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Apr 24, 2007

My Sister - A Happy Bella - Wedding Advice for Blog Candy

So, my new job is that I'm the M.O.H. for my sister! She just got engaged this weekend! I just can't say "matron" because at 34, I don't feel very "matronly" even if I am married!

My sister is really such a pretty girl. She's tall, she's got this beautiful long neck, and gorgeous curly hair. She's going to make such a pretty BRIDE! I'm bouncing with excitement!!

So, here's my question to you. What's your best piece of wedding advice? Or if you've recently been married, been in a wedding, or even attended a wedding, what was the coolest thing you saw (shower ideas? favor ideas? etc...) Gotta switch gears into wedding planning mode, and I'm WAY out of the loop! My sister will help review the ideas collected here, BLOG CANDY will be awarded to the winner.
This contest will run through Wednesday night at 10pm E.S.T. My sister will review all the comments and pick her favorite. The winner will recieve their choice of one Basic Grey 6x6 Paper Pad from Eclectic Paperie. I'll have it shipped directly to you!

42 Comments    Post a Comment:

Unknown said...

Congrats to your sister!! How fun - I haven't been involved in a wedding since mine! I'll try and think of some good ideas for you. :)

Anonymous said...

If you have children in the wedding party that still need NAPS, be sure they get one, or they won't walk down the aisle. I have three daughters and the last one had her wedding at 2 o'clock in the afternoon and the kids were to tired and crabby from the pictures before/their lunch was messed up, etc...yikes! the kids wouldn't go down! so sad! cuz they were so cute!

Cheryl KVD said...

How fun!! My biggest advice is that the wedding should be held where the bride and groom want it to be held. They shouldn't feel guilty about their decision. I had my wedding in a church in Wisconsin to make our parents happy, even though we wanted to get married on a beach in the Bahamas. We still regret it. Thanks!
Cheryl KVD

bethtrue said...

Joann - congrats on your MOH status! Congrats to your sister! At a wedding I attended recently, instead of numbering the tables, they named them based on locations that were meaningful to the newlyweds. Also, I heard a fun idea for a bridal shower; all the guests sign a shower curtain (a vinyl one) and then the couple can use that in their new home in the shower - and enjoy reading all the greetings and well-wishes.

Have fun planning!

Beth (mommy to a busy 3 1/2 year old)

Rachel Hope said...

WOO HOO Congrats to your Sis!

At my wedding I had decorated some inexpensive bottles of bubbles with ribbon and flowers...had a basket full of them at the Guestbook, everyone blew bubbles at us when we walk down from the alter...SO pretty!

Lindy Stamper said...

I got 2, and both I love.

1, if you have little kids at the wedding, their attention span can be short. If you give them a task at the end of aisle, they will do it better than aimlessly walking down the aisle. At a friend's wedding, their job is at the end of the aisle to go hug their grandmother. That worked out better than them twirling esp. knowing eyes are on them.

2, this is my own, for my friends who got married, I made a little bag for them. It started out as an emergency kit (i.e. small pair of scissors, bobby pin, band-aid) now has expanded to lotion, small bottled water, straws (so you don't have to mess up the lipstick), cracker because people tend to run around and forget to eat. I usually get one of the giveaway tote from makeup places and use that as a bag. Or I found a cute tote for $5.

For showers, we did one using the bride and groom's names and make everyone write something starting w/ the letter of their names. One was dangling carrot and aim it to the bottle, or silly strings at waist and aim at a paper plate on the floor. YOu get the idea. ;P

Renée said...

