French Wedding Style – More Flair Than Ours?

French Wedding Style…does it really have more oomph than ours?  Well, that depends on whom you talk to.  The French tend to do things with style, panache, and flair. They are elegant while still being understated.  Take the wedding cake below.  How simple is that?  But yet…how beautiful!

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And oh, my…how lovely is the French wedding cake below?  I love macaroons, and I’d say the bride and groom from this wedding does too.  It’s colorful, festive, I bet delicious, and all the while, understated.

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The groom below?  Well, clearly he is a Frenchman.  Just check out his cutting edge style. I love the red pocket square, socks and shoestrings.  But I dare anyone would accuse him of being too “matchy-matchy.”  Somehow he can just pull it off.  I’m not a big fan of the groom and groomsmen doing the whole wild sock thing, but then it’s their wedding, not mine.  And I do think it’s nice when the groom gets involved and puts his own stamp on the affair.

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And as far as outdoor wedding pictures go…you can’t beat these!  I highly encourage you to try to have not only photos, but some part of your wedding, either the ceremony, cocktail hour, reception, (or all three!), outside.  It lends such an air of festivity which a ballroom event can’t compete with.

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Below, the Eiffel Town at night, photo taken by yours truly.

The next picture, also taken by me, is of the brilliantly beautiful Sacre Cour. It has the best view of all Paris.  It’s quite a climb up to it, but well worth it.

Yes, our American weddings are things of beauty.  But I think the ‘take away’ we can gleen from the French is, don’t go over-board.  Less really… sometimes… is more.

Inexpensive Alternatives to Expensive Wedding Flowers

Inexpensive Alternatives to Expensive Wedding Flowers … While your floral budget is not your largest wedding expense, it is not insignificant either.  What are some fun, cute and reasonable ideas?  Read on…

Above are paper flowers, made by a dear friend of the bride.  She must be a VERY dear friend. Imagine what work that went into these beauties!

“But this is just a wedding cake,” you may say.  Yes, yes it is. But if you choose to have a wedding cake, and not all brides do these days, consider having it be a focal point. This can be a lovely decorating item.  One way to make it a focal point?  Order a cake that is larger than you need, and include some spectacular decoration. This was my daughter, Maggie’s, wedding cake, gifted to the bride and groom by her generous mother-in-law. Photo by Stephen Wang

What about candles?  Not only are they pretty in the daytime, but standouts, literally, in the evening hours.

Daughter number one, Kathleen, cherished spending time with her grandparents in California. One way she honored her history, and her family, was to incorporate oranges as her ‘escort cards’.  And yes, they came from the tree in the photo above in her grandparents’ yard! Above photo: Hannah Rachael Photos

Sometimes decorations are just staring you in the face.  Don’t discount the natural beauty of your venue!  Love the lighthouse and flowers above.

Don’t forget your own crafty side! Brides from two of my weddings created these adorable props.

The above photo is another example of a crafty family member (mother of the groom).  She created a beautiful vase with a wine bottle, a little spray paint, ribbon…and nothing more in it than beautiful, yet inexpensive, baby’s breath.

And while not particularly inexpensive, I’m sure, I love the above fruit carving.  Remember, think outside the box, and you’ll come up with some great innovative ideas.

Photos, with the exceptions of #2 and #6, by Mary P. Karnes

Lots of Bridesmaid Dress Options

Ah… the bridesmaid dress … we women all have strong thoughts about this attire.  We’ve all worn them.  I truly think in my generation, brides picked the ugliest dresses so their bridesmaids did not outshine them… 🙂

In the last five years, the bridesmaids’ uniform has morphed, I think for the better.  Now, the dress is something ladies truly CAN wear again!  Remember, ladies of a certain age?  We all promised our friends, “…and you can wear it again!” As we showed our bridesmaids the less than attractive dress.  The same dress all the girls could be wearing to the same future event.

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What do you think of the two photos above?  I personally love the two piece option!  And I think the netting skirts are lovely – although really, not wearable again…  I love the options brides are giving their maids, that of choosing dresses similar, but different either in style or color.  That way, different body types are considered.  While the dresses below seem to match, the bodices and colors are different.

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Modern brides are even going as far as to let their friends wear whatever they can afford AND feel good in.  Look at the photos above and below. While I wouldn’t go as far as to say the above photo dresses flow, I DO think the bottom colors and styles work well together.

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Mary P. Karnes photos

Love love the next two photos.  The top photo is from a wedding I worked this summer.  The bride had her maids dress in pastels and her honor attendants in a darker shade.  Lovely.  And the bottom photo is from one of my favorite posts, Rustic Wedding Done Right .  Click on the link if you’d like to read about it.  While not the same dress or shade, the dresses work with a complimentary color palate.  Exquisite.

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Photo contributed by bride’s family friend.

 

 

Your Wedding Music Style

Your wedding music style.  As with any wedding details, there is not right or wrong, just what is your preference.  But don’t forget the music.  Music creates great emotion in people.  I don’t think anyone would argue that.  Music can bring back sweet or sad memories.  There are songs that will bring tears to my eyes.  Other songs remind me of my youth and make me feel invincible once again!

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Mary P.Karnes photos

So don’t forget to include meaningful pieces of song into your wedding ceremony, not just your reception.  Above you see the empty church of St. Augustine, Glastonbury, Connecticut where my oldest daughter was married.  In the back, you see the choir loft.  Kathleen wanted a stringed ensemble.  I drew the line at that one.  I felt it was an extravagance.  Boy was I wrong.  Her generous mother-in-law saved the day and graciously gifted the kids with the music of their choice.  It was so beautiful.  I wish I had a picture of them, in fact I believe I do…but have not located it — yet…

Below, are Kathleen and Tyler’s programs from the wedding chronicling their music choices.  Did you know they didn’t recess to the wedding march, (even though the program lists it 🙂 ), but a song from “Star Wars”?  Had they not told me, I wouldn’t have known — very similar!

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Mary P. Karnes photos

Below is a…marimba!  I thought it was a plain old Xylophone, but it has deeper tones. It was played at a wedding I did this summer. The groom was quite proficient and wanted the beautiful music played at the wedding.  He asked a groomsmen to play and it was joyful and moving.

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marimba – Mary P. Karnes Photos

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Patty Cloherty photos

Wow!  The above and below photos make it into my blog post two days in a row!  But they are being showcased today, not for the bride and groom, but to share the location of the gifted musicians who preformed at daughter Maggie and Robert’s wedding at St. Paul’s Roman Catholic Church, Glastonbury, Connecticut.  The organist is a professor at the University of Hartford, and the soloist, well, let’s just say she sang the “Ave Maria” more exquisitely that I’ve ever heard.  Did you know there is more than one version?  The one sung at the wedding was stirring and not at all mournful.  We all have my husband, father of the bride, to thank for finding her.  She made the ceremony complete.

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Patty Cloherty photos

And don’t forget to choose those perfect songs for your reception to dance the night away to. Nothing gets a party started like good dance music.  Your take-away from this post – do your research and find just the right, meaningful music for YOUR special day. So if you are a fan of all those cheesy classics then get a cover band to listen to all the classics you should get a band that you know you will love – you want a band that will make you enjoy the music and your wedding!

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Hannah Rachael Colt Photos