Rehearsal Dinner Ideas

What to Wear to Your Rehearsal Dinner

A rehearsal dinner is a great chance for the couple to thank their families, friends and the bridal party before the wedding. The rehearsal dinner is traditionally held the evening before the wedding, right after the wedding rehearsal. Though it can take place anytime prior to the wedding date.

The rehearsal dinner is normally paid for by the groom’s parents. However, the bride and groom can also choose to pay for the dinner as part of their thanks to their friends and relatives.

Who’s Invited

The immediate families, plus the bridal party are invited to the rehearsal dinner. Also any out-of-town wedding guests should be included. The dinner is normally held at a semi-formal or casual restaurant. During the rehearsal dinner, the bride and groom toast their family and the bridal party. This is also the time that the couple can give gifts to their bridesmaids and groomsmen.

What to Wear

Obviously, the attire will depend quite a bit on the venue and style of the dinner. Rehearsal dinners can be held at casual establishments, but more often than not, they take place in a semi-formal environment.

A traditional suit, a sports coat and slacks, or even a pair of khaki pants and a nice sweater are all appropriate for the groom.

The bride can choose from many options.

The Pantsuit – A classic pantsuit is always a good fashion choice for the rehearsal dinner. Choose dark colors for a more formal event or fun, bright colors for a casual venue. Warm weather fabrics, include silk, linen and light knits. For colder weather, select a pantsuit in velvet, wool or jersey knit. Add a pair of feminine, heeled shoes or boots. Mary Jane pumps, velvet mules or leather boots all will work well.

The Little Black Dress – Always a big hit, the little black dress is very appropriate for a rehearsal dinner. If you husband-to-be is wearing a dark suit, dress accordingly by choosing a dressy style where the skirt falls at or just below the knee. A little black cocktail dress is a also a good choice. Sleeveless, halter style or capped sleeve styles are perfect. For a cocktail dress, short skirts are fine as long as they are not too short. Anything more than two inches above the knee is probably not a good idea. Add a pair of strappy sandals, peep-toe pumps or patent leather slingbacks.

The Sweater Dress – For a winter wedding, the sweater dress is the perfect option for your rehearsal dinner. A style that is skims the body but is not too clingy is perfect. You can choose from cowl neck, turtle neck or v-neck varieties. As with the cocktail dress, anything too short is not appropriate. Choose any colors you like, including solids, stripes and prints. For a more casual affair, wear your sweater dress with a pair of knee high leather boots. For something more formal, choose a pair of dress pumps or sandals.

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Bridal Shower Ideas for 2008

One of the long standing wedding traditions is the wedding shower. Usually these parties are hosted by the mother or sister of the bride. They provide an opportunity for all the females to get together in a pre-wedding celebration to get to know each other. Recently, many brides are throwing their own wedding showers and incurring the cost themselves. Whoever hosts the party, it should remain an affordable, casual event.

Here are some fun, yet affordable wedding shower ideas:

Celebrate at a local bar or pub. This is a great way for all the girls to get together, but they won’t be expecting food. Plus, everyone can pick up their own tabs!

Throw a Jack and Jill Party. This combines the bachelor party and the wedding shower in one joint celebration. If you host this party at home, you can provide the food and your guests can bring their own alcoholic beverages.

Buy decorations for the shower that also double as prizes. You can choose from a wide variety of items such as candle favors or place card holder/picture frame favors from Truly Wedding Favors.

Do pizza and a movie. There are no rules for a wedding shower. Instead of a traditional mid-afternoon wedding shower with a catered lunch, instead order in a few pizzas, rent movies and drink wine.

Bridal shower games are a great way for guests who don’t know each other to get acquainted. Choose one or two of these silly games to liven up your shower.

What’s In Your Purse? The hostess of the party lists items that are commonly (and not so commonly) found in a woman’s purse. As she names each item from the list, shower guests will search their purses to see if they have the item. For each item that she finds, the guest will get one point. At the end of the list, the guest with the most points receives a prize.

Toilet Paper Dress Split the guest into three teams. Each team is given ten rolls of toilet paper. Each group chooses a team bride and the rest of the group creates a wedding dress for her using the toilet paper.

Hung Out to Dry This is a very old tradition at bridal showers. Each guest is given a clothespin when arriving at the party. She is also told two words that shouldn’t be uttered during the event. Choose words such as “wedding” and “husband,” or your fiance’s name. Throughout the shower, whenever a guest is caught saying one of the forbidden words, the person who catches her gets her clothespin. At the end of the party, the guest with the most clothespins wins a prize.

