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When it comes to impressive wedding destinations, there are few places which beat the sun and the sands of the Golden State of California. While some people will be naturally drawn to the appeal of a Disneyland wedding, there are plenty of places across the state where you can get married far cheaper. If you’re keen on staying in the area for your honeymoon, your friends and family can head back home once the ceremony is done, or head off on their respective holidays. Either way, if you want to make the most of your Californian wedding and honeymoon, here are a couple of things you need to take with you.
First things first – you need to make sure that you have the right documents in place before you leave your house in the UK. If you get to the airport and you haven’t remembered your passport of if you’ve forgotten to apply for your ESTA, you’re starting off the trip of a lifetime on the wrong foot. Make sure that you take care of all of this well in advance of actually travelling.
A Special Outfit For Your First Night
Since this is a trip to remember, you’re both going to want to bring the right outfit for your first night. Whether that’s a suit or a dress for your first dinner of the honeymoon or a special set of lingerie to make the night that little bit different, you’re both going to want to make an effort here. This will go a long way towards making your night one you will remember for the rest of your life together.
The Right Outfit(s) For the Rest of Your Honeymoon
The weather in California is fairly different to the weather you’ll come across here in the UK. Make sure that you not only have the right clothes for your time in the Golden State, but that you have the right clothes for the flight and the subsequent trip back home. As far as the Californian outfits go, a pair of shorts, a vest and a shirt will have you covered for the most part; it’s pretty warm over in California, and those shorts and vests are great up until a point. Just make sure you bring your sun screen and your after sun if you wish to avoid going lobster on your first day out as a married couple!
A Basic First Aid Kit
As with any holiday, you need to make sure that you’re prepared for the worst. You don’t want to spend your honeymoon being ill because you drank the wrong water – a small first aid kit with all the basic first aid you need can be the difference between the honeymoon you’ve always wanted and trying to spend a day on your honeymoon looking for a pharmacy which sells the meds your new spouse needs to make them healthy enough to leave the hotel room.
The Right Perfume
It has been proven that smell is one of the strongest memory triggers. Wear the same perfume or after shave that you wore on your wedding day throughout your honeymoon – this will help establish the strongest possible memories of your time in California. The next time you smell that particular perfume, whether you’re in the UK or anywhere else, your memories of your holiday will come flooding right back.
Warm up the party with these fun way to serve hot chocolate at your wedding! Winter months call for festive treats and this is one of the best! From a spread full of toppings to favors they’ll remember, let’s take a peek!
There’s almost nothing more gracious and charming than a backyard wedding on a sunny day. It’s much more personal than a reception at a hotel or other public space, and there are almost no rules about what you can or can’t do, including having your canine best friend be part of the party. But whether your style is rustic or sophisticated, and whether you’re going to have a small or large guest list, there are still a lot of things to consider. Here are some of them:
Is The Backyard Ready?
This is first on the list because a backyard wedding calls for your lawn and flower beds to be in their best condition, and that takes time. Hiring a professional lawn care service is the easiest and most effective way to level the ground so that tables and chairs don’t wobble, and to get the lush green grass you want without worrying over what products to use and how to use them.
As far in advance as you can, you also want to plant new flowers and prune the existing ones so they can bloom prettily in time for the reception. Have trees trimmed, too, to allow them time to grow out of that “new haircut” stage.
If you’re lucky enough to have been invited to use someone else’s backyard, giving them the gift of professional lawn and gardening services for the months leading to your wedding — and a touch-up visit afterward — would be a wonderful way to say thank you!
How Many People Will Fit?
The size of your guest list will be determined not only by the size of your backyard, but by the kind of event you have in mind. If the ceremony will be at home, too, you’ve got to decide how you’re going to set that up, as well as whether you can afford (in time or budget) to use the same chairs for dining after the ceremony. If you’re planning a simple reception with finger food and cake, you can accommodate more people than if you want a full-on seated meal because you can use smaller tables — but still, you should have seats for everyone and spots for them to settle their plates and glasses.
While you’re plotting the layout, remember that you’ve got to allow space for serving or buffet tables, the bar, musical entertainment, and somewhere to dance if that’s part of your plan.
What Will You Have to Rent?
If you’re serving a meal, the short answer is: almost everything. Even if you’re only having a cocktail buffet, you’re going to need a lot of things. Chairs and tables for sure. Linens, too. Silverware and serving pieces. Plates in several sizes for food and cake, as well as coffee mugs or cups and saucers. Wine, water, and bar glasses. Chafing dishes, pitchers, coffee urns, platters, and trays — the list goes on.
A full catered meal for a reception that exceeds the capacity of your kitchen will also require rental of a portable refrigeration unit, cooking equipment or hot boxes for food not cooked on site, and most likely a generator. Pay special attention to where the generator will go, because some hum quite noisily.
Your caterer can arrange for all cooking and serving-related rentals. But there’s more! Musicians may need rentals, too. Some groups own their own mics, amps, and speakers, and others may need you to supply them. Even DJs may require rented speakers, and they’ll generally also want you to supply a table or two. For dancing, if there’s no patio or other appropriate solid surface in the backyard, you can rent a dance floor in just about any size you’d like. These are all issues that would be taken care of for you in a hotel ballroom or other public venue; just be aware that you have to plan for them.
Where Will People Park?
If you’re having more than a few dozen guests, it’s a kindness to them and to your neighbors to hire a valet service. And do remember that your caterer will need to park cars and equipment close to the house.
