All Articles Tagged "wedding planning"

Wedding Guest Etiquette: What Not To Do When A Loved One Says “I Do”

September 25th, 2015 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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The hectic summer wedding season may have come to an end, but quite a few people are also saying “I do” in the fall. With that being said, you probably have a wedding or two to attend in the next few months. And while you think you’re doing friends and family a favor by simply showing up on their big day, you will be doing them a disservice if you exhibit bad behavior during their wedding and reception. We talked to wedding expert Jess Levin to get all the deets on how to be the perfect wedding guest. Levin, the founder of the popular site Carats & Cake, a premier resource for wedding planning, said you should avoid doing things that put a damper on a loved one’s big day. Like the following:

Arriving late to the ceremony

“This is an obvious rule that everyone seems to ignore. Do not assume everyone else will be late. Remember that the bride and groom have to take family portraits and group shots after the ceremony, so it is important to be mindful of time.”

Bringing last-minute guests

“The amount of guests at a wedding is a big ordeal, and you never want to add more stress to the couple. Guest lists depend on the type of wedding, the venue, and any added costs. Do not take it upon yourself to bring a guest that has not been accounted for by the RSVP deadline. It is also impolite to ask the bride and groom for an addition past the RSVP date.”

Wearing white

“Traditionally, only the bride should wear white, so you should check with the bride before wearing that perfect white dress.”

Switching seating assignments at the reception

“The seating assignments are planned out in a specific way for a reason. You should never alter your seating arrangements or switch seats at a wedding reception. However, it is acceptable to mingle at different tables once dinner has been cleared.”

Limiting the number of trips to the buffet at the reception

“The buffet at the reception is not a free-for-all. Keep in mind that all guests need to be fed so limiting your trips to the buffet is a must.”

Ignore a request from the bride and groom

“Unplugged weddings are a big trend lately, and a lot of couples are starting to request that guests refrain from taking pictures or using their phones during the ceremony. If you see a sign or request to limit your digital usage, try to be respectful of the couple and resist the urge to pull out your phone and snap a few shots.”

Get in the way of the photographer

“During the ceremony and any other big picture moments (like the first dance or the cake cutting), make sure you pay attention to where the photographer is. Especially if you are trying to take your own picture. Try not to block the professional’s shot with your phone.”

The Road To The Altar: I’m Stressed And Highly Fatigued

September 17th, 2015 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

As two ladies from the MN team prepare to say “I do,” they share what they’re learning about their relationships, the wedding-planning process, and themselves.

When I first shared the news of my engagement with members of my church choir back in July, one of the members who had just tied the knot a few months prior told me to enjoy the moment. I interpreted her statements as one of those things people just say when you announce that you’re getting married. I didn’t think too deeply about it.

But as I left the church later that afternoon, prepping for the ensemble’s summer break (the entire month of August), she walked up to me and said it again. This time, with a lot more conviction: “Seriously, Victoria, enjoy this moment. Don’t worry about planning or anything like that yet. Just take the time to be happy first.” I said that I would and proceeded to head home, a skip in my step, eyeing the sparkle on my left ring finger.

I didn’t realize it then, but she was so right about taking the time to enjoy the moment. Appreciate the high you find yourself on, because ever since I opened my first bridal magazine and started answering “So, when are you getting married?” questions, I’ve been stressed. Very stressed.

And when I say stressed, I don’t mean the kind of anxiety where you take a deep sigh each time the word “wedding” comes up in a conversation. I’m talking head in my hands, low-key sobbing stressed. I’ve had about three of those episodes since July. They’ve all come about over changes in the things my fiancé said he wanted for the ceremony, some stress-inducing statements from soon-to-be in-laws, and the reminder that you can’t have a wedding without alcohol. And alcohol costs money. I don’t even drink!

The realization of all the things weddings entail has left me exasperated. Did I mention I’ve only been engaged and planning this whole shebang for a little over a month now?

When I shared this anxiety with people, most gave me the “Awww, it’s going to be fine” response. But my mother, well, she’s the type to give it to you straight.

“I don’t know now. If you’re finding yourself crying about wedding planning this soon, you might be going about this whole thing wrong.”

And that’s what I’ve been trying to figure out. What am I doing and for whom? What is it that I really want for my wedding day? My opinions change daily. I told my mother early on, even before I was engaged, that when I got married, I would want to keep things small. Inexpensive dress, small guest count, money saved small. But ever since I became Feyoncé Knowles, I’ve been planning a wedding for other people. What I mean by that is I’ve been trying to do things in the hopes of not disappointing folks. I’ve looked into overpriced, grandiose reception halls. I’ve worried about inconveniencing friends and family members who would possibly have to drive 30 minutes from a church to a reception hall. I’ve thought about buying rental shuttles to help people get around. I’ve drastically limited my choices in available venues by assuming that people would say that you can’t have a reception where you wear traditional Nigerian garb but don’t have Nigerian food (halls don’t play when it comes to outside catering). And I’ve been doing this all on a budget of thousands of dollars that I don’t currently have sitting in my bank or savings account, or in my Monopoly board game box for that matter. Now do you see why I’m stressed?

