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Memorializing Loved Ones on Your Wedding Day

Today is Memorial Day, a federal holiday meant for remembering people who have died, especially those who have died serving in the country’s armed forces.  To honor this holiday, most people visit cemeteries and memorials to visit and honor their loved ones that have passed away, while also spending time with those family and loved ones they still have on Earth to hold dear.  In honor of this holiday, today’s blog post is all about ways in which to memorialize loved ones that have passed on at your wedding.

Nothing can compare to actually having all of your loved ones in attendance on your special wedding day.  It is a joyous occasion and you may want to honor loved ones that are not able to be there to celebrate with you. By honoring deceased friends and relatives, it allows those loved ones to at least have some sort of presence at the celebration and allow others to feel a bit of their spirit.

There are many ways to include them in your nuptials from a subtle candle lit in honor of them to a more public display such as a toast.  It is important to find a balance with it. Find an appropriate way to show remembrance for them, give them the respect and honor they deserve, but do not let it set an overpowering sad tone for your happy day. Here are 10 ideas that you could use to honor, remember, and memorialize your beloved one on your wedding day.

1. Set up a photo display, photo wall, collage, or memorial table, perhaps even with a special message or poem displayed as well.

2.  Write their name or sew a picture of them somewhere on your clothes, shoes, or on a handkerchief you carry.  Or carry a special note they wrote you or even sew it to or pin it to your dress or jacket.

3.  Wear a locket or a charm bracelet with pictures of your loved one.  Or attach charms with their picture to your bouquet or incorporate charms anywhere you choose.

4.  Carry a family heirloom, or make an heirloom part of your traditional “something borrowed” or “something blue.” Or wear a piece of jewelry from a loved one.

5.  Have guests make a charitable donation in honor of your loved one or you make a charitable donation in that person’s name in lieu of giving out wedding favors.

6. Reserve a seat for someone that could not be there because they have passed away and mark it with a single flower, a photograph of them, or one of their prized possessions.

7. Do a balloon or butterfly release in honor of each loved one lost  at the end of the ceremony.

8.  Another option is to light and release Japanese lanterns or Chinese lanterns.

8.  Give guests Forget Me Not seeds to plant in honor of your loved one.  Great idea for favors for your wedding.

9. You can raise your glass in toast to your loved one before the reception starts, or have toasting station or candle lighting station.

10. Have a moment of silence to remember them before your ceremony begins.  You don’t need to have a church wedding to observe a moment of reflection.

To those of you who have lost someone dear, we send our deepest condolences for your loss and that empty spot left in your life. Hopefully at least one of these ideas is an idea that your could personalize and incorporate into your own wedding.  Do you have a different idea? Did you do something else to include the memory and spirit of your loved one on your special day?

One last thought: when you do decide on a way you think is right to celebrate and memorialize your loved ones, just make sure first to check with those closest to them to be sure they will be okay with what you chose. This can be a very sensate subject and we want to catch anyone off guard on your wedding day.

Everyone enjoy your Memorial Day as you honor the death but celebrate the lives of your loved ones that have passed away.  And also enjoy spending time with the ones you love.  Make sure to hug them a little tighter today and make sure you know you love them!

Sources for most of the ideas and pictures found HERE and HERE

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Attention Brides: Northern Utah Bridal Show has been CANCELLED

We here at Bridal Extravaganza are dedicated to bringing the BEST possible show we can to all our Utah brides! Due to some unforeseen circumstances, and with wanting to keep with our tradition of putting on great shows for our brides, we feel it best at this time to CANCEL the Northern Utah Bridal Show at the Davis Conference Center that was scheduled two weeks from today on Saturday, June 6th.

Brides: We apologize for any inconvenience, but if you have already registered for the show, you can contact us at sales@brideandgroommarketing.com to discuss switching your registration to our next show or other options.


Mark your calendars for Saturday, July 18th for our next show at the absolutely stunning and beautiful LA CAILLE!!

