How to Select the Best Wedding Favors

Wedding favors are always an added treat for your guests, especially those who are traveling from out of town. While you don’t need to spend a fortune or go over the top, a small gift that comes from the heart is a great way to show appreciation to your guests.  

Consider edible treats.

Select a favor that represents the location of your wedding ceremony. If you are tying the knot at the beach, fill your gift bags with saltwater taffy.  If there is a popular specialty cocktail in the area, create a small kit with the essential ingredients for your guests to make one of their own.  Don’t forget to attach a small print out of the recipe. For guest who are staying at a hotel, snacks and added beverages are a bonus.

Represent your roots.

Fill a gift bag with favors that represent your history. If you and your finance grew up in the country and love southern cooking, include a small bag of biscuit mix, jam, or local honey. If you are urban dwellers, find a key chain or charm that represents your city. Perhaps gardening is your passion, put together a small kit filled with a painted flowerpot, seeds, and a small bag of soil.  Just be sure the contents in the bag signify you.

Keep the theme.

Consider giving a gift bag that is fitting of your wedding theme.  For a summer wedding, pack a gift bag filled with sunglasses, a beach towel, and sand toys. Winter wedding bags could include gloves, a hat, snowball kit, and so on. If you want to be more specific to your theme, add a small treat from your dessert table, or incorporate colorful goodies that match your ensemble.

While most wedding favors are left at hotels for out of town guests only, feel free to spread the love and leave your gift bags at a welcome table. Don’t forget to include personal note and let everyone know how excited you are to have them by your side to celebrate!

Beautiful Hair Accessories for Your Wedding Day

Every bride wants to look their best when they walk down the aisle. To create the perfect look, start with the right gown. Then move on to a complimentary hairstyle and makeup pallet selection. Finally, add a touch of glamour by including a beautiful hair accessory. If you like the idea but are unsure of how to select the right hair piece for you, here are a few ideas to get you started.

Crowns

One of the most prevalent pieces you can include in your look is a crown. These have been worn by brides for decades and certainly give you the look of a princess.  If a traditional style crown is not for you, consider a more subtle look such as a floral wreath or decorative piece that sits flat.

Headbands

Headbands offer a classic and timeless look.  They are more subtle than crowns and help to set your hairstyle. Depending on your gown, you can find headbands that offer a diamond sparkle. Or go floral instead to blend nicely with the colors of your bouquet.

Hairpins

Hair pins are elusive, beautiful and serve functionally to hold your hairstyle in place. When selecting pins, be sure to match them closely with your other jewelry and select the correct size for your length and style. Hairpins are typically used for half up half down looks.

Hair Combs

Decorative hair combs also offer a subtle vibe.  They are less functional so you can choose your piece after selecting your hair style.  When setting your comb, use elastic bands to help hold it in place to guarantee it will not fall out.

Ways to Include Your Pup in the Wedding Festivities

Is your dog your best friend? If so, then why would he or she miss out on your special day? Here are some adorable ways you can bring Fido along to celebrate in style.

Engagement Photos

There is nothing more loveable than a happy, furry friend. If your photographer is on board, bring the little guy to spruce up your photo shoot. Mix your album with playful candid shots alongside romantic moments of you walking him or her together.  If your dog can sit still, try for an image with each of you on opposite sides kissing a cheek. Just be patient and bring lots of treats!

The Perfect Ring Bearer

This task should be designated for obedient friends. The key to letting your dog take on this important role is practice and abundant praise for obeying. Make sure the rings are situated in a place where they cannot be reached and swallowed.  Secure them tightly in a pouch to keep them from falling out in a moment of playfulness or excitement.

Adorable Greeter

Give your dog the special task of greeting your guests…unless your dog is likely to jump. Dogs are happy to see new faces and they offer a warm welcome. Allow them to hold a sign around their neck and navigate the crowd to the pre-wedding festivities. Make sure they sport a bow or bowtie, so they are also dressed for the occasion.

Include Them in Your Vows

If both you and your partner are bringing a dog into your new family, include them in the wedding vows. Each of you add a line and commit to loving them forever too!

Tips for Planning a Beach Wedding

Do you want to get married in the sand? If you are a bride that has always dreamed of a beach wedding here are some things to consider that will make your wedding day a breeze for you and your guests.

Hire a Professional

Planning a beach wedding is not quite as easy as it seems.  There are details only a professional may consider, especially if your destination is far from home. Before you start planning, find a local wedding planner who knows the area and the details involved with pulling together a seaside ceremony.

Weather

It is always best to have a Plan B in place if you choose to tie the knot outdoors. Take the time to research wedding venues close by. Choose a location that has an indoor option in the event of bad weather. Many people will take time off work and travel for a destination wedding, so cancelling and rescheduling could complicate matters.

If the sun is on your side, still schedule your ceremony in the morning or at dusk to avoid extreme heat. Position chairs in a shady spot facing away from direct sunlight. Be sure to also research the best time of day to avoid high tides and windy conditions.

