Monday, June 29, 2009

Wedding Dress Styles - Basic Components of a Wedding Gown

Before stepping into a bridal salon, you should know the basic styles of wedding dresses and the terms used to describe them.

A wedding dress is typically described by five parts: silhouette, sleeves, bodice, neckline and train. For each part of the dress, there are many different styles:


The silhouette is the basic shape of the gown:

Ball Gown: The ball gown is characterized by a fitted bodice and a waistline leading to a very full skirt (think Cinderella)

Empire: An empire-style gown features a high waistline (right under the bust) falling to a slimmer (yet not body-fitting) skirt.

A-Line or Princess: An A-line or Princess shape features vertical seams flowing from the shoulders down to a flared skirt, creating and inverted V — or A — shape

Sheath: The slim sheath closely follows the line of the body, creating a form-fitting look

Mermaid: The mermaid style is form fitting at the top, similar to the sheath, and then flows out around the knees, creating a mermaid shape.


For wedding gowns, sleeves are more than just long or short. Read below to decide which type of sleeve is best for you.

T-Shirt Sleeves: As the name indicates, these sleeves resemble those of your favorite T-shirt. This style is a good option for brides who want to cover their upper arms but don’t want to go all the way.

Cap Sleeves: Shorter than a T-shirt sleeve and more rounded, therefore a little more baring. Cap sleeves work best on women with fairly slender and well-toned upper arms.

Off-The-Shoulder Sleeves: These sleeves cover the upper part of the arms while leaving the tops of the shoulders exposed. The sleeves also cover enough of the upper arm to make most feel comfortable.

3/4 Length Sleeves: This style has a classic, ladylike feel, with the sleeves ending midway between the elbow and the wrist. An elegant look suited for a formal or winter wedding.

Spaghetti Straps: These are skinny straps with no sleeves attached. Not for the “arm-shy,” this style works best for brides with well-toned upper arms or who just want to look sexy!

Sleeveless: Today, strapless gowns with no sleeves are actually the most popular choice among brides. This style works for many body types.


As the name indicates, the bodice represents the “body” of the gown, or the section between the neckline and skirt.

Corset: This is a form-fitting bodice, complete with boning and lace-up or snap closures. This bodice style is fashioned after the ladies undergarment with the same name.

Empire: This bodice style ends just below the bust and flares into a full skirt. This style is flattering on almost all body types.

Halter: The halter is a sleeveless bodice that wraps around the neck. Sometimes backless; always sexy.

Midriff: This bodice fits closely around the mid-ribcage, and is a great choice for accentuating a small waist.

Princess-line: This sleek bodice, characterized by two vertical seams that travel from bust to hem, is super-slimming and gives the illusion of extra height.

Surplice: The surplice bodice cross-wraps the fabric in either the front or back.

Tank: The tank is a short, sleeveless top with wide armholes. This popular style looks great on most body types.

Learn the terminology for the rest of a wedding gown's anatomy - including the neckline and train in the guide to wedding dress styles. Visit the complete wedding dresses guide for even more style advice, tips and a gallery of designer wedding dresses.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Vintage Save The Date Postcards

Here’s something fun - a retro reminder to save that date! Bag the traditional monogrammed card stock or even the magnet fad du jour. Instead, find vintage postcards that feature your wedding location or a kitschy wedding-related locale like Niagra Falls. This is a circumstance where it would actually be appropriate to pen your own message - in your very best cursive handwriting of course - on the cards, or you can have them professionally printed if you prefer.

Learn more about where to find some cool vintage save the date postcards at the Unveiled Wedding Blog

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Wedding Meal Serving Styles Guide - Buffet, Seated Dinner, or Finger Food Reception

Before you begin choosing between filet and chicken, consider how you’d like to serve them. The most common options include seated meal, buffet and passed-tray (appetizer) reception. To help you decide, we’ve compiled all you need to know about these serving styles.

Things to Consider:

The time of day during which your event takes place
If your reception will be held during brunch or cocktail hours, a 5 course meal may not be necessary. If your reception will occur during dinner hour, you should serve more than just appetizers.

The formality of your event
While it’s perfectly acceptable to have a buffet at even the most formal of events, tradition still tends to dictate that a sit-down meal is the most formal. If you envision guests dressed in white tie, sipping French champagne and serenaded by a full orchestra, a seated meal may be the way to go.

