Category: Ceremony

Though the tradition of tossing a bouquet to women guests at a wedding has been around for a while, that does not mean that you are obliged to do so.

If this is an activity you look forward to, then there is no reason why you shouldn’t go ahead with it.  However, if there are any considerations you have that make you less than excited about the bouquet toss, you should take those concerns seriously.

If you have seen one too many (one is enough) bouquet tosses where the supposedly “just for fun” activity has turned into a pushing and shoving brawl between ladies behaving badly, you might be hesitant to proceed.  Are some of your bridesmaids and other female guests likely to get a little rambunctious after the champagne has been flowing? Will you and your guests find their behavior entertaining or embarrassing? It’s something to consider.

There are several good reasons for keeping the bridal bouquet, not the least of which is that you would like to keep it as a reminder of a wonderful day.  Or you may wish to present it to someone special; your maid of honor, your mother or grandmother, your new mother-in-law (make sure you tell your own mom about that plan first) or to the couple who attends your wedding who have been married the longest.

If you are planning on the toss, you might like to consider an alternative to the basic bridal bouquet. Your florist can supply you with a break-away bouquet that can be separated into several (usually three) small bouquets just as it is tossed.  It provides a bit of surprise and more than one of your friends can end up with a bouquet. Or, use one section for the toss, keep one for yourself, and present one to a special person.

What you do with your bouquet is up to you.  Keep it, toss it, pull out individual flowers to give to guests, or let your five year old cousin “decorate” with it.  It really is your choice.

If you have decided to include young children as your wedding guests a little pre-planning can make the difference between a pleasant experience for you and all your guests or a headache of mammoth proportions for everyone including the tiny tots.

Having children at your event can be a pleasant and memorable experience for all involved if you plan ahead and keep in mind the needs and limitations of your youngest guests.

If your ceremony is going to be longer than half an hour, consider having a sitter for the children until the reception.  Make sure you provide age appropriate activities and games to keep them occupied.  Children get hungry at the most inconvenient times and there is no way to keep a hungry child happy. Providing a fun, wedding themed snack can also be a big help in keeping the kids from becoming cranky or lonely for mom and dad.

Seat tots with their parents at the reception.  They will be more comfortable there.

Don’t expect them to eat the standard reception fare or just snack off their parent’s plates.  Grilled asparagus and mustard crusted chicken are not kid friendly foods. See if your caterer can provide small, child friendly meals for your young guests.  They wont eat much, but they will need something they can enjoy.

Provide distractions at the tables.  Coloring pages and a small box of crayons, small stuffed animals or age appropriate (non-noisy) toys can go a long way to keep them occupied until the cake is served.

You may want to provide a sitter who can take the children for a stroll around the grounds or on a scavenger hunt (if appropriate) or to a separate room for activities during the time set aside for toasts, introductions and the first dance.  Think about which parts of the reception would have bored you silly as a child and let that be your guideline.

Letting the children leave the reception for a while will break up the time for them and also give their parents an opportunity to chat with the other adults in a more relaxed fashion.

Keep your expectations realistic.  Don’t cringe when a tiny voice peeps up with “I have to go potty…NOW”.  Let the parents deal with that, smile, and get on with having a great time.

If you haven’t already made plans to attend the 2012 Bridal Expo at the Cocoanut Grove in Santa Cruz, there is still time to get it onto your calendar.

This year the Expo is on Sunday, January 29 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The fashion show will take place in the spectacular glass ceilinged Sun Room overlooking the Monterey Bay.

This is a great opportunity to check out Santa Cruz area caterers, florists, and everything that you might need for your wedding.

So mark the date, grab a few friends and mom too, and head on down for a fun and informative day by the beach.

Visit http://cocoanutgrovesantacruz.com/public-events/bridalexpo/

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