The Lace and Frills of Wedding Planning
Garter Gossip

Thursday, April 4, 2013

A Lifetime of Anniversaries

On a somewhat more personal note than I usually write about, my Grandparents recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. This got me thinking about all their years of wedded bliss and all the years Grandpa’s spent spoiling Grandma with beautiful gifts. So I knew that 60 years was the Diamond Anniversary, but I wanted to know more. With a little hunting, it was easy to track down a list of traditional gifts to celebrate years of anniversaries:
1st Anniversary - Paper
2nd Anniversary - Cotton
3rd Anniversary - Leather
4th Anniversary - Linen
5th Anniversary - Wood
6th Anniversary - Iron
7th Anniversary - Copper or Brass
8th Anniversary - Bronze or Electrical Appliance
9th Anniversary - Pottery
10th Anniversary - Tin or Aluminium
11th Anniversary - Steel
12th Anniversary - Silk

13th Anniversary - Lace
14th Anniversary - Ivory
15th Anniversary - Crystal
20th Anniversary - China
25th Anniversary - Silver
30th Anniversary - Pearls
35th Anniversary - Coral or Jade
40th Anniversary - Rubies or Garnets
45th Anniversary - Sapphires
50th Anniversary - Gold
55th Anniversary - Emeralds
60th Anniversary - Diamonds

I don't know exactly what happens after 60 years, but I figure if you make it to 61 and beyond, you've earned the right to make it up as you go. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Bridal Show Season is Here!!

….I apologize that this article is so huge, turns out I have a lot of opinions on this stuff… Enjoy :)
Bridal Show Season is here!
Bridal Shows can be extremely helpful for every aspect of your wedding planning, but can be a little bit overwhelming for some Brides. These are just some things you may want to keep in mind when choosing which shows to attend.
It’s better to attend shows in the area the wedding will be held. You want local vendors for your wedding so you don’t get charged extra fees for travelling suppliers. That said; if your wedding is very far from where you live it may not be practical to go to a local show. Also, small towns don’t often host bridal shows.
Larger cities host larger shows! If you’re easily overwhelmed or already have a lot of your wedding plans made, getting asked by 50 different bakers if you’d like a cake sample might not be fun. On the other hand if you’re still in the beginning stages of planning, going to a very big show can give you LOADS of ideas and get you thinking about what you like and don’t like, or little things (like Garters!) that you might not have thought of.
Bridal Shows typically happen in the Fall and the Winter, January and February being the most popular. Do your research and figure out which shows you’d like to attend. Ask around to other people who have gone about the quality of the shows (and the vendors) they will likely have an opinion about their experience. Think about who you’d like to take to the show with you. Sometimes an overly large group can be tricky to manage in a crowd and can make your time there longer or not as well used as it could be. But of course you probably don’t want to go alone. Think ahead of time about what areas of planning you’ve already covered and which ones you need. If you already have a DJ but you still don’t have a gown you’ll obviously want to spend more time talking to the dress shops than the bands.
TAKE A PEN! (or two…or three…trust me on this)
If you’ve decided on going to a show, check out their website and the sites of some of the vendors who will be there. They often will have coupons you can print out for discounts on either their services or the admission to the show. Some shows offer free admission for the bride but not the entourage, some will give you half price if you register ahead of time or if you bring a non-perishable food item. And some shows you can only get tickets to in advance. Price of admission typically ranges $5-$25 per person and depending on the venue parking might be extra.
