Your proposal is a moment you and your partner will remember forever, no matter how it goes down – which is why it’s a good idea to plan the moment carefully and account for all the small details. The little touches are what will be remembered most more than the grand gestures. With this mind, here are a few ways you can ensure that big moment goes smoothly, if you’re the one doing the proposing:

Public or Private

Some people love big displays of affection, where everyone in the nearby vicinity can see you and your partner and coo over your love for one another, whereas for others the thought of people watching them or witnessing such an intimate moment is terrifying. Work out what your partner would prefer before you plan anything – and if you can’t guess what they want, go on the safe side and opt for a private setting.

Choose the Right Ring

For some, the ring is the most important aspect of a proposal: it’s the takeaway item that you get to show off to family and friends and the physical representation of your promise to one another. This is why it’s a good idea to do your research to discover what your partner will like. Take a look at the jewellery they already wear and seek the advice of an expert such as Diamonds Factory advisors will guide you towards the right ring.

When you’re choosing the ring, try not to mix metals (unless they already wear a combination of silver, gold or rose gold jewellery). It’s a good idea to work out their ring size beforehand too so there are no awkward moments when they first put it onhere are some helpful tips on how to do this.

Pick a Special Location

It could be the first restaurant you had your first date in, the park you enjoy walking around together on a Sunday afternoon, or simply in the comfort of your living room. Choose somewhere you both love and that you’ll return to regularly to remember that special moment as a couple.

Get Family and Friends Involved

Whether it’s simply letting their parents in on the secret beforehand – and asking for their blessing if you’re a traditionalist – or arranging a big party afterwards to celebrate the news, get your families together soon after you’ve popped the question. Not only does this allow them to meet and mingle way before the big day, it’s also a great way of celebrating the moment and having everyone you love around you to share your excitement for the future.

Avoid Special Days

If your partner has an inkling a proposal is coming their way soon, try to make it a surprise by avoiding those big special days throughout the year – e.g. your anniversary, their birthday, Valentine’s Day, Christmas etc. You also want your engagement day to be yours, not shared with another holiday or special occasion. A true surprise is something every person being proposed to wants, so try to keep it a secret and ask that big question out of the blue!

Adopt all of these tips to ensure your proposal is perfect for you and your partner. Don’t compare your plans to what your friends have done or those viral videos you see being shared around Facebook. Your proposal needs to be special just for you and the one you love, so do whatever you know you’ll both love and feel comfortable with.

If you’re in search of inspiration to pair your engagement ring with a wedding ring, look no further! Our friends at Ritani.com have rounded up some of their best-selling engagement rings and paired them with wedding bands to create beautiful matching sets. Read on for dazzling wedding day inspiration.

Sponsored by Ritani.

Three-Stone Diamond Engagement Ring With Matching Band

in Platinum (1.5 CTW) for a Round Center Stone

 

There’s no better way to show off your love of sparkle than this larger-than-life “Royal Crown” three-stone engagement ring design, a spectacular showing of diamonds. A cluster of dazzling diamonds is created when paired with a five-diamond matching wedding band. You’ll definitely turn heads with this much brilliance as you say “I do.” Shop this set.

French-Set Halo Diamond Band Engagement Ring With Matching Band

in 18kt Rose Gold (0.34 CTW) for a Round Center Stone

 

 The combination of the classic halo setting and fashion-forward rose gold metal creates an extra dose of sparkle for the modern fashionista. Rose gold engagement rings make a distinctive choice, but are even better when paired with an additional row of matching diamonds for a streamlined look. Shop this set. 

Solitaire Diamond Braided Engagement Ring With Matching Band

in 18kt White Gold (0.32 CTW) for a Round Center Stone

 

If you’ve said “Yes” to a round diamond solitaire ring, add extra sparkle with a micropavé band to create a stylish backdrop for your center diamond. If the band of your engagement ring is sleek and simple, think about adding a diamond wedding band to bring extra oomph to your new accessory. This classic pairing never goes out of style. Shop this set.

Vintage Halo Micropave Diamond Band Engagement Ring With Matching Band

in 18kt Yellow Gold (0.53 CTW) for a Marquise Center Stone

 If you seek brilliance to match your vintage engagement ring, make a statement with a matching band for a gorgeous look that’s all your own. Even better, 18k yellow gold really makes diamonds come alive, especially when highlighting fancy-shaped diamonds like this Marquise. Shop this set.

French-Set Halo Diamond ‘V’ Band Engagement Ring With Matching Band

in 18kt Rose Gold (1.48 CTW) for a Radiant Center Stone

 Can’t get enough diamonds? Enshrine your sparkle with even more sparkle! This best-selling wedding ring is elegant and eye-catching with a band of shared-prong diamonds in an above-average carat weight, creating a dramatic look. Even better, this wedding band also looks beautiful when worn on its own. Shop this set.

French-Set Diamond Band Engagement Ring With Matching Band

in 18kt Yellow Gold (1.48 CTW) for a Cushion Center Stone

 

This sparkling classic is enhanced even further when you add a shared-prong diamond wedding band. Varying sizes of diamonds create more opportunity for scintillation — the magic ingredient that gives diamonds their brilliance. Shop this set.

Bypass Micropave Diamond Band Engagement Ring With Matching Band

in Platinum (0.19 CTW) for an Oval Center Stone

Let your fancy-shaped diamond shine alongside a classic wedding band. This micropavé bypass setting gives the engagement ring a modern feel, which is further elevated with the juxtaposition of a simple, smooth wedding band. When worn alone, this simple rounded wedding ring is perfect for the bride who doesn’t want to worry about diamond or prong damage. The classic design of this band is great for comfortable, fuss-free wear with or without your engagement ring. Shop this set.

Tapered Channel-Set Diamond Band Engagement Ring With Matching Band

in 18kt Rose Gold (0.93 CTW) for a Princess Center Stone 

 

This princess cut engagement ring is unique in rose gold, but the matching channel-set diamond wedding band takes it to a whole new level. The diamonds in each band create continuous streams of brilliance. Channel settings also provide the most safety for your diamonds, with metal edges to protect them from bangs and scrapes. Shop this set.

Solitaire Micropave Braided Diamond Band Engagement Ring With Matching Band

in 18kt Yellow Gold (0.25 CTW) for a Round Center Stone

This pairing marries the pavé diamond band of your engagement ring with a simple, smooth wedding band in matching 18k yellow gold. Not only does this combination highlight your center diamond, but it’s also a practical addition if you’re looking for a no-fuss wedding ring. Shop this set.

Diamond Micropave Band Engagement Ring With Matching Set

in Platinum (0.45 CTW) for a Pear Center Stone

 

For a truly dazzling look, showcase your fancy-shaped center stone against a backdrop of micropavé diamonds. The micropavé diamonds are set with tiny prongs arranged close to the band, minimizing the chances of catching on clothing and making this bridal set perfect for everyday wear. Shop this set.

 

Designed to fit together, just like the two of you, a bridal set takes the guesswork out of finding the right match for a wedding ring. If you’re looking for a perfect match to your engagement band, make sure you select the right setting and styles, as there are many different kinds of diamond settings and band styles: pavé, micropavé, channel set, french-set, knife edge, plain, rounded, and more. If you’re not sure what kind of wedding band is best for you, contact Ritani’s customer service, who will be happy to help you select the perfect wedding band for your engagement ring.

Ritani.com, based in New York, specializes in handcrafted engagement rings, wedding rings, bridal sets and fine jewelry for your wedding day.

Becca Luna is a luxury goods aficionado and writer in Seattle. Follow her on Twitter @beccarisa.

An eternity ring is the ultimate symbol of a long lasting relationship, a representation of your love for your partner and the perfect gift. But when is the right time to purchase such a lavish ring?

Milestone Anniversary

One of the most popular occasions to gift 77 eternity rings is on a milestone anniversary, if you’ve been together say 25, 50 or even 70 years. It’s a way of letting your partner know that your affections for them are as strong as your wedding day when you initially exchanged rings and that new piece of jewellery solidifies this.

Milestone Birthday

When you get married, you’re going to celebrate two birthdays forever more as your partner’s big day becomes just as important as your own. This is why the gift of an eternity ring is a good choice for a significant birthday, whether that be their 40th, 50th or even their 90th!

Valentine’s Day

What better day to proclaim your ever lasting love than the one day a year, set aside for those who wish to let their other half know just how much they mean to them. An eternity ring is a wonderful, unexpected surprise they can open on the 14th February.

