Friday, 24 February 2017

Buying Employee Scheduling Software

This is necessary software and is used to create employee schedules, which could be complex. This is needed to make sure that the business operations run smooth and successfully. It is an important aspect of planning and is used to automate the task of scheduling when employees work. This scheduling software will help the business to keep track of an employee's attendance, compensation time, generate a calendar of leave, vacation time, sick days, and more. If this is your business's first time using scheduling software there are things that you need to consider before purchasing the software.
Purpose of the scheduling software
The most important thing to remember is that the software should be chosen according to what the business does. If it is a retail store or restaurant, they hire employees that work a variety of shifts so for their scheduling software finalizing rotating shifts and reducing labor costs is the main priority of the scheduling software. The software should be able to track the data of which day and time of day the store or restaurant does the most business and least business so the manager can schedule enough people to work during the peak times.
With large companies who hire people to work a certain shift they would need scheduling software that would keep track of any overtime, their vacation and sick day information, and payroll.
Reporting options
With the right software, the manager should be able to view reports when they need too. They should be able to compare the time off an employee might request with the actual number of days, see if there is any attendance problems with certain employees, if the scheduling is correct or if they need to make changes, and more.
The scheduling software should have the tools that show the beginning and end of the week, holidays, overtime, doing payroll, and more. These tools will make it easier to keep track of their employee's schedule and attendance.
When choosing scheduling software look at all that it offers to make sure that it will give your business the tools that it needs to keep track of your employee's schedule, their vacation, sick, and compensation days, any overtime worked, etc. It should give the manager, at a glance, all of the information that they need to know how their employees are managing their time, what they are working, their attendance, pay rate, and any other vital information in regards to their schedule.
When using automated scheduling software it helps to prevent mistakes in figuring the amount of pay the employee should receive each pay period. The company will still need a records clerk but they will no longer need to keep up the records by hand.

How To Find a Tradesman Online?

There are lots of incidences at our home, office or any place where we either live or work, when we find ourselves caught in the situation where we do not know or understand or find the way to come out from that casualty at the earliest. Let us for instance say that after having hectic working schedule throughout the day when you come back to your home your find no light inside due to electric fuse. This although is not a very big issue and even a layman can get it rectified with little knowledge of electric work, but as this is not possible with most of us, we start finding a tradesman who can help us to come out from the problem.
However, this is also possible that you must also be having the details of some electricians in your phone book, from whom you had got the electricity work done at your home earlier. But, as it had been long years back it is quite possible that telephone number of the electrician would have changed or even he would have retire from his position and someone else from his family might be looking after his business. In simple words you may not be able to locate the same person who offered his duties at your place long back
So, how to locate a tradesman for any reason seems to be a daunting task, especially at the time of an urgent requirement. However, if you had faced the same problem two decades back, then you had yellow pages to find a tradesman of your choice depending upon your requirement, but today with advent of internet use of yellow pages has become an outdated activity. Interestingly now days there are various online portals from where you can access the list of different tradesman registered in their list. An interesting feature of these online tradesman providers is that here you can find huge list of different service providers varying from plumber to electrician to building contractor to lawyer to air conditioner repairer to interior designer, carpenter, locksmiths and others depending upon your requirement.
Working of these online service providers:
As referred above now days various online portals are working as online telephone directories providing contact details of the different tradesman working in your region. But, now the question arises that how you can located the service provider of your choice according to your requirement. This actually is done according to following steps, which are referred ahead:
  1. In the beginning you will be required to post your requirement at the portal detailing about the type of service required by you whether you wish to extend the existing portion of your house, repair of heating or air conditioning system of your home, plumbing or repair of door etc. One thing while posting your requirement about the tradesman it would be better to explain every aspect of your requirement clearly whether you want to repair any of your equipment or its service or install the new appliance etc. whatever type of service you need it should be clearly mentioned in the form determined for posting your request. Doing this will also enable the portal to provide you the contact details of the tradesman that offer services which are required by you.

  2. Once you have posted your job requirement the portal will provide you three quotations taken from the service providers offering the service required by you.

  3. Doing the above exercise is helpful in determining the best service provider for your job depending upon the funds available with you. With this it also facilitates you in understanding the types of services offered by them and also to go through the feedback posted by their previous clients about their service.

