Choosing your Bridesmaids And Wedding Party

1. Think twice before you ask.

If you rush into this decision and you end up asking someone to be in your wedding party, and you can’t go back. I know it is awfully tempting to ask all of your favorite friends to be in your wedding party the minute you get engaged,  but don’t it.

Tip for the taking: If you’re on the fence about asking someone to be in your wedding party, consider how they ‘d fit in with the rest of your attendants. Leave them off the list if you don’t think they ‘d mesh with your crew.

2. Set honest expectations.

What sort of a role do you want your wedding party to play? Is it important to you that they help to address wedding invites, dress shop with you and attend all of the prewedding parties?

Tip for the taking: For friends who can’t commit for whatever reason (they live out of town or are busy at work), let them in on just a few wedding prep activities, like an invitation stuffing party complete with wine and junk food.

3. Include your sisters and brothers.

Not to sound like mom, but think about it: Even if you’re not particularly close to his sister or her brother, siblings are going to be around well past your 10-year anniversary, and chances are, you’ll become closer over the years. Draw the line at teenagers if you come from a big family and you can’t possibly include everyone. Instead, make them a part of the ceremony by asking them to pass out programs or seat guests.

Tip for the taking: Traditionally, it’s ladies on one side and guys on the other, but feel free to break that rule and have them stand on either side of the aisle.

4. Consider the size of your wedding.

The average wedding party size is eight– four bridesmaids and four groomsmen. For a smaller wedding with around 50 to 60 guests, have no more than four, but for a larger wedding of, say, 150, you could go up to 12 if you really wanted to. The more groomsmen or bridesmaids you have, the more people to coordinate with, find a flattering tux or dress for, and work around schedules with (can you imagine trying to find a free weekend for a bachelorette party with 12 bridesmaids?).

Tip for the taking: If there are a lot of people you want to include in your wedding party but just can’t, give them other roles, like usher, ceremony reader or candlelighter.

5. Call him the man of honor and her the best woman.

Guys can stand with the women and bridesmaids can stand with the groomsmen. It’s really up to you– what’s most important is that you include your favorite people, men and women.

, and your bridesmen can look just like the groomsmen or they can match their suits to the bridesmaid dresses. Just make sure they’re comfortable with whatever you want them to wear.

6. Choose responsible honor attendants.

Choosing your best man and maid of honor might not be an easy task. The best honor attendants are friends who are responsible (since you’re going to rely on them for some big wedding planning tasks and to hold on to your expensive rings) and friends who are good at providing emotional support, because there just might be a few prewedding meltdowns. (It also helps if they’re super-fun, since they’ll be planning the bachelor and bachelorette parties!).

Tip for the taking: If your best friend isn’t always the most dependable person, it’s perfectly okay to have two best men or maids of honor. Pick your unpredictable BFF and another friend you can rely on for the big, important duties.

7. Because they asked you, don’t ask someone just.

Weddings are no time for quid pro quo. Because they asked you to be in their wedding, you don’t need to ask someone to be in your wedding. Don’t ask the college roommate you haven’t spoken to in five years just to return the favor.

Tip for the taking: If they want to talk to you about why they aren’t in your wedding, be completely honest. Explain that it was a tough decision but you really felt like you should have the people you feel closest to at this point in your life standing up for you, and there are so many of those people (including her) that you had to leave out some very special ones.

8. Research other roles.

There are a lot of other options as well than just bridesmaid and groomsman. Maybe you have a musically inclined friend who would love to play something at the reception.

Tip for the taking: Think twice before offering your friends obscure, not-so-needed positions, like “guest-book watcher.” (Would you want to do that?) Most people would be happier with a VIP corsage and a reserved seat at the ceremony.

9. Kids aren’t required.

If there are no children you two feel particularly close to, you don’t need a flower girl and/or ring bearer. And if you have many children you want to include, feel free.

Tip for the taking: Having an adults-only wedding? You can still have kids play their roles at the ceremony and not allow them at the reception– maybe even set up a room with a babysitter during the reception with some fun, kid-friendly activities.