Surprise Gift

Sometimes you don’t need a reason to give a special present to the one you love, perhaps you just want to surprise them over your usual big Sunday breakfast or have been feeling like you need to declare your love for them in a stronger way of late.

First Home Purchase

For many, renting a home together is commonplace before marriage and many newly wed couples choose to wait a few more years before mustering up a deposit and buying a home. That’s why, if you have any money spare, an eternity ring is a wonderful new home gift that you can give your partner on the first night together.

Addition to the Family

The arrival of a new baby is a wonderful occasion and the perfect way of celebrating this milestone as a couple is with an eternity ring, to look back on and remember the memories of those first few moments when you got to enjoy your newborn as parents, after arriving home.

Choosing the Right Eternity Ring

When it comes to choosing the perfect eternity ring pick out a design that complements their wedding band and engagement ring: choosing a gold band when all they wear is silver jewellery isn’t the best option. Most people wear their eternity ring alongside their wedding band and engagement ring, but it can be worn on any finger you wish. According to tradition, there is also a certain order rings should be worn with the wedding ring first, then engagement ring and finally eternity ring – this is because the wedding band should be worn closest to the heart.

Next is to decide what type of stone setting you want; eternity rings are traditionally a little glitzier than the wedding band and even engagement ring your partner is perhaps wearing. Take some time to browse styles and choose something that reflects their personal tastes and preferences.

An eternity ring is also a big investment, so perhaps when it comes to deciding on the ‘right time’, ensure that you can afford to purchase one before making your choice.

A honeymoon is the perfect excuse for a married couple to start their life together on the right track. If you and your new spouse have a fondness for culture, art, and beauty, then there are plenty of incredible locations around the world that you can visit to open up your mind and tantalize your senses.

Here, we’re going to take a look at just some of the honeymoon destinations around the world that could be perfect for couples that love art and culture.

Unlock the beauty of Spain in La Rioja

The northern wine region of Spain combines cuisine and culture with miles of stunning green vineyards. The perfect budget-friendly option for couples who enjoy a chance to soak up the finer things in life, this romantic location is home to the Vivanco Museum of Wine Culture, where you can check out an incredible corkscrew collection, alongside wine bottles from ancient Rome and original Picasso paintings.

Try a Tour of Europe

Most of Europe has something to offer couples when it comes to art and culture. From the beauty and mystery of Switzerland, to the incredible natural beauty at the heart of Zurich. A cruise or trip through Europe could give you the perfect opportunity to combine numerous adventures into one during your newlywed honeymoon experience. Plus, you’ll have the perfect opportunity to check out the stunning Galerie Gmurzynska, with locations in Zug, St. Moritz, and Zurich.

Explore the Lights and Sounds of Shanghai

There are 27 national museums in Shanghai that’s more than any other city in the world. On top of that, this location is perfect for culture lovers because it’s home to iconic landmarks such as the Yuyuan Garden and the Bund on the Huangpu River. Two of the best places to visit include the Shanghai Museum, and the China Art Museum.

Get the City Vibe in New York

If you and your new spouse are culture lovers who also enjoy great music and great stage experiences, then there are few places better to visit than New York. The home of Broadway for musical and theatre lovers, New York also plays host to the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, where you’ll find the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, and the New York City Ballet. On top of that, there are also hundreds of galleries to explore and museums to check out across Fifth Avenue.

Samarkand

Located within Uzbekistan, Samarkand is described by UNESCO as an Islamic masterpiece of culture creativity, and a crossroads for world culture that’s come together over two millennia of growth. If you’re trying to keep your culture-loving partner satisfied, the Old Town of the 14th and 15th centuries is sure to meet the mark, with houses full of remarkable interior decoration, and vast courtyards.

Your Perfect Honeymoon

Choosing the perfect honeymoon destination will always be a personal experience, but this list of cultural gems should help to give some inspiration to those of you who are searching for a way to satisfy your love of art and beauty, while you celebrate the start of your new life as a married couple.

Europe is a favourite travel destination for holiday makers, be it for a short weekend break or full on beach break. With so many beautiful countries being a short plane journey away, it is little wonder that weddings are now also becoming popular in Europe too. If you are considering adding a little twist to your wedding, why not try organising a European wedding for you and your friends and family? After all, getting your nearest and dearest together for one of the biggest days of your life is important and the location you will choose will speak volumes about the love you share. No matter where you choose to get married in Europe, be sure to check that both you and your wedding party all have a European Health Insurance Card to take with them for the duration of the wedding trip. You can get your EHIC card on this website.

Here are just a small handful of the best locations and countries to get married in, in Europe:

Sveti Stefan, Montenegro

The private island Sveti Stefan can be found sitting picturesquely in the Adriatic Sea and is certainly a very much sought after wedding location for many couples from around the world. This holiday spot is relatively unspoiled and offers a stunning backdrop for your holiday photos.

Oxarafoss Waterfall, Iceland

Iceland is the ultimate destination for nature lovers. The island offers everything from stunning scenery and abundant wildlife. In particular many people have pointed out the beautiful Oxarafoss waterfall found a mere 30 minutes’ drive from the capital particularly beautiful. It even has a chapel in which to house your guests- just remember to wrap up warm.

Castillo De Santa Catalina, Spain

If you are looking for a spot of sun and history, then be sure to make your way to Spain’s medieval fortress of Castillo de Santa Catalina for your Big Day. This destination is set in a beautiful plot of land and offers impressive views of the sea. This beautiful place even comes with a host of hotel rooms, perfect for housing all of your guests.

Cochem Castle, Germany

For that fairy tale feeling, why not look into tying the knot in the beautiful Cochem Castle in Germany? This Romanesque castle is the perfect place to get lost in romance and will really make your wedding one to remember. There are a wide range of stunning rooms and archways to choose from when it comes to getting some stunning wedding photo pictures too!

No matter where you choose to host your wedding day, be sure to plan ahead of time and ask plenty of questions about the suitability of the venue for your wedding party size and specific requirements. Also double check to see if your friends and family are able to attend- while a foreign wedding destination is glamorous, not having your nearest and dearest by your side may help to finalise the decision to get wed at home but honeymoon elsewhere in Europe instead!

Lots of people are interested in elegant wedding gowns for an affordable price. It is true that many people are interested in indulging themselves as much as possible on their wedding days and they are not going to be especially interested in all of the sales and deals that are available to them. They are going to feel less indulgent if they decide to go down that route. However, other people are interested in saving money as often as possible, and that includes on some of the most special occasions.

Different Sleeve Styles

One of the main factors that is going to alter the look and feel of a wedding gown is the sleeve style. A lot of people are never going to choose one particular sort of sleeve style, so this is a good way to narrow down some of the wedding dresses on a particular list. Wedding dresses with long sleeves, no sleeves, straps, or short sleeves are all popular. In the 2010’s, wedding dresses that have a lacey overlay that acts as sleeves with a more opaque inner dress have been popular. Fortunately, the sleeve style is not going to affect the price much, and people can be shopwise by using promo codes or other forms of discount deals offered by many online stores such as Debenhams, House of Fraser or even Lord & Taylor.

Vintage Wedding Gowns

A lot of people are really interested in the wedding gowns of the past. Some people just like vintage styles in general, and others are very traditionalist and conservative. While many people today might not like the values of the past, they are still going to be interested in a lot of the styles. It isn’t too difficult to find genuine antique wedding gowns from the 1950’s and even earlier.

Other people might be able to find wedding gowns that were made today, but in a genuinely vintage style, and this can be just as special for them. Of course, even a 1990’s wedding gown is going to count as vintage today, and some young people getting married today might be drawn to wedding gowns that they will remember from their childhoods. Some vintage gowns might be less expensive than others.

Wedding Gowns or Dresses

One of the other main factors that changes the look of a wedding dress is whether or not it looks like a huge ball gown or whether it has the shape of a dress that someone would wear on most other locations. Many people like the look of a huge ball gown. Other people might think that it is too impractical and extravagant. It’s hard to say which is going to be more effective beforehand, which is why it is useful for people to try everything on first. Different styles are going to work for different people. It should be noted that even if ball gowns look like they are going to be significantly more expensive, this is not necessarily going to be the case. People should be able to find discounts on ball gowns and smaller dresses just as easily.

There are lots of different wedding dress styles out there. Just a comparatively small change in the layout or design of a dress can make it look entirely different, and this is going to add to the complexity of choosing a dress in the first place. Non traditional trends going on today on how one finds the perfect wedding dress make dress hunting more exciting.