Your guests
Always take into account the nature of your guest list. Elders or more traditional guests may feel more comfortable at a seated dinner, while younger guests may yawn at the idea of being forced to sit still for a few hours. Also remember that an extremely large guest list may not be conducive to a buffet, as hungry guests may be forced to wait in line for a turn at the table.

Personal preference
That said, it’s your wedding. There really are no rules these days, so if you have your heart set on a particular serving style - go for it!

Serving Styles - An Overview:

Seated Meal
Overview: At a seated meal, guests are seated and served by a waitstaff at tables pre-assigned by you. This style is the most traditional and typically the most formal. The types of sit-down services include: 1. plated service - where the full meal is pre-arranged on individual plates before served to guests; 2. Russian service - where wait staff serve courses from platters onto plates already on the table; 3. French service - where two waiters serve guests from the platter, one holding the platter and the other serving.

Get more advice on planning a sit down dinner.

Overview: At a buffet, guests select their food from either one long table or stations strategically placed throughout the room. (think pasta station, seafood station, Chinese wok station) An advantage is that you can serve a varied menu from which guests can choose what they like. Having a buffet-style meal does not mean that you have to sacrifice sophistication. A buffet can be formal when served by stylish wait-staff or more relaxed with self-serve stations.

Get more advice on planning a wedding buffet

Finger Food Reception
Overview: At this style of reception, there is no full meal. Instead waiters circulate the room, offering trays of hors d’oeuvres to standing guests. This style of service is ideal for a cocktail reception, which is often a shorter duration than a full reception.

Get more advice on planning a wedding finger food reception...

Visit the guide to wedding catering for even more advice and a list of recommended wedding caterers throughout the nation to help you plan your wedding menu.

Monday, June 22, 2009

How to Plan a Summer Wedding - Ideas, Tips, and Trends For Summer Wedding Themes

Warm sunshine, vibrant colors, and outdoor setting opportunities abound during the summer months. Take advantage of the season with these summer wedding tips.

Summer Weddings - Things to Consider

Beat the Heat - Seriously consider renting fans or portable AC units for an outdoor wedding (even northern climates can hit 90 this time of year), and try to find a location with ample shade so guests can escape blazing sun and heat. Even if your wedding is inside, you´ll need to check the comfort level beforehand - some older venues lack good ventilation or aren´t air conditioned.

Brave the Elements - Outdoor settings are popular during the summer, but high temperatures aren´t the only discomfort you´ll have to contend with. Damaging UV rays, killer mosquitoes and pop-up showers are just some of the elements you may have to endure. Have bug spray, sunscreen and umbrellas on hand just in case.

Work Around Summer Travel - Remember that summer is prime time for family vacations, holiday weekends, oh yeah - and other weddings. Try to book your date and notify your guests as early as possible.

All in the Details - Summer Wedding Ideas

Invitations & Stationery

Add a summer motif - such as a seashell, starfish, tropical flower or plant - to your stationery suite

Go wild with color - now´s the time for paper or fonts in bolder tropical hues - such as fuschia or mango - or the colors of the sea - blues and greens

Wedding Venue

Get outdoors - summer weddings just call for a beach, garden, rooftop or backyard setting

Get on the water - marinas or even yacht cruises make for seasonably stylish venues

Décor Elements

Go casual - summer weddings lend themselves to a casual décor scheme - fitting of a backyard barbeque. Think checked table clothes, benches and picnic tables.

Go natural - incorporate natural décor elements like fruits, vegetables, even insects (like ladybugs or dragonflies, not necessarily roaches!)

Get lit - light up an outdoor evening reception with lanterns or torches.


Seasonal blooms - abundant flowers are always in style at a summer wedding. Use bright and cheerful blooms like sunflowers, peonies, hydrangea, mums, daisies, dahlias, zinnias, and roses. Or create a breezy, airy look with white on white - using roses, stephanotis, calla lilies, snowball mums and daisies - and incorporate a touch of blue - like blue hydrangea

Fruits - fruits like lemons and limes look whimsical and chic when filled in tall clear vases

For a beach look - incorporate shells, sand, and sea glass in your arrangements


Serve lighter fare - think fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables like berries, watermelon, tomatoes, cucumber, and corn, seafood and lean poultry like chicken. Between courses, serve a light sorbet.

