Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wedding flowers: Calla Lilies

Another type of flower used during weddings is the calla lily. It has a simple, trumpet like shape that's very elegant and soothing to the eyes. It is said that calla lilies symbolize beauty, that is maybe why a lot of brides opt for these for their wedding bouquets.

Calla lilies grow mostly during the spring-summer season. It doesn't wilt that easily, so even after long hours, your bouquet still looks fresh.

They come in a variety of colors like yellow, orange and pink, but for most weddings, white is usually used. Probably because the color also symbolizes purity of the bride. You can also mix calla lilies with other blooms, but about two dozens of these tied together are, in my opinion, the most classic look of all.

Here are some wedding bouquets I've found over the Net using calla lilies, all for your inspiration:
Clockwise, from top right: Pale pink mini calla lilies bouquet from BlueSkyWeddings.com; Gold and orange-hued calla lilies wedding bouquet from TheKnot.com; Bouquet of red and orange calla lilies, roses, geranium leaves and winter wheat from Brides.com; Bridal bouquet of white calla lilies, stars of Bethlehem and green ruscus from BriDesign.com.

Calla lily information source lifted from Flower-Arrangement-Advisor.com and WeddingClipArt.com.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Inspiration board - Black

Black is classic, elegant, and great for evening weddings. Or maybe a rock-themed wedding. Here in the Philippines, black isn't exactly a famous choice as a wedding color motif. Tradition states that it is the color of mourning.

But daring, adventurous couples try to break that mold and choose this color as their motif. Combined with light colors like champagne or brighter colors like red or yellow, it creates a sophisticated mood for your ceremony and reception.

Actually, I looked for black wedding motif inspirations because my friend wanted black as her wedding colors. We have yet to see the reaction of her future in-laws about this...

For the meantime, here's today's inspiration board. I chose the classic white as the accent:
1st column, from top: Maggie Sottero Aspen wedding gown from Brides.com; Kate Spade Gina shoes from Zappos.com; Formal Affair White Wedding Pillow from A1WeddingInvitations.net; Black Beauty Invitation from HotRef.com.

2nd column, from top: Gown and Tuxedo Design Candles from HotRef.com; Black and White Sugarpaste Wedding Cake from ChocolateWeddingCakes.com; Simon Silver and Black Patterned Cufflinks from AmericanBridal.com; Watters Flower Girls dress from Brides.com.

3rd column, from top: White Callas with black contrasting ribbons and berries wedding bouquet from SomethingSpecialFlowers.com; Belsoie by Jasmine bridesmaid dress from Brides.com; Full set of 7.0 - 8.00mm black freshwater pearls from PearlParadise.com; Love Design Mint Tins wedding favor boxes from LittleThingsFavors.com.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wedding gowns: Strapless

I don't know, but it seems to me a lot of brides-to-be choose a strapless design for a wedding dress. Is it perhaps because it's sexy but not too shocking? Or maybe because it flatters most body types?

I do think that strapless necklines are best worn by those who have great shoulders, or women who have enough bosom to show, but I don't think it will work for those with really big bustline. ;-) Strapless dresses may also flatter petites, as it shows more skin and gives the illusion of added height.

While I'm not the strapless type (I wore a halter neck dress for my own wedding), I still think that this kind of design is classic and glamorous. Here are some strapless wedding gowns for your inspiration:
1st row, from left: Mori Lee 2309 Delicate Chiffon with Crystal Beading from MoriLee.com; Spring 2009 Collection from Monique Lhuillier from MoniqueLhuillier.com; Maggie Sottero Ashtyn from MaggieSottero.com.

2nd row, from left: La Sposa Florete from SpLaSposa.com; Vera Wang Collection 12588 from VeraWangWeddings.com; Fall 2009 Collection from Monique Lhuiller from MoniqueLhuiller.com.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Wedding flowers: Roses

One of the most common wedding flowers is the rose. My wedding bouquet had a bunch of pink roses mixed in it. Many brides opt for roses because of its romantic look and year-round seasonality. And because of that, it's somewhat inexpensive compared to other flowers that grow depending on the season.

