Tag Archives: wedding tips

The Pre-Wedding Ritual That Needs To Go Away: Engagement Photos

Do engagement photos need to go away? You know, the very glossy-looking pre-wedding photos that usually involve the newly engaged couple doing quirky and romantic things like staring lovingly into each other’s eyes or smooching in front of some bridge, tree or other local landmark? 

This blogger on The Gloss thinks so. Her breakdown for the generic engagement photo formula is pretty dead-on and hilarious: 

Engagement photos, in case you haven’t heard of them, are a photoshoot taken shortly after a couple gets engaged. They are usually designed to show off a) the ring and b) how happy the couple is. Here’s the usual formula for how they work: 

1. Get engaged. Yay!

2. For reason I have never been able to suss out, pay a bunch of money to get a ton of pictures of you taken.

3. Pose in front of several “nature” scenes, such as “the covered bridge,” “the man-made lake,” “the trellis with flowers all over it,” and/or “the very nicely polished boulders.”

4. Choose an assortment of these poses: “looking lovingly into each other’s eyes,” “holding hands with fingers criscrossed so you can be in love and show off her rock,” and “he hugs her from behind and rests his head on her shoulder.” Bonus points if you already have a pet or child together who you can bring in to use as an accessory.

5. Some people go full throttle and do pictures of them kissing, which no one (including your grandmother, who loves every picture of you ever taken because you’re her special sweet punkin) wants to see.

Continue reading on The Gloss

Not surprisingly at all, a blog dedicated to awkward engagement photos has already reared its unflattering head for all of us to cringingly enjoy. It makes for a great cautionary tale for engaged-to-be’s.

So engagement photos: an unnecessary and expensive ritual that needs to go away? Is it just another money-sucker wedding fetish that brainwashes young men and women into thinking that they absolutely have to do? Is it totally okay if wedding couples just start skipping the whole engagement photo process because you know, there’s going to be tons of pictures of the bride and the groom looking really happy together at the main event anyway? 

I personally wouldn’t mind seeing a photo slideshow of unprofessional pictures taken on digital cameras by friends and family of the couple from different events and happenings. It just feels like a more genuine portrayal of a happy couple than a very forced embrace of two well-dressed people that so happens to occur in the middle of a very panoramic field of flowers during the magical pre-twilight hour of the day. Just sayin’.

Come to think of it, there are probably many overpriced rituals in the whole wedding process that can probably be downgraded to a more DIY and less expensive version or taken out completely all together. Are flower arrangements and napkins with specific color palettes really that necessary? Seriously, can brides not force their female friends to pay money for an expensive bridesmaid dress that isn’t flattering for them? And the whole obsession with The Perfect Expensive White Dress To Be Worn For One Day Only–a little ridiculous, yes? 

But then, engagement photos do make for some priceless memories. Especially if they look something like this: 





5 Alternative Ideas For Your Next Engagement and Wedding

Not every girl dreams of an extravagant all-white wedding with a three-tier cake in a fancy banquet hall. How about a tray of wedding cupcakes? A low-key backyard picnic wedding? These days, you can pick and choose which traditions are worth following and breaking depending on you and your partner’s personal beliefs, tastes and of course, budget.

In the spirit of the gorgeous weather that is wedding season, here are 5 alternative wedding ideas for your next holy union.  

1. Forget the diamond engagement ring and the wedding ring. Not too crazy about having a super-expensive chunk of carbon on your wedding finger? Get a simple titanium ring or go eco-friendly with a ring made of wood. You can also search out a custom jewelry maker in your neighborhood to make your matching rings super-unique. If you really want to embody the permanence of your holy union, get matching wedding ring tattoos, or a matching tattoo somewhere else on your body. If rings in general aren’t your thing you can do pendants or just ditch the whole jewelry thing altogether. Whatever floats your boat! Check out Offbeatbride.com for some "non-sucky wedding ring" ideas.

2. A brand new, all-white dress? Says who? Check out PreownedWeddingDresses.com for some pretty bridal dresses that were probably only worn once and in good condition. And if white is not flattering on you, you can always go for a pretty dress in your favorite color–maybe it’s time to scope out prom dresses on discount? At the end of the day, you should choose whatever you feel most beautiful and comfortable in! 

3. Combine the bachelor-bachelorette parties. Maybe you and your future partner have a lot of mutual friends and aren’t too crazy about going to sleazy strip clubs anyway. Some couples choose to combine the bachelor-bachelorette parties so everyone can celebrate together and have fun before the big ceremony.

4. Your gift registry doesn’t have to be for brand new things. At Asian weddings, people contribute whatever cash amount to help the bride and the groom with their new life. Maybe you and your new partner already have a lot of stuff (or don’t feel like returning stuff you don’t really need), or you simply want to direct your guests’ contributions to your favorite charity or organization. Check out this article from DivineCaroline for alternative gift registry ideas. 

5. Don’t force your friends into buying matching bridesmaid dresses. I know of one person who simply asked her closest friends serving as bridesmaids to wear a dress in their favorite color at her wedding. How cool is that! Or if you still insist on some sort of uniformity, you can have your bridesmaids pick any dress they want so long as it is the color designated.

