27 May 2008

Wedding Day Everything You Need to Know

Wedding Day: Everything You Need to Know

Keeping The Peace

As much as we would sometimes like to pretend otherwise, it is a fact that there are many people who never get along with their in-laws. No matter how much effort there is on either or both sides, sometimes personalities do not mesh. And there is little that can be done about it if this happens on a basic level. As much as you want your new bride (or groom) and your parents or siblings to be the best of friends, for them to see in each other what you see in them, sometimes there can be instinctive bad feeling between the two sides.

There is no magic wand you can wave and persuade two people, or two groups of people, who have mutual antipathy to start liking one another. Certainly, people can change their opinions on others over time, but trying to force it is not the answer. The only likely outcome of this is that people will react more angrily and potentially even violently towards individuals for whom they have an instinctive dislike so when deciding on seating plans for a wedding, it is wise to think ahead and work out where potential flashpoints may arise.

In addition, it is wise to take any of the more combustible elements on either side to one side and point out that this is your wedding day. If for no other reason, they really ought to be prepared to lay down their grudges for you, for this one day. That really is not too much to ask.

A Wedding Is Just One Day, A Marriage Is For Life

As cynical as we have become in this day and age, the act of getting married is still considered to mean something. Some people rush into it for the wrong reasons, others are more or less forced into it, but if you are getting married you should have every intention of making this arrangement stick for life. When planning a wedding, it is important to bear in mind that, although the day is important and has a lot of high points, the day itself should never be bigger than the future that will follow it.

A lot of people become very wound up by the prospect of their wedding day. The cost, the sheer volume of people (all well-wishers, yes, but sometimes that phrase can seem bitterly ironic), and the pressure of being placed under such scrutiny, can all seem to be needless and excessive when the whole day is really about making a solemn and binding commitment to the person you love more than anyone else in the world. This is part of the reason some couples still elope in this day and age.

It is an accepted statistical fact that these days, less than half of newlyweds consummate their union on the first night of the honeymoon, because they are so exhausted and emotionally drained from the weeks and the days that have preceded it that they just want to sleep and recover. Perhaps the best promise you can make to one another is to get through the day together and concentrate on the marriage that lies ahead.

Honeymoon In� Wherever

There can be few concepts with more traditions attached to them than that of marriage, and particularly the wedding day (or week) itself. Yes, you are doing this because you want to spend the rest of your life together, but there will be countless people who are not immediately concerned with the foreseeable future and far more interested in issues such as: hen and stag nights, the reception, the throwing of the bouquet, and the honeymoon. The first and the last of these are referred to with much lascivious raising of the eyebrows, as is the third for some. But the honeymoon is out on its own as a tradition.

The idea of a honeymoon is that the couple at the moment of marriage should be so deeply and totally in love that they are each the only person the other one wants to spend time with. To do this, they go on holiday (alone, together) and enjoy each other�s company for a spell. In times gone by, the idea would be that in nine months the union would be blessed with child � but these days with planned parenthood, people are deciding to put parenthood on the long finger.

The honeymoon still has a very strong resonance for many people, and any expensive hotel will have a �Honeymoon Suite�, which will be tricked out with everything you could possibly want. They usually cost an absolute fortune, and you can probably get the necessary bits and bobs yourself for a lower price. But really, all that matters on a honeymoon is that you are alone together.

A Warm Reception

One part of a wedding that some people consider to be all but indispensable in the present day is the reception. Having been through what a majority of attendees consider to be �the boring part� � you know, all the stuff about a lifelong commitment, sickness, health, richer, poorer, the whole nine yards � everyone decamps to a venue to eat, drink, dance, laugh, cry and if everything is planned correctly, for two drunken uncles to have a fight for reasons no-one will be able to understand. It is almost as much of a tradition as the exchanging of rings.

Planning the reception can be almost as much of a headache as the ceremony itself. Most venues will have a limit on the number of people you can invite, which is rarely the exact same total as those who have attended the ceremony and therefore means that some people will be able to come to one part but not the other. Then you have to decide who will sit with whom, and this in itself leads to the age-old question of �who hates who the least?�. Perhaps this is a cynical description, but it is also, in many cases, blazingly accurate.