Roses come in a lot of colors, too. Sometimes these colors also have meanings. The red rose means love and passion. Roses in white mean purity and innocence, while pink may stand for appreciation or admiration. Yellow roses may mean joy, friendship, or sometimes jealousy. Read here for more rose colors and their meanings.
Roses also come in different varieties. There are those that are really fragrant, and some don't have any smell at all. Depending on your preference, you can go for Hybrid Tea or Spray or Ecuadorian roses. You can also mix them with other flowers. My bouquet was composed of green carnations and pink roses.

Timeless, classic, romantic. It's no wonder that roses are a popular choice of brides and wedding florists.

1st row, from left: Ecuador roses from Flo-wers.com; Black Baccara and freedom roses and coral roses and calla lilies, both from TheKnot.com.

2nd row, from left: Rossini roses and calla lilies from TheKnot.com; Wired style bridal bouquet of roses and Lisianthus with small pearl accents from FlowersByKate.com; Green carnations and pink roses, blogger's own.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Something for the honeymoon: Glow in the dark lingerie

Okay, so I know it's pretty early to talk about honeymoons when you're still in the middle of wedding preparations. But I can't help but share this one to you. It's also a great bridal shower gift...

Just want to share a site I stumbled upon today: the LuminoGlow glow in the dark lingerie. It's a nice, exciting twist to the usual undie you plan to wear on your first night as husband and wife. As the name says, these lingerie pieces, well, glow in the dark. Ooh, playing in the dark? Now that's sexy!

The bras and panties look really seductive. I like this lace half cup bra and lace g-string. As a set, it will really raise temperatures. If this pair doesn't turn on your man, I don't know what will.

The website is also cool, too. With a click of a mouse, you can see how the lingerie looks like when you put out the lights.

And wow, they also have a glow in the dark thong for guys. Well, I don't see my husband wearing this one, but if your man is pretty adventurous, well you and him would make a really hot couple in the dark.

If you want to surprise your hubby-to-be, this is one suggestion I'd really recommend. Hmm, wonder if I could buy one of these...

Monday, February 9, 2009

Inspiration board - Valentine

Well, it's February, officially the month of hearts. And Valentine's Day is just around the corner. So I looked around the Net for some valentine inspirations for weddings themed as such. Your wedding doesn't have to fall on the month of Love to qualify as a Valentine Wedding -- you can always make any day Valentine's Day, in my opinion.

Of course, the common color scheme here is red, pink and white. Lots of hearts, too. Hope you like it!

1st column, from top: Maggie Sottero Camden wedding dress from Brides.com; Straight from the Heart wedding invitation from WeddingInvitations123.com; Queen of Hearts Cake from JustScrumptious.co.uk.

2nd column, from top: Ruby heart necklace from BlueIndigoJewelry.com; Sterling Silver Ruby CZ Heart Earrings from AmesSecret.com; Red rose with calla lily bride's bouquet from Bridesign.com; Jordan Separates bridesmaid dress from Brides.com; Freeze dried rose petals from Beau-coup.com.

3rd column, from top: Love Beyond Measure Spoons in Personality Box from FavorFavor.com; Kate Spade Hera shoes from Zappos.com; Christmas Red Tie by Elite Solid from Ties.com; David's Bridal flower girl dress from Brides.com.

Friday, February 6, 2009

It's never too late to start early

I had a chance last night to ask my sister if she and her boyfriend had plans of getting hitched.

"Well, yes," she told me.

"When?"

"Um, I don't know. Maybe this year?" I sense the uncertainty in her voice.

"Well, you have to start preparing now," I told her.

They're not the first couple I know to make rushed wedding preparations. But knowing my sister, who's very obsessive-compulsive about the nitty-gritty of details and stuff, she might encounter a lot of obstacles along the way, especially when they're working with a pretty tight deadline.

My hubby and I took one year and two months to prepare for everything. And we weren't that OC.

One thing I learned about wedding preparations is that the earlier, the better.

After he asked my parents for my hand in marriage, we began working on it on June 2007. By the end of the year, we already had a ceremony and reception venue, caterer and photographer. We were fortunate to have reserved these suppliers because, by the beginning of 2008, they increased their prices. Our price packages weren't affected, because they had a price-lock for clients who reserved the year before. That eliminated additional expenditure we had to incur (price-lock depends on the supplier; they may or may not give you a price-lock so better ask them about it prior to booking). Booking suppliers early also serves as an advantage, especially if you're eying those in-demand ones during peak wedding months. As the saying goes, the early bird catches the first (and often sought-after) worm.

