Your Wedding Website Checklist: Here’s Everything You Must Include on Your Wedding Website

We live in a time where nearly all the information you could ever need is accessible with the click of a button or two—the same goes for weddings. With so many details wedding guests[1] need to know, a personalized wedding website is the perfect way to ensure quick and accessible information on the fly. But where do you start? Consider this your wedding website checklist! Here's everything you must include on your wedding website.

The Basics

Remember back to grade school book reports and begin with the "5Ws," meaning who, what, when, where, why, and add the how.

Obviously the "who" is you; the "what" is that you're getting married (le duh); and the "when" is the date and time of both the ceremony and the reception, and the location(s). As for the "how," have fun with it. Just be sure to include the setting, theme, dress code[2], and any other information that will set the tone for your party. A good rule of thumb is to have all the information that appears on the invitation[3] on the front page of your wedding website. That is, if you have invitations, as more and more couples are opting for the more green and less expensive option of simply creating and sharing their wedding website with a built-in RSVP feature.

The Details

Some couples choose to still include printable driving directions on their wedding website. While this is a thoughtful touch, it's not always necessary thanks to easy access to GPS systems such as Google Maps and Waze. However, suggestions for hotel and lodging accommodations are über important to include. Be sure to indicate whether you arranged for a hotel room block[4] and include the hotel's contact information and if there is a name or code to refer to while booking. Feel to free also suggest some fun local activities that the area has to offer, in case guests have time to kill during the weekend.

To further make prepping for your wedding an easy experience for your guests, include your registry[5] information on your wedding website. No, it won't look like you're fishing for gifts—you're just giving everyone easy access to information they'll want to know. Indicate where you're registered and add links that lead straight to your registry pages.

The Extras

Adding a few personal details will take your wedding website from strictly business to engaging and fun. Why not share a bit of your love story, or how you met or got engaged. (Save a bit for the vows[6], though!) Not all your guests or extended family will know these details and giving a little context to your relationship is a great way to personalize your page.

In addition to all the romantic details, you can give a nod to your bridal party on your wedding website, too. List the names of your bridesmaids and groomsmen[7], how you know them, and maybe a sweet or funny story about each of them. It's a fun way to make them feel special and let your guests in just a little bit more.

See more: How to Send Paperless, Email Wedding Invitations[8]

Beware

If privacy is a concern, you have options. Consider password-protecting your wedding website and including the password on your paper invitations or save-the-dates. This way, you won't have any real-time data floating around out there that you wouldn't want to get into the wrong hands.

References

  1. ^ wedding guests (www.brides.com)
  2. ^ dress code (www.brides.com)
  3. ^ invitation (www.brides.com)
  4. ^ hotel room block (www.brides.com)
  5. ^ your registry (www.brides.com)
  6. ^ the vows (www.brides.com)
  7. ^ bridesmaids and groomsmen (www.brides.com)
  8. ^ How to Send Paperless, Email Wedding Invitations (www.brides.com)

29 Celestial Wedding Ideas That Are Out of This World

Stargazers, do we have the wedding theme[1] for you! Celestial wedding details have been shining bright as of late, with countless brides opting to utilize this trending, magical motif for their special day. And if you read your horoscope[2] religiously or swear your love was written in the stars, here are some celestial wedding ideas you too may want to incorporate into your nuptials.

Do you and your partner often quote that "You want the moon?" scene from It's a Wonderful Life? Did you check to make sure your fiancé's star sign was compatible with yours when you first met? Is your signature jewelry piece that zodiac necklace[3] your maid of honor bought you? Then you should definitely consider injecting your wedding with some mystical, celestial vibes. Think: a dark and moody color palette[4], glittering, star-like lighting, and designs that feature your and your partner's zodiac signs... We're over the moon for these celestial wedding ideas! There's hardly anything more romantic than a starry night sky, after all, so where better to take inspiration for your wedding details?

From Milky Way patterns to moonlit dance floors, these celestial wedding ideas have us simply starry-eyed. Adorn your tables in the hues of a hazy summer night with indigo blue linens. Hang string lights from your tent's rafters[5] or venue's ceiling to mimic the constellations. Arrange tables by your guests' zodiac signs, or pen their names on crescent moon-shaped escort cards[6]. You can even try a dreamy, star-adorned wedding dress[7] on for size.

Below, browse 29 celestial wedding ideas that are out of this world.