Considering the likelihood of alcoholic beverages being served and consumed, it is important to keep in mind the possibility of division and bad blood. If necessary, it will be wise to keep people with grudges as far apart as possible, and also to have a word in their ear about standards of behavior. Remember it is your day, not theirs.

Stags and Hens And The Things To Look Out For

Couples who are about to get married do tend to follow the traditions of the concept more or less to the letter. Very often, this means that on the eve of the wedding the happy couple will, separately, go for a night out with their friends, generally those friends of the same sex. For the groom-to-be this is a �stag� night, while for his prospective spouse it is called a �hen� night. As different creatures as stags and wildfowl may be, the nights that bear their names are broadly similar. Alcohol is taken, frequently a stripper is invited, and a hangover on the most important day of your life is almost inevitable.

The stag or hen night is trumpeted as the individual�s �last night of freedom�. This in itself is a description which is losing some of its relevance, as usually the couple involved will have been living together for some time. Just what level of freedom they have prior to and including this �last night� is an issue for their own consideration, but it is wise not to test the elasticity of the description too far. If you spent your last night as a technically single guy or girl with a stripper, the excuse of tradition would be unlikely to spare you a very angry revelation later on.

That said, there is nothing wrong with a stag or hen night per se. Things do become more serious after you have been married, and those who have not had a final night of independent fun prior to this often regret it. Just make sure you are in a fit state to show up at the ceremony the following day.

The Financial Pitfalls of Wedding Planning

A common complaint from couples planning a wedding is how much everything costs. It is entirely understandable that this should be the case � many of the things that one buys for a wedding are available at a much lower price until such time as you include the word �wedding�, at which point the price climbs steeply. Judging that a couple getting married will spend more because it is intended to be their only wedding in a lifetime, people very cynically expect them to pay higher, and in many cases absurd, prices.

One example of this would surely be the cake. Although intricate, a wedding cake does not really contain any ingredients which justify the price many bakers place on it. In fact, if the cake was sculpted out of roast pheasant, iced with caviar and topped with platinum likenesses of the bride and groom, it would still struggle to justify the price that some people end up paying. A wedding dress or suit, too, will magically triple in price the moment the possibility that it will be worn to a ceremony arises.

This is why it is important to be hard-nosed in negotiations in the run-up to your wedding. You should not be expected to spend so much, given that you are making plans for a life together � this is money which would be better spent on household necessities. Of course a bit of pageantry is fine � but don�t let yourself be mugged just because you are planning a special day.

That�s The Dress! I Must Have It!

People who are getting married can be excused somewhat if they get a little bit over-excited and lose a little of their sense of perspective when it comes to the trappings and fripperies of a wedding ceremony. Exhibit A for the defense is the wedding dress. Probably all of us can think of one dress that we have seen worn to a wedding inspiring us to think �just what is she wearing?�. If the bride likes it, however, then it is her choice, it is her day. If it makes her look like a pavlova, then at least it is her choice to look like a pavlova.

The question which arises as often as the �What does she look like?� debate is to do with money. �She paid how much?� is something that we have probably all asked, usually at the top of our voice and with an incredulous expression upon our face. Yes, people spend a lot of money on getting the right dress. They will be looking at these photographs for the rest of their lives, after all. If they instinctively feel that it was the wrong dress, it could be nagging them for fifty years or more.

If there is an accusation to be leveled, then it should not be at the bride nor at the groom, but at an industry which all too often tells you that you must look a certain way and spend a certain amount to have the wedding you really want. In the end, the decision lies with you, and nobody has any right to deny you your special moment.

Wedding Photographs � Professional or Amateur?

