Black Cakes & White Pantsuits: 5 California Wedding Trends For 2018

Californians have a reputation for being trendsetters and that reputation holds true when it comes to the weddings scene. From bridal pantsuits to matte black cakes, here are five wedding trends that are hot in Cali.

1. October Is The New June: According to wedding planners, October 7th was the most popular wedding date of 2017, followed by the next weekend. October, and fall weddings in general, are especially popular in California. Partially because California couples also favor outside weddings and fall temperatures are generally not to cold and not to hot but just right. However, from personal experience, November in Southern California tends to be prone to light showers. So make sure you have a rainy weather plan B if your wedding is being held outside.

2. Bridal Pantsuits: A rising trend among millennial brides is the bridal pantsuit  Whether you’re looking for a classic woman’s cut suit, a ladies tux, or something ultra girly like this ensemble by Lela Rose there are countless options in style and color for the bride who wants to say “no” to the dress.

3. Best Women & Men of Honor: More couples today are ignoring traditional gender roles when choosing their wedding party. Many brides are enlisting their male besties into the role of Man of Honor and many grooms, like Omar and Brandon below are assigning the role of Best Woman to their gal pals.

4. Neon Wedding Signs: Once only associated with bars and seedy hotels, neon signs are set to be the “it” trend for the 2018 wedding season. Neon wedding signs can be used to display the names of the bride and groom, the new surname or a meaningful phrase. They can also shine a new light on the wedding hashtag. After the wedding these signs can be displayed in the couple’s home.

Neon Wedding Signs, Los Angeles Wedding Officiants, African American wedding officiantsPhoto credit: Laura Golden Berger

5.  Matte Black Wedding  Cakes: The days of the naked cake may be numbered as a bold new trend finds favor with couples for whom pale colors are so last wedding season. That trend is the luster free black fondant that decorates cakes  like this, almost to pretty to eat, black and gold masterpiece  from Rossmoor Pastries in Signal Hill, CA. It’s matte, black and all that.

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5 Wedding Poems By Black Poets

In honor of Black Poetry Day, let’s talk about wedding poetry by Black poets. Here are five beautiful selections for your consideration.

Photo credit: http://www.kristenweaverblog.com

1.You Came Too, Nikki Giovani

I came to the crowd seeking friends
I came to the crowd seeking love
I came to the crowd for understanding

I found you

I came to the crowd to weep
I came to the crowd to laugh

You dried my tears
You shared my happiness

I went from the crowd seeking you
I went from the crowd seeking me
I went from the crowd forever

You came, too

2 Desire, Alice Walker

My desire is always the same; wherever Life deposits me: 

I want to stick my toe
& soon my whole body
into the water. 

I want to shake out a fat broom
& sweep dried leaves
bruised blossoms
dead insects & dust. 

I want to grow
something. It seems impossible that desire can sometimes transform into devotion; but this has happened. 

And that is how I’ve survived:
how the hole I carefully tended
in the garden of my heart
grew a heart to fill it

3. Invitation To Love,  Paul Laurence Dunbar

Come when the nights are bright with stars 

Or come when the moon is mellow; 

Come when the sun his golden bars 

Drops on the hay-field yellow. 

Come in the twilight soft and gray, 

Come in the night or come in the day, 

Come, O love, whene’er you may, 

And you are welcome, welcome. 

You are sweet, O Love, dear Love, 

You are soft as the nesting dove. 

Come to my heart and bring it to rest 

As the bird flies home to its welcome nest. 

Come when my heart is full of grief 

Or when my heart is merry; 

Come with the falling of the leaf 

Or with the redd’ning cherry. 

Come when the year’s first blossom blows, 

Come when the summer gleams and glows, 

Come with the winter’s drifting snows, 

And you are welcome, welcome

4. Touched By An Angel, Maya Angelou

We, unaccustomed to courage
exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness
until love leaves its high holy temple
and comes into our sight
to liberate us into life. 

Love arrives
and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls. 

We are weaned from our timidity
In the flush of love’s light
we dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
and will ever be.
Yet it is only love
which sets us free

5.  And I Have You, Nikki Giovanni 

Rain has drops
Sun has shine
Moon has beams
That make you mine
Rivers have banks
Sands for shores
Hearts have heartbeats
That make me yours
Needles have eyes
Though pins may prick
Elmer has glue
To make things stick
Winter has Spring
Stockings feet
Pepper has mint
To make it sweet
Teachers have lessons
Soup du jour
Lawyers sue bad folks
Doctors cure
All and all
This much is true
You have me
And I have you

7 Ways To Give Your Wedding A Feminist Spirit

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Let’s face it ladies, although the wedding day is supposed to be all about us, the wedding ceremony and many wedding traditions are steeped in patriarchal values. Take the position of best man for example. Legend has it that in antiquity brides were often taken by force and the best man was there to help the groom fight off her rescuing kinsmen. In that same vein, the bride stands to the left of the groom so that his right hand is free to reach for his sword should those rescuing kinsmen appear.

