Wrap them in luxury.
A really plush gift idea for your bridal party – have monogrammed robes made.

Quote your parents.
Your parents will most likely invest some of their life-savings in your big day.  Acknowledge their generosity with a personalized gift in return.  Find an eloquent quote about parenting or the relationships between fathers/mothers, sons/daughters,and have it engraved on a special plague.

Rock on!
Polished stones carry special meaning.  Find a local boutique that sells “love rocks,” and give one to each of your guests.

Photo opportunity.
Consider making photo books with old photos of you and your friends.  Spend some time thinking of all the things you’ve been through and give these cherished, personalized gifts to your maid of honor and best man.

Picture your friends.
When making a video that will be shown at the wedding, include photos of family and friends – not just of the bride and groom.  Your guests will be pleased that you thought of them.

The write stuff.
The thank-you cards are more meaningful than your invitation!  Yes – by acknowledging guests with hand-written, personalized notes, you are saying that it mattered that they came to your wedding and/or sent a gift.  Spend more time on this end of things and the time invested will return with gracious measure.

Refresh your guests.
If you have out-of-town guests who are staying at nearby hotels, acknowledge them by arranging to have a refreshment package, along with a personalized note from you, in their room!

Welcome wagon.
Wedding sheets are an extravagant keepsake.  When approached by family or a close friend, ask them to consider this as a meaningful gift, and ask them to have a set of luxurious sheets monogrammed or embroidered with your initials.

Dance the night away.
If your mother, father, aunt, uncle, grandma, grandfather, friend, et al, said something insightful, write it down.  As an extra special and meaningful touch, pull together a small book of personalized quotes and give this to them on your big day.

Bubble heads.
Use the buddy system for out-of-town guests. Try to assign a friendly, outgoing family member or close friend to any out-of-town guests, to act as their ‘ambassador’ for the wedding weekend. The ambassadors can greet guests at the airport, take them to the hotel, and suggest things to do. This makes out-of-towners feel welcome.


Choosing Wedding Colors and What It Means

By Rita Cook for Premier Bride
You would think it would be easy to choose the right wedding colors for your big day right? Perhaps you want that periwinkle blue that has been your favorite since you were a little girl. Or what if black is your favorite color, is that appropriate for your wedding color in the middle of August?

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The wedding colors that you inevitable decide on will play a big part in setting the mood of your wedding and theme as well. For example, a beach wedding might be perfect with natural colors that complement the sea and sky.

Overall, when you choose your wedding colors you are also choosing the look and feel of the bridesmaid dresses, the flowers, the invitations and even the look of the ceremony and reception. Not an easy task, but overall the decision should be yours and you should enjoy the freedom to make your big day the one you have dreamed of since you were a little girl.

One thing to keep in mind in regards to bridesmaid dresses is the material. The truth is you can get by with almost any color anytime of year as long as the material is right. You don’t want your bridesmaids in wool dresses in Florida, nor should you opt to have the material that of chiffon in the middle of December in Chicago.

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Colors do seem to make an impression on people so let’s take a look at the many options to choose from depending on the season.
Spring and Summer:
Periwinkle Blue
Mint Green
Ice Blue
Yellow and Gold

Fall and Winter:
Navy Blue
Crepe Red
Deep Dark Red
Tango Red
Deep Blue
Hunter Green

One of the most important things to remember is that when you mix color you want to make sure they coordinate just right. Some colors are better in the background while perhaps that tango red you have your eye on is apt to stand out for more than the accompanying yellow or gold.

Start with a base color and follow that with lighter and darker shades in the same color family. Another example would be two or three colors that complement one another easily. Take yellow, yellow and green and then have the additional green tones accent as well.

Depending on the season and how festive you want to be you can have fun with winter, spring, summer and fall. Since many brides choose the summer for their big day let’s start there.