THANK YOU so much for your patience and understands as we work to bring you the best possible shows we can and continue to present you with the #1 bridal shows in Utah!

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Dollar Dance/Money Dance

There are many different cultural or traditional dances that take place at the reception.  One of these, which is apparently very common, but one I had never heard of until I experienced it first hand at the reception my in-laws planned for us after we got married, is the DOLLAR DANCE, also known as the MONEY DANCE.

What is it?

During a money dance, male guests pay to dance briefly with the bride, and sometimes female guests pay to dance with the groom. The money is either pinned to the brides gown or veil, placed in a purse or apron, or collected by the best man. Some sources say it originated in Poland, but it seems to have roots in several different cultures or have some sort of variation within many cultures. In Nigeria it’s called the money spray, in Greece tossing money at the couple is part of a dance called kalamatiano (afterwards the money is collected and given to the band), and in Poland it’s tradition to pin money to the bride’s dress at the reception. My experience with the money dance in small town Kansas was having money pinned to my dress!

Photo found here

Usually the DJ announces the upcoming Money Dance, and often it is explained to the guest that the money will be used for the bride and groom’s honeymoon or to give them a little extra cash with which to set up their new house. Sometimes a couple decides money from the money dance will go to their first born child. Whatever way the money will be used, the money is a symbolic gesture meant to help the new couple get started in their new life together.

Photo found here

The Dollar Dance is usually a fun, upbeat, and interactive part of the reception with fun music and lots of people involved in dancing. It also can allow the bride and groom a few moments with each guest.  On the other hand, the Dollar Dance can be a bit controversial within the realm of wedding etiquette. It can make it look like the bride and groom are wanting an additional cash gift from their guests. Often this dance can be and is encouraged by the families and guests. It can be a special, fun, and/or even an expected tradition.  Traditions are tricky like that – what may appear as rude to some is completely appropriate and even meaningful to another.

Photo found here

Here is a little more info about the Dollar Dance/Money Dance from around the world:

In Poland, the money dance originated in the early 1900s.  It takes place after the first dance, and maybe even after guests have had a chance to down a few drinks.  The best man or DJ announces the event.  Typically it is the best man that dances with the pride first and pins money to her gown or puts it in a little purse she carries just for this purpose.  Another option is for the bride to wear an apron over her gown just for this dance.  It is often also known as the Apron Dance.  (And hey, the apron could double as a cake cutting apron as well!)

Photo found here

In Ukraine weddings, the father of the bride usually begins the pinning of money to her dress.  He is followed by the best men and groomsmen, and then the rest of the male guests that want to participate.  Another variation is removing the veil and wearing an apron a well.  Money is placed in the apron during the dance.

Yugoslavia provides a great idea with the tradition.  Instead of pinning money on the bride’s gown, the male guests hand over their money to the best man for safe keeping.

In Hungary and Portrugal, the bride removes her shoes and puts them in the middle of the floor.  The shoes are then passed around for the guests to put their monetary contribution inside.

In the Philippines the money dance is announced and both the bride and groom participate. Money is pinned or taped onto the new married couple’s garments, representing the wish that good fortune is “rained” upon them, while also with hopes of helping the couple financially as they begin their life together.

In Nigeria money is thrown or “sprayed” at the bride and groom.  In addition to spraying the couple with small denominations of bills, the married couple may also be given leis and other decorations or accessories made of dollar bills.

Photo found here

So what do you think? Is this a tradition you want at your wedding? How will you go about it? It definitely is a unique and entertaining way to interact with your guests, as well as a way to help the new couple receive a few more bucks as they start their new life together.

Sources: Here and Here

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TBT: Reception Dancing Tips

As I was looking back over the blog, I came across this little gem from June 11, 2008 for our Throwback Thursday!  It has some great tips for all that dancing that traditionally goes on at a reception.

Your mother and father danced at their wedding, and although you love the idea, you just aren’t sure if you want to follow suit. As part of your wedding reception entertainment, dancing can add a lot to your wedding: memories, laughs and a lot of fun.

