Enchant Your Wedding Guests With a Glass Slipper Wedding Favor

Have you heard the story of Rhodopis? Not surprising if you have not. It was written in the 1st Century BC about a beautiful young woman whose sandal is snatched by an eagle while she is bathing. The eagle flies to the capital city, where the king is holding court outside, and drops the sandal in his lap. Moved by the beauty and shape of the mysterious footwear, he sends his soldiers far and wide across the kingdom to find its wearer. Once she is discovered, he makes her his queen.

Sound familiar? It happened long before modern day wedding planners worried about which wedding favors they were going to buy. It is, of course, the tale of Cinderella, told centuries before the story published by the Brothers Grimm, and even this version is believed to be a retelling. Earlier variations portray Rhodopis as being from Thrace, a fellow slave to Aesop, and there’s even a story in China where the girl’s name is Ye Xian, and the fairy godmother is a fish.

What does all this have to do with your wedding day? Have you thought about a Cinderella theme and maybe fairytale shoe wedding favors? Opt for this choice and your guests will feel the enchantment of a story that is thousands of years old, one of triumph and true love, a perfect parallel for a day when you offer a lifetime pledge to another. The story is timeless and older than most people know. Do you want to live happily ever after? A fairy tale wedding won’t guarantee it, but it’s a good start.

Your Life and Your Marriage can be that Happy Fairy Tale

What’s your favorite story? Does it start with “Once Upon a Time” and end with “Happily Ever After”. Most of the really great tales do. Pick up a book of Grimm’s Tales and you’ll see a common theme interwoven through each chapter – overcoming adversity. Even modern tales by the master Walt Disney typically begin with a tragedy and end with the triumph of true love or good over evil. These are children’s stories, but there are lessons to be learned by adults there also.

If you’re reading this article you are most likely in the phase of your wedding preparations where the theme has been chosen, the meal has been planned, and bridesmaids and groomsmen are being paired up. You’re now looking for wedding favors, and the image of Cinderella’s slipper caught your eye. Remember what it symbolizes – the power to get through anything, no matter what. That is the vow you’re about to take on your wedding day. May the blessing of Rhodopis be upon you when you do that.

Planning Your Wedding Is Not Easy – So Here Is Some Advice On What To Do

Planning your wedding is not easy. Everyone has advice. Everyone has an opinion. And that’s just the people you know! If you were to read just half the books, pamphlets, web sites, etc. written in the last half-century about wedding etiquette and protocol, you’d be reading and planning until your retirement! So how do you choose whose advice to heed and what resources are most relevant?

Unfortunately, we can’t help you with the first part of that question. You’ll have to wage your own battles with Aunt Frances and Grandma Helen over the seating arrangements. We can, however, point you to the most helpful resources. Books, magazines and web sites that tell you what you need to know, not what you need to do. We restrict our discussion to what we know best, information and tips on “managing” your bridesmaids. We refrain from telling you what to do, because your creativity and imagination are what will make your wedding celebration memorable. We’ll just provide a little help along the way.

As a bride-to-be, wedding chief executive and senior creative officer, you’ll be faced with a barrage of questions, comments and suggestions from your bridesmaids. Your “staff” will look to you for help, direction and sometimes even dispute resolution. We hope that after reading this article, like a seasoned CEO, you’ll have the background, context and knowledge to manage your bridesmaids effectively and easily.

Although there is a tremendous amount of literature on how to be a “good” bride, there is a noticeable lack of information about bridesmaids. Even if you were a bridesmaid in another wedding, did the bride explain to you what your role was, what she expected from you, and where you could help? As a bride yourself, you will find that establishing your bridesmaids’ responsibilities up front is the most effective way to be on top of everything. Perhaps your biggest questions surround the bridesmaid dress, fittings and finding the right fabric. Whatever your questions are about managing your bridesmaids, we can help you find the answers. We open with a brief discussion of the bridesmaid tradition, and then move on to modern day rituals, expectations and tendencies. As we move from the past to the present, we’ll lay out what you need to know to run the show in the days leading up to your wedding – including a detailed list of your bridesmaids’ responsibilities. Finally, we step into the future, outlining the important information you’ll need to organize your bridesmaids and enjoy the wonderful celebration on your wedding day.

