Friday, July 22, 2016

Styling the Groom


Five Irresistible Tips for Styling Your Groom

Take it from a photographer ladies – when it comes to your wedding day, your grooms need to look gooooooood. After all, they’re 50% of the subject matter in a bride and groom photo, and you want your future kiddos to see the man you married as the sweet, wonderful, and stylish man that he is. I’ve seen it happen all too often – in the flurry of designing a vintage estate destination wedding, your main man ends up in a rented black tux that doesn’t fit with the look of the wedding or the look of his fabulous bride.
So ladies, this post is for you AND your man. Grooms listen up, ‘cuz our grooms are the kind of guys with a whole lot of style and impeccable taste, so take a note from these awesome men with five tips that will make the biggest impact on your wedding day look. I make one promise to you – by the time you’re done reading this, you’ll look so handsome that your bride won’t be able to take her eyes – or her hands – off of you.
1. Fit the Style of the Wedding
When it comes to picking your groom look, don’t just go with a basic rented tux and coloured vest that matches the bridesmaids – can you say blah? Pick an outfit that helps you feel your best. This is your wedding day, folks, not your prom, so find a suit or tux that will fit pair with decor and formality of the wedding as well as your personality. Are you getting married in a meadow under an oak tree? Go with a light gray suit with a fitted jacket and a pop of colour in a patterned bow tie. Is it going to be an elegant west coast wedding at a seaside resort? Think about navy suits with solid ties instead of formal black tuxes (you’ll fit the elegance of the wedding without going too formal).
We loved Ipp’s look for their backyard 1920’s Pasadena Estate Wedding – a three-piece suit with a patterned bow-tie matched with a brown belt and shoes. The bow-tie matched the wedding colours, and the rest matched his personality. Perfect.
Alex’s traditional southern morning suit was perfectly classic for their morning church ceremony and tea reception in Asheville, North Carolina.
Of course, if your wedding has a black tie dress code, then you’ll need to fit the bill with a formal tux, but even formal can vary in style and taste. Kent’s smashing tailored tux fit marvelously with their black tie New Year’s Eve wedding at The Four Seasons Biltmore in Santa Barbara and didn’t feel stuffy or formal at all. Cesar went with white tie attire for their upscale wedding at the Langham Huntington in Pasadena. Nothing short of these trim outfits would work for such glamorous occasions.
2. Buy. Don’t rent.
Before you make another move, please hold up your left hand, place your right hand over your heart, and say out loud!!!.
“I will not rent my wedding day attire.”
Rentals are meant to fit every shape and size, so even though the wonderful folks over at the rental shop wrap you in measuring tape and give you a suit ‘perfect for your size’, I can’t tell you how many baggy tuxes with crazy long shirt sleeves we’ve had to photograph. There is nothing personalized about a rental no matter what they tell you. We see the finished product every weekend, so please trust me when I say that no guy looks good in a rented outfit. Plus, I’ve heard way too many horror stories of rental shops forgetting to include shoes, shirts, pants, or the right sizes altogether.
Think about it this way: the wedding is the perfect opportunity to buy a super nice tailored suit or tux that will last for a lifetime. Every guy needs a nice suit in his wardrobe for job interviews, black tie events, career opportunities, and upscale dinners, so why not invest in one for the wedding? You’ll thank us later when your bride gets invited to that swanky black tie fundraiser event at her favourite boutique hotel and you don’t have to worry ‘cuz you already have the perfect outfit…
3. Get Your Suit Tailored
Since you won’t be renting, make sure to get your suit, tux, or whatever you wear tailored to fit you perfectly. Some guys like to lose weight before the wedding, so get it tailored a month or two before the wedding when you’ve reached your ideal size. Ill-fitting clothes automatically add ten to fifteen pounds in photos, so avoid the in-camera weight gain and make sure your suit or tux fits your body perfectly.
4. Add Personal Details
Once you’ve chosen your suit, add some personal touches that are meaningful and reflective of you.
For example, we’ve had groom’s wear Vans…
Striped socks…
Their favorite watches…
Meaningful cufflinks…
And everything in between to add personality to their looks. Do what fits your personal taste, but add a little somethin’ somethin’ to round out your wedding day style.
5. The Groomsmen
We think it’s only natural to put a lot of effort into the look of the bridesmaids – there’s so many options, colours, fabrics, and styles with the girls that it’s just plain FUN. But Jeff and I have had our fair share of rockin’ bridesmaids matched with severely blah groomsmen, so don’t forget the boys on your inspiration board.  The look of the groomsmen has a big impact on the entire look of the wedding, so help the guys look and feel stylin’ by thinking buying instead of rental.
Whatever you decide with your look and with the style of the groomsmen, just make sure that it’s something that fits YOU. Don’t rent black tuxes just because you feel like you should. It’s YOUR wedding and you should be the best version of you on that day. So consider this official permission to make your wedding day look all about your personal style!

