All Articles Tagged "weddings"
Millennials may be broke, but they’re willing to spend a pretty penny on wedding celebrations. According to a recent survey by American Express, the average millennial will spend nearly $900 as a wedding guest this year—$893 to be exact. That is approximately $200 more than the general population spends when attending a wedding. Now times that by three, since according to this survey, the average American expects to attend three weddings this year.
As for wedding gifts, the survey found that in 2016, the average American expects to spend $127 on wedding gifts for a relative and $99 on wedding gifts for a friend. The gap between spending on family and spending on friends had decreased significantly ( 30 percent) since 2015, which researchers believe points to a “growing importance of friendship.”
Surprisingly, people still seem to prefer to select a gift from the couple’s registry as opposed to handing over cash or gift cards. In 2016, 37 percent of guests said that they preferred to purchase registry gifts, 31 percent preferred to give money, 13 percent preferred gift cards and 4 percent felt more inclined to fund the honeymoon in some way.
Perhaps I need to learn to be more generous because as a millennial, I couldn’t fathom dropping nearly $900 one person’s wedding as a guest. No ma’am, no ham, no turkey.
By Renee Jones
Planning a wedding can already be complicated but when you are a planning a wedding that incorporates your children from previous marriages it becomes a little more difficult. There are just a lot more personal emotions involved. However, we’re here to provide you with some great ideas to make this a smooth sailing process for everyone.
The most important thing to do is to make sure that everyone feels included and has a role in the wedding. Every wedding has three main parts: the pre-wedding planning, the ceremony and the reception. There are plenty of ideas that can be incorporated that will include both sides of the family to ensure blended family wedding success.
As we all know there are plenty of tasks that need to be completed when planning a wedding, but before we get into that, it’s important to first point out that the entire process should be taken slowly and with much care. The first step should be to get the all members of the family together to talk about your plans for the wedding. It is important that everyone is involved from beginning to the end as it will bring everyone closer together.
The bride and groom should communicate with both sides to express what they would like their wedding to look like and how they would like each member to be involved. Input is key here. When the children are asked for input they feel more included in the union. This is especially reigns true for the older children. Once this step is completed then it’s time to get into the nitty gritty of the wedding planning and start assigning tasks to each person. Our suggestion is to find out what each person gravitates towards the most and start assigning tasks that way. Remember, don’t force any tasks on anyone. If you have older children then the pre-planning tasks will be more suited for them. From envelope stuffing, venue shopping, entertainment bookings, menu tastings, wedding decor and let’s not forget wedding fashion. Wedding planning is so much fun, so if you have children that want to join in on the fun then make sure you include them.
The ceremony is another opportunity where you can create lasting memories and involve the whole family. We can get so wrapped up in the wedding planning that we actually forget about what is really important. The union that is taking place. Ceremonial activities can be used as a great vehicle to create lasting relationships. The classic flower girl and ring bearer is always an option. Also the children can take part in the sand/candle lighting ceremony. Also a great new idea that we love is to incorporate your children into the wedding vows. Writing something special especially geared towards them is a great sentiment.
It’s time to party. The reception should be fun and liberating for everyone, especially for the new blended family. Come up with fun ideas to showcase everyone’s talents. Do your children have special talents? Can they sing or dance? Showcasing their talents during the reception will not only be a great show but it will give your children an opportunity to shine. Another great idea is just to have your children do the music playlist for the wedding. Children are usually up on all the new great songs that will get your guests out their seats. Have fun with it!
What would you do if a bride or groom told you that they were left unsatisfied by the monetary gift you presented them with on their wedding day? It’s a question that many are asking themselves after a wedding guest took to the popular forum Mumsnet and posed a similar question.
Apparently, the bride was a former co-worker of the guest, who is now retired. The poster gifted the couple £100 and was shocked when she received an email from them stating that they were expecting a larger gift from her. The message from the seemingly ungrateful duo reads:
“We were surprised that your contribution didn’t seem to match the warmth of your good wishes on our big day. In view of your own position, if you wanted to send any adjustment it would be thankfully received.”
