Getting Married? Need Engagement Advice? Listen up.
December is a month that seems to be destined for wonderful memories. Whether you gather around a Christmas tree, a nativity scene, a Menorah, or a Kinara – you’re hopefully spending time with family while you enjoy good times and good food. It is this focus on family that makes a December engagement so wonderful (as long as she says yes!).
The trees are decorated with lights, houses are filled with friends, family, and food – and everyone who’s not a Scrooge or Grinch is in a good mood… the perfect setting to start a new branch on the family tree.
Here are some ideas inspired by the holidays:
The old song says ‘baby, it’s cold outside’ but the excitement of a new life together requires a different kind of ‘ice’ to warm your true love’s heart. Perhaps a diamond solitaire engagement ring.
Don’t forget to present the ring appropriately – as a Christmas present, of course! Put the ring box inside a small gift box and hang it from the tree as an ornament or slip the ring over the hanger and let it rest at the top of an ornament and then watch her face when she spots it.
Decorate your sweetheart’s finger with this festive looking ring, an 18K yellow gold engagement ring with ruby side stones. The yellow gold evokes old fashioned celebrations, combined with traditional Christmas red.
If you really want to catch her off guard, give her this beautiful necklace for Christmas and then surprise her with a ring on New Years Eve! The perfect setting for this gift would be a romantic trip to a cabin: complete with a sleigh ride and snow ball fight followed by a roaring fire, warm fuzzy sweaters, dark chocolate, and this perfect snow ball to take home:
Looking for more ideas?
Check out previous big fat articles about engagements at Christmas, including some great ideas for wedding proposals.
Not ready to propose?
Just remember, the holidays are still critical if you want staying power. Try to make a good impression on his or her family and remember to make some good memories, which will pave the way for many happy holidays to come.
I recently attended a wonderful party celebrating the engagement of a son who fell in love while attending school in Europe. They flew home to announce their engagement and their engagement party was held the night before their flight back to Denmark.
In honor of a well-loved (and sorely missed) son, the house was filled with his friends, his family and all of his favorite foods. The dessert table included a favorite bundt cake and mom’s specialty: a two-layered cheesecake covered in chocolate. A creative and fun Ken and Barbie doll cake acted as a centerpiece.
All major family events and holidays at this house seem to involve cupcakes, so they were not a surprise. Each cupcake was decorated with a sparkly diamond ring – a perfect reminder for guests to sneak a peek a the bride-to-be’s perfect solitaire engagement ring.
A buffet of all of the groom-to-be’s favorite foods were a hit with everyone from his friends to Grandma. It included smoked salmon and cream cheese on pumpernickel, shrimp, chicken wings, and a delicious assortment of dips.
It was a perfect evening: from the cupcakes, Barbie doll centerpiece, and the selection of candies at the dessert table- to the cozy fire in the fireplace and the friendly guests filling every room on the main floor of the house.
It is so important that an engagement party fits with the circumstances surrounding the engagement, as well as the personalities of the engaged couple. This informal and thoughtful engagement party was perfect for this young couple: the future groom was able to enjoy the comforts (and candy) of his home country, while the bride-to-be was introduced to family and friends and North American wedding traditions, without being overwhelmed.
Do you have pictures of an engagement event or an engagement story you would like to share? Let us know and we may select you for an upcoming feature!
Wilton makes a very cute cake pan that bakes up an impressive teddy bear sitting up. The one pictured above is a brown bear groom cake from Made By Melis. Make two of these and then decorate them as the bride and groom! My Big Fat Tips: bake ahead of time and freeze – this makes decorating easier, and allows you to have to fresh tasting bear cakes ready for the big day! Each cake requires over 6 cups of batter, is in the oven for an hour, and needs to cool in a series of steps that will require more than an hour – so make sure you allow yourself enough time. Vist Made By Melis‘ site for even more information about baking with one of these pans.
Use a red velvet runner on the table to symbolize the aisle and place the bears at one end.
Offer bear shaped treats in dishes around the house. Gummy bears, teddy grahams, there are some interesting choices once you look around, like chocolate covered gummy bears or chocolate bars with gummy bears in them. Bears pictured above from the chocolatestore.com.
Cover a table with a checkered table cloth and provide teddy bear shaped cookies and some bear friendly finger foods. (Smoked salmon and cream cheese canapes? Honey garlic chicken fingers?)