Monday, July 11, 2016


She’s one of the key people in your life, so it follows that she’s heavily involved in your wedding. Here’s how to make the most of the mother of the bride.
Traditionally the mother of the bride is the host of your wedding party – the recetion. It is her job to make sure that everything goes according to plan. Check out what other jobs are ideal to assign to your lovely mum…

Mother of the bride to-do list

  1. Announcing the engagement to the press, locally and nationally
  2. Working with the bride and groom to draw up the guest list
  3. Ordering the stationery and chasing it up
  4. Sending out the invites and keeping an eye on acceptances and regrets
  5. Supplying the wedding gift details to anyone who asks for them
  6. Helping to organise the seating plan
  7. Help you to choose your dress and the bridesmaids’ dresses
  8. Planning the flowers for the ceremony and reception
  9. Ordering the wedfding cake
  10. Arranging table decorations
  11. Making sure all of the guests have got somewhere to stay that night
  12. Help you to get dressed and ready on the morning of the wedding
  13. Give the order of service sheets to the ushers
  14. Organising the buttonholes for key members of the wedding party, including the ushers, best man, bridegroom, and the two dads
  15. Look after the gifts during and after the wedding. This includes finding a safe place to store them during the day
  16. Collect the photo proofs from the photographer while you are on honeymoon
  17. Organise the photo list – send out the right ones to the right people. You may want her to chase up your photos while you are away on your honeymoon, too. It’s great if the contact sheets are already waiting for you to look through when you get back home.  

Remember…DO Look after her – she is going to be working hard for you behind the scenes

  • DO Give her a bouquet at the reception, during the speeches
  • DO Encourage her to wear a complementary outfit to the colour scheme
  • DO Invite her to be involved with choosing your dress. It’s the most special bit for her
  • DO Encourage her to meet up with your fiancé’s mum regularly so that they know each other before the day (and don’t wear clashing outfits)
  • DON’T forget to thank her
  • DON’T exclude her from anything
  • DON’T forget her on the day – she’ll be longing to be useful
  • DON’T leave her to do everything. By tradition, she would be the last to leave the reception, but don’t ask her to stay until the last drink is sunk
  • DON’T forget to book her in with the hairdresser and nail technician in the run-up to your big day
  • DON’T let her interfere. It’s your day really…

                  Friday, July 1, 2016


                  Here are 15 wedding traditions you could afford to forget when planning your wedding ceremony.
                  Of course, if you do chose to include any of these traditions in your wedding, do it because you’ve decided too, not because that’s just what happens.

                  Bridal party Withers wedding Josh and BrittBridal party

                  Your marriage certificate requires two witnesses, but they don’t need to be in dresses worth hundreds of dollars and wearing a rented suit that doesn’t fit. It’s totally acceptable to not have a bridal party today. The tradition grew out of superstitions that believed that evil spirits would try and attack the bride, so bridesmaids would be dressed like her to try and trick the evil spirits.
                  At my wedding we both had about 5 close friends there and in the end I would have been better off not burdening them with the cost of a suit and what not.
                  For the girls, still invite your best friends to come with you on the journey, and they’ll probably still buy an expensive dress, but don’t make them buy the same dress as four other girls.

