Cake Cutting Etiquette

The Cake Cutting Ceremony is one of the most important parts of your wedding reception. This is the time for a very beautiful photo opp so don't rush through it. Give your photographer time to capture this very romantic moment.

Be prepared. Ask your cake designer exactly where to cut the cake. Your designer may have added embellishments that could make the cake unstable or uneatable at a particular section.

To cut the cake, many recommend that you cut from the bottom tier. Use a slight coverage of oil on your Cake Cutting Set so that it cuts clean. Cut with the knife, not the server. Cut a small slice to place on a plate that you will share. Slide the slice onto the server, then place it on the plate. Use the knife to cut the slice into two small pieces. Feed each other the cake with love and gentleness.

 Be an adult. This is no time for cake smashing or other antics that will make your guests feel uncomfortable and make you look foolish.

Visit Luxurious Wedding Accessories for our collection of cake cutting set.

Royal Wedding Accessories

For those brides who want their wedding to rival the wedding of Kate Middleton to Prince William here are a few royal wedding accessories that might inspire you.

A Bridal Crown Ring Box is an elegant way for both the bride and groom to present their wedding rings to each other during the ceremony. Using two Crown Ring Boxes will make an amazing photograph as both the bride and the groom are presented the ring they will place on the hand of their beloved. Made in the USA from Museum Gold Plate and encrusted with pearls and crystals.

The Ribbons & Bows Cake Cutting Set by Luxurious Wedding Accessories is fit for any princess bride. The handle is made from Museum Gold Plate with a Stainless Steel Server. It is 13 inches in length. The handle has a background of Ivory Pearl and is encrusted with Swarovski Crystals.
The matching Ribbons & Bows Toasting Flutes make a lifelong companion for your entertaining. The base stem remains as a permanent reminder of your wedding toast and you can simply screw out the glass champagne bowls and replace them with a white or red wine bowl. Very clever.

Complete the theme with a Ribbons & Bows Wedding Favor from the Luxurious Wedding Accessories Chocolate Candy Cake Collection.

These Luxurious Wedding Favors are available in gourmet dark, milk, or white chocolate with hand-piped trim and individually-crafted flowers and other adornments of your choice. They can be designed and made to match your color or theme. Our chocolate artisan will be happy to work with you to create your vision.

There is nothing more regal than our exquisite Luxurious Wedding Bouquets. These hand made silk bouquets are embellished with broaches that rival the crown jewels. Hand cut and molded silk flowers burst with life in various sizes. Each luxurious bouquet is custom made to compliment your gown. The gorgeous silk fabric flowers can be made in any hue. Each flower is embellished with rhinestones, crystals or genuine freshwater pearls.

And no royal wedding could be complete without Luxurious Wedding Cocktails. Crown is our garnish for your red wine glasses. Edible Sterling Silver and Edible 24K Gold crown the rim of the wine glass to enhance your table decor.

Every Prince and Princess, Duke and Duchess on your guest list will lift their wine glasses in a toast fit for the King and Queen of the day.

via Luxurious Wedding Style Report

Red Wedding Gown - Trend or Tradition

When designer Malan Breton ended his 2011 Fall Collection with the OUI for MATTISON by Malan Breton red wedding gown, we knew brides would love it. But if you are wondering if you could wear it down the aisle the answer is clearly "Yes". Wearing a Red Wedding Dress would be reclaiming the origin and tradition of the wedding dress.

Throughout the ages, Red was the traditional wedding dress color. Red is the color of good luck and auspiciousness. White was never even considered until 1840 when Queen Victoria had a white wedding gown made to incorporate some white lace she owned. Wanting to be like the Queen, women soon adopted the White Wedding Gown.

Roman brides wore fiery red veils. Today, Greek, Albanian and Armenian brides wear red veils. Chinese brides wear red wedding gowns and are carried to the ceremony in a red litter. Then the bride walks on a red carpet and is greeted by the groom who lifts her red veil. In ancient Russia people also loved the color red which symbolized joy, sun and beauty by wearing a red color sundress.

Roman brides wore red to protect themselves from evil. Brides in the middle ages wore red as a mark of the high status and many Indian brides still hold to this tradition. Chinese brides still wear red on their wedding day as a expression of good luck.
The Red wedding dress, is not a departure from the traditional. It is a return to the origins of the wedding gown.

