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Fall Wedding Ideas – How to dress

Summer weddings used to be all the rage. Everyone wanted a beautiful, sunny, warm wedding day, but quickly autumn is racing forward becoming the most popular season for weddings, particularly October (which has replaced September as the most popular month to get hitched). The beauty of the autumn months creates a lovely backdrop for all weddings – but it makes dressing up difficult when you want to be warm too. fallHere are three helpful autumn trends to keep you stylish, yet warm at any fall weddings you may be attending.

Skip the boots: Boots are  big in the area of trends this year, from cute ankle boots to sexy knee highs – a girl has plenty of options when she is boot shopping. However, one option that is not available is wearing them to a wedding, no matter how casual the wedding may be. Even in the fall, strappy heels, peep-toe pumps, and traditional pumps are appropriate. Most weddings require cocktail attire, and boots are definitely not part of traditional cocktail attire. Dressing up is fun; find a gorgeous pair of heels for a friend’s special day!

Cover your shoulders: In the summer it’s great to be able to wear strapless dresses, halter dresses and other –less dresses without having to worry about getting cold. In the fall, however, you need to keep warm and often dresses don’t provide enough coverage to keep you adequately heated. This year Pashminas and wraps are very popular, but shrugs seem to be on the way out of the fashion foreground. Many dresses are sold with a coordinating wrap for cooler weather, but if the dress you purchase isn’t you can always purchase one separately. Especially hot this year is contrasting and bright colours. Have a black or brown dress? Match it with a bright wrap for bang of colour to your ensemble.

Go for a feminine sweater: Sweaters are a great way to keep warm and are always super cozy; however, they can sometimes make a cocktail dress look too casual. Sweaters are great to wear when you are travelling to the wedding, from the wedding to the reception, and back home again, but don’t wear it during the ceremony or at the reception – you want to look dressed up and fancy, so don’t let a cardigan bring down your fashionable outfit. When you are choosing a sweater to wear, look for something feminine with small buttons, low-key embellishments or ruffles, plus make sure you choose a colour that will compliment or contrast your dress, the same way a wrap would.

Modified from: NJ.com


Marriage – Mail Order, Arranged and Online

There are many different ways for couples to meet besides the traditional ways: at work, at school, at the bar, at the gym, etc. Nowadays mail-order brides (and husbands), arranged marriages, and the online dating revolution all seem to becoming new (although some date back for hundreds of years) ways to meet your soul mate.

holding handsMail-Order Brides

This is a label that is considered offensive by some definitions because of the negative stereotype mail-order brides have received. A mail-order bride is a label applied to a woman who publishes her intent to marry someone from another country, which is usually more financially developed. Often brides come to Canada, the USA, and Australia from the Philippines, Russia, Romania, Ukraine, and to a lesser extent Latin America.

Historically, mail order brides were women who listed themselves in catalogues and were selected by men for marrying. Sometimes the men and women were citizens of different countries (i.e., a women from a European country moving to the United States), and sometimes they were citizens of the same country. Usually, however, the women were from different, developing countries.

In the past, international marriage agencies allowed women to sign up to be listed in picture magazines and catalogues, but the Internet has largely eliminated this. Now women are able to register on websites, have their picture and biography posted, and contact men interested in them via email. In the past, these women would move to a country to marry a man without even meeting, or talking to him, but now she is able to talk to him, and a courtship process is possible. Normally, a man who is interested in finding a mail-order bride will buy a membership to one or more agencies that allow him to meet and communicate with potential brides. He is able to travel to the country where the agency is based, and meet many of the women there. He is able to go on private dates with the women that he is interested in, and is even able to propose marriage. Women are able to be selective and do not have to marry the first man who is interested in them, but many do because they are desperate to leave their homeland. Leaving with any man is better than living in poverty and despair.

The term mail-order brides originated during the colonial period when men travelled through various empires for financial gain. After they had established themselves in their new colony and began to generate an income they faced three choices: 1. Stay single, 2. Marry a local indigenous women, or, 3. Seek an available women to come from the metropolitan centre or their mother country. Many chose the later option. Often the marriages were arranged by members of the immigrant’s family back home and the relatives picked and negotiated amongst available women to find the one that would suit their family member. The women were often willing to travel because there was limited opportunity for marriage where they lived.

Nowadays, the men who are interested in mail-order brides are often relatively wealthy and have been divorced, or have not had success with women in the past. In many cases, they decide to pursue a woman from a less developed country because they believe that such women will be submissive to them, as opposed to the more independent women from their home country. They see such women as being more appreciative of them than others. These men also choose brides that are significantly younger, often by 20 or 30 years.

In recent years, in the United States, there have been several high profile murder cases, which have drawn a lot of attention to mail-order brides. Three separate cases in the past twenty years have resulted in a mail-order bride being murdered by her husband. In 2002, a mail-order bride was charged with poisoning her husband.

