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Weddings Around the World: Ireland

Posted on . Filed under: Travel, Weddings.

Our next installment of “Weddings Around the World” brings you to a place known for its step dancing, iridescent countryside, and soda bread – Ireland! Irish weddings are full of historical customs and great music. Here are some of the most unique Irish wedding traditions:

Claddagh Ring

“Claddagh Ring” by Royal Claddagh is licensed under CC BY 2.0 

 

The Wedding Ring

The Irish don’t wear a standard diamond engagement ring, but rather don a unique Irish piece of jewelry called the Claddagh ring. The ring is named after a fishing village in Western Ireland and is traditionally handed down from mother to daughter in a continuous pattern throughout generations. The crown design on the ring is supposed to be worn facing inward (towards the bride’s wrist) during the couple’s engagement period and then worn outward after their marriage.

Tying the Knot

 The phrase “tying the knot” – commonly used today as a synonym for marriage – actually originates from an Irish wedding custom where the bride and groom would literally have their hands tied together with brightly colored ropes after saying their wedding vows. Although this is an old Celtic tradition, it’s still used by couples today and was included in the British royal wedding ceremony in 2011.

The Wedding Bells

According to an old Irish superstition, the chimes of bells wards off evil spirits, which explains why wedding guests would commonly bring bells as gifts for the newlyweds. Thus, the bride and groom would often place the bells around their new home, occasionally ringing them to remind them of their vows. Today, most guests don’t bring noisy bells to the wedding ceremony, however some brides wear charm bracelets, accessorized with small bell charms to keep the tradition alive.

The Toast

In a typical Irish wedding, a ‘toast’ is not your usual bridesmaid/best man speech, but rather a kind of production involving all of the guests and the newlyweds. Everyone raises their glasses (likely filled with some traditional Irish mead) and recites their lines. There are many variations on the traditional Irish toast and several different old Irish toasts are commonly used. After the toast is completed, the newlyweds raise their glasses to thank the individual who toasted and finally the guests all wish good luck to the newly married couple.

The Music

 An Irish wedding isn’t complete without one traditional Irish instrument – bagpipes! Many Irish families have at least one family member who plays the beloved instrument, so it’s fairly easy to get a pipe band together. In addition, the bagpipe players don’t just sound wonderful, but also ‘dress to impress’, as they usually arrive in traditional plaid Celtic kilts, which were worn during Medieval times.

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5 Activities To Do For Labor Day Weekend

Posted on . Filed under: Holiday, Uncategorized.

Labor Day is a time to reminisce and celebrate the wonderful summer you just had (while trying not to get down about the fact that it’s over!). Enjoy that last bit of summer heat and sunshine this Labor Day weekend with these 5 activities.

kids playing in water

“Summertime” by Josh Engroff is licensed under CC by 2.0

 

Outdoor Festivals/Concerts

Check your city’s websites, newspapers, and flyers and take note of all the free festivals going on this weekend. From music to art to food, there’s bound to be something that will spark your interest. Be sure to search surrounding towns as well for something that the entire family will enjoy. If time allows, make a road trip out of it! This is a great way to see what many towns around the area have to offer, and who doesn’t love some live music and festival food?

Pool or Beach Outing

This is the last weekend that many public pools and beaches are open so take advantage. Chances are they have special activities going on this weekend as well like themed days, barbecues, etc. Break out those pool passes one last time and contact all of your friends to meet up before they close up shop for the summer. It can be a great outing for both your family as well as neighboring families, and you can make a full day out of it by attending those surrounding festivals happening in the evening.

Outdoor Picnic

Another way to enjoy that summer weather before its too late is a picnic in your local park or forest preserve. Get the kids involved by helping them pick out and package the food and drinks, gather your blankets, and mark your spot. You can also incorporate your picnic lunch in the middle of your pool or beach day with friends. There’s no need to spend 5 dollars on a concession stand hotdog when you can pack your own substantial meal to enjoy.

Neighborhood Block Party

Keep the cars parked and get the neighbors onboard for a neighborhood block party. Assign by household who can buy or make what food and pull out all of those outdoor games and activities from slip n slide to Baggo to volleyball and badminton nets. While you’re at it, call up that old friend’s cover band and have them play for a couple hours. Chances are your town requires a permit or license to close off traffic to specific streets, so be sure to look into this beforehand!

5K Race

Labor Day tends to be a big weekend for those mile races and you don’t need to be a marathon runner to participate. Whether competitively or for fun, this is a great way to be outside, get some exercise in, and contribute to a great cause. A reward of some delicious barbecue doesn’t sound so bad either. Various towns and cities all over the country have some kind of mile race set up for this Labor Day Monday, so wherever the weekend takes you take your pick and get ready, get set, GO!

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Modern Baby Shower Ideas

Everyone loves celebrating the arrival of a brand new little one. The onesies, cute decorations, cupcakes- baby showers are fun, but just using pink and blue everything can feel a little boring. To spice things up, here are some of the baby shower themes Deposit a Gift loves right now!

 

Build a Library

baby book

“Baby Books” by Brendan C is licensed under CC by 2.0

Rather than have your guests bring traditional presents have them each bring their favorite children’s book. This is a fun, easy way to build a library for your little one to enjoy for years. Decorate for the shower with books as centerpieces, with bookends and cute stuffed animals scattered about.