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Do you Need a Weddng Planner

When you have a wedding to plan, it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer number of details that need to be looked into. The frantic pace of events leading up to the actual day can easily strain the nerves of the most stoic bride, setting the stage for some spectacular meltdown moments. The days leading up to the wedding can be exciting, and some brides miss out on the high spirits of those pre nuptial days because they are too busy stressing over last minute wedding details.

Hiring a wedding planner can provide the bride to be with the time and energy she needs to enjoy the actual planning of the wedding. The services of a wedding planner or wedding co coordinator don’t come cheap. In many cases, they can charge between 10 and 20 percent of the total cost of the wedding. Before you consider hiring one, take a look at just a few of the wedding related tasks you will be required to perform.

It’s easy to get swept up in the notion that a wedding is all about a beautiful dress, some great food, music and the cake. There’s a lot more to it than that. There are invitations to design and print out, and wedding locations to scout.

You’ll need to decide on memorable wedding favors for guests, gifts for the bridesmaids and maid of honor, and tuxedos for the ring bearer. If you want the bridesmaids to be dressed according to your tastes, there’s the little matter of designing those dresses too. Besides these, you’ll have to scour your city for the most reputable vendors for wedding supplies, and draw up contracts with them on placing your orders. You’ll need to arrange accommodations for all the out of town guests that are expected, and scout for locations for the perfect wedding. All these details have to be micro managed if you want to avoid any last minute snafus. Besides the zillion things that need to be taken care of, you’ll also need to make sure you stay within your budget.

A wedding planner can free up your time leading up to the big day so you can enjoy yourself more.

* She’s likely to have contacts in the business which means she’ll be able to find the best vendors and garner some discounts.

* Wedding planners are used to working on budgets – it’s part of their job. On your own, you’re more likely to let your budget escalate.

* Weddings require precision and attention to detail to be executed seamlessly. The arrival of the bride has to be timed perfectly, and there’s wedding protocol and etiquette to follow. All these seemingly minor details can be overlooked leading to some embarrassing bloopers on the big day.

If you do have your heart set on a wedding planner, but despair at the cost, you don’t have to. Many planners these days offer their services at specific phases of the wedding planning, or you can hire them for just a few services like scouting for locations or wedding favor shopping. This will help you avail of her professional expertise in a few select matters without leaving your wallet much lighter.

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Wedding Toast Ideas for the Best Man

If you are a best man in a wedding, you will likely be responsible for giving the first toast at the wedding. There are a lot of different ways you can go about toasting the newlywed couple. By being unique, you can make the wedding even more memorable and enjoyable for the guests.

First of all, you should know what subjects should be off limits. No matter how friendly you are with the bride and groom, reliving the groom’s wilder days isn’t a very good idea. While this may be the standard toast in movies, in real life it oftentimes doesn’t work out very well at all. The bride and even the wedding guests could become uncomfortable if the details become too racy.

While giving a speech is the most common route taken, a best man can do so much more. One idea is to turn a speech into a poem or even a song. This is a unique twist that has become more popular in recent years. You don’t even need to memorize it – you can bring along notes to help you remember.

Additionally, you can meet with the parents of the bride and groom before the wedding to execute even more extravagant ideas. For example, you could surprise the bride and groom with a slideshow with pictures you obtained from the parents. Another idea is to produce a video with background footage of the couple.

If there isn’t the equipment for a slideshow or a video available, you could ask for a few items from the parents that hold sentimental value. You can then present each item and give a correlating story.

Be prepared, be sincere and be complimentary. While saying a speech off the top of your head isn’t a bad idea, by going the extra mile you can help the wedding be a smashing success!

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Wedding Ceremony Music Guide

The Prelude

The prelude music is the music played 20 to 30 minutes prior to the beginning of your ceremony. This music establishes the mood of your wedding. You can utilizes a vocalist, an organist, a string ensemble or even taped music. Classical, elegant music from Vivaldi, Mozart and Handel is often used for prelude music, but you can play anything from Beethoven to the Beach Boys. Your guests will be seated during the prelude music.

The Processional

This is the music that begins with the entrance of the wedding party. The ushers lead the processional, followed by the bridesmaids and maid of honor. Then comes the ring bearer and flower girl (if you have them). This music starts out softly and increases in volume until the time for the bride’s entrance. Canon in D Major (Pachelbel) is commonly used during the processional.