Congrats to your sis! Mine's getting married in May so we've been up to our eyeballs in wedding planning. Thankfully, she's not a bridezilla (yet...). I think the key to keeping sanity is to not ask other people's opinions. Ask for ideas, yes. Opinions, no. Too many people would think that their idea is the cat's meow, when it really isn't what you want.
Anyways, cool ideas for showers/favors/etc: keep it simple! Keep in mind that people may or may not keep whatever favor you make/buy, so you don't want to invest a whole lotta $ into it. Spend it on the wedding finery and food! My sis picked up hedgehogs wrapped in cute boxes at Costco for a really decent price. That's what she's doing for a wedding favor. We did a "BridalBella" theme for the shower, so everything was stamped with that stamp. We made prizes --> jumbopaperclip bookmarks, stamped tiles, sour cream containers filled with mints, a card packs. Easy!!

Wow, that turned out longer than I thought it would ...)

Scott Franson Photography said...

Best advice: Do things the way YOU want them, don't let others force you to do things just to please them. This is about you and your sweetheart, do things your way.
Claudia F.

Paula said...

A lot will depend on if the wedding is in the afternoon or evening. Plan accordingly.
A disposeable camera at every table for photo opps.

At Bridal showers, have all the guests bring a favorite recipe all ready written out. You can then compile and make a 5 x 5 recipe book.

If an evening wedding - floating candles and flowers are an elegant touch to each table.

If the reception is indoors balloons with long ribbon strings filled with helium to float above the dance floor is really a festive touch.

Can' think of any others right now. Please tell your sister congratulation What fun you two will have putting your heads together to discuss this wonderful event.

Anonymous said...

Weddings are so much fun! I just completed some great little things for my nieces wedding. Included were decorated bubbles, magnets w/bride and groom name, small boxes w/Treasure chocoaltes inside. I also did matching Thank You cards for her to give to the people chosen to be in the wedding. Her colors are Burgundy and Champagne. I haven't taken pictures yet but if you would like I could send them to you when I get them taken? Good luck with your MOH duties!
Angie W

Allison Rankin said...

I used a frame with a large mat (10 x 14) and a small (4 x 6) cut-out as my "guest book". Instead of a book that we would never see, we have our wedding picture surrounded by all the wishes from our friends!

Nancy said...

Congratulations to your sister!

My biggest piece of advice is to spend time as a couple at the reception. My DH and I dance together a few times at the beginning and left together at the end... but in the middle we did a lot of visiting with people and didn't spend a lot of time together. I wish we would have.

Anonymous said...

The latest thing that I like is on the little card you return that comes in the wedding invitation to say if you will be coming and how many will attend. On the bottom of the card ask for their favorite song or songs and they can be played at the reception and put on a CD to remember always. My favorite is Someone Like You-Van Morrison. Hope she likes that idea.

Adelina said...

Congratulations to your sister!! A fun thing that I like to do for the shower is take polaroids or digital photos of the guests and put them in a photo album. Let each guest write wedding advice or a message to the bride in the photo album next to their picture. The digital photos work if you have a printer near by to print the pics after everyone has arrived. My M.O.H. did this for me and I love it!

Anonymous said...

My best advice was from my Mom who said "The wedding is important - but nowhere near as important as the marraige". She reminded me that it would be so easy to get caught up in all the details and planning and worrying about everything being "prefect". She encouraged us to go out on dates and not talk wedding stuff.
Also - at the end of the day, the only thing that truly matters is the bride, groom and the officiant - nobody or nothing else matters as long as they get to look in each others eyes and say "I do", every thing else is extras!

Laura Hit said...

Humm, well I am a wedding planner so lots of ideas. Without having specifics about the wedding, my biggest advice is to make it personal. Incorporate things they like to do together into the theme of the wedding/ shower, little quotes, whatever you can. It is the little touches that make great events - meaningful items. So much fun! Happy planning.

Anonymous said...

My son is getting married in August. Since I am not the mother of the bride I am trying not to get too into the details and seem like a busy body. My task is to make the 150 invitations. I am surprising them with the personalized stamps from USPS with their picture on them. As far as wedding advice- there are lots of websites with great tips. One I can think of mentioned to number the guest list and note it on the RSVPs so that in case people forget to put their return name/address on them you can check the number to find out who they are. Great little tip we are using. One of these days the invite will be posted on my blog.

doverdi said...

