Weddings Ideas-Wedding Tips

The Absolutely True Adventures of Brides Gone Wrong

This article is about wedding ceremonies and helps brides understand that their wedding dress choices, and other decisions, are best made when full consideration has been given, not only to how fabulous it looks, but to also give thought to the setting of the ceremony.

Photo of frustrated bride

Sugarplum Wedding Visions

Every bride has her own unique vision of her wedding day, or, more specifically, her wedding dress. She can picture the style; she can see the veil, the neck line, and she knows she’ll feel like a princess in it. Weddings are about emotions and feelings. Most brides choose their dress based on how it makes them feel when they put it on with little thought given to whether it makes sense for the setting.

What happens though, to the bride who chooses her dress based on
how it looks only and doesn’t consider the practicality of whether it’s appropriate for the setting. The answer ranges from mild irritation to near catastrophe, and everything in between.

I live in Florida, and my job is to marry people. My vocation though, is making dreams come true. Sometimes, though, things don’t go as planned. Take a look at these examples below to get an idea of what I mean.

Beach Wedding Boo Boo

The beach wedding goof that was funny. She was a beautiful bride. Her hair and make up was gorgeous. She wore a full wedding dress with a long gorgeous train made of thick creamy lace. The problem? The bride had neglected to consider the terrain across which she was walking. By the time she got to the front, she had sticks, shells, and seaweed stuck in the train of her wedding dress. Her dress look like a fishing net with a bunch of garbage stuck in it.

The fix? Think about the surroundings where you plan to get married. Choosing a dress with a shorter train, and satin material would’ve been a better choice. Look to dress style with a mermaid train for a look that suits the theme and is less likely to collect debris as you walk.

Unity Candle Close Call

One couple chose to light a unity candle during the service, and even after discussing the pitfalls, such as flames that blow out, and the danger of clothes catching fire, they were still sure it was what they wanted. During the rehearsal, they were coached to carefully avoid the flame, especially the bride since her clothing was so drapey.

During the unity ceremony, the bride was super careful but when she turned to leave, her veil wafted up behind her catching the flame and setting it alight. The groom had to yank the veil off her head.

The fix? Consider what activities you’ll be doing in the ceremony. Will you be walking around to perform an activity? Do you need to take care during one of the activities? Choose a dress that moves well if so.

The Stuck Bridesmaids

Another couple chose a lovely local country club setting for their ceremony. To get married in the gazebo, the wedding party had to walk across the lawn in the procession. After raining for two days, the weather cleared up 24 hours before the big day. Although it had been mentioned to the bride that the lawn was soggy, she merely pooh poohed the thought of trouble away.

During the promenade to the front, three bridesmaids walking single file got halfway across the lawn when their high heels sank into the soft earth. The more they fought against it, the more the ground sucked at their shoes. They literally had to step out of them and walk bare foot.

Next came the bride, who, having been hidden away from the groom, didn’t see the bridesmaids’ fiasco and began to walk blissfully to her destiny. You know what happened next already, don’t you? That’s right. Beautiful pointy gorgeous shoes that sank straight into the ground.

The fix? Most brides hate changing anything about their plan once it’s been set, and fair enough. Yet, there’s something to be said for having a back up plan. You can purchase high heel covers for the pointy end of the shoe from most local department stores. They look like little dinner plates or flying saucers that prevent heels from sinking into a soft surface.

At each of these events, the brides were able to laugh about it later saying it gave them a great forever story though I bet they wished they didn’t. A little forethought would have created a different outcome for each of them. But hey, who doesn’t like a great story?

Bio – Rachel Smith McMurray, That Wedding Lady, is a wedding officiant in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida with an inordinate almost absurd passion for buttercream frosting. Find more thought provoking wedding factoids and advice on her blog at and save your adventures for another day.

Beach Weddings-Sand Pouring Unity Ceremony

Florida beaches are the perfect settings for beach wedding ceremonies. Hand in hand is the sand pouring unity which is a little activity in the middle of the service where the bride and groom each pour some sand into a keepsake vase while the wedding officiant speaks wise words of love.

Once the trip is over, the happy couple has a pretty memento to look at from time to time and fondly remember the very spot on Earth where they made these promises to each other.

Here are some photos of my clients’ sand pouring unity keepsakes.

wedding ceremony unity activity

sand pouring unity keepsake vase photo

colored sand pouring unity vase photo

sand pouring unity with flowers photo

Wedding Dresses & Mother Of Dresses Ft Lauderdale

Find amazing, breathtaking creations for your wedding dress or mother of the bride dress or mother of the groom dress at Zola Keller on Las Olas Blvd in the heart of downtown Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.