The Bride’s Entrance

This is probably the most important part of the ceremony music. All the guests rise when the bride begins her walk down the aisle and all the attention is focused on her! Many brides choose Bridal Chorus (Wagner), known as “Here Comes the Bride.” However, you can choose any song that you wish. Trumpet Voluntary (Clarke) is also very popular.

Music During the Ceremony

If you’d like, you can have a few selections of music played during your ceremony. This music can be be played during the unity candle lighting, or at any other time. You can also have a short interlude by a vocalist right before a reading or prayer. Ave Maria (Bach/Gounod) is a top choice for ceremony music.

The Recessional

After the bride and groom kiss, the officiant will announce the couple as they turn toward to walk back down the aisle arm in arm. This is when the recessional music begins. The recessional order is the bride and groom, flower girl and ring bearer, the maid of honor and best man, and finally the bridesmaids and ushers in pairs. Ode to Joy (Beethoven) and Wedding March (Mendelssohn) are often used for the recessional music.

The Postlude

Immediately after the recessional music ends, the postlude begins. This music consists of a few more upbeat songs as your guests exit the ceremony site. As with the other parts of the ceremony music, you can choose any type of music you wish for the postlude. Overture (from Music for the Royal Fireworks – Handel) and Trumpet Tune and Air (Purcell) are common.

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Wedding Bar Should it be Open?

When planning your wedding reception, you need to determine which liquor to serve, as well as if you prefer your wedding guests pay for drinks themselves. It would be nice if all of us could afford an open bar bar flowing with the best liquor in the world. However that’s not feasible, particularly for those couples planning a wedding on a budget.
Here are the different options for handling the alcohol at your wedding. Depending on your personal preferences and finances, you can choose the best option for you.
Cash Bar
A cash bar is the most inexpensive option for the bride and groom, as the wedding guests foot the bill. At a cash bar, guests pay for each drink they order. Some people may consider a cash bar to be tacky, as they think it is not proper to ask for your guests to pay for anything at the reception. However, as long as you indicate on your wedding invitation with a phrase such as, “Dinner buffet with cash bar,” it can be appropriate. Most wedding guests understand the high costs of wedding planning.
Open Bar
An open bar is a bar with everything — hard liquor, beer, wine and soft drinks. Guests pay for nothing as the bride and groom pick up the tab. You can limit your costs by only offering house brands of hard liquor instead of the premium brands. But this option will still be pricey, particularly if you have invited guests that drink a lot of alcohol.
Limited Bar
With a limited bar, you limit what types of alcohol are served. You could choose just to provide beer and wine, or opt for a couple signature drinks instead. Signature drinks are very trendy right now and save the bride and groom a lot of money. You select one or two special mixed drinks and only serve those particular drinks at the bar. Here are some ideas for signature cocktails for your wedding. You could also choose to only offer table wine (as well as soft drinks). By placing a few bottles of wine on each table, you will limit how much alcohol is consumed throughout the reception.
Another way couples can save money on the bar bill is to have the wedding reception early in the day. People drink a lot less in the daytime than they do at an evening reception.
Whatever bar option you choose, don’t go into debt over it. Only plan a wedding reception that you can truly afford.
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Addressing Wedding Invitations – Etiquette

Addressing your wedding invitations can seem a little confusing at first. Hopefully this guide will help you easily understand how to address and assemble your wedding invitations.

Addressing Etiquette

The outer envelope should list the name and complete address of the recipient while the inner envelope lists only the names. No abbreviations should be used when addressing wedding invitations, except for Mr., Mrs., Ms., and Jr. State names should be spelled out.

Type of Guests

Married Couple

Outer envelope: Mr. and Mrs. Ted Jones

Inner envelope: Mr. and Mrs. Jones

If you are invited children under 18 to the wedding, the outer envelope should be addressed to the parents only, as indicated above. The inner envelope should list the children’s first names (in order from oldest to youngest) on one line below the parent’s names, such as:

Mr. and Mrs. Ted Jones Charles, Michael and Samantha

Children over the age of 18 should receive their own invitation, even if they still live with their parents.

Unmarried Female

Outer envelope: Miss (or Ms.) Susan Smith

Inner envelope: Miss (or Ms.) Smith (and Guest)

Unmarried Male

Outer envelope: Mr. Thomas Lipton

Inner envelope: Mr. Lipton (and Guest)

The “and Guest” is optional when inviting single friends to your wedding. However if the person is in a serious relationship, it’s proper etiquette to allow him/her to bring a guest.

