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.

The Beauty of a Simple Wedding

Weddings are very exciting! All the time and planning you put into making it the perfect day pays off when you say, “I do.” Yet, a reception hall with hundreds of guests, a band, and seated dinner may not be your thing. There truly is beauty in keeping things simple.  Here’s why.

Less Stress

There is no doubt that planning a large wedding can make you frantic at times. One of the easiest ways to keep your wedding simple is to invite fewer guests.  By hosting less people, the cost of food and beverages will be noticeably lower, and your budget won’t make you pull your hair out!  You can hold your reception at a smaller venue and worry a little less about the seating arrangements.

Another way to keep things simple it to minimalize the number of vendors. Shuffling from vendor to vendor to plan the perfect wedding can be fun, but also time consuming. Perhaps you can hire a photographer but eliminate the videographer; have a friend capture a video instead.   Consider eliminating planning ideas that you simply can do without.  The extra stress of pulling together the extras may not be worth it.

More Intimate

If you prefer a smaller wedding and decide to keep the perks to a minimum, your ceremony and reception can have a very sweet and intimate feel. You can keep your focus on the guests who are there to celebrate your special day, the ceremony itself, and most importantly, your husband-to-be.  Leave the worry and stress to someone else and just enjoy the moment. A joyful and peaceful presence is contagious, and you set the tone. No one will remember that you opted to do without the ice sculpture but will tell stories of when you sang a song to your new husband at the reception!

Most importantly, realize that not everything will go as planned. Any bridezilla can sweat the small stuff but going with the flow goes long way.  

Sweet Gifts for Your Wedding Day

Weddings are a huge investment of time and money, but there is one last detail to consider on your wedding day – a gift for your husband-to-be.  While a gift exchange between you and your finance is not a necessity, it is a sweet gesture to show how excited you are to start your life together.  If you need inspiration to help you decide what to give, here are a few suggestions.

Be Thoughtful

You two have a history and a story to tell. Offer a gift that represents your love! Is there something you enjoy doing together? Do you have an inside joke? Is there a trip or a goal you both dream of? Find a way to represent whatever it is you hope for or value.  For example, if you two have a dream of traveling to France, buy him a miniature statue of the Eifel Tower and attach and photo alongside a heartfelt note. Tell him how excited you are to make you life journey and your dreams come true together as husband a wife.

Be Romantic

Perhaps you just want to tell your finance how much you love him. Find a way to share how excited you are to tie the knot and make a list of all the traits that made you fall in love in the first place.  Engrave him a plaque of promises you plan to honor during your marriage. Consider sharing your heart in a poem and have it framed. As long as your gift come from the heart, it will be perfect.

Commemorate the Day

Your wedding day is finally here, after all the planning and excitement. So, celebrate! Mark your special date on a gift that will remind him of you. If he is a golfer, buy him a new bag with your date engraved on the side. You could even frame an engagement photo with your wedding date for his office.  This is the day you began your life together and one that will be celebrated for years to come. 

There is no need to spend a lot of money on a gift for your fiancé. This gesture is meant to be personal and thoughtful. Let it represent your love and congratulate one another!  

Last Minute Beauty Tips

Many brides will spend the hours leading up to their wedding ceremony tucked away with bridesmaids, makeup artists, and hairstylist to prep for the big event. Afterall, every bride wants to look her best.  Here are some last-minute beauty tips that are a must before finally walking down the aisle.

Stay Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water is very important for your skin. Not just the day before your wedding, but the months prior. Hydrated skin shows less wrinkles, dark circles under the eyes, and reduces the appearance of acne. 

Rest

If you are losing sleep from nights spent pondering wedding details, this is perfectly normal. Although, keep in mind that sleep is essential for looking your best. The obvious effects of minimal sleep are dark circles and blood shot eyes. You also smile less when you are sleep deprived making you more likely to drag and slump through the day. Attractive people stand tall with confidence. There is some truth in getting your beauty rest after all!

Use Primer

Whether you are applying your own makeup or have help from a friend, it is important that you apply primer before getting started. Primer will give your skin a smooth finish and hold your makeup application for the day ahead. It helps your eyeshadow, blush or bronzer, and powder adhere to your skin without the frustration of creases.

Setting Mist

Once your makeup is applied and you are ready to walk down the aisle, don’t forget the setting mist. You have spent hours getting ready and you want your makeup to last. Would you work hard on the perfect hairstyle and decide not to use hairspray to hold it in place? Probably not. Consider this for your makeup as well. Setting mist will hold your makeup application for a full day of wedding events. 