A Brief History The history of the bridesmaid varies across cultures, religions and time periods. In early Roman times, bridesmaids formed a kind of bridal infantry as they accompanied the bride to the groom’s village. This “protective shield” of similarly outfitted bridesmaids was supposed to intervene if any wayward thugs or vengeful suitors tried to hurt the bride or steal her dowry. However, the Western bridesmaid tradition seems to have originated from later Roman law, which required ten witnesses at a wedding in order to outsmart evil spirits believed to attend marriage ceremonies. The bridesmaids and ushers dressed in identical clothing to the bride and groom, so that the evil spirits wouldn’t know who was getting married. Even as late as 19th century England, the belief that ill-wishers could administer curses and taint the wedding still existed. In Victorian wedding photographs, for example, it can take quite a bit of inspection to pick out the bride and groom from among the other members of the bridal party!

These early customs continue to have an influence today. The expression “thrice a bridesmaid, never a bride” arose from the bridesmaid’s interception of, and gradual infection by (over the course of three weddings), the evil spirits trying to disrupt the ceremony! And, although the bridal party no longer functions as a troop of foot soldiers, bridesmaid dresses are still commonly chosen in harmony with the look and feel of the wedding. The bridal party continues to serve a vital role in the wedding process, not by fending off hexes and robbers, but by providing key support staff and an advisory board. According to Nina Lawrence, publisher of BRIDE’S magazine, “Besides being an honored member of the wedding party and special guest at the reception, today’s bridesmaid is also designated as the bride’s special assistant. From shopping for dresses to scouting hotels for out-of-town guests to writing place cards to hosting a bridal shower, her first duty is to be helpful. The payoff is that walk down the aisle, looking absolutely beautiful in a gown that is stylish, sophisticated, colorful and absolutely wearable.” In 21st century America, bridesmaids are chosen to be caring helpers, thoughtful organizers and skillful liaisons.

There is one obvious answer to “how many is too many bridesmaids”. If the altar only fits a handful of people, you’ll have to limit your number of bridesmaids! But, seriously, the first rule in determining how many bridesmaids is right for you is to coordinate the size of your wedding party with the size of the venue where your wedding is to take place. Although it may be difficult to choose five bridesmaids from among fifty of your best friends, you must if you’re having an intimate wedding. And there are plenty of other great honors that you can hand out to close friends who want to participate in the wedding (e.g., they can help coordinate any other wedding-related activities, or they could write a special song or toast for the reception, etc.).

A good second rule is to consider the formality of the wedding. In general, formal weddings have a half dozen or more bridesmaids in addition to the maid of honor (it could be as many as a dozen, but that is very rare). Semiformal and casual weddings can have just one bridesmaid – the maid of honor – but typically have about three to five. And don’t worry if the groom has more ushers than you have bridesmaids: Ushers can always double up in the recessional. Of course, the final decision rests with you, the bride, but remember that the larger the number, the more difficult it may be for you to manage. And remember that the bridesmaids will all have to work together on many aspects of planning, so addressing any conflicts up front will avoid problems down the line. So the more the merrier?or too many cooks spoil the broth?you’ll have to decide!

In all likelihood, your bridesmaids will be among the first people to know that you’re planning to get married. That’s because most brides ask their closest friends and family members in a flurry of excited phone calls! However, there are no rules prescribing the right people to choose and there is no particularly right way to ask. It’s entirely up to you. In general, your bridesmaids should be your sociable and engaging friends and family members, since many of their duties (in addition to organizational ones) will involve hosting, greeting and introducing. You can also have Junior Bridesmaids, generally between eight and fourteen years of age, who wear “junior” bridesmaid dresses. Or you can have Senior Bridesmaids – like a great aunt or grandmother – who may be your closest confidant or best ally. However, in the great majority of weddings, brides select friends and family around their own age, whom they know will be supportive and helpful in the planning process. Bridesmaids in your age group can also relate well to the groomsmen, who are generally around the same age as the groom. But before you get ready to announce your bridesmaid nominees, you should be well aware of the bridesmaids’ responsibilities, so you can be sure your bridal party can handle their duties.

Your bridesmaids are the perfect people to turn to when you are stressed or frazzled from the details of planning. Emotional support may also mean clearing some space for you – brides often ask their bridesmaids to host a relative or friend from out of town. Most importantly, as people who care about you, your bridesmaids want to help. Some say they feel left out when they aren’t consulted for support or guidance!

