Non religious wedding readings that will melt your heart

If you're having a non-religious wedding - that is, if you're tying the knot in a register office, at a country house hotel, in a barn, outside in a vineyard or even on board ship - it's important to remember that you will need to choose non-religious readings (as anything religious isn't permitted at a civil ceremony marriage).

wedding readings

(Photo by Megan Saul Photography via Green Wedding Shoes)

Plenty of choice for wedding readings

The good news is that there are absolutely masses of poems, excerpts from films and books to choose from and there's certainly to be one or two that have just the words you want to say to one another.

Who will be best at reading aloud?

Think carefully about who you ask to give your readings - you need somebody who is used to public speaking - who won't become tongue-tied and shy when they're confronted by a room full of expectant faces. So although your young niece or nephew is very cute - make sure that they're up to the job beforehand and have lots of practice!

Also remember to read out the title of the piece and where it's from.

A classical love poem

First off, we have a classical piece by the Elizabeth courtier Sir Philip Sidney who lived from 1554 to 1586. He was a favourite of Queen Elizabeth I and wrote the following love poem below which says everything.

My true-love hath my heart, and I have his,
By just exchange one for the other given:
I hold his dear, and mine he cannot miss;
There never was a bargain better driven.
His heart in me keeps me and him in one,
My heart in him his thoughts and senses guides;
He loves my heart for once it was his own;
I cherish his because in me it bides.
His heart his wound received from my sight;
My heart was wounded with his wounded heart;
For as from me on him his hurt did light,
So still methought in me his hurt did smart:
Both equal hurt, in this change sought our bliss,
My true love hath my heart and I have his.

And something a little more modern

You could also use the words Julia Roberts' character speaks in 'The Runaway Bride' when she talks about the life she and her loved one would have together.

I guarantee that we'll have tough times. And I guarantee that at some point, one or both of us will want to get out. But I also guarantee that if I don't ask you to be mine, I'll regret it for the rest of my life. Because I know in my heart you are the only one for me.

Or to raise a smile

John Cooper Clarke is a punk poet and this poem he wrote about 30 years ago has certainly stood the test of time - and it's certain to raise a laugh (in the right way).

I wanna be your vacuum cleaner
breathing in your dust
I wanna be your Ford Cortina
I will never rust
If you like your coffee hot
let me be your coffee pot
You call the shots
I wanna be yours

I wanna be your raincoat
for those frequent rainy days
I wanna be your dreamboat
when you want to sail away
Let me be your teddy bear
take me with you anywhere
I don't care
I wanna be yours

I wanna be your electric meter
I will not run out
I wanna be the electric heater
you'll get cold without
I wanna be your setting lotion
hold your hair in deep devotion
Deep as the deep Atlantic ocean
that's how deep is my devotion

A passage from “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho

When he looked into her eyes, he learned the most important part of the language that all the world spoke — the language that everyone on earth was capable of understanding in their heart. It was love.

Something older than humanity, more ancient than the desert. What the boy felt at that moment was that he was in the presence of the only woman in his life, and that, with no need for words, she recognized the same thing. Because when you know the language, it’s easy to understand that someone in the world awaits you, whether it’s in the middle of the desert or in some great city.

And when two such people encounter each other, the past and the future become unimportant. There is only that moment, and the incredible certainty that everything under the sun has been written by one hand only. It is the hand that evokes love, and creates a twin soul for every person in the world. Without such love, one’s dreams would have no meaning.

Or what about a bit of Hemingway?

“Maybe...you'll fall in love with me all over again."
"Hell," I said, "I love you enough now. What do you want to do? Ruin me?"
"Yes. I want to ruin you."
"Good," I said. "That's what I want too.”
― Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms

Finally, here's a reading that says what marriage is - beautifully

A Wedding Message (Amanda Bradley)

To love is to share life together.
To build special plans just for two.
To work side by side,
And then smile with pride
As, one by one, dreams all come true.

To love is to help and encourage
With smiles and sincere words of praise.
To take time to share.
To listen and care
In tender, affectionate ways.

To love is to have someone special
On whom you can always depend
To be there through the years,
Sharing laughter and tears
As a partner, a lover, a friend.

To love is to make special memories
Of moments you love to recall.
Of all the good things
That married life brings,
Love is the greatest of all.

What readings are you planning for your wedding day? Have you any that you could share with us?