Buying wedding jewelry can seem overwhelming, especially if you’re looking for something unique. It’s important to get it just right, after all, this is the lasting symbol of the most important relationship of your life. Antique and vintage jewelry have a character all of their own. Such finely-crafted heirlooms have been handed down through generations and really stand out in the jewelry world

Choosing antique jewelry is one way to make certain your choice is one-of-a-kind, but making the right choices is crucial. Here are some tips to help you find the perfect antique engagement and wedding jewelry such as those at Gesner Antique Rings.

Recognizing Vintage Periods

Antique wedding jewelry can be categorized by the era it was made. Each period has its own style and trend that make it easier for jewelers to date the items and to recognize reproductions. Here’s a rundown on some of the most popular periods.

Victorian (1835-1890)

Wedding jewelry from this ear is very sought after and though it can be hard to find, it’s not impossible. Traditionally, Victorian brides and grooms exchanged finely designed wedding bands that were either plain or pressed with intricate symbols of eternity. Almost all wedding bands were engraved with the couples’ initials and the date of the ceremony. Most Victorian wedding bands were made from yellow or rose gold. Popular diamond cuts from this era are rose cut, old European cut, antique cushion cut, and mine cut.

Edwardian/Belle Époque (1890-1910)

During this era advances in technology and the manufacture of platinum greatly influenced the quality of wedding jewelry. Edwardian grooms gave their brides engagement rings made with diamonds and other exotic gemstones. Ring designs were based on Art Deco and Art Nouveau styles. All rings of this era were made from platinum. Popular diamond cuts were rose cut, traditional cut, old European cut.

Art Deco (1915-1935)

The Art Deco period saw the glamour of the Roaring Twenties and the turmoil of the great depression. This era saw white gold used for the first time to make wedding jewelry and the engagement ring as we know it today. Filigree settings were in vogue and rings had very intricate detailing. Eternity rings were common, as were old European, old traditional, round transitional and round brilliant diamond cuts.

Retro/Mid-Century (1935-1960)

Wedding jewelry from the Depression and WWII era was designed to look glamorous while using the minimum of resources. Solitaire diamonds were set in illusion mounts which made them look square shaped and larger in size. During this era, we saw wedding bands designed to match the engagement ring. Rings were made from yellow or white gold or a combination of the two. Common diamond cuts were round transitional cut and round brilliant cut.

Estate (1960-Present Day)

In the realm of antique jewelry, this category is used to denote items made after 1960. This incorporates a wide variety of styles including cluster engagement rings of the 1970s and marquise solitaires from the 1980s.

Factors to Consider

As well as the era the ring was made, there are many other factors to consider, such as:

  • Karat number: This tells you how much gold there is in the ring. The lower the karat, the less gold content, and the harder the ring will be.
  • Clarity: This is a measurement of a diamonds inclusions and flaws. A highquality diamond will have neither.
  • Color: Fancy diamonds are available in black, yellow, pink, blue, and green.
  • Cut: This includes the proportions, symmetry, and polish.
  • Fluorescence: This is the diamond’s ability to glow under a UV lamp. This can affect the value of the stone.

Alternatives to Diamonds

If you are looking for a vintage ring that’s out of the ordinary and want to avoid diamonds there are many other options. You will be able to find a wide selection of rings containing rubies and sapphires. It’s best to avoid coral, opals, and pearls in wedding jewelry, not only are these stones connected to superstition, they don’t age well if they’re not taken care of.

The important things to remember when you’re shopping for vintage engagement and wedding rings are to find a reputable seller and one who is knowledgeable about the products they carry. Do your research so you don’t end up spending money on an “antique” ring, which you later find out to be a reproduction.

Sean Austin is a jeweler who shares his knowledge of gems and jewelry around the web whether he’s offering up tips for buying engagement rings or discussing the conflict free diamond industry.

Every bride wants to look her best on her wedding day. For many, this is more than the motivation they need to get into top shape. But, it’s certainly not the only reason. Your wedding day, the celebrations beforehand, and your honeymoon are going to to be physically strenuous. You’re going to need plenty of stamina. Right Path Fitness recommends offers brides to be the following tips:

You Can’t Outrun Your Fork

If you’re trying to get into shape for your wedding, it’s important to know the role that diet and exercise play. Eating a healthy diet and cutting your calories will lead to weight loss. If you add a healthy workout routine, you’ll tone your muscles, burn fat, and improve your figure.

Keep in mind that you cannot exercise your way out of poor food choices. Here’s an example. In order to burn off the calories in a single Big Mac, you would have to run five miles.

Use a Personal Trainer

There are many reasons to invest in a qualified personal trainer.

  • They’ll teach you to use the proper form. This will maximize your results and help you avoid injury.
  • They can design a plan around your needs.
  • Personal trainers provide motivation and encouragement when you need it most.
  • They can help you to set fitness goals.

Personal trainers don’t work for free, but most have very flexible options. There are even trainers who provide their services online.

Decrease Your Sugar Intake

Cutting out pastries and ice cream is a no brainer. Unfortunately, your diet could be full of hidden sugar. High carb foods such as white bread quickly break down into sugar in your body. Then there are fruit juices. A glass of orange juice isn’t much better than soda pop when it comes to sugar content. Granola bars are often nothing more than glorified cookies.

Focus on Core Strength

Your core is the group of muscles in the center of your body. This includes your abs, back, chest, even your pelvic floor. Virtually everything you do places a demand on your core muscles. You use them to walk, dance, stand, maintain balance, bend over, etc.

Now, imagine how many of those things you’ll be doing at your wedding. By building good core strength, you’ll have the strength and stamina that you need.

Eat Healthy Nutrient Dense Food

If you’re going to cut calories, you’ll need to maximize your nutrients per calorie. Salmon, spinach and other leafy green vegetables, blueberries, sweet potatoes, and quinoa are examples of relatively low calorie foods with powerhouse nutrient levels.

Enjoy Your Big Day!

Remember that a healthy, happy bride is a beautiful bride.

If you’re a first-time bridesmaid and are wondering what the heck you have to pay for, don’t fret. Many newbie bridesmaids have this question, and let’s face it: being a ‘maid isn’t exactly cheap. Help yourself avoid unnecessary expenses by learning what you are expected to pay for.

The Dress

Paying for your bridesmaid dress is standard. Hopefully the bride will choose pretty but not-ridiculously-expensive dresses. If she wants dresses for an insane price tag, it could be argued that she should foot some or all of the bill. Keep in mind you are also expected to pay for your shoes and jewelry. Sometimes the bride’s gift to her bridesmaids is jewelry to wear in the wedding, but she will let you know that.

Bachelorette Party

The bachelorette party is usually planned by the Maid of Honor and bridesmaids. As such, everyone is expected to contribute. This can involve paying for dinner, club entrance fees, spa or beach weekends, and other entertainment.

Bridal Shower

Whoever hosts the bridal shower pays for it. The mother of the bride might pay for the shower, however it is frequently hosted by the Maid of Honor and the bridesmaids. As such, you will have to fork over some cash for food or decor. Do not, repeat do not ask guests for contributions. They are bringing gifts to the shower–that is their contribution.

Hair And Makeup

Generally the bridesmaids are responsible for their hair and makeup. You may opt for a professional ‘do from the same stylist working with the bride, or do it yourself. If the bride wants everyone to have their hair and makeup professionally done, she should pay for it. This doesn’t always happen, but it is certainly a nice gesture.

Budget some money if you are going to be a bridesmaid–you will be happy you did!

Your friends are getting married, so it’s understandably an exciting time. With all the craziness going on, it’s easy to forget about the rehearsal dinner. Rather than panicking over what to wear, use the following guidelines to arrive at the dinner looking fabulous.

The Golden Rule

The “golden rule” of rehearsal dinner dress is finding out where the event is being held. This will give you a very good idea of what to wear. For example, if the dinner is at a high-end banquet hall, it makes sense to wear a cocktail dress and heels or nice shirt and slacks. If the dinner is at the local crab shack, you can easily get away with casualwear. Rehearsal dinners are never as formal as weddings, so even if the Big Day is super-formal, that doesn’t mean the dinner will be.