The help of friends and family will go a long way when getting ready to say, “I do!” Listen to their suggestions and allow them to help. You never know what beauty tips and tricks your sisters may have in their back pocket. But, most importantly, don’t forget to smile!

Hot Honeymoon Spots for 2019

Planning a wedding can be a little stressful and very time consuming. Yet, is can also be exciting and well worth all your hard work and effort.  And once the festivities are over, you get to head out on romantic getaway with your new spouse!  If you can’t decide where to spend your honeymoon, here are some of the hottest spots for 2019.

Jamaica

Jamaica is well-known for its all-inclusive resorts, fantastic service, and gorgeous scenery. The day that you arrive at your destination there is no need to leave the property. Food and cocktails are included in most honeymoon packages and tipping is not recommended. This perk can relieve the financial stress so you can get the most of your relaxing vacation. Jamaica also has perfect weather every season.  You can tie the knot any time of year before heading off to this tropical paradise. When you get there, be sure to enjoy their world-famous jerk chicken while accompanied by some of the best Reggae music you have ever heard!

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Italy

If you enjoy history and culture, Italy is a perfect honeymoon destination.  The food is rich and flavorful matched with outstanding wine selections. You can visit unique villages, relax on the beach, and tour some of the world’s most famous historic landmarks. Popular attractions are the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Trevi Fountain, Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, and the Colosseum.  In Italy you can see amazing artwork in their world class museums or rest at a romantic bead and breakfast. Italy has it all!

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Napa Valley

If you are not interested in international travel, consider a trip to Napa Valley. This wine country has been ranked as one of the United States’ most romantic honeymoon destinations. There are hundreds of wineries to choose from and each are unique. You can tour the properties, learn how wine is fermented, and taste many exquisite varieties. During your stay you can also take a short trip to San Francisco for sightseeing and fine dining. The weather in Napa Valley resembles a Mediterranean climate providing comfortable temperatures year-round. So, tie the knot any time of year and head off to Napa Valley for your dream vacation!

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Regardless of where you travel, make the most of your new marriage and enjoy this time together. If you fall in love with your destination, make sure you plan another visit on your ten year wedding anniversary!

Beautiful Weddings on a Budget

We all dream of the perfect wedding.  Yet after meeting with vendors and researching the cost of every detail, your ideal setting may seem a little daunting. Don’t lose hope. Here are a few ways you can plan the perfect wedding while eliminating some major added expenses.

  1. Trim the guest list. This is an important tip to remember, you don’t have to include everyone you know. Prioritize an “A List” first and then add friends, distant relatives, or co-workers until you reach your limit. Leaving children off your guest list is an easy way to keep your guest count low.
  2. DIY what you can. Or ask friends and family who can. If you have a baker in the family, recruit them to make your wedding cake. If you know someone who has an eye for beautiful floral arrangements, let them take over. Lastly, load up on the card stock and create your own special wedding invitations. The DIY possibilities are endless.
  3. Schedule your ceremony between meal times. If you get married in the afternoon or late morning, it is easier to get away with serving heavy hors d’oeuvres and appetizers to your guests. Serving a full meal can double or triple your food costs.
  4. Get married at home. Beautiful backyard weddings are cozy and intimate. They also offer more flexibility when choosing your date. You can be as formal or casual as you like, and you never have to follow the guidelines of a rented venue.
  5. Choose your dress carefully. Brides in expensive wedding gowns are just as beautiful as those with a humbler selection. If you know someone who is willing to let you borrow their gown, say yes if it is the right fit!
  6. Have a friend DJ or set up a playlist ahead of time. Plan a list of songs ahead of time that you would like to hear at your reception and let it roll. However, do ask a friend to MC. You may want someone to announce your arrival to the party. The first introduction as husband and wife is joyful to everyone.
  7. Stock your bar. This is the time to shop for cases of wine, beer, liquor and mixers. If the cost gets too high, cash bars are always a great alternative.
  8. Ask for help. This can be a daunting task, but if you have parents or relatives who are willing to help with wedding costs, be grateful and say “Yes!”
  9. Plan well. A longer engagement can give you time to put money aside for wedding expenses. This also gives you an opportunity to recruit help and shop vendor prices.
  10. Budget thoroughly. This is the most important way to keep your cost low. Create a detailed list of everything you want for your wedding and add a maximum dollar amount beside each item.

If you plan well, you will find many benefits to planning a wedding on a budget. You may even find added funds to indulge on your honeymoon!

