Dare I say that bridal shawls and jackets for winters weddings are a hot topic? Bad puns aside, if you’re getting married at a chilly time of year, chances are you’ll need something warm to wrap up in at some point.
Posing for outdoor photos, for instance, could be a challenge in ways you might not anticipate without some thought. You could even feel cold indoors, so add a shawl, cape or jacket to your wedding attire to slip on as needed. Here’s a quick guide to style choices.
Short and chunky
A neat little shrug or bolero will keep the chill off your shoulders and chest. You’ll find a range of these simple wraps at affordable prices, including fluffy, chunky ones in faux fur that offer an attractive contrast to a tapering dress. Choose between soft hues, vibrant colors and snow-ball white. For a slender alternative, try a cut-away, satin bolero or a stretchy, cotton lycra shrug.
Prevent shivers and chattering teeth by wrapping up from top to toe. A full-length cloak with deep, swirly folds will look splendid over your wedding gown. Some designs include a hood, fastening under the chin, others tying or buttoning at the waist or having no fastening. Fabrics vary, with faux fur and fluffy hems trending. You’ll also find elegant, button-up jackets with collars in the wedding catalogs.
Light and floaty
If you’re not expecting to get seriously cold, you might prefer a lighter covering. Silky scarves and shawls make beautiful arm warmers and come in all sorts of shimmering shades, such as champagne, eggshell blue and silver gray, as well as rich, warm colors like plum and honey. Fabrics vary from merino wool and cashmere to fine silk and lace. For a little more protection from the cool air, consider a thin, floaty jacket, perhaps in elasticated lace, cotton or crocheted wool.
Prices vary widely, but some of the shorter garments cost no more than a coffee shop lunch, if that, especially those in the cheaper fabrics. Faux fur is a great deal cheaper than real fur, for instance, and a feathery feel can be produced without real feathers. Shop around for affordable prices and best buys in the style of your choice, checking out discount offers and second-hand options, too.
More dressing tricks and accessories for keeping warm
Wear a warm dress. Choose a long-sleeved dress in a warm fabric, perhaps with a substantial lining or multiple under-layers. Lace, netting or beading over the top will conceal thickness beneath. Some designs include a light extension above the neckline, gathered in prettily at the throat, while others provide a rising neckline, covering the nape of the neck and shoulders. A substantial veil will keep breezes off your back, and thick tights or leggings will insulate your legs and hips.
Wear gloves. Slender, white gloves with tapered fingers will look beautiful and will keep your fingers warm and flexible for signing your name in the wedding register and cutting that first slice of cake. A fluffy muff is another stylish option. Browse the beautiful color options.
With your bridal shawl or jacket and other winter weather preparations all in place, you can relax and enjoy your day to the full. As for your fiancé, you’ll just have to hope he’s thought of the weather, too.
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The white gown will always be a bridal tradition. In fact, there was a time not so long ago when it was tough to find a wedding dress in any color other than white or ivory.
Many of today’s brides are rejecting the white wedding gown and embracing color. This trend appeals to all kinds of brides because you can go bold or subtle, depending on your style and preferences.
Here are five great ways you can take advantage of this terrific trend.
You can still look bridal in a colored gown when you choose a soft, romantic shade. Search for dresses in baby blue, blush pink, or lavender.
Some of these colors are so light that you hardly notice the tone at all. Your dress may appear white in candlelight, for example, but will reveal the palest pink hue out in the sun.
What is ombre? An ombre pattern fades in shades from one color to another or takes one color from dark to light. This pattern can be as bright or as understated as you like, and it can include the whole gown or just the skirt.
Fun, sweet ombre color patterns have invaded the bridal world in everything from stationary to tablecloths.
If you don’t want too much color, you can find ombre pattern dresses in shades of champagne or ivory. These gowns have a very romantic, traditional style but incorporate a barely noticeable color scheme.
You can use an intense, dark color like red, emerald, or teal while maintaining a bridal style. Many modern gowns have coordinating details like a sash or a panel in the back of the dress that brings focus to a gorgeous color.