Remembering the Wedding Secret

It’s been a long time since I walked into Zola Keller. International guests in town prompted my latest visit and what a treasure trove to discover. Nearly every woman trying on dresses were either the Mother of a Bride or Mother of a Groom. I’d forgotten just how unique and exquisite their dresses are.

Wedding dress photo
Wedding dress. Photo used with permission by Zola Keller.

Choice of Dress Style

Every woman has her own vision for her wedding dress, or even as a Mother Of dress. We know what we look best in. There were so many styles to choose from regarding cut of dress, I was heartened to see all the latest trends represented. You won’t find 200 wedding dresses to look at but you’ll find 15 of the most stylish dresses akin to those in any fashion magazine: fishtail, princess, sleek and elegant, tasteful pouf, open back. They are gorgeous creations.

For Mothers Of, choose from any color you can envision and there is a fabric confection with a contemporary cut and style ensuring no one will look at you and think you dowdy. The singular nature of their inventory virtually eliminates the “who wore it better” game.

More About Zola Keller

Frequently voted #1 in “Best of” categories, Zola Keller is a fashion designer and retailer showcasing dresses from her handpicked group of designers and manufacturers. Dresser and fashion advisor on the beauty pageant scene, she has dressed Miss USA, Miss Universe, etc. This fine-tuned acumen accounts for the stunning creations you’ll see in her shop.

Price for Value

One might think that a shop on Las Olas with such a skilled artisan at the helm would mean prices not affordable for mere mortals. As a wedding officiant, I am frequently privy to the cost of my clients’ dresses, and I found the price schema at the shop quite reasonable.

I invite you to take a stroll through iconic Zola Keller on your next visit and find something fabulous for wedding ceremony or other social engagement.

Sheer bliss.

Great Beach Wedding Location-Ft Lauderdale Beach

Like every beach town some public entrances are better than others. Whether you’re having a wedding ceremony, vow renewal ceremony or commitment ceremony, sweet, romantic and intimate are attributes most of my clients seek.

Beach Wedding Locations

The primary entrances onto Fort Lauderdale beach is at the intersections of Las Olas and A1A and Sunrise and A1A. While both these locations have many great assets (walk to amenities convenience, parking options), the number of people on the beach may impact the quality you seek for your service.

A Little More North

I’ve found that if you continue traveling up A1A, north of Sunrise to the top end of Ft. Lauderdale Beach, you get a much better option. There are less people here and it is truly a spectacular location. Just past Hugh Taylor Birch park are some of the loveliest beach homes facing the ocean (contrasting to touristy beach retail locations at the other entrances I mention above.) The area I refer to spans from 14th to 18th. It’s more private and there is some excellent street parking along A1A. The street parking ends at 18th but the next light at 20th (19th doesn’t go through to the beach), there is a sneaky little park and indeed another beach entrance with plentiful parking.

where to get married on fort lauderdale beach
Photo of Ft. Lauderdale beach at the 18th St entrance which is hidden between the palm trees.

Wedding Florist Ft Lauderdale

Find a great florist near Fort Lauderdale, FL for your pre-cruise wedding, vow renewal or commitment ceremony and check out Wildflowers located on Federal Blvd in the heart of Fort Lauderdale. Awesome for casual beach type ceremonies

Flowers and Bridal Bouquets in Fort Lauderdale, FL

Here is what I loved about Wildflowers. For some strange reason, I’ve often found floral shop owners not particularly friendly. I know! I said it’s strange. Moving back home to Fort Lauderdale meant starting all over setting up my clients with vendors I feel good about.

Luckily I found Bill at Wildflowers. What a friendly fellow! And so helpful!! Exactly what I was looking for. Kind hearted, amenable and ready to serve. His location is perfect for my Fort Lauderdale couples; he’s basically at E. Oakland Park Blvd & Federal Hwy (US 1).

Give Bill a call and let him know what you need. He’ll get you sorted out right away so you can have the perfect bouquet for your special day.

