It’s Shower and Bachelorette Party Time

Not to freak you out or anything but it’s Mid-May.

and the clock is ticking…

Some of you Maid of Honors who will be in weddings this summer have maybe been putting off the shower and/or bachelorette party planning and I’m here to tell you- It’s Time.

Don’t believe those bachelorette/bachelor party images you see on TV where people are partying the night before the wedding. In reality, this seldom happens. Hello, rehearsal dinner? Remember, the early morning wake up call to get your hair and makeup done?

Most people have the bridal shower at least 1-3 months before the wedding and the bachelorette party 2 weeks to 2 months before the wedding.

Believe me, the month of the wedding is jam packed for the bride with last minute arrangements, stress, and events like the bridesmaids luncheon, rehearsal dinner and final bridal fittings. The last thing she wants to do is worry about going to a bachelorette party.

Make sure you ask the bride, but it may work out better to have it more than a few weeks before the wedding. Even just for safety’s sake. It may take time for her to recover from your Girls Night Out. What if the tan she gets from the tanning/spa day you’ve arranged goes awry? She’ll need a few weeks to get rid of the color (think Anne Hathaway in Bride Wars).  Or heaven forbid, she gets injured rocking out in high heels at the bar. Give plenty of buffer space between the party and her wedding.

http://www.calgaryluxuryweddings.com/the-perfect-glow/

http://www.calgaryluxury
weddings.com/the-perfect-glow/

Check out bffbridesmaid.com for great ideas on bachelorette parties and party packages.

Weekday Wedding Workshops: Money Saving Tips and WeddingTax Deductions

Our first informational workshop was a night of delicious food, fun games, great info and of course, sushi rolling..

One of our great couples enjoying a sushi bonding experience!Sushi on a Roll graciously hosted our free event for a very small group of brides, grooms and members of the wedding party. It was intimate and we all enjoyed lots of conversation, advice, commiserating and games.

Our guest speaker, Wedding Planner Carmin from carmindesign.com, was her usual bubbly self and gave us awesome tips on how to save money and get tax deductions on wedding expenses. The brides really appreciated the one one one Q + A with her and all the free advice, tips and tricks she gave. She stayed well past our end time to answer all questions and to give one particular couple lots of design advice since she is not only a planner but a florist by trade.

Jeff from Sushi on a Roll and Andy from sdstreeteats.com served up some serious sushi, braised short ribs and more. Jeff offered our workshop attendents 15% off of his already affordable catering service or venue booking. Sushi on a Roll is not a restaurant, but a private event venue which is awesome because there aren’t any restrictions like at a normal restaurant. So, you can have your bachelorette party or rehearsal dinner here and it’s completely private with private parking even. You can customize your menu, bring in a cigar bar and even set up the Wii and/or karaoke for the kids so they can enjoy too.

Bachelor Party? They can even get the “Sushi Models” to serve sushi on.

My friend had her bridesmaid/groomsmen luncheon (a thank you to their bridal party) on their yacht which you can rent along with a sushi chef for a day out on the ocean. They can even do the sushi-cooking class on board for you.

SD Street Eats gourmet food truck gave us great ideas for bringing in a private food truck for bachelor parties, for the very end of weddings when everyone who liquored up needs some food in their bellies before going home. They will pretty much travel anywhere and come at all hours of the night. They customize your menu and can do as casual as street tacos to as gourmet as lobster.

Our big prize winner of the night, Khristina, won a beautiful necklace by our sponsor Cocoon Jewelry.Their Facebook contest ends tomorrow May 15th. The winner will receive a customized set of jewelry in the brides wedding colors for the bridal party and cufflinks for the groomsmen.

Enter at http://www.facebook.com/CocoonJewelry?sk=app_190322544333196

I’m so thankful to our wonderful sponsors and our guest speaker. I had a great time meeting each couple personally and being able to answer all of the questions that have been plaguing them. I cannot recommend Sushi on a Roll enough as a venue. They are such an unknown gem in San Diego.

I’m going to bring my husband there for a sushi rolling class for Father’s Day.. I heard there is a GroupOn for it. Shhh!You didn’t hear that!