The bridal shower gained popularity in America early in the 20th century. Customarily a surprise party for society women, the bride was “showered” with presents to help her establish her new home. While most showers today don’t have the same pomp and circumstance, the purpose remains the same: gifts! The bridesmaids may consult you on the theme of the party and they will look to you for the guest list, so be prepared! A little tip: The guest list should also be marked after the shower with “gift received” next to the names so that you’ll know to whom and for what to send thank you notes. NOTE: If you’re worried about your planners’ competence, there are a host of instructional resources available at major bookstores and online for theme inspirations and how-to advice on getting organized and running a posh soiree.

Once a quiet evening of word puzzles and hushed tales between demure ladies, some bachelorette parties now compete with the bar-hopping, raucous excitement of the notorious bachelor party. However, some brides simply want a tame evening of martinis with their closest friends (this is not to imply that bachelors wouldn’t want this too!). Another growing trend is a joint party for the couple to celebrate the end of their bachelor/ette status together. Whatever the style, location and gender of the stripper (shh!), the bridesmaids have the opportunity to make a memorable celebration! NOTE: Make sure you weigh in with your own ideas, though, or you may end up with strippers when you wanted martinis!

These can range from the drawn-out and complex (e.g., making origami favors, helping choose the bridesmaid dress) to the simple and rote (e.g., addressing envelopes, fluffing the bride’s train). You should be able to rely on your bridesmaids to reduce your stress by aiding in a wide range of detail work. This should be a consideration before you “pop the question” – especially for your maid of honor, with whom you may spend a significant amount of time. Friends or family members who like to help and are easy to work with are great for these types of tasks. It may also behoove you to rely on recently married bridesmaids, who may be able to help by going through the nitty-gritty details that are still fresh in their minds.

Since bridesmaids foot the bill for their own dresses, shoes and other wedding apparel, many brides take one or all of them shopping. This may serve political ends for your bridesmaids – they get to send an ambassador of style – or it may be a matter of convenience for you – having someone to keep you company in what can be a long and complicated process. Since the dress can be a touchy issue for some bridesmaids, many brides prefer to involve them in the process as much as possible. We return to the dress, its politics and other bridesmaid accoutrements in later.

Your bridesmaids will be a central part of the wedding rehearsal as you go through the steps to ensure smooth sailing on your wedding day. Although they do not have any special responsibilities at the rehearsal dinner, it will be a good chance for them to mingle with the groomsmen so they will feel comfortable socializing with them at the wedding. It is also customary at the rehearsal dinner to present your bridesmaids with a token of your appreciation for all their help. As Lord Tennyson noted, “A happy bridesmaid makes a happy bride.” (hint, hint)

One of the main functions of the bridesmaids throughout the whole wedding process is to serve as your representatives and cheerleaders. As members of the receiving line, the bridesmaids have the difficult role of moving guests, friends and relatives along smoothly and making sure that everyone has a chance to speak briefly with the bride and groom. At the reception, hostessing may require introducing people (and introducing themselves) to make relatives and friends feel comfortable.

Part of the financial responsibility of being a bridesmaid, in addition to the dress and accessories, is paying for incidentals such as hair styling, makeup, pedicures and manicures. You can offer to help, but your bridesmaids should know up front that they will share some of these expenses. Also in this category are accommodations and transportation. To avoid any misunderstandings, many brides outline the costs early in the planning process and try to help wherever possible to alleviate financial strain.

Many wedding customs date back to times of greater pageantry and pomp, like a formal opening dance number for bridesmaids and groomsmen. Even if there is no such thing planned, bridesmaids should serve as “starters” at the reception to get everyone on their feet and having fun when the band gets swinging. It may be the electric slide rather than a lovely waltz, but the bridesmaids should try to inspire guests to shake it up. Turning Heads And Avoiding Headaches

A Worthwhile Expense In all likelihood, the largest expense for your bridesmaids will be the dress, and accessory items like shoes, jewelry and a headpiece. Contrary to popular opinion, choosing and ordering a bridesmaid dress should not be a chore.