                  264168_354969407920675_1500252149_nThe bouquet toss

                  The intention behind the bouquet toss was to distract guests from tearing a shred of the brides dress as the couple left the reception, because it was good luck to have a piece of her dress. These days it serves to embarrass single girls.
                  Khloe Kardashian and her step-dad, Bruce

                  The wedding dress

                  White, red, long, short, above the knee, Vera Wang, Coco Chanel, or not. Traditionally wedding dresses were seen to be the best dresses of that time, but ever since Queen Victoria got married everyone’s been wearing long white dresses.
                  Wear the most beautiful dress you can find, and don’t worry about the colour.

                  Your father giving you away

                  I’ve covered this in another blog post (Post: Giving the bride away), but there is no reason your father, or your mother, or any other person has to give you away. The tradition is rooted in women being possessions that were to be given to another man. You can make the tradition mean something else, but don’t just do it because it’s the ‘done thing’,

                  Parents giving their approval

                  Who gives this woman to be married to this man? No-one does, she made the decision on her own.

                  wedding-photo-behind-door-first-look-before-ceremonyNot seeing each other before the wedding

                  You’ll be no less unlucky if you see your bride or bridegroom on the wedding day before the ceremony. But it might be nice to build the suspense. But don’t do it for luck.

                  Inviting every man and his dog you’ve ever met to the wedding

                  I don’t pay $120 for me to eat dinner, you shouldn’t have to. Any married couple will understand if they aren’t invited, they’ve paid the bills before. So don’t feel the pressure to invite every single person you and your parents ever met.

                  First dance

                  Do you dance? Is the art of dancing a big part of your relationship? If not, why is your first dance together as a couple an important milestone?

                  Garter toss

                  As sexy as it is for the groom to go up his bride’s dress and pull the garter off, I felt so awkward receiving my dad’s new wife’s garter on his wedding night. What are you supposed to do with that thing?

                  Wedding ring traditionThe wedding cake

                  Two desserts does sound like a great idea I suppose. But why get a cake if you don’t like cake?

                  The groom waiting at the end of the aisle

                  There is no reason that the bride can’t get ready early and arrive at the ceremony 30 minutes early like the groom and welcome everyone as well. Why does the bride arrive late and get all the attention anyhow?

                  Having an aisle

                  Why is there even an aisle if we’re not in a church or a supermarket?

                  Wedding rings

                  I wear a wedding ring as a symbol of my relationship with Britt and so every other girl on the planet knows that I’m taken, I like to show off. But you don’t have to exchange rings, in fact one friend where’s his ‘ring’ on a necklace, why not just have a necklace?

                  The veil

                  Brides look beautiful in a veil but they’re no longer warding out evil demons. So maybe there’s a different fashion accessory that you could wear on your wedding day?

                  Being married in a church

                  More weddings happen outside of churches today than ever happen inside churches. Embrace the creative opportunities by staging your ceremony anywhere in the world. Imagine being married on a rooftop, a mountaintop, on a boat, or in a tree. You can choose!

                  Thursday, June 23, 2016

                  Pitfalls on planning a wedding

                  Of course you want to have a fabulous big day, so you must plan accordingly to avoid any potential pitfalls along the way. Take a look at these all-too-common “please don'ts.” (They're all avoidable.) Remember: Forewarned is forearmed!

                  1. Don't be superbride.

                  You're smart, you're focused, you're energetic. But you're still one woman. Superbrides—those engaged gals who devote every waking hour to wedding planning, brushing aside all offers of help—eventually run out of steam and end up near the big day with favors unassembled, invitations unstamped, shoes undyed, heads uncounted. How to avoid this fate? Call in your trusty sidekicks before you're really scrambling. Here's a little secret: People want to help. So do yourself a huge favor and accept their kind offers. Then, once you've got a cadre of pals stuffing your envelopes, sit back and have your toenails polished. You deserve it.

                  2. Don't have a cash bar.

                  Forcing guests to reach into their sequined clutches every time they want to enjoy a celebratory champagne or a refreshing gin and tonic is just plain rude. Think of it like this: You invite people to a party—your wedding, for heaven's sake!—and then you ask them to shell out for part of the fun. It's a recipe for bad feelings! Keep in mind that you don't have to have a top-shelf bar; in fact, there are plenty of other ways to serve and save. You could offer wine and beer only or create a signature cocktail. You might have an open bar during the cocktail hour only and serve wine at dinner. Ask your caterer to suggest lower-cost options.