Luxurious Wedding Recommends... OUI for MATTISON by Malan Breton's red wedding gown for the 2011 bride. The OUI for MATTISON wedding gown is also available as a bridesmaid's dress and both can be custom ordered in an array of colors.

For more information on the OUI for MATTISON by Malan Breton wedding gown contact Deborah L. Lynch at the MattisonNetwork.

Wedding Etiquette For A Missing Wedding Gift

A wedding gift is a thoughtful gesture of well wishes as you embark on your new life as a couple. Although giving a wedding gift is not mandatory, the receipt of the gift is always acknowledged by sending a personal hand written thank you note referencing how much you appreciate the gift.

But what wedding etiquette protocol must be followed if you do not receive a gift from someone who would normally give a gift?

Many are left wondering what could have possibly happened. Did the guest order a gift that the store did not ship? Did they bring a gift that was misplaced or stolen? Did they bring a monetary gift in an envelope that disappeared? The wondering can be tormenting for both parties, especially when the guest does not receive a thank you note. They will also be in a quandary as to how to approach the subject if they have not received a thank you note.

It is tempting, but never in good taste to mention the missing gift to the guest.

The most tactful solution is to send a thank you note that expresses how happy you were to see them and thank them for attending your wedding. With no mention of the specific gift, the guest may be curious to find out if you received their gift. They may even ask a friend to inquire on their behalf. This subtle attempt to clarify the situation may prove to be quite helpful in resolving the lingering question - Did they..or didn't they?

Wedding Gift Preference & Protocol

Some couples would like to state their wedding gift preference on their wedding invitation. Usually they are attempting to assure the guest that their attendance is 'The Gift'. However, a wedding is a time honored tradition steeped in protocol. Since ancient times, Wedding Gifts have been part of the tradition and the protocol. They are a way for your guests to present something to you that they feel will add to the lifestyle you are building together.

Offering a disclaimer on the wedding invitation "Wedding gifts are strictly optional - your presence at our celebration is what we really want." will throw your wedding guests into a state of confusion. They will wonder 'should we or shouldn't we'? Not wanting to offend you, they will agonize over their decision. And no matter what their decision, they will always question whether they made the right choice.

Luxurious Wedding Recommends... that you spread the word verbally about your wedding gift sentiments. Create a Wedding Website that has a section dedicated to Wedding Gifts where you can express how excited you are and how much it means to you to share this moment with those close to you. If you are sincere about not receiving gifts, you could suggest some funny, inexpensive gifts on this page that would be taken in a light hearted manner.

Many of your guest will sincerely want to do something special for you. It is always in good taste to be respectful of their wishes. Never interpret a wedding invitation as a shout out for gifts. A wedding invitation is an expression of your desire to include the invited guest in a ceremony of unity and celebration. Receive your wedding gifts with grace and appreciation and immediately dash off a thoughtful thank you note.

Wedding Presentation by Luxurious Wedding Photography Team
Luxurious Wedding Couture Invitation by Carciofi Design.

The Wedding Guest List Preparation & Guidelines

Wedding celebrations held prior to the wedding day are meant to heightened the engagement period, honor the couple, and allow you the time to spend quality time of joy with your close relatives and friends before the exuberance and “craziness” of the wedding weekend.

Certain rules of decorum should be kept in mind for all wedding related functions. Note that the terminology has more bearing on the correct etiquette for each event. For instance, engagement party verses “a celebration in honor of” or a shower verses a luncheon, dinner or tea amidst extended friends.

Here are the basic guidelines to follow for Creating The Wedding Guest List:

The Wedding Guest List offers the biggest opportunity to create hurt feelings. Everyone is excited about your wedding and wants to include those who are important to them. Culling the list has to be done with great sensitivity because you don't want to offend the feelings of anyone. I always recommend that the first order of business is to define your vision for the wedding and share it with both families in writing. If you are set on a wedding with only 80 in attendance then those parameters should be communicated. Both families will know from the beginning that there will be limitations to the guest list. This is not a guaranteed method to avoid problems, but it does set some initial boundaries. Creating these initial boundaries will quickly put in check the possibility of going off in the wrong direction.

Prepare your list with consideration. Most pre-wedding parties are intimate affairs made up of close friends and family. Attending a wedding celebration builds excited leading up to your wedding and provides the guest an unspoken guarantee that they will be honored with a wedding invitation to witness your big day. It is misleading and unacceptable to invite guests to parties and not invite them to your wedding. According to The Emily Post Institute, Anna Post writes in her book Emily Post’s Wedding Parties “Anyone invited to any wedding party (office’s showers excepted) must be invited to the wedding”.