However, the success rate of these marriages in the United States is actually quite high. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has reported that “…marriages arranged through these services would appear to have a lower divorce rate than the nation as a whole, fully 80 percent of these marriages have lasted over the years…” The report continues that mail-order brides and email correspondence services result in 4000 to 6000 marriages each year between American men and foreign brides.

Arranged Marriages

An arranged marriage is often a perplexing thought to many of us living in the Western hemisphere since we have accepted love and traditional marriage as the norm. But as more and more people immigrate to North America, more and more arranged marriages are occurring here – hand heartsfamilies that immigrate want their children to remember and embrace their culture, and one way of doing this is by selecting their spouse for them, often from their home country. An arranged marriage is a marriage arranged by someone other than the couple getting wed, curtailing or avoiding the process of courtship.

Arranged marriages have deep roots in royal and aristocratic families around the world. Today, however, arranged marriages are commonly only found in South Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and India. Arranged marriages are also found in cultures where dating is not prevalent; they are able to bring people together who may have otherwise not met. In these cultures, arranged marriages are seen as the norm and are accepted by young adults. Even where courtship practices are becoming fashionable, young adults tend to view arranged marriages as an option to fall back on. In these cases, the parents become welcome partners in a hunt for marital bliss.

Arranged marriages are generally passed down as a tradition throughout some cultures through generations. Parents who take their son or daughter’s marriage into their own hands have themselves been married by the same process. If their child chooses a love marriage or even courtship over an arranged marriage it is seen as a failure on the part of the parents to maintain control of their child. Denying an arranged marriage is seen as a sign of disrespect toward the family.

Usually the most important aspect of choosing a suitable spouse is the bond between the two families, not the relationship between the couple being wed. Other factors the families consider are: his/her economic status, family reputations, education, vocation, looks, religion, and sometimes, the dowry. Property or land sometimes seals the marriage agreement.

When an arrangement is made, if both people are of age, the wedding should occur as soon as possible; engagements are not lengthy like they can be in the Western world. Sometimes, the couple will marry within two weeks of the proposal. Even with this short preparation period, and marriage to sometimes a complete stranger only 5-7% of arranged marriages end in divorce, compared to 50% of traditional American marriages. However, you must take the cultural norms of such marriages into account – usually cultures that practice arranged marriages see divorce as bringing disgrace to their family and therefore remain in the marriage even if they are not happy. They stay together because it is what is expected of them.

Online Marriagescomputer screen

Online dating or Internet dating is a dating system which allows individuals, couples, and groups to make contact and communicate with each other over the Internet, usually with the objective of developing a personal romantic or sexual relationship, with marriage becoming a common outcome after courtship. Online dating services provide unmoderated (usually) matchmaking over the Internet, through the use of personal computers or cell phones.

Initially, online dating and matchmaking sites had a negative stereotype attached to them – that people who searched online for love were lonely and desperate. However, over time public attitudes toward online dating are becoming more positive, and people are more comfortable talking about it, as the volume of online daters has grown in recent years. In the United States residents spent $469.5 million on online dating and personals in 2004, and over $500 million in 2005. Online dating is the largest segment of “paid content” online other than pornography. The US dating market is expected to increase spending to $932 million by 2011.

People who are investing so much into online dating sites, to find “the one”, are seeing positive outcomes. About one in ten Internet-using adults or roughly 16 million people have visited a dating website or another site where they can meet people online. Thirty-one percent of all adults say they know someone who used a dating website. Forty-three percent of online daters, nearly 7 million, have gone on dates with people they met through the sites, and 17 percent, or 3 million, started long-term relationships or married their online dating partners. Seems like the Internet is a pretty good matchmaker!


First Dance Songs – Wedding

Is it a hard decision for you and your fiancé to decide on your wedding song? Here is a list of eight popular wedding songs, each for their own unique reason, for each unique couple.

The Romantic Song: “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith
Why: Do you remember the movie Armageddon? No? Well, it wasn’t too memorable, but this song definitely stood out. Over ten years after the movies release the song remains a first dance favourite thanks to its dreamy lyrics of love and devotion.
Key Lyrics: “Lying close to you feeling our heart beating/And I’m wondering what you’re dreaming/Wondering if it’s me you’re seeing/Then I kiss your eyes and thank God were together/ I just want to stay with you in this moment forever”

The Sexy Song: “Your Body is a Wonderland” by John Mayer
Why: This is a fun and sexy wedding song. It’s more upbeat than your typical first dance song, but it is still one that you are able to sway to.
Key Lyrics: “And if you want love/We’ll make it/Swimming in a deep sea of blankets/Take all your big plans and break ‘em/This is bound to be a while”

