February 2017

Alternatives to Diamonds for Engagement Rings
Diamonds are beautiful, however there are many beautiful stones that exist.

Though diamonds are a girls best friend, there are plenty of other beautiful stones out that are more budget friendly and will surely stand out.

Wedding and engagement rings have a long history, probably from Roman customs where a woman would wear rings attached to small keys, which demonstrated her ownership by her husband. Women were considered property for many years, and we’re fortunate that this has changed. The first rings with diamonds were recorded in the late 1400s. Maximilian I, the King of the Romans and Holy Roman Emperor, commissioned a diamond ring for his betrothed, Mary of Burgundy.

Maximilian is responsible for the diamond engagement ring trend, but it was the Victorians who popularized the ornate designs and beautiful settings that we know today. However, diamonds were largely inaccessible to the masses until De Beers began mining in the late 1800s. The demand for diamonds dropped during the Depression, but De Beers Company fought back by using the movie stars of the time to advertise the diamonds.

Are Diamonds Really a Girl’s Best Friend?

In the 1953 film, “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” Marilyn Monroe sang:

“The French are glad to die for love.

They delight in fighting duels.

But I prefer a man who lives

And gives expensive jewels.

A kiss on the hand

May be quite continental,

But diamonds are a girl’s best friend.”

Diamonds might be considered traditional, but not everyone can afford these rare gems. Some people don’t want to support the industry. There are a lot of other gemstones that can be made into beautiful rings. Here are some of the best alternatives.

Alternative Stones

  • Garnets come in shades of pink and red most commonly, but you can also find them in other colors. Although garnets aren’t as hard as other gems, only a 7.0 on the Mohs scale (a diamond is a 10), you’ll be able to get a bigger gem for a fraction of the cost.
  • Sapphires are most commonly a blue gem, but you can find them in other hues. The best part is that sapphires are generally one-third of the price of diamonds. You can get a larger stone, but make sure it’s well cut.
  • Emeralds come in beautiful shades of green, and although they aren’t one of the more popular gems these days, they can look chic and timeless in a ring setting that will last forever.
  • Pearls are an iconic look, but they do tend to scratch and tarnish easily. You can find very elegant pearls at a good price, but don’t plan on wearing the ring every day to make it last.
  • Opals can reflect the entire rainbow as they move in the light. No two opals look the same, but they are in the middle of the Mohs scale. Opals don’t stand up to daily wear like a diamond might, but they still make a beautiful ring.
  • Onyx is generally black in color, but it can come in a variety of colors for fine jewelry. The black stone pairs with anything you wear and it looks timeless and chic.
  • Sunstones are a very abundant gemstone and come in a variety of shades including peach, red, orange and green. Many are found just south of the border in Oregon.
  • Amethyst is a pretty, purple gem that is durable but less expensive than diamond. The gem is beautifully paired with gold or silver for a classic look.
Fascinating Traditions in Canadian Weddings
Catching the bouquet is one of the oldest marriage traditions.

One of the most common wedding traditions practiced to this day is the catching of the bride’s bouquet.

The idea of getting married is nothing new. In fact, weddings are some of the oldest ceremonies to have been documented across all civilizations. There are a lot of traditions that have persisted through the years even if the mentality behind a wedding has changed. In Canada, for example, there are plenty of unique ways of going about the process of marrying your partner.

Common Wedding Traditions

Planning for a wedding requires time and research. Here are a few wedding practices that appear often in Canadian rituals in the current day and age, as well as in other cultures across the world.

Catch the Bouquet

One common tradition found in many weddings is the tossing of the bouquet. Traditionally, this is an act by the bride, who tosses the flowers backwards over her shoulder toward a crowd of single friends and relatives. It is customary for this part of the ceremony to only include women, but shifting attitudes have shown that single men can also get in on the fun if the married couple so wishes. The history behind this act is a bit more interesting than might be first believed.

In older cultures, it was common for single women to tear away a piece of the bride’s dress. This was meant as a gesture of good luck for the women holding the strip of garment. As wedding dresses became more expensive, brides found that it was a bit much to have their families and friends tearing away at their beautiful gowns. The bouquet toss was a custom introduced to ward away women who wanted a piece of luck and provide them with a competitive chance for their wishes.