Dresses have come a long way in recent years, as manufacturers and designers have started to create fashionable, modern pieces that can be worn again to a variety of affairs. In general, the bridesmaid dress will cost between $75 and $375, averaging somewhere around $200, with an extra $30-$40 for alterations. If you have more lavish tastes, though, the dress could be quite a bit pricier, so it’s always helpful to make sure your bridesmaids can afford the additional expense. If you’re uncomfortable about preparing your bridesmaids for the expense (especially if they’ve never been in a wedding and aren’t aware that they have to pay for the dress), you can gently explain the tradition. If money is a major issue, then you can look for more affordable dresses or find other ways to help. “Conflicts over the cost of a bridesmaid’s dress should never come between friends,” says Nina Lawrence. “The bride-to-be should show sensitivity toward the possibility that one or more of her attendants might have an issue with costs, and choose gowns and accessories accordingly. In special cases, the bride and her family may gracefully offer financial help, but as a general rule, the bride’s selections for her bridal party should be as acceptable to them as they are to her, at prices well within their means.”

In an overwhelming majority of weddings, bridesmaid dresses are chosen to complement the wedding’s unique colors, style and feel. This may mean that bridesmaids wear identical dresses, but this isn’t always the case anymore. Some brides maintain a coordinated look by buying dresses that vary slightly in design or color but still match the formality of the affair and the overall look of the bridal gown.

Most important, though, is that all the bridesmaids’ dresses are normally ordered from the same manufacturer at the same shop. Ordering all the dresses from the same shop means that all the dress orders will be submitted at the same time. It also ensures that all the dresses for the bridal party will be drawn from the same dye lot, to guarantee that they coordinate. In addition, any accessories should be matched to the bridesmaid dress. Brides generally ask bridesmaids to buy shoes in the same color as the dress and at a similar, if not identical, heel height. It may be easiest to find dyeable shoes, so that the exact color of the dress can be replicated. If you’re planning on asking your bridesmaids to wear gloves, specific jewelry items, special undergarments or headpieces, the further in advance you ask, the better. (NOTE: Jewelry items are a popular bridesmaid gift for this reason – your bridesmaids will have matching accessories and they won’t have to pay for them!) The more specific and detailed you make your accessory request (e.g., let them know where the items can be purchased, or show them an advertisement or a picture), the more helpful it will be to your bridesmaids.

Before flipping through catalogs and visiting the local bridal shops, warehouses, department stores or special occasion stores, you can speak to each bridesmaid or set up an online chat to discuss what kinds of dresses they have in mind and what kinds of dresses are out of the question. To get the ball rolling, you can send pictures of dresses you like, or point to web sites where they can check out your selections online. Also, in advance of shopping, gather all of your bridesmaids’ measurements (this can be confidential if your bridesmaids are uncomfortable sharing their sizes with the group). The chart at the end of this guide is a useful way to keep track of them all.

You should encourage your bridesmaids to have their measurements taken by an experienced tailor or seamstress, in undergarments only. If they cannot go to a professional, having a friend or relative help out is always more accurate than trying to measure themselves. When you’re ready to place the final order for the dresses, you will need the following measurements:

  • bust (fullest point of bust)
  • waist (natural waist – across the belly button)
  • hips (fullest part – right across the derrière).

Although measurements can be tedious, they are imperative for a good fit. Remember: It is possible for everyone to be happy with her dress as long as you keep in mind that everyone wants to look good and feel comfortable. Flexibility and communication are key.

In general, brides start shopping for bridesmaid dresses shortly after they order their own gown – about six to seven months before the wedding. The reason for the early preparation is that complex orders can take awhile to be delivered: You want to leave plenty of time to deal with fittings, alterations and, of course, Murphy’s Law (whatever can go wrong will go wrong). When you do start shopping, try to be organized – especially if you have six bridesmaids with you! – so that you don’t have to labor over each dress. Shopping should be fun and everyone should be included. There is no reason for anyone to be surprised by the final choice.

For There are a number of different places to shop for bridesmaid dresses, and you’ll probably try them all! Department stores may have several of the same dress off the rack ready to buy, which can certainly save you a lot of time (and perhaps money). But they may not be from the same dye lot, which can be visible upon inspection. In addition, department stores generally don’t carry special order dresses, so you’ll miss out on a large variety of beautiful dresses. Department stores also lack the level of service that most brides want: In most cases, the store will not offer helpful extras (e.g., alterations, swatches, accessories) like a specialty shop. Large discount bridal chains can also be very inexpensive, which is their major advantage, and they usually have a short turnaround time for delivery. However, the quality of the merchandise can be shoddy, and, like department stores, they do not carry special order brands or provide helpful services.