Here are some tips for a successful rug-cutting evening:

Take Lessons

You don’t need to go to the extremes on this British couple on Youtube who choreographed their first dance to Johnny and Baby’s famous dance from Dirty Dancing, but you should have some basics down so there is no panic on the dance floor. You can even find wedding dance classes that specialize in wedding dances.

Dirty Dancing UK – Julia and James First Dance

Some dances that are common at weddings include:

  • Slow dance
  • Lindy
  • Swing
  • Fox Trot
  • Tango
  • Waltz

The waltz is traditional, as is the slow dance. If you don’t have time or means to learn the other dances, make sure to at least learn the basics of the waltz.

You can always ask mom or dad (or friends or other family) to teach you to dance. They would love the chance to spend time with you before you marry.

Use music you can dance to

You want to encourage your guests to dance but you also want to find music that you and your to-be enjoy. Compromise. Discuss with your DJ/band leader/computer/MP3 player which songs will invite dancing from all age groups. Mix in some classics, something your parents can two-step to, and some songs your friends can swing to.

And don’t forget Your song. Your bridal waltz (which is what it used to be known as) is your all-important first dance. Whether you choose to dance to Celine Dion or Sir Mix-a-lot (as the couple does in this video), be prepared: have a copy of your song and be ready to dance (choreography or not).

To make your first dance less scary, silly, jerky and awkward, practice it a few times before hand.

Dance Traditions

You know about your first dance, but traditionally, there are other dances that wedding and dance etiquette favor.

  • The first dance: this is done by the bride and groom and follows the announcements and speeches. At some point, the bride’s father will cut in…
  • Father-of-the-bride and bride/groom and mother-of-the-bride dance: the groom will (or should) graciously place the bride’s hand into her father’s hand, then he asks the bride’s mother for a dance.

You can stop here, or you can continue…

  • Groom’s father and bride dance
  • Bride’s father cuts in on groom to dance with his own wife
  • Groom dances with his mother
  • Parents can exchange dances
  • Maid/matron-of-honor dances with groom, and bride dances with best man

And then you can invite your guests out onto the floor and let the party begin!

Although it is tradition that the man ask the woman out onto the dance floor, that doesn’t need to be the case.

Tradition has laid the ground work on the wedding dance floor, but this part of the wedding, like the others, should be a reflection of you and your to-be. If he loves to breakdance and you love ballet, let your imaginations come up with a way to blend what you both love.

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The Ultimate Best Man Guide ~ Guest Blogger Infographic

We are excited to have a guest blogger today, Mr. Barry Kerwin of Loyes Diamonds, with “The Ultimate Best Man Guide.” Enjoy these great tips and interesting info!

Getting asked to be your friend’s best man for their wedding is an honour. Honour aside, the task needs to be taken seriously as there are important items that you will be responsible for. Your friend has chosen you probably because you have gone through a lot together over the years and he feels he can trust you and that he wants you by his side. This is your opportunity to showcase that friendship and support your friend through a major life milestone.

A best man’s role doesn’t just involve organising an amazing bachelor party – which is of course is expected! You will also be called upon on the day to take care of some finer details, like taking care of the rings and partaking in the marital blessing. There is also the small matter of the speech. A best man’s speech is a huge element of a wedding reception party so preparation is key. It doesn’t necessarily have to be overly long and the main point is to keep it clean and relevant!

This infographic from Loyes Diamonds in Ireland gives some interesting background to the whole area of being a best man. It presents some statistics and also some interesting information about celebrity bachelor nights which might give you some inspiration! It also gives some helpful hints on developing a great best man’s speech.


Loyes Diamonds is a wholly Irish-owned company, founded in November 2012 by Barry and Stacey Kerwin. Loyes experience spans over a decade of working with other well established Jewellers both in Ireland and the UK. Both Barry and Stacey have studied with the GIA in London which is the most respected body in the diamond industry.

