Thursday, July 25, 2013

So, you're the Maid of Honor...

Congratulations! The Maid of Honor (MOH) is one of the most important roles given by the bride. She is not only counting on you to be a trusty side kick through the entire planning process, but she’s going to need you to be a huge means of emotional support. So, what do you do next?

In the months leading up to the wedding, you’ll spend long afternoons site-seeing with the bride—exploring venue after venue, smelling flowers and comparing their colors, eye balling invitations and sampling h’ors douvres from caterers and sweet confections from bakers in search of the perfect menu and cake.  After you’ve consumed more calories in cake then you want to admit, it’s time to go shopping!  If the groom can’t accompany the bride to pick out items for the wedding registry, you better bet that you’re going—this can actually be really fun as no matter how many items you scan, your bank account isn’t going to get hurt.  Make sure to spread the word about where the couple is registered as well so you can watch all of the items you have picked out come in at various engagement parties and showers. 

Once you’ve carefully examined every plate in Crate & Barrel, its time to go dress shopping!  First on the list is the lovely bride’s dress.  Make sure to ooohh and aaaahh appropriately, Mom will be there to tell her when something looks horrible so you won’t have to.  Next, it’s you’re turn.  Spin around with the other bridesmaids in strange colored frocks that poof out in weird places and smile like you mean it regardless of how utterly ridiculous you feel.  Revel in the fact that everyone will be looking at the bride anyway, so no one will notice if you look like an overgrown piglet in that particular shade of pink. 

Now it’s time to open up your wallet and start shelling out the cash.  Pay for that pink dress that you hate and pray that it comes in on time and buy whatever shoes you’re supposed to wear to match said dress.  Start planning the bachelorette party and bridal shower (unless another family member offers to throw the shower) and start splitting up expenses for these events with the other bridesmaids. Don’t forget to buy gifts for all of the parties that you’re getting invitations for in the mail and, last but certainly not least, pay for the alterations to be done to your dress because of course you’ve lost weight by the time it came in since you can no longer afford groceries.

Be sure not to drink too many mimosas at any showers, it’s your job to keep track of the brides gifts to make sure she sends thank you notes to everyone for the right gift—we wouldn’t want her to thank Aunt Liz for the lampshade from Cousin Sally instead of the down comforter, would we?

Hope you’re feeling crafty. Not only do you need to turn the ribbons from the bridal shower gifts into a bouquet for the rehearsal dinner, but you’ll be spending any free time crafting all of those DIY decorations that the bride has been oogling on Pinterest and helping to set up the seating chart. Be really careful not to put Sarah at the same table as her ex-boyfriend and his new girlfriend—we wouldn’t want a repeat of the dinner fiasco that happened at Lisa’s wedding…

Don’t get the silly idea that you’re all finished by the time wedding day rolls around, you’re job is just beginning! First you’ve got to get beautiful.  Accompany the bride to her hair and makeup appointments and crack that wallet one last time to make sure you’re show-ready as well.  Help the bride into her gown and keep her calm by assuring her that the zipper is only stuck and the dress will fit.  Do a quick head count and once over of all of the bridesmaids to make sure they’re all there and they all have everything that they’re supposed to, particularly Britney who you’ve seen leave her bouquet in several random spots.  Run back and forth with any last minute correspondence from the bride and grooms side because we all know how unlucky it would be if he saw her before the alter and then get ready for the big moment! It probably wouldn’t hurt to carry some extra bobby pins.

The ceremony ends and it’s finally party time!  Well, almost—after you pose for about five million pictures and your cheeks hurt from smiling and all you really want is a drink—but before that drink hits your lips remember to bustle the bride’s gown before she enters the reception hall and give a toast in honor of the newlyweds.  Be sure to help anyone find anything and keep an eye on the bride all night and helping her if she needs to change before her big departure. Once you’ve helped transfer all of the gifts, you’re finally off the clock! Pour the champagne! What do you mean everyone is gone?

All jokes aside, being the Maid of Honor is an enourmous honor and you should feel amazing knowing that your friend or family member thought highly enough of you to ask you to play this huge role in her big day.  The Anniversary Box is one way to show your appreciation and well wishes to the couple for fifty years after the wedding day.  Being an involved member of the bridal party, you will have plenty of chances to give the note cards to all of the important people in both the bride and groom’s life. It’s even a nice little speech supporter during that dreaded moment at the reception when it's your time to take the stage.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tradition Tuesday - The Honeymoon

The honeymoon wasn’t always the fun and fancy-free vacation that we envision it as today. In fact, it originated during early Anglo-Saxon times when it was prototypical for the groom to abduct his bride from her family and hometown following the wedding ceremony—talk about taking “Will you take this woman?” literally.  This abduction soon turned into an enchanted escapade where the bride and groom would go into hiding for a full thirty days after the ceremony.  One friend or family member would remain informed of the newlyweds’ location and would bring them a cup of honey wine, better known as mead, to drink each night.  The honey wine was believed to ensure the new couple with happiness and fertility and resulted in one complete “honeymoon” by the end of the thirty days.

