Wedding Tips

Wedding Tips

Congratulations, you got engaged! But logistics don't stop after securing your wedding venue. You actually have to get married on paper, too. The entire process isn't difficult, but there are several things to keep in mind before heading to the courthouse.

Step 1: Find out where you can obtain a marriage license.

This can be city hall, the county clerk's office, the registrar's office, etc., in the city or district of your nuptials. You can locate by state. Make sure to make an appointment in advance if required.

Step 2: Bring identification.

US marriages require both parties to provide valid photo ID that includes your birthday (driver's license, passport, birth certificate, etc.). District of Columbia, Mississippi, and Montana are the only three US states that require a premarital blood test (to show if either has a STD) to be provided. Some states may also require proof of citizenship.

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If you've been previously married, you must provide proof of divorce.

Step 3: Get married.

If you're opting out of a big wedding and want to make it official on the spot, someone will be appointed to perform your marriage or you may choose a certified officiant legally recognized in your state. You'll also need one witness to sign the license to validate your marriage; a witness will not be provided.

If you are planning on having a wedding, take your license with you and have your officiant and a witness sign the license after your ceremony.

Step 4: Return the signed license.

Whoever performed the marriage must submit the license back to the clerk within 10 days of the ceremony date.

Step 5: Purchase a copy of your marriage license.

You must request and pay for a certified copy of your marriage license or else you won't receive one.

Other things to note:

Some states have a waiting period (up to six days) from applying for a marriage license to receiving it by mail. Most don't make you wait and you'll receive your license that day.

Don't apply for your license too early because they usually expire within months of applying. You'll have to get another license if it expires before you get married.

There's a license fee. For example, it's $35 in New York, while it's $108 in San Francisco.

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One of our best-known wedding traditions could be soon be obsolete, as more and more brides are apparently choosing to go without bridesmaids. According to Pinterest's 2017 Wedding Report – which identified dusty rose as the colour scheme of the season and berry as the lipstick hue of choice – searches for more selective bridal parties have seen a 100 per cent increase.

Monica and Chandler's wedding on 'Friends'
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The pictorial website found that brides are tending to have either fewer bridesmaids than we once did, or in some cases, none at all. This, they argue, is to do with having a more intimate ceremony, which focuses on the bride and the groom.

Other reasons brides could be choosing to go sans maids might be to eliminate the difficult and often awkward nature of picking your chosen few, the cost involved in paying for their dresses or perhaps because women are tending to get married later in life and struggle to find adult women who want to take on the role.

Of course, many former bridesmaids would be very happy to hear this news, with the experience sometimes being one they would rather forget. From the time-consuming, expensive pre-wedding rituals to the unflattering frock, there are many harrowing realities of being someone's bridesmaid, even if it is your best friend's big day.

All in all, it's less stress for the bride, less stress for the bridesmaids and might be a win-win situation. However, the thought of losing this age-old wedding tradition does make us feel a little sad.

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Monique Lhuillier, Elie Saab

Monique Lhuillier, Elie Saab

Spring is prime time for weddings and this month designers seem more enthusiastic about the bridal season, too. Christian Siriano Bridal launched the biannual event with showroom appointments on April 13. Other well-known names will be back with runway shows, including Reem Acra, who will stage a 20th anniversary show at Tiffany & Co.’s Fifth Avenue flagship today. The designer will also present gowns inspired by the Tiffany style and glamour.

Peter Langner is also celebrating a milestone — the company’s 25th anniversary — at the Hudson Mercantile Annex 38. Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia will present their first bridal collection for Oscar de la Renta at the Morgan Library & Museum on Friday morning. Later that day Monique Lhuillier will be staging her show at L’Oreal’s Hudson Yards address. Models on the designer’s runway will also be showing off the new essie Gel Couture Bridal Beauty Collection by Lhuillier.

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Another highlight in the lineup Friday night will be Carolina Herrera’s show, on which Wes Gordon consulted. Viktor & Rolf Mariage is a newcomer to the roster, as is Berta, which will debut at The Plaza April 21, and Randy Fenoli at Kleinfeld the night before. Other newcomers include Laurie de Sagazan, who will hold a showroom presentation Saturday.

With the average wedding tallying $35,329, couples are pooling their resources to create not-to-be-forgotten, highly customized events that break from tradition, according to The Knot’s 2016 Real Weddings Study. That figure does not include the average cost of a honeymoon

Editors, bloggers and buyers won’t be the only ones who will have the chance to look at Elie Saab wedding gowns. For the first time, the brand will be welcoming brides to a temporary Upper East Side “Maison” April 24-27. One year after Elie Saab presented its first bridal collection in New York, the brand is offering brides-to-be the chance to check out a selection of bridal offerings in one location in the U.S.

Steadfast bridal shows will also be back including Marchesa at Canoe Studios, Jenny Packham at Industria Superstudios, and Oleg Cassini at the Casa Cassini near Gramercy Park. A few designers are switching things up with new locations like Lela Rose at La Sirena and Sachin & Babi at NoMo Soho Hotel.

