Freebie! Bridal Shower Game Makeover: Wedding Day Predictions


bridalshowerbookbig

‘People will always remember how you made them feel.’ – Maya Angelou

The great Dr. Maya Angelou wasn’t talking about bridal shower games, but her wisdom rings true for bridal shower games that make people feel out-of-the-loop, like they have a great big spotlight on them for being the one person who doesn’t know where the bride and groom met, or what kind of ice cream the bride loves best.

Not every guest at the bridal shower knows her like a best friend would – think future sister-in-law from across the country, or great aunts who know the bride’s mother best of all. So a bridal shower game that hinges on knowing the bride best could very well make some guests hate bridal shower games even more than they already do. Especially if their scorecards or answers are read out loud.

(Is there anything worse than a roomful of people egging you on to read your wrong answers out loud, or booing if you don’t want to? Ugh!)

So to avoid any discomfort for your bridal shower guests, it might be best to offer a game that has no wrong answers, and doesn’t require knowing the bride’s dating history.

Like predictions about the wedding. Now, closest friends will know about her venue, and maybe even her wedding gown designer, but overall, guests can let their imaginations soar, and write down their predictions about the wedding plans that can be read aloud on a volunteer basis, with the rest tucked away for the bride to read later.

And this game works well at a co-ed bridal shower, too. Everyone gets to use their humor, coming up with silly or out-there predictions, and of course super-sweet predictions like ‘…and this will be the best wedding ever!’

Here is your bridal shower game makeover:

Wedding Day Predictions:

What time will the bride wake up on the morning of the wedding?

What time will the groom wake up on the morning of the wedding?

Who will the bride text first on the morning of the wedding?

What will that text say?

Who will the groom text first on the morning of the wedding?

What will that text say?

Which bridesmaid will be the first to arrive at the bride’s house?

Which bridesmaid will be the first dressed?

The bride’s gown – sexy or elegant?

What silly photo pose will the photographer ask the bride and her bridesmaids to do during their pre-wedding photo shoot?

What color will the bride’s manicure be?

Will the groom be able to tie his own bowtie, or will he need help from someone else?

Will there be a crying baby at the ceremony?

Which kinds of musicians will play at the ceremony?

The first kiss: proper or passionate? (A more proper way to say ‘tongue or no tongue.’)

What will guests shower the bride and groom with after the ceremony is done?

What will be the couple’s first dance song?

Name a dish that will be on the cocktail party menu.

What will the signature drink be? And what’s the story behind it?

What will the wedding cake flavor(s) be?

Name one song that’s on the couple’s Do Not Play list for their deejay or band?

What’s the song that gets everyone on the dance floor?

Who’s going to be the first to be cut off at the bar for having had too much to drink/getting sloppy?

Which guests can you see hooking up at the wedding? And dating afterward?

Name the couple’s wedding hahtag:

 

Use some, use all, or scrap these and make up some of your own, remembering to keep it proper for mixed company. Parents are likely to play, so you don’t want to predict anything improper.

Have fun! Print up card on pretty paper, use decorative hole punches, and skip the glitter!

Get more bridal shower game ideas from my Kindle book The Ultimate Bridal Shower Idea Book.

Wedding Symbolism: The Finch Brings Happiness, Joy, Health and a Fun Celebration to your Big Day

Photo: TopAnimalSites.net

Photo: TopAnimalSites.net

 

Weddings are full of symbolism, bringing good luck and all kinds of wonderful, positive things to a marriage. So it’s no wonder that brides choose hummingbirds, dolphins, dragonflies and all kinds of lovely symbolic motifs into their wedding invitation designs, their wedding décor, their bridal showers, and even their personal wedding websites. Each of these symbolic animals – also known as ‘totems’ in some cultures – add a touch of good luck to the couple’s happily ever after.

Right now, birds are a top trend in wedding motifs, and I’ve chosen for this new Wedding Symbolism post a pretty, bright little bird: The Finch. Here are the symbolic meanings of the Finch:

  • Appreciation
  • Diversity
  • Enjoying the Journey
  • Happiness
  • Healthful Diet
  • High Energy
  • Honoring Resources
  • Joy
  • Simplicity
  • Variety

Legend has it that finches symbolize ‘bright times ahead’ or ‘bright days on the horizon,’ which couldn’t be more perfect for a wedding.

Native American culture holds the finch as a bird of happiness, since they’re so brightly-colored, and their flight patterns are joyful, ebullient, a bouncy, joyful pattern of bobbing through the air in complete delight. As a symbol for your marriage, think ‘We won’t always go from Point A to Point B in our marriage, but we’re going to make the journey a fun, playful one.’ The lesson of the finch is this: enjoy the journey!