So many traditions have built up around the institution of marriage, some of which are more comprehensible than others. One of the more reasonable ones is the importance of wedding photos, an issue which leads many people to debate whether there is a justification for spending big money on a wedding photographer when just about every person there will be armed with a camera. Most people decide that it is entirely justifiable, and point to the importance of having souvenirs from the day. If it seems to you that having a husband or a wife would be the only souvenir you need, then that is fine � but not everyone agrees.

The thing that matters most about photographs is that they really capture the occasion � the people, the clothes, the flowers and the rest of it. If you have a keen photographer in the family (on either side), then you may see fit to give them a bit of cash for the privilege of them taking your official wedding photographs. If you want the photographs to be presented in a certain way, though, it is often easier (if more expensive) to get them done professionally. They will be bound in a personalized wedding album and will be of a high quality, but it will cost money.

It is worth bearing in mind that perhaps no other photographs you will ever appear in will mean as much to you as these ones � so you do want to be able to look at them without cringing. If you have the money to spend, a professional is usually worth the cost.

Capture The Wedding On Video

Not so long ago, before the major technological advances of the last couple of decades, a video camera was a very rare thing to own. People who did own one quite frequently had little idea how to operate it and were rewarded for their efforts by shaky, unfocussed clips with extremely poor sound that would look out of place in anything but a �Funniest Home Videos� compilation. In the present day so many advances have been made that the amateur with a handheld video camera can make a quite watchable recording.

So it is that, where past generations look to still photographs in an album when they wish to reminisce about their wedding day, the current generation is more and more frequently recording moving pictures of the occasion, allowing them to capture not only the momentary stillness of a group, posed picture, but also the things that make a wedding what it is � the exchange of vows, the placing of the rings and the moment when the person presiding over the wedding tells them that their union is bound.

The longer that time goes on, the more advances will be made technologically, and we all wait to see what that will bring. At present we are far further forward than we could have realistically imagined in the late 1980s. What does the future hold for wedding photographs and videos? And will the married couples of 2030 look back on our seemingly advanced recordings and laugh? Only time can tell us.

The Changing Face of Marriage

Some time ago, it was impossible to get married anywhere other than the interior of a religious building, and any ceremony conducted outside of these boundaries was considered not to constitute a genuine wedding. As times have changed, and our perceptions along with them, we find ourselves in an age where it is now easier to get married than it was before � and where the option to marry is extended to people who previously could not.

There are people who argue that this is a bad thing per se. Increasingly they find themselves in a minority, but they still insist that marriage, if it is to mean anything, should be between a man and a woman, married in the eyes of the church and within a church building � or whatever place of worship they are affiliated to. These people further argue that the ease of getting married leads to unions that should never have taken place � and in the case of some quickie marriages which are followed by equally speedy divorces, they may have the beginnings of a point.

However, it should be pointed out that many of the most secure marriages in place today, and the most monogamous unions, are unions that could never have taken place were the couple required to be church-going, mixed-sex, and of a high enough social standing to be accepted into the church. It requires some strength of character on the part of the couple getting married to ensure that these unions come about and are successful, but the times have certainly changed compared with the situation of a century ago.


Wedding Day Quirks

When you strip away all of the pageantry and all of the traditions which are not specifically required by law, the present form taken by a wedding is simply a short exchange of vows between two people who have decided that they want to spend the rest of their lives together. But if you ask a hundred people what marriage, and weddings, mean to them, there will be broad mentions given to the other parts of the process � the little quirks which in and of themselves are not essential, but play a major part in the story.

Think for example of the old saying �something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue�. This has formed part of the superstition around a wedding day for some time, and requires the bride to have with her one item from each category. These items will usually be worn, and often one of them (though generally not the �blue� one or the borrowed) will be the ring. Think also of the throwing of the bouquet, which when caught is said to denote who will be the next female in the congregation to get married.

For the groom, the traditions are less prominent. Indeed, on the male side it is usually the best man who follows tradition, by making a speech (which, theoretically, should embarrass his friend the groom) and by leading the dancing with the head bridesmaid. None of these things is strictly necessary and yet we feel, perhaps despite ourselves, that a wedding is not quite right without them.

Speech! Speech! Speech!

