When planning a bachelorette party, keep the special guest-to-be in mind. Opt for a luxurious “spa day,” a popular theme for the bride who enjoys a more relaxing and low-key celebration. If the budget is an issue, consider a home pamper party, offering professional manicures, pedicures, and massages. The ladies can also bring in their own supplies and give themselves treatments. A gals’ getaway weekend to a resort, mountain retreat, or Vegas is always a safe bet (and makes for plenty of time for sipping champagne by the pool!). The most important reason for putting the event together is so that the future bride can spend valuable time with all of her favorite women. For a memorable evening or weekend getaway, make sure her event is designed especially for her. It’ll be an occasion she’ll always keep close to her heart.
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A bachelor party can be as casual as a day at a football or baseball game, a pizza dinner, or a paint ball competition. Poker night is a perfect idea for a groom who loves to play cards, while golf outings are popular for the golf enthusiast. For the outdoorsman, a great way to bond before the wedding is a weekend of camping or fishing. Moderation in drinking is always recommended, and if hitting the town, it’s always a smart idea to rent a limo so no one has to worry about drinking and driving. Definitely out of fashion is bad or wild behavior that was once expected conduct at a bachelor party. The purpose of the bachelor party is to give the groom a night to be with the important men in his life, while enjoying his favorite activity with the group. This will surely clear the way for a meaningful night of celebration!
Many couples are concerned about taking to the floor for their first dance, thinking they’ll look anything but graceful with their two left feet! Hiring a dance instructor is becoming a staple in the planning process. Ballroom or swing, it offers a quick way to ease those first dance fears. After just a few lessons, you’ll be able to keep from stepping on each other’s toes…or the groom from stepping on your beautiful wedding gown. Check around for references or with your planner for referrals. Then start your lessons at least three months before your wedding. This will give you plenty of time to practice and perfect your dance!
Always popular with family and friends is a video montage of the bride and groom. Parents delight in gathering pictures of the couple while they were growing up and then organizing them into a story of their lives. Adding music to the video and captions to the pictures make it especially personal. Deciding when to play the video is usually the biggest problem, but personally I recommend to choose a time before the first dance and then have it on a continuous loop throughout the evening for guests to enjoy or set it up to be played at the rehearsal dinner.
There are several special dances that couples will need to schedule into their evening, as well as a special song to select in honor of each particular dance. Traditionally, the bride and groom will be the first to dance, followed by the father/daughter, then the mother/son, and finally the bridal party dance. Once these dances have been completed, the other guests are invited to join onto the floor. The evening bids adieu with the ever memorable last dance. Another special one is the anniversary dance, where all married couples enter the floor and are subsequently released based on their years of marriage. The couple married the longest is the last to leave the floor! Be sure to give your DJ or band a list of these songs in advance so they are well-prepared!
Many couples are adding a new twist to the ongoing and very popular dessert bar concept. Treat your guests to a cookie bar featuring favorites such as chocolate chip cookies, macaroons, or homemade cookies made from Grandma’s recipe…or how about a specialty crème brulee bar, flavored with lavender or lemon. New on the scene and sure to make a splash this year are donut bars where a donut machine makes fresh donuts on site! Want to keep it healthy? How about a fruit bar with chocolate-dipped fruit, such as strawberries, bananas, or pineapple. Your guests will surely appreciate the added treats at the end of the evening.
It’s the 21st century, and you’d think that a bride choosing to keep her birth name or take her spouses’ name would be an easy decision! There are many choices – whether to take her loved ones surname fully, partially or selecting not at all. If a couple is planning on having children, then a family with one name makes things a bit easier, especially traveling with the children. However, if the bride has developed a name for herself professionally it may be more challenging to switch names mid-career. The good news is there are a range of choices to select from; she can keep her birth name for business purposes and married name personally; take the spouses surname and move her birth name to her middle name; or lastly hyphenate her birth name with his surname. Just remember that the act of getting married does not change the brides name… she must actively request a name change and provide proof of marriage for each government or business entity, in addition, remember to notify banks, credit card companies, insurance companies, doctors, cell phone carrier, health club, etc.
According to statistics, between 40-50% of first marriages end in divorce in the U.S. However, pre-marital counseling can reduce the risk of divorce by up to 30% and lead to a happier and healthier marriage! I was surprised by these stats and now suggest pre-marital counseling as an option for my clients. There are many therapists and clergy who offer this service to couples planning to get married. By discussing important issues and learning valuable communication and negotiation skills before you get married, you’ll be forming a solid foundation for a healthy and happy marriage. Love alone will not guarantee a successful marriage, so consider pre-marital counseling…a wise investment for your marital future.
He’s popped the question, you’ve told your parents, and now’s the time to tell your friends and decide who you want to support you down the aisle! Selecting a bridal party for your special day takes some thought. Here are a few guidelines to consider: (1) Don’t worry about matching with the groom’s side. Having those you love by your side is more important than symmetry; (2) Be sure that who you ask can afford the costs associated with the wedding (i.e., a bridesmaid dress, accessories, shower hosting/gifts, bachelor party, etc.); (3) Don’t feel you need to ask a friend who asked you to be in her wedding. Your relationship may have changed over the years, and current relationships are the ones you should consider. Finally, don’t be disappointed if one of your selections bows out. It’s better to know now than later!