Once you’ve asked someone to be in your wedding party, you can’t go back. While it may be tempting to ask all of your favorite friends to be in your wedding party the minute you get engaged, don’t. For a smaller wedding with around 50 to 60 guests, have no more than four, but for a larger wedding of, say, 150, you could go up to 12 if you really wanted to. The best honor attendants are friends who are responsible (since you’re going to rely on them for some big wedding planning tasks and to hold on to your expensive rings) and friends who are good at providing emotional support, because there just might be a few prewedding meltdowns. You don’t need to ask someone to be in your wedding because they asked you to be in their wedding.

Choosing a Theme and a Dress?

Choosing your dress is probably one of the first things you are going to do if you are the bride (or a dude who decides to wear a dress…no judgment here!)

Dresses come in all shapes and sizes and it can be quite overwhelming.

Some people know exactly what they want and have had the ideal dress in their mind since the day they even learned about weddings and dresses.

If you are like me, however, you know that choosing a dress is not that easy.

I’m more of a tomboy.  I love dressing up because it always shocks people and apparently I’m not that bad looking.  No ego here…just observant all my life.

So when it was time for me to choose a dress, I took my mother.  My mother is very girly.  Plain…but very much a jewelry lady for sure.  I’m more of a tie a vine around my neck and give me a cool head band or crown of leaves.

Seriously…I’m not smoking anything, I just love nature.

Naturally, my mother choose almost every dress I had on.  At the time, my figure was freakin’ awesome (think before kids).  I have hips that kill and a nice mug.  My hair tousles and waves and has always been one of my strong points.  It’s definitely an attention getter.

I hate doing my hair so I just let it do it’s thing and it always seems nice.  Long and wavy and just enough curl.  You can imagine how difficult it was for me to stay in a bridal shop trying on dresses.

All that being said…I also didn’t want the wrong dress.  I am still a bride!

My mother ended up loving the last dress I tried on (probably because she wanted to go too) that had “nature” stuff on it.

Now if you are a nature girl, you are probably like me.  You like flowers…ON THE STEM outside….not all over a dress splattered and coloring it up.

I’m a very plain clothes lover. (unless I’m headed out to a bar with the known and full intention of showing off my glutes….easy to do in my body with just sweats…believe me…I was so happy when J-Lo came around because my butt was no longer alone in it’s world’s journey of dominating the Earth with a bubbly bootie)

So my mother saw these flowers and the off white A-Line dress (good to hide booties). And BAM!  that was it.  WE bought it and rushed out.

She felt great.  I was still thinking about it.

Word of advice:  You don’t have to get your dress the first day that you try on dresses.

After returning home and knowing I had ordered the dress my mother loved, something still didn’t sit right.

So what did I do?  What would you do if you let your mother pick your dress?

I did what any strong minded hippie bride would do.

I marched right back into another bridal store (or two) and I went alone and I battled it out with myself.

NOw…going to a bridal store and trying on bridal dresses alone is really not that bad….and besides you are not alone.  There are plenty of other mothers there waiting to comment for you.

I remember the one dress (incredibly body hugging and all lace) seemed to really catch the eye of the whole store.  It was gorgeous and apparently absolutely red carpet for my body….(I did love it so) BUT…( I know this is strange)  It was too glam for my wedding.   Remember…I said simple.

It took a little time and I will never forget the body hugging dress and how good my body felt in it but I knew I would be self conscious about something in it…maybe showing off my bangin’ body?   I’m shy about it…what can I say?

Besides…I much prefer the element of surprise when I take my clothes off when my man sees the unexpected strength and smoothness of my body that lay hidden beneath my clothes.

So…I went with a beautiful and graceful white dress that had embroidered  white flowers that you would only notice if you looked closely and admired the dress itself.

The dress had layers of tulle that lay like a fountain along the A Line and it was perfect.  I still love it.  It was perfect for the transition of “girl” to “woman” in a way.

So…choosing a dress?  It doesn’t have to be good for anyone but the bride.

You brides out there know how you feel when it’s right …just like you know how it’s right to marry the guy (or gal) that you said yes to.

If you have any doubt, perhaps you should take some time to get to know yourself a little better.