Give the little ones a bear shaped snack container – make sure they go around the party and collect treats from the various dishes to take home with them.
Make a play list of teddy bear songs (search for teddy bear and bear on iTunes) to play during the party. Some ideas:
(Let Me Be) Your Teddy Bear (Elvis Presley)
Teddy (Connie Francis)
Teddy Bear Song (Barbara Fairchild)
The Bare Necessities (Tony Bennett)
Throw in some love songs to keep the bear songs from getting overwhelming. Try to stick to one style of music that will complement the couple’s style and the party’s atmosphere. Some ideas:
This Love of Mine (Frank Sinatra)
Beside You (Dean Martin)
The Way You Look Tonight (Sammy Davis, Jr.)
Ain’t That a Kick in the Head (Dean Martin)
Lovely Day (Bill Withers)
Just Kissed My Baby (The Meters)
Ain’t That a Groove (James Brown)
I Was Made To Love You (Stevie Wonder)
Friday I’m in Love (Easy Listening)
Love My Way (Psychedic Furs)
Perfect Day (Lou Reed)
I Want You (Elvis Costello)
Any other ideas for songs? Please let me know –
You can rent a waterfall to add some ambience to your reception, or you can go wild and rent a rock climbing wall with a waterfall obstacle from a company like the funones.com, based out of Chicago.
This more subdued version of a waterfall for your wedding could include your initials or the first names of the bride and groom (available at gigis-party-rentals.com, Florida).
When it comes to wedding planning, you always have a choice: you can go for the understated or you can go ‘big.’ In this case, you can rent ferns or you can rent a giant palm tree (or several giant palm trees!). Plantman.com provides “extravagant jungle tropics rental to the San Francisco and Los Angeles Areas” for as low as $750. Imagine a nine foot waterfall, a pebble bottom lagoon, fern-filled jungle grottos, a 16′ palm tree, and lush moss-covered rocks with ivy”.
If the sun and surf are your definition of wild times, consider bringing the beach inside for your reception.
Or, if you anticipate that your wedding reception will be a walk on the wild side, rent a surf machine and your guests can ride the waves without even getting wet! (Deluxe Big Wave Surf Machine from bigfunuk.info.)
Both extremes may appeal to you – the subdued elegant wedding or the crazy, fun wedding- but what is the best fit for you as a couple? This is a day that you will remember for the rest of your life and it should symbolize everything about you as a couple. Are you more likely to go out for a fancy meal on a date, or are you more likely to go bungee jumping? What are you interests? One great way to establish the tone for your wedding: look at the engagement ring. The groom-to-be (hopefully) put a lot of thought into the ring when he picked it out – and (also hopefully) the bride loves it.
If the engagement ring is an impressive, but simply-designed and elegant solitaire – an elegant and tasteful wedding is best for you.
If the ring is bold and beautiful like this yellow gold engagement ring with a flower and petal design along the top and sides, then you probably have already arranged for live tropical birds and a waterfall for your reception!
Check out Part 1 for Winter and Spring fashions for MOBs. For even more MOB stories, please check out our previous feature, ‘Mob Stories: Mother of the Bride,’ which includes tips, etiquette, and dresses.
The Mother of the Bride doesn’t have to dress in the most conservative matronly outfit she can find. The important thing is to not come across like you are trying to upstage the bride.
You can still look flashy without stealing your daughter/daughter-in-law’s thunder.
This dress from lechicboutique.co.uk is a great example of an attractive and elegant outfit for the mother of the bride. Let your accessories follow the current trends – wear several gold bracelets and drop diamond earrings, but choose yellow gold for a timeless elegance that brings out the tone of the yellow dress. The perfect choice if the bride is carrying a bouquet of pale yellow roses, like the one below from hollychappleflowers.
A deep vibrant blue like this dress from TheRoseDress.com is a great c0lor for a Fall wedding (and actually would be an excellent choice for a Summer wedding, too, with different accessories!). Let the wedding colors inspire your accessories. For example, if the bridesmaids are wearing dresses in a deep gem tone (perfect for Fall), treat yourself to a matching gem! Moms deserve to be spoiled for all their hard work, right? Shoes are a very important part of your outfit, so don’t forget to buy some new, ultra-luxurious shoes for the occasion, like the silver satin wrap shoes below, available at weddingaccessories.net.
