switching sides at the wedding ceremony

So here is something crazy to consider, because you KNOW we like to shake things up.

You know at the ceremony (if facing the altar), the Christian and non-religious tradition is to have the Bride’s family and friends on the left side and the Groom’s respective family and friends on the right side.

At one of our weddings at the beautiful West Baden hotel, something happen seconds before the families walked down the aisle. There was some confusion and gathering of a large processional. So when the mother of the bride and father of the groom were escorted, they accidently went to the “wrong sides”. The bride’s mother was sitting on the right side (front row) and the groom’s father was sitting on the left side (front row). However, like tradition, the bride stood at the “altar” on the left and the groom stood on the right.

SA-0899

Standing in the back, immediately I saw this and thought, DOH! I still had a ring dog and three wiggly flower girls and ring bearer to contain.

Oh well, that is how weddings go. No such thing as perfection … just roll with it.

But wait, as the ceremony began I realized, this mishap is kinda brilliant. You see, the bride’s mom can now watch her baby’s face during the ceremony instead of seeing the back of her head. The same for the groom’s dad.

west baden wedding parents

featured and images: amy shepherd photography 

There are many speculations as to how this tradition started with having the bride on the left and groom on the right. My feeling it really comes from the right side traditionally being reserved for men as it is considered a position of privilege and power, (think Jesus is “seated” at the right side of God”. ) Perhaps that is why in Jewish ceremonies it is opposite.

I suggest, for keeping the tradition, but for the families, switching it up. Who cares where the parent’s sit? For us, the most important part is being part of the ceremony, the emotion and enjoying it. And as a mother, I would rather watch my son’s face while he takes his vows (15 years from now) than watch his new wife. Call me crazy.

What do you think? Love for you to weigh in … if you’re getting married, will you consider this shake up of this tradition?

plan on!

 

bag pipes for your wedding…

Our adorable bride, Liz Musgrave surprised her groom, Daniel Zummach at the end of their wedding ceremony.

To honor his heritage, after they were pronounced man and wife, you may kiss the bride *smooch* Enter the “bag piper” !

 

 

This is just total fun! What surprises can you think of for your upcoming wedding?

video: saundra’s iPhone

having a backup (heat) plan

We all know that for outdoor weddings, it is critical to have a backup rain plan.

But have you considered the other weather elements? Like oppressive, humid, glaring, blazing heat from the sun?

This year we have had an tremendous shift of venues for wedding selections. More people are choosing personal residences or outdoor venues for their wedding ceremony (and/or receptions).

It’s a fab idea, as bride and groom’s are looking for something different for their special day. The concern is mostly with the potential of rain, but you have to remember other weather elements. In southern Indiana, the humidity factor is a huge concern as it is oppressive to a woman in a beautiful, layered wedding dress and men in full tuxedos. This can lead to crabby attitudes, sweaty faces, heat exhaustion and fainting.

Keep these points in mind, when planning your outdoor extravaganza:

  1. Your elderly guests need to have shade and comfort.
  2. Outdoor musicians will not play in direct sunlight. It’s not the uncomfortably factor (although that should be a concern, imagine YOU trying to play a violin dripping of sweat and exhaustion for an hour), musicians WILL NOT expose their high dollar instruments to direct sunlight. It ruins them.
  3. Should you proceed with the outdoor, sunny plan; then make sure you are choosing garments to wear that will allow some coolness factor. This includes your wedding dress, groom/groomsmen attire, bridesmaids and parent attire.
  4. Prepare for helping the guests cool off: A shaded location to wait until the last minute to be seated for the ceremony, fans (electric and handheld), cool non-alcoholic drinks to refresh themsevles.
  5. Choose a short vow ceremony. Short…. very short.
  6. Have an inside backup plan to move the ceremony. You don’t want to think about this now, but once you step outside in full dress, you may change your mind.
  7. Do NOT choose a month that an outdoor wedding will almost 98% sure to be miserable. In this area, August is the worth month of the year with high humidity and heat.
  8. Encourage more casual dress for guests; open collar shirts and sundresses for the girls.
featured image photo credit: pfe iPhone

plan on!