References

  1. ^ wedding theme (www.brides.com)
  2. ^ your horoscope (www.brides.com)
  3. ^ zodiac necklace (www.brides.com)
  4. ^ a dark and moody color palette (www.brides.com)
  5. ^ your tent's rafters (www.brides.com)
  6. ^ escort cards (www.brides.com)
  7. ^ star-adorned wedding dress (www.brides.com)

Your Guide to Every Type of Wedding Centerpiece

One of the most time-consuming parts of wedding planning is deciding how to decorate your reception tables. From classic flowers to neon light installations—and everything in between—the world of wedding centerpieces is vast. Wondering where to start? Here, of course! We've put together a guide to every type of wedding centerpiece. See what you like best and then start designing the wedding centerpieces that fit your style and wedding theme.

Consider this everything you need to know about topping your tables.

Floral Arrangements

Photo by Asia Pimentel Photography

The most traditional centerpiece is the floral arrangement[1]. Whether these are tall, short, wide, or narrow, fresh blooms in the middle of the table just say “wedding.” Keep your venue’s structure and design in mind when determining the size of your arrangements, advises event designer Jove Meyer of Jove Meyer Events[2]. Tall arrangements work well in large spaces with high ceilings; the height of the flowers draws the eye up and helps create volume in a massive venue. Short arrangements are often preferred by couples who really want their guests to interact at the table. The size does not block guests from seeing and talking to one another from across the table. Wide arrangements, which sometimes come with a more rustic, wild appearance, look fantastic on large round tables since they take up more space. Narrow arrangements, such as garlands and low planters, make the best use of long, farm-style tables. “Work with your space, not against it,” adds Meyer, who notes that “the bigger the centerpiece, the higher the cost.”

Vases

Photo by Jose Villa

Flowers are only one part of the centerpiece. The vessel you put the stems in matters, too. From classic glass vases to ceramic pitchers and acrylic holders, the vessels add another level of detail to your centerpiece. Use the colors, style, and materials of the vessels to echo the vibe of your event. You want to place wildflowers in camping mugs for your glamping wedding[3]? Go for it. You can even mix and match, such as using gold and silver bud vases among mixed metal planters. Also, consider the size of your floral arrangements on the table. Meyer recommends placing tall arrangements in transparent vessels, so guests can see one another. For lower centerpieces, anything goes: “You can explore glass, metal, or wood because they enhance the design without blocking the view,” Meyer says.

Greenery

Photo by Olivia Rae James

Garlands[4] and loose leaves are a refined way to dress a table, especially if you plan to have long tables rather than rounds. The strings of greenery can follow the length of the table, and the low height allows for plenty of conversation among guests. Greenery also gives a lush look without costing as much as bushels of blooms. That said, greenery doesn’t come cheap. “Given the labor in creating garlands, they are not a big savings option,” explains Aimee Monihan of Tropical Occasions[5]. “If a couple loves the garland look, yet has budget concerns, loose laying leaves is the way to go.”

Candles

Photo by James & Schulze

Candles say romance[6], so it’s no wonder that they have a place on the wedding table. “Flooding the room with candles is a great way to make a big statement without spending too much money,” says Caroline Grief of Birch Event Design[7]. “It’s a very sophisticated look.” Candles come in plenty of sizes and shapes: Consider taper candles in candelabras for a romantic, Old World vibe; pillar candles for a bold statement; and votives with tea lights for a glow amidst large floral arrangements or other decor. “Colorful candles are a fun way to bring in your wedding color in an elegant way,” Grief adds. Whatever you choose, just beware of the venue’s restrictions on open flames. Indoor event spaces may require hurricanes to surround candles, and many historic venues forbid open flames. You may have to use artificial candles.

Trees

Photo by Lucy Cuneo Photography

“Trees are all the rage,” says planner JoAnn Gregoli of Elegant Occasions[8]. When she says trees, she means couples are actually placing trees in the middle of the table and suspending candles from the branches. Some couples hang flowers, such as orchids, from the branches, or other types of decor like lights or ribbons, as well. It creates a magical garden vibe. To keep the atmosphere, she recommends placing trees at the reception entrance or around the dance floor so that the look feels cohesive.

Hanging Chandeliers

Photo by Dana Cubbage Weddings

Nothing makes a dinner party feel grander than a beautiful chandelier. Consider dropping a crystal chandelier above your dinner tables if your venue says castle, chateau, or mansion. Lanterns look fantastic for tented celebrations or those in rustic locations; and floral chandeliers[9], flowers hanging in the shape of a chandelier, combine the best of both worlds. You can even complement them with a lighting installation above the dance floor. “This sets the ‘wow’ factor in the room,” says planner Marylen Exposito[10]. “Not to mention, it is extremely Instagramable.” Having an alfresco affair? You can still rig a system to hang chandeliers above tables, and it actually looks like they are floating in thin air. How about that for a centerpiece?