What About the Neighbors?
Absolutely let them know in advance so they can plan their own day accordingly and not interfere with yours. You don’t want someone using a power drill all afternoon, for example. Ply them with treat bags, or invite them if you must, but make sure no one is surprised that a wedding is happening next door.
OMG What if it Rains?
Letting a smile be your umbrella may not be sufficient if the skies open up. Have a contingency plan you can put in place within a few days if the weather report isn’t promising. Just be prepared and then don’t sweat it. Some of the most memorable and loving celebrations have taken place under what might have seemed like the most dismal conditions.
For more tips on backyard weddings, check this out.
Long gone are the days of the bride and groom locking eyes for the first time when she walks down the aisle. The “first look” prior to the wedding is the new black. Couples are now opting to see each other for the first time on their wedding day before the ceremony starts. Some choose to make it a private moment, while others include their family and friends in the special moment.
One thing’s for sure — nothing is as photogenic as capturing the bride and groom locking eyes on each other for the first time on their wedding day.
Take a look at 10 of our favorite first look snapshots.
Up-do? Down and flowy? If you can’t decide between the two dos, why not go with something in between? Enter half-up, half-down hairstyles.
Whether you part and sweep your hair back, poof and pin, straighten or curl, the achieved look is classy, put-together and simply gorgeous. While we adore a bridal up-do, there’s something utterly ethereal about locks cascading down your face — but the last thing you want is to be fiddling with your hair all day long. The solution? Half-up, half-down.
Check out these stunning styles we love.
Few people can capture the special moments on your wedding day in the same way that a professional photographer can. There is often a misguided opinion that anybody with a semi-decent camera, smart-phone or tablet can take a photo equally as well as a professional and all of their equipment. So why pay to have someone shoot your wedding when absolutely anyone of your guests could be doing it? Well, there is a distinction between amateur and professional photographers; years of experience, training and practice that helps them understand lighting, movement and angles, and then of course there are also post-processes. The hours of work touching up and editing the photos to make them perfect. That is the difference you should pay for.
Let’s see what’s involved in professional photography:
Skills and Equipment
Well, instead of just an iPhone and some holiday snapping experience, a professional, like those in the Studio 4 Photography Team, will arrive with a neatly packed and ordered kit of lenses, flashes, lights, tripods, memory cards, batteries, backup batteries and spare cameras; somehow all stowed neatly along without getting in the way at all.
But all of this equipment would help very little if they weren’t in the hands of someone with the experience to use them, and the understanding to combine colour, light, texture, angles and shutter speeds perfectly, to get the exact shot they are looking for. An eye for those kinds of things only comes from the extensive experience found in photographers.
Perhaps the biggest difference between an amateur and professional photographer is that one knows how to get great shots without tripping over the bride and landing camera first into the wedding cake, and it may be a bit of a chance to take with the other. Even with all their equipment, a good photographer knows how to do two things: they can easily stay out of everyone’s way, and they can make you feel comfortable about having a camera in front of you. What you want is a photographer like the one from Rachel and Luke’s engagement shoot.
After The Shoot
Photo editing is where a lot of the best work goes into photographs, and it also happens to be the hardest part (depending on what needs editing). But the point is that a pro’s understanding of what goes into the photograph’s makeup and their know-how when it comes to editing it, will make every single photo they work on look magical. You wouldn’t get that kind of photo-editing from your groom to be’s nephew.
So, you can see that wedding photography is not a simple matter of point and shoot. There is a lot to think about when you want to bring your photographs to life, and life is exactly what a professional will give them. So instead of just having snaps at your
wedding, get someone who can produce images that will be good enough to frame in your home forever.
Before we dust off our dancing shoes to break it down at wedding receptions in 2o16, let’s take a look back on the wedding tunes that had us tapping our toes and clapping our hands in 2015.
According to Spotify, which examined more than 400,000 wedding-themed playlists from around the world, the top five song choices among couples included “All of Me” by John Legend, “Marry You” by Bruno Mars, “Thinking out Loud” by Ed Sheeran, “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri, and “Ho Hey” by The Lumineers.
Check out the full list below:
You’ve done the dating, met each other’s parents, and now you have the ring to prove it. If you’ve recently gotten engaged, congratulations! If you’re soon to be in the thick of wedding planning, you might be feeling overwhelmed by all the ins and outs of organizing the perfect ceremony. Instead of feeling tied down to old traditions, infuse some life back into your wedding shindig by trying these modern takes on some of the nuptial classics and create an event you and your guests will never forget.
Instead of hosting an open bar, try a more tailored approach with specialized signature drinks created with your big day in mind. Both the bride and groom can choose three cocktail favorites, and create His and Hers wedding drink menus that guests can peruse. This provides a unique touch to the festivities and will cut down on the exorbitant costs that come along with alcohol purchases for the reception.
The Wedding Cake
You’ve likely been to a wedding or two in your lifetime, and most have probably served cake fothe dessert of the night. Now think back. How many of these cakes were something you remember? How many were so delicious that they were worth the probably exorbitant cost paid by the happy couple? If you’re scratching your head to come up with at least one example that fulfills these qualifications, it’s no surprise. Traditional wedding cakes cost more than a pretty penny, and often they’re the least memorable portion of the evening. Instead of shelling out the big bucks for a frosted masterpiece that your guests may or may not enjoy, try offering trendy dessert tables that are becoming more and more popular. From fresh baked cookies to chocolate dipped fruit, cupcakes to jars filled with candy, you’ll see hordes of people at the dessert table all night long, and happy faces on everyone from the littlest of children to the oldest members of the family.
