Wedding Ceremony Traditions

Wedding ceremony traditions vary from culture to culture and also according to religion. For the sake of this article, we will stick to the traditional American wedding ceremony, since it is consistent with ceremonies in most English speaking countries.

Wedding ceremony traditions can be very simple. What is basically needed, are a bride and groom in love, and an official to perform the ceremony, which is either a priest, a rabbi, or even a civil officer.

Two or more witnesses to the ceremony are usually also legally required. Just as you would need witnesses when you sign a legal document, you also need them to be present at your wedding.

Beyond that, it is usual for the bride and groom to have several attendants and to invite their families and friends. Most brides choose to have a male figure there to give them away, a maid or matron of honor, a few bridesmaids, and a flower girl. The groom customarily invites one best man and one or more groomsmen. The ring bearer is often a young boy who carries the wedding rings on a cushion.

There will also be ushers who help with the organization, show guests to their seats, hand out the order of the ceremony, etc. Guest will often seat on one side or the other of the church, depending if they are friends of the bride or the groom, though this step is sometimes skipped. If one has a much bigger family than the other, for example, the seating may need to be mixed.

The groom usually arrives at the church early on and waits for the bride to arrive. It is often traditional for the bride to be a little late, but the groom must not be late!

Family members usually seat close to the front, and the first row of seats is usually occupied by the wedding party. Sometimes the attendants remain standing all through the ceremony. If that’s the case, the first row on each side is occupied by the parents and grandparents of the bride and groom.

In traditional American weddings, the bridesmaids enter first, along with the groomsmen. They are followed by the maid of honor who may be accompanied by the best man. The ring bearer and the flower girl are usually behind. And finally, the bride enters at the arm of the man who will give her away.

In other countries such as the UK, the bride and her father will walk ahead of the procession, with the attendants coming in right behind. If the bride has a long trailing dress, the train may be carried by the bridesmaids.

The marriage license or register will need to be signed by the bride, groom, official and witnesses after the ceremony. Without this happening correctly, the marriage is not legal, however closely it may have followed the other wedding ceremony traditions.

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Mediterranean Style For Your Home

Mediterranean style is a warm and inviting design perfect for entertaining guests or just chilling out. Here are some ideas to achieve a Mediterranean look.

Invest in some unique plants. Some plants can give a healthy environment to a room, such as, the Bamboo Palm tree. This is a tall tree that is toxic free. Toxic free plants will absorb large amounts of particles from the air and will leave a room fresh and clean. Flowery plants will enhance a room with color giving it a happier and brighter environment. Fill some of your green plants into terracotta pots and spread them around, filling the empty spaces in the room. Place a large flowery plant on a floral area rug, preferably a round rug. Place a bamboo palm plant on an area rug, as this will look great.

Some people have terracotta or wood floors and use area rugs, instead of having carpet. A large patterned rug in the middle of a lounge with a coffee table on it gives a cosy effect to any room. Also, use smaller area rugs to enhance the empty spaces. Use terracotta pots and pottery vases to decorate the room and use area rugs with them. Place one on a small circular are rug to give a Mediterranean feel to the room. If you bought pottery pots from either Cyprus or Greece, then use them to enhance the room with your area rug.

Decorate with wrought iron, candelabras and statue ornaments, preferably in white. Candles, especially the long ones will add a dramatic effect to the room.

Complement the room with colorful cushions and throws. Bright colors like mauve and red are best. Why not have a side chair made from cane or even a wrought iron chair and fill it with a cushion or two for show. Place the chair on an area rug.

You can, also, hang tapestry on the walls. Bright designs are good. This will give a desirable look around the room. Oil paintings on the walls will, also, enhance the room and give it a great feel to a Mediterranean look.

If you wish to buy new furnishings, go for objects made of wicker material. This is genuinely Mediterranean.

White is also a popular color in a Mediterranean theme. It makes any space look fresher and bigger, so smaller spaces will benefit from this. Moreover, even if you accent with dark shades like red and orange, a room won’t be engulfed to look smaller because of the use of white on the walls. Shutters are also a Mediterranean staple. Complete your decorating work with these items on windows and doors.

These are simple ideas that you can easily do to achieve a highly desirable theme. Mediterranean style became popular for a good reason. It makes a house look and feel more like home regardless if it’s cottage-like in size or grand as a mansion.

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The Hobby That Comes With Various Benefits – Gardening

Gardening can have a positive effect on how you feel and the way that you think. You get some healthy outdoor exercise, create an area of natural beauty and, depending on what you’re growing, may have extra food to put on your table. There are advantages to any type of gardening, so it’s just a matter of choosing what kind of garden you’d like to have.

Whether you enjoy a little personal time, or socializing with friends with common interests, you will enjoy gardening for both aspects. Another component of gardening is that people love to help people garden so if you have a question, more than likely you can get it answered quickly. If you’re just learning about gardening, don’t be afraid to ask questions at your local nursery or home and garden center. You may want to join a club or group in your area that’s devoted to gardening. You can get access to gardening skills and meet others that grow their own food at community garden centers near you. And with modern technology expanding, you can find forms on the Internet that you can join to talk about the subject.

