Monday, June 30, 2008

Trash Talking

The trash the dress (TTD) phenomenon has been making the rounds as the latest wedding fad for awhile, so I won’t bore you with the details. (For those spared of all the hype, the bride dons her dress for a post-wedding photo shoot – swimming in it, blasting it with paintballs, even burning it - while a photographer captures some artistic images for the wedding album).

I'm all for getting some use out of your dress instead of stuffing it in the attic for eternity, but I can’t help but wonder whether this “trend” is merely a clever ploy invented and packaged by savvy photographers to hall brides back into their studios to shell out more money. Something about it seems to reek of conspicuous consumption, but according to the official trash the dress website, run by – you guessed it – the photographer who coined the phase, “it’s about creation, not destruction.”

That may be, but thankfully your post-wedding dress options aren’t limited to submerging it in a swamp or letting it rot in a box. You can donate it and let it live on by helping another in need.

The decision is yours…

Trash it! has a list of photographers offering TTD sessions. Some may be willing to provide a complimentary shoot to beef up their portfolios, so call around. If you’d still like the option of donating your dress post TTD, request a photo shoot that minimizes the destruction (no burning). Some organizations can resurrect gently damaged dresses.

Donate it! A number of organizations re-sell used wedding gowns and donate the proceeds to charity. Brides Against Breast Cancer, a division of the Making Memories Foundation, uses donated dress sales to grant wishes for terminally ill cancer patients, while The I Do Foundation will donate a percentage to the charity of your choice.,

This guide offers even more on the latest trends and ideas in wedding dresses

Friday, June 27, 2008

Guest Gripes - 8 Complaints that Irk Wedding Guests

With wedding season in full bloom, this humorous, tongue-in-cheek list of top wedding guest complaints is a must-read for brides-to-be. I just hope I didn't commit any of these faux pas!

read more wedding guest gripes | digg story

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Unique Wedding Ceremony Site Ideas

For couples choosing to hold their wedding ceremony at their own place of worship or that of their families, the perfect location to exchange vows is a non-decision. Many reception sites also boast beautiful ceremony settings, offering the bride and groom a convenient alternative.

For others though - like myself - the ideal ceremony location presents a challenge, since unlike reception sites, resources for ceremony site ideas are often scarce.

So this list of unique ceremony site ideas comes in pretty handy for those looking (or needing)a different type of setting.

Offering a picturesque outdoor setting, parks are perfect locations for wedding ceremonies held during temperate months. The abundance of natural scenery can even eliminate the need for pricey decorations!

Government Buildings
Often magnificent architectural wonders, government buildings are a great untapped resource for memorable wedding ceremonies.

If your wedding reception will be held close to a body of water, take advantage of the ideal location and consider holding your ceremony on the banks of the water.

National Monuments
Incorporate some historical significance into your affair, and hold your ceremony near a national monument.

Natural Wonders
Nothing signifies taking the big leap into marriage quite like saying “I Do” from a waterfall, cliff or mountain top.

Botanical Gardens
In addition to all the love in the air, a garden wedding ceremony provides warm breezes, fragrant flowers and a great relaxed vibe. Consult your almanac and ensure the outside temperatures will be comfortable during your chosen time of year.

Another often untapped resource of architectural prowess, museums provide distinctive backdrops for ceremonies (and an opportunity to learn something!)

Roof Deck or Roof Top
If you’re close to a metropolitan area, consider the roof of one of the tallest buildings. This can make for stunning views and photo opportunities.

Family Member’s House or Yard
Perhaps the perfect ceremony site is right in your own backyard! Having a backyard ceremony adds a special personal touch and creates a down home feel. Because no two backyards are the same, it also guarantees your wedding ceremony will be unlike any other.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Wedding Planning Timeline makes Scheduling To-Dos Simple

One of the most difficult aspects of planning a wedding is coordinating and timing the extensive list of details that must somehow come together for a successfully executed event. That's probably why one of the first thoughts that pops into a bride-to-be's head after getting engaged is often, "Where do I begin?"

This handy wedding planning timeline helps eliminiate some of the guess work. You simply enter the date of your upcoming wedding, and out pops a personalized wedding planning calendar that will help you prepare for your big day.

It's a shame that everything can't be so simple!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

How to Juggle Wedding Planning with Your Career

Get some useful advice to ensure that planning a wedding doesn't conflict with your job and professional life.

(In other words - no surfing the web for wedding dresses when you should be preparing TPS reports!)

read more | digg story

Monday, June 23, 2008

Win an early honeymoon at the Taj Hotel

Stressed-out brides - this post is for you. On one hand, you have an ever expanding to-do list and nagging mother-in-law. On the other, a chance to win a two night's stay and complimentary breakfast at the super lux Taj Hotel in Boston. Clearly this one’s a no brainer.