Be prepared to be asked the same question A LOT! If you haven’t set a date for your big day, telling people “spring” might prove to be easier than saying “we’re not sure yet” and of course nobody’s going to hold you to it if you change your mind. If there are vendors you’ve pretty much decided on using already be sure to ask about discounts for booking at the show or hang onto coupons you can get.
Speaking of stuff you’ll get asked, soooo many booths will have a draw you can enter to win stuff so DO! Although, use your discretion and enter draws for stuff you actually would want/need. If you’re snow white pale and the very idea of being outside makes your skin pink maybe avoid the draw for the tanning salon. Or if you’ve already got a deposit down on your Groom’s tuxedo, don’t enter the draw for the tux shop, you likely won’t be able to get your deposit back from the other place. It can be a good idea to print up some labels ahead of time if you plan on entering a lot of these draws (or some shows will do your stickers for you if you register ahead of time!) It will save you a lot of writing and spelling your name and address to a lot of people. Don’t forget to ask when the draw will take place, and if it’s just for this show or for a number of shows in the area.  Be sure to include:
·         Bride and Grooms first and last names
·         Wedding date and City of the event
·         Phone number and address
·         Email address***
*** This email address thing can be a bit tricky. You can expect to receive emails from the vendors you give your email address to. Although shows hosts are very strict about vendors sending you spam mail. (If you find yourself getting too much mail from a show vendor I recommend you email the show hosts about it) Don’t forget you can always unsubscribe from these emails. A new trend right now is to have an email address specifically for your wedding! Which is very cool and I’m sure very handy, if you haven’t done this already, it might be something you want to do before the shows and use this email address on stuff. Simple as “” and you can simply shut down the account after the big day passes. Some online communities you might join i.e. will provide you with an email address like this specifically for this purpose.
Cake samples! …..Enough said.
Fashion shows happen at all of these things, keep your program and write on it any dress shops you want to visit for dresses you see in these shows. In a lot of cases they won’t allow you to photograph the dresses in the shows so don’t depend on that to remember what you see. It also doesn’t hurt to mention that some vendors (florists, bakers, decorators and dress shops specifically) can be particular about taking pictures of things in their booths so it’s best to ask permission before snapping away.
Take a little bit of money with you. I’m not saying put down a deposit on the spot for $2000 with a photographer or anything, but there might be stuff there you feel like you need to have right then! It might not even be something related to weddings, just as a for instance, last year I bought myself a newspaper subscription at the show (that I regularly buy anyway) for 75% off just because I bought it at the show, when they were there asking people to put in engagement and wedding announcements.
Swag bags will have lots of useful stuff in them! You’ll want to take another bag with you though because you WILL get handed a whoooole lot of stuff. If you were tricky you could use one bag for stuff you actually want to look at and another for stuff you take just to be polite. Look for coupon codes or “bring this flyer in to save $$” kind of things on these handouts and always check for the expiry date of the promotions. If you choose to go with a vendor you saw at a show it doesn't hurt to mention that you saw them there! It will make them happy and they might be willing to give a show promo when you’re booking.
Keep your options open. Most importantly you go to these shows to see what’s available and to get ideas so don’t get bullied by pushy vendors into committing to anything you’re unsure of. It’s fun more than anything so take it all in as part of your Bridal experience just like a shower or a stagette, sometimes it’s nice to be the centre of attention. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Something Old & Something New