Eternal Love

Some traditions are so ingrained in the cultural sphere that it’s hard to imagine another way of going about the process. Rings, for example, are the cornerstone of an engagement and subsequent wedding. There have been many different approaches to the exchanging of rings over the years. Essentially, experts have traced the tradition of the ring back to Egypt in its earliest days of civilization.

The Egyptians would trade rings as a sign of eternal love and commitment. Eventually, due to the conquests of the Greeks and Romans, the tradition was adopted. As civilization expanded through Europe, the custom became more widespread until it reached the height that it exists at now. The custom of wearing a wedding ring on a specific finger can also be traced back to the Egyptians. They believed that the third finger on the left hand was the one most closely connected to the human heart.

White Wedding

A common practice in the modern age is for a woman to wear white on her wedding day. This is actually not as old of a tradition as many might believe. In Western culture, the custom of wearing white began as a way of symbolizing the purity of the bride. This started during the Victorian Era in England and has persisted to the modern day in many countries. What’s more fascinating is that brides across the world wore a multitude of colors on their wedding day before this practice began.

White was a rare color to be seen during a ceremony in earlier traditions. It has lively and vibrant colors being more closely associated with the passion and beauty of shared love. Though it seems that most brides wear white in the current age, the trend is being pushed against. More women are wearing dresses that match their personal tastes rather than taking part in a tradition that holds no meaning for them.

As you plan your wedding, consider the meaning behind current customs. You may want to break from tradition or go with the flow – the choice is yours.

Wedding Engagement Announcement Etiquette
Taking the first steps towards an engagement.

Every engagement started somewhere. For some, it was dating a friend; for others, dating websites played a crucial role.

According to some experts, about 40 percent of wedding engagements occur between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. It doesn’t matter when you get engaged, you’ll want to spread the news far and wide. It might sound like a childish notion to have a plan for sharing your engagement news, but you’ll want to make sure that your mom hears your announcement from you, not Aunt Sally. Here are some etiquette tips you might want to consider.

Who Do I Tell First?

Before posting on social media, you want to make sure your family and close friends know. If you have kids, you should talk to them first and give them some time to process their emotions before making the big announcement. Social media and/or newspaper announcements should follow your own verbal notices.

Can I Post Pictures of the Ring on Social Media?

Modern etiquette experts all recommend not sharing a picture of just your ring on social media, although it is very common to see close-up pictures of rings on Instagram or Facebook. The best way is to take a picture of your left hand that includes you and your fiancé. It’s more gracious and focuses on your announcement instead of focusing on the consumerism of how big the ring is.

Dealing With Uncomfortable Questions About the Ring

If you get asked about the price or size of your ring, you may be uncomfortable discussing that particular information. You don’t have to tell someone how much the ring cost or how many carats the diamond is. It is good to have a general response to any questions to be able to deflect the discomfort you feel. “Brad spent more than he should have, but we’ll have this treasure forever.” “It’s not the size that matters to me.” Humor is a good tool to have in your arsenal. Quickly change the subject to some other aspect of the wedding.

Who Should Be Invited to the Engagement Party?

You might want to invite all your friends and family to your engagement party, but wedding etiquette dictates that everyone who is invited to pre-wedding events should be invited to the actual wedding. This is one reason to keep the engagement party small. Although anyone can throw the celebration, traditionally the parents of the bride host the party. The best man and maid of honor should not be the ones hosting this party, because they are responsible for other parties closer to the wedding.

Do Brides Have to Wear White to the Engagement Party?

It is traditional for brides to wear white to the party, but that shouldn’t limit your wardrobe. The most important thing is that you feel comfortable and enjoy the party and your friends. White puts you in the spotlight, and it will be a nice reminder that those pictures are from the engagement party.

Etiquette for Those Who Have Been Informed About the Engagement

If you’ve been chosen to get the information before it’s been posted on social media, hold off on posting anything on social media about the wedding until after the couple makes an announcement. It’s tempting to want to break the news, but it’s just good etiquette to wait. Don’t ask about the size or cost of the ring. If the bride and groom want to tell you, they will.