Be sensitive to your single friends. From college age on, your single guests should be extended an “and guest” invitation. Your wedding is a party. Your wedding is a celebration. They too would like to be comfortable and enjoy the entertainment along with you. It’s no fun sitting alone and watching others dance and have a good time.

The Wedding Guest List is fluid. It will expand and contract. However, by giving your families initial parameters you will set the tone that you will be planning your wedding with guidelines. Knowing that guidelines are in place, hopefully all will be inclined to be sensitive about who they should request to be invited.

A Luxurious Wedding Couture Wedding Invitation Created By Embellishments
Wedding Seating Chart by Jan Boyd Calligraphy.

The Engagement Party Guest List

The Engagement Party is an exhilarating celebration usually hosted by the parents of the bride. It can be hosted by another relative or friend provided the family of the bride has been given the first opportunity. With our globetrotting society, families who live out of town may also host their own festivities to honor the newly engaged couple, however, out of courtesy; first discuss the date with the family of the bride.

The guest list for your Engagement Party should be a mirror of your wedding guest list as all guests invited to your Engagement Party should be included on your wedding guest list.

Engagement parties are not necessarily a gift giving occasion. Only if all guests come bearing gifts should you open them in their presence. Unlike the Bridal Shower where the opening of gifts is the focus of the celebration, gifts brought to your Engagement Party should be acknowledged but opened at a later time. Regardless if you expressed your gratitude in person, please be certain to send a handwritten thank you note to each guest who provided you with a gift.

A bridal celebration captured by Kevin Kramer of Advantage Photography.

The Bachelor & Bachelorette Party Guest List

Bachelor and Bachelorette parties are usually the one last bash of your single life and are held from two months to one week before the wedding day. Although not obligatory, they are a time honored tradition where many of the antics of the evening make for amusing tales for years to come.Luxurious Wedding Bachelor Party Guest List

The Bachelor Party is generally organized by the Best Men and attendee’s commonly include the Groom, Groomsmen, close male friends, family members typically close in age to the groom, brothers, cousins, future brother-in-law, etc. and may be extended to include the father and future father in law of the groom. The Bachelor Party is typically a Dutch affairs with attendees responsible for their own share of the cost of activities. In addition, the best man and groomsmen should contribute for the cost of the groom.

Although it is common practice to go wild for bachelor blowouts, more men are choosing to have a much more low key affair. A few ideas the gentlemen might consider would be a gathering at a trendy restaurant, a golf outing, an extended fishing trip, or a robust weekend getaway.

The Bachelorette Party is generally organized by the Maid of Honor. The Bridesmaids should always be available for assistance, if necessary. The Bachelorette Party guest list includes the Bride and her bridesmaids, close friends and family typically close in age to the bride, sisters, cousins, future sister-in-law and may also include her mother and future mother in law.Luxurious Wedding Bachelorette Party Guest List

Bachelorette Party’s are also frequently Dutch affairs with attendees responsible for their own share of the cost of activities. The maid of honor and bridesmaids contribute to the cost of the bride.

A few common practices of the ladies include an intimate dinner at the Brides' favorite restaurant, a visit to the local Vineyard for a wine tasting party and the telling of tales, a luxurious spa day or weekend, a surprise weekend getaway or an old fashion slumber party held at a fabulous Bed & Breakfast or luxury hotel.

A newer trend has many couples opting to host a joint Bachelor & Bachelorette Party for one big celebration. Any type of activity is acceptable as long as you practice self-control and do not embarrass yourself, your honoree or your guests.

The Bridal Shower Guest List

Bridal Showers were born from early dowry practices when a less fortunate bride and her family may not have had the money to provide the necessary dowry for their daughter; or when a father refused to give his daughter her dowry because he did not approve of the marriage. In such cases, family and friends of the bride would gather together and 'shower' the bride with gifts to compensate for her lack of a dowry. This showering of gifts allowed her to set up her future home and marry the man of her choice.At one time, it was considered a breach of etiquette for the family of the bride to host the bridal shower. Today, a bridal shower may be hosted by anyone except the couple. Bridal Showers are typically held between eight and two weeks from the wedding date with the opening of the gifts as the central focus and highlight of the event.

