The Parts of a Wedding- Part 2 - The Ceremony

It's time for's second installment of our "Parts of a Wedding" series to honor National Weddings Month.  Earlier this February we featured a timeline and tips for planning a wedding, and today will focus on the first big wedding day event - the ceremony. This includes getting ready, guiding your guests, deciding what you will say and do, and more.

Getting ready.

The day will begin with you and the rest of the wedding party getting all dressed up for the day's festivities. Plan to start early enough that you don't feel the need to rush. Generally, the guys and girls separate for this part. Stock each of the rooms that you will be getting ready in with healthy snacks to keep everyone's energy high, lots of water, and maybe even a few celebratory cocktails to get the party started.  

The ladies will most likely be getting their hair and makeup done. Be sure that everyone has something to wear during this process that does not have to be pulled over the head when you get dressed, such as a beautiful monogrammed robe. These make excellent bridesmaid gifts that can be used by your girls for many years to come.  

Welcoming the guests.

When guests begin arriving for the ceremony, you will want to make sure that they have some sort of direction as to the flow of the day's events. Programs are perfect for this, and can even offer additional fun information about your wedding party and possibly even the story of how the two of you became engaged. 

A guest book is also an important item to have available for your guests to sign as they arrive. It can be as simple as a book for everyone to sign with well wishes, or you can get creative and ask your guests to sign something that can later be displayed in your home, like the matte to frame a wedding photo or a memorable piece of art. 

Time to cue the music.

When ceremony time finally arrives, the processional will begin. Often the groom will walk with his parents down the aisle, or he may choose to enter with the officiant and his groomsmen instead. Parents and grandparents are seated before the bridesmaids make their walk down the aisle. You may also want to set aside a special spot for framed photos of loved ones that have passed away. 

Following the bridesmaids' entrance, it is time to roll out the aisle runner and send the flower girl on her way down, showering the bride's way with petals. If you are having a ring bearer, he may enter alone before the aisle runner is unrolled or alongside the sweet flower girl. 

Finally, the music changes and here comes the bride! 

The actual ceremony.

The officiant will take charge of everything from this point. He or she will lead the two of you through the words that you have chosen. Within the ceremony you may have close friends or family members read a poem or verse, or you may wish to have someone perform a song with special meaning. 

There are a variety of traditions that can be included during your wedding ceremony. Lighting a unity candle from flames that have been lit by each side of your family is a lovely gesture. Unity sand ceremonies have become extremely popular too. Each of you uses a different color of sand and the it is combined to create a beautiful keepsake for your home.

Leaving as the new Mr. & Mrs.

After your romantic first kiss as husband and wife, it's time to head back up the aisle and towards your wedding reception. A couple of decisions that you will need to make is whether or not you will be having a receiving line to greet all of your guests, and if you want to leave the ceremony site being showered in confetti, bubbles, flower petals, etc... or if you will save that moment for when you leave the reception.  

Once you make it through the ceremony portion of your wedding day, it's time to party! We will finish our "Parts of a Wedding" series with reception details. There are quite a few areas to plan for during a wedding reception, especially if you add a cocktail hour. The majority of your wedding decorations will be displayed there, many of which you can find at Fortunately, all of your worries for the day should be out of the way and now it's time to let your hair down and get the fun started!    

Where Brides Go®
...for What Brides Love!

~ The Team
Post by Deanna Powell, Certified Bridal Consultant

Connect with online!

The Parts of a Wedding- Part 1 - The Planning

February, the shortest month of the year, seems to be packed full of the most love!  Not only does Valentine's Day sit in the center of it, but the entire month is National Weddings Month.  February is a very popular time for wedding proposals, and it is also the time when many couples begin attending bridal shows and start their wedding planning.   