You also shouldn’t approach the couple to ask whether you’ll be in the bridal party. It puts the bride and groom in the awkward position of having to say no if they’re planning a small wedding and not including you. Just wait to let the bride ask you. You aren’t obligated to get engagement gifts for the couple, but gifts are customary. Choose affordable gifts that fit within your budget and communicate your happiness.

Holding a Holiday Wedding – Pros and Cons
Holiday Wedding Ceremony

Some people think that a Holiday Wedding will be easier due to family being in town, however it can cause more harm than good.

All of your family will be home for Christmas, which might make you think holding a Holiday wedding on that weekend would be good. But will it? Christmas and Thanksgiving aren’t the only holidays that are wedding favorites; Valentine’s Day or Easter weekend are other special events where people consider marrying. Before planning your celebration of vows on a three-day weekend, consider the advantages and disadvantages.

The Benefits of a Holiday Weekend

  • If you’re having a destination weekend, more of your family and friends might have time off to travel.
  • Even if you’re staying at home, you probably get more vacation time around certain holidays. This lets you steal a few extra days to get ready for the ceremony or to go on the honeymoon.
  • You can work more themes into your wedding if you’re holding it over a holiday weekend.
  • It’s just one more holiday party for guests to have when they’re taking time off work.
  • Celebrating future anniversaries is easier, because you can always remember the date. And if it’s around a holiday, you’ll know you’ll be able to get an extra day off.

The Disadvantages of Holding Your Wedding on a Holiday

  • Guests may have other standing plans with family or other holiday obligations.
  • You can’t assume people have vacation days around the holidays. People who work retail may be required to work extra shifts during the Christmas season. Healthcare workers may not be able to apply for time off.
  • December is already expensive for many people. Adding the extra expense of a wedding may be prohibitive. While you’re not having the wedding to get gifts, you certainly don’t want to make it harder for those who want to give you a present.
  • Airfare can be higher during holidays because the demand is higher.

Etiquette for a Holiday Wedding

If you’ve had your heart set on a wedding held on New Year’s Day or Valentine’s Day, then go for it. Be understanding when guests decline the invitation. After all, it’s a request for their presence, not a command. Here are some tips to help your guests make decisions about whether they can attend your wedding over a holiday weekend.

  1. Give your guests a lot of notice. Send save-the-date cards a little earlier. Remember, if you send someone a save-the-date card, you should send them an invitation. Make your guest list first. Don’t send out save-the-date cards indiscriminately. One wedding website recommends at least a year in advance with a holiday wedding.
  2. Give more RSVP time. You should also plan time to follow up with RSVPs.
  3. Use the holiday as a starting point. Don’t play Christmas music at your Christmas wedding. You want people to remember your day, not the holiday.
  4. Incorporate touches of decorations from the holiday, but don’t overdo. You can make the party theme-driven and unique.
  5. Have a signature cocktail and appetizers to get the reception started.
  6. Remember to book vendors early. You may need to remember to budget a little more than you would if it were on another weekend. Vendors may have to charge more for a holiday event.
  7. Plan to give servers who are working on Christmas a larger tip. They’re not with their family because they’re serving yours. Be kind and considerate to those who are working.
  8. Make hotel reservations early too. Get a room block to get a reduced rate and save rooms for those who need it.
  9. Advertise on your wedding website which amenities you are providing. Make it easy for guests to find accommodations and local information.

Before setting the date for your wedding, discuss any plans thoroughly. This way you understand the pitfalls and can overcome the disadvantages before you spend a lot of money.

Child Brides Find Help From Hindu Priests
One of many child brides posing in a wedding dress.

Child brides face many more health issues than if they wait to get married.

Child brides may not be a huge problem in Canada, but the problem itself is huge. The International Center for Research on Women estimates that one-third of girls are married before the age of 18. The countries with the highest rates of child marriage are in Africa and South Asia. In Niger, 75 percent of girls are married before the age of 18. The ICRW lists the top 20 countries in the world with the highest rates of child brides.

The Problems Associated With Child Brides

  • Young girls who marry before the age of 18 do not get educated as well as girls who wait to marry.
  • These young girls may not have access to healthcare and other services they require to grow and mature.
  • Girls who marry under the age of 18 are more likely to live in poverty.
  • Child brides have a higher risk of HIV and other STDs.
  • Child brides die at a higher rate from pregnancy than women who are older when they marry.
  • Younger brides are more likely to experience domestic violence than the women who marry later in life. In India, the risk of domestic violence for girls under 18 is twice that of women who wait.

