Honeymoon In… Wherever

June 28, 2011 by  
Filed under Tips For your Wedding

There can be few concepts with more traditions attached to them than that of marriage, and particularly the wedding day (or week) itself. Yes, you are doing this because you want to spend the rest of your life together, but there will be countless people who are not immediately concerned with the foreseeable future and far more interested in issues such as: hen and stag nights, the reception, the throwing of the bouquet, and the honeymoon. The first and the last of these are referred to with much lascivious raising of the eyebrows, as is the third for some. But the honeymoon is out on its own as a tradition.

The idea of a honeymoon is that the couple at the moment of marriage should be so deeply and totally in love that they are each the only person the other one wants to spend time with. To do this, they go on holiday (alone, together) and enjoy each other’s company for a spell. In times gone by, the idea would be that in nine months the union would be blessed with child – but these days with planned parenthood, people are deciding to put parenthood on the long finger.

The honeymoon still has a very strong resonance for many people, and any expensive hotel will have a “Honeymoon Suite”, which will be tricked out with everything you could possibly want. They usually cost an absolute fortune, and you can probably get the necessary bits and bobs yourself for a lower price. But really, all that matters on a honeymoon is that you are alone together.

A Warm Reception

June 22, 2011 by  
Filed under Tips For your Wedding

One part of a wedding that some people consider to be all but indispensable in the present day is the reception. Having been through what a majority of attendees consider to be “the boring part” – you know, all the stuff about a lifelong commitment, sickness, health, richer, poorer, the whole nine yards – everyone decamps to a venue to eat, drink, dance, laugh, cry and if everything is planned correctly, for two drunken uncles to have a fight for reasons no-one will be able to understand. It is almost as much of a tradition as the exchanging of rings.

Planning the reception can be almost as much of a headache as the ceremony itself. Most venues will have a limit on the number of people you can invite, which is rarely the exact same total as those who have attended the ceremony and therefore means that some people will be able to come to one part but not the other. Then you have to decide who will sit with whom, and this in itself leads to the age-old question of “who hates who the least?”. Perhaps this is a cynical description, but it is also, in many cases, blazingly accurate.

Considering the likelihood of alcoholic beverages being served and consumed, it is important to keep in mind the possibility of division and bad blood. If necessary, it will be wise to keep people with grudges as far apart as possible, and also to have a word in their ear about standards of behavior. Remember it is your day, not theirs.

That’s The Dress! I Must Have It!

June 19, 2011 by  
Filed under Tips For your Wedding

People who are getting married can be excused somewhat if they get a little bit over-excited and lose a little of their sense of perspective when it comes to the trappings and fripperies of a wedding ceremony. Exhibit A for the defense is the wedding dress. Probably all of us can think of one dress that we have seen worn to a wedding inspiring us to think “just what is she wearing?”. If the bride likes it, however, then it is her choice, it is her day. If it makes her look like a pavlova, then at least it is her choice to look like a pavlova.

The question which arises as often as the “What does she look like?” debate is to do with money. “She paid how much?” is something that we have probably all asked, usually at the top of our voice and with an incredulous expression upon our face. Yes, people spend a lot of money on getting the right dress. They will be looking at these photographs for the rest of their lives, after all. If they instinctively feel that it was the wrong dress, it could be nagging them for fifty years or more.

If there is an accusation to be leveled, then it should not be at the bride nor at the groom, but at an industry which all too often tells you that you must look a certain way and spend a certain amount to have the wedding you really want. In the end, the decision lies with you, and nobody has any right to deny you your special moment.

Wedding Photographs – Professional Or Amateur?

June 15, 2011 by  
Filed under Tips For your Wedding

So many traditions have built up around the institution of marriage, some of which are more comprehensible than others. One of the more reasonable ones is the importance of wedding photos, an issue which leads many people to debate whether there is a justification for spending big money on a wedding photographer when just about every person there will be armed with a camera. Most people decide that it is entirely justifiable, and point to the importance of having souvenirs from the day. If it seems to you that having a husband or a wife would be the only souvenir you need, then that is fine – but not everyone agrees.

The thing that matters most about photographs is that they really capture the occasion – the people, the clothes, the flowers and the rest of it. If you have a keen photographer in the family (on either side), then you may see fit to give them a bit of cash for the privilege of them taking your official wedding photographs. If you want the photographs to be presented in a certain way, though, it is often easier (if more expensive) to get them done professionally. They will be bound in a personalized wedding album and will be of a high quality, but it will cost money.