Hotels

Call a local hotel and request a room block for your guests. This helps travelers know where to stay, usually at a discount. Some travelers enjoy staying close to the wedding party and other guests so they can stay in touch through the wedding festivities.

Attire

Beach weddings are typically more casual than an indoor event. Dress and accessorize for the wind, sand, and sun. Rather than a wedding gown with a long train, choose a dress that is lighter and flows easily. Select attire that will keep you cool and won’t get ruined by a little ocean water.

Simple Ways to Make Your Guests Feel Included

If you are planning a wedding of over 100 guests, the thought of trying to make every person feel especially welcome may seem daunting.  While you can’t have a friendly conversation with everyone, here are a few ways you can create a more intimate vibe.

Place Settings

Name cards strategically placed on your reception tables is a small way to help your guests feel remembered. If they walk into a large space and are unsure of where to sit, it can be comforting to use them as a guide. People also feel honored to know that you considered them personally during your planning.  Even better, there are beautiful ways to incorporate them into your décor!  

Open the Dance Floor

Most weddings include traditional dances that everyone has grown to anticipate and adore. The first dance as a couple and the special father/daughter moment have been enjoyed for decades.  But there are also ways to invite your guests and make them feel included in the moment. Play a short song for couples married 50 years or more, then turn it over to those married between 25 and 49 years. Give every couple a chance to shine whether they are seasoned or newlyweds and don’t forget the singles of the group.

If you have the opportunity, also try to set aside a few songs to mingle with your guests. Even if it is a short dance, it will give you time to personally greet those around you.

Toasts

The maid of honor and best man may have a toast prepared for the reception. Also allowing the opportunity for a few quick shout outs from the crowd can create intimacy. It is essential that you only set aside a brief window for this to take place so the toasting does not monopolize the evening.

Some brides like to play a short game with their guests by letting them guess if the bride or the groom is “guilty” when asked a series of questions.  For example, ask, “Who will be guilty of stealing the covers in the middle of the night?” First allow those who believe the bride will be the culprit raise their hands, then follow up with those who believe it will be the groom.  It will be entertaining to see who wins the battle and your guests will feel engaged.

Greet Everyone

Your wedding is a big event and your time is limited. But, even if it is a quick hug, a personal thank you for attending your wedding goes a long way. If you are not a fan of greeting lines, spot those who you have not yet seen and make your way over to say hello. Your guests will understand it is not the time for a long conversation. Most people just want to wish you the best and show gratitude for the invitation. Just try your best to say hello to everyone.

Choosing Your First Song and Dance

Your first dance as husband and wife is such a memorable event. Let’s make it count!  If you are unsure of how to select your song, here are a few tips to get you digging through your playlist with purpose.

Express Your Love

Not every couple has “our song” and that’s OK! There are timeless pieces that represent romance and make beautiful first dance selections. You can choose a tearjerker or a tune with lyrics about unending romance.  Here are the top first dance song selections in 2018:

Tell Your Story

If you and your partner already have a song that represents YOU, this is the time to show it off. If not, choose something that doesn’t fall on the top 10 list but tells your unique story. If you started off as friends and it wasn’t love at first sight, there’s a song for that too!  A great example is, “Lucky” by Colbie Calliat and Jason Mraz.

Change Things Up

Think outside the box. You do not have to slow dance to songs about romance at your wedding. This is your day. If and your partner want to lighten the mood, choreograph a silly dance or take ballroom lessons to perform on stage. Changing things up will excite and engage your audience for a reception to remember. 

Dancing to your song is a perfect way to begin your journey and husband and wife while friends and family admire your love. Just have fun with it!

Staying Cool at an Outdoor Summer Wedding

When summer finally rolls around, it is natural to want to spend time outdoors. If you are planning your nuptials through the hottest season of the year, here are a few tips to keep you and your guests cool so you can keep the party going!

Fans and Shade

It is important to have a space where you can take refuge from the sun during the summer.  Typically, outdoor weddings are coordinated under an oversize tent large enough for dining tables, a dance floor, DJ stations, and food. While you may have wedding events and opportunities to gather away from your shaded space, it is important to have a place to retreat. Strategically setting fans in the corners of your tent will help to keep the cool air flowing on a hot day.

Dress Less

There is a time and place for a formal wedding, but outdoors in the middle of the summer is not one of them. Keep things casual so your guests are comfortable wearing clothes that can breathe. Let the ladies relax in a sundress while the men sport that fun Hawaiian shirt found on their recent beach vacation.  The more relaxed you are with your dress code the happier you guest will be.

Hydrate

Keep the water flowing. Set water stations throughout your ceremony and reception areas to keep you and your guest well hydrated.  The last thing you want at your wedding is a guest passing out from dehydration. While the perfect summer cocktail selections are endless, be sure to have a glass of water available with every drink poured.

Timing

Try to avoid gathering the middle of the afternoon on a hot summer day. Hold your festivities late morning or early evening instead. You want to avoid the time of day when the sun is at its peak and humidity is at its highest. The difference in a few degrees can be significant.

