Monday, April 22, 2013

Wedding Traditions: Bouquet Toss

The Bouquet Toss

The crowd quiets as a giggly, if not slightly embarrassed, group of non-married girls makes their way to the floor. The music halts, the bride comes out and after turning her back slyly she flings that gorgeous wedding bouquet over her head into the waiting arms of her court. At some weddings elbows are thrown, shoes fly off, and taffeta hits the floor in waves. Sometimes the bouquet doesn't even make it that far, after ricocheting off the light fixture, it lands dully on the dance floor, three feet in front of a stunned crowd. Do over?


It's an odd tradition, but one that we are all very familiar with: the bouquet toss. And thankfully, I've been part of many a successful one. As a younger gal I always liked this part of the wedding because I got to participate. I loved the symbolism of the bouquet and always hoped to get my hands on it. As I've gotten older, the ritual of parading out in front of a crowded room is less endearing. Unless you have your eye on that guy in the corner and now he for certain knows you're single and maybe he'll make a move...

I've only ever caught a bouquet once. It was my cousin's wedding and after a tumultuous break-up a few weeks prior, I was overjoyed at having "won" the toss. I looked at that little bouquet of roses and thought, "Ok, maybe it's a sign, maybe my heart won't be broken forever."

That's me in the long turquoise dress

 Of course it wasn't broken forever, and after a good long grieving process I got back to my life and started dating again. That dried flower bouquet is still in my house though...a reminder of that little beacon of hope.

Not certain what I'm doing in this photo....but glad to have the bouquet!

A 14th Century Wedding ring

So how did the bouquet throwing start in the first place? There are quite a few stories but the majority of them point to this:

Back in the day, starting around the 14th century, members of the wedding would grab and tear at the bride's wedding dress, hoping to rip off a piece and keep it for luck. To distract the group and get away, the bride would throw her bouquet (or garter) and escape while the throngs tore the bouquet to bits.

A little violent, no? Weddings back in the day seemed a bit dodgy....most of our sweet, innocent, traditions these days come from some very rough ceremonies.

14th Century Wedding (before they destroy her dress, apparently)

The bouquets back then were also a little different, usually made up of aromatic varieties like fruit blossoms, herbs and grains. The nosegay or tussie mussie dates back to the 14th century, and these small bouquets were used to cover up unpleasant odors.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Teal Ribbon, Teal Wedding

Today's wedding style is themed around the color teal. This color is also used to represent the cancers of the female reproductive system. A friend near me recently was diagnosed with such a cancer, and it has turned my world around. 

So many people out there have been affected in some way by these cancers, and for me this is the second time to witness it, the first with  my late Grandmother. What I've taken from this experience so far is the courage and bravery I've seen in my friend through the process. Suddenly all of my woes, ailments, or surgeries seem very small. I am in awe of how stoic she is in the face of something so very frightening. I know too that she gains so much of her strength from her circle of friends and family. I hope that anyone in this situation has the same type of support and lots of love from every direction. 

I am sending out hopeful, warm, strengthening wishes to every woman who is fighting one of these battles. You can be victorious!

Maybe the dress in the above pictures is taking the theme a bit too far, but I am a fan of the teal-outfitted wedding party! It goes so good with grey!

I've noticed some folks go overboard with the teal theme, lots of glitter, faux rhinestones, confetti, etc. It tends to get tacked with the color black, and what they want as a classy theme gets a little too Vegas. The cake and decor above I like, though. Classy, simple, and not over the top. 

The bouquet on the left is gorgeous! I like the small accents of teal that go so well with the cream and maroon. Well done! No matter what your style, there are many teal flowers for the choosing these days.

My favorite part, of course, the shoes! I've noticed this jewel tone popping up a lot in pictures. Can't go wrong with a good teal heel. And look at those shoes with the white flowers! Adorable!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Wedding Shoes

To say that I adore shoes is the century's greatest understatement. Or maybe that's a bit of an overstatement...either way, I love beautiful shoes and collect them like candy. From my other blog, here is an idea of  my collection:

Bright and bold are my favorite style. Jewel tones always catch my eye and I think they play well off of wedding dress white too! Having adorable shoes that reflect the personality of the bride, is now a common trend. I've seen many wedding photos with a little bit of fuschia satin, or blue lace peaking out by their toes. I think unique shoes are a great way to keep a wedding outfit fun and personal.