One part of the wedding experience that is considered almost essential is the point during the reception at which, after the meal has been eaten and a reasonable amount of wine has been drunk, the best man gets to his feet and speaks from the heart (and usually from a sheaf of notes filled with juicy stories) about his friend the groom. There is some argument about the tone this speech should take. As they will often have been friends since childhood, there will be at least one story which makes the groom cringe and his new wife momentarily angry.

Often a best man will feel that it is his duty to make this speech as uncomfortable for the groom as possible, but this is somewhat misleading. Certainly, there is room for amusing stories, but the tone of a best man�s speech should be more encouraging than embarrassing. A few funny stories should be interwoven with tales of friendship, and the speech should end with warm congratulations and wishes for all the best of luck to be bestowed upon bride and groom.

For this reason, it is advisable in the case of a reception where alcohol is served that the best man should hold back a little on the consumption of such drinks until his speech is over. No-one will thank you if as a best man you drink your own body weight in wine and reel off a series of stories about past indiscretions which, seen through the filter of the day, make him appear to be a substance-abusing philanderer.

Now You See Me, Now You Don�t�

Given the implied importance of tradition for a wedding day, there are a lot of things that people superstitiously stick to even given their apparent inconvenience. One of these traditions is that the bride and the groom should not see one another from midnight on the day of the wedding until they meet at the altar. The idea is that, when their eyes meet in the witness of the wedding arena, they should look upon one another as if they were discovering anew the person with whom they will spend the rest of their life.

This is not, strictly speaking, a required part of the wedding and there are certainly plenty of couples celebrating major wedding anniversaries in the present day having spent the night before the wedding together. However, it is still stuck to by many, and can lead to logistical somersaults being turned by the couple in order to avoid running in to one another. In practice, this tends to mean the groom spending the eve of the wedding at the home of his best man, prior to a dash to the altar when they traditionally oversleep (this part is definitely not compulsory).

A couple who have lived together for some time prior to the ceremony may feel one of two ways � that they have seen each other every morning for a while and aren�t about to fix what isn�t broken, or that there is no point in tempting fate by breaking with tradition. In any case, it is not about what happens before the wedding, but what happens after it in the marriage.

The Best Man and The Maid Of Honor

If we think of a wedding as a film � and it has to be said that, unless we have been drinking, we usually do not � then the bride and groom are the actor and actress in a lead role, while the positions of �supporting� actor and actress go to the best man and the maid of honor. In a wedding, these latter roles are considered highly important and choosing people to fill them can often be one of the more stressful elements of the whole procedure. When you come to choose your best man or maid of honor, you have to think long and hard about your decision.

Usually, the roles will be given to the person you consider your best friend. They can be related to you by blood or merely by a bond forged in the fires of shared experience, but for many people, the difficulty is in choosing someone without upsetting another person who feels the role should have been theirs. For the bride or groom, avoiding hurt feelings on the part of their friends is often one of the longest tightropes they will ever have to walk.

There is no steadfast way to ensure you get it right, but it is a decision you have to take by yourself. By all means seek advice, and speak to the people you are considering, but when you make that final choice it is essential that you let the people who were not chosen know that they still matter to you, and that the choice was indeed a difficult one. If, after that, they still do not accept it, then they may not realize that the day is about you and your spouse to be rather then themselves.

The Ideal Setting

While it once was very widely accepted that a wedding was to be held in a church, temple, mosque, synagogue or any other religious building, the present day shows us an entirely different situation, where a wedding does not need to take place on consecrated ground � largely because it is the wedding itself and the people involved that are to be consecrated. With this widening of the boundaries, it is now possible to get married in a range of settings, and more and more people are choosing this option. While some are skeptical about this change, it is here to stay.

If you are not religious, you may very reasonably decide that you do not want to get married in a church, and just as reasonably argue that if you were to do so you would not be being fair to that church. Surely the vital element of a marriage is honesty, and if the marriage starts with even a symbolic dishonesty there must be some doubt over how it will go forward. A registry office is the most common alternative, although hotels, cruise ships and holiday resorts (many of which are now dedicated to the �wedding market�) are also popular.