Once New York’s bridal market week officially closes next week, designers and retailers will be counting on Pippa Middleton’s May 20 wedding to have a halo effect on the industry. Several years after the Duchess of Cambridge wore a Sarah Burton-designed Alexander McQueen dress to wed Prince William, brides were still looking for gowns with long sleeves, lace detail, dramatic trains and V-necks — all of the elements in her gown.

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The same wedding dress

Even now, you can see the glow in Jessi Balsamo’s eyes when she talks about her wedding dress.

“I could not stop looking at it when I got married,” Jessi told the Janesville Gazette (http://bit.ly/2o8SuHf ).

Her mother, Sue Kotwitz, and her grandmother Jean Spaulding know how she feels.

The Janesville women wore the same satin gown on their wedding days.

Jessi will celebrate her fifth wedding anniversary March 31.

She enjoys sharing the story of her dress, “which is all about tradition,” Jessi explained. “I knew I wanted to wear the dress before I even knew who I would marry. My grandmother and I have always been close.”

Jessi teaches kindergarten at Janesville’s Monroe Elementary School and keeps photos of herself, her mom and her grandmother — all in the same gown on their wedding days — on her desk.

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“Our family is all about family,” Jessi said.

She remembers when three generations gathered at her grandparents’ house every Sunday to share a meal.

But long before Jessi admired the dress, her mother dreamed of wearing it.

As a child, Sue stared long and hard at Jean’s wedding portrait.

“I saw this queen,” Sue said. “I saw my mother wearing this beautiful satiny dress and holding red roses. I thought to myself: I want to wear that dress.”

When Sue married Kevin Kotwitz on April 15, 1978, she fulfilled her dream.

Sue looked lovely in the classic gown with lace around the waist, shoulders and chest. The ivory dress also has buttons down the back and sleeves that come to a triangle at the hands.

The only alteration Sue needed was to shorten the dress.

She will never forget how the long train somehow got caught on the church door.

Fortunately, it was not damaged.

When Jessi married Dave Balsamo, she did not need to alter the dress.

“It fit perfectly,” Jessi said.

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Seeing Jessi in the dress brought Sue to tears.

Each of Sue’s four daughters selected a different style wedding gown, from flouncy to elegant to traditional.

“They chose what was perfect for them,” Sue said.

Jean, 87, had no idea the gown she bought more than 60 years ago would be such a hit.

“I had only $100 to spend on the dress,” Jean recalled. “It was the only dress I put on, and it fit like a glove. It also was my price.”

On April 11, 1953, she married Raymond Spaulding in the classic dress.

Her brother walked her down the aisle and later suggested they should have put roller skates on her because she walked so slowly.

Later, when Jean saw her daughter in the dress, she was proud that Sue wanted to wear it.

Jean was proud all over again when her granddaughter put it on.

“You see yourself,” Jean said. “You think back to your own wedding day.”

The vintage dress has been clean and pressed after each marriage.

“We’ve had it professionally packed every time we wore it,” Jessi said.

Jessi has no children but wants the dress to be ready if another family member decides to wear it.

Jessi’s grandmother is a little amazed at it all.

“Looking back, I was pleased when I bought it,” Jean said. “Now I am more pleased that it went so far. It was the best $100 I ever spent.”


Bride's puppy-themed wedding

Bride's puppy-themed wedding

A bride's wedding photos that featured some four-legged friends for a good cause have gone viral.

People reported that North Carolina attorney Meghan Butler opted out of flower bouquets and went with something a little furrier: puppies.

Butler and her bridesmaids held the adorable pups, hoping the photos would raise awareness of the Greater Charlotte SPCA and get the dogs adopted, and it worked. Butler’s wedding photographer posted to Facebook that all the pups were adopted.

“We’re all animal lovers, so it felt right and we could not get enough of them,” Butler, who has four adopted animals of her own, told People.

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“My little guy, Brick, was just the sweetest thing,” bridesmaid Christine Eidson said of the pup with whom she posed. “He just wanted to sleep and cuddle.”

“Between the bride and groom, they have 4 adopted pets, 2 dogs and 2 cats. And they are very passionate about pet adoption so this idea was perfect for who they are,” Brittany Boland, photographer and designer at Discover Love Studios, told the Cox Media Group National Content Desk. “As wedding vendors, we end up seeing so many similarities from wedding to wedding. Couples get caught up in doing the expected, but forget that these days, tradition can to be thrown out the window.

“We love that Meghan and Brett found something to include in their wedding day that they are super passionate about! Our advice would be that all engaged couples think about what can be different about their wedding day that reflects who they are.

“We were thrilled to be a part of this wedding! We've never done anything like it. Meghan says she will never forget the moment I yelled, ‘OK, everyone grab a puppy!’”

The couple went further to raise adoption awareness by making donations to the Greater Charlotte SPCA instead of giving wedding favors, People reported.

The efforts worked. All puppies -- including an older one, which Boland said tends to be a “harder sell,” -- were adopted.

“This is near and dear to my heart, and to be able to bring awareness to the need for adoptions -- that was the best part of my wedding,” Butler told People. “Besides marrying Brett, of course.”

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