Mother of the Groom Duties

What does the mother of the groom do?

Traditionally, mothers of brides shoulder most of the wedding-planning responsibilities. But these days, the bride and groom’s families are taking on more of a shared role in both paying and planning. This makes it a bit harder to know exactly where your place is, but despite the shift in responsibilities, there are still a few that will never go out of style for the mother of the groom. These include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Planning and hosting the rehearsal dinner with the groom’s dad.
  • Dancing with the groom for the mother/son dance at the reception.
  • Consulting with the bride’s mom on your ensemble to ensure you’re not wearing something similar.
  • Attending the bridal shower and buying a gift for the bride and groom.
  • Crafting a guest list for the reception after the couple shares how many people you’ll be able to invite.

In addition to these traditional responsibilities, mothers of grooms may be asked to become a little more involved in the planning process. A few things you may be asked to do, or you could offer to do if you’d like to be more involved, are the following:

  • Offer to serve as the main contact for wedding vendors. This is especially important if the bride doesn’t have a wedding planner or day-of coordinator, and is a great way to make an impactful contribution to the wedding day, allowing both the bride and her mother to be blissfully unaware of all the questions and concerns and fully enjoy the day.
  • Offer to help scout ceremony and reception sites based on what the bride is looking for aesthetically. Compiling a list that includes the best of the best will really help the bride narrow down all her choices. Just be wary not to overstep; it’s a definite possibility that the bride may not love the same venue you do, and though you put in a lot of ground work, it’s ultimately her decision.
  • Offer to host a dinner to introduce the bride’s family to yours. This is a great way to get to know each other before the big day, and will make working together closely on a lot of these big decisions much easier in the long run.

 

April Showers… Unexpected Wedding Changes

Though they say that it’s good luck, no bride wants to see rain on her wedding day. We can’t help you turn rain into shine, but we can offer you some tips for making an air-tight rain plan, and for weathering a wedding-day storm.

If you’re getting married in a church or indoors, a rain plan may still be necessary to get you from the room you’re waiting in to the ceremony site; however, it will be much less involved, and it’s something your day-of coordinator can easily accomplish last minute, if necessary. However, if your plans are to get married outdoors, a rain plan is essential. Three things that will help both logistically and emotionally:

Have a covered option.

Plenty of brides get married outside, but it’s important to have a covered option should the skies open up on your big day. When you’re choosing a venue, ask if they have a space for you to move the ceremony if it should rain. Depending on the size of your wedding, a room, an outdoor pavilion, or a gazebo could all be viable alternates.

Get your mind ready.

Possibly the hardest part of making a rain plan is wrapping your mind around the reality that your ceremony may not look just as you’ve planned and envisioned for months. One thing that will help you cope is committing to your decision, both verbally and emotionally. Once you’ve agreed to the rain plan, let go of everything that won’t be, and focus on the fact that you’re still getting married to the love of your life—whether that’s outdoors or inside.

Write it down.

It will be stressful enough to let go of the way you’ve dreamed your ceremony would be, but add in the confusion of last-minute communication with your vendors and you have a recipe for disaster. Once you’ve made a rain plan, write down alternate directions for all your vendors. That way, if you have to make a game-time decision, your vendors need only to hear what you’ve decided, and then they have their marching orders.

Working With a Wedding Planner

Photo source: http://www.setxweddings.com/professionals/wedding-planners/

Planning a wedding involves many moving parts. Not only are there decisions to make about the reception, there are also many to make about the ceremony: Who would’ve thought that someone actually needs to plan who will walk down the aisle, in what order, or to advise your bridesmaids on the proper way to hold a bouquet? While you can tackle some of these to-dos yourself, there are many that would be made easier with the help of a wedding planner. 

One of the best things about hiring a planner/coordinator is that this is their area of expertise. They know the ins and outs of the industry better than anyone else and are able to offer you insight and perspective that you would otherwise not have access to. From setting a timeline for the overall day, to handling the minutia of paperwork and correspondence with vendors, to helping you weigh the pros and cons of a particularly tough decision, a planner keeps you together, both emotionally and logistically.