Middle Ground

The rehearsal dinner isn’t at a banquet hall, nor is it at Jim’s Barbecue House. It is at a restaurant–so how should you dress? Finding the middle ground is recommended, particularly if the restaurant is on the nicer side or within a country club. Go for “presentable yet comfortable,” such as a tea-length dress or dress suit. You may have to follow dress guidelines depending on the venue, such as a shirt and jacket or dress/skirt. Check the guidelines prior to the rehearsal dinner date so you don’t show up under or overdressed.

The Invitation

If you need more help determining what to wear to the rehearsal dinner, look at your wedding invitation. How formal and flowery or not the invite looks is a big hint on how to dress for both the dinner and the nuptials. If the invite is no help for whatever reason, ask a member of the bridal party or even the bride if she is one of your besties.

Keep these tips in mind…and remember to have fun!

Whether you’re hosting a wedding shower, attending a wedding shower, or the person the wedding shower happens around, it’s a good idea to keep a few etiquette tips in mind. Use the following as an etiquette guide to prevent mishaps and annoyed people.

Q: My Bridesmaids Are Hosting My Shower And Asked Me For A List Of Names. Does This Happen A Lot?

Essentially, yes. Feel free to go a step further and not only provide a list of guests, but a spreadsheet so your bridal party team can keep up with the responses.

Q: Should The Wedding Registry Be Included On The Invitation?

Add registry information to the shower invites–it is a gift event, after all! It is normal to put registry info on shower invitations, however it is considered tacky to include it on your wedding invites.

Q: Can Guests Be Invited To The Shower But Not The Wedding?

Yes, but it is in very poor taste. Your guests are bringing a gift, so it is rude to ask them to pay for a present but not attend your wedding. The only exception is a guest who cannot attend your wedding but still wants to come to the shower.

Q: Is Throwing A Shower For A Second Wedding Appropriate?

Keep a second wedding shower small, such as close friends and family only. You likely already have a toaster oven and plenty of other household items, so consider asking for donations to favorite charities or “experience” gifts such as theater and concert tickets.

Q: Can I Have More Than One Shower?

If it makes sense to do so, yes–just don’t invite the same people. Asking your guests to purchase two gifts for you is a lot! Schedule two showers if you are dealing with out-of-town guests and other people who can attend on specific dates only.

Hope these answers help!

One of the many decisions you have to make about your wedding is the makeup. Airbrush makeup is a popular trend among brides after celebrities increasingly used it to look camera-ready. It involves applying lightweight makeup through an air gun machine. It creates a flawless, matte finish that lasts all day. If you cannot decide whether to splurge for airbrush makeup or go the “traditional” route, read on!

Natural Look

Airbrush makeup results in a completely natural look because the application is so fine it allows your real skin tone to show through. The stuff does not come off on clothing and never looks caked on, unlike regular makeup. Foundations are mixed to create a perfect blend that matches your skin. Airbrush makeup is also waterproof, so it will survive any happy tears. Just be sure to blot instead of wiping airbrush makeup!

Lasts All Day

The supreme durability of airbrush makeup is another reason to consider it over traditional makeup. Regular makeup can smear and requires a lot of blotting and maintenance to remain shine-free and ready for photos. Airbrush makeup is guaranteed to last 16 hours, meaning you will still look fantastic by the time the reception and even the post-reception party is over.

Ideal For Photos

The matte, flawless finish and long wear time airbrush makeup offers makes it ideal for photos. Your wedding pictures are those you will treasure for the rest of your life, so it makes sense to want to look as perfect as possible. Reminiscing over your wedding should not involve comments such as “I can’t believe how shiny/cakey my makeup looks.”

Cost

Airbrush makeup is much more expensive than going to the drugstore and stocking up on regular options. However, many brides are more than willing to make the investment because the results are so flawless and long-lasting.

Is airbrush makeup worth it? We think so!

Help yourself navigate the often-challenging waters of wedding planning with one or a few helpful apps. Dozens upon dozens of wedding apps are available, however some belong in the wedding planning pantheon. Let’s look at some of these apps to get you started, shall we?

iWeddingDeluxe–The Wedding Planner

Described as an “all-encompassing” wedding app, iWeddingDeluxe is like a digital wedding planner. Plan your wedding by category, such as venue info, contact info, and budget while also taking advantage of app tools such as photo storage and links to wedding favors. There’s even a way to record what each guest wants to eat at the reception, such as chicken or salmon.

BRIDES Wedding Genius 5.1

BRIDES Wedding Genius 5.1 is a wonderful tool for the “stylish bride” that makes finding the best venues and vendors easy. Browse hundreds of photos, save favorites, and enjoy exclusive discounts from the app’s partners.

Fun Wedding

Creating the ultimate playlist for your wedding day is super-fun with this app, which provides song selections in categories such as “bride and groom”, “groom and mother,” “bride and father,” and more. The app also features the top 200 most-requested songs and hits from the 1950s through today. Fun Wedding is a fabulous way to ensure everyone feels the beat of the rhythm of the night!

Destination Weddings & Honeymoons Mag

If you want to plan a destination wedding but do not know where to begin, consider this fantastic app, which is also the companion to the magazine of the same name. Use it to research destinations around the world, including those in the Pacific and Caribbean. Destination Weddings & Honeymoons Mag features amazing images of each location, as well as important resort details and contact info.

Use these and other well-reviewed wedding apps to plan the perfect wedding! Have fun!

Are you busy planning an upcoming event?

Maybe you are approaching a milestone birthday? Perhaps you are planning a party for your son or daughter’s graduation? Or, are you planning your wedding reception? No matter what applies, whether it is a personal or corporate occasion, you will want to make the event one to remember for all of the right reasons. Below, we reveal 12 bright ideas to add an extra touch of sparkle to your celebrations.

1. Hire a Photobooth

There is only one place to begin, and this is with photobooth hire in Sydney.

A Photobooth not only adds an element of fun to the event, but it creates memories that will last forever. You and everyone in attendance will be able to look back at the photos that were taken and reminisce about the day.

2. Hire a DJ

The right music is so important for any event. It gets people in the mood and ensures you all have a fun-filled evening.

3. Choose a Theme

One way to give your celebrations a bit of sparkle is to add a theme to the event.

For example, you could choose to have a 50’s themed party, or a superhero event where everyone comes dressed as his or her favourite superhero. This gets everyone excited for the event and ensures there is already a talking point.

4. Give Gifts

A small token gift can go a long way.

By giving all guests a small gift to show your appreciation for their attendance, you can make them feel special.

5. Caricature Artist

Another option is to have an artist draw caricatures of your guests.

This will certainly make your event stand out from the crowd, as your guests will have a souvenir that they can take home with them.

6. Welcome Guests in Style

Set the tone for the event by welcoming guests in style. You could have some type of entertainer at the door while guests walk in, such as a fire breather, or if you are on a tighter budget, simply decorate the entrance lavishly to create excitement.

7. Use Colour Wisely

Make the venue lively, colourful, and exciting. One of the best ways to do this is with lighting. Lighting has the power to transform any space.

8. Sweet treat

You could have an ice cream van at your event, or you could create a pick-and-mix section. Or, what about having a fairy floss stand?

9. Hire a Band

Hiring a band is a great way to make your party one to remember.

If you are organising a wedding reception, you could even get the band to write a wedding song just for you and your partner.

10. Face Painting

Of course, this suggestion is only suitable if there are children at the event (big kids count too!). Face painting never fails at children’s parties or any type of event whereby kids are in attendance. It is not only a great way of making them happy, but it keeps them occupied and quiet for the few minutes they are having their face painted.

11. Hire a Magician

Magic never fails to impress.

Having a magician at your event is a great way to get everyone talking. If you are organising a sit-down meal, the magician can perform tricks at each table.

12. Niche Catering

Think outside of the box with catering.

Liaise with your event caterers and get them to create something unique and vibrant that is going to be different from a standard party buffet.

Whether you choose one or all of these ideas, you’re now sure to be able to provide a party atmosphere with a bit of something extra special for your guests to remember, well after your party is over.

Unique Venue Ideas: Desert Wedding Inspiration

The desert may not come to mind when you think about your wedding day, but really, why not? Whether you live in a state like Arizona or decide to jet off to a new spot to swap vows, this sandy scene may be exactly the type of space you’ve been envisioning. Utilize its mystery and texture to create a wedding day that screams unique, personal styling.

From succulents to camel-tones, these outdoor spaces can help transform your big day into something less traditional and strict to something more relaxed and ethereal. From your dress to your reception tables a bit of the desert can come into play in original, trendy ways that are full of detail!