Whiling away the hours boutique shopping at the fashionable Newbury Street location is enough to push those pesky seating chart conundrums aside, and the opulent accommodations and devoted team of smooth operators ready to pamper will surely help you relax and unwind with your fiancé.

After all, love may be crazy - but that doesn't mean you need to be.

You can enter to win at's Wedding Giveaways submission form. The winner will be selected in October 2008.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Wedding Venue Type Comparison Guide - Hotels/Resorts

No doubt about it - finding the right wedding venue for your reception is the most important, and often most challenging, piece in the wedding planning puzzle. There are so many types of facilities - from hotels, country clubs, and banquet halls to restuarants, mansions, museums and gardens - and each style offers its own set of unique characterstics, benefits, and negatives.

To help you sort it through - I've written up a "cheat sheet" weighing the pros and cons of various types of venues. In this post - I review hotels and resorts.

Hosting a Wedding at a Hotel or Resort
Great Because...

• Onsite accommodations and added amenities (concierge, shuttles, spas etc.)
• Proximity to airports and/or vacation destinations
• Low or no rental fees

The Downside...
• Hotel ballrooms and cuisine can be generic
• Ballroom dividers may be unappealing (ask to see in advance)
• Potential lack of privacy - larger hotels host multiple events at once

Here’s the Deal...
Providing everything in one location, these venues make things super easy for your guests. Of course, amenities, ambiance and cost vary greatly depending on the hotel or resort.

You can view the entire guide to different types of wedding venues at The article breaks down banquet halls, mansions, museums and more!...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Same Sex Weddings - Advice on Planning a Gay Wedding

This guide offers advice on those situations unique to gay couples that should be addressed before diving into the rest of the wedding planning process.

read more onplanning a gay marriage and wedding digg story

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wedding Reception Timeline - What Happens When?

You may have been to dozens of weddings, but it’s hard to know what is supposed to happen when at your own reception. has mapped it out for you so you don't have to with this handy timeline. You can read detailed descriptions of each time segment at the original wedding reception timeline article.

00:00 - Cocktail Hour – (bridal party takes pictures).

01:00 - Grand Entrance/First Dances

01:20 - Welcomes and Toasts

01:30 - Eat, Drink and be Married…

02:30 - Get your Groove On

04:00 - Cake Cutting

04:15 - Back to the Party

04:30 - Bouquet Toss/Garter Removal

04:45 - Last Dance/Last Call

05:00 - Send-off!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Is a Casual Wedding Dress Appropriate for an Evening Wedding?

Q: I'm planning an evening outdoor wedding, and I would like to maintain a relaxed and festive atmosphere (no stuffy arrangments and soft mood music!). I would prefer to wear a casual wedding dress (I think a simple white cotton dress from a store like J Crew would be perfect), however I have read that etiquette dictates formal attire for evening weddings. Can I wear a casual wedding dress or should I adhere to traditional wedding attire etiquette?

A: When it comes to wedding attire guidelines, the "rules" are just that - guidelines. The only "rule" you should follow is to wear something in which you feel comfortable and that complements the overall style and tone of your event. In fact, for a relaxed outdoor wedding - even one that takes place after dark - donning an elaborate ball gown just doesn't make sense. So by all means - wear a casual wedding dress, and feel comfortable on your wedding day!

-Cori Russell - style and etiquette editor

You can find even more advice on planning an outdoor wedding and wearing a casual wedding dress at -Elegant Galas Made Simple

Friday, June 13, 2008

Buying an Engagement Ring - Top Ways to Save

When it comes buying an engagement ring, the two-months salary convention is a common starting point. But in reality, the ring's cost should be what the couple can afford without going into major debt.

Cost varies for a lot of reasons – especially when diamonds are involved. Carat size is just one factor. In fact, a one carat center stone can cost anywhere from $1000 to $20000. Choice of metal also affects the bottom line; there’s a significant cost difference between a setting of sterling silver and one of platinum – anywhere from a few hundred to over a thousand.

If you're on a tight budget, these general numbers can be frightening. Thankfully, these useful tips can help you get costs down - so you can score a stylish ring on a budget:

1) Lose the Embellishments
Plain and simple always costs less. Any embellishments increase the price.

2) Forego Platinum
If you’re on a budget and want a silver hue, skip platinum and opt for white gold – it costs about 45% less.

3) Just Short of a Carat
For diamonds, always buy just short of the next carat level. So if you’ve got your eye on a two carat stone, swap it out with a 1.8 carat. You’ll save almost 20%, and the size difference is negligible.

4) Get a Set
Buy a matching or coordinating set (engagement and wedding ring) – and you can save as much as 50%. You’ll save even more if you buy a three piece set (engagement ring plus his and hers wedding rings)

You can find even more ways to save on an engagement ring by reading the original article on - Elegant Galas Made Simple.