Unmarried couples who live together should receive one invitation, where their names are listed on separate lines in alphabetical order. Unmarried couples who live separately should receive one invitation addressed to the guest who is closest to you on the outer envelope. On the inner envelope, both names should be listed on separate lines in alphabetical order.

Medical Doctor (Married)

Outer envelope: Doctor and Mrs. Larry Thompson

Inner envelope: Doctor and Mrs. Thompson

Medical Doctor (Unmarried)

Outer envelope: Doctor Larry Thompson

Inner envelope: Doctor Thompson (and Guest)

Doctor (PhD, Married)

Outer envelope: Dr. and Mrs. William Fremont

Inner envelope: Dr. and Mrs. Fremont

Doctor (PhD, Unmarried)

Outer envelope: Dr. William Fremont

Inner envelope: Dr. Fremont (and Guest)

Sending Your Wedding Invitations

Order your wedding invitations three to four months prior to your wedding. Order 20% more than your number of guests to allow for errors and additions. Send the wedding invitations six to eight weeks before your wedding date.

Assembling Your Wedding Invitations

Ask your mother or your maid-of-honor to help you assemble the wedding invitations. Lay everything out on a long table in assembly line fashion. If your invitations are single fold and the wording is on the outside of the invitation only, then your enclosures are placed on top of the invitation. If your invitations are multi-fold and/or the wording is inside the fold then enclosures are placed inside the first fold.

Enclosures are placed in the following order from the bottom to the top:

* Tissue paper

* Reception card

* Map

* Response envelope (self-addressed and stamped)

* Response card tucked neatly under the flap of the response envelope

Place the enclosures and the invitation inside the inner envelope with the print side facing the flap.

Do not seal the inner envelope.

Place the inner envelope inside the outer envelope with its flap facing the front of the outer envelope.

Before you begin, count all the parts of the invitations to make sure you are starting with equal amounts. Assemble each invitation as indicated above but do not seal the outer envelopes. Once you are done assembling the invitations, make sure all your counts are even. If they are, you can seal the outer envelopes. If not, you have made a mistake and will need to find which envelope is missing a component.

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Do it yourself Wedding Invitations

Your wedding invitation is the first indication of the style of your wedding. This will be your guests’ first glimpse at your big day! Hopefully this guide will help you plan your wedding invitations.

Parts of a Wedding Invitation

Wedding invitations include various enclosures. The number of enclosures depends on the nature of your wedding, as well as your budget for wedding stationery.

Outer envelope – This envelope is formally addressed to the guest and holds the inner envelope and all its enclosures.

Inner envelope – This envelope is place inside the outer envelope and holds the wedding invitation, which holds the additional enclosures.

Invitation – This is the actually invitation that provides all the details of the wedding.

Reception card – This card is usually included if the reception is located at a different site than the ceremony. Some couples choose to include the reception information on the actual invitation to reduce stationery costs.

Response card – This card is place in a self-addressed stamped envelope. Your guests indicate their acceptance or regrets. The response card should list the RSVP deadline.

Map – This is an option insert that is helpful, particularly if you have a large number of out-of-town guest.

Wording of the Wedding Invitation

Dates and times must be spelled out.

Examples: the twenty-first of December (not December 21), half after seven o’clock in the evening (not 7:30pm)

Only Mr., Mrs. And Jr. and state names should be abbreviated.

If one set of parents is hosting the wedding, list their names at the beginning of the invitation. If both sets are hosting, list the bride’s parents first. If the bride and groom are hosting, begin with the request line first and state parent’s names after the bride and groom’s names.

Printing a Wedding Invitation

The cost of printing a wedding invitation can vary tremendously depending on the printing and paper options you select.

Engraving – This raised print is pressed through the back of the paper. This is the most formal and expensive choice.

Thermography – This process results in raised print, but it is not pressed through the back of the paper. This is slightly less expensive than engraving.

Lithography – The print is not raised. This option is less expensive than thermography.

Laser printing – This is the least expensive of the four options. The print is produced on a quality laser printer.

When choosing your wedding invitations, also consider that colored ink, bulky or specialty paper, custom designs or other accents such as ribbons will increase the cost of the invitation.

Don’t forget about postage for both the invitation and the response card when determining your wedding stationery budget.

If you are planning your wedding on a small budget, you can consider printing your own wedding invitations. Most office supply stores offer invitation kits that provide everything you need to print your wedding invitations at home on a laser computer.

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Wedding Reception Music Planning

Good music can be the difference between a good wedding reception and a great wedding reception. While a lot of brides have higher priorities than picking music, be sure to spend an ample amount of time planning this detail. Come your wedding day, the music may be one of the things your guests remember most.

