To my readers:
For the past 10 years, I've had the joy of writing the weddings site for About.com. It's now time for me to move on to other adventures, including building a new business. I thank each of you so much for your indefatigable loyalty and support over the past decade, and most of all, for sharing the singular joy of your wedding day with me.
The trend for elaborate marriage proposals keeps growing, fueled in part by tv shows like Mobbed, which has helped stage giant flash mob engagements, and viral videos such as Isaac's lip dup proposal. I assumed that such a giant amount of planning meant that the wedding would be equally elaborate. But I've now heard of several couples who chose a quiet and intimate ceremony after a big production proposal. Perhaps the couple already got plenty of public attention and love, and thus only want a private moment. Or perhaps the proposal exhausted all planning energy and money, leaving them wanting only simplicity. What do you think? Would you rather have a big proposal or a big wedding?
Being a bridesmaid is expensive! Along with expected costs like buying a dress, there are many hidden costs such as travel, accessories, and even those bachelorette party favors. Here's what it really costs to be a bridesmaid, along with some practical ways to save money.
You would think after ten years of writing about weddings (and fifteen years of event planning), I'd be blase about everything wedding related. But when I was editing this reader's marriage proposal story of their New Year's Eve engagement in Dubai, I teared up! I just couldn't help it, thinking about her surprise and excitement, as well as how much work he put into making the moment magical. So at the risk of completely blowing my cool cover, I'm just going to come right out and say it. I love marriage proposals! I'll never get tired of reading about them, from the simplest casual ways of popping the question to elaborate stunt proposals.
If you're thinking of getting down on one knee, be sure to read our marriage proposal ideas and the Dos and Don'ts of Popping the Question. If you're just a romantic like I am, you'll want to read all of the real marriage proposal stories that our readers have submitted. Just keep the tissues handy!
When you think of a traditional wedding, what does it mean? Depending on your culture, class, and geographic background, what you think of as a traditional wedding might be extremely different from someone else's idea! I'd love to hear from you about what you think of when you think tradition. Is it a white dress, a long aisle, and a religious ceremony? Is it formal wedding attire, and a reception at a country club? Is it bridesmaids and groomsmen, and the involvement of family? Is it a part of the ceremony that's unique to your religion or culture? Let us know in the comments on this blog post!
The plans for Facebook billionaire Sean Parker's upcoming wedding keep getting more fantastical and more expensive. He's spending a reported $10 million dollars on elaborate sets, costumes, and lodging in Big Sur, California.. Guests will get outfitted by the Lord of the Rings costume designer, and entertained in a bespoke fantasy land that includes faux ruins, waterfalls, bridges and a gated cottage, all created especially for this wedding. We're sure the wedding weekend at The Ventana Inn and Spa will include plenty of spa treatments and outdoor activities.
Contrast that with Facebook founder (and fellow billionaire) Mark Zuckerberg's wedding last year. He and Priscilla Chan turned a backyard graduation party into a surprise wedding. They served Mexican food from their favorite local restaurant, and the decor was natural and simple.
The comments on today's news stories about Parker's elaborate wedding plans include criticisms of wasted money, and playing dressup. Yet when billionaires have a less expensive wedding, it's rarely because they plan to donate those millions to charity. Instead of just socking the money away in the bank, Parker's wedding is supporting artists and craftsmen, and creating jobs.
Last week, we saw what a $9000 wedding looks like. Now, we see the flipside with this wedding and other outrageously expensive weddings. If money were no object, what would your wedding look like? Personally, I'd start with treating all of my loved ones to a beautiful and fun vacation, and I'd bring along some incredible musicians and artists to add to the celebration. Let's be real, I'd throw in some fancy jewelry and probably an extra dress change, but otherwise my wedding would look much like it did. The things that make a wedding truly special don't cost money - it's the people who are there and the vows and ceremony that you create together.
My heart is aching for Boston right now, and I'm sending my love and prayers to all those affected by this horrible tragedy. As a New Yorker who lived through the fear, heartbreak, and and confusion of 9/11, I know how surreal and devastating these days must be. I hope there is healing in your future. Our Go New England website has a list of resources that can help you get information, change travel plans, and find vigils and memorials.
It's times like these that weddings can be an oxymoron. They seem both incredibly frivolous and incredibly important. They're a moment for love and positivity, and for bringing people together. Creating beauty in a harsh world seems more important than ever.
I hope this website - in its own small way - helps you create beauty, bring people together, and find healing.
Today's big wedding news is that Kelly Clarkson has asked fellow country crooner Blake Shelton to be the officiant at her upcoming wedding to Brandon Blackstock. In fact, Shelton was instrumental in getting the groom to pop the question. "I told Brandon, 'Man, you need to grow up and figure out that you need to marry this girl,' " Shelton told Hollyscoop in December. And according to Clarkson, Shelton has officiated at other friends' weddings previously - he's becoming an old pro!
As secular wedding ceremonies increase in popularity, asking a friend to get ordained online and marry you is also becoming trendy. It adds a personal touch, and can also save you money. But like any DIY project, there are a few hoops you'll need to jump through. Here's how to ask a friend to officiate at your wedding ceremony.
Often when you see stories about an incredible wedding budget, they highlight where the couple found incredible deals, and gloss over some places where money left them a bit short. But this slideshow of a New York state couple's wedding has enough details that you can clearly see the sacrifices they had to make in order to host 100 guests for their $9k wedding. Though they had a beautiful bed-and-breakfast with a pond for their outdoor wedding location, and she found a stunning gown for a bargain, they also used disposable plates and glasses, and forewent floral centerpieces.
Though there are many ways to save money on your wedding, if you've got a small wedding budget, you'll need to find savings anywhere you can. The question is, which sacrifices are you willing to make? Would you choose the same things as this couple?
Look! That's a picture of the DIY wedding cake I made. I can't even describe to you how proud I was of it, and how pleased I was to give my sister and brother-in-law this gift. I'll be honest with you and say that it was a lot of work, but it was all worth it in the end. I also did more than I needed to, such as making an extra batch of butter cream the morning of the wedding just to make sure I had enough for assembly and decoration. Back ups are always good, but of course I had more than enough. Hindsight is, after all, 20-20.
I also can see the mistakes I made, but I'm pretty sure that no one else could. (Party-style lighting does help.) The cake was vanilla, with raspberry filling, fresh raspberries, and raspberry buttercream inside. A simple syrup of sugar helped keep the cake layers moist.
I also made three dozen chocolate almond cupcakes. As long as you know how to use a piping bag, the cupcakes are so much simpler than the cake. They bake for less time, there's no need to worry about trimming level cake layers, stacking tiers, or - the hardest part - getting the butter cream frosting perfectly smooth on the outside. Yet of course, as we know from Cupcakes Vs. Wedding Cake, they lack the dramatic impact of a tierred wedding cake.
So even though this was several days work, it was definitely worth it to see the bride and groom so happy. In fact, call me crazy, but I'm hoping I'll get to do it again. I hope you'll take on the challenge of a DIY Wedding Cake, after you decide if it's worth it!