Wedding… eh

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I’m going to step over a few boundaries…being a romance writer and all…and I’m going to blog about why the wedding just isn’t the Cat’s Meow [for me, anyway]. An era [or two] ago, the wedding was the pinnacle, the day girls dreamed about…the brass ring [or the gold one].

I’m a huge advocate for weddings. I’ll admit to crying when I go to them. I love the dancing, the food, the dressing up. If you’re lucky…free drinks, too!

But, the truth is… It’s a day, a start to something much bigger.

[Disclaimer –>] Its importance [for me] is the sacrament it brings to the relationship, the Grace of a blessing from above [cuz most of us need that like air to breathe]. Perhaps if you’re not Christian the importance might be the legal binding it adds to the relationship… or the tax break. 😉

But as a married person, the wedding day seems more like the catalyst to everything else. As a writer, I believe that it’s the journey, not the goal, that is important. That being the case, the wedding is…eh. Wear white, wear red, wear black. None of that will change who you are and how you’ll need to change or grow in order to live in peace with your best friend. It won’t change the trials you go through, the highs of being in love, and the lows of being hurt.

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When I finish a story and I think to myself… epilogue or no epilogue??? I’ll tap my pencil on my desk and think. What do I want to show? It’s NEVER the wedding day. It’s always beyond that…to the real HEA. The joys of married life and having someone beside you through thick and thin.

About Beth Rhodes

Beth jumps into life with both feet...or head first. Impulsive and spontaneous to a T, she joined Passionate Critters and never looked back. She loves writing and reading, which made this wonderful group of woman a perfect match for her.

Bridezilla or My Fair Wedding?

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Looking sweet, but under all that satin and lace was a girl on a mission for the perfect wedding.

 

This month our theme is weddings and to be honest, bridal reality shows are among my favorites when it comes to guilty pleasures. Probably because I know if those shows were around 26 year ago I could have been a contender for my very own show (yes, I said 26…look at me, I was a BABY!)

What would my show be called? So glad you asked! I bet if you asked my mother, my father, my bridesmaids, my husband and anyone else even remotely associated with my wedding they would all know my favorite three words…so I would call my show, “IT’S MY DAY!”

I watch these popular shows depicting brides acting badly and I cringe. I fought with my mother over the fruit cup appetizers (I wanted salad, she wanted the fruit cup…she won that one) I fought with my sister over dying the shoes to match her maid-of-honor dress (I won) and I fought with my father over everything from the father-daughter dance song to having the entire wedding video taped – something relatively new and expensive 26 years ago (I won those fights too.) I wanted a whiskey-sour fountain at the cocktail hour, and I wanted to attend the cocktail hour…something normally not done at a NY wedding at the time. Yes, I won those arguments too.

I managed to have my fingers in every single aspect of MY DAY and refused to compromise on pretty much anything…talk about being driven and focused. My parents told my husband-to-be that I’d been planning my wedding since I was three and they were probably right. He should have run screaming, but he didn’t. Instead as the true hero he is, he adopted his own three word phrase in response to any question posed, “Whatever Deb wants.”

Gotta love a man who doesn’t interfere with a wedding 23 years in the making. I got my fairy tale wedding and I’m proud to say I didn’t need a reality TV show to do it. I didn’t manage to lose any friends in the process either – which is amazing to me when I look back at the dresses with the huge bows on their asses that I MADE them wear! (Sorry ladies!)

We all made it through MY DAY and it was wonderful. The band, the food and being surrounded by all the people I loved made the day perfect. And even though my father hated the video idea, now seeing those family members no longer with us, alive and enjoying the party, is priceless to him…took him 20 years but he thanked me!

When you watch the wedding shows do you remember how you behaved and think about what you would do differently? Were you a bridezilla?

Don’t forget any comments you make this month will get your name in a drawing for a $5 Amazon gift card…so don’t be shy!

About Debora Dennis

A believer in second chances and that time should never be an obstacle to finding love, Debora writes time travels with modern snark and spice! When she's not writing, she's spending time with her family, reading or trying to figure out a way to get chocolate into every dish she serves.

A Lovely Wedding, A Beautiful You

One of the many hats I wore before becoming a mostly full time writer was that of a licensed esthetician. I managed a full service salon and spa for about ten years. It was one of the most fun jobs I’ve had. As you can see from my hair, it still hasn’t worn off.

Wedding parties were always a challenge. Managing to do hair, make-up and nails for a group of anywhere from three to ten girls, along with the mother of the bride, and sometimes the MIL to be, in a short amount of time left one feeling frazzled. In a good way.

So I thought I’d give you some tips on how to manage those pesky details that may not be mentioned in the How to Look Your Best on the Special Day wedding guide.

—Do get the groom and groomsmen haircuts the week before the wedding. Not the week of.

For the bride:

The best thing you can do is to think about the look YOU want. Spend some time looking at brides online, in magazines, etc. Pick a few looks for hair, make-up and nails. Bring pictures to the salon with you for discussion.

