And the 2014 Color of the Year is…

The Pantone Color Institute (PCI) announced the color of the year for 2014: radiant orchid! This pinkish-purple hue is exotic and enchanting, and is said to inspire creativity…which sounds pretty nice for a wedding color, no?

We’re expecting to see a lot more of this color at weddings in 2014; here are some radiant orchid details for your big day!

1. Radiant orchid adds a modern touch to this rustic-meets-luxe wedding décor:

 

orchid purple modern rustic flowers

Photo Credit: Mirelle Carmichael Photography on Munaluchi Bride via Lover.ly

2. Bright bridesmaids dresses are celebratory and fun:

 

purple bridesmaids dress bright orchid

Photo Credit: Laura Murray Photography on Bridal Musings via Lover.ly

3. This flowering cake is over-the-top…in the best way possible!

 

orchid purple flowers wedding cake

Photo Credit: Aaron Delesie on Wedding Chicks via Lover.ly

4. These colorful pom poms are perfect for a whimsical wedding:

 

purple pom pom whimsical wedding

Pom-poms created by BHLDN via Lover.ly

5. Radiant orchid pairs nicely with darker purple hues:

 

purple green wedding bouquet flowers

Photo Credit: Katelyn James on Society Bride via Lover.ly

 

6. Radiant orchid really shines when paired with elegant gold and dramatic masquerade details:

 

masquerade purple gold wedding orchid

Photo Credit: Katelyn James on Wedding Chicks via Lover.ly

 

7. We love this bold graphic look for a modern February wedding:

purple wedding desserts orchid modern

Photo Credit: Ashley Rose Photography on Wedding Chicks via Lover.ly

 

8. Whet your guests’ appetites with a colorful menu:

 

wedding menu purple gold orchid

Menu created by Blush Printables via Lover.ly

 

9. Pair radiant orchid with pale pink for a spring wedding:

 

purple pink orchid spring bouquet

Photo Credit: Mirelle Carmichael on Munaluchi Bride via Lover.ly

 

10. We love this hue for grooms and guys!

 

purple boutonnier wedding flowers orchid

 

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STEP MOM OR DAD AT YOUR WEDDING 101

The how-tos for including your stepparents in your wedding.
Sure, you’re marrying “’til death do you part,” but, alas, not all your relatives may end up abiding by this vow. Unfortunately, weddings can really ratchet up any tension between exes and their new spouses. If the divorced couples in question are your parents, well then, this is an area of wedding etiquette to tread lightly.

The good news? Stepparents who have helped raise you or your fiancé since you were young are often easier to include than those who entered the equation much later. Still, as long as you are respectful of all parties involved, you can navigate this emotional minefield successfully. We’ve isolated seven wedding-related duties that can be touchy—and give you a guide to sidestepping conflicts over your Steps.

ISSUE #1: THE INVITATIONS

Back in the day, stepparents were never included in wedding invitations. Today, those rules have loosened up as divorce has become more common. So, if you’re close to your Step or he or she is helping to pay for your wedding, it is expected that you include his or her name on the invitation. If your mom has remarried and now goes by her new last name, use that one on the invite even if it is different than yours.

An alternative that easily sidesteps all this: “The bride and groom, together with their parents, invite….”

ISSUE #2: WHAT TO WEAR

This issue is for the ladies. Since the mothers of the bride and groom are expected to dress to stand out at the wedding, it is up to the step moms to dress slightly more subdued in this situation. Want your step mom to still feel special on your Big Day? Arrange for your floral designer to make her a special corsage to demonstrate her stature at your wedding.
ISSUE #3: WEDDING PROGRAM

Remember that the key to preventing everyone’s feathers from getting ruffled starts with how you approach explaining all the details regarding your parents’ new spouses. One easy way to acknowledge your Steps–as well as explain the situation to all of your guests briefly and succinctly–is to mention everyone up front in your wedding program.

A line at the bottom like, “We want to thank our parents [names] and their spouses [names] for all their support and generosity over the years…” will go a long way in making everyone feel included.

ISSUE #4: WALKING DOWN THE AISLE

Brides know that whoever walks them down the aisle bears significance. So what if you have a step dad you are especially close to and want him to walk you down the aisle but you don’t want to forget your natural-born father, either?

Have one dad walk you down the aisle halfway and then the other meet you there to take you to the altar. Another option? Have both escort you. Either is a touching way to include your Step.

ISSUE #5: CEREMONY SEATING

The most popular way: everyone gets the front row. First, you give your mom the best seat in the house (that would be the one closest to the aisle). Where you seat your father and his wife depends on how well everyone gets along. If it is all smooth sailing, then put dad next and his wife on his other side.

If there’s tension, then fill the aisle with other close family and then put dad at the other end of the front row. If that’s still too close, place dad in the second row’s aisle seat, behind your mother, with your step mom at his side.
ISSUE #6: RECEPTION SEATING

When it comes to avoiding conflicts over Steps, no wedding is too small to have multiple head tables. When Steps can’t sit together with both your parents at the same table, then divide everyone up to “run” their own tables equidistant to your table with your new spouse. You two can sit alone to stand out or surround yourselves with your attendants. Then, keep your parents separated by having them each host a table to your side that is filled with their family or friends.