Bridal Showers are usually very intimate affairs. The guest list is commonly made up of family, friends, and attendants of the bride. Tradition once held that showers were a 'women only”' affair. Now more brides are choosing to include the groom plus his friends and family. These are commonly known as a Jack and Jill Shower.

Etiquette dictates that it is imperative that anyone invited to your Bridal Shower must be invited to your wedding; otherwise it appears as though it is just a ploy for gifts. The one exception to this rule is when co-workers or club members wish to give a shower as a way of offering their congratulations.

A Bridal Shower in honor of A Midsummer Night's Dream Theme Wedding.

The Bridesmaid Luncheon Guest List

The bridesmaid luncheon or party is a perfect opportunity to thank your bridesmaids for their participation in your wedding. It is also a wonderful time to exchange gifts of appreciation to your ladies in waiting.
Customarily, hosted by the bridesmaids with the Maid or Matron of Honor spearheading the details, the mother of the bride or the bride herself may also do the honors. This jovial party is optional and often held a day or two before or even the day of the wedding often resulting in a round of hair and make-up appointments in preparing for the main event. More traditional is the bridal luncheon or afternoon tea.

The bridal luncheon or party guest list includes the bride, mother of the bride, mother of the groom, bridal attendants, flower girl and her mother. Consider extending the invitation to any sisters of the bride or groom and their grandmothers. Your families will thank you for your loving gesture.

A Bridal Table designed by JoAnn Gregoli of Elegant Occasions

The Rehearsal Dinner Guest List

The Rehearsal Dinner is the most intimate gathering of all pre-wedding related festivities. Often set in a more relaxed atmosphere, this exhilarating dinner party allows you to mingle among your closest family and friends in a more personal way. Traditionally hosted by the family of the groom, this event may also be hosted by another family member of the couple, provided the opportunity was first given to the family of the groom.

The Rehearsal Dinner follows your ceremony rehearsal. This is a great opportunity to do something completely different and apart from your wedding theme as the decor for the Rehearsal Dinner does not necessarily have to match although many couples choose to compliment their wedding decor in an effort to build excitement and anticipation.

The guest list for the Rehearsal Dinner must always include: Parents, siblings, children of the bride or groom, attendants and officiate. In addition, step-parents, their spouses and the spouses, the fiance or live-in partner of the members of your wedding party are also included. It is polite to also extend the invitation to your young attendants and their parents.

Customarily invited: extended family members - grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, godparents and close friends.

Discretionary Invitations: If your budget permits, you may also include out-of-town guests.

A Bridal Table designed by JoAnn Gregoli of Elegant Occasions

Post Wedding Celebration Guest List

Destination weddings and more intimate affairs present unique circumstances.

A grand gathering is acceptable to honor your wedding and require an expanded guest list. Perhaps you may host a 'Celebration in Honor of' celebration. Another popular theme is a 'Belated Reception Celebration'.

These post-wedding affairs allow the inclusion of extended family and friends and provide a chance for those not able to attend your Destination or Intimate wedding to offer their best wishes to the new couple.

Destination Wedding Photographers.

Gracious Brides Practice The 5 C's of Wedding Planning

Wedding Planning is a very stressful time. In your rush to get things done you may become frustrated with unanswered emails and deadlines that have not been met. Perhaps your florist did not understand your vision. Perhaps your venue manager is not willing to be cooperative with your wedding planner or you are inundate with unsolicited but well-meaning advice. These situations are common and unavoidable.

Maintaining your cool while pushing your manners to the limit is always a challenge except for those who concentrate on THE FIVE C's of wedding planning.

is the cornerstone of planning a luxurious wedding or any event. By being gracious you can enroll others to become a very productive support team.

CONSIDERATION should be at the forefront off all your wedding decisions. Realize that everyone around you has your best interest in mind. Be considerate of their input.

calls for you to be open to new ideas. Allow others to voice their opinions, offer suggestions and express concerns. Be considerate and always acknowledge them with a gracious comment such as; “ That’s an interesting idea. Let me think about it.”

COMPASSION is a gift of love you can give to all who surround you. Hear each request as an effort to give to you, not take from you. If you are compassionate you will be able to figure out how to alter the request or incorporate it into your wedding planning.

COMPROMISE will be called for as soon as you begin the wedding planning process. Be considerate and guard the individual relationships you have with family members and friends. Balance each of their needs individually. Granting a small favor now could solidify a lifelong friendship.