If you’re reading this blog post, it’s likely that you plan to have a marriage based on equality and partnership with your husband, so why not infuse your wedding ceremony with a little woman-power. After all, in marriage as in other areas of life it’s always best to start how you plan to finish.

Here are seven ideas to bring a little feminism to the wedding party. You can use some or all of them. You may also choose to have a completely traditional wedding. Feminism is about choice and the choice is yours.

1. Don’t Let Yourself Be Given Away

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Time was a woman went from being the property of her father to being the property of her husband. This transfer of ownership was accomplished by the “giving of the bride”. If the idea of being “given away” makes you cringe, you may opt to enter solo or you and your groom can enter together. If you don’t want to completely forego tradition, the officiant could ask ” Who supports Mary’s choice to marry John” or use other less sexist language.

2. Wear A Colorful Wedding Dress

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The white wedding dress is an undying tradition among Western brides. It’s said to represent the brides purity and virginity. However the white wedding dress began less as a symbol of purity and more as a symbol of status. Prior to the Victorian era most brides simply wore their best dress on their wedding day and few saw the sense in buying a dress that would only be worn once . That all changed when Queen Victoria wed Prince Albert in 1840. Prior to this wedding, English royalty typically wore embroidered crimson robes for weddings.  Victoria herself chose to buck tradition when she opted to wear white because it was her favorite color. After the royal wedding, the white wedding dress became a symbol of wealth and status.

Queen Victoria also reportedly took only the 2nd and last bath of her life on her wedding day. Aren’t we glad that tradition didn’t catch on?

3. Take The Lead In Reading The Vows

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Traditionally the groom is asked to read or recite his vows first. This supposedly symbolizes his willingness to take the lead in marriage matters and to be the head of the home. However you can shake the dust off of this tradition by having the officiant address you first. It sends the message that you don’t plan on always coming in 2nd in the marriage.

4. Ditch The Sexist Language

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You’ve probably never noticed how sexist and male-centric the ending of the standard wedding ceremony is:

  • I now pronounce you “man” and wife.
  • You may now kiss your bride.
  • I now present Mr. and Mrs. John Smith

How about asking your officiant to give those words a dose of equality? Instead you could opt for words like:

  • I now pronounce you husband and wife.
  • I now pronounce you married.
  • You may now seal your vows with a kiss.
  • I now present Mr. and Mrs. John and Mary Smith.

5. Rethink How Or If You Will Change Your Last Name

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Modern brides “and” grooms have plenty of options instead of the standard practice of “her” taking “his” last name; especially in California where the Name Change Act of 2007 allows the bride and/or groom to change their surname at the time that the marriage license is obtained. Couples or allowed to state on the license what the post-marriage name will be. The bride may take the groom’s name or vice versa. One or the other may hyphenate their names or join their names together to create a new name. There is no additional name change fee if the name is changed when the license is purchased.

6. Feature Female Voices And Readings 

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Photo credit http://www.tailormadeceremonies.com

Hire a female officiant ( shameless plug, IKR ). Have women to deliver readings and poetry during the ceremony. For even more feminist punch, feature readings writers offering a feminist perspective on love, romance and marriage.

7. Take The Driver’s Seat, Literally.

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My favorite scene from Legally Blond II was Elle behind the wheel as she and her new husband drove away from their wedding. I thought, “What a subtle, yet unmistakable nod to girl power.” I doubt there’s any more powerfully feminist statement a bride can make than hopping into the seat of the getaway car and driving off into the sunset.

 

 

Cannabis Ceremonies Are A “Budding” Wedding Trend

Cannabis ceremonies, aka weed weddings, are becoming quite the thing in states such as Washington, Oregan and Colorado where the sale and usage of recreational pot is legal. Interest in these ceremonies is also growing in California. However, despite the passage of Prop 64 in 2016, the sale and use of recreational pot will not be legal until January 1, 2018. That means that all you California brides and grooms who are looking forward to replacing the unity candle with a hit off a unity bong will have to wait a few more months, that is if you want your ceremony to be above board.

Marijuana no longer carries the social stigma that it once did. Not only is it going mainstream, it’s going upscale and wedding vendors around the country are tailoring their services to accommodate clients who want to view their nuptials through a purple haze. Indeed, there are vendors offering  everything from cannabis accented floral arrangements, to bud bars & budtenders, to favor bags filled with edibles and joints.

