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Lisa Miller

Plus-One Wedding Etiquette

by Lisa Beth Miller As if brides do not have enough to worry about…along comes the task of actually compiling the guest list for the big event. Seems simple enough, right? Wrong. Remember all of those people that you want to invite who are unmarried? You are going to have to figure out if it is acceptable for them to bring dates to the wedding. This is a tricky situation for a few reasons. 1. Nobody likes to go to weddings alone (OK maybe those guys in the Wedding Crashers movie, but not most people). 2. If you have a lot of single friends, giving them ALL the green light to bring dates could substantially impact your wedding costs and pack your special day with strangers. So…what to do? The trick here is to come up with rules and actually stick to …

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Planning Your Wedding Budget: Flowers

by Lisa Beth Miller When planning your wedding, it would be difficult to avoid spending a large sum on flowers, as they are woven into many aspects of the celebration. Flowers and decor traditionally take up around 15% of the wedding budget. This, of course, is flexible, depending upon how much the couple chooses to utilize flowers! Here are a few ideas to consider as your budget: Bridal bouquets and toss bouquets are fairly traditional and necessary. Brides who love flowers can go all out with an extravagant bouquet, while minimalists can certainly keep it simple! Brides could even opt to use the “real bouquet” as the toss bouquet to save a few dollars. Just keep in mind that the bride’s bouquet is one of the most photographed floral arrangements of the day! Don’t skimp too much! Bridesmaids’ bouquets are …

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Tips For Planning A Fabulous Rehearsal Dinner

by Lisa Beth Miller The rehearsal dinner is traditionally planned to take place the evening before the wedding. It is meant to be a way for the members of the wedding party and immediate family members of the bride and groom to get acquainted before the actual wedding ceremony. A good rule of thumb for the rehearsal dinner is to invite all people who are required to attend the rehearsal. If they traveled from out of town with a guest or date, that person should also be included! Beyond this collection of guests, it is really up to the bride and groom to decide who else should be invited. Don’t feel pressured to invite everyone you invited to the wedding, though! The rehearsal dinner is meant to be a much more intimate affair than the reception. Ideally, the rehearsal dinner …

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Alcohol-Free Wedding Receptions: Don’t Apologize!

by Lisa Beth Miller A question was posed to me this week regarding how to inform guests that no alcohol will be served at a wedding reception, so I thought this should be addressed! My answer is simple. Your wedding is your event. Your guests should be honored to be included, but are not entitled to know every aspect of your plans before the event. Therefore, absolutely no explanation or apology is needed if you decide not to serve alcohol! Brides and grooms make this decision for a variety of reasons. Some plan weddings for early in the day and feel that alcohol is not necessary at a simple brunch reception. Others have a quick reception in a church hall that does not permit alcohol. Some simply do not wish to spend money on alcohol and instead serve a lavish meal. Still others …

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The Truth About Wedding Gown Sizes

by Lisa Beth Miller Ok…so you have finally found your dream wedding gown. Your sales consultant at the bridal boutique is all ready to measure you and order the fabulous frock you have selected. You are expertly measured and ready to order. Everything seems to be going smoothly until she whips out the designer’s size chart and informs you which size should be ordered. Many brides are shocked to learn that the wedding gown size recommended is a bit larger than the size they would normally purchase when shopping at the mall. This humbling experience is very commonplace. As your official wedding diva, I am going to give you the real scoop on this scenario. Bridal designers are not using the same “vanity” size charts as your favorite department store and mall shop designers! Wedding gown designers are traditionalists in …

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I’m So Fancy: Figuring Out Wedding Formality

by Lisa Beth Miller Wedding invitations should always include a hint as to how formal the event will be. As a bride, groom, or guest, you need to actually understand this terminology in order to appropriately select what you and your guests will wear. Here are some helpful guidelines: Semiformal daytime- This level of formality indicates that men will wear suits, usually in a color such as charcoal or navy if the weather is cooler, or in shades of white or khaki if the weather is warm. Four-in-hand ties are also traditionally worn (this means long ties, not bow ties). Women would usually wear daytime-appropriate dresses or suits for a semiformal daytime wedding. Semiformal evening- At this type of wedding, men may wear dark suits or tuxedos with ties and vests. Women would wear cocktail style dresses. Everyone would look a bit more dressed up …

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What A Father Of The Bride Or Groom Should Wear To The Wedding

