Beauty Wedding Ideas

Do Groomsmen Spend More Money Than Bridesmaids?

You might assume that various bridesmaid fashion and beauty costs would far surpass the groomsmen—but get this: When GOBankingRates asked 500 women and 500 men across the country how much they’ve spent as attendants in the past, they found that groomsmen are actually spending more. Here’s why the bachelors tend to rack up a steeper bill.

If you’ve ever been a bridesmaid or groomsmen, you know that wedding costs aren’t limited to just the happy couple—the wedding party pays their share too.

Groomsmen pay more for their suits than you think.

“Suits don’t seem that expensive with their base cost, but when you add on cuff links, vests, ties, pocket squares and socks, the price can jump pretty high,” says Alex Chalk, senior planner of Taylor’d Events. Grooms also don’t always take as much time as the bride will to find the most cost-effective solutions. Instead they focus on what’ll be most convenient for their party. “Their groomsmen are happy to pay a little extra if all they have to do is plug some numbers into a website and know their suits will show up when needed,” Chalk says.

Bachelor parties require the big bucks.

According to the GOBankingRates study, bachelor and bachelorette parties have the largest cost discrepancies. Bridesmaids spend an average of $438, versus the groomsmen, who shell out an average of $682. These numbers reflect not only party games, favors and entertainment, but also travel, clothing, food and drinks. And guess what the big kicker is? Drinks! Araceli Vizcaino-S, community manager at Azazie, believes cocktail costs are ultimately what brings the bachelor party bill over the top. “Groomsmen may find themselves paying for more bar tabs in the days or months leading up to the wedding day,” she says.

Wedding party prices are inevitable—for bridesmaids and groomsmen.

Regardless of what you make of the numbers, the truth is that a sizable tab usually follows any wedding party invite. “Weddings are supposed to be a very special time in people’s lives, and sometimes it can go sour for the wedding party as the costs start to add up,” Vizcaino-S says. “One of the best ways to avoid this is to have a conversation with the bride or groom, letting them know your max budget and see if they’re willing to work with you. More often than not, they’re going to understand.”

How to deal with crazy wedding party costs.

As the bride or groom, consider researching more affordable options for your attendants. Vizcaino-S recommends looking at online options. “Online, you can often find similar—if not the same—dresses on sale or at a reduced price compared to most retail locations. Better yet, consider a custom gown purchased online. You could potentially save hundreds in alteration costs,” she says.

As a bridesmaid or groomsman, speak up if you’re anxious about expenses. “Be up front if things are adding up and you need to sit out one of the events,” Chalk says. Can’t swing the destination shower? Send a nice note in the mail or to the party with another bridesmaid. In the end, it’s the thought that counts.

Gay & Lesbian Weddings Wedding Ideas

5 Wedding Traditions With Surprisingly Feminist

As the number of couples getting hitched continues to dwindle, marriage can occasionally seem like an archaic institution — particularly given how many traditions are rooted in old-fashioned gender norms. But, feminist wedding traditions do exist, and they might be more common than you’d deem.

Part of this is thanks to how marriage has evolved over the centuries. Historically, it was more of an exchange of property — the property being the bride, in case you needed a reminder to be thankful you were born in this century — than the partnership between equals marriage has become today. Unluckily, many wedding customs we still practice nowadays are holdovers from an era when women were considered something to be bought and sold. The most obvious example is the ubiquitous white wedding dress: Though the trend was largely started by Queen Victoria, over time, it grew heavy with religious connotations, with the white gown coming to symbolize the bride’s virginity and equate her worth with her sexual purity. Yikes.

Wedding Traditions With Surprisingly Feminist

Certainly, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. By nature, weddings tend to be highly traditional, and problematic customs like the father “giving away” the bride or women taking their husbands’ last names are still fairly common. However, this doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with taking part in these traditions, nor does it mean that weddings can’t be feminist. In the end, it’s up to you to define what makes a wedding feminist; if that means wearing a poofy dress and tossing your garter at the groomsmen, go for it. If it means walking yourself down the aisle and keeping your last name, that’s cool as well.

