Wedding Gifts – Presents vs Money

wedding gifts

Wedding gifts come in all shapes and sizes. Some are chosen from the gift registry the happy couple have put together at a couple local (or online) stores. Others aren’t, and are something the gift giver thinks (or hopes) the couple will like and use. Sometimes the gift isn’t something that comes in a prettily wrapped box, but in the form of cash or a check in an envelope.

Earlier today I read an article that was questioning whether giving a monetary gift instead of one that is purchased, wrapped, and tied up with a pretty bow. No, it wasn’t meaning if asking for money instead of a present is wrong, but whether giving money instead of a present is wrong.

While the article didn’t come up with an end all/be all answer, no definitive right or wrong, it did give some food for thought to help determine wrapped present vs money.

It mentioned some pros and cons – such as “a physical gift will be remembered and cherished for a long time. Cash is appreciated in the short term,” and that “some couples also don’t want any gifts . . . and would prefer that a donation be made to their favorite charities or organizations.”

A wonderful tip the writer offers regarding giving money is to “write something meaningful in the card about how you hope they spend it . . . so that they don’t think you just stopped at an ATM on the way to the ceremony.”

But to suggest or make someone thing that giving money is wrong . . .

I mean, a gift is a gift. The gift giver can give whatever he/she wants to.

Why Is Another Bride Angry Over A Wedding Gift?

Did the couple register for gifts? Even if they did, giving money, (or giving something not on the list) is the givers choice. After all, a gift registry is not a list of the only options that the gift giver can choose. Instead, it is a list of items the couple would like to have.

So, would it be nice, would it be a good idea to choose a gift from the registry, instead of going rogue? Well, yes, because the giver knows that the couple will in fact like and use the item.

But, what is given, be it a boxed, wrapped present, or a card with money, remains the choice of the giver, not of the receiver.

So what are your thoughts on giving money as a gift?

Check out the article here Faux Pas Or Not: Money As A Gift.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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

Wedding Q & A – When Are Aisle Runners Used in a Wedding?

Bride's processional with her father, entering wedding ceremony on a traditional white aisle runner
Photo credit: Childers Photography

Q. – When is an aisle runner used?

A. – The use of aisle runners at wedding ceremonies originated centuries ago.

The three main reasons for their use were:

1) Out of superstition – it provides a barrier between the bride and any evil spirits that may come up from below the ground

2) The bride was considered “royalty” and an aisle runner prevents her from having to walk directly on the ground

3) Cleanliness – since roads were unpaved and guests would track in dirt and mud an aisle runner kept the bride from dragging the hem of her gown and her train through the dirt

These days it is done out of tradition. When asked to imagine a bride walking down the aisle, most people imagine her walking on a white aisle runner.

bride and groom's wedding ceremony recessional, walking on traditional white aisle runner
Photo credit: Faye Sommer Photography

When is the aisle runner put in place?

A wedding aisle runner is most commonly put in place after the mothers of the bride and the groom have entered, and before the ceremony processional (when the bridal party enters).

Groomsmen putting traditional white wedding ceremony aisle runner in place
Photo credit: Shiloh Photography

It is secured at the front of the aisle with pins and tape so it can be easily unrolled, then, once completely unrolled, is secured at the back so it won’t roll back up which helps prevent anyone from tripping.

Sometimes couples prefer to have the aisle runner already in place before the start of the ceremony.

In this case, the center aisle is blocked with ribbon preventing guests from walking on the runner, and guests are seated from the outside aisles (not the center aisle). The ribbon is removed right before the moms are escorted in.

There are many options for aisle runner styles. The most common and economical are made from a durable heavy-weight plastic or rayon. You can find these in the wedding section of some craft stores or in a floral supply store. You can also get them from your florist.

You may also want to read: Alternatives to the White Aisle Runner

Aisle runners can also be personalized, with your names, monogram, or a romantic saying. They can even coordinate with your wedding colors or season.


Photo credit: Faye Sommer Photography

Be extra careful when using an aisle runner for an outdoor wedding ceremony. Since ground is rarely smooth and level (even the best manicured lawns will have some minor bumps and soft spots. May not be easily seen, but easy to find with your foot and potentially wobble, trip, or sprain an ankle).

For an outdoor ceremony, either omit the use of an aisle runner for safety’s sake, or choose one that is more durable such as a carpet runner (can be found in different colors and patterns), or heavy fabric such as burlap.

Make sure to get the length of the aisle before purchasing an aisle runner. They come in 25′ increments, starting at 25′ long and going up to 150′ or more.

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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

Ha! Ha! – Let’s Celebrate National "Tell A Joke" Day

laughing dog

Tomorrow is National Tell A Joke Day. It is observed every August 16th.

What’s better than a day filled with laughter?

laughing emoji

 

A joke, quite simply, is something that is said with the purpose to cause amusement or laughter. The final sentence, known as a punchline, often provides a humorous twist or ending.