  4. After this the only thing left with you is to call the tradesman and ask him to visit your place and get you free from that unexpected situation.

How to Take Care of Pets

In today's busy and self-centered world when no one has any time for anyone else, pets in our homes make for the best friends and companions we can ever hope to have! The joy and enthusiasm that my pet dog greets me with when I reach home at the end of a long and arduous workday immediately lifts my spirits and any tiredness I bring back with me vanishes into thin air. Pets are loyal, faithful, unconditional and spontaneous in their love and benefit us in several ways.
In return, it is important for us to ensure we care for our pets too in the best way possible.
Here are some key ways in which you can make sure you are being a responsible pet owner and carer!
Space: Pets need to have a place that is safe, dry, clean and cozy. While deliberating on the choice of our pets we must carefully consider the space it will require for the aquarium for our fish, corner for our cat or dog or cage for the lovebirds we so wish to have! If an entire room is too much to think of, a clear and demarcated boundary can be created for your furry friend.
Diet: According to the pet that you own, you must strive to ensure they are fed a balanced and nutritious diet. Every species and breed in turn has foods that are permissible and those that can cause greater harm than good. Make sure you check with the vet and only feed your pet the right kind of foods and appropriate portions. Just as food needs to be carefully monitored, so too you must ensure that your pet has adequate and clean drinking water available.
Exercise: All pets need their space to be able to flex their muscles and spread their wings. Pets like dogs need to be taken for a scheduled walk regularly. Pet birds must have enough room in their cages not to feel cramped. A daily exercise routine will ensure your pets are healthy and happy
Medical Attention: Regular checkups with the veterinarian will make sure that your pet is hale and healthy and will help to diagnose any ailments well in advance. Vaccinations must be given in a timely and disciplined manner.
Cleanliness: All pets have cleanliness and hygiene needs. Pets like dogs and cats must be bathed regularly and groomed to keep their fur, hair, nails and skin well cared for. The area your pets are housed in must be cleaned and washed daily to keep the surroundings clean and pest free. Make sure also to keep your pet free of parasites like fleas, ticks and worms. Fish bowls or aquarium water needs to be changed appropriately in a timely fashion.
Supervision: While most pets once trained and habitual to their environment tend to stay safe it is important for a new pet to be supervised till they get a lay of the land! Inadvertently leaving the cage open could let the parrot or parakeet escape, dashing out of an ajar door could let the puppy or kitten to make a wild dash out onto the street which could be potentially dangerous.

A Thorough Survey Before Buying Computer and Accessories Online

Computers are more than just needs, nowadays. We have become so much tech-savvy & dependable, that we need to take the help of the computers in our every single action. But only a buyer knows that a computer alone is not enough. You need to obtain other stuff which are necessary to conjoin with your computer.
The size, shape & price of the accessories of the computer vary depending on their functions. Each of them executes an additional feature that optimizes your computer usage. But as money is related to it, as a buyer, acquiring the accessories on the basis of your immediate requirements needs you to keep some factors in your mind before purchasing any one of them.
Printers: Gone are the days when you had to Xerox your documents out or copy them by yourself. The printer is one of the technical blessings that facilitates this problem. Now you can easily design the layout your valuable documents and make a print out whenever you want. A simple purchase of a good cartridge can save your time & money and helps you to avoid going out to a cyber café each time making the process more hassle-free.
Keyboard: When it comes to computer & accessories, this is the one you can't avoid. Laptops have by default keyboards, but those who use desktops, know that keyboards are essential. From searching 'best boots in the world' to writing your novel, keyboards are the ones you need to click a lot many times. Keyboards have many versions and a keyboard with flexible keys helps you to get accustomed to using it.
Mouse: This tailed stuff is a big 'yes' for the desktop users. Mouse adds flexibility to your computer usage and net-surfing and helps to locate your cursor on the screen. However, though most of the users have shifted to laptops for the ease of usage, they still look out for the mouse to make it handy & comfortable.
Scanner: In this age of 'paperless revolution', few people opt for printing documents. Most of them go for scanning and sending them through mail or some other wireless service. Students & servicemen are the major users of the scanning machines, who need to scan a huge number of documents. Today, you can find scanner, printer & Xerox in one machine altogether that facilitates the usage and saves time.
Speakers: Nonetheless, speakers are as important as other computer and accessories. With a huge amount of videos, songs & audio files to listen to, speakers are the ones you should need. A speaker with a good sound quality & amenities can help you to get a serene audible experience. A home theater is the extended version of the speakers which fills your home with sound. Speakers give your computers an additional essence and make them loud.
Headphones: With speakers, headphones are needed too. Headphones help to listen to anything individually. They separate your personal experience and prevent them to be shared with others. A headphone with great audible facilities can be proved healthy for your ears.
With the upgrading & experimenting in this field, every day some new accessories are coming up which facilitates the usage day by day.
Being a prolific writer and research scholar, Tapu Goswami has done a thorough survey on the technical needs such as the computer and accessories. This article is the result of his vast knowledge & analytical experience that focuses on the computers and the upcoming technological experiments.

