Desserts can be the most fun and looked forward to part of an entire meal. From holidays to birthdays, the final dish is always the focal point of the celebration. And that goes double for your wedding day. From classic to outside-the-box, there are several ways to go when you’re planning your reception meal and wanting to wow (and please) your guests. Here are 7 scrumptious and fun dessert ideas for your big day, grab some inspiration and start planning the sweetest addition to your celebration!

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A Classic Cake

Sometimes the best choice is the classic choice and that could be with a beautiful wedding cake filled with delicious flavors such as vanilla and buttercream. A gorgeous cake design can set the scene, match the wedding gown and create a focal point at the reception that every guests will gush over and eventually enjoy after dinner is served.

Wedding Day Dessert Ideas

Ice Cream Options

For spring and summertime, an ice cream bar may come to call. Miniature cones, your favorite flavors and some colorful sprinkles. It really is the perfect treat for an outdoor wedding and even the kiddos can get in on the action and enjoy the celebration. Besides, it can make quite the charming and adorable picture for the books!

Wedding Day Desserts

Cupcakes Everywhere

Whether it’s a tower, mini bites circulating the dance floor or those added to a dessert bar, cupcakes are just another way to say “wedding” in a more hip and create way. You can have multiple flavors and designs just by choosing to go with these small tastes and straying from the usual tiered cake.

Wedding Day Desserts

Milkshake Sips

Sometimes you don’t even have to chew your dessert but instead sips prevail. Blend up some milkshakes and pass them around the reception for a nice surprise and fun way of celebration. They’re also a great way to cap off the night. All you need is a chocolate chip cookie or other small bit to garnish the blend.

Wedding Day Desserts

Candy Galore

Have a blast picking out your favorite candies and then let your guests munch on them throughout the day. You can even put some grab bags out by the bowls of treats and allow your loved one to take different pieces home as favors and memories of your special day. Again, the kids of the party will love it and the adults won’t be able to get enough of it.

Wedding Day Desserts

Dessert Bar

My favorite option of the bunch is to go with a little bit of everything. And that means a dessert bar is on the horizon. Some cake, some mini eclairs, cupcake and even a bowl or two of candy could finish off your buffet of sweets! Your guests will love having the option of choosing from a variety of snacks!

Wedding Day Desserts

A Slice of Pie

Instead of a tiered cake, you can always go with several pies and serve the up in the same ways. Peach, cherry or chocolate, pies give off a great, homestyle feel while still being incredibly delicious and satisfying for everyone at the party. It’s the perfect choice for outdoor weddings, rustic-themes or even more country vibes.

all photos via SMP

When it comes to your wedding morning, you want to feel relaxed, pampered and ready to enjoy the day. From mimosas with your bridesmaids to a makeup artist by your side, there are plenty of ways to make yourself feel more comfortable and prepared. And that includes a special little something to slip into as you get your hair done and eyelashes applied. Let’s have a peek at some “getting ready” inspiration from real-life brides!

Getting Ready for the Wedding InspirationA special, floral piece with lacey accents is the perfect little something to slip into as you prepare for your garden-styled wedding.

Getting Ready for the Wedding InspirationSomething long, flowing and white may be your modern and beautiful choice.

Getting Ready for the Wedding InspirationHere’s another classic, floral robe that may be just what you’re looking for to get ready in the morning of your wedding.

Getting Ready for the Wedding InspirationA more classic choice, full of crisp whites and lace details will always be a very “bridal” version.

Getting Ready for the Wedding InspirationOf course, you could always pick a comfy, colorful option and match along with your ladies!

Getting Ready for the Wedding InspirationThe same goes for matching button-ups, you and your ladies could have some incredibly adorable photos!

Getting Ready for the Wedding InspirationOf course, a funky, outside-the-box option may be right up your alley as well. Whatever your comfortable in!

Getting Ready for the Wedding InspirationOr create a really special memory with miss-matched pieces for everyone to adorn.

Getting Ready for the Wedding InspirationOf course, cozy and charming tops and bottoms may be your most comfortable option.

Getting Ready for the Wedding InspirationChoose a button, have your initials monogrammed on and then let the bride stand out in a color of her own. It creates a bit more “special” for everyone!

all photos via SMP

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Your wedding period is a great time to buy jewelry that will become an heir loom to be passed through the generations. Imagine the pride of handing down a beautiful ring, or necklace to your daughter or daughter or law in thirty years’ time; knowing you have given her something beautiful, unique and valuable. Starting traditions doesn’t have to be the reserve of a fifty or a hundred years ago. You can start one now, and help to knit the future generations together.

In this piece we will look at how jewelry is valued, to help you understand some factors to consider when making your choice.

Jewelry is an art that has fascinated us for decades, creating artistic pieces that express human emotion through gemstones and precious metals. From a very young age humans are drawn to jewelry, because of the shine, sparkle and aesthetics. This draw towards jewelry drives us to create new pieces, and pay close to a small fortune for genuine antique jewelry pieces.

There are a variety of factors that influence the value of jewelry. These include the quality of the materials, the metal, design, and other history associated with the piece.

Stones

Gem quality has a great deal of impact on the value of a piece of jewelry. The color, cut, and clarity of an individual stone are the difference between being worth a pittance and a small fortune. Other rarities and inclusions in individual stones can make them unique, and greatly influence their value. When appraising an individual gemstone a gemologist will be incredibly useful because they will know all of the value factors influencing the price of a particular type of stone.

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Metals

The quality and purity of the metal used to make a piece of antique jewelry has a great deal of bearing on the value of the piece. In the case of gold this is expressed in Karats, and is usually stamped inside the jewelry. A 14K gold piece is only 58% pure while a 24K gold piece is 99.99% pure. It is also important to understand if this applies to the piece or the plating.

You can see more about Karat percentages on this page.

Designer

In the world of fashion and jewelry, the designer is a very important part of the value of a piece. Antique jewelry from famous collections designed by major fashion and jewel houses hold their value better than generic pieces of jewelry. Similar to buying new the purchaser is paying a premium for the brand associated with the jewelry. In general there is a strong market for high end “vintage” jewelry pieces, and while they will still be worth less than their original purchase price they will be worth more than most other pieces containing the same quality of stones and metal.

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Other History

It might surprise readers to learn a large part of the value of jewelry is based on its history and rarity. Some unique one of a kind pieces that are often described as priceless, are not worth a whole lot if they are sold for scrap. Their value lies not in their stones, and precious metals, but in the unique history of the piece. A great example of this is the Faberge collection made for the Russian monarchs. The unique one of a kind design, the end of the Russian monarchy, and the place in history occupied by the pieces has given them 99.9% of their value. Most of these priceless artifacts would scrap for less than one thousand pounds.

Most of all you need to buy something that you love and will cherish. It is your affection for the piece that will make it most special on your wedding day, and as it passes down from mother to daughter over the years.

Under all of those white, tulle skirts and creamy, lace trains you may find brides adorning their feet with beautiful, colorful and wedding-worthy shoes. And that’s why today is all about inspiring what you should be topping off those bridal tootsies with. Let’s take a peek!

Colorful Wedding Day ShoesThe turquoise beauties would top off a 1920′s styled ensemble with pop and pizzazz!

Colorful Wedding Day ShoesWe are swooning over these bubblegum pink, heart-printed pumps and they’re perfect for any bride.

Colorful Wedding Day ShoesA rich and smooth navy blue peep-toe could work for your contemporary and sophisticated wedding day look.

Colorful Wedding Day ShoesGold and glistening, these shoes work well for someone who wants a bit of eclecticism thrown into their look.

Colorful Wedding Day ShoesDo you not just love these bright red and hot pink flats? And how adorable would these be with a tea-length skirt?!

Colorful Wedding Day ShoesSimple with a sleek design, these traditional, satin beauties fit a variety of wedding day styles.

542f156c05793$!400xThese deep purple pumps are great for wintertime, but they’re also quite fun with star detailing.

Colorful Wedding Day ShoesBlush petals dressing your toes are just another romantic and delicate way to adorn the day.

Colorful Wedding Day ShoesPosh and prim, these striped cuties make for a great addition to a nautically-themed day or even those that like a preppier appeal.

Colorful Wedding Day ShoesThese Kate Spade classics work with a variety of dresses and bride alike!

all photos via SMP

Winter Bridal Session

There is so much great inspiration in this weeks’ roundup of the best of the best wedding blogs from the past week. From a snowy bridal photo shoot to wedding inspiration filled with organic beauty,  scroll through some of our favorites!

This snowy bridal session couldn’t be any more beautiful and romantic. — SMP

Have you ever thought of having a music themed wedding full of eclectic charm? They did and it was magical! — Green Wedding Shoes

How to ensure your wedding day makeup lasts all day long. — Rock’N’Roll Bride

Here’s a DIY that’s completely wedding-worthy and gorgeous, a floral backdrop for your ceremony of photo ops! –Wedding Chicks

Check out this list of creative, alternative bridal bouquets for the outside-the-box thinker. — One Wed

These bridesmaids dresses are gorgeous, versatile and will be complimentary on a variety of ladies. — Love My Dress

Kaviar Gouche’s 2015 Bridal Collection is absolutely stunning! — Swooned

9 entertainment ideas that will wow your guests. — Whimsical Wonderland Weddings

This spring floral wedding guide can definitely come in handy when planning your big day. — The Details

Take a peek at some naturally beautiful, organically-inspired wedding day inspiration! — Ruffled

Are you newly engaged and starting to plan your big day? After the shock wears off of that beautiful ring on your finger, the work can start to take its toll on you. The dress, the flowers, the food; it can be a bit much. But before all of that can happen you have to decide on the colors that will surround your wedding! From your bridal accents to the bridesmaids’ dresses to the reception decor, what shades will dress your celebration? Let’s take a peek at 5 of our favorite colors that are trending all around the creative world this year, from fashion to interior design to weddings, these are the must-have tones of 2015!