If you have a large budget, live music is always the way to go. To book a musician, you should plan well in advance. Some musicians and bands book up to a year in advance for weekend dates. While live music can be expensive, it is almost always well worth the investment. When selecting any musician, try to hear them play for yourself in person. If that’s not possible, at the very least, listen to their demo tape. Be sure to ask for references and check them before signing a contract or handing over any money.

If you don’t have a large budget, using a DJ is another terrific option. Make sure the DJ you select is experienced in working weddings. It’s also best if the DJ has worked the same venue. The more experienced the DJ, the better.

What type of music should you play at your wedding? You need to take into account a lot of variables. First, you should consider the type of music both you and the groom like. You should also then consider what type of music your guests will enjoy. If the guest list is primarily older people, then pop music is probably not the way to go for your reception. Provide your DJ, band or musician with a “must-play” list of songs you want included at your reception. But maybe even more important is a “do not play” list. This should be a list of the songs that you absolutely do not want played at your wedding. Read more here about these type of songs.

Finally, if you are having a theme wedding, be sure to connect the music with the theme. Theme weddings for different decades are very popular – particularly the 50’s and the 70’s. Both of these decades have fun music selections to choose from.

The bottom line is you should remember that this day is about you and your husband-to-be. For example, if you both enjoy hip hop music, you should include hip hop music on your play list, even if it doesn’t exactly match the feel of your wedding. Don’t be afraid to stretch the boundaries because with your wedding reception music, you can put a unique stamp on your most cherished of days.

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Planning a Wedding on a Budget

Think about it. The average American wedding costs $27,000. A sizeable portion of this money tends to be tied up in unnecessarily lavish expenses, money that you could use to set up an apartment for your new life together. Having a wedding on a budget can save you many thousands of dollars in inflated costs. Planning the big day on a budget is not as difficult as you might think. If you have fears that your budget wedding will end up a drab colorless affair, put your mind at ease. A budget wedding can be just as elegant as an extravagant price-no-bar do. Just be resourceful and creative, and you can have the wedding of your dreams, and still have change left over to start your new life together. The Dress Much of the wedding centers on the wedding gown, and a dream gown can easily cost thousands of dollars. While nobody is suggesting that you wear a tacky dress to your own wedding, you might want to scour online for beautiful dresses that don’t cost a bomb. Check out outlet stores for discount bargains, or consider last year’s styles that can be had for marked down prices. Location An upscale country club wedding will provide a scenic backdrop but can set your wedding budget skyrocketing. A church hall is a cheaper alternative, or you can choose to have the wedding at home to cut down costs further. If you have your heart set on a classy venue, consider an off season wedding date – many venues mark down their rates during these seasons. Choose a weekday for your vows- some reception halls will have marked down rates for these days too. Having both the ceremony and the reception at a single venue can also help cut down costs. Reception The wedding reception can eat into a substantial portion of your budget. You don’t have to splurge to impress your guests. Substitute expensive flowers with beautiful candles. You’ll save money without sacrificing the romance quotient of the event. Make use of beautiful fabrics like tulle to decorate the hall – fancy decorations can also rack up expenses. Recorded music can play just as well as a live band. If you must have a professional DJ, interview several of them, and compare costs before making a decision. Pass on the emcee – ask your friends or a family member to pitch in for the day. Limit the number of guests. Classmates you haven’t seen in years don’t necessarily merit an invite to your wedding. Consider a buffet dinner – it’s less expensive than a sit down dinner. Limousines Limo rentals can be pricey. Hitch a ride in a friend’s Mercedes instead. Food If delicacies like lobster are out of your reach financially, don’t factor them in to a tight budget. Food doesn’t have to cost a small fortune to taste great. Serve champagne only for the toasts. Cake Choose a simple two tiered cake or a cup cake design that’s cheaper.Wedding Favors A wedding favor may not seem like a sizeable expense when it’s just one piece you’re looking at. Multiply it by the number of guests you expect, and it can seem overwhleming. Thankfully, there are plenty of cheap wedding favors to ensure you find something that’s elegant and within your financial means. You could also save money with homemade wedding favors. Find many more wedding articles like this provided by Truly Wedding Favors by visiting our directory, Articles By Yours Truly.

This and other helpful articles are sponsored by Truly Wedding Favors, offering a beautiful selection of unique wedding favors and bridal shower favors. Learn more about planning your wedding at the Truly Wedding Blog.
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