As for the guest’s “position,” which the couple mentions in the message, they’re referring to an inheritance that the guest recently received. Apparently, the newlyweds feel that they’re entitled to some of it because they extended an invitation to the guest.
In the post which has since gone viral, the perplexed guest asked other members of Mumsnet for advice on how she should respond to the tactless gesture. She was advised to do everything from canceling the original check to BCCing other guests to expose the bride. In the end, she decided to keep it classy and responded with a simple “I assume this was some sort of mistake?”
How would you have handled it if you were in a position like this?
H/t Metro UK
“To plus-one or not to plus-one?”— a question that will plague most brides at one point or another as she attempts to nail down a guest list that fits both her budget and venue size. Of course, money and space aren’t the only factors that need to be taken into consideration when trying to determine who is allowed to bring an extra guest. There are some unspoken rules that brides may want to adhere to if they don’t want to offend their loved ones. Thankfully, pro wedding planner Victoria Nee-Lartey of Victorious Events NYC is here to answer your burning questions and set the record straight.
Which guests am I expected to provide with plus ones?
“Immediate family members and close friends should always have a plus-one. If your guest is married or engaged, then that’s a definite plus-one. Long term relationships, especially if they live together, are usually given that courtesy as well,” explains Victoria. “But if it’s a new girlfriend or boyfriend of only a few months, you can pass. Of course, if you can afford it, it would be great to give everyone a plus-one. But weddings are for those who are nearest and dearest to the couple — not a fancy date night.”
Am I always obligated to invite the spouses of every married guest?
“It is never okay to not invite your guest’s spouse. Even if you have never met their spouse, they should be given that courtesy. This will be a great opportunity to meet them and perhaps plan a double date in the future.”
Some guests are assuming that they have/and or are asking for a plus one. What should I do?
“Kindly tell them that you are at capacity. When planning your wedding, have a budget and guest count in mind and stick to it. Plus- ones are not just an extra plate,” says Victoria. “That can lead to an extra table, extra centerpiece, and extra table linens. It can get very costly.”
How should I word my invitations to let people know when they’re not allowed a plus one?
“Your response card should state the name of who is invited along with the number of seats. And for online responses, there are websites that allow you to import your guest list so that they can only select their name to RSVP and no one else.”
What should be done about attendees who show up with uninvited guests?
“Hopefully, you are inviting people who would know this is a big no-no. But if they do arrive with a guest, remember to be gracious. Your wedding is not the time to have a verbal altercation. Your wedding planner will find a seat for them. After the wedding is over and you are back from your honeymoon, you can reach out to the guest and let them know how you feel. Tell them that you enjoyed having them at your celebration, but bringing a plus-one wasn’t included. Try to find out where there was a miscommunication. And if there was no miscommunication, be cautious about extending future invites. Etiquette exists for a reason, to avoid faux pas and awkward situations. Be wary of those who purposefully disregard it.”
To learn more about Victoria Nee-Lartey and Victorious Events NYC, click here.
I’ve always been fascinated by my mother’s wedding dress. It was so elegant and so very detailed with its lace sleeves and pearl beading. For much of my life, I imagined myself getting married in one that looks just like it. Perhaps, maybe even the same exact dress; however, that all changed one summer afternoon.
I was about five, sitting on the floor of our living room inside of our Queens apartment, playing with my Barbie Dream House when one of my mother’s older sisters walked in and told her that Sister Margaret* from our church was getting married. My aunt was over the moon for Sister Margaret. I mean really, really excited. She and Sister Margaret had been road dawgs for years, and apparently, my auntie had volunteered to help her plan the wedding within a short span of time because it’s better to marry than to burn or whatever.
“Here’s the thing, she needs a dress,” my aunt told my mother.
