Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday Q & A - Wedding Rehearsals!

Question: Do I really need to have a wedding rehearsal?

You don't have to have one. That being said, I would really recommend it. Even if you're a go-with-the-flow type of person, it's really helpful to go through the ceremony at least once.

Things to cover in the rehearsal include:

Bridal Party Processional- Make sure everyone meets his or her partner. Determine the order of the entrance. Determine where everyone will stand up front. Have someone look at the bridal party standing up front to see how it looks. (Yesterday at a rehearsal the bride's mom kindly pointed out that the bridesmaids were standing in a straight line while the groomsmen were on an angle). Also to consider: are bridesmaids walking in alone, or with the groomsmen?

The Bride's Entrance - When exactly does the bride walk in? Is the bride walking in with an escort? Are the bride and groom walking together?

Readings - Make sure your reader knows what he or she will be reading. Your reader may be nervous, and an opportunity to practice may help. Let your reader know when in the ceremony the reading will happen. Cues are always helpful!
To consider: Will the reader hold a microphone? Does the reader have a copy of the reading?

Rituals - If you are participating in any unity rituals, this would be the time to practice! It's helpful to know where you'll be standing and exactly what to do - and when. To consider - If the bride's dress has a long train, the maid of honor will need to help arrange the train when the bride walks.

Details - When will the bride give her flowers to the maid of honor - and take them back? Who will have the rings? Do any of the bridal party have other duties (handing out programs, etc.)?

Recessional - Make sure you know when to walk out. Let your bridal party practice walking out together, especially if there are partners.

As you see, there are lots of things to cover in a rehearsal. It doesn't have to be a major event, but a run-through can go a long way in calming people's nerves. The rehearsal also doesn't necessarily have to happen at the venue. Although that would be ideal, it's not always possible. You can have your rehearsal at private room in a restaurant (right before the dinner), at a park, or even in your backyard! The idea is that this is a practice for the Big Day, and should be thought of as a way to iron out the details.

One last thought - try to schedule your rehearsal a few days before the wedding (rather than the traditional day-before rehearsal). This way, you'll have more time to do any last-minute things (example: the jar for your blessing stones is too small and you need a new one!). Also, you may have a little more time to relax - and breathe! - if you have some space between events.

Hope this helps! Happy rehearsing! And don't forget to bring your bow & ribbon bouquet!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Mosaic of Beautiful Art

This weekend my husband and I went to the Geneva Arts Festival and saw an amazing array of beautiful work.

My favorite was the
mosaic work done by artist Linda Mix Yates. Her gorgeous mosaics are done in the tradition of picassiette, in which she uses broken plates and cups. Some of the pieces are more whimsical, while others are a fascinating study of color and texture. All of her work was exquisite!

these pieces make fabulous wedding gifts?

You can contact Linda Mix Yates
through her website or by emailing

You can also see her work in person at the Greenwich
Village Art Fair in Rockford on August 19 & 2oth. Be sure to visit Linda at the art fair - and tell her I said hi!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Rockin' processional!

One of my fellow Celebrants pointed out this video of the best processional EVER.
I seriously love these people!

Click here to watch video!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday Q & A: Vows That Wow!

Question: I know some people write their own vows, but I don't know where to begin. Do you have any suggestions?

Answer: One thing to consider is the overall tone. If you are having a lighthearted ceremony, you can add something funny like, "I promise to watch Cubs games with you, even though I love the Sox." If you are aiming for something more serious, I would advise staying away from jokes!

One place to start is by making a list of the things you love about your partner. Your vows don't necessarily have to be a list of things you promise to do. You may want to tell your partner what you love about him or her, and describe how your life has changed since you met.

You may also want to refer to some examples and "borrow" from these.
It's okay if the words aren't completely original, as long as the sentiment behind them is real.

Try these resources:

"The Everything Wedding Vow Book" by Janet Anastasio, et al
"The Knot Guide to Wedding Vows and Traditions"
"Your Special Wedding Vows" by Naylor

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wedding Poetry

Many couples mention that they'd like to have a reading during their ceremony, but have no idea where to begin looking.

When I first meet with a new couple, I give them samples of readings and poems to give them a jump-start in their search for the perfect reading.

Here is one of my favorites:

You Came, Too by Nikki Giovanni

I came to the crowd seeking friends
I came to the crowd seeking love
I came to the crowd for understanding

I found you

I came to the crowd to weep
I came to the crowd to laugh

You dried my tears
You shared my happiness

I went from the crowd seeking you
I went from the crowd seeking me
I went from the crowd forever

You came, too

Monday, July 20, 2009

Running of the Brides!

Filene's Basement will be hosting the annual Running of the Brides sale this Friday, July 24th. The sale opens at 8:00 a.m. at the Filene's on State Street.

Dresses normally priced anywhere from $900 to $9000 will be on sale for $249 to $699! No wonder people line up for hours before the sale opens!

Plus, there's a bonus! WeddingWire has teamed with Filene's to offer a drawing for gift certificates towards a wedding dress. Click here to enter online.

Will you be one of the running brides this Friday?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday Q & A: Involving Guests in the Ceremony

: I don't want my guests to be passive observers at my wedding - I want them to feel involved. How can I include my wedding guests in the ceremony?

You may want to consider having a ritual in which you directly involve your guests. Following are a few ideas to consider:

Guest vows:
Guests stand as Celebrant asks questions such as, "Will you promise to support and love Joe and Sue throughout their marr
iage?" Guests respond, "We will."

Stone blessings:
Stones are placed on each seat before the ceremony. Guests are informed that the stones are for blessings or well-wishes for the couple. The stones are collected during the ceremony and gathered in a vase or basket.

Group reading:
Several guests are asked to take part in a reading, where each person reads a line from where they are sitting.