They tell you that wedding planning is stressful, but you don’t realize how tiring it is until you actually have to set things in motion. Even looking for a planner and setting aside the money to pay them is a task in and of itself. So with all that going on, and after multiple cry-it-out sessions, I’ve decided to take a break from the whole process. I’ve realized that until I know for sure what it is I really want for my big day, as well as the final list of things my surprisingly choosy fiancé is hoping for, my planning is useless. I’m going to be doing useless hours of research and finding myself in a crying corner over and over again. So it’s time to start again. From scratch.

With that being said, I’m back to square one. And I’m mentally back to where I was a little over a month ago when my fiancé popped the question on the floor in his living room. I’m doing what I should have truly done then. I’m enjoying the moment. I’m enjoying talking to the love of my life about the fun and silly things we’ve always conversed about, the politics we’ve always debated on. Going out for ice cream cones. Dancing with him and our friends over Jollof rice and Gulder. Laying on the couch watching An Officer and a Gentleman, singing “Up Where We Belong” together off-key. I’m appreciating this peaceful time, and when I have my mind and my money right, as well as more hands-on help in research from my fiancé, wedding planning will reconvene and be in full swing. Before I lose my shit and my relationship, I need to focus more time on continuing to nurture the partnership my fiancé and I have. Because while a wedding is a beautiful and memorable thing, I need to do more planning, research and work to prepare for what comes after.

I’m Engaged! Now What? 10 Questions I Have Now That I’ve Said “Yes”

July 27th, 2015 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

So, my…fiancé (it’s so weird to say that!) popped the question late last week. We discussed marriage in the past. In fact, he even asked my dad for my hand when he went home with me for Christmas last year. But I was still shocked by the proposal. I literally turned around and there he was, on his knee, with a ring!

Since coming down from cloud nine, I’ve been asked a few times already about specifics for the future wedding. Questions which I have no answer to (causing people to stare at me like I have three eyes). You see, I didn’t grow up as one of those girls who knew what her colors were going to be, what her dress was going to look like, and when and where she was going to get married by the time I was in high school. Nope! So now that it’s time to think about those things, I can honestly say that I’m a bit overwhelmed. So many things to do research on! So many things to consider! So much money to save!

Don’t get me wrong. I’m excited to be the future Mrs. Oluloye (*smiles*), God willing. But at the moment, I have no idea where to start in this wedding planning thing. If you have any advice, I would appreciate it. So with that being said, here are 10 questions that have popped up in my head since getting engaged that I need answers to.

Wedding Etiquette 101: The Latest Wedding Tips & Trends For 2015

July 8th, 2015 - By Kweli Wright
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Summer is the busiest time of the year for weddings! Although weddings are supposed to be blissful times, most wedding problems are quite universal, and can often lead to anxiety. Cheryl Seidel provides fresh and unique solutions to alleviate the stress of wedding etiquette dilemmas. Please see below for some of her tips!

The Activity Shower
Think about the bride’s interests and hobbies and turn it into a memorable afternoon with friends. You may have to go to a local studio or kitchen, but most likely you can have an expert to come to your location.
The Destination Shower
Destination weddings and bachelorette parties have been popular for some time. And now, we’re seeing a new trend- the destination bridal shower. This shower is usually for a small group of the bride’s closest gal pals. Spend the day getting pampered at a spa, live it up shopping and dining in the city, or head to a nearby vineyard for winetasting.

The Jack and Jill Shower
Co-ed showers are becoming increasingly popular. As more men are getting involved in wedding planning, they are also taking an interest in the parties that go along with weddings. Attendees typically bring a gift that will be used by both the bride and groom.

Duties of a Bridesmaid
Purchase the bridesmaid’s dress,
Attend the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner,
Attend other pre-wedding events (when possible),
Arrive on time for wedding-related events and follow instructions (this means the rehearsal and ceremony),
Help with any children in the wedding party, if asked,
Smile for pictures,
Stand in the receiving line, if there is one, and
Mingle at the reception and act as ambassadors of the bride and groom.

It is nice if they:
Help you with wedding planning,
Help host a bridal shower, and/or
Throw you a bachelorette party.

Smartphone Etiquette
As a wedding guest, you’re caught up in the moment — the bride’s dress is striking and the flowers are gorgeous. You immediately want to share the excitement you’re feeling with all of your friends on Facebook, but some guidelines and decorum should still be followed even when the couple supports the use of smartphones during the ceremony.

-Don’t photo bomb the vows. Remember there’s probably a professional photographer somewhere behind you trying to do the job the couple has hired him to do.

-Leave the iPad at home. There’s no way you can be inconspicuous with an iPad.