Wedding planners and designers are also great advisors. They’ll be able to recommend the best vendors—overall or for your price range—and sometimes can even get you deals on vendors. They’re also excellent at advising you on your budget; big or small, they’ll show you how much to spend where and make sure that you don’t overspend in an area that isn’t the most important to you (i.e., if you don’t love flowers then they shouldn’t make up a large percentage of your budget). If there’s a question of etiquette, look no further than your planner for the perfect advice.

All these pluses aside, planners and coordinators are also buffers, resolving conflicts with vendors or family in your name and with ease. They’re also often your personal buffer on the wedding day, working as the point of contact for crises so you’re spared the nitty-gritty details. The extra price of a planner is a small one to pay for a perfectly-planned (and executed) wedding day.

 

 

Designer Spotlight: Romona Keveza

Luxury designer Romona Keveza is perhaps best known for her collection of ultra-luxe bridal gowns. However it wouldn’t be a stretch for you to think you saw some of her designs on the likes of Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks, Julia Stiles, Queen Latifah, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and Glee’s Lea Michele, as well. Almost overnight, the designer has gone from bridal salons to red carpet—however, it was really the other way around.

The designer of Lithuanian and Canadian descent opened her first store, La Maison, in 1986

Photo Credit: Michael Nagle for The New York Times

with $15,000 of her own money. Three years later, she began focusing more on her own designs when her clients became worried about showing up to galas in the same dress. She wasn’t even thinking about moving into the bridal market, but then came the recession and when a client offered to pay $10,000 for a custom wedding gown, the designer just couldn’t say no. These days, she’s a mainstay in the world of bridal couture.

Hallmarks of a Romona Keveza gown is use of color—she doesn’t shy away from subtle hues in her gown designs—and sleek, structured bodices paired with full skirts that are ruffled, pleated, or bunched. Her signature Romona Keveza Collection is priced as high as $35,000 for a silk organza gown with hand appliqués, while her Legends Collection features an array of bridal options that are moderately priced at $3000 to $5000. Her gowns are stocked not only at bridal salons across the country, including ours, but also in major retailers like Sak’s Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. All her designs are inspired by a timelessness found in eras gone by—think classic Hollywood, Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren—dresses that, like those famous Old Hollywood sirens, will still be just as fashionable in 20 years as they are today.

 

How To: Choose Your Perfect Honeymoon

Now that the wedding planning is well underway, it’s time to start making plans for that other much-anticipated nuptial event: the honeymoon. From making a master list to making

Photo via www.southpacific-vacations.com

(and not breaking) your budget, follow these easy steps to planning your perfect honeymoon.

  1. Create a master list of all the places you and your spouse-to-be would ever want to go. Fiji, Iceland, Brazil, China, or any location on your Bucket List should make its way onto this list. Having all your travel to-dos in one spot will help keep you both on track during the planning process. Considering the Caribbean, but it’s not on your list? Next. A master list makes it much easier to keep the big picture in mind, and to make sure that you not only have a fabulous trip, but that it knocks off a sight or two at the same time.
  2. Consider what type of trip you want to take for your honeymoon. This last part is key. While I’m sure your master list contains once-in-a-lifetime options, like running with the bulls in Spain or taking an African safari, certain trips may not be suitable for your honeymoon. If you’re planning an over-the-top event, maybe relaxing at a resort in Bora Bora with nothing more to do than walk white sand beaches and sip refreshing cocktails, sounds like heaven on earth. Then again, that may sound more like h-e-l-l…o on earth. Figuring out what type of trip you want to take with your new spouse will help you narrow down that master travel list even more.
  3. Look at your budget. Look at it hard. Five thousand dollars may sound like a lot, but when your dream honeymoon is an over-water bungalow in the middle of Fiji, well, $5000 doesn’t go so far. Hopefully, on your big list, there’s a range of places within your ideal honeymoon parameters. Research those places and figure out which will work best with your budget. Some things to consider here are: time of year, proximity, and trendiness of the location. All of these things can cause your dream location to be in range—or out.