 

Jokes come in many different styles, including:

  • One-liners – As long as there are tests, there will be prayer in schools.
  • Puns – Have you ever tried to eat a clock? It’s very time consuming.
  • Stories or anecdotes – Remember when people had diaries and got mad when someone read them? Now they put everything online and get mad when people don’t.
  • Non Sequiturs (jokes that make no sense) – “Why is a raven like a writing desk?” from Alice in Wonderland.
  • Parodies – “Like a Surgeon” and pretty much everything else by Weird Al Yankovic.
  • Knock-Knock jokes  –“Knock, knock,” “Who’s There?” “Little old lady.” “Little old lady who?” “I didn’t know you could yodel.”

They can also be physical such as screwball, pranks, pratfalls, and slapstick. The Three Stooges (a personal favorite!) were the epitome of slapstick.

Three Stooges

Regardless of the method of delivery, the main purpose of a joke is to entertain by providing humor, even though jokes can sometimes be used to make serious commentary like in the case of satire, (think “The New Yorker” or “Saturday Night Live”).

Jokes have been an integral part of human history for centuries, (it is thought that Palamedes, a Greek mythological figure, invented jokes as well as counting, currency, weights and measures, and several letters of the alphabet), and many great minds have spent time and energy in trying to understand what makes jokes funny.

How to Celebrate?

    • Tell a joke to every person you meet on that day.
    • Pick up a joke book and read it in your spare time.

National Tell a Joke Day - joke book

    • Watch your favorite comedians.

Jeff Dunham and Achmed

  • Take a comedy/improv class, or sign up for open mic night at a local club.

Did You Know . . .

. . . Laughing can make us healthier. It improves our immunity, helps regulate blood sugar levels, improves sleep, and releases endorphins (natural “feel good” chemicals) into the brain.

. . . Gelotology (from the Greek gelos “laughter”) is the study of laughter and humor, and their effect on the human body.

. . . Laughing for 10 to 15 minutes can burn up to 40 calories.

Planning a wedding?

Honor National Tell A Joke Day on your wedding day by:

  • Print a little humorous joke on your programs.
  • Have a comedian entertain your guests at your reception.
  • Incorporate jokes into speeches and toasts, . . .
  • . . . and the MC’s comments.
  • Jokes can be on little signs or table numbers, . . .
  • . . .in your ceremony readings,
  • . . . and in your ceremony vows.

Be sure to clear any jokes that are to be used during the ceremony with your officiant first, and make sure that all jokes (for ceremony and reception) are appropriate for all ages (remember you’ve got grandma and the ring bearer listening).

Here’s a few that you may want to try –

“They’ve been going together for so many years, instead of the Wedding March the organist should have played the Hallelujah Chorus.”

“The bride looks absolutely stunning, the groom looks absolutely stunned!”

“The groom was not a pretty baby – his mother got morning sickness after he was born.”

“The bride wept, the bridesmaids cried – and even the wedding cake was in tiers.”

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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

Real Wedding – Heidi and Luke (Dennenhof – Genk, Belgium)

(This “Real Wedding” was submitted by Adorn Wedding Invitations, located in London. Hope you enjoy it, and find inspiration for your wedding).

The Details

How did you and your partner meet?
I came travelling in Australia for 6 months, staying in hostels. I started my Australian adventure in Perth.

Luke was working in the mines in Western Australian on a FIFO basis and on his time off he stayed in hostels around Perth.

2 days after I arrived in Perth, Luke showed up in the same hostel as where I was staying.

The rest is history.

How did he propose?
Our favourite weekend getaway was Gilgare Retreat in Margaret River.

A few weeks before we would be moving to Melbourne, he treated me to a few nights away here.

We went on a beautiful nature walk which we would do every time we were there.

On a little bridge, he stopped me and proposed.

What’s your most important piece of advice for creating and maintaining a strong relationship?

Being patient with each other.

Tell us about your wedding gown and how you chose it:

My wedding gown was actually a Christmas gift from Luke 3 years before we got married.

Around Christmas time 2014 we were doing our Christmas shopping. I tried on my wedding dress, but decided not to buy it because it was pricey and I wouldn’t have many occasions wearing it.

We went on buying another dress, but Luke went back and bought me the Carla Zampatti dress as a Christmas present.

At the time of his proposal I hadn’t had a chance to wear the dress yet, so I decided that this dress would become my wedding dress.

What sort of style did you envision for your wedding day?
Indi style wedding.

What was your favorite moment from the day?

We included our daughter Stella’s baptism in the wedding ceremony. My favourite moment was seeing her in de cape that my grandmother made for my mum when she was baptised.

Any DIY décor elements?