 

Vintage Baby Shower

 vintage baby shower

“Victorian tea baby shower” by kinwart is licensed under CC by 2.0

This sophisticated theme is perfect for a modern couple waiting to find out the gender of their new addition. Eschew the typical pink and blue baby shower for one filled with luxurious taupe, off-whites, lace, and burlap. Details like wire birdcages and old hardcover books finish off this look for a picture-perfect day.

 

Garden Party

garden party

“CFC Garden Party 2012″ by Canadian Film Centre is licensed under CC by 2.0

There’s nothing quite like having an outdoor party in the spring. Revive this classic with an updated color palette, macaroons, colorful straws, and mismatched teacups and saucers. One of the best parts about a modern garden party is that everything doesn’t have to match perfectly. Instead stick to a general color palette and add quirky details wherever you can.

 

Pajamas and Popcorn

pj party

“lazy day” by monicasecas is licensed under CC by 2.0

New parents are notorious for their lack of sleep, so give the parents-to-be one more sleepover during the day. Have all of the guests wear their favorite footie pajamas and a dessert table filled with cake pops, popcorn, and candy. Put a twist on favorite movie night games such as charades or Mad Libs by making them baby related.

 

Happy Trails: The Places They’ll Go

globe

“Globe” by Kieran Lynam is licensed under CC by 2.0

Life is a journey. Celebrate that journey with a travel-themed shower. Suitcases, globes, toy cars, planes, and trains make perfect decorations. Use maps to make nametags for your guests. You can even have everyone sign a world map by his or her favorite city and then have the map framed for the nursery!

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DIY Bridal Shower Desserts

Posted on . Filed under: How To, Trends, Weddings.

Give your bride the BEST Bridal Shower Ever! Instead of spending tons of cash on store bought Bridal Shower desserts that are sub-par, do it yourself! Homemade treats not only show her you put in effort, but they taste magnificent! Give her a day she’ll never forget with these desserts that are sure to impress and of course, be fit for a Bride!

 

Cake Pops

These not only look beautiful, but they taste so much better homemade! Follow a few simple steps and impress all your friends! First, bake a cake using your favorite cake mix or recipe and allow it to cool completely. Next, break down the cake into crumbs- this can be done with your hands or a food processor. Add frosting to the crumbled cake, and form into balls. Once the balls are formed, place into the freezer for ten minutes until they harden. Once this step is complete, place the ball on a stick and dip into melted chocolate followed by sprinkles, nuts or any topping of your choice! Voila! You just became a pro pastry chef! Everyone will be raving about them and no one needs to know how easy it was! Your secret’s safe with us!

Cake pop

“Yep, it’s a cake pop – *Explore 5/7/14*” by m01229 is licensed under CC by 2.0

 

Cupcake Wedding Gown

Another simple, yet impressive treat is a cupcake wedding gown. It’ll almost look too delicious to eat, but we’ll eat it anyway! Bake cupcakes, frost them white and lay it out into the shape of a wedding gown. Add any embellishment you want. After all, it’s for a bride, and we know this is her day to shine!

cupcakes

“Cupcakes” by Steve Snodgrass is licensed under CC by 2.0

 

Beautiful French Macaroons

Macaroons are the hot treats everyone can’t stop talking about. They are beautiful, light, and delicious- perfect for any bridal shower. They may look difficult to make, but they are surprisingly easy. Here are the simple steps we found from Howtocookthat.net- Click this link for full recipe

french macaroons

“macarons” by julien haler is licensed under CC by 2.0

 

Bridal Themed Cookies

These adorable cookies are so simple! Make your favorite Sugar Cookie Recipe – Sugar cookies are best for this occasion because they are firm and able to hold their form! Once the dough is made, buy cutouts from any baking or craft store, and cut the adorable shapes. Frost and decorate and they are ready to go!

sugar cookie dough

“Sugar Cookies” by Elizabeth Murphy is licensed under CC by 2.0

 

These desserts may look professional, but they are so much better than that. Your bride will appreciate that they were baked with love, and everyone will appreciate that they actually taste and look insanely delicious. Lets not forget the best part of all, YOU will appreciate how simple these desserts are to make! We all know its the brides day, but you just might have to steal a little bit of her thunder!

 

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Tip #3: Ensure the Campaign Has a Message, Impact, and Emotional Hook

Posted on . Filed under: Crowdfunding 101, How To, YouTube.

Crowdfunding is more complex than putting a campaign online and hoping that people on the internet will donate money. Instead, a crowdfunding campaign requires thorough planning, daily marketing, and diligent communication with donors. Deposit a Gift’s Top 10 Tips For a Successful Crowdfunding Campaign YouTube series aims to give you all the inside information you need to run a campaign. This week’s video features tips on how to engage potential donors.

Tip #3 Ensure the Campaign Has a Message, Impact, and Emotional Hook

Video Highlights: 

  • Since so many people are now raising money online for so many different causes, your campaign’s site needs to stop people in their tracks and engage them right away.
  • Your campaign page should very clearly state what your mission is and, more importantly, why people should care about it.
  • The emotional hook of a campaign is all about making people care about what you care about through a compelling story and engaging visuals.
  • Your campaign needs to show donors how their contributions will help make an impact.
  • If possible, it’s best to update donors on how their money is being used during the campaign.

Press play above to learn more about how to stop your site visitors in their tracks, and be sure to read next week about defining the metrics of success for a campaign!

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