Pets in the Wedding~ Great Tips from Martha Stewart.com

dog 

As you think about who will be with you on your wedding day, those who are closest to you are likely the first to come to mind. For many , that includes a family pet. There are lots of ways to involve furry (or feathered) friends in your celebration, whether in a formal role — as ring bearers or flower dogs, for example — or simply as honored guests.

Determine Your Pet’s Role
If you’re thinking of including a pet in your wedding, there are a few things to consider. Is it appropriate for the kind of ceremony you’re having? “An animal fits a certain type of affair, one at a farmhouse or a private estate, perhaps, but probably not at a fancy hotel,” says Sasha Souza, a California event designer.

If the venue does not allow pets, try to find a compromise. Michael Zorek and Shelly Friedland wanted their beagle-whippet mix, Scooter, to participate in their wedding in New York City, but neither the temple in which they were marrying nor their reception site would allow pets. So the couple had Scooter meet them at the doors of the temple (escorted by a hired dog walker), then accompany them and their guests in a procession to the reception site five blocks away. Scooter wore a bow-tie collar with a tuxedo bib for the jaunt. “People got a big kick out of it,” says Michael. “We made the evening news.”

The type of animal you have may also help dictate his role in the wedding. Some couples with smaller, less social pets such as lizards, ferrets, or guinea pigs are content simply to have the animal present at the wedding; they may ask someone to hold the pet during the ceremony or keep the animal nearby in its habitat or cage. Not all pets are suited to a wedding, and itâ??s important to assess the temperament of yours. Is he friendly or aggressive? Does he make a lot of noise? Does he steal food? If your pet’s disposition doesn’t lend itself to this type of situation, don’t try to train him in the weeks leading up to your wedding.

Be Flexible
Once you’ve decided how to include your pet, be prepared to be flexible on the wedding day. “You can’t force it,” says Marc Morrone, owner of Parrots of the World pet store in Rockville Centre, New York. “If you expect your pet to perform a certain feat, have a backup plan in case he doesn’t do it.”

Also, consider your own personality. A relaxed attitude is crucial. During the outdoor ceremony of Sarah St. Onge and Andrew Howell in St. Helena, California, Sarahâ??s dog, Piper, suddenly began barking. “She saw a squirrel,” says Andrew. “But the barks were well timed,” adds Sarah. “Piper punctuated the wedding vows and added an element of humor.” And it’s warm, lighthearted surprises like this that make a wedding memorable.

Planning with a Pet in Mind
Inform Your Attendants
Well in advance, inform attendants and vendors that your pet will play a role, and discuss special measures you’d like them to take. Also notify your officiant. Some may refuse to preside over a wedding that includes pets.

Never Leave Your Pet Alone
Consider hiring a handler with whom the pet is already acquainted, or have a friend be responsible for the pet during the wedding.

Anticipate Potential Hazards
Ask at the wedding site about pesticides or toxic plants on the grounds, and about creatures that might distract or threaten your pet. If your florist is adorning your pet’s collar, be sure she uses nontoxic materials. And keep pets, especially dogs, someplace safe during the reception so guests won’t feed them. Certain wedding fare, including chocolate, alcohol, and meat with bones, can be dangerous.

Practice Makes Perfect
Bring your pet to the site before the wedding day, and have him come to the rehearsal to practice his part if he will be participating in the ceremony.

The Other “Groom”
Take the animal to the groomer before the wedding so he’ll look his best. Keep adornments minimal and easy for the pet to wear. Don’t make him wear them for longer than is necessary.
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Fashionable Tweeds

tweed 

Fashionable tweeds and monochromatic flowers form a fresh, friendly centerpiece. Just wrap fabric around inexpensive glass or plastic cylinders (rectangular vases look nice, too). Mix different tweeds in coordinating colors. The flowers play off the texture of the material.

A pink-and-orange table setting is contemporary and cheery; it works equally well for a shower or summer wedding. Skinny tweed bands are wrapped around the napkins (cut fabric along the grain using a rotary cutter; pull away a few loose strands for fringed edges); computer-made place cards have a border that looks like stitching. The flowers are chosen for their texture and color: carnations, spiky gerbera daisies, tulips, and dahlias.

