International Wedding Customs

Your wedding day will be all about the expression of love you share with your groom.

Wedding customs from other countries, and the symbolism they represent, can make a beautiful addition to your wedding plans. Here are some lovely ideas to consider.

Mexico – guests form a heart shaped circle around the couple. The bride and groom dance their first dance in the center of this “circle of love.”

Belgium – the bride has a dressmaker make a handkerchief embroidered with her name and wedding date on it. After the wedding, the bride has it framed, and keeps it in a place of honor. When the next female in the bride’s family gets married, the handkerchief is removed from the frame, the new bride’s name and wedding date is added, and she carries on the tradition.

Germany – both the bride and groom carry a lighted floral laden candle to the altar. They are placed by the unity candle throughout the ceremony and then used to light the unity candle as part of the ceremony.

Scotland – at their reception, the couple will drink first from a Quaich or loving cup, which is a shallow cup or bowl with two handles. This custom dates back to the 15th century and symbolizes two families coming together. Tradition has it the couples who first drink from a Quaich will have happiness and good fortune.

Greece – bride and groom both wear a crown or wreath of flowers called a stefana. The stefana is the symbol or royalty and the sanctity of marriage. The groom removes his after the ceremony, but the bride keeps hers on as part of the wedding ensemble.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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For more ideas on incorporating cultural traditions in your wedding, or if you have any questions or need help with wedding planning, contact me at 937-235-2586 or jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net.

Money Saving Tips For Your Wedding Day (That Are Also “Green”)

Many money saving tips for your wedding ceremony and reception are also “green.” Here are some easy ideas to save money on your wedding plans, and they’re good for the environment too!

Corner copy
Corner copy is your reception information that is literally printed in the corner (sometimes centered) at the bottom of your wedding invitation. By using corner copy you will save a significant amount of money. It costs about $10, regardless of quantity. Compare this to what you’d be paying for 100 or more Reception cards.

An added bonus is that since you’ll have less items going into your invitation suite, you may end up paying less for postage!

wedding invitation corner copy sample

Eco-Friendly Wedding Invitations & Other “Green” Tips

wedding invitation corner copy sample

Re-use your ceremony décor and bouquets
You’ve spend good money on something that otherwise will only be used for an hour or so. Get your moneys worth – reuse altar arrangements, pew décor and your bridesmaids’ bouquets as decorations for your reception.

Use non-florals
Candles in lanterns, individual tiers of wedding cake, bird cages for a garden wedding, seashells for a beach/seaside theme, branches, leaves or acorns for a fall wedding are all fun, budget-conscious décor ideas.

wedding cake centerpiece

Use individual potted plants
Group smaller ones together for centerpieces. Then at the end of the evening these can be sent home with guests as favors. Larger potted plants can be used as aisle décor for your ceremony or a pretty arrangement on the bar or escort card table. Send these home as a special “thank you” to someone who helped out on your wedding day. Since the plants can be taken home and replanted there is less waste – excellent for the environment.

Donate centerpieces and left over food
Check with a local nursing home or hospital. Some may welcome the donation of pretty flowers. Also, if your caterer allows leftover food to be taken off the premises, check with local groups to see who has a program for donating food to local shelters.

Accessories
A special cake knife set or toasting glasses engraved with your names and wedding date are nice, personalized touches for your wedding. However, afterwards these types of items usually end up in the attic. Instead of purchasing something that will only be used once, borrow your keepsake items.

Wedding Gown
Borrow your wedding gown from a loved one or go to consignment shop or ebay to find your gown. If you purchase your wedding gown you can donate it or sell it on ebay afterwards.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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Looking for unique ideas for your wedding? Weddings From The Heart can help. Contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Bride & Groom Q & A – The End of the Reception

end of reception - question markQ – I don’t know what to do at the end of the reception. What is a good way to “wrap up” the reception without being rude?

A – One of the best ways to “wrap up” the reception is to have it seem like a natural ending. The last thing you want is for the music to suddenly end and all of the lights suddenly turned back on. You want to end on a happy note, not leave your guests feeling like the plug was pulled.

If you have a bar, do a last call. This is a subtle way to let everyone know that things will be beginning to wind down.