How to Choose a Hotel Online

Choosing a hotel online can be such a difficult decision as you never know what you are going to get when you arrive. Thousands of travellers take to the internet each and every day to find their dream hotel where they can relax, be pampered and have a well deserved break. For some, this perfect paradise dream crashes when they arrive at the hotel to see that it isn't what was advertised online, which is why you need to know how to choose a hotel online so you are guaranteed to receive what you pay for.
The first thing to choosing a hotel online is to have an idea of what you expect from the hotel and your room. Are you looking for sheer luxury or maybe just a quick relaxing stop over somewhere? This will help you identify if you want to be looking at five star luxury hotels or you are happy with a four or three star comfortable hotel. Do you want a hotel with an on-site restaurant? What about a fitness centre? Maybe a wellness centre? These are important considerations which can help you start identifying the hotels that tick all the boxes.
Set yourself a budget before you start your in-depth search into the hotels available. With a budget you have something to work to, this way you can identify quickly which establishments come in within your budget, helping you narrow down your short-list that little bit faster.
Next identify the location that you feel you want to visit. You may be travelling to explore a capital city or you may be heading to a large city for business purposes. With a location in mind, a budget and knowing what you expect you will be able to browse a host of hotels, put a short list together that can help you make your final decision.
Always compare the hotels in the local area to identify what they offer, their prices, their services and more. When you have one or two hotels in mind in a certain area, having a closer look at the hotels and comparing them against each other is often the easiest way to come to your final decision and book your room or suite.
Take a close look at the facilities and services provided in the hotels you are most interested in. Some hotels will offer particular services or facilities that are more important to you than others, this can also help you make a final decision. Five star hotels will provide you with a host of superior five star services and facilities from free Wi-Fi throughout the building to an indoor swimming pool and an on-site wellness centre to restaurant offering the added convenience of room service.
A five star establishment should also provide you access to a fitness centre. They will have a twenty four hour reception desk and a concierge service for added convenience. Their host of services and facilities will be vast, so you are guaranteed to tick all your boxes with ease and confidence.
With your final hotel in mind, you now want to check availability to ensure that they can accommodate you on your chosen dates. Remember the earlier you book, not only will you get the room you want for the dates you want, but many hotels offer early bird discounts, so you can save money when booking a couple of weeks in advance.
Make your booking and ensure you receive a confirmation that your booking has been secured. Check the dates on the confirmation and keep it with you for a fast and effective check in experience.

Things to Look For When Buying Antique Furniture

Are you an antique lover and wanted to purchase vintage items to decorate your home or office, but don't have much idea about what you should look for while buying an antiques Furniture? Not to worry, here is our defined tips for avoiding the most obvious pitfalls! Vintage furniture is usually constructed from one of three things: Solid wood furniture, Veneered furniture, and Particleboard.
  1. Get to know what hardwood sounds like when you knock/tap on it. Pieces should sound solid and not hollow.
  2. Does the item have its original finishing, or has it been re-polished? Does it have a shiny pliable surface or the nicely clean coat of age?
  3. Look beneath, analyze the back, check for loose joints - when buying chairs find out it shouldn't be wobbly or missing rungs when you take a seat on them. Good restorers are hard to come by and can be costly.
  4. Do the drawers open and shut finely? - If not, the drawers' offsets might be damaged and need swapping.
  5. Look for woodworm - search for the revealing holes. Tap into the holes; if dust particles come out, the worm is alive. This kind of thing is repairable, so do not let a few holes put you off buying.
  6. Look for wood joined at ends and corners, not glued or nailed in. Dovetailed joints or mortise and Tenon joints make furniture sturdier and able to take more weight.
  7. Are the handles and knobs original? Make sure none of the handles or knobs are broken or missing. Often handles have been replaced, but make sure that they are a good quality replacement, in line with the part.
  8. Look for a disparity in color and any unexplained screw holes under the top. This could impact the item's value.
  9. Are there any new pieces - like legs, shelves or back boards? There should never be any plywood in a genuine antique as plywood has not been made until about 1920.
  10. Look for Something Different - try to find out an item that will be statement pieces as well as functional. Always look out for shape, curves, scrolls, ornate carvings, pretty legs, and pieces that really speak!
  11. Get to know general prices for what you are looking for. Do your research. If you are buying at an Auction, remember to factor in the Buyers Commission.