If you are getting hair, make-up and nails done professionally choose a group of stylists that you trust or find a group that’s highly recommended.

Hair: If you want to change your haircut or color start six months before the wedding. You need time to make sure you’re happy with your new look and also to make corrections if you’re not.

Do schedule a trial run about four to six weeks before the wedding. Make sure when you set your appointment you tell them you want a wedding up-do. These things take extra time. Be fair to yourself and give your stylist time to give you what you want. If you will be wearing a veil or putting flowers or something in your hair, bring it with you this time so you can be sure everything works with your hair.

The day of:  Do wear a button down shirt to the salon. You won’t have to take it off later, over your hair or make-up.

Make-Up: If you’re having it professionally done, do schedule a practice run so you can be sure the look you want looks good on you. The day of, is NOT the day to make adjustments. You’ll be nervous enough.

Remember, you are the star! You’ll be having photos taken of you the entire time, from every angle. You’ll need great make-up. If you’re not comfortable wearing a lot of make-up, practice. You’re not comfortable wearing a gown and heels all day either. The last thing you want is to look washed out.

If you’re doing your own, there are tons of how-to wedding make-up vids on YouTube. Make the time and practice in advance. You’ll be glad you did.

And the very last helpful hint I have, because this happened more often than not, is this – If you’re part of the wedding party, the bride asked you to be in her wedding because she cares for you. Don’t say bad things about her to the professionals who are working hard to make you look your best for her big day.

Now go out there and be beautiful!

*And don’t forget, don’t forget all commenters this month have a chance of winning our $5 Amazon GC Giveaway!

About Sutton Fox

Sutton Fox has been published by Lyrical Press, Gypsy Shadow Publishing and wrote a bi-monthly column for an auto racing magazine for several years. She traded life in the hills of Bluegrass Country for life in the Windy City, in a home she shares with The Man, a lonely cat, and her beloved dog, Lucy. When she’s not working the edj, you can find her writing or spending time with her extended family.

5 Things NOT To Do When Planning a Wedding

What do I know about weddings?

Nothing really…

I remember the first time I was asked to be in a wedding, all I could think about was being able to dress up, wear a gown, get my hair and nails done, and whirl around in my dress with one of the groomsman, just like prom! Except I really didn’t get to pick my date. That was interesting.

When my best friend got married, I actually got to help her plan the wedding as her maid of honor, and let me share with you 5 things NOT to do when planning:

1. Listen to everyone but yourself – Yeah, we know there’s all these voices talking to you at once, what you should have, what you shouldn’t have, what needs to be done, what you shouldn’t do. It’s exhausting! But you need to go with your gut and find what you want because it’s YOUR day!

2. Let your mom pick your bridesmaids – Don’t do it! You think I’m joking? If you put all your cousins, sisters, and childhood friends in your wedding party because your mom said so, it may equate to disaster if you’re not close to any of these people! Even if they’re family! Your wedding party should be filled with people you love, people you want to help you celebrate this day by your side, people who are dependable and make sure you are where you’re supposed to be at certain times, people who will contribute to making the day dedicated to you and your love extra special! Remember, this is only once in a lifetime!

3. Wait until last minute – Do you want a nice wedding or something just totally thrown together? Why would you want to be running around crazy right before the big day? I’m telling you, you do not want your wedding to be a nightmarish memory when it could be a day of wonder! Get organize and plan, plan, plan! We waited until two days to look for flowers for the reception and let me tell you…BIG MISTAKE!

4. Forget Dancing! Let’s karaoke! – Um…yeah, all I have to say is DON’T DO IT!

5. Forget about taking care of yourself – It’s your day. It’s your life. As much as planning is important, you still have to remember that your happiness and the future is more important than the wedding itself. So don’t go crazy!

So those are my words of wisdom. Planning weddings even though they were not mine was fun, and I know for sure I’ll be better prepared when it’s my turn!

What’s your wedding advice?

Wedding Favors I made as the Maid of Honor! It's a lot of work!

Wedding Favors I made as the Maid of Honor! It’s a lot of work!

 

About Clarissa Yip

Constantly on the run, Clarissa leads the life of adventure and mischief. When she's not getting herself in trouble, she's usually busy studying the art of eating and curling up with a good book or spending numerous hours reading and writing. It's really hard to find her in one place for too long...

The Wedding Photographer

melanie reyes photographySeven years ago, when my husband changed careers, we moved across country. Being pregnant for the third time in three years made for an added adjustment which lead me to the place where I desperately needed a hobby. That “hobby” quickly spiraled into something that became not only my career but a life-giving source. Photographing weddings in particular has become my passion, it fills me with energy and joy and hope.

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Whether I’m photographing my own four children or a wedding I always try to keep a long term perspective. I am passionate and amazed at the power of a photograph. I love how a photo leaves its mark on history.