A guide to blush weddings

 



Don't fancy ivory or white for your wedding dress? Well blush is feminine, chic, sophisticated and timeless. 

pink wedding gowns

Celebs who have opted for blush on their big day include:

  • Anne Hathaway
  • Reese Witherspoon
  • Jessica Biel
  • Emily Deschanel

Blush for your bridesmaids

Both dark and fair skin tones suit blush. You may think pink and redheads is a no-no, but in fact, the combo can work beautifully. 

You never really know what's going to suit until you put a color sample up against your face - and Dessy makes it easy for you to do this with its color swatches. 

(From top left: After Six Prom Dress Hayley, After Six Bridesmaids Style 1505, Social Bridesmaid Style 8178)

Second-time around?

If you're getting married again and don't want to wear white or ivory, then a wedding gown in soft blush could be just perfect. It will look and feel suitably bridal but that little bit different as well. 

Blush works beautifully with vintage style wedding dresses - maybe go for something cut in a 1920s style, a 1930's bias cut or a 1950's full tulle knee-length number. 

Blush also goes superbly with metallics - so you could opt for gold or silver wedding shoes, or add a metallic detail to your gown. 

Accessorising

Adding a hint of this delicate hue to your bridal ensemble is easy to do. Make a strong style statement in pale pink satin pumps. Go for a rosy glow with delicate rose quartz earrings or a semi-precious stone ring. Finally, add a dramatic touch of blush to your bridal ensemble with a luscious bouquet done in pale pink peonies or voluminous ranunculus flowers.

Blush with Dessy

If you've decided that blush is the way ahead for your wedding day, then you'll be delighted with the choice of bridesmaid gowns that Dessy offers in this shade. Cocktail and full length designs, strapless, with sleeves, halter neck - there are styles to suit every girl. You might also like to check out our rose gold bridesmaid dresses.

 

 

 

What is a Venetian Hour Anyway? Should You Do It?

What is a Venetian Hour Anyway?  Should You Do It?


If you're an Italian then you'll know what we're talking about when we say 'Venetian Hour'.

But if you're not, then we think it's a fabulous tradition that you really should know about.

A customary part of an Italian wedding day 

The first thing you should know, is that a Venetian hour is a delicious - and filling - Italian wedding tradition 

  • It is held towards the end of an Italian wedding
  • A large buffet of pastries, cakes, fruits, liqueurs and coffee are served along with the wedding cake
  • An Italian hour usually has a room to itself in its honor
  • It makes a great chill-out room away from the wedding music 
 

A post shared by pamela saverina (@permerler) on

Would it fit into your wedding budget?

A Venetian hour is designed to be lavish and it's not something you can skimp on. Although it's a lovely idea, many brides dismiss it as it's a) an extra expense b) guests will probably not be feeling particularly hungry by this point.

How much does it cost? While the price varies for each reception hall, it could cost the bride and groom an extra $1,000 from the overall cost of the wedding. If you are a couple that wants to have this as part of your wedding, check to see if it is included in the overall cost of the wedding.

An alternative to Venetian hour

If you aren't holding your wedding in a traditional reception hall, you could create a simple dessert table that may not cost nearly as much as it would if you were to do a lavish Venetian hour.

Traditionally at a Venetian table (or tables for that matter), you can find such desserts like Napoleans, cannoli, cheesecake, Tiramisu, chocolate fountains, ice cream sundaes, after dinner liquors and maybe even a cigar table for the men. Some go so far to create stations of different desserts and treats.

pink_dessert_table_01

Cakes, cupcakes and cookies galore! This is a Venetian hour you would definitely want to attend! Images featured on GreenWeddingShoes.com.

Some brides will opt out of a Venetian hour and just have a platter of cookies at each table alongside the wedding cake. At some Italian weddings, family members will bake cookies in order to cut this cost. At many Italian weddings today, you can find that couples are stepping away from the traditional "Venetian hour" fare, and making it fun with candy tables, popcorn or even after dinner snacks.


This is why neutral shades are a great choice for weddings

Wedding day neutrals

When you're styling your wedding, take a trick from an interior decorator. Interior designers often choose a color palette of neutrals because it gives the perfect backdrop. They then add pops of colour with accessories like cushions, curtains and rugs.

You can take a leaf out of their book when you're creating your wedding colors and choose nudes and neutrals.

Neutrals form a perfect color palette

 

"Hmm" you may think. "But neutrals - aren't they a little dull and unadventurous?" 

Well hardly. What you have to do is think of neutrals as a base from which you can be as subtle or as attention-grabbing as you want. 

Just hear and see how real bride Johanna B styled her day in neutrals with Dessy frocks ...