How willing are you to adapt to sticky situations and conflicts? Many agree that wedding planning can be the most confrontational time in your life. While planning your wedding, think ahead to the big picture. Marriage is between you, your spouse and your respective families. Your decisions, actions and behavior will be remembered by others for a lifetime.

A positive attitude is contagious. A gracious bride knows that pitfalls loom but is psychologically prepared not to give any power or energy to conflicts. She is poised, happy, excited and grateful that so many have her best interest in mind.

The Proper Formal Table Setting For Your Luxurious Wedding Reception

Your wedding reception is a formal affair. Proper etiquette and good table manners calls for the host to ensure the table has been set correctly. The place settings should reflect the menu choices and always be positioned correctly. Don't leave anything to chance. It is best to consult with your catering manager to be sure everything will be set properly.

There are three types of place settings: Formal, Informal and Basic with two common rules shared.
1. The utensils are placed in the order of use from the outside in.
2. With a few exceptions:
Forks are place to your left.
Knives and spoons are placed to your right.

The Elements of the Formal Place Setting are not complicated. There are many elements, yet each is used in the order of service. Once you visualize where each element is placed and see how each is used during the meal, you will appreciate the fine art and nuance of a formal dinner setting.

are generally unsightly. As they are important to the meal, consideration should be given to them as part of the table decor.

THE CHARGER PLATE is an oversized and decorative plate set in place for each guest. The use of a Charger is highly recommended as it presents a lovely and complete look to your table before the food has been served. Once the food course begins, it will remain in position. The plate for each food course will be placed on top of the Charger and removed, leaving the Charger to decorate the table between courses.

THE CHINA selection can be used as an added element of décor to your table setting. Choose a pattern that enhances your charger plate and that beautifully accents your table lines. Your dining china is made up of 3 main elements: Bread or Butter, salad and dinner plates.

THE NAPKIN is placed on top of the charger plate. In the absence of a Charger, the Napkin is placed in the empty space where the dinner plate will be placed. Although the napkin placement does not change you do have a choice on how to present it. You may choose the fabric and color of the napkin as well as the napkin fold. Your napkin is also a great location to insert your menu card.

THE BREAD & BUTTER PLATE is placed above the forks on the left with the butter knife placed diagonally on top of the plate. Place the handle facing the right and blade faced down.

THE SALAD PLATE is a smaller than your dinner plate and, when served, is placed on top of your charger plate.

THE DINNER PLATE for the main entree will be placed on top of your charger plate.

THE FLATWARE selection is equally important as a decorative element. You may select a elegant sterling silver pattern that will blend in nicely with your tabletop décor or a more eccentric pattern with gold accents and engraving for more of a statement. No rules apply to selecting flatware other than making sure that you include the appropriate elements that will be used for your menu selections.

THE DINNER FORK is the largest of the forks and is placed to the left edge of the charger plate.

THE SALAD FORK is placed to the left of the dinner fork. Should your menu require your salad to be served after the entrée the small salad fork is placed to the right of the dinner fork, next to the charger.

THE FISH FORK is placed farthest to the left of the dinner fork because it is the first fork used. Only set a fish fork if fish is to be served.

THE DINNER KNIFE is placed to the right edge of the charger plate.

THE FISH KNIFE is a specially shaped knife placed to the right of the dinner knife.

THE SALAD KNIFE is included if the salad is to be served first and is placed to the right of the fish knife.

SOUP SPOON is placed to the right of the knives if soup is to be served as a first course.

OYSTER-COCKTAIL FORK is set to the right of the spoons if shellfish is being served. Please note: this is the only fork ever placed on the right of the plate and although very cute, in an effort not to confuse your guests, please do not place them on the table if you are not serving a fish or seafood course.

GLASSWARE is placed to the upper right of your dinner plate and can number up to five depending on your beverage service. It is a very important element on your table top. It enhances the mark you are placing on your table décor. As with your china pattern you may select from a variety of glassware to accompany your place setting. Your pattern selection may consist of clear crystal, colored glassware or an elaborate pattern.

THE WATER GOBLET is placed directly above the knives.
THE CHAMPAGNE FLUTE is placed to the right of the water goblet.
THE WINE GLASSES are set slightly below and to the right of your water goblet.
THE SHERRY GLASS is placed to the right of the red and white wine glasses.