Native American symbolism also calls the finch a harbinger of upcoming celebration, which again fits so perfectly with a save the date card or wedding invitation – a great celebration is on the way! And looking ahead at your many years of happy marriage, even more upcoming celebrations are ahead of you. So says the finch.

Getting a little deeper, animal symbolism also calls the finch’s birdsong to be an invitation to listen to your own song, and to sing it out loud. Don’t hide your brilliance from the world.

If you’re confused about the healthful diet symbolism of the finch, here’s where it comes from: a finch’s bright color comes from the food that it eats. The healthier its diet, the more vibrant it is. So that old adage ‘You are what you eat’ is reflected in the finch, as a lesson to make healthy living a top priority in your future together, so that both of you can be bright, happy, energetic, radiant and at your best.

Since finches are known to nest in a variety of places, the symbolism for the finch is ‘make a happy home,’ or ‘thrive where you are,’ or ‘appreciate where you are in life, and make your place your own.’

Finches brighten the day of anyone who sees them, and since they’re not a rare bird, they’re pretty much visible everywhere, and very often. So show up and make someone’s day even brighter…which you and your groom will definitely do on your wedding day!

 

Visit my website www.sharonnaylor.net to get my newest books for brides, bridesmaids and the moms, use my free worksheet, and find out where I’m going to be appearing next!

 

Wedding Symbolism: The Peacock

 

Peacock feathers are a top wedding trend, as a motif on invitations, wedding programs and thank you notes, and some brides are working peacock feathers into their centerpieces and color schemes. Bold, dramatic blues and purples evoke the colors of the brightly-colored peacock, and you’ll even find in nature all-white peacocks with graceful fanlike tails.

With peacock themes and colors going strong in wedding world, I thought I’d continue my series on animal symbolism with the peacock. Since so many elements of a wedding have a long history of symbolism bringing luck to the marriage, here is what the peacock’s symbolism can mean to your day:

  • Integrity
  • Showing your true colors
  • Nobility
  • Holiness
  • Guidance
  • Protection
  • Watchfulness
  • Great vibrancy
  • “A walk of faith”
  • Self-esteem booster
  • Vision
  • Refinement
  • Spirituality
  • Incorruptibility (a take on that ‘forsaking all others’ line from traditional wedding vows!)

In Greco-Roman mythology, the peacock is connected to Hera/Juno who, lore says, made the peacock from Argus with his hundred eyes. Thus, that mark on the peacock’s tail feathers that looks like an eye and in some legends symbolizes the “eyes of the stars.”

In Hindu culture, the Peacock is associated with the deity Lakshmi, representing benevolence, patience, kindness, compassion and good luck.

The peacock is also a symbol of Kwan-Yin in Asian lore, as an emblem of love, compassionate watchfulness, nurturing and kind-heartedness.

In Persian lore, the peacock symbolizes protection over royalty (and since you’re the queen of your wedding day….)

In Christian lore, the peacock represents the “all-seeing” church and has been connected to renewal as well as holiness.

So those are some of the top symbols of the peacock. How much do you love that for your wedding’s theme graphics or décor colors and accents now?

Wedding Symbolism: The Seahorse

seahorse

You all are going crazy for my reports on the symbolism of different sea animals, so let’s keep going with my new report on the symbolism of the Seahorse, so that you might consider this cute little curved guy (or gal) for your wedding themes, wedding décor, invitation motifs and sea-themed bridal showers or wedding favors.

With all things coastal and nautical being super-hot wedding trends right now, the seahorse is one of those under-the-sea motifs that’s rocking the gift world right now, which means you’ll find plenty of adorable seahorse-themed cheese spreaders and platters, party plates and even cake toppers. Seahorse motifs are big for save the dates, invitations, wedding programs, place cards, table signs and even chocolate seahorses might be your take-home favor.

etsy seahorse

This seahorse invitation available at Etsy

But let’s look into the symbolism of the seahorse so that you know a bit about what it represents:

The seahorse was thought to have mystical significance among Ancient Greeks, Romans, Asians and Europeans, with the ancient Greeks and Romans tying the seahorse in to their sea gods Neptune/Poseidon, thus attributing the symbols of strength and power to the seahorse. So, by choosing the curly seahorse as your motif, you could bring the symbols of strength and power to your partnership.