The decision over where to marry should be taken equally by bride and groom, deciding on the basis that the choice should be mutual in order to start the marriage on the right foot. Consensus is something you will be looking for in the rest of your lives, so it is fitting that it should start at the beginning.

A Wedding and A Honeymoon All In One?

There is an increasingly large market these days for weddings that form part of a holiday. To be slightly more specific, many people are now taking the choice to get married in another country, allowing themselves a choice of settings which can be visually breathtaking, if not entirely traditional. There are many people who, when this concept is raised, think immediately of the celebrity weddings which have taken place on beaches with one or more of the participants less than fully clothed, sober or conscious. This does not tell the full story at all.

Certainly it could be argued that there is a touch of cynicism in combining the words �tourist� and/or �market� with the word �wedding�. And yet many places have developed a reputation as destinations for whole wedding parties rather than just the honeymoon. By widening the range of where you wish to hold your wedding, you can allow exciting settings such as castles, forests or just about anything you deem appropriate. As well as a geographical dimension, it can also allow a historic element to be included in your wedding.

Thinking more generally, it also means that the wedding photographs will be something to behold, that you do not have far to go for the honeymoon, and that, for couples who come from different places and live far from their families, at least the wedding can be at a neutral venue. It may not be one for the traditionalists, but it is a popular choice for an increasing number of people.

Celebrities � Perhaps Not the Best Role Models

Although we live in a world where diverse tastes are accepted by more and more people, it has to be considered that there are some things which are very hard to argue in favor of. Not least of these is the terrifying three-word phrase: �Celebrity Inspired Wedding�. And yet, if you look briefly at the results of a Google search, you will find that there are many people making this choice. Considering how the marriages resulting from these weddings often turn out, it has to be wondered if taking inspiration from the celebrity world is quite wise.

If the celebrity is someone you have long admired and who influences your style in other ways, then there is an argument to say that you are being true to yourself by being true to them. If, however, you have simply seen the wedding photographs from their expensive and publicity-soaked wedding, you might want to slam on the brakes and think about things. Fashion is an unforgiving mistress. At any given time, a fashionable wedding might look like a real triumph, but those photos will exist in ten, twenty, thirty years� time, and you are liable to cringe if the celebrity who inspired the look got divorced acrimoniously three months later.

Celebrities get a lot of latitude in what they do because they are celebrities. The media want to keep them sweet and will usually refrain from asking them what exactly they think they are doing. It is wiser to stick to the classics than follow a trend when permanence is an issue. If you want to follow a celebrity, wait until you�re married and copy their haircut.

Cold Feet? Don�t Just Walk Away.

It is fair to say that many people, on their wedding day or in the weeks leading up to it, have occasional periods of doubt over whether they are making the right decision by getting married. This situation is generally described as getting �cold feet�, a strange phrase which seems to have its roots in a time gone past when armies which had limited resources refused to fight on because they had lost or worn out their boots. In modern parlance, it means that due to a failure of daring you do not go ahead with something momentous.

It is understandable that people get this way in the run-up to their wedding day. The occasion of getting married is a pretty momentous one, which has far-reaching implications. While it may not constitute a massive change in the everyday living of your life, it does present something of a conundrum. Beforehand you were not married, and afterwards you will be. Although you would not have considered the idea of being unfaithful while you were merely dating or co-habiting, knowing that you can only be with the one person for the foreseeable future can be troubling for some.

It does not mean that you are not in love with the person you are about to marry, and it does not mean you will be making a mistake by marrying them. Indeed, any sportsman will tell you that nervousness is not necessarily a sign of partial or anticipated regret. It is just a natural reaction to the change in circumstances, but it is not a sign to call things off.