Avoid These Top 7 Wedding Music Mishaps for a Rockin’ Reception

You can choose a “last dance” song, then afterwards make your getaway. “Last Dance” by Donna Summer is a popular choice. Other wonderful options are: “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life” by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warren, “Grow Old With You” by Adam Sandler, and “How Sweet It Is” by James Taylor. Check out this fabulous list on Wedding Wire. http://www.weddingwire.com/wedding-songs/last-dance-music

And remember: If you want your guests to leave, then you have to leave too. If the bride and groom are still there, people will want to stay. Even if there’s no music playing they will stick around to chat. And while everyone’s standing around chatting, they’ll see the wedding coordinator and catering staff starting to clean up (which includes taking linens off, and tearing down tables and chairs).

The memory you want to be left with (for you and your guests) is a fun party that rocked ‘til the end, not dirty linens and napkins being piled up and chairs stacked.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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Do you have questions or need some help with your wedding plans? Contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Happy International Puzzle Day!

July 13 is International Puzzle Day, in honor of Erno Rubik, the inventor of the Rubik’s cube, who was born on this day in 1944.

So, in keeping with the spirit of the day, here are some unique ways to incorporate puzzles (and other fun games) into your wedding day!

Scrabble Game Wedding Favors
http://brides.prestonbailey.com/2011/10/12/scrabble-board-game-wedding-favors/

Chocolate Puzzles
http://www.favorsandflowers.com/chocolate-puzzles.htm

Make Your Own Crossword Wedding Favor
http://www.ehow.com/how_7673752_make-own-crossword-wedding-favor.html

Wedding Mad Libs
http://politicstosticks.wordpress.com/2011/06/08/wedding-mad-libs-and-favors/

Crossword Puzzles
http://www.personalpuzzles.com/

What other fun puzzle ideas can you come up with?

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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For planning help and unique ideas for your wedding contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

Going Green On Your Wedding Day

Rings
Use heirloom jewelry. Perhaps a ring that honors your family or heritage. Or find a vintage piece on ebay or a local antique shop.

You can choose rings made from recycled metals or wood. Many companies specialize in eco-conscious jewelry and follow ecologically responsible practices.

Choose a ring with a “green” diamond – which are mined in conflict-free areas instead of “blood diamonds” – those mined in war zones. Or choose a lab-created or “cultured” diamond. This man-made alterative is created from the same chemical crystal as natural diamonds, but require no mining.

Favors
Give your guests something that gives back to the earth. Plantable favors such as saplings wrapped in burlap, seeded paper, or packets of flower seeds. Or omit favors altogether and make a donation to your favorite charity. Edible favors are always a crowd pleaser. Everyone loves them so they’re not left over. Place candy or other sweet treats in a eco-friendly favor box or bag.

Centerpieces & Decor
Use potted plants so guests can take them home, replant and enjoy. Think potted orchids, African violets or succulents. Or crate a simple water garden – use cylinder vases or round “fish bowl” styles, add some colorful glass stones or river rocks, and submerge a single bloom such as a rose or calla lily. Create a pretty centerpiece with some branches and a few flower blooms, or paper flowers. You can also use non-floral items like seashells, recycled-paper flowers, or colorful bowls of fruit. If you love the look of candlelight, soy candles are a great option.

Cake Toppers
Vintage cake toppers are a fun, eco-friendly alternative to purchasing a new topper. The charming couple below belonged to the the bride’s mom and dad. You can also find vintage toppers at flea markets or on eBay. Another unique eco-friendly alternative is a recycled paper origami topper – they can be made to fit any theme or color scheme.

Transportation
Even your mode of transportation can be eco-friendly. A cute bicycle built for two or horse and carriage are romantic alternatives to a car. Rent a hybrid vehicle. If your wedding is by a lake, make your getaway in a row boat or canoe.

Here are some eco-friendly wedding sites to help you in your planning:
earthfriendlywedding.blogspot.com
eco-beautifulweddings.com
ruffledblog.com
greenbrideguide.com
greatgreenwedding.com

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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For more great planning tips and ideas, contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586.

Why Is Another Bride Angry Over A Wedding Gift?