Changing Child Marriage

Although many people outside of the regions associate child marriage with Islam, it’s simply a myth that only one religion is affiliated with child brides. Many religions actively participate in the tradition. It is more common in rural areas than urban, and many times girls do not have a say in the matter. One day, they’re playing with friends and helping mom cook dinner. The next day, they’re shipped off to their husband. The bride and groom may not even meet before the wedding.

In Nepal, it’s estimated that about 41 percent of girls are married before turning 18. Some activist groups place the number even higher, at 50 percent. Families even lie about a girl’s age to get around the law. Nepal has banned child marriage for 54 years. Girls are supposed to be at least 20 before getting married. However, it is difficult to enforce the law. Nepal is trying to end the practice by 2030. The country is working with the U.N. and other agencies to implement plans to stop the practice.

Fortunately, Nepali Hindi priests are beginning to advocate against child marriage. When a girl is born, she receives a special scroll that can be used to tell her fortune. Even if a family lies about her age to the priest who is marrying her, the scroll gives her real age. Priests are using their place in the community to educate families about child marriages. Although the number of people convinced to wait is small, these priests continue to work. It may take another generation to turn the tide of child brides in Nepal, but they are doing something today.

What Can You Do?

You may not have the influence to stop child marriages in places such as Nepal, Madagascar or Zambia, but you can certainly support the efforts of those who are working to change the tradition. ICRW is just one activist organization trying to change the tide. UNICEF is another excellent organization that promotes gender equality and education around the world. At Girlsnotbrides.org, you can find even more ways to act and raise your voice in the fight against child marriages.

There isn’t an easy solution to change when it’s embedded in the culture. It’s going to take everyone working together to empower girls and enact new laws designed to support the rights of all children in these countries. Girlsnotbrides.org works with more than 600 groups around the world to help change behaviors and attitudes associated with child marriage. Learn more about what you can do.

FAQs About Wedding Gift-Giving
Some parties or weddings will have a table set aside for you to drop your wedding gift off at.

Make sure that you place your wedding gift with the others.

The traditional summer wedding might be over, but ceremonies happen all year long. Many guests don’t know what’s expected from them when giving a wedding gift. Here are some etiquette tips to help you make good decisions about giving a present to the couple when you’re invited to the party.

What Should I Buy?

The wedding registry is the best resource for choosing a gift. The couple may have a wedding website with some special notes about wanting to save up for a larger purchase. You should consult the registry to make sure you match the couple’s style and personality. If you’re making a handmade gift, you can find color ideas and patterns on the registry to know what the bride prefers. 

How Much Should I Spend?

There are a number of thoughts about how much to spend on gifts. As a general rule of thumb, you don’t need to spend the same amount on a coworker or distant relative as you would on a close relative or friend. According to Proflowers.com, the average wedding gift costs $106. That figure will vary depending on your budget, the relationship you have with the couple and how much you’re spending to get to the wedding. Traditionally, you don’t need to spend as much on the gift when it’s a destination wedding or if you’re coming from a long distance.

When Should I Send the Wedding Gift?

Although many people still bring gifts to the wedding, this is often very difficult for the bride and groom to manage. These gifts may have to be transported to different places, and if the couple is leaving directly from the reception for the airport, it will be complicated for the family. Plus, there are more opportunities for money and small gifts to be stolen at a reception. It’s best to send it to the home of either the bride or the groom before the ceremony or up to three months following the wedding.

If I’m Bringing a Gift to the Wedding, Do I Have to Buy One for the Shower, Too?

A shower is a party to bless the bride (or couple) with gifts. It is the one party that is all about the gift-giving. Set your gift budget when you get the wedding invitation. If you get an invitation to a shower, use the 20 percent rule. Dedicate 20 percent of your budget to the shower gift. If you get invited to more than one shower, take another 20 percent out of the original budget for the gift. Whatever is left, use it to buy the wedding gift. For example, you set a budget of $200. You’re invited to a bridal shower and an engagement party. Twenty (20) percent of 200 is $40. Spend $40 on a gift for the engagement party, then another $40 for the shower. This leaves $120 for the wedding gift. But feel free to use those limits as you choose.