I'm also a fan of the unique bridesmaid or groomsmen shoe trend! That great pop of color or silly style keeps everyone smiling at the ceremony.

This just screams "fun!" I'd love to attend this type of wedding. What fun couples they must be!
Of course, the wedding party can go a bit formal too which is nice:

These have a classy old fashioned 20s feel. Beautiful!

You'll certainly find me, on my future wedding day, with an amazing pair of shoes on. I've considered a tea length dress specifically for the chance to showcase a pair. My friends and family will not be surprised to see me in heels and pointed toes walking down the aisle.

As for heels, flats are good too! And ballet flats come with so many pretty embelishments and in so many colors they can be just as fancy as heels. Not to mention your feet won't want to kill you at the end of the day, and you won't be taller than your groom!

What kind of shoes did you wear at your wedding?

Monday, April 8, 2013

Make-up Your Mind!

Ah, wedding make up. I've seen examples from the entire spectrum. I lean more toward a natural pallet, letting the original beauty of the bride show through. That said, a bold lipstick can really bring on some amazing drama. 
A nice natural make up style like this shows the bride's natural glow and beautiful skin!

Orangey-red lipstick looks happy and fun!

Red lips and blue eyes make this bride look like a Disney princess. Beautiful!

As for the more over-the-top make-up styles, no thank you! Make-up colors and techniques can help illustrate a gal's personality, but I would hope that on your wedding day you don't need your face painted like a rainbow....

Though I admire the technique here, it's way too much!

I suppose if you really like pink...

Holy, eyelashes batman!

A beautiful lady covered up in makeup. I'd like to see her in a more toned down look

I really like this moody, middle-ground, of simple eyes and maroon lips:

What do you folks think about dramatic vs. natural wedding makeup?

Monday, April 1, 2013

A Wedding by the Sea

Though my boyfriend just shakes his head when I say it, I've already decided we'll be having a nautical themed wedding. :) I find the idea so romantic! The sea has always drawn me, particularly the rugged cliffs and coast of Oregon. The ocean here has always called to me, and retains a deep mysterious quality every time I return to her.

There's something about the non-tropical flair of this side of the big blue. The wind blows, it's chilly and grey, but it's cozy. Warm fires keep salty toes warm and fluffy sweaters are good for cuddling on the beach. The sunsets are hard to catch, and that much more magical when you get to see it. Bright kites abound, and add a splash of color to a grey-blue sky. Even when it rains it's beautiful.

A sea-side wedding would combine many things I love. First and foremost would be the groom, of course, secondly the sea. Then there's stripes and boats. The vibrant primary colors associated with nautical flags and buoys. Glass floats and fish nets. You can make it classy or casual. But romantic no matter what.

Better not mind sand on your dress! I love these beach photos (the left from Oregon, the right from Ireland)

The Michael Kors dress with the gingham ribbon is one of my all time favorites. I fell in love with it when I first saw it! The satin sash on the other one is an amazing color. I love that sapphire blue for a wedding!

Decor can be a hoot when it comes to nautical. Ropes, anchors, sea critters, nets, etc. Can all be used and combined in really classy ways. The knot invitation I find cute and clever.

I adore the compass groomsmen gifts on the left. What a classy idea! Nautical accessories are easy to find and make lovely bridesmaid gifts.

Can't beat a coastal venue! I find lighthouses so very beautiful and fascinating. This one is in Nantucket. On the left is Cape Perpetua in Oregon. I love this stone facade as a backdrop.

Reception decor can be so pretty! The oyster can on the left reminds me of something out of a scene from Carousel. "This was a real nice clam back!..." Striped on the cake and table cloth are irresistible.