Tips for Keeping Your Guest List Small

Weddings are an exciting event! We understand your desire to celebrate with the masses. We also understand how difficult it can be to invite everyone you want while staying within your budget. Here are a few tips to trimming down the guest list and making the most of your special day.

Start with the must haves. There are friends and family that simply must be included on your list.  You know who these people are, they have shared pivotal moments with you over the years. Start your list with these names first and make sure it includes parents, siblings, grandparents, and close family that cannot be eliminated. Now that you have created, you’re “A list” it is time to think of co-workers, friends, and extended family you would like to include. As harsh as it may seem, it is crucial to prioritize these names to make sure you do not overextend your limit.

Carefully consider the children you plan to invite. Children bring joy and laughter to any wedding, but if everyone on your guest list can bring their kiddos along, your numbers will quickly double. State clearly on your invitations who is invited. For those guests who seems confused or upset with this decision, a one-on-one conversation may be necessary. Communicating that their precious bundle of joy is not the only child left off the list may help ease any frustrations.

Set expectations. First, understand that it is an honor that people want to celebrate your marriage with you. After spreading the good news of your engagement, go ahead and start planting seeds that you intend to keep the wedding small. If this is well communicated from the beginning, it eliminates a disappointing surprise when an invitation doesn’t show up on a later date.

If you find it challenging to keep your guest list small, remind yourself repeatedly that you are not obligated to invite everyone you know. You and your fiancé should create your list first while taking suggestions from parents and other family second. Also, keep in mind that not everyone you invite will be able to attend.

Am I Forgetting Something? Your Wedding Checklist

There are so many details to consider when planning a wedding which can seem a little overwhelming. For many, managing a checklist is the easiest way to rest assured that no item has been left behind.  Here is a list to get you started.

  • Take time to talk with your fiancé. Make sure you and him are on the same page when envisioning the perfect day. Here are ways to get on the same page with your fiancé.
  • Discuss your budget. If you have a total amount of what you can afford before you get started, making decisions with your wedding vendors will come a little easier. Here are some tips to help with budgeting.
  • Coordinate a wedding planner. If are choosing to hire a wedding planner, now it the time to interview and find the right match.
  • Select your ceremony and reception locations. Popular wedding venues need to be secured far in advance. Once you have a date on the calendar, you can work with vendors who are available on the same day.
  • Find an officiant. If you are not getting married in a church, you will need to hire a licensed officiant to perform the ceremony.
  • Select your wedding party. Ask close friends and family to stand beside and support you at the altar.
  • Create a guest list. It is easy for a guest list to get of hand when you don’t want to hurt feelings. If you find that your numbers get out of control, here is how you can trim down your list without hurting feelings.
  • Plan your menu. Take time with your caterer to select your menu options. Make sure you sample! If your caterer is not making your wedding cake, now is also the time to find a cake vendor.
  • Select your flowers.  Be sure to match the flowers to your color scheme.
  • Photographer/Videographer selection. Many photographers include engagement photos in wedding packages. Be sure to ask!
  • Book your DJ or Band. There are pros and cons to both. Just make sure who you select can play and mix your music of choice.
  • Select your wedding gown and bridesmaids’ dresses.  This is always one of the most exciting events of wedding planning. Take a group with you and have fun! Here is some help for choosing the perfect dress for you.
  • Start planning your honeymoon.  Many trips and flights need to be booked in advance. Be sure you allow plenty of time to get to your top destination!  If you are unsure, here are the top 6 honeymoon destinations of choice.
  • Select and order your invitations. It is customary to send your invitations eight weeks prior to your wedding date. If you want to send a save-the-date card, prepare to send those anytime from six months to a year in advance.
  • Organize the seating arrangements. Once your guests begin sending responses to your invitations, you can begin organizing your seating chart. If you are not hosting a seated dinner, now is the time to organize all other seating details.
  • Book transportation to and from the ceremony.  On your wedding day, the last thing you will want to worry about is transportation. Consider if you want to arrange a ride to the reception, to the hotel following the reception, if you want your wedding party to have a ride, etc. Here are some creative ideas to get you started.
  • Coordinate hotel blocks for guests. Many hotels offer room blocks and discounts for large parties. It is easy for guests to add a room under your block and stay close to the other guests.
  • Create party favors. This is not a necessary, but an added gesture to let your out of town guests know that you are grateful they traveled to celebrate with you.

 Maintaining a checklist is a sure-fire way to assure you will not forget any important factor that will make your wedding day extra special. Ask some close friends to help you add items to your list!