Wedding Favors that Really Shake Things Up!

Did you know that throughout history, salt has been revered as a symbol of wealth and good fortune? Or that black pepper was used by Europeans in the Middle Ages to pay dowries? It’s true! In fact, since 2200 BC, salt has even been used as currency in cultures as far away as Tibet and Ethiopia and as close to home as Virginia during the Civil War. During the Middle Ages, black pepper was considered so valuable that only the very wealthy could afford to use it. Today, however, salt and pepper have come to symbolize the perfect match! Just like you and your fianc√©!

These practical and reusable salt and pepper shakers are exquisitely designed and are sure to charm your guests as practical wedding favors. Available in a variety of styles, each of these sets comes gift boxed and ready to go. This is one favor idea that is sure to add spice to your big wedding day!

Find more salt & pepper wedding shaker favors, as well perfectly unique gift favors at!

Wedding Recessional Music

The recessional music is played after your kiss and it carries you and your wedding party as you leave the altar. It should be similar in style to the processional music, but more upbeat with a "happy" sound. This music should be the most joyous. Consider some of these tunes to carry you down the aisle!

Traditional Selections
Trumpet Tune : Henry Purcell
Wedding March : Felix Mendelssohn
Ode to Joy : Beethoven
Praise We Sing To Thee : Franz Joseph Haydn
Alleluia Chorus : George Frederick Handel
Hornpipe ( From Water Music) : George Frederick Handel

Contemporary Selections
The Prayer : Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion
I Feel Good : James Brown
Beautiful Day : U-2
Walking on Sunshine : Katrina and the Wavers
Celebration : Kool & The Gang
I Want To Hold Your Hand : The Beatles
The Best Is Yet To Come : Judy Garland

What have YOU selected for your recessional music? I'd love to hear more ideas and share your selections on our website!

Interlude / Unity Candle Music

The Interlude music (instrumental or vocal) during the wedding ceremony is used to signify that something special is about to happen. A perfect time for this might be as you light the unity candle, signifying two families joining and becoming one.

Traditional Selections
Amazing Grace : Lari White
Ave Maria : Beethoven
What Wondrous Love Is This : Traditional Hymn
Greensleeves : Traditional

Contemporary Selections
First Time Ever I Saw Your Face : Roberta Flack
Forever : Kenny Lattimore
All I Ask of You(Phantom of the Opera) : Andrew Lloyd Weber
When I Said I Do : Clint Black and Lisa Hartman
Your Everything : Keith Urban
Grow Old With Me : Mary Chapin Carpenter
The Wedding Song: Noel Paul Stookey

Do you have a great musical selection for your wedding ceremony? Tell me about it! I'd love to share your ideas with other brides.

Wedding Processional Music

The wedding processional is the big moment! Your parents and attendants will walk down the aisle ahead of you. The music sets the mood for the rest of the ceremony. Here are a few suggestions that will reflect both, your style and the love you share, as you prepare to become man and wife.

Traditional Selections
Allegro Maestoso from Water Music : George Frederick Handel
Elvira Madigan Theme : Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
The Four Seasons : Vivaldi
Welcome Welcome Glorious Morn : Henry Purcell
Canon in D : Johann Pachelbel

Contemporary Selections
From This Moment : Shania Twain
Only Time : Enya
Storybook Love (Theme from Princess Bride) : Mark Knofler
Right Here Waiting : Richard Marx
Come Away With Me : Nora Jones
This Is The Night : Clay Aiken
Somewhere Over The Rainbow : Kenny G
I Believe I Can Fly : R. Kelly
In My Life : Beatles

Watch for Interlude /Unity Candle Ceremony Music in the next post!

For all your wedding ceremony supplies and wedding decorations, be sure to check out! And if you are planning a Las Vegas wedding, be sure to check out all the Las Vegas wedding professionals on!

Wedding Prelude Music

The wedding prelude is the time when the guests begin to arrive and are being seated. The air seems to be alive with the anticipation of witnessing the marriage of two friends. Reinforce this with music that hints at what is to happen next.

Traditional Selections
Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring : Johann S. Bach
Sleepers Awake : Johann S. Bach
Air - Orchestral Suite in D Major : Johann S. Bach
Pastoral Symphony from Messiah : George Frederick Handel
Adagio for Organ Sonata No. 2, Opus 65 : Felix Mendelssohn
Canon : Johann Pachelbel
Perfect Love : Sir Joseph Barnby
Ave Verum Corpus : Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Contemporary Selections
Angel Eyes : Jim Brickman
If : Bread
Annie’s Song : John Denver
Only Time : Enya
Truly : Lionel Richie
Evergreen : Barbra Streisand
At Last : Etta James

Note: Some faiths do not allow secular music in their house of worship. Be certain to check with your facility coordinator.

Watch for more posts on wedding music ideas! Also be sure to check out for your wedding favors and bridal party gifts!

Not Your Mother's Cake Top!

Gone are days of boring old wedding cake tops ... you know the ones. We've all seen them! Brides and grooms now have creative and whimsical alternatives to top things off on their wedding day.

Monogram Cake Tops
New monogram cake tops allow the couple to personalize their affair. Depending on the size of the top level on the cake, you can opt for the single letter of your new last name, or you can select a full monogram of three letters. Monogram cake tops usually come in white, brushed silver, or gold and make excellent keepsakes after the wedding. Some brides are ordering multiple letters and using them in their table centerpieces, as well, to tie the entire reception room into the monogram theme.

Whimsical Cake Tops
Fun loving couples often go for whimsical cake tops that illustrate their personality and highlight the fun-loving nature of their relationship. Whimsical cake tops include verything from "The Groom takes the plunge" to the bride dragging the groom back to the chapel. These cake tops are certain to get your guests talking! Conservative brides who want to opt for the more traditional style cake topper for the formal wedding cake may end up choosing a whimsical cake top for the less formal grooms cake. Just like the monogram toppers, whimsical cake toppers can also be used to decorate your reception tables.