                  3. Don't include registry info on invites.

                  Registering is a good thing for everyone. When gift buyers are steered to the things you actually want and need, it saves them time—and saves you from having to contend with a pile of cut-crystal candy bowls. Registry info, however, does not belong on your wedding invitation. Why? Giving wedding gifts is never mandatory, though the vast majority of attendees will naturally want to do just that. Best way to get the message across is by word of mouth on the part of your mother or your bridesmaids or on bridal-shower invites.

                  4. Don't be bossy with your bridesmaids.

                  In the most traditional sense, your bridesmaids, in particular your maid of honor, are there to stand up for you as you take your vows, to act as witnesses to this solemn event. Somewhere along the line, bridesmaids have become, well, more like maids, and to an extent there's nothing wrong with that. These are your sisters, cousins, best friends, future in-laws, and there's something sort of sweet about the way they gather around you, wearing finery you picked out, helping you pin up your bustle, holding your flowers. But some brides ask (or worse, demand) far more: They expect their bridesmaids to shell out for needlessly expensive outfits, to run endless errands, to wear their hair just so, to attend (and buy gifts for) countless all-for-you parties. Don't let this happen. Be sensitive to how you'd feel if the tables were turned. Gifts to the maids are always welcome, of course, but a little kindness and care go a lot further than any pashmina shawl or monogrammed trinket.

                  5. Don't make guests cool their heels for hours between ceremony and reception.

                  I once attended a lovely wedding in a quaint wooden church in a rural area. Beautiful. Then I checked my invite. What?! The reception was scheduled for much later in the day, at a location that was a good 45-minute drive away. Sometimes it can be hard to plan a perfectly seamless schedule, especially if your heart is set on sites that are wildly inconvenient to one another or if your ceremony and reception times don't line up. But do your best. If you really must wed at, say, your childhood church, confine your search for reception locales to local spots. If that's truly impossible or if you can't avoid a time gap, provide transportation and/or a comfortable spot for guests to hang out while they wait.

                  6. Don't plan a difficult destination wedding.

                  Ah, the lure of the exotic faraway wedding—you can just picture it, can't you? Exchanging vows on top of a volcano in Hawaii… or how about in a ski gondola or on a majestic slope in the Austrian Alps? Hmmm, nice idea, but will Grandma Gert be up to the trip? Will your college pals drain their bank accounts to get there? No, and no. Destination weddings can be terrific, but as with any wedding, it's not only about you, it's also about your guests. While some friends and families welcome—and can afford—an Alpine adventure, others will end up resenting the cost and hassle or simply decline the invitation. Make it easy for everyone by (a) choosing a well-traveled locale, (b) planning well in advance and (c) providing information and help (securing group rates, for example). Bon voyage!

                  7. Don't go DIY crazy.

                  You know that clever bride who sewed her own dress and designed and made her own invitations? Or the one who baked her own three-tiered cake? Everyone's in awe of the girls who can do these things, and I say good for them—if they did it because they really, really wanted to, and if they managed not to get stressed out. The point of these projects is to use your craft/sewing/baking/designing skills to save money and to put a one-of-a-kind stamp on some aspect of the wedding. But if you are really not the hands-on type, don't drive yourself crazy hot-gluing tulle and folding fiddly favors until 3 a.m. Do only what you can, and beg, borrow or buy the rest.

                  8. Don’t let parents steamroll your invite list. 

                  Back in the days when parents footed the bill and brides were barely out of high school, the guest list was more Mom and Dad’s idea of a good party than the couple’s. Times have changed, but that doesn’t stop some pushy parents from insisting on having the whole book club, golf club or garden club at the wedding. Brush up on your negotiating skills and start early. Once you have a budget in mind, you can rough out the number of guests it’s feasible to invite. Then ask both sets of parents for invite lists, in order of preference, so you can cut from the bottom if necessary. Stay in charge!