Ballet Pinks

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In years gone by it was all about blush pink – a shade with some golden tones attached. But now it’s all about a classic, soft pink – one I like to refer to as “ballet.” It’s girlish, it’s feminine and your florals will look like they’re from a fairy-tale story when dipped in this luminescent color. And when it comes to your wedding, you can never go wrong with a great pink – of any shade!

Cherry Reds

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Add easy pop and pizazz to your wedding day by accenting the space and yourself with a vibrant cherry red. Your shoes, the cocktails and even your ladies in waiting can be adorned with this vivacious and complimentary color. For a retro feel or even a chic and modern vision, this shade will do its job and wow your audience.

Seafoam Greens

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Not quite green and not quite blue, seafoam is a gorgeous color that you can dress up, dress down and feel good in and around. For a whimsical and romantic wedding, use this color to accent and set the scene without being over-the-top girly or kitschy. Just imagine your girls in this versatile color, or accenting your creamy, white gown!

Cobalt Blues

Just like a cherry red, the right shade of cobalt blue can bring bouts of vibrancy and life into a room or a celebration! Blue looks good on everyone and makes everyone feel better. It’s a favorite among the masses and you’d be surprised how beautiful a wedding will look with a bit of cobalt attached to it.

Mustard Yellows

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We certainly don’t recommend covering your entire wedding in mustard, but we do recommend accenting it! If you’re having a fall wedding, make sure your complimentary your cranberries, peaches, red and orange hues with a bright and sultry shade of mustard yellow. It provides a contrast and interest that will make your main colors pop and sparkle!

 

all photos via SMP

What to think about when choosing your bridesmaids

Have you yet to ask your girlfriends to be your bridesmaids and stand beside you at the altar when you say, “I do?” Are you trying to figure out who you actually want walking down the aisle with you on your big day? There’s a lot to think about when choosing your bridesmaids. From who will step up and be reliable and helpful, to not ruffling any feathers or hurting the feelings of the women in your life, this can be a terribly stressful part of the wedding planning process. But before you start to worry and tense, here are some quick and easy pointers on what to think about and how to choose your bridesmaids.

What to think about when choosing your bridesmaids

1. First things first, who will be your maid of honor? 

Before choosing your line of women, think about who will be your main lady. Will it be your sister, your fiance’s sister, your best friend or even your cousin? It’s important you decide this big decision first before you pick the rest of the pack. And before you start asking, make sure you’re very sure because you can’t rescind the invitation.

2. Talk about the number.

Do you really want 12 ladies standing by you at the altar? Or is three enough? It’s really important that you decide how much is too much or how few isn’t enough to account for everyone you love. If you’re having a very small and intimate wedding you may not want an overreaching bridal party. So, before you start asking, make sure the number of your party makes sense.

3. How important are their responsibilities?

If you want your maids to help you with everything from dress shopping to putting together DIY place settings, then make sure you’re asking reliable ladies. And that doesn’t mean in the finance department. Just because you think one of your besties can’t afford a new gown, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask her to be a part of your big day. Instead, make sure she knows that she’s wanted and you can either help her out or make sure she knows that you understand if its not doable right now. What’s more important is that you choose ladies that will help you out in a pinch.

4. Think outside-the-box. 

Not all “bridesmaids” have to be women. You don’t have to ask the traditional women in the your life if they aren’t the ones closest to you. So, if you’d like you brother to stand by your side or your best friend is a man, then don’t be afraid to ask him to be there for you! No, they don’t need to wear a gown but they can definitely be right there supporting you on one of the biggest days of your life.

5. Be confident in your choices.

Like we said above, you cannot rescind your invitation so make sure when you ask someone to be your bridesmaid that you are 100% confident in that decision. You don’t need to ask someone just because they asked you. You don’t need to ask someone because your mother or mother-in-law to be expects or wants you to. This is your day and you need to be comfortable in every choice you make.

 

What to think about when choosing your bridesmaids

 

 

all photos via SMP

Let’s face it — the last thing you want to do after your wedding is the daunting task of writing thank-you notes. It’s not that you’re unappreciative … you’re incredibly thankful for all the gifts and well wishes you received. It’s just that after months of wedding planning, doing another wedding-related job seems overwhelming.

Fortunately, writing thank-you notes doesn’t have to be a difficult, headache-inducing task. By following these simple tips, you could actually enjoy writing your thank-you notes!

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  • Realize this is your final responsibility: Here’s the best news: this is the last wedding-related task you have to complete. Once you get those thank-you cards in the mail, you can kick back and say goodbye to the stresses of wedding planning once and for all. The light is shining brightly at the end of the tunnel. You’re getting close. Just knock these thank-you notes out, and you’re done!
  • Be yourself: The great thing about writing thank-you notes is that you have the opportunity to be truly sincere. You don’t need to worry about being so formal as you do with wedding invitations and other wedding-related tasks. Just speak from the heart. Let the person know how grateful you are for their gift, and refer to how you’ll use it and benefit from it. When you get the chance to write from your heart, it’s a lot easier and lot more fun.
  • Get your spouse involved: Ready for more good news? You don’t have to write all the thank-you notes yourself! That’s right, your spouse can step in and help shoulder the burden. Working on this project together lightens the load and it gives you a chance to work side-by-side in harmony. You can divide it up however you wish, but the easiest way is to typically have each person write the thank-you notes to his or her friends and family.
  • Take your time: You don’t have to rush out of the ceremony and immediately start writing your thank-you notes. You have time to complete the task. Set it aside for a while and enjoy the start of your new life together with your partner. Etiquette dictates that you have two to three months after the wedding date to get your thank-you notes sent out. That’s plenty of time, so there’s no crazy rush.
  • Do a little at a time: You may have hundreds of thank-you notes to send out for your wedding, but don’t let that overwhelm you. Instead of trying to tackle that huge task all at once, set a goal of doing a small batch of thank-you cards each day. Doing a little at a time makes it much easier and less stressful, and it allows you to really devote your attention to each card you’re writing, ensuring it is personal and sincere.

 

See, writing thank-you notes isn’t so hard after all. With these tips, you can even have a little fun with it!

By Megan Velez, DestinationWeddings.com

While it may take some extra effort to plan, a destination wedding is guaranteed to be a trip to remember! Whether tying the knot in Bermuda or Italy, destination weddings come with special considerations in addition to your general wedding responsibilities. Three of these are particularly critical to a successful day: packing wisely, completing all necessary documentation in advance, and notifying your guests early.

Pack with a Plan

It’s safe to say that your destination wedding day is not the day you want to realize you left something at home, or that the airline lost your luggage. Carry on your most important wedding day items keeping things as compact as possible to meet airline requirements. Do not forget your computer, phone, and the chargers needed for all electronics, but also keep an emergency paper copy of the contact information for your most important service providers with you at all times. Make (and stick to!) a list for your checked luggage as well. You can never be too prepared.

hawaii destination wedding

photo credit: paradise via photopin (license)

Speaking of Copies…

Weddings, especially the destination variety, involve an immense amount of documentation, much of which is absolutely essential for you to enjoy a stress-free, magical day. Make sure you bring all of your important information including:

  • Your passport and a photocopy in case it is lost or stolen
  • Your flight, hotel, and transportation confirmation numbers and reservation details
  • Emergency contact information for friends and family back home
  • Copies of vendor contracts, agreements, and other important wedding details
  • Copies of your receipts for any bulk items like wedding favors and welcome gifts you may be traveling with
  • Medical and travel insurance details and prescription information
  • Marriage certificates and proof of dissolution of previous marriages if applicable

Remembering to bring this documentation can make the difference between a trouble-free wedding and a nightmare situation.

bali wedding

photo credit: Sundara via photopin (license)

Save-the-Dates Actually Save the Day

Booking travel to attend your wedding is a major expense and commitment for your guests. Arranging time off from employment and other responsibilities is as well. This is especially the case with destination weddings, which is why the typical wedding stationery timeline doesn’t exactly apply to you.

Instead of the traditional 6-9 month time frame, allow your friends and loved ones to make the best possible arrangements by sending your Save the Date notices as soon as you know that your date and venue are secure.  Include any travel information that you feel they might need, like major nearby airports, and basic time and date guidelines.  Information regarding dress code would also be appreciated, as well as locations and times for all wedding events. Considering including initiating a group activity? Include this option tentatively on the save-the-date to gauge interest.

A fun and popular solution to this is to send out e-Save-the-Dates. These can be fully customizable to include colors and themes of wherever you will be saying ‘I do!’

Don’t take anything for granted when planning your destination wedding. Attend to the details and you’ll ensure yourselves one completely memorable and fabulous day.

 

Megan Velez is the Vice President of Product at DestinationWeddings.com, the world’s leading destination wedding and romantic travel planning company. DestinationWeddings.com has worked with over 20,000 couples and half a million guests to plan dream destination weddings. For more information, visit DestinationWeddings.com

 

Planning a wedding? If you are a bride planning a wedding, you know just how stressful things can be. From selecting a venue, organizing the seating chart, sending out invitations, selecting a color theme, tasting the cake, finding wedding music for your first dance as the new Mr. and Mrs., and choosing the perfect wedding dress, planning a wedding can sometimes be a bit hectic! After all, this is the day you have dreamt about since you were a little girl. So it is imperative that you want everything to be perfect.

During these stressful times, the bride will need a helping hand. This is where the role of the bridesmaids come in! Yes, they have their traditional duties to perform in the months leading up to the wedding day. But these girls will also be the ones standing next to your side as you give your vows before the altar! And these are the girls who will calm your nerves in the days and hours leading up to the ceremony.

So if you are a bride planning your big day, you do not want to forget to show your appreciation to your favorite ladies! The perfect way to say ‘thank you’ is to host a luncheon that is in their honor.

Here are some simple steps on how to plan a bridesmaid luncheon:

1. Select a Date:

If any of your bridesmaids will be traveling from afar to attend your wedding, then you will want to host the luncheon a just few days before the wedding date. This way, travel accommodations can be made ahead of time to attend both the luncheon and the wedding ceremony and reception.

2. Choose a Venue:

A bridesmaid luncheon is a small affair with just the girls. So you want to make sure that the setting evokes intimacy. Most bridesmaid luncheons are hosted out of the home or at a favorite restaurant. Other venue ideas include spa resorts, wine vineyards or tea houses.