OMG – yet another report of a bride being angry over the gift she and her spouse received from one of their wedding guests. This time the bride is complaining over what she considers to be a cheap gift that does not cover the cost of what the guest ate or drank at the reception.

Not long ago we all heard about the couple who weren’t happy with their gift basket filled with food items — apparently one of the brides was gluten intolerant, and the couple felt that “having a wedding is all about saving for the future.”

Seems like the people getting married are suffering from social memory loss.

1. They are forgetting what is the point of a wedding reception
2. They are forgetting what is a “host” and what is a “guest”

The point of a wedding reception

A reception (by definition) is a “formal party to welcome somebody or celebrate an event such as a wedding.” Therefore a wedding reception is a celebration of two people who just got married. Key word here is “celebration.”

The level of formality can vary from couple to couple, as can all of the other details of the celebration itself (dinner or just cake and punch; dancing or just background music; 150 or more people or just 25, for example).

What stays the same is that it is a CELEBRATION. A time for festivities to have fun and rejoice in the special event.

Host vs Guest

Think about this . . .

You’re having a couple friends over for dinner.

Instead of burgers and hot dogs, you decide to serve something a little fancier – maybe a delicious prime rib or filet of sole – with a nice bottle of wine to accompany dinner, and a decadent dessert afterwards.

Your friends come, you eat and drink, visit, and at the end of the evening they go home. Now, they didn’t bring anything with them – no envelope with money, no gift. They didn’t give you anything at all. They didn’t “pay you back” for the wonderful dinner you invited them to, prepared, and served.

Do you feel slighted? Of course not! You invited them. You chose to have them over. You chose what to serve. You hosted a dinner party and they were your guests.

So, should this be any different than if the dinner party were a wedding reception? The answer is a resounding NO!

You are still hosting a dinner party, only on a larger scale. You chose who to invite. You chose what to serve. You’re hosting a wedding reception and they are your guests.

Definition of “Guest” (definition found on Bing.com)

  1. recipient of hospitality: somebody who receives hospitality from somebody else
  2. somebody entertained at another’s expense: a recipient of a meal or entertainment that is paid for by somebody else

So, if you’re the ones getting married, be gracious hosts, treat your guests to dinner, dancing, or whatever you choose. And if you’re a guest, celebrate the first day of your loved ones’ marriage and (even though the point is the celebration) bring a gift that you want to give, (whether cash or a pretty present, it’s up to you), and spend how much you want to spend.

The only expectations are that everyone has a good time and that everyone leaves with wonderful memories of the wedding celebration.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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For wedding planning tips and ideas contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!

2 Super-Easy, Inexpensive, Make-At-Home Beauty Products

make at home beauty products

Want clearer skin and a healthy glow? Here are 2 tried-and-true make-at-home beauty products that you’ve got to try.

Natural Exfoliant

Do you want an exfoliant that is non-irritating, will give you a healthy glow and leave your skin super smooth? One that is made from all natural ingredients but doesn’t cost an arm and a leg?

You don’t have to go to local department store’s cosmetic counter. Just take a walk to your kitchen, and get some sugar.

Yep, just regular sugar. It is chemical-free, rinses off completely, and leaves no residue.

To use, simply moisten your face with water, pour about ½ teaspoon in your palm, (just eyeball it, I never measure), and rub all over your face.

Follow this with your regular facial cleanser and rinse.

So simple, and your skin will be so soft and smooth.

Top 12 Wedding Make Up & Beauty Tips

DIY Pore Strips

Now I saw this one on Pinterest and had to give it a try. Let me tell you, it works great.

All you have to do is take 1 tablespoon of unflavored gelatin, and mix in 1 ½ – 2 tablespoons of milk. Microwave it for about 15 seconds, and immediately apply to your face.

Wait 15 minutes, then peel off. The peeling off part will take some time because it really sticks to your skin, but it will remove all blackheads and any other pore gunk.

Because it does stick so much you might want to test this out on a small area first before doing your whole face, especially if your skin is sensitive.

And be careful — DON’T get this in your eyebrows or on the tender skin underneath your eyes. If you do, don’t peel this part, wash it off instead. I don’t know if it will remove any of the eyebrow, but I wasn’t going to take any chances.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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If you want more ideas on wedding beauty, or need some help with your wedding plans contact me at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!