Best Dressed: Elopements

What are the best wedding gowns for eloping?

The best thing about dressing for an elopement: The rules run away with the bride. While

(photo by To Love Photographie via www.100layercake.com)

anything goes, some styles are better than others depending on your ceremony location and post-nuptial plans. A few of our favorites to get runaway brides-to-be started?

Short and Sweet

Short gowns are synonymous with elopements: They’re more casual than a long gown, yet with appropriated lace or beading, can still be special enough for your Big Day dress. When we picture an eloping bride, we see her hand in hand with her lover, navigating her day easily and confidently in a tea-length or knee-grazing gown. Whether you’re getting married at city hall or on a rooftop with a city skyline behind, or in a field of May flowers, a short and sweet dress is suitable for any sort of elopement.

Long and Flowing

Longer gowns can be trickier when it comes to a free and easy wedding day. If you go the longer route, you’ll likely want something that stays by your side, just like your man. A long dress that you pick up easily and take with you no matter the terrain makes for an easier getaway gown than something that doesn’t go with the flow: think fabrics like lighter silk or chiffon vs. bulkier tulle or organza, and A-line silhouettes vs. mermaid.

Day to Night

Even more than when you choose a gown for a traditional wedding day, an eloping bride should think about her ensemble and how it will fit in to her post-nuptial plans. Your dress should easily take you from ceremony to celebration. For example, if you’re eloping in a mountain field in early spring, a bohemian-style gown may be appropriate for the ceremony, but not for the evening’s dinner at a fine dining establishment. If purchasing two dresses is not an option, we would suggest brides look at the big picture—what is the overall tone of the day—and then to try to find a dress that looks fabulous throughout. It is your wedding day, after all, and who doesn’t want to wear her dress as long as possible?

 

 

Runaway Bride – Traditional Wedding or Elope?

The Pros and Cons of Eloping

We all know the 1999 film, Runaway Bride, with Julia Roberts. We all saw how she nabbeddresses to elope in each of her men, planned each elaborate wedding affair, and promptly  and literally ran away from it. All of it. Hers was the case of not having found the “right one,” yet we can’t deny that there may be something larger than that at play: Maybe, just maybe, not all brides are meant for a Big White Wedding.

Today’s brides are echoing that sentiment more than ever as they opt out of traditional, larger-than-life ceremonies and opt instead for intimate elopements. We don’t have a dog in this fight other than the bride’s happiness: Large wedding or small, we want our brides to have the ceremony that suits them to a T-backed gown. That’s why we’d be remiss if we didn’t tell you about this popular trend, and share the pros and cons of this alternative ceremony style.

First, couples choose an elopement over a traditional ceremony. Often, it’s personal preference: They want the intimacy and the simplicity of an elopement. Spending a year planning an extravagant fête or standing in front of hundreds of folks they don’t know may not be how they envision their wedding day. Second, couples also choose elopements for budgetary reasons. With the average wedding in the United States costing over $25,000, an elopement costs a fraction of this amount. The couple may want to keep that money for a down payment on a new home, or take more frequent trips—or they just may not have the money to begin with. The beauty of elopements are: They are what you make them and what your budget says they can be.

Here are a few pros and cons of skipping off into sunset solo on your wedding day:

Pros

  • Save money and hassle. Eloping will cost you a fraction of the cost of a traditional wedding.
  • More intimacy, less obligation. With the two of you as the focus, you’ll be able to truly be present in the moment.
  • Your day is your day. Spend your day however you like. It’s just the two of you. Or invite family and friends. The beauty of eloping is that it can be whatever you want it to be.

Cons

  • Absence of family and friends. This may be the hardest part of eloping: the lack of family and friends sharing your special day.
  • No ceremony, no gifts. Ok, so this isn’t exactly true. You may still receive a few gifts, but we wouldn’t count on it.
  • Feelings may be hurt. Not everyone is going to understand or agree with your choice. Be prepared for feelings to be hurt, and be respectful of those feelings, but don’t let them drag you down. It’s your day.

 

You’re Engaged! Now What?

Congratulations! You’re engaged!