You can also include a dark color underneath the skirt or in a pattern on the bodice.
Floral patterns are a significant trend in the bridal industry, and that includes wedding gowns. Choose a, ultra-pale pink-on-white pattern on the whole dress, or opt for a dress with a multitude of colorful flowers decorating the skirt.
Floral patterns can also be textured, creating a unique, touchable look. You will also see florals that include large, 3D style blossoms to accentuate the skirt of the gown.
Metallic colors are everywhere, and you’re sure to see them shine over the next several wedding seasons. Make metallic your own with a shimmery dress in a metal-inspired color like silver, gold, copper, or bronze.
Choose a vintage lace gown in a pale copper, or be glamorous in shining silver. Gold or rose gold details are stunning on a white or ivory dress. Whether you use a metallic as an all-over color or in the details, this trend will have you glowing when you walk down the aisle.
Modern brides no longer have to shun color, so use this wonderful trend to find a gown that celebrates your style and fits perfectly into your bridal vision.
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What’s the most popular holiday for kids and adults alike? It just might be Halloween. Many people love Halloween, so it makes sense that brides and grooms would incorporate the holiday into a wedding theme.
Because most of us have such strong associations with this day, once you start thinking about Halloween wedding ideas, it’s likely that you’ll have plenty of possibilities to consider in no time.
Your Halloween themed wedding doesn’t have to be like walking through a haunted house, although it can be if that’s what you want. Whether you are looking for a few spooky details or want to take your guests on a Halloween adventure, here are some options to consider.
Orange and Black
Simply combining orange and black will quickly bring Halloween flair to your wedding ceremony. Choose just one shade of orange that you love, and use it as an accent on floral arrangement, wedding party dresses or your cake.
Using black as your only wedding color is a spooky and sophisticated way to give a nod to Halloween. Keep it elegant by adding some silver for accents, or have fun with a variety of black fabrics like velvet and lace.
Red-Orange and Brown
Fall colors will suggest the Halloween season without overwhelming your wedding with the holiday. Dress your bridesmaids like a cascade of falling leaves, and use ribbons as accents on tables.
Take a page from Halloween itself, and dress up your ceremony space to reflect anything you want it to be.
Turn your wedding reception into a Gothic dinner party by using ornate stemware and silver, formal place settings. Incorporate lots of candles placed in candlesticks of various lengths, and keep the lighting subtle.
This can be stunning in an old church or other vintage building.
Fall is a beautiful time of year, and the symbols of autumn can be beautifully romantic at a wedding. Find big, round pumpkins to stack near bales of hay. Serve appetizers or drinks in canning jars, and fill your space with sunflowers and mums.
Make a table decoration with a carved pumpkin, and give guests glittery stick masks to remind them of Halloween.
If a Halloween wedding is your dream, turn the whole space into a haunted house. Keep the lighting as low as possible and hang cobwebs in every corner. Place a coffin at the front door with a sign that states you are together until death, or even after.
Place skeletons strategically around the room, posed as party guests. Even hire actors or ask friends to provide jump startles to guests as they enter the ceremony. Leave the reception in a hearse.
Bright and Beautiful
Fall is full of amazing color. Choose huge blooms in orange, red and yellow to create show-stopping centerpieces and bouquets for your autumn wedding.
Blood Red Roses
Your elegant, Halloween-themed wedding calls for the romance of roses.
Roses do come in a shade that is almost black, but you can also make a dramatic statement with a bouquet of dark, red roses.
If the theme is Halloween, then you might want the flowers to be withered. Carry a bouquet of dried roses, and place dried bunches throughout your decor. Give groomsmen a single dried flower to pin to their pockets.
For an elegant wedding with Halloween undertones, dress everyone in black. The bridesmaids can wear some version of a little black dress, and groomsmen can wear black suits.
The bride can wear black as well or opt for a white gown with a black sash or belt.
