Monthly Archives: January 2013

How To Communicate With Your Bridesmaids

Your bridesmaids are like a potpourri of your life connections. Your collection of gals might consist of a family member, high school friends, and sorority sisters. Or maybe the girls from your college cheerleading squad make up your bridal party, but they’re scattered around the country, leading their different post-graduate lives. It’s very probable that the contact you have with your bridesmaids is via GChat during the work day and on the phone during your commute home in the evenings. Texting gets you quick fixes of inside jokes and updates, and your refrigerator serves as an exhibit of all the various things going on in everyones’ lives with birth announcements, bridal shower invitations, “We’re Moving” notifications, and wedding stationery attached to the door with magnets. Today’s bride rarely has in-person access to all or most of her bridesmaids and though it may seem tedious or complicated getting everyone acquainted and on the same page, it’s actually no big deal.

How do the bridesmaids know each other if everyone can’t be together? Well, introduce them! Send out an email to all the girls and do a mini orientation by listing their names and contact information. Give some context and explain how you know them. This breaks the ice so it’s not awkward for them to interact behind your back while they plan surprises and fun events for you.

In fact, just steal this:

Hi Ladies!
I’m so excited that you’ll be part of my big day!! You are all very special to me and having you by my side as I get married to Channing Tatum (just making sure you’re still with me) makes the day even more special!

Because not everyone knows each other, I thought I’d introduce the hottest bridesmaids in the world to… the hottest bridesmaids in the world!

My Maid of Honor is ________. I know her from ____________. Her email is __________ and I’m sure she’ll be sending you more messages as the time goes on.

{here, list the rest of your girls, how you know them, and their conact info}.

Thank you for everything! I can’t wait to celebrate with you all!

Love,
Your Name

Okay, so once you’ve done the hello and how-do-you-dos, how else can you build your team of bridesmaids? You’ll have to decide on what they’ll be wearing. However, you can’t possibly cater to every girl’s taste and body. Work with your Maid of Honor to be the spearhead for this task. You want to please — it’s your tragic flaw — but it’s just not realistic to get everyone together and go shopping. Once the dresses have been selected, your Maid of Honor should instruct the bridesmaids to go to a professional tailor or dress shop to get measurements taken. Each bridesmaid should send their measurements to the Maid of Honor so she has them and can place the order with the shop that is selling the bridesmaid dresses. Your Maid of Honor needs to communicate the dress selection to the whole bridal party and the dresses really should be ordered all together so that dye lots are the same.

The bride should send out messages to the bridesmaid group about dates and costs of things with plenty of notice and several reminders afterward. It’s not that the girls are flaky or uncaring, but everyone is living their individual lives. You can’t expect that your girls will be on top of every date for your wedding events. So, just send some emails with updates about dates (rehearsal dinner, bridesmaid lunch, wedding day, day-after brunch, etc.) or with travel information once you know it. Especially if your girls are scattered around the country, you’ll want to give them inside scoop as you learn it about airfare, hotel reservations, transportation set ups, and any other travel-related pieces of information.

Make sure you give clear deadlines for bridesmaid things that have hard dates attached like dress order-by dates or RSVPs for a shower thrown by someone other than them. You can also delegate this to your MOH since you probably are too busy slash you don’t want to deal with harassing bridesmaids about these kinds of things. But that’s why choosing a MOH who’s on top of her game is super important!

Even if you’re a control freak, I don’t care — the bride does not plan her own parties like showers and bachelorettes! Just make sure to tell whoever is hosting a bridal shower that bridesmaids should be invited even if they’re not local or available. Because they’re part of your wedding inner-circle, they should be included in all events, though it is up to them if they can make them. You should make sure to communicate with them that it’s totally okay if they can’t make the shower or party. They should know they’re invited, but not pressured to travel.

As for the wedding weekend, you’ll need to set up clear communication with your bridesmaids about when everyone arrives in town so you can coordinate pick ups and car rides and hotel accommodations. You are not expected to pay for these things, but you should manage the bridesmaid reunion for your wedding weekend events. Emails with reply-all settings will help everyone stay on the same page.

Enjoy this special time with your favorite ladies. You picked them for a reason, so now is the time to enjoy your unique relationship with each bridesmaid. From sorority socials to high school football games to summer camp Shabbats, you have hundreds of memories combined with this group. Get excited to form many more for your big day!

Heidi Ryder Photography

From the Expert: Destination Wedding Travel Made Easy

Gloria Emanuelson brings her travel knowledge to The Wedding Yentas today! Her travel company, Honeymoon Dreams and Wishes is Signature Preferred, with contacts in over 22 countries, and specializing in luxury, upscale, travel. This has allowed Honeymoon Dreams and Wishes to build strong relationships throughout the world so that her clients can enjoy the best of the best. Gloria loves nothing more than traveling and attending weddings, so it seems obvious to pair up with The Wedding Yentas to share tips and ideas to brides who wish to have a destination wedding or an unforgettable honeymoon.

Honeymoon Dreams and Wishes

At Honeymoon Dreams and Wishes we offer a variety of services for you including:
Honeymoons, Destination Weddings, Anniversaries, and Romantic Vacations. Because we have traveled extensively throughout Europe, Mexico, Caribbean, Tahiti, Central America, and Hawaii we can “Match” you to the right Destination and Resort.

You may think that because you’re intending to have some sort of Jewish wedding, that there’s no way you could also enjoy a destination wedding. Well, that’s not true. As a a woman who loves weddings and with a big bite from the travel bug, I can tell you that destination weddings are special and memorable.

