Weddings are events where a couple gets to share their romantic day with friends, family and loved ones. A event that many consider the most important of their lives, it’s an honor to be invited to a wedding. It’s an even greater honor when asked to deliver a speech! Speeches are given after the couple exchange their vows during the church service, as well as during the reception. The Brother of the bride wedding speech is a common wedding speech example, with other speeches generally given by the best man and maid of honor, father or mother of the bride or groom, siblings to the couple or any other close family and friends.

The Brother of the bride wedding speech is one where a brother takes about what makes his big or little sis so awesome. One of the shorter wedding speeches, it may be given by the bride’s brother in place of the father. This speech should begin with congratulating the couple on their hard work and planning. It should sound personal and highlight a few fun childhood memories.  The brother also gets to welcome his new brother-in- law to the family. If the brother and the couple have the same sense of humor, he can make a few jokes without embarrassing them, or add a love quote or two. Finally, he should congratulate them as he welcomes another family member to give the next speech.

Writing the speech out is always a good idea! Rehearse it as well, including in front of others. A brief statement of loving feelings and good wishes towards the couple is always recommended, while a few love quotes and/ or jokes may be included to make it less formal. The brother of the bride wedding speech can be casual while still allowing the brother to tell the couple how sincerely happy he is for them!

Example Brother of the Bride Speech

“…For the sake of those who do not know me my name is [name]. [Bride's name], the bride is my younger sister. I feel privileged to share in this beautiful occasion and very honored to give a speech. On behalf of the entire family, I would like to take this opportunity to invite [Groom's name], my new brother in-law into our family. Some of the fond memories I have of my sister include the day she removed her braces and she kept smiling at everyone saying how her teeth were beautiful…”

This speech is brief, balanced and provides all the necessary goodness! Hope it helps!

Example Funny Brother of the Bride Speech

Are you looking high and low for your perfect “something blue” to dawn on your wedding day? Take a peek at some of these gorgeous, blue-hued jewels and get inspired!

Blue Wedding Jewelry

This brooch would look amazing adorning your bouquet or even as the back of your dress where you sash will be tied.

Blue Wedding Jewelry

This bib necklace should would draw the eyes up of passersby and be such a unique accent to your day of ensemble.

Blue Wedding JewelryAdorn you left-hand with something bold and flashing – like a sapphire band maybe?

Blue Wedding Jewelry

For something a bit more unique and youthful, try a necklace with funky style.

Blue Wedding Jewelry

There’s also an option of going with a classic topaz or aquamarine stone to accent your decolletage. Blue Wedding Jewelry Maybe a chunky, colorful bracelet is what you need to finish off your look?

Blue Wedding Jewelry

These earrings should would look incredible with a fancy updo, don’t you think?Blue Wedding Jewelry For a more modern, contemporary style – clean lines, even in your jewelry choices are a must-have.

Blue Wedding Jewelry

These powder blue jewels sure are gorgeous, aren’t they?

Blue Wedding JewelryAnd we saved the best for last. These chandelier earrings are beautiful pieces to lighten up your look!

all photos via Brides

When the wedding planning begins, there are two women who may want in on the action, and may want in a bit too much … the mother of the bride and the mother of the groom. The MOG may misstep her boundaries when it comes to the MOB’s responsibilities and the MOB may be overstepping the bride. It’s a hard pill to swallow, it can get stressful and it can even ruin great moments throughout the engagement, for both the bride and the groom. Instead of having them battle it out, give each leading lady specific tasks and let them enjoy the process of planning right alongside of you. Let’s take a peek at the real to-do’s you can leave up to the mother of the bride and the mother of the groom!

ceremony-rules-for-mothers-of-bride-and-groomvia

Mother of the Bride

Mother of the Bridevia

1. Be by your daughter’s side: Even if the bride has a great relationship with her mother-in-law to be, it’ll never be like that of her own mom. From the venue scouting to wedding dress shopping, the MOB needs to be there every step of the way … that the bride asks for.

2. Attire choices: The MOB helps the bride decide not only on the wedding gown, but the entire bridal party’s get-up. Moms don’t lie, so make sure you take her advice. Also, the MOB should help pick out the wedding night peignoir!

3. Serve as a contact: You may need to be one of the main contacts for wedding vendors. If the bride is busy or overwhelmed, it’s okay for mom to take the lead and help with direction.

4. Help with the traditions: Whether it’s a cultural or “something blue” tradition, the MOB is the one that takes on the teacher role.

Mother of the Groom

Mother of the Groomvia

1. Plan the rehearsal dinner: Traditionally, the groom’s family plans and pays for the rehearsal dinner, which means that the MOG will take most of the decision making on her plate.

2. Check the dress code: Ask the bride what she’d like for you to wear in terms of color or style. You don’t want to be in the same thing that the MOB is wearing, and it’s polite and appreciated if you make sure there is no clashing!

3. Honeymoon help: Another tradition is that the groom’s parents help pay for the couple’s honeymoon. In this day and age, the newlyweds are spending their own money on this big trip, but if able, it’s nice to at least ask or contribute to a little bit especially if the bride’s parents paid for most of the wedding celebration.

Both MOB & MOG

1. Help with the guest list: Both mom’s will need to get in on creating their side of the list. Get everyone’s addresses and correct spelling of their names down!

2. Bridal shower plans: According to tradition, the moms aren’t supposed to be the main host of the party. But we say that’s rubbish! Moms want to lavish their daughter and daughter-in-law to be, so let them!

Rehearsal dinners are what happen after the bride, groom, officient and wedding party practice how the next day’s ceremony is going to go. The dinner takes place a restaurant, banquet hall or the home of the groom’s parents, as they are the traditional hosts. If attending a rehearsal dinner and are unsure how to dress, check out the following tips!

Dress Code

Find out from members of the wedding party what the official dress code is for the entire shebang. Another excellent resource is your invitation, which usually features information about attire. Types of dress style you might see on your invite include:

  • Black Tie: This is usually reserved for the actual wedding, however it may extend to the dinner. Men should wear a tux, women a cocktail dress or long evening gown.
  • Formal/Black Tie Optional: This indicates attire is slightly less formal than black tie, meaning a dark suit and tie could work for men. For women, evening gowns, dark suits or cocktail dresses work.
  • Beach Formal: Attending a beach wedding? Wear elegant clothing that fits the weather. Men can opt for suits made of light fabric, while women can wear tea or knee-length sundresses.
  • Semi-formal/Dressy Casual: A rehearsal dinner with these instructions usually means dark suits (evening) or light suits (day) for men, and cocktail dresses or a dressy skirt and top for women.
  • Casual: This doesn’t mean jeans and t-shirts! What it does mean is dress pants and shirts for men, and skirts/dressy blouses for women, or simply a dress.

Dinner Time

Keep the time of the dinner in mind, as this will also help you determine what you should wear. Evening events are generally more formal, while lunches or brunches allow more casual attire.

Dinner Location

One of the most important factors when deciding what to wear, fine restaurants often have a dress code, while casual establishments do not. Outdoor functions are also more casual. Use your discretion to determine what’s best.

Wedding Theme

The theme of the wedding is often an indicator of rehearsal dinner attire. A traditional wedding is going to require more formal dress, while a beach or similar-themed wedding is usually more relaxed.

Dinner Menu

Look at the rehearsal dinner menu if possible to find hints on what to wear. For example, a five-course meal often requires formal attire, while a clambake,…well, you get the idea!

Fabric

Fine knits, chiffon and silk work for formal and semi-formal dinner events. Avoid cotton and polyester. Fabric that is elegant, tasteful and not too sheer is best. Women can wear dresses made of most things except denim and polyester, while men should go for tuxes or suits made of wool. Lighter fabric is appropriate for warm weather events.

Cut

Tasteful, classic cuts that don’t reveal too much are best if the dinner is semi-formal or formal, as upstaging the bride or otherwise drawing attention to yourself isn’t the best idea. Women shouldn’t wear super-short dresses, while men should stick to suits cut in classic tux style.

Color

The colors you choose should be appropriate to the season, such as jewel tones and darker hues for fall or winter weddings. Pastels and bright colors work for spring and summer.

Shoes

High heels and dress flats that match their dresses are best for women, while men should go for leather dress shoes in dark brown or black. Ensure shoes are shined as needed, and avoid sandals and casual pumps.

Weather

Since many informal rehearsal dinners take place in an outdoor setting, bring a sweater or jacket that matches the dress or suit.

Don’t Upstage

Don’t wear something to the rehearsal dinner that’s fancier than actual wedding day attire! Save the best pieces for the special day instead.

Business Casual

When in doubt, go for business casual. If the event doesn’t specify black-tie, go for gray, black, navy or red pantsuits or dresses (women). Suit pants, a jacket and tie work for men.

 

 

Garden Inspired Bridal Shoot

This week was all about inspiring. From the boho-seaside styles to glittering in the New Year, there’s lots to look at and plan with on our wedding world roundup!