Skip the Rice
It’s in pretty much every wedding movie you can name—the couple runs out and joyful wedding guests sprinkle rice over their heads. While still a cute and sentimental tradition, you can make this a bit more exciting by using something else as confetti in place of the little kernels. Delicate flower petals make for a softer and more fragrant shower of congratulations as the happy couple makes their way to the car and glitter will work for the couple who lives out loud.
Color Your World
Instead of sticking to the classic white wedding dress selections, brides are tending to be more daring with their wedding colors, especially on their gown for the big day. For some its subtle hue changes to softer creams and beiges, while for other brides, it’s a full 180-degree switch to colorful wedding gowns that signify their exuberant joy on this momentous occasion. If you’re not sold on a white wedding dress, follow this trend and try something different—it is your special day after all so shouldn’t you be able to dress the way you want?
The Bouquet Toss
While throwing your bouquet to all the single ladies might be a fun tradition, you can make the event more meaningful. Instead of tossing it to a bunch of gals who might not be clamoring to catch it, select a special woman who has made a positive influence in your life or that of your groom’s and present the bouquet to her. If you feel like explaining your decision, give a short but heartfelt speech explaining how she’s made a difference in your life. It could be your mother, sister, his mother, or a friend who has really impacted you in a positive way.
The First Glance
In the past, couples weren’t supposed to see each other before the aisle walk—it was considered bad luck. These days, superstition is kicked to the curb and love is celebrated with private first viewings. That means you can see your betrothed before taking that walk and have a more sentimental reveal. If you’d like to capture the moment forever, have a photographer ready in the wings to catch the looks on your faces when you first take in your soon-to-be husband or wife.
As you get more involved with the wedding planning, consider some of these modern updates to traditional ceremonies for an occasion that will exceed all your expectations.
Once thought of as blah, dull and boring, gray is the neutral everyone is crushing on. Sharp, soft, elegant and romantic at the same time, incorporate gray into your winter wedding color palette for a look that everyone will swoon over.
The best thing about gray? It matches EVERYTHING — pair shades of steel, slate, silver and pewter with both pastels and jewel tones, for a clean, gorgeous look.
We’ll leave you with some luscious gray-spiration to get you thinking.
Not the typical couple? Are you on the hunt for a venue that’s a bit more out of the box than the predictable ballroom or barn? If you’re an art-loving duo, why not hold your big event at a local gallery? From the urban structures to exhibits hanging from the walls, the end result is an über cool, sophisticated soirée that will leave an imprint on your guests.
Even cooler? Play off of the displayed art for your wedding color palette. Make sure to inquire as to the rotation of the exhibits with the timing of your wedding day, so you won’t be surprised with a change in color or theme.
Check out these unique, art-centric weddings:
Check out this new and funky trend in the wedding world! These color-dripped wedding cakes will rule the reception and create a special uniqueness to your big day!
We’ve talked quite a bit about the growing popularity of different holiday-themed weddings in past posts; but, if we had to choose one special occasion as our favorite for a wedding, it would be — hands-down — Valentine’s Day.
It is the day devoted to love, after all.
From hearts to roses, arrows, cupid, kisses and chocolate — you’ve got endless accents at your disposal to create a themed wedding bursting with love. However, beware that this type of holiday decor can get cheesy, fast, so opt for more muted and chic versions of the aforementioned decorations in soft pinks, berry reds and blushes. Combine these traditional tones with accent hues like sage, mint and metallics for an elegant take on V-Day. Do that, and the result is a big day full of heart.
These 10 magical Alvina Valetta wedding gowns from the 2016 collection are must-see’s for any and all brides-to-be! Made with a bit of flirtatiousness, classic lines and a lot of girlish accents, we’re in love with this spring line!
Think outside-the-box for your wedding with these unique color palettes! Steer clear of tradition and go with shades that reflect your personal style instead. From winter to spring to fall and summertime too, it doesn’t matter the time of year for an original idea.
Get fresh inspiration for your ladies in waiting with this compilation of powder blue bridesmaids. Full of romance, sultry designs and complimentary tones, dress your best gals in something they all love and feel comfortable in.
Over the last 25 years or so, there has been between 2000 and 2500 Tons of gold mined per a year and over 50% of that gold goes towards making jewellery. The jewellery industry is a massive one and a lot of money changes hand each year in the purchase of both the raw materials for jewellery and also the finished product. So where does this gold come from and who mines it?
Although you can find gold throughout most of our planet, some countries have much more resources than others. The top ten gold producing countries are:
|2. United States||7. Indonesia|
|3. Australia||8. Canada|
|4. South Africa||9.Uzbekistan|
|5. Russian Federation||10. Ghana|
The majority of the gold that is mined each year is done by big corporations, but there are also many small and independent mining operations that exist all over the world. As with any industry, competing with the larger firms can be hard, so to help combat this, the Fairtrade movement was founded. It is good to learn more about the Fairtrade movement before buying your wedding rings, as you can source rings that come from ethical sources.
Fairtrade covers a lot of products that are produced by small independent sources and covers a wide variety of different products.