I will always remember how I found my wedding dress because it took a lot of lady balls to march into a bridal shop alone and pick a dress just for me. It reminds me of the time when I marched into a bar and sat up at the bar with all the men, drank beer and watch a football game.  WhY you ask?  Because I wanted to prove that I could.


Now get out there and choose that dress.  We’ll talk about “themes” next time!

Happy dress hunting!

Spring Weddings. Things to consider.

No matter what you have decided, a wedding is exciting no matter what.

Deciding on a wedding theme and the wedding dress and where to have your wedding in the Pittsburgh are or anywhere really are only the tip of the iceberg when considering how to plan and create the wedding of your dreams.

Some of the biggest thought provoking attention that you put into you wedding often times goes to the more costly wedding services and items.

For example, the wedding venue….usually a huge cost. The photographer? Pretty big cost too!

The worst part about planning a wedding is giving away the money but you are wise to do a little research on the wedding vendors you use so that you are not left confused and crying on your wedding day.

Limousines are one item to consider if you really want to have a red carpet and celebrity style wedding.   The only thing with this particular type of transportation is that is it not for everyone!

Fortunately there are several different types of limos out there so you won’t have to be stuck with a tiny car and your huge wedding dress (if that is your style).

You can worry about your day and rely on a chauffeur to get you to your destinations.

What we do know for sure is that you do not want to be driving in your dress, blinded by all the tulle’ and then suddenly wrecking your car.  Not good. Not good at all!

Then you will end up meeting a tow truck driver and possible visiting an auto body shop on your wedding day instead of spending time dancing, eating, rejoicing and enjoying your guests and your big party!

Make sure you do your due diligence when booking and hiring a wedding service.   Things like Yelp reviews, google reviews and words of mouth are worth paying attention to.

You also need to consider what your emotions are towards the business or the business owner.  Chances are, if you’re not “feelin’ it”  that feeling will eat you away and you may never be satisfied with the service provider.

In this sort of instance, do yourself a favor, keep looking until you glow of happiness knowing you have chosen the right vendor or service for your super special day!

Theme & Destination Weddings

Tell me these aren't beautiful?
Tell me these aren’t beautiful?

Today, couples are moving away from the more traditional and formal wedding and opting for theme style weddings.

The invitation you purchase should be a reflection on the type of ceremony and reception that the couple is planning but it should also be very personal.

You should probably also think about gifts for the guests and how the flowers are going to look when they are placed on the table while everyone is rockin’ and dancin’ the night away!

Remember, while you’re talking to all of your fabulous guests, the photographer is prancing around snapping photos of anything and everything and 20 years from now you don’t want to look at that one shot of red roses on a purple tablecloth because you didn’t think it out.  Eck. If you suck at color matching, hire someone, beg someone or barter with someone.

Whatever you do DO NOT just wing it. Most people who are color matching disabled know it and have known it.  Don’t be a control freak on this one. Trust someone with a better eye and your photographer and guests will thank you!

Here are some things you want to consider:

• Is the wedding going to be formal, casual or traditional?

• Destination Wedding?  Super cool but sometimes lonely.

• The color matters – What is the color scheme for the wedding? Remember….if you suck at this, outsource it!

• The time of year – what season are you having the wedding? Do you have to match colors?  It’s up to you! PLEASE don’t choose some ridiculous pair of valentine’s (don’t get me wrong…they are beautiful (see photo) but they don’t belong in a snowstorm.   Well…they would still look good but…come one…yah know what I’m sayin’.

• Do you want a personalized verse or biblical verse in ceremony and accompanying other little things that all go into a wedding?  Me?  I researched a bunch of different ceremony sets ups and picked my favorite.  Don’t think you’re crazy if you can’t make up your own thang…..just find stuff that you love and mix and match till you’re so happy you squeal!

• Budget. The invitation materials vary too. You may want a translucent vellum paper, bright white, soft white, parchment paper, floral, unique shimmer or a textured paper.  Maybe you don’t want to send invitations at all!  Think outside the box…what about wedding pins that people can pin on their shirts?  Goofy I know and if you do that….uhmm…well I won’t say anything about it. If you have no money….utilize time.  You can easily make some cool invitations using a printer and some found materials.  Maybe I’ll do a DIYer wedding invitations in the future sometime.  That’d be pretty cool huh? Until then, here’s an idea: Paper Birch.  Free. Unique.  Implement somehow, this stuff is so pretty naturally it makes black construction paper look freakin’ lovely.