Depending on how much room you have on your dining table, you dessert spoon or fork and coffee spoon may be brought to the table along with the dessert and coffee or placed horizontally at the top of the dinner plate. In the latter scenario, your coffee spoon is placed closest to the top of the dinner plate followed by the dessert spoon on top of the coffee spoon. In this scenario, both spoon handles should be pointing toward your right.
Should your dessert require a fork, the dessert fork is placed on top of the coffee spoon with the tines pointing to the right, handle to the left.

COFFEE is served butler style with the coffee spoon on the saucer to the right of the handle. You may also elect to have the coffee spoon incorporated into your flatware presentation and is placed closest to the top of the charger plate. Your coffee cup and saucer will be in the same pattern as the china chosen for dinning.

The design of the table is a major visual factor when guests enter the reception room. A beautiful table has harmony and balance. The centerpiece is the anchor of the design and the place settings must be positioned at an equal distance from each other and from the centerpiece.

Wedding table settings from Traci Romano Events.
Individual Wedding Cake Desserts Elegant Cheese Cakes. Glassware by Vera Wang. Napkins by Wildflowers. Flateware by Carolyne Roehm.

Ceremony Seating Protocol For The Mothers

'The Seating of the Mothers' traditionally begins the wedding ceremonial procession down the aisle to their designated seats of honor.

With blended families, the seating has become more complicated. In the case of step mothers it is not as common for them to proceed down the aisle unless they have had a hand in raising the bride or groom, or are thought of as an honorary mother. Taking into consideration that all family dynamics are different, one must decide if it is best for his or her family to have their step mother partake in the Seating of the Mothers.

In the blended family processional, the step mother is escorted down the aisle in front of the biological mother. The mother of the bride is always the last person to be seated. This signals that the ceremony is about to begin and that no other guests may be seated or escorted to their seats through the center aisle.

Ceremony Seating image by Kevin Kramer Advantage Photography.

The Order Of The Ceremonial Procession

In all weddings the mother of the bride and the mother of the groom have a designated role of honor in the wedding ceremony processional.

The following is the general protocol for the Ceremonial Procession in order:

The Step Mother of the Groom can be escorted down the aisle by:
The father of the groom.
An usher.
An usher with the father of the groom following behind them.

The Step Mother of the Bride can be escorted down the aisle by:
The head usher.
A groomsman.
Other family member.

The Mother of the Groom
is traditionally escorted down the aisle by the father of the groom. She may also be escorted by the head usher or the groom himself. If remarried, the current husband may choose to follow behind his wife, or escort her to her seat himself.

The Mother of the Bride
is escorted down the aisle by the best man, or other family member. If remarried, the current husband may choose to follow behind his wife, or escort her to her seat himself.

Seating of the Mothers image by Kevin Kramer Advantage Photography.

Wedding Gifts The History Of Gift Giving

The history of gift giving dates back to the early Roman festivals held each January. It was customary for the Emperor's administration to present him with gifts of evergreen branches. Eventually the gifts evolved into honey and cakes representing sweetness and prosperity for the coming year.

The beginning of the wedding gift tradition is said to have developed from the dowry given by the bride or her parents as part of the marriage arrangement. Depending on the country, the dowry may have been given by the bride's parents to the bride or the groom or given by the groom's family to the bride's family as a form of payment for their daughter.

Often marriages were arranged by families in order to merge family fortunes. The families of the wealthy groom offered money, land or an ownership in the family business as "payment" for the daughter's hand in marriage. The brides family provided the groom with a large bridal dowry. The bridal dowry contained the necessary items for the bride to start a household. The dowry always included linens, towels, silver, china, glassware, silverware and other household needs. As years passed, the bridal dowry turned into the romantic tradition of The Hope Chest.

Roman Wedding image via

Wedding Gifts The Hope Chest A Traditon & An Heirloom

The Hope Chest became a wedding tradition that evolved out of necessity. In a previous era, many less fortunate families could not afford a dowry. As a means to attract a potential suitor, mothers began to teach their young daughters the essentials of homemaking. These qualities were seen as a value to young men and their families.

Dreaming of their wedding day, the young women began to knit, sew and embroider their own linen, towels and fabrics. In "hope" for a marriage proposal they began collecting their trousseau, their hand-made items and all the necessities that would be needed to set up their bridal residence. Soon, fathers began to build an elaborately decorate chest to store these lovely items. The "Hope Chest" soon became popular.