Replacing a Single Tooth With an Implant

Are you looking to replace your missing tooth? If yes, then you should go for a dental implant. This procedure is used by dentists to replace one or more teeth. The resulting substitute totally looks natural, becomes part of the jawbone, and, therefore, lasts long. This dental procedure was invented by a Swedish orthopedic surgeon called Per-Ingvar Branemark in 1952.
What is a dental implant?
To fully understand, you will need to picture the structure of the tooth. There is the crown, the part located above the jaw, and the root, which is the part found inside the jaw. A dental implant is a fixture, surgically placed into the jawbone to replace the missing tooth root. After a successful fusion with the jawbone, the procedure ends with adding an artificial crown on top of the implant.
The success of this procedure is based on the fact that the implant does not affect the nearby teeth and has enormous stability. Since the 1970s, when the first dental implant was available for medical use, continued research coupled with advancement in technology have seen a vast improvement in the success rate of the procedure to about 98%.
How is the implant placed?
The procedure of placing the implant is smooth and efficient. The implant looking like a cylinder or a screw is placed into your jaw and allowed to fuse with your jawbone over the next two to six months. The actual duration will depend on the condition of your jawbone and if bone gratification will be necessary. The fusion is crucial for the formation of an anchor for the artificial tooth.
During the period when you wait for the implant to fuse with the jawbone, you can opt for a temporary tooth replacement over the implant. The second step is usually to add an extension on the implant that will form the foundation on which your new tooth will be placed. Due to possible damage on the gum, there will be time for the gum to heal before proceeding to the next step.
However, the need for the second phase will depend on the condition of your gums. One-stage implant system uses an implant with an extension, making the second stage unnecessary. Your dentist will advise on the best option for you. The whole procedure is comfortable and painless, usually done under anesthesia.
The last step is the placement of the crown. Your dentist will create one for you and attach it to a metal post called the abutment. After a short period of healing, you will have a restored ability to smile, chew and speak comfortably, and you may even forget that you had lost a tooth. The steps may be combined in some instances, and the duration of the healing processes before the next step may vary. Your dentist will advise.

5 Ideas You Can Use To Promote Your Brand Effectively

One of the 3 "Ps" of authority brand positioning is Promotion, which involves deciding what messages to use to support your brand as well as how those messages will be delivered. Promoting your brand involves creating awareness, influencing the perception of your brand, and managing its reputation. Promoting your brand also includes using the Personality you develop to enhance your promotional activities. Promoting your brand should emphasize and reinforce the brand image you choose to represent your business. When you are considering broader marketing activities, you want to make sure they are consistent with the image you want to portray.
Here are 5 ideas you can use to promote your brand effectively.
1. Don't just "sell" -- TELL. Fancy promotional copy won't be as effective as examples, testimonials, endorsements, case studies and results. Wrap your fancy promotional copy around real results to put your brand face forward in its best light.
2. Connect your brand to your customers' wants and needs. Use checklists to help your customers determine if they are being served effectively. Infographics, blog posts and videos can help deliver education to help both customers and prospects learn more about how your brand can help them.
3. Build partnerships to help build trust with both customers and prospects. Partnerships that link your brand to another quality brand can build trust faster and elevate the perception of your brand.
4. Brand promotion should be "," and "" promotion does 3 things:
  • It should help your customers and prospects Recognize your business through your brand. Use logos, graphics, taglines, and creative marketing tactics to create awareness so your brand is recognized and stands out in a crowded marketplace.
  • It should help your customers and prospects Remember your business through your brand. Continue to use logos, graphics, taglines, and creative marketing tactics to reinforce your presence in the marketplace.
  • It should stand for the Respect you share with your customers and prospects. A highly trusted brand reputation is an extremely valuable competitive edge, and maintaining a strong reputation should be the goal of your brand promotion and messaging.
5. Consist communication in brand promotion is key to brand momentum. Communication goes beyond your promotional messaging; it also encompasses "little things," like how your telephone gets answered, how the business responds to customer complaints, and how the brand's image is managed on social media. Create a brand promotion plan, update it regularly, and follow it religiously.
Jan Sandhouse Hurst, the Authority Mentor, shows business owners, service professionals, entrepreneurs and experts how to use her signature marketing formulas to attract more clients, generate profitable leads and create killer authority positioning. Jan has taught hundreds of individuals and businesses her creative strategies, systems and solutions that pay off.

