Wedding Favours

With how busy you are going to be on your big day, you might not have the chance to thank everyone for coming face to face. Wedding favours can be a great way to do just that, while also offering your guests a special keepsake. However, did you know these cute trinkets weren’t always given? Let’s take a look at the history of wedding favours and how they differ around the world. 

Renaissance England, France, and Italy: 

The first mention of wedding favours is in England during the 16th century. While they were little more than love knots, made from lace and ribbon. These were handed out to guests as a way to not just symbolize the everlasting love of the wedding couple, but also to bring love to the guests as well. The French and Italians gave their guests ornate boxes full of candies or little commemorative trinkets, which they call bonbonnieres. Even though they were originally handed out at any party, they soon because primarily wedding only gifts. 

Jordan Almonds: 

By The Victorian Era, Jordan almonds, or any other sort of sweet treat, planyourownwedding.org_favourswrapped in a decorative cloth became the vogue thing to give out. Consisting of five pieces of the goodies, it was said to represent the five wishes most guests wished to bestow on the couple: wealth, health, longevity, fertility, and happiness. These little packets of treats were a way for the couple to send that wish back to their guests. 

Personalized Mementos: 

While you still may get Jordan almonds, more and more couples are moving toward personalized wedding favours. Some of the most popular gifts are engraved glasses, little boxes with self-care products, or even flipflops for guests to slip into at the end of the night after dancing for hours. This is especially true in America, where the trend of super personalized gifts seems to be the way most couples go. 

Gifts From Around the World: 

However, some couples have not given up on their country’s traditional wedding presents. If you are going to an Italian wedding you still may receive a bonbonniere, full of lovely chocolates and a fantastic keepsake box. In Russia, you will probably get candles and a picture frame. Where as in Ireland, wedding bells are common to receive. And in India, wedding guests can expect to get a small hand-crafted elephant memento.

So even if it is an old school love knot, something personal, or a nod to your cultural heritage, it is sure to be a special treasure for your guests to remember the day you and your partner vowed to love each other forever. 

This weeks blog: Where To Seat Guests?

Trying to figure out where seat guests at your reception can be a stressful task. Sure, most of your guests will know each other but what about those friends from college you haven’t seen in a while or family members you are close who live four states over? Where do you seat them? Well don’t worry. We have some helpful hints to help you and make sure everyone is happy. 

Start With Family: 

Even if your parents are going to sit with you at the head table, your grandparents and extended family need a place to sit. While it is totally ok to seat your cool, hip graphic designer cousin with other young professionals they are bound to click with, try to keep grandma and grandpa with people they know or with your partner’s family of a similar age. This will make them feel more comfortable and will allow them to relax and have fun too.

Don’t Mix and Match Politics: 

Nobody wants a political yelling match at their wedding and most of us know a handful of people whose political ideologies differ from the rest of your friends and family. The best way to keep things civil is to seat people with similar political beliefs together. 

The Table 19 Fable: 

There is an old adage about table 19 being reserved for the people you never seating_by_Jane_Morrowthought would RSVP and you don’t really want at your wedding. Instead of feeding into this, make sure you only invite people you really want at your wedding. Sure, your second cousin or mailman may be disappointed to not get an invitation, but it is better to explain you could invite everyone you wanted to than having a negative wedding stereo-type at your wedding. 

Open Seating: 

You could simply do away with the seating plan all together. These are all people who love you and ant to share in your special day. That should be enough to help everyone bond and have some great conversations over dinner. They can share their favourite stories about you and how you met, and maybe even meet a new friend they never would have with an overly planned seating plan. 

One Last Note: 

Remember, it is your wedding and it should be a fun and light day. So, don’t worry too much about where people are going to sit. Simply enjoy getting the RSVPS and be thankful for how many people want to watch as you and your partner express your love for one another. That is really what the day is all about. 

(Photo by Jane Morrow)

Food And Wine: The Second Most Important Couple at Your Wedding.

Next to the beauty of the ceremony and how gorgeous the bride looked, the thing most people will remember and talk about at any wedding is the food and wine. It is really one of the highlights of the reception and most people feel a ton of pressure to get it right when planning their wedding. Although it may seem intimidating at first, it is quite simple. 