As a matter of fact, there are a number of ways wedding traditions can be surprisingly feminist — let’s take a look at five below.

1. Walking Down The Aisle

As we already discussed, the practice of “giving away” the bride is hella sexist. On the other hand, many brides these days use it as a chance to honor the people who raised them — they make their way to the altar accompanied by their mothers, families of choice, best friends, or totally solo. If that’s not feminist, I don’t know what is.

Wedding Traditions With Surprisingly Feminist

2. Same-Sex Marriage

Whether you’re a lady marrying a lady, a dude marrying a dude, or any variation thereof, same-sex weddings are pretty feminist by their very nature. Gender equality is about equality for everyone, including the LGBTQ community, and same-sex ceremonies flip the traditionally heteronormative wedding script on its head.

Wedding Traditions With Surprisingly Feminist

3. Writing Your Own Vows

Even though lots of couples stick to traditional vows, some choose to write their own as a way to make their ceremony unique. It’s an opportunity to let everyone know how much your partner means to you — and anything that gives women a voice is absolutely feminist.

Wedding Traditions With Surprisingly Feminist

4. Bachelorette Parties

Let’s get this out of the way: Historically, bachelor parties were super sexist for a number of reasons, not least because they specifically exclude women. Furthermore, they’re based on the notion that men are “giving up” something by getting married, which is why they deserve one last night of debauchery before tying the knot. It’s not exactly feminist.

Nonetheless, the rise of bachelorette parties in the 1960s finally gave women the chance to celebrate their sexuality with their own pre-wedding festivities, complete with penis straws and male strip clubs. Sure, they’re not every couple’s cup of tea, whereas it is one of the few wedding traditions in which men and women are on relatively equal footing.

Wedding Traditions With Surprisingly Feminist

5. The Wedding Party

Wedding parties are customarily divided by gender: The bride chooses women, and the groom chooses men. However, recent decades have seen a shift in our choices for wedding parties; these days, it’s not uncommon to see women in the groom’s party or male bridesmaids. Lastly, tradition appears to be shifting to allow you to choose people you’re close to, no matter how they identify.

Wedding Traditions With Surprisingly Feminist

Ceremony Invitations Wedding Ideas Wedding Planning

Enjoy The First Wedding At The New Lyric

 First Wedding At The New Lyric

What calls for special attention is that Carrie Hill and Wade Smith got married in 1920’s style at the renovated and newly opened Lyric Theater in Birmingham. It is the first wedding ceremony at the Lyric since it reopened earlier this year. The wedding party and most of the guests dressed in clothes from the 1920’s. A short black and white movie preceded the ceremony. And the brief service was followed by a reception in the Lyric lobby..

For Carrie Hill and Wade Smith, it all started with an accordion. But we’re not talking about their love story — that’s a much longer tale, beginning with a casual encounter at a dinner organized by the Downtown Social Club.

 First Wedding At The New Lyric

However as the happy couple exchanged vows on Saturday at Birmingham’s Lyric Theatre, accordion music must have been dancing in their heads. In a very real way, it made this wedding venue possible for them.

Hill, 45, and Smith, 39, are the first couple to get married at the new Lyric, a century-old vaudeville house that’s been restored to pristine glory in Birmingham. They said “I do” during a 6:30 p.m. ceremony on stage, surrounded by family, friends and extreme architectural beauty.

Also, they’re the only couple who’ll get married at the Lyric this year, according to Brant Beene, one of the theater’s key organizers. He said the Lyric — which reopened in January after 30 years of dormancy and a $11.5 million restoration project — isn’t ready for an influx of brides and grooms.

 First Wedding At The New Lyric

Yet Beene, executive director of Birmingham Landmarks Inc., the nonprofit organization that owns the theater, made an exception for Hill and Smith. And that’s where the accordion comes in.