You can give a Halloween tone to traditional clothing by choosing colors that relate to the season. Pick a pretty shade of orange for your bridesmaids, and dress groomsmen in brown with accents of the orange color. Dark purples are also pretty that time of year and suggest Halloween.
The bride can wear a traditional white gown or something with an autumn hue. An ivory gown looks lovely with rust-orange accents.
The ultimate Halloween wedding will have everyone in costume. You can let everyone wear a costume of choice, or you can keep things more organized by creating a cohesive group. You might have a coven of witches as bridesmaids or groomsmen who are vampires.
You can also dress everyone in traditional wedding attire and then turn them into zombies with great makeup.
Let your guests in on the fun by suggesting they arrive to the wedding in costume or as zombies.
Fresh and Seasonal
Many delicious foods are in season during autumn, and it’s fun to plan a menu around those items. Consider pumpkin soup or grilled squash with baked apples. Serve turkey with a wild mushroom sauce or a comforting meal of cabbage and ham.
Take your Halloween theme to the next level by incorporating crazy snacks with a Halloween influence. Find a caterer with a great imagination, or search the internet for ideas you can make yourself.
Hot dogs wrapped in bread sticks can easily be made into mummies, and a sour cream topped with black olives will add eyes to your tacos.
Use food dye to turn pasta into worms, and pipe cream cheese spider webs across the top of soup.
Create an amazing buffet by serving food inside carved watermelons and pumpkins or placing fresh veggies in and around a skeleton.
Candy is a central focus of Halloween, so don’t forget about it. Set up a large candy bar with candy bars and other treats, and let guests fill their own trick-or-treat bags.
Serving freshly made donuts is a wonderful way to end the evening.
You can make your dream Halloween wedding a reality. Decide if you want to subtly incorporate the holiday into a traditional, autumn wedding or if you want your big event to scream Halloween.
Determine if your goal is to throw a huge, haunted party or if you want your wedding to be more sophisticated.
Once you’ve decided on the big picture for your Halloween nuptials, the gory details will fall into place.
The very process of hatching Halloween wedding ideas should be filled with fun, and is certain to get you both in the mood for what’s to come!
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Shopping for a wedding dress is often a stressful experience, and that can be especially true for the plus size bride. Because wedding gowns are typically ordered, you may find yourself choosing the most important dress of your life based on a sample size that doesn’t fit at all.
Any shopping experience is made better when you prepare yourself. Here are eight strategies to keep in mind when shopping for plus size wedding dresses.
Ask about sample sizes
It’s helpful to know what size samples will be available before you go. Call around to different bridal stores to ask which sample sizes are available.
Wedding dresses tend to run small. If the sample sizes are a 10, you can expect them to fit more like an 8. Consultants know how to add fabric and use clips to fit the sample to your shape, but if there is only one sample size, you may have to choose based on a dress you can’t properly see on your own body.
Some bridal stores do offer larger sample sizes. If you decide not to deal with a shop because of the limited sample sizes, be sure to politely tell them why. When people start asking for bigger sizes, bridal stores will start listening.
Ask about upcharges for plus size dresses
Many bridal salons will have dresses available in larger sizes, but sometimes you’ll be charged extra because you are buying a larger size. This additional fee can be as much as $200 or more.
Bridal salons will tell you that the reason for this is that the dress requires more fabric. But if that were the case, someone who is a size 0 would get a discount.
Not every store charges more for plus sized dresses. Call ahead to find out.
Wear supportive underwear
Try to wear underwear that will work under a bridal gown. Some stores have strapless bras you can wear when you try on dresses, but it’s better if you bring one that fits you perfectly.
It is also helpful to bring some slimming underwear if you think you may choose to wear that under your gown. Some dresses will be structured enough that you don’t need the extra support, but it’s good to have some just in case.
Try on different dress styles
What’s a plus size wedding dress style? The very question is needlessly self limiting. It’s a myth that certain styles are only for particular body shapes. Don’t rule anything out. Consider the color trend in wedding gowns as well. You might be shocked by how amazing you look!