Hanging Flowers

Photo by Emily Wren

Why place a vase on the tabletop when you can hang flowers from above? A new way to incorporate florals, hanging arrangements of blooms and botanicals create a living ceiling for your wedding tables. As guests look up, they’ll see roses, wisteria, and more dropping down toward them. It’s quite the experience! Hanging flowers also work well in tents, when couples want to disguise the rafters and inside ceiling of the vinyl.

Linens

Photo by Tenth and Grace

Fabrics set the tone of any table, says House of Hough[11] owner Clara Hough. From textured tablecloths like sequins to velvet table runners[12], linens are a way to boost your centerpieces. They create the foundation for whatever you are adding on top. Beyond the color, look at linens with personality, such as embroidery, lace, or unique materials, to help set the mood. You can also go completely fabric with your centerpieces. “One of my favorite centerpiece trends is strings of fabrics hanging from the ceiling or from tall metal structures, creating a ribbon chandelier effect,” Hough says. “I always love seeing something other than flowers being used as centerpieces.”

Found Objects

Incorporating any sort of objet, from antiques to fine art, brings a new element to your reception table. Event designer Erica Haskins of Tinsel Experiential Design[13] has worked with antique violins, marble busts, taxidermy, and “other curiosities” in the place of traditional florals. “It makes the table feel not just pretty but interesting,” she says. “Give guests another good reason to get up and move around the room to see what is happening visually.”

Personal Affects

The centerpiece is the perfect place to showcase your personality. Display your collection of pewter horse sculptures or authentic Spanish pottery, suggests event designer Kristin Banta of Kristin Banta Events[14]. “So often, couples feel like they have to dive into floral selections, and we encourage them to think about the process like building a house,” says Banta, noting that only at the end do you decide what goes on the coffee table. “Personalize your decor to be reflective of your unique personalities and passions. It’s a dynamic and memorable approach to your wedding design.”

Books

Photo by Aaron and Whitney Photography

Literary fanatics[15] are often drawn to this idea: books. Place your favorite tomes in stacks on the center of the table, with or without details like flower and candles. It’s extremely personal—your guests will learn something about your erudite taste—and you can even theme tables after genres, like historical fiction, chick lit, classic epics, and poetry, or famous characters, such as Holden Caulfield, Harry Potter, or Nancy Drew.

See more: 15 Wedding Table Decorations and Centerpieces to Spruce Up Your Reception Venue[16]

LED and Neon Lights

Photo by Mon Soleil

Take your tables futuristic with the use of long LED light bars or neon lights in fun shapes. “They give a lot of flexibility with color stories so couples don’t have to commit to one color tone for the length of a party,” Haskins says. “Instead, shake things up by setting the bars to alternate between colors, roll into an ombré effect across a room, pulse with music, or ‘dance.’” Talk about a galactic experience!

References

  1. ^ floral arrangement (www.brides.com)
  2. ^ Jove Meyer Events (www.jovemeyerevents.com)
  3. ^ glamping wedding (www.brides.com)
  4. ^ Garlands (www.brides.com)
  5. ^ Tropical Occasions (www.tropicaloccasions.com)
  6. ^ Candles say romance (www.brides.com)
  7. ^ Birch Event Design (birchevents.com)
  8. ^ Elegant Occasions (elegantoccasionsbyjoanngregoli.com)
  9. ^ floral chandeliers (www.brides.com)
  10. ^ Marylen Exposito (marylenexposito.com)
  11. ^ House of Hough (houseofhough.com)
  12. ^ textured tablecloths like sequins to velvet table runners (www.brides.com)
  13. ^ Tinsel Experiential Design (tinseldesign.com)
  14. ^ Kristin Banta Events (www.kristinbanta.com)
  15. ^ Literary fanatics (www.brides.com)
  16. ^ 15 Wedding Table Decorations and Centerpieces to Spruce Up Your Reception Venue (www.brides.com)

47 Fascinating Wedding Traditions From Around the World

From the bride tossing her bouquet[1] to wearing something old, new, borrowed, and blue, American wedding customs are still so popular today that even the most non-traditional brides[2] happily take part. (Why tempt fate and start off your new marriage with anything other than good luck vibes?) But Americans don't have a monopoly on such rituals—pretty much every other country and culture also has its own beloved wedding customs.

Some are sweet, like how wedding guests in Sweden[3] kiss the bride or groom anytime their new spouse leaves the room. Some are perplexing: Couples in the Congo[4], for example, are forbidden to smile on their wedding day. And some are seemingly strange, such as the way engaged pairs in Mongolia[5] must kill and butcher a chicken to find a healthy liver before being allowed to wed. But what binds these seemingly disparate customs from near and far is one simple thing: love.