The Hope Chest began as a wooded box or trunk that was lined with cedar in order to preserve the gentle fabric contents. As it evolved, it became more elaborate. Expensive woods were used with decorative carved designs.

While father's proudly built the chest as a gift to their daughters, their mother had the honor of presenting it to the young bride and assisting her in filling it. It soon became a beautiful and expected wedding tradition. The Hope Chest was soon passed down from mother to daughter as a treasured family heirloom.

The tradition quickly caught on continued throughout Europe and became popular in the United States until approximately the early 20th century. Popularity increased again following World War I when the famed Lane Furniture Company began a romantic marketing plan to promote their new Lane Hope Chest.

Even today, those brides who have a traditional design style for their new home may enjoy the added decorative and storage features a Hope Chest brings to any room.

Hope Chest by Jessica McClintock.

Wedding Gifts From Invited Guests: Are You Required To Give A Wedding Gift To The Bride & Groom ?

If you are invited to a wedding, the bride and groom consider you to hold a valuable place in their life and want to honor you by including you in this important and personal event. You should consider the wedding invitation to be an outward show of respect and a tribute to you.

Depending on the closeness of your relationship with them, you should feel inclined to send a gift to the couple whether or not you are in attendance the day of the nuptials. A wedding gift is more than a symbolic way of saying “Congratulations.” It should be thoughtful, personal and a way for the couple to be reminded of the bond between you and them.

The 5th Edition of Emily Post Wedding Etiquette points out that; “Following long-established traditions, everyone who receives a wedding invitation should send a gift, whether they attend the wedding or not." Emily Post also addresses the exceptions to this rule: "...if you send invitations to casual acquaintances, business associates you don’t know well or people you haven’t seen in years and they do not attend the festivities, then gifts are not expected.”

Wedding Gifts How To Give A Wedding Gift The Bride & Groom Needs & Will Appreciate

In 1924, the illustrious department store, Marshall Fields in Chicago, created the first Bridal Registry. In that era, a bride transitioned from the home of her mother and father to setting up a life with a new husband. He too would be leaving the nest of his mother and father without the basic essentials to include in a household. Marshall Fields saw this need and created an innovative concept designed to allow brides to make special requests of items they would need in order to set up a proper home following their nuptials.

As society has evolved, the average age of newly married couples has risen and most have their own homes or cohabitate together. Often couples already come to a marriage with fully stocked kitchens, linen closets and homes. They now face the challenge of combining their two fully stocked homes making the traditional Bridal Registry less significant.

What the modern bride and groom need today is cash. A cash gift is no longer considered impersonal. A cash gift is so personal that it often allows the couple to purchase the final piece of the puzzle that was missing when they began to meld their lives. When considering purchasing a gift, all guests should consider that the bride and groom are already dealing with the emotional disposition of duplicate household items they may have become attached to.

A monitory wedding gift allows the couple the freedom of choice on how and where they will invest your generous gift. Often times couples are looking to upgrade kitchen appliances, purchase lawn and household equipment, buy furniture, or save for a new home. They have also become more charity minded and may request donations to be made to a charity in lieu of a gift.

Gift Card receptacle or Money Box

Wedding Gifts When, Where & How To Present Your Wedding Gift To The Bride & Groom

It is considered appropriate for your gift to be delivered to the couple prior to the wedding. Depending on the circumstances, delivery should be to the home of the bride or her parents. Customarily you should give what you can afford, although your generosity should take into consideration the style or formality of the reception and if the gift is from you and your children or a date.

When presenting a monetary gift before the wedding, the check should be made out to the bride in her maiden name. On the wedding day or after, it should be made out in the name of the groom or to Mr. & Mrs.

Look for the Gift Table at the wedding reception where you will place your thoughtful and beautifully wrapped gift. The Gift Table always includes a decorated Gift Card receptacle or Money Box for you to insert a monitory gift inside a card expressing your best wishes and sentiments.

If your invitation includes; “And Guest”, it is the responsibility of the addressee to secure the gift for the couple. When selecting your gift, whether that be from the registry or monetary, please consider that it was a thoughtful gesture to have been extended an “And Guest” invitation. You may want to consider providing the couple with a gift that represents both you and your guest. Married couples, those who live together or are engaged may also provide one gift.

Although etiquette allows guests up to one year following the wedding to send a wedding gift, we know that receiving a wedding gift in the midst of all the excitement and celebration will make your gift extremely meaningful and memorable.