• Try at least one A-line. This is a silhouette you are probably going to be steered toward because it is the most common cut and is flattering on nearly everyone. You may find that you love the slimming effect.
• Try at least one form-fitting style. You might believe that a trumpet or mermaid shape won’t work for you, but you won’t know unless you try. Sometimes these styles push your curves into the just the right places, and you end up with a fabulous look.
• Try on something with ruching. That’s when the fabric is strategically gathered. Some people love it, and some people hate it. You should decide for yourself.
• Try a sweetheart neckline. This is a neckline that features a bit of a dip between your breasts, and it often looks great on people with a larger chest.
• Try a corset bodice. Corsets can suck you in and make your waist look tiny. The style can be very flattering, but be sure you can breathe.
• Try strapless. Some plus sized brides fail to try on strapless gowns because they don’t feel that their arms flatter them, but you might just find that you love the look on you. Don’t forget that there are wraps and jackets available if you still want to cover your arms!
Be sure you can move!
You will probably only wear your wedding dress for just one day, but that day is likely to be a long one. Be sure you choose a dress you will be comfortable in for hours. Make sure you can sit, bend and dance.
This sort of advice seems obvious and is easy to gloss over. But strive to keep in mind that in the course of your dress shopping, you might well be bowled over by dresses that look stunning on you but won’t allow you the comfort and ease of movement that you so deserve on your day. Just step back if you have any doubts and give yourself a chance to find that perfect combination of style and comfort.
Resist choosing a boxy or tent-like dress
When you’re uncomfortable with something about your body, it can be tempting to just cover it up. Don’t do that to yourself. Keep looking until you find a dress that will fit and flatter you beautifully.
Do not endure rude salespeople
If a salesperson mentions that there are not many dresses in the store for your body type or tries to stop you from trying on a particular style, turn and walk away. That store is not worth your time or your money.
Many people are going to give you an opinion on what you should wear to your wedding. Listen to those you trust, and ignore those you don’t.
In the end, choose a dress that makes you happy.
Being a plus sized bride has its challenges, but you deserve a magical experience. Take some time to prepare yourself before you shop, and you will set yourself up for success in finding your perfect wedding dress.
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Once the so-called honeymoon stage ends, the reality of married life starts to set in. This is of course a wonderful and deeply fulfilling chapter in its own right!
But it also, like all phases of life and relationships, comes with its particular challenges and in turn, rewards.
It’s common for couples to start noticing seemingly small and inconsequential differences that escaped notice until this point.
Arguments can ensue and personal boundaries often clash. Living with someone else and facing a lifetime of familiarity and routine can begin to take its toll.
Romance and physical attraction can inevitably ebb. This type of stress is common during the first year of marriage and can sometimes be intense enough to cause a separation, or at least thoughts of such things.
One key to successfully crossing this bridge is knowing what you are facing and preventing the problems from escalating, nipping them in the bud.
Here are some things to keep in mind that can address some of the most common newlywed problems and issues:
Engaged couples often put tremendous focus on wedding preparations and guest lists in an attempt to make a perfect experience on what is often billed as the best day of our lives.
What they often fail to discuss, however, are specific roles that each of them will need to take in the course of the relationship.
Arguments begin when there is confusion as to who should pay for the bills, clean the house, cook the meals, do the laundry or take out the garbage. Neglecting to discuss these basic roles often results in conflict and resentment.
It is essential to set expectations before entering into any serious endeavor. Knowing what you are getting into and having a clear understanding of what you need to do will make tasks more bearable.
In marriage, it’s certainly the case that how you do something is just as important as the fact that you do it!
A couple that wants to venture into married life should take the time to negotiate and review the roles that they will be playing. They could make a list of all tasks and divide them in the most equitable way. They could also agree to taking turns and to setting up a household chore schedule.
This advice is easy to dismiss, as it sounds rudimentary and even condescending. But in the course of discussions about issues on this very basic level, it’s often the case that someone’s deeper, core values and beliefs surface.