                  9. Don’t forget about your fiancé.

                  It may not seem like something you’d do, but plenty of women surprise themselves. We've got our heads stuck in a glossary of floral terms (stephanotis? anemone?) when all our men know is that there will be flowers at the wedding. We’re neglecting our regular TV and pizza night in favor of dress fittings. Hey, listen up: You’re not just having a wedding, you’re getting married—to that guy over there, sitting on the couch, munching a cold slice of pizza. Put aside the bridal to-do lists and go give him a hug, would you? This is not just party-planning time, it’s major life transition time. So talk to each other. Talk about your life together. Talk about what color you want to paint the bedroom, what you want to name the puppy you’ll adopt—whatever. Anything but flowers and crab-cake appetizers, please.

                  10. Don't bow to bridal peer pressure.

                  It’s insidious. You just got back from a friend’s wedding and you’re battling the green monster: She had an eight-piece band while you booked a DJ. She had Dom Perignon, you’re having sparkling wine. Well, stop right there. If you scramble your plans to best hers: 1) You’ll go over budget, and 2) You’ll hate yourself for it. Worse, you’ll veer off the course you set for your own dream wedding. She made her wedding hers. And you’re making your wedding yours. And that’s an “I do!”

                  Wednesday, June 1, 2016

                  Relax and Enjoy your Day

                  Planning a wedding can be overwhelming – between finalising the guest list, keeping within budget and finding that show-stopping dress… there’s a lot to get through. But organising your big day doesn’t have to be a stressful time. Follow this checklist on what to do when, and you’ll enjoy stress-free preparations, right down to the final day.

                  10-12 MONTHS TO GO
                  :: Set the date.
                  :: Decide on a budget that both families are happy with (and be clear on who will be paying for what).
                  :: Choose your official wedding party and MC (if appropriate).
                  :: Select a handful of ceremony and reception locations and organise a meeting with the wedding event co-ordinator to talk through packages and pricing.
                  :: Start an inspiration scrapbook and file all clippings of things you like in it. Include dresses you like, decorative ideas, cake designs, floral arrangements…. Everything!
                  8-10 MONTHS TO GO
                  :: Finalise a guest list and send out save the date cards.
                  :: Start the search on your dress and bridesmaid dresses.
                  :: Start researching on ideal honeymoon destinations.
                  :: Book an appointment with a florist to talk about flower arrangements and pricing.
                  :: Book the reception/church/celebrant and run through menu options with the caterers.
                  :: Select a handful of wedding photographers and videographers and book an appointment to look through their portfolio and talk through pricing.
                  6-8 MONTHS TO GO
                  :: Finalise music for the reception and book entertainment (ie: band, DJ, etc) 
                  :: Order your wedding gown and veil – or start on dress making.
                  :: Finalise and order your bridesmaid dresses.
                  :: Finalise flowers with the florist and décor with the reception/ wedding planner
                  :: Book the honeymoon! Don’t forget the relaxing massage the minute you arrive at the destination.
                  :: Get started on your gift registry – if you decide to have one.
                  :: Book transportation (don’t forget the getaway car!)
                  4-6 MONTHS TO GO
                  :: Buy accessories for you and the bridesmaids.
                  :: Finalise the groom’s suit (if you’re allowed!) and groomsmen’s suits.
                  :: Book a hair and make-up trial. 
                  :: Book a hotel room for your wedding night. 
                  :: Organise pre-marriage counselling if you’d like it. A lot of churches strongly recommend this when booking the church.
                  :: Research and order wedding invitations, table place cards and bonbonniere.
                  :: Order your cake (and taste samples if they offer it!)
                  :: Organise taste testing for the menu. 
                  :: Order your wedding bands and engraving.
                  :: Confirm dates for your hens night and be clear with what you’d like (and not like) for the night out.
                  2-4 MONTHS TO GO
                  :: Finalise guest list. 
                  :: Send out wedding invitations.
                  :: Book hair and make-up artists for you and your bridesmaids. Don’t forget your mum and the groom’s mum too. 
                  :: Consider booking dance lessons for the bridal waltz.
                  :: Finalise the menu with the caterers/reception.
                  :: Start putting together wedding booklets and church ceremony readings.
                  :: Finalise the gift registry and make sure there’s enough in every price range for your guests.
                  1 MONTH TO GO
                  :: Start writing your vows and wedding speech.
                  :: Buy gifts for your groom and the wedding party.
                  3-4 WEEKS TO GO
                  :: Meet with your photographer to discuss shot list and photo locations.
                  :: Start putting together church booklets, name-tags and other stationery required.
                  :: Confirm honeymoon arrangements.
                  :: Chase up any guests who haven’t RSVP’d.
                  :: Write up a time schedule for the day (including important contact numbers) and send to all parties involved in important parts of the day (Ie: MC, priest/celebrant, photographer, DJ, wedding co-ordinator, drivers).
                  1-2 WEEKS TO GO
                  :: Pick up your wedding bands.
                  :: Send final guest list to reception place and confirm any vegetarian meals or special meal requirements for guests.
                  :: Book beauty appointments – wax, eyebrow shape, facial (no extractions!), etc.
                  :: Confirm pick up address and time with transportation.
                  :: Pick up the groom’s suit and groomsmen’s suits.
                  :: Book a hair appointment to have a trim and colour/treatment.
                  3 DAYS TO GO
                  :: Deliver all wedding favours, place cards, and liquor to the reception place.
                  :: Have a spray tan – not too close to the day. Everyone will know you haven’t been to Hawaii and back!
                  :: Have your final dress fitting – be sure to wear all jewellery, shoes, and correct underwear. 
                  :: Prepare a list of all payments required on the day, put in envelopes and leave someone in charge of handing out the appropriate people on the day.

