Royal Wedding

Royal Wedding Tips: Flowers

While we still don't know exactly what the flowers for the royal wedding will look like, it's been reported that Kate has been very deliberate in her choices.  According to Shane Connolly, floral artistic director for the wedding, "One of the things that has been very important to Catherine is the meanings of flowers and the language of flowers."  Some of the flowers planned for Westminster Abbey include azaleas, the Chinese symbol of femininity, and lilacs, which represent first love. During the Victorian Era, flowers were sent as coded messages, allowing individuals to express feelings which otherwise could not be spoken.  What are some other flowers the "speak" of weddings?

  • Calla Lilies:  "Magnificent Beauty"
  • Chrysanthemum: "Wealth, abundance, truth"
  • Gardenia: "Purity, joy"
  • Hydrangea: "Understanding"
  • Orchid: "Love, beauty"
  • Stephanotis: "Marital happiness"
  • Sunflower: "Pure thoughts"

But stay away from yellow roses, which symbolize a decrease in love, and petunias, which signify anger!

Royal Wedding Tips: The After Party

Prince William and his bride Kate will certainly have a busy wedding day!  Immediately following their wedding ceremony, Queen Elizabeth will be hosting a reception for the newlyweds.  Then in the evening, 300 of the couples' closest family and friends will dance the night away at Buckingham Palace.  But what about the after party?

Prince Harry has that covered.  He is said to be hosting a breakfast at 6:00 am for those still on the dance floor.

The concept of an after party has grown in popularity over the past few years.  Some couples choose a nearby bar for a more intimate celebration with their friends after the reception ends.  Others create a whole second reception!

We've seen couples transform a smaller ballroom at the same venue into a trendy dance club, complete with lounge furniture and mood lighting.  Often, another round of food is served - the "late night snack" that includes everything from mini-pizzas to sliders to McDonald's French fries.  The photo above is from our friends at Room Service, a great source for lounge furniture rentals.

How will you be continuing your wedding celebration?

Royal Wedding Tips: The Guest List

With the royal wedding just days away, you may have heard talk of who did, and didn't, make the guest list.  While most brides and grooms don't have to deal with the political protocol that William and Kate do, there can be tricky situations when creating you wedding guest list.

How do you decide who to invite?  Maybe one of you has an extremely large family while the other's family is very small. Maybe your parents want to take over and invite their business associates from across the country.  Maybe your venue can only seat half of those you'd like to invite.

Family: Start with your immediate families.  Next add your extended family - grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins.  Many of us have friends that we are closer to than our family; they should be next on the list.

Friends and co-workers: I often tell my brides to imagine watching their wedding video or looking at their photo album in five years - will you still be friends with that person?  If you were having a small dinner at your home, would you invite this person? If the answer is no, then cut them from the list.

The Plus One: Does every person have to bring a guest? No. If they are married, engaged, or living together, then they need to be invited.  But your frat brother doesn't need to bring whatever girl he picked up the night before!

Lastly, don't feel obligated to invite someone just because you went to their wedding. Relationships can change over time, and you shouldn't feel awkward about it.

Royal Wedding Tips: Traditions

Yes, THE wedding is almost here! It's finally the week of the wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton.  So we'll be doing a series of posts with things you can learn from the royal couple. First up, we'll look at traditions.  It's been reported that William and Kate have been in charge of all aspects of their wedding  day, unlike most royal weddings in the past.

Kate chose  her wedding cake and its baker, reportedly a multi-tiered cake  with cream and white frosting with scrollwork, leaves and flowers.  The couple have  also chosen the charities that will benefit from donations in lieu of gifts.  And the choice to have the wedding in Westminster Abbey, a "small," intimate venue that only seats 1,800 was reportedly their choice as  well.

So if William and Kate can break with family traditions, why can't other modern couples?  Many brides and grooms find themselves torn between two families, two cultures, or two religions.  But a wedding ceremony should truly reflect the couple getting married, and who they will become as a new family.

It's always best to try to incorporate little  touches from each  family, but there is no reason for the bride  and groom to give in to every whim!  Start early, 6-9 months before the wedding, by asking each set of parents  (and grandparents, if that's  important to you), what traditions they would like incorporated into the wedding day.  Make a list,  and then prioritize them.  Be sure that equal priorities are given to each side of the family, and then begin exploring ways to include those traditions.  If there  is something you feel strongly about, be honest.  But remember that in the end, it's YOUR wedding day!