Check out some of our favorite desert wedding inspiration and ideas below. Do some research as you dive into your ceremony plans and reception decisions.

10 Bohemian Wedding Hairstyles

Ethereal with a bit of whimsy, bohemian brides are throwing the most romantic and stunning of weddings. From lush flowers to flowing fabrics, there’s something to storybook-like in quality about this style genre. And we’re loving every bit of it. The soft dresses, the free tresses and the organic, natural beauty of the entire day, it’s a sight to see.

Today we’re showing off some beautiful, bohemian wedding hairstyles that will get your wheels turning and help you finish off your bridal style for your own big day. Long, wavey tresses or your brunette curls topped off with a flower crown, you can find some of our favorite looks below!

Remember that your wedding day if all about what’s in your realm of comfort. Don’t stray too far from your norm and embrace your personal style. If you’re more of a boho gal, steer clear from the prim and proper hairdos and go with something more organic!

Choosing songs for your wedding can either be a fun experience or downright frustrating. It may seem appear and lighthearted but when you don’t know what to be looking for, it can quickly down the wrong path. Music plays a very special role in the lives of people as it can bring back memories like replayed film in people’s minds.

Check for Any Restrictions

When celebrating a wedding according to traditional practices, there might be limits to song choices. These religious practices are determined either by the religion the couples observe or where the ceremony is to be held such as when having a destination wedding in a sacred area in Sri Lanka. Theme can also play a role like when having a wedding according to native cultural practices.

Choose the Songs You Both Love

 It’s normal to have disagreements in anything as a couple, even with wedding preparations. To save time, get the easy parts out of the way. Do you have a theme song? Use it for your first dance. Are there favorite songs you know your friends love to dance to? Use it for the reception.

Stick to What You Know

Choosing songs for your wedding could be a fun opportunity to discover new favorites together but this also takes time and new music might need to be discussed between the two of you. Don’t stop yourselves from including something fresh tunes but music you’ve both loved increases sentimentality during the wedding. The event is about celebrating how far you two have come along in your relationship as you take on a new life change.

Ask for Suggestions

Not sure what will make your guests get up on their feet and start dancing? Ask them! Try to include a wide range of songs so everyone can have their moments. Think about your entourage to your high school buddies to your in-laws. Let’s not forget grandma and grandpa. Watching them dance might just be the relationship goal visual you need to start off your life together. What gets added to the list is still at your discretion so getting recommendations you two would prefer not to play isn’t an issue. It’s your wedding so you still get to choose.

Plan for the Entire Wedding

There are certain parts which receive more attention such as the processional, recessional and cake-cutting so choice of music for these are very deliberate. Each bit has its own ideal pace so choose songs accordingly. For example, the bride and groom’s entrance into the reception venue will set the tone of the party so pick something upbeat but comfortable enough for the two of you to dance to.

Deciding the wedding music can be a pleasant experience to share with each other. Still feeling a bit lost? There’s nothing wrong with getting help from the wedding band. If you’re celebrating your wedding anywhere south of Scotland or even just an avid music lover, check out the wedding bands Glasgow has. The music-loving city has several bands covering a wide range of music with their own varying styles. You’re sure to find one that fits your taste.

With beach weddings becoming increasingly popular within recent years, they certainly have many advantages over more traditional weddings. However, despite their clear benefits and recent soar in popularity, there is one major factor that differentiates beach weddings from any other: dress code.

Generally speaking, beach weddings come hand-in-hand with hot temperatures unless you’re unlucky with weather, or specifically choose a time in which the climate is cooler. If you know you’re likely to experience typical hot beach weather naturally accompanied by sand, wind and waves, what you choose to wear is crucial to ensure you’re as comfortable as possible on the big day.

So, if you have a beach wedding to attend, or even planning to become a beach bride yourself, and have no idea how to stay cool whilst still looking elegant and wedding-appropriate, keep reading to discover some great beach-attire tips guaranteed to keep you looking your best against those pesky beach elements!

Wear light and Airy Fabrics

Weddings, including both the ceremony and reception, tend to be all-day events. Therefore, if you’re on a beach for the entire time in a hot climate, the last thing you want is to be wearing heavy materials unable to keep you cool. Certain fabrics such as cotton and linen have been tried and tested to be some of the most breathable materials in hot weather, making them an excellent choice for beach weddings. Linen dresses in pastel colors are ideal for women, and cotton loose-fitting shirts with light colored suits make a great option for male guests.

However, as a bride, choosing a beach-appropriate wedding dress can be slightly more difficult, especially if you have a specific style of dream dress in mind. However, fabrics made up of specific silk-blends can be just as breathable as cotton whilst still providing that air of elegance every bride wants on her wedding day. For a great selection of beach wedding dresses that won’t break the bank, check out PreOwned Wedding Dresses to discover a variety of options.

Wear Sand-Appropriate Footwear

When it comes to weddings, the majority of attention falls upon the outfit with footwear often being left to the last minute or completely neglected altogether. But, with regard to beach weddings, footwear must be considered simply due to the abundance of sand you’ll be experiencing on the big day!

For the ladies, stilettos are a huge risk to take as they’ll just sink into the sand and make walking very difficult. Instead, opting for flat shoes would be the safest option and the most sand-appropriate guaranteed to provide comfort all day despite the terrain. However, if you’re worried about looking too casual in flat shoes, opting for a pair of wedges is a great alternative to stiletto heels as they’re far more robust and less likely to sink.

For men, footwear is a slightly easier factor to tackle as flat shoes are likely to be the shoe of choice anyway for a wedding. But, when sand is involved, ensure to wear well-fitted shoes that won’t allow grains of sand to slip in and irritate your feet.

Sunscreen

This may seem very obvious, but research has shown that only 29% of women and an even lower 14% of men regularly use sunscreen when outside in the sun. During a beach wedding, it’s likely you’re going to be exposed to the sun’s harmful UV rays for hours at a time, so it’s essential you protect your skin.

If you’re hosting or attending a wedding in a tropical destination, the sun can be very strong and often relentless against those exposed to it for long periods of time. So, if in these conditions, it’s essential you reapply sunscreen throughout the day to ensure maximum protection. Just applying it once before the ceremony begins isn’t going to be enough and, especially if you’re the bride wanting to look your best in photos, you don’t want to be tainted with bright red sunburn!

Beach weddings have certainly increased in popularity throughout recent years, and it’s essential to take into account all aspects that may differ from a wedding in a more traditional, indoor setting. Beaches naturally possess many more characteristics than indoor locations so, to ensure you can enjoy the entire day without feeling too worried, hot, or uncomfortable, tailor your outfit, footwear and actions on the day to fit your surroundings. Beach weddings certainly don’t come around every day, and it would be a shame to ruin your experience by not following the above tips!

Rachel Lamb is a sales assistant at a bridal boutique. She enjoys sharing her wedding dress buying tips online. Her articles appear on bridal and lifestyle blogs.

Looking to get away on your big day? Here are the absolute best wedding destinations in Europe!

Verona, Italy

You all know the famous love story, Romeo and Juliet? Verona is where this play by Shakespeare was set. Doesn’t that just scream romance? For couples seeking a deeply beautiful, historic destination, this is the one. Every step that you take will fill your heart with wonder and joy; Verona is undoubtedly a stunning picturesque wedding location.

Prague, Czech Republic

The simplistic, antique architecture and stunning, sunset backdrops are enough to persuade anybody. The gothic style of Prague emits an instant sense of romance. And for those considering, the famous Charles Bridge is a fantastic location for wedding photos. Please bear in mind, when you are living in an area within the EEA, to carry your European health insurance card. And if you do not own one, find out more here.

Western Cyprus

Akamas Peninsula specifically, relatively undiscovered. Hugely underrated. The area is home to Aphrodite’s Rock (the birthplace of the Goddess of Love, Aphrodite). With nationally protected forests to explore and amazing accommodation. Pathos is home to some unreal villas, which you can rent out.

Venice, Italy

Venice is more of a predictable option, it may be a popular choice but this is for a reason. Hundreds of couples choose Venice as their wedding destination because of its distinctive beauty. The original city of love!!

Esterel Mountains, France

Located between Cannes and St. Tropez, Esterel Mountains are home to various famous vineyards. Carefully decorated with natures touch, a beautiful backdrop location for those deeply in love. Your ceremony and reception will be amongst the stunning ocean views and surrounded by sensational sandy beaches.