 

Seaside, bohemian bridal inspiration. It’s unique and absolutely gorgeous! — Green Wedding Shoes

Having a destination wedding? Create welcome bags for your guests or even just the wedding party! — 100 Layer Cake

Here is a beautiful, garden party-inspired bridal shoot to drool over. — Style Me Pretty

DIY stamped doilies as extra bits of charming decor or even table numbers. — Brenda’s Wedding Blog

Getting married this winter in the midst of New Year’s Eve? Check out this spread! — Ruffled

Two Guys Bow Tie is killing it with this funky, manly wedding day accessories. — Wedding Window

10 wedding gowns from David’s Bridal that are really turning heads. — A Practical Wedding

This wedding from Disney’s Hawaiian resort, Aulani, will knock your socks off. — Ever After Blog

Check out this roundup of the top 10 wedding braided hairstyles. — Once Wed

A red and white retro wedding with lots of sass and personality … take a look! — Wedding Chicks

 

 

Southern Nashville Wedding

A southern wedding, a beach beauty and some styling tips from ASOS regarding your bridesmaids … sift through all these goodies to gather some inspiration for your own big day!

 

5 fall colors for your bridesmaids to wear, check them out! — Team Wedding

Check out this delicate, romantic and intimate wedding in Brooklyn. — Ruffled

Bright, autumn colors that will inspire and help you prepare. — B. Loved

This southern, detailed wedding is an absolute must seen. — Ashley’s Bride Guide

Style your bridal party for fall with help from ASOS! — Green Wedding Shoes

My in-laws are annoying …. do I have to love them? Get great advice here! APW

Beautiful petals at a great price, check out these top five “bang for your buck” blooms. — Vancity

Sneak a look at this gorgeous, winter bridal bouquet. — At First Blush and Co.

What do pink, popcorn and peonies have in common? Check out this photoshoot for some shower inspiration. — B. Loved

This is a subtle, stunning fall wedding with a lazy, laid-back style. We’re loving it! — Artfully Wed

 

 

 

10 things no one tells you about before the wedding. — Team Wedding

This Malibu beach wedding is quite special, take a peek. — 100 Layer Cake

Fall Wedding Bridesmaids Colors

Are you planning a fall wedding and completely stumped on your color choices? Should you go with the quintessentially leafy colors of burnt orange, golden yellows and emeralds? Or should you think a bit outside the box when it comes to your ladies in waiting and the dresses they’ll dawn. Have no fear, we’ve compiled 5 of our favorite, unique and perfectly autumn-inspired colors for your bridesmaids to wear on your wedding day. Not only will they mimic the beauty and romantic spirit of the season, but it’ll still feel like a beautiful celebrations and not just a kitschy nod to fall.

Sage

Sage Green Fall Bridesmaids

A softer version of grassy, spring greens and rich emerald, this light and frothy shade of nature will be the perfect fit for your afternoon I do’s. It’s complimentary on a variety of skin tones and will be so much fun to pair eclectically-inspired bouquets with. Better yet, it’s an outside-the-box choice for bridesmaids’ fashion and we’re loving it!

Lilac

Lilac Purple Fall Bridesmaids

Another delicate and touchable hue, lilac bodes well in the fall as it complimentary the darker greens and golden shades that are floating around outside. It can also be quite the versatile match in terms of themes as well as formal celebrations or more casual affairs – it always fits. We love pairing lilacs with powder blues or even darker tones of purple, like plum.

Chocolate

Brown Fall Bridesmaids

For a more bold and fashion-forward look, why not dress your ladies in a rich and sultry hue such as chocolate brown. You can pair this modern style with a softer accent for a more tangible, welcoming feel while still having your bridesmaids feel empowered and important. You’d be surprised how beautiful some fabrics such as silk and satin look in this shimmering color. You can even do a variety of shades for a more interesting and youthful take.

Rose

Rose Pink Fall Bridesmaids

Blush is perfect for the essence of winter and frothy, more spirited pinks are the right choice for the warmer months … but when it comes to the fall a rosey, warm hue can make all the difference. A cozy, mauve-inspired pink would enhance any of your bridesmaids’ skin tone and is always very bridal. You may even get lucky and find a textured design to make it even more fun and feminine for your ladies to wear.

Gold

Gold Fall Bridesmaids

One of my favorite colors of the autumn season is gold. It’s bold and beautiful, it can be soft and romantic … it can practically take on any form of style or design. Have your ladies dresses in something sparkling or even something golden-toned with just a smidge of sparkle. For a more formal and glam go-to, this is your choice!

photos via SMP

 

wedding photo tips

photo credit: Nicholaus Haskins via photopin cc

As your wedding day approaches and you are feverishly planning, how can you be sure you are ready? Here are 10 things that every bride and groom needs to know (but no one remembers to tell them) before the wedding.

1. Schedule Time for Photos

Photos of your special day are so important. In fact, outside of the dress, photography can be one of the biggest expenses of the wedding day. Make sure you have enough time to get the most out of your photographer.

As you are scheduling the time for photos, consider scheduling the posed shots before the ceremony. This will give you the chance to get all of the images you want, without having to make your guests wait at the reception while you rush through photos.

2. Don’t Forget to Have Fun!

Your wedding needs to be fun for the bride and groom. It’s easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of the day and forget to enjoy yourself. Schedule the day so that you have the time you need to really relax and enjoy your guests and your special day.

3. Pack an Emergency Kit

Have your maid of honor pack an emergency kit for the unexpected problems that will occur. This kit should have a small first aid kit, complete with bandages and medication for aches, pains and headaches, as well as a small sewing kit, double-sided tape, bobby pins and emergency snacks. Throw in one of those stain removal pens to ensure you can get a spill out of your dress or tux. Consider other emergency items you might need and add them to the stash. Remember, accidents will happen, and you will feel much less stress if you are prepared.

4. Follow Up with Vendors

You booked the reception, caterer and photographer, right? So the morning of your wedding everything will be ready to go! Unfortunately, people make mistakes, and the last thing you want is to find out that there was a scheduling error the day of your wedding. Follow up with all of your vendors and locations a couple of weeks before the wedding to confirm the day, time and cost, so you don’t have unexpected surprises on your big day.

5. Keep a Guest and Gift List

No matter how small your ceremony may be, you are going to forget who came and what they brought. Assign someone in your family with the task of keeping a running list of people who came and the gifts you received. Also, start this list early, because some gifts will come in before the wedding. Consider keeping the list with your list of invited guests, so you can have the addresses close at hand for the thank-you notes.

6. Schedule Alone Time with Your Soon-to-Be Spouse

Weddings are a time when guests want to express their well-wishes to the bride and groom. Unfortunately, many forget that the day is about the bride and groom. Make sure you schedule some alone time as a couple. For some, this might be the moment the groom sees the bride in her dress for the first time. For others, who wish to have that reveal moment be when she walks down the aisle, it is some time right after the ceremony. This alone time is crucial to helping you seal your memories of the day as a couple.

7. You Need Extra Thank-You Gifts

No matter how carefully you think through everything, chances are you will forget someone that requires a thank-you gift. Avoid embarrassment by simply buying a few extras and wrapping them ahead of time. Then you can pull out the extra gift and hand it to the individual and never even let on that you forgot.

8. Choose Who Gives the Toast

Be careful who you choose to give the toast at your reception. When the wine and other drinks start to flow, people’s mouths start to get a little looser. Make sure the person who is toasting to you as a couple is not going to divulge any secrets that you wish were kept private. If you have someone you do not want to be toasting, let your DJ or MC know ahead of time that the mic is off-limits for those individuals.

9. Give Someone Phone Duty

You don’t want to be answering phone calls or texts the day of your wedding, but you need your phone to be available if someone needs something last minute. Give your phone to someone you trust and ask them to be the designated “texter” for the day. This will ensure important messages are not lost while protecting you from a constant bombardment of well-wishes.

10. Don’t Forget to Eat

The day gets so busy and it can be easy to forget to eat. Make sure you have breakfast and try to have at least one other meal or substantial snack. You don’t want either of you passing out from low blood sugar during the ceremony! Your wedding day is one that you will look back on with fondness. Yes, problems will come up, but with these tips, you will be well poised to handle them when they do!

Florida Wedding INspiraiton

via

This week we’ve rounded up lots of inspiration eye-candy and even a romantic wedding film from Paris that will knock your socks off. Take a look!