A word of caution about edibles: Part of California legislation going into effect in January prohibits the sale of edibles that might entice children. Specifically, the law prohibits the sale of edibles that resemble animals, fruits or people or those that look like children’s  candy. So hold off on those edibles that look like lollipops and gummy bears.

Due to current California law, weed weddings, marijuana marriages or cannabis ceremonies are currently not a feasible option in this state. Therefore I reached out to Elizabeth Corr Sheils of Bridal Bliss a wedding planning service that offers these ceremonies in Washington state and Oregon where the use of recreational cannabis is legal.

So Elizabeth how many weed weddings has Bridal Bliss coordinated?

We have coordinated three weed weddings over the past couple of years. We have loved each wedding as they are all unique and fun in their own ways.

What special considerations go into plsnning weed weddings??

When planning weed weddings we have to carefully take into consideration Oregon’s tobacco and smoking laws. Because of these laws our past weddings that incorporated weed were all held on private properties. We set up the weed tents away from the general reception area as we wanted to be mindful that not all guests at the wedding would partake in smoking.

Is alcohol allowed at these weddings?

Alcohol is allowed to be served at weddings where weed is also present, but they must be administered by two separate companies. When weed is being distributed we always rely on the services of experienced “budtenders” who are able to make educated suggestions and control distribution.

Aside from weed, do you offer edibles to the guests?

None of our guests have opted to offer edibles to their guests.

How do you handle the presence of children at these weddings?

The presence of children at a weed themed wedding is no different than the presence of children at weddings where alcohol is served. Part of the budtender’s service is to ensure that minors are not being administered weed.

Have you received complaints from guests at any of your weed themed weddings?

We have not received any complaints from guests. When planning a wedding that incorporates weed, we try to be as thoughtful as possible as we know that not everyone will partake. We always recommend our couples to design an area that is a little more inconspicuous and away from the main reception area.

Cannabis bar at at wedding reception , weed weddings, 420 weddings, cannabis ceremonies

Photo of the bud bar from John and Whitney’s 2015 wedding. Photo credit: Jessica Hill Photography

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John and Whitney’s budtender about his craft. Photo credit Jessica Hill Photography.

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Liesl and Eric’s weed tent at their June 2017 wedding. Photo credit Brittany Lauren Photography.

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Reading material from Liesl and Eric’s wedding. Photo credit Brittany Lauren Photography.

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The area of the weed tent is discreetly identified by a sign bearing the green cross. Photo credit Jessica Hill Photography.

Bridal Bliss has a strong reputation as a leader in the Northwest wedding planning industry. The planners of Bridal Bliss are known for planning weddings that are innovative and fun. Bridal Bliss serves the areas of Central Oregan and Seattle, Washington, offering full planning services, day of coordination  and elopement packages.

5 Ways To Serve Donuts At Your Wedding

September 14th is National Cream Filled Donut Day. Therefore today’s blog post is all about following the trend of including these delectable desserts as part of your wedding day festivities. Here are five ways that are sure to make a sweet impression on your guests.

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1. The donut buffet:  According to Carrie Lux of Details on Demand, designer of donut and wedding favor bags, donut buffets are super popular right now. Indeed this is a wedding trend that shows no signs of letting up. Many couples offer the donut buffet as a stand-in or alternative to the traditional wedding cake. However there are other ways to offer these tasty treats to your friends and family.

Donut bar, wedding

2. As a welcome gifts: Have boxes of warm donuts delivered, in place of fruit baskets or other standard fare, to the hotel rooms of your out of town guests.

3. As a centerpiece: Use towers of donuts frosted with chocolate, vanilla and strawberry icing as a centerpiece for the kids table. Use paper coasters or flattened coffee filters between the layers to prevent the donuts from sticking together. Photo credit Martha Stewart Weddings.

4. As wedding favors: place donuts in donut bags and leave on place settings for your guests. You can also place the bags near the donut buffet for guests to fill with the pastry of their choosing.  Bags available from Details on Demand.

5. As appetizers: after the ceremony, offer donut holes or mini donuts to hold your guests over until the meal is served. I

Stand Up To Cancer On Your Wedding Day

The second Friday of September is Stand Up To Cancer Day; this year it falls in September 8. 2017. Perhaps you are a loved one is dealing with cancer and you’re looking for a way to give a big F**k you to this dreaded condition. There are many ways, both creative and practical, that your wedding can be turned into a platform to Stand Up To Cancer.

