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.


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!


prioritizing your wedding planning…

Planning a wedding CAN be a daunting task. It’s overwhelming with so many ideas out there. Thanks to the Internet, with wedding blogs and fancy websites you now have MORE concepts that you ever knew to consider.

Too much information? You betcha.

If you have an unlimited amount of money to spend, then you’ll be fine. But that is usually not the reality.

So how do you process all of this?

Sit down together as bride and groom and make a list of the TOP THREE THINGS that are important to each one of you. Then take a look at the list. Hopefully there will be overlapping (both of you choosing the same idea) that will land in your top three.

Then, discuss it with each other. From there you should be able to make ONE list that of must haves at your wedding to make you both happy.

This is where you are going to put your money and let the rest fall into place. By identifying the most important things, you can stop worrying about trying to fit it all in within your budget.

An example (truly an example, as each wedding is different), these may be your top three things:

1. Good Food
2. Great Entertainment
3. Excellent Photography

If these were your top three, then you can stop worrying about pocket invitations or special favors. You may want to take it a step further to create a secondary TOP THREE items to ensure: beautiful decor, videography, open bar, etc.

Everyone is different, there is no right and wrong. You want to be happy at the end of the day. And that’s what’s really important.

featured photo credit: jesse and gena photography

plan on!

what would you change (at your wedding)?

I twittered a question to the public, what would you change about your wedding if you could. Thought the answer would be interesting and even talked about it on Fox 7.

What would I of changed? Luckily, not the groom (tee hee).  I would of seen each other before the ceremony. Our wedding ceremony and reception were at the same location and I would have loved to join in on cocktail hour with my guests. It was silly to put it off and I felt rushed.

Here are a few of the anonymous answers:

  • My wedding was 1 1/2 years ago, but I wish I would have interviewed more photographers. My photos weren’t the best.
  • I would have danced more and not worried so much about family drama.
  • Broken traditions. I didn’t think outside the box on anything. Biggest thing would have been to have it outside, not church.
  • Had a handler for my MIL. I would have had someone passing out a midnight snack as guests left.
  • I wouldn’t have skimped on photographs!
  • I wish I hired a wedding planner for at least the day. Too much going on and I stressed!
  • I would have hired a videographer, and I would have left more time for pics of just me and my husband,  sans bridal party.
  • I wouldn’t have changed a thing about mine! Unless, I could have controlled the weather 🙂
  • I would have changed one of my bridesmaids &I would have got a better cake.
  • I would of chosen a different groom.
  • Gotten 2 photographers…have one of hubby getting ready! Also I think I would of chosen my bridal party slightly different.
  • Oh wow ONE thing? I wish I had a BETTER planner. That would’ve taken care of a few things, things I wish had been different!
  • I am not recently married, it’s been 3.5 years, but I would have hired a better photog. I don’t really like the pictures I got.
  • I wish we had chosen a navy pintuck linen instead of navy cotton w/ runner.
  • I wish I had hired a planner instead of trying to do it all myself!
  • Not use husbands cousin for flowers. Didn’t listen—flowers not as expected. Caution with family-creates for sticky situation!
  • I would have hired a dj or band.

Soooo…… what would you have changed? Come ‘on, leave a comment… I know you want to…..

And brides/groom’s … I hope you learned a few things above!

plan on!



what wedding traditions should you keep? part five/finale

We’ll finish up our series with this finale… on which wedding traditions you should keep…or ditch?

#5 Wedding Tradition: Unity Candle

We are not suggestion removing this tradition, but to take a closer look at “wedding unity candles” (we’re talking the pillar candles that you keep after the wedding). Often when they are sold they are white, silver, and boooooring. Just because they have the word “wedding” on it doesn’t mean you have to use it!

Instead why not visit your favorite home decorating store and buy a beautiful candle that will match the decor of your new home. Even if it is scented. That way you can display your candle as it should be. Instead of something that stands out and doesn’t even match!!! Best point…it will probably be less expensive.

Traditions are fabulous…however if you take the time to take a closer look, you can still keep the tradition…but save a little moola at the same time.

featured photo credit: jordan barclay photography

THAT, is a good thing.



what wedding traditions should you keep? part four

Let’s keep going and discussing wedding traditions and which ones we should keep or ditch?

#4 Wedding Tradition: Cake Toppers

Many brides have been steering away from the traditional cake topper. Instead with the new cake decor and trends, more fresh flowers are being added to cakes. This makes some cake designers cringe and others just shrug.

If you are going to go this route, here is a little trick and money saver idea for you. Have your florist carefully wrap your cake topper as a “mini bouquet” that can be wiped off and used as your “toss bouquet” as well!!! Two for one! We like that.

featured photo credit: jordan barclay photography

Tomorrow the series finale!