Circle of love:
For smaller weddings, guests can stand in a circle around the couple as they exchange their vows.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

T-Shirts at the Wedding

Common sense says you shouldn't wear a t-shirt to a wedding. Or, at the very least, that little voice in your head that sounds suspiciously like your mom's should warn you against this major social faux pas.

But who ever said anything about a t-shirt wedding dress?

That's what you're looking at right here. The dress was created by the mother/daughter duo of Donna and Lauren Kroiz. I found the instructions for this cute recycled t-shirt dress at Craftzine, which has creative & fun DIY wedding projects. Be sure to check out the site for the pretty forget-me-not headpiece.

Get going, you crafty brides out there!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Caricature Couples!

One of my favorite couples (and all-around fun & wonderful people!), Steve and Gizelle, had a fabulous wedding at the Catalyst Ranch a few weeks ago.

One of the fun treats they offered their guests was portraits done by local Chicago artist Ellen Lustig.

Ellen created funny caricatures of the guests - and, as you can see here, she did a great drawing of the wedding couple!

If you'd like to more info on hiring Ellen for your wedding, contact her at:

Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday Q & A: Greek Wedding Traditions

Question: What are some Greek wedding traditions that I can use in my wedding ceremony?

Answer: Greek wedding rituals became more popular with the release of the 2002 movie, "My Big Fat Greek Wedding." (Which I could relate to, having had a semi-big fat German wedding!)

What's great is that more couples have become open to embracing their ethic backgrounds when planning weddings. Not only is it fun, but it can give you a deeper appreciation of family traditions.

There are several Greek rituals than can be incorporate into a ceremony, even if you're not having a traditional Greek Orthodox wedding.

Some Greek brides have bouquets that include ivy, which is a symbol of eternal love.

In Greek Orthodox weddings, the bride and groom are known to exchange crowns, or Stephana, which are flower wreaths, connected by a ribbon.

To conclude the ceremony, the bride and groom are offered honey and walnuts on a silver spoon. The honey represents sweetness and fertility, while the walnut, which can be broken into four parts, represents the bride and groom and each of their families. You may choose to update this tradition by instead sharing a taste of honey walnut cake, or karythopita.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Green wedding cakes

No, I'm not
referring to environmentally-friendly cakes.

I mean cakes that are green in

I don't know why the idea struck me.

because a friend of mine questioned the blue cakes (won't it look
like mold?) that I saw on the Simply Dazzling Events blog.

Maybe it's because I just love green, doggone it!

In any case, I became determined to find attractive (read as "non-moldy-looking") green cakes.
I think I did it!

These cakes were found at the following:
Wildflowers Cakes
in New Jersey
About the Cake in Cleveland, OH
Pink Cake Box in Denville, OH
Grace Cakes in the U.K.
Tanya Cakes in NY

Monday, July 6, 2009

This pop rocks!

I'm back to soda. But don't get the wrong idea about me, I'm not a huge pop drinker. That being said - I LOVE Jones soda. It could be I'm a sucker for the fun labels, but I also like the quirky flavors.

I became a devoted fan when I discovered the Thanksgiving boxed-sets. These Jones folks have a great sense of humor! I couldn't resist bringing a box along to the in-laws a few years ago, when we went there for Thanksgiving dinner. Most of the guests were too leery to try all the flavors (myself included). My teenage nephew, to his credit, braved them all. His repulsed expression and an exclamation of
"Ewww!" were immediately followed by, "Wanna try some?" Surprisingly, his unique sales pitch didn't win over any converts. I tried the cranberry, which was pretty good, but I didn't bother with broccoli casserole or turkey gravy. Just knowing they existed was good enough for me.

And now, the Jones soda people have won my heart all over again! I have discovered their customized Jones sodas for weddings. You simply choose your flavor (Strawberry Manilow, anyone?), add your photo for the label, and create a message to be printed on the bottle. Voila! You now have your very own Jones sodas!

It's easy and makes a great wedding favor!

Do you think the Joneses would adopt me?

Anita Jones.... I think it's meant to be.

Friday, July 3, 2009

51 Years Together!

Instead of the usual Friday Q & A, this week my post is dedicated to my parents, in honor of their 51st anniversary.

I remember when I was first married. Back then, it seemed that our 5th anniversary was so far away. We planned to go back to Europe for that occasion. Well, that milestone came and went, as did our 10th and 15th anniversaries. And we still haven't made it to Europe again! Oh well.

Now, imagine being married for
50 years. My Mom and Dad reached that point last year. Isn't that amazing?
In this photo, I'm with them in my sister's beautiful yard, at a family celebration. 

And, of course there was cake. Made by yours truly. I hate to toot my own horn, but I am pretty darn proud of my creation. It was a white cake with lemon filling and white butter cream frosting. I decorated it with fresh sweetheart roses - because I knew that any attempt at decorative frosting would end in tragedy (or comedy, depending on your perspective.) As I've said before, fresh flowers make any dessert look great!

But back to the point - my parents are celebrating their 51st anniversary this 4th of July weekend. They managed to raise three children without losing their minds. They've cared for us and watched us grow up and have families of our own. And now they're grandparents to six grandchildren. Yay, Mom & Dad! Life is good!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Old Time Sody Pop!

Another way-cool idea!

While browsing the Project Wedding website, I came across the fabulous Soda Bar for wedding receptions - and I got all giddy!

Tickled by all the pretty colors, I was even more excited when I noticed bottles of Bubble Up and Faygo in the photo! Whoa - treats from my youth!

Now, if I get this happy from just the picture, imagine how excited your guests would be to see a rainbow of sodas from days gone by. I think this is definitely a brilliant way to get folks chatting and breaking the ice - not to mention that it's also a neat decoration.

Now I need to go find a cold bottle of cream soda!