Congrats to your sister & for you on being the MOH. My niece had a beautiful outdoor wedding in August with the white tents. Their colors were red & white and it was gorgeous and showed up so nice in the pics. They also had the little bottles of bubbles that were passed out to guests to blow after they were married. You can get these at the dollar stores. She made chocolate roses on a stick, wrapped in celophane and tied with a red ribbon and passed out to the guests. When I got married they made us a scrapbook at the shower(they did this for my mom's bridal shower in the 50's too) where each person would draw a slip of paper that had something like "Where so and so had their first date". The guest would go through magazines and find a pic that best matches the sentence they have. Sometimes with hilarious results. Another shower idea is to pin everyone with a clothes pin when they come in and then when someone sees someone cross their legs they can steal this clothes pin. The person who has the most at the end wins. This is about if for me right now. lol

Anonymous said...

woohoo! weddings are the best! The greatest advice is keep calm. I did one thing a week and only one thing. So I would say this week we are working on the invatations, next week the dress ect. This way when the moms were after me to do too much I would say this week is this We will talk about that next week! it just helped stay orgenized yet not over do it or be stressed! and dont sweat the small stuff!

dawnmercedes said...

When I threw a bridal shower for my sister a couple of years ago, I made rice bags for the guests. The kind you stick in the microwave and then use to soothe sore muscles. It was a hit! And cost me about a dollar a person. I bought terry cloth from the fabric store, with a 40% off coupon. And basically sewed 3 side, filled with the last side...

I have a poem for it too. Let me know if you want a copy!

Sue said...

It's been a while for me but a couple of things that were "lightbulb moments" at my wedding were:
1) if there are children in the wedding party have chairs for them to sit on during the church ceremony. This helps to "anchor" them LOL
2) Get your sister a book calendar at Office Depot or somewhere (should be on sale now.) Try to get one with a day for every date.
Start writing down appointments, and lists and everything else you can think of and it will be your best friend. Stick pictures from magazines of dresses, table settings, gift ideas etc etc in it, fabric swatches, photos you like that you may want your photographer to look will have loads of pages in the book that you can use for this. Even getting a plain book and a seperate date diary might be a good idea. The very cool thing is that after the fact it is a cool thing to look back through and laught about. You could decorate it for your sister as a keepsake
Congrats to your sister!

OH...if youknow the wedding date you want..BOOK the church now..they book up quickly..and 08/08/08 next year could well be the busiest wedding date ever...especially if a lot of Chinese people live in your nrea!(#8 is very good luck for Chinese community)

Jana Weaver said...

Congrats to your sister!!

I LOVED every minute of my wedding, and had SOOO much fun planning it, I've often considered becoming a wedding coordinator.

Here are a few ideas:
For Centerpieces, make your own "stamped" candles (you know, with the tissue paper) and place them on chargers with either flowers or glass pebbles.

For my invite (married before I started stamping) I actually painted a picture of the location where the wedding was going to be and printed it up, then had the details printed on vellum and tied that on top with a ribbon.

For a friends wedding, she got those mini photo frames as gifts, and I stamped the cards to go inside to match the centerpieces.

Oh...and a MILLION more things!! Have tons of fun with this!!

One last thing, at your wedding itself, drink LOTS of water. Even though you don't want to have to go to the lu that often ina big dress, you REALLY don't want to get dehydrated. Goes double for the groom!!

Have fun!

Anonymous said...

I don't know if this has been mentioned or not, but at the wedding for a friend, they had a photo of the bride & groom with a larger than normal matting where you were able to sign the photo matting, of course that depends on the size of the wedding guest list! And they also were able to go to a place where you can choose your wine & bottle it with bride & grooms photo & date on it.
Ilene B.

Anonymous said...