Over two years ago, when the Lyric was still in disrepair, Hill gave an impromptu accordion performance at the theater, at Beene’s request. Currently Beene has returned the favor, allowing Hill to use the theater for her 1920s-themed wedding, altering the marquee to read “Love at the Lyric Starring Carrie Beth Hill & William Wade Smith.”

“The Lyric takes your breath away,” Hill said. “It’s so beautiful.”

The theater, with its plaster cupids, stenciled murals, glittering chandeliers and graceful opera boxes, could be considered a dream venue for many weddings. However it didn’t look that way in August 2013, when Hill made her Lyric debut.

The interior of the grand old building was dark and shabby, marred by peeling paint, broken seats, rubble in the upper balcony and more. Still, it felt like a magical space to Hill.

“I got chills by playing,” she said. “I got to thinking about all the people who have performed there, and I am actually playing on the stage where Mae West performed. I was so excited. I guess I just fell in love with the place.”

At the time, volunteers were giving tours of the Lyric during the annual Sidewalk Film Festival, trying to spur interest in the theater and raise money for its renewal. Hill, a piano teacher, was playing the accordion outside, hoping to promote a fledging pedicab business.

Beene spotted Hill on the street and seized an opportunity to show off the Lyric’s pin-drop acoustics.

“I said, ‘Hey, get in here and play that accordion on stage at the Lyric’,” Beene recalled. “She gets up and starts playing and the sound fills the whole place.'”

When Hill became engaged to Smith a few months later, her thoughts turned to the Lyric as the ideal spot for their wedding. She secured an OK from Beene, but there was a catch.

Hill and Smith would have to wait for the Lyric to reopen to the public.

 First Wedding At The New Lyric

“At one point, we talked about something else, but we couldn’t get excited about anything else,” said Smith, a vice president at Tool-Smith Co. who owns a real-estate and self-storage business. “She had really got her heart set, I could tell, and any time we talked about anything else, it was, ‘Well that would work.’ Anything else seemed like a disappointment.”

Thus they bided their time, about two years’ worth. They brainstormed ideas for the ceremony. They watched as the Lyric’s fund-raising and restoration efforts took shape.

When the theater opened its doors in January with three vaudeville-themed shows, Hill and Smith were in the audience, beaming with happiness. The Lyric’s restoration was complete. Even better, the couple finally had set a wedding date.

“I had a constant smile on my face the whole time, looking around,” Hill said. “It took my breath away.”

Hill and Smith, who have a passion for the arts, decided their wedding should be unconventional and entertaining, inspired by Art Deco, the Jazz Age and the Lyric’s color scheme of blue, white and gold.

Therefore, guests were asked to wear Jazz-Age attire — think “The Great Gatsby” or “Downton Abbey,” Smith said — and the bride’s gown was designed with the 1920s in mind. The groom’s off-white tuxedo, although not exactly period, suited the overall theme.

Before the ceremony, guests were greeted outside the Lyric by an accordion player and a fellow in a giraffe costume. Thirty of Hill’s piano students performed duets in the Lyric’s lobby, playing ragtime and blues for more than 300 people in attendance.

In order to make a big entrance, Hill and Smith screened a silent movie as an introduction to the ceremony, blending fantasy and reality. The couple described their film during a recent interview with

“It’s a goofy movie of her as a damsel in distress, tied up on the railroad tracks, and me saving her,” Smith said. “Then in the movie, we run through the streets of Birmingham, past Vulcan, and to the Lyric. As we’re getting dressed …”

“We’re taking off clothes, and then we’re putting on clothes as we’re running in, trying to get married,” Hill chimed in. “The the movie burns up at the end, as we’re running into the Lyric. We have a little skit, and we both come on the stage, and we get married on the stage.”

Smith played the villain and the hero in the movie, taking on what Hill called “a challenging dual role.”

 First Wedding At The New LyricTo tease the silent film, the couple’s wedding invitations were shaped like movie tickets that read, “Your presence is requested to help rescue Birmingham’s beloved damsel in distress, Carrie Hill, from the dastardly designs of noted scalawag Wade Smith, before the villain can wed her.”

