Thursday, July 25, 2013

Stay smart when losing weight for your wedding

Nearly every bride-to-be puts the same stresses on herself as she starts to plan: not only does she want the perfect wedding, but she also wants to lose weight for the big day.

But weight loss is challenging at the best of times, so be careful you’re not setting yourself up for failure when you set your weight loss goals.

See your doctor: Like they say on TV, make sure you’re safe before starting any diet or exercise program. 

Make realistic goals: You’re not going to go from a size 22 to a 2 in three months. And there’s no reason to try. Crash diets simply don’t work, and can cause more harm in the long run. Instead, focus on the good things your changes in diet are doing for your overall health.

Small changes add up: Instead of cutting out everything, make small changes leading up to your wedding day. Switch soda for water, take the stairs instead of the elevator, or walk every night after dinner. The little things will begin to add up, making it easier to add the next set of changes.

Give yourself many smaller goals: Instead of a blanket “I want to lose 50 pounds by my wedding,” make a series of smaller, attainable goals. Lose 10 pounds by the engagement photo shoot. Or be able to walk or run two miles by the bridal shower.

Join a health club: If you’ve shelled out the money, you’ll be more likely to actually follow-through. The Heritage Health Club has membership options to fit your budget, from yearly plans to month-by-month payments. We also have fun classes like yoga and total body workout. Once you start going to a health club, it becomes part of your routine. When you come back from the honeymoon, keep your membership active and it will become a lifestyle!

Have a weight-loss buddy: Maybe your fiancĂ© wants to get fit, too. Or your maid of honor would like to show off her toned arms in a strapless bridesmaid dress. Don’t go it alone! A buddy will help you when you don’t want to stick to your plan and will help you focus on your goals.

But don’t let a weight-loss plan overwhelm you: Remember, he proposed to you, not some idealized version of yourself you have in your head. You will look beautiful on your wedding day because you are marrying your best friend, not because you met some weight-loss goals. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Social media and your wedding

We’re in an era of instant communications and total sharing. We Instagram our lunches, Tweet our whereabouts and Facebook our every thought. While social media can be a great tool for brides- and grooms-to-be, there are some common pitfalls.

Making THE Announcement
He popped the question. You said yes. Like everything else in your life, you want to share it immediately with everyone. You even created a Vine of the ring sparkling on your hand.
Yes, you should absolutely share your happiness with your friends. But there are people who deserve to be told first. Give mom or dad a call and tell them. If either of you have children, they should hear about it before your high school lab partner. 
Then share the video on Vine, link it to your Facebook, and watch the “Likes” pour in.

24-hour Wedding Planning News
Wedding planning can consume you. You’re planning the most important event of your life, and the details matter. To you. Sure, friends will enjoy following the trials and tribulations of picking a reception venue, but they may not care about the exact shade of blue you’re worrying about for your ribbon borders. As with all things wedding planning, make sure you still have time for you. Instagram your cat doing silly things, just like you always do. It’ll help your sanity and keep your friends from ignoring your posts altogether.

Dress shopping, Evites, Whining: No, no, no!
Do NOT post the pictures of your favorite dresses on Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, Tumblr, or anywhere else. You want to take his breath away when he sees you for the first time, not when he’s on his iPhone. You, in your dress, is a secret worth keeping.

Emailed, Facebook or any other electronic invitations are a big no-no. This is your big day. Do you really want your invitations sitting in an email in-box next to coupons from Macy’s and spam from that Nigerian “prince?” Sure, you can keep bridesmaids up-to-date on other events like dress fittings that way, but for the wedding invitation? Keep it old school: paper and postage can be a part of almost every budget.

Keep your social media venting to a minimum. Sure, you’re stressed. Sure, all you want is for the photographer to call you back. But do you really want a record of that for posterity? Probably not. Vent to your bridesmaids or groomsmen on the phone or over lunch. Everyone will feel better that way.