It's been awhile since my wedding, 7 years in fact. I have two piece of advice. First is make sure you get the dress you really want. I picked out mine then when it came time to pay my parents didn't have the money so I just choose a new dress.(my friend even offered to loan me the extra money)7 years later I'm still depressed about my dress. Second is to remeber to have fun, its really stressful to plan the perfect wedding, so try to enjoy the day. I love that new show Wedding Crashers. I told my husband if it would have been on when we got married I so would have done that you get to prank your whole family and you don't have to be stressed at having a perfect day.

Anonymous said...

Well congrats first of all!! The BEST advice I can give to live a happy and healthy relationship is OPEN communication! He can't read your mind! You have to give him short sentences and TELL him EXACTLY what you want from him! Also, a good sense of humor is a MUST! You will go through rough times, but look at it as a learning experience and a chance to grow your relationship into something lasting and special. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Joanne...congratulations to you and your sisiter...she has entrusted you with a very important job...make your sister a scrapbook...take pics of posing...just spur of the moment pics...the two of you having breakfast or lunch and talking over the bride magazines...take the camera too if you go to bridal shows and snap pics of her reactions to all the beautiful things of the gang crafting the wedding favours...spend a couple of hours at the local spa with the bridal party and bring some champagne...snap some pics at the end of the day when you guys are just totally pooped from all the planning...just have fun...good luck and hugs.

Susan (susiestampalot) said...

wow!! i love weddings and i ALWAYS cry, no matter whose it is! i even cried on cinderella III when she got married! as far as advice--just have a great time and don't worry about the small stuff that may happen. have your sis remember it's their day and to enjoy every minute! it goes by SO fast! something fun i heard the other day. the bride had a special pillow her grandmother had made for her when she was a baby. they used it for the ringbearer's pillow--so sweet!!

Unknown said...

My best advice - Don't spend too much on the invitations, people just throw them away, or at least 99% do. I know it is heartbreaking, but the truth is they do.
The coolest thing they did at my cousins wedding was have a guest book and a polaroid camera...People wrote a message and a couple bridesmaids manned the camera and snapped a shot of the people.
Very cool and special.

Anonymous said...

Something I saw at a wedding and really like it was the bride's bouquet was "constructed" at the ceremony, she had friends and family (starting with her mom) come with a rose and person by person she had her bouquet. It looked very pretty and special. Sandra Lew-Moll

Mental Pausing Crafter said...

Congrats to you and your sister!!! I have had the honor of being in several weddings - once as the MOH and have coordinated several weddings for friends. A couple of things to consider - I didn't read other people's comments so some of these may be repeats - We offered child care for small children 4 and under - paid some teens from the church so that the children were cared for while parents attended the ceremony. As a MOH your job is to take care of the bride - espeically on the day of the wedding. That means making sure her make-up is at the church, helping her go to the bathroom in a wedding dress if need be, getting her bottles of water - especially during pictures - etc. She just needs you to be the one person who is thinking about her and she can turn to for any little thing that needs to be done. I also, always make up a honeymoon basket of food from the reception. Cake, finger foods etc. I get everything packed BEFORE the receiption except the cake - put some stuff in a cooler and the basket and get it into the car. If it's a sit down dinner reception, I make up plates of food that the bride and groom like. They may or may not even taste the food on that day and I want them to enjoy some of it once they get away from it all. I love coordinating weddings and seeing the bride's ideas come to life. I hope your wedding is awesome but more importantly that your marriage is strong! Blessings! Tami

Anonymous said...


1. Get her the book Bridal Bargains by Denise & Alan Fields. Even if she's not on a tight budget, this book has so mnay great tips for hiring the various vendors.

2. Chuck the guest book and have guests sign a large mat - we have ours, with a candid someone snapped at the wedding - in our foyer and people sit and study it!