My ears quickly perked up. I’ve been nosy as long as I’ve been old enough to talk. But I knew better than to let on that I was listening because there was a chance that they would notice and tell me to stay out of grown folks’ business, so I kept my eyes on my Barbie dolls, but my ears were wide open.
“I told her that I would ask if she could borrow your dress,” my aunt said slowly.
I can’t remember my mother’s response, but I do remember that my mom obliged. She has always been a really sweet person who would do whatever she could to help someone else. Years later, I learned that Sister Margaret never returned my mama’s dress and while my mom seems to have dealt with it, I’m still salty AF. I’m tight at my aunt for volunteering my mother’s dress to some random church lady (My aunt got married decades later and I find myself wondering whether or not she’d be willing to allow someone to borrow her dress). I’m tight at my mom for agreeing. I’m tight at Sister Margaret for not going out and buying her own damn dress and even more so, for not being gracious enough to keep her promise to return it.
I’ve asked myself countless times whether or not it’s normal that I feel such a strong attachment to my mother’s wedding dress—even though the only time I’ve seen her in it is in pictures. Perhaps it’s not even about the dress at all, but that I’m just so heavily invested in my parents’ love story. At 25, I’m still like a child during storytime when my father tells the story of how he met my mother on a warm summer night in the 1980s. He was cruising around Jamaica, Queens trying to be seen in his Ford Thunderbird when he saw my mother and her friend standing at a bus stop. It was the first night that my super-strict granny allowed her to hang out without her older sisters. And as fate would have it, she and my dad crossed paths. He gave her his number and then waited by the phone. She didn’t call for weeks. Apparently, she didn’t plan to, but she experienced a change of heart and that’s when their whirlwind romance began. They married just three years later at age 21 and the rest is history. I’m a sucker for love stories, but next to my own, theirs is my favorite.
I keep at least two of their wedding photos on my cell phone. I nearly cried a couple of years ago when another one of my mom’s older sisters pulled out their wedding invitation and it was so well preserved it looked as if they had just sent it out yesterday. I grin from ear to ear when my older cousins get to talking about how live my parents’ wedding was and how they danced the night away at the blowout reception hosted in the backyard of my grandmother’s home; or how my parents were so young and silly that the wedding photographer literally had to chase them around to get their photos because all they wanted to do was dance with their friends. I’m invested, y’all. Like, for real. As I approach my own wedding, I shudder at the thought that my mom’s dress—an artifact of their love—is tattered and sitting at the bottom’s of some random’s closet.
But Sister Margaret is long gone. Not from this earth or anything, but definitely out of our family’s circle (not because of beef or anything but because life). She surfaced about ten years ago, but as far as I know, she faded to black a short time after. I should probably let go of what happened to my mama’s gown and stop thinking about it because it’s clearly not going to change anything. But in some ways, I feel like a part of my family’s history was handed over to someone who didn’t even appreciate it.
If you’ve never let go of your dreams of getting married in a palace, you may be pleased to know that Cinderella’s castle is now open for weddings at Disney World.
According to Disney Weddings, brides can now rent out the entire East Garden Plaza in the Magic Kingdom to host the weddings of their dreams full with a horse-drawn glass carriage and royal coachmen. Kid. You. Not.
Of course, getting hitched at the happiest place on earth will cost you. Quite a bit, actually. According to Cosmo, couples are required to dish out $75,000 minimum fee to get married in front of the castle—not including food or beverages. Add-ons like the horse and carriage cost an additional $2,950 for two hours.
Oh, and there are restrictions. Couples are limited to hosting 100 guests, and the ceremony has to begin at 9:30 p.m. sharp. We should also note that this is for the ceremony only. Couples are not allowed to host their receptions in the garden.
In case you haven’t drawn this conclusion yet, a representative for Disney explained that those who are preparing to get married in front of the castle tend to have a “sky is the limit” budget. However, if you happen to fall into that category, she recommends calling to schedule your wedding 16 months ahead of the date you’d actually like to get married.