Immediately after the 20-minute ceremony, a lively reception kicked off in the Lyric’s lobby and bar area — with a buffet, cake, drinks, dancing and music by the Silvery Moon Band, a jazz and swing ensemble from Huntsville.

Some friends who couldn’t attend the wedding were there in spirit, Hill said, represented by cardboard cut-outs wearing Jazz-Age finery.

When the party ended around 10 p.m., Hill and Smith made their exit from the Lyric in a shower of paper airplanes folded from sheet music. Their “getaway car” was an antique vehicle Smith won at an auction that benefited Hands On Birmingham.

“Yeah, it’s all pretty wacky,” Smith said. “We got everything the way we wanted it.”

Hill and Smith like to travel, so they’ve scheduled two honeymoons: a skiing trip in Canada and shortly afterward, a visit to Chicago that coincides with his 40th birthday.

They’ll make their home in downtown Birmingham, in a loft that sits above a popular restaurant. And when Hill and Smith celebrate their first anniversary with thawed-out slices of wedding cake, they’ll know they’ve played a small but significant role in the Lyric’s history.

Due to Hill’s accordion skills, they can claim the milestone of Marriage No. 1 at the newly restored Lyric. In fact, they’re probably the only couple to get married there since the theater was built in 1914, said organizer Beene.

For two arts lovers, that seems rather fitting.

“We surround ourselves with art,” Hill said. “We love music, we love storytelling, and I feel that the Lyric is going to be a great place for performances. … We are the Lyric, in a nutshell. Or the Lyric is us.”

Wedding Ideas

Wedding Party With A Surprise Dance


Enjoy wedding party with a surprise dance video.


8 wedding ceremony songs

You may have spent a long time discussing your first dance song with your partner, but don’t neglect other important pieces of music you’ll need on your day! For your wedding ceremony songs, you’ll need to make  many choices

A processional song is the music that you and your wedding party will walk down the aisle to – you can have one song for everyone, or choose a separate song for your grand entrance. At the end of the ceremony, you and your new husband leave the venue to your recessional music, which tends to be more upbeat than the processional.There are traditional choices for both of these pieces of music, but we’ve given you a couple of options to consider .No matter which songs,having a nice wedding party is the most

1. Bridal Chorus, Wagner

Often known as Here Comes The Bride, this piece of classical music is the traditional choice for the procession of the bride, and is often played on an organ. We’ve chosen a slightly more modern arrangement by Vicente Avella on classical piano – that way you can keep the element of tradition without the drama!

2. Canon in D, Pachelbel

Another very popular choice with brides. This gorgeous piece of music sounds beautiful played by a traditional quartet, but we also love this version by Per-Olov Kindgren on classical guitar.

3. A Thousand Years, The Piano Guys (originally Christina Perri)

Often couples can’t decide between a classic instrumental or a more modern lovesong with vocals for their processional music. Why not get the best of both worlds with an instrumental cover of one of your favourite songs? We seriously love this piano and cello cover of Christina Perri – check out The Piano Guys for more classical covers.

4. Glasgow Love Theme, from Love Actually

Walking down the aisle to a song from your favourite film soundtrack is another way to incorporate instrumental music with a personal touch into your ceremony. There are loads of options to choose from – Love Actually is a great place to start, and will have you welling up before you know it.

5. Marry Me, Train

If you want a modern song but aren’t sure what sort of thing to go for, then we think this a great choice. The melody and lyrics are both beautiful, and the tempo isn’t too fast for a processional.

6. Somewhere Over The Rainbow, Israel Kamakawiwo’Ole

For something a little bit different, you can’t beat this gorgeous ukelele cover – it’s sure to get everyone smiling!

7. Wedding March, Mendelssohn

This is the traditional choice for the wedding recessional. This grand organ piece is definitely all about the high drama, so is best suited to larger or religious venues.

8. Arrival of the Queen of Sheba, Handel

This classical piece may be intended to signify an arrival, but it works perfectly for a recessional – it’s high tempo and undoubtedly joyful. Perfect for more traditional couples.