Nowadays, more and more brides-to-be are taking the DIY approach when it comes to their special day. From making the invitations to preparing the flower arrangements, being a DIY bride allows you to express your creativity while saving tons of money.

If you’re a DIY bride who is handling her hair and makeup, you’re going to need to remember a few things to ensure that you look flawless on your big day. With so many responsibilities on top of the inevitable nervousness before the wedding, it may be easy to forget some very important beauty-related details. That’s why we’ve made a list of four important beauty tips to ensure that you look flawless on your wedding day.

Sleep!

If you’re running on two hours of sleep, all the makeup in the world won’t be able to cover up your droopy, tired eyes. On the days leading up to the wedding, be sure to stay as organized as possible so that you can rest up on the eve of your wedding day.

In the event that you do have to pull an all-nighter before the wedding, find an eye gel that can brighten tired and puffy eyes. The Ginzing eye gel by Origins will minimize puffiness and redness.

Don’t Forget the Lip Balm

Chapped lips are not a good look on your wedding day, especially since you’ll probably be in about five hundred photographs that you’ll be stuck with for the rest of your life. Make sure to have some lip balm on you at all times. EOS lip balm is known for its ability to keep lips feeling hydrated for hours. You can purchase this from anywhere, even Staples.

Make Setting Spray Your New Best Friend

After you’ve spent an hour carefully applying your makeup perfectly, it would be devastating if a couple of inevitable tears of joy left streaky stains on your face. That’s why setting spray was invented. After your makeup is applied, simply spray this product onto your face to keep makeup safely in place for hours. Urban Decay’s All Nighter Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray is an industry favorite.

Bring Extra Bobby Pins

When it comes to wedding hairstyles, you can never have too many bobby pins. Many brides make the mistake of attempting an elaborate style with just a few bobby pins on hand. If there is ever a time to splurge on a pack of one hundred, it’s on your wedding day.

Conclusion

By following these four simple beauty tips, you will be able to ace your DIY hair and makeup routine and be the most stunning bride that your friends and family have ever seen.

Weddings are stressful and expensive business.  It is also true that a major chunk of your wedding budget is reserved for the photographer. While it is true that you get what you pay for, hiring the most expensive or even the best photographers is not enough. It is important to understand that as clients, you will have to work with them to help them create magical photographs that will be the account of your special day for the rest of your life.

Weddings are, for most of us, once-in-a-lifetime events. To make sure everything goes perfectly, it requires a great deal of preparations and planning. This is true for the photography part as well. Make sure you are not making an of these wedding photography mistakes before we dive into how to bring out the maximum potential of your wedding photographer.

Here are some tips to get the very best out of your wedding photographer:

Only Hire a Professional

A professional is not someone who has all the quality “ticks” present on their website. Neither does it refer to your cousin studying photography. By ‘professional’ we mean someone whose main source of income is wedding photography.

Check their portfolio and online reviews. If the photographer has already covered a friend’s wedding and they are happy with their work, then that’s a great sign. A professional wedding photographer covers hundreds of weddings during an year, which gives them enough practice to be able to repeatedly capture photographs that communicate everything you are feeling on that day.

Meet Before the Big Day

Get to know your photographer before you book one. After all, you will spending one of the most special days of your life with them.

When the wedding dates are close by, set up a final meeting with them, to inform them about any last minute changes and help them prepare accordingly.

Research and Identify What You Like

Research wedding photos online, but remember you are doing this to educate yourself and not your photographer. Pick out photos that you like and then try to identify what elements of those photos are appealing to you. You can then communicate the same to your photographer to give them an idea of what you like and how you want your photos to look.  

Remember to be realistic with your expectations. The photographs you find online are usually the best work of a few photographers. A photographer takes thousand of images, but only puts the best few shots on display. You need to understand that not all of your hundreds of wedding photos will look like that.

Let Your Photographer Choose the Bridal Shoot Location

A professional has a better understanding of light and other elements that make up a photograph. It is thus, smarter to let the photographer decide the location of the bridal shoot. Of course you can specify the setting, for instance, ‘the beach’ or ‘the garden’, but let the photographer choose the specific spots for the shoot at that location.

Don’t Micromanage

Photography involves creativity. It is important that you understand that and grant the photographer, and for that matter all the other artists involved in your wedding, some level of creative freedom. If you get to know your photographer beforehand, it is easier to do this.

Graham and Kheng, Perth wedding photographers say, “Freedom gives way to creativity, and creativity brings magic into art. So let the photographer have some freedom and create beautiful photos that you can cherish for a lifetime.”

Conclusion

At the end, remember it is YOUR wedding, and that you are the most important person on that day. So have fun and do not let yourself get stressed if something doesn’t go according to plan. It would probably be too late to make any amendments on the wedding day anyway, and the stress will show in the photographs.

If you have any other wedding related tips you want to share, feel free to do so in the comments below.

It’s always fascinating to see what the rich and famous give each other when invited to a wedding. Lavish, unbridled gifts with price tags you probably don’t even want to know are an all-too-common sight at celebrity weddings! It’s unfair to say that an expensive gift automatically equals a great gift, though, as there are plenty of thoughtful and useful presents to give a bride and groom that don’t cost much. That said, if you genuinely had all the money in the world and wished to purchase the newlyweds something extravagant, then you’ll love some of these following options.

Send them on an unforgettable island honeymoon

A honeymoon should really be a dream vacation after the wedding, a place that seems too good to be true. That’s why it’s hard to go past an island honeymoon. Sipping cocktails on a beach under the sun is true relaxation, and not to take anything away from some gorgeous honeymoon spots like Paris or Rome, but sometimes it’s nice to get out of a bustling city and really unwind in nature.

It’s fair to say that a lot of people don’t select an island getaway as their first choice for a honeymoon simply because of the cost, but if you’ve got the cash to splash, then picking up the tab for a memorable post-wedding trip is a must. As for locations, there are a wealth of options to choose from, but the destinations on this list are easily some of the best. Crystal-clear waters in the Maldives? An ocean vista in the Greek Cyclades? A day of snorkeling in Fiji? Picking one place is the hard part!

Matching his and her watches with an engraving

Other than gifting two impeccably beautiful timepieces as wedding presents, watches do make a nice symbol of synchronization and the flow of time. But the cherry on top? An engraving of the date of the couple’s special day on the back. This simply adds that delicate touch on an already gorgeous wedding present. Deciding on which two luxury watches to select can be difficult, but browsing through a place like this will give you an idea of what styles are on-trend for men and women. Hint: No one will be unhappy with a Patek Philippe or Jaeger-LeCoultre!

The finest coffee machine money can buy

A delicious cup of coffee is many people’s first thought of the day, so it goes without saying that a premium coffee machine will be a very welcome gift to any married couple’s household. Any contraption that gives you hot steamy coffee with frothy milk from the press of a button is music to the ears of any coffee drinker! From the beautifully-designed to the weird and wonderful, there are several great coffee machines to look at here, any of which are bound to be used each and every morning.

Best iPhone apps for weddings.

Don’t worry if you cannot afford a wedding planner–use one of the handy wedding apps for the iPhone to help you plan your big day. The following five are some of the best and niftiest wedding apps currently in existence. Find the one that speaks to you and go from there!

iWedding

iWedding makes it easy to plan every single aspect of your wedding. Manage your guest list, search for vendors, create seating charts, make lists regarding your budget and assorted ideas, and look to suggested blogs for inspiration. There’s even an online wedding store!

Wedding Happy

Wedding Happy is the app you want if you are feeling seriously overwhelmed. The iPhone app features plenty of outstanding tools, all of which make it easy to keep up with what tasks you have to do that day, week, etc. Wedding Happy also features contact integration and vendor management.

Wedding Planning Complete

Wedding Planning Complete is a great “countdown to the big day” app that makes it easy to keep track of your budget and wedding tasks. There’s also a tool for handling your guest list with ease.

The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner

The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner from the website of the same name provides a plethora of helpful wedding tools. Use a wedding checklist, budget assistant, countdown feature, and more. The app also features a wealth of ideas.

Wedding Dress Look Book

Wedding Dress Look Book is a fantastic app if you still have no clue what kind of dress you want to wear. Pick from assorted styles and colors to find the perfect wedding dress for you.

Wedding Gawker

Wedding Gawker is similar to The Knot in that it is the app version of the website. Use it for inspiration and helpful ideas.

Wilton Cakes & More

Wilton Cakes & More is the best app for wedding cake ideas. It also provides a wedding countdown tool.