In the end.. it’s all about Love

I’ve stepped back a bit from posting and BFFbridesmaid duties in the past few weeks to spend more time with my 3 kids and my husband. Things were getting very off-balance and a very good friend of mine reminded me where my priorities should be and how important it is to make time to make memories, to make sure the family and friends you have know how much you love them and enjoy each day instead of cramming in tasks that ultimately don’t really matter much.

My friend lost his own father and his boss / father figure, Junior Seau in the same month. It was and still is a heavy loss for him.

It made me really think.

Sometimes our day to day lives sweep us away like a great flood of appointments, parties, work, vegging out on the couch, hobbies, sports and we forget to just stop and take account of who and what is around us. We forget to say “I love you” to the dearest ones around us until it is Mother’s day or Christmas. We look ahead towards the future waiting for life to begin when life is already happening all around us.

Especially with wedding planning, I see so many brides get so wrapped up in such small details of the wedding and so stressed out with the bridal party and even their fiancee that they forget that the essence of what they are doing is all… about… love…

Most weddings will not be perfect.

The wedding is only happening if you and your fiancee make it to that day. So be kind and patient and loving to one another.

Bridesmaids, the bride chose you because you are that special.. that important in her life. That is an honor despite whatever little dramas are happening. Never let bridal drama destroy your friendships.

For my friend, today’s reality involves playing over and over in his head his last words and last memories with his loved ones. If, God forbid, the last thing you did or said to a loved one ended up being the very last exchange you had with them. Would you regret your actions/words? Would you be asking yourself if they knew how much you cared about and loved them?

You, unlike my friend, have time to change that.

La Jolla “Romance by the Sea” Bridal show this Wednesday, April 25th

http://theabbeycatering.com/blog/2012/04/20/romance-by-the-sea-bridal-show-apr-25-at-lajollacovesuites/“What: 6th Annual “Romance by the Sea”

Where: La Jolla Cove Suites’ Rooftop

When: Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Time: 4:30 – 7:30 pm

RSVP: 858-551-3412

Your invited to one of La Jolla’s most highly anticipated
bridal events,

Jolla Cove Suites’ 6th annual

“Romance by the Sea”

Imagine your special day, see this unique venue staged for a wedding and reception, meet a collection of San Diego’s finest vendors and make your dream a reality.”

http://theabbeycatering.com/blog/2012/04/20/romance-by-the-sea-bridal-show-apr-25-at-lajollacovesuites/

Timeline for Pre-Wedding events: Engagement party, bridal shower, bachelorette party… Oh My!

BFF Bridesmaid Checklist Download

Click on the photo for a sample timeline or schedule for Pre wedding events

One of the first questions Bridesmaids and Maids of Honor ask me is

“What do I do and When do I need to do it?”

When it comes to weddings, most people forget that there are numerous events leading up to the BIG event. Think about it..

  • Engagement party (Usually done within 2-3 months of the engagement- sometimes thrown by the Maid of Honor)
  • Bridal or Couple’s showers (Usually done a few months before the wedding- thrown by the Bridesmaids and Maid of Honor)
  • Bachelorette parties (Usually done 2-6 weeks before the wedding- thrown by the Bridesmaids and Maid of Honor)
  • Bachelor parties (Usually done 2-6 weeks before the wedding- thrown by the Groomsmen and Best Man)
  • Bridesmaids Luncheon or Thank you Dinner (Usually, the week of the wedding- thrown by the Bride for her bridal party)
  • Welcome or Rehearsal Dinner (The day before the wedding-thrown by the bride and groom)

Here is a handy timeline to organize your Pre-Wedding events and important appointments. to help you create a good flow for Pre-Wedding events. Spacing the events out adequately will avoid people feeling annoyed with yet “another” wedding event to attend. Remember none of these events are mandatory. Brides- go with your gut on what events you want to have. Bridesmaids- check with the bride what she expects you to organize. Use your resources and have fun with it!

WIN A FREE BACHELORETTE PARTY

BFF Bridesmaid is launching our Ultimate Facebook Contest on 2/15/12.

Win a Bachelorette Party on BFFbridesmaid!

 Nominate the bride by submitting your video/photo/story about why the bride (or you- if you are the bride) deserves to win a free Bachelorette party in San Diego.  

 You can make it funny, touching, creative, whatever you want.

Post directly onto our BFFbridesmaid Facebook Fanpage wall.