If you follow these traditions, the theory goes, you will find eternal joy with your soul mate. So, even if some Hindu brides[6] must first marry a tree or some South Korean[7] grooms have to tolerate getting their feet whipped by family and friends, hopefully, it's all worth it in the end. When love and happiness ever after are the outcomes, it's usually a win-win for brides and grooms[8].

Keep reading to learn about 47 of the most awe-inspiring rituals from around the globe to give you an idea of the many traditions that go far beyond the bouquet toss.

References

  1. ^ tossing her bouquet (www.brides.com)
  2. ^ non-traditional brides (www.brides.com)
  3. ^ Sweden (www.thelocal.se)
  4. ^ Congo (www.sugarweddings.com)
  5. ^ Mongolia (theculturetrip.com)
  6. ^ Hindu brides (www.brides.com)
  7. ^ South Korean (sugarweddings.com)
  8. ^ brides and grooms (www.brides.com)

24 Colorful Wedding Cakes That Are Almost Too Pretty to Eat

You’ve got it all figured out—the perfect wedding dress[1], the best venue, the prettiest flowers[2], even the place cards you’ll be using on your big day. But sometimes, the last thing you think about when planning your wedding is what kind of wedding cake[3] you want. The choices can be overwhelming, to say the least. Sure, you could go for a classic white buttercream, maybe with some fresh florals[4]. But what if you don't consider yourself a "traditional" bride? What if you don't want something that's so completely classic? In that case, these colorful wedding cakes will be right up your alley.

While you could forgo the cake altogether and serve a different kind of dessert—pies perhaps!?[5]—if you consider yourself both an untraditional bride AND you still want a cake, an easy way to modernize the white, tiered, tried-and-true dessert is to make a simple switch. Just add color! Non-white wedding cakes can bring a ton of personality and fun to your reception. Plus, they look ahh-maze-ing in wedding photos!

Colorful wedding cakes can come in the form of something bold (we love a deep charcoal—not for the faint of heart!) or something more subtle (a pretty pastel). Chocoholic brides can opt for a chocolate buttercream or fondant. And you can even incorporate a non-white pattern (such as a pretty and modern marbled base) into your post-wedding dessert[6] for an unexpected use of hues.

A delicious advantage of colorful wedding cakes? These anything-but-vanilla, big-day desserts allow for you and your baker to create a confection that's truly you. After all, you're already injecting your and your fiancé's personalities into so many aspects of your big day, so why not your cake as well? If summer is your favorite season or you're throwing a destination wedding, choose a tropical hue for your colorful wedding cake to match your style and wedding theme[7]. If you consider yourself to bear modern sensibilities, an edgy black wedding cake will fit your personal style to a tee. See? There's a non-white wedding cake out there for every bride.

A pop of color has never tasted so sweet! Here are some of our favorite examples of colorful wedding cakes.

See more: These One-Tier Wedding Cakes are Legit Works of Art[8]

References

  1. ^ perfect wedding dress (www.brides.com)
  2. ^ prettiest flowers (www.brides.com)
  3. ^ wedding cake (www.brides.com)
  4. ^ fresh florals (www.brides.com)
  5. ^ pies perhaps!? (www.brides.com)
  6. ^ post-wedding dessert (www.brides.com)
  7. ^ wedding theme (www.brides.com)
  8. ^ These One-Tier Wedding Cakes are Legit Works of Art (www.brides.com)

11 Sweetheart Table Ideas You’ll Fall Head Over Heels For

As soon as you come back up the aisle as newlyweds, you're going to be swarmed by wedding guests hoping to give you a hug, a kiss, or their congratulations. And why not? You're married! But all that attention can get a little overwhelming, especially when you think about the hours of celebration ahead of you. Enter the sweetheart table. Step away from the madness for a few minutes with a wedding reception dinner[1] for two and some peace and quiet, where you can talk (or not!) about how everything is going so far and revel in your amazing wedding day. Luckily, there are endless sweetheart table ideas out there that'll suit any pair of newlyweds.

For your sweetheart table, you and your partner can cuddle up on a love seat instead of your venue's regular banquet chairs[2]. Instead of the centerpieces you have on every other table, you can drape your table for two with a floral table runner[3]. You can even upgrade your dinnerware and glassware to make your place settings[4] extra special. The sweetheart table ideas are virtually endless!

And not only do sweetheart tables offer you and your new spouse a bit of intimacy during dinner, but they're also a great way to accent the rest your wedding decor and elevate your reception for a fraction of the price. You can splurge on those extra special rentals for your sweetheart table that you really couldn't justify for over 100 guests—as you'll only need two of those stunning chargers! After all, it's your day and you don't have to share with anyone else! The rest of the space will still benefit from the beautiful addition of your sweetheart table decor, but your wedding budget[5] won't go up by an astronomical sum.