 

3. Compose a Guest List:

Once the date and venue are selected, now is the time to compose the guest list. The bridesmaid luncheon will be attended by the bridesmaids, the Jr. bridesmaids and the maid or matron of honor. The guest list may also include mothers, aunts, grandmothers, close friends and any person who has played a special role in the planning of your wedding day.

 

4. Send Out Invitations

With the guest list ready, you are able to shop for bridesmaid luncheon invitations. The invitations set the tone of your special affair. So you want to make sure to send out invitations that are of quality with a personalized message. Creations by Leslie carries a beautiful plethora of custom printed bridesmaid luncheon invitations that are filled with elegance and charm and that are sure to embrace the significance of the day.

 

5. Purchase Bridesmaid Gifts

Because of their hard work and dedication, the bridesmaid luncheon creates the perfect opportunity to hand out your bridesmaid gifts to all of the girls. With each gift, you may hand write a personal note thanking them for participating in your special day. One great idea is to give out gifts that match the theme of your luncheon, such as tea cups for an afternoon tea or potted plants for a garden luncheon.

 

wedding checklist things you forget

With so much happening before a wedding, it’s easy to let little things and even big tasks fall by the proverbial wayside. If you’re paranoid about forgetting something, or a bunch of things, check out the following checklist of “big and small” tasks to remind yourself of what still needs handling:

Printed Items

  • Invitations
  • Place cards
  • Cake bags
  • Thank-you notes

 

Reception and Wedding Venue Stuff

  • Disabled access–for friends and family in wheelchairs, etc.
  • Maximum number–find out the maximum amount of people the venue can accommodate
  • Safety–learn where the fire exits are and any other safety precautions you should know about at your chosen venue
  • Liabilities–know what you’ll be liable for should anything at the venue get damaged
  • Meal choices–who at your wedding is vegetarian or vegan? Has food allergies? Is going gluten-free?

 

Bride and Bridesmaids

  • Hair and Makeup–do a trial run or two with your chosen hairstylist/makeup artist, and ensure the person knows where to go on your big day
  • Dresses–whatever you decide on for yourself and your bridesmaids, it’s best to go with options that flatter everyone’s figure, even if it means different dresses in the same hue
  • Underwear–make certain no one’s underwear peaks out if dresses are low-cut!
  • Shoes–if you aren’t picky about shoes, ask your bridesmaids to buy what they want in the same color
  • Garter–you’ll need this!
  • Earrings–check which bridesmaids have their ears pierced before ordering
  • Necklaces–don’t forget them!

 

Groom and Groomsmen

  • Rent or buy–sometimes it costs just as much to rent them, so decide what you want early on
  • Cummerbunds–have them made if renting the suits

 

Cake

  • Type–decide what kind of cake you want, and if you want the tiers to be different
  • Knives–necessary for cutting the cake! Use any knife you like, or a special cake knife

 

Flowers

  • Bride and bridesmaid flowers
  • Corsages and posies–groom, groomsmen, mother of the bride
  • Arrangements–for church or reception
  • Flower disposal–have fresh flowers pressed or framed if desired
  • Extra bouquet–if you plan to throw the bouquet, do you want to use yours or a spare?

 

The Wedding

  •  Chairs–necessary for an outdoor or hall wedding
  • Flowers–decorations for the front of the venue
  • Chair decorations–either on the pews, or back of the chairs
  • Cushions–if you and your groom plan on kneeling at anytime

 

Reception

  • Table decorations
  • Tablecloth and chair covers
  • Music
  • Cake
  • Favors
  • Wedding photo album–want it available for guests to sign?
  • Favors
  • Gifts–wedding registry? Gift preferences?
  • Table plans
  • Place cards–so guests can find their seats without issue

 

Photographs

  • Location–decide on the time and place for pictures, preferably somewhere close to the reception
  • Video–want to do a professional wedding video, or no?
  • Props–are you using any special keepsakes or other items in your photos?
  • Money–ensure you have enough money for payment!!

 

Transportation

  • Bridal car–for you and your dad, then you and your hubby
  • Bridesmaid car–for the bridesmaids and flower girl
  • Groom car–for the groom and his guys
  • Honeymoon car–the car you and your hubby take your leave in
  • Guests without Transport–make arrangements for elderly relatives and others without transportation
  • Car ribbon–make your own or find one online

 

Bridal Bag

  • Bridal party mobile phones/purses
  • White chalk–for covering white dress stains
  • Needle and thread
  • White and colored ribbon–for any hair issues
  • Double-sided tape
  • Safety pins
  • Tampons
  • Hairspray
  • Extra makeup
  • Antihistamines
  • Breath mints/dental floss
  • Bobby pins
  • Wet wipes
  • Perfume
  • Deodorant

 

Important Peeps

Don’t forget about these people!!

  • Officiant
  • Wedding planner
  • Emcee
  • Ushers
  • Photographer

 

Honeymoon

  • Transportation
  • Clothing
  • Tickets/passports/travel info

 

Additional Stuff

  • Wishing well–for cards/money from guests
  • Gifts
  • Ring cushion
  • Rings
  • Thank-you cards
  • Rental items
  • Cleanup, payment, gift pickup

 

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There is so much amazing inspiration on the plate this week in our roundup! Relax and scroll through all the beauty!

Gorgeous, Oscar-worthy wedding gowns – check out the slideshow! — SMP

You’ve got to see these gorgeous, bohemian bridsmaids gowns from For the Love of Lace! — Green Wedding Shoes

This Valentine’s Day wedding is charming, gorgeous and o so romantic! — Whimsical Weddings

An intimate garden wedding is the perfect inspiration to start your spring planning. — 100 Layer Cake

Trust us, you’ve never seen anything more romantic than this mountaintop proposal. — Junebug

Mythology-inspired wedding gowns – yep – you’ve got to hop on over and see them! — Swooned

Valentine’s Day may have passed but all those who just got engaged may need some inspiration from these boards. — Knotsvilla

A vintage wedding gown and beautiful, unique peach-toned bridesmaids dresses – go look! — Love My Dress

This loft wedding has so many charming details and romantic accents. — The Perfect Palette

Are you having a small wedding? Here’s  some quick tips and tricks to help you out! — TWS

 

No doubt, the dress is the detail of all details. One of the most magical moments of the big day is when guests gasp at the first glimpse of the gown. Every bride knows how she wants to look, how she wants to feel and how she wants to be remembered. In 2014, brides turned to ultra-girly, fairytale-worthy styles. We saw pink, ruffles, lace, ball gowns, sleeves and tulle — all dream-worthy dresses.

Here are a few of our favorite looks from 2014: 

1. BEAUTIFUL BALL GOWNS: Designers (Hayley Paige in particular) are mid-ball gown renaissance. But the new era of ball gowns swaps the typical bell shape for sweeping bends, ruffles and full, bouncy skirts synched by embellished bodices. Truly princess-like, there’s nothing like how a ball gown cascades from the altar, twirls during the first dance and creates a memorable exit in the getaway car.

Bridal Gowns, Wedding Dresses by Hayley Paige - Style HP6413 i just wish the top was a sweetheart or just less modest

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2. ILLUSION NECKLINES: What’s even sexier than baring it all? Not baring it all — as evidenced by one of last year’s biggest trends — illusion necklines. Both dainty and demure, the thin veil of fabric characteristic of this style gives just a peek of the bride’s décolletage. A classy look that’s hard to compete with.

Illusion Neckline. Lace Bodice. Watters Wedding Gown.  See more of the wedding here: http://www.StyleMePretty.com/2014/05/15/whimsical-downtown-los-angeles-wedding/  Photography: AshleyKelemen.com

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3. BLUSHING BEAUTY: Yes, brides were still majorly crushing on blush in 2014, a trend we think will continue to gain momentum as more and more brides feel empowered to step outside of the traditional ‘white’ box. We’re no longer just talking about a blush underlay, either. Ruffles, embellishments and tulle have all turned rosy, making dresses (like the ones below) feel like fluffy French pastries floating through the air. For us, it’s no longer a crush on blush. We’re in love.

How to Wear a Blush Wedding Dress

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4. DROPPED WAIST & LACE: Last year, the era of mermaid/trumpet/dropped waist-style dresses went strong. Also big? LACE. Brides are continuing to lust after the traditional trim. We love how Spanish designer Pronovias uses lace on the dress below, trickling down the modified ball gown skirt and fluttering above the dipped neckline.

Pronovias Oberti 2014

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5. TWO PIECES: Was it just us, or was 2014 the year of the crop-top comeback? Enter two-piece wedding ensembles. Fashionista Olivia Palermo made waves with the two-piece trend when she sported the look for her own nuptials last year. We love this fun and flirty take on bridal fashion — it’s edgy and modern yet still feels bridal. We expect the two-piece trend will be even hotter in 2015.

Photo Fridays | Seaside Boudoir Session

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Having a Small Wedding? Read This!

Looking to “go small” with your wedding? “Small wedding” is a relative term, as some consider “small” to be under 200 people, while for others it’s less than 30! Few or no attendants are also associated with small weddings. If interested in throwing a small wedding with only close family and friends, check out a few tips for getting the party started:

Dealing With Reactions

Before anything else, you’ll be alerting friends and family about your decision. Some will find the concept of a small ceremony delightful, while others may complain or feel left out about no attendants and the like. This doesn’t mean you have to change your plans, but it does help to deal with everyone in a polite and respectful way. If you know certain friends and family members have been excited about your wedding for a long time, you can find ways to include them in the ceremony and reception while still keeping things on the small side. This includes readings, official “Mr. and Mrs.” announcements, and anything else you want to do. Remember, it’s your wedding, so do what you want!!

 

Ceremony and Rehearsal Ideas

Have your wedding in a small church and banquet hall, or opt for commercial venues, such as hotels that don’t mind hosting parties of 120 people or less. Restaurants, gardens, bed and breakfast locations, historic homes, meditation chapels, historic inns, trains, boats and museums also work. Home rehearsal dinners and weddings are ideal if “going small,” and they’re cheaper! You will have to rent chairs and tables if you opt for home events, however.

