Page 6 THE VILLADOM TIMES II, III & IV • September 2, 2009 September Brides (ARA) Wedding traditions can and do change. And, sometimes, traditions should change. So says Peggy Post, the great-grand-daughter-in-law of Emily Post, today’s leading authority on etiquette and the author of a dozen books. Post provides enlightened solutions to 9-2-09 janine weddings questions. Here are a few established wedding traditions that SeptBridesBanner have taken on a fresh twist in recent years: 6 x .75The bride’s family pays for the wedding. Old: New: Today, just 27 percent of weddings are paid for by the bride’s family. Even a simple affair can have a significant cost, so it is not surprising that families attack this in different ways. The bride’s family may pay. The couple may pay, or the groom’s family, the bride’s family, and the couple may share expenses. What is important is that the bride- and groom-to-be discuss the budget early to ensure a smooth path to the altar. Old: There should be no more than six bridesmaids and six groomsmen. New: You can have as many or as few attendants as you want; there is no maximum and minimum. Even at a big, formal wedding, just one or two attendants on each side are acceptable. Because groomsmen/ushers have the responsibility of seating guests at the ceremony, the rule of thumb is one usher for every 50 guests, and it is fine to have more ushers than bridesmaids. Old: The bridal bouquet must be white or, at the very least, subdued. New: Bouquets can be as beautiful and varied as the brides who carry them. Vibrant wildflowers, lavender roses that match the bridesmaids’ dresses, the groom’s favorite flower - all are acceptable and wonderful. Brides, however, should consider guests who might have allergies to certain flowers. Old: The mother of the groom shouldn’t choose her dress until the mother of the bride has chosen hers. New: Traditionally, the mother of the bride chooses her dress and then notifies the mother of the groom of its style and shade so she can purchase a dress that complements, but doesn’t exactly match, the bride’s mother and attendants. Today, the mother of the groom should select an outfit she feels beautiful and comfort- A Fall Wedding Showcase New wedding etiquette: How traditions have changed able in and that is appropriate for the time of day and formality of the wedding. If the bride’s mother has not contacted the groom’s mother, it is perfectly fine for mother of the groom to initiate that phone call to discuss dress details. Old: Traditional household appliances and linens are the best wedding presents. New: Any gift that is thoughtfully chosen is fine. Some couples today have already combined households and may not need a blender, compact toaster oven, or set of bath towels. Gift registries are now the norm, and handy things they are for guests who may not know the couple as well as they might like. And don’t be surprised by a registry that may contain non-traditional items like chipping in on vacations and mortgage payments. Old: Guests shouldn’t wear white or black to a wedding. New: You can wear white as long as it doesn’t look like a wedding dress. If you wear black, it should look like you are attending a wedding, not a funeral. Also consider time of day, location, and any rules of attire specified by religion (for example, bare shoulders or too much cleavage or leg showing). Old: All guests should receive hand-written thank you notes for their gifts. New: Sorry, there’s no changing this one! All guests should receive hand-written thank you notes for their gifts. Save the e-mails for lunch dates and businessrelated thank you notes. (NAPSI) Experts say planning and preparation are the keys to creating a memorable honeymoon. Just make sure the planning process is as relaxing and stress-free as the honeymoon itself. To help with your planning, here are some tips: Begin early and share the planning. To ensure that both parties enjoy the honeymoon, they should consider making all the decisions together. Pick your paradise. Selecting the destination for the honeymoon can be a real challenge. ASTA--the American Society of Travel Agents--travel agents suggest the following method: First decide what type of vacation (all-inclusive resort, cruise, adventure vacation, cultural trip) you want and then narrow down the list of destinations accordingly. Make time for yourselves. Pad the honeymoon schedule with generous amounts of free time. Plan a few enjoyable activities and leave lots of opportunities to just enjoy each other’s company. Set a tentative budget. Talk about expectations and priorities from the very beginning and decide what you want to splurge on and where you can cut corners. Splurge on accommodations. No matter what type of vacation package a couple chooses, they will spend an Plan a honeymoon to remember enormous amount of time in their room or cabin. This is not a place to cut corners. Brides: Use your maiden name. Unless a couple is planning on taking a delayed honeymoon, the bride will not have time to change the name on her passport and driver’s license. She should use her maiden name on visas and airline tickets, so they match as it appears on official documents. Leave it to a professional. For stress-free travel plans, especially those with multiple steps such as a honeymoon, seek out the expert advice of a travel agent who specializes in planning honeymoons. You can save money as well as time, two enormous factors for a couple trying to plan a wedding and a honeymoon simultaneously. According to ASTA President and Chair Chris Russo, “Whether it’s a Caribbean cruise, relaxing at an all-inclusive resort or taking in the wonders of Paris, there is a travel specialist for every destination and type of travel imaginable who can ensure that your honeymoon is memorable for the right reasons.” ASTA is the world’s largest association of travel professionals. 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