Here are some wedding sweetheart tables that caught our eye and will look beautiful alongside the details you've chosen for your wedding day.

Photo by Vienna Glenn Photography

This blush tablecloth is sweet and feminine. That, coupled with the gorgeous florals, makes for a romantic table for two.

Upgrade your chairs to ensure that all eyes are drawn directly to you and your spouse. Setting your table with an extra beautiful centerpiece certainly won't hurt either!

Photo by Vienna Glenn Photography

This romantic couple opted for decorative florals and chair signs[6] with the sweetest of sayings.

Go big or go home! This sweetheart table featured a plush love seat, an array of candles, and is overflowing with greenery.

Photo by Chris and Ruth Photography

This stylish couple[7] draped the back of their chairs with matching leather jackets, resulting in a super cool sweetheart table.

Photo by Kristyn Hogan

Keep things romantically rustic by going bare with your tabletop and decorating with a simple bundle of blooms.

With metallic gold chairs and a runner of vines, this sweetheart table is perfect for a modern couple.

Photo by Sarah Falugo

For her sweetheart table, actress Ashley Greene[8] chose silky linens and a gorgeous floral runner.

Photo by Vine & Light

With lacy, layered table linens, romantic lighting, and lush florals, this sweetheart table looks like it belongs in a princess's castle!

Photo by Rebecca Yale Photography

You can upgrade your reception linens to make your personal table stand out. At this wedding, the couple draped gauzy, embroidered fabric on top of their tablecloth for an extra special touch.

Photo by Hazelnut Photography

Add a touch of sparkle with glittery table linens to make your sweetheart table truly shine.

See more: 12 Tips for Creating the Perfect Wedding Seating Chart[9]

References

  1. ^ wedding reception dinner (www.brides.com)
  2. ^ banquet chairs (www.brides.com)
  3. ^ floral table runner (www.brides.com)
  4. ^ place settings (www.brides.com)
  5. ^ wedding budget (www.brides.com)
  6. ^ chair signs (www.brides.com)
  7. ^ This stylish couple (www.brides.com)
  8. ^ actress Ashley Greene (www.brides.com)
  9. ^ 12 Tips for Creating the Perfect Wedding Seating Chart (www.brides.com)

This Sentimental Wedding Trend Lets Brides Personalize Their Wedding Dress With Secret Messages

We're all for a bride who personalizes her wedding[1] at every turn. And from signature drinks[2] that boast your and your partner's favorite spirit, to serving guests local treats[3], there are countless ways to custom your day. One super sweet way to get personal? For a meaningful touch, brides are now personalizing their wedding dresses with secret messages, oh-so subtly embroidered, sewn, or printed onto the fabric of their gowns. The result is a truly one-of-a-kind, bespoke frock that couldn't be more you— and this sentimental wedding trend is seriously taking off. Even celebrities are getting in on it!

Whether it's a romantic quote you hold close to your heart, a love letter to your partner, your wedding date, or your and your fiancé's initials, there are tons of touching details you can add to the fabric of your wedding dress. Take inspiration from Priyanka Chopra. When the star married[4] Nick Jonas (the first time)[5], she wore a lacy white wedding dress by Ralph Lauren[6]. According to People[7], Chopra had the designer add some secret messages to the intricate fabric of her gorgeous gown, including her and Jonas's wedding date, her husband's full name, the names of her parents, "Om Namah Shivay" (a Hindi mantra), and the words "family," "hope," "compassion," and "love."

Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone[8] also included a touching detail to her wedding attire, designed by Sabyasachi Mukherjee. As bridal shop owner Aashni Shah Doshi tells Metro UK[9], "Deepika had 'Sada Saubhagyavati Bhava' on her veil for her wedding, around the trim of her veil... It translates to 'May you always be lucky as a married woman.'"

Elsewhere, other (non-famous) brides are also adapting the sentimental wedding trend to their own nuptials. With the help of designers such as Hermione de Paula[10], who has made this ultra-custom embroidery a stunning signature of her gowns, more and more brides-to-be are adding similarly sweet secret messages to their wedding dresses—and we can't get enough of these heartfelt touches.

Thinking of also giving your gown hidden meaning? Perhaps write an emotional message to your partner and have it printed on the fabric of your gown, or ask about getting your favorite song lyrics embroidered along the train. If you don't want the message to affect the design of your dress, consider having it sewn onto the lining, where it'll be an intimate secret between only you and your partner. Take a peek at the personalized wedding dresses below to get some ideas!