How to pick the perfect wines to go with your carefully chosen menu.

 It is more than likely you have heard the saying, “red meat, red wine. White meat, white wine”. While that is a good rule of thumb, it turns out it isn’t exactly right. There are certain bold whites which work well with red meat and sweeter reds which make chicken dishes shines. It turns out there are six basic flavours to know about when it comes to wine and what to pair them with. They are fats, acid, bitter, sweet, salt, and alcohol. Each adds its own special je ne sais qua to any meal. So, let’s take a look at which pairings work best together and which to avoid. 

Bitter and fats:

If you are serving a super fatty dish like steak or, say, a lamb stew, a nice, deep Malbec would pair perfectly with it. Not only does the fat from the food cut the bitterness of the wine a little, the wine will balance the fat of the dish out, so you experience some of the subtler flavours from both. 

However, stay away from pairing bitter wine with bitter foods. Anything flavoured with citrus will do nothing for the wine. Better go with a slightly sweeter wine or something acidic. 

Acid:

Speaking of acid, acid pairs well with acid. If you have your heart set on your favourite vinaigrette dressing for the salad, best to pair it with what people in the know refer to as a crisp white wine. The acidity in each seems to help balance each other out, creating an enjoyable tartness. 

Acid also works well with high fatty dishes, for a lot of the reasons bitter and fats work well together. 

Sweet and Salty:

Yes, we are putting these two together, because who doesn’t love the complex palate of sweet and salty. It is what makes sea salt caramel so tasty or why chocolate covered peanuts are still such a hit. They just seem to bring out the best in each other. So, if you are having a cheese course, why not think about offering nice desert wine? Yum. 

And of course, sweet and sweet work well on every level. So when the cake comes out, make sure you have a tasty dessert wine on hand. 

Alcohol:

You are probably thinking to yourself, “but wait, doesn’t all wine have alcohol in it?” and while that is very true, some contain more than others. Wines with higher alcohol contents are great for fatty meals you want people to slow down and really enjoy. So, if you are serving fillet mignon, think about pairing with something upward of 15% alcohol content. The tartness of the alcohol will highlight the cut of meat while encouraging people to take their time and taking pleasure in the food. 

One Last Thing:

Don’t forget to take the “weight” of the wine into account too. Full bodied wines tend not to pair well with light food and vice versa. So, pairing a full-bodied red with a veggie quiche just isn’t going to work just like a super light desert white wine isn’t going to work with pepper steak. 

For more helpful hints and a printable cheat sheets to help with wine and food pairings and so much more, sign up for our course on how to plan your own wedding. Available in both desk top and mobile versions, it is like having your own personal wedding planner available 24/7! 

 

A little more about us…

Plan Your Own Wedding was started as a labour of love. As Beatrice helped international couples in the Netherlands plans their weddings, she began to think about all the couples who could benefit from all the years of event planning experience she garnered and what would be the best way to reach them. So, after a lot of thought and brainstorming, she decided to create a web course to help people all over the world plan their perfect day.

Business or Customer Focus?

As she and her content producer researched other wedding planning sites, one of the things they noticed was how often these sites seemed to be more about promoting vendors than helping couples to really get a grasp all the different aspects of planning a wedding. It really seemed that most of these sites were more interested in highlighting businesses who paid for advertising than imparting wisdom on how to plan the perfect day. So, one of the goals Beatrice aimed for was to offer unbiased information and a solid foundation on how to plan a wedding. She really wanted to make sure people were getting the best wedding planning advice available and wouldn’t feel pressured to use a business they weren’t sure of.

A Road Map For Wedding Planning

Once the focus became solely on the couple, the course seemed to fall easily into place. Beatrice came up with a handy timeline which could be used by couples all over the world, whether or not they were from the same place or an international couple. Starting with the necessary paperwork and some basic administration stuff, the course offers a handy road map on everything from when to send invitation to asking friends and family to be part of the wedding party to when to have tasting of cakes, caterers, and wines.

