Category: Wedding Planning

Tossing the garter has been a wedding tradition since at least the 16th century.  Originally a means of proving that the wedding had been consummated, it has changed in modern times to be a bit of light-hearted naughtiness near the end of the wedding reception.

The groom removes the garter from the bride’s thigh and tosses it to the waiting groomsmen.  It is not unusual for the groomsmen to encourage the groom to remove the garter with his teeth.  If you don’t mind some cat-calls and rowdy behavior, the garter throw can be fun and entertaining.

But if this does not appeal to you for any reason, there is nothing to stop you from saying no to the toss.

If you decide not to do a garter toss, make sure the groom is agreeable to your decision and lets his groomsmen know ahead of time that there will be no garter toss.  This will save you the embarrassment of having the men egging the groom on and making you uncomfortable.

Can you wear a garter and not do a toss? Absolutely.  A blue garter is often worn by the bride to fulfill the old saying, “ Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue”.   Many brides feel that a lacy garter completes her wedding look, even though it wont be seen by anyone but the groom.

Does it have to be blue?  No.  In fact, a quick search for wedding garters on line turned up everything from traditional white and blue lace garters to Tweetie Bird and Guns & Roses garters.

Wear them or don’t wear them.  Toss them or don’t toss them.  It really is up to you.

Here are a couple informative links:

You’ve announced your engagement to your parents and friends, set the date, picked your bridesmaids and groomsmen and started your to-do list, everything from favors to flowers.

There’s a lot to do, and one event that can really get you into the mood to tackle all those happy chores is an engagement party.  So, what is an engagement party and what are the ground rules you need to be aware of?

Traditionally, an engagement party is a means of bringing the bride and groom’s families together, especially if they have not met yet.  A basic engagement party includes members of the couple’s families, the wedding party, and the couple’s closest friends.  Keep in mind that anyone who is invited to the engagement party should also be invited to the wedding.

Customarily, the brides parents pay for the engagement party, but it could be hosted by both sets of parents, the couples siblings, close friends or even the bride and groom.  You should not expect an engagement party to be put on by members of the bridal party, as you will be expecting them to host your shower and any bachelor or bachelorette parties that are planned.

Your engagement party can be as formal or informal as the hosts decide.  It does not have to be a formal sit down dinner, and in fact, a more casual event can be more conducive to getting your guests mingling and getting to know each other.  A brunch, afternoon tea, cocktail party or beach barbeque are all appropriate. Your guests should feel welcomed and at ease.

Gifts are not usually given at an engagement party.  If a guest presents you with a gift, thank them graciously and then put the gift aside (and preferably out of site) to open later.  If your guest insists upon the gift being opened right away (maybe it’s a puppy!) find a fairly private spot to do just that, but again, try to keep it a bit private so other guests don’t suddenly feel awkward for not bringing gifts.

Remember that this party is not just about the bride and groom. It’s about the melding of two families.  Be sure to do what you can to help the hosts welcome guests, introduce them to others and make them feel a treasured part of a new chapter in your lives.

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.


It is not unusual for modern couples to start a family without deciding to get married first, and the number of couples doing just that is increasing.  Attitudes about marriage have changed quickly and dramatically in the last few decades.  Whether you find yourself unexpectedly pregnant for the first time in the middle of making your wedding plans or you and your beloved have three children and another on the way, pregnancy does not mean you must either rush into a quiet private wedding or apologize to anyone for your choice of lifestyle before deciding to say “I do” in a formal setting.

Planning a wedding is a big deal for any bride-to-be and even more challenging for the expectant bride. So here are a few things to consider as you set your sights on the big day.

Do your homework.  Will the officiant you hope to use or the organization that runs the location you prefer for your wedding, especially if it is a religious site, object to your very public, (and obvious) declaration of love in your condition? Get that taken care of before you lock in your caterer or send invitations.

Can you wear white?  You bet your butt you can.  The symbolism of white representing virginity for the bride is still a fairly recent concept and falling out of favor fast.  If your cousin Sophie can wear white for her third wedding, why shouldn’t you?  Then again, if you think white is boring, this is an excellent opportunity to wear a gorgeous gown in a great color.  Like seafoam, maybe. Well, maybe not.

Consider a shorter ceremony.  With little Emily doing back-flips on your bladder, you could find yourself requesting a time-out for a pit-stop in the middle of your officiant’s surprisingly complete rendition of how the happy couple first met.

Think comfort.  How big (and I do mean BIG) will you be by the wedding?  Take a look at your pregnant relatives or ask them how much weight they put on for their pregnancies.  Use that as a guide.  Be sure your dress will have enough room for both you and the baby to be comfortable.  And don’t forget the shoes.  Be sure the shoes you pick are still comfie at the end of the day when your feet may be a bit swollen.  If you really must wear the sexy, high-heeled strappy shoes for the ceremony, consider having a pair of soft flats for the reception. Sore toes do not make good dancing companions.

These are just a few things to think about.  With the right planning your wedding day can be the joyous event you have been dreaming of. Here are a few sites that you might find helpful:

You may imagine that everything will be perfect on your wedding day.  And why shouldn’t it be?  You’ve planned every detail, your checklist is completed and everything, including the planets, seems to be lined up just right.

Well, guess what?  Something, somewhere will go wrong.  And how you deal with those little disasters is going to determine whether you sail through the day with your head up and a smile on your face or end up in tears, sure that your special day has been ruined.

First off, no matter what goes wrong, your friends and guests don’t really care.  They are there to celebrate your wedding, not see a grand performance.  And the little things that go wrong, if handled well, can provide some of your best wedding stories.

The possibilities are endless.  So, be prepared.

Something rips loose:  Breathe. Have a small sewing kit available to repair buttons, hems, trim, sequins, tuxedo seams, whatever could possibly come apart.

Aunt Becky gives you a big smooch when she arrives, and suddenly you are wearing her lipstick on your cheek: Breathe. Have a small make-up kit nearby for quick touchups.

The flower girl throws up.  Breathe, but not too near the flower girl.  Hand her off to her mom and do without.  No one will mind.

You get the idea. Relax, be calm, and don’t let circumstances rain on your parade.

Once you are at your wedding location, let go of responsibility.  Make sure you have a couple people on hand, preferably not in the bridal party, who are willing to run interference and quick errands such as checking on the caterer, finding your deodorant, or the groom, or whatever else you need.

And once you start walking down the aisle, breathe…. and really let go.  This is your moment and the one that your guests have come to share.  Nothing else matters.

Here is a link to a list of just about anything you might need to get you through those wedding day challenges:

When most people check the box marked vegetarian on their wedding reply card they do so with the sure knowledge that they will be facing another tasteless version of vegetable lasagna.

One of the advantages of using a Santa Cruz based caterer is that you can move beyond the basic standbys and offer your vegan, vegetarian or restricted diet guests a truly delicious entrée.

Most Santa Cruz caterers are well versed in offering a variety of dishes that can meet almost any requests or restrictions you can imagine.  Several caterers are exclusively vegan and vegetarian.

Not only will these choices please your vegetarian guests, but many of these dishes can provide a unique and delicious experience for those who may have assumed that vegetarian fare is made up mainly of bland grains, tofu and bean sprouts.

Whether you wish to include multiple options for your guests or want to pull together a complete vegan menu for sixty, you will find the caterer you need here is Santa Cruz County.

Here are links to some of our local caterers who specialize in vegetarian fare:

Agape Feast Originals

Elaina Love’s Pure Joy Planet

If you are planning on having a flower girl at your wedding there are several things that you should keep in mind as you plan your selection.