Tips to Keep Your Car on the Road Long

A car is a major investment and regular preventive maintenance will allow you to keep it on the road for ten years and more.
If you want to keep your car on the road and out of the shop, consider the following six tips:
1. Change your filter regularly
Checking fluid levels regularly and changing the fluids and filters periodically can minimize the risks of breakdowns and prolong the life of the engine, transmission, cooling system and brakes.
You need to change air filters, fuel filters and oil filters on a regular basis to keep your engine performing well. In countries with high sulfur fuel, you need to change your fuel and oil filter in half the recommended time. Air filter needs to be changed every two months in rural areas and deserts, and windy and dusty countries. Most folks change their oil filter when they are draining and replacing their engine oil and fuel filter every six months.
2. Check and replace Fluids
A car is a machine and like any machine it needs oil replaced on a regular basis. Engine oil needs to be changed every 5000 miles, engine coolant flushed and replace every six months and transmission fluid every two years or every 30,000 miles whichever comes first. Flush and replace your brake fluid and power steering every two years.
Engine oil is the one that needs to be looked at regularly. A few years ago you were asked to check the oil level every time you went to the petrol pump but now it is fine if you check the engine oil level every month and fill it if it is below the safe level.
3. Drive safely
Nothing reduces a car's value and longevity than an accident so safe driving habits are essential. Follow all traffic rules and avoid speeding. Don't drive drunk and avoid texting and talking on mobile phone while driving. Avoid driving when you are tired and drowsy.
4. Don't drive as much and avoid short trips
The more you drive your car, the more wear and tear it gets. If you walk as much as possible to nearby destinations, you not only improve your health, you also increase your car's life.
A large numbers of short trips of 10 minutes and less cause a lot of wear and tear as cars don't have the time to reach optimum operating temperature. Walk if possible or combine a number of errands for a longer trip.
5. Get annual checkup done
Find a good honest mechanic and get a thorough maintenance done at least once a year. The mechanic will check your battery, check and change your fluids and filters, check air-conditioner refrigerant, get your tires rotated and balanced and your alignment checked, change your spark plugs and replace your wipers if necessary, He will thoroughly clean up your vehicle innards and ferret out any possible problem with the car and recondition it as new.
6. Choose a good car
If you want your car, pickup truck or SUV to last then research the model and its track record. Stick with major brands as Toyota, Ford, Nissan and Mercedes-Benz and you cannot go wrong. If you want a pickup go for the Indestructible Toyota Hilux, if you are looking for a Sport Utility Vehicle then Toyota Fortuner, Toyota Prado or Toyota Land Cruiser are good options. If you are looking for luxury vehicles then a BMW, Mercedes-Benz or Porsche will work best.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Wedding Traditions and Superstitions That You Should Observe