 

Bridal shower hosting do’s and don’t … check them out! — Team Wedding

Fresh dessert table inspiration. Create something sweet with a stylish twist! — SouthBound Bride

Lavender & honey colors, an inspiring and charming duo. — b.loved

Nine romantic wedding readings from some of the best, classical books. — Emmaline

Neon wedding and party ideas. They’re super fun and super stylish! — 100 Layer Cake

Short, sexy and sassy veils for the bride-to-be. — Brideug Chic

Want to see something incredible? Take a peek at this wedding film in Paris. — Rock’N’Roll Bride

This romantic and feminine Florida wedding is a must-see! — Ruffled

A handmade, vintage-inspired wedding may be trendy but there’s never been one this lush and romantic! – Green Wedding Shoes

Who says your rehearsal dinner can’t have all the style and pizzazz of a wedding reception? — Wedding Chicks

 

They are beautiful… Your mother’s antique lace dress, your great-aunt’s satin shoes, and your grandmother’s diamond ring; you’re perfectly outfitted for a truly vintage-style wedding. Then you see it. Your fiancé had it specially delivered. You open the box and feel like your stomach has dropped through the floor. His grandmother’s veil. It is not the lovely, lace creation of which you have dreamed. It is ugly. Really ugly.

What to do?

For fear of deeply offending his family, you dare not replace it with another veil. Can you go veilless to a wedding that is meant to look vintage? Happily, veils aren’t the only alternative for a truly vintage-style wedding. There’s a myriad of options from which to choose.

1-Shabby_Apple_Hat

First consider a hat. And, no, this doesn’t automatically put you in the mother-of-the-bride category. Hats come in a variety of sizes and styles that are perfect for young brides. For a romantic look, try a broad-brimmed style. This goes well with an outdoor spring or summer wedding. For a more formal look, go with a small round or pill-box style. Add a little splash of netting to make the style truly vintage.

Another both retro and beautiful option is to use decorated combs and fasteners. These can work whether you have the hair of long hair of Lady Godiva or the pixie cut of Twiggy. For decorations, think beads, pearls, ribbons, flowers and, yes it can be pretty, even birds. No matter what your budget, don’t go for cheap plastic combs. Although you’ll probably only wear these once, you don’t want your hair to fall down in the middle of your first dance. Do opt for the pricier metal alternatives. To save a few dollars, consider buying nice combs and decorating them yourself. Fake pearls and glue guns can do wonders in this areal!

2-Shabby_Apple_Comb

For a more bohemian look, consider a flower crown. No, these are not just for 70′s flower children. These were popular in Neo-classical times and in the 20′s as well. Today they are a perfect way to convey a vintage feel at any wedding. Although flower crowns are traditionally worn with loose hair, they work with up-dos as well. Roses or other formal flowers can be used to create a formal look while daisies or wildflowers can be used for a more relaxed feel. Don’t be afraid to use colors other than white. Bright red, purple or yellow flowers can add a pop of color to your total outfit.

3-Shabby_Apple_FlowerCrown

A final option is to wear… a tiara! These are not just for beauty queens! Tiaras come in hundreds of styles, many of which say ‘here comes the bride’ rather than ‘here she comes… Miss America’. To make the tiara work well with you outfit, make sure to match with the style and fabric of your wedding gown. Tiaras go well with satins, silks and beading. They go less well with less formal fabrics such as eyelets. Also, before investing in this type of headpiece, determine how you want to wear your hair in conjunction with the tiara. You don’t want to buy an expensive headpiece only to realize that it won’t work well with your hair. Finally, make sure that you’ve practiced having it fastened tightly to your hair beforehand. You do NOT want to lose your crown while going down the aisle!

4-Shabby_Apple_Tiara

Whatever style of headpiece you choose, don’t just make sure that it goes with your dress, make sure that it says ‘you’. No matter how beautiful something is, if it isn’t you, you won’t like it on your big day. Most importantly, have it worked out well in advance so that they only thing you have to think about on your wedding day is how much you are enjoying yourself!

Athelia LeSueur is a wife, mother and the CEO of www.shabbyapple.com. She created Shabby Apple to empower women with vintage-inspired clothing while celebrating elegance in beauty.

Tahiti-Wedding-Planner-wedOtahiti-Beach If you’re considering a destination wedding it’s likely that you’ve been imagining saying your vows in an exotic location, and so will you. You’ve narrowed down your list of wedding destinations, and Tahiti made it to that point… but what does Tahiti has to offer that other destinations don’t? Why would you set your heart on the “Pearl of the Pacific”? Well, the Islands of Tahiti are all together exotic, authentic, far from it all and one of the greatest places on Earth to reconnecting with your beloved ones… think of beautiful smiles, exotic flowers, peace and absolute quietness, and think of not just having a couple of hours with your guests but a couple of days to get your nearest and dearest together, and spend quality time with them! Did you know that the Islands of Tahiti are just under 8 hours from Los Angeles, CA?

How To Get Started?

My first advice to all couples planning to get married in the Islands of Tahiti is to get professional assistance from the very beginning… lots of couples hire a planner after they have tried to plan the event themselves only to realize that the logistics are just harder to organize and that there is a lot more involved than for a hometown wedding. Getting the help of a Certified Wedding & Event Planner that upholds certain industry practices and standards of operation, insures that you have every detail covered and peace of mind for you and your families. Plus, having a professional and reliable person on location (especially if you are unable to visit in advance of the wedding) to listen to you and understand your wishes and the wedding you’re envisioning is a necessity. A professional planner will be your expert eyes (and ears) for finding and coordinating vendors at the location until you actually get on site. That person must of course have a good knowledge of the language and the local culture, but should be able to communicate with you seamlessly as well. If not fluent in French, the language barrier may lead to some miscommunications with your vendors, who do not all speak or write English, not mentioning that Internet connection in the islands of Tahiti is… not everywhere. Tahiti-Wedding-Planner-wedOtahiti-Dress

Start Planning Early

Consider booking your event during low season to keep costs down and provide the opportunity for your guests to enjoy some activities, and make the most of their time in the Islands of Tahiti. Most of your guests will likely need as much advance notice as possible to adjust and plan for an overseas trip, including getting a passport, so the earlier you let them know, the better. Getting to the planning itself, a couple having a destination wedding in the Islands of Tahiti should take that opportunity to showcase the local food, culture and islands décor. Whether it is leaning towards traditional French or Tahitian-style, this will distinguish the wedding from the domestic weddings all guests in the party have previously been to. French caterers / restaurants for example are not so used to the American or Australian custom of providing guests with multiple options for each course (for a plated dinner that is). While they’ll adapt to the couples’ requests, couples should be flexible, too, and keep in mind that not everything is readily available in such remote locations (isn’t “remote” the reason #1 you chose the Islands of Tahiti in the 1st place?) and that some items might not be available at all. Go with the flow and concentrate on what you feel your guests will enjoy the most. You are going for a destination wedding in the Islands of Tahiti to have some exoticism, to have something different. This alone is KEY and a great way to reflect your personalities as a couple. As with a home, planning a destination wedding should all be about location, location, location… “The warmth and kindness that we met with during our stay in Tahiti was something that completed our wedding experience and made our guests feel at home.” a couple said. So if you were thinking of planning a destination wedding to the Islands of Tahiti, stop thinking and start planning! Tahiti-Wedding-Planner-wedOtahiti-ceremony

About The Author: Nelly Grange

In 2013, having managed resort operations, sales, marketing and event planning in French Polynesia for over a decade, Nelly decided to merge her passion for the Islands of Tahiti, her love for all the details that go into planning a wedding and creativity into one and launched wedOtahiti. wedOtahiti offers planning services ranging from Day Of Coordination, to Partial or Full-Planning Packages, but also Décor services, or Assistance with Legal Weddings in the Islands of Tahiti. Visit our website wedOtahiti or email us at planner@wedotahiti.com. Find us on Facebook and Twitter

Photo Credit: Helene Havard Photography www.helenehavard.com

 

Best of the Wedding World

Sparkly wedding accents, DIY backdrops and beautiful real-life couple inspiration … this week’s roundup is a must see!

 

How to find wedding favors that will fit any type of guest! — Team Wedding

Learn how to DIY your own wood palette backdrop for your ceremony or bridal portraits! — Style Me Pretty

Check out this beautiful, DIY desert wedding infused with lots of boho flair. — 100 Layer Cake

Create your own summer floral boutonniere with this awesome DIY tutorial. — Green Wedding Shoes

Inspire your preppy side with this Ralph Lauren-inspired photoshoot. — Ruffled

20 sparkly, wedding must-haves … need we say more? — Rock’N’Roll Bride

Hope on over and peek at this amazing color inspiration for your bridesmaids. — The Perfect Palette

This engagement shoot is real and beautiful … and the bride-to-be is gorgeous! — Grey Likes Weddings

If you’re planning a destination wedding, you better take in all these wonderful tips. — Junebug Weddings

Clean and fun bachelorette party games, they won’t embarrass but they’ll still create great memories! — Team Wedding

 

Wedding Reception Food Ideasvia

Are you serving up a beautiful spread of fancy foods at your wedding reception? Or are you going to serve pass-around pick-ups instead? A big expense and big part of the wedding day planning has to do with the food. Guests look forward to it and it helps to transform an average party into a celebration to remember. The first line of business when deciding on your food situation is how you’ll be serving up the goodies. From buffets to bars, we’re here to share 5 ways to treat your guests in style. Let’s take a look!

