Wedding Facts

Burying Bourbon For Good Weather On Your Wedding Day

southern folklore good weather on your wedding day

Every couple that is planning an outdoor wedding stresses out about one thing: the weather! Hopefully you have great backup plans in place if you are planning an outdoor event. (If you don’t, you should!) But here’s an old tradition you might want to add to your wedding planning schedule.

Southern folklore has it that 30 days before the wedding, at the time of the ceremony, the couple should go to the ceremony location and bury a bottle of bourbon upside down. During the cocktail hour, the bottle is dug up and subsequently passed around for all to enjoy. The folklore must be true, because we’ve seen it done at 3 weddings now and all have had fabulous weather despite rainy or cold days before and after!

Do you have any superstitions or traditions you’d like to share?

(photo from Ann and Mark’s November 2014 wedding, by Susan Michal Photography)

Wacky Wedding Superstitions

It’s that dreaded day – Friday the 13th. We were lucky {!} enough to get two Friday the 13ths this year – exactly 13 weeks apart. Weird? Absolutely. Scary? For a lot of people. For some insight, check out the article “Why Does Friday the 13th Scare Us So Much?” over on the National Geographic website.

We thought it would be fitting to look at some wacky wedding superstitions on this inauspicious day:

  • The English believe a spider found in a wedding dress means good luck. Ew!
  • Ancient Greeks and Romans thought the veil protected the bride from evil spirits. Brides have worn veils ever since.
  • Saturday is the unluckiest wedding day, according to English folklore. But in modern culture, it’s the most popular day of the week to marry!
  • In Denmark, brides and grooms traditionally cross-dressed to confuse evil spirits! 
  • According to folklore, a knife signifies a broken relationship and is bad luck to give as a wedding gift. If knives are on your registry, just give the gift giver a penny. That way it’s a purchase, not a gift. 
  • Having a cat eat out of your left shoe one week before the wedding is good luck.
  • Peonies, one of the most desirable wedding flowers, actually represent shame!
  • Single women should take a piece of wedding cake home, and sleep with it under their pillow. Then they will dream of their future husband!

But here’s one that we actually agree with: Don’t use your married name or monogram before the wedding! Some think it’s tempting fate to do so, and the wedding will not take place. If you’re superstitious (or a stickler for proper etiquette), save the monogramming for your reception decor and registry items.

Would you get married on a Friday the 13th?

The Groom’s Cake

Grooms Cake Jacksonville FL Wedding

The Groom’s Cake is a tradition popular in the South, but where did this tradition come from?

In the Victorian Era, the groom’s cake was a dense fruit cake. Small pieces of cake were put into boxes and given to the single women at the wedding. The women put the cake under their pillow to bring dreams of their future husband.

While that tradition has gone away, the groom’s cake is still generally darker or denser than the wedding cake. Popular favorites include chocolate cake, carrot cake, or cheesecake. And it is still popular to box the groom’s cake and give it to your guests as a wedding favor.

We see lots of our couples serve the groom’s cake at the rehearsal dinner rather than at the wedding. Usually, the cake is designed with the groom’s interests or hobbies in mind. The fun cake pictured here is from Jenna and Andy’s wedding, and was created by Classic Cakes and photographed by Fox Fotography.

So do you have to have one? No, it’s your wedding – do whatever you want to! But it is a fun way to incorporate a touch of the groom’s personality into the wedding day.

10 Wedding Budget Busters

Creating a realistic budget should be one of the first steps a newly-engaged couple take. But even the best budget won’t work if you leave things out! We’ve put together a list of the top 10 most overlooked wedding costs:

