Articles

Great Advice for Wedding Planning

Here Comes the (non-conformist) bride

by Sandra Mardenfeld

traditions are nice
but creativity is better

If the thought of having a cookie-cutter wedding horrifies you, stop fretting. You can are to be different without losing the meaning of the day. We promise: no wedding police  will arrest you for designing an event as original as you. you may ditch the white White isn’t everyone’s color and brides are wearing everything from the subtle (ivory, blush, champagne, silver, lavender, soft grey) to the Asian-inspired (red).

“I am loving a color called griege (beige and grey),” said Wilmara Manuel, owner/principal designer at Madly Stylish Events. “I think it’s THE color that can be flattering on all skin tones and hair color… Red is certainly on the rise. I had a bride wear red this summer. It’s bold and bright but not for the faint of heart. You have to own this color if you’re going to rock it!”

Even if you opt for the traditional, you can make your gown pop with bold-colored  accents and accessories in dramatic blacks, deep blues or reds. “With so many options available, brides can easily pull together their look for their wedding, adding touches such as beautiful bird cage veils, feather combs… a beautiful mantilla veil can be a gorgeous touch of mixing traditional and non-traditional elements,”  said Marie Danielle Vil-Young, Founder and President of À Votre Service Events in Franklin Park, NJ.

Make a statement with your shoes. “How fabulous is a dark-haired bride with luscious red lipstick, a white wedding dress accented in red, stacked with red satin heels?” said Charlene Calvert- Campbell, president of Accomac Inn and Events in York, PA. “If you’re somewhere in the middle on this subject, something as simple as a Tiffany Blue colored sash with a matching shoe can really make a bride stand out seeming extreme.”

The key to creating your ensemble is balance. “With any special event,” advises Kaylin Johnson, a makeup artist from Austin, TX, “the look is a whole made up of many individual parts: dress, jewelry, hair, and makeup. The overall goal should be to emphasize what should be noticed and downplay what shouldn’t.” 

make a better
bridal party

Who says the bridal party must dress alike? After you set the color theme, let them choose their own style of dress.

Make the details as innovative as the dresses. Rather than using identical bouquets, why not mix and match flower types and colors? Or forego the flowers completely and use fans or, for an outdoor wedding, parasols instead? How about sporting colored bangles in your wedding colors rather than the traditional pearls? If you want a fun look, have all your bridesmaids and groomsmen wear Converse sneakers. Or for an outdoor wedding, have them don matching sunglasses. Be creative. However, do think about the time of year before selecting your look: “You wouldn’t want your bridesmaids wearing flip flops in a snow storm, but they sure are cute in the summer for an outdoor wedding, especially with the clip on accessories available,” said Calvert-Campbell.

make a statement

Your wedding day, despite all the expected traditions, gives you plenty of opportunity for originality. You can pepper some or all of the usual necessities with unusual twists. Start by reconceptualizing the invitations. Consider keeping your invitations in line with the theme. If you are having a destination wedding, for instance, go with passport or airline ticket designed cards. Remember invitations can also look like scrolls, or can be folded into fantastic origami designs. If you are the eco-bride, you can use ones made with recycled paper or treefree paper, or even purchase plantable invites, embedded with seeds that will make your garden grow.

You can also rethink the bridal bouquet. Some brides forego it completely, opting to carry a Bible or a special family token. For the environmentally conscious, companies make blooms from surprising material, such as The Crimson Poppy,  which uses old photos, vintage sheet music or recycled denim, and Knoxville, TN-based sculptor and artist Lauren Karnitz, who constructs flowers for cakes, bouquets and corsages from recycled materials such as shampoo bottles, milk jugs and medicine containers.

Another unique option would be to offer a gift certificate for a movie or scratch-off lottery tickets. Giveaways like this end the evening on a light and fun note.

If you want to get more personal, present something inscribed with people’s names or an item that features a relevant design or crest. Sandra Kircher of Li’l Inspirations in Hillsborough, NJ, once created 90 handkerchiefs embroidered with the couple’s family logo and personalized with the recipient’s own initials as part of the thank you gift bag. Creating special mementos can be as simple as making a mix CD, as well.

Favors can also go interactive. Hire a sketch artist to do caricatures or rent a photo booth to create snap shots of your guests. Offering an experience along with a parting gift makes the wedding that more memorable. You can also opt for no favor at all.

“Give each guest a pack of seeds and donate to a nature conservancy. Make your place cards from photos of children and donate to a scholarship fund…Give everyone a pink bracelet to fight breast cancer. Recognize the blessing of family and friends by helping a needy cause,” said Gerald Fierst, a Civil Celebrant based in Montclair, NJ.

say no to tradition

 Ultimately, it’s your day, so do what you want, but make sure everyone understands the parameters of the new methodology you’re using. For instance, a bride Manuel dealt with really wanted their family and friends to mingle so they opted for no seating plan. In order to make this work, we had a very detailed timeline of events so our guests would never be left wondering, ‘now what?’”

The guests were informed of the protocol in the programs and the DJ announced the schedule—cake cutting, first dance, etc.—all night long. For 120 guests it worked well. I’m not sure it would have gone as smoothly if you had, say, 200 guests,” she said. So keep that in mind when shirking tradition…do what you want but also be practical. Originality only works if it fits the situation. 