It is worth bearing in mind that perhaps no other photographs you will ever appear in will mean as much to you as these ones – so you do want to be able to look at them without cringing. If you have the money to spend, a professional is usually worth the cost.

Capture The Wedding On Video

June 13, 2011 by  
Filed under Tips For your Wedding

Not so long ago, before the major technological advances of the last couple of decades, a video camera was a very rare thing to own. People who did own one quite frequently had little idea how to operate it and were rewarded for their efforts by shaky, unfocussed clips with extremely poor sound that would look out of place in anything but a “Funniest Home Videos” compilation. In the present day so many advances have been made that the amateur with a handheld video camera can make a quite watchable recording.

So it is that, where past generations look to still photographs in an album when they wish to reminisce about their wedding day, the current generation is more and more frequently recording moving pictures of the occasion, allowing them to capture not only the momentary stillness of a group, posed picture, but also the things that make a wedding what it is – the exchange of vows, the placing of the rings and the moment when the person presiding over the wedding tells them that their union is bound.

The longer that time goes on, the more advances will be made technologically, and we all wait to see what that will bring. At present we are far further forward than we could have realistically imagined in the late 1980s. What does the future hold for wedding photographs and videos? And will the married couples of 2030 look back on our seemingly advanced recordings and laugh? Only time can tell us.

Wedding Day Quirks

June 10, 2011 by  
Filed under Tips For your Wedding

When you strip away all of the pageantry and all of the traditions which are not specifically required by law, the present form taken by a wedding is simply a short exchange of vows between two people who have decided that they want to spend the rest of their lives together. But if you ask a hundred people what marriage, and weddings, mean to them, there will be broad mentions given to the other parts of the process – the little quirks which in and of themselves are not essential, but play a major part in the story.

Think for example of the old saying “something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue”. This has formed part of the superstition around a wedding day for some time, and requires the bride to have with her one item from each category. These items will usually be worn, and often one of them (though generally not the “blue” one or the borrowed) will be the ring. Think also of the throwing of the bouquet, which when caught is said to denote who will be the next female in the congregation to get married.

For the groom, the traditions are less prominent. Indeed, on the male side it is usually the best man who follows tradition, by making a speech (which, theoretically, should embarrass his friend the groom) and by leading the dancing with the head bridesmaid. None of these things is strictly necessary and yet we feel, perhaps despite ourselves, that a wedding is not quite right without them.

Speech! Speech! Speech!

June 7, 2011 by  
Filed under Tips For your Wedding

One part of the wedding experience that is considered almost essential is the point during the reception at which, after the meal has been eaten and a reasonable amount of wine has been drunk, the best man gets to his feet and speaks from the heart (and usually from a sheaf of notes filled with juicy stories) about his friend the groom. There is some argument about the tone this speech should take. As they will often have been friends since childhood, there will be at least one story which makes the groom cringe and his new wife momentarily angry.

Often a best man will feel that it is his duty to make this speech as uncomfortable for the groom as possible, but this is somewhat misleading. Certainly, there is room for amusing stories, but the tone of a best man’s speech should be more encouraging than embarrassing. A few funny stories should be interwoven with tales of friendship, and the speech should end with warm congratulations and wishes for all the best of luck to be bestowed upon bride and groom.

For this reason, it is advisable in the case of a reception where alcohol is served that the best man should hold back a little on the consumption of such drinks until his speech is over. No-one will thank you if as a best man you drink your own body weight in wine and reel off a series of stories about past indiscretions which, seen through the filter of the day, make him appear to be a substance-abusing philanderer.

The Ideal Setting

June 2, 2011 by  
Filed under Wedding Information

While it once was very widely accepted that a wedding was to be held in a church, temple, mosque, synagogue or any other religious building, the present day shows us an entirely different situation, where a wedding does not need to take place on consecrated ground – largely because it is the wedding itself and the people involved that are to be consecrated. With this widening of the boundaries, it is now possible to get married in a range of settings, and more and more people are choosing this option. While some are skeptical about this change, it is here to stay.

If you are not religious, you may very reasonably decide that you do not want to get married in a church, and just as reasonably argue that if you were to do so you would not be being fair to that church. Surely the vital element of a marriage is honesty, and if the marriage starts with even a symbolic dishonesty there must be some doubt over how it will go forward. A registry office is the most common alternative, although hotels, cruise ships and holiday resorts (many of which are now dedicated to the “wedding market”) are also popular.

The decision over where to marry should be taken equally by bride and groom, deciding on the basis that the choice should be mutual in order to start the marriage on the right foot. Consensus is something you will be looking for in the rest of your lives, so it is fitting that it should start at the beginning.