A Few Bumps In The Road

Like most new sites, there have been a few bumps in the road. With so many exciting ideas and information waiting to be shared trying to figure out which direction to take social media being one of the biggest bumps. So, over the last few weeks, the content team has been coming up with a plan to use Plan Your Own Wedding’s various social media channels and blogging schedule to enhance and expand on the information available in the course. This is to make sure people who sign up for the course has the best, most comprehensive, and up to date wedding planning tools available.

The Bottom Line

What this all boils down to is make the process of wedding planning accessible and easy for those everyone. When you sign up for the course, you have access to all of the information on our site, social media channels, and private Facebook group. It is kind of like having 24/7 access to a professional wedding planner. So, what are you waiting for? Sign up today!

Themed Weddings

planyourownwedding.org_themed_wedding
themed weddings

When it comes to weddings, classic weddings are still the most common way to exchange vows. However, in recent years, themed weddings have been gaining in popularity. More and more, couples seem to enjoy incorporating things which brought them together into the ceremony and reception. From medieval romance to 1920s decadence to your pop culture obsessions, here is a way to narrow down all the choices and figure out ways to weave a theme wedding day to make it as unique and interesting as your love.

Shared Interests

There are probably a lot of different things which brought you together: your mutual love of chocolate, the fact you both can’t imagine the idea of functioning without coffee, your fascination with the 1920s, or that you are both Marvel people to your core. So, if having a theme wedding is how you dream of exchange your vows, choosing one or, if you want to make it really fun and a little whimsical, two of your interests to focus on is the first thing you need to do. Make a list of things you would like to use as a theme for your wedding to help you organize your thoughts and narrow the choices down.

There are several ways you can come to a decision on which theme to go with. The first is obviously how easily you can incorporate elements of your theme into the wedding, and for everyone this is different. If it is going to require you and your partner to make a ton of decorations and you both work 40+ hrs a week, that may not be the best choice, unless you have friends and family willing to help out. Another is how appropriate it is for celebrating love. While you both may be obsessed with the Jack the Ripper case, this does not strike the most romantic note.

It’s all about the details

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cowboy inspired wedding

Once you have agreed on a theme, you need to decide if it is only going to be little nods here and there or if it is going to be present in everything from decorations to the wedding party’s clothes to even the guests dressing up. One of the most important things to remember, when having a full-on theme wedding, including asking for people to come in costume, is the financial requirements which go along with that. Sometimes getting an entire costume together for a one-time event isn’t in the cards for everyone. A classy way to get around this is to add “costumes are welcome” to the invite. It lets people know they can join in the costumed fun but are not required to do so.

Finally, don’t forget the fun stuff. Part of having a themed wedding means special touches which can be added. Have the bartender come up with a cocktail inspired by your theme, pick out mementos for the guests which break from the traditional Jordan almonds and reflect the theme, and say thank you to your wedding party with personalized gifts with the theme in mind.

Themed weddings can be a fun way to liven up your nuptial and show your guests some of the reasons you fell in love. So have fun with it and make it an day to remember.

Inspirational Royal Wedding Gowns

Today, wedding gowns tend to be gorgeous white dresses of lavish materials with ornate details. They can cost upwards of 25,000$ with the average cost being somewhere around 3,000$. However, this was not always the case. For most of Western wedding history, women simply wore the best dress they had or, if they were wealthy, they would have a new dress made, which would then become the dress worn for special occasions. However, in 1840, with the wedding of a Young Queen Victoria to Prince Albert, wedding fashions changed forever. 

What made Victoria’s dress so special was that it was an elaborate white dress. At the time, pure white fabric was hard to create, as they didn’t have ready access to many of the modern tools we have today. It was also hard to clean. So, the idea of creating a dress which was only to be worn once was considered quite the luxury. However, this is what young fashionable women wanted to do after hearing about Victoria’s dress. Soon, women of all social classes began to wear white or off-white dresses on their wedding day.

Victoria, as it turns out was hardly the last royal woman to set bridal fashion. Just over a century later, Grace Kelly would also set a new standard for how brides would dress on their wedding day. After the financial hardships of the Great Depression and then the rationing of WWII, the late 1940’s and 1950’s allowed bride’s to really indulge in the fairy tale aspect of weddings and Grace Kelly was the perfect example of this. With yards of silk and lace, embellished with tiny pearls and one of the most iconic veils is fashion history, it is a masterpiece of understated elegance, while embracing the fairy-princess aspect of her love story. When she married Prince Rainier of Monaco, she became a real-life princess and her wedding dress reflected this and became one of the most frequently imitated wedding dresses of all time. 