Something Old, Something New, 
Something Borrowed, Something Blue. 
Something every Bride's heard a million times right, but what does this little poem have to do with getting married? Well tradition of course!
We wear Something Old to symbolize continuity with the Bride's family and the past. Something New to celebrate optimism and hope for the Bride's new beginnings. Something Borrowed usually from a happily married family member or friend who's luck will carry over to the newlyweds.The borrowed item also reminds the Bride that she can always count on her friends and family. Something Blue because blue has been recognized for centuries as a colour connected to weddings. Ancient Roman Brides wore blue to symbolize their love and modesty. Christianity often depicts the Virgin Mary in blue, so the colour is associated with purity. And before the late 19th century blue was a popular choice for wedding gowns, hence the saying "marry in blue, lover be true". 
Of course this tradition is open to interpretation, no one ever said what shade of blue it had to be, or exactly how old the "old" item has to be. Lets just say that a little extra luck never hurt anyone. As for the last line of this poem "And a sixpence in her shoe" well I think we'll save that for another day.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Where does it all come from?

A guest post borrowed from my friend Tracy's Blog (Celebride). Enjoy!

Where does it all come from?

In the past two years, I have been to approximately fifteen weddings. It wasn't until last summer that I figured out what an impact they (and everything related to them) have slowly but surely come front and centre in my social outings.
I love weddings- I really do. What could be better than watching two people you know and love dearly stand in front of friends and family and promise to commit themselves to each other for life? There is nothing so romantic. (And of course, the best part is watching the groom see the bride for the first time that day and realizing how lucky he is to marry the most beautiful woman- well, he probably already knows it but still… Best. Moment. Ever.)
However, with all this socializing and enjoyment of the special day between two people you know, comes the expense of it. No, I am not complaining, I am simply reinforcing a point. Having experienced this now for a couple of years, I think I would advise most 20-something year olds to start up a savings account for the monster expense we call “wedding”.
Let’s start basic… If you’re invited to a wedding, you are obviously going to buy a gift. In this day and age, in my demographic, you can expect that to be between $150 and $200 per couple. I know some other cities and cultures where this would sound cheap, but I am speaking from personal experience.
Okay, gift is covered. Now, how close are you to the bride and groom? You can also expect to be invited to a bridal shower ($50), so while you’re shopping for that gift you might as well buy the wedding gift and save yourself some time.
Are you in the wedding? That opens a new can of worms.
Hair ($50)
Makeup ($25)
Nails ($30)
Outfit (anywhere from $100 – $300)
Shoes ($70)
Bachelor/bachelorette parties- is it a one-night thing or a weekend away? This could range between $100 – $1500
…and depending where the wedding is, you might have to pay for accommodations ($200) or gas to drive there and back.
This is all in consideration of one wedding. And it all happens within approximately six months of each other.
Also, where I come from, there’s these things called Buck n’ Does or Stag n’ Does, Jack n’ Jills, etc. etc. Yep, where I come from, we find weddings to be a community thing- everyone would like to help out the bride and groom and send them into marriage smiling. Buck n Doe season usually starts in the spring and goes into May or June, and can expect one every weekend. So, that’s paying $10 for admission, and maybe six drink tickets for $20 (thank goodness I’m a girl- my fiancé’s expenses are much higher). Every. Single. Weekend.
All I am saying is, when you look at your bank account and wonder where all of your money has gone, think back to May- when that Buck n’ Doe season started and count your way up to October. When you look at it in lump sum, as I just did, you might be astonished. I think it’s better to be ignorant in this area.
And then one day, you decide to get married and begin a whole new savings account… Where am I supposed to be finding this money?! 
Yep, us in our 20s, we sure love to celebrate marriage!
Thanks to Tracy for letting us borrow her thoughts , I'm sure we'll be seeing more of her between now and her big day! :)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Wedding Guest Faux Pas.

A wedding can easily become the social event of the season so if you're lucky enough to be invited to share in a couple’s Big Day here are our Top Five Rules of what NOT to do as a guest at someone’s wedding:
1.       Send out a late RSVP - There are dates on these things for a reason people, it’s so the Bride and Groom will have lots of time to sit down and tackle the dreaded task of designing a seating chart. Try to do them the courtesy of letting them know whether you're coming or not in a timely manner.
2.       Bring an uninvited “Plus-One” -  The invitation will be addressed (that’s how it got to you in the first place) if you are married it will say To: Mr. & Mrs., if you are not it may say To: Your name and Guest.  And if you don’t mark that you're bringing a date then don't bring a date. Going back to the seating chart thing it can give both the bride and the caterer headache.  Also if you have children and their names aren't on the invitation don’t bring them. Hire a babysitter and enjoy your night off ;)
3.       Wear White - This is a huge pet peeve of mine, a guest wearing white to a wedding is not acceptable. The Bride wears white. You don’t. It’s that simple. 
4.       Skip the Ceremony and go to the Reception – First of all that’s really rude, secondly ceremonies are typically 15 minutes to max an hour long, you really can't sit still for that long? Pretty soon you'll be wining and dining on the Bride and Groom’s dime anyway so do them the favor of attending the ceremony you'll be celebrating afterward.
5.       Going nuts on an Open Bar – You're there to party, we get that, but going way overboard on the open bar isn't cool. You're going to end up being “that guy” totally plastered and grinding on the Groom’s Granny and yelling ‘”shots, shots, shots, shots” along with LMFAO. If the videographer manages to miss this, there’s no way somebody’s smart phone won’t be uploading it to Facebook a few minutes later, so even if you're so drunk you won't remember, there will be proof following you around for years to come.  I’d like to add to this one that if you order a drink, enjoy it. The Bride and Groom are paying for every shot poured and beer cracked so don't be wasteful. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

It’s Bridezilllllllllllaaaaa!