1. If you are a cancer survivor bride like Jordan Lambert, you can face the illness head on with boldness and style.  When chemo took her hair, she refused to let it steal her joy and she opted to not camouflage her baldness beneath a wig. Instead she chose to adorn her head with this queenly floral crown during her ceremony.

Later during the reception, she exchanged the crown for a turban. When the heat of  the turban became too much, Jordan showcased her bald head beautifully tattooed with henna by her husband.

Says Jordan “Cancer gave me the opportunity to make beauty from pain. On my wedding day I was a living work of art.” Read Jordan’s complete story at Offbeat Bride. 

2. Donate your wedding gown to The Brides Project.  Undoubtedly you invested a great deal of time, money and emotion into choosing your wedding gown. Now that the wedding day has come and gone you could have a trash the dress photo session or you could take the opportunity to enrich multiple lives by donating your gown to The Brides Project. This charity offers “pre- loved” wedding gowns at a discount to brides and then passes the profits on to cancer research and support charities.

The mission of TBP is to support adults and kids impacted by cancer by ensuring sustainable funding to the Cancer Support Community of Greater Ann Arbor, and to provide brides with a socially-conscious, eco- and budget-friendly option for purchasing their wedding gowns .”For more information, visit  The Brides Project website.

3. Give your guests the option to make donations to cancer research in lieu of wedding gifts.

If you’re  like most of today’s brides and grooms you’ve led established lives before getting married. Therefore you probably don’t need any new kitchen appliances or household items as much as you need to figure out how to deal with the fact that you know have two of everything.

Instead of registering for gifts with a department store, why not create a fundraising page at the Cancer Research Institute’s website? On this page you can set your fundraising goal, describe why CRI is your charity of choice, and track donations. It also allows you to create a page for your cause on Facebook, where your guests can give directly through the social networking site. For more information visit the Cancer Research Institute

4. Give a donation in lieu of or in addition to wedding favors.   For example, take advantage of the American Cancer Society’s Wedding Favors program that enables brides and grooms to purchase scrolls indicating that a donation to the American Cancer Society has been made in honor of their guests in lieu of traditional wedding favors. For more information visit The Hope Shop 

Alternatively,  give a small edible treat dressed with a ribbon or card that states a donation to your charity was made in the guest’s honor.

Photo credit: Truffles For A Cause

5. Sell your unwanted wedding gifts on eBay. 100 per cent of the profits will go to your chosen charity. Ebay makes it easy to unload your unwanted gifts and claims to have raised over $750,000.00 for its roster of charities. The company does charge a per item insertion fee and a final value fee to list your items. However those fees are credited back to you, seller, once the item sells. Visit eBay For Charity for more information.

Including The Kids in The Nuptials

Many of my wedding couples are older couples or couples who are walking down the aisle for the second (or third) time, so quite often one or both of them has children or grandchildren.

It’s understandable that these children sometimes feel some kind of way about getting a new parent, grandparent or set of siblings to contend with. The couple can start the new family out on a unified footing by including the children in the wedding ceremony. So on this National Sons and Daughters Day, let’s look at how some of my couples have included the kiddos in their wedding ceremonies

  • Vermyttya had seven children, aged late teens to toddlers when she married Douglas at Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles. Her oldest daughter was her maid of honor, her youngest children were the ring bearer and flower girls and her middle sons were groomsmen. The ceremony also included a nine person family sand blending as one of their unity rituals.
  • When Vilda and Gustavo wed at Friendship Gardens & Japanese Tea Room in Glendale, CA his daughters entered just before Hilda carrying a banner that said “Daddy here comes your bride”. They also had a family sand blending ceremony with sand in each person’s favorite color.
  • Right after Israel put the ring on Minata’s finger during their wedding at The Castaways Restuarant in Burbank, CA, he placed a small gold band on her daughter’s finger and promised to always be her dad.
  • Nelly’s teenaged son stood beside her as her best man when she exchanged her vows with Yamie in Long Beach, CA.
  • Carl and Jackie were grandparents before they rekindled their high school romance and decided to get married. They included their adult children as bridesmaids and groomsmen while their grandchildren took part as flower girls, ring bearers and broom bringers during their wedding at The Newland Barn in Huntington Beach, CA. There were so many tots involved that an adult daughter was appointed the official kid wrangler.
  • Last but not least, when my husband and I jumped the broom 11 years ago, his then 10 year old son was the broom bringer. I didn’t have any children but my three nieces served as bridesmaid, gift table monitor and mini-maid. We each had nephews serve as groomsmen.

There are many, many ways to include your children in your wedding ceremony. You could have them render a reading, sing a song or act as a “backup” photographer. Let your imagination along with their talents and interests be your guide.