In fact, the most recent, and possibly most notable, dress to emulate Grace Kelly’s dress was Kate Middleton. While Kate’s dress was considerably less ornate than Grace’s was, it is easy to see where the future Queen of England borrowed from the famous princess. Both dresses consist of several parts, mainly a plain ball gown type skirt paired with a gorgeous, open high-necked lace bodice. These dresses are timeless. 

For more inspiring wedding dresses, why not take a look at our Pinterest page?

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Artist Batya van Brakel on the power of colour

Colour is very important and can add so much to your life. If you look at which colours people usually wear, you can learn a lot about who they are. It also helps every day because colours can be healing, mood altering, and have a meaning.

Our body is built around energy points. These energy points are called Chakras and each have a specific colour. By wearing or decorating with these colours, you can embrace the qualities these colours possess. 

Red

It all starts with Red, Red implicates a new beginning. Red is the colour of the God Aries. Aries’ time is springtime, which is why red implicates rebirth.

Orange

Then there is Orange,

Orange represents building, materializing, growing, abundance. It’s the colour of the God Zeus/Jupiter, the most important of the gods in Greek and Roman mythology. He loved life, food, drink, sex and possession. That’s why orange signifies growth, happiness and  progress. 

Yellow

Yellow is the colour of the plexis solaris and ruled by Apollo.  It resides at the center of your body. Yellow knows how to shine. 

Pink

Pink is the colour of the heart. It’s the colour of Aphrodite/Venus, Goddess of love. Everything sweet, soft, loveable, girly, harmonious, gentle. It shows the love you possess. 

Green

Green is also the colour of your heart and also the colour of Venus/Aphrodite. It’s a healing colour. It helps you to listen to your heart. To regain energy, enabling the ability to love again. 

Turquoise

Turquoise is the colour of creativity. It belongs to the God Neptune/Poseidon, God of the sea. Turquoise embraces creativity, fantasy, and encouraging talents, thus making the impossible possible.

Lilac

Lilac is the colour of the God Poseidon/Neptune as well. It is the colour of intuition and helps you listen to your inner self and embrace your subconscious thoughts. 

Blue

Blue is the colour of communication, maybe the most important colour of all. With open and honest communication, relationships are easier and healthier. If you communicate with feeling and emotion, the world belongs to you.

Purple

Purple is the colour of spirituality, new ideas, and brain waves. It’s the Colour of the God Uranus, the god of Lightning. Purple picks up on all the thoughts and ideas floating around. 

Copper

Copper is the colour of Hermes/Mercurius, the messenger between the Gods and humans. It is the messenger between your head and your heart, helping the two communicate easily. It acts like a conductor between emotion and logic. 

Silver

Silver is the colour of the Moon and the Goddess Selene/Diana and Artemis . The Moon stands for emotion, female intuition, romance and magic. The delicate light of the moon makes us wonder, what did I see, did I see something or was it in the shadows or a fairy tale like light of the Moon?

Gold

Finally, we come to gold, the highest colour of all. Bright and shining, it stands for action and boldness. It says, “Here I am, center of the Universe”.

Choosing colours for your wedding can not only be fun, but also a great way to communicate the aspects you want to bring to your marriage. 

Have fun!

Batya

About the blogger: Batya van Brakel is a renowned artist who has held expositions in The Netherlands, France and Italy. Here is what she says about her work: ” Everything in the world is drenched in colour. The light which enables us to see and live our lives comprises every possible colour in the world. These colours provide us with a good balance for our body and spirit, making life so much harmonious. When everybody and everything is in harmony, life feels happy and more optimistic, making the world immediately a brighter place. Which is why I create meditative colour art. “To find out more about Batya’s art: www.kleurkunst.nl

Batya portret Lollypop

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June – the favourite wedding month! Here is why:

June marks the beginning of the wedding season, due mainly to its popularity to exchange wedding vows. This late spring, early summer month tends to boast some of the best weather, so,  it makes sense to set your wedding date sometime in June. However, why exactly did the sixth month become the world’s most popular to get married in? Like most traditions surrounding life’s celebration, it started with superstition and the hope for a long, happy marriage. 

