Honoring Loved Ones | Art Photography by Valerie | As seen on TodaysBride.com

Honoring Loved Ones

When a parent or other close relative has recently passed away, it may be important to you to find an appropriate way to remember them without ruining the joyous tone of the wedding. After all, a wedding is a celebration, and while a missing parent is certainly sad, it shouldn’t overpower the wedding day.


Genevieve Nisly Photography

A Seasonal Celebration: Cutting Costs on a Gorgeous Fall Wedding

Rustic color palettes, gorgeous outdoor venues, caramel apple favors and lace long sleeved gowns? It’s no wonder so many brides fall in love with autumn weddings! Along with all the whimsical touches of a blustery big day come the general uncertainties, like pricey bouquet arrangements and climate conditions; but have no fear, brides-to-be, Today’s Bride has harvested the best planning tips for your seasonal nuptials! READ MORE

Photo courtesy of Vitaliy Photography.

Choosing the Right Ceremony for Your Wedding

When planning your wedding, you have to pick what’s right for you. One of the biggest decisions you’ll make regarding your wedding is choosing what type of ceremony you and your fiancé would like. This can be complicated, as there are many different types and styles of wedding ceremonies out there. When choosing a type of ceremony, you should ask yourself if you would like to have religion incorporated and if you or your fiancé have any special needs or requests.



The Grand Exit: Creative Ways to Send Newlyweds off with Style

The end of a wedding is the beginning of a new life for the bride and groom. With that being said, it is appropriate to send the newlyweds off in a spectacular fashion. Fashion, we know, is always changing. So yesterday’s custom of throwing rice has given way to new traditions.

Some changes are for safety’s sake. Many churches allow confetti, rose petals and birdseed to be strewn before the departing couple, but they do not allow rice to be thrown any longer. People slip on rice on the sidewalk and rice is harmful to birds that eat it. Let’s face it: You do not want to be known as the bride whose wedding led to Grandma breaking her ankle.

Some changes are more for beauty’s sake. For example, the sending of balloons into the sky, setting light to sparklers and even, extravagantly, releasing doves into the air.

Art Photography by Valerie

Art Photography by Valerie

When it comes to your sendoff, choices also have to be made about transportation. What kind of vehicle will carry you into your new life? Will it be decorated and if so, how? And who will drive? Most couples use a car, a limousine, a sports coupe or an antique automobile. Others choose a slower form of transportation such as a horse drawn carriage. Decorations are not necessary, but some choose carnations, signs, dangling tin cans or streamers to let onlookers and other cars know they have been “Just Married!”

Style is not everything though; there are more practical matters. Couples headed for an out-of-country honeymoon are wise to have their marriage license – signed! — and passports in hand, along with tickets and any other travel documents. The marriage license will explain the name change not reflected in the passport. Last, an umbrella stashed in the vehicle is a smart move, too, in case of an unexpected shower. Assigning these tasks to the wedding planner or a trusted friend or family member will allow you and your new husband to fully enjoy the sendoff.

Amy Bennett Weddings

Amy Bennett Weddings

Artäge Pictures

Photo courtesy of LMAC Photography

Party Animals: Incorporating Pets Into Your Wedding Ceremony

If you have a cat, dog or even a fish at home – chances are they’ve become a big part of your life. So it only makes sense to want to include them in one of the biggest events of your life, too!

Photo courtesy of InLux Photography

Photo courtesy of InLux Photography

While this may have seemed like a strange idea in the past, personalization is taking priority in today’s ceremonies. What better way to insert your personality than to bring your little buddy on board?

If you’re thinking of including a pet in your wedding, there are a few things to consider first. For example, is it appropriate for the kind of ceremony you’re having? Your dog might be adorable at an outdoor ceremony, but not so much at a fancy hotel. Furthermore, some locations might not permit any animals on premise, so it’s imperative that you check with your ceremony venue before bringing your pup the night of rehearsal.

If neither your ceremony nor your reception venue allows pets, you might still be able to strike a compromise. You could always designate a friend to bring your dog to the location where you’ll be shooting your photos.

Of course, the type of animal you have may also help dictate his role in the wedding. Couples with smaller, less social pets such as lizards, ferrets or guinea pigs might be happy just to have their animal present at the wedding. In this case, you could ask a guest to hold the pet during the ceremony or simply keep the animal nearby in a cage. More social animals like cats and dogs could certainly take on a more active role in your ceremony. Sure man’s best friend can also be man’s best man, but more often than not, you’ll find that the best place for your pooch lies in letting them be the ring bearer, flower dog or simply a member of the wedding party or an honored guest.

One important task that comes with including your pet is making sure you spread the word! You’ll definitely need to inform guests that your pet will be attending – doing so will help prepare those with pet allergies. You’ll also want to notify your photographer to capture your furry friend in action.

And before you even think it – we already know your next question! How can I keep Buddy from tackling Uncle Dave as he’s walking down the aisle? We highly recommend a controlled environment for your pet – both for their safety and for the safety of your guests. Have one of your groomsmen walk your rambunctious puppy down the aisle on a leash or your maid-of-honor carry your kitty down the aisle. (Fair warning: Beware of your pet’s claws – we’re sure you already know they can easily snag fabrics. In order to keep your gorgeous gown intact, you might want to give them a trim before the big day.) While your pet may be extremely well-behaved, it might be advisable to enroll them in a training school to find out what tricks he or she might be able to do at your celebration.

Photo courtesy of LMAC Photography

Photo courtesy of LMAC Photography

After making the decision to include your pet and deciding on their role, it’s time for the outfits! Oh, the outfits! When it comes to animal attire, couples have tons of options. Of course, you can always choose not to adorn your animal, but where’s the fun in that? Give your guests something to “aww” and “ooh” by dressing your Tabby in a tutu or sending your Labrador pup down the aisle in a miniature tuxedo.

And as far as accessories are concerned, the options are endless. Bow ties, top hats and veils tend to be the most popular pet accessories for weddings. You can even up the personalization factor by having a special collar made with your wedding date spelled out in glitzy jewels!

While we’re sure your pet is the cutest thing ever (especially in a bow tie!), it’s important for us to point out that not all pets are suited for a wedding.  Before choosing to include them in your ceremony, you need to assess his temperament. Is he friendly or aggressive? Does he make a lot of noise? Does he steal food? If your pet’s disposition doesn’t lend itself to this type of formal situation, don’t try to mold him into the perfect lapdog during your last month of planning. You’ll already have enough to do, and you don’t need the additional stress.

Beyond that, any couples who are considering including their pet at their ceremony also need to evaluate themselves. Truth is, animals are spontaneous. We can’t promise that your dog won’t dart away at the first sight of a squirrel. Do you and your groom both have laidback, confident personalities that can handle that? Are you both sure you won’t mind having a little bit of your spotlight stolen? If you’ve weighed the options and giving up a little bit of your thunder still isn’t as important as having your pet there, then we say go for it!


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