    • Instead of a traditional guest book, we enlarged a photo of our family (Luke, our daughter and me) on canvas and had people write a little message on this. The idea being that a traditional guestbook would rarely be looked at again, but the canvas photo is hanging in our living room and we can enjoy it every day.
    • Little thank you presents for the guest. I bought little jam jars and filled them with corn for people to make pop-corn of. I attached a note to the jar saying “Thank you for popping by.”
    • The seating chart for the evening dinner.

    • Bird cage for envelopes (we included a wishing well with our invitation).
    • At the entry of the evening venue, I put a frame with 2 half hearts. Each half of the heart was a map of the town where Luke and I grew up in.

    • Flower arrangements and wedding bouquet were made by an aunt of mine.

    • Table numbers: I used large jam jars filled with lollies. On the jam jar, I put the table numbers.

  • I also wrote the entire Ceremony myself and made the booklet. Seeing the wedding was attended by both my family (Flemish) and my husband’s family (English) I included the both languages in the booklet. (Hats off to the priest who fluently switched between Flemish and English sections).

If you could do it all over again, what would you change?
Honestly, nothing!

Any tips that you can give to future brides?
Delegate everything on the wedding day itself; ask bridesmaids, groomsmen or parents to look after a certain part of the day. Try to divide the day up between different people to keep it manageable for them.

Invest in a good photographer, it is the only memento of your wedding.

Ask advice to time the different parts of the day. Get a clear idea of how long the make-up/hair, ceremony, photos, etc will take so you can make a flowing day planning.

Sitting down during the ceremony (you’ll be on your feet (bride in heels!!) most of the day)

Anything else you’d like to add?
I have to add the amazing surprise we had when arriving at our photo location/wedding night location.

I booked to have our wedding night in a castle (Ter dolen, Helchteren, Belgium) where I used to work during my University days (The castle has a bed & breakfast, brewery and pub attached to it.

I booked it early 2015 because our original wedding date was 24 September 2016. Due to medical reason, we had to postpone our wedding to 2017, so I notified the B&B owner.

Arriving at the castle in the afternoon of 08/04/2017, the owner told me they actually stopped running the B&B from the castle and she moved into the castle with her family. But because we made reservations so long ago and because she still knew me from working there, she was staying elsewhere for the night and Luke and I had the entire caste to ourselves (including the family dog).

Heidi and Luke’s Vendor Team
Dress: Carla Zampatti
Makeup & Hair: Café Beauté (Hasselt, Belgium)
Shoes: Manolo Blahnik
Accessories: Miracles by Annelien Coorevits
Jewellery: Love On Jewellery
Grooms Suit: Peter Jackson
Invitations: Adorn Invitations
Photographer: Dieter Decuypere – Speaking through Silence
On the day stationery: BWedding Invitations
Food: Dennenhof (Genk, Belgium)
Flowers: Provided by family member
Ceremony Venue: Chapel Ten Eikenen (Zonhoven Belgium)
Reception Venue: Dennenhof (Genk, Belgium)
Car: Dreamday Cars (Koersel, Belgium)
DJ: Kurt’s DJ team (Hoeselt, Belgium)
Wedding rings: B & S Lyncris Jewellers

Thank you Alyssa/Adorn Wedding Invitations for sharing this lovely wedding with us!

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

It’s Here! Pour a Cold One & Celebrate "International Beer Day"

beer in mugs

International Beer Day, a global celebration of beer, is held on the First Friday in August. This year it’s tomorrow, August 4th.

Beer is an alcoholic drink made from yeast-fermented grains, such as wheat or barley.
international beer day - hops
Typically flavored with hops, herbs and fruits can be added for a different flavor. It is one of the world’s oldest beverages, thought to date back to the early Neolithic era (~9500 BC).

A popular beverage, beer is listed on many Top-5-Beverages-In-The-World lists, following water, soft drinks, and tea. (With coffee taking the #5 spot).

How to Celebrate?
• Try your hand at brewing your own beer. At-home beer making kits are readily available and cost less than you’d think (many start under $50).
• Spend your evening at a bar trying out new types of beer. Local craft beer bars and microbreweries are popular.
• Take a brewery tour and spend time learning the science behind beer making.
• Be adventurous. Sample beers varieties that you haven’t tried before.
• Enjoy beers from other cultures.

international beers

Fun facts . . .

. . . Beer is the name of craters on Mars and on the Moon. They are named in honor of the German astronomer, Wilhelm Beer.

. . . Cenosillicaphobia is the fear of an empty beer glass.

. . . Banana beer is made from the fermentation of mashed, ripe East-African Highland bananas. Commercial brands of banana beer include Mongozo Banana Beer, Raha, and Agashya.

Serving beer at your wedding?