Sit Down Meals

Sit Down Wedding Mealsvia

Gather your family and friends and have them feel like kings and queens as their meals are served course by course. A personal favorite choice of my own, we love the lavish feel of this type of meal. From salads to extra petite desserts, your loved ones won’t have to lift a finger … unless it’s their fork.

Family-Style

Family Style Wedding Mealvia

You can also tweak the whole “sit-down” dinner theme and have their courses served family style. This is an especially great idea when serving up ethnic foods like Italian or Asian cuisines. Big bowls of pastas and fresh rolls to go around, your guests will be forced to break the ice and mingle!

Buffets

Wedding Buffetvia

Round up your main dishes and sides and have your guests self-serve. They can get as much or as little as they’d like, and a lot of times it’s a bit more inexpensive for your budgeting purposes. This is a great choice when you’re doing traditional t foods like chicken and beef with the usual sides: potatoes, mac and cheese, veggies and even a tossed salad.

Creative Bars

Mashed Potato Bar Weddingvia

A big trend in the wedding world: food bars! Whether you add this fun little addition to your sit-down meal, cocktail hour or buffet, it’ll be a hit for every guests. From mashed potatoes to s’mores, have your guests get creative with their toppings and “create” their own scrumptious treat.

Hors d’oeuvres Only

Hors d'oeuvres Weddingvia

If you’re looking for a way to budget the big day or you’ve decided on an afternoon affair, you may want to try an appetizer only celebration. Have some tasty treats passed around throughout all the dancing. The best part about this option is the variety, you can be super creative and mix and match a variety of flavors with ease!

 

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Your bridesmaids are your closest friends and the women you’ve selected to be by your side when you say “I do” — so telling them how much they mean to you should involve more than a tacky keychain. If you’ve been wondering what sort of gift to give your bridesmaids as a token of appreciation for their special role in your wedding, this gift guide is for you! Here are a few ideas for giving your bridesmaids a personal present they will actually enjoy:

Bridesmaid Dresses

It might not sound impressive, but the truth is that most bridesmaids would be thrilled to know you’re footing the bill for their dresses. This is particularly helpful when you have friends who are tight on resources and struggling to cover their gowns.

Jewelry

Everybody appreciates a pretty necklace or bracelet, particularly when it’s high in quality and versatile. Look for something your girls can wear with their bridesmaids’ dresses and keep wearing for years to come, whether that means matching jewelry or jewelry that is specific to each girl. You don’t have to spend a ton of money (think Etsy or local crafters), but avoid cheap costume jewelry that will break in a few weeks.

 

Clutches or Handbags

Find a charming clutch to match your bridesmaids’ dresses, and give them the perfect accessory to complete their wedding look. Bonus points if you make it a particularly impressive designer clutch or, at least, something they can wear with other outfits in the future. Similar ideas include handbags, cosmetic bags or wallets. Or you may want to give them monogrammed overnight bags or wristlets.

Spa Day

Sometimes the best gift is not an object, but rather an experience. Give your girls a day at the spa and make them feel pampered and loved. Plus, this gift is something your entire bridal party can enjoy together, building relationships between friends who previously didn’t know each other well and setting the group up for more camaraderie on the wedding day.

Robes

Along the lines of a luxury spa day, treat your bridesmaids to beautiful robes they can wear while getting reading with the bridal party and in their own homes day to day. Look for robes that will feel special to your girls (i.e., something you yourself would want to own). If you all get ready together on the day of the wedding, robes make for fun photo opportunities, too.

Personalized Albums

When done well, handmade gifts are thoughtful and often more meaningful than generic presents. They can also add a personal touch that makes recipients feel cared for — and one such gift is a personalized album. If you have the time and the desire, you might make individual albums for each bridesmaid, including photos and memories from your relationship with that girl.

Fancy Soaps or Candles

Give your friends gifts that are as luxurious as they are practical. Soap and candles are both useful and enjoyable. Look for extra-special options like organic soaps from a local maker or candles with slick packaging.

When you’re trying to plan presents for your bridal party, the above list gives you a great place to start! But whatever gift you decide on, be sure to take the time to include a thoughtful note if possible, too. This is sometimes the most meaningful part of the present, and it gives you a chance to tell your closest friends how much they mean to you with words as well as gifts.

 

Bridal Shower Drinksvia

We’ve already gushed about how important it is to serve a great cocktail at your wedding. Guests look forward to tasting and sipping and it becomes a part of the overall experience. And, as we mentioned before, it’s not as easy as you may think to find the absolutely perfect drink, in style and taste. And that goes for your bridal shower too. Whether it’s a cocktail or frozen strawberry smoothies, your bridal shower should have the right kind of sip that fits your entire celebration. From chilled cucumber water to pina colodas – let’s show off some drink ideas and styles that could fit a host of different bridal showers and celebrations!

Quick & Refreshing

Bridal Shower Drink Ideasvia

If you’re hosting the shower outside or just need something light and tasty, have a couple of choices ready for your guests. Flavored waters, such as cucumber, lemon or orange, and lemonades look beautiful displayed in drink containers and it’s an easy well to have your friends and family members help themselves throughout the course of the event.

Creative

Blushing Bride Bridal Shower Cocktailvia

Create your own signature drink of the day by mixing and matching your favorite flavors. Tag it with a fun name and VOILA!, something delicious and personal to you. Do you want to know what the name of my signature drink was at my bridal shower? It was “the rain drop.” Of course, you can always gather ideas from other creative sips, like that of a blush-colored Blushing Bride cocktail.

Traditional

lemon Drop martini bridal shower drinkvia

If you’re planning a traditional and cozy bridal shower, you may want to stick with traditional and cozy drinks. Vodka martinis, of all flavors, for the older crowd and raspberry sweat tea for the younger guests. A more traditional style fits well if you’re looking for a more formal venue or celebration – even for bridal showers. Of course, you can dress them up in a more girlish way for the ladies, pretty glasses and adorable garnishes.

Seasonal

Blackberry Cider for fall bridal shower drinkvia

From apple cider to peppermint mochas, bringing the season into the big event is always fun. And there are so many ways to get creative! Summer sangria by the pitcher during the warmer months, pumpkin spice cocktails in autumn and even some cranberry sips in the winter would make for quite the memorable and playful event, don’t you think?

Dessert-Esque

mini milkshakes bridal showervia

Everyone has a sweet tooth at some point and time, and what better time to satisfy it than at a bridal shower? Serve up miniature milkshakes or cake batter martinis. There are so many different ways to explore your taste buds and imagination when it comes to dessert-centered drinks!

 

Wedding Inspiration

Tons of wonderful inspiration is on the list this week. Check out some beautiful photoshoots and wonderful wedding ideas from real-life brides and grooms!

This classic, San Francisco wedding has all the details you need for a fairy-tale, picturesque wedding. — Style Me Pretty

Check out this gorgeous, Nashville wedding inspired by all things natural and organic. — Green Wedding Shoes

13 Things You’ll Wish You Did On Your Wedding Day .. this is a must read! — Rock’N’Roll Bride

We love the style of this wedding and the dress; peter pan collar included. — Love My Dress

Wanna grab some Parisian-style wedding ideas? Hop on over to this post! — 100 Layer Cake

You must take a peek at this Kentucky Derby styled bridal shower … how fun! — Wedding Chicks

If you’re looking for some beautiful veil inspiration, jump over here and swoon a little. — One Wed

Unique wedding cake toppers for your quirky, eclectic celebration… — Rustic Wedding

This golden wedding will make your heart melt. — The Perfect Palette

Are you having a hard time deciding who to invite to your wedding, this might just help! — Wed Loft

 

Bold Bridal Beautyvia

When it comes to your wedding day, you want a dress that you will never wear again, a memory that can never be made again and a picture worth more than words but feelings too. So, when it comes to your bridal beauty, you’ve got to think in the same way, this is your chance to shine unlike any other day of your life. And that means a bit of bold beauty won’t ever be the “wrong” choice. Instead of your everyday fare, why not try a look that’s a bit outside your comfort zone? Why not try a look that makes your feel glamorous and confident and beautiful? Here are five timeless, classy and incredibly sexy looks that are fit for a bold bride and works for anyone who dares to try them.

1. A Classic Cat Eye.

Bold Bridal Cat Eye Makeupvia

Every shape and color eye looks incredible with a bit of a cat eye flair. From dramatic to delicate, there are so many ways to make your eyes pop with the flick of your makeup brush. You can add color, add smoke or keep things simple and clean. Whatever the case, a bold cat eye works wonders for any bride-to-be and any wedding day dress.