Wedding at Gianni Versace Mansion South Beach, Florida

Luxury Florida wedding locations include the fabulous Gianni Versace mansion, Villa Casa Casauarina. Located on Ocean Blvd in Souch Beach, Florida. Perfect for outdoor weddings it has several location choice, the gazebo, the pool patio and the center courtyard. It’s absolutely gorgeous!❤️❤️❤️

Opulent,classy wedding location
Gianni Versace mansion in South Beach, Miami, FL. Across the patio.
Extravagant wedding gazebo
Gazebo outdoor rotunda where we performed the wedding. It has 500 year old art inside.
Versace wedding venue pool
The gold in pool is actual gold.
Vow Renewal venue in Miami florida
Entry gate to Villa Casa Casuarina in South Beach, FL
Where to get married in south beach
Front gate at Gianno Versace estate
Luxury wedding venues Miami fl
Center courtyard for Weddings at Versace Mansion.

Best Beach Wedding Tips to Protect Your Skin

Beach Wedding Makeup & Skin Reviews

Beach weddings mean you have to use sunblock or sunscreen to protect your skin. High SPF products usually mean greasy and aren’t makeup friendly. As a beach wedding specialist, I’ve tried them all. Of especial note, makeup for flash photography can be tricky. Be sure to take a hard look at the mineral powder sunscreen option. It’s fantastic! Here are some of my very favorites:

sunscreen sunblock UVA beach cosmetics
public domain photo

Liquid Sunblock and Sunscreen

If your foundation doesn’t have sunblock in it, you’ll need a wedding makeup friendly product that doesn’t muddle your cosmetic and isn’t thick. After trying so many brands, Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Liquid Sunscreen SPF 70 does exactly what it says. It goes on thin and isn’t greasy at all. This is important because you want to choose skin and makeup products with a nice matte finish for flash photography.

Get it here: Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Liquid Sunscreen, Broad Spectrum SPF 70, 1.4 fl oz

Mineral Powder Sunscreen

If you just don’t want any cremes on your skin, then you’re going to love this. I use this every single day.Your outdoor wedding day or commitment ceremony needs a finishing touch and you’ll find it with this mineral powder sunblock by Mineral Fusion.

Traditional sunblock is greasy and doesn’t work well with makeup, it makes you cry like 10 year old when you get it in your eye and reduces mascara to a watery black mess. Exactly  the small detail that can distract you and take away from your special day.

I stumbled across this in a store and it quickly became my favorite wedding day makeup. Apply this high SPF mineral powder sunscreen and you get a double benefit. It protects you from the sun at your beach wedding AND it gives you a nice matte finish as your final touch.

You can buy it online here. I highly recommend it. Mineral Fusion Brush On Sunscreen. Very affordable!

No Tears Wedding Sunscreen

If you’re a big baby like me, try this. Nearly all sunblock gets in my eyes and makes me tear up, I choose MelanSol 100% Natural Sunscreen for Baby with and SPF of 30. The only thing is it goes on thick and white. You have to smooth it into the skin, let it soak in then wipe excess away with a tissue. BUT….you won’t cry when  it gets in your eyes. I promise!

Look for it on this website.

Sunscreen for Lips

For lip protection, I use Nivea Moisture Lip because it smoothes on well and my lipstick glides over it well (even 2 part lipstick and lip stains.) It has an SPF of 30.

Nivea Lip Sun SPF 30

Stop The Sweat

And on an unrelated note, I did a beach wedding this morning and loathed feeling sweaty between my thighs and under my bazoombas. Nothing is more uncomfortable! To avoid this, I use a humorously named product called Lady Anti Monkey Butt Anti Friction Powder. It’s a super duper absorber. I was mad at myself for forgetting to put in on. Rub it on your inner thighs all the way up to the crotch, and also put it under your breasts to avoid pools of sweat accumulating.

Buy it online here: Lady Anti Monkey Butt Powder 6-oz.

Another option is good old anti-perspirant. It isn’t just for underarms. It works everywhere. Not deodorant. It has to be antiperspirant. Get a non white marking antiperspirant and use it: underarms, crease of elbows, back of knees, under your breasts, between your thighs and along the inner creases of your groin, and truth be told, along the top of your butt crack. It works great.

Finally, one other mention goes to panty liners. Whether it’s time for your monthly “ladies days” or not, wear one. Your panties will be soaking wet after standing in the sun and wet knickers prevent smiling. You’ll thank me for this tip one day.

For regular panties I like: ALWAYS brand Incredibly Thin Liner
For thong panties, these are awesome: Carefree Thong Pantiliners

Summing Up

There is no single product that will do the trick. I typically use a combination of all these solutions at the same time. The product I use every time is the powdered sunblock. It’s a miracle product in my opinion.