It’s then that partners can get to know each other better and practice dealing with each other in a spirit of give and take and active listening, when there isn’t anything big at stake and there are no negative emotions.
Dealing with the in-laws
Marriage involves a change in boundaries but it also expands the family to include the relatives of your new spouse. Parents usually have a hard time letting go of their children and sometimes have the tendency to overstep.
They naturally want to stay connected with their son or daughter, but this impulse can sometimes complicate a marriage, especially in those crucial first months and years when patterns of behavior are established and reinforced.
Parental input is healthy and may in fact be a factor in getting your union off to a flying start!
Too much imposition, on the other hand, will make you too dependent, or resentful. You and your spouse need to discuss how much parental input you both see as appropriate.
You need to set specific limits as to what your parents can do and what they can contribute to your marriage. You also need to communicate these boundaries to your parents in various ways as the timing presents itself.
They need to understand that your marriage stands the best chance of flourishing if you and your spouse work together on the major decisions and present a united front.
Money matters and finances are highly sensitive topics. A lack of financial responsibility may lead to overspending and debt. Couples can end up blaming each other for bad financial situations caused by a lack of alignment in terms of budgeting.
It’s not uncommon for financial issues to come up during the wedding planning, of course. It might be tempting for one partner to readily agree to certain spending decisions in the lead up to your big day in the interest of keeping the peace and the flow. And it’s easy to tell yourself that such a special day warrants a splurge and the relaxing of usual limits when it comes to cost.
That being said, it’s also true that a big opportunity exists for open and honest negotiations regarding such things. It’s a chance to practice positive, productive conversation around a touchy topic that can pay big dividends in married life as a precedent for how things are dealt with going forward.
You need to establish boundaries and rules in order to avoid financial problems and the significant stress that this can put on any relationship, no matter how sound it is.
Couples should agree on a specific budget that covers basic necessities, bills, and discretionary expenses. They need to stick to that budget in order to avoid issues and arguments.
If you approach your wedding planning with a set budget in mind, you will find yourself ahead of the game after you get married, because you’ve already had the chance to successfully plan such a momentous, joyous occasion together with these principles in mind.
Your wedding planning has therefore in a sense primed you for coming to a meeting of the minds in regards to the seemingly more mundane but crucial financial choices of all types that are a big part of married life.
Have fun but be responsible
Single life does have its perks! You get to spend all the time you want on the things that you want to do. Once you get married, things will undoubtedly change. Not spending enough time with each other can be a source of disagreements and conflict.
Marriage is all about compromise. You and your spouse need to respect the fact that you each have your own individual needs. You are both unique, and it is this individuality that brought you together in the first place.
Learn to respect personal time but make sure to make time for activities that involve the both of you. It can be wonderfully fulfilling if both of you start enjoying what the other person likes to do.
This doesn’t have to mean actually participating, though it could involve this. It can also mean simply taking the time to truly listen to your partner when they talk about what pulls them, what animates and inspires them.
This of course isn’t that simple, as people get busy and it’s a challenge sometimes to really listen and ask questions that draw someone out and prompt them to convey the passion they have for something.
But in practicing this, the passion in the marriage itself is nurtured. There’s nothing written in stone that says the first year of marriage will be stressful.
It’s after all, a wonderful time that offers countless chances for a couple to build on the memories they’ve already built together and to build a solid foundation for the wonderful road ahead.
Take time to reflect and discuss
Just take some time now on your own and together to reflect on things you’ve experienced together so far, and take the time to consciously learn from that and expand on those lessons.
Setting aside time to talk at regular intervals before and after you’re married about crucial, basic aspects of life together offers a valuable chance to do just that.
It’s far easier to come up with productive, satisfying and mutually rewarding comprises and solutions when you approach things from a desire to address things before they turn into bones of contention and fuel for fights and discord.
There’s much less need for defensiveness when you do this, in contrast to when something has already triggered an argument and you find yourself reacting without thinking.
Let the care, communication and attention to detail that you bring to bear in planning your wedding be a template for how you approach your marriage, and the honeymoon will never end, regardless of what life may bring.