The idea is that the smaller producers can receive a fair price for the products that they produce, rather than have the larger retailers try to cut all of their profits so that they can gain more. When you purchase from a Fairtrade supplier you are helping to sustain the local economy and the workers will receive a fair wage for the work that they do. So when looking for a something blue wedding inspiration in the form of a gold and sapphire, you will want to make sure that the gold comes from a Fairtrade supplier. By doing this, it will allow you to feel at ease knowing that you are helping others, and letting the smaller and independent businesses compete against the conglomerates and corporations.
We all like to get things for as cheap as possible, but you need to remember that the people that often make and supply all of your favourite luxuries are often living in close to poverty conditions. Many large corporations will also force indigenous people from their land to make a new gold or diamond mine, which is not the case when you purchase Fairtrade gold.
The concept of Fairtrade includes sustainability which is why the producers of the goods that sell within the system own 50% of Fairtrade. The system provides a big incentive for producers which allows the owners of the firm to pay the workers a higher salary, often making them more productive if also offered other incentives. Money is pumped back directly into the local economy right where it is needed, at grass roots level and not into the back pocket of corporations!
Check out these 10 groomsmen gifts that your pals will actually use and love. Instead of wasting money on trinkets your boys won’t keep, invest in something usable and fun!
Forget beach ready, it’s time to get wedding ready. While you may not be looking to change your looks dramatically, preparing for a wedding can be a fantastic excuse to get in shape, improve your diet, and feel so much better about yourself. Are you willing to do what it takes to make yourself perfect for your big day – by any means?
The Perfect Fit
Up to a year before the big day, consider the foods you eat and ask yourself this; how can I make this meal healthier? There are so many diets and meal plans out there, so find one that suits you as a couple. Drink plenty of water, limit caffeine and alcohol, and give up smoking. The sooner you realize that looking and feeling better is going to take such commitment, the better.
In terms of workout you don’t need to be embarking upon insanity, hitting the gym every day, or even promising to lose tens of pounds, but wouldn’t it be nice to fit into that wedding gown, or suit, a little more effortlessly? Taking up a new sport or activity, such as swimming, walking, hiking, or cycling, will help you to get fit, tone up, and lose a few pounds, as well as helping you to mentally prepare for the challenges of married life. Getting the right workout gear is absolutely vital here, and compression wear, like stockings, vests, shirts, and compression socks, will ensure that your body is supported whatever you decide to throw at it. If you’re not used to such exercise you will need to take extra care – no broken limbs before the big day, thank you!
Once you have your gown, or suit if you’re the groom, it’s essential to attend regular fittings, and you may even want to consider having alterations made to suit your personalities. These days it’s possible to personalize your wedding outfits in a number of ways, whether that means adding stitches, sewing on extra beads, or even dyeing fabric. It’s your wedding, your way.
Your Perfect Wedding Day: Mind, body, and Soul
Getting ready for your wedding is all about losing weight and looking good, right? Wrong. Saying, “I do” is a huge commitment, whilst preparing for marriage can take its toll on even the calmest person. If you want to have the best wedding day imaginable it’s essential to tackle stress, doubts, and moments of panic sooner, rather than later – and that goes for guests as well as the bride and groom. Activities such as yoga, Pilates, and meditation are great ways to take a moment to yourself, focus on what your wedding day could, and will be, and remind yourself of all the wonderful things that are coming up.
Remind yourselves, and members of the wedding party, to get plenty of sleep in the lead up to the big day, drink plenty of water, and keep meals small and simple to limit bloating. Looking good on your wedding day is as much about how you feel on the inside as it is the clothes you’re wearing; remember to breathe, taking a moment if you must before setting foot in the wedding venue.
Bachelor and bachelorette parties are another great way to reduce stress and unwind frayed nerves. Health spas are a fantastic venue for guys and gals, and will enable you to relax with your friends and family in plenty of time to stand at the altar with confidence – one can never underestimate the emotional healing potential of a sauna and hot tub.
When it comes to adding those finishing touches there are a few things you need to know. Brides, it is absolutely essential that you trial hair and make-up before the big day, allowing you to try out a few styles, ensuring you build a rapport with your stylist, and giving a hair or make up artist the opportunity to familiarize themselves with what you’d really like. Leaving everything until the big day itself would spell disaster – besides, wouldn’t it be nice to be pampered before your wedding day, too?
Other important details that shouldn’t be forgotten include buying the right underwear to slink into under your gown, perfectly manicured fingers for those ring shots, and a pedicure to be proud of, particularly if you’ve got open-toed shoes. While it’s tempting to go all out on your jewelry, remember this; you don’t want to be outshone on your big day, so keep the bling minimal.
Now, grooms, your personal care is also incredibly important. Make sure your hair is neatly cropped, beard is trimmed, and hands are well-moisturized prior to the day itself – there’s nothing worse than shaving rash or freshly cut, fluffy hair in wedding photos. Have you considered the kind of socks that will look good underneath your suit trousers, the cufflinks that you’ll be wearing, or the aftershave that will remind you and your new wife of your wedding day? It’s time to get started!
Your wedding day is going to be amongst the happiest, and most cherished, days of your time together as a couple, so make each moment in the lead up count; whether you’re honing and toning your body, preparing yourself mentally, or browsing magazines for fantastic wedding styles, achieving your perfect day by any means is going to involve a little work.
These 10 Stella York ball gowns will sweep the dance floor, glide down the aisle and have you feeling like the princess you’ve always dreamt of been gone your wedding day!