 

"I wanted my bridesmaids in a neutral color with some sparkle so I customized these dresses, choosing the topaz color with oyster lace overlay. This made the flowers POP! My MOH is wearing the strapless Dessy 2865. And that's my bridesman standing with us!" - Johanna B.Wedding day neutrals
Briggs Photography

That's a real wedding that's beautiful and memorable. 

The trick is to use pops of color with neutrals. 

Here bride Johanna has chosen colorful bouquets for her maids to add a feature. You could follow her lead, or choose colorful shoes for your bridesmaids (or they could be in metallics of bronze, silver or gold). 

Neutral shades

There are many different shades of neutrals to choose from - and they all blend in well together. Here are some colors to be thinking about.

Wedding day neutrals

It's the perfect example of when you don't have to choose just one color but can opt for several. And that gives you the opportunity to select hues which will suit your individual bridesmaids' complexions and hair coloring.

Add color accents with shoes, clutch bags, maybe a pashmina and hair accessories. Diamante and rhinestones often work well with neutrals, so look out for shoes and bags with sparkly detail.

This color theme works year round - spring, summer and winter - possibly not autumn so much. But that's another story ... 

 

 

 

What you need to know about engagement diamonds

engagement couple

Diamonds really are forever and last a lifetime.

pear cut diamond

Know Your Budget

Buy the finest diamond that your budget can afford. The price of a diamond will depend on the combination it has of the four Cs: Cut, Color, Clarity, and Carat.

 cushion cut diamond

Know Your Style

The style of your ring should express your personality. There are so many different styles of rings to choose from, you should be able to find something that you truly connect with. 

brilliant cut diamond

Note to grooms: You may not want to be quick to buy a ring. Consider proposing without a ring, all tradition aside. Shopping together for the ring could be as romantic as it gets, and she'll be certain to like the style. Make an occasion of it!

emerald cut diamond

Know who you are buying from

  • Buy from only reputable jewelers!
  • Get the ring appraised to verify all facts on your bill of sale.

 radiant cut diamond

Photo by Vasilis Lagios Photography. Rings by Betteridge.

Get the Emmys red carpet style with Dessy

Did you watch the Emmy's last week? 

It's definitely one of my guilty pleasures - watching the outfits the A-listers turn up in. Some looking amazing ... others not so much. Yes, in some cases there was most certainly a bit of 'sack the stylist' going on, but we're not going to say who! 

If you loved some of the looks, you'll be pleased to hear that you can find something very similar for your maids with Dessy. So if you're a bridesmaid and your bride is letting you decide on your own style of frock, then you might like to browse through some of the options below. And of course, Dessy being Dessy, there are literally hundreds of different color choices. 

 

Red dress goals! Rate @selenagomez dress on a scale of 1-10. #Emmys

A post shared by @stylecliche on

 Mind you, we think Selena Gomez has pretty much nailed it here. Love this dark red satin gown, beautifully cut and a fabulous fit. The color suits her complexion perfectly.

 

(Styles above left to right: Alfred Sung D542Alfred Sung D538) 

You can get a similar look with Dessy. The color here is Firecracker  - lots of different styles to consider. It's a great choice for a girl with dark hair - so if you've got a bridesmaid who has that kind of a look, why not see if she wants to channel Miss Gomez?   

Completely different vibe going on right now. It's floaty, long and oh so romantic. We think this would look fabulous at an evening wedding - either in summer or in winter. Dessy has some similar styles so you can get the look.  Check out Dessy Collection Skirt S2977 and Dessy After Six Prom Dress

 

Here's how to get the Nicole Kidman look with Dessy. 

(Styles above left to right: After Six 1502, Alfred Sung D732)

 

#ViolaDavis, #TheWades, and #LaverneCox are #Emmy ready 👏🏾 (swipe) 📸: @gettyimages

A post shared by The Shade Room (@theshaderoom) on

Fabulous frock by Viola Davis. We are all over this look. You can channel Viola's elegance with style with these two gorgeously elegant designs in flame ...

(Styles above left to right: Junior Bridesmaid JR531, Jenny Yoo JY515)

 

And THIS is why you'll want a burgundy wedding theme

burgundy wedding theme

(Photography via Wedding Chicks)

Rich, dramatic, flattering, versatile - burgundy is a gorgeous wedding color choice, particularly if you're not a pastel kind of a gal. 

