Many couples choose to write their own vows these days and that can be a wonderful thing to do. It is very touching to hear the bride and groom share with each other how much they love their future partner and how they choose to stand with them for the rest of their lives. Those vows are very important and shouldn't be taken lightly. A vow is a sacred promise and is not meant to be broken.
Back when all couples recited the same traditional vows you would hear "cherish and honour" mentioned at every ceremony. The word honour is crucial to the health of the marriage. One of your top priorities is to honour your spouse. You don't need to agree on everything or have the same interests but you should always honour your mate. Don't let this part of your relationship suffer. Remind yourself how lucky you are to have such a supportive and loving partner and do your absolute best to show him/her the honour every day that you are together.
Unfortunately a wedding can bring out the best and the worst in some people. You would think a wedding would be nothing but hugs and kisses and loving comments but it can also stir up emotions and feelings that can cause people to lash out. It's such a sad thing to watch. I've been at a few weddings where I've witnessed the bride or groom or close family member close to tears because of a comment someone made to them.
I wish I knew exactly why weddings have the potential to stir up so many negative reactions. It should be one of the best days of your life! However, it is also an emotionally charged event and many of the people involved are stressed, tired and feeling under pressure to make the day absolutely perfect. I like to think that deep down these people honestly think they are trying to help but their comments or "suggestions" come across as manipulative or straight-out hurtful.
When it comes to weddings everyone seems to have an opinion and some people try to push their opinions way too hard. A gentle suggestion soon becomes a strict demand and that just sets everyone off. The bride feels like someone is trying to take over her wedding and the groom naturally comes to the defense of his bride because he sees her upset. Things can escalate very quickly after that.
When you start planning your wedding and especially on your wedding day you HAVE TO be at your absolute best both mentally, emotionally and spiritually. You will need ever fibre of love and patience you can muster up. You will be faced with upset relatives and hurtful comments and you MUST be able to rise above them and let them go. It will be one of the toughest things you've done! You simply can't let your wedding be the beginning of a hurt that takes years to heal.
Go in to the whole process expecting people to say the wrong thing. Don't assume you will sail through the whole process with no speed bumps. These bumps will happen but it will be a little less jarring when you are expecting them. There will be stress and pressure and unreasonable demands. Please don't let those play any role in your special day. Be strong, lean on your spouse-to-be, return love for hurt, smile, hug, and forgive immediately. When your wedding is over and these relatives return to normal you will be able to love them like you did before they started acting crazy.
Good luck! Be strong!
I know this might seem like far away already but something to file away in the back of your mind is coming up with a way to organize all your "thank you's". Over the months leading up to your wedding and on your wedding day you will get getting several gifts and cards. It's very important that no one slips through the cracks and doesn't get a proper Thank You.
You need to come up with a system to keep track of each gift or card and who it came from. You don't want to miss anyone when you start sending out thank you cards or emails. It's also better when you can be specific about your "thank you's" and not just send a generic, "thank you for thinking of us".
A personalized card or letter is always the best. You also want to mention the gift. For example, "Dear Aunt Suzie, thank you for the cash gift," or "Dear Fred, thank you for the serving dishes". Your guests will understand that your wedding day is hectic and the days after almost as busy but at some point they will start to get a little upset if they don't hear from you. Providing each individual with a proper "thank you" card or letter is imperative.
You can ask your Maid of Honour to keep a record of everything when you are opening presents or one of your parents would be happy to help. If you miss something or thank someone for the wrong gift it can really hurt some people. You don't want to do that especially when a little bit of planning ahead of time can keep that from happening.
Whatever system you decide to use please take it seriously and make it your goal to start your married life with a sense of gratitude.
Have you thought how you plan on arriving at your wedding venue yet? I know there seems like a million details to organize but make sure you have "getting a ride to the wedding" on your list!
The most popular method is be renting a limousine. A great company to consider is, OK Limo (click here to be take to their webpage). They can set you up with the perfect vehicle so you can arrive in style.