There are many reasons a destination wedding can be the perfect choice for you and your fiance. Imagine standing on a beautiful beach with the ocean behind, or on a cliff with a village below you, or in a garden with a winery around you — all while saying your vows!

Destination Weddings

Getting married in your own special-to-you locale is such a special way to say “I do!” and will create memories that will last forever. I’ve recently had an opportunity to visit the Cancun/Riviera Maya area and experience for myself how amazing this experience would be. The resorts in the Riviera Maya area, especially, provide so many options for the couples.

If you’re nervous about planning the details of your wedding in advance from afar, take a deep breath and relax. The resorts have wedding coordinators who can assist you with all of your planning so this will really make the planning process easy. They eliminate so much stress and provide you the opportunity to thoroughly enjoy this special time in you lives. You won’t need to worry about the nitty gritty during the other exciting parts of your bridal experience like wedding showers and bachelorette parties. Focus on those events and being present for them. Let your destination wedding coordinator handle the rest with your input, of course.

If you’re inviting a group of guests to join you for your destination wedding, I do recommend hiring a travel professional to coordinate the guests’ travel arrangements. Coordinating how your guests will travel can be quite involved and time consuming, and if the whole point is to relieve you of some of the dirty work, then there’s no sense in you scheduling all of your loved ones, too. A travel professional like me can provide the most cost effective way for your guests to arrive and depart, while also making some luxurious and convenient plans for everyone. We also, often times, have connections with the resorts and this will provide you and your guests with added values you may not receive by booking directly yourself.

So go ahead — close your eyes and imagine your happy place. Want to get married there? It can happen! Mazel tov, on your upcoming wedding!

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Check out Gloria’s travel boutique, Honeymoon Dreams and Wishes or visit her page on Facebook to get the latest news and info about wedding-related getaways!

{Real Jewish Weddings} Guerneville, CA

From the Bride: Jay and I met at a comic book store. We wanted this common passion of ours to be the theme for our celebration, but we wanted it to be classy and somewhat subtle. We love Batman and one of his main villains, Poison Ivy, who manipulates plant life, became our floral inspiration. We wanted it to look as if she had taken over our wedding. Our venue was so beautiful that we didn’t want to compete with the natural beauty so we decided to just go with it as much as possible.

I was born in Israel and grew up in a Jewish home and that part of my identity was very important to me, but even within my heart I wasn’t exactly clear about how to incorporate it into our wedding. Jay wasn’t raised religious, but enjoys my family’s traditions and even visited me in Israel while I was getting my MA there. But when you break it down, our parents have the same core values about family, love, and the basic humanist golden rule. When we realized that we actually probably have more in common than not and went soul-searching to discover what we really wanted to express in the public manifestation of our love, we ended up having a somewhat traditional Jewish Wedding. We chose the symbolic gestures and tradition that we could identify with, such as having a chuppa and breaking the glass, and had the privilege of working with an amazing rabbi and his wife. They helped us modernize some of the traditional text and highlight the things that were important, meaningful, and relevant to us.

Mazel tov, Miriam and Jay!

Northern California Jewish Weddings

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Photographer: Choco Studio
Venue and Caterer: Dawn Ranch Lodge
Hair & Makeup: Kira Lee
Florals: Lila B Design
Officiant: Rabbi Gershon, Interfaith Rabbi
Ketubah: Tsili Pines for New Ketubah
Cake: Giorgi’s Wedding Cakes
Invitations, Programs, Save the Date Cards: Katie Rutherford
Dress: Elizabeth Dye from The English Dept in Portland
Cape: Cape and Crown Creations

  • Pingback: Miriam wears “Giselle” | theenglishdept

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Ontario, Canada After-Wedding Session

So, perhaps you’ve heard of the photo shoot that some brides or newlyweds do after their wedding called a “Trash the Dress” shoot. The name of this style of shoot always makes me sad because there’s nothing more heartbreaking to me than TRASHING A WEDDING DRESS!! Gasp! I’ve seen the photos and they’re cool. They really are. But I could never! It hurts my brain to think about doing naughty things to a $1,000 or more piece of clothing with sentimental value and beauty.

But I love this term that I just learned thanks to Caroline Ross Photography: LOVE THE DRESS SESSION! Yes! Isn’t that great? You love your dress SO much that you want to pose and look fierce and do cool things in it after you’re all good and married. THIS, my friends, I find easy to approve!

I especially love that these two cuties embraced the winter wonderland of Garson, Ontario in Canada and dolled up their wedding gear with sweaters and winter accessories and, is that a sled? I don’t know. This Yenta is a native of Southern California. No matter, this romantic shoot in the snow is so special!

Wedding Photo Shoot in Snow

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Wedding Video Teaser from Miami, Florida

I dare you to watch this and not beg for more! It’s Sabrina and Todd, back again, but this time in video form!

We saw their amazing photo feature on Tuesday, but now it’s time for a little presentation of their teaser by Miami cinematographer, LaFrance Films.

Sabrina + Todd Wedding Trailer from LaFrance Films on Vimeo.

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Photographer: Daniel LaTeulade Photography
Event Planning and Design: Twenty7 Events
Floral Design and Chuppah: Ines Naftali Flowers
Venue and Bar: Villa 221
Tables and Furniture Rentals: Bubble Miami
Chair Rentals: GreatHire USA
Cinematography: LaFrance Films
Cake and Dessert Station: Sugar Sweet Dreams Cake Company
Ceremony Music: Diego Val
DJ: EMG Artists
Caterer: Aaron’s Catering
Ketubah: Ketubah.com