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Weddings at The Mansion

Nicki Ann's Wedding Blog

In her blog, Nikki Ann shares with you her insights, thoughts, and feelings on all things women, wedding, marriage, and event-related.

Boogie, oogie, oogie!

June 25th, 2010

One of my absolute favorite things about weddings is the dancing. I LOVE to break it down with anyone and everyone around me. I started thinking about all the different “special” dances involved in receptions. I thought I would make a list.

In no particular order:

Bridal/First dance – This one is clear. It is the bride and groom’s first dance as a married couple. Traditionally, this was called the Bridal Waltz and an actual waltz was performed.

Bridal Party dance – The entire bridal party is usually announced and each pair dances (Maid/Matron of Honor and Best Man, bridesmaids and groomsman, flower girls and ring bearers).

Father-Daughter dance (and/or Mother-Daughter) – Self explanatory!

Mother-Son dance (doubt there would be a Father-Son, but you never know!) – Again, self explanatory!

Dollar/Money dance – This was originated in Poland to make sure that the bride and groom had a few dollars to start off their marriage. Shots of some sort of alcohol seem to accompany the dance, though I am sure this was not the intention in Poland, and with each dollar you give, you get a shot. Sometimes only the bride dances, sometimes both bride and groom. Usually men dance with the bride and women dance with the groom, however in recent events, I have seen men dance with the groom as well. Case in point… my fiance and his bromance.

Anniversary dance – This is one of my favorites!! All married couples are called out on the dance floor. The DJ or any other MC announces that anyone married less than 12 hours (the bride and groom obviously!) should leave the floor. Then announces those who have been married less than 1 year, 5 years, 10 years, etc. until there is only one couple left on the dance floor who would be the couple married the longest. I have seen people have a small gift for the long-wedded couple.

Line dances (Macarena, Cupid Shuffle, Electric Slide, etc.) – NOT one of my favorites, but many people do love them. They do also get a ton of people out on the dance floor. Oh ok, I am guilty of loving the Cupid Shuffle. We all have our vices!

Snowball dance – This is a good one to get all those stick-in-the-mud guests sitting on the side picking their noses up and dancing! The bridal party starts out on the dance floor. The DJ asks each member of the party to choose someone to join them on the dance floor. Then, s/he asks the bridal party and the new dancers to choose another person. Soon, there will be a ton of people on the floor dancing and having a (snow)ball! hahaha… I am such a dork :)

Polka (for us Pittsburghers) – I do not know how to polka. But this is definitely on my lists of things to learn before I die. This usually ends up being women dancing with each other, but they don’t seem to mind! When I learn, look out! I am going to request it at every wedding, just so I have a chance to practice!

Best Wishes dance – Ok, so I totally made up that name. I have no idea if there is a name for it or not, but I love it! This seems to take place at the beginning of the reception when dancing is first opened up to everyone. The DJ asks all the guests to join the bride and groom on the dance floor. For each person dancing, the newlyweds will have one year of happiness in their marriage. Now if this isn’t a good way to get people dancing, I don’t know what is. Who wants to be responsible for the divorce of a newly married couple?!

Ok, so that is all I can think of right now. I am sure there are a ton more. I honestly think that you could fill an entire reception with just these special dances, though I wouldn’t recommend it. Please comment and fill me in if I missed some!


Center of Attention

June 9th, 2010

I have been thinking a lot about centerpieces lately. I know exactly the style I am looking for when it comes to my own wedding. I don’t really want a large blob of flowers. I love the look of a “branchy” centerpiece. Here are two pictures from The Knot I showed my florist at our meeting.

Now, I don’t know what I am getting because as I mentioned in my previous post about my meeting with my florist. I have relinquished my hold on that and am letting him run with it. While I already know what I am envisioning for my own wedding, I keep thinking of other possibilities. So besides flowers, what can be used as a centerpiece. Well, my answer to that is anything. Literally, there is a way to make ANYTHING into a beautiful centerpiece.

