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Please Follow Me: Wedding Seating Etiquette 101

Take the guesswork out of seating at your wedding by making a plan. Guests will feel comfortable knowing where to sit once they arrive to share your special day. Creating an advanced seating plan will also help prevent sensitive seating encounters.

For Christian weddings, the bride’s family sits on the left when facing the altar, the groom’s family on the right. For Jewish ceremonies, the opposite is true.

The first four or five rows can be reserved for immediate and extended family, parents of any children in the wedding and special guests.

  • The bride and groom’s parents sit in the first row and grandparents and great-grandparents in the second.

  • Siblings not in the wedding party are seated before the grandparents and great-grandparents in the first or second row.

  • Just before the ceremony starts, the immediate family of the bride and groom are seated, beginning with the groom’s family.

  • The bride’s mother is the last person seated immediately after the groom’s mother; an usher usually escorts both.

The ceremony officially begins when the bride’s mother is seated.

  • Divorced parents of the bride or groom sit in the first and third row. The parent, who was the primary caregiver for the bride or groom sits in the first row accompanied by his or her ex-spouse, and the other parent and spouse will sit in the third row.

  • Divorced parents can also sit together in the first row if they prefer.

Additional rows can be reserved for step-relatives who are seated before all birth relatives and directly behind the immediate family.

Discuss this seating arrangement in advance.

Seat guests in wheelchairs or on crutches at the end of pews, and elderly guests near the front.


Celebrate in Style -- Traditional Wedding Gifts

There’s something to be said about maintaining tradition. Things change, the world moves on, but some traditions are long lasting. Weddings and the gifts for anniversaries that come after are steeped in tradition and hold a special place in our history, but many people don’t know what those traditions are for each year. This list will help you choose a gift that is timeless for any anniversary:

Year 1 – Paper

If you’re wondering how to make paper special, consider creating a photo collage of your first year of marriage.

Year 2 – Cotton

Pillows and lingerie are options to think about.

Year 3 – Leather

Meant to signify the durability of your bond, leather can sometimes be a tricky gift to think of. Purses and wallets are some options for this year.

Year 4 – Flowers

Celebrate how your love has blossomed with a colorful bouquet filled with beautiful flowers.

Year 5 – Wood

There are many ways to find a meaningful gift made of wood. Matching Adirondack chairs, pool sticks, a whittled sculpture, and pendants are just some of the options to choose from with this versatile selection.

Year 6 - Sugar or Iron

If you share a sweet tooth, sugar is the more viable option. Iron symbolizes strength and endurance, and as such, represents a solid gift for this year.

Year 7 – Wool

Warmth and comfort – protection: that’s what wool signifies. A cozy sweater or socks would do nicely with this theme.

Year 8 – Bronze

The strength of copper and tin combined to make bronze speaks of a bond that is long lasting. A piece of art created in bronze is an idea to show longevity.

Year 9 – Pottery

Beauty punctuates this year. A decorative vase would be a nice representation of this sentiment.

Year 10 – Tin

An important marker! A clock would be fitting to mark the passage of time.

Here are the remaining years and their corresponding gifts at a glance:

Eleventh: Steel

Twelfth: Silk or Linen

Thirteenth: Lace

Fourteenth: Ivory

Fifteenth: Crystal

Twentieth: China

Twenty-Fifth: Silver

Thirtieth: Pearls

Thirty-Fifth: Coral

Fortieth: Ruby

Forty-Fifth: Sapphire

Fiftieth: Gold

Fifty-Fifth: Emerald

Sixtieth: Diamond

Sixty-Fifth: Blue Sapphire

Seventieth: Platinum

Seventy-Fifth: Diamond

Eightieth: Oak

Eighty-Fifth: Moonstone

Ninetieth: Stone


The Top 10 Apps that Can Help You Prepare for Your Wedding Day

You're getting married, and you know you have a lot of planning before the big day. You have to consider what you'll wear, what you'll eat, where you'll wed, and where you'll have the reception. Those are just some of your concerns. If you want to simplify the process a bit, look to your smartphone. Apps abound that can help any bride. Here are the top 10.

1. Wedding Party on Android or iPhone

This app is intended for the actual wedding day, allowing you and your guests to take pictures and videos of unforgettable memories and share them. Guests with a smartphone, tablet, computer, or camera can all partake in the fun. There are no cons to this app.

2. WeddingScan on iPhone

If you want to check out the price of that dress, flower set, or shoes, then use this app. You can scan anything and get a price. There are no cons to this app.

3. iWedPlanner on Android or iPhone

This app by SentientIT Software Solution cuts down on wedding planning by allowing you to make a calendar, schedule payments, track your budget, and receive reminders. You can also find florists, bakeries, and DJs near you. This app has no cons.

4. iWedding Deluxe on iPhone

Serendipity App Company produces this app that lets you set to-do lists, guest lists, budgets, RSVPs, and seating plans. You can send invites right from your phone's contact list. The only con is that this app costs five dollars, which may be too much for a bride trying to save.