It’s been a year since we addressed the topic of Mother of the Bride style here at mybigfatenagement, so here are some great looks for anytime of year (I thought I’d pick a look for each season since MOB’s like to plan ahead). This week we will feature MOB fashions for Winter and Spring. Next time, we will look at Summer and Fall…
For more MOB stories, please check out our previous feature, ‘Mob Stories: Mother of the Bride,’ which includes tips, etiquette, and dresses.
If you can get past the young model wearing this dress, you will see that it is a very good mother of the bride or mother of the groom dress. The lacy long sleeved top is attractive and many women like to keep their arms covered after they reach a certain age (to conceal wrinkles, tattoos, or ‘bingo wings’). The shade of purple below would like nice with some blues or greens (even a pale blue or forest green would like nice with this purple). (Bouquet from 4everflorals.com.)
This cute suit from Jones New York would work well for a Spring (or a Fall actually) wedding. This color would be a nice fit if the bridesmaids are wearing pink or light green dresses. (Button from buttonemporium.com, bouquet from beyondblossoms.com).
Whatever the season and the wedding colors, it is important to communicate with the bride and any other MOBs involved. This is the best guarantee that you will fit in to the wedding photos, get along with y0ur new family members, and feel comfortable during this important event. Be flexible – there is always a shade that will look good on you that works with the wedding colors. In most cases, it is not appropriate to wear the exact same color as the bride or the bridesmaids (unless the bride want you to, of course). Darker or subdued shades are best (stay away from bright colors or, worse, bright prints).
After reading “Unique Ways To Announce Your Engagement,” Amanda shared how she announced her engagement to her mom:
My boyfriend proposed via a [pictogram], so I sent a picture of the [it] to my mom by email and asked her if she could figure out the riddle. When she couldn’t, I sent a picture of my ring and told her that the picture might help her figure it out. She did.
We asked Amanda to send us a copy of the cryptogram. Here it is:
Amanda’s boyfriend took his best (screen)shot and she said “Yes.” Congratulations Amanda and Aaron! Who knew a computer could be so romantic? You two make such a cute couple!
Communication is so important in relationships, but sometimes it’s fun to use code. It can be very exciting to try to decipher a coded message, particularly when it has such a happy message. Sure, you can just get down on one knee and propose in short, clearly posed proposal (“Will You Marry Me?”) but why not make it your own unique memory?
Here are some of our own big fat ideas for how you can make your wedding proposal unique with codes and puzzles.
Cut out the letters for Will You Marry Me and then mix them up. Mail a few letters inside an envelope each day. Once your intended receives all of the letters they can start to rearrange them to decipher the message (they will probably start trying earlier, so keep this in mind when you decide which letters to send).
Another great idea: include some extras in each envelope – perhaps mementos of your time as a couple.
If your special woman (or man) is into crosswords, you could make your own and have all of the answers relate to your couple-dom. You can do this yourself (use a program like Excel or an online program) or order online from a company like romancebetweenthelines.com.
Here is one good example of a time when you are HAPPY that he is speaking to you in code (HTML code, that is…) The creators of the webcomic The Joy of Tech agree to use their powers for good by helping one of their readers propose to his girlfriend (click here to see the comic).
Image: Nitrozac and Snaggy, Joy of Tech, geekculture.com
In another example, perlmonks.org user Falkkin posts this:
Thirteen minutes later, user Vortacist replies with “Yes! :)”
Not really ‘code,’ but this Wisconsin Marquette University student still gets an ‘A’ for effort.
What do you think? Do you have an interesting story about that engagement ring on your finger?
Traditionally, at some point during the engagement, the bride’s friends dress her up in a silly costume and then parade her around the town.
This usually happens during the bachelorette party (also called a stagette or hen party).
Costumes for the bride to be range from cool, to cute, to very bold (and actually pretty trashy!):
Get inspired by the movie Grease and dress up as the Pink Ladies! You can buy the jackets at costume stores. Costumeddiscounters.com even offers complete costumes for the different characters, Rizzo shown below:
Start the night off with some pink lady cocktails and 50’s themed appetizers and then cruise the main drag of your town in a rented 50’s car (with designated, sober, driver). End the night off with a pajama party and karaoke sing along to the Grease soundtrack.
Here is a cute head band from buycostumes.com that lets everyone know she’s the bride!
This tiara from planetbachelorette.com has flashing lights in red, green, and yellow.