Spark up the grill - serve traditional picnic and grill fare like barbeque, burgers and potato salad

Head to the tropics - feature tropical signature cocktails like margaritas, sangria, or mojitos.


Light and Fluffy - serve something light, like angel food cake topped with whipped cream and berries

Fresh adornments - top traditional wedding cake with fresh tropical flowers like hibiscus, or decorate with shells and starfish

Spoon it out - serve light sorbet or gelato

Add a cherry - have a do it yourself sundae bar (just make sure you have a way to keep the ice cream cool)

Looking for even more ideas for summer wedding themes? This complete guide to planning a summer wedding has even more tips and advice.

Friday, June 19, 2009

How to find the right bridal headpiece for your wedding

Usually the anchor for your veil, your headpiece can hold it in place for the entire event or allow it to be detached through hooks or snaps. You can also wear your headpiece sans veil for purely aesthetic purposes. Here’s what to consider when choosing a headpiece.


When trying on headpieces, try to bring as much of your wedding day ensemble as you can (dress photos, accessories, veil, etc.) to get the best sense of which style complements your look. You never know what will or won’t work until you put it all together.


Bridal headpieces typically cost $20 to $100. Of course, you may find one for less, and you can always pay more.

Headpiece Style Guide

This bridal headpieces guide has all the lingo you’ll need to know to get the right style.

Get even more advice to plan all of your wedding accessories, from your veil to your shoes, at

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wedding Readings - Popular Passages For Your Wedding Ceremony

If you're writing your wedding vows or personalizing your wedding ceremony with meaningful readings, delve into the world of literature, poetry, quotes and lyrics for inspiration. Here are some sample passages to get you started...


William Shakespeare - "Romeo and Juliet"

My bounty is as boundless as the sea, My love as deep; the more I give to thee, The more I have, for both are infinite. William Shakespeare - "Sonnet 116"

Let me not to the marriage of true minds Admit impediments. Love is not love Which alters when it alteration finds, Or bends with the remover to remove: O no! it is an ever-fixed mark That looks on tempests and is never shaken; It is the star to every wandering bark, Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken. Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks Within his bending sickle's compass come: Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks, But bears it out even to the edge of doom. If this be error and upon me proved, I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

Wilferd Peterson - The Art of Marriage

The little things are the big things. It is never being too old to hold hands. It is remembering to say, "I love you" at least once a day.

It is never going to sleep angry. It is at no time taking the other for granted; the courtship should not end with the honeymoon, it should continue through all the years.

It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives. It is standing together facing the world. It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family. It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy.

It is speaking words of appreciation, and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways. It is not expecting the husband to wear a halo or the wife to have the wings of an angel. It is not looking for perfection in each other.

It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humor. It is having the capacity to forgive and forget. It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.

It is finding room for the things of the Spirit. It is a common search for the good and the beautiful. It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual, and the obligation is reciprocal.

It is not only marrying the right partner, it is BEING the right partner. This is "The Art of Marriage"

Cultural Heritage

Irish Wedding Blessing

May God be with you and bless you May you see your children's children May you be poor in misfortunes, Rich in blessings May you know nothing but happiness From this day forward

Apache Wedding Blessing

Now you will feel no rain, For each of you will be shelter to the other. Now you will feel no cold, For each of you will be warmth to each other. Now there is no more loneliness for you, For each of you will be comfort to the other. Though you are two bodies, There is but one life before you. Go now to your dwelling place, To enter into the days of your togetherness. And, may the days of your life Be good and long upon the earth.


When Harry Met Sally

I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.

To Love and Be Loved

We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.

Moulin Rouge

The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.

The Notebook

The best love is the kind that weakens the soul, that makes us reach for more, that plants fire in our hearts and brings peace to our minds. And that's what you've given me. That's what I hope to give to you forever.

The Notebook

Poets often describe love as an emotion that we can't control, one that overwhelms logic and common sense. That's what it's like for me. I didn't plan on falling in love with you, and I doubt that you planned on falling in love with me. But once we met, it was clear that neither of us could control what was happening to us. We fell in love, despite our differences, and once we did, something rare and beautiful was created. For me love like that has happened only once, and that's why every minute we spent together has been seared in my memory. I'll never forget a single moment of it.