  1. Postage – Wedding invitations come in every shape and style these days. Just remember that square wedding invitations and thicker paper stocks create a heavier package, which means more postage. Your invitation envelopes can range from a regular stamp (currently 45 cents) to a 2-ounce stamp (currently 65 cents) or even more. If you invitation is square, add on a little more too. A 2-ounce square envelope will be 85 cents currently. Plus, remember that all of your response card envelopes need a stamp too! For 100 invitations, budget at least $150 for postage.
  2. Wedding Gown Alterations, Steaming, and Dry Cleaning – You’ve found the perfect gown. But does it fit exactly perfectly? Chances are, probably not. Depending on the type of work to be done, and the style of your dress, alterations can run from $100 to $600 or more. Most brides spend an average of $350. Some gown shops or seamstresses will include steaming your dress just before the wedding to get the wrinkles out. If yours didn’t, add another $50-200 for this service.  And once the wedding is over, you’ll want to clean and possibly preserve your wedding gown; this service generally costs $150-300.
  3. Sales Tax – Almost everything you purchase, rent or contract will have sales tax added. Be sure that you calculate this into everything, including your food and beverage charges.
  4. Welcome Bag Delivery – Most hotels charge between $1 and $10 to deliver welcome bags to guests’ rooms. If you plan on using this service, figure that amount into your budget.
  5. Vendor Meals – Your photographers, videographers, and wedding planners will be with you for 8+ hours on your wedding day. They need food. In addition, your band or DJ’s contract may require a meal. Most venues or caterers have special pricing for vendor meals that typically don’t include the hors d’oeuvres, salads and desserts. Be sure to ask when you are talking about menus!
  6. Overtime Fees – It’s been an awesome party, and you just don’t want the night to end. Your wedding planner or the venue’s banquet captain comes to you and asks if you’d like to extend the reception. YES! But wait. What will it cost? You’ll most likely have an extra rental fee from the venue, charges to pay the service staff and bartenders to stay longer, plus overtime fees from your band, DJ, photographer, videographer, and wedding planner.
  7. Delivery and Setup Fees – All the beautiful table linens, centerpieces and chairs that you ordered need to get the venue. Be sure to factor in delivery fees! And be sure to ask who will tie those pretty chair sashes. If your venue coordinator or wedding planner won’t do it, you’ll need to pay someone to do the setup.
  8. Gratuities: Some wedding professionals include a gratuity in their contracts. Others will leave it to your discretion. Be sure to read your contract carefully, and make a list of people you will need to tip the day of the wedding. This list might include limo drivers, hair stylists, makeup artists, officiants, and musicians.
  9. Favors: Those cute little favors you found on Etsy that are only $4.00 each? Those add up to $600 if you have 150 guests! Have your wedding planner put together a list of options in different price points to find something your budget will like as much as you do.
  10. Parking/Valet Charges: Many resorts and urban hotels have parking charges, whether your guests use valet or self parking. It’s my philosophy that the hosts should pay for parking, not the guests. If your venue doesn’t offer parking, you may want to rent spaces in a nearby parking garage for your guests. Nothing is worse than having half of your guests late to your reception because they couldn’t find parking!

I hope you have enjoyed reviewing this list of most commonly overlooked wedding costs! Happy budgeting…

Why Are Diamonds So Expensive?

The other day I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts, Stuff You Should Know, when a topic caught my attention. Diamonds. I love these sparkly beauties as much as the next person – in fact, since my birthday is in April, the diamond is my birthstone. Lucky girl!

The podcast talked about lots of cool stuff about diamonds, beyond the 4C’s and two-month-salary hype we hear about constantly in the wedding industry. If you’re in the market to buy a diamond, or just want to know more about the rock sitting on your left hand, check out this episode/article!

Prior to the 1930’s, diamonds were rarely given as engagement rings. The N.W. Ayer advertising agency created the De Beers “A Diamond is Forever” ad campaign in 1947, and transformed the diamond market into the giant it is today.

According to the article, “The only reason why we pay so much more for diamonds today than for other precious gems is because the diamond market is controlled almost entirely by a single diamond cartel, called De Beers Consolidated Mines, Ltd., which is based in South Africa.”

So guys, you can thank De Beers for creating the expensive rings that your girlfriends drool over!

Be sure to check out the article on HowStuffWorks.com for more cool information, including stories of the supposedly-cursed Hope diamond, shown here. (photo from SmithsonianScience.com)