 

Destination weddings are perfect if inviting only a few people, with options including Mexico, the Caribbean and Martha’s Vineyard.

More Ceremony Ideas

Check out a few small ceremony suggestions:

  • Do a wine and cheese “hour” instead of a processional, and give a toast to start the event.
  • Provide friends and family with one flower each and have them line the aisle.
  • Consider having everyone stand for the ceremony in lieu of attendants.
  • Entrust one or more family members with readings.
  • Incorporate family or ethnic traditions as desired.
  • Turn your program into a keepsake and include messages to guests.
  • Be your own usher along with your groom.
  • Encourage guests to use entire pages of the guestbook.

 

Reception Ideas

Some reception ideas for small weddings:

  • Have a wedding “supper” at a restaurant instead of a reception.
  • Rent a trolley, carriage or other interesting transportation option for guests.
  • Have your photographer capture moments with guests–all of them.
  • Have a tour guide show guests to the reception area if it’s in a historic home or inn.
  • Hire a harpist or other unusual musical performer.
  • Prepare a slide show of photos from childhood up until your meeting.

 

Wisdom From Others

Use the following tips from others who went the small wedding route!

“At some small weddings, the entire congregation has been invited to stand at the side of the bride and groom during the exchange of vows. Another thing that personalizes a wedding would be to ask each member of the congregation to say a few words about the couple – wishing them well, or telling a sweet story about them.” –Anna S.

“My sister had a small wedding for her second marriage (which was her husband’s first). They were married at a winery in a banquet room that the winery had in the back of their facilities. The room had floor to ceiling windows all around the outside walls. Since they though a simple ceremony was in order, they hired a justice of the peace to perform the ceremony, which included a part where a family necklace was giving to my nephew by his new stepdad. My sister carried flowers and wore a very simple white dress (just past the knees in length). There was one attendant on each side. Both the best man and the groom wore simple grey suits that they owned and I, as maid of honor, wore a pink dress that my mom made for the occasion. I also carried a simple bouquet. They had a photographer, but no videographer.” –Kara W.

“You might check out the Martha Stewart Entertaining book for some ideas. While the book is kind of dated (1980s), it will give you some idea as to how to have a non-traditional wedding & reception.” –Rachel P.

“[Try a] beach wedding…with NO beach! Happened in the San Joaquin Valley, between San Francisco and Tahoe. No sand or water, but the “strict” dress code was shorts and a hawaiian print shirt for the men, and anything “springy” with a similar print for the women.”–David J., a wedding planner

 

Top 100 Love Songs for Your Wedding

top 100 love songs for wedding

 

Need to pick a super-romantic playlist for the Big Day? Check out the top 100 love songs for weddings, including classics, pop hits and those cheesy tunes you know you love! Enjoy:

1 Let’s Get It On 1973 Marvin Gaye
2 The Rose 1980 Bette Midler
3 Love Me Tender 1956 Elvis Presley
4 Thank You 1999 Dido
5 More Than Words 1990 Extreme
6 Building A Mystery 1997 Sarah McLachlan
7 It’s Only Love 1977 The Beatles
8 Let’s Stay Together 1972 Al Green
9 You’re The First, The Last, My Everything 1975 Barry White
10 I’ll Be There 1970 The Jackson 5
11 Nothing Compares 2 U 1990 Sinead O’Connor
12 I Got You Babe 1965 Sonny & Cher
13 Wicked Game 1989 Chris Isaak
14 Wonderful Tonight 1978 Eric Clapton
15 Faithfully – 1983 Journey 1964 The Beatles
16 And I Love Her – 1964 The Beatles And I Love Her 1979 Cheap Trick
17 I Want You To Want Me 1984 George Michael/Wham!
18 Careless Whisper 1971 The Carpenters
19 Superstar 1971 The Carpenters
20 I Will Always Love You 1992 Whitney Houston
21 Endless Love 1981 Diana Ross & Lionel Richie
22 I Would Die 4 U 1984 Prince
23 Always 1987 Atlantic Starr
24 That’s The Way Love Goes 1993 Janet Jackson
25 Maybe I’m Amazed 1970 Paul McCartney
26 P.S. I Love You 1964 The Beatles
27 Alison 1977 Elvis Costello
28 Your Song 1971 Elton John
29 Wild Thing 1966 The Troggs
30 Feelings 1975 Morris Albert
31 Fallin’ 2001 Alicia Keys
32 Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic 1981 The Police
33 I’ll Make Love To You 1994 Boyz II Men
34 Time After Time 1984 Cyndi Lauper
35 This Boy 1964 The Beatles
36 Best Of My Love 1977 The Emotions
37 She’s Got A Way 1971 Billy Joel
38 I’d Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) 1993 Meat Loaf
39 Three Times A Lady 1978 The Commodores
40 It Must Have Been Love 1986 Roxette
41 I Just Want To Be Your Everything 1977 Andy Gibb
42 First Time Ever I Saw Your Face 1972 Roberta Flack
43 Nobody Wants To Be Lonely 2000 Ricky Martin
44 Unchained Melody 1965 The Righteous Brothers
45 I Need Love 1987 LL Cool J
46 Love To Love You Baby 1976 Donna Summer
47 I Want To Know What Love Is 1985 Foreigner
48 My Heart Will Go On 1997 Celine Dion
49 Eternal Flame 1988 The Bangles
50 How Do I Live 1997 LeAnn Rimes
51 Baby, I Love Your Way 1976 Peter Frampton
52 Hero 2001 Enrique Iglesias
53 Roxanne 1978 Sting & The Police
54 Tell Me What You See 1965 The Beatles
55 I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing 2002 Aerosmith
56 Here And Now 1989 Luther Vandross
57 Don’t Speak 1995 No Doubt
58 Crazy For You 1987 Madonna
59 Stop To Love 1986 Luther Vandross
60 Total Eclipse Of The Heart 1983 Bonnie Tyler
61 How Deep Is Your Love 1978 The Bee Gees
62 Heartbreak Hotel 1956 Elvis Presley
63 I’ll Follow The Sun 1964 The Beatles
64 Open Arms 1982 Journey
65 Breathe 1999 Faith Hill
66 You’re The One That I Want 1978 John Travolta w/ Olivia Newton-John
67 Happy Together 1967 The Turtles
68 I’ll Stand By You 1994 The Pretenders
69 You Don’t Bring Me Flowers 1979 Barbra Streisand w/ Neil Diamond
70 All Out Of Love 1980 Air Supply
71 Secret Garden 1995 Bruce Springsteen
72 We Belong 1985 Pat Benatar
73 Un-break My Heart 1996 Toni Braxton
74 I Will 1968 The Beatles
75 You’re In My Heart 1978 Rod Stewart
76 This I Promise You 2000 NSYNC
77 Unforgettable 1991 Natalie Cole f/ Nat King Cole
78 I’ll Be There For You 1989 Bon Jovi
79 Girl 1965 The Beatles
80 All Cried Out 1986 Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam w/ Full Force
81 Iris 1998 Goo Goo Dolls
82 More Than A Feeling 1976 Boston
83 By Your Side 2000 Sade
84 If I Fell 1964 The Beatles
85 Love Will Keep Us Together 1975 Captain & Tennille
86 Never Tear Us Apart 1988 INXS
87 I Feel For You 1984 Chaka Khan
88 Alone 1987 Heart
89 I Can’t Make You Love Me 1991 Bonnie Raitt
90 Woman 1981 John Lennon
91 Here There And Everywhere 1966 The Beatles
92 You Are The Sunshine Of My Life 1973 Stevie Wonder
93 (Everything I Do) I Do It For You 1991 Bryan Adams
94 You’re Still The One 1997 Shania Twain
95 You Are So Beautiful 1975 Joe Cocker
96 Always On My Mind 1982 Willie Nelson
97 Because You Loved Me 1996 Celine Dion
98 Melt With You 1983 Modern English
99 Save The Best For Last 1991 Vanessa Williams
100 Words Of Love 1964 The Beatles

DIY Floral Ampersand

A gorgeous wedding dress and charming DIY, here’s our quick roundup of the best of the wedding world – in our eyes – from the past week!

Cocktails & mocktails for your Valentine’s Day celebration! — Top Wedding Sites

Check out this gorgeous, DIY tutorial on how to create your own floral ampersand! — Style Me Pretty

Here’s some beautiful, bohemian Valentine’s Day wedding inspiration! — Ruffled

This historical, theatre wedding has so much personality and special touches, we had to share. — Green Wedding Shoes

A Spanish palace wedding full of romance and cozy details, take a peek! — Intimate Weddings

Get inspired with this list of the BEST wedding venues in the world. — Junebug Weddings

Grab this free download for a charming Save the Date now! — Whimsical Wonderland Weddings

The only 5 things that need to be on your Save the Dates. — Kiss My Tulle

You’ve got to hop on over and see this new wedding gown from Watters! — Grey Likes Weddings

Valentine’s Day-inspired wedding gowns – from blush to glam! — Top Wedding Sites 

If you’re saying, “I do,” on February 14th then your bridesmaids should pay homage to the date just as much as you do! From pink hues to the most charming party dresses, we’re sharing some of the most perfect Valentine’s Day inspired bridesmaids gowns!

Valentine's Day Bridesmaids GownsRed and gorgeous, it’s obvious why this gown would be a great choice for your ladies to dawn on your V-day wedding day!

Valentine's Day Bridesmaids GownsOffset your own red or pink bridal gown with these sassy party dresses, they’ll sure look great on the dance floor!

Valentine's Day Bridesmaids GownsA beautiful gown for your beautiful bridesmaids, this classic silhouette will fit the bill of your formal and luxurious Valentine’s wedding day.

Valentine's Day Bridesmaids GownsIf you’re looking for a brighter color, look no further than this popping pink for your ladies to dawn.

Valentine's Day Bridesmaids GownsImagine these chic numbers lining your ceremony filled with Valentine’s Day nods and accents.