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Northern Utah Bridal Show ~ Just 3 Weeks Away!

UPDATE:  This show has unfortunately been CANCELLED.  Please join us at our next show on Saturday, July 18th at the beautiful La Caille!

It is hard to believe, but we are just 3 weeks away from the Northern Utah Bridal Extravaganza show at the beautiful Davis Conference Center! It is gearing up to be another great show, so if you are a Northern Utah soon-to-be bride, this is an event you do not want to miss!

Need some reasons to attend the Northern Utah Bridal Extravaganza? How about vendors located closer to wear you live, thousands of dollars in gifts and prizes, many of Northern Utah’s best wedding professionals on hand to help you plan the wedding of your dreams, and one convenient, beautiful location to get your planning done and save you time from running all around the state!



What: The Northern Utah Bridal Show

When: Saturday, June 6, 2015


Click HERE to register today!

Don’t forget to mark your calendars, and continue checking back here on the blog in the upcoming weeks for more details!

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Cake Dive @ the South Towne Bridal Extravaganza

We had an amazing turnout at the South Towne Bridal Show! A big thank you to everyone who attended. We hope you were able to get a lot of wedding planning done that day and maybe even book some of the amazing vendors!

There was a lot of fun stuff going on at the show – one of which was the Cake Dive sponsored by Men’s Rings for Less and Cakes by Katelyn! Photographer MJ Morgan  from My Style Photography was there to catch the action and shared these fun photos with us!

The set up and the audience!

The beautiful and delicious looking cake!

The names are drawn!

Ready….Get Set…..


Can’t miss out on the ring….even if the cake falls on the ground!

The winner!

Congrats to the winner of the Cake Dive!

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TBT: Beauty Q & A with Versa Artistry~Bridal Beauty Tips & Ideas

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Flavia of Versa Artistry & asked her some questions for our readers.  Here is our fun Q & A with her great ideas & beauty tips.

1.  Can you share some tips for our brides on looking their best on their wedding?

Have an open mind with trying something but don’t let it go so far that it is uncomfortable to you.  Make sure you don’t go with your everyday look.  You still want to look like you but more glamorous since it isn’t everyday that you wear your wedding dress.  You also want to get the shock factor with your entire look,  just like you do when you wear your dress.  I also have had brides that don’t wear lipstick at all & don’t want to wear any for their wedding day.  This gives brides an incomplete look especially in photos.   For brides that want to have a vintage look with a red lipstick but aren’t comfortable wearing red lipstick, my advice is to purchase a red lipstick & get used to it before the wedding day.  You don’t only want to look good but be comfortable as well.

2. Do you have advice for the groom?

Don’t get your haircut later than 10 days before the wedding.  You want a natural look & newly cut hair lays differently.  If you are in need of a new look I recommend trying a new stylist.  Be sure to go a couple of times before the wedding to make sure you like the new look.

3.What do you wish every bride would know before coming to see you or calling you before her big day?

a. Not all make up artists are the same.  Some are taught to sell make up, some are taught by mothers & some have extensive training.   Make sure your make up artists has had extensive training to deal with temperature, lighting, time of day shooting, skin texture, bone structure, face shapes, color theory & diverse product knowledge.  Don’t be afraid to ask about their training & experience.  Because you will be getting lots of pictures taken on your wedding day make sure your make up artist understands how things will look in photos.

b. Make up artistry starts with skincare.  Your skin is the canvas so it is extremely important to take good care of your skin.  If you have problematic skin be sure to get on a skin care regimen at least three months prior to your wedding.

c.  Leave time for a trial & make sure you are not only comfortable with your make up artist but that she gives you the look you are wanting.

4. What are some classic looks you suggest to brides that don’t know what they want?

This is why I suggest having a trial.  So brides can see what they like & get a feel for what they had in mind.  I ask my brides that don’t know what they want to give me some details about their wedding.  The general feel, colors, dress & then I get personal with them to find out who they are.  For those conservative brides I will start with a classic look & build from there.