One final thought: You should not stretch your budget too far to give what might be expected. The wedding is not about gifts and money; it’s about celebrating the union of two people. If your finances won’t let you give a large gift, do what you can. A gift certificate to a local restaurant would be a nice treat for the couple when they get back from the honeymoon. Picture frames are always welcome and can be expensive when you want to buy a lot. Treat the bride to a couple of special ones. Maybe on the couple’s first anniversary, your budget will allow you to do something more. The wedding should be a celebration, not a gift-grabbing event. If the couple knows and loves you, they will understand your limitations.

Wedding Traditions From Around The World
Certain wedding traditions have been practiced for hundreds of years.

There are all kinds of traditions that continue through the world. Many have similarities while others can be vastly different.

If you’re trying to plan a unique ceremony for your special day, check out some of these special wedding traditions from around the world.

 

 

 

Wedding Traditions from other Cultures

  • Congo – Brides and grooms aren’t allowed to smile on their wedding day. When they do, it shows that they aren’t serious about the marriage.
  • China – The bride travels to the groom’s home in a decorated sedan chair. Attendants take care of the bride on the journey by holding parasols to shield her from the elements. They throw rice at the chair as a sign of prosperity and health. Female bridesmaids put the groom through a series of tests for him to prove his worthiness of the bride. He must give them envelopes of money before they’ll allow him to have their friend.
  • Fiji – The potential bridegroom must present his father with a whale’s tooth when he asks for her hand in marriage.
  • Jamaica – The bride is paraded through the streets. If the villagers go home, it means she didn’t look her best. She must go home and spruce herself up for another go.

Some Other Cultures Practices

  • Guatemala – The groom’s parents host the reception party. The groom’s mother breaks a ceramic bell filled with grains to give the couple prosperity.
  • Germany – The guests break porcelain dishes in front of the new home. The bride and groom are to clean these dishes up together as a demonstration of working together to overcome anything.
  • Scotland – Gretna Green is the place to elope. In medieval times, Gretna Green would marry young couples who did not always have parental permission.
  • Kenya – The bride’s father spits on her as she leaves the reception. It’s thought to preempt fate by not seeming too supportive of the couple.
  • Greece – The best man (or groom’s best friend) shaves the groom before the wedding. The new mother-in-law feeds him honey and almonds.
  • Japan – A Shinto bride wears white from head to toe. The head covering is thought to hide the horns of jealousy toward her new mother-in-law. The white symbolizes her maidenhood.
  • Norway – The traditional cake is called kransekake. It’s a tower of almond cake rings stacked on top of each other. The center is often filled with a wine bottle. The bride may wear a gold and silver crown with small trinkets as part of her wedding finery. As she moves, the trinkets jingle, which scares off the evil spirits.
  • Russia – Couples partake of a sweetbread called karavaya which is decorated with grains of wheat for fertility. Whoever takes the largest bite without using their hands is thought to be the head of the family.

As you go through this list, you might notice that many of the wedding traditions are similar to customs we have here. It just shows that we’re more alike than we think.

8 Romantic Sites to Visit in Montreal
There are plenty of romantic sites to be seen in Montreal.

Couples young and old can enjoy many of the romantic sites that Montreal has to offer.

If you’re planning a honeymoon, one of the nicest cities in Canada to visit is Montreal, but you don’t have to be newly married to take advantage of the romantic sites and locations along the St. Lawrence River. Revive your marriage by spending the weekend or a few days somewhere new. Here are eight of the best sites to rekindle your love.