Are you looking for a fresh, fun home decoration? Are you looking for an all-natural air freshener that is inexpensive to make but still smells wonderful? If so, then pomander balls may be your answer.
Pomander balls have been around for hundreds of years if not longer and are a Christmas tradition in many houses. They do not have to be just for Christmas. Use them for weddings, birthdays and anywhere else you would give a gift. As a bonus, they are very easy to make and there is little mess. Before you know it, you will have many delightfully-scented pomander balls to use in closets as sachets, or to give as gifts or favors.
How to Make Pomander Balls
Making pomander balls is very simple. It requires only a few ingredients: a medium orange, one or two ounces of whole cloves per orange, and a piercing tool such as a paper piercer or ice pick. It is also a good idea to have some napkins on hand for the orange juice that will spurt out and some ribbon to hang the finished pomander balls. Crosstie the ribbon around the orange, making a nice bow at the top. Poke holes in your orange, spaced fairly far apart, with the piercing tool. Insert whole cloves into each hole.
They do not need to be close together as the orange will shrink as it dries. Set the orange somewhere safe and watch as it dries over the next week, creating a delicious smelling air freshener. As a bonus, pomander balls can be made with other types of spices as well as herbs or flowers and other fruit, as long as it can be easily pierced.
Flowers for Everyone has a great selection of flowers which would be amazing when used in a pomander ball and if you live in Australia you can enter their Love Cave Competition this Valentines.
Pomander Ball Gift Ideas
So, who can you give pomander balls to? The short answer is anyone. Your child’s teacher, your co-workers, your hair dresser and your friends would all appreciate pomander balls because they smell delightful and look beautiful. Pomander balls are a cost-effective and fun gift. Top wedding sites say that they make excellent wedding favors as well. Simply insert flowers of the bridal colors into the holes in the orange (or fruit of your choice) in lieu of cloves. This is a fun, funky way to celebrate the soon to be married couple.
Pomander balls are a fun, beautiful way to give a sweet-smelling gift to friends and family. They are compact, which means you can stash them almost anywhere from closets to countertops to inside your dresser drawer. They make excellent sachets, as well as often being hung on the mantle or from the branches of your Christmas trees. They are decorative enough to really make a statement, and they do not need maintenance of any kind. Simply set them in a bowl or hang them on a tree and your home will smell like Christmas all year round. When you gift a pomander ball to a friend, you share with them the present that keeps on giving!
Check out these 10 bridesmaids’ gifts that your gals will actually love! Don’t waste money on junk, instead invest in something they’ll adore. And these ideas will jumpstart your brainstorming for the perfect pick!
Even your toes can hold a bit of traditional, bridal appeal as you walk down the aisle. From heels to flats to everything in between, check out these lace wedding shoes that will surely brighten up your day of ensemble and add a personal touch to the bride’s styling!
These heart-shaped engagement rings are trending and we’re completely swooning over each one of them! Different styles and tones too, take a peek at how you could be adorning your ring figure in the near future!
If you’re looking for wedding colors that will pop with uniqueness and a chic modern flavor, then why not try out royal blue and white? This contemporary duo will dress your big day with enough bridal styling and sleekness to do the event justice.
Their wedding can be one of the most expensive single days a couple will ever spend together. With a venue, clothing, healthy and beauty, accessories, and finer details to consider, the costs soon add up. There is a positive aspect to this menacing cloud though, in the form of the Wedding Hack. Whether a couple decides to get married out of season, chooses to host its nuptials and reception at the same venue, or finds a location that needs very little in the way of dressing or lighting, such as an aquarium, zoo, or heritage site, a wedding need not cost a fortune.
Shopping for a bridal bargain
First thing’s first; the place a bride chooses to shop, and how savvy she’s prepared to be, can often determine the budget for her. The dress is often one of the most expensive single aspects of any wedding, but be prepared to buy off the rack, cheekily asking for discounts, and shopping at a high street store rather than a bridal boutique can all cut costs dramatically.
Online stores and discount sites, such as Groupon, should never be ignored by anybody planning a wedding, and often there are some amazing bargains to be found, particularly on bulk or wholesale items, including table decorations.
Budgeting is now considered cool, and a bride should never be concerned about looking for bargains. Make up, jewelry, accessories, and venue dressings often work out much cheaper when they’re bought online, and it can pay for couples to buy their own materials and indulge in a little DIY – that will add a little personal touch, too. Recycling old items to be used at a wedding is a great way of creating a vintage theme, as well as cutting costs. Birdcages, small items of furniture, and vases, for example, look exceptional when shown a little love.
In order to get the perfect wedding day on a budget a bride should think about what she would really like to have, and what she could do without. Chair covers and huge centerpieces, for example, aren’t always necessary, as simple bows and candles to light guests’ meals will create an intimate, yet stylish affair. Similarly, an expensive, bespoke guestbook could be replaced with plain postcards that are stuck in a scrapbook by hand, while friends’ talents could become really useful, and table decorations could double as favors; small vases and candle holders would be widely appreciated, and adored.
A photographer is one element of a wedding that shouldn’t be economized on too much. Although couples should conduct their research, get to know the person who will be capturing their big day on film, and ask for discounts, engagement shoots, and added extras before finalizing any booking. Regardless of what they’re booking a couple needs to be aware of hidden costs; an informed bride knows all of the fine print before she signs, and won’t be caught unawares by a sudden leap in fees, or the introduction of a new charge.