Other symbols attributed to the seahorse, and also as good luck symbols for your marriage are:

  • Good luck (Sailors have long considered seahorses to be portents of good luck, as did ancient Chinese culture)
  • Patience
  • Friendliness
  • Protection
  • Generosity/Sharing
  • Contentment

Seahorses are calm and gentle, happy with being simply ‘on their way’ to their destination, not rushing, not frantic, just enjoying the journey. On the flip side, seahorses can be known to wrap their tail around a stationary object to anchor itself when the waters get rough, which some people say is a trait of stubbornness. I say it’s a fabulous symbol of a great marriage! When the ‘waters’ get rough, the seahorse hangs onto its ‘rock’ – that would be each of you to the other – and stays safe.

Oh, and you also might have heard that it’s the male seahorse who gets impregnated by the female, carries the babies to term, and gives birth. A creative interpretation of this sealife fact could be that you’ll share the responsibilities of whatever you both may create – whether it’s babies or a business or a home – and understand each other’s positions in any discussion or hot topic, for avoidance of or a quick end to arguments.

Freebie! Ways to Honor Family and Friends at Your Wedding, Part 2 — Florals

 

caneel engagement ring in flower 2

Welcome back to Part 2 of my freebie series! I decided to make my ebook a big freebie for you, sharing tips on how you can honor your family and friends at your wedding. This time, we’re talking wedding flowers and floral décor as a way to honor departed loved ones, or just give your nearest and dearest a special wedding tribute:

caneel ring in flower

Florals

  1. If you have a departed parent, leave a chair open for them at the ceremony, and place a single white rose on it.
  2. Or, on the departed parent’s or grandparents’ chair, place their favorite type of flower.
  3. Create a grand floral tribute arrangement displayed on a pedestal by your ceremony altar or chuppah, and write in your wedding program that the arrangement is in memory of your departed loved ones, listed by name.
  4. If you’re marrying by the ocean or by a lake, set a floating floral piece in the water in memory of your departed relatives.
  5. Incorporate into your wedding bouquet some of the same flowers your mother used in hers. Kate Middleton did this, using a type of florals used in Queen Elizabeth’s wedding bouquet, so it’s definitely a trend!
  6. Decorate your wedding trellis or chuppah with some of the same flowers used in your parents’ weddings.
  7. Use your birthmonth flower in your bouquet. See the list here.
  8. Mix your birthmonth flower with your kids’ birthmonth flowers, or with your groom’s, your parents’, and so on.
  9. Use flower that’s central to your culture, or to the region where your wedding will take place to add extra personalization to your bouquet or to your floral arrangements and décor. Let guests in on the meaning with pretty signs placed on their tables, or via a note in your printed wedding program.
  10. Missing a departed relative? Use their birthmonth flower in your bouquet as a way to carry a little piece of them with you.
  11. It doesn’t have to be your departed relative whose birthmonth flower is in your bouquet. If your groom’s mother of grandmother has passed away, using their birthmonth flower is a lovely tribute to his family and will be very touching to all, especially to him.
  12. Create a small tribute floral arrangement, with a note explaining the meaning, on your family wedding photos table. Keep it subtle, so that it doesn’t come off like a funeral remembrance floral, and create a lovely sign naming the honored relatives.
  13. Re-create your mother’s wedding bouquet as a special and sentimental floral feature on your family wedding photo table. The same can be done with your grandmother’s wedding bouquet. Again, create and display small signs sharing the meaning with guests.
  14. You may have heard of the “Language of Flowers,” an age-old collection of symbolism attached to a wide variety of flowers and their colors. For instance, a white rose can mean ‘purity’ or ‘innocence.’ See the list here. Use these symbols to create pretty floral pieces for your relatives, and share the meanings with them.
  15. Or, have relatives look over the Language of Flowers list of meanings and select their own flowers according to what they wish to ‘say’ with them.
  16. Set apart the VIP chairs or pew at your ceremony by affixing pretty florals to the backs of seats where parents, grandparents, and other honored family members will sit. Spread the joy by doing this for the second or third rows where special relatives like great-aunts or godparents will sit.
  17. If you have children or are blending your families, make the kids’ chairs extra-special by affixing special floral pieces to the backs of their chairs to give them a special chair of their own.
  18. If you have a daughter or daughters, or your groom does, surprise them by giving them mini versions of your bouquet to carry, instead of a basket of flower petals.
  19. Boutonniere styles can be personalized to honored men in the family, such as to fathers, grandfathers, great-uncles, godfathers and cultural honored men in the family to set them apart.
  20. For men’s flowers, look again at the Language of Flowers to give their blooms special meanings.
  21. During your ceremony, present your parents with long-stemmed roses or other flowers as a moment of love, thanks and tribute to them. This can be a surprise element not practiced at the rehearsal to pack an emotional impact.
  22. Some cultures feature rituals of exchanging fruits, flowers and other items with parents and grandparents within the ceremony. Explore your culture’s good luck and prosperity rituals with parental involvement, and either use them as-is, or give them a modern twist. Relatives love it when you honor an ancestral rite in your modern wedding.
  23. As guests depart your ceremony, have an attendant distribute small flowers to each, that they are to tuck into a trellised décor feature that already has an arrangement of flowers in it. Instruct guests to do so while thinking good wishes for you, and then have your photographer capture that pretty floral décor structure for your wedding album.
  24. Your new family monogram letter can be spelled out in flowers on the lawn where your outdoor ceremony, cocktail party or reception will take place.
  25. If you’ll marry in a garden or sprawling grounds, have your floral designer create flower petal tributes to your relatives, such as your parents’ first initials of S + D and your groom’s parents’ initials of M + H, and so on…beautifully-done and photo-captured as soon as they’re created so that the wind doesn’t ruin the effect before photos can be taken.
  26. Kids’ initials can also be spelled out in flower petals on the grounds’ lawn as a special tribute to them as well.
  27. Florals hanging from trees can be inspired by the same flower types used at relatives’ weddings, with a note in your program saying that’s the design inspiration. Be sure the flower types work together, so that you don’t have non-seasonal or clashing flowers in this display. Work with your floral designer to perfect this unique and pretty outdoor wedding display.
  28. Floral wreaths can adorn your ceremony site’s doors, with your birthmonth flowers or family members’ wedding flowers included.
  29. Back to the table of family wedding photos or portraits: add little touches of floral prettiness with tiny sprigs attached to each frame, and the same type of flower sprinkled on the table top for a budget-friendly, super-stylish effect.