The Traditional Song: “The Way Your Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra
Why: Frank Sinatra is as classic as they come, and this song has probably been playing at wedding receptions since its recording in 1964. Sinatra’s voice adds a touch of elegance to any reception.
Key Lyrics: “Some day, when I’m awfully low/When the world is cold/I will feel a glow just think of you/And the way you look tonight”

The Non-Traditional Song: “Better Together” by Jack Johnson
Why: Jack Johnson’s voice is recognizable yet unique. This isn’t your usual first dance fare, but it hits all the right notes and acts as the ultimate sweet and loving wedding song.
Key Lyrics: “There’s no combination of words/I could put on the back of a postcard/No song that I could sing/But I can try for your heart/Our dreams, and they are made out of real things/Like a shoebox of photographs/With a sepia-tone loving”

The Fun Song: “I Found Love” by the Free Design
Why: What better song for a fun-loving couple than a wedding song that has you tapping your toes to its sunshine melody? It’s quirky, light, fluffy – and it’ll without a doubt make the bride and groom crack a smile.
Key Lyrics: “I found love in the fall and it did not hurt at all/I found sunlight and flowers, soft summer showers/ I can feel my heart touch my Adams apple/I can feel the feather in my head/There is a lightness, politeness, fingers tingle, tootsies tap/‘Til dawn comes and finds me never in my bed”

The Friends-First Song: “Because You Loved Me” by Celine Dion
Why: This song is from the Up Close and Personal soundtrack, where the film’s main characters build a relationship – both professional and romantic – that was rooted in mutual respect and friendship. The lyrics encompass the same type of love between two people, gathering strength from an encouraging friend and lover.
Key Lyrics: “You were my strength when I was weak/You were my voice when I couldn’t speak/You were my eyes when I couldn’t see/You saw the best there was in me”

The Rock n’ Roll Song: “November Rain” by Guns n’ Roses
Why: For the couple who lives a bit on the edge, it is probably the music video – and Stephanie Seymour’s wedding dress mini skirt – that made it one ultimate first dance song for the rockeuse in all of us.
Key Lyrics: “If we could take the time to lay it on the line/I could rest my head/Just knowin’ that you were mine/All mine/So if you want to love me, then darlin’ don’t refrain/Or I’ll just end up walkin’/In the cold November rain”

The Nostalgic Song: “Everything I Do (I Do It for You) by Bryan Adams
Why: This is probably the song we sway to with our first crush at the grade school dance. So for the couple who wants a dose of nostalgia this tune is it. While it has been overused as a first dance song, it remains a classic and most certainly conveys love and devotion.
Key Lyrics: “Look into my eyes, you will see/What you mean to me/Search your heart, search your soul/And when you find me here you’ll search no more”

Adapted from: Divine.ca


Bridezilla – How to lower stress and avoid becoming unbearable

Reduce Wedding Stress in Eight Easy Steps

Planning a wedding, although fun, can be difficult and stressful at times. Here are eight suggestions on how to reduce the stress that is often bridezilla associated with weddings, and therefore decrease your chances of turning into the infamous Bridezilla.

Don’t expect people to do things for you because you are the bride.
Nothing is more annoying than a bride who believes she is entitled to anything she wants when it comes to her wedding. In all likelihood, it isn’t going to happen. Watch for bargains to ensure you are able to get the majority of what you want: your “dream” dress, the perfect flowers, the proper reception hall, and the honeymoon you’ve fanaticized about. But if you aren’t able to get something you want, don’t get angry because you believe you deserve it. People get married every day, not everybody always has everything they’ve dreamed of.

Be able to take criticisms and comments from others.
People are going to want to offer their two cents when you are planning your wedding, especially if you have asked for their assistance in planning process. Don’t dismiss their thoughts because you think only you know what’s best; consider their suggestions, you never know what they might come up with.

Don’t talk about your wedding 24/7.
Of course you are excited when planning your big day and you probably want to share the news with everyone (except if you are Carrie Bradshaw and you keep forgetting you are engaged to Adian Shaw). But make sure you give yourself a breather, concentrate on other things as well. Make sure you have time for yourself, not always time for you and your wedding.

Let your wedding party be themselves.
Imagining a picture perfect wedding, where all the groomsmen are well-groomed and the bridesmaids are all the same height? It’s probably not going to happen. Let people be themselves that day, not carbon copies of one another. The people in your wedding party are your friends, you love them the way they are, don’t make them change for you.

Anticipate that things won’t go as planned.
After the hours you have spent planning your wedding you want everything to run smoothly, but weddings are part of life, they don’t result in the changing of the axis so that things magically follow through as planned. If you anticipate that some things may not go as planned, such as a flower girl suddenly falling ill, they won’t seem as dire to you, like they may if you don’t anticipate some hiccups throughout the day.