Why not be creative with your wedding cake top? Check out all the unique designs available at!

Military Weddings

You've decided to have a military wedding—complete with all the pomp and circumstance such a formal affair entails. Here some tips on planning the wedding of your dreams that still conforms to longstanding military tradition and protocol.

Wedding Attire
The main difference between a military wedding and a civilian wedding is that the bride and/or groom will be in uniform. An officer or enlisted personnel in the bridal party wears uniforms that comply with the formality of the wedding and seasonal uniform regulations. For commissioned officers, the evening or mess dress uniform is equivalent to the civilian black tie. Commissioned officers who elect to wear a sword or saber with their uniform should stand to the left of the bride so as to protect her from the blade.

For enlisted personnel, dress blues or Army greens should be worn. Remember, never wear a boutonnière with a military uniform. Military ribbons or medals are the only adornments permitted on the uniform.

The bride who is in the military may choose either to wear the formal uniform or a traditional wedding gown. A formal wedding gown, complete with a long, flowing train, will be the perfect complement to the military uniform. Remember, whether in uniform or a traditional wedding gown, the bride in the military may carry a wedding bouquet. Bridesmaids, if not in uniform, should wear long formal dresses to complement the formal attire of the groomsmen.

Any guest who is military, active or retired, should be invited to wear their uniform. Simply state which uniform is preferred on the invitation, i.e. “Service Dress Invited” or “Mess Dress Invited.” Non-military guests should dress in a comparable level of formalness.

Military invitations follow the same general guidelines of etiquette with one exception—the use of titles. Military titles are never abbreviated. The bride’s and/or groom’s rank and branch of service as well as any of the parents who are in the military. If the bride or groom or both are field grade officers, the rank appears before the full name with the branch of the service listed below. For company grade officers, their titles appear under the name on the same line as the branch of service. For enlisted personnel, the branch of service is listed under the full name—rank is not usually listed. If the military member is listed along with a nonmilitary spouse, the branch of service is not listed—as in “Colonel and Mrs. John Smith request the honor of your presence…”. The outside envelopes should have full names and full titles, i.e., Captain Thomas and Major Jennifer Little for couples with differing ranks or Captains Thomas and Jennifer Little for those who have the same rank. The inner envelope should have full titles and last name.

Wedding Ceremony
Most bases/posts have chapels available for wedding ceremonies. However, these locations book up early—up to a year in advance. To hold your wedding in one of these chapels, you must submit a request in writing to the chaplain. The good news is that there is rarely a charge for using a base or post chapel. Military chaplains by regulation cannot accept a fee for performing a marriage ceremony for military personnel—though a donation to the chapel fund is always accepted. If you have a civilian assist in the ceremony, an honorarium should be given. An important point to remember in planning a wedding in a military chapel is that you must seek permission to bring in outside florists, musicians, photographers, videographers, etc. However, the chaplain’s office should be able to assist in these efforts.

Many military couples opt for an off-base church, hotel or park. The uniforms, protocol, and traditions are what sets a military wedding apart. To enhance the patriotic atmosphere of an off-base location, use red, white, and blue in your color scheme when selecting flowers. Select a unity candle that reflects your branch of service. Include traditional military hymns while guests are being seated. Include a brief history of military wedding customs in your wedding program for your non-military guests.

Military protocol dictates that guests be seated according to rank. Officers with ranks of Lieutenant Colonel and above should be seated directly behind the families of the bride and groom. A Commanding Officer should have a seat of distinction that sets him/her apart from other guests. If the parents of the military member are not present, the CO should be seated in the front pew. The protocol office at your assigned military office will be able to assist you in determining the order of seating based on who you have invited.

Arch of Sabers/Swords
The most vivid memory most people who have attended a military wedding have is the Arch of Sabers (Navy) or Arch of Swords (Army, Air Force, Marines). Members of an honor guard or groomsmen (if all commissioned officers who are allowed by regulation to carry a sword/saber while in uniform) form an archway with upraised swords. This can either be done in the church as the couple recesses down the aisle or on the steps or walkway outside. The newly married couple passes through and pauses at the other side. This long honored custom has traditionally meant to ensure the couple’s safe transition into their new life together. Be forewarned grooms—your bride should be expecting a gentle swat on her behind as she exits the arch. The leader of the honor guard then gives the order for the saber/sword to be sheathed. All swords are returned to their scabbards at one time with one distinct click.

Many military wedding receptions are held at Officers’ Clubs or Enlisted Clubs on military installations. Because these facilities are familiar with military protocol, minimal amount of planning is required on your part in assigning seating. However, as these facilities also serve as dining facilities, you will not be allowed to bring in outside caterers or furnish your own alcohol. The facility management team should be able to assist you in obtaining permission for non-military photographers, florists, videographers, etc.

Military wedding receptions are also held at off-base facilities such as hotels or reception halls. Use flowers, balloons, and flags to help carry out the military theme. Consider displaying the American Flag and the flag of the specific branch of the service as part of the display behind the receiving line. Have the band or DJ play your military branch’s song to signal to guests that you have arrived. Engraved picture frame favors that contain a picture of the couple in uniform would be a great way to send your guests home with a tangible memory of your special day!

Military Honeymoons
Many resorts offer special discounts to military personnel. Be sure to ask the booking agent at the resort or hotel. Your travel agent should be able to assist you in finding out about special packages offered for military travelers. Another option is to stay at one of the many military owned recreation sites such as Shades of Green at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, or the Hale Koa in Hawaii.

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