Use only one post for your nomination.  

Each bride can only be nominated once. 

Ask your friends to vote by hitting the “Like” button on your post.  

The one with the most likes wins!  

Friends must like the BFFbridesmaid fanpage in order to vote.

Voting ends March 20th.

 

Party details will follow but here is some information:

Bachelorette party will be in San Diego, CA

Party details will be at the discretion of BFFbridesmaid and will include party limitations and other conditions.

 

Maximum girls for party- 15

 

Other contest rules may apply.

 

Bachelorette party details and what is to be included will be decided on by BFFbridesmaid.

 

Contest ends on March 20th.

Chinese Wedding Customs

In honor of Chinese New Year, I found a great blog about Chinese Wedding customs:

“Chinese Bridal Customs

By Seabastian

Chinese Weddings

      Chinese weddings are rich with symbolism, tradition, and rituals. Paying homage to ancestors and traditions is one of the key concepts in Chinese weddings. Whether you are a Chinese-American bride or groom, or simply a sinophile who admires Chinese culture and customs, including some of these customs in your wedding will make it more meaningful and memorable.

Chinese Phoenix

A Blending of Cultures

     Most Chinese-American brides and grooms will plan weddings that are a blend of Eastern and Western traditions. The wedding day may well find the bride dressed in the customary red cheongsam serving tea to her husband’s family at one moment, and dancing the night away to a contemporary d.j. in a white wedding gown at a later time. The symbolism and rituals of Chinese weddings are actually quite easy to meld with American customs, and most brides and grooms are able to seamlessly blend the two cultures into one cohesive wedding.

Let The Planning Begin

Once the engagement is announced, it is time to start planning the wedding. Setting a wedding date is much more than a matter of seeing what days the reception hall or church still has open. Numerology and the Chinese zodiac play an important role in determining which wedding date will be most auspicious for the bride and groom. It also helps them to avoid any dates which would be unlucky ones for the start of their marriage. The engaged couple meets with a fortune teller or feng shui consultant who will take into account the birth dates of the bride and groom, the Chinese calendar, and the Chinese zodiac. It is considered unlucky for the bride or groom to try to make the determination of the best wedding date without using a consultant.

Rice Cakes And Chopsticks

     Every single aspect of a Chinese wedding has symbolic meaning, starting when the couple becomes engaged. Each family has special obligations to fulfill at the time their son and daughter are betrothed. The groom’s family will give bridal cakes, small sweet rice cakes, to the bride’s family. The bridal cakes are then distributed to family and friends by the parents of the bride to spread the joyous news of the upcoming marriage. The parents of the bride, in turn, present the groom’s mother and father with a set of chopsticks. The word chopsticks sounds very similar to the phrase “fast boy” in Chinese, and the chopsticks are a wish that the newlyweds will have their first son very quickly.

“Luck”

It’s Your Lucky Day

     Certain numbers are considered to be generally lucky, while other dates are universally unlucky for weddings. The Chinese believe that even numbers are more auspicious than odd ones, including the month and the day of the month. Chinese wedding ceremonies are usually scheduled to begin on the half hour, because it is believed that time is on the upswing then. The one time that all couples should avoid planning their wedding is the middle to the end of the seventh lunar month on the Chinese calendar. This is when the annual Ghost Festival is held, and ancient tradition holds that at this time lost spirits wander the earth. As the Chinese make a strong distinction between what is associated with weddings, celebrations, and life versus funerals and death, the Ghost Festival would be one of the least favorable times of the year for a wedding.

  • Numbers in Chinese culture
    In Chinese culture, certain numbers are believed by some to be auspicious or inauspicious based on the Chinese word that the number name sounds similar to
  • Chinese Ghost Festival
    The Ghost Festival is a traditional Chinese festival and holiday, which is celebrated by Chinese in many countries. In the Chinese calendar the Ghost Festival is on the 14th night of the seventh lunar month.
Double Happiness

Double Happiness

     Symbols are very important parts of Chinese society in general, and weddings in particular. There are many motifs that are very positive and will often make an appearance in a Chinese wedding. The foremost of these is the double happiness symbol. It can be used to enhance almost any part of a Chinese-American wedding, from the wedding invitations, to the decorations, to the wedding cake, and even the favors. The dragon and the phoenix are a very significant pair of symbols, with the dragon representing the groom and the phoenix the bride. These motifs will frequently be embroidered on the wedding attire of the bridal couple. A pair of cranes is another favorable omen, as it represents longevity.

