Monthly Archives: June 2012

From The Expert: The Celebrationista Guides The Bride on Wedding Shower Etiquette and Questions

********** GIVEAWAY GOING ON NOW THROUGH JULY 2nd!!! ***********

Don’t forget your chance to enter to win! Clay Bouquet is giving away a $25 gift certificate to her store! Just check out Clay Bouquet‘s shop and report back by leaving a comment here and sharing what you would choose if you won the prize!

Entries will be accepted through Monday, July 2nd at 11:59 p.m. PST. Winner is selected at random and announced on Facebook on July 3rd. Good luck!

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Roni Borenstein of Celebrationista Events is a professional bridal shower and bachelorette party coordinator and your expert source for all pre-wedding planning! Roni is originally from Long Island, NY and now lives in Manhattan. While earning her Masters in Social Work from Columbia University, she began planning bridal showers and bachelorette parties for close friends who were getting married. After realizing her passion for event planning and a knack for putting together flawless celebrations, she began to transition from the field of social work into party planning. Her extensive experience includes planning bachelorette parties all over the country, birthday soirees for clients of every age from 25 to 90, baby showers, and bridal showers. She is a pre-wedding party guru whose creativity and skills ensure that each affair reflects the bride being honored. Combining budget-friendly event design with DIY extras, she can create a memorable shindig from start to finish. Roni prides herself in great attention to detail and up-to-date industry expertise. For more tips, photos, inspiration, and planning updates follow/contact her on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and her blog!

Today, I’m here to help the bride who may have some bridal shower anxiety. Some brides feel super comfortable in the spotlight or don’t even think twice about the plans surrounding their other big day (the BIG big day is, of course, the wedding day). But when it comes to etiquette questions or causes for concern, hopefully this little guide helps you feel more at ease as you are showered with love!

Q: Should I put my registry information on the invitations?
A: Some brides do and some don’t. If there are a bunch of items still left on your registry that you want, then it’s the perfect opportunity. On the other hand many brides prefer to receive items like lingerie, jewelry, and other keepsakes that wouldn’t be on the wedding registry. Some guests usually like to get something that will surprise the bride rather than a kitchen item off the registry. Others like to know that they are satisfying the dream list that the couple has put together. If people want to order off the registry and they lose the invitation, they should easily be able to find your registry online. On weddingchannel.com you can merge all your registries and make them searchable so guests can access everything you register for. Since registry information should never be on the actual formal wedding invitation, the shower invitation or the wedding web site are two places that guests can learn about your selected stores.

Q: Is it okay to have two showers?
A: Many people do. If you have a lot of guests in NYC but you’re from Chicago, you may choose to do one in each city so all your close friends and family can come without having to travel twice (for the shower and the wedding). It’s not unheard of for coworkers to throw a separate office shower for the bride, but keep in mind that everyone in your office probably won’t be getting an invite to the wedding. If they still insist on throwing you one, just be clear that there are no expectations for the nuptials. Other factors like having divorced parents might force you to have two showers in order to satisfy two separate families. Really, there’s no rule against having more than one shower. If your bridesmaids are involved with more than one shower, just keep in mind how much you’re asking your bridesmaids to spend and do. Make one event more of a casual get-together or Jack and Jill shower. If you’re at the other extreme and really hate the limelight you may want to combine the shower and bachelorette party. Only if you’re positive you won’t regret skipping the traditional shower, combining the two is a great alternative. Spend the day with just close friends or bridesmaids by going to a spa or taking a cooking class after a small brunch or before dinner. You can still incorporate favors and mementos for whoever comes, and receive thoughtful gifts from the girls without everyone watching!

Q: Do I have to have assigned seating?
A: Yes. Think about it: your guest list includes relatives from both sides, college friends, coworkers, family friends and your oldest pals. Without a seating plan, you risk having your sorority sisters and the groom’s great-aunt Ruth sitting next to each other. No matter how small or casual your shower is, it’s still necessary to ensure your guests aren’t uncomfortable. Luckily there are so many options and whether you use escort cards or place cards, they can double up as favors.

Q: Do I have to open my gifts at the shower?
A: To open or not to open? That is the question. Many brides don’t feel comfortable being in the spotlight. While some guests look forward to seeing the bride’s face when she opens their present, a disorganized gift opening can be long, boring, and dreadful. The bridesmaids are crucial here. If you are shy and can’t stand the idea of so much pressure, have the guests keep busy by intertwining an activity during this time. You can even request that guests wrap gifts in clear cellophane so all you have to do is acknowledge each one with a big smile. Of course, some brides decide to skip the gift opening all together and show their appreciation with a personal thank you card to everyone (which you will do either way). It depends on your personal preference and no rule is set in stone.