Get creative by:

• Offering beer flights for your guests to sample different beers.
beer flight

• Want a fun summertime drink? Try a Shandy. It’s half beer/half lemonade. For a fall wedding do a half beer/half apple cider mix.
International Beer Day - summer shandy

• Decorate with wheat and hops. Create a hops garland, or boutonniere, or use a bundle of wheat as a centerpiece.
International Beer Day - Standing Preserved Wheat Grass Bundle

• Give little jars of beer jam as favors.
International Beer Day - Raspberry Vanilla Jam Beer

• Give personalized bottle openers as favors.
silver heart bottle opener keyring wedding favor personalized favors

• Incorporate beer in your menu. Serve a delicious beer bread, chocolate Guinness cake, beer cheese dip, honey beer braised ribs, or chili beer glazed steaks.
Beer Bread

Do you have any good recipes using beer, or other fun ideas using beer?

So raise your pilsner glass and give a toast to brewers and bartenders and beer!

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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

Bad Brides – or How Not To Treat Your Bridesmaids

How Not to Treat Your Bridesmaids - Bride & Bridesmaids
You’re just starting with your wedding planning and it’s time to choose your wedding party. “Hmmm. Who will be my bridesmaids?”

Choosing a bridesmaid is a very important task of wedding planning. These ladies (or men, who are called bridesmen, or wedding attendants) have been by your side through the years. They’ve supported you through thick and thin. They are your besties – the people you couldn’t imagine not having by your side during this exciting time of your life.

So why in recent years are we hearing of more and more brides behaving like bridesmaids aren’t cherished friends and family members at all, but, well . . . are going ‘zilla on them, with unreasonable demands and lofty expectations?

Changing Their Appearance

How Not to Treat Your Bridesmaids - Sad Bridesmaid

One bride asked her bridesmaids to gain weight so she would look better by comparison.

Another she expected her ‘maids to wear heel varying heights so they would all appear to be the same height. The bridesmaids’ heights ranged from 5’2″ to 5’9″, meaning that one lady was to wear 7 inch heels.

One asked her ladies to all dye their hair blonde so that she (the bride) would be the only brunette.

Another bridesmaid was asked to have a breast reduction so she would fit into the same dress as the rest of the bridesmaids.

Your bridesmaids are your best gal (or guy) pals. They are the people in your life who you love and cherish. You’ve chosen them for who they are. Why change them?

Exchanging Them

How Not to Treat Your Bridesmaids - Angry Bridesmaids

You’ve chosen your bridesmaids based on your relationship with them, not on how they look. Most women don’t look like models. So don’t base your bridesmaid choices on appearance.

Check out this episode of Absolutely Fabulous. Fast forward to 36:52 and watch mother-of-the-bride Edina (“Sweetie, Darling!”) swap her daughter’s bridesmaid for a Gucci model.

Hopefully no one will do that for real, but believe it or not, you can hire a professional bridesmaid. I get hiring someone for assistance behind the scenes, but yes you can actually hire someone who will walk down the aisle and stand up at the altar with you.

Bridesmaid Banishment
How Not to Treat Your Bridesmaids - Firing a Bridesmaid

Some brides have even gone so far as to threaten to fire their bridesmaids if they didn’t follow her “ground rules.”

These ground rules included:

  • Enforced bed times leading up to the wedding (can’t have saggy, baggy eyes)
  • Bathing suits must be strapless (can’t have terrible tan lines)
  • Changes in haircuts/coloring must be pre-approved

A follow-up note ended with, “Failure to adhere to my commandments, can result in Bridalparty banishment!”

Pay For The Honor
How Not to Treat Your Bridesmaids - Face Palm - Head in Hands

Ok, this one will make you face palm and ask “why, oh why?”

The most recent bit of bad bride behavior with bridesmaids is fairly recent. Apparently this bride “sent out dozens of…invitations, to various girls. . . to attend and participate in a ‘bidding auction’ on the six spots in her bridal party.” Apparently the bride and groom plan to use the money to pay for the wedding and honeymoon.

It’s unclear why this bride sent out invitations to a bidding auction. It doesn’t appear that she just couldn’t choose from so many people (as many were acquaintances, and not close buds). Was it a grab for money? Some other reason entirely?

Regardless as to her “why,” you just don’t do that to people!

Other things brides have asked of their ladies were:

  • cover tattoos
  • not getting tattoos
  • not getting a haircut
  • grow out their bangs
  • get a fake tan (the bridesmaid had a pale complexion)
  • get botox
  • Wedding dress contribution – one bride ended up buying a wedding gown that was way out of her budget. She then wanted her bridesmaids to contribute $150 each to help pay for it.

Want to read the entire details of these bad bride behaviors? You can find the original articles here:

Bid to be a bridesmaid
Professional bridesmaids
Demands made on bridesmaids
And more demands
Help pay for wedding gown

Hearts, Joy, Love!
Jean

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Need help with your wedding plans? Contact me today at jean@weddingsfromtheheart.net or at 937-235-2586 or 937-581-3647!