5. Do you have a favorite look?

I love all styles & looks from conservative to extreme. One of my favorites is the couture look.

6. How do you know what look is best for your clients?

Every part of the face & hair plays a part in what looks best on each client.   When applying make up & doing hair I notice the eye color first.  I love making the eyes the focal point.  Other factors that play a role in what looks best on each client are:  the structure of the face, skin tone, skin under tones, colors of the bouquet & the tone of the dress.  It is important that all factors are kept in mind when creating the perfect look for each of my brides.



7. Any other tips & advice you want to share with our brides?

YES!  The most difficult part of applying make up is evening out the skin tone.  Many brides insist on airbrush makeup.  I am able to offer airbrush services & recommend it to my clients with problematic skin but brides should be aware that you can get the same look from applying it by hand it just takes skill & time to make sure the skin tone is even.  Also, make sure you are using a silicon product rather than a water base product for your base.  The water base will run & smear.

I want to thank Flavia for sharing these fantastic beauty tips with us.  Flavia offers onsite makeup & hair as well as in her salon.   Be sure to check out her website at Versa Artistry.com HERE & contact Flavia today to schedule a FREE consultation or to find out more about the services she offers.  You can also reach Flavia by phone at 801-332-9132.

Here are a few samples of work done by Versa Artistry.  Special thanks to Flavia for these great tips to our readers.

Photo courtesy of~Elizabeth Taylor Frandsen

Photo courtesy of~Leo Patrone

Photo courtesy of~Yan Photo

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Mexican/Latin Wedding Traditions

I know I am a bit slow in writing this post, but in honor of Cinco de Mayo (yes, one week ago) I thought I would write a post about some neat Mexican/Latin Wedding traditions.  The symbolism and history behind these traditions is both beautiful and intriguing.

In most cultures a wedding is a very exciting event to be celebrated and anticipated.  It is a time to celebrate love, devotion, and commitment.  Many choose to incorporate unique customs and traditions, not only from their own culture, but also use customs from other cultures that seem to fit with their unique personalities.  Brides and grooms can look for meaningful traditions and symbols to use to personalize their own wedding and that they feel is symbolic of their love and commitment.  Some of you brides and grooms out there may consider incorporating one of these traditions into your own wedding.

Lazo – Lasso
A lazo (lasso), is a large rosary, a ribbon or a decorated cord that is symbolically draped around the necks or shoulders of the bride and the groom, beginning with the groom first. It is placed in a horizontal figure eight, the sign of infinity as the bride and groom kneel at the alter. It is meant to symbolize and affirm their union, their love, and their committment to always be together side-by-side. The lazo is associated with a wedding prayer and takes place during the ceremony, after the bride and groom have exchanged their vows. The lazo can also be tied around the wrists. The couple wears the lasso throughout the remainder of the ceremony. At the end of the ceremony, the lasso is removed and is given to the Bride as a keepsake.

Photo found here

Photo found here

Arras – Thirteen gold coins (Unity Coins)
The history of this custom originated in Spain. The groom gives the bride thirteen gold coins blessed by the priest. The 13 coins represent the Christ and his 12 apostles. The Arras are given to the bride as a symbol of the unquestionable trust and confidence the groom has in her and as a promise that he will always support her.

Most often, the coins are presented in an ornate box,  a silver or gold jewelry box, or on a siver or gold gift tray.
Doing so, he also pledges to be a good provider and to support and care for his bride as she becomes his wife.  The symbolism, which may be explained by the officiant, is that the Groom recognizes his responsibility as a provider, and pledges his ability to support and care for his bride.  Acceptance by the bride means taking that she will trust her husband unconditionally with total dedication and prudence. These coins become a part of their family heirloom.