Embrace impulsiveness.
If you are anything like me, you like things to go according to plan and have a mini-meltdown when something falls apart. Well, on a day you are depending on so many others, something is bound to crumble. But, if you are anticipating this then it won’t seem nearly as tragic. For example, if your photographer doesn’t show, don’t panic – instead get a bunch of disposable cameras and have your guests and wedding party take pictures of your big day. It will be much more personal, seeing the genuine smiles captured on camera, then the posed portraits from a photographer.

Let your hubby-to-be in.
Don’t forget it is as much your fiancés day, as it is yours – therefore, let him have some input into your big day. This could be anything from having him plan one whole section of the wedding, to having him there for you to vent to when something stresses you out during the planning stage. Communication is important during this stressful time.

Focus on your marriage rather than the wedding.
Don’t get caught up in the idea of a picture perfect wedding, remember what this day is all about; it’s joining you and the man you love together as man and wife. You are both making a lifelong commitment to one another and that is much more important than one day.


Wedding Flowers 101

Thursday, 28 October 2010 02:07

Have you ever stopped and asked yourself why flowers are so popularly used at weddings? They are as common as the white dress. For centuries, flowers have been used in bridal bouquets, as centerpieces on the tables, and to decorate the church and reception halls. The beauty in their colours, shapes, and textures, as well as their fragrance and what they represent make them the perfect accompaniment to every style of wedding. Whether you consider yourself an authority on flowers, an admirer, or completely clueless – you can pull off a fabulous floral design for your wedding.

First, you need to know what type of flowers you want to use on your special day. Often people don’t have a favourite flower until they get engaged and have to begin planning their wedding. Most brides and grooms have never had to think about what flowers say about their style, personality or what they might be communicating. To help, here is a list of popular wedding flowers by season (for meanings please see here):


  • Amaryllis
  • Chrysanthemums
  • Lilac
  • Apple Blossom
  • Daffodil
  • Lily
  • Azalea
  • Daisy
  • Orchid
  • Bluebell
  • Freesia
  • Camellia
  • Primrose
  • Carnation
  • Heather
  • Rhododendron
  • Cherry Blossom
  • Honeysuckle
  • Clematis
  • Iris
  • Tulip
  • Crocus
  • Jasmine
  • Dogwood
  • Hyacinth


  • Aster
  • Marigold
  • Azalea
  • Orchid
  • Carnation
  • Heather
  • Peony
  • Cornflower
  • Iris
  • Rose
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Jasmine
  • Rhododendron
  • Delphinium
  • Larkspur
  • Daisy
  • Sweet Pea
  • Freesia
  • Lily-of-the-Valley
  • Fuchsia
  • Lupine
  • Tiger Lily
  • Gardenia


  • Chrysanthemum
  • Daisy
  • Hydrangea
  • Morning Glory
  • Dahlia
  • Iris
  • Orchid
  • Freesia
  • Lily
  • Rose
  • Sunflower


  • Carnation
  • Rose
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Holly Berries
  • Freesia
  • Iris
  • Snowdrop
  • Forsythia
  • Lily Winter
  • Jasmine
  • Orchid
  • Amaryllis
  • Amazon Lily
  • Calla Lily
  • Camellia
  • Geranium
  • Hyacinth

Other preliminary decisions to make include: the colour, the shape, the quantity, and the budget.

Choosing a colour can be a difficult decision. Even if you have a colour scheme selected it is still sometimes tough to narrow down how you want to accent that scheme. Things to consider are: whether you want the flowers to draw attention or be the focal point, if you want them to blend with the overall style, or if you want them to complement the other elements of the décor.

When thinking about shape you need to consider height, primarily. A low centerpiece is going to allow guests to see around one another and across from one another at the table rather than a tall centerpiece, which will block their view. For bouquets, popular shapes include round, cascade, and hand-tied. Round bouquets and nosegays are common, and create a more formal tone, while cascading bouquets are dramatic and romantic, hand-tied ones are more natural and traditional.

Try to figure out how many of each type of arrangement you will need (i.e., thirteen tables means thirteen centerpieces). Consider centerpieces, bridesmaids’ bouquets, pew flowers, standing arrangements, hanging arrangements, boutonnieres, and corsages, plus whatever else you have in mind. Talking with an expert is always a good idea – they have the experience in creating such items, so they are a good person to bounce ideas off of. (If you call BunchesDirect you are eligible to receive a free consultation and quote based on what you want for your wedding).

Lastly is figuring out your budget (and this might be the most important element too). Once your budget is established you can determine how lavish your arrangements can be and where you might need to cut some corners.

Your flowers will set the tone for the look of your wedding – be it opulent, simple, dramatic, or understated. Flower decisions are important for your wedding, so the more you research and learn, the more you will be able to create the exact tone you want at your wedding.


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