5. Wedding Lookbook on Android or iPhone

The Knot, a top wedding website, allows you to browse dresses and pick the ideal gown for your wedding. You can browse by style, dress length, fabric, color, size, and price. There are no cons to this app.

6. Best Wedding Cakes on iPhone

AAPixel LLC's app lets you browse hundreds of high quality images of cakes. You can even design your dream cake. The only con is that the app is somewhat limited in that you can't contact bakeries through it.

7. AppyCouple on Android or iPhone

This app lets you chronicle your wedding, inviting guests, setting up venues, and letting guests share gifts. The only con is that all guests need an invite to use.

8. Married App on Android or iPhone

This app, like a few others, also lets guests share wedding day memories and lets you impart wedding venue directions and even song requests during the reception. The only con is that the app is only available for Android and iPhone.

9. Fun Wedding Traditions on iPhone

Blue Sodium Corp's app allows you to plan a wedding a little out of the ordinary, looking at worldwide traditions to borrow. There are no cons to this free app.

10. Wedding Countdown on Android or iPhone

This app by Sevenlogics, Inc. knows that in the flurry of stress surrounding wedding planning that you may forget when the big day actually is. You can check the countdown on this app. The only con is that it's somewhat limited.


Want to Become a Wedding Planner?

Do you have a natural love of weddings? Does the magic in the air entrance you? Does the excitement and rush of getting things organized for big events invigorate you? Are you in love with love? Well if any of these apply to you then a career in wedding planning could be right up your alley. A wedding planner is a professional who organizes weddings, including all of the financial and social situations, in order to alleviate brides of the obligation. There are many ways to become a wedding planner, here is one of them.

Get Your Education

A wedding planner should have a well rounded education. There are no "Wedding Planning" degrees but having a diploma in a related field like Marketing or Hospitality Management will help out immensely. These degrees will show that you possess the proper skills to match what you are offering to paying newlyweds.

Get Certified

Now that you have a solid background of education it is time to attack actually getting certified as a wedding planner. While the certificate is not required to become a successful wedding planner, it will certainly help. Finding an organization near you that offers these certificates can be as easy as a search on Google. In order to earn this certificate you will be expected to take a handful of classes concerning all of the different aspects that involve a wedding.

Get to Work

The final step down the road to becoming a successful wedding planner is to simply get working. Being a wedding planner means becoming your own business. You will have to research your market, your demographic, and all of the other financial decisions involved. You will need to market, work hard, and connect with potential clients.


The Meaning of Handfasting Ribbon Colors

During a handfasting ceremony, ribbons or cords are draped around the hands of the couple at the altar. Here is what each ribbon color means.

  • Blue represents a sense of sincerity between the couple, as well as peace, honest and open communication, the ability to express oneself, loyalty to the relationship, and patience between the couple.

  • Green represents financial health between the couple as well as physical health, signs of affection, compassionate feelings between the couple, and a sense of caring.

  • Orange represents the attraction between the couple, a sense of kindness, support and encouragement, keeping your heart open, fostering understanding, and being sensitive to each other's needs.

  • Gold represents intelligence, a sense of unity, plenty of energy, and religious blessings for the couple.

  • Red represents passion between the couple, healthy fertility, a sense of strength, bravery, and a long life for the marriage.

  • Yellow represents equality between the couple, confidence for each partner, a sense of balance, joy and charm, a sense of spontaneity, and plenty of enthusiasm for the marriage.

  • Purple represents harmony and tranquility in the marriage, power between the couple, a sense of sentimentality, and intelligence and wisdom.


What is a Handfasting?

A handfasting is a commitment ceremony in which two people pledge a relationship to one another. The practice of handfasting, which originated in pre-Christian Celtic times, has been in use for several hundreds of years. Today, a handfasting can be used by people of any religious denomination - some use it as an alternative to a wedding, and other couples incorporate it into their wedding ceremony as a symbolic gesture.

Handfasting does not always indicate that the couple are becoming legally married. In some cultures, such as in the Scottish Highlands, it was used like a "trial period" for the couple; if they found they were incompatible at the end of the year and a day, then they were free to part without moral or religious repercussion. Otherwise, they would remain together and the marriage would be an official lifelong bond. Some modern couples choose to have a handfasting a year and a day before the day that they plan to legally or officially marry.

During the simple, but beautiful ceremony, the couple will typically have their hands bound with colored cords, ribbons, or cloth to represent their own new bond to one another. As a matter of fact, this thought to be where the modern expression "tying the knot" originated. The cords are loosely tied over the hands in an infinity symbol, or simply draped, while the couple speak their vows or a third person (priest, priestess, or officiant) recites poetry, passages from religious texts, or sings. Some couples choose this time to take a moment of silent reflection.

There are as many variations on the handfasting ceremony as there are couples who choose to undergo it. Each is unique and tailored to the needs and wants of the two people pledging their commitment to one another.

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Shirley Tan