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traditions are nice
but creativity is better

If the thought of having a cookie-cutter wedding horrifies you, stop fretting. You can are to be different without losing the meaning of the day. We promise: no wedding police  will arrest you for designing an event as original as you. you may ditch the white White isn’t everyone’s color and brides are wearing everything from the subtle (ivory, blush, champagne, silver, lavender, soft grey) to the Asian-inspired (red).

“I am loving a color called griege (beige and grey),” said Wilmara Manuel, owner/principal designer at Madly Stylish Events. “I think it’s THE color that can be flattering on all skin tones and hair color… Red is certainly on the rise. I had a bride wear red this summer. It’s bold and bright but not for the faint of heart. You have to own this color if you’re going to rock it!”

Even if you opt for the traditional, you can make your gown pop with bold-colored  accents and accessories in dramatic blacks, deep blues or reds. “With so many options available, brides can easily pull together their look for their wedding, adding touches such as beautiful bird cage veils, feather combs… a beautiful mantilla veil can be a gorgeous touch of mixing traditional and non-traditional elements,”  said Marie Danielle Vil-Young, Founder and President of À Votre Service Events in Franklin Park, NJ.

Make a statement with your shoes. “How fabulous is a dark-haired bride with luscious red lipstick, a white wedding dress accented in red, stacked with red satin heels?” said Charlene Calvert- Campbell, president of Accomac Inn and Events in York, PA. “If you’re somewhere in the middle on this subject, something as simple as a Tiffany Blue colored sash with a matching shoe can really make a bride stand out without seeming extreme.”

The key to creating your ensemble is balance. “With any special event,” advises Kaylin Johnson, a makeup artist from Austin, TX, “the look is a whole made up of many individual parts: dress, jewelry, hair, and makeup. The overall goal should be to emphasize what should be noticed and downplay what shouldn’t.” 

make a better
bridal party

Who says the bridal party must dress alike? After you set the color theme, let them choose their own style of dress.

Make the details as innovative as the dresses. Rather than using identical bouquets, why not mix and match flower types and colors? Or forego the flowers completely and use fans or, for an outdoor wedding, parasols instead? How about sporting colored bangles in your wedding colors rather than the traditional pearls? If you want a fun look, have all your bridesmaids and groomsmen wear Converse sneakers. Or for an outdoor wedding, have them don matching sunglasses. Be creative. However, do think about the time of year before selecting your look: “You wouldn’t want your bridesmaids wearing flip flops in a snow storm, but they sure are cute in the summer for an outdoor wedding, especially with the clip on accessories available,” said Calvert-Campbell.

make a statement

Your wedding day, despite all the expected traditions, gives you plenty of opportunity for originality. You can pepper some or all of the usual necessities with unusual twists. Start by reconceptualizing the invitations. Consider keeping your invitations in line with the theme. If you are having a destination wedding, for instance, go with passport or airline ticket designed cards. Remember invitations can also look like scrolls, or can be folded into fantastic origami designs. If you are the eco-bride, you can use ones made with recycled paper or treefree paper, or even purchase plantable invites, embedded with seeds that will make your garden grow.

You can also rethink the bridal bouquet. Some brides forego it completely, opting to carry a Bible or a special family token. For the environmentally conscious, companies make blooms from surprising material, such as The Crimson Poppy,  which uses old photos, vintage sheet music or recycled denim, and Knoxville, TN-based sculptor and artist Lauren Karnitz, who constructs flowers for cakes, bouquets and corsages from recycled materials such as shampoo bottles, milk jugs and medicine containers.

Another unique option would be to offer a gift certificate for a movie or scratch-off lottery tickets. Giveaways like this end the evening on a light and fun note.

If you want to get more personal, present something inscribed with people’s names or an item that features a relevant design or crest. Sandra Kircher of Li’l Inspirations in Hillsborough, NJ, once created 90 handkerchiefs embroidered with the couple’s family logo and personalized with the recipient’s own initials as part of the thank you gift bag. Creating special mementos can be as simple as making a mix CD, as well.

Favors can also go interactive. Hire a sketch artist to do caricatures or rent a photo booth to create snap shots of your guests. Offering an experience along with a parting gift makes the wedding that more memorable. You can also opt for no favor at all.

“Give each guest a pack of seeds and donate to a nature conservancy. Make your place cards from photos of children and donate to a scholarship fund…Give everyone a pink bracelet to fight breast cancer. Recognize the blessing of family and friends by helping a needy cause,” said Gerald Fierst, a Civil Celebrant based in Montclair, NJ.

say no to tradition

 Ultimately, it’s your day, so do what you want, but make sure everyone understands the parameters of the new methodology you’re using. For instance, a bride Manuel dealt with really wanted their family and friends to mingle so they opted for no seating plan. In order to make this work, we had a very detailed timeline of events so our guests would never be left wondering, ‘now what?’”

The guests were informed of the protocol in the programs and the DJ announced the schedule—cake cutting, first dance, etc.—all night long. For 120 guests it worked well. I’m not sure it would have gone as smoothly if you had, say, 200 guests,” she said. So keep that in mind when shirking tradition…do what you want but also be practical. Originality only works if it fits the situation. 

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