See more: 34 Heartwarming Wedding Ceremony Moments That Will Make You Feel All the Things[11]

References

  1. ^ personalizes her wedding (www.brides.com)
  2. ^ signature drinks (www.brides.com)
  3. ^ local treats (www.brides.com)
  4. ^ married (www.brides.com)
  5. ^ (the first time) (www.brides.com)
  6. ^ wedding dress by Ralph Lauren (www.brides.com)
  7. ^ People (people.com)
  8. ^ Deepika Padukone (www.brides.com)
  9. ^ Metro UK (metro.co.uk)
  10. ^ Hermione de Paula (www.hermionedepaula.com)
  11. ^ 34 Heartwarming Wedding Ceremony Moments That Will Make You Feel All the Things (www.brides.com)

18 Valentine’s Day Wedding Ideas to Send Your Heart Aflutter

Is there a more perfect date for a wedding than February 14th? A Valentine's Day[1] wedding already has romance built right in! Plus, you'll definitely never forget your anniversary...

If you're planning a Valentine's Day wedding—or just mid-February nuptials—there are countless ways you can incorporate the romantic holiday into every detail of your big day. For instance, you can adorn your reception space with modern heart-shaped neon signs or dress your bridesmaids in ruby red bridesmaids dresses[2]. Looking for more subtle Valentine's Day wedding ideas? Try selecting red and pink blooms for your bouquet[3] and serving your guests rosé cocktails[4]. You can even send your guests off with Valentine's Day bouquets[5] as wedding favors[6]!

Ready to embrace your romantic side? Here are some Valentine's Day wedding ideas that are sure to send your heart a flutter.

Photo by Tec Petaja

Set the mood (and color scheme) for your big day with sophisticated shades of deep burgundy and dusty rose in your invitation suite.

Bring on the blooms! (In Valentine's Day-inspired shades of red and pink, of course.)

Photo by Lucy Cuneo

Dress your bridesmaids in the hue of the holiday with red bridesmaid dresses. At the wedding of Harley Viera-Newton[7], the bridesmaids wore flirty frocks adorned with red hearts!

Not feeling red bridesmaid dresses? You can still have your girls wear the quintessential Valentine's Day color by gifting them ruby-hued getting ready robes[8].

Photo by Cambria Grace

As for your wedding dress, consider trading the traditional white wedding dress for a blush gown.

And for your bridal bouquet, choose blooms in Valentine's Day-inspired hues. A trailing red ribbon is also a romantic touch.

Go big with a ceremony backdrop Cupid would definitely approve of. This couple used ombré streamers in shades of scarlet and gold.

Photo by Gianny Campos

Romance your guests with the decadent duo of berries and sparkling rosé. For a flirty touch, slice the berries into hearts.

With a cozy ruby-red velvet couch, this reception lounge area is Valentine's Day ready. Bonus points for the romantic quote written on the wall!

A modern neon sign is a cool and funky way to incorporate some Valentine's Day details.

Chic, berry-colored velvet chairs are a modern nod to the holiday.

Adorn your tables with blush-hued taper candles for a soft and romantic pop of pink.

Photo by Sanaz Photography

Or you can all pink, like this sweet and feminine tablescape at Larry Nance Jr.’s Hawaiian wedding[9].

Photo by Lucy Cuneo

Have your caterer cut tiny red hearts out of fondant for the cutest wedding cake decoration.

Alternatively, you can go more subtle by decorating your cake with a scattering of scarlet blooms.

Photo by Mallory Dawn Photography

Give your guests the quintessential Valentine's Day gift—flowers!—as favors. This couple[10] hired a flower truck to create custom bouquets for their guests. What a fun idea for your reception!

Photo by Rebecca Yale Photography

Don't leave all the romantic florals for your tables and bouquets! Add edible flowers to simple wreath cookies for an Insta-worthy moment.

This styled shoot swapped the traditional photo booth for a kissing booth! Just think of all the adorable photo ops...

See more: 10 People Share Their Real Valentine's Day Horror Stories[11]

References

  1. ^ Valentine's Day (www.brides.com)
  2. ^ ruby red bridesmaids dresses (www.brides.com)
  3. ^ your bouquet (www.brides.com)
  4. ^ rosé cocktails (www.brides.com)
  5. ^ Valentine's Day bouquets (www.brides.com)
  6. ^ wedding favors (www.brides.com)
  7. ^ wedding of Harley Viera-Newton (www.brides.com)
  8. ^ getting ready robes (www.brides.com)
  9. ^ Larry Nance Jr.’s Hawaiian wedding (www.brides.com)
  10. ^ This couple (www.brides.com)
  11. ^ 10 People Share Their Real Valentine's Day Horror Stories (www.brides.com)

Jumping the Broom: From the 18th Century to Present Day

“Jumping the broom might look like a cute tradition[1], but the context is much deeper than that,” explains Jordan Maney, a San Antonio wedding planner[2]. If you haven’t heard of it, jumping the broom (literally hopping over a broomstick while holding hands) is a tradition that some African American couples choose to incorporate in their wedding, usually after they’ve kissed[3] as they are on their way back down the aisle. While it is often attributed to African slaves, who “had absolutely no autonomy, even in love,” the tradition precedes American slavery and is rooted in West African customs.

