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.

Bookmark and Share

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.

Bookmark and Share

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.

Bookmark and Share