This idea also works nicely in other colors with the same off-white linens: Try green tweeds (below left) with green and white flowers for a lush feeling; pair taupe tweeds (below right) with white and ivory blooms for a sophisticated, minimalist table.
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Personalized Wedding Pillows!

mr.andmrs.pillow

We have just made a unique addition to our catalogue of personalized items. I am very excited to tell you that we now have pillowcases! Yeah! These pillowcases may be personalized with your own saying and/or image. These make a great bridal shower or wedding gift that is sure to win the heart of any bride. You could also upload a picture of the bride and groom on their wedding day. Simply add their names and wedding date and you have a personalized anniversary gift. This idea is perfect for the second anniversary gift of cotton! What a unique way to honor tradition and have a great gift too.

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We’ve Hit the Jackpot!~Mini Gumball Slot Machines

jackpot

It is time to up the ante on your favor ideas, and this cute little favor is just the thing to do it! Let everyone know that you hit the jackpot with these gumball slot machine favors. The favors are personalized with your name and wedding date to give them an extra special touch. These would be perfect for a Vegas themed wedding, shower, or bachelorette party! The slot machines are fully functional and are sure to be a hit with everyone, even the kids!

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Who Sits Where at the Reception

seatingThe bride and groom hold the two most important seats at the reception. Their table should be easily seen from anywhere in the room so all the guests can be witness to their expressions of happiness. The following diagrams offer suggestions for seating attendants and family members.

The Wedding Party
Traditionally, the table for the wedding party is rectangular, with seating on one side only, facing out, so the guests can see the couple easily; often the table will be on a dais. The table should be centrally located, and flower arrangements should be kept low so as not to obstruct anyone’s view.

If the table is round, the bride and groom should still face the room. The best man is seated to the right of the bride; the maid or matron of honor sits to the groom’s left. The remainder of the wedding party is seated outward from the bride and groom, alternating groomsmen and bridesmaids.

parents

Parents of the Bride and Groom
At the most traditional hosts’ table, the bride’s mother sits in the center facing out, where she can keep close watch on the party; the bride’s father sits directly across from her, and the groom’s father sits on her right. The officiant may be seated to the left of the bride’s mother. The groom’s mother traditionally sits to the right of the bride’s father, with the officiant’s spouse to his left.

brideandgroom table

The seating arrangement above allows the closest relatives and friends of the bride and groom to join them at one table. The wedding party is represented with the best man to the right of the bride and the maid or matron of honor to the groom’s left. Traditionally, the male-female pattern continues around the entire table. Grandparents or siblings can be seated on the other side of each of the honor attendants. The officiant is seated to the right of the grandparent next to the best man; the bride’s mother is to the right of the officiant. On her right, the groom’s father is seated with the officiant’s spouse (if he or she has one) on his right. Finally, the father of the bride is seated to the right of the officiant’s spouse, while the groom’s mother is seated to his right.

 

 

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DIY Tuxedo Strawberries

strawberry 

Dress up your traditional chocolate covered strawberries for the wedding occasion. These cute little strawberries could cost you four dollars each if you bought them pre-made but now you can get them at a faction of the price! Make these ahead of time and serve them at your bridal shower, rehearsal dinner, or even the wedding!

SERVINGS: 18

TIME: Prep: 1 hour + chilling

Ingredients:
18 medium fresh strawberries with stems
1 cup vanilla or white chips
3-1/2 teaspoons shortening, divided
1-1/3 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:
Line a tray or baking sheet with waxed paper; set aside. Wash strawberries and pat until completely dry.
   

In a microwave-safe bowl, melt vanilla chips and 1-1/2 teaspoons shortening at 70% power; stir until smooth. Dip each strawberry until two-thirds is coated, forming the tuxedo shirt, allowing excess to drip off. Place on prepared tray; chill for 30 minutes or until set.
   

Melt chocolate chips and remaining shortening. To form the tuxedo jacket, dip each side of berry into chocolate from the tip of the strawberry to the top of vanilla coating. Repeat on the other side, leaving a white V-shape in the center. Set remaining chocolate aside. Chill berries for 30 minutes or until set.
   

Remelt reserved chocolate if necessary. Using melted chocolate and a round pastry tip #2, pipe a bow tie at the top of the white V and three buttons down front of shirt. Chill for 30 minutes or until set. Store in the refrigerator in a covered plastic container for up to 1 day. Yield: 1-1/2 dozen.