Photo by Sikora Photography

by Lisa Beth Miller This week, I was approached with a question that I thought was important enough to be addressed: What exactly should a dad wear to the wedding of his son or daughter? Seems simple enough to tell dads to dress up, but should they match the actual wedding party? No! Dads are not to be dressed exactly like the groomsmen, as they are not technically members of the wedding party. The key here is to dress dads in keeping with the appropriate level of formality for the event. So if the groomsmen are in black tuxedos with green accessories, dads should wear tuxedos, but not the same one and not with the exact same accessories as the groomsmen. The dads are also not required to match each other. So using the previous scenario (black tuxes and green vests and ties for the groomsmen), perhaps the …

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Material Girl: Becoming Familiar With Wedding Gown Fabrics

by Lisa Beth Miller Buying a wedding gown can be a very intimidating process. While it is often best to shop in a reputable bridal boutique that employs well-educated bridal consultants, sometimes a bride should do a little homework first! Before shopping, be sure that you have a clear vision about where and what time of year your wedding will be held. It is important that you have some concept of what fabric weight will be appropriate for your event. As you shop for your perfect gown, it is very likely that your sales consultant will be referring to some of the following fabrics: Any season Silk: The most common, cherished, and priciest wedding gown fabric, silk is a smooth and soft natural fiber. Satin: Very common in wedding gowns, satin is a densely woven silk with a lustrous sheen on one …

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How to Plan an Amazing Bridal Shower

by Lisa Beth Miller Bridal showers are a traditional and fun part of any bride’s wedding preparations. The typical shower involves a ladies’ luncheon and lots of shower gifts, but some hostesses are going the extra mile and come up with more creative and interesting ideas for their parties. Here are a few ideas to make things both fresh and fun. Go retro! Ok, maybe you like the typical formula for an old-school bridal shower. Go with it! Plan lots of fun games, serve retro cocktails (whiskey sours, anyone?), and serve classic appetizers like meatballs and mini-quiches. Looking for a place to purchase the perfect bridal shower games or favors? Check Etsy for some unique options! Go somewhere fun! Bridal showers do not have to be held in Mom’s living room! A restaurant or country club can offer a “mini-getaway” for the …

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Cheers! All About Wedding Toast Etiquette

by Lisa Beth Miller So, the wedding reception is going fabulously well. Your guests are relaxing, enjoying the food and drink, and admiring the style and décor of your event. Sounds like it is the appropriate time to propose a toast! The purpose of wedding toasts is twofold. The traditional toasts given by the best man and maid of honor (and sometimes others who wish to express their thoughts) are meant to pay tribute to the newly married couple and wish them a lifetime of happiness. These toasts should be brief, respectful, and only contain stories and references that everyone will understand and appreciate! Now is not the time for private jokes, inside stories, and reminiscing about the bride’s or groom’s wilder days! After the toasts from the attendants and guests, the groom and bride also traditionally take the floor. …

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What’s A Mother Of The Bride Or Groom To Wear?

by Lisa Beth Miller Nowadays, the role of the mother of the bride is changing. She is a fashionable woman who not only wants to express her personal style at her daughter’s wedding, she wants to make a fashion statement, feel comfortable, and shine like the star that she is on this special day. Mothers (of the bride OR groom) are cherished guests of honor and often hosts of a wedding. They are NOT required to wear dresses to match or coordinate exactly with the bridesmaids! They should also never be pressured to wear beige or to “blend into the background.” Mothers deserve to look their absolute best on this very important day. Here are a few guidelines for dress shopping for mothers: The mother of the bride no longer has to wear a gown that sweeps the ground. Now, more than ever before, the mother of the bride is …

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Forever Your Girl: Dressing Your Fabulous Flower Girl

by Lisa Beth Miller The adorable little flower girl! Who could possibly be cuter? This special little girl plays an important role in the wedding day and deserves to be dressed like the princess that she really is! How does the bride go about deciding how to dress the flower girl? Well, there are two schools of thought on this issue. One trend suggests that the flower girl should be dressed in a child-sized (and child appropriate) version of the bridesmaids’ dress. The bride can either ask if the bridesmaid dress designer also makes a child’s version, or simply obtain color swatches of the bridesmaids’ dress and shop with a designer who makes children’s dresses exclusively. The second possibility is to take the approach of dressing the flower girl as a mini-bride, in a white or ivory dress that coordinates more …

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