The honeymoons that we are familiar with today began taking shape in the early 19th century when upper class couples began going on “bridal tours” to visit relatives that were unable to attend the wedding.  The honeymoonquickly transitioned into a pure holiday during the romantic and fanciful period of Belle Époque and honeymooners traveled to more exotic locations such as the French Riviera or Italy—particularly seaside resorts and romantic cities such as Rome, Verona, and Venice.  Couples would make a getaway during the middle of the ceremony to catch a late train and embark on a whimsical holiday together to celebrate their marriage.

While today’s honeymoons coincide with the idea of a pure holiday, couples generally don’t leave for one to three days after the ceremony and reception in order to tie up any loose ends with the venue and to enjoy the event to it’s fullest and allow ample time to recover and prepare before undergoing a long trip.

The Anniversary Box is one of the few wedding gifts that will allow the couple to revisit the excitement and joy that they felt when embarking on their honeymoon for years to come. On each anniversary, the couple will be able to open a letter written by a friend or family member during this happy occasion. The Anniversary Box doesn’t just preserve memories; it brings them back to life. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tradition Tuesday - The Luck of the Bride and the Left Side

Some wedding traditions come from much more violent beginnings then you would imagine. For instance, the bride stands to the left of the groom during the ceremony because of the “marriage by capture” trend from the old days. Apparently it was fairly normal for a bachelor filled with envy to try to steal a young bride away from the alter before the marriage was confirmed.  If this were to happen, the groom would be able to easily defend his bride since his sword arm would already be facing the crowd and the attempted bride-napper. Turns out the whole “speak now or forever hold you peace” bit 
was taken pretty seriously. 

As if it wasn’t already tough enough out there for the bride, she could be trampled by her wedding guests next if she wasn’t careful. Anything the bride was wearing or holding was considered to be good luck and many people, particularly those that were still single, were very anxious to obtain some of that luck—even if it meant ransacking the bride and tearing her dress to shreds with no concern for her well being in the process (sounds really lucky).  To avoid being attacked by the mobs, the bride would often run away, throwing the bouquet behind her for the crowds to catch, which eventually developed into the tradition of the—you guessed it—bouquet toss. 

The garter toss developed from the same tradition.  In an attempt to protect the bride from the crowds, the groom would throw the garter to the men so that they were able to have a piece of the luck too without risking the safety of the bride. 

Luckily, the Anniversary Box is a new tradition stemming from much more docile beginnings. Relive the joy from your wedding day with hand written letters from those most special to you for fifty years of anniversaries—and don’t worry about being attacked by your guests in the process.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

#TraditionTuesday - The Bouquet

The bouquet wasn’t always made of fresh smelling flowers. Originating in ancient Greece and Rome, bouquets were made of garlic and dill and carried to ward off evil spirits and disease.   The bouquet was often accompanied by garland worn around the necks of both the bride and the groom used to symbolize new life, hope, and fertility.

When Queen Elizabeth married Prince Albert, she replaced the traditional herbs and spices with fresh flowers – marigolds in particular.  Women quickly began following suit and using fresh flowers in their bouquets as well because of their festive appearance.

In Victorian times, flowers began holding secret love messages as each flower was assigned a unique meaning.  Brides began choosing flowers for their bouquet with regard to its traditional significance.  Baby’s breath and lilac became popular choices because they symbolized festivity and first love while lavender was often excluded as a symbol of distrust. 

Today, weddings are all about personalization and brides pick their flowers based on their wedding color palette and personal preference instead of an assigned meaning or as a means of protection.  Keeping with this growing trend of incorporating personal touches, introduce the Anniversary Box to your family’s wedding traditions as the ultimate personalized wedding gift. The bride and groom will relive the beginning of their marriage through unique letters from family and friends for years to come.  

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Tradition Tuesdays - The Veil


Many wedding traditions commonly practiced today are derived from rather unexpected beginnings.  The veil, for instance, began during the days of arranged marriages when it was incredibly likely that the bride and the groom had not met before meeting at the altar.  The veil hid the bride's face until after the ceremony was completed and the marriage finalized in case the groom happened not to like what he saw.  Luckily, today it’s a pretty safe bet that the groom has seen his bride before marrying her.

It wasn’t until medieval times that the veil began symbolizing the bride’s purity and chastity and holding religious significance in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.  Queen Victoria turned veils into what we know them as today and made them a must have item for the 19th century bride after donning a handmade lace veil at her wedding in 1840.  Many soon believed that no proper woman would be married without one and brides began having veils made out of the most expensive lace that they could afford.  The veils were kept as family heirlooms and passed down through many generations of brides.

Tradition says that a veil borrowed from a happily married bride will bring happiness and good fortune to the wearer.  Make sure that the happiness continues by incorporating the new tradition of the Anniversary Box with tried and true traditions.  With each card, couples will be able to relive the happiness they felt when the veil was first lifted through touching notes from friends and family.