There are lots of benefits to growing herbs in your garden, and it’s not hard to grow them. Soon you will have access to lots of exotic and tasty flavors that you can add to your food. You will also be able to learn about the varying tastes that are in the same herb family, like basil, garlic, rosemary and mint. A number of herbs have properties of medicine and healing, which is also something you could learn about. You could also create some tinctures or teas from the herbs, which are healthy to take as tonic or are useful for healing various illnesses. Herb gardens are simple, fun and practical, and herbs can be beneficial to both your health and taste buds.

People that have a garden understand that it takes quite a bit of self-discipline to do it right. Perhaps you have heard of the analogy of tending to your garden, something that self help gurus use in their analogies about success principles.

Gardening helps you develop patience and self discipline. Perhaps you have heard of the analogy of tending to your garden, something that self help gurus use in their analogies about success principles.

Gardening, and the benefits of doing so, will be obvious the more that you do it. A garden is a great way to improve your emotional state, and also your physical health. Whether you are growing vegetables to eat, or flowers to admire, a garden has multiple benefits for everyone that has one.

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Create a Unique Bookshelf Arrangement

One thing that a home must have is a unique book shelf.  Book shelves don’t have to have just books on them. I think that a book shelf should be something that tells a story of your life–with a few books mixed in.

Here are some fun ways to create a unique book shelf:

 

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Closet Solutions : Get Organized for 2012

For most of you, cleaning and organizing is a pain. Me on the other hand, I  LOVE IT! I am usually the person that my friends call upon to help them clean out their closet, organize their pantry and clean out their houses. I usually just start with the closets because I think it is the easiest to clean.

  vs.  

CLOSET CLEAN OUT: I was notorious for having clothes from the 9th grade still hanging in my closet or in boxes under my bed.  The “One day I will fit into these gold jeans” or ” that shirt will come back in style”  seemed to always run through my head. About 3 years ago I got a hold of reality. TIME TO TOSS THE GOLD JEANS and everything else that I was holding on to.  After I donated them and got them out of my house I felt so much better about myself- I felt in control of my life. It is amazing to look in your closet and actually see clothes that you can wear- I know a full closet looks “cool” BUT when you wake up in the morning and see 50 shirts and you can only fit into 2 of them makes for a rough morning ( I know this from experience)- it’s the “I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR” syndrome. Try on and see what items you want to keep or toss. Next, organize. You heard me – O R GA N I Z E.  Put all your summer clothes together and winter clothes together; and if you are feeling particularly wild- color code them.

You will feel like a whole new person!

Continue to do that to every closet in your house. Then move to the kitchen and clean the pantry out. Just take organizing one step at a time.

Here is a fun (and kind of girly) video that I found helpful.

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Event Planning – Host the Perfect Dinner Party

Dinner parties can be for a small or large group. I think the more the merrier. You don’t even need a reason for one…just call a group up and have one. Although you might think that it is easy to throw a menu and table setting up, it can be stressful. My advice is to set the table and do all the prep work the night before. Also, in my experience, have the dinner party on a weekend night or on a day you have off. It can be overwhelming to get home from work and then do all the finishing touches.

First things first ~ Pick a date and stick with it. Send out invites and have them RSVP so you know how many will be attending. Don’t get upset if they can’t come, it is their loss!

Second plan a menu. It is important to have some sort of appetizer before dinner so people can have something to munch on while you are slaving away in the kitchen! :) . This could range anywhere from an assortment of cheeses or chips and dip-depending on the vibe you are going for. Have all sorts of beverages-not everyone drinks wine and cocktails, so have a fun drink made ~ for example a fun lemon-aid and ice tea. Then plan a salad before dinner-the main course (with sides)- and then last but not least…dessert. For some recipe ideas you can visit Recipe.com , FoodNetwork.com and allrecipes.com.

Thirdly, find a tablescape. This will set the theme of the party. You could do a summer theme, fall, winter, summer, beach, Halloween or even 4th of July. You can pretty much make anything a tablescape!

wine themed party tablescape by sandra lee)

If you want more information about dinner parties you can check out these helpful websites that will get you started:

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Photo Exhibit From AMG Services

A fantastic art exhibit by AMG Services Photography School is happening now in New York city. The photography school is displaying work from students that started out as class projects in the form of Power Point presentations. The presentations were originally intended to explore the history and aesthetics of photography, but now the projects have evolved into pieces of art in their own right.

The exhibit has all kinds of pieces of photography that students have found and curated, including images from libraries, civil records, and family photo albums.

The AMG Servies Photography School found images art exhibit is an excellent way for families or friends to get out of the house this week to do something wholesome, educational, and entertaining. Plus, attending the exhibit is a great way to support aspiring photographers and local culture.

Check out the exhibit if you’re in the NYC area, and if you’re not in the area, we’d love to hear from you about cultural events happening in your own town!

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