What are your favorite alternative wedding tips? What traditions do you think are worth still doing or completely ditching? Share your ideas with the community by commenting below! 

PHOTO (cc): Flickr / clevercupcakes

Private Time – Now and Forever

Recalling my wedding, 25 years ago this July, I am grateful for a very special bit of advice that I received and followed through on. I am delighted to have this opportunity to pass it on to others.

In ancient times, a couple remained virginal before marriage. After the wedding ceremony, they would then adjourn to a tent to sexually consummate the marriage, with the permission and encouragement of the entire community. (Not watching, but supposedly witnessing the bloody sheet afterward.)

If you knew that my husband-to-be and I had been living together for two years prior to the wedding, you might be wondering how we applied THAT bit of advice.

It turns out that this custom of the bride and groom secluding themselves as part of the wedding ritual is still practiced in many Jewish weddings, and is called Yichud. Directly after the ceremony, rather than moving into the banquet room with all the guests, or into a receiving line, or out to the garden for professional photographs, the couple disappears from sight – not exactly to make love, but to simply be alone with each other for a brief period, usually less than ten minutes. This might be in the Rabbi’s study, or, as in our case, out on the sidewalk.  (We wed in a NYC loft and there was no private room to use!) 

These few minutes alone allowed us to look at each other, something we did very little of once we returned to the partying crowd celebrating our union. It gave us time to breathe together, to acknowledge the awesomeness – or humor – of our new status as a married couple. Sharing those few moments privately was a precious experience, something that we gave ourselves, separate from all the other trappings of the wedding.

Today, 25 years later, we still spend private time together, daily, acknowledging our love for one another, reminding ourselves that the path we have chosen is sacred. A wedding is an important event, and this brief experience can set the stage for a lifetime journey of intimate connection.

~ Diana Daffner, www.IntimacyRetreats.com



Wedding Season Driving You Crazy? 9 Inspirational, Funny Or Just Plain Depressing Quotes About Wedding Ceremonies

So many profound things have been said about the nature of love and the institution of marriage. But what do the wise sages, comedians, literary geniuses, artists and social critics of the past and present have to say about weddings? The epic epicenter where it all starts–or falls apart. (Half-kidding.) 

A beautiful union of two souls melding together before family and friends–or a ridiculous and expensive ritual that people take way too seriously? In celebration of wedding season, check out the following inspiring, witty (or just plain depressing) quotations to help you get through your wedding invitations–or your OWN wedding–with more humor and grace.

"I dreamed of a wedding of elaborate elegance,
A church filled with family and friends.
I asked him what kind of a wedding he wished for,
He said one that would make me his wife."
– Author Unknown

"The woman cries before the wedding and the man after." – Polish Proverb

"If it were not for the presents, an elopement would be preferable."– George Ade


"A wedding is a funeral where you smell your own flowers."– Eddie Cantor

“Now very often events are set up for photographers… The weddings are orchestrated about the photographers taking the picture, because if it hasn’t been photographed it doesn’t really exist.”– Elliott Erwitt 

"To keep your marriage brimming, with love in the wedding cup, whenever you’re wrong, admit it; whenever you’re right, shut up." – Ogden Nash

"Our wedding was many years ago. The celebration continues to this day" -Gene Perret

 “My fiance and I are having a little disagreement. What I want is a big church wedding with bridesmaids and flowers and a no-expense-spared reception; what he wants is to break off our engagement."– Sally Poplin

"Always get married early in the morning. That way, if it doesn’t work out, you haven’t wasted a whole day." -Mickey Rooney

PHOTO (cc): Flickr / ajturner

This Week’s Theme: Share Us Your Wedding Tips

The weather is gorgeous and we have yet to hit the worst of the summer heat. For some people out there, this means wedding season.

For this week’s theme, we want you to share us your wedding tips. Anything and everything related to weddings, we want to hear them all. For the newly engaged, what are some mental health tips for surviving every pre-wedding stress possible? For the unhitched folks who just have a lot of weddings to go to, what are some frugal ways to get affordable wedding swag, travel cheaply cross-country and still have money leftover to enjoy a good time? 

Are you an eco-conscious couple? What are some innovative and green ideas to throw a wedding that celebrates love and is also kind to Mother Earth? Are you like many wedding couples who are looking out to save some money? What are some creative ideas for wedding venues that will give your guests a good time and still won’t break the bank? 

We also really want to hear some better alternatives to the draconian practice of starving yourself for the sake of fitting into your perfect bridesmaid or wedding dress.

We also would love to hear some subversive suggestions for traditional wedding conventions completely upturned. Maybe you and your future hubby are saying screw it to buying wedding rings and engagement rings–so that the money can go towards buying a house? Maybe instead of buying an expensive white dress you are only going to wear once in your entire life, you are totally comfortable with rocking a cute second-hand dress that is mauve or peacock blue? 

Or maybe you just happen to have a mixtape of cheesy and cute love songs that would be the perfect background music for your next dream wedding reception. We seriously want to hear everything.

Got your own wedding wisdom you want to share with others? Tell us your wedding-related ideas and advice with the community by commenting below! 

PHOTO (cc): Flickr / tamburix

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