  • You're having a Fall wedding and burgundy is the color of berries
  • Long burgundy bridesmaid dresses would look so chic at your evening wedding
  • You like the idea of a deep claret colored wedding cake
  • Burgundy colored shoes under your wedding gown have a certain appeal
  • Deep, burgundy roses just say something to you
  • Winter is coming and that's when your wedding is - and a burgundy shade would add a warming depth to surroundings

And that's just for starters ...

burgundy wedding theme

(Image credits: All images via Wedding Chicks Fall Wedding. Bridesmaid dress style 2911 via Dessy.)

Other shades to describe burgundy are claret, wild berry, ruby, aubergine ... and they all blend beautifully together if you want to mix it up a bit. We're thinking maybe an ombre kind of a look? A good tool to help you work out your color palette are Dessy's inexpensive Pantone wedding tools. Blend the shades you like together and mix them up to suit your tastes. 

The bride above chosen slightly different shades of burgundy for each of her maids - a subtle difference, which also helped each bridesmaid to choose a color to suit their skin tone. And which adds a certain depth of creativity and interest to your wedding photographs. (You'll find plenty of burgundy colored bridesmaid dresses to consider at Dessy here.)

It's probably a good time to set up your own Pinterest board too - and you can keep it private of course. At Dessy we LOVE Pinterest and are always pinning ideas for brides on our boards. Play around with some burgundy wedding looks you find online - and of course this page is a good start!

In your wedding bouquet you can go for block burgundy impact as above - or add some shading with blush roses and leaves, like the brides here. 

 

burgundy wedding theme

(Photo credits: Burgundy bridesmaid dress style JR535 via Dessy, all other images via Wedding Chicks)

 

 Burgundy wedding themes let you have fun with your wedding food too. 

  • You could serve dark red themed cocktails as your guests arrive at the reception 
  • Have a dark red themed dessert table or candy bar
  • Serve warm mulled wine at a winter wedding
  • Have a dark red velvet wedding cake

 

 

How to walk down the aisle gracefully

It's your Big Day and everyone is looking at you girl. Your wedding dress is beautiful, your hair perfect and the man of your dreams is waiting for you at the end of the aisle. But ... a key bit of advice for the bride here.

You need to be gliding down that aisle elegantly - like a Princess. It's said that the Duchess of Cambridge took deportment lessons before she walked down the aisle of Westminster Abbey in London to marry Prince William, with the eyes of The World upon her. (And who can blame her?)

You don't want to walk like a pudding

Don't march down the aisle, head down, shoulders hunched, as though you're on your way to work on a dreary Monday morning in the rain.

(Check here for musical inspiration to walk down the aisle.)

What's the point of wearing a beautiful dress, gorgeous shoes and having all that preparation if you're going to ruin it with your posture?

Learn to walk tall. We asked for some tips and advice from a model who walks regularly for some top designers. She said:

  • It is hard to be elegant if you're not comfortable. Give some thought to how your dress and wedding shoes will feel - not only on the walk from the car and up the aisle, but also how you're going to manage standing, meeting and greeting your guests and the other activities your big day will demand.
  • Grace and poise will not be achieved if you are a bundle of tension! Before your hair is done, take 10 minutes in a quiet room to lie on your back with your knees bent and give yourself some space. Support your head on a couple of paperback books. Let your mind clear, and your thoughts come back to yourself. It is the last chance you will have to do this in the whole day - it is SO important!
  • Allow any tightness to dissipate from your neck, head and shoulders, and notice if you are 'pulling in' or tensing around your hip area. Be aware of your breath filling your lungs to their full capacity, and exhale freely.
  • As you step into the limelight, hold onto this calm and peace you have found. Think of your neck as free of tension, and your head elegantly and lightly poised. Be aware of length in your spine and allow your knees to move freely forward from your hips. Remember not to grip anything you are holding, but to have as light a touch as is needed, so that your arms are not bunched into your shoulders.
  • You might like to start taking a Pilates class before your wedding day. It's a good way to destress, will stretch out your limbs and also you'll become more aware of your posture, pulling in your core and standing with your shoulders back.

Photo credit: Ryan Flynn photography via The Wedding Chicks

Six things brides need to know about wedding bouquets.

wedding bouquets

The flowers in your wedding bouquet and its style are going to be a key feature on your wedding day. The blooms you carry will do much to create a mood and 'look' and the way you carry your flowers is very important, particularly if you want to show off your dress to perfection.