                  WEDDING EVE
                  :: Get a manicure and pedicure.
                  :: Treat yourself and your groom to a relaxing massage. 
                  :: Have a wedding rehearsal (if relevant) with the bridal party and church/celebrant.
                  :: Get an early night!

                  Monday, May 9, 2016

                  Indian Chinese Culture

                  In a lavish ceremony last month, the founders of AHA, Shauna Mei and Sachin Devand, celebrated their nuptials with friends and family in Jaipur, India. In the beautiful surroundings of the Samode Palace, those attending were able to experience a five-day Hindu wedding extravaganza with six different ceremonies taking place, creating a “burning man like wedding” 

                  Notable names in attendance included Russian singer, Katya Lee; make-up artist and TV personality, Carmindy Bowyer; celebrity fashion and style expert, Jason Campbell; American food writer, Suzanne Pirret and the host of CBS’s #StyleScouting podcast, Alia Ahmed-Yahia.

                  Guests were also treated to a fashion spectacle with seven outfit changes from the bride. The looks ranged from a Matthew Williamson pool party dress, custom made dresses for Mehandi, Haldi, and Holi ceremonies and for the reception a Vivienne Tam dress was worn, followed by a Manish piece. 

                  Hosted by the Devand family, the grand affair followed a packed schedule. Memorable moments included the Baarat Procession, which saw Sachin arriving by elephant to pick up his bride whilst being accompanied by an entourage of dancers, horses, camels and royal soldiers, and the Holi ceremony which is a two-day festival in itself and was the pinnacle of the event. 

                  Holi was celebrated on March 24 this year, but Shauna and Sachin invited their guests to celebrate a belated Holi with a “Holika bonfire” and a free-for-all carnival of colors where participants played, chased and colored each other with dry powder and colored water. Celebrations concluded with a private tour of the majestic Taj Mahal

                  About AHA

                  Six years ago Shauna and Sachin founded AHA with the aim of creating a community which values creativity and empowers independent designers & artisans to thrive online. Today, the digital platform is a destination for discovering more than 4,000 designers in over 45 countries around the globe and provides consumers with a curated collection of luxury fashion and lifestyle brands.
                  Photography Chandni Dua Photography.

                  Wedding Style Guide Blog - Wedding Ideas & Inspiration, Styling your day your way: Wedding Rings

                  Wedding Style Guide Blog - Wedding Ideas & Inspiration, Styling your day your way: Wedding Rings: Today we found out  the history and symbolism behind the tradition of wearing a wedding ring and why, in most western cultures, it’s wor...