Bright colors are always popular during this most beautiful time of the year. A good idea it to take advantage of all the flowers that are in bloom during the summer months from pink to red to yellow to bright blues and purples. Summer is also a time to enjoy the sun so you could choose yellow or gold for the occasion and add some touches of pastel for a soft touch on invitations and reception accents.
Popular summer colors include teal paired with silver and you could also dye flowers teal to play up the mood and atmosphere. What about red and pink? Roses are the perfect flower for this color scheme.

Many couple choose autumn to say their “I do’s” and this season bespeaks bold colors with a touch of harvest. It’s a time when the leaves are falling from the trees and burnt orange, gold and red are in the air.

It might not be a bad idea to incorporate brown during this time of year and consider matching it with terra cotta or copper or even ivory. Red is always popular during the autumn season and can be matched with deep red roses to keep the mood one of love. For winter think the holidays, snow and cozy fireplaces that make this season one of the most romantic of all. While stark silvers and blues are an option, the color of evergreen also promises the mood will be festive. Flowers can be a combination of pine cones, holly leaves and even snow and ice. Since silver is such a popular winter color matching accents might include burgundy or navy blue. The spring is when everything begins to grow again. Pastel colors are popular during this time of year so think white, pink and even lavender. Flowers that go well with a light color scheme are tulips and peonies. Keep the wedding light and airy like the season and a dreamy feeling will surely abound.

When you do pick the colors for your wedding make sure you can get the bridesmaid dresses in this color as well, even before you begin ordering the other necessities. For flowers, if you must have a certain type then you can work around the flower colors to determine the final color choices. Remember too that the colors you choose, no matter the season, should not clash with the church or banquet facility.

Finally, invitations should reflect the color of your wedding, but can also reflect the season as well. In the winter snowmen or appropriate and in the fall you might think of apples and fallen leaves.

If you are planning a theme wedding think of the location as well as the color. Evening weddings can be a little brighter than day time weddings and for medieval themes go with heavy material and colors to reflect that time period. Overall, the best wedding is the one that you add the special touches to incorporating you and your spouse’s ideas into the biggest event of your life.

Wedding Ceremony Advice

A bride tossing her bouquet of flowers. Catego...

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  • Start at the beginning. Make sure to choose the place of the ceremony BEFORE you choose your colors. You would think that nothing could clash with turquoise blue, but trust me you will find the walls of a banquet hall that will.
  • Be realistic. If you plan a religious ceremony that calls for possible kneeling, you may want to opt out of the form fitting / mermaid dresses.
  • Popular with guests. It is not written in stone that your wedding ceremony has to take place between ten and two. Think about having an evening/night wedding by doing the photos first and therefore not making your guests wait around for the shin dig to re-start between the ceremony and dinner.
  • Themed Weddings: Have a themed wedding –a specific time period, a country or sports team that the two of you love. Or even a costume theme! (Be aware that most guests will not want to dress up). Think about how much fun and interesting it would be to plan the event around the theme of your choice. Some of the most popular themes are winter, tropical, and garden.
  • Your close connections. To include more people in the ceremony have them read a poem or prayer or sing a song at the ceremony.
  • A special moment for Mom. If you and your mom are very close, think about asking her to be your “matron” of honor, or have both parents walk you down the aisle. Just don’t leave out Mom.
  • Mistakes that turn into fond memories. Keep in mind that things will not go completely according to plan. That is not necessarily a bad thing. It gives the entire ceremony “personality” and will richen what will inevitably become the prologue to the story of your lifetime.
  • Two by Two: No one said your bridesmaids and groomsmen have to match in height/and or age.   Feel free to mix and match bridesmaids and groomsmen as you think they would feel most comfortable, and even feel free to throw in a loaner.
  • Nice extra. During the ceremony, recognize important people by giving them flowers.
  • Personal story. Ask the officiant to work in a story about your meeting or courtship into the ceremony.
  • Fun and furry. Can’t find a ring bearer? Use the family pet!
  • In the round. At the ceremony, arrange the chairs so that everyone surrounds you.