Wedding Bouquet Secrets

  1. When you visit your florist for your first consultation, bring a picture of your wedding dress. The structure of and design of your bridal bouquet needs to work well with the style, shape and detail of your dress.
  2. If you are having your dress made or altered, ask the dressmaker if you can have any spare material. Then your florist can wrap it around the stems of your bouquet, giving you the perfect match.
  3. If you have a family heirloom - such as an antique brooch, a lace hanky or something else to work into your Something Old, New, Borrowed and Blue- ask your florist to add it into the top of the stems. Brooches in particular look fantastic and are a lovely way to finish the handle.
  4. If you're like most brides, you might feel a bit nervous just before your wedding. This nervousness means that many brides, when they are holding their bouquet for the first time, tend to use both hands and carry their bouquet quite high. This immediately lifts the shoulders up which tends not to make a great picture, particularly if you are wearing a strapless dress. If you can remember, (get your bridesmaid to remind you) hold your bouquet in one hand and below your hip. This will relax and open your shoulders, improving your posture and creating the best pose for your photographer! It will also show off the detailed bodice of your dress.
  5. If you can bear to put your bouquet down, putting it to the side of your wedding cake makes a lovely picture.
  6. At the end of your wedding day, ask your chief bridesmaid or mum to refresh your bouquet by cutting an inch off the stems and popping it into water. This works well with hand-tied bouquets and lets you enjoy your flowers that bit longer.

Image credits clockwise from top: Blue and white bouquet via Wedding Chicks, Bohemian elegance wedding via Wedding Chicks, Blooms and bouquets via Wedding Chicks, Fall wedding bouquet via Wedding Chicks, Fall and purple wedding via Wedding Chicks, Colorful Pantone wedding via Wedding Chicks, Red bouquet wedding ideas via Wedding Chicks.

12 secrets to making your guests think your wedding was the best ever!

(Photography credit TaraLynn Lawton via Wedding Chicks)

"The best ever? Of course my wedding day is going to be a fabulous success for my guests," you say.

It's all about the guests

Obviously you and your other half are the centerpiece of the day. You're the ones getting married, after all.

But remember you've asked a lot of a whole group of people

  • They may have travelled a long way
  • Taken time off work
  • Had expensive air fares
  • Invested in new clothes
  • Splashed out on accommodation
  • Bought you a lovely gift
  • Organised childcare (and pet care)

So to make sure they have a fabulous time at your wedding, it's worth remembering some (if not all) of the following tips.

  1. Don't bore your guests whilst your photographs are being taken. Although it's a special time for you, try not to leave your guests standing outside, hungry and thirsty, whilst the photographer snaps away. Have a glass of Champagne waiting for them and a few canapes.
  2. Standing around in the cold or wet for 30 minutes or so outside the church or venue (or in blazing sun), waiting for transport to the reception, isn't that much fun. It also sets a tone and not the tone you want either.
  3. Going to a wedding alone and being a bit of a Bridget Jones can be very daunting, especially if you don't know anyone and have to face constant statements like: "Don't worry, it'll be your turn next." One way around this is to have a reception the night before to make introductions.
  4. If you're not going to have a load of singles at your wedding, then it's thoughtful to offer a plus one on the invitation.
  5. On the other hand, a singles table or two could be a massive success. Singles tend not to want to sit amongst married couples. And you never know who will hit it off with whom!
  6. Send your thank-you letters out promptly. It costs quite a bit of money to be a wedding guest nowaways, what with the travel to the venue, probably an overnight stay, an outfit, the bachelorette party and of the course, the wedding gift.
  7. Don't let the speeches go on and on. You may think it's absolutely hilarious for your father to regale your guests with stories of what you did as a child and the best man to relive his experiences with the bridegroom but you may see your guests getting restive. Short, sweet and entertaining is the best way.
  8. Don't hold back on food and wine. If you're getting married at midday and the event is going on until the small hours, you're going to have to feed your guests properly. That means a drinks reception, lunch, tea and dinner and that's obviously not going to come cheap.
  9. If you're having an evening wedding and want your guests to stay over, try and consider accommodation options to suit all budgets.
  10. Think about how your guests will get to the reception, especially if you're getting married in a city centre church where there is no (or very expensive) parking nearby. A popular option is to lay on a bus from the venue to the church and then back again afterwards, so that guests can leave their cars at the reception and not have to worry.
  11. Although theme weddings are all the rage, asking your guests to dress in fancy dress is asking a lot. If you are having a color theme, then however you could ask guests to give a nod to it by dressing using a particular color on an accessory, like a tie, scarf or shoes.
  12. Having a chill-out zone is always a good plan. If you're having dancing, some people may want to catch up and chat somewhere a bit quieter. So lay tea and coffee on somewhere (with wedding cake) that's away from the dance floor.