During the ceremony, the coins are presented to the priest by a friend or relative (usually the purchaser). The priest then blesses the coins and hands them to the bride who places them in the grooms cupped hands at the beginning of the ceremony. The coins are then placed on a tray and handed to an assistant to be held until later in the ceremony. Near the end of the ceremony the box and coins are given to the priest who places the coins in the box and hands them to the groom.The groom will then pour the coins into the brides cupped hands and places the box on top. This represent his giving her control as his mistress of all his worldly goods.

Info found here and here.

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A Post All About Mothers!

Happy Mother’s Day to all you Mother’s out there! In honor of the holiday, we thought we would write a post all about moms and what their roles and responsibilities are during the wedding planning and the actual wedding!

For the Mother of the Bride

Wedding $$ Contributor
The bride and the bride’s family carry the bulk of the responsibility for financing the wedding.   The Bride’s family typically covers costs for flowers and everything associated with the ceremony/reception: rental fees, decor, the reception dinner, the wedding cake, wedding favors, music, etc.  They also typically pay for the invitations, photography, and videography. Be sure to sit down and discuss the wedding budget  with your daughter and her fiancé, including what you are willing to pay for, and the ideal total number of guests.

Bride’s Go-To Girl

Your mom is usually the go-to contact for your florist, baker, and reception entertainment. The Bride’s mother should also be a great listener, the chief cheerleader, a constant complimenter, and an amazing source of support.

On the Hunt

The mother of the bride needs to be the shopping supporter! Help the bride as she hunts for the perfect wedding dress of her dreams! Also help with finding the perfect wedding and reception locations.

Ritual Expert

Your mom can hopefully be the go-to person for religious expertise or the source of the Something Borrowed or Something Old that you should wear for good luck as you walk down the aisle.

Shower Organizer
Whether it is the engagement dinner or bridal shower, mom is not expected to host, but if she does want to host them, then she trumps the rest who may want to step up to the task.

Etiquette recommends that your mother follows your lead as to the color and formality of the dress she picks. The bride’s mom buys her gown before the mother of the groom, and, once chosen, calls the groom’s mother to describe her dress. If possible, send her a swatch of the fabric and/or pictures so that she can look for a gown that will compliment yours.

Dress Your Daughter

Helping your daughter, the bride, into her dress, and helping her with her veil is a sweet, memorable moment to share between mother and daughter on her special day.

Dancing Queen (Second to the Bride, of course)

Once you and your new husband grace the dance floor for your First Dance, etiquette suggests that the next couple to follow you out there is your mom and dad.

Hostess with the Mostest

Act as hostess at the wedding and reception, making sure guests are comfortable. This also includes standing in the receiving line, sitting at the parents table, and making sure the bride has greeted all her guests.

For the Mother of the Groom

Wedding $$ Contributer

Typically the groom’s family pays for the rehearsal dinner, the groom, groomsmen, and father’s clothing, as well as for the bridal bouquet. They also pay for the marriage license, the officiant’s fee, corsages and boutonnieres. They also traditionally cover the honeymoon.

Once you’re engaged, it’s usually the role of the groom’s parents to call the bride’s parents first. In this conversation, both sets of parents arrange a dinner to celebrate the couple, get to know each other and talk about the wedding plans.

Courteous List Manager
Unless the groom’s parents are contributing heavily to the overall budget, the mother of the groom usually follows the lead on how many guests to invite based on the bride’s parents.

Authority on Tradition
If your groom wants to add touches of his heritage to your ceremony, the mother of the groom is the best source to turn to for ideas.

Dinner Hostess
Traditionally, the groom’s mom and dad host the rehearsal dinner on the eve of the wedding.

No matter what, a mother should be there to support the bride or groom in whatever they need. Inevitably tension may arise as the wedding is planned, but it will pass.  Even though emotions will be running high, the mothers should be   there to keep everyone calm, keep it real, and hold steadfast as a rock through it all. Moms, though it may be tempting to put your wants and desires first, remember to make the day special for your children and keep their best interests in mind. And brides and grooms, show how grateful you are for all that your mothers do!

Pictures by Shanda Lynn Call Photography

Main Source found HERE

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