3. Consider making a donation to a cause close to your heart in lieu of favors - it breaks my heart to see beautiful favors left at the end of the night. We gave to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, had tent cards on the tables mentioning it and had some of the youngsters in attendance give out simple pink ribbons on safety pins during the cocktail hour - looks lovely in the pictures with everyone wearing their ribbon....which leads to...

4. Give young guests a job - they take it very seriously, feel wonderful to be included, and are a lot less likely to act up if they are a "part" of the wedding.

5. Sit down with your to-be and decide what is truly important to you both. Then consider letting go if something not on that list seems really important to one of the parents.

6. The Notebook - best thing I ever did! Upon receiving "input" from my mil-to-be and step-mil-to-be, I would smile, write their suggestion in the notebook, thank them and, if I didn't care to use it, forget it forever. But they felt validated and generally left me alone after that.

7. If you've got out of town guests, leave a goodie bag at the hotel for them - small bottles of water, salty and sweet snacks, tourism brochures, a letter welcoming them and feauturing the bride and groom to be's favorite haunts - restaurants, sites, shopping, etc. - and a crossword puzzle made online where the clues and answers are all about you - where you first met, first date, location of proposal, etc. We offered a prize and people spent the whole weekend trying to get the answers. :)

8. Make a vendor list - as you select your vendors, start a word doc with each company, your contact there, all #s, money paid, money owed and what they've been hired to do, along with specific dates/times for the weekend of the wedding. This allows for...

9. Set a deadline - tell yourself right up front that as of a certain day the week of the wedding, you're done. Hand the vendor list (see above) to a trusted friend or a wedding planner, and let it go. Someone else will stress over the details, but they'll do it far less personally and more efficiently because it isn't their wedding!

10. Have a sweetheart table - this lets your attendants actually sit with their spouses/so's.

11. Actually sit at your sweetheart table - this makes sure that you actually have memories of your wedding - with your new spouse! Our hotel coordinator was our bouncer - he didn't let anyone near us when we were eating. Some of our favorite memories - and candid pics - are from that time within the ceremony.

12. Don't leave for your honeymoon on the next morning - you're going to want to stay and enjoy the whole wedding, see family and friends the next morning. Plan an evening of takeout and champagne the night after the wedding, and you'll be ready for an early morning at the airport.

13. When in doubt, remember this - your wedding is really the first party that you and your to-be are throwing together as a married couple. With that in mind, you'll make the right decision about just about anything...

Best of luck!

Anonymous said...

Doh! Obviously, we didn't have a sweetheart table at our ceremony, but rather at our reception. :)

Anonymous said...

Check out my web site if you are going to do party favors or invitations. I have lots of die cut box's and purses and cards, just great for weddings. You can stamp on them or get a special order stamp with their names on it. I have a bunch of ideas in my gallery. I have over 20 colors for you to choose from.the prices are great if I do say so and you can really make things personal by
I also happen to be an alteration specialist and my advice is wear comfortable shoes!!!! so you don't end up taking them off and making your dress drag and get dirty!! I have hemmed so many dress where the girls get cute spiky heals and there feet hurt just standing for the fitting. It is a long day be comfortable!
Make it a great day to remember for ever. Remember is is a day to celebrate your love for each other not what everyone else things you should do.

Jan Scholl said...

I eloped 35 years ago, so never really had a wedding. There was a murder trial right before our thing and it was pretty wierd. My son is getting married this weekend-I had no input as they did it all themselves. They changed the date from Septmeber to April-so its been not a happy time for those who set aside the latter date and now cant change. All the family he will have is us at the ceremony. my advice is set a date and dont change it 6 weeks before the new date! Or take the money, elope and buy a house!

Julie S. said...