Check out our previous post “Prize Ideas for Bachelorettes and Bridal Showers” for some fun party favor ideas for the event.
A sexy cowgirl theme is also a great way to round up some fun! You can get this hat from buycostumes.com.
The bride to be can wear a white hat that you decorate with a veil and the rest of the girls can wear pink cowboy hats. Don’t forget a holster so that you are ready to sling some shots, like this one from promo-wholesale.com!
Perhaps a lasso so that you can reign in her in if she really starts kicking up her heels? Or you can use it to rope your own cowboy!
Top off the night with a memento that she will have to remember your fun night out long after she is hitched- like this sterling silver lariat necklace.
If your bride to be has a sense of humor, here’s an inexpensive way from halloweencostume.com to make your group stand out in the crowd!
Encourage everyone to dress in 70’s style clothing. You can be silly and sexy at the same time (think high boots, mini skirts, oversized sunglasses…). Present the guest of honor with this disco ball inspired necklace: it’s subtle enough to wear every day and sure to put a smile on her face when she remembers the good times she had on her night out! Priced under $40, everyone might want to buy one as a memento.
Spring has been celebrated all over the world, in all types of religions – as far back as you can imagine. When the sun starts shining, the ground under our feet heats up, and the new tender greenery pokes through – it’s hard NOT to get all warm and fuzzy. If that’s not enough to cheer you up, you also have really cute little baby animals like chicks and lambs.
Here are some ideas for how to celebrate your wedding the old-fashioned way (and by old-fashioned, I mean pre-medieval!)
Handfasting is a wedding rite that originates from a pagan ritual, but is being used in weddings based in all sorts of faiths and by people of all different lifestyles. Handfasting is a great way to bond a blended family together, because all members of the new family forged by the wedding can participate. Check out handfasting.info for more information, as well as examples of wording for ceremonies that include handfasting.
Oak leaves are a symbol for longevity – so the entwined oak leaves that hold two mouth-blown (and therefore completely unique) glass horns are the perfect way for the bride and groom to share a toast (mayhemltd.com). The oak tree was particularly important to the Celts,who felt that all trees were sacred.
The drinking chalices above are also horn-shaped. The horns are also an important symbol – the most famous Celtic animal symbol is the horned (antlered) stag. The stag is a symbol for sexuality and fertility.
Celtic knots date back to almost 500 AD: there is the lover’s knot, the triple knot (Triquetra), and the Triscele.There are many ways to incorporate the Celtic scrollwork or Celtic knots into your wedding, including your wedding band.
There are beautiful dresses available now that this type of wedding has become more popular. Rivendelbridal.com has a large selection, here is one example of a dress perfect for a pagan princess, or elven queen: it is called the Celtic Star.
Trees were sacred to the Celts so an outdoor wedding would be very appropriate if you are going to be influenced by this theme.
Here is a video full of imagery that might inspire you to arrange your own mystical wedding.
This bronze pendant spells GRA, ‘love’, in the Celtric tree alphabet called Ogham. This pendant from celteshop.com would be an interesting and thoughtul gift for members of the wedding party.
I come across so many Big Fat Fun decorations during my research. Here are some of my favorites, I hope they inspire you to come up with some unique ideas of your own! Let me know, and perhaps I can feature your party in an upcoming article.
Disclaimer: Not all items below will be appropriate for your function – this will depend on your theme, and how casual the event is.
Party cups from worldwidefred.com, that give you different noses. This is a fun way to break the ice.
These shot glasses from envious.com light up for 6 seconds every time you tap it on a hard surface.
Rather than the risk of making a decorated room look to ‘busy’, stick to one simple decoration and use a lot of it. Imagine filling a room or back garden with 25 of these lights from asianlantern.com (at around two dollars each, this is affordable!).
Here is a fun hanging decoration from partymakerdiscountsuperstore.com for a Casino-themed Jack and Jill or Bachelor Party. This would even work for a reception if the couple is going to announce they got married in Las Vegas!
I love these measuring spoons – a great favor for a bridal shower or a wedding (if the bride and groom work in a bakery?). You can order them from everythingfortablefavors.com.
This shirt from thinkgeek.com is perfect for the groom who wakes up on the surly side of the street every morning. If there’s no chance you’ll get him to wear a costume, dirty saying shirt, or anything that remotely identifies him as the guest of honor – have him try this shirt on for size!
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