It also gave us a chance to canvass more supplier options that we had enough time to choose which would meet our budget but offer the best value. We also had a chance to visit bridal fairs where potential suppliers could showcase their craft, giving us a sample of what they can do and helping us in decision-making.

Preparing early made it easier for us to iron out kinks. We had a very erratic entourage list with a bridesmaid getting pregnant (and getting married months before we did) and her replacement having to go out of the country on the month of our wedding. Guest list problems were also worked out during the whole time (but not without a fight).

This is not to say that short wedding preparations result in wedding disasters. That is not always the case. I've seen couples have amazing weddings which were prepared in such a short time. But there's always an advantage in starting early. So if you could begin your wedding preparations as soon as you can, do so.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Handling the Guest List

One of the challenges we encountered during our wedding preparations was making the guest list -- and limiting the number.

It was quite a challenge in the sense that on my part, the bride, my families from both parents are particularly close. At the onset, hubby and I wanted only 100 guests -- that's like 50/50. But when I did a tally of relatives to invite, my list went to about 40, not counting friends. His? It was just above 10, as most of his relatives are in the province and couldn't make it.

We looked at our (relatively small) budget and saw that we could extend up to 150 max. That would count some of my friends and colleagues, as well as his (well, 50 spots were enough for him to fill). Then my dad invited his friends from high school. People whom I don't even know! What the --?!

So here are a few things we've learned about handling the guest list:

1. Invite only those close to you. So that's family and a handful of friends. Kids could be left with the babysitter. But of course you should include those who have a particular role in the ceremony -- flower girls, bridesmaids and the lot. If you could also do away with colleagues then do so (in hubby's case, he just invited his boss, no other office mates). And if you could do away with exes, then that's fine. Unless of course you want them to see you in full, blushing regalia...

2. Don't invite those who live far and would have to make time and spend money to go to the wedding. But this one is a case-to-case basis. For us, if they don't have any participation in the ceremony, we decided not to send an invite. Moreso if it had been a long time since we had communicated with each other.

3. Be firm in your decisions. This was the hardest for me, especially with my dad because he was the one who wanted to invite the whole neighborhood to our wedding (well, being the first to wed in the brood didn't help). There is the right time to say "NO." But if you couldn't say it, well you could enlist the help of another family member to do it for you, in this case my mom.

4. Make a worksheet of your guest list. You can use the MS Excel program in your computer or make a table and list all the names of your guests. Indicate also whether you will invite them during the ceremony, reception, or both. And don't lose the list. ;)

These are just some of the things we've learned through experience. I'm pretty sure you will have some of your own learnings, too, as you go through your preparations. If you have a clannish family like mine, better brace yourself for some rough waves with planning the guest list.

Photo credit: Write1 by woodsy, from sxc.hu

Monday, February 2, 2009

Inspiration board - Beach

My cousin is coming home to the Philippines for her wedding this August. She'll be having a beach themed wedding, and I just found out the reception will take place in an island in Panglao, Bohol. Cool! I really want to go, but since by that time it would've been two months after I give birth, I'm not sure if I can travel with a baby in tow. Oh well...

Well, her theme gave me an inspiration to do this, er, inspiration board. Theirs will be blue with a hint of browns, so here are some of the things I found over the Net that go with their color scheme. Hope you like it.
1st column, from top: Destinations by Maggie Sottero wedding dress at Brides.com; Sterling Silver Cultured Freshwater Pearl CZ Earrings from Overstock.com; White sandal with crystal woven strap from BeachThemeWeddingShop.com; Palm Breezes Beach Pail Tealight Holder from Hotref.com; Blue hydrangea wedding flowers from Bridesign.com.

2nd column, from top: Something Blue wedding cake at Brides.com; Jean Yves Parisian Super 100s Chocolate Tone on Tone tuxedo from AlsFormalWear.com; Carolina Blue Rose and Blue Ribbon Boutonniere at MySilkWeddingFlowers.com; Mini Calla Lilies Bride's Bouquet at 1800Flowers.com; Ali B Maids bridesmaid dress at Brides.com.

3rd column, from top: Beachcombers Flip Flop Placecard Holders from WaxWizard.net; Beach invitation bottle from HansonEllis.com; Watters Flower Girls dress from Brides.com; Candle stock photo by korionov from sxc.hu.