Love this freebie? Find out how to get more in my book The Bride’s Guide to Freebies.

bride's guide to freebies

 

 

Wedding Book Giveaway! My Book “Weddings Away” for Your Destination Wedding, Girls’ Getaway and All Wedding Season Celebration Trips!

Time for a Wedding Giveaway! I’m Giving Away 3 signed copies of my new book Weddings Away

Weddings Away cover

This one is JUST for U.S. locations; sorry, no international sends right now, but we’re working on other giveaways coming up!

All you have to do is post a comment here, even a smiley-face, then say hi on Twitter @sharonnaylorwed. No tagging friends needed. We’re making this easy as pie! Deadline is 4/15/19.

Here’s the Amazon write-up for my book:

Now that you’ve said, “I do” to having a destination wedding, it’s time to make your fairy tale getaway celebration a reality!

Whether you’re planning an island wedding, overseas nuptials, or an intimate gathering in a beloved beach house or a charming village close to home, this invaluable guide from go-to wedding expert Sharon Naylor gives you all the information you need to make your magical day meaningful, memorable, and carefree—for you, and for your guests! You’ll discover:

*How to choose the right planner—and how to get the most out of your on-site wedding professionals

* Up-to-date wedding etiquette and planning tips from celebrity wedding planners and experts

* New ways to use social media accounts, blogs and apps for info-gathering and inspiration

* Invaluable advice for when it’s a destination wedding for out-of-town guests but not for the couple

*How to plan amazing and unforgettable destination wedding weekend outings and events

*Great ideas for getaway bachelor or bachelorette parties, as well as arranging a romantic pre-wedding escape for you to reconnect with your beloved before the big day!

* Must-have tips and to-dos for your destination wedding scouting trips

From navigating travel trends and social media to benefitting from little-known freebies, this comprehensive guide to planning your wedding from afar is brimming with information you won’t easily find anywhere else. Weddings Away has everything you need to keep your happily-ever-after stress-free and smooth sailing!

Good luck!

Wedding Registry Must: Pillows


pillowFuschiaPillows-alt

Pillows are the new Must-Have on wedding registries! Add some fabulous styles to your gift list so that you can add a pop of color to any room or space, indoors or outside! They’re perfect for adding that finishing touch to a room when you’re combining your His and Hers items, refreshing a space, switching your décor from season to season, and especially for outdoor entertaining, they add that home décor and design magazine flair that everyone wants! Guests love to give these as gifts, so they’re happy to see them on your list…and you’ll find fabulous pillows in big registry stores as well as in cute little gift shops that offer wedding gift registries of their own — so you can shop locally!

So add a bunch of pillows to your gift list now!

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The pillows shown above are found at Seasons Home & Gifts!