Q: How involved should I be in planning the shower?
A: Take it easy. You will want to make the guest list and ensure no one is left out, but other than that you’re off the hook for this one. If you believe your bridesmaids or family members are not up for the task of planning your dream shower, you can get involved in some of the details. It’s different for every situation, but always make sure to thank your mom (or other hostesses) and bridesmaids at the shower. Stand up and make a toast thanking everyone for coming and let them know you appreciate their hard work.

Q: How do I deal with my fiancé’s mom who wants to invite all of her friends but isn’t chipping in?
A: This is a tough one, especially because it’s a shame for the families to have bad blood over the shower right before the big day approaches. The answer depends on how big your shower is and how many people the venue can fit. If your mom isn’t inviting many of her friends, simply say that the shower is just for family and your friends. You should always invite the groom’s family even if you’ve never met them. You don’t want to be outnumbered by women you don’t even know, but it could be good practice for your wedding day. On the other hand, if it’s a big party and she wants her closest friends there, try to have the mothers come to a compromise. If you are having a rehearsal dinner hosted by his side, are you allowed to invite all your guests? Is it possible to have a separate shower for only his side thrown by his side? These are some individual considerations you must make depending on your situation. These kinds of politics can be tricky, but honest and clear conversations can help define who should be invited to these important events like showers.

Bottom Line: Bridal shower “rules” and expectations are out there for brides to use as guidelines for planning but needn’t be followed strictly. The whole point is to shower you with love, good wishes, gifts, and advice, not to make you uncomfortable. It’s truly all about you! If you find yourself in a dilemma there are always alternatives to tweak your shower to fit your life and personality.

From The Expert: The Celebrationista Proposes Shower Ideas for Bridesmaids

********** GIVEAWAY GOING ON NOW THROUGH JULY 2nd!!! ***********

Don’t forget your chance to enter to win! Clay Bouquet is giving away a $25 gift certificate to her store! Just check out Clay Bouquet‘s shop and report back by leaving a comment here and sharing what you would choose if you won the prize!

Entries will be accepted through Monday, July 2nd at 11:59 p.m. PST. Winner is selected at random and announced on Facebook on July 3rd. Good luck!

******************************************

Roni Borenstein of Celebrationista Events is a professional bridal shower and bachelorette party coordinator and your expert source for all pre-wedding planning! Roni is originally from Long Island, NY and now lives in Manhattan. While earning her Masters in Social Work from Columbia University, she began planning bridal showers and bachelorette parties for close friends who were getting married. After realizing her passion for event planning and a knack for putting together flawless celebrations, she began to transition from the field of social work into party planning. Her extensive experience includes planning bachelorette parties all over the country, birthday soirees for clients of every age from 25 to 90, baby showers, and bridal showers. She is a pre-wedding party guru whose creativity and skills ensure that each affair reflects the bride being honored. Combining budget-friendly event design with DIY extras, she can create a memorable shindig from start to finish. Roni prides herself in great attention to detail and up-to-date industry expertise. For more tips, photos, inspiration, and planning updates follow/contact her on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and her blog!

Bridesmaids Get Busy
Bridal showers came about many moons ago as a way for the betrothed to receive all necessary items for the newlywed home to provide for her husband. The bride-to-be was showered with household items that could prepare her for her new role as a wife. Although we still give kitchen items and registry gifts to the bride at her shower, modern-day brides are often a little older and living away from home before they’re engaged. Also, the “wife” role has changed from the time bridal showers began, and so have the traditions.

Bridesmaids: depending on the situation you may or may not be responsible for hosting or paying for the shower, but structuring the event is in your hands. The activities and presentations you organize at the shower are what really make it exceptional. Delegating and Do-It-Yourself are the two D’s to live by here.

You won’t be able to throw things together at the last minute so get the conversation going early and listen to everyone’s ideas. Before the invitations go out you should set up a maids meeting for the girls who are close and able to attend because no matter how busy everyone is, you need to be on the same page. Expect to have email chains that seem endless when trying to plan each detail, and if the maid of honor is a little sister who has never been to a shower, it’s okay for another girl to help her out and take charge; someone has to.