Being a bridesmaid is hardly cheap. Between buying a dress, paying for hair and makeup, a gift for the bridal shower, funding bachelorette outings, and a wedding gift for the couple, the average bridesmaid can expect to spend at least $951 on wedding-related expenses. Surprisingly, however, the average groomsmen spends at least $1,300. This is all according to a recent study conducted by Go Banking Rates.
According to the breakdown, bridesmaids spend approximately $215 on bridesmaid dresses, while grooms spend around $246 on tuxedo rentals.
“We actually found that groomsmen are spending more money, especially when it comes to the bachelor party,” said Kristen Bonner, the GO Banking Rates research lead for the survey.
Groomsmen reported spending an average of $682.13, which included travel, food, drinks, and entertainment for bachelor parties. Best men reported spending a whopping $999. Bridesmaids, however, were a little tamer when it came to their spending. Bridesmaids said they spent $389 on bachelorette festivities while maids of honor dished out somewhere around $552 for these parties.
As for wedding gifts, groomsmen reported spending more on those as well. 20 percent of the 500 bridesmaids who were surveyed said that she spent $200 or more on gifts for the last wedding they were in while 31 percent of groomsmen reported spending $200 more on gifts.
Interestingly, bridesmaids were more likely to go over budget than groomsmen even though they spent more on average.
How much did you spend on the last wedding you were in?
Even if you’re a woman who is in no rush to get married—or maybe even a woman who can take it or leave it when it comes to marriage—you still can’t help but feel uncomfortable when the talk of marriage comes up. There has been this pervasive idea for centuries that every woman wants to get married and that everything we do is in the pursuit of marriage and that we want to put a ring on it ASAP! It’s not true, at all. But since the idea has been around for so long, it’s hard for women to shake the nervous feeling that men view everything we do and say under that old (and damaging) light. Even if you know you don’t want to get married (at least not now) you probably find yourself approaching the topic of marriage with a cautious, apologetic tone and that’s because the marriage talk can get awkward in long-term relationships really fast. Here’s how.
When you think of bachelorette parties, well-endowed men in thongs, loads of alcohol, and penis-shaped treats may come to mind, but it doesn’t have to be this way. There are plenty of other enjoyable ways that you can celebrate your upcoming nuptials that don’t involve strippers or packed lounges. Here are six alternative bachelorette celebrations for brides who hate nightclubs.
Because why not? Renting out a hotel suite for the night so that you can get together with your best girlfriends is a lovely and low-key way to celebrate the commencement of your time as a bachelorette. Good food, plenty of booze (if that’s your thing), manicures, movies and plenty of girl talk sounds like a recipe for a great night.
If you’re looking for something with a little more thrill, you may want to consider taking on a local theme park with your favorite girls. Few things spell out good time like screaming your head off alongside your best friend while riding a rollercoaster.
For those who are only here for grown and sexy vibes, perhaps a wine tasting might be more your speed. Some wineries have activities for groups to participate in—like cooking classes, for example—during tastings.
Old school house party
If you like to party, but you just aren’t into the club scene, an old school house party or BBQ might be a great alternative. If you’d like, you can even make it a themed party based on the year you met your honey. For example, if you met in 2001, you may want to tell your DJ to play a lot of songs that were popular that year, like Jay Z’s “Izzo,” Jagged Edge’s “Where Da Party At?” and Mr. Cheeks’ “Lights, Camera, Action” and tell guests to show up in their best throwback jerseys and jersey dresses.
All-girls road trip
Not everyone has money for a flight, but if you all can put in money for gas and a rental car, an all-girls road trip might be a nice way to celebrate your upcoming nuptials.
While trying to get an outfit together for a wedding that I’ll be attending later this spring, my fiancé and I found ourselves in the middle of an interesting debate. One of the contenders was a beautiful knee-length three-quarter sleeve, dark navy blue sequin dress that I had purchased years ago for another friend’s wedding.
“You can’t wear that,” my fiancé said half-jokingly. “You’ll look better than the bride.”
