Edible Wedding Favors: A Sweet Tradition

Today many wedding resource guides and lists will tell you that favors are a waste of money and that they usually get left on the table. That may be true if you go with imprinted napkins or matchbooks but if you stick with the tradition of providing sweet, edible favors you will hardly be presented with “leave behinds”.

The practice of providing sweet wedding favors to wedding guests is a practice with roots in Medieval European Aristocracy. According to Wikipedia, the practice began with the giving of small trinket boxes which were made of precious materials and filled with sugar. During this era sugar was rare and expensive and thus represented the couple’s wishes for the wealth and happiness of the guests. During the 13th century sugar became less expensive and thus declined in status. At this time it was replaced by almonds which represented fertility and the bittersweet nature of marriage.

There are many options for the couple who want to provide edible favors to their guests.  If you have a creative, DIY streak you could make s’mores to give to your guests. Instructions for making these delicious treats can be found here http://tinyurl.com/2dwtpfg

Caramel apples, either plain or decorated with sprinkles or edible glitter, provide a sweet seasonal favor for guests at autumn weddings.  Instructions for making caramel apple favors are located here    http://tinyurl.com/73t44nw

Simpler, ready-made, edible favors include Jordan almonds, M & M’s printed with your wedding date and candy bars packaged with your names and wedding date.

Photo Credit: Connie Jones-Steward

5 African-American Wedding Traditions

February is Black History Month so I thought I’d blog about a few African-American Wedding traditions starting with one of the most popular, jumping the broom:

1)      Jumping The Broom: This wedding tradition is nearly synonymous with African-American weddings. There are several interpretations including that it represents sweeping away the past and the beginning of a fresh future. Another interpretation is that the broom represents the feminine principle and the bride’s willing acceptance to maintain her new household.

2)      The Dolla Dance aka The Money Dance: Versions of this dance are popular at African-American, Hispanic, Pilipino and Polish Weddings. Traditionally, male guests take turns dancing with the bride after presenting her with a dollar bill. In modern weddings it’s becoming more common for female guest to also dance with the groom after presenting him with a dollar.

3)      Honoring the Elders: In many West African cultures, it is considered proper to ask the blessing of the oldest person in attendance before proceeding with any weddings or similar ceremonies. This practice is becoming more prevalent among African-American weddings.

4)      The Electric Slide: You’d have to look far and wide to find an African-American wedding reception that didn’t include the Electric Slide, a dance first made popular in the late 1970s and featured in just about every African-American wedding themed movie made in recent years. If  you haven’t seen this dance you can check it out on YouTube.

5) Tasting the Four Elements: In this mini-ceremony, the bride and groom take turns tasting honey, lemon, cayenne and kola nuts to represent that all marriages will experience times of sweetness, sourness, hotness and bitterness and to demonstrate that the couple has the strength to make it through the good as well as the not-so-good times.

Parasols or Bouquets?

It’s late August and for most of the country summer is winding down however, as we Southern California residents know, the hottest days of the year lie just ahead of us in September through mid-October.

Thanks to the famed Southern California sunshine, the area is host to many outdoor weddings held at beaches, parks, backyards and other open air venues. Outdoor weddings are beautiful but present a unique problem; how to protect the bridal party and guests from the harmful rays of the sun.

Wedding parasols and umbrellas provide a practical, inexpensive and colorful way to achieve this goal. Parasols made of paper or lace provide an excellent form of sun protection and can save brides and attendants from squinting during those all important wedding photos. Umbrellas, on the other hand, not only provide sun protection but also provide cover if your outdoor wedding is hit by an unexpected rain shower.

Protection against the elements is not the only reason to use wedding parasols and wedding umbrellas in your ceremony. Most cost less than floral bouquets and thus make a practical, cost effective, long-lasting alternative to bridesmaid’s bouquets. They can also be monogrammed and passed out as keepsake wedding favors.

Lastly, they provide beautiful photo props as demonstrated by my June 25th bride, Latasha, and her attendants.

Photo courtesy of Third Eye Open Photography.

Glam Wedding Gowns For The Budget Minded Bride

Budget wedding gown, Los Angeles wedding officiant
Lovely wedding gowns for under $200.00
Yesterday I accompanied my niece and my sister on a shopping trip to choose my niece’s wedding gown. Two of her recently married friends had urged her to try Los Angeles’s Fashion District as an alternative to the pricey bridal boutiques so downtown we headed.

I must admit that even though I’ve lived in Los Angeles for over three decades, It’s been a very long time since I shopped downtown. I was absolutely amazed at the number of bridal boutiques, which also cater to the quinceanera crowd, and the selection and quality of the bridal gowns offered. There were so many gowns selling for below $200.00; even the Mori Lee gown which my niece favored. It was an ivory colored, empire waisted dress with a halter neckline.

Perhaps the most impressive thing of all was the helpfulness and courtesy of the sales ladies. We visited the following three stores; Joy, Valientina and Moulin Rouge which are all located near 9th and Santee streets and found the staff at each one to be very friendly, knowledgeable and helpful as they listened to my niece and made suggestions based on her body type and her vision for her perfect wedding gown.