Over the past fifty plus years that I have been alive I have had many occasions to watch friends and loved ones marry. There are more than a few things I have learned about weddings as a result of all this, but adhering to some of the most common traditions and superstitions associated with weddings are the most important. Why? Because it just so happens that many of those who chose to ignore these seemingly nonsensical and sometimes almost comical steps to get to the alter have often paid a high price for their disrespect of these long standing customs.
The Wedding Dress
We have all heard that it is bad luck for the groom to see bride in her wedding dress before the ceremony. The truth is that a longer standing tradition says that it is bad luck for the bride to wear the complete wedding outfit before the day that she takes her wedding vows. That is why you almost never see a bride trying on a wedding dress with her wedding shoes, veil and so on. A female college friend of mine knew a young girl who decided to ignore that tradition and display her complete wedding outfit to her bridal party for the purpose of having "some photos taken with her friends" the night before her wedding. So she said, most of those present think she was just showing off. The dress seemed unusually tight to some who saw the bride all decked out that night and soon gossiping tongues spread the news quickly.
The next day the groom decided not to show up for the ceremony after my college friend said that she called and told him that his bride looked "fat or pregnant" when she saw the bride in her outfit the night before. My friend was not being mean, but she felt sorry for the groom who had gone out of his way to keep his bride pure (she had claimed to be a virgin) by abstaining from sex with her. He had never seen her in the wedding dress, but even his sister said that she noticed an unusually rapid weight gain in the bride who was not one known to fluctuate in her weight or overeat. There could have been a lot more to the story than that, but I have no doubt that the catalyst for the groom's cancellation was that phone call from my friend and the call would never had been made if the bride had not been showing off and scoffing at a long-standing tradition.
The Wedding Shoes
Both bride and groom should know that the superstitious among us say it is unlucky to wear any shoes for the ceremony that are not to be used specifically and only for the wedding. They claim that it is also bad luck to wear the shoes before the day of the ceremony, or to ever wear them again after the bride and groom take their vows. The shoes should be ripped apart or burned sometime shortly after the ceremony and never given away to anyone else. This tradition began sometime in the late 1800s and probably came from merchants eager to sell shoes. However, there may be some truth to it.
A friend of mine reports that a neighborhood friend of his who got married about twenty years ago had some very bad luck as a result of ignoring this odd superstition. Ben was a thrifty guy who hated wasting money. Sometime in the year before he was married he had purchased an expensive pair of shoes to wear for weddings, funerals and other special occasions. When my friend went out with him to help choose an outfit for his own wedding, he asked Ben about shoes. Ben told him that he was going to wear his best pair of shoes because they had barely been worn and were like new. After all, even back then a new pair of quality shoes could easily cost over one hundred dollars and Ben felt that money would be better spent elsewhere.
My friend told Ben about the wedding tradition regarding shoes that he had heard about from his mother, father and grandparents. My friend took the advice himself, got married without incident and has remained married ever since. Admittedly, he and his family are very superstitious about things like weddings, but there have been few divorces in his family line and many successful weddings and marriages. Ben wore his "best pair of shoes" on the day of the wedding despite the warning he received from my friend. Amazingly, his bride had her own unique plan for wedding footwear. She decided to wear sneakers for the wedding as a kind of joke as to say that she might be a runaway bride. The joke backfired.
Ben and his family were highly insulted by the presence of the sneakers and an argument began during the wedding reception which continued throughout the honeymoon and for weeks afterward. Things really came to a head when relatives on both sides viewed the wedding photos. The photographer became fixated on the bride's sneakers and kept taking pictures featuring them. Many of the guests were captured displaying a scowl on their face as they spoke to the bride and stared down at the sneakers. The couple broke up and divorced within three months of their wedding. I say that we should add wearing sneakers to a wedding to the bad luck list for wedding footwear, apparel and choices.
Placing a coin (especially a silver dollar) in one of your wedding shoes is considered extremely good luck. Although this applies mainly to the bride, I suppose that the groom has nothing to lose by trying it as well. This tradition goes back to the "Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, A Sixpence in your Shoe" wedding superstition from old England. Relatives and close friends would give the bride small tokens of their affection to wear or carry with her on her special day. These items were presented just before the wedding began and were not wedding gifts, just mementos to remind the bride that she has family and friends that care about her and support her decision to marry.