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Photographing a wedding can be a challenge, even for a seasoned pro, As well as being physically and mentally demanding, high levels of creativity are required to capture the unique spirit of the occasion.
But don’t let this keep you from considering DIY wedding photos. With proper preparation, they can be a wonderful option.
If you’re considering asking someone close to you who has a background in photography to take your wedding photos you can go a long way toward getting photos you’ll cherish by taking the time to consider the task and your personal preferences and communicate well with that special person who’s so graciously accepted this responsibility.
The essence of wedding photography is capturing the emotion of the day in a series of still images. It’s a mixture of portrait, documentary and candid photography. Each wedding is different, but there are some key pictures that serve as permanent reminders of the day. If your photographer shoots these well, you and your family will be nothing less than delighted.
Capturing the following key moments on your wedding day will help to create a wedding album that you both will treasure forever, and are a great base to build on.
This list is just a taste of things you might think about. In addition to the specifics that follow, hopefully it will spark your inspiration and prompt you to start making a list of the loved ones, props, spaces, and moments that you’d like to catch.
The bride’s preparations
Preparing for her wedding is something many brides dream about from a young age. After months spent choosing a dress and accessories and planning hair and make up for the day, it’s finally your moment.
Your photographer should be there to capture this, and it’s the perfect time for bridal portraits.
It’s traditional for a bride to prepare at her parents’ home on the wedding day, but you may choose to get ready at a hotel. Large windows and light and airy rooms are perfect for bridal preparation pictures.
Natural light is more flattering than flash, and a reflector is a useful accessory to reduce shadows and soften daylight.
The bride and her father
Portraits of a bride and her father record symbolic moments of a wedding. A father hands over care of his daughter during the marriage ceremony, and this marks a new chapter in their relationship.
Shots of the bride and her father leaving the family home together can be particularly effective.
Exchanging wedding vows
Shots of you and your partner exchanging your vows are considered essential by many. The exchanging of rings is also a great opportunity for photographs of once in a lifetime moments.
The photographer should position themselves so that they are close enough to record these precious memories, but aren’t too intrusive at this intimate part of the wedding day.
A zoom lens is ideal, as it allows your photographer to shoot close ups of facial expressions and wide shots of you both together.
This brings up the question of what is appropriate in terms of how close the photographer gets in certain moments, and you might well want to discuss such things with the person you’ve chosen to take your photos, so that there is no hesitation or awkwardness on the big day.
The happy couple celebrating their love
You should allow time away from your guests for some intimate portraits. Some couples aren’t comfortable posing, so it’s important to discuss what you would like before the day.
If you aren’t familiar with the wedding venue, make a visit before to find a suitable location for portraits. Make the most of any attractive features at the venue, such as trees, gardens and water features.
Later in the day, when you’re both enjoying a drink with their guests, your phtographer can use a zoom lens to capture natural moments. A smile, a kiss or shared laughter can make beautiful pictures.
The formal wedding speeches are also a great time for shooting natural exchanges between the bride and groom.
The first dance
It’s traditional for the couple to take to the dance floor on the evening of their wedding day.
Some couples take classes to learn a specific dance for this occasion. This is another key moment of the wedding day. To capture the atmosphere of the bride and groom’s first dance, hopefully the available light will suffice rather than using flash. Colored lights from a disco add a sense of romance if shot correctly.
DIY wedding photo challenges and rewards
The photography of your wedding should be tailored to your needs and preferences, and asking someone close to you to fulfill this important role can be a wonderful choice if proper consideration is given to the various demands of the day.
When going the DIY wedding photo route saving money is sometimes a motivation, for understandable reasons. But there are also intrinsic rewards in choosing this option.
If you prepare for it well by choosing the right person and communicate well with them, you’ll have your DIY wedding photos taken by someone who knows you well and sees this as an opportunity to express their feelings for you both.
After all, someone in your inner circle has an advantage of sorts over even the most professional of photographers in that they know you and your taste well, perhaps even better at times than you do!
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