Summer is a beautiful time of year to be outside and the wedding photo opportunities are amazing. Just be sure to take your guests into consideration and keep things light and cool!

Tips for Glowing Wedding Day Skin

You want to look your best when you walk down the aisle.  Taking care of your skin is a simple way to help you become camera ready. With just a few simple steps you can show off a beautiful wedding day glow everyone will notice.

Get a Facial

A week before your wedding day, book an appointment for a facial with a licensed aesthetician. Let them examine your skin to determine the type of treatment best for you. Whether your concern is wrinkles, acne, dry patches, or age spots, a facial can alleviate problematic symptoms that you don’t want interfering with a picturesque complexion.

Establish a Healthy Routine

Regular cleansing and moisturizing are essential to maintaining healthy skin. Exfoliate once a week to remove excess dirt and oil and condition after every cleansing to maintain hydration. Ask a skin care professional which products best suite your skin type and be consistent.  Many products work best overtime. 

Perspire

While exercise has many benefits, sweating is at the top when it comes to your complexion. Your pores house toxins and dirt that are released through perspiration. Sweating naturally reverses signs of aging and help maintain its natural hydration. Be sure to drink plenty of water to replenish nutrients lost in the process.

Protect

If your moisturizer does not contain an SPF, be sure to apply protection before exposure to the sun. This small step can help you avoid a burn on your wedding day. Sunspots or freckles that love to appear on occasion can stay hidden longer by applying protection every 30 minutes.

Makeup

Finally, the hours leading up to your ceremony is a great time to apply concealer on any remaining spots or dark circles you want to cover. Be sure to apply your makeup in a room with good lighting and ask for help. Someone else may be able to spot areas you are likely to miss.

Tips for Setting Up Your Registry

There is no other way to put it, setting up a gift registry is fun! It is also one of the first pre-wedding items you can check off your to-do list.  Imagine yourself rummaging through a store to scan dream items that other people will purchase for you. How could it get any better? Here are some tips to help you get started.

Be Practical. Register for items you will actually use. Perhaps your parents are convincing you to include fine china on the list. If it is not something you want or will ever use…skip it. What is the use of your guests spending money on something that will only be tucked away?

Find Perks. Naturally, any store would love to have you set up a wedding registry at their location. They may even be willing to draw you with benefits. Take advantage! You can find discounts, cash-back offers, and even free stuff. It is worth your time to research the perks of registering at your favorite spot. Also, consider places that offer free shipping. Your guests will be grateful for this added perk.

Compromise.  Setting up the wedding registry is something you will want to do together. Grab lunch and make it a date.  If you have opposite tastes, find a way to compromise. Whether the answer is separating for a short time to include a personal list or allowing him to select the dinnerware while you choose the pots and pans. Whatever works for you two is great, as long as you are in it together.

Be Reasonable. Guest lists will include those who are willing to purchase the high dollar items and those who are modest. This is normal. Pay attention to price tags and register for some expensive and some less expensive options. The point is to allow everyone on your list the opportunity to contribute.  

Be Respectful. Get the word out about your registry in a respectable fashion. It is OK to add a note at the bottom of your wedding invitations that informs people of where you registered. But it is not OK to expect a gift. Traditionally, wedding guests will bring an item to congratulate the happy couple, and it is helpful for them to know what you like. It is never appropriate to ask for cash.   

Be Grateful.  Send personalized thank you notes to everyone who gave you a wedding gift. Ask a friend to help you keep track of the items you received if you get overwhelmed.  Be sure to name the item you received in you card and include a line about how or when you will make use of it. Personalizing a note shows that you care about their gesture in a kind and considerate way.

The Latest in Wedding Cake Trends

Cakes are one of wedding’s most coveted traditions.  They serve as dessert, decoration, and an adorable face-stuffing photo opportunity.  But wedding cakes aren’t what they used to be…they’re even better. Now brides are taking them to the next level.  Here’s how brides are sprucing up their cakes for 2019.

Incorporate your theme.  Some brides incorporate the season into their wedding theme. While nature is the most beautiful backdrop, your cake can play a role too.  For example, an enchanted forest cake would look gorgeous on display at a winter wedding. 

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Tell a story.  It used to be that the groom’s cake was the acceptable outlet for creativity. Not anymore!  Now brides let their wedding cake display whatever it is they are into.  If you and the groom share a passion, show it off! 

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Dress it up.  Yes, accessorize your cake!  Cake toppers have met their match because a bedazzled cake looks amazing.  You can use decoration, color, floral arrangements, anything you like.  Bakers everywhere have creative ways to make your wedding cake look good enough to eat!

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If it is difficult for you to decide how to customize your wedding cake, relax.  If you have a date, wedding colors, and something you are passionate about, your baker can take the reins. You’ll be amazed how dessert can bring your wedding dreams to life.  But, don’t be afraid to think outside the box.