Health and beauty on a budget
Of course, health and beauty play a huge part in the lead up to any wedding, and they can be an expensive business; after all, once a bride has paid for any number of gym sessions or classes to tone areas she is not happy with, sampled make up and booked a stylist, and shopped for accessories, there can be very little left in the pot. Well, that’s the story sold by plenty of vendors, anyway. The truth is that getting ready for their wedding needn’t be the most stressful, or expensive, thing a future bride ever encounters, and there really isn’t any need for expensive diet plans, or fancy gym equipment that will never see the light of day again.
Take Spanx for example, or the Genie Hourglass body shaper, which is sold by online retailers, including ‘As Seen on TV’. Such garments are designed to mold around a woman’s curves, accentuate her shape, and nip her so-called problem areas into shape, without the need for the aforementioned diets and lifestyle changes. There’s so much to remember in the lead up to a wedding, and a bride should feel comfortable and, most importantly, at home in her own skin. Sure, she could lose a few pounds, tone up, or aim to feel a little brighter in herself, but only if that’s what she really wants; the only person a bride is in competition with is herself. Besides, cheating a little is often the least-stressful, and most cost-effective way of preparing for marriage – ergo, completely fine AND within budget.
When it comes to hair and make-up, brides should think along the same lines; is a fancy up-do and a face covered in orange foundation really them? A simple, yet elegant look can be created using a few basic, yet magical ingredients, and many brides find that a friend or family member is just as happy to pamper them on the morning of their wedding as a paid stylist would be – plus they’ll save themselves a tidy sum. The sort of hairstyle a bride chooses will depend upon her gown, the type of veil she’d like to wear, and the theme of the wedding but, again, not all styles are dependent upon a professional. It is possible to look amazing, and for very little, these days.
So, there they are. Just a few of the ways that a bride (and her groom) can have the perfect wedding day on a budget, and without many of the stressful extras that couples often feel obliged to have. Sometimes, the most perfect wedding days are the simplest.
From top to bottom these blushing pink wedding cakes will be the center of the party. Embellished with florals and textures or with a super modern and sleek style, check out these 10 completely perfect and pink designs!
Sending your wedding guests home with a little “thank you” is a must. They’ve supported your relationship and traveled from far and wide to celebrate, so a token of your appreciation shows the utmost thought. We encourage you to look to the season when your wedding falls to inspire wedding favors that your guests will love.
If a winter wonderland wedding is in your future, here are 10 favors your guests will cherish and use again.
GET COZY: An embroidered throw will fill your guests with warm fuzzies of your big day for movies to come.
DIY FIRE STARTER: Who doesn’t need help getting a fire to flame?
S’MORE LOVE, PLEASE: Universally beloved, you can’t go wrong with a make-your-own-s’mores kit.
SOMETHING TO SIP FROM: Hang a variety of mugs and allow guests to choose one that tickles their fancy.
KEEP ‘EM TOASTY: A pair of inexpensive mittens is a sweet send-off.
NO COLD FEET HERE: People can always use more socks. Get creative, and choose fun ones!
HAND WARMERS: These will come in handy at a cold football game or walk on a brisk day.
MINI X-MAS TREE: The gift that keeps on giving.
CUTE, CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS: Simple and DIY-friendly, ornaments in your color scheme make for a fun goodie.
THE PERFECT BLEND: Guests will think of the happy couple with each brew.
Of all the things to worry about when planning a wedding, most grooms don’t really considerselecting the wedding party to be one of them. Unfortunately, this process can often be a lot more difficult than we anticipate. If you’ve got brothers, cousins, college buddies, and elementary school best friends all jockeying to be in your wedding party, you’ve got a tough decision coming your way but keeping these guidelines in mind can be a lifesaver.
Choosing the Best Man
If you’ve got several guys in mind for the sought after position of best man, you’re probably unsure of how to proceed. There are many facets to keep in mind when picking the guy who will keep the ring safe until you say I do, so run through and consider the guy that fits them all.
The Fiancé Factor
When choosing your best man, keep your fiancé in mind. This is half her day as well, so choose someone you know she gets along with and would love to have toasting you in front of all of your friends and family.
A Family Function
If not appointing your brother to the role of best man would ruffle feathers, it might be in your best interest to pick your bro and keep the peace in the family. If he’s not the responsible sort, you can always delegate the various responsibilities to your friends and other groomsmen. This is a very honorary role, and if you’re worried about appearances it’s best to go with the flow for a day you can all enjoy.
Consider the Toast
The best man is going to be toasting you in front of all of your loved ones—don’t pick someone who will turn the speech into a roast. Your best man should be someone who possesses a palpable measure of taste, who won’t go into drunken tirades about that spring break trip back in college, or make inappropriate remarks about how he never thought you would settle down.
The Girl Best Friend
If your best friend is a girl, you can shirk tradition and select her as the best man. Many modern weddings have seen co-ed mixing; men standing on the bride’s side, and women standing on the groom’s. However, this is only acceptable should your wife-to-be deem it so and be truly comfortable with it. If she’s not, then move on and choose someone else—there’s no need to add
any more stress to the day.
The Location Tie Breaker
If there’s a geographical barrier between you and your closest guy friend, this can serve as a tie breaker. You’ll want to choose someone who’s close enough to help you out with the various planning duties (think bachelor party, suit rentals, etc.).
Finding your groomsmen is a little less stressful, as it’s more of a numbers game.