Picking two or three activities should be enough. No matter what, make sure to keep the bride in mind. For example, if she hates pictures of herself don’t do a video montage and if she gets embarrassed easily don’t do a lingerie line.

Some ideas I love that have proven successful:

  • The Scrapbook (my personal favorite) — Get the guest list in advance and mail out blank scrapbook page refills like these from a craft store to all the bride’s friends. Ask people to make a collage of pictures, stickers, poems, inside jokes, or other memories and bring it to the shower. Anyone who can’t attend can still mail it back and participate. Assemble the scrapbook there and present it to her and pass it around.
  • Notes of Advice — Have “notes of advice” and some pens at each table and then put them all in a personalized box. If you think the advice cards are too played out, ask guests to write where they think the couple will be in 10 years from now. After you collect them have her read some out loud.
  • Recipes/Baking Basket — Send out blank recipe cards with the invitations and collect them at the shower. Put them in a personalized recipe box and throw in other kitchen supplies like an apron, personalized spatulas, cookie cutters, measuring spoons, and a wedding cupcake kit. If you want a book instead of cards, tastebook.com is a really cool way to collect recipes from everyone and have them professionally printed before the shower. Anyone can do it online and add pictures and a note to the bride, plus the bride has the option of adding to the book later on by ordering recipes or printing her own from the website. If you want to DIY and cut costs, collect recipes and some pictures from just the bridesmaids and have one girl put the book together.
  • Wine for Each Milestone — Have each bridesmaid decorate a bottle of wine, Champagne, or other liquor for future milestones in the couple’s married life.

If the bridesmaids want to present the bride with their own gift that’s thoughtful and entertaining, consider this:

  • Honeymoon Kit — Give her “just married” flip flops, monogrammed travel cosmetic bags, passport covers, and luggage tags for the honeymoon. If you know where she’s going get some travel books for the location and put it all in a monogrammed beach tote with cute travel toiletries and snacks for the plane. For a friend who was going to Hawaii, we all wore leis when she opened it at the shower.
  • Lingerie Line — Have each bridesmaid buy a negligee or lacy thongs for future occasions and then to end on a fantastic laugh, the final presentation should be giant granny panties! Great for a bride and guests who have a sharp sense of humor!

Real Bridal Shower | Las Vegas, NV

********** GIVEAWAY GOING ON NOW THROUGH JULY 2nd!!! ***********

Don’t forget your chance to enter to win! Clay Bouquet is giving away a $25 gift certificate to her store! Just check out Clay Bouquet‘s shop and report back by leaving a comment here and sharing what you would choose if you won the prize!

Entries will be accepted through Monday, July 2nd at 11:59 p.m. PST. Winner is selected at random and announced on Facebook on July 3rd. Good luck!

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Because it’s Bridal Shower Week here at The Wedding Yentas, today’s real event is a real bridal shower that was so special and sweet. The beautiful bride and guest of honor happens to be one of my best friends and college sorority sister. Harmony is set to marry her law school sweetheart, Conor, on October 6 in her hometown of Las Vegas. When I received the invitation in the mail, I knew that this shower would be detailed and oh-so Harmony: stylish, chic, sophisticated, and classy. The “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”-themed soiree was hosted by her childhood best friend, Lauren, and the mother-of-the bride’s childhood best friend, Lisa, and the bridal shower they created showed just how well they know Harmony.

The pair did a wonderful job tying in the theme with Tiffany-blue ribbons on glass vases of white flower centerpieces, beads and costume diamonds strewn across the ables, and black Audrey Hepburn sunglasses perfectly placed at the sides of the centerpieces. Guests sipped perfect flutes of bubbly rose Champagne and favors for all the women were a trio of delicious and exquisitely decorated Tifffany box cookies by New York sweet shop, Eleni’s. The shower looked exceptionally picture-perfect, and the hostesses recited sweet words to a gracious bride who gave heartfelt thanks to Lauren and Lisa and all of her guests. Harmony is a very special friend and fellow Yenta and her shower was one that any bride would dream of.

Mazel tov, Harmony!

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Venue: Vintner Grill
Photographer: Daphne Scott, friend of the bride
Party Favors: Eleni’s New York

  • sharon says:

    what a great bridal shower theme! I love the table decorations.

From The Expert: The Celebrationista Pitches Ideas for Planning a Bridal Shower

********** GIVEAWAY GOING ON NOW THROUGH JULY 2nd!!! ***********

Don’t forget your chance to enter to win! Clay Bouquet is giving away a $25 gift certificate to her store! Just check out Clay Bouquet‘s shop and report back by leaving a comment here and sharing what you would choose if you won the prize!