Online retailers are usually of the “you order it, it’s yours” mentality, which means that you will find discounted prices, but a lack of customer service. Like discount chains, they can offer quick turnaround, but you’ll miss out on an even larger selection of dresses, since many manufacturers do not supply online retailers with merchandise.

A full service bridal shop is the most comprehensive choice, providing information and advice on measurements, sizing, undergarments, shoes and order time. They provide fabric swatches and usually have seamstresses on staff to perform all necessary alterations. They are professionals, and usually charge slightly higher prices than discount retailers. However, it is their business to make sure the wedding day goes perfectly. Brides often find it convenient to choose one shop they like and purchase everything there, including the bridesmaid dresses, shoes and accessories, which can work out to an overall discount for the bridesmaids.

It is important to scrutinize the differences in quality among the dresses you look at and try on. It will become apparent to you very early on in your search that there are stark disparities between manufacturers, shops and styles. You should ask yourself if the manufacturer you are looking at carries a full range of colors, dress linings for comfort, attractive styles that work with your wedding gown and any other questions that are of importance to you and your bridesmaids. As an educated shopper, it will be much easier to find the perfect dress and accessory items.

So the big day has finally arrived! Your bridesmaids look beautiful in their luxurious dresses, the cake is perfect, the band is wonderful and everything is organized. This sounds about right! In all seriousness, though, hopefully you have a better idea of the details of successfully managing your bridesmaids. Like a good scout, you are prepared for your Big Day and can be confident that everything will go smoothly. It is your day to celebrate, so enjoy yourself!

Quick Tips:

  • The number one conflict is over money. Be clear, and help whenever possible.
  • The number two conflict is over the dress. Discomfort (both physical and emotional) can lead to disharmony.
  • Make sure that your bridesmaids try on their dresses and accessories several times!
  • Make sure your bridesmaids are getting enough attention and have a clear idea of what to do, i.e., what you expect.
  • Don’t be too demanding. Remember that your bridesmaids have a life beyond planning for your wedding.
  • Extend thanks often and do little things to make your bridesmaids happy. The little things make a huge difference – especially if they’re gifts!
  • Organize a bridesmaid survival kit for the wedding, but leave someone else in charge of bringing it (you’ll have enough to worry about). Contents should include aspirin, band-aids, nasal spray, tissues, white medical tape, needle, thread and scissors, safety pins, nail file, clear nail polish, smelling salts, eye drops, hair spray, breath spray/mints, bobby pins (hair pins), tampons and liners and mirrors.
  • Don’t forget that you may have to be a bridesmaid in one of your bridesmaid’s weddings in the near future – the Golden Rule should be in full effect!

Questions To Ask At The Salon:

  • Which designers do you carry?
  • Can you carry other designers or catalogs upon request?
  • How much do dress orders typically cost?
  • Are appointments necessary?
  • Can you look through the dresses on your own, or must they be presented to you?
  • How long does it usually take for dresses to come in?
  • Can they be rushed?
  • Are there discounts available for multiple orders?
  • For alterations?

Checklist:

  • Make sure you have every bridesmaid’s full set of measurements.
  • Upon payment, make sure the receipt (or your records) has the following:
  • The wedding date
  • All special requests and accessory descriptions, including shoes
  • Delivery dates
  • Refund and/or cancellation policy
  • Amount due upon checkout
  • Full dress description
  • Designer name
  • Style number or detail
  • Sizing
  • Color(s)
  • Fabric(s)
  • Quantity of dresses ordered
  • Call the store a couple of weeks before delivery to make sure everything is taken care of.

Four Important Tips for Wedding Photographers

It is always great to have the cash to hire a well-known wedding photographer to capture the moments that you will want to remember forever but in this age of austerity, not all of us can afford it. Weddings these days cost an arm and a leg and a head for all the other elements that go with the event. You can always take a chance with an unknown photographer that can’t provide proof of their work. Is it worth the risk? Some of us get friend or family member with a flair for photography to snap away and hope that they get some good shots. This means that the person can’t really enjoy the event themselves as they will constantly be preoccupied with the job. Or even worse they may not be focused on the job at all. I remember one such wedding I attended as a guest; the photographer was a friend of the groom. He spent most of the wedding chatting to the other guests and the rest of the wedding at the bar. The bridal photo album has been a running joke ever since. Most couples wouldn’t be so forgiving. For this very reason I have prepared a short list of four of my ultimate tips to focus on… whether you are a fledgling wedding photographer or someone taking some photos for the couple to save them on expenses.