No Bride-to-Be wants to be tagged as a Bridezilla, but certain behavior can earn even the most well- mannered Bride this unbecoming title. The term “Bridezilla” was first used by the Boston Globe Newspaper back in June of 1995 in an article describing overbearing, perfectionist, and difficult to deal with Brides-to-Be. Chances are if you think you might be a Bridezilla then you probably are, but just in case you’re unsure, check our list of common incidents that can have your friends and family fleeing from your path.
Talking about the wedding non-stop! Yes, getting married is very exciting and stressful and it’s great for a bride to plan with enthusiasm but keep in mind the world is still turning outside of wedding –land. There will a time and a place for chat about roses vs. dahlias, and 3 tiers or 4, but try to remember to ask your friends about the happenings in their lives too and don’t always let the conversation veer back to your big day.
Spending yourselves (or your parents) into the Poorhouse!  It’s perfectly natural to want the best of the best for your big day but going seriously over-budget to achieve it is serious Bridezilla behavior. Even worse, your Mom and Dad shouldn’t have to remortgage their house for their baby girl to have $100 per plate meals and crystal candelabras. Expecting this of them is not practical and newlywed bliss will certainly be strained by wedding debt.
Failing to spend time with the Fiancé! When wedding planning and vendor meetings take precedence over spending time with your fiancé, it can set a poor course for the future marriage and stress out the current relationship. You love each other, that’s  why you’re doing this in the first place, take time to do un-wedding related things or decide on “No-Wedding-Wednesdays” (or something) when no wedding talk is allowed.
Fighting with Friends and Family! Weddings aren’t just a stressful time for Brides and Grooms, but can also take a toll on friends and family surrounding the couple. Parents and friends WILL have an opinion about a lot of your plans, and if you don’t want to hear that they don’t agree with yours then don’t ask. Now is not the time to fight with your mom about the seating arrangement or centerpieces. Or with your best friend about whether or not she gets bangs before your wedding. These little details aren’t worth getting worked up over, keep your eye on the prize and focus on the grand scheme of things. Unwillingness to compromise can get you Bridezilla status quickly.
Expecting Preferential Treatment! Quick to point the Bridezilla finger can be your wedding vendors. Brides and Grooms that are rude to or think they deserve something extra from these industry professionals will find they’re doing more harm than good. Couples should remember that florists, bakers, seamstresses, musicians and photographers work very hard in their lines of work and often with couples who are emotional and feeling the stress of spending large amounts of money. Adding even more animosity to the situation could result in less-than-perfect results on your wedding day. You should be able to trust that they’ve been in every situation before and they know what they’re doing.

Some tips to avoid the Bridezilla Meltdown:
1.       Set a budget and stick to it, shop around to suppliers and discuss extra costs before committing to get the most bang for your buck.
2.       Take time for yourself between appointments and dress fittings and viewings to just relax, otherwise something really minor could end up setting you off or too much stress could cause you to get sick.
3.       Resist the temptation to control every little thing. Focus on the most important tasks and delegate smaller items as much as you can.
4.       Remember at the end of all of this you’re going to be married and that goal should be at the top of every list. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Brief History (of Bridal Under-things)

Believe it or not, bridal garters are one of the longest surviving wedding traditions! 
Dating all the way back to the 15oo’s in France and England, where wedding guests would wait outside the bridal bed chamber  for the groom to toss the garter or stockings. The lucky one who caught the bride’s under-things was granted good luck and was supposed to be married in the next year.
It wasn’t always this simple though, in the 1700’s the tradition changed into a rather rough charging of the bride when the wedding guests decided any piece of the bride’s ensemble was good enough! This often resulted in the bride being trampled and her gown torn to shreds. Let’s just be thankful this isn’t happening at weddings anymore.
For a while there in the 1900’s brides would wear stockings with long ribbons on them and at the reception the ribbon would be cut into tiny pieces and passed out to the guests for good luck. This then changed into handing out pre-cut ribbons, scarves, gloves and other objects and the tradition of wedding favours was born.
Pretty strange stuff if you ask me, and this is just the highlights!
Nowadays the tradition dictates that the groom will remove the garter from the bride’s leg at the reception and toss it to all the single men.  The man that catches it will place it on the lucky lady that caught the bouquet and she will be the next to be married, he higher he puts it, the longer her marriage will last.  
Brides and Grooms have been altering this tradition to suit their personal style for as long as it’s been around and it will continue to change over the years.   One thing that seems to have lasted though is the use of the garter as “something blue” and this can be as simple as blue ribbon, or blue lining. Depending on the couple the ceremony or removing the garter can be wild and outrageous, or understated and quick.
The main thing to remember is that yes, it’s a silly tradition but everybody does it and it was never intended to embarrass anyone. It might seem weird for your new husband to be digging around in your dress while your parents are present, but 25 years ago, they were doing the same thing! 
Of course it might not have been removed to the music from the Mission Impossible movies but that’s another story, and it probably still ended up on someone’s head. 

*it should be noted that this is my interpretation using information gathered from a variety of sources.*