The Haute-st Wedding Color: Tangerine Tango

January 31st, 2012

Mmm, tangerine. Pic:

I was thrilled with the news that the color Tangerine Tango was named  Pantone‘s 2012 wedding color of the year. I absolutely love bright and cheery colors, and tangerine is so cute. (Other personal faves in the orange family: pumpkin and melon.)

Colorful news travels fast, by the way: dear Martha already asked us for orange ideas on the wedding front. (Can’t wait to see what she’s whipping up.)

So get your tangerine on, 2012 brides! The best ways to tie tangerine into your wedding color scheme:

The bridesmaid’s dresses and your dress.

Add tangerine touches to your gown (a colorful sash is one of the most fun ways to do this). Have the color pick up with your bridesmaid’s dresses, either in solid-color tangerine or pumpkin, or with tangerine embellishments, such as retro embroidery or hair wear.

These pretty favor boxes are perfect for spring or autumn. (Click for info.)

The bridal and bridesmaids’ bouquets and the groom and groomsmen’s boutonnieres.

Ooh…there’s so much room to play with orange colors here. As melon and tangerine, the colors are all springtime and sunshine. Deep orange is a great pick for the fall. For winter 2012, try a reddish orange along with other deep colors in the red and yellow families.

For the types of flowers, go seasonal. We love the daisies at left for spring and autumn, or year-round in warm climates.

Try staying in the same color family for both the bride’s and the bridesmaids’ bouquets, but with different flowers. For instance, the bridesmaids can carry chrysanthemums, the bride, pretty blooming daisies. Grooms can wear a bloom matching the bride’s flowers.

The party favors.

Candy coated sunflower seeds make a pretty (and pretty delicious) favor. (Click for info.)

Tangerine colored  favors will fit in perfectly with your wedding color theme. Pick gourmet snacks or treats, candles or pretty miniature decorations in a matching or complementing shade of orange/tangerine.

Tying a tangerine bow around the favors is another way to highlight this pretty color.

The invitations.

Give guests a sneak preview of your wedding theme colors by adding a splash of tangerine to the invitations and Save the Date cards or magnets.

Make sure you place your orders early — now that it’s been named 2012′s “it” color, tangerine is going to go fast.

The Best Dances to Learn for Your Wedding

January 23rd, 2012

Pic: "Dance With Dad" by saikofish,

A note from Eileen: This week’s blog is features guest writer Melanie Henson. As an (if I do say so myself) rather accomplished dancer, I admit this post gave me a grin. Read on for the fun.


When I got married, I brought to our union a good heart, mad writing career skills, a love of entertaining and a super-efficient “just get her done” housework mentality.

Oh yeah. And two left feet. Or maybe it was three. If that’s possible. (Double checking via an impromptu jig on the living room rug…oh yeah. It’s possible. Very very possible.)

Then somebody told me about wedding dance lessons. I thought that was the silliest thing ever. You get out on the reception floor, you make a fool of yourself, you sit down and sip water and try to lower your heartbeat to a nondangerous level, lather, rinse, repeat. Who needed dance lessons?

“We do,” my then fiance said diplomatically. With my super duper engaged to be married ears I heard what he was afraid to say aloud: “You do, honey. And badly.”

He was right. And since then, I’ve learned I’m — oops, we’re — not the only couple to opt for wedding dance lessons. Feel the need for a pointer or two so you don’t step on the feet of your dance partner and the partner of every other dancer in the vicinity? Call your local dance studio and ask for wedding rates to learn the following. Then get out there and boogie!

1. The Waltz for your first dance. Your first dance with your beloved is usually anything slow, rhythmic and with the traditional male/female hand positions (i.e., the man leading, the woman placing one hand on the man’s shoulder and so on).

But we recommend you learn a basic waltz for your first dance. A waltz is easy to do and looks so…princess-y. (There, I said it.) There’s nothing more romantic than a gorgeous waltz with the bride holding the skirt of her gown out. Gorgeous.

Two thumbs up for couples who learn to waltz.

2. “Fun” dances. You know you’re going to get silly out on the dance floor at some point. Make far less a fool of yourselves by learning the Electric Slide, the Macarena, congo line and the Chicken Dance.

3. Dances that fit your theme. If you really want to make an impression, take the wedding party to dance lessons too and put on a little show during your reception! Examples: the Stroll and a basic hand jive for a 50s wedding theme; country line dancing, basic two-step and square dancing for a rural wedding; traditional dances for an ethnic wedding.