If your dream is to arrive by horse drawn carriage you'll have your work cut out for you. In my recent seach I wasn't able to find anyone in Kelowna who offers this but I have a feeling if you started asking around someone would rise to the challenge.
If you want to be completely green you have a couple options. You can rent or borrow an electric car and you can encourage all your guests to arrive by bicycle. However, with everyone in suits and fancy dresses I don't think that many will comply.
You could arrive by hot air balloon, rent a Ferrari, use an old tractor pulling a trailer with hay bails in it, get a couple Segways or even a use pogo-sticks! The point is, make it something fun and personal. You don't have to hop in whatever car is available that morning. Make your arrival as unique and interesting as the rest of your wedding day.
If you are looking for a great caterer for your reception I would like to recommend Deli City Cafe & Catering on Springfield road in Kelowna,
The staff are easy to work with and they can provide your guests with delicious food. Please include them on your list of places to get a quote.
I just read about the wedding of Elizabeth May, the leader of the BC Green Party. She used some great ideas to make her wedding as green as possible. Here are a few;
- wedding programs were made with 100% recyclable paper
- guests were encouraged to ride their bike to the ceremony
- electric cars were used for the wedding party
- the ceremony was decorated with used flowers
- the bride made her own dress
- the reception was a pot-luck meal
- they are taking a train trip across Canada for their honeymoon
Those are all great ideas and I'm sure if you wanted to go that route you could come up with even more. What people will remember from that wedding will be the joy and love they experienced. You don't need to spend a ton of money and go over-the-top extravagant to achieve that.
Global News Story on the wedding
Flowers can cost a small fortune! So, if you're planning on getting married in the next year I recommend you tear up your back lawn and plant all the flowers you will need for your ceremony and grow them yourself!
Well, maybe that isn't practical but if you have a relative or neighbour with a beautiful flower garden offering to buy flowers off them isn't a bad idea. I remember my grandmother used to have dozens of rose bushes in her yard and one year she donated the all the flowers for our high school ceremony. It was incredible and she took great pride in seeing them on display in the auditorium.
If you are buying flowers one place to consider is Mom & Me Flowers (click here for webpage). They are great to work with and can make your wedding look fantastic.
Another simpler option is to get your flowers at Costco. I attended a wedding with Costco flowers and they looked very nice. The bride saved a lot of money and still got the look she wanted. It was a very wise move.
Flowers play a very big role in a wedding but if you plan well in advance and think creatively you can get what you want without breaking your budget.
It's always fun seeing the groom and his groomsmen dressed up for the wedding. Most of us never dress so formally for any other event in our lives so when we show up in a fancy suit or matching outfits it's fun to see. Whether you are going a little more casual and not bothering with a suit jacket or you're going all out with a 3-piece suit, you want to make sure you look your best. Remember, those wedding photos are going to play a role in your home in some form for the next 50 years and may end up getting passed down to your grandkids! You don't want to wear an ill-fitting suit or baggy shirt or a vest that's too tight. The right fit is crucial.
A couple places in Kelowna that offer very nice wedding rentals are;
Moore's Clothing for Men
Tip Top Tailors
Both stores can provide you with great looking outfits that will be properly tailored to fit each member of the wedding party.
Another option to consider is simply buying an outfit. Maybe it's time to buy a new suit anyway. A guy can always use a nice suit to wear at funerals and other people's weddings! Unlike women's dresses, suits don't go out of style. As long as you don't get anything too outlandish you can probably use that suit for the next 10 years (as long as you stay the same size!). Investing in a really nice suit that you can use several times might be a better way to go then spending money on a rental you'll never see again.
Whichever route you choose please take the fit seriously. Not only do you want to be very comfortable, you want to look your absolute best. Don't try to squeeze in to pants that are too tight simply because of your vanity. Don't cram your feet in to ill-fitting shoes just because they are a few dollars cheaper. This in an incredibly important day and you don't want your clothes to distract you from any of the enjoyment the day will bring. You also want to be proud of your wedding photos and be thrilled to show them off.