ISSUE #7: SPECIAL DANCES

Like walking down the aisle, having special dances with your parents and a Step you are close to can be tricky. Here’s how to keep everyone smiling: brides should still have their traditional father-daughter dance and grooms should still plan on their moment with mom at the beginning of the reception.

Then, later at the reception, have your DJ or bandleader announce a special dance “dedication” where you dance with your Step. This way you get two opportunities to share a touching two-step.

As long as good taste prevails, your wedding will be an event filled with things that represent your love and make you happy, even if it’s not your first. While the details may seem daunting, we’re here to prove that your “I Do’s” don’t have to be more complicated simply because it’s the second time.

HOW BIG SHOULD IT BE?

Instead of the “go big or go home” mentality that is so common for first marriages, an intimate and more private affair might be more appropriate – and more of what you and your fiancé desire. Consider inviting your closest friends and family to join you for a wedding in your living room and a reception in the backyard. Or, have a select group travel with you to the beach for a secluded ceremony and intimate reception on the sand. If you’re looking for a more casual way to celebrate your union, take a trip to the courthouse and then head to your favorite local restaurant for lunch. A smaller wedding will also help cut down on expenses, which can be a relief especially when you have children to raise and mortgages to pay.

Just remember, the size of the celebration is not a reflection of how you two feel about one another – even if you’re having cocktails with a half a dozen friends after a late afternoon trip to City Hall, it’s the love in the room that really counts!

WHAT SHOULD IT COST?

Most couples plan and pay for a second wedding on their own, so be sure to discuss your budget realistically and stick to it. You’d be surprised how easy it is to have a luxurious celebration if you keep the guest list small, or how many people you can celebrate with if you’re willing to have a more casual daytime affair.

This is one of the biggest questions brides getting remarried ask. There’s no set rule, but we’ve got a few guidelines you may want to follow as you decide how you’ll be decked out on your wedding day.

Match the formality of the event. If you’re getting married on the beach, a ball gown isn’t the best choice. And if you’re heading to the courthouse or having a cocktail reception, you may want to choose a shorter dress.
Make this wedding unique from the previous one. If you wore a princess gown to your first wedding, you may want to wear something more mature and subtle. Short dresses, casual long gowns or pants work for a second wedding, whether in ivory or another color.
Wear whatever makes you feel beautiful, comfortable and age-appropriate. There’s no rule that says you can’t wear white twice, so don’t be afraid to look at traditional wedding gowns in addition to non-traditional options. However, you may want to forgo more traditional elements like a veil or garter.
Take a cue from the stars. Getting remarried is nothing new, so let stars like Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe and Reese Witherspoon’s second (or third…) wedding looks inspire you.
Consider a colorful wedding dress. While you can definitely wear white, you may want to think about wearing a dress in a bridal color like blush, mint green or light blue. Colored gowns are incredibly popular so there are plenty of bridal options to consider, but you can also look to non-bridal designers for an outfit in a hue that flatters you.
HOW DO WE INCORPORATE CHILDREN?

If you or your fiancé (or both of you) have children from a previous marriage, your ceremony is the ideal time to include them. Turn vows between the two of you into a ceremony that symbolizes the forming of a new family. There are a plethora of beautiful rituals you can use that can include your children and show them—and your guests—how important this joining of families truly is.

Have your children come down the aisle together and stand with you and your fiancé under the altar. Have them compose a list of wishes or promises to be read together as part of the ceremony, symbolizing their involvement in the vows you and your fiancé are undertaking.
Consider a spin on the ritual of pouring colored sands into a single vessel. Assign a color to each member of the family and have everyone pour their sand into a beautiful glass jar. The mixing of colors will show how you have all brought your individual identities together to form a new, technicolored family unit.
If you’re exchanging vows on the beach, have your florist make a garland of beautiful orchids tied with a ribbon. At the end of the ceremony, as your children to join you in holding the garland. Exchange wishes for your new family or have your officiant share a blessing, then release the garland into the ocean.
During the reception, have the children give a toast together to honor their new siblings and the family the marriage has formed.

SHOULD WE SAY TRADITIONAL VOWS?

While using traditional wedding vows are appropriate depending on your religious beliefs, you may want to write your own personalized vows to reflect the journey that the two of you have taken, the meaning of your union and the merging of your two families. You could write the vows together, both repeating the same vows to one another, or each write your own vows for a truly personal touch.

SHOULD WE REGISTER?

Most couples getting remarried have already established a home, meaning they don’t need items that are traditionally found on a wedding registry. There is also the possibility of upsetting or offending guests or family members who purchased gifts for your first wedding. If you aren’t in need of traditional registry items, consider skipping a registry or choosing a non-traditional registry like a honeymoon fund or charitable donations. Keep in mind that guests may still want to send you a gift to celebrate your marriage – Thank You note etiquette still applies, regardless of the number of times you’ve been married.

WHAT ABOUT THE HONEYMOON?

Celebrating your marriage with a honeymoon is a fantastic idea but, if you and/or your spouse have children, you may want to consider going on a “familymoon” instead. Taking a trip as a family is an ideal opportunity for the newly blended family to bond, as well as to continue celebrating the parents’ union.

If your children are older and don’t have as much free time to travel or have families of their own, consider extending the wedding weekend into a long weekend during which you can all spend time together, either before the ceremony or in the days after. Then, you and your new spouse can take a honeymoon just the two of you.