4. Contemporary dance moves. Get the 411 on hip hop, salsa and other cool grooves. Some dance studios will offer basic classes on how to get out on the dance floor and look cool without doing any official dance — this would be a  contemporary dance floor basics class.

Enjoy! Dance lessons are so much fun. (We promise.)

- by Melanie Henson

Wedding Invitations: Bridal Cliffs Notes

January 11th, 2012

Read all about it! Due to multiple requests from 2012 brides, we’re pleased to present you with our own special “Cliffs Notes” version of the how, when and where of wedding invitations. We’ve kept things simple so you can pinpoint exactly how to perform the traditional tasks of choosing, addressing and mailing your wedding invitations.

These easy basics are all the steps you’ll need — you take things from there for your own special touch.

A black (and ecru) tie affair: this invite design compares traditional with trendy (a cool pocket design). Click for more info.

1. What are the basic elements of a wedding invitation?

The basics are just that: basics. You will need your first and last name, your fiance’s first and last name, the date, time and location of the wedding, the time and location of the reception and RSVP information as well as a postage-paid envelope. Once you have these details, current wedding etiquette is very flexible.

Include your parents’ names if you wish, but it’s not an etiquette must-do; it’s entirely up to you. You can also list the groom’s parent’s names; the bride’s parents don’t always do the “giving away” in today’s weddings.

Add a favorite quote if you’d like; keep it simple. Make the greeting as formal or informal as you’d like (“.. and .. request the honor of your presence at” or “..and..would love you to join them as they celebrate their love at…”, for example).

2. We want our parents listed on the invitation, but they’re both divorced and remarried. How do we do this? How do I acknowledge everyone on the invitation?

You can certainly include stepparents on your invitation. “Mr. and Mrs. (your father and stepmother) and Mrs. (your non-remarried mother) request your presence at…” is not at all awkward and is very commonplace on today’s wedding invitations.

Your invitations should express some element of who the two of you are day-to-day, or some special aspect of your relationship you'd like to honor.

3. How should we choose a wedding invitation? We have no idea where to start.

What’s your vision for your wedding? Is it upbeat and casually celebratory? Black tie and Bach? Free-spirited, modern or vintage? There are two things to consider when choosing your wedding invitations: the formality of the event, and your and your groom’s personalities. Obviously, the more formal the event, the more traditional and formal the layout you’ll want for your invitations.

As with the basic elements question above, the style requirements of your invitation lean toward individuality and flexibility. We’ve seen very stylized invites that were an absolute dream. Invitations that match the time of year or the wedding theme are also adorable — ocean scenes for a beach wedding, for instance. So are images of your heritage, or memento images of how or when you and your fiance met. Consider all your options before buying. There’s a world of options out there!

4. How do we mention on the invitation that in lieu of gifts, we’d like guests to donate to a specific charity?

You don’t. Mentioning gifts — even on behalf of a charitable organization — still isn’t within wedding etiquette. Create a fun wedding site for you and hubs-to-be and mention the charity there. You can also spread the word by mouth and by e-mail. But leave this request off your wedding invitations.

Colorful you: once you have the basics of wedding invitation etiquette taken are of, you're free to get creative.

5. Can I use my professional title on the invitations?

Most commonly, the title this question refers to is “Dr.” You may use your title if you are a medical doctor but not an academic one, according to wedding etiquette. You can also list your parents’ titles along with their names.

6. How far in advance of the wedding should I send the invitations?

You should send paper invitations in the mail 6-8 weeks before the wedding. However, if you wish to give a heads-up to guests — for instance, if it will be a destination wedding and/or guests will need to make travel/stay arrangements — you can post the information up to 6 months in advance of the wedding on your wedding website.

Or consider Save the Date cards. These too can be sent well in advance of the wedding and are great for guests to have so they can make their preparations in plenty of time.

7. If I’m sending Save the Date cards, do I have to also send an invitation in the mail?

Yup. Save the date cards, magnets, etc. are a courtesy to your guests and spread the word perhaps a bit earlier than you formally need to. They can also serve as keepsakes. They don’t replace a paper invitation, however. Do send both; this can be quite economical if you do your homework. We hope we’ve pointed you in the right direction. Have fun with the choosing process, then mail your invites on time and the rest is, well, a piece of (wedding) cake.