“Impossible,” I said. “It is absolutely impossible to upstage a bride on her big day.”
I intended to brush him off, and the more I thought about it, I had every intention of wearing that dress.
What the hell does he know about fashion and wedding etiquette anyway?
But then, after some reflection, I weighed his words. The irony is that this wouldn’t be the first time I had to battle it out for my beloved dress. Years ago, when I first purchased it, my friend took issue with it as well. After learning that she was pregnant, she planned her wedding in exactly one month’s time. In the last two weeks, she asked me to be her maid of honor and lone bridesmaid. Although I was bogged down with work and coursework from an intense graduate program, I accepted. In between my studies, I did everything that I could to support her during that period and assist with planning. Everything went smoothly until the week of the ceremony when I had to pick out a dress. The best man had already decided that he wanted to wear navy blue, so I simply fell in line.
I had been searching the malls all day when I finally stumbled across the dress in Bloomingdales. And to be clear, it’s not one of those cheap-looking, shimmery dresses that you might see on the stage of a “Love & Hip Hop” reunion. Thanks to dark the color, it’s actually pretty toned down. I excitedly went to try it on, and it fit perfectly, which was a small miracle. Because of my breast size, dress shopping, especially when it’s for a special occasion, is always a massive undertaking. I quickly snapped a couple of photos and sent them to the bride-to-be. I just knew that she would be relieved that I had finally found a dress after hours of searching. Boy, was I wrong.
“You can’t wear that Jazzy,” she texted me back. “You can’t be looking better than me at my own wedding.”
After trying to convince her that it’s impossible for her to be upstaged at her wedding, we eventually decided to meet up and head over to David’s Bridal. After browsing through their limited off-the-rack selection, I headed to the dressing room with a few of frumpy-looking garments draped across my arm. One by one, I tried them on. Either they didn’t fit across my bust properly, or they gave off straight up mother-of-the-bride vibes. I was 20 years old; I was not her mother, and I would not be dressing as such. Sorry. I was a broke college student at the time, and I was buying my own dress, so I was at least hoping to purchase something that I could wear more than once. Up until this point, I had adapted the “her day, her way” mentality, but I had to draw the line at this dress situation.
“Look boo, I love you like cooked food, but I’m not wearing any of those dresses I just tried on because I don’t feel comfortable in any of them,” I told her. “We can keep looking if you want, but right now the sequin dress is probably the best that I can do within this time frame.”
We continued to search but turned up with nothing. A couple of days before the wedding I went back and purchased the sequin dress. Everything went fine; she looked beautiful, and as far as I could tell, my little blue dress did not upstage her by any means.
Anytime I looked back on the situation, I always told myself that my friend was being unreasonable, well, until my fiancé recently referenced me outshining another bride at her wedding. I would say that I have definitely matured since my friend’s wedding, but this concept of upstaging a woman at her wedding still escapes me. Seriously, how Sway? Even as I prepare to head to the altar myself, the thought of someone showing up at my wedding looking better than me never crossed my mind. I’ll be the girl in the big, white, Cinderella-esque ball gown, floor-length veil, her weave snatched and her face beat to the gawds. Who is going to show up more overdressed than me? The answer is no one because it’s my wedding. And I would hope that each and every one of my guests feels comfortable stepping out in their Sunday’s best as well—except for big, white ball gowns, because, well, that would just be weird for obvious reasons.
I would never, ever want anyone in my circle to feel like they need to dim their light at any celebration that I ever host out of fear of outshining me. Come correct to my function because I most certainly will. We can shine together. I don’t need to be the best-dressed woman in the room.
Oh, and I’ve decided not the wear the sequin dress to this upcoming wedding. Even though I can’t really rock with the concept of outshining a bride, perhaps this bride will have feelings similar to those of my friend and my fiancé, and I’m not trying to piss off or upset anyone on their big day.
As silly as it sounds, I’ve got to ask: Ladies, have you ever had concerns about people dressing better than you at your wedding?