Pick from these apps to make planning your wedding a little easier!

Budget friendly honeymoon.

Your honeymoon is a wonderful time, one that allows you to relax after the craziness of your wedding and celebrate your new life as husband and wife. If you are starting to plan your honeymoon and want to keep it budget-friendly, use the following tips to ensure a fun-yet-fiscally-responsible good time.

Decide On Your Honeymoon “Type”

Sit down with your partner to decide what type of honeymoon you want. Does a few days on a tropical island sound amazing? How about skiing in Vermont or Colorado? Are you craving a European vacation, or want to keep the ‘moon within the continental U.S.? A staycation is also a perfectly acceptable and budget-friendly honeymoon option. Pick a favorite destination while also keeping a backup plan in mind. Research both options to determine if you can do what you want without overspending.

Create A Honeymoon Registry

Consider creating a honeymoon registry if you already have plenty of household goods and would rather put the money towards your trip. Plenty of couples do this, and it’s a great way to save money on your dream honeymoon.

Become A Master At Finding Deals

Set up alerts on your phone concerning flight and airline deals, research bundle or all-inclusive options, and use sites such as Air BnB, Groupon, and Local Flavor to save serious money.

Book Early

Book your honeymoon as early as possible to save moo-lah on flights, hotels, etc. Decide whether to book the trip on a credit card to earn airline miles or cash back. Booking early on a credit card also allows you to pay on the trip for the next few months. You will probably have the trip paid for by the time you get on that plane or train!

Keep these tips in mind to plan your dream honeymoon. Good luck!

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More and more couples are paying for their wedding plans in non-traditional ways. They fund their weddings, receptions, and honeymoons through online crowdfunding.

Why Crowdfund?

Weddings continue to be expensive events, especially destination weddings. Receptions are more costly than they used to be. And, honeymoons take couples to more exotic locations.

Marrying couples tend to be older than historically. As reported in the Pew Research Center report on marriage data, “The Census Bureau reported in November 2013 that the median age at first marriage for men was 29.0 in 2013, up from 28.6 in 2012.  In 2013, the median age at first marriage for women was 26.6 and has remained about the same over the same period.

Among other things, the numbers show a generation that approaches marriage after living together or on their own for some time. An educated class that comes to marriage having established their households.

And, that means they already have the traditional wedding gifts of china and crystal, small appliances, and bed and bath linens.

So, if guests will be giving cash, online fundraising is a means that targets their gifts.

Set Target

Time reported, “The price of weddings has jumped to a new all-time high, reaching an average $31,213 in 2014.” Of course, the costs vary in different locations; for example, the same study found the cheapest average in Utah at $15,000 and the highest in Manhattan at a whopping $76,328.

So, it just makes sense to seek help with your budget. Online fundraising lets you appeal to friends and family to help. But, you are smart to quote a goal for the campaign. By setting a target of, say, $5,000, you are more likely to realize part of that goal than if you put the whole cost on the line.

Others smartly pursue funding for specific events. Perhaps they want a spa treatment at the honeymoon resort, snorkeling fees for the nearby ocean, or the chance to parasail for a price.

Maybe the couple wants to increase their down payment funds for their first house. They might want specific furniture. Or, maybe they would just like gift cards.

The bride or groom may come into the marriage owing for dentist card services; crowdfunding can help clear bills like this.

Targets including these let guests make contributions for something specific and visible. They feel they have presented a gift. It’s little different from providing a bridal registry at a department store.

Sell the Idea

Couples who seek to raise funds on the Internet are entering on a marketing campaign. It should have a timeline and incremental measures. That is, the message you post should provide an end-date for the fundraising.

You also need to thank people for their donations along the way, so they know it has been received and appreciated. And, they need to see it has made a difference in your target.

Most important, you have to sell the idea. You need to provide advance notice to those who can help. You need to announce the campaign is coming and what the start date will be. You can do this in your wedding announcement and in direct email to those on the invite list.  This is especially helpful to those who want to attend but cannot through issues of distance, age, or health.

Check the Fees

Not all online crowdfunding platforms are the same. You must carefully check the direct and indirect fee structure. Some charge for each transaction, for credit card contributions, and more. Be careful that you get what you pay for.

Romance quotes from your favorite films.

Perhaps you need help writing your vows or wedding toast. Why not get inspired by your favorite movies? You don’t have to use the quotes verbatim, however they still provide plenty of ideas and inspiration. Review a few favorites to get you started!

“I want to tell you, again, I love you. Our love has been the thread through the labyrinth, the net under the high-wire walker, the only real thing in this strange life of mine that I could ever trust. Tonight I feel that my love for you has more density in this world than I do, myself: as though it could linger on after me and surround you, keep you, hold you.”–From The Time Traveler’s Wife

“When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”–From When Harry Met Sally

“It seems right now that all I’ve ever done in my life is making my way here to you.” –From The Bridges of Madison County

“The you who you are tonight is the same you I was in love with yesterday, the you I’ll be in love with tomorrow.”–From If I Stay

“Maybe it is our imperfections which make us so perfect for one another.” –From Emma

“In my opinion the best thing you can you do is find a person who loves you for exactly what you are. Good mood, bad mood, ugly, pretty, handsome, what have you, the right person will still think the sun shines out of your ass. That’s the kind of person that’s worth sticking with.” –From Juno

“You got to learn to laugh, it’s the way to true love.”–From Michael

“Love is too weak a word for what I feel — I luuurve you, you know, I loave you, I luff you, two F’s.”–From Annie Hall

Rehearsal Dinner Etiquette.

The rehearsal dinner is a chance for fun, mingling, and food the night before the wedding. If you are getting ready to plan the rehearsal dinner part of your nuptials but are unsure as to proper etiquette, read on. There’s a few key things to know before the planning process begins.

Hosts

Traditionally, the parents of the groom pay for the rehearsal dinner since the bride’s parents pay for the wedding. Times have changed, and many couples host their own rehearsal dinners. If you think your hubby-to-be’s parents want to host, have a quick chat with them about expectations, budget, and the like. Remember to be flexible, especially if they offer to pay for the whole thing.

Party Style

Rehearsal dinner styles run the gamut from formal or semi-formal affairs to clambakes. Whatever you decide, remember that the dinner is not supposed to be more formal than the wedding. If you want to have the dinner at your favorite bar, go for it. If you would like to throw a cocktail hour-style event, enjoy getting fancy. No matter what, keep things fun!

Guest List

Tradition again states that you invite everyone who is invited to the wedding to the rehearsal dinner. However, you can opt to keep the dinner small and just invite your parents and the wedding party. If you do want to invite a lot of people, do yourself a favor and invite everyone attending your wedding. It will avoid a lot of hurt feelings.

Toasts

A few toasts are usually expected at the rehearsal dinner, such as you and your groom thanking everyone for coming. The hosts usually speak, which could be you or a few parental figures. The maid of honor and best man might also say a few words if you want.

Keep these tips in mind when planning your rehearsal dinner! Have fun!

Vow renewal ideas.

If you would like to renew your vows as part of your anniversary celebration, start by congratulating yourself. You and your partner have made it this far, and that is something to celebrate. Once you’re done high-fiving or patting yourselves on the back, delve into the vow renewal event. Feel free to make it as simple or as fanciful as you want–it’s your event, after all! Whatever you decide, remember to have fun with it.

Retro Theme

Pay homage to the decade you got married in, whether it be the ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s…you get the idea. For example, if you said “I do” in the ‘80s, dress up in your best formalwear from the beloved decade and encourage everyone in attendance to do the same. Play favorite ‘80s music while keeping the theme in mind for food and drinks, and decor. Enjoy “feeling the beat of the rhythm of the night” and dancing “all night long” with your partner and everyone you both love.

Destination Renewal

Pick a destination you both have longed to see and have your vow renewal there. Keep in mind not everyone on your guest list will be able to attend for monetary reasons, work, etc., but if you have your heart set on the Caribbean or Aspen, go for it. Vow renewals are a great excuse to travel and otherwise get away. Make your renewal a grand escapade you will remember for the rest of your lives.

Family Involvement

Get your family involved with your vow renewal ceremony. Have them stand up with you as you renew your vows, invite them to participate in a fun tradition such as lighting a unity candle or engaging in a sand-pouring ceremony, etc. Your family will love that you want to include them!

Enjoy throwing a vow renewal that reminds you of how far you have come as a couple and how many more wonderful years you have ahead.