The History

Photo by Dacia Pierson of Eager Hearts Photography

Eighteenth-century European traders reported that the region that is now Ghana was extremely well-kept due to the use of locally made brooms. The symbolism of brooms seemed to permeate its way into wedding ceremonies—for example, waving a broom over a couple in an Asante wedding symbolized the sweeping away of evil spirits that might have ill will toward the happy couple. For couples who jumped the broom, this act was representative of the household and “symbolized the wife's commitment or willingness to clean the courtyard of the new home she had joined,” according to the African American Registry[4]. Because a groom often jumped higher than his bride, this showed his leadership in the household.

This custom appeared in the U.S. because of the transatlantic slave trade; other African ethnic groups adopted this symbol of jumping the broom from the Asante people in the absence of any legal recognition of enslaved people’s marriages. Jumping the broom became the only symbol of African slave couples' unions in America—in fact, at the time marriage was an illegal and extremely dangerous act. Couples would pretend like they were hosting a regular party, and use jumping the broom to signify their union and commitment. During slavery, “the ceremonial jumping of the broom served as an open declaration of settling down in a marriage relationship,” according to Atlanta Black Star[5].

While the tradition largely disappeared, both in West Africa due to colonization and the adoption of European wedding customs[6], as well as in the United States after the emancipation of enslaved people, the revival of the custom in African American weddings is credited to Roots, the novel and miniseries from the 1970s. Today the phrase “jumping the broom[7]” is synonymous with “tying the knot” or “getting hitched.”

The Present

Photo by Two Twenty by Chi Chi

This tradition is now so pervasive that when some little girls dream about weddings, they dream[8] of jumping the broom. Diane from Ohio says, “When I was a little girl, I would put on my white Barbie dress-up gown, a white pillowcase as a veil, and I’d grab our ugly blue and yellow broom to practice getting married and jumping the broom.” And sure enough, she incorporated this custom in her wedding, explaining, “Every day I'm thankful for the people who fought tirelessly for my husband and I to spend our lives together.” Heavenly from Atlanta also daydreamed about jumping the broom as a little girl: “It's been a family tradition, and I couldn't wait to have my chance.” Her aunt designed a special broom for her wedding and shipped it to her from Memphis: “I thought it was beautiful! It's definitely something that I plan on passing down to my children. Jumping the broom was the best part of the ceremony.”

For some black couples, the tradition of jumping the broom[9] is more than a family custom and is a deeply important acknowledgement of their history, culture, and identity. Moriah from Georgia says, “[When we were] growing up, my mother made sure that we were proud and confident in who we are. We were taught about our history and its importance and to remember those who were here before us and the type of life they endured.” For Moriah, jumping the broom was just one part of a wedding that spoke to her Creole roots. “We jumped the broom because it was an outward expression of OUR history of marriage. We did it because it is a part of who we are.” DJuana of Missouri adds, “Knowing where you come from influences where you're going. So, jumping the broom for us is saying our love is real and everlasting, just like the love of those people who sometimes died because they simply loved.”

C.K. Alexander, the senior editor of Black Bride[10] says, “I see a lot of couples still jumping the broom in our submissions, and it's usually one of my favorite photos because the couple has officially been pronounced, and this is the last step before they exit the ceremony space, and you really get to see the fullness of their joy in that moment.”

See more: 45 Fascinating Wedding Traditions from Around the World[11]

And this love is a powerful—even revolutionary—statement. Wedding planner Jordan Maney explains, “To declare joy and love and, really, their humanity in a time that black people were treated as property was revolutionary. It was an act of resistance.” Raquita Henderson, the lead photographer of Pinxit Photo[12], says, “Every time I see a broom ceremony, I think of the brides and grooms who would not have been able to have their ceremonies in these beautiful churches, whose love stories were never real to society, and how they must dance in the hereafter when they see us love this way.” Jordan says, “When couples jump the broom now, I think it still has a dual purpose; paying homage to where and who we've come from and acknowledging the right to love and the right to choose love in a time where there isn't much of that going around.”