2. A Strong Topknot.

Bridal Top Knot Bunvia

If you’re looking for some fierce and modern, try arranging your hair into a chic topknot. Eyes will be drawn upward, so this is a great choice if you plan on dawning a dress with a beautiful cutout back or lace sleeves. It will draw your cheekbones tighter, so some extra blush would make this bold look pop. Messy or tight, this style will show off the beautiful, flawless face of the bride.

3. A Bright Lip.

Red Lip Bridevia

If there was any a day to rock red lipstick or a hot pink pucker, it’s your wedding day. Sultry eyes and a hot lip will make you the most glam evening bride of all, or tone down your eye and slather on a brighter lip for a summery celebration. Your dress and face will shine with a lipstick that has its own personality. Plus, the photos of your groom with a bit of your residual color on his face would be quite the adorable memory captured.

4. Wild & Free Hair.

Wild Free Loose Bridal Hairvia

Sometimes the best plan is to not have one. If you love your luscious locks and you’re not a fan of product and tightly quaffed hair, why not let your tresses run free on your wedding day. Let them flow in the wind or hang with your veil. Be bold and stay outside-the-box with your hairdo plans.

5. A Loud Mani or Pedi.

Bold Bride Manicurevia

You don’t have to get French tips just because your the bride. This is your day and you don’t have to follow everyday traditional rule in the book. Instead, choose a manicure that fits your personality. From black to polka-dots, show off your personality with a totally fab bridal mani and pedi!

Why Do I Need Wedding Insurance?

Many people ask if there’s really any need for wedding insurance. Others have little or no idea what wedding insurance really is. We hope our guide can help you navigate the topic of wedding insurance so you’re prepared to make the right decision on whether it is the right thing for you.

You are both madly in love and have been planning your wedding day for a year, so why would you need wedding insurance? There’s no point right? It’s a waste of money; you don’t plan on canceling your wedding. However, you may want to give some thought to the fact that wedding cancellation or postponement happens, perhaps not necessarily because the bride or groom change their minds, but because of something unexpected happening, such as adverse weather or illness. Therefore, you may wish to give some thought to wedding insurance.

What would happen if you were getting married on a luxury Caribbean beach and a hurricane hit the island, making it impossible to fly out? What would happen if the groom fell ill with appendicitis the day before the wedding, and it had to be postponed? What if flooding or a snowstorm meant that you had to postpone the wedding? Any of these events may be protected against when you take out a Markel Cancellation Insurance policy.

How Does Wedding Insurance Work?

Wedding insurance is like any other insurance policy. In this case wedding insurance is designed to cover a couple’s money from circumstances that cancel their wedding and reimburse them those expenses incurred. These events must be events outside of the couples control and can’t be because you simply changed your mind about getting married. For example, you have put down a deposit on a photographer and the photographer runs off with your deposit one week before your wedding and you urgently need to book another one before your wedding. What if your reception is hit by a storm as happened to many a few years ago in the Northeast and the reception hall is wrecked weeks before the wedding. These are the types of big-day financial losses that wedding insurance can help to protect.

What Could Go Potentially Wrong?

Lets consider some example situations. As Sarah gets ready for her wedding and decides to take a few photos in front of the beautiful fireplace an ember bursts and the dress catches fire. Luckily Sarah is ok, but the dress is not. The right insurance policy covers the replacement of the veil and gown.

Mary and Bob are having an amazing wedding day. The weather has been great and the event itself went smoothly. The last thing on their minds was the idea that their wedding gifts were being stolen by a random wedding crasher. Unfortunately, snatching gifts is easier than you may think, and it is becoming more common in today’s society.

The above examples are real and it happens more often that we’d like to admit. In both of the above cases Markel’s Cancellation Coverage, which includes protection against lost or damaged wedding gifts would have helped the couples. Coverage includes protection from other wedding nightmares, such as if a vendor goes bankrupt, damaged photography or even a hurricane that causes the cancellation.

What Does Wedding Insurance Cost?

Markel Event Insurance told us that Cancellation Coverage policies normally start as low as $130. The great news is that policies can be purchased up to 14 days prior to your event so it may not be too late if your wedding is around the corner. Markel also mentioned that couples often opt to get Event Liability Insurance coverage (in fact many wedding reception venues are now requiring couples to purchase this coverage – make a note to check with yours). These policies start at $75 and help protect you if someone causes property damage to your wedding venue or if someone is injured at your event. Given how much is on the line, it sounds quite reasonable to have some peace of mind. Visit Markel Event Insurance or call 1-855-480-9757 to get a free quote, and learn why you should protect your special day. Save yourself the unnecessary headaches that could arise and make sure you are covered.

Final Things to Think About

Every insurance policy and every wedding scenario is different. Be sure to talk to experts who know about wedding or event insurance specifically. The same person who covers your home insurance probably doesn’t know the space well enough. As always when it comes to contracts and insurance, make sure you read the fine print, always. You want to make sure you truly understand every detail of your policy because nothing is more disappointing than having something go wrong and realizing it isn’t covered later on.

Thank you to our friends at Markel Event Insurance who were so patient with us when we asked all our questions. Insurance can be hard to navigate so it was great to get their expert advice. We appreciate the time.

About Markel Corporation
Markel Corporation is a diverse financial holding company serving a variety of niche markets. The Company’s principal business markets and underwrites specialty insurance products. In each of the Company’s businesses, it seeks to provide quality products and excellent customer service so that it can be a market leader. The financial goals of the Company are to earn consistent underwriting and operating profits and superior investment returns to build shareholder value. Visit Markel Corporation on the web at markelcorp.com.

From Gerber to mini, wildflower-esque blooms, daisies know how to inspire smiles. And what better way to adorn yourself on your wedding day than with something that will make all the guests coo in awe? Check out these beautiful daisy bouquets and see if one fits the bill for your “I do’s!”

Daisy Wedding BouquetsThis light and bright bouquet is perfect for your springtime celebration.

17astridphotography196jenna_adamimg_8900$!400xWe are gushing over this colorful, wildflower inspired bohemian design.

037Elsie_Jeremy_img_3036$!600xAnother bold and sophisticated choice, these daisies take center stage.

041Elsie_Jeremy_img_3108$!400xDaisies can be artistic too, just look at this gorgeous masterpiece!

20110604-139$!400xRomantic and subtle, we love the blushing shades of this bouquet.

buffalo_missouri_backyard_wedding_by_jordan_brittley_54$!400xThe coral shades pop right off the lush, white foundation. How beautiful!

jenhuangmeljeff_61$!400xJust a pop of bold, passionate color may be what your ladies need.

michelle_christopher_w1522$!400xThe freshly-picked style is something we all find whimsy and romantic.

rebecca_arthurs_photography_kahua_ranch_wedding_0008$!400xDaisies are also a great filler for more voluminous bouquets.

all photos via Style Me Pretty

Looking for a way to make your simple, wedding gown pop? What if you added a beautiful, bib necklace to top of your day of ensemble? Take a peek at these real-life options and see if they make you swoon a bit!

Bib Necklaces for WeddingsA bit of Victorian accent make this dress transform into something even more magical.

Bib Necklaces for WeddingsEvery bride deserves a bit of bling, no matter the time or season.

Bib Necklaces for WeddingsAdd “something blue” to your creamy outfit and make your eyes pop.

Bib Necklaces for WeddingsWe are loving art deco-inspired jewelry right now and this piece is a stunner.

Bib Necklaces for WeddingsKeep the color subdued but the style high with these beautiful number.

Bib Necklaces for WeddingsJump outside the usual tradition and use gold as the main course for your jewelry selection.

Bib Necklaces for WeddingsIncorporate the bridesmaids colors by adding a surprise to your bridal style.

this_love_of_yours_holman_ranch_styled_shoot_209$!600xReally set the tone of your fun and vibrant day by adding a bib necklace that speaks leaps and bounds of your personality.

zd_038$!400xA classic bib necklace is perfect for a classic, contemporary bride.

zd_044$!400xFor ultra glam and to feel like a blushing bridal princess, go for the sparkles.

all photos via Style Me Pretty

Bridal Shower Game Ideas

Are you planning the perfect bridal shower for your bestie bride and can’t think of any entertainment? Of course you’ll need to have snacks and yummy treats, something tasty to sip on and presents galore, but you’ll also need something to break the ice and have everyone get involved! Check out our finds for 5 fun and easy bridal shower games and activities anyone could whip up and play! You’ll thank us later.

Lend me your advice

Bridal Shower Game Ideas

Use of a scrapbook or small pieces of paper to hang up on a clothesline, have all the guest participate and give the bride their own marriage advice. It will be fun to look back and see what everyone had written, from serious, knowledgeable tid-bits to funny blurbs from friends.

A Bow Making Contest

Bridal Shower Game Ideas

Gather all the ingredients you may need to make the biggest, most fashionable now accessory. Then have all the guests strut their stuff in a “who wore it best” contest. OR, even better, make the bride wear each and every creation as everyone rates her on a 10-point scale.