 

Romantic Sites on Montréal

  1. Montréal Botanical Garden: Even if you aren’t a horticulturist, you will enjoy the beauty of the 20 thematic gardens, greenhouses and pavilion. Guided tours are available, or else just walk through the more than 75 hectares holding hands and talking about your dreams and aspirations. Don’t forget to turn off your phone and focus on your partner.
  2. The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts: Since 1860, the museum has been showcasing fine art and sculptures. You can stroll through a sculpture garden, enjoy stained glass windows or classical artwork in one of the beautifully designed pavilions. The museum offers permanent collections of Canadian artists and typically has special exhibitions on tour.
  3. Biodome: Experience a rainforest or the sub-polar regions in the Biodome all within walking distance. It has more than 4,500 animals and 500 plant species all under one roof.
  4. Notre-Dame Basilica: Although the Basilica has religious roots, it draws in many visitors each year who want to explore the architecture and beauty of the parish. You’ll get a 20-minute guided tour as part of your admission and have the opportunity to see one of the best examples of Gothic Revival architecture in North America.
  5. Parc-Jean Drapeau: The parc offers the perfect opportunity for the adventurist. Depending on the season when you visit, you could enjoy the beach, museums, swimming, roller coasters and more. Check out their calendar for special concerts and events.
  6. Marché Bonsecours: A historical building with its own heritage, the Marche now houses boutiques and restaurants that feature Quebec artisans. It’s a must-stop on any trip to Montreal at least once to enjoy the local flavor and take home a piece of the area.
  7. Old Port of Montreal: The port offers a number of activities and attractions, such as the Montreal Clock Tower, the Science Center, access to the riverfront and many cultural events throughout the year. Rent a bicycle, Segway or roller blades to explore the 2-kilometer area filled with shopping and restaurants. You could easily spend your entire vacation enjoying the port and its activities.
  8. World Trade Centre Montreal: Located close to downtown, the Trade Center is a hotel and office building with indoor parking, restaurants and boutiques. Take a historic discovery tour or enjoy one of the special events that goes on throughout the year.

These eight locations are just a few of the many attractions in Montreal where you and your partner can get away from your normal life to reconnect. Take a walking tour of the city of just drive around and see the spectacular architecture, some of which dates back to the 16th century. The city has been designated a UNESCO City of Design, one of just three in the world. Explore the underground complexes for a different shopping experience. There are a number of beautiful churches, not only the Notre-Dame Basilica.

Montreal is home to many local restaurants where you can enjoy exotic food from other countries or experience the local flavors of Canada. It has a wealth of accommodations, from five-star hotels with all the amenities to small, intimate bed and breakfast inns. You won’t need a passport to travel to this historic and modern city that has been named Canada’s Cultural Capital by Monocle magazine. It truly could enhance your romantic life.

Tips for Choosing Flowers for Your Wedding
Successfully choosing flowers can really bring a wedding together.

Correctly choosing flowers for the wedding can be one of the hardest parts of a wedding.

When you’re planning a wedding, there are so many decisions to make to have the perfect day. Choosing flowers is one of the most important elements of the ceremony, as the bridal bouquet will most likely be in 95 percent of the pictures. It’s recommended that brides allot about 10 percent of their overall budget for flowers. This should include the bouquet, the bridesmaid’s bouquets, the boutonnieres, corsages and the reception.

According to The Knot, these are some of the most popular wedding flowers:

  • Rose
  • Tulip
  • Calla lily
  • Lily of the valley
  • Hydrangea
  • Peony
  • Sweet pea
  • Gardenia

Many of these popular flowers are only available seasonally, such as the peony and lily of the valley. The price of roses often fluctuates, depending on the season. You will pay much more for roses in the month of February, because demand is so high. Here are some tips for finding the right flowers and florist for your wedding.

  • Get some ideas about what you like before you go talk to your florist. Know what you’d like to have at the wedding and where you’re willing to compromise.
  • Meet with two or three florists to compare styles and prices. Talk with the florist about the seasonality of your options for flowers.
  • The florist will want to know your budget and your style.
  • When you meet with the florist, bring a photo of your wedding dress and swatches of your colors. You might also want to bring the brochures of your ceremony and reception sites.
  • Ask to see the florist’s portfolio to get an idea of his or her sense of style.
  • Ask for suggestions about flowers that won’t wilt over the time of the wedding and reception. Get affordable options that might work more effectively.
  • Get information about the “warranty.” Will the flowers be fresh and arrive on time? What happens if a specific flower isn’t available on the wedding day?
  • Find out the payment process for the florist. It’s not uncommon for a 50 percent deposit to be made when you sign the contract. The balance will most likely be due the week of the wedding.

Talk with each prospective florist and get an estimate in writing based on what you’ve discussed. Then go home and consider what really works with your budget.