Lotus Blossom

Wedding Flowers

     In addition to animals and the double happiness symbol, there are particular flowers which the Chinese favor for wedding celebrations due to their positive meanings. The orchid is a symbol of love and fertility, while the peony stands for spring and renewed life. Oranges are a sign of good luck, while their fragrant white blossoms symbolize fertility, just as they do in Western cultures. The lotus blossom is one of the most favorable flowers in many cultural traditions, and for a wedding it symbolizes creation, an unbreakable relationship, and purity. Any of these flowers would be ideal to use for the bouquets, ceremony arrangements, and centerpieces in a Chinese-American wedding. They can also be paired with “lucky” bamboo, the Chinese symbol of long life, and a very popular wedding favor.

Wedding Colors

     Colors also conjure up positive associations. In China, red is the color of happiness, and is often the primary color theme for weddings, especially for the bride’s attire. Gold is another favored color, as it is a sign of wealth. White, on the other hand, is actually associated with death and funerals, and is not traditionally considered to be at all lucky for a wedding as a consequence. Despite that, the Western idea of a “white wedding” has become so globally influential that many Chinese brides, whether in the United States or China, will wear a white bridal gown for at least part of the wedding.

Wedding Programs

     At an American wedding that mixes guests from Chinese and non-Chinese backrounds, much of this important symbolism will be lost on the Western half of the guest list. That is why many brides and grooms will use their wedding programs as an opportunity to share with their guests the meaning behind their choices. Everything from the selection of an auspicious wedding date to the special symbols used to the history of the tea ceremony can be covered in the program. The bride and groom may also choose to include a few verses of Buddhist poetry in their programs, in addition to any other blessings or passages that are meaningful to them as a couple.

Red Cheongsam

Cheongsam

      One of the best known aspects of a Chinese wedding is the red cheongsam or qipao traditionally worn by the bride. The cheongsam is a long fitted dress made of rich silk, which often features embroidered symbols. The phoenix is one of the most auspicious motifs for a bridal cheongsam; another top choices is peonies. Many brides will select cheongsams that are created from lucky red silk with gold embroidery. The traditional accompaniment to the cheongsam or qipao is a crown or tiara created from gilded silver and decorated with feathers and pearls (in honor of the phoenix). In lieu of a tulle veil, a red silk cloth is attached to the headpiece. Due to the large size and considerable weight of the crown, brides these days will usually only wear it long enough for a few photos. It seems like most Chinese-American brides will wear a combination of the traditional cheongsam with crown for one portion of the wedding, and the classic white American wedding gown with pearl or crystal wedding jewelry for another part of their special day.

The Good Luck Woman

     In addition to her traditional garb, a Chinese-American bride can participate in a hairdressing ritual either the night before her wedding or early in the morning of the wedding. She first washes in a grapefruit infused water, as a form of ritualistic cleansing of evil influences. Then the bride is attended to by a “good luck woman”. The “good luck woman” is one who has obtained all of the blessings and good fortune in life that a young bride could wish for: a happy marriage, many children, and wealth. The bride’s hair is brushed four times while the good luck woman bestows her with wishes for a happy future. The first brushing of the hair stands for beginning to end, the second is for harmony from youth to old age, the third is a wish for many grandchildren, and the fourth is a wish for a long marriage and wealth. Finally, the good luck woman forms the bride’s hair into a traditional bun. This part of the ritual is not faithfully observed by every Chinese-American bride today, as many prefer to have their hair styled in a contemporary fashion.

Tea Ceremony

The Tea Ceremony

     No Chinese wedding would be complete without the tea ceremony. This ritual is an ancient custom intended to demonstrate respect and honor for family. The original way in which the tea ceremony was conducted was for the bride to privately serve her own family before the wedding ceremony, and for the newlyweds to serve the groom’s family together following the marriage vows. Many Chinese-American couples adapt this custom and have one tea ceremony with both families present. It usually comes right after the end of the marriage ceremony, but some couples will wait until later in the day or even the following morning. The tea ceremony can either be held in private (perhaps while the rest of the guests are at the cocktail hour before dinner), or with all of the guests present (to watch, not take tea).