Something Old was usually a token carried by another bride at a previous wedding who has had good luck or a successful and happy marriage. This gift is about sending the previous bride's good luck and fortune on to the present one. Something New is supposed to impart good luck to the bride giving her hope and confidence for the future. Something Borrowed is said to represent happiness that is imparted to the bride from her family and friends. Any happiness that they have experienced they offer to loan to the bride while she makes her own happy memories. Something Blue is given with the hope that the bride's marriage will be filled with an honest and pure love, as well as fidelity. A Sixpence (Coin) In Your Shoe is said to impart a financial blessing on the marriage. Few brides dare to ignore this tradition which many consider the most important of all. I know one that did.
She insisted on a marriage ceremony with included just her, the groom and a clergyman. Most of the bride's family and friends, as well as those of the groom, were against the marriage due to a huge age difference between the bride (who was very young) and the groom (who was thirty five years older). Most of the groom's family thought she was a gold digger because he had a substantial fortune and his family was well known in the city where they lived. However, the bride also came from money, but it was new money. Sadly, I think her decision to marry this man really had more to do with the fact that she may have wanted to enjoy the status of being married into a family with a major standing in society than real love. Anyway, she decided to punish all the nay sayers who were against the marriage and prove them wrong by insisting that her wedding be held in a public park with no guests. The couple spent the money that a huge wedding would have cost on an elaborate honeymoon.
That bride broke nearly all the rules of tradition and superstition involving weddings. This included the tradition of bringing tokens to her wedding given to her by a friend who thought the age difference thing was no big deal. That friend could not attend the ceremony regardless of whether she was invited or not because she was living in another country at the time, but she hoped that the tokens would bring the couple good luck. And they might have done their job if those items had been brought to the small ceremony by the bride. They were not. Despite what seemed like a marriage filled with bliss during and just after the honeymoon, the couple divorced after just five years citing irreconcilable differences.
The Wedding Rings
It is considered extremely unlucky to go shopping for a wedding ring on a Friday because that is a tradition Sale Day and a highly discounted ring set is considered bad luck overall. It is even more unlucky to wear a wedding ring (other than trying it on) for any length of time before the ceremony. I know of at least a dozen occasions where either the bride or groom wore their ring (for whatever reasons) for hours or days before the wedding and could not for the life of them remove it. This not only caused physical and emotional discomfit, but ultimately ended up in arguments that broke up four of those couples before the day of their weddings. There could have been a million other reasons for those break ups, but why take the chance?
There are other things to watch for when it comes to wedding rings. Too loose and that could mean a husband or wife might stray from the marriage bed because they would forget the full meaning of their wedding vows. Too tight could curse the couple to a marriage full of arguments and fights bringing out the worst in one or both people. Wearing the ring on the left hand is considered very good luck. That tradition goes back centuries to when most work was done with the right hand making it appear more aged or dirty than the left. A plain wedding band is good luck compared to a highly decorated one in some societies, while a ring with religious or cultural icons on it is considered very lucky in nations with people from a Celtic background.
I cannot say that anyone I know has ever broken up over a plain or decorated wedding ring, but more than a few have had major disagreements over the cost and style of wedding bands which may expose a lack of character on the part of the bride, the groom, or both. The biggest superstition surrounding a wedding ring involves dropping it. Superstition says that a bride or groom who drops a wedding ring during the ceremony will be the first to die. This is said to be almost guaranteed if the ring rolls to a stop on a memorial or remembrance stone in the church or chapel. Wow! Be careful not to drop the ring.
The Flowers
Tradition says that the best choice of flowers for the bridal bouquet are either orange blossoms or roses. Orange blossoms are said to represent chastity and fertility, while roses stand for true love. It is also considered extremely good luck for members of the wedding party to wear garlands. This is a very old tradition, but one which has been making a comeback over the past several decades. If the bride tosses her bouquet and it is dropped, the bad luck is not on the bride, but on the person who failed to catch it; so no worries there. It is thought of as good luck to catch the bouquet even if that does not lead to the person catching it being the next to marry. No good or bad stories to share here, but fresh flowers do often help make the wedding and/or reception photos all the more precious when the wedding album is complete. Beware of the presence of wilted flowers which are considered extremely bad luck.
The Wedding Cake and Reception
There are many traditions involving wedding cakes. One of the most popular has been that when a couple agrees to place a statuette of the bride and one of the groom on the cake these should be of equal height. This is said to represent equality in a marriage. However, more often than not, people these days choose not to include likenesses of the bride and groom on their wedding cake. Instead, many are choosing eatable representations of their favorite flowers on the cake presented in various styles and set in all kinds of positions. Another popular trend is for the wedding cake to include the favorite flavors of the bride, while a separate cake is prepared called the Groom's Cake which is designed to please his taste buds.