Entries will be accepted through Monday, July 2nd at 11:59 p.m. PST. Winner is selected at random and announced on Facebook on July 3rd. Good luck!

******************************************

Roni Borenstein of Celebrationista Events is a professional bridal shower and bachelorette party coordinator and your expert source for all pre-wedding planning! Roni is originally from Long Island, NY and now lives in Manhattan. While earning her Masters in Social Work from Columbia University, she began planning bridal showers and bachelorette parties for close friends who were getting married. After realizing her passion for event planning and a knack for putting together flawless celebrations, she began to transition from the field of social work into party planning. Her extensive experience includes planning bachelorette parties all over the country, birthday soirees for clients of every age from 25 to 90, baby showers, and bridal showers. She is a pre-wedding party guru whose creativity and skills ensure that each affair reflects the bride being honored. Combining budget-friendly event design with DIY extras, she can create a memorable shindig from start to finish. Roni prides herself in great attention to detail and up-to-date industry expertise. For more tips, photos, inspiration, and planning updates follow/contact her on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and her blog!

Bridal Shower Planning
With all the stresses of planning a wedding, bridal showers are often put on the back burner. The shower is one pre-wedding soiree that the bride should have little to do with in terms of preparation. The last thing she needs as the big day gets closer is another bullet point to add to her to-do list. We’ve all sat through those disorganized showers that seem to go on for five hours and it’s not easy for the generous guests. Thoughtful planning, time management, and delegation are all required to create a memorable shower that keeps guests engaged. Every shower should be personal and reflect the unique personality of the bride. It may seem like a lot of work, but don’t fret. In the next few days, I’ll give you the basics of shower planning, ideas for every budget, suggestions, inspirations, and etiquette tips so you will feel as confident as a professional event planner when it’s over. I have included photos galore and some common answers to dilemmas that brides, bridesmaids, and hosts often face. Hostesses, just remember to plan ahead, make it personal, and follow my tips and you’ll throw a shower guests will never forget!

The Basics
Historically, it was in poor taste for a relative of the bride, especially her mother, to host the shower. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon for the mom, sister, aunt, future mother-in-law, or other relative to foot the bill for the shower and be listed on the invitation as host. Especially if the shower is being held at a restaurant, country club, or other venue with a sizeable guest list, the age-old rule can be overlooked. The bridesmaids are still responsible for planning much of the shindig, but if mom is handling the logistics, the bridal shower can usually have a larger budget and guest list. If your best friend’s wedding is in a few months, start thinking about what she would plan for her own shower, and offer to help mom with the essentials anyway; your suggestions will be appreciated and there’s nothing wrong with a joint effort between the mom and the maids. With a few extra details you can turn a generic shower into one any bride will be amazed by.

It’s All In The Details
Start by brainstorming and pick a theme- does she have a favorite color or season? Does the couple have specific hobbies or shared interests? What is her style and what are her obsessions? Once you have this to work from, coordinating the details will be much simpler. When planning any event, I always start by piecing together any cute ideas and products I find from the Internet, past showers, pictures, or shopping trips related to the theme. I come back to that real-life “pinboard” over and over until each element has been chosen and I know I didn’t leave anything out. But with all the great ideas out there on websites like Pinterest, it will be key to stay organized and avoid getting overwhelmed. Make decisions based on your theme and budget.

Let’s get inspired with some pics from my favorite showers that I either planned or attended as a guest. (Later on you’ll see photos from the same showers when we talk about gift and bridesmaid ideas.)

For Rebecca’s autumn shower, plush cranberry tablecloths and twig-and-berry napkin rings adorned each table. Pine cones, branches and berries were mixed in for table decor. Soup was served in butternut squash bowls. The favor bags, table numbers, and escort cards were ordered from beau-coup.com to match our “Falling in Love” theme at a reasonable price. This shower was so fun to plan because there was an added bonus: a fall-themed candy bar for a candy-obsessed bride. Everything from sour peaches and caramel apple candies, personalized M&Ms, candy corn, and custom initial lollies were included. The set-up was gorgeous and guests took home their treats in fall-colored custom candy bags with mix and match bows.

At Meredith’s bridal shower menus were printed on placemat-sized versions of her invitation. Turquoise was the focus of the day and showed up everywhere, from the bathroom tissue to picture frames at the bar. Each girl took home a personalized leather photo holder that doubled up as place settings and Vera Bradley mint tins.

