included in a wedding should be something that the bride and groom discuss together. As a couple you may have nieces and nephews or children of close family friends of age to serve as ring bearers and flower girls. However, do not feel obligated to include kids in your wedding if it does not meet your plans. Children who are an important part of your life can still be invited to celebrate your wedding.

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Hens Night Planning

Hens Night Planning Checklist

Maids, bust out your calendars. Here’s a timeline to help you prepare for the bride’s naughty night on the town.

by Amy Elliott
Hens Night Planning Checklist

Maid of honour, are you ready to rock? Whether you’re mellowing out or whooping it up, here’s a checklist to help you and the bridesmaids prepare for this infamous night. Feel free to adjust the timeframes according to your celebration style.

3+ Months Before

  • Ask the bride what she wants (or doesn’t want) in terms of  a hens party. Will it be a night of craziness on the town, complete with Tequilla shots and dancers? A quiet weekend getaway? Martinis at a fun cocktail bar? A living room lingerie exchange? Pizza and and drinks at her favourite bar? Karaoke? Casino?
  • Establish her comfort levels. If she wants G-rated instead of G-string, review your options together. If she does want to walk on the wild side? Get her to define exactly what that means. Remember, while you want her to cut loose, you don’t want to mortally embarrass her, or worse, totally freak her out.
  • Set the date — shoot for a weekend night at least two weeks before the wedding. (If members of the bridal party are from all over and can only convene a few days before, that timing works, too.)
  • Create the guest list.

2 Months Before

  • Send out a casual “save the date” email to see if there are any major conflicts among invitees. If you’re partying far away, include specific details.
  • Brainstorm possible game plans and party stunts with the maids (make it a surprise for the bride).
  • If the party will be at a hot spot or out of town (a popular tapas bar, a cabaret theatre, a comedy show, a rock concert, someone’s beach house with hunky waitstaff…), make reservations, order tickets, and deal with lodging and transportation details.
  • No matter what the format, alcohol and hens revelry usually go hand in hand. Be responsible. Start thinking about transportation arrangements — many ladies opt for booking a chauffeured limo or bus for the evening. Call around to compare rates.
  • Research and book any talent that might make an appearance at the soiree.

SEE: 10 New Hens Party Ideas

1 Month Before

  • Send invitations. Emailing and calling is okay, too. Make sure your invitation politely informs guests that a contribution to the festivities will be expected and name the price.
  • If you’re going with the standard pub crawl, devise the itinerary. Start out with dinner at a rowdy restaurant (you don’t want to drink on an empty stomach) and map out all the establishments you want to hit plus what time you’ll be popping in. Planning it out this way will help you book your transportation for the proper length of time, and it limits the carousing so that you don’t overdo it or spend too much cash. Make all necessary reservations, even at bars. Ask about drink specials and special hens party freebies.
  • Make your transportation reservation(s). Do it earlier if you live in a metropolitan area, are partying during Year 12 or Year 10 formal season, or in the summer, when the number of pre-wedding parties tends to peak.
  • If you’re partying at home, help the hostess plan snacks, refreshments and activities. Make a shopping list. Divide up to-dos among bridesmaids: games, decorations, booze-buying, stereo and/or karaoke set-up, iPod playlists duty, etc.

1 Week Before

  • Buy any hens accessories such as the novelty veil or tiara, a bride-to-be sash,  and other naughty props.
  • Make a list of the games you want to play, with rules and how-tos, lest you forget after too many margaritas. Keep it handy.
  • Confirm RSVPs
  • Confirm transportation arrangements
  • Confirm the at-home entertainment

SEE: 10 Hens Party Game Ideas

1 Day Before

  • Debrief the bride (it’s okay to keep some of the details a surprise).
  • Remind guests of the meeting place and time, reiterating the address. If there are several stops planned, name the second address, too, for latecomers.
  • Re-confirm all reservations.
  • Get plenty of sleep.

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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Colour Magic...

Color Correspondences in Magic

 Black - protection, repelling negativity, binding, shapeshifting, divination, banishing
 Blue - good fortune, opening blocked communications, wisdom, protection, spiritual inspiration, calm, reassurance, gently moving, element of water, creativity, truth, tranquility, hope, honor, change, psychic ability
 Brown - influence friendships, special favors, stability, integrity, justice, sensuality, endurance, animals, concentration, grounding
 Copper - passion, money goals, professional growth, fertility in business, career maneuvers
 Gold - he God, wealth, promote winning, safety and power of male, happiness, playful humor, vitality, strength, success, action, courage, confidence
 Green - Earth Mother, physical healing, monetary success, abundance, fertility, tree and planet magick, growth, element of earth, personal goals, prosperity, empowerment, luck, jealousy
 Grey - vision, neutrality, absorbs negativity
 Indigo - insight, vision, change, flexibility, psychic abilities
 Magenta - intuition, change, spiritual healing, vitality
 Orange - business goals, property deals, ambition, career goals, general success, justice, legal matters, selling, action, courage, pride, ambition, enthusiasm, energy, friendship, communication, opportunities
 Pink - romantic love, planetary good will, healing of emotions, peace, affection, romance, partnerships of emotional maturity, caring, nurturing, compassion, tenderness, harmony, love, spiritual healing
 Purple - influencing people in high places, third eye, psychic ability, spiritual power, self assurance, hidden knowledge, growth, self-esteem, insight, inspiration, spirituality, success in business, strong healing power
 Red - energy, strength, passion, courage, element of fire, career goals, fast action, lust, blood of the moon, vibrancy, driving force, love, survival, sexual love, will power, anger
 Silver - the Goddess, telepathy, clairvoyance, clairaudience, psychometry, intuition, dreams, astral energies, female power, communication, spiritual truth, receptivity, psychic ability, stability, balance
 Turquoise - creativity, discipline, self-knowledge, honor, idealism
 Violet - success, intuition, self-improvement, spiritual awareness
 White - the Goddess, spirituality, peace, higher self purity, virginity, cleansing, protection, healing, divination, tranquility, substitute for any other color
 Yellow - the sun, intelligence, accelerated learning, memory, logical imagination, breaking mental blocks, selling yourself, joy, vitality, study, persuasion, charm, creativity, communication

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