 

an open letter to wedding church coordinators

Dear Wedding Church Coordinator,

I’d like to introduce myself, I’m a professional event/wedding planner. Professional in the fact that this is my full-time job, assisting clients with their weddings. It feeds my family and keeps my lights on. This isn’t a whimsical hobby, so I take my responsibilities and the happiness of my clients very seriously. I have a dedicated office space, published telephone number, business website, business license, and file business taxes. Just wanted to clarify the “professional” part of my statement before I carry on.

With that said, I would like to personally apologize for the dozens of ignorant girls that came before me that said they were “wedding coordinators”. Many of them just finished their own wedding (which was really, really awesome by the way) and they are now helping their BFF/MOH get married by coordinating her wedding. Their frame of reference has been to make themselves happy and being catered to by other vendors at their own wedding. For the many times these “coordinators” stepped on your pews, moved furniture around on the altar and dug in your closets, I will apologize for them. The next time one of these little darlings skip into your church, please feel free to give us a call; we’ll hold her down and you can dunk her head in the baptismal pool repeatedly.

You see these precious angels ruin it for professional planners. When we walk in the door, you are already rolling your eyes and exhaling loudly. I understand your frustration. But I’d like to have you stop for a moment and take a closer look. Does the wedding planner have a professional business card (not an ink-jet card with perforated edges)? Does the planner ask questions that make it painfully obvious she has done this before? Is the planner respectful to you and your place of worship? Does she inquire about setup times and when the wedding party must leave the church so mass or other ceremonial programs can start? These are telling signs that this person knows what she/he is doing.

Please remember we are not there to usurp your authority. This is your church, your sanctuary, and place of Worship of God. Professional wedding planners know this and treat it accordingly. We know that most likely you met the bride, once at the time of her visiting the church and giving you a signed contract/retainer. And the second time again at her Rehearsal. However, we have been with her throughout the whole planning process. We have fielded the teary phone calls, countless emails, and numerous meetings. It only makes sense that since we know her this well, that we should be the ones to line up the wedding party and take care of their needs. Also, it is our job — we are paid to do this.

I submit a crazy idea for your consideration. We’ll take care of the duties of lining up the wedding party, sewing last minute buttons, making sure food is there for them and you will coordinate your church. Meaning, you know where the lights are, keys to doors, reserved signs for pews, etc. We could work together in harmony and unity. So the end result is that our mutual client has a terrific, stress-free wedding day.

Thank you for your time, and we’ll see you on Saturday.

In Christian Love,

saundra

dressing up your wedding aisle

An economical way of dressing up your ceremony is to place close attention to the details of your aisle runner. It’s the easiest way to transform the church or ceremony site into something that looks like a “wedding”.

Now the impulse might be to run out to the local store that has allocated one aisle to the theme of  “weddings” and purchase a rolled up, aisle runner that is around $20. It’s made of paper, kind of like interfacing. One step on it with girls heels and it rips. It also looks like it’s worth about a buck twenty. STOP. Resist the urge to buy any paper product to walk float down the aisle to your groom.

new ideas for wedding aisle runners

Above are a few alternatives to your typical aisle runner. The first photo was a wedding we coordinated outside, the most challenging situation to have an aisle runner. Instead the designer laid down white dance floor. It was spectacular looking fabulous as well  as comfortable for the girls in heels. Cloth aisle runners have a hard time staying on grass, that’s why you see so many outdoor weddings with flower petals as the aisle runner. Just be sure to have your planner put the roses petals down just before  you walk through, wind tends to blow them away.

The second photos is an aisle runner made of white carpet! Such an interesting twist and we like to use this technique in venues that might have hardwood floors, so when the girls walk down they don’t sound like a herd of elephants.

The last photo is the an aisle runner at one of our weddings, Jenny + Adam. We didn’t do too much decor at the church, instead concentrated on the aisle. As always, we used cloth!

featured photo credit: pfe iPhone

plan on!