Bridal shower guest list – 5 things to consider

When planning a shower for the bride, how do you come up with the guest list? Well, here are five things to consider to help get you started:

1. Will the shower be held in a restaurant or in someone’s home? For either venue, what’s the max?

2. Couples or women only? It seems as though women only is still the popular choice.

3. Have the bride and groom been living together, and is their home pretty well stocked? If so, you don’t really “need” every woman invited to the wedding to come bearing household gifts. Maybe relatives and bridal party?

4. Has the couple already been celebrated with a big engagement bash where guests brought gifts? If so, see #3.

5. Are the brides friends just starting out in life and trying to get on their feet? Will they be spending a lot of money to come to the wedding and, possibly, a bachelorette party? If so, spare them the shower obligation and keep it to the bridesmaids and “older ladies” (yes, that means YOUR peers, MOB!).

Next ~ Some fun theme and gift ideas!

April Showers……

Bridal Showers! Fun ideas for themes, venues, menus and more....

This week’s posts will be dedicated to bridal showers: Themes, ideas, venues and menus. But before we go into all that fun stuff, whose job is it anyway? As Mother of the Bride, I’m sure you expect to have a role here, but exactly how much of a role should you have? Here’s how to get the shower ball rolling:

1. If she hasn’t reached out to you already, contact the Maid of Honor (MOH). We were lucky in that respect– the MOH was the bride’s sister.

2. Discuss any of the bride’s wishes either of you might know about. Would she prefer a surprise? Does she want to know about it? Would she like a shower at home or at a favorite restaurant?

3. Have the MOH reach out to the other bridesmaids and select a date first! This isn’t easy, believe me. Young women aren’t the easiest– prepare for “I can’t that day, it’s my birthday,” or “I might be going away that weekend.” Have patience, but make sure MOH can handle the date haggling.

4. Decide where the shower will be, and what weather contingencies you will need.

5. Offer whatever you plan to contribute, and let the bridal party work out the rest. My part consisted of offering our home, tables/chairs/linens rentals, and salads made by a number of my wonderful friends.

Next topic: Fun themes for bridal showers…..

Shoes, shoes, shoes!

Everyone knows that women are genetically programmed to love shoes! More than just an accessory to the bridal gown, shoes have become the star of the photography shoot, and countless brides overspend on the perfect “photogenic” shoe. Before you are one of those brides, consider this:

In her post “12 wedding rules every bride should feel free to break,” Maressa Brown on Huff Post says “having photogenic designer shoes” is #7. She is right! Is it worth blowing a budget for one photo of your stunning shoes? Because that’s all anyone will see of them. Does that mean finding shoes will be easy? Heck, no. For us, it took longer than finding the perfect wedding gown. Here are our tips:

1. Realize that you will be changing often into those white flip-flops as you traipse around your photo shoot and, later, dance the night away. And when buying those flip-flops, get a bit of a wedge so your dress doesn’t drag.
2. High-end department store shoe departments no longer carry bridal lines (we asked). You have to purchase online.

3. White and ivory shoes are hard to find! Take advantage of Zappo’s great selection and free shipping in both directions. For about a month, UPS was at our house nearly every day, as the bride, MOH and MOB tried and rejected countless pairs of shoes.

4. Shop for shoes early and leave plenty of time for this. Brides, you need the shoes for your dress fittings.

5. Chain warehouse stores like DSW have a pretty good selection of bride-worthy shoes. That’s where my daughter finally found hers (pictured above). And they were well under $100!

Wedding Photos: Planning is key to getting all the right shots

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Young brides and grooms are easily seduced by artistic photographers whose work shows that they will photograph the happy couple in the most flattering possible ways. That’s fine, but remember too that these pros will need your input too, especially if there are certain people you want to make sure are photographed. Sit down and compile a list of “must do” photos and make sure this is made clear to the wedding photographer. Artistic shots are beautiful, yes, but don’t forget to list the “less sexy” shots like the following —

1. Bride and groom with their cousins
2. Bride with godparents or aunts and uncles
3. Bride and groom with nieces/nephews
4. Wedding guests at tables (this isn’t a given anymore)
5. Bride and groom with college crowd, high school crowd or neighborhood friends
6. Parents of bride as they watch the ceremony

These are just examples– your list will be as unique as your family is. Take-away advice is not to assume the photographer will get all the “important” photos.

On a related note: I’ve been following the Huff Post Weddings blog, and award-winning photographer Anne Almasy had this to say recently, which I just love:

“…you know why I REALLY do what I do?

To photograph your parents, who will hold hands and cry on the first row of the chapel. To photograph your sister dancing with that boy she will marry in three years. To photograph those kids who will grow up so, so quickly. To photograph your grandfather, who will pass away next spring. To photograph your first kiss as a married couple, your best friend busting out her signature dance moves, the flower girl asleep under a table, and maybe even your ex looking pretty wistful as he hugs you a little too long in the receiving line.

You already know: your cake will disappear in less than an hour, your flowers will wilt before the ceremony ends, and that uncomfortable tux will go back to the rental place in the morning. But those photos… they’re gonna be there forever.

photo by Michael Ramos Photography