Valentine's Day Bridesmaids GownsSparkle is closely associated with the holiday of love, so why not have your girls sparkling?

Valentine's Day Bridesmaids GownsFull of fun and full of passion, this red-dipped beauty is the perfect choice for your Valentine’s Day celebration.

Valentine's Day Bridesmaids GownsMake a bold statement by choosing this ombre selection for your ladies to wear. What better date to do it on?

Valentine's Day Bridesmaids GownsFull of movement and with a giant floral accent, we believe this gown screams Valentine’s Day.

Valentine's Day Bridesmaids GownsTake a good look at this pretty piece and you’ll see roses all around. It’s definitely worthy of this holiday!

all photos via Brides

If you’re having a wedding with a Valentine’s Day theme is mind, you’ve got to spread that style around to the entire wedding party! And that includes the flower girl. Take a peek at these dresses that would fit perfectly right into your Valentine’s Day celebration.

Valentine's Day Flower Girl DressesThe soft pink hue and silver detailed bodice makes for a romantic, delicate and beautifully Valentine’s Day-styled flower girl dress.

Valentine's Day Flower Girl DressesSprinkled with flower petals on the skirt, this dress is a great piece to wear when you’re scattering petals for the bride down the aisle.

Valentine's Day Flower Girl DressesWe are loving this pink beauty and the floral texture that surrounds the bottom hem.

Valentine's Day Flower Girl DressesThis bohemian, whimsical beauty sure fits into a romantic and ethereal Valentine’s Day theme.

Valentine's Day Flower Girl DressesIf you’re having a fairy-tale wedding on the official day of love, then take a second look at this Victorian number.

Valentine's Day Flower Girl DressesA high-low hemline will surely give off a princess vibe, and if the bride’s a princess on her wedding day, the flower girl may want to embrace that too!

Valentine's Day Flower Girl DressesA red sash and under-layer makes this lace dress a great fit for a Valentine theme.

Valentine's Day Flower Girl DressesChic and gorgeous, look at this beautiful, blushing hemline and see how it fits right into a February 14th celebration.

Valentine's Day Flower Girl DressesDo we really have to explain why this adorable design was made to be worn on Valentine’s Day?

Valentine's Day Flower Girl Dresses

This chic and clean dress is a great way to dress your little one is style while still be able to accessorize to your vision.

 

all photos via Brides

Valentine’s Day is full of blushing pinks, sexy reds, textural princess style and swirling bouts of romance and glam. And that’s just what these wedding gowns all have in common. Let’s take a look at some dresses inspired by the day when you’re supposed to say, “I love you.”

Valentine's Day Wedding GownsA some pink, an elegant silhouette and a bit of Grace Kelley sewn right in, this whimsical gown will surely pay homage to the day devoted to love.

Valentine's Day is full of blushing pinks, sexy reds, texture princess style and swirling bouts of romance and glam. And that's just what these wedding gowns all have in common. Let's take a look at some dresses inspired by the day when you're supposed to say, "I love you." Pink hues round our this gorgeous tulle skirt and beaded bodice, fit for a princess bride!

Valentine's Day is full of blushing pinks, sexy reds, texture princess style and swirling bouts of romance and glam. And that's just what these wedding gowns all have in common. Let's take a look at some dresses inspired by the day when you're supposed to say, "I love you." Sexy and hypnotic, we love how this piece pays homage to all of those roses you’ll be receiving on February 14th.

Valentine's Day Inspired Wedding gownsThis gown is soft, delicate, flattering and would look amazing with some cherry red accents, don’t you think?

Valentine's Day Inspired Wedding gownsGo bold with this bridal beauty. The red print and the sexy silhouette definitely gives a nod to Valentine’s Day style.

Valentine's Day Inspired Wedding gownsSparkle down the aisle in this glamorous gown, topped with a sweetheart neckline and daring, slender shape.

Valentine's Day Inspired Wedding gownsA peachy punch makes this textural gown an absolute stunner in the wedding world.

Valentine's Day Inspired Wedding gownsAnother blushing beauty we had to feature, the soft pink makes this mermaid gown pop!

Valentine's Day Inspired Wedding gownsShow off your shape and your accessorizing talent with this pure and clean wedding gown. Notice the feathers on the skirt giving a bit of interesting texture and romantic appeal.

Valentine's Day Inspired Wedding gownsOne of the most romantic and ethereal of the bunch, this gown looks as if it was made to be seen on Valentine’s Day.

all photos via Brides

With a Valentine’s Day wedding, you’ve got to get into the spirit of the festivity! From the color scheme to the favors for the guests, you’ve got to get creative and infuse the flavor and style of the day into your celebration. And with these signature cocktails and mocktails your guests will enjoy every bit of the holiday!

Cranberry-Citrus Mocktail w/ Mint

Valentine's Day Signature DrinksOf course you can jazz this up to make an easy cocktail, but we love how you can take these fun flavors and make them available for everyone to enjoy. And the color is perfection, don’t you think?

Heart-y Mix

Valentine's Day Signature DrinksIsn’t this cocktail beautiful? Your guests will swoon when their drinks land in their hands with a heart accent right atop! And to give you a hint at the flavor, lemon juice, an egg white and some gin are just three of the ingredients!

Cran-Raspberry Spritzer

Valentine's Day Signature DrinksGive your guests something “pretty in pink,” just like the recipe suggests! This is a great treat for non-drinkers, kids and the happy couple to sip all throughout the entire celebration.

Red Lemon

Valentine's Day Signature DrinksThis sexy cocktail is perfect for a late night celebration on the dance floor. Do you want to know what the secret ingredient is? Tequila!

Love Potion

Valentine's Day Signature DrinksVanilla vodka and raspberry syrup give this frothy beauty a life of its own. It’ll blend right into the day’s events and be a surprising taste for all your guests to try.

Raspberry Rose Fizz

Valentine's Day Signature DrinksRose-infused cocktails are always a wonderful addition and surprise for your guests. And it’s especially nice if you’re looking for something light, feminine and Valentine’s Day inspired!

Grapefruit & Pomegranate Soda

Valentine's Day Signature DrinksGive your non-alcoholic drinkers a zesty and spriteful taste with this delicious mocktail. Grapefruit juice, pomegranate juice, sparkling mineral water and a few dashes of bitters make this mix work its magic.

Mini Red Velvet Milkshake

Valentine's Day Signature DrinksEveryone will be talking about your signature drink of the day when it involved dessert too! Besides, are these red velvet cuties not the most charming-looking treats?

Classic Shirley Temple

Valentine's Day Signature DrinksA classic Shirley Temple is the perfect sip to set the mood of February 14th, give the kiddos something fun to drink and a refreshing taste for guests that don’t dive into alcohol. You’ve got to have options!

Blood Orange Rosemary Spritzer

Valentine's Day Signature DrinksFor a more sophisticated, grown-up taste .. without the alcohol, take a peek at this recipe! It’s a classy take on the day’s events and stylish enough to fit in too.

Bronte Inspired Real Wedding

There are some great lists of inspiration on today’s roundup! Take a look at our favorites from this past week’s wedding world and grab some ideas!

 

A peek at 10 versatile and complimentary bridesmaids gowns – you can’t go wrong with any choice! — Top Wedding Sites

The wedding is a must-see, but so is the gorgeous pink wedding gown! — Ruffled

Take a look at this beautiful, springtime wedding inspiration with just the right amount of casual, relaxed style. — Green Wedding Shoes

Here are some of the best and most beautiful flower crowns for brides! — Rock’N’Roll Bride

18 wedding day bridal shoes to get your wheels turning for your day of ensemble. — Knots Villa

15 things to make sure you get done the week of your wedding! Don’t forget! — Top Wedding Sites

Some more great examples of destination wedding gowns that will WOW! — One Wed

This wedding was inspired by Bronte novels and romantic gestures, you’ve got to peruse the photos! — Whimsical Wonderland Weddings

Dress your leading ladies with an art deco-inspired style and grab inspiration here! — Artfully Wed

Check out these 10 fabulous wedding cake ideas for the new year! — Top Wedding Sites

Use your February 14th  wedding to express your love for love and your other half! But also use it to express your personal style, like with these unique and festive bouquets and floral arrangements.

Valentine's Day Wedding Bouquets and FlowersA bit dramatic and bold with all the sexiness Valentine’s Day has to offer, this bouquet is a knockout.

Valentine's Day Wedding Bouquets and FlowersQuaint and modern, these little arrangement are the perfect addition to a more contemporary night.

Valentine's Day Wedding Bouquets and FlowersLush and full and still very much a winter bouquet, the red roses don’t get lost or overwhelm in the design.

Valentine's Day Wedding Bouquets and FlowersPink, gorgeous and a very simply beautiful, it’s perfect for those with a more subdued taste.

Valentine's Day Wedding Bouquets and FlowersYou’ll still be saying hello to Valentine’s Day with this bouquet, but with a lot more interest and artistic design.

Valentine's Day Wedding Bouquets and FlowersLight pink dahlias will blow in the wind and around the reception with such a delicate and dainty style.

Valentine's Day Wedding Bouquets and FlowersHere’s another bold and beautiful bouquet, that still fits within a Valentine’s Day theme!

Valentine's Day Wedding Bouquets and FlowersWe are loving the texture and interest that’s bound up in this unique bouquet, don’t you?

Valentine's Day Wedding Bouquets and FlowersOn the family-style tables or by the cake, these voluminous and rich beauties are perfect for a wedding day with vibrant style.

Valentine's Day Wedding Bouquets and FlowersWe are loving the wild-flower effect of this arrangement and it’s lush, natural styling.

Valentine's Day Wedding Bouquets and FlowersThere’s something about these blood red and cranberry shades that create a very romantic and sensual atmosphere.

Valentine's Day Wedding Bouquets and FlowersBeautiful, delicate, textural and with all the most gorgeous shades of the holiday thrown in.

all photos via SMP

An entire day devoted to the one you love and you get to say, “I do,” on the very date! February 14th is the perfect day to walk down the aisle, make it look like it too. Take a peek at all of these wonderful reception decor and table ideas that fit in with a Valentine’s Day theme – without being overly kitschy or predictable.