-Don’t block the people behind you. If you know you’ll be snapping away, take a seat in the back or the far aisle.
– Get permission to post. Make sure the couple has a chance to see and approve all images before you post them.

To kick off the new summer trends, one lucky bride-to-be has the chance to win her own customized mosaic dress sculpture, valued at $4,500-$6,500! The sweepstakes began on May 1st, 2015 and will end at 11:59PM on October 1st, 2015. All interested participants with an online wedding registry must sign up at using the contest form. Additional entries will be awarded when the couple’s guests, friends, or family use to search for their wedding registry to purchase a gift. Bonus entries are also given for sharing the contest or following @RegistryFinder on Twitter and Pinterest. Additional entries increase, but do not guarantee, the likelihood of winning. The one lucky winner will be chosen at random at the conclusion of the contest. Shelly will work directly with the winner to create the mosaic dress sculpture of her dreams, which will take between 4 and 6 months to complete.

To sign up for your chance to win or to learn more about the contest, please, visit:

About Cheryl Seidel:
Seidel is a sought after etiquette expert and regular contributor for The Huffington Post and author of the popular Ask Cheryl blog. She helps advise readers with handy tips on how much to spend, when gift giving is appropriate and other would-have-loved-to-know-that-when moments in gift giving, She is also the founder and President of, an intuitive search engine that helps gift givers quickly and easily find online registries for weddings, baby showers, graduations and more. Seidel has 22 years of business experience, with concentrations in new product development and consumer advertising and promotion.
For additional information or interview opportunities with Cheryl, please contact

Spring 2015 Wedding Trends: From Decor To Cakes To Gowns

April 20th, 2015 - By Rich
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images courtesy of: and

Spring is in the air and wedding season is here. I absolutely adore spring weddings because they are filled with off the shoulder wedding dresses, bright florals, bold patterns, delicabible comfort food and refreshing cocktails. This season we will see lots of couples incorporating their own individual styles into their weddings and the way to do that is through the details.  Let me breakdown the trends that I am swooning over for this spring season.

Spring 2015 Wedding Trends: From Decor To Cakes To Gowns

10 Ways To Get The Wedding You Want

January 25th, 2015 - By Toya Sharee
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the wedding you want

Last year I got the crazy idea to plan a wedding and carry a pregnancy all at the same time. What can I say? I’m ambitious like that. Honestly, one of those things wasn’t exactly planned but that didn’t make them both any less incredible. And with wedding season right around the corner, I advise anxious brides-to-be to keep that same mindset or you may risk losing it…your mind, that is.

Although I had to change my wedding date, choose a gown that could accommodate both me AND my daughter and track down wedding guests who were already rushing to make travel plans, my Vegas wedding day ended up going exactly how I wanted it to go and it was all because I decided that day was about what me and my fiancé wanted and not about what anyone else thought it should be or perfecting some Pinterest puzzle. If you’re planning your special day, here are 10 ways to make sure your day goes just the way you want:

Signs You’re Suffering From More Than Just Cold Feet

August 13th, 2013 - By Ashley Page
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It’s not uncommon for the bride and groom-to-be to be overwhelmed by feelings of doubt before the big day. This is often known as cold feet, and while not everyone suffers from it, there are plenty of people who do. However, in some cases, the hesitation to tie the knot can mean much more than just cold feet. It might signify that you really aren’t ready. Here are a few signs something more serious is going on.

Must Dos Before You Say I Do

June 27th, 2013 - By Ashley Page
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Wedding planning is a pretty lengthy process with all sorts of important details that must be considered and even more must do’s. While you’ll need to find a caterer for your wedding, as well as a venue, and nominate bridesmaids, there’s a lot more that must be considered and figured out before the big day. Because even though you’re planning for a ceremony, you’ll also need to be planning for a lifetime. Here are 14 things you should do before the wedding in order to make your future with your new husband amazing.

The Wedding That Keeps On Giving: How To Recycle Your Decorations

June 26th, 2013 - By Julia Austin
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Your wedding should come with zero guilt. But, since we know this is impossible because your bridesmaids wanted a different colored dress, your mom still hasn’t warmed to the location, and some people just couldn’t be invited, at least do what you can to feel great after your big day and make use of all the knick knacks/decorations/essentials leftover—or make sure somebody else does.

Newly Engaged? Resources To Keep Your Wedding On Track And On Budget

June 6th, 2013 - By Tanvier Peart
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Congratulations on your engagement! Taking the next step in your relationship is a big commitment that typically comes with a celebration full of family and friends. If he just put a ring on it and people are already asking you when’s the big day, tell them to chill out, and take all the time you need to sort things out.

Planning a wedding regardless of size can be quite frustrating and overwhelming. There are thousands upon thousands of books, planners and companies to consider when trying to figure out your special day. Can you say too much dot com?

Should you be on the journey to your “I do,” here are some resources to help keep you on track with planning and your budget.