You can get even more popular passages and weddings readings information at this complete readings, speeches, and wedding toasts guide.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ideas for Outdoor Weddings

No doubt about it - nothing beats the natural beauty and relaxed atmosphere of an outdoor wedding. Here, the draw is obviously the setting, but there's still a lot to do after you've booked your outdoor venue. Tie it all together with this list of ideas for outdoor weddings:

Décor Elements

  • Let the setting speak for itself – don’t compete with Mother Nature; rather, subtly enhance your background – whether a sandy beach, blooming garden, or thick forest – with a complementary color palette and décor elements.
  • Natural elements – depending on your setting, natural items like shells, pinecones, berries, vines, leaves, and grasses provide great décor inspiration.


  • Blooms - an outdoor wedding calls for flowers that can brave all sorts of weather. Look for sturdier blooms like mums, alstromeria, calla lilies and sunflowers.
  • Style - keep your containers and arrangements natural looking, as an intricately designed, elaborate pedestal centerpiece in a tall candelabra just doesn’t fit. Instead, use loose arrangements in urns, wooden boxes, crates, or pails.


  • Keep it simple - even an elegant outdoor wedding calls for simpler fare that can withstand varied temperatures, so avoid items like mayonnaise or dishes which must be served cold. If yours is a casual affair, consider a traditional outdoor barbeque.
  • Keep guests refreshed – especially if your outdoor wedding will take place in a warm environment. Have plenty of ice and water, along with teas or lemonades. Alcoholic beverages like sangria, mojitos, or mint juleps will also keep your guests refreshed.


  • Make it last - wedding cakes can melt outside. Opt for fondant icing over buttercream, which doesn’t keep well in heat or humidity. Stay away from mousse and ice cream cakes.


  • Dare to go casual – outdoor settings allow for breezy fabrics and shorter hemlines
  • Do elegance right – you can still plan a formal dress code, just consider what’s best suited for sun, sand, or grass. Lace and organza are good outdoor fabric options.
  • For the Girls
  • - Silhouettes – you may want to forego the giant ball gown skirt. Instead, stick to a romantic empire or a-line. (same goes for your bridesmaids) - Hemlines - Keep your hemline clean from the grass or dirt. Consider going knee- or tea-length. Or raise a floor-length gown it to the ankles or at least a half inch higher than you would for an indoor wedding. Avoid a train. - Shoes – Opt for a wide, flat heal, as stilettos may sink into the ground.
  • For the guys –
  • - Unbuttoned affair - consider losing the tux and dressing the guys in khakis and sport jackets or crisp oxfords. - Neat in back - if they do wear a tux, get a vest with a full back – which will look better when their coats are off.


  • Keep ‘em cool - personalized paper fans are both decorative and functional
  • Keep love blooming – with packs of flower seeds
  • Plant it – give miniature potted plants or herbs
  • From the sea – if yours is an outdoor beach wedding, give bags of shells, sand dollars, sea stones or sea glass – decorated with your monogram
Get even more outdoor wedding ideas at

Monday, June 15, 2009

Wedding Reception - 42 Questions To Ask The Reception Site Manager

When reviewing wedding reception sites, it helps to come equipped with the questions you need answered before making your decision. lists 42 questions to ask when choosing a wedding venue.

Here is an excerpt from the list...

Costs Involved

First and foremost-you will need to determine the cost of holding your wedding reception at the site. Sounds like a given, right? You will discover that most reception sites break down their costs differently, and what may seem to be less expensive may wind up more costly once all of the figures are totaled. Avoid confusion by requesting an itemized list of fees-or take this one with you-and tally the costs of each fee and service you will most likely use for your event. (Have an idea of your guest count beforehand-this will influence the estimated costs) Then you can compare your lists to accurately determine which site is the most cost effective for your needs.

Already confused? Not to worry-we have compiled a complete list of typical costs and fees charged by wedding reception sites. If the facility does not provide one of these services, such as an onsite caterer, factor in the estimated cost of contracting the service from an outside vendor when tallying your total expenses.

Questions to ask:

• What is the facility rental fee?

• What is the cost-for food? (sites typically offer more than one menu package; determine which menu package you will most likely utilize for your wedding reception-and use that amount in determining your estimate.)

• What is the cost-for beverage? (save time by having an idea of what beverage package you would like to serve, whether a full bar, limited bar or non-alcoholic bar)

• If you can hold your ceremony on site, what is the ceremony fee?

• What is the set-up/break-down fee? (some sites charge per chair, others charge a lump sum)

• What is the staffing fee? (including bartenders, waiters etc.)