Valentine's Day Wedding ReceptionsA creamy blush foundation finished off with cranberry hues and warmer pinks, it’s the perfect February tablescape.

Valentine's Day Wedding ReceptionsFor a sexier and more evening style, add a bit of plum into the mix to make your pinks pop.

Valentine's Day Wedding ReceptionsMix the formality of a classic, cherry red with the traditional, rustic nature of the outdoors.

Valentine's Day Wedding ReceptionsIf you’re looking into an evening wedding full of great music and delicious food, start with a classic black and white foundation and finish with a Valentine’s Day red.

Valentine's Day Wedding ReceptionsCreams, blushes and metallic golds can easily set the scene for your holiday wedding, especially with its fun and youthful vibe.

Valentine's Day Wedding ReceptionsYou can always stay within the confines of the holiday without going for the obvious, like with this deep fuchsia choice.

Valentine's Day Wedding ReceptionsIf you’re looking for something more rustic, start with the basics of organic textures and greens. Then add your Valentine flavor in between.

Valentine's Day Wedding ReceptionsWe love this charming little floral arrangement for the tables. And the entire, laid-back design is great for an afternoon affair or brunch reception.

Valentine's Day Wedding ReceptionsSet in white and complimented by a sherbet shade of pink, this delicate design is gorgeous and eye-popping.

Valentine's Day Wedding ReceptionsYou could also go with a more peachy and coral vibe without straying away from the festivity of the day!

 

all photos via SMP

 

13 awesome wedding songs

Need a few fresh ideas for your wedding playlist? Check out some of the hottest wedding songs of 2014 and enjoy creating a romantic soundtrack for your big day:

1) ‘All of Me,’ John Legend

A song written for the crooner’s wife, Chrissy Teigen, you’ll love lyrics such as “‘Cause all of me/Loves all of you/Love your curves and all your edges/All your perfect imperfections/Give your all to me/I’ll give my all to you.”

2) ‘Safe and Sound,’ Capital Cities

One of the more unusual romantic songs of late, ‘Safe and Sound’ lyrics include “You could be my luck/Even if the sky is falling down/I know that we’ll be safe and sound.”

3) ‘XO,’ Beyoncé

“Your face is all that I see/ I’ll give you everything,” Beyoncé sings on this romantic track.

4) ‘Treasure,’ Bruno Mars

Let your significant other know how much you treasure him or her with this upbeat tune from Mars!

5) ‘What Makes You Beautiful,’ One Direction

Never lost your love for boy bands? ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ is a peppy tune guaranteed to fill the dance floor.

6) ‘Birthday,’ Katy Perry

With lyrics such as “I’ll be your gift,” and “I know you like it sweet/So you can have your cake/Give you something good to celebrate,” the pop princess’s hit is a great addition to any wedding playlist.

7) ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love,’ Elvis Presley

This classic song is frequently seen on 2014 wedding playlists, and it’s no surprise why! Who doesn’t love lyrics such as “I can’t help falling in love with you”?

8) ‘I’m Yours,’ Jason Mraz

A song all about surrender and devotion, Mraz’s voice is no doubt heard at many weddings.

9) ‘Happy,’ Pharrell Williams

It’s basically impossible NOT to dance when you hear this tune, making it a welcome addition to your wedding song list.

10) ‘Same Love,’ Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

Gay or straight, all love is the same–that’s the theme of this wonderful song about a connection that “keeps me warm.”

11) ‘Mirrors,’ Justin Timberlake

“It’s like you’re my mirror/My mirror staring back at me,” Timberlake sings in what is no doubt an ode to wife Jessica Biel.

12) ‘Best Day of My Life,’ American Authors

“This is the best day of my life,” are fitting lyrics for a wedding, yes?

13) ‘The Man,’ Aloe Blacc

A great song for the groom and his guys, enjoy watching them belt out lyrics such as ““Go ahead and tell everybody/ I’m the man, I’m the man, I’m the man.”

Have fun creating your own ultimate playlist!

2015 wedding dresses

Every girl dreams of a fairy tale wedding in which she is escorted down the aisle on the arm of her father, wearing the most beautiful gown imaginable. Although styles change from year to year, from generation to generation, she wants to be the most beautiful bride ever.

If you are on a limited budget, you may worry that you will not be able to afford that dress you always dreamed of. Perhaps you might need to make a few alterations to the dress you actually get to wear and the one you have been envisioning, but there is no reason why you can’t save money on your wedding dress without sacrificing style.

Something Old, Something New…

One of the most well loved wedding traditions is when the bride chooses to wear her mother or grandmother’s wedding gown at her own wedding. Not only can this save a lot of money but it can also warm the hearts of those who remember that wedding long ago.

Of course you may be a bit taller or a bit shorter than your mum, but a good seamstress can make the alterations needed in order to get a perfect fit. At the same time, he or she can make a few subtle changes in order to update the gown to current styles.

In the end, it can be much cheaper to employ a seamstress or tailor than it would have been to pay for a gown that could very well cost as much as £1,000 or more. According to Brides Magazine, the average cost of a wedding dress in 2014 was £1,340, which is a pretty hefty figure when combined with all the other costs involved.

Gowns for Hire

Whilst some ladies want to keep their wedding dress forever and ever, others aren’t all that sentimental and don’t really care if they keep their wedding dress or not. There are a number of shops that have gowns for hire that are in keeping with all the latest styles. These shops most often have a seamstress available to do a fitting to make sure the dress fits as it is supposed to do.

However, your choices in wedding dresses for hire are not limited to traditional wedding attire. It is currently fashionable for the bridal party to wear period costumes so that hiring them can greatly reduce the cost to the bride and groom as well as for the entire wedding party if they are to buy their own attire.

So then, whether you choose to arrive as an Edwardian bride or in the latest of wedding fashions, you don’t need to sacrifice style when choosing the perfect dress for your wedding. Take a bit of extra time to do some research online as well as brainstorming with close friends and family. UK wedding savings are easy to find once you have a plan to follow. It’s your day, so go as you want and save money at the same time.

Month by Month Wedding Planning Checklist

month by month wedding checklist

Once the excitement from getting engaged simmers down a bit, it’s time to start planning the wedding! A solid wedding checklist is a godsend in such situations, so check out the following list and keep it with you as you plan your big day!

12 Months Prior

  • Announce your engagement to friends and family and plan your engagement party
  • Plan an announcement for your local paper
  • Devise a budget
  • Hire a wedding planner or purchase wedding planning software if desired
  • Choose a wedding date–have a few dates in mind in case your chosen venue is booked on your first choice
  • Choose a location and reserve your ceremony/reception sites
  • Start on the guest list and compile addresses
  • Decide on a bridal party, including Maid of Honor and Best Man
  • Start shopping for your wedding gown
  • Attend a local bridal show for inspiration. Bring a pen and paper!
  • Purchase a wedding organizer or wedding calendar to help you keep track of fittings and other important dates

Six to Nine Months Prior

  • Research and choose multiple bridal registries
  • Order your wedding gown and purchase the undergarments you’re going to wear with it–bring these to your fittings
  • Order bridal accessories, such as shoes, veil and gloves
  • Start shopping for bridesmaid dresses
  • Find an officiant
  • Research local vendors and book musicians, wedding band or DJ, florist, caterer, photographer and videographer

Four to Six Months Prior

  •  Select and order your wedding invites, invitation envelopes and thank-you cards
  • Hire a calligrapher if desired
  • Select and purchase wedding favors and wedding favor accessories
  • Purchase ceremony and reception accessories you need, such as a unity candle, aisle runner, vases, etc.
  • Start researching wedding cake ideas and local bakeries
  • Book your honeymoon and verify what travel documents you need
  • Book a room for your wedding night
  • Book hotel rooms/other accommodations for out-of-town guests
  • Finalize the guest list and send save-the-date cards
  • Print directions to rehearsal dinner, ceremony, reception and hotel for guests
  • Make a list of area information and attractions for out-of-town guests
  • Reserve transportation for you and your wedding party as well as bus or trolley if needed

Two to Four Months Prior

  • Find out your state’s marriage license requirements and get blood tests if necessary
  • Order tuxedos for the groom and groomsmen
  • Meet with the caterer to discuss menu options and bar/liquor needs
  • Meet with your officiant to discuss vows and other ceremony wording/details
  • Order your wedding cake
  • Choose wedding readings
  • Buy thank-you gifts for attendants, ring bearer and flower girl
  • Purchase a gift for your groom
  • Select and purchase wedding rings
  • Choose a rehearsal dinner location
  • Contact party rental companies regarding tents, arches, tables, etc.
  • Book other specialty services if applicable–photo booth, ice sculptures, etc.
  • Purchase luggage and other honeymoon travel necessities
  • Order/renew passports if applicable
  • Schedule a dentist appointment if you want your teeth cleaned/whitened

One to Two Months Prior

  •  Mail invitations at least eight weeks before wedding date
  • Complete name-change documents if applicable
  • Fill out change of address form, if applicable
  • Print ceremony programs
  • Purchase a guest book, pen, other wedding accessories such as toasting glasses, ring pillow, cake knife
  • Keep your wedding website updated with details and directions
  • Choose hair and makeup stylists and schedule trials; book wedding day hair and makeup appointments
  • Review insurance information with your groom to find out what requires updating once you’re legally wed

Two Weeks to One Month Prior

  • Create a seating chart for the reception, make table numbers and place cards
  • Contact your caterer with the final guest count
  • Print out an event timeline for your wedding party and vendors, and include all contact info
  • Meet with your photographer to finalize your wedding shot list
  • Contact your florist to confirm the final order
  • Finalize ceremony and reception music with your wedding band/DJ
  • Confirm lodging for out-of-town guests
  • Plan a wedding announcement in your local paper
  • Plan a bridal luncheon or dinner with the bridesmaids
  • Pick up wedding bands and ensure the fit
  • Schedule a final dress fitting
  • Apply for your marriage license
  • Write rehearsal dinner toasts

One Week Prior

  • Write out final checks to wedding vendors, place them in envelopes and have your wedding coordinator distribute them at the wedding
  • Pick up your wedding gown and marriage license
  • Confirm the limo or other travel arrangements
  • Have your post office hold your mail, if necessary
  • Treat yourself to a spa day!