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Do it up Right, 20 Fab Wedding Hairdos

Wedding planning brings months of worry over the dress, the flowers, the cake, and the weather. Let one of your most important considerations – your hairstyle – be stress-free. Whether you have short or long hair, want something fancy or natural, below you’ll find a hairstyle to suit every style. If you’re looking to do your own hair on your wedding day, research the how-to tips and practice creating the look a couple of times before the big day. If you’re working with a stylist, show them a picture of what you’re looking for and have them try out a couple of options. Do the legwork ahead of time and you will wake up worry free on your wedding day.

princess nouveau

1. Princess Nouveau: If you have long hair with a medium thickness, consider a loose style with sexy, large curls accented by barrettes, a subtle hairclip or a delicate tiara. If you have shorter locks, ask your stylist about hair extensions.

pony

2. Long, Elegant Ponytail: This low-ponytail with a tasteful pouf in the front is extremely elegant and reminiscent of a style popular now on the runway and in photo spreads. Look casual or done-up while accenting your facial and jaw lines.

 

edgy pony

3. Edgy Ponytail: Nothing is more in these days than deliberately messy hair. Give yourself a graceful edge with this style.

angel

4. Angel: Not everyone will be able to pull this one off, but if you were one of the chosen few blessed with long, voluminous tresses, check out this glamour-defining, loose pull-back.

audrey

5. The Audrey Updo: Dramatic and stylish, this updo is reminiscent of the “Breakfast at Tiffani’s” actress. Ask your stylist for a short fringe of blunt-cut bangs to complete the look.

texture

6. Modern Texture: Short-haired brides will love this look – an angled cut tousled to bring out texture. Whether loose or pinned, this style is fresh, fun, and cute.

 

chigon

7. Modern Chignon Updo: Take a ride back to the 1940s with a classic chignon hairstyle. This example incorporates a twist and some feminine accents. It’s a demure look that is perfect for a veil or an off-the-shoulder dress. If you’re going for a vintage look, take it all the way by wrapping your hair in a thin hair net.

cone

8. Princess Updo: An exaggerated take on the Audrey Updo, this cone-shaped, classic sweep is versatile. Ideal do for a fairytale wedding or urban-chic nuptials.

long

9. Long and Tussled: Gentle and light, this style pulls hair back from the face and lets long curls fall down the back. With innocence and polish, this technique is a great option for an outdoor or casual wedding.

dcunstructed

10. Deconstructed Updo: It looks complicated, but this updo is simply a French twist that turns into a bun. The trick to this style is that the hair isn’t pulled too tightly around the face. Dramatic and glamorous, this style pulls attention toward face and neck lines.

eva

11. Celebrity Style Updo: You’ll feel almost-famous in this loose and textured hairdo, aptly referred to as the Celebrity Updo for it popularity among Hollywood-types.

straight

12. Modern Bride: Straight, long and natural, this style demonstrates confidence and charm. Let it all hang!

bangs

13. Vintage Charm: This traditional pull back is enhanced by the delicate curls in the bun and a jeweled accent. Whether you have bangs or don’t, this is a classic look that won’t disappoint.

spunk

14. Starlet Bob: Cute and carefree, this style is excellent for short hair. Extremely fashionable, this style will go with just about any dress. The angled curls frame the face expertly and show a lot of spunk.

Jessica Simpson

15. Jessica Simpson: Get inspiration from one of Hollywood’s most hair-perfect stars, Jessica Simpson. Her stylist Ken Paves is almost as famous as she is at this point. Known for his loyalty to hair pieces, Paves constantly creates a myriad of looks for Simpson – all of which would be easily translatable to a fashion-forward bride.

flower power

16. Flower Power: Getting hitched on a beach? Consider adding floral accents to the style of your choice. Flowers can be placed in updos, as well as flowing locks. Peruse these styles for inspiration.

posh

17. Go Posh: Copy the first lady of soccer with an angled bob. Victoria Beckham rocks this look with flair and many other starlets are following her lead. This style speaks for itself and requires little maintenance.

oscar

18. Oscar Updo: Red-carpet ready hair works for the chapel aisle, too. Easygoing, yet elegant, this style is multitalented and would complement most dresses.

hair

19. Elegant Cascade Take you hair to new heights with this pinned all over look accented by flowers.

pont

20. Simplfy: Look beautiful with this simple ponytail accented by loose locks framing the face and barrette. A stress-free style that shines.

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