• What is the overtime fee?

• Is there a fee for security personnel?

• Is there a fee for parking or valets?

Friday, June 12, 2009

10 Creative Ideas for Wedding Ceremonies

Hey – it´s all about you; take back your ceremony! It is a ritual – time honored and sacred – but that does not mean your wedding ceremony has to be like every other. Of course, some couples choose to be extremely original and opt for exchanging vows on a roller coaster, while bungee jumping or even dressed as trekies. I say – good for them for such uninhibited displays of originality. But even if you prefer a more traditional and "scream-free" wedding ceremony, you can still add a touch of personality.

Here are ten creative ways to infuse your ceremony with elements that are distinctly you.

Make the Location Memorable -
Not every wedding ceremony must take place in a house of worship. Outdoor locations and other types of ceremony sites can make for ceremonies that are both spiritual and memorable. Consult this list of unique wedding ceremony sites for inspiration.

Refresh Your Guests -
Welcome and refresh your guests by serving lemonade, iced tea or water. It´s a nice touch, and your guests will appreciate the gesture. Depending on the season or nature of your wedding, you can use your refreshment of choice to tie in the theme or style of the day.

Get Personal with Decorations-
Who says your ceremony decorations must be floral? How about draping framed photographs of the bride and groom tied with ribbon over the ends of each row? This wedding flowers and wedding decorations guide can help you create a unique and memorable decor scheme for your ceremony.

Customize Your Programs -
Summer brides – how about programs in the shape of a fan? Or keep the shape and style traditional, and include a personal letter or poem to add some interest to this often overlooked detail. This list of ideas for wedding programs has even more suggestions to get your creative juices flowing.

Make Your Entrance Grand-
There are other ways to make your entrance beyond the traditional march with your father. Ride in on a horse. Or be escorted by both parents, a close uncle, brother, friend—even a pet!

Personalize the Aisle Runner -
You will know this is your ceremony while walking down the isle on a runner personalized with your monogram or logo.

Beyond "Here Comes the Bride" -
If walking down the isle to the same song as thousands of brides before you doesn´t sound appealing, there´s no reason why your favorite tune can´t make a memorable substitute!

Mix up the Bridal Party -
Who says your maid of honor must be a "maid?" If your best pal happens to be a guy, have a "man of honor." Same goes for the best man; there´s no reason why there can´t be a "best woman."

Not Crazy about the Unity Candle? Try the Sand Ceremony -
Instead, combine sand into a beautiful bowl or vase. The sand can be of two colors, creating a visual representation of the joining of two families and something you can keep and cherish forever.

Write your own Wedding Vows, Readings, Poems -
Nothing puts that special personalized stamp on a ceremony quite like vows and readings prepared by the bride and groom themselves. These spoken words expose your mind and your heart to each other and to your audience. Get started with these tips on writing your vows and a list of popular this complete wedding readings guide.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

How to Plan Your Wedding Ceremony Music and Make Your Song Selections

First Things First

Be sure to consult with your ceremony site before making your musical selections. Many places of worship do not allow secular music and have strict rules about what songs may be used. If you are holding an outdoor wedding ceremony, make sure that your ceremony musicians will have a place to set up and, most importantly, will be heard.

Determine Your Wedding Ceremony Style

Setting the theme for the entire wedding ceremony, the site will help determine the type of ceremony musicians you use. Steel drums may be perfect for an outdoor beach ceremony, while a bold trumpet quartet will sound impressive in an elaborate cathedral.

Once you have established an overall theme and selected your ceremony musicians, you will need to choose the specific music selections for the different components of the wedding ceremony.

Prelude Music

The seats are filling, and the sanctuary is buzzing with guests meeting, greeting and anticipating the big event. Your music selections during the prelude will set the mood for the ceremony; gentle jazz or chamber music works perfectly here. The music should not overpower the mood; rather, it should compliment the budding excitement. Browse our list of popular prelude songs in our categorized list of wedding ceremony songs. (*note - here you can browse song options for each category below -from the pre-processional to the recessional)

Pre-processional Music

This is a generally solemn moment as important family members are seated. As loving family members relinquish their children into a new life and family, the ceremony music should reflect the significance of the occasion. While the choice is yours, traditional ceremony music usually works best here.