You’re going to absolutely swoon when you check out the Vintage Jewellry 2017 Wedding Gown Collection from Elihav Sasson. Full of passion, sex appeal and poise, each gown is full of delicate detail and feminine flavors.

If you’re looking for a wedding dress that will stun both your groom and guests, you’ll want to peek at this designer’s style. Each gown has a distinct personality and an air of couture fashion. You’ll feel extra-special in any one you choose. These gowns are perfect for more formal weddings or those with a vision of romance and sensuality.

Pay specific attention to the details throughout the bodice as well. You’ll be blow away by the intricacies. from princess ball gowns to sexy sheaths, get inspired by scrolling through now!

 

2017 Elihav Sasson Wedding Gowns We Love

Add something different to your day of ensemble with some fun and flirty feathers! These wedding gowns have a more personalized spirit and extra bold appeal than your average bridal designs. If you’re a bit outside-the-box and want to show that off, this may be the detail that embodies everything you want in your extra-special celebration.

Whether it’s dipped in color or completely cream, feathers can make a simple gown look entirely new and different. The detail also becomes a versatile part of your overall theme. From outdoor venues to posh visions at destination resorts, these gowns can mold and blend in with your surroundings.

Some of these designs are couture and others are a bit more affordable, either way you’ll be the life of the party in any one of these gowns. Take a peek and find your dream, dramatic wedding dress below!

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Rustic weddings are in. There’s no denying the trend and there’s no denying that a bit of country flavors and organic textures can make quite the romantic and inviting splash. Charm your guests by going the extra mile in all the nooks and crannies of the day’s festivities with extra-special detail.

From the bouquet to the ceremony chairs, there are plenty of ways to round out the day and pay attention to every corner of the celebration. And that’s what we’re here for! Burlap is the go-to fabric when planning a country-flavored, natural event. You can’t forget this signature piece of the decor when deciding on the specifics and fine points of the party.

For those planning a rustic-inspired event, we’ve got some fun ways to sprinkle the burlap and transform it all to wow-worthy and welcoming. Dip your toes in and grab some ideas from our favorite ways of enhancing your homespun soiree.

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These 10 black wedding cakes will leave your mouth gaping open with WOW and have you rethinking the traditional fare for your big day! These tiered-creations are just as beautiful in this offbeat shade, just look at these deigns! Check out our first batch here.

If you’re saying your I do’s right into the new year, you’ll want to do it in a big, extra-special way. With a dash of sparkle and champagne too, we’re sharing 10 New Year’s Eve wedding ideas to inspire and get your brainstorming jumpstarted. Take a peek!

Wedding invite questions.

Wedding invite questions.

Welcome to Part Two of this series! Review five more top wedding invite questions to make this important part of wedding planning go smoothly.

Question #6: How Do We Let Guests Know About The Dress Code?

Include the dress code on the lower right-hand corner of the invitation or reception card. Use wording such as “black-tie,” “casual attire,” “cocktail attire,” etc. The design of your invitation also makes it clear what kind of wedding is happening. If your invite is very formal and includes calligraphy and the like, guests will assume your wedding will also be formal. If you use a playful font and bold hues, guests will probably think the wedding is more casual in nature.

Question #7: Is It Okay To Invite Guests Without A “Plus One”?

Invite guests minus the “plus one” if they are not married or in a serious relationship. People generally understand that lack of this wording means they are coming to your wedding alone. If a guest RSVPs for two anyway, call the person and politely explain the situation. Whether you’re keeping the guest count low for financial reasons or because you simply want to have a small wedding, no one is going to judge you for it.

Question #8: If Our Reception Is For Immediate Family, Is It Okay To Invite Guests To The Ceremony Only?

No. Anyone attending your wedding should be invited to the reception. It is rude to invite people to see you get married without getting to party afterwards. Many people keep the ceremony small and the reception open to a larger group of people, which is just fine.

Question #9: Where Do I Put The Return Address On The Invitations?

Place the return address on the back flap of the envelope.

Question #10: I Invited My Friend And Her Boyfriend, But They Broke Up And Now She Wants To Take Someone I Dislike. What Should I Do?

Say no if you want, especially if you included the boyfriend’s name on the invitation!

 

bjakgx0-9_s-sweet-ice-cream-photographySo you have been entrusted with the top wedding role a woman could have: maid of honor. This role is certainly a privilege, as you will enjoy behind-the-scenes memories that no one else will have a chance to experience. From helping the bride choose her wedding dress to taste-testing different cakes and sweets, the maid of honor has many duties to look forward to alongside her true friend. However, considering that the bride isn’t perfect and will likely have moments where she cracks under pressure, this job is also a responsibility. Is being maid of honor an honor worth taking? Read on and decide for yourself.

The Cons of Being Maid of Honor

Mood swings are highly likely.

The bride is under a tremendous amount of pressure. She is one of the leaders of this special event. As you are, she too is working around the clock to ensure that her wedding day is a page out of her personal fairy tale. The spirit of perfectionism, however, is a dangerous thing—especially when it is pushed onto everyone else. You have to be prepared to withstand a storm of lectures over why you arrived five minutes late or why you didn’t warn her that it could actually rain on the day of her wedding and the cathedral veil her heart was set on having could be a problem.

You will need to deliver a speech!

A great deal of responsibility rests on you to deliver a speech that will help set a relaxed, lighthearted tone. Your speech should be brief, but it should also be effective. Many people’s nerves begin to surface at the very thought of public speaking. The speech will require preparation (as if you didn’t have enough duties as maid-of-honor already!). You will need to set aside time to write a great one.

If you have any problems with the groom, you will have to look past them.

Don’t try to stick it to him in your maid-of-honor speech. Don’t give him the evil eye when the bride isn’t looking. Focus on his strengths—if you really look closely enough, you will find at least one or two. Remember, the bride isn’t crazy—she actually fell in love with the guy for a reason.

Being maid-of-honor will test your level of patience, perhaps as never before.

Many women take on this special job, but every situation is different. The bride could say something that you feel is grounds for ending a friendship. Or she might call you with sob stories and cries of anxiety over the future at 3 o’clock in the morning. One way or another, your patience will be tested and you have to be ready for the test at any time leading up to (or even during) the wedding.

The Pros of Being Maid of Honor

Your bond with the bride will grow stronger.

As maid of honor, you have the privilege of taking part in one of the most special events in the bride’s life: her wedding! You have a chance to help her choose bridesmaid dresses, decorations, and maybe even the menu. She is counting on you to be there for her, and as a true friend you will be. Not every woman has the honor of helping a bride prepare for this momentous occasion. All the time and energy spent preparing will lead to an even stronger friendship. And—as we all know how difficult it is to find true friends—the difficult parts of being maid of honor is certainly worth the reward.

You can give a speech from which the bride, groom, and wedding guests will draw inspiration to love wholeheartedly.

Your speech only needs to last a few minutes, and you simply need to speak genuine words from within. Remember to do your research on different tips on writing maid of honor speech and plan ahead—you don’t want to write your speech the night before. Recall a funny, endearing story about the bride and groom. Remember to speak with enthusiasm and hope. Keep the tone lighthearted and inspiring. And remember, the pressure isn’t really on you. The bride and groom’s overwhelming love will fill the entire venue. Your job is to simply highlight their love with words.

Your skills will improve in several areas.

Whether it’s organizational skills you need to keep track of all the tasks the bride has given you or social skills that will grow from preparing and delivering a quality speech, get ready for rapid improvement. In the areas where you are weak, you will grow stronger. If your skill levels in a particular area are already remarkable, you can still improve those even more. See this list for several duties that could set the stage for growth as MOH.

The bride will always remember your selfless heart.

After the wedding day, the bride will have time to reflect on all that happened leading up to that day. If she was harsh at times, she will remember your response. Love is patient and kind; it is slow to anger. If she remembers how you exemplified love in this midst of hostility, you will have painted a fresh picture of how she can respond to her husband when tempers get testy. Love is what helps any relationship endure. Remember that as you carry out your maid-of-honor duties. Reminding her of a selfless, loving spirit is one of the best gifts you can give. (Visit glamour.com for a few pointers on being a selfless MOH.)

So, what do you think? Is being the maid of honor an assignment filled with problems, or is it a privilege you would be proud to take? Yes, there will be challenges as maid of honor, but as a true friend you can choose not to grow discouraged and rise to the occasion—a special occasion that means the world to your true friend.