Correctly Choosing Flowers Doesn’t Mean Breaking the Bank

Keeping your flower budget in check isn’t easy, so here are some tips to help you manage your money.

  1. Reuse bridesmaid bouquets and ceremony arrangements. Have the bridesmaids slip their bouquets into vases in the reception area and ask venue staff to move the arrangements from the ceremony to the reception.
  2. You might skip the ceremony arrangements altogether. There’s no rule that says you have to have flowers at the altar. Greenery, candles or lights might fill the space quite effectively.
  3. Don’t plan on getting married in February when demand for roses and other flowers are quite high.
  4. Use large, inexpensive blossoms to fill in space.
  5. Choose cheaper flowers as the mainstay of the arrangements. Carnations and baby’s breath are two of the most inexpensive stems and have a lot of bang for your buck.
  6. DIY floral arrangements and bouquets. The internet has plenty of how-to guides for those who love to craft by putting together their own wedding arrangements. Consider paying the florist to make the intricate corsages and boutonnieres.
  7. Get your blooms from the grocery store instead of the florist.
  8. Work with a florist who understands your budget and is willing to help you stay within it.

You can get the beautiful flowers you want for your wedding and stay within your budget when you plan for it.

Choosing the Right Wedding Date
Winter wedding dates are becoming increasingly popular.

Due to the popularity of the movie “Frozen”, more and more people are placing their wedding date in the winter.

Every bride dreams of the perfect wedding and one of the first decisions that you have to make is the date. Some couples have a special day and won’t even think about choosing another wedding date, but many people aren’t even sure where to start. Here are some tips to help you narrow the choices and select a date that will work for you.

What’s Your Dream Wedding?

When you see yourself getting married, you have to know what you envision as your ideal. Maybe you want to be married in a lush rose garden, which might mean a late spring or early summer wedding. If you’ve always wanted to get married in a vineyard, you might have to think late September or October. With the popularity of the movie “Frozen,” more couples are thinking of a beautiful white, winter wedding. Choose a season that fits your imagination.

Consider the Weather

Even if your wedding is inside, you should take into account the weather when planning the date. If you imagine the groom wearing a tux or full suit, the middle of summer might not be the best choice. It’s just too hot to be so formal in 100-degree weather. The other factor in considering the weather is your guests’ comfort. If you’re having an outside wedding, you don’t want your guests to bake in the sun or freeze because it’s too cold. Of course, there are always unseasonable temperatures, but you can’t control everything.

Consider Your Budget

There’s a reason June, September and October are popular months to get married in, and it’s because the weather is generally fairly dependable. Vendors know that these are popular months, and the prices go up during the wedding season. If you have a strict budget, you might want to consider an off-season wedding. But you do need think about sacrifices in other areas, because specialty flowers aren’t always as readily available in off-season months. Saving money with the venue, then spending it on flowers doesn’t make the most sense if you’re trying to save money.

Special Occasions to Consider for Your Wedding Date

It might be nice to get married on New Year’s Eve, because the date will always be special in more ways than one. When considering your wedding date, you have to consider the holiday season. On Valentine’s Day, roses tend to be more expensive, which could increase your budget. If you live in a college town, you may also have to think about sports events, such as homecoming. This might make it difficult for your friends and family to find reasonable accommodations. Hotels, flights and car rentals all tend to get more expensive on holiday weekends and when demand is higher.

Another element in looking at special dates is that of those dates special to you and your spouse. Whether it’s the day you met or your grandparent’s anniversary, you may be looking at one particular date. Consider how important the actual date is versus some flexibility in scheduling.

The Venues May Have Limited Availability

Once you choose your ideal date, you have to work it out with your venues. Often, churches won’t hold weddings on Sundays because they are using the facility for their own services. With some places, you may have to work around corporate events or other weddings. Again, some flexibility is always good when planning, especially when you have a short time frame.

Decide what’s most important to you when choosing your wedding date and what you won’t compromise on. Check with family members and your wedding party to make sure you’re not planning your wedding on top of someone’s graduation from college or silver anniversary wedding trip. It will save you a lot of headache in the long run. Although you cannot plan for every contingency, you can really consider some of the most important factors in choosing your wedding date to have the wedding of your dreams.