It’s In The Name:

June was named after the Roman Goddess, Juno. She was the protector of women, especially when it came to marriage and childbearing. So, in a time when marriages were arranged and giving birth was extremely dangerous, it made sense to get married under the protection of the goddess who would bring luck to both your wedding and any future children. By celebrating a wedding in June, the Romans believed they were paying homage to Juno, who would then grant good fortune to the couple. 

Good Weather and a Bath:

Even as Christianity grew in popularity, June remained the most common month to get married. With good weather, longer days, and a break between planting and harvesting, a June wedding seemed the perfect time to relax, celebrate, and have more hands to help with gathering of crops. Plus, any pregnancies starting in June wouldn’t get in the way of the harvest. 

Strangely, it is also believed in medieval times, May and June is when people took their first baths of the year. So, a June wedding meant the couple still smelled fairly fresh. 

Daring To Be Different:

For most couples in the modern world, bathing times and harvests aren’t something they have to worry about. Yet, June still remains the most popular month to get married. However, there are some really great perks if you are willing to buck tradition and plan an off-season wedding. 

Not only will you have a wider variety of venues to choose from, since there tend to be fewer weddings in the off season, they will also be at a fraction of the price. This means you can have a fantastic location and not break the bank. Also, most vendors’ prices will also be lower. So, creating your dream wedding, in say October or April, will be far more budget friendly.

It also means your guests will have fewer wedding invitations to pick from. And who doesn’t want their nearest and dearest to help them celebrate one of the most important days of their life? 

Wendy Dessler from honeyfund.com

Finding the right wedding planner to organize your wedding is no easy feat. However, your search will be worthwhile when you see the wedding of your dreams coming together. Here are some tips that will come in handy when choosing a wedding planner:

Do Your Homework

You should look at the websites of a few planners to narrow down your list. Look at elements such as color and lighting to see whether the different weddings share a common style. If you like the overarching style, you should choose that planner.

If the weddings that you are looking at have an over-the-top look and you want a simple ceremony, you should consider looking elsewhere. You should also find information about the type of planning services the planner offers.

Follow up Your Favorites

Once you narrow down your list to several planners, you should call them. During your conversation, you should ask their price range, cost of their average weddings, and wedding date availability. If the answers to these questions fit your vision and budget, you should go to the next level and plan a meeting.

Prepare Your First Meeting

You should bring magazines, photos, and Pinterest picks and show her what you want. For instance, if you want to choose one of the hot wedding colors for 2018, you should let the wedding planner know. At the meeting, you should ask as many questions as you want without fear of offending the person. After all, it is your wedding and you are paying for it.

You should also get a sense of the person to see whether you can work with her in the long term. Make sure that you voice your ideas about style and color to see how the person responds then ask how the planner intends to fulfill your vision. The right person for the job will listen to your ideas instead of shutting them down.

Call the References

You should not feel pressured to hire a wedding planner no matter how much you like her. Make sure that you take your time to call their references and ask the following the questions:
– How well did the planner interpret your ideas?
– How did she stick to your budget?
– Can you email pictures from your wedding? This is the best way to confirm the professionalism and consistency of a planner. Do not just rely on the portfolio because it is full of the planner’s best work.

– Did the planner have good vendor recommendations and does she coordinate with them?
– Did any problem occur and how did the planner deal with it?
– Did the planner respond to your emails and calls in a timely manner?
– Did the wedding go smoothly and meet your expectations?

Seal the Deal

You should take your time when comparing notes and prices to see which planner meets your overall needs. Once you find a planner who meets your needs, you should tell her of your desire to work with her. Make sure that you let the planner know early enough before she gets another client.

As soon as you sign the contract, you will have to pay the deposit then you will have a helper to plan your wedding. You can now start planning the wedding with your planner instead of leaving all the work to her. If you let her do all the work, you might not like the result.

Instead of letting the guests bring any gift that they want, you should consider signing up for a wedding registry such as honeymoon travel registry by Honeyfund.

About the blogger: Wendy Dessler is a super-connector who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.