The Wedding Company in Manhasset, NY helped design the details for Mallorie’s pink shower: pink menus, napkins, personalized advice cards, a framed seating list, table number signs with directions for an activity on the back, rose Champagne favors, and custom mint tins. Pink peonies and a miniature bride decorated each table. Pink parasol cake pops and pink Baked by Melissa cupcakes at the dessert table made for delicious treats both during the shower and after. *Budgeting Tip: You can often rent props like a parasol or bride bodice to place at the gift table or use as centerpieces from a professional event company.

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Explanation of Traditions for Your Wedding Program

********** GIVEAWAY GOING ON NOW THROUGH JULY 2nd!!! ***********

Don’t forget your chance to enter to win! Clay Bouquet is giving away a $25 gift certificate to her store! Just check out Clay Bouquet‘s shop and report back by leaving a comment here and sharing what you would choose if you won the prize!

Entries will be accepted through Monday, July 2nd at 11:59 p.m. PST. Winner is selected at random and announced on Facebook on July 3rd. Good luck!

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Are you providing programs for your guests? Programs are a great extra detail to create for your wedding ceremony. It’s a perfect place to welcome your friends and family, say thank you to those who made your wedding day possible, and even remember the loved ones who are no longer with you, but hold a special place in your heart and memory.

And, most importantly, it’s an ideal place to share some of the traditions your guests may see while you’re under the chuppah. Usually, a rabbi will lead the ceremony and describe what’s happening and why, but for those who want to take the program with them or if they missed the rabbi’s description, your friends and family can read about the beautiful traditions you’re including.

A typical wedding program will include the couple’s name, wedding date, and location on the cover. Inside, guests can usually find a welcome message from the couple, an ordered list of the people in the processional (officiant, parents, grandparents, bridal party, etc.), the order of the ceremony (this includes readings or songs and who will be performing them if it’s anyone other than the officiant), the traditions included throughout the day before, during, and after the ceremony, and an in memoriam-type of list.

This is a guide that has popular, mainstream Jewish traditions. If you are choosing to include other customs from another religion or culture, this would be a good place to add them. If your ceremony is more on the super reform side, you can tailor the wording and traditions listed below. And if you’re going ultra traditional, you’ll most likely need to add several more components. These selected traditions are from a modern, mainstream “conservaform” wedding and seem to follow the types of Jewish wedding ceremonies that visiting Yentas are designing. Feel free to “steal” what works for you and confirm with your officiant. It would be impossible to include every couple’s possible specific traditions and their “whys” and “hows” since all couples’ interpretation of Jewish weddings are different. So, I must reiterate, this is a skeleton, not a set-in-stone format.

Good luck! Email alison@theweddingyentas.com if you have additional questions!

Ketubah
The marriage contract (ketubah) specifies the couple’s commitment to each other. The ketubah was signed during a ceremony before the wedding service and contains the signatures of the bride and groom as well as two witnesses who are Jewish and not blood relatives. The rabbi has also signed and dated the ketubah to make it official.

Bedeken
The bedeken is the veiling ceremony during which the groom placed a veil over the bride. This ceremony took place privately and is considered one of the most moving elements of a traditional Jewish wedding. By covering his bride with a veil, the groom ascertained her identity, and confirmed that he is marrying the woman of his heart’s desire.

Chuppah
The chuppah is a canopy that symbolizes the home that the bride and groom will build together. The chuppah is open on all sides, also symbolizing that friends and family are always welcome in the newlyweds’ home.

Hakafot
The bride circles the groom (hakafot) seven times. Two interpretations of the significance: seven is the number of days of creation, and the wedding ceremony is the creation of a new household; seven is the number of times the phrase “when a man takes a wife” occurs in the Torah.

Wrapping the Tallit
During the final benediction, the couple is wrapped by a tallit (prayer shawl) around their shoulders. This wrapping symbolizes the private Jewish life the bride and groom will have together.

Breaking of the Glass
The wedding ceremony concludes with the groom breaking a glass under his foot. There are many significances behind this custom. One of them is that it is a reminder that relationships are as fragile as glass and must always be treated with care, love and respect. After the breaking of the glass, the guests yell, “Mazel Tov!” which means good luck.

Yichud
After the chuppah ceremony, the couple is escorted to a private room and left alone for a few minutes. These moments of seclusion signify their new status of living together as husband and wife.