It is considered bad luck for anyone except the bride or groom to be the first people to taste the wedding cake. So I guess the tradition of getting a piece of cake shoved into your face will continue for some time to come. The bride usually does that to the groom first, then some grooms reciprocate. Others fear the wrath of ruining that expensive make up job that most brides have professionally applied shortly before most weddings. On multi-tier cakes it is considered very good luck to save the top tier, freeze it and eat it about three months later or after all the wedding photos have been entered into the wedding album. Most couples serve the remainder of the cake to a small circle of family and friends who stop by to view the completed wedding photo album.
Many brides like to include special charms into their bridal shower or wedding cake. This long-standing tradition brings good luck and normally includes gold or silver charms in the shapes of hearts, clover, horseshoes, wedding bells, baby carriages or money purses donated by bridal shower attendees or wedding party members. Sometime in the 1980s it became a new tradition to include one or more French-style Cream Puff Trees (croquembouche) in the bridal shower and wedding reception among with the cake. This amazing creation is made of many individual cream puffs covered in caramel and presented in the shape of a tree. Guests can use a small spoon or fork to remove as many cream puffs as they care to eat and place them on small plates.
Some couples opt to have their wedding cake divided up carefully and plated by serving staff out of sight of the wedding guests after the cake is shown to everyone and the bride and groom take the first piece or pieces. This is a popular way to make sure the cake is carefully and equally divided. However, the bride and groom should always be sure that the first piece or pieces of cake are cut with a silver cake knife and silver server. Those first pieces should be placed on fine china and eaten with silver or high quality forks. This is considered extremely good luck. Having been to a number of wedding receptions, I can tell you that nothing says cheap and nasty like a couple who choose to cut their cake with a regular kitchen knife and serve it with a pie server. The only thing worse is slopping those first pieces of cake on to paper plates. Once the bride and groom are served, cake should always be served to guests on ceramic plates.
Beware of cracked or damaged plates. The presence of cracked or nicked plates is considered extremely bad luck for the bride, groom and wedding guests. I have never personally seen this (or, I should say I am personally unaware of it), but some of my older family members claim that almost anything bad that happens during or after the reception is brought on by the improper presentation of the wedding cake and other food items. I have heard of everything from fist fights to auto accidents and missed flights blamed on bad or improper presentation of the cake and food during the wedding reception. Even bad toasts are extremely unlucky and usually the cause of spats and fights, so never hand a microphone to someone that you know will say something stupid or improper.
The Wedding Vows
People who write their own wedding vows may think this is the best way to express their love, but wait! A newer wedding tradition says that writing your own vows is not the best of ideas and could mean disaster to a newly married couple. This is probably because of all the hippie marriages that took place in the sixties and seventies. People used pet names for each other and authored often long, convoluted and embarrassing vows that made no sense to anyone at the ceremony and sometimes had nothing to do with the couple's promises to each other. I sat through one of those types of weddings and wished I had not. No one knew what the couple was talking about and they even appeared to confuse each other. This is why people should never do drugs. The couple I spoke of broke up within two years and now hate one another.
A long-standing tradition says that wedding vows should be set by the minister. A more recent tradition states that it is good luck for the vows to be written by the bridesmaid for the bride and best man for the groom when the minister suggests the couple provide their own vows. Superstition says that parents should keep quiet during the ceremony accept for occasions when a father or mother is asked if he or she gives their daughter or son away to marry. Having a stand in for the bride's father is considered bad luck. I know of at least two weddings where both the parents refused to attend and both marriages later ended in divorce. I am sure there were other causes for those break ups, but why take the chance?
The Parent's Blessing
Finally, it is extremely good luck for the groom to be given the blessing of the bride's parents or parent. This goes back to Biblical teaching and tradition, and also happens to be a tradition that I think is essential for a long and happy marriage. That is just my opinion. I guess I have just seen too many couples torn apart by family influences and interference because someone had something against the groom (or the bride for that matter) to begin with and that remained a matter of contention until it caused an eventual break up and divorce. Only the strongest of couples can stand up to that kind of pressure, so I do not recommend ignoring this tradition. If worse comes to worse try to get on the good side of the family of the bride or groom well before you announce an engagement or wedding date.