The tea ceremony may be held anywhere, such as in a home, a garden, or in a room at the reception venue. The spot will be decorated with the same auspicious colors, flowers, and symbols as the rest of the wedding. An altar should be created to feature photos of the newlyweds’ ancestors, and will be adorned with white flowers, incense, and fruit. Candles are also a part of the tea ceremony; one will be painted with the image of the dragon, and the other with the phoenix to represent the groom and bride’s families. If they so desire, the newlyweds can also light a candle together, in a very similar ritual to the unity candle lighting that is commonplace in American wedding ceremonies.

The tea is served by the bride and groom from a beautiful tea set on a tray. Honoring family and respecting elders is one of the cornerstones of Chinese culture, and this is evident in the matrimonial tea ceremony. The newlyweds first serve the groom’s parents. Next are his paternal grandparents, followed by the maternal grandparents. After that, the rest of the groom’s relatives are offered tea, beginning with his eldest uncles and aunts, working down the family line to the oldest brother of the groom (if he has one). The entire ceremony is then repeated for the bride’s side of the family, if the couple has decided to hold a ritual for both sides at once.

Tea Set

     As each guest is presented with a cup of tea, he takes a sip and then places a red envelope on the tray. Known as “lucky red envelopes” or lai see, they contain cash or jewelry gifts for the bride and groom. In Chinese culture, this is the customary wedding present, not household goods. As mentioned before, everything has symbolic meaning in Chinese heritage, and this includes the gift of money in the lai see. Just like with the wedding dates, even numbers are considered to be more lucky than odd ones (which are associated with funerals). A gift of $88 or $168 would be very auspicious, whereas an envelope containing $75 or some other odd number would not be so lucky. There is one even number that should be avoided, which is the number four. In Chinese, four sounds very similar to death, making it very unlucky indeed.

Lai See Envelope

Wedding Food

     Food is as important a part of a Chinese wedding as any other. The banquets are usually quite abundant, and the more courses, the better. A nine course dinner represents eternity, so it is especially favored. Like every other aspect, the foods served have symbolic meaning. Peking duck stands for joy and happiness. A whole lobster or fish is a sign of completeness. Shark fin soup conjures up wealth, and sea cucumbers represent harmony for the new marriage. Another traditional food to include in a Chinese wedding banquet is sweet sticky buns shaped like peaches. The sweet flavor is symbolic of wishes for a sweet life for the newlyweds, and the peach stands for fertility. The trio of primary themes which are vital in all aspects of Chinese weddings are happiness/luck, fertility, and wealth (along with respect for heritage, which is shown by adhering to all of these customs).

During the reception, the bride and groom will visit each table of guests between dinner courses. It is customary for the newlyweds to be joined by their immediate family while making the rounds. At each table, the bride and groom offer a toast to their guests. Holding their glass with one hand on the top and one on the bottom, the newlyweds will say, “Kanpei”, which means “dry glass”. The guests in return will pay their respects to the newlyweds.

Lion Dance

Symbolism & Tradition

      There are many other Chinese wedding customs worth including in an East-meets-West ceremony or reception. Traditional mandolin music can be played during the ceremony or cocktail hour. If you are really looking to treat your guests to something special, include the Lion Dance in your event. Dating back 1000 years, the Lion Dance is a marvelous spectacle featuring performers dressed in fanciful lion costumes. The lions dance and perform to lively music made by drums, gongs, and symbols. The Lion Dance is a pure joy, and can be included at any time of the wedding, other than during the exchange of vows.

      The incredible wealth ofsymbolism and traditional ritualsthat are characteristic of a Chinese wedding make them very powerful events. In a desire to honor their heritage and to start off their married life on lucky footing, many modern Chinese-American couples decide to make these ancient customs a part of their contemporary weddings. The charms, symbols, and themes of Chinese weddings are so intriguing that they are also finding their way into many Asian-inspired weddings of non-Chinese brides and grooms, as well. This is a testament to the meaningful nature of the myriad of Chinese wedding customs, signs, and omens.”

Found at http://seabastian.hubpages.com/hub/Chinese-Bridal-Customs