If you’ve got multiple brothers or your bride to be is very close to hers, you may want to include them in your groomsmen party. This cuts down on the picking process, and since you’re all going to be family anyways, you might as well start the bonding early.
Make it Match
You’re going to want the same number of groomsmen that your betrothed has bridesmaids. Since they will also accompany a bridesmaid the entire evening, from the aisle walk to the reception entrance to wedding party seating, make sure you match accordingly—don’t sit your self-proclaimed dog of a best friend next to your bride’s younger sister.
Consider the Duties
It might help you to consider exactly what your groomsmen will be tasked with on the big day. The general responsibilities of groomsmen include greeting and seating guests, helping plan your bachelor party, and completing any behind the scenes work that needs doing (unloading supplies for the ceremony and reception, facilitating present tables, etc.).
Don’t Forget the Gifts
Once you’ve got the team drafted up, make sure you’ve got the gifts covered as well. Customized collar stays will ensure the boys look dapper while you say your vows, and personalized beer growlers will really get the party started while you’re getting ready for the walk down the aisle.
When you’re hunting for your tuxedo squad to stand behind you on the most important day of your life, consider the above and make your wedding day as smooth as possible.
Rich, luscious and festive, we are majorly crushing on the color cranberry (and cranberries, themselves) for wintertime wedding decor.
A deep shade of red, like cranberry, can act as the neutral color in your inspiration palette (so long, gray, black and white!), pairing perfectly with colors like sage green, dusty blue, silver and rose gold.
And why not incorporate the color’s namesake into the design elements? Cranberries, with their bold color and gleam, look abundant and beautiful cascading down a table runner, floating in a cocktail or hiding stems in floral centerpieces. Also, a few sprigs of cranberries tacked in bouquets and boutineers add color and texture.
These sweet snapshots show you what cranberry’s all about.
Gold, silver, copper, bronze, rose gold — metallics are majorly trending in fashion, design and wedding decor. While there are numerous ways to incorporate the brilliant hues into your big day with different materials, accents, fabrics and more, we think one of the most stunning spots to metallicize is your wedding cake — it is one of the main focal points of the big day, after all.
Whether through intricate embellishments, painted fondant or a layered foil effect, metallic tiers are mesmerizing.
Go ahead, get lost in these shiny confections.
Planning a wedding can be stressful and we’re all bound to make mistakes. However, be careful because a few too many mistakes will stand out in the bigger picture, especially when it comes to your wedding photography because so many can go awry on the day of the wedding.
How to Avoid the Most Common Wedding Photography Mistakes
Waiting too long to book your photographer – Aim to hire your wedding photographer at least a year in advance because they book up fast, especially if it’s wedding season. Otherwise, you might end up with an amateur photographer, and you don’t want that. Instead, begin interviewing photographers a year before your wedding – that is if you have that much time to prepare. Wedding photography in Melbourne by Scott Morton has one of the best portfolios. If you want, you can start your search here.
Not discussing your schedule with your photographer-While it’s admirable that your wedding timeline is planned out weeks in advance, you need to be flexible with it and discuss certain aspects of it with your photographer. Taking photos near dusk provides lots of natural, glowy light, but if you try that midday on a sunny day, it’ll be too bright so you need to plan accordingly for your outdoor photos.
Allowing your family or friends to get in the way – Every wedding has a few well-intentioned family members who want to follow the photographer and the action and take their, “unofficial” wedding photos. However, they almost always get in the way and their flash may ruin some important shots, so kindly tell your guests to stay out of the way of the professionals.
Forgetting to get assistance organising people for pictures – If you don’t have a wedding coordinator, this is where your close friends could be useful as they probably know everyone needed in the pertinent pictures and can round them up when needed.
Rushing through the shots-We know you want as many pictures as possible to capture your wedding day, but it’s an experienced photographer’s job to know how to do time management and make sure that you get all the shots you need at each location, without mincing quality.
Skipping the “First Look” – This can be because you were brought up with the idea that tradition matters most and couples shouldn’t see each other before the wedding. However, wedding photographers find it so romantic to capture the first look of awe and love that grooms often have as they see their bride for the very first time. This allows couples some private time, and you don’t have to rush through the photos between the ceremony and the reception. Contact us if you’ve decided to try a Meet the Bride shoot with Scott Morton.
The majority of wedding photography mistakes happen because of misunderstandings in communication. Try to hire a photographer that you feel at ease with and whose style meshes with yours and these problems are less likely.
When it comes to choosing a venue for your wedding day, it sometimes is hard to match a location with the images that you have had in mind for your big day. Sometimes you will have to compromise as we cannot always afford the fairytale wedding. However, that does not mean that you cannot have a magical day when you exchange nuptials with your loved one.
A Perfect Beach Wedding
An excellent location in Melbourne to host your big event is on one of the many fantastic beaches that are around. The Brighton Savoy’s beach wedding venues in Melbourne is extremely popular due to its superb location, as well as exceptional services that they offer. If you are going to have your event at a beach, then make sure that the hotel will also have contingency plans in case the weather turns bad. Choosing the best season is also important if you are looking to have an open air event.
Splendid Facilities Available
You may wish not to tempt fate and decide to have your wedding party inside, which will mean you do not have to worry about what weather Mother Nature has in store for your big day. Most of the better venues will offer a variety of wedding packages, and can cater for all different types of budgets. You will also find that venues will usually have a dedicated wedding planner that can help to transform their facilities into the perfect location to celebrate your wedding. You can quickly find more information about all of your potential venues by looking at their websites, or contacting them directly either through email or by telephone. Then you will have all of the information that you require, to choose the most suitable location for your special day.