Preparation

The first and one of the most important tips for an amateur wedding photographer is PREPARATION. Some of the worse photos ever taken have been when the “photographer” readily accepts the task with all the confidence in the world. Like a soldier running into battle having never taken a day of target practice, he goes in gun locked and loaded. Without surveying the area and not knowing his weapon, the enemy quickly shoots him down! This is why it is important to approach the wedding shoot with humility, respect and most of all preparation. Prepare for the shots that you are going to get, not only in your mind but on paper too. Check out some professional wedding photographer website galleries and run through each shot with your mind. Try to imagine how each shot was angled and where the photographer was at the time. Do some research into various camera settings and try match up your camera settings with those of the pros. Practice your shots in different lighting conditions and from different angles. Try your shots with different lenses. You will then see that experience is everything! Create a shot list of all the shots that are needed and if you have the time visit the locations beforehand so that you will know where to shoot these shots from. The seasoned wedding photographers have their own shot lists imprinted in their heads. They do not falter in unforeseen shooting conditions and they manage to get a perfect shot for each scenario. They can quickly and easily prepare their cameras, frame up the shots that they need and never miss a moment. This all comes with familiarity with the equipment and familiarity with each possible situation. So in order for you to come close you need to familiarize yourself with the equipment and shooting conditions. Don’t be the rookie that goes into photography battle confident as ever, as you will come running out of battle with a set of pretty abstract images.

Equipment

Not all of us have the funds to invest in top of the range cameras, lenses, lighting and equipment for photo shoots. So what can be done… You say? Well it is true that the type of camera can make or break a photo shoot… so you could try and borrow or hire one. If this is not an option for you then you will find that having a low end camera will make your task of getting good shots more difficult. You should then at least try to find a camera with a focus and zoom ring. This will allow you to quickly frame up and focus you shots. You will also be able to create depth of field which is that blurred background look that gives photos a professional look in itself. If you have a camera that can control the aperture manually it will also enable you to control the amounts of light that enters the lens. This will give you more creative freedom over your shots because the domestic cameras that automatically control these settings for you will always assume that your exposure should be at one level or another. Funnily enough most of these automatic exposure settings have a really bland and unprofessional look to them. If you can’t get a hold of a camera that has any of the above and all you have is a point and click then… hehehe! The next bit of advice would be to get as creative as possible and most importantly shoot in a very well lit area. If you can find an area where the light looks absolutely amazing to your own eyes, chances are they will look pretty OK on even with a cheap camera. Only then some of your images may turn out semi-pro. You will also have to get up close and be a bit pushy to get the better shots. The reason for this is that you don’t have the luxury of a telephoto lens and domestic cameras loose quality when zoomed in. You will want to get the widest angle possible and that means getting nice and cosy with your subject.

Light and location

As I have mentioned before the factors of light and location are extremely important when it comes to getting great shots. If you can accomplish both then seldom will the photographer go wrong? This might mean that you will have to direct the wedding couple and large groups of wedding guests to get them to the right location. It might also mean that you will have to make announcements either by standing on a chair and shouting out or using the DJ to announce over the PA. It seems like a lot to do to get the right backdrop for the photos, but when you see you work afterwards you will not be disappointed. Posed and group shoots are great and need to be ticked off your shot list but natural shots are always better. Try to be ready for these shots and time these types of natural photo shoots for the right lighting conditions. You can get some amazing shots with a bit of forethought when anticipating subjects to be shot naturally in the right area. You may have heard photographers speaking about the golden hour. This is when the sunlight is at a low angle about an hour and a half before the sun is to set. It always makes for great shots. You may have to juggle the shoot around to get this great light and this might even mean that you may have to plan the shoot out of sync with the wedding schedule. So this goes with the saying that the more you get in the way at a wedding as a photographer the better your shots will be. On the other hand you could always just stand in the background and snap away and leave the wedding party to have a great time. Your shots on the other hand might not be so great that time.