Processional Music

As the wedding party appears at the head of the wedding aisle, the ceremony musicians will switch from the pre-processional to the processional. Consider a tempo that permits the wedding party to walk at an exact pace while heightening the suspense for the wedding guests.

Music for The Bride’s Entrance

This is the moment that you and your guests have anxiously awaited. The ceremony music should reflect the excitement and be dramatic and sweeping. The traditional selection is Wagner’s Bridal Chorus (Here Comes the Bride), but many brides are not afraid to insert something a little more reflective of their unique personality. Whatever you choose should be bold and exciting and comfortable for you. Take a deep breath and walk…this is your moment.

Recessional Music

You did it! You’re now man and wife, and the music you play while you and your new spouse walk up the aisle should reflect that excitement and elation. Have your ceremony musicians play something something joyous and upbeat. The traditional selection is Mendelssohn’s Wedding March.

Get even more advice to help you plan your wedding ceremony music in the wedding music guide.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

How to Plan a Unique Wedding - Creative Ideas to Set Your Wedding Apart

here is nothing wrong with the traditional white wedding, but sometimes it is nice to makes yours stand out from the rest…

Today´s weddings are all about options that reflect your personalities and style. We´ve compiled a list of our favorite non-traditional or unexpected wedding ideas to incorporate into every aspect of your big day.

Ceremony Ideas

If you don´t host your ceremony in a house of worship or in the same location as your reception, you can get creative with your ceremony location and exchange vows at sunrise on the beach or at sunset from the rooftop of the tallest building in your metropolitan area. Get more ideas for wedding ceremony sites.

Grand Entrance
Make your entrance especially unique by being escorted by your beloved pet or by arriving on a horse.

Vows and Readings
Not a new concept, but speaking from the heart by writing your own wedding vows or incorporating personalized poems and popular wedding readings or even humorous wedding ceremony readings into your ceremony will surely grab the attention of your guests.

Reception Ideas
Venue Type
Think outside the banquet hall and bring your celebration to a naturally beautiful venue like a garden or museum. Your guests will enjoy strolling around picturesque grounds or appreciating timeless works of art.

Seating Arrangements
Add some visual interest to your setting by interspersing different shaped tables throughout the room or seating your guests at long tables for a family-style affair.

Catering Ideas

Ethnic Cuisine
If you have a strong heritage, have visited a favorite world destination together, or even just have an affinity for a particular variety of cuisine, revolve your menu around that ethnic specialty.

Offer delectable comfort foods with a twist, served up family-style – a great icebreaker for your guests.

Take inspiration from the season and serve a menu that offers a theme of seasonal favorites.

Flowers & Decor Ideas

Au Natural
Consult Mother Nature for inspiration, and bring the outdoors in. Natural objects like stones, leaves, pinecones, even twigs can add an organic aesthetic to your reception décor. Place in rustic containers or scatter amongst pillar candles for added ambiance.

Consult your Inner Child
For the kid at heart, fill decorative bowls with your favorite candies – such as jellybeans and M&M´s - in your wedding colors.

Entertainment Ideas
Ceremony Music
If "Here Comes the Bride" doesn´t suit your style or personality, choose a song that does. There is no written rule that states you can´t make your grand entrance to a rendition of your favorite Beastie Boys´ song.

Non-traditional Instruments
If you desire live music over a DJ, consider tying your musician selection to the theme or location of your event. A beachside bash naturally lends itself to the sound of steel drums, while a trumpet quartet will sound impressive in an elaborate cathedral.

Photography Ideas
Creative Shots
Hire your photographer to follow you throughout your entire day (leading up to the "Do Not Disturb" sign, of course). While it may make you feel anxious to have someone photograph you as you get ready, these shots will help you to remember the joy and anticipation of every part of your big day. Read more creative wedding pictures.

Cake Ideas
If cake isn´t your favorite dessert, then don´t feel the need to serve it to your guests. Apple crisp, peach cobbler, pumpkin pie, cupcakes, or even glazed doughnuts are a hit at the dessert table.

The end-of-meal offering doesn´t have to be made of flour and frosting. Think savory instead, and visit your local cheese shop to have them construct wheels of cheese in tiers and stacked to look like traditional wedding cake.

Attire Ideas
Wardrobe Change
Today´s brides are opting to wear not one dress, but two! Wear an elegant gown while you exchange vows, then slip into something a little more comfortable to round out the evening.