• You may want the color of the invitation to coordinate with the theme color of the wedding. There are many colors to choose from and the season of the wedding should influence the selection of colors.  OR…you could do whatever you want. It’s your day, YOUR WAY.

• There are many types of styles to choose from for your event. You might want something unique and whimsical. Traditional, formal or contemporary may be your choice or perhaps you would prefer a photo wedding invitation or a Disney themed invitation. One of my girlfriends loves Disney.  I would never do that because I’m a long haired, tree huggin’, hippee lovin but super nerdy smarzy partzy kind of gal.

Whatever you choose for your big day, JUST BE YOURSELF.

You can’t lose because you’re already awesome and you know what you want!  If you don’t, use this time in your life to find out!  Be unique. Don’t be a freak! (unless getting freaky is your thing!  In that case….knock yourself out!)

If you are freaking out and you want some help with ideas or planning, shoot me some info. and I’ll see what I can come up with.  :)

More Love = More Happiness

Wedding Reception Planning: Questions to Ask Before Booking

just married Laughing with each other

Before booking your wedding reception, you should gather a list of questions to ask the site manager. Use these suggested questions to get you started:

Ala Carte Reception Costs

Reception sites have different ways of breaking down their costs. Avoid any confusion when comparing wedding reception sites by requesting an itemized list of fees you’ll use for your event. (Tip: Have an idea of your guest count beforehand since your count will influence the estimated costs.) Questions to ask:

  • What is the facility rental fee?
  • What is the food cost?
  • What is the beverage cost?
  • If you want to hold your ceremony at the site, what is the fee?
  • Is there a set-up and breakdown fee?
  • What is the staffing fee?
  • What is the fee for security personnel?
  • Is there a parking/valet fee?
  • What is the overtime fee?

Wedding Packages

Some locations offer wedding packages, which can be both cost-effective and convenient, but make sure to inquire about exactly what’s included and not included in the package. Questions to ask:

  • What basics are included in the wedding package?
  • Is the wedding cake also included? If so, can the design be customized?
  • Does the package include floral arrangements? Can they be customized?
  • Are linens included in the wedding package?

Booking Terms

Make sure that the site contract meets your needs by asking these questions:

  • What is the length of the facility rental?
  • Is there an overtime fee?
  • Will you have use of the entire reception site?
  • What is the deposit?
  • When is the remainder of the fee due?
  • What is the cancellation policy?
  • Are there any music or noise restrictions?
  • Does the site have any decorating restrictions?
  • Will there be another party during, before or after yours? If so, how will this affect your event?

Essential Services

Determine which of these services the site provides and which you’ll need to contact on your own. Questions to ask:

  • Is there an in-house caterer? If not, can the site refer you to a caterer? Do they have caterers that are under exclusive contract to the site?
  • Does the reception site have a list of recommended vendors?
  • Can the ceremony be held on site? If not, are there suitable locations nearby?
  • Is an on-site staff available (coordinator, waiters, bartenders, etc.)?
  • Does the site provide tables, chairs, plates, silverware, glasses and other essentials?


Some of these important extras may help you determine your perfect venue:

  • Are changing rooms available for the bridal party?
  • Does the site offer guests accommodations?
  • Are there hotels that are convenient to the reception site?
  • Are there on-site locations for photo opportunities?
  • Are there sufficient restroom facilities?
  • Is there a coatroom?
  • Is the facility in a desirable location?
  • Is there adequate parking available?

Super Cool New Blog!

wedding kiss

Wow! I can’t tell you how excited I am to share my ideas and info on Western PA’s best of the best Wedding Stuff!  I’ve worked in the wedding industry and I know what brides want and don’t want for their wedding day!  Join me as I journey through the Pittsburgh region (and maybe more!) and explore the best little things you can shop for when it comes to your wedding!