Pop the champagne, call your girls, and get the perfect picture of your bling to accompany your “I said ‘yes’!” status.

The beginning of an engagement can be a whirlwind of attention, celebration, and excitement, but after the phone calls and pictures die down, there’s some real planning to be done. It can be hard to put off the more fun and glamorous bridal duties like dress shopping and honeymoon planning, but there are a few to-dos that simply must come first.

The first task is also the most undesirable to tackle: the budget. Every decision you make pertaining to your big day will depend on budget, so it is necessary to get some hard numbers set in the beginning. It is also important to discuss with both families how the wedding will be paid for. Tradition leans towards the bride’s family footing the bill, but in today’s world, anything goes. It is not uncommon for both families to share the cost, for the bride and groom to pay for everything themselves, or for a mixture of all parties to chip in. Have the budget conversation early and include everyone necessary so as to avoid any misunderstandings in the future. It is helpful to have an idea of what big-ticket items you want most. Is the dress the most important to you, or is it the photographer? The florist? Some light research into these items will give you a realistic idea of their cost and help you to distribute the budget accordingly. Remember, always leave a little wiggle room for the unexpected.

After the budget is set, the next major line item is booking the venue. Venues book up quickly, so if you have a place in mind, call them ASAP! Venues can dictate much of your wedding, so be sure to read the fine print when picking a place. First of all, your date is dependent on their availability, so be flexible if you have to have this place. Setting the date for a Friday or Sunday could help you get your dream location and likely at a cheaper price. In addition, booking in the off-season (November-March for most locations) can offer availability and discounts, too.

Secondly, your venue will dictate the number of guests you are allowed to have. Once you find out how many the venue holds, hammer down a guest list. This can be a tough task and feelings can be hurt, so take your time with this decision.

Lastly, many venues require that you use their vendors. For some brides, this is a relief— venue, caterer, florist, and photographer all in one. For others, this hinders plans and locks them into those vendors’ prices. If you already have vendors in mind, be sure to check with your venue about its policy.

If you are choosing your own vendors individually, they are your next step. Like anything good, reputable vendors are booked up quickly. Set your date and lock in your top picks as soon as you can. Be sure to discuss your budget with each of them and get a copy of all contracts on paper.

Now that all of that is done, it’s on to the fun! Grab the girls and head to the boutiques, discuss colors, and cake flavors, and watch your Pinterest wedding board come to life (eek!!), and just have fun and enjoy this exciting time.

 

Wedding Hair – The Right “Do” For You

On your wedding day, you gotta “do” what’s right for you. Don’t let your hair fall to the hair styles for your wedding dayplanning wayside. Check out these styles to ensure that your locks are ready for love.

Traditional: The classic bride will love the simple elegance of a chignon. The chignon is a low bun pinned at the nape of the neck. Variations of the chignon can feature braids, curls, and decorative barrettes. Another traditional bridal “do” is the french twist.  This style exudes class with its simple twist and slight pouf.

Romantic: A romantic bride loves wisps and curls. The best way to get fairytale elegance is to leave your hair down or half up, half down and let your locks fall where they may. Big curls are key to this enchanting style as are delicately woven-in flowers.  A loose braid can add a touch of romance, while a messy bun or updo is another option for whimsical charm.

Modern: The modern bride will want less curl and more sleek. Wearing hair straight and down with no frills will draw attention to the sure-to-be-trendy dress. A pixie cut is another modern trend that allows the bride to have fun with decorative pins or a unique headband. The sock bun is likely the most popular modern trend. This simple high bun is graceful and chic, perfect for the modern bride.

Indie: For the trendy and relaxed indie bride, a simple flower crown or tulle wrap offers beauty and sophistication with a bit of nonchalance. Wear it atop a quaint bun or let your hair fall naturally. Not too fancy and definitely not gaudy, the fishtail braid is a perfect “do” for the more casual bride. Loose and beautiful, this braid can be adorned with flowers or left to stand alone. Simply going au naturel and leaving your hair up to nature rather than product is another way indie brides can be comfortable and show their unique styles.