I had responded to a post on WeddingBook about a baseball themed wedding with the idea to use wheat grass in a rectangle-shaped planter. This would work best on long rectangle tables. However, just changing the planter to something circular. You should consider what the table shape is before chosing any centerpiece to make sure it is cohesive.

Another WeddingBook response I sent was for a bride on a budget. Her colors were lime green and black. Again, the wheat grass would work for this, but I had offered the idea of using green apples. This would be adorable if done properly. Stacking the apples (cleaned and shined up of course) in a pyramid on a pedestal, silver cake stand or a milk glass bowl would really make a statement AND be very inexpensive to put together. Worried the apples will roll off the table in the middle of the reception? No need, you can place toothpicks in the apples to ensure they stay in place all night. Another spin on this would be to use lemons, plums, grapes or any other fruit that would match your color scheme. Using sugared fruits combined with a few votive candles would add a little shimmer to the centerpiece. It is pretty easy to make this centerpiece if you are a DIY bride. I found this recipe here and it looks super easy!

Another centerpiece that I have seen recently has incorporated feathers. I was watching Four Weddings, a favorite of mine on TLC, and a bride used hot pink feathers in lieu of flowers. So they can be included in arrangements with flowers or stand-alone. It obviously depends on the color scheme of the wedding, but one option that I think peacock feathers are an interesting twist. I did find a few websites that sell feathers (peacock, ostrich, and many other types) in a variety of different colors and sizes. For a bride looking for a very whimsical vibe to their wedding day, feathers set a light and romantic mood. Just be sure to keep any candles far away from the feathers!

There are a lot of brides who are looking for a Tuscan-inspired wedding. Recycle a few of those empty wine bottles to serve as candle holders with some taper candles. My suggestion would be to tie together 3 bottles per table with some thin rope. Place the bottle trio on a large serving platter surrounded by grapes and even cheese and meats. Not only will this be a great centerpiece, but your cocktail and hors d’oeuvre hour can continue right to the dinner tables.

One of these days I promise to gather up all of the materials needed to create these centerpieces and when I do, I will be sure to take photos and upload them. I just had so much in my head, I wanted to get it out before I forgot about them!


Bridesmaid Dress Woes

June 3rd, 2010

I was just in another wedding. Yep, that is 3 within the last 10 months. Luckily, that is the last one I am in for a while. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE being a part of my friends’ special day. I am truly honored that I would be chosen as a bridesmaid. However, my wallet is definitely hurting after being in 3 in a row. This post is more of a venting session than anything.

Despite my tendency to get things done early, I procrastinated on getting the alterations for my last bridesmaids dress, which was super cute by the way. A cute little black, halter that hit right below the knee. It was perfect for the 80 degree weather we had. When I was getting fitted for the dress, I knew what size I wanted to order before they actually measured me. I had tried on another dress by the same designer when we were dress hunting. This dress fit me perfectly. So I tracked down that dress and checked the size. When they compared my measurements to the chart, they wanted me to order a dress that was 4 sizes larger than that one! I argued and they said that the dresses tend to come in smaller. Since I had been in 2 other weddings and had ordered the same size for both of them, I knew what size I wanted. I ended up going with a dress that was one size bigger than what I wanted to order.

When the dress came in, it was waaay too big. Now granted, I did lose some weight. But not that much! I literally had 2 inches taken in around the chest and 5 1/2 from the hem at the bottom (sometimes the bottom hem can’t be avoided because they are standard lengths, but that is something to ask about). If they had let me order the dress size I had wanted and had fit me at the time, my alterations may not have come out to cost $90.

So to all you brides and bridesmaids out there: When you are purchasing bridesmaids dresses, try to find a dress by the same designer that fits you and order that size. I know some stores only carry the “common” sizes – 6-12. The dresses do run slightly smaller when ordered because the sample dresses are a little stretched out from tons of people trying them on, so keep that in mind. But if you are able to find one that fits, you can save yourself a lot of money in alterations. Another tip: Even if you do plan on having the bridal shop do the alterations, tell them you have someone else to do it. They won’t push as hard to get you to order a larger size.