Anything but White
A white wedding dress symbolizes innocence and purity, but if that´s not your style, feel free to bring out your colorful personality by adding a splash of color to your attire. You can be as subtle as a colored sash and jewels or as bold as a fuchsia-colored dress.

Get even more wedding dress trends in the wedding dresses guide.

Stationery Ideas
If your heritage is important for you to represent on your big day, do some research and find a stationer who offers multi-cultural invitations and announcements.

Creative Touch
For more intimate, casual gatherings, request the honor of your guests´ presence in an innovative and entertaining way. Here´s an idea - have your invite printed on a balloon so guests have to blow them up to receive the message.

Transportation Ideas
Grand Entrance
If the size of your bridal party doesn´t warrant a stretch limousine, consider arriving on horseback, on the back of your husband´s motorcycle, or in the passenger´s seat of your dad´s antique car.

Favor Ideas
Something Useful
Give your guests something they can enjoy for years to come. A small bag of seeds to plant will remind them of your big day every time they smell the flowers.

With a high emphasis on karma these days, give something back and make a donation to your favorite cause in lieu of knickknacks. Your guests will appreciate the altruistic gesture.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Ideas For Creative and Unusual Wedding Cakes

As the centerpiece of your reception, wedding cakes are a bride's opportunity to make a major style statement. But many brides don't particularly like the taste of wedding cake, and some simply prefer to serve something a little more distinctive for the dessert course. Looking for something different? Browse our ideas for a refreshing spin on the traditional wedding cake.

1. Break the Mold

Cupcakes and doughnuts are trendy alternatives to traditional wedding cakes, but good ol' Jell-O might be the most creative new option. When molded into cake form with a touch of class and ingredients like tropical fruit, champagne, and lychee nut, the family picnic favorite can be transformed into an elegant and refreshingly light treat perfect for a summer or outdoor wedding. Plus, it's bound to be an instant conversation starter. Love the idea? Present it to your caterer to recreate it.

2. Wedding Cakes Made of Cheese

Scattered plates with barely nibbled pieces of wedding cake are an all-too-familiar sight at receptions. If you want to serve a dessert your guests will actually eat, consider a wedding "cake" made of cheese. No, not the rich, loaded with sugar variety with graham cracker crust - literally a cake made of cheese stacked in tiers and decorated to look like a wedding cake. Adornments like foliage, grapes, berries, nuts, and flowers transform a creamy lancashire or unpasteurized cheddar into an elaborate wedding cake that can match your decor scheme.

The trend is taking off in the U.K. where cheese for dessert is prevalent. In its infancy on this side of the pond, this is a chance for you to be truly on the cusp. Guests with a savory soft spot and those last holdovers from the Atkins revolution will be only too happy to forego the buttercream frosting and rolled fondant.

3. Blinged out Baked Goods

When it comes to wedding day bling, bejeweled brides have some competition. Now your cake can don jewelry too! That's right, the latest adornments to hit wedding cakes are hand-made Swarovski Crystal Cake Jewelry. Design a sparkilicious cake bedecked with crystal monograms, hearts, flowers or butterflies. Order a cake from your local bakery, then use the customizing tools available at to design dazzling cake jewelry for it.

4. Flavorful Fountains

Chocolate fountains in lieu of wedding cakes have been done. So put a new spin on the chocolate fountain with a colorful, flowing display of fruit coulis, which is that powerfully tangy syrup made from raspberries, mangoes, or other fruits and often comes drizzled over something like a flourless chocolate cake. In its fountain form, dip brownies, shortbread, and other cakes and cookies for a sweet, fruity treat.

Get even more ideas for unusual wedding cakes at the wedding cakes guide.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Looking for Cheap Wedding Invitations? Here are some tips to slash invitation prices

Your wedding stationery is your first opportunity to wow your guests and give them a prelude for fabulous things to come. But don’t let memorable wedding invitations and stationery spell the end to your carefully planned wedding budget. These tips will help you make an impressive impact without breaking the bank - scoring cheap wedding invitations that look anything but.

Keep it Simple

When selecting a design, remember to keep it simple. Custom graphics and colored inks all increase the bottom line. Try to stick to one color, and select a classic design that is clean and elegant.