I know this might not be a popular opinion but I'm not a fan of a "first looks". The "first looks" scenario can take a couple forms;
1) The couple have their wedding photos taken the day before their wedding so that they have more time with their guests on their wedding day.
2) The bride and groom see each other privately a few minutes before the wedding ceremony starts and the moment is captured on video or photo.
I know I'm a little old fashioned when it comes to most wedding rituals but I just love being there at the moment the groom sees his bride for the first time. Whether it's when the doors of the church are flung open and the beautiful bride appears or when she steps out from behind the landscaping at an outdoor wedding, I just love seeing the joy and excitement on the groom's face as he lays his eyes on his future wife.
It is such a magical moment and you only get it once in a lifetime (hopefully!). It's one of the key moments I capture when I am video taping a wedding. Many times I will use 2 cameras so I can get both the bride appearing and the groom reacting at the same time. Later, I can edit the footage to show the moment in all its glory!
Some couples like to get their wedding photos done ahead of time because of scheduling or perhaps cost. The advantage to doing things this way is you have one less responsibility on your wedding day. Instead of being whisked away by the photographer after you walk down the aisle you can relax and spend as much time as you like with your guests.
The "first looks" option is a more recent twist and while I understand the reason for it I still prefer the old fashioned way. The idea is that the bride and groom see each other privately a few minutes before the wedding starts. This is the time when the groom sees the bride in her wedding gown for the first time. The videographer and photographer are able to capture some great reaction shots without the distractions of other guests, background noise or bad lighting. It is also a really nice quiet moment for the bride and groom to come together before the pressure and non-stop activity of the wedding begins.
There used to be a superstition that it was bad luck for the groom to see his bride in her wedding gown before the ceremony. While we certainly don't need to worry about that, it's my opinion that there is something incredibly special and romantic about the groom standing at the altar with his groomsmen and his loved ones looking on as he sees his future wife make her grand entrance.
We all want to look out best on our wedding day. Not only are we the centre of attentions with eyes on us almost constantly but we know the photos that are taken will be proudly displayed for many years. The last thing we want is to be wearing an ill-fitting suit, a dress that doesn't compliment our best features or a hair style that looked great in the salon but not so much out in the real world.
The first thing you need is the honest and constructive criticism of a loving friend. You might love the look of those zebra-printed suspenders on the mannequin but they might not actually suit you. That's where your loving friend can whisper in your ear, "are you nuts?! Put those back!". Whether it's your wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses, suit or hair style, seek out the opinion of someone who has good fashion sense, and that does not include the salesperson who is trying to sell you something.
I've been to weddings where the bride chose a beautiful gown but she was constantly adjusting it because it kept slipping down or didn't suit her body style. She still looked amazing but I didn't get the impression that she was completely comfortable. The last thing you want on your wedding day is any distractions! I've written this before but it needs repeating. Something as minor as a poorly-fitted gown or a too-tight suit jacket can divert your focus and rob you of some of the magic the day offers. By all means, look your best! Pull out all the stops and really wow your guests but make sure you not only look good but you feel comfortable. Do not rush or take lightly what you'll be wearing all day.
One item that is easily over-looked is your shoes. Please, please, please.... wear comfortable shoes! You will be on your feet for 12 or 14 hours. You need to think about your feet. Make sure your shoes fit perfectly. You will be doing a lot of standing and walking and dancing. If you haven't experienced foot pain before let me tell you it is incredibly distracting. Even the smallest pinch or pang is very annoying. When you're spinning around on the dance floor or gazing in to the eyes of your beloved you don't want to suddenly feel your feet screaming out in agony.
Dressing up for your wedding is one of the many things that makes the day so wonderful. Please consider everything you will be going through that day before you strap on those 6-inch heels or dress pants that are 2-inches too small. Don't let vanity or unrealistic demands keep you from being completely free and comfortable for the entire day.