Free Ways to Personalize Your Wedding

Personalization is a sweet idea, but let's face it: all those personalized cake toppers and hand-crafted wedding invitations can get a little over the top.

Here's a couple of cool ways to personalize your wedding that don't cost a thing:

    • write your own vows

    • let your pet walk you down the aisle or be ringbearer, or

    • let your bridesmaids choose their own bridesmaids' dresses.

These lovable ideas will create a fun-filled wedding that's heavy on memories but lighter on the wallet.

Destination Wedding Dress Care

With destination weddings catching on like tulle on rhinestones, there is one question on every bride's mind: How do I safely transport my destination wedding dress?

Well, here are a few suggestions from a recent Washington Post Article: use tissue and dry cleaner bags to stuff the dress so that it maintains its shape, put it in a garment bag, or if you don't have a bag, make one from fitted sheets and safety pins. You could also FedEx your destination wedding dress in advance, but do not under any circumstances check it, the article warns. Remember, Cinderella ball gowns riding in coach only works in fairytales.

In real life, the plane is no place for a poofy dress, so why not snatch up one of these sleek and gorgeous gowns from Dessy for easy storage?

These care instructions can of course be used on bridesmaids' dresses and flower girls' dresses as well.

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Choosing the Maid of Honor's Bridesmaid Dress

You love all your bridesmaids of course, but chances are there's something about your Maid of Honor that makes her truly special. She's proved her friendship countless times along the way, so why not give her a special honor on your big day?
One great way to do this is by distinguishing her bridesmaid's dress. We like the idea of having all the bridesmaid dresses be the same color, but maybe have the Maid of Honor's be a different fabric.
If the rest of the bridesmaids dresses are chiffon, pick a more formal silk or satin for the Maid of Honor's and so on. A special friend deserves a special touch, and if you don't like the idea of different fabrics, maybe a pretty fashion tote or a gorgeous clutch is the key.
Any way you choose, make sure you give your Maid of Honor the props she deserves for being awesome!

Look to Big Screen Brides for Wedding Inspiration

If you've seen a zillion cookie-cutter wedding comedies and are looking for a refreshing take, gather thy bridesmaids together and take them to see two upcoming wedding movies with a twist. The first one, called Save the Date, is about an obsessive-compulsive bride who plans every last detail down to the wedding favors and the bridesmaid dresses.

Now all she has to do is find a groom to show up on the appointed date. This movie's a perfect cautionary tale for the borderline-bridezilla in your life.

The second movie is the long-delayed debut of Lucy Lui's project Beautiful Asian Brides, about a guy who's wrongfully accused of murder and becomes a mail-order bride to escape his fate. Hmm, on that note, is there such thing as mail-order bridesmaids?

The Unwritten Bridesmaid Commandments

Many articles offer instructions to brides on how to maintain positive relations with their spouse-to-be during the stressful wedding planning. But we think this advice could also be applied to maintaining positive relations with your bridesmaids. Hence, a few bridesmaid commandments:

    1. Thou shalt have scheduled 'girl time' where you and your bridesmaids hang out like old times and no wedding talk is allowed!

    1. Thou shalt be open and honest with bridesmaids, rather than bottling up feelings into a bridezilla freakout.

    1. Thou shalt let bridesmaids choose their own bridesmaid dresses, or at least be open to suggestions about bridesmaid dresses.

The Bridesmaids Guide to Better Bachelorette Parties

As bachelor parties grow less X-rated, bachelorette parties should follow suit. But that doesn't mean bridesmaids don't still just wanna have fun! So, here are some great new bachelorette party ideas, some courtesy of The Knot.

    • Have a slumber party, then sweeten the pot with a surprise guest: instead of a stripper, hire a poker dealer, a tarot card reader, or a henna tattooist to spice up the night!

    • Going out? Drag shows, limo rides, and scavenger hunts are fun for bridesmaids and brides.

    • Last but not least, just because there's no nudity doesn't mean your bride isn't entitled to at least a little good old fashioned humiliation (she did pick out that crinoline bridesmaid dress after all). Go to a comedy club and let the comedian know your friend is getting married.

Follow these ideas for a bachelorette party none of you will ever forget!

Hot Trend: Personalized Bridesmaid Gifts

One exciting trend released by for 2006 is personalized bridesmaid gifts! Personalized bridesmaids gifts can be achieved in a variety of ways: the bride may give out monogrammed gifts, or attach a handwritten note.

But the best way to give personalized bridesmaids gifts is to pick out something special for each maid, rather than give every girl the same gift. Check out Dessy for unique bridesmaid gift ideas!

The Tradition of the Flower Girl

No wedding party is ever complete without the flower girl. The bridesmaid plays an important role, of course, but the flower girl is essential. Often a younger relative of the bride (or a bride's friend), she usually wears a flower girl dress either matching the bridesmaids or in a similar style to the bride. In Latin America, the flower girl and the ring bearer are dressed as miniature versions of the bride and groom.

The tradition of the flower girl began in the Middle Ages, when it was grain rather than flower petals that the flower girl carried and threw in the path of the bride. Grain symbolized both the bride's new life and hope for 'fruitfulness' in the marriage.

It is believed that having a flower girl will bring happiness and extra luck. It was the English who introduced the tradition of scattering flower petals, rather than grain, during the Victorian era. Flowers symbolized the hope of a happy path in life together.

These days it is common to have more than one flower girl. My sister had two; her soon-to-be husband's younger sister and myself. Dawn (the groom's little sister), at the age of twelve, was much better at the tossing of the rose petals than I was! Being five years old, I didn't get the whole 'scatter' concept. The result was clumps here and there all the way up the aisle where I made a beeline for the front pew and hid next to my mother.

My sister made an effort to make sure that Dawn and I were both included in the girly-girl portion of the wedding party and the thank-you gifts that she gave us were cherished for years. I still have mine!

Flower girls, especially those in their 'tweens' will appreciate age appropriate jewelry such as pearl or rhinestone jewelry set as well as mementoes of the occasion such as a photo of them with the bride.

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The History of Bachelorette Parties

Some wedding traditions go way, WAY back. Take the bachelorette party, for instance. Bachelorette parties really got their start in the seventies, as a spin-off of the bachelor or stag party. Why should guys have all the fun, right? Brides-to-be and bridesmaids alike look forward to the bachelorette party!

The bachelor party itself originally started in fifth century Sparta, Greece. Guys would feast and toast one another on the eve of a friend's wedding. The party was an actual dinner, attended by the groom and his closest friends. The dinner served a dual purpose: it was an occasion to celebrate the impending wedding (or mourn the passing of the groom's bachelor status) and it was a chance to raise money for the groom so that he could continue to drink with his buddies after his wife took control of the finances.

These days it's very common for the bridemaids to throw the bride her own bachelorette party and whether or not the modern bride takes over the family finances, they can have just as much (if not more) fun at the bachelorette party.

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