A lot goes into planning a wedding:  picking a venue, choosing the food and music, making a guest list, finding the best bridesmaid gifts for your special girls...  The list seems to go on and on.  In honor of National Weddings Month, has decided to break down the different parts of a wedding. This week we will cover a suggested wedding planning timeline.  The different parts of the ceremony and reception will each be covered in the next two weeks.

9-12 months before the wedding:

  • Tell the world!
    • It's time to share your excitement with everyone and announce that engagement!  It's a wonderful time to have a party to celebrate and introduce your closest family and friends to each other.  
  • Start a wedding planning binder.
    • You will want one central spot for keeping all of your ideas, inspiration, notes, vendor business cards, etc...  You can do this with a real notebook full of folders and paper, or online with a digital one that you have access too with your mobile devices.
  • Start the guest list.
    • The amount of people that you absolutely have to invite to the wedding will determine the size of venue you will be needing.  The best way to go about this is to have four lists made.  The bride's, the groom's, and each set of parents.  Hopefully there will be a lot of duplicate names, making it easy to combine the four.  After you have all of the lists together, it's time to decide how many poeple you can afford or fit, then start making cuts.  
  • Choose the venue &/or date.
    • If the venue is more important than the wedding date, you will have to choose from available dates on your favorite venue's calendar.  If you absolutely have to be married on a particular day, some venues may already be booked.  One will decide the other.  
  • Decide on a budget.
    • It is extremely important to take care of this step.  It will help to keep you in check once the excitement of planning takes over and you think you need everything in sight.  The happiest day of your life won't seem nearly as great if you have to spend the next couple of year's barley getting by because you still owe so much on your wedding day bills.  It's not the most fun part about planning, but you will be happy that you took the time to do it.     
  • Ask your bridesmaids & groomsmen to be in the wedding.
    • The people that you invite to stand up next to you while you say your vows will be your nearest and dearest family and friends.  Give them plenty of notice so they have to carve out the time to be there for you.  You can find lots of creative ways to ask them on sites like Pinterest.  
  • Begin researching vendors.
    • Any wedding vendors that can only do one wedding per day, like photographers and coordinators, book up quickly.  You will want to book your favorite before your date is taken.  Bakers, florists, and most caterers can often handle a few weddings at the same time, so they aren't as urgent to book.  Don't wait, though, because the best ones always go first!  

6-9 months before your wedding:

  • Find your wedding dress.
    • You don't know how long it will take you to find that perfect wedding dress, and usually once you do, it will have to be ordered.  It can sometimes take up to six months for that order to come in, and after it does you will most likely need a few alterations.  Shopping early gives you plenty of time to shop without rushing.  Once you have the gown picked out, go ahead and choose your accessories and undergarments too.  
  • Decide on bridesmaid dresses.
    • These will also need to be ordered and possibly altered.  Do it early and avoid rushing at the last minute.    
  • Send Save-the-Date cards.
    • This is only necessary if you are hosting your wedding out of town or near a holiday.  It will give everyone plenty of time to make arrangements to attend.
  • Start invitation hunting.
    • This is another item that will either need to be ordered or handmade if you decide to DIY.  Decide on exactly what you want so you will be ready to order once you have all of the wedding details locked in.  
  • Make a wedding website.
    • This is another optional item, but if you are doing it, now is the time to get it started.  An online site for all of your guests to go to for updated information, directions, and hotel recommendations will make everything easier on everyone involved.  It's also a wonderful place to share your story and introduce your wedding party. 
  • Book hotel blocks for out-of-town guests.
    • Most hotels will offer a discount to your guests if you reserve a set number of rooms.  Don't forget to make special arrangements for the two of you on the wedding night too!
  • Start your song list.
    • This could take a while, especially if the two of you don't quite have the same musical tastes.  You will need to choose songs for the different parts of the ceremony and the reception activities, and have a list of your favorites for dancing.  Don't hesitate to give the DJ or band a list of "Do NOT play" songs too.    
  • Reserve rental items and book miscellaneous services.
    • All decorations that you are renting should be reserved now, and also book any necessary services such as transportation to and from the ceremony site.  
  • Register for gifts.
    • Have fun with this!  Take a break from planning and make it a date night.  Don't be shy either.  If a group of people choose to go in on a gift together, you may luck out and get that expensive item you almost didn't ask for.   