Wedding websites
Many couples choose to create a special website for their guests to visit leading up to the wedding. This is helpful for destination weddings or for anyone traveling from out of town. Wedding planning websites like or offer free sites for you to use. You can let your guests know about hotel room blocks, rehearsal dinner plans, parking plans, wedding registries, anything that doesn’t fit comfortably on the invitations.

Social media and the ceremony itself
Many couples are making conscious decisions regarding how they want social media handled during their ceremony and reception. Some couples are embracing it, creating Instagram hashtags for their wedding and asking their friends and family to share all their photos. Others are asking for “unplugged” ceremonies, where family and friends are asked to turn off their cell phones and leave their cameras in their bags to fully enjoy the moment. What you decide is ultimately up to you, but making your wishes clear at the ceremony with either a sign or notice in the wedding program or an announcement from the officiant will let your guests know what is expected of them.

Social media is a great tool, but don’t let it overwhelm your wedding.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

When the second (or third!) time’s the charm

Planning a second (or third, or beyond) wedding has its own challenges that are different than those of a first-time bride or groom. You’ve already had one wedding, and you worry about how to handle things a second time.

The good news is, like with first-timers, many of the old “rules” are out, and there are no wrong answers! Weddings have become a much more personal expression for the couple getting married.

Should I have a big blowout, or a small, intimate affair? Well, it depends. If you had the big wedding the first time, perhaps you want a more personal event this time. Or, conversely, if you got married on a shoestring budget the first time, perhaps you’re more financially stable and can throw a big party now. Either way, a venue like the Heritage has plenty of choices for all levels of event – as formal or informal as you want.

What should I wear? Even first-time brides are moving away from all white, but if that’s what you want to wear, then go for it. Grooms have it a little easier, and should just dress to match the formality of the wedding itself.

Do I have a shower? Do I register for gifts? Perhaps you’re starting over again and really do need to stock a new house. Or maybe you’re condensing two fully-stocked households and don’t need another set of dishcloths. If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of a wedding registry, then spread it through word of mouth that there isn’t one. And if you don’t like the whole idea of a formal shower, then work with your wedding party to plan a backyard barbecue, night at the casino or no party at all.

Do I get my kids involved? Yes, at the level that they’re comfortable with. You want them to feel included in the new life you’re starting, but you also don’t want to put a lot of pressure on them. Some couples have their kids in the wedding party, if the kids are old enough. Other couples have their kids be part of the ceremony in other meaningful ways. The popular sand unity ceremony becomes even more meaningful when the couple and each of the kids have their own color sand to add to the vase.  Or each of the kids can have a single flower that they present to the couple, making a new bouquet. Be creative, and make it about your new family.

All in all, a second wedding or beyond should be just as important to you, because it’s the first time you are marrying each other. Make it about the two of you, and it will be perfect.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Keeping your littlest guests entertained

Having children present at your wedding is a personal decision. Some couples love having their youngest family members help them celebrate their special day, while others prefer to keep the event adult-only. 

But if you do invite kids, make sure you keep them in mind as you plan.

Have a kid-friendly program made up. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but for kids younger than 10, coloring pages and a small pack of crayons will keep them busy during the “sitting still and waiting around” times.

Little ones probably won’t be interested in fancy meals. Here at the Heritage, we offer kids’ meals at a reduced rate. Make sure your invitations include the children’s meals – and the ages they are designed for. 

Talk to your DJ or band ahead of time. Kids love to get up and dance, so make sure they’ve got some kid-friendly music at the beginning of the night to jam to!

If you know you’ll have a lot of children at the reception, set aside a kids’ fun table. Have a portable DVD player with some popular kids’ movies playing, coloring books, or even kid-friendly crafts set up.

Setting up room blocks for your guests means moms and dads can stay a little longer and just put the kids to bed upstairs without having to pack them up for a drive home.

Whatever you do, a little planning ahead of time can help your littlest guests enjoy their time with you!