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                  Thursday, May 5, 2016

                  Wedding Rings

                  Today we found out the history and symbolism behind the tradition of wearing a wedding ring and why, in most western cultures, it’s worn on the fourth finger of the left hand, otherwise known as the ring finger.
                  Wedding rings today are a billion dollar sentiment of love, but no  one can really say for sure when this age old tradition actually started. Some believe that the oldest recorded exchange of wedding rings comes from ancient Egypt, about 4800 years ago. Sedges, rushes and reeds, growing alongside the well-known papyrus were twisted and braided into rings for fingers an other decorative ornaments worn by the women in those days.
                  The circle was the symbol of eternity, with no beginning or end, not only to the Egyptians, but many other ancient cultures. The hole in the center of the ring also had significance. It wasn’t just considered a space, but rather a gateway, or door; leading to things and events both known and unknown. To give a woman a ring signifies never-ending and immortal love.
                  The materials these rings were made of didn’t last very long and soon were substituted with rings made of leather, bone or ivory. The more expensive the material, the more love shown to the receiver; the value of the ring also  demonstrated the wealth of the giver.
                  The Roman’s also eventually adopted this tradition but with their own twist. Rather than offering a ring to a woman as a symbol of love, they awarded them as a symbol of ownership. Roman men would “claim” their woman with the giving of a ring. Roman betrothal rings were later made of iron and called “Anulus Pronubus.” They symbolized strength and permanence. It is also said that the Romans were the first to engrave their rings.
                  It was not until about 860 that the Christians used the ring in marriage ceremonies; even then, it was not the simple plain band as we know it. It usually was highly decorated with engraved doves, lyres, or two linked hands. The Church discouraged such rings as ‘heathenish’ and, around the 13th century, wedding and betrothal rings were considerably simplified, and given a more spiritual look which was very aptly expressed by a Bishop when he dubbed it a “symbol of the union of hearts.”
                  Wedding rings through different stages in history have been worn on different fingers, including the thumb, and on both the left and right hands. According to  a tradition believed to have been derived from the Romans, the wedding ring is worn on the left hand ring finger because there was thought to be a vein in the finger, referred to as the ‘Vena Amoris’ or the ‘Vein of Love’ said to be directly connected to the heart. However, scientists have shown this is actually false. Despite this, this  myth still remains regarded by many (hopeless romantics) as the number one reason rings are worn on the fourth finger.
                  Another theory thought to be behind the ring being placed on the left hand by Christians seems a little more plausible. Early Christian marriages had a ritual to wear the wedding ring in the third finger. As the priest recited during the binding ,”In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit”, he would take the ring and touch the thumb, the index finger, and the middle finger; then, while uttering “Amen”, he would place the ring on the ring finger, which sealed the marriage.
                  A more practically based theory is that the soft metal (traditionally gold for wedding rings) is less worn or injured on the finger of the left hand, due to most of the world being right handed.  Further, the fourth finger on the left hand is probably the second to the least used finger on a person’s hands outside of pinkies.  Pinkies being small, making a small ring with little surface area to decorate, perhaps motivated people to then place it on the next least used finger, namely the fourth finger on the left hand, which is roughly the size of the other fingers.
                  Bonus Facts:

                  • The earliest and smallest engagement ring was given to Princess Mary, daughter of Henry VIII. She was two years old at the time.  Presumably the ring was given to her by Pedobear. 😉
                  • Seventeen tons of gold are made into wedding rings each year in the United States!
                  • Back in the 1300’s, when people were particularly superstitious, it was believed that taking a piece of the bride’s clothing would grant the guests good luck. This lead to many guests that would literally tear cloth from the bride’s dress (which made for a very peeved bride!). So, in an attempt to stave off greedy luck-seekers, many brides began to throw items to guests that could be easily removed from her and that included her garter. Eventually, grooms began to remove the garter and tossed it to the men as a means to prevent tipsy male guests from trying to do the deed themselves. In an effort to help the women feel included, it eventually became customary for the bride to throw her bouquet at the female guests.
                  • There are dozens of good-luck, bad-luck traditions followed by different cultures around the world. In Greek culture, a sugar cube is tucked into the bride’s glove to “sweeten” the marriage. For good luck, Egyptian women pinch the bride on her wedding day. The English believe a spider found in a wedding dress means good luck.Peas are thrown at Czech newlyweds instead of rice. Ancient Greeks and Romans thought the veil protected the bride from evil spirits. Brides have worn veils ever since. The groom carries the bride across the threshold to bravely protect her from evil spirits lurking below.
                  • The first recorded account of a diamond engagement ring was in 1477 when King Maximilian I of Germany (1459-1519) proposed to Mary of Burgundy (1457-1482) and offered her a diamond to seal his vow. (So, men you now know who to blame!)
                  • Interestingly, in many countries, even today, including Norway, Russia, Greece, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Poland, Austria, Germany,Portugal and Spain, the wedding ring in worn on the ring finger of the right hand and not the left. In Jewish tradition, the groom places the ring on the bride’s index finger, and not the “ring” finger at all.