Learn your Print Lingo

The printing method you choose impacts the price, so go ahead and familiarize yourself with the common printing methods and their costs. Engraving, which results in raised print that is pressed through the back, is the most formal and elegant printing technique - but it will cost you. If your wedding budget is extremely tight, laser printing is your least expensive option. For a complete list of printing methods and their costs, visit our wedding invitation guide.

Lighten Up

A stationery rule of thumb: the more your wedding invitation weighs, the more it costs. Not only are bulky papers more expensive, but heavier invitations cost more at the postage meter. So if you found a design you love but can’t afford, re-create it on lighter weight papers and include less inserts. Consider losing the inner envelope, and use response postcards instead of cards with envelopes.

Eliminate the Extras

While it can be fun to go wild with your wedding invitations and stationery, superfluous extras come with a cost. So choose only those stationery items that apply to your event. Save-the-date cards are not mandatory; consider skipping them if most of your guests are in town and your wedding date doesn’t fall during a peak holiday time. If your reception and ceremony will take place at the same location, you can eliminate the separate reception card from your wedding invitation. A map and directional may be unnecessary if the reception is across the street from the ceremony.

Shop Savvy

You may be surprised to find the very same wedding invitation or other stationery item offered for a number of different prices. That’s right – some retailers have higher markups than others – big shocker. While paper boutiques often have beautiful merchandise, mail-order outlets or online retailers may offer better deals (the boutiques have to cover higher overhead costs). So be a savvy shopper - find a design you like, then shop around to get it at the best price.

Get even more tips on finding cheap wedding invitations in the wedding invitations and stationery guide.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Blinged out wedding cakes

When it comes to wedding day bling, bejeweled brides have some competition. Now your cake can don jewelry too! That’s right, the latest adornments to hit wedding cakes are hand-made Swarovski Crystal Cake Jewelry. Design a sparkilicious cake bedecked with crystal monograms, hearts, flowers or butterflies.

How it Works: Order a cake from your local bakery, then use the customizing tools available at to design dazzling cake jewelry for it. Choose from a variety of sizes, jewel colors and styles. All pieces come with a stem that is easy to stick into any cake. Orders take three weeks to design and ship, so give yourself enough lead-time. Your bakery (or a bridesmaid) can apply the cake jewelry for you.

Learn more about using jewelry for unique wedding cakes at the Unveiled Wedding Blog

Monday, June 01, 2009

Wedding Flowers Budget - How Much Do Wedding Flowers Cost?

Your floral budget can certainly run the gauntlet. On average you should expect to spend about 8-10% of your overall wedding budget on the flowers. This will include the bouquets, corsages, boutonnieres, and any ceremony and reception decor.

While this is a good estimate, you can modify many floral elements to determine the actual amount you will spend on your wedding flowers. Factors such as whether or not the flowers you choose are in season in your area, the number, size and complexity of the arrangements, and the location of the ceremony and reception all influence your final cost estimate.

You should already have an idea of your overall floral budget before meeting with your florist for the first time. That said, there are a number of ways to cut costs without cutting elegance and beauty.

Ways to Save on Wedding Flowers:

  • Reduce the number of attendants in your wedding party. Less attendants means your florist will have to create fewer bouquets.

  • Reduce the number of guests at your wedding. Fewer tables means fewer floral centerpieces.

  • Choose in-season wedding flowers. They are often less expensive and easier to find. For a list of common flowers for each season, visit our wedding flowers by seasons guide.

  • Choose a naturally beautiful location. A springtime wedding in a garden hardly needs additional floral arrangements, while an ornate church may be breathtaking on its own. Also consider that many facilities are decorated for the holidays, so holding a December wedding may provide you with gorgeous poinsettias and garland free of cost.

  • Choose less complicated flowers. Certain flowers will run up of the cost of your floral budget no matter what season. Ask your florist to review your options with you.

  • 1. Flowers that tend to be expensive: Lily of the Valley, Calla Lily, Orchids, Magnolias, Peonies, Gardenia and Hydrangea.
    2. Flowers that tend to be moderately priced: Orange Blossoms, Lavender, Daffodil, Daisies, Chrysanthemum, Carnations, Roses (due to huge variance in kind, quality, and color) and Greenery, such as ivy

  • Consider options other than floral arrangements for table centerpieces. Ask your florist for ideas. Scattered flower petals surrounded by votive candles create an elegant effect that won't maximize your floral budget. This wedding flowers and wedding decorations guide has a list of even more ideas for alternative arrangements.