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 Brides.com 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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