                  Monday, April 25, 2016

                  Wedding Traditions

                  Wedding Lore and Traditions
                  by Elizabeth Olson
                  A Bride and Groom Standing

                  "Something borrowed" usually comes from a happily married woman and is thought to lend some of her good fortune and joy to the new bride.
                  Have you ever wondered why the bride stands to the left of the groom, or why the wedding ring is worn on the third finger of the left hand? The origins and meaning behind some of our most cherished wedding traditions may surprise you. There are, of course, multiple explanations for each piece of wedding lore, and few can be definitively traced back to their roots. Below are some of the more common and popular stories behind these traditions.

                  Tossing the Bouquet

                  Tossing the bouquet is a tradition that stems from England. Women used to try to rip pieces of the bride's dress and flowers in order to obtain some of her good luck. To escape from the crowd the bride would toss her bouquet and run away. Today the bouquet is tossed to single women with the belief that whoever catches it will be the next to marry.

                  Giving Away the Bride

                  The tradition of the father giving away his daughter has its roots in the days of arranged marriages. Daughters in those times were considered their father's property. It was the father's right to give his child to the groom, usually for a price. Today a father giving away his daughter is a symbol of his blessing of the marriage.

                  The Wedding Ring

                  The wedding ring has been worn on the third finger of the left hand since Roman times. The Romans believed that the vein in that finger runs directly to the heart. The wedding ring is a never-ending circle, which symbolizes everlasting love.

                  The Best Man

                  In ancient times, men sometimes captured women to make them their brides. A man would take along his strongest and most trusted friend to help him fight resistance from the woman's family. This friend, therefore, was considered the best man among his friends. In Anglo-Saxon England, the best man accompanied the groom up the aisle to help defend the bride.

                  Bride on Groom's Left

                  Because grooms in Anglo-Saxon England often had to defend their brides, the bride would stand to the left of her groom so that his sword arm was free.

                  Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, and a Sixpence in Your Shoe

                  "Something old" represents the bride's link to her family and the past. The bride may choose to wear a piece of family jewelry or her mother or grandmother's wedding gown. "Something new" represents hope for good fortune and success in the future. The bride often chooses the wedding gown to represent the new item. "Something borrowed" usually comes from a happily married woman and is thought to lend some of her good fortune and joy to the new bride. "Something blue" is a symbol of love, fidelity, and purity of the bride. A sixpence in her shoe is to wish the bride wealth in her future life.

                  The Tiered Wedding Cake

                  The origin of the tiered wedding cake also lies in Anglo-Saxon times. Guests would bring small cakes to the wedding and stack them on top of each other. Later, a clever French baker created a cake in the shape of the small cakes and covered it in frosting. It is now known as the tiered cake.
                  A Wedding Bouquet

                  Wedding Bouquet

                  Flowers are incorporated into the wedding ceremony as a symbol of fertility. The first bouquets consisted of herbs and, later, orange blossoms.

                  The Bridal Veil

                  The bridal veil has long been a symbol of youth, modesty, and virginity and was used to ward off evil.


                  The bridal party is a tradition that has been established for many centuries. For a long time the purpose of the bridal party was to fool evil spirits. The bride's friends dressed similarly to her in order to confuse any virulent presences that might be lurking about. Today bridesmaids are there to support the bride in the stressful times during the wedding.