Wedding Movie Charades

Bridal Shower Game Ideas

This is just like a regular game of charades but you only use wedding movies as your acts! From Bridesmaids (could you imagine what some of your girlfriends may do to try and act out this one?!) to 27 Dresses, there are a slew of great movies to choose from and have a ball trying to guess.

Memory Lane

Bridal Shower Game Ideas

Basically, everyone at the celebration tries to figure out what the bride did with everyone else at the shower. All the guests will get an index card and fill out their favorite memory they’ve had with the bride. And then the bridesmaids will take the bride down “memory lane,” as all the other family and friends try to figure out who the memory was with!

Guess the Cake

Bridal Shower Game Ideas

This is a fan favorite by far. You blindfold the bride (and anyone else who wants to play) as she tastes a plethora of different cake flavors. This is perfect if you plan on having a “sweets” bar already set up for everyone to enjoy – from tiny bite size cake truffles to cake pops, any “bite” will do!

all photos via Style Me Pretty

The blush trend is here to stay, especially in the wedding world. All shades of this cheeky color will do your wedding and your ladies in waiting justice. Take a peek at some beautiful finds!

Blush Bridesmaids GownsA more traditional style, this dress will look wonderful on a variety of body types.

Blush Bridesmaids GownsThere’s an extra bit of special sewn into the top of this beautiful design.

Blush Bridesmaids GownsFor a more formal celebration, show off your ladies’ curves in this flattering gown.

Blush Bridesmaids GownsSophisticated and delicate, this tea-length beauty is so romantic!

Blush Bridesmaids GownsIf you’re looking for something a bit more flirty, try a dress like this. It’ll be great for dancing and showing off amazing pumps!

Blush Bridesmaids GownsDo you love the peplum trend? This little number is sure to get the party started.

Blush Bridesmaids GownsIf you’re on the hunt for something short and sweet, this is another dress that would be complimentary on a variety of figures.

Blush Bridesmaids GownsTurn the aisle into a runway with these stunning designs.

Blush Bridesmaids GownsSimple and sweet, create a clean palette with this beautiful hue.

watters-wedding-dresses-fall-2014-018We love the whimsy romance of this blushing, lace gown.

all photos via Brides

Wedding planning is filled with excitement and anticipation, but it can also feel like an overwhelming full-time job. To help make the process more manageable, employ some outside help, and you’ll save yourself both time and stress.

Here are four wedding tasks you should consider outsourcing:

Wedding Vows – While some people may think this is an insincere way to develop custom wedding vows, it’s actually the complete opposite. Just as you would ask for advice/an opinion from a friend or family member, writing professionals like Perfectly Noted collaborate with brides, grooms and couples to help put the sentiments they would like to express into words. Seeking the help of a writing professional isn’t disingenuous, but rather, couples are making the extra effort to refine their spoken commitment to one another.

Wedding Website –  There are an array of wedding website platforms to choose from that make it simple to build a custom site. As easy as these website builders may be, it’s still a time-consuming process to include venue details, travel and accommodation information, photos, etc. Save this wedding planning time, and hire a website designer/builder to organize your information and develop a site that’s easy-to-access with a beautiful layout. Your website can be completed sooner (and for less money) than you anticipate.

Name Change – An important aspect for many brides to make their marriage official is changing their name on official documents. However, the process for changing your name on your driver’s license, Social Security, passport, voter registration, vehicle title and registration, insurance, etc. can quickly take up a chunk of your time. Employ services like missnowmrs.com, and for $29.95 they’ll save you over 13 hours of paperwork to change your name.

Guest and Honeymoon Accommodations – If your wedding includes any guests from out of town, you’ll be responsible for providing hotel recommendations and/or booking a block of rooms.  On top of the guest hotel arrangements, you still have to plan your honeymoon. Avoid navigating hotel and airline booking sites, and consider hiring a travel agent or TaskRabbit professional to assist in securing hotel, airfare and restaurant reservations.

Bonus: Bridesmaid – Apparently, bridesmaids are also something that can be outsourced. According to a recent Craigslist ad for a “professional bridesmaid,” you can hire her when “your fiancé has an extra groomsman and you’re looking to even things out so your pictures don’t look funny” as well as to catch the bouquet, ensure other bridesmaids purchase their dresses on time and to dance The Electric Slide.

Wow your guests and your groom with a beaded wedding gowns that makes a statement walking down the aisle. Shimmery shine, you’ll feel like a glamorous, bold bride in one of these beautiful designs.

Beaded Wedding GownsYou’ll sparkle down the aisle in this beautiful design.

Beaded Wedding GownsDramatic and bold, if you’re looking to make a statement, this is the dress for you!

Beaded Wedding GownsA bit on the sexy side, this gown incorporates classic satin and a risque bodice.

Beaded Wedding GownsWe love how this dress not only looks comfortable but glamorous too, it’s a win-win!

Beaded Wedding GownsExtremely flattering to a woman’s natural curves, the delicate bead work is also flawless.

Beaded Wedding GownsThis dress has a bit of a 20′s vibe sewn right in and we love it!

Beaded Wedding GownsFeel like a princess without all the tulle, this dress has a Victorian element with a beautiful, fashion-forward feel.

Beaded Wedding GownsNot only is the bead work on this incredible, but the color is a stunner too.

Beaded Wedding GownsShow off your figure and feel like a classic bombshell in this gorgeous, halter piece.

Beaded Wedding GownsFor a more romantic and subtle style, check out this white and frothy number with beaded roses.

Beaded Wedding GownsThis beaded overlay created more flow and texture, perfect for the dance floor!

all photos via Brides

delicate-lace-vintage-wedding-ideas6

Learn how to create a paper flower backdrop for your reception and figure out how to customize your wedding invitation for a more unique look with these weeks roundup of the best wedding blog posts around!

 

Check out these tips on how to plan a bridal shower without breaking the bank! — Team Wedding

It’s one month until your wedding day, what are you forgetting to do? — Bridesmaid

A beautiful, paper flower backdrop in your reception hall could be just what you need! — Emmaline Bride

You’ve got to see this gorgeous, 1940′s-inspired engagement session. — Belle the Magazine

Stylish ways to incorporate succulents into your bridal bouquet. — Brides

We loved this cozy, quirky and comfy farm wedding style. — Festival Brides

This glamorous and rustic wedding spread is completely swoon-worthy. — RMW

Make your wedding invitations more unique and personal with these crafty ideas. — Team Wedding

Just a smidgen of flower canopy inspiration to enlighten your wedding plans. — I Love Farm Weddings

Romantic bridal portraits ideas with a whimsy, fairy-tale like spirit … get inspired now! — Once Wed

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As exciting as it is to be getting married, planning a wedding can get stressful fast. Short of hiring a wedding planner, what can you do to keep your planning from feeling like a full-time job? Here are some key tips to keep in mind so that you can enjoy the planning process and avoid getting overwhelmed!

  1. Set Weekly Goals and Daily Goals: Breaking down big tasks into smaller ones makes them more manageable and less intimidating. So, look at all your biggest projects (e.g., sending out invitations, decorating the reception, planning the honeymoon, etc.) and break them down into sub-goals that you can tackle one step at a time. Rather than trying to address all the invitations in one weekend, for example, make it a goal to address 10 a day, right when you get home from work. Rather than booking your honeymoon flights, hotel, rental car and activities all in one night, give yourself a week to look into each step. When you make your tasks doable, you build momentum checking one small goal off at a time.
  2. Delegate to Trusted Friends and Family: If you try to do everything on your own, you will wear yourself out. Instead, ask your friends and family for help. That’s why you have a maid of honor! Find items on your to-do list that you can delegate to these loved ones that you trust. Maybe your maid of honor can assemble the wedding favors or handle communicating with the bridal party about dresses. Maybe one of your bridesmaids can pick up the flowers on the day of the wedding or oversee the snacks for the bridal party before the ceremony, when you’re all getting ready. Most brides are surprised to find that their loved ones truly do want to help — so don’t be afraid to ask! Moving tasks off your own to-do list means reducing overall stress.
  3. Take Breaks: When you’re planning a wedding, it’s all too easy to get tunnel vision. Pretty soon all you think about are flowers and caterers and seating charts. The problem is that this sort of laser focus quickly leads to burnout. So give yourself breaks! Get away with your fiancé for an afternoon and don’t do anything wedding-related. Plan a fun lunch out with your girlfriends, and don’t discuss the wedding at all. Keep going to your yoga class or visiting the gym. These reprieves from wedding planning are crucial to keeping your mind calm and unstressed!
  4. Establish Boundaries: Part of what makes wedding planning stressful is when brides try to please everybody. It’s normal for parents and siblings and other relatives to have strong expectations for how your wedding should go, but remember that you cannot meet all of them. Set boundaries from the start that remind you to be true to yourself and to who you and your fiancé are as a couple. This way, you remove a lot of the pressure notorious for making wedding plans hard.
  5. Involve the Groom: Don’t forget you’re not the only one getting married, and your groom may have insight and opinions, too. In fact, he may be willing to get involved in aspects of the wedding that interest him, whether that means designing the invitations or choosing the caterer or picking the style and type of cake. When the two of you work together on tasks, you gain the benefit of a partner who takes part of the burden off you.