Wedding No-Nos

There are some things which should be obvious to anyone but which are, for whatever reason, blind spots to some. This is clear from the occasional situation which has been given light by the rise in reality TV, where some programs have emerged which feature a groom-to-be making the decisions for their wedding day while the bride sits back (usually at the home of a friend) and waits to see what her beloved achieves. As a result of this concept, there have been some horrific decisions made which should be obvious to anyone with half a brain.

Firstly, although a man may have two big loves in his life � his wife and his sports team � combining the two in a wedding scenario is perhaps the worst decision he could possibly make. If both partners are equally big fans of a team, involving their colors in the ceremony as part of one�s outfit may be acceptable. Otherwise, keep them away from the whole endeavor! Do not make the mistake of thinking that your marriage and your sports team are in any way equal.

Secondly, the venue for a marriage matters. You may be offered a deal which allows you to save money on the venue and gives you the chance to spend the money elsewhere. Your bride will, however, not thank you if the photographs from your big day feature the local sewage works.

And finally, don�t ever believe that holding the reception at your favorite bar is fine just because they know you there and will make you welcome. If it is a place with which you both feel a strong affinity, fine. If not, it just looks like a snub to her wishes.

It�s A Nice Day for A White Wedding

The concept of a white wedding has been a constant for almost as long as people have been getting married. Unquestionably, there is a strong history behind the concept, but why is this, and is it still relevant in the present day?

For many, the reasoning behind a �white wedding� is that, on the day she comes to the altar, a bride is virginal. It is immediately easy to see why some people feel the concept to be outdated. In no way is this a slight on the woman getting married, but in the present day, a majority of couples who marry have been living, or at least occasionally spending the night together before they tie the knot. Is it really dishonest to wear white, the color of purity, when you have had a physical relationship with your prospective spouse?

Many would argue not. A white dress can be part of a wedding for more reasons than tradition. Some designs practically demand to be made in white because they are so intricate that adding color to the mix would be somewhat garish. Some people just want to wear white. If tradition were our only guide, we would all still be living in mud huts.

On the day you get married there are only two opinions that should be given foremost prominence, and they are those of the bride and of the groom. If you want a white wedding, then have one � and if you don�t, then that is also fine.

Don�t Break the Bank, But Don�t Pinch Pennies

It is frequently pointed out by people who have an interest in statistics that a wedding is one of the most expensive endeavors most people will ever go through. Aside from buying a house (and in some cases, over and above it), spending on a wedding can be more than you will put into any one thing in the rest of your life. Is this how things should be? Is it a matter of opinion, and should we all decide for ourselves what our budget should be?

There are certain things that are considered an indispensable part of getting married. Paying for the premises is something that is more or less unavoidable. This does not amount to much if getting married in a registry office, but any other venue can set you back a pretty penny. However, getting married is something you will hopefully be doing only once. In that respect, if you have the desire to get married somewhere special, it is not unacceptable to open your wallet.

The reception, the outfits, the rings and the honeymoon are also elements of a wedding which may cost more than just pocket change. The rings aside, these are all optional, but considered to be important enough for people to take that option. Even then a simple gold wedding band need not cost too much, but in the final analysis it is for the bride and groom to decide. Better to be married frugally and live comfortably than to bankrupt yourself trying to keep up with society.

With This Ring I Thee Wed

One element of marriage that is considered to be absolutely indispensable is the wedding ring. You can get married in a hotel, have the reception in a bar, forget flowers altogether, spend the night before together in the marital home, travel to the venue in the same car � or on the bus, for all it matters � and invite everyone you know on the �honeymoon�. None of this stops it being a marriage in any important sense, but without a ring, the ceremony is just about impossible.

It is part of the vows, in most ceremonies. One of the first things you say to one another is �with this ring I thee wed�, and the placing of the ring on your spouse�s ring finger symbolises the creation of a contract of sorts between you both. This contract will be potentially invalidated by your breaking of the vows (hence the �forsaking all others� line among other sections�) and is symbolised physically by the presence of the ring. Therefore when you are out without your spouse, the presence of a ring on your finger symbolises that you are not �available� to others.

