Monday, May 23, 2011

Wedding Traditions--Their Origins and Meanings, Part 2

Here are a few more traditions to add to last week's list:

• The term "Honeymoon" comes from a very old tradition. At one time, German and French couples drank a honey-sweetened wine each day for a month to celebrate the sweetness of their love. Another legend says that the honeymoon was a time to hide from the family and friends of the captured bride until tempers had cooled.

• The groom's cake tradition arose from the time when all weddings had two cakes--one to eat at the wedding and another for the guests to take home. Pieces of the groom's cake were saved to be eaten by the couple on their first anniversary.

• In many towns, the finest stores kept a list of gifts already purchased so that wedding guests could avoid duplication. Sometime between World War I and II, the practice was formalized as a service offered to department stores and called the "Bridal Registry".

More traditions in the next post...
Coming soon: Be sure to check back here for the chance to win valuable wedding prizes!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Wedding Traditions--Their Origins and Meanings, Part 1

Here at Lake Tahoe, summer wedding season is upon us. Have you ever wondered about the meanings behind the most common of wedding traditions? Here are some:

• We wear our wedding rings on the fourth finger of the left hand because it is believed that this finger is linked to the heart.

• In ancient times, a man was expected to acquire a wife by capturing her. She surrounded herself with female friends for protection and he enlisted his male friends to steal her away. The maids, playfully dressed alike to confuse the men.

• The French began the tradition of icing wedding cakes and topping them with small toys in the 17th century. As weddings became more elaborate, confectioners made their reputations on wedding cakes and tried to outdo one another with lavishness. Queen Victoria's daughter had a cake topped with small portraits of the bride and groom which led to today's tradition of small figures of the bride and groom on the cake.

More traditions in the next post...
Be sure to check back here for the chance to win valuable wedding prizes!

Monday, May 9, 2011

How Do You Run a Successful Giveaway?

Years ago, I had a monthly giveaway of one of my CDs to all those who signed in to my free download, the Celtic Club, on my website. Here's what I discovered: Many many of those people who signed up were not interested in the music,  they just wanted to win something, anything. They would post my giveaway at sweepstakes websites, but these folks just wanted to win win win. My email list was overwhelmed by people who used several different email addresses to stuff the ballot box, so to speak, even after I'd announce a winner. I guess you could call them sweepstakes junkies.

Since then, I've been rather shy of having another giveaway, but the wonderful folks at Hal Leonard Books  are willing to offer one of my books as a prize, starting with my newest book, The Bride's Guide to Musicians. My thought is to post a trivia question once a week, here on my blog, and the first person who answers it will receive my book. And you'll have to answer it here, at my blog. Nowhere else.

But before I get started, I'd like to receive your input....What do you think? Have you run successful online giveaways? Where did you post it? What made you think it was successful? I appreciate your thoughts...

More Music for the Season...Time to Choose Your Wedding Music

Whether you're opting to use a disc jockey service or live musicians, some serious thought must go into the selection of music for both the wedding service and reception. How can a you decide what kind of music to choose for your big day?

Keep in mind two important thoughts as you select your music: 
1. Let the music reflect your own unique personality-This is your wedding. You don't need to follow the current wedding trends or old wedding traditions. You don't need to cave in to the wishes of other, either.

2. Select the music that you love-What kind of music do you and your fiancé enjoy the most? What type of instrumentation do you like? What do you dance to? What music is on your iPod or mp3 player? What does your favorite radio station play on your commute to and from work? What music do you never tire of hearing?

Have you selected a wedding theme? Here are eight thematic ideas and examples of ways that music can match them: 

1. Music to reflect the things you enjoy-Use the music to paint a picture of you and your fiancé's personalities. For instance, if you are a fan of Disney movies, include Disney music within each event at your wedding.

2. Music to match your wedding location-Compliment your wedding scene with your music choices. Getting married on the beach? You could choose 60s surfer tunes. If you are planning a destination wedding, select music that is popular in the location or use music that describes the scenery.

3. Music to honor your religious background-The music that you grew up hearing in synagogue, singing in church, chanting in temple may have specific importance to you. If you're exchanging vows inside a house of worship, you could weave sacred melodies throughout your ceremony.

4. Music to celebrate your ethnicity-Let the music highlight your heritage. For instance, if you are planning a traditional Scottish wedding, where the gentlemen will be wearing kilts, let a bagpiper lead you down the aisle. Of course, the musicians can also dress according to your ethnic theme-think of the color that a mariachi band adds to a Hispanic wedding.

5. Period music for a period wedding-Choose a time in history and design your entire wedding around that period. You and your guests can wear costumes of that era, dine on food that may have been eaten at that time, and listen to music that was fashionable then. Your musicians can visually fit into the theme as well-they can wear vintage costumes as they perform. Popular themes include Victorian weddings, medieval Romeo and Juliet weddings, and Renaissance weddings.

6. Music for a holiday celebration-If you are getting married on or around a holiday-Christmas, Valentine's Day, Fourth of July, Saint Patrick's Day, or even Halloween-make your wedding music part of the festivities. For instance, you could add lively jigs and popular songs like “My Wild Irish Rose” if your wedding falls on or near St. Pat's Day.

7. Music to reflect the season-There are many songs written about spring, summer, fall, and winter. For example, “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow” can tie in with a winter wonderland themed wedding.

8. Song titles that mirror your wedding themes-What if blue is your main wedding color? Use tunes with that color in the title (“Blue Moon,” for example). If your theme revolves around roses, use tunes that include the word “rose” in the title (like “La Vie en Rose”).

Whatever your wedding theme, it's almost a sure bet you can find song title to match it.

By the way, there is no rule that says that you can't mix and match thee themes. Who says you can't have a backyard barbecue and bluegrass music following a formal Catholic wedding Mass complete with sacred hymns? Have fund and come up with some ideas that will make you say, “I can't wait to hear the music at my wedding!”

Read more from my book The Bride's Guide to Musicians: Live Wedding Music Made Easy and Affordable (c) 2010 by Anne Roos, published by Hal Leonard Books. It's available at my website with free shipping for a limited time only. It's also availble in a Kindle edition on

What Kinds of Music Goes With...Graduation?

From, here is a fabulous article shared by guest blogger Kaitlyn Cole:

As cool as high school seniors think they are, graduation season is the perfect excuse for waxing nostalgia on days that haven’t even ended yet. From the pop kids to the hipsters to the band geeks, stereotypical songs aren’t just allowed, they’re celebrated and played on repeat all month long. Here are ten that’ll make you burst with pride and make you weep as you hang up your cap and gown in anticipation of graduation day:

1. Pomp and Circumstance

2. “It’s the End of the World as We Know It”

3. “Time of Your Life”

4. “Here’s to the Night”

5. “I’ll Be There For You”

6. “We Are The Champions”

7. “The Graduation Song”

8. “School’s Out”

9. “Graduation Day”

10. “Time of My Life”

Why these ten? Check out the complete article. And add your favorites below...