 

The thing to remember with wedding planning is that it is just a season, and eventually it will be over. So don’t let it get the best of you! Take the tips in this post to heart, and reduce the stressfulness of this busy, beautiful time.

Beautiful Backyard Blush Wedding

Imagine yourself in one of our picks of the most gorgeous of princess gowns and gush over some beautiful, real-life weddings with this week’s pick of the best of the best of the wedding blog world!

 

Beautiful ball gowns with princess pick-ups, get inspired! — Team Wedding

We are swooning over this sassy, whimsical backyard California wedding. — Style Me Pretty

A hot air balloon as your wedding photo backdrop? Yes, please! — Wedding Chicks

Check out this seasonal flower guide and learn a bit about summer’s best buds. — Green Wedding Shoes

Have a bit of a boho spirit? Check out this photo shoot that mixes that inspiration into a wedding scape. — Ruffled

A Japanese-themed wedding … held in Brazil? This is a must see! — Rock’N’Roll Bride

Bridal polka-dots are in … take a peek at the trend. — One Wed

The golden wedding gown in this modern celebration is absolutely gush-worthy. Hop over to see! — 100 Layer Cake

Rustic wedding bouquets with a lush an inviting spirit. — Rustic Wedding Chic

Beautiful and impressive, handkerchief-inspired wedding cakes. The details are incredible! — Martha Stewart Weddings

 

Don’t forget to check out our Top 10 Wedding Blogs list

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Your sister, niece, best friend or favorite co-worker just got engaged, and guess who’s been asked to host the bridal shower? After the first flush of excitement, you might be left wondering if you’re up to the task. No need to worry. Just follow these top bridal shower-hosting do’s and don’ts, and your shower is sure to be a smashing success.

Don’t involve the bride in background drama or bother her with too many details. She has enough on her plate already!
DO: Ask the bride her preferences. Find out what’s really important to her: does she want a big celebration or a small, intimate gathering? Formal traditions or a casual affair? Perhaps she would prefer a couple’s shower. It’s her day — be prepared to honor her wishes even if it’s not what you would choose.

Don’t invite guests to the shower who aren’t invited to the wedding. Hurt feelings dampen the fun. There are a few exceptions to this rule, though — these include office showers and courthouse weddings.
DO: Send out bridal shower invitations far enough in advance so guests can arrange to attend and shop for a gift.

Don’t use Facebook for your one and only invitation. For heaven’s sake, the bride-to-be deserves real paper invitations!
DO: Follow up with a Facebook event invite if you like to better keep track of who is planning to attend. However, be discreet about your bridal shower plans on Facebook, unless it’s a big shower that everyone’s invited to.

Don’t leave everything to the last minute. This is a special moment in your friend’s life. If you put everything together a week beforehand, the bride and guests will be able to tell.
DO: Decide on a venue first, and start planning at least six weeks in advance.

Don’t feel like you have to do everything yourself. Remember, the bridesmaids and close friends should be happy and willing to help. If you need help, ask for it!
DO: Delegate tasks to bridesmaids to help. Put one bridesmaid in charge of decorations, one in charge of sending invitations, three in charge of food, etc. This will make your job much easier, and everyone will have more fun when they feel they’re a part of the event.

Don’t feel like you have to spend your month’s salary on this. Go for DIY projects and don’t be shy about asking friends and family to chip in!
DO: Set a reasonable budget and stick to it. Aim to spend about 90 percent of your budget, and keep a running tab of all your expenses to be sure you’re not going overboard. This will keep some funds in reserve for the inevitable last-minute necessities.

And the biggest DO of all: Have fun and enjoy the experience! Even though you’re the host, take a step back to enjoy the shower and all of your hard work!

But wait — one more thing! Even with the shower over, the bride-to-be happily laden with gifts, and the guests emoting about what a wonderful shower it was, you can’t just breathe a sigh of relief and get on with your life. You still have follow-up work to do!

Don’t forget to send thank-you notes!
DO: Purchase, address and stamp your thank-you notes before the big day. Print out a list of all the attendees and write down their gifts as they are opened. Then before the confetti settles, fill in a few personalized words of thanks on each one and drop them in the mail. Your thank-you notes will put the perfect finishing touch on the occasion — and start the bride’s married life on a wave of goodwill!


living together before marriage

photo credit: Ed Yourdon via photopin cc

Living Together Before Getting Married. What You Need To Know.

It’s really easy to get caught up in a new relationship and rush to get married, but by moving in together first you can test the waters and make sure that you still get along. You can also find out whether those little habits that you thought were cute are actually going to drive you mad! Here’s a look at some things to consider when you start your exciting new life together living under the same roof…

Expectations

It’s really important that you both have the same expectations from living together. If you’re already engaged then you’ll hopefully be on the same page – but if not it might be a bit more tricky. Whether you’re both thinking of living together as a step towards marriage or just to save money on rent, as long as you’re on the same page you’re setting yourselves up to have a great time. You also need to discuss how finances and possessions will work out, try this post on Home Let for some great tips.

Sharing Space

Living on your own, you’re in control of your own space, and your own mess. When you move in with a partner suddenly there’s this boy or girl there making mess too. He will probably leave his pants on the floor and other traits you won’t enjoy. But we all have bad habits and it’s about learning to live with each other’s and making sure that you make the effort to work on these. Both of you going home every day to someone you love will be really special, and most likely worth all of those little grumbles.

To ease this process make sure you have personal space and time apart as well as together. There will be times when he wants to read or watch TV alone, or when you want to read a magazine or have a bath without getting on each other’s nerves. It’s really no big deal – everyone needs space.

Décor

Finding the right décor for your home together can be a bit of trial and error but once you have it’ll be great to have a space that reflects you both together. In terms of choosing furniture and home accessories compromise is the key to success.

When you’re living together and have an argument you can feel a bit stuck because there’s nowhere to go. You can no longer get into one of those couple fights where you don’t talk for a few days, and you don’t want to make a hasty decision and move out. Fights come and go, but if you’re living together and considering marriage you probably love each other – remember that.

 


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Wedding Gift Ideas for The Couple Who Have Everything

Weddings are a wonderful day for everyone involved, but gift shopping for the big day isn’t always quite as fun. Buying a present for an occasion as important as someone’s wedding day can feel a tad overwhelming, especially if you are determined to get it spot on. Here are some ideas on what to buy the bride and groom, who you know have just about everything already. Or, for the couple who you just simply don’t know well enough!

Food and Drink Ideas

A food and drink hamper is an easy, affordable but greatly appreciated wedding present. You can fill the hamper full of the couple’s favourite indulgent items. You could even buy personalised bottles of wine, as there are so many companies who will let you add labels to bottles with their wedding date for example, “Hannah & Joe 14.05.2014”. You can give this gift knowing that no-one else will have put together the same hamper. Alternatively, have a look at the ‘Just Married’ hamper from www.funkyhampers.com.

wedding gift basket

Experience Ideas

Experience-day gifts are perfect for the adventurous married couple. You can buy them a gift that way they can enjoy together in their new life and add to their memories. Let’s face it, after the wedding they will probably have too many possessions, that they don’t know what to do with, so make your investment in a present worthwhile. Send them on a hot air balloon ride, a day trip that can be used on their honeymoon, spa breaks or afternoon tea, something to suit their hobbies and lifestyle.

hot air balloon gift

Home Ideas

If everyone you know has already planned the more obvious practical home gift ideas for the bride and groom, then take the opportunity to look into unique and desirable items to avoid embarrassment when your friend ends up with five dinner sets.

Look into interior trends and flick through product pages for company products that catch your eye. For example, The French Bedroom Company have their new ‘LOVE’ letter lights, as seen in the Daily Express and HouseToHome.co.uk. Making the perfect and appropriate wedding present to remind the couple of their special day. They also have a great choice of other home accessories with popular shabby-chic and French style designs.

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As a simple rule of thumb, if you can find a luxury gift that will provide the couple with some form of memorabilia of their big day then you are definitely onto a winner.


The little one that makes way for the bride, with her rose petals or bubbles, needs to look stylish and ready to walk down the aisle too. A lot of times the bride dresses the flower girl in her eyes, but we also like little princesses dressed in beautiful colors. Take a peek!

Colorful Flower Girl DressesA dainty floral print is all this little one needed to steal everyone’s hearts.

Colorful Flower Girl DressesBright and vivacious, this dress is perfect for a harvest wedding.

Colorful Flower Girl DressesSometimes just a little color is needed to make a splash, like these lavender appliques.