The ring does not need to be gold. It does not, strictly speaking, need to be anything except that it should encircle your ring finger and demonstrate your commitment to your spouse. You don�t need to spend a large amount on it, but you must remember what it symbolises and then you can get on with being married, once the presiding authority pronounces you man and wife.

Buying Wedding Dresses On a Budget

One of the largest costs associated with weddings is an obvious one; the gown. Wedding dresses and gowns are excruciatingly expensive, with the bill often running into thousands of dollars and taking up a large percentage of the overall wedding budget. And there's a good reason for such expenditure; bridal magazine surveys show that for most brides, their foremost concern on the day of their wedding is what they will be wearing.

While we would all love to walk down the aisle in a show-stopping Vera Wang one-off designer creation, for the vast majority of brides that just isn't going to be possible. Fear not, however; it is possible to find a spectacular wedding dress and still keep your budget in tact.

It is always worth looking through charity shops, particularly those in fashionable and expensive areas. Many brides donate their dresses to charity following their big day, and a designer find is not unlikely � only the price tag differs. You will probably need to pay for alterations and a thorough dry cleaning, but you'll still finish with an amazing dress for a fraction of the original purchase cost.

If, however, you want your wedding dress to be yours and yours alone, try taking to the internet for inspiration. Many Asian-based dress companies can offer a custom dress design and manufacture for half the usual cost. The only problem is you will not be able to try the dress before it is shipped to you, so always buy slightly larger than you anticipate needing and book an appointment with a seamstress for final, fitted alterations. The risk is small, and the relief to your budget is huge!

What Do To: Something Old, Something New...

If you're planning your wedding, you've probably heard the following phrase too many times than you dare to count: 'something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue'. This is, of course, a reference as to the four things a bride should have on her wedding day; tradition dictating that each item brings a luck and significance to the day, and blesses the marriage for the future.

It's a quaint tradition that has nevertheless survived the test of time, and many modern brides still follow the famous rhyme. Yet during the planning of the wedding, sometimes it can seem that adhering to an old-fashioned tradition is just one more hassle � and this is one aspect you really do not need to become stressed about.

When trying to think of the items to fill each of the stipulated criteria, keep it simple. If you're pressed for time and worry, 'something old' can simply be your engagement ring, and 'something new' can be your wedding dress. It isn't specific, but it nevertheless fills traditional requirements. For the borrowed item, ensure you check with the person you will be borrowing from and have the item safe in your possession prior to the wedding day itself. Extend the same attitude to the something blue; keep it simple, such as blue stones in earrings or a blue garter.

Remember, this is a nice tradition and there's no harm in keeping to it � but wedding planning is stressful, so try and keep it in perspective. Be simple and effective in your choices, and then focus on the aspects of the wedding that require full attention.

Five Wedding Day Essentials You Haven't Thought Of

You've got the venue, you've got the dress and you've got the man � surely, you think hopefully, the wedding planning is now complete?

Well, a prepared bride is a happy bride, so here's a quick check list of five essentials for your wedding day that you probably haven't thought of � but will nevertheless need:

1. Vaseline

You'd be surprised, in the nerves of the day, how many couples find their fingers have swollen slightly at the altar and the wedding rings no longer fit. This is a short term problem often caused by heat and emotion, but a small tin of Vaseline in a bridesmaid's purse will solve the problem.


2. Pepto or other medicines for upset stomachs.

Wedding food is rich, and you will have been nervous on the day � that's a bad combination for your stomach. A small bottle of Pepto will allow you to dance all night even if you're not feeling your best.


3. Band Aids.

Most bridal shoes are new, which means they may cause rubbing or blistering over the course of the day. Have a couple of Band Aids handy and apply if necessary.


4. Hairspray

If you want to ensure your hair do doesn't become a hair don't, a pocket-sized can of hairspray could be your saving grace.


5. Painkillers.

What with the stress, wearing new clothes, potential family arguments and first-dancing � wedding days are often a recipe for the mother of all headaches. You don't want to be stranded at the reception feeling wretched, so ensure someone in the bridal party has a packet of Advil to hand.