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Should I Buy a Wedding Album?

By Rob Jinks A few years ago around Christmastime, my grandmother brought out the album of photos from her wedding in 1958. This album had rounded corners, gold page decoration, and thick pages inlaid with photos. It wasn’t your typical modern wedding album. Today’s albums offer a huge range of options, namely full page printing without a gutter between pages, and clean flat spreads no matter where you open the book. I love being able to see a crisp client album, sometimes up to 24 inches wide, and see a beautiful image in a way that no computer monitor or tiny phone screen can display. But what I loved about my grandmother’s wedding album and what I love about the albums I am able to provide to my clients are the stories. My grandmother didn’t just show me photos – she used them as an opportunity …

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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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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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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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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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Wedding Tuxedos 101: Dressing Your Men For The Big Day

by Lisa Beth Miller Once you have picked your wedding colors and the groomsmen for your wedding party, it is time to select tuxedos. Finding tuxedos for your wedding party is an easy item to check off your to-do list, and gives your groom a pivotal role in the wedding planning process. Most tuxedo shops work with out of town wedding members; don’t let that be an excuse for tardy measurements. Here’s a crash course in Tuxedos 101 to ensure you pick the right look for your wedding party. For starters, have all of your men measured as soon as you pick out the tuxedos (the ring bearer should wait until one month out to ensure his growing body fits his tuxedo). Lesson 1: Tuxedo Jackets When selecting a tuxedo jacket pay close attention to the number of buttons and the lapel. Basic styles will have between one and three buttons. Two-button styles are most common, …

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Tips For Selecting Wedding Gown Colors

by Lisa Beth Miller At one time, traditional, stark white was the only real color option for brides. At this point, brides opt for the color that is most flattering to their skin tone, hair color, and eye color. Although designers name their wedding gown colors differently, there are four basic color options for the traditional bride. Here are some general guidelines on these color families: White: Stark white is a tricky shade to pull off, though it can be extremely flattering to women with cool undertones. (This describes you if you tend to look better in silver than in gold, and if colors like hot pink, blue, and purple flatter you.) If you have very pale skin or yellow undertones, stay away from stark white, and know that stark white fabric with a sheen to it looks even starker! …

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911: Your Wedding Day Emergency Kit

by Lisa Beth Miller Regardless of the meticulous planning that goes into a wedding day, minor mishaps can sometimes pop up. Creating an emergency kit for your wedding day can help you to tackle those pesky issues. A bride can create her own kit or delegate the task to her mother or maid of honor. Here are a few ideas for items to include! Tuck them into a pretty bag.   Sewing Kit: just in case of minor tears or popped buttons! Nail File Lotion Oil Absorbing Sheets: to keep makeup fresh Sunscreen: especially for outdoor pictures! Tide to Go Pen Tampons Dental Floss First Aid Kit Mints Benadryl : in case of unexpected allergic reactions. Bobby Pins Granola Bars: so many brides forget to eat. Mouth Wash Clear Nail Polish : Can be used to fix chipped nails, runs …

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