Beautiful Gift Wrapping from PRESENTATIONS by Carolyne Roehm

Wedding Gift Exchange Etiquette For The Bride & Groom

The exchange of gifts between the bride and the groom on the wedding day is a romantic gesture and optional traditional with no set rules of etiquette or protocol. Although optional, it is a lovely sentiment on a day filled with chaotic frenzy to exchange gifts to remind you of personal moments that have brought you together on this day.

A love letter that can be tucked into a wallet to draw out during rocky times down the road. A photo that captured the essence of your mutual bond. Some silly token that you had engraved with the wedding date. There is no price tag high enough to put on these sentimental reminders that apply to your ever blooming love.

The exchange of jewelry to be worn on this day and passed down to your children some day is another way to create a sentimental tie with your future. Diamond earrings, a bracelet or necklace for the bride and monogrammed cuff links or a watch for the groom are always a good choice. The most important criteria is to put love into the gift. A gift from your heart will always be perfect, cherished and a constant reminder of the good qualities that you admire in each other.

A Love Letter by Luxurious Wedding .com
Couture Bridal Earrings by Tejani .

Have You Checked Your Wedding Guest Barometer ?

It is a tribute to you and an honor when invited guests join in the celebration of your love and union. Their acceptance of your invitation puts them in a very special category. As with any guest invited to your home, you must treat your wedding guests with the same graciousness. You have extended an invitation, therefore, you are responsible for their comfort and enjoyment. Yes, it is true, you are the star and they are your audience; but the enjoyment your guests experience will ultimately determine the success of your wedding.

During your wedding planning, peak out from under your veil of excitement for a moment and imagine how you would feel attending your wedding as a guest. Put yourself in their place and visualize what they might encounter from the moment they arrive at the church. Has everything been arranged with your guests in mind? Will they be able to hear your vows, or did you forget to include an amplification device? Were the Wedding Programs distributed to everyone? If the logistics are challenging, did you provide a Directions Map? Overlooking the tiny minor details can leave your guests isolated and confused.
It is important to be mindful of the additional expenses that attending your wedding might entail. Beyond the wedding gift there is the time and money spent traveling and possibly overnight accommodations. So include a guest experience barometer on your wedding planning checklist and not only will you have the wedding of your dreams; you will appear on your guests' 'Best Wedding I Ever Attended' list.

A Luxurious Wedding by Joan Glenn of 6 Degrees of Celebration

Appreciate The Thoughtful Gestures Of Your Wedding Guests

Traditionally, wedding gifts are given to the bride and groom as a symbolic gesture of congratulations. A wedding gift is not something purchased in a generic way. It is a well thought out display of contribution. A wedding gift often reflects the givers desire for you to increase your enjoyment of a cherished part of married life. Perhaps the gift will be a magnificent vase to extol the pleasure that fresh flowers bring to a room. Perhaps a serving platter that will flatter any culinary delight that you prepare. Whatever the gift, the bride and groom should acknowledge and appreciate the thoughtfulness behind the gesture.

The way you receive the gift and express your gratitude will be remembered by the gift giver. Grace and sincerity will go a long way in the memories of your guests. The best way to make them feel special following the wedding is to present them with a Thank You note immediately upon receiving their wedding gift. I encourage you to include something personal about their attendance and what it meant to you to have them witness the happiest day of your life.

Respect The Wording On The Wedding Invitation & Response Card

When invited to a wedding many take their own life situation into consideration when responding to a wedding invitation. You are single and you don't want to go alone. You have a darling child and are sure that he will be so well behaved no one will notice he is there.

The way in which an invitation is addressed tells you what the couple had in mind when inviting you. If you were invited with a guest the outside envelope would be addressed to: Mr. John Smith. The inner envelope would be addressed to Mr. John Smith and Guest.

If children are invited, the invitation would be address with “and Family" or listed directly under the adult. Adult children living in the same household should receive their own invitation.

Do not put the couple in an embarrassing situation. Do not ask them if you can bring a date or your children to the wedding. And under no circumstance should you ever add names or additional number of guests to your reply card.

A wedding is planned like clockwork. There is no time to rearrange seating to accommodate any additions. Please be respectful of your invitation. It is an honor to be chosen to share their special day. So please be honorable and respect their wishes.

Invitation Response Card by Luxurious Wedding Invitation.