While some couples prefer to distance themselves from the history of slavery and choose not to incorporate the tradition of jumping the broom, their choice to marry and to celebrate black love or interracial love is still a tribute to the past and a revolutionary statement, according to Jordan Maney. Shae Washington writes for Catalyst Wed Co.[13] about the incredible significance of the right to marry for certain groups: “As a black person in this country (and as a queer person in this country) getting married has been long denied, fought for, and then gained as a right by my people. I do not take for granted the history of enslaved black folk jumping brooms and knitting together family with courage and ruthless love in the face of fear and the reality of most likely being sold away from each other.”

For some groups in this country, the right to love hasn’t come free. The tradition of jumping the broom is an important reminder that even when the humanity and lives of black people are oppressed, black love persists.

Browse the beautiful photos below to see just how modern couples take on this history-laden wedding tradition...

This bride jumped the broom with a mile-wide smile in tow.

We love when a couple blends together their cultural traditions, like this pair who wed beneath a chuppah before jumping the broom.

A sweet and simple ceremony, sealed with a loving leap.

Clasping hands, brides Miyo and Charan jumped the broom after their "I dos."

Surrounded by their friends, family, and tons of white blooms, this couple happily hopped over their broom.

Photo by Abby Jiu Photography

Real Housewives of Potomac star Candiace Dillard jumped the broom with her new hubby, restaurateur Chris Bassett, at their lavish D.C. wedding[14].

With a hop, skip, and a jump, Lauren and Ryan tied the knot.

Just look at this groom's face! At their wedding, Jazlan and Ashton Fontenot couldn't have been more excited to jump the broom.

We're loving this groom's bold pink suit and this couple's joyful jump.

A modern ceremony setting combined with a longstanding tradition.

This too-cool bride and groom took their post-ceremony leap in serious style.

A picturesque outdoor ceremony meets a picture-perfect jump.

References

  1. ^ tradition (www.brides.com)
  2. ^ San Antonio wedding planner (www.allthedaysweddings.com)
  3. ^ kissed (www.brides.com)
  4. ^ according to the African American Registry (aaregistry.org)
  5. ^ according to Atlanta Black Star (atlantablackstar.com)
  6. ^ wedding customs (www.brides.com)
  7. ^ jumping the broom (www.brides.com)
  8. ^ dream (www.brides.com)
  9. ^ jumping the broom (www.brides.com)
  10. ^ Black Bride (www.blackbride.com)
  11. ^ 45 Fascinating Wedding Traditions from Around the World (www.brides.com)
  12. ^ Pinxit Photo (pinxitphoto.com)
  13. ^ Catalyst Wed Co. (www.catalystwedco.com)
  14. ^ their lavish D.C. wedding (www.brides.com)

10 Wedding Cake Servers You Can Buy Now

Sure, you've been to your cake tasting[1] and have your wedding cake all picked out down to the very last frosting rose on top. But have you selected your wedding cake server yet? Wedding cake servers are a must for picture-perfect cake-cutting[2] photos. And considering the delicious history behind wedding cakes, that's a moment you definitely won't want to miss.

When it comes to wedding cakes[3], the history of traditions is...rich? Interesting, for sure. For instance, in Ancient Rome there was a tradition of having a cake made of wheat or barley that was broken over the bride's head. BROKEN OVER HER HEAD. Apparently this symbolized good fortune? (If ever there was a time for the thinking emoji it is here). Oh, and the pillars that you sometimes see between wedding cake tiers? Those began as broomsticks covered in frosting. BROOMSTICKS. Also, there was a myth that bridesmaids could "dream up" their future husbands, so they would take a piece of the wedding cake home and put it under their pillow. This seems wildly impractical during a time where washing linens was not as simple as throwing them in a machine. Times have changed, y'all.

One tradition that still persists is the cutting of the cake[4], which started because weddings began growing in size[5]. Thus, the cake kept getting larger and the icing became much denser so it could support the weight of all those layers. The bride could no longer cut through the icing alone, so the groom began assisting. Of course this tradition[6] is rife with symbolism—the joining of your union, working together, and a promise to always provide for each other.

Since the cutting of the wedding cake[7] is so common and routine now, why not have a pretty wedding cake server to go with it? They're usually quite inexpensive and it's something you can keep forever afterward. We kind of even like the idea of framing it or doing something to preserve it in an artsy way!

Here are 10 of our favorite wedding cake servers you can buy now.

See more: 8 Gorgeous Cake Stands from Etsy[8]

References

  1. ^ cake tasting (www.brides.com)
  2. ^ cake-cutting (www.brides.com)
  3. ^ wedding cakes (www.brides.com)
  4. ^ cake (www.brides.com)
  5. ^ growing in size (www.brides.com)
  6. ^ tradition (www.brides.com)
  7. ^ cutting of the wedding cake (www.brides.com)
  8. ^ 8 Gorgeous Cake Stands from Etsy (www.brides.com)