Sunday, November 30, 2014

WEDDING NOTES - Who is Walking You Down the Aisle?

While tradition says that the bride is escorted down the aisle by her father who then "gives" her in marriage to the groom, today's brides have many options.

And while the bride's escort is not considered an attendant, this person is a very important part of the ceremony and clearly a part of the bride's life.  The person chosen could be a father, a step father, a brother, an uncle or even a mother, aunt, sister, cousin or friend.  Whatever role that person plays in the bride's life, this function in her wedding is very important and walking with the bride down the aisle on the way to her new life deserves remembrance.

Many jewelers are creating a special lapel pin or brooch for presentation to that special someone.  It shouldn't be elaborate or showy, but it should be tastefully done perhaps with a monogram and date or with a symbol of the wedding - bells, doves, a flower or the bride's initials - there a many options.  The purpose is to say thank you and give that person a keepsake that speaks to the importance of what that person has meant in the bride's life.  It can be given at the rehearsal dinner if attendant gifts are being given then, or saved for a few moments before the processional begins.  As they are lining up, the bride pins this memento to her escorts lapel or gown with a special hug and heartfelt thank you.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

WEDDING NOTES - What About Attendant Gifts?

What is traditional?  Jewelry the female attendants will wear in the wedding and engraved money clips for the groomsmen are the usual fare.  But what about bridesmaids who have chosen different style gowns in the fabric and color the bride has chosen?  While one strapless version can handle the necklace, maybe the jewel necked version can't.  Brides may choose to give the wedding jewelry as a gift to their attendants because they want the symmetry of everyone the same, but brides may give more thought to a gift that is more personal and says thank you for being in my wedding and an important part of my life.

We are seeing more brides - and grooms too - putting real thought into their attendant gifts.  And we are seeing more individual gifts that reflect that person's tastes and preferences rather than a one size fits all gift.  Granted, giving individualized gifts takes more time and thought, but can reflect a deeper appreciation for that person's role in your life and your wedding.

A cookbook or monogrammed measuring cup for someone who likes to cook, a novel by a favorite author for a passionate reader, two tickets to a movie theater with a gift card for dinner or drinks at a favorite hangout, a clutch handbag for the" fashionista", electronic gear for the gizmo fanatic or a special bottle of wine for the aficionado are all options to consider.

Wedding party gifts don't have to be "wedding" focused, nor is there such a thing as a "standard" gift that is expected.  These are treasures you have found to say thank you to people who matter to you.


Sunday, November 16, 2014

WEDDING NOTES - Ringing News

For many if not most brides, a diamond engagement ring with matching wedding band is the ultimate.  But with all of the options available to today's bride, more and more creativity is being seen.

Many jewelers are able and willing to create one-of-a-kind designs for their bridal customers who want their matching bands to be uniquely theirs.

Some jewelers are creating specialty rings that combine birthstones and diamonds and others are specialists in creating new designs from heirloom or vintage pieces.  For some modern brides their "something old" may well be the diamonds or other precious stones that have come down from family members.  Combining stones from both mothers' wedding bands for the new bride is a powerful symbol of family unity.

Some couples are looking at ceramic rings.  Many modern jewelry designers have created stunning designs in ceramic that are shatter and scratch resistant, lightweight and functional. 

Of course, there is a vast market for the traditional simple band of silver, gold or platinum chosen to offset the drama of a gorgeous diamond engagement ring.

Whatever the couple chooses, there has never been a wider selection or more creative options available.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

WEDDING NOTES - How Many Attendants Should I have?

Like many aspects of wedding planning, there were once rather rigid guidelines that ruled the how and the who of weddings.  Some experts used a formula that said there should be a bridesmaid and usher for every 45-50 guests.  Fortunately, that has long been abandoned.

Bridesmaid numbers depend on who is close to the bride and who she wants to stand up for her.  Likewise the groom is freer to select who and how many of his friends to include.  But when selecting attendants, remember an important guideline - how many can you afford to have?  Every attendant is entitled to bring a guest so realize that every one you have means two for the reception per plate charge.

Once you've decided on a number, the bride and the groom should prepare a priority list of attendants.

You'll need to consider each other's families in creating the selection list.  A bride may wish to include the top tier of her sorority sisters leaving no room for the groom's sisters or the groom may wish to have a group of fraternity brothers plus his own brothers.  Once a number of attendants is agreed upon, something has to give.

What happens if the bride has eight friends she can't live without in her wedding party, but the groom - an only child has only 4 close buds?  If your budget can handle the expense, there are always ways to handle an unbalanced wedding party.  For the processional, one groomsman can escort two bridesmaids - one on each arm.  Or if symmetry is important, forget about male/female and just go by the numbers.  You have 12 attendants total and there will be 6 on each side of the bride and groom - 2 guys and 4 girls on each side.  This works especially well in wedding photos.  The result is balanced with color and diversity on each side of the bridal couple.

It is your wedding day and common sense and good manners should take precedence over the "rules".