So many great comments!
1. Send a "Save the Date" announcement -- even if it is an email to your top folks... It makes such a difference. AND -- if the date HAS to change -- get an announcement out ASAP. This is a really tough thing for some, as arrangements are made so long in advance... so do try to get the date firmly in place.
2. Remember that the marriage is what counts -- but this is practice about how you will communicate and plan: don't be afraid to let your future spouse help! Enroll him. For me, it came at a time of trial when I needed him to step in and communicate what was important to me in the way of an "itinerary" -- I was too shy to speak up to his family when things got sticky, and asked him to jump in. Things went so much better when he did!
3. As the planning happens and choices get made: don't be shy about diverging from the "normal" -- folks have shared how this is half the fun. There are going to be bumpy spots (only a few parties go without "hitches" right?) and yours will be all your own. Expect the bumps and roll with them!
4. Yes: comfy shoes! Yes: good food Yes: deligate stuff you can deligate!
5. Not only the mat for a photo: we wrote out our vows and had our guests sign them... it is a Quaker tradition, but this is our REAL wedding certificate (it is large, 22x36 and framed) and it is a main fixture in our living space -- reminding us of exactly what we promised each other in marriage. We live by it! And we are supported in that by our community.
6. Don't get too caught up by place and the details of the party -- even the dress. The look in your husband's eyes, the feeling in your heart: those are the important things and the things to cherish. All the other stuff will fall to details. Plan as well as you can, and Be Present in the MOMENT on the day.
7. YES -- take a day off before you leave for your honeymoon -- enjoy those folks who might have come from a long way away... and rest as much as you can. You will enjoy ALL of it so much more!
Have a totally great time with as much as you can. Life is short and this joy should be savoured.

Anonymous said...

Congrats to your sister! Let's see:

1. The first thing I thought of has already been mentioned but an 'emergency kit' to take to the wedding location is a great idea that I've used as a shower gift. You could even do something similar as you are here to get the list of items to take but a couple that I think of is a spare pair of hosiery, clear fingernail polish, some OTC drugs (tummy, headache, etc), snacks.

2. My 2 cousins got married the last couple of years. One named their tables at the reception based on places they planned to go on their honeymoon and the other named them based on important places for them as a couple and as individuals (favorite family camping place, first date location, etc.). Loved both ideas.


Anonymous said...

A cool thing my family did at my wedding.....take pictures of the guests as they arrive for the ceremony. between the ceremony and the reception have the pictures printed. Put them into a scrapbook and have the guests sign the page with their picture as they arrive for the dinner or reception. Make sure they write some advice for the new couple too!

Unknown said...

I was at a wedding one time where there was a disposable camera on every table. Guests were encouraged to get up and take some pictures. After the wedding was over, the bride and groom got a nice variety of candid shots of their guests.

Marge Sexton said...

Congrats! Weddings and Showers can be lots of fun.
1-As there are usually numerous showers for the bride. A different spin would be to have a gift card shower where everyone brings gift cards as gifts (Lowes, Home Depot, Target, Walmart etc). They really add up, and allow the bride and groom to purchase the many household items that you really need. It's easy shopping for the guests.
2-Also remember at the shower to hand out envelopes and have the guests address there own thank-you notes; this saves loads of time when writing your thank-you's.

Denise said...

My biggest piece of advice is remember to eat the food at your recption! Don't be too bust running around, greeting people and chatting to enjoy one of the reasons you chose the venue you did! I specifically asked them to bring me an entire tray of pigs in a blanket to the bridal suite (and my bridal party ate them ALL!) because I knew that was one thing I wanted!

Gina Wrona said...

Congrats! My advice is to enjoy the honeymoon as if you had no responsibility for that short period of time!

Anonymous said...

I went to a wedding that was held in December & it was truly the most GORGEOUS one I've ever been to. The decorations on the alter & at the reception were forests of trees with nothing but 100's of plain white lights decorating them. The bride wore a white gown with tons of sparkle, the wedding party was all in black (strapless straight black velvet gowns) and everyone in the entire wedding had sparkly glitter in their hair. It was so elegant and glistened with simple class. The brides mother said that they borrowed trees from all their friends & put everything together themselves so the entire wedding only cost them $5,000.


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