In a wedding, this translates to my excitement in capturing stories of the wedding day. If you’ve been married you know how much of a whirlwind the wedding day can be. I am a photographer to preserve those stories. It might be the groom who insisted upon bow ties (they are in style!) but didn’t check to see if anyone attending the wedding knew how to tie one (it took HOURS to try, use YouTube to learn, and finally find someone that could) or the bride who ended up at the church without a crochet hook just 45 minutes before the wedding with a hundred buttons to be hooked all the way down her back.boganPreviews_009

I will tell you the most meaningful and heartfelt weddings have been those weddings where the bride and groom fully understand and have experienced how powerful a photograph can be in its place in history.

Two of my favorite weddings: one that was moved up months earlier because a bride’s mother was on the brink of losing her battle with cancer – and another wedding where the bride lost a brother just months before she walked down the aisle. The people gathered for those celebrations got it. They, like me, saw how photographs played their part in history.

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To me that’s what’s so powerful about a wedding. It’s the pressure of capturing a once in a lifetime event. It’s the power of preserving the memory of the tears in your eyes as you say your vows, of your father giving you away and dancing one last dance with you, of your sisters and brothers and mothers standing by your side. Capturing you with a grandparent that might not make the next family wedding or your new spouse overcome with joy. This week, I met with a bride who booked a wedding for next year, telling me how she will be married in the same church her grandmother and mother got married in – THAT is what I love. That is something to capture and celebrate – grandmother, mother and daughter together in that church saying “I do.”

boganPreviews_035For me the key in successfully photographing the true emotion and feelings expressed on the wedding day depends on one thing – my own personal connection to those people. I don’t want to book a wedding, not speak to them for the next year and then show up at their wedding to follow them around for the day as a stranger. I want to know my clients. I want to know the bride and groom as a couple, to capture them as friends, to celebrate this amazing day as someone who (along with friends and family) is cheering them on in the steps they are taking. People make your wedding. The joy and excitement that your family and friends share makes your wedding individual and unique. And THAT is truly worth capturing well.

LaBelle_Prep_051113_039So, it is true. I cry. I cry at most weddings. My favorite captures throughout the day are: the father seeing his daughter for the first time, the groom seeing his beloved… The look on the couples’ faces as they come down the aisle as Mr and Mrs, the speeches (oh. How I love the speeches), and the first dances.

 

Thanks to my sister for inviting me! I love being able to share the joy my work brings to my life. 🙂

***

Melanie Reyes is Bethanne’s beautiful and talented sister. She hails from Ann Arbor, Michigan. You can find out more about her work online…

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About Beth Rhodes

Beth jumps into life with both feet...or head first. Impulsive and spontaneous to a T, she joined Passionate Critters and never looked back. She loves writing and reading, which made this wonderful group of woman a perfect match for her.

What Could Possibly Go Wrong…?

I may be being less than romantic here, but I decided to take a look at fictional weddings that don’t go quite as planned. There’s a whole load of preparation goes into the happy day and consequently a lot can go wrong. Accidents happen, natural disasters, or maybe even deliberate sabotage. Occasionally, the bride or groom don’t even make it to the ceremony. They don’t turn up either by accident or design—perhaps they’ve gone to the wrong church, or the car’s broken down, they’ve been kidnapped or just changed their minds.

But my favorite potential for disaster has to be when the minister speaks that sentence…

First, I am required to ask anyone present who knows a reason why these persons may not lawfully marry, to declare it now…

Aren’t you always holding your breath waiting for someone in the congregation to jump up and declare? The one that leaps into my mind is the almost wedding scene from Jane Eyre…so sad!

“The marriage cannot go on. I declare an impediment…Mr Rochester is a married man.”

And while not everyone has a mad wife locked in the attic, there are a whole array of other impediments that could come to light…

Then of course we have those people who change their minds at the last minute:

N, will you take N to be your wife? Will you love her, comfort her, honour her and protect her and forsaking all others be faithful to her as long as you both shall live?

Er…No.

How about Four weddings and a Funeral when Hugh Grant’s character is about to marry Duckface? They get as far as the altar, but in the end he can’t go through with it. And anyone remember Private Benjamin? That was definitely an example of where saying ‘no’ was the right thing to do. But more often, if the wedding doesn’t take place, it’s not a good thing. One of the saddest for me was Zander and Anya’s wedding from Buffy, when Zander changes his mind. Anya ends up walking down the aisle alone in tears – aww!

And things can still go wrong after the vows have been said.

Those whom God has joined together let no one put asunder.

 The internet seems to have been awash with reactions to the recent wedding on Game of Thrones (which I haven’t yet seen!). By all accounts, the “red wedding” is pretty horrific and very rarely, even in fiction, do we come across quite such a drastic end to the celebrations.

And I’ll leave you with my all-time favorite wedding disaster—Donna’s almost wedding in Dr. Who. She was so indignant, but then she didn’t realize that she’d only narrowly missed being married to some guy who planned to feed her to a giant alien spider…

What are your favorite fictional wedding disasters? Let me know and all comments will be entered in the monthly draw to win an Amazon gift card.

 

About Nina Croft

Nina Croft grew up in the north of England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of 9-5 work. She then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary) but has now settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain. Nina writes all types of romance often mixed with elements of the paranormal and science fiction.

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