The Day Before

  • Welcome out-of-town guests
  • Go for a walk or take a yoga class
  • Schedule a hair appointment before the rehearsal dinner
  • Attend and enjoy the rehearsal!

The Big Day

  • Wake up early and perform some easy exercises or go for a walk
  • Set aside time to present bridal party/family with gifts
  • Eat a big, healthy breakfast
  • Enjoy this magical, special, wonderful day!

 

wedding brain

With so much going on before a wedding, it’s easy to let one, two or six things slip through the proverbial cracks. Rather than succumbing to “wedding brain,” check out 10 things you might forget to do….and remember to do them! Use the following as a checklist to ensure everything goes off without a hitch (pun intended):

1) Bring Your Marriage License

Kinda important in terms of making things official, yes?? Check with the jurisdiction where your wedding is happening and make note of deadlines and anything else you have to do, such as take a blood test. For best results, compile the necessary documents early on so you have everything you need and aren’t scrambling when it comes time to get the license.

2) Feed the Vendors

The vendors need to eat, too!  After all, they are working hard to ensure your day is flawless, and all that work will make tummies rumble! Provide your caterer with the number of vendor meals needed; most caterers offer such meals for half price, so don’t forget anyone, whether it be the DJ, photographer, videographer…you get the idea.

3) Order Favors

Favors aren’t required, but they do provide a nice touch and a thank-you to those attending your wedding. Try making a bulk order two months in advance and personalizing them as desired.

4) Remember the Guestbook…and Pens

Guestbooks are always nice at weddings, as you can look through them once the craziness is over and enjoy reading everyone’s well wishes. You might consider purchasing a book that has to do with your wedding location and have everyone write in it throughout the night. And don’t forget the pens!

5) Photograph the Invitation Suite

Want a shot or two of your invitation suite? Add it to your list of wedding pictures and talk about it with the photographer. You’ll be glad you did!

6) Obtain Toasting Flutes and a Cake Knife

If you receive these as bridal shower gifts, great, if not, remember to buy or otherwise order them. You may also want to use the ones your parents did, but whatever you decide, make sure you bring them on your wedding day!

7) Pack the Chargers

Make certain you have the right chargers, whether using a DJ, band, or your own iPod. You don’t want the music to stop because a battery died! Additionally, charge your phone overnight so it’s ready to go for your honeymoon.

8) Pack the Passport and Identification, Too

Ensure your passport is up-to-date if honeymooning outside of the U.S., and don’t forget your driver’s license or other viable form of ID. Airport security will not let you on a plane with expired identification!

9) Write Thank-You Notes

After the wedding, you’ll need to write more than a few thank-you notes. Send them out no later than two months after the wedding…spend 15 minutes per day on them so you don’t feel overwhelmed!

10) Create Online Reviews

Show those who made your wedding a success some love! Write glowing reviews of how much you loved their services on Yelp and similar sites. Your vendors will love it!

You don’t hold it for long, so that’s why it has to be super special.

For the modern bride, the bouquet is not an afterthought, rather a reflection of her style, an extension of her gown and the focal point as she moves down the aisle. In 2014, we saw brides gravitate toward free-flowing, organic blooms, mixing textures, colors and materials. The “look” that was all the rage reminisced going to the garden and nonchalantly snipping a few fresh stems (right!). And we didn’t just see your go-to wedding blooms last year. We saw brides becoming fearless when it comes to flowers, incorporating broaches, succulents, ribbons, greenery and more.

Here are some of our favorite bouquets from 2014:

1. BLUSHING BRIDE: By far the most popular look of the year, brides paired soft mints and sages with peaches, pinks and blushes for nosegays that were dainty, flirty and oh-so-feminine. What could be a better complement to the blushing bride?

Bouquet: Peony + Rose + Lamb's Ear | Photography: Kelly Kollar

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2. BABY’S BREATH IS BREATHTAKING: Say it with us now: ‘filler flower no more!’ Baby’s breath may have been the trendiest flower of 2014, as brides clutched full spheres of the flower vs. interspersed sprigs. Light-as-air, these little clouds kill us with their charm and almost look like lace — simply gorgeous.

Baby's Breath with large leaf surround | Bridesmaid's Bouquets | See more of this wedding on Style Me Pretty here: http://www.StyleMePretty.com/2014/03/05/romantic-wedding-at-san-ysidro-ranch Photography: Elizabeth Messina | Floral Design: Camilla Svensson Burns

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3. SUCKERS FOR SUCCULENTS: Brides swooned for succulents in 2014, incorporating them into their bouquets for added interest, texture and color. Succulents aren’t your typical leafy greenery — they are playful and earthy, the perfect foil to delicate roses and peonies. Talk about a beautifully balanced bouquet!

#scabiosa-pod  Photography: Amanda McKinnon Photography - www.amandamckinnon.com  Read More: http://www.stylemepretty.com/little-black-book-blog/2014/09/12/rustic-glam-nipomo-wedding/

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4.CASCADE COMEBACK: While we love a mini Kate Middleton-inspired bouquet, in 2014, we saw several brides go BIG and carry cascading bouquets. Rest assured we’re not talking about 80s-inspired waterfalls of lillies; rather, whimsy at it’s finest — sprays of garden roses, ferns, wheat and ivy — nature bundled at brides’ fingertips. What’s even better than these bouquets on their own? Pairing them with matching halo wreaths (another huge trend of 2014).

colors

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5. GAGA FOR GREENERY: No longer an accent or a background for blooms, greenery stood on its on two feet in 2014, and we loved it. Brides gathered olive branches, herbs, hydrangea leaves and other flora together for lush, foresty bouquets. Ethereal and earthy — can’t beat that.

Organic inspired #bouquet | Photography: Bethany Small Photography - bethanysmallphotography.com  Read More: http://www.stylemepretty.com/2014/04/28/handmade-rustic-barn-wedding/

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Cake Inspiration for 2015

Need some cake inspiration for your upcoming nuptials? Check out a few very-awesome ideas!

1) Amaretto Cream Wedding Cake

If you like the idea of hard liquor in your wedding cake, one made with Amaretto may be exactly what you want! Created with Amaretto batter, buttercream frosting and apricot glaze, try a cake inspired by “fine China” that includes frosting and fondant shaped to look like ribbons and bows. Delicious.

Screenshot 2014-12-30 07.19.01

2) Tiered Poppy Seed Wedding Cake

Ideal for at-home or otherwise small weddings, try stacking two layers for serving up to 25 guests! Use an upside-down candy dish to support said layers, and go for poppy seeds…or not!

3) Dogwood Blossom Wedding Cake

A cake made with white satin frosting and smooth blackberry filling, this cake also includes white fondant dogwood blossoms. An elegant option for a springtime reception, this cake is best made with pre-purchased white-rolled fondant. It’ll save you a lot of time!

4) Pansy Wedding Cake

If you love, love, love peaches, a pansy wedding cake is just what the wedding planner ordered. Think peach filling, yellow cake, American cream cheese frosting, and crystalized pansies. Use orange, yellow and white pansies, or whatever combination you like that goes with your wedding theme.

Screenshot 2014-12-30 07.22.54

5) Chocolate Velvet Groom’s Cake

While groom’s cakes aren’t always served at weddings, having an alternative to the bride’s cake is a nice touch. A chocolate cake with nut-tastic pecan filling is sure to wow guests.

6) Bridesmaids Baby Cakes

Small cakes personalized with each bridesmaid’s initials, this option is best with white-on-white frosting for formal weddings, or monochromatic hues. Contrasting colors are ideal for more casual affairs.

7) Peaches and Cream Wedding Cake

Add lovely fondant peach blossoms to a white cake for a beautiful look. If making this cake ahead of time, chill it for up to two days, or freeze it for up to two months.

8) Small Tiered Cluster Cakes

Think tiny, tiered treats with 3-inch rounded bases for an elegant, intimate engagement party, dinner or tea. Try cutting a baked layer cake into three graduated circles with cutters, then stack them on a wire rack and coat them with poured fondant. Beautiful.

9) Garden Bridal Cake

A stunning option for smaller, less-formal ceremonies, add a gorgeous bouquet of fresh flowers and blue or yellow ribbon for a delightfully-summery display.

10) Blue Rose Wedding Cake

Love the blue rose look? Add these specially-dyed flowers to a white cake for one amazing visual!

Screenshot 2014-12-30 07.29.49

What are your wedding cake ideas?

Choose a bridesmaids gown that will fit every one of your ladies with ease and style. From formal receptions to casual celebrations, there’s something for everyone in our compilation of favorites.  Take a peek at this list of versatile and complimentary bridesmaids gowns and grab some ideas!

Versatile Bridesmaids GownsA crumb-catcher top works for a variety of bust sizes and, of course, an A-line gown works with a variety of body shapes!

Versatile Bridesmaids GownsWhimsy and gorgeous, every one of your bridesmaids would love to celebrate your big day in this beautiful design.

Versatile Bridesmaids GownsA floral print will hide and disguise any insecurities your ladies may have while still allowing them to feel wedding-worthy and special.

Versatile Bridesmaids GownsCinch in your girls’ waists and allow them to dance at the reception with a skirt that moves and flows.

Versatile Bridesmaids GownsThis gown has a more Grecian vibe but a silhouette that will work with an array of sizes, shapes and problem areas.

Versatile Bridesmaids GownsNot every bridesmaids gown has to have every leg, shoulder and back baring. Instead, class up the bridal party with a gown that is all style and all sophistication.

Versatile Bridesmaids GownsA beautiful gown in a beautiful shade, this silhouette will also hide and disguise any problem areas for your ladies.

Versatile Bridesmaids GownsThis A-line gown has a romantic essence and formal presence that will work for a lot of women and a lot of different weddings.

Versatile Bridesmaids GownsThe rouching right under the bust will hide tummies and make every woman feel comfortable as they stand beside you at the altar.

