Thursday, January 8, 2015

It's Not My First Wedding

WEDDING NOTES - It's Not My First Wedding

Well congratulations on taking the big step again.  You are in good company as the most recent data suggests that second weddings make up at least 30% of the weddings held in any given year.  And just because you've been married before doesn't mean you don't have questions about this one.

Your questions aren't new to us and we can offer advice and guidance to cover most situations in which you and your husband to be may find yourselves.  Second weddings tend to be unique depending on the circumstances.  Are there children involved?  What are your ages?  Is this a second wedding for you or for both of you?  The only "rule" you have to follow is to choose the kind of ceremony that feels right to both of you.  Leading up to that ceremony there are some accepted guidelines that you may feel comfortable following.

·         If there are children involved, they should be the first to hear your good news.  The way you choose to tell them should be designed to insure that they realize they are gaining another parent rather than losing the one they have.

·         If there are children involved, it is proper to inform your former spouse of your plans.

·         If it is the bride's second marriage, the traditional formal announcement is not made.  If it is the bride's first marriage and the groom's second, then a formal announcement IS made.

·         If it is the bride's second marriage, a semi formal or informal wedding is usually chosen.  An exception is made if the bride did not have a large formal wedding the first time or if this is the first time wedding for the groom.

·         If you are planning a small ceremony with only a few close relatives and friends in attendance, you needn't send printed invitations.  If the ceremony will be a large one, printed invitations are expected. 

·         Increasing in popularity is a small intimate wedding for family and close friends, followed by a much larger celebratory formal reception.  In this case you would send a formal invitation to those invited to the reception with a small enclosure card for the ceremony to those who are invited to both.


Mom's Wedding Gown

WEDDING NOTES - Mom's Wedding Gown

Hundreds of moms carefully tuck their wedding gowns away waiting for the day their daughters will choose to wear it for her wedding.  Nice thought but it rarely happens anymore.  The thought is warm and tender but the reality is that few brides avail themselves of this opportunity.  They love the thought but want their own gowns.

Our staff can advise you on various ways to incorporate all or part of "mom's gown" into your wedding plans.  Some of the best ideas we share are here.  Remember that there are always ways to capture the sentiment in this vintage gown.  It was offered out of love and should be treated with the care the thoughtful consideration with which it was given.

·         If the basic structure of the gown works for you and the fabric is still in good shape, consider having a seamstresses make some slight adjustments for fit or length and/or modify some of the gown's features such as sleeve length and detail.  Shop carefully for a cleaner who specializes in handling heirloom gowns and aged fabric.


·         Consider "harvesting" some of the lace from the heirloom gown to add detail to your own gown or veil.  Some of it may be used as a sash or trim to your gown.  Some of the material can be worked into your bridal bouquet.  Let the expert find ways to help you incorporate the fabric.


·         If the fabric is just too different, consider displaying the heirloom gown at your reception and use it as the centerpiece for a display of family wedding photos - yours and his.  This can be spectacular centerpiece at your reception and can focus on the traditions and linkages that you - the new couple- represent. 


For other good ideas for incorporating the past into your present wedding, call 6053488816 or email

Wedding Gifts

WEDDING NOTES - Wedding Gifts

Gift giving has been a part of wedding lore for centuries.  They have been given to newlyweds in every culture.  But at one time, after the couple had furnished their new home, they were expected to return any practical gifts they had received at their wedding that were not in use.

Useful gifts were appreciated.  At one time, a "must have" gift for the bride was a set of finely decorated knives.  She wore them proudly sheathed and hung from a belt as part of her wedding finery.

In some areas, friends would give the couple fruit trees to plant at their new home.

And old Scandinavian tradition said that the bride must make the wedding shirt for her husband to be.  He would wear the shirt on his wedding day and then put it away.  The only other time he would wear it was when he was buried, thus reinforcing the lasting nature of marriage "until death do us part".

When to give a gift?

Engagement party?   - No gift required.  That's because engagements used to be surprise announcements rather than planned parties.  Close friends and family may choose to give a gift to the engaged couple, but because not everyone will bring a gift, packages should be opened after - not during the party.

Bachelorette Party? - No gift required.  Usually the bridesmaid's chip in and cover the bride's expenses for their night out.

Bridal Shower? - Gift required if you attend.  If you don't go, no gift required.   However, family and close friends may choose to give a gift anyway.  They may have it delivered to the hostess's home before the event or sent with someone who is planning to attend.

Weddings? – Usually, even if you aren't attending.  But it is also ok to give nothing.  According to some wedding etiquette experts the only time a gift is required is a bridal shower that you are attending.  Most people tend to give wedding gifts whether they attend or not.  The question is "how much should I spend?"  The usual guideline is to give enough to cover the price of your meal and that of your guest if you have one.  The best way to handle wedding gifts is to have them sent to the bride's home in advance of the big day.  This avoids security problems at wedding receptions that are becoming more and more of a problem.

2nd Wedding - No gift required, especially if you attended the first wedding and gave a gift, but most guests ignore this and bring a gift.

The one rule consultants should stress is that there should be no mention of gift giving on the wedding invitation.  The invitation's purpose is to invite friends and family to celebrate the wedding, not to solicit gifts.



Your Second Job

WEDDING NOTES - Your Second Job

Weddings are the stuff of dreams, but in reality, preparing for yours can be like having a second job.

Planning a wedding requires real work.  It requires planning and meetings, contracts and negotiations, purchases and coordination.  It must have great communication and clear cut deadlines.  Purchasing and deadlines are real.  Some experts estimate that the average wedding ceremony and reception will require 250-300 hours of time invested.   How will you handle this second job while you are still gainfully employed at your regular job?

The best advice is to treat the upcoming nuptials like a business.  You need to get your tools together.  Get organized.  Set aside a work space related to wedding only projects.  It can be a basket on the kitchen counter or a special drawer or a notebook/portable office.  Just make sure that all the information related to you upcoming wedding is kept in one place.

Get an organizer or planner and keep it up to date.  A few years ago BRIDE'S magazine survey brides and 20% of the brides in the survey said they would sooner lose their wallets than their wedding planner.  Keep track of all names, phone numbers of any person who is in any way related to the upcoming wedding.  Take careful notes of any conversations, plan and promises made and by whom.

Set goals and give yourself deadlines.  Then stick to them.  Make lists of upcoming tasks and check off as completed.   If you let some deadlines slide, think how that would go over at work.

Hire a professional/consultant.  Businesses do this all the time.  If they have a special project that requires special attention within a specific time frame, they bring in a "specialist" or a consultant whose sole focus will be that special project.  Consider hiring a wedding consultant.  NBS and Weddings Beautiful can put you in touch with the best in the business.  These pros can help you bring in the project on time, on budget and with a trunk full of memories that no money can buy.