4-6 months before the wedding:

  • Finalize the guest list.
  • Order invitations. (You will need plenty of time to address them all!)
  • Check the marriage license requirements for the county you are getting married in.
  • Pick out and order the men's attire.
  • Book a rehearsal dinner site.
  • Order wedding decorations and accessories online.

3 months before the wedding:

  • Address wedding invitations.
  • If you are writing your own wedding vows, get them started.

2 months before the wedding:

  • Mail wedding invitations.

1 month before the wedding:

  • Get the marriage license.
    • And keep it in a very safe place!
  • Make name changes on all documents.
    • driver's license, social security card, subscriptions, bills, etc...
  • Confirm details with all wedding vendors.  If anything isn't right, you will have an entire month to get it corrected.

2 weeks before the wedding:

  • Plan a schedule of events for the wedding weekend.
  • Give the final guest count to the caterer.

1 week before the wedding:

  • Confirm arrival times with all vendors.
  • Designate someone to return rental items after the wedding.

Don't worry, it's a lot to take in all at once, but if you plan your wedding one step at a time, it can go very smoothly. is a great place to start.  Our large variety of wedding accessories online are wonderful for inspiring brides and grooms imaginations.

Next week for National Weddings Month, we will go over the parts of a wedding ceremony with you.  The better you understand everything that needs to be taken care of, the easier it will be to get it all done exactly the way you like.      

Where Brides Go®
...for What Brides Love!

~ The Team
Post by Deanna Powell, Certified Bridal Consultant

Connect with online!

Romantic Date Night Ideas

February is here, which means it's nearly Valentine's Day.  The romantic gifts that we offer at are for anyone, not just brides and grooms.  Browsing through our online catalog can inspire some wonderfully romantic date night ideas.  We looked through our bridesmaid gifts & groomsman gifts to find a few items that would be perfect to take along on a romantic Valentine's Day date for you and your someone special.  

Spa Date (inspired by our Cozy Fleece Spa Robe)
Some people might lead you to believe that spas are only for women.  This is certainly not the case, and a trip together can be very relaxing and even bring you closer together. Couples massages, saunas, roman baths under waterfalls...  Depending on the spa that you choose, there are a wide variety of relaxing activities that will help you both to rejuvenate and reconnect.  

Romantic Picnic (inspired by our Picnic Cooler Tote)
If you are lucky enough to live in a part of the world that is warm in February (or feel like taking a trip to a place like that) pack a basket full of your favorite foods, a nice bottle of wine, and a cozy blanket.  After a romantic walk along a scenic trail, plant yourselves under a tree or a bluff overlooking a beautiful body of water and leisurely enjoy the afternoon together.  Time it for an early dinner and catch a romantic sunset.  If you can't get away from cold winter weather, clear out the living room, turn off all your electronics, close the curtains, and picnic at home. 

Movie Night (inspired by our Turkish Throw Blanket
For couples that are always on the go and prefer to spend a quiet night at home together, clear off the couch, grab your favorite big blanket for two, and cuddle in for a night of romance, action, suspense, laughs... (We are talking about the movies you choose, of course!)  Spend the evening together enjoying each other's company along with your favorite movie trilogy or television series that you need to catch up on.  

It's not about how much money you spend on each other, but how much quality time that you spend together.  Valentine's Day is a single day that should inspire you to show your love for each other each and every day of the year.  Whether you are planning a wedding or you already said your vows years ago, hopes that the above ideas will inspire you to keep the romance alive.     

Where Brides Go®
...for What Brides Love!

~ The Team
Post by Deanna Powell, Certified Bridal Consultant

Connect with online!