Versatile Bridesmaids GownsBridesmaids gowns don’t have to be super short and uncomfortable. You can go with a tea-length choice and have all your bridesmaids feeling vibrant and secure.

all photos via Brides

15 Things To Do Your Wedding Week

wedding week checklist

The week before a wedding is usually pretty darn crazy, and it can be easy to forget one (or 10) tasks that still need finishing. Rather than freaking out as you get closer and closer to the big day, check out 15 things to do the week before your wedding. Breathe easy, friends!

1) Confirm

Confirm your wedding day beauty appointments, and don’t forget about your manicure and pedicure. For the mani/pedi, wait as long as you possibly can–one or two days before, and ensure you have the right polish hue for any touch-ups.

2) Get a Haircut (Groom)

The groom should get a haircut (if desired) about a week before the wedding. More than a week, it will look shaggy, less than a week, it will look all “I’m in 6th grade!!”

3) Pick Up the Dress/Tuxes

Pick up your dress, and make certain your groom gets his tux/suit/whatever. Do one last fitting before you leave the store with your dress.

4) Practice in Your Wedding Shoes

Practice walking and dancing in your wedding shoes!

5) Call Guests Who Missed the Deadline

Have guests who missed the RSVP deadline? Give them a ring to confirm whether or not they’re coming. You need a final headcount for your caterer and venue, after all!

6) Discuss the Wedding Day Schedule

Discuss the wedding day timeline with those assigned certain tasks, such as parents, bridal party, wedding planner, etc. A document featuring all call times is something to make copies of and hand out.

7) Make Final Payments

Place final payments and cash tips in marked envelopes for each vendor, and give them to a trusted friend or family member to hand out on the wedding day. Ask this person to greet each vendor and field questions.

8) Call and Reconfirm Vendor Services

Contact each vendor to reconfirm every little detail, including date, location and time. Ensure all vendors have the contact information of their designated point person for the day of, and check that your DJ has the song list, your photographer the shot list, and that the venue knows each vendor coming to set up.

9) Create a Seating Chart

Create a seating chart for the reception and share the final version with your caterer, reception host and hostess, venue manager, and wedding coordinator.

10) Make Escort Cards

Assuming you didn’t order them, it’s time to make the escort cards. You can always ask for help if needed.

11) Provide Drivers With Information

Provide drivers with a schedule and list of names, addresses and phone numbers for pick-up and drop-off.

12) Shop For the Honeymoon

Shop and pack for your honeymoon, including bikinis, sunblock and sun dresses.

13) Write Speeches

Write your vows, toasts or any other speeches planned for the big day.

14) Make an Emergency Kit

Make a wedding day emergency kit that includes fashion tape, band-aids, mints, safety pins, and a needle and thread that matches your dress.

15) Pack a Wedding Night Bag

Pack a bag for your wedding night, and have someone deliver it to your honeymoon suite.

 

the-cake-and-i-naked-cake

From scrumptious summer cakes to a bridal shower full of charm and elegance, we’ve got the scoop of what’s been happening in the wedding world! Take a look at our favorites!

 

A simple guide to choosing a wedding gown – take a peek! — Top Wedding Sites

This romantic wedding set in Australian – in a library no less – will knock your socks off! — Ruffled

You’ll find some incredible bridal gown inspiration from Paris spring, couture week here! — SMP

This tea party bridal shower is just too cute not to showcase. — DIY Bride

A gray and jade mixed wedding is relaxed, beautiful and quite whimisical, hop over to have a look! — The Perfect Palette

Here’s a vintage, inspired photoshoot that is sure to give you a few great ideas for your celebration. — 100 Layer Cake

10 ways to slash the guest list if you need to do some trimming. — Intimate Weddings

A mix of modern and shabby chic elements have come together to create this gorgeous wedding. — Wedding Chicks

Your wedding decor can be found at Home Depot, grab some of these great ideas! — Kiss My Tulle

Need some ideas for some summer-esque wedding cakes? Here’s your list! — Polka Dot Bride

4 Easy Things To Remember When Buying a Wedding Dress

As fun as shopping for a wedding dress is, it’s also a rather daunting task! However, a little time, a little patience and a little know-how help make the process as seamless as possible. Check out our ultimate guide to choosing a wedding gown and remember to have fun!

Dress For the Occasion

Yes, this seems a bit obvious, however it’s important to find a dress that matches the tone and style of your wedding. Are you incorporating cultural customs and traditions? Want something modest? What about the weather? Kimonos, saris, lace cap sleeves and fabulous sequined bibbed necklines…these are just some examples of what you can wear. If getting married in the middle of a sticky summer, ensure you won’t sweat to death in your dress, and if marrying in winter, consider a beautiful white coat to wear over your dress when en route to the ceremony and reception venues. Dresses should also match the tone of the affair, whether casual, formal or something in between.

Figure and Style

Whatever type of wedding you’re throwing, it’s essential your dress not only match your style, but flatter your figure. For example, if on the tall side, go for a dress that creates a stunning silhouette. If petite, opt for a trumpet-style dress. Fuller-figured? Try something curve-hugging yet sturdy, as loose fabrics will hang and otherwise look unflattering. Mermaid-style dresses are ideal for boyish figures, as they create an hourglass figure. Bodices with ruching at the bust make smaller chests look bigger, while strapless gowns tend to flatter every figure. And while this is a dress you’ll wear once in your life, it should match your overall style. In other words, don’t wear something you don’t like just because it’s trendy! Find a dress that truly speaks to you (well, not literally) so when looking at pictures you won’t go, “Why the heck did I pick that dress??”

Accessories

Do not, repeat, do not forget accessories! These are the details that make your wedding day look one-of-a-kind. For example, a formal dress looks great when paired with a tight updo and cathedral-length veil, while simpler dresses look amazing with birdcage veils for the ceremony and frilly feather headpieces for the reception. Accessories should always complement your gown, such as floral headbands or antique necklaces. Shoes are also essential, such as beautiful heels that highlight the legs when wearing short dresses. If you’re tall and don’t want to tower over your groom, ballet flats and jeweled sandals work. Shoes with elegant, tapered toes look great with floor-length dresses that hide footwear the majority of the time.

Budget

It’s also important to choose a dress that won’t max out one or multiple credit cards! Have a meeting with your parents and your groom to determine a budget for the wedding and your gown, and do your darnedest to stick to it! Discounted and vintage options always work, and remember to budget for two dresses if changing into something shorter for the reception. Remember, the money you save on your dress can be used for other aspects of your wedding!

Once you find your dream dress, enjoy the rest of your engagement! Envision floating down the aisle…the day will come quicker than you think!

 

How To Choose Your Bridesmaids

choosing bridesmaids

 

Planning a wedding is all about making choices: the dress, the venue, the cake, the music, the décor…perhaps one of the biggest choices is who to have as your bridesmaids. If feeling a bit overwhelmed in terms of who to pick, check out the following five questions to ask yourself and make the decision easier:

1) How Big Will This Wedding Be?

Traditionally, the number of bridesmaids is contingent on the size and type of the wedding. Formal affairs generally call for more bridesmaids, while smaller weddings usually feature small parties, assuming there’s a party at all. While you don’t have to follow this rule exactly, it’s a good idea to keep the bridal party in line with the number of guests at the wedding.

2) What Does My Future Hubby Want?

Your groom is likely to have his own opinions on the wedding party, so talk to him about it as soon as possible. While it’s not a huge deal to have more bridesmaids than groomsmen, you will have to get creative regarding the processional.

3) Will We Be Friends in 10 or 20 Years?

It’s important to have only your closest friends and sisters up there with you, yes? So if debating about those you’ve only known for a short time, or have rocky relationships with anyway, just think long-term and go from there.

4) Is She Bridesmaid Material?

Okay, this question probably seems a bit harsh, however being a bridesmaid comes with responsibilities, and Maid of Honor even more. If she’s crazy-busy with work, is dealing with personal issues and otherwise seems unfit for the job, don’t add drama to your wedding by asking her to be a bridesmaid!

5) Does She Like the Groom?

Bridesmaids are there to be supportive of you on your wedding day and (traditionally) “hold you accountable” to the vows you’re making. This means the women you pick to be bridesmaids should be big fans of the groom! If she’s said over and over again how much she doesn’t care for him, it’s probably a good idea to leave her out of the bridal party.

Hope this helps, and good luck!

Bridesmaid Rental Websites

Picking the wedding dress that speaks for you isn’t an easy task, and trying to find dresses for each of your bridesmaids only adds to the confusion. Thankfully there’s a few dress rental websites that offer plenty of fabulous choices for bridal parties. Imagine dresses in every shade and silhouette, and prices that won’t make your wallet weep. Check them out:

Rent the Runway

Rent the Runway totally changed the online dress rental game when it introduced a “robust” bridal selection, including plenty of gorgeous gowns for bridesmaids. Simply search for and pick out what you want, book the dresses for four or eight days, wear them and love them, then return them in pre-paid envelopes, dry cleaning included. Brick-and-mortar stores are available in New York City and Las Vegas as well.

bridesmaid dress rental

 

Weddington Way

Offering super-cool social features, Weddington Way makes it easy for brides to compare and discuss their experiences. Register, then add any gowns you want to your favorites list. Compare designs side-by-side once you’ve made all your choices, and add bridal party members to the site. Vote for your favorites, add them to your virtual shopping cart, and be done! You can also visit the store’s location in the San Francisco Bay for a fitting, or enroll in their “Try Before You Buy” program.

bridesmaid dress try before you buy

 

Vow to Be Chic

Affordable dresses on this site start at $50 and include selections from Nicole Miller, Jill Jill Stuart, Theia and Tadashi Shoji. Submit your measurements with your bridal crew, and the site will send two sizes of each dress to try on at home! Send back dresses you don’t want using pre-paid packaging, and return selections after you’ve worn them. The site now features a little white dresses section ideal for rehearsal dinners and the like.

designer bridesmaid dress rentals

 

Check out these sites and enjoy browsing for awesome gowns! Have fun!

See Also