What Do Other People Think?
Once you have spoken to each venue regarding the facilities and packages that they offer, you will then need to make a decision as to which one to choose. Before you do so, it is a good idea to do some further research on each place, and this can be done quickly using the internet. You will want to look for reviews and testimonials about the specific locations, and take on board what other people have experienced when hosting a similar event. Some people are never happy, though, so you do need to take some of the reviews with a grain of salt.
Armed with all of this information you should now be ready to sit down and discuss the best options with your partner. Taking into account not only the location, cost, and also available facilities, but also the atmosphere of the place and the service offered by the staff, you can choose the perfect location for your wedding. Ultimately, it does not matter where you are, as long as you get to spend you day with your betrothed and share the occasion with all of your friends and family.
If you’re planning your wedding, chances are you have some idea of the kind of honeymoon you’d like. Perhaps you’re dreaming of golden sands, azure waves, and hammocks that rock gently in the breeze; or maybe city tours, cocktails on the terrace, and historical sites are more your style. If you and your significant other share a love of travel and adventure, why not consider something a little bit different for your first vacation as a married couple? The world is your oyster, as they say, so it’s time to see it together; the natural world is an incredible place.
There’s a good chance you’ll have seen pictures of the breathtaking ‘Devil’s Pool’ on social media, so why not explore Zambia’s Victoria Falls for yourself? As if the torrents of water weren’t spectacular enough, thousands of years of weathering have left rock pools along the falls’ edge; you will feel as though you’re swimming to the edge of the earth. Zambia is also a fantastic destination for those that enjoy navigating white water rapids, exploring miles of National Parks, enjoying a safari and getting up close and personal with nature.
Do you enjoy diving, and long for crystal clear waters and more fish than you can count? Fiji is often heralded as a diver’s paradise and it isn’t hard to see why; an entire ocean to explore, hot white sands, and swaying palm trees await you in this heaven on earth. One of the best things about a honeymoon in Fiji is that it offers a bit of everything. You can relax by the beach, take a gentle stroll in the sea’s swell and enjoy cocktails as the sun sets, but you can also dive right into adventure. Snorkel in the shallows, take a boat around the islands or romp through the forest – discover your own paradise.
If you’re fans of the chillier things in life, a honeymoon in Finland may just be your thing. What’s more romantic than an evening snuggled in front of a roaring fire, taking a sleigh ride through the forest, or marveling at the Northern Lights together? A world of adventure awaits you in the snowy peaks of Finland including dog sledding, snowmobile safaris, whale watching, stargazing, and trekking through the snow, as well as quaint wooden lodges and igloos that you’ll fall in love with.
Staying Closer to Home
Planning a wedding can be an expensive business, and a lavish ceremony and reception for friends and family can seriously limit your honeymoon budget, but it is still possible to have an amazing post-wedding break. Going abroad for your honeymoon isn’t obligatory, and you can have a great time very close to home – just think about all of those places that you’ve never been to.
Imagine the scene: breathtaking mountain scenery, opportunities to hike, bike, and horseback ride, cool crisp air and heaps of snow that’s ready and waiting for skiing and boarding. Welcome to Aspen, Colorado – your gateway to the Rocky Mountains.
For a different type of vacation, you could try magical Las Vegas – Sin City – a metropolis that never sleeps. Just outside its neon Strip is a whole desert for you to explore, including the Grand Canyon and the Hoover Dam. You won’t be disappointed.
Bluegreen Resorts is your ticket to such amazing honeymoon destinations, and each of them is located within the US or very close to its shores. Whether you want to explore the bustling heart of New York City, head to Big Bear Lake, California, for some alpine air and adrenaline-fueled sports, or submerge yourself in the wetland wonderlands of Florida, Bluegreen Resorts can help you to plan your dream honeymoon. They arrange vacations in some of our nation’s most beautiful and enthralling places. Take some of the pressure off and let the experts help you with the arrangements of your trip.
Married life isn’t about standing still, but heading for that next thrill; it is an adventure, a journey, a new chapter in your lives as a couple. Choosing to spend the rest of your life with one person, and dedicating yourself to them from that moment on, is an incredibly special commitment. It stands to reason that you should celebrate such a union with an equally adventurous honeymoon, to set out and see the world as two individuals, finally joined in matrimony. Go on – explore the world together and never look back.
Look no further than above your head to find one of the hottest wedding trends of the year: hanging decor. Wreaths, stems, greenery, florals, lanterns, dream catchers, twinkle lights — you name it, they hang it. We love the departure from typical centerpieces and design elements for something a little more out of the ordinary. And hanging decor achieves a look that is whimsical, unexpected and utterly dreamy. Swoon.
Note: If your heart is set on hanging decor, make sure you choose a venue that will allow you to do so (i.e. with several trees, a tent, etc.).
Check out these beautiful hanging decor designs.
Justin Lansford was a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division in eastern Afghanistan in early 2012 when he struck an IED that flipped his truck. His wounds resulted in the amputation of his left leg.
Once home, Justin was paired with Gabe, a golden retriever who had recently graduated from the Warrior Canine Connection – a nonprofit that puts wounded warriors in connection with support dogs.
They grew so close that Lansford had Gabe stand by his side as best man at his wedding to longtime girlfriend, Carol Balmes. The couple has been together since high school.