Backup

Seasoned wedding photographers have a backup for everything… Backup batteries, memory cards, cameras, lenses, lights, tripods, extension leads, umbrellas… The list can go on and on. It may seem like overkill, but trust me it’s not! At almost each and every photo shoot I attend there is always something that I need spare. You can never rely on situations to be in the perfect condition for taking photos and you can never wholly rely on mechanical and electronic equipment. There will always be a moment where it will fail. So get a list of all your equipment and a list of anything that you might possibly need. Then make sure they all go into the back of your car before you set out on your photo shoot.

I hope my tips will help you greenhorn wedding shooters out there, but at the end of the day as I have said experience is everything. This being said not all of us have the time to get this experience and cash to hire the experience. Follow the four tips above and hopefully there will more tears of joy rather than tears of regret at your next wedding. Happy shooting!

Wedding Rings – Through the Ages and for All Eternity

The exact origin of the wedding ring is uncertain and is rife with superstition and mythology. Papyruses dating back to the ancient Egyptian civilization depict wedding rings, and historians credit the land of the Pharaohs with originating this tradition. Engagement or betrothal rings were in use as far back as prehistoric times, but the wedding ring is a relatively new tradition, and unlike the engagement ring, is steeped in religious ritual.

In ancient times, accepting a wedding ring constituted a legally binding agreement between husband and wife. The wife became property of the husband, a holding of sorts. It also represented protection to the wife–a protection against challengers seizing her legal and rightful position in a power grab.

Early Egyptian wedding rings were simple circular bands, crudely crafted from indigenous materials such as hemp and reeds. The lifespan of the average wedding ring was approximately one year. It’s a safe bet that the average marriage outlasted the average wedding band, since the eternal circle signified eternal love and devotion. The circle also represented the joining of two halves to create a whole. The hole in the center symbolized the gateway to the unknown–the future. Wedding bands of ivory, leather, and other sturdy materials were crafted by those who desired a more permanent token of eternity.

Metals replaced the earlier hemp and reed wedding bands. The early Romans moved to lead, while other civilizations chose brass and copper. Eventually, gold emerged as the metal of choice. In fact, early Irish couples insisted on gold, as any other material was thought to bring bad luck at best, and constitute an illegal marriage at worst. For couples unable to afford gold wedding bands, gold wedding rings were secured for the service and returned immediately afterward.

Early crude designs were adorned with semiprecious metals in an attempt to disguise the handiwork. The color of the stones also held significance. The red ruby signified the heart, the blue sapphire signified the skies and the heavens, and the rare diamond’s indestructible nature signified the indestructible bond of marriage.

Fit played an equally important role in the realm of superstition surrounding the wedding ring. The fit had to be perfect. Too loose a fit would lead to a sloppy marriage, carelessness, and even cause the couple to grow apart. Too tight a fit would doom the couple to a suffocating, painful marriage.

In ancient times, wedding bands occupied the third finger on the left hand just as they do today. The significance of the third finger was the belief that the vein in the third finger, the “vena amoris,” led directly to the heart. This was a thought propagated by the Egyptians and adopted as truth by the ancient Greeks and Romans, until later disproved.

Even after the discovery that there was no vena amoris, the custom of wearing the wedding band on the third finger survived. Early Christian marriages included a ritual that landed the wedding band on the third finger: As the priest recited, “In the name of the Father, the Son, and the holy Ghost,” he took the ring and touched the thumb, the first finger, and then the second finger. When he said, “Amen,” he placed the ring on the third finger, sealing the marriage. The wedding band has occupied the third finger into the 21st century, except for a short period during the Elizabethan era, when whimsy decreed that the wedding ring reside on the thumb.

Double-ring ceremonies gained popularity during World War II as young soldiers shipped off to war. The token of the marriage contract took on new sentimentality during those troubling times, and that custom remains intact today. Ceremonies differ, vows are often unique, but the tradition of the wedding band has survived through the ages, and probably will–for all eternity.

Wedding Day – Tips and Tricks

Before we begin, lets discuss what we hope you will learn through this article. Then we can begin to piece it together for you.

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What an exciting way to begin this article, now lets take a look at what else we can learn about this topic!

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If you would like to learn more about this subject, take a look at our wide selection of articles to see if any interest you.