  Colorful Flower Girl DressesThis hot pink design is perfect for a princess with personality!

Colorful Flower Girl Dresses

This dress screams spring and will make any little girl look like a beauty queen.

Colorful Flower Girl DressesLooking for something a bit more modern and preppy, try this blue patterned number.

Colorful Flower Girl DressesA dress doesn’t get any more beautiful than this blue, water-colored design.

Colorful Flower Girl DressesMake a scene with this beauty in red!

Colorful Flower Girl DressesSunny and full of playfulness, we are loving this simple yellow dress.

Colorful Flower Girl DressesFor something more romantic, try something a bit whimsical like this.

all photos via Brides

Modern Chinese Wedding

Find a cocktail that fits your theme and style, swoon over a tea-party-themed engagement shoot and check out tips on buying a house with your beau – this week is full of fun and information!

 

How to find your signature drink and serve the perfect cocktail to your guests! — Team Wedding

You’ll be swooning over this quirky, tea party-themed engagement shoot. — Wedding Chicks

Think outside-the-box with this sharp, modern Chinese wedding – and pay extra attention to the beautiful photography. — 100 Layer Cake

Be wowed by this bride’s epic, beautiful flower crown – it’s the hairpiece of a goddess! — Ruffled

An easy, inspirational how-to on wedding makeup with a natural, “just you” finish. — A Practical Wedding

Tips on buying a house for your new married life – check them out! — Team Wedding

Saying, “I do,” this winter? Take a peek at this ice castle styled wedding shoot! — Artfully Wed

We are loving this colorful, upbeat California wedding – and the family style seating. — Style Me Pretty

You’ve got to see this J Mendel collection of architectural designs – gorgeous wedding gowns to show off gorgeous, womanly figures! — Inside the Lovely

This vibrant (and colorful) wedding will knock your socks off. Can you tell we’re inspired by all things vivacious this week? — Boho Wedding

 

More: Top Wedding Blogs of 2014


Bridal Beauty Tips & Advice

In the midst of all the wedding planning and festivities, it’s hard to remember simple tasks like taking care of your cuticles and getting rid of those circles under your eyes. But, as a bride, it’s important that leading up to the day you say, “I do,” that you’re also carving out time to prepare your hair, skin and nails for all of the photos and memories. And once prepared, there are certain must-do’s and plans you need to make in order to have a fun, care-free and beautiful day of being the blushing bride. Jot down our 5 musts for every bride to conquer before she walks down the aisle, in her beautiful gown, towards her handsome groom.

1. Get your eyebrows waxed.

Bridal Beauty Tips & Advice

Even if you’re used to plucking your brows yourself, go for it. You don’t want any stray hairs popping up on the morning of and better yet, you won’t even have to pack a tweezers for the honeymoon. Your eyes are going to be the most important part of your bridal beauty. They’ll show every emotion in every photo and every glance at the groom, you want the frames (your eyebrows) to be ready for action! If you’re nervous, have them done for your bridal shower so you know what to expect and can figure out the best day to have them done before your date arrives.

2. Stay away from the sun.

Bridal Beauty Tips & Advice

In the weeks leading up to the wedding, stay out of the sunshine. You aren’t going to love having funky tan lines or sunburn on this special day, when all eyes are on you. And if you go to the tanning bed, we urge you to stop, the extra bit of color is not worth the damage you’re doing to your skin. Instead embrace your natural coloring and figure out what foundation and blush makes you radiate. With the right swipe of the makeup brush you can always add a bit of a sun-kissed glow without the risk of skin cancer, think about it.

3. Go with faux lashes.

Bridal Beauty Tips & Advice

Whether you have big eyes or almond-shaped, faux lashes are a must for every bride. They’ll open up your smile, they’ll pop in photos and you can find a variety of colors and sizes that make you feel comfortable. Make sure if you’re doing your makeup yourself that you have tons of practice before the big reveal and make sure you find lash glue that is waterproof (and dries clear). If you’re having a pro do your makeup, have them try on different styles and sizes so you know what to expect.

4. Make sure your hair is touchable.

Bridal Beauty Tips & Advice

So long are the days of hard and tight updos. Even if you decide to tie up your locks, make sure there’s a soft, romantic and touchable nature about the style. Brides are meant to be beautiful and whimsical, not fierce and uninviting. Unless your dress calls for a ballet bun, stay away from tough hairsprays and severe designs. Your wedding day calls for you to be the best version of yourself, and that means you need to be comfortable too!

5. Buy a new perfume.

Bridal Beauty Tips & Advice

You look the party, you feel the part .. well, you need to smell the part too! Splurge a little and buy yourself a brand new scent for your wedding day. Don’t use the same ole fragrance you’ve used since you started dating your fiance. Instead, surprise him with a new scent. You are his new wife, so it’s only natural you’ll want to debut a bit of newness as you walk down the aisle to say your vows.

 

all photos via Style Me Pretty


wedding checklist

photo credit: sinksanctity via photopin cc

Planning a wedding takes time and patience. This is especially true if you’re planning a large affair, but is equally applicable if you’re only planning on inviting a handful of people. It’s often the case that as you get deeper into your wedding preparations you’ll uncover more things which need to be attended to, and more problems which need to be solved. But there’s an easy way to make sure that you’ve covered every little thing, and that’s to create a comprehensive wedding checklist.

Creating a wedding checklist doesn’t necessarily mean sitting down for hours to record absolutely every task and item you’ll need for your big day. Instead, think of your checklist as a way to make sure that you remember the essentials. Keeping your checklist manageable is a great way to make sure your wedding is too, and there’s no better way to do this than to divide your list into three separate parts.

The Primary List

The essentials are those things that no wedding could do without. Your shortlist should include:

  • Rings
  • Invitations
  • Venues for both the ceremony and reception
  • Outfits for both partners
  • Your vows, if you’ve decided to write your own
stressed bride

photo credit: legdog via photopin cc

The Secondary List

Your secondary checklist should include items that, whilst not ‘essential’, would certainly make your wedding day more enjoyable. Some of these may be dependent upon the choices you’ve made for your primary list.

  • Outfits for the wedding party: bridesmaids, groomsmen etc.
  • Music. People often like to have a DJ or band, but a sound system will do equally well if you’re on a budget
  • Decorations, for the reception venue and dinner tables
  • Food and drink, if your reception venue is not catered
  • Furniture, if your venues are sparsely or un-furnished. Fortune Woods is a great place to get dining sets if you need to kit out your reception venue.

The Tertiary List

Finally, you may wish to include some of these optional extras just to give your wedding a bit more sparkle. But remember, these things are not essential. Attend to your primary list first, and only spend time on these items if everything else is organised.

  • Wedding favours. You will need to order these early, get them on your list.
  • Seating arrangements. If you don’t allocate seating, sensible people will still manage to sit down.
  • The cake. You may want one, but your wedding will still be marvellous if you don’t have one.
  • The photographer. Everyday cameras are of such a high quality these days that shelling out for a professional photographer isn’t as important as it once was.

 

 

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Buying someone a present can be tiresome, but when you need to buy presents for potentially hundreds of people, this task can seem overwhelming. Unfortunately, when it comes to wedding favours, this is exactly what you are doing. In case planning a wedding wasn’t tricky enough, your wedding favors need to hit exactly the right note or you might worry that your guests will go away feeling a little underwhelmed.

Customising Gifts for a Small Party

So, how do you go about finding just the right wedding favours? Firstly, it’s important to remember that wedding favours don’t all have to be the same. Of course, finding individual favours is much easier when you’re planning a small wedding, so if you intend to invite more than 30 people this probably isn’t the right option for you. However, if you are only planning on inviting a few select people, matching the gift to the guest will be made substantially easier.

To keep your preparations in check, and to make sure any one guest won’t feel less favoured than another, make sure you allocate a sensible budget to each purchase. No more than £10 a head would probably be considered reasonable.

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Planning for a Larger Wedding

If you’re planning a larger wedding you’ll probably be hoping that you can select one type of gift that will be appropriate for every person who receives it. By doing so, you can buy in bulk and make valuable savings with regards to your wedding budget. In this case, you could choose one of two options.

Mix and Match

Firstly, consider selecting a gift type that you can purchase using a ‘mix and match’ process. This means you’ll be able to purchase 100 individual gifts that are all different varieties of the same type. For example, Just Miniatures sells a superb range of different types of popular spirits which come in cute little miniatures that are perfect for the table. If you select, say, 8 different types, you could place one of each on a table as favours and give your guests the option of swapping if they don’t like their gift

Sentimental Gifts

Secondly, you might consider selecting a gift that will hold sentimental value for each person who attends your wedding. These could potentially take any form, such as a keychain containing your engagement photo, a silver spoon engraved with the date of your big day, or even something as simple as a spray of dried flowers of the same sort carried by the bride. Whatever you choose, each one of your guests will love it – not because it’s been chosen for them, but because it’s been chosen by you.


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