Tips for Traveling Abroad for Your Honeymoon

Honeymoon planning is probably the most exciting detail when preparing for your wedding. You know that once the ceremony is over and your guests have said their good-byes, you get to take a long-awaited vacation with your new hubby. After months of hard work and organizing, you deserve some time away! If you are considering a trip abroad, here are some tips that can make your travel smooth and stress-free.

Use a travel agent.
You may consider yourself well-traveled, but your honeymoon isn’t just any old trip. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and you want to make it great. Hire someone that will help you plan the details. Good travel agents are affordable, knowledgeable, and helpful. Many have relationships with vendors abroad so they can book hotel accommodations with upgrades and agent perks that you would not receive on your own. They know the best resorts to visit and helpful insider excursion tips. They can discuss your likes, dislikes, and make the perfect recommendations for your personal journey. Plus, outsourcing the details will simply make your life easier. You already have a lot on your plate!

Purchase Insurance.
Traveling abroad is expensive. Between airline tickets, hotels, non-refundable excursions, or even dinner reservations that require a deposit, the costs can add up quickly. We recommend purchasing travel insurance simply because you never know what curve balls life will throw your way.   The weather could choose to be uncooperative, wedding plans can become delayed, or one of you could become sick and unable to comfortably travel. To eliminate financial stress in any of these situations, talk to your travel agent about the best insurance policy for you. The last thing you want is pay for a honeymoon that you cannot attend.

We also recommend investigating travel medical insurance that will cover illness or injury while abroad. Most domestic health insurance plans will only cover expenses treated in the U.S. However, there are travel health insurance options that cover medical expenses within a network of doctors or healthcare facilities that can save you thousands of dollars out of pocket for treatments in other countries. Talk to your travel agent about different options and cover yourself for peace of mind.

Find an interpreter.
If you choose to travel to a country where English is not the primary language, we recommend hiring an interpreter for day-long excursions. They can help you understand behind the scenes history, assist with ordering meals, and offer added insight while touring their homeland. They can even make out-of-the-box suggestions so you can live like the “locals” for a day.

If you are eager to start the honeymoon prep, here is a checklist to get you moving in the right direction.

 

Creative Ways to Personalize Your Wedding

A wedding is more than just saying vows and making your union legal. It is a personal reflection of you as a couple. Rather than simply moving through the motions, add some personal touches to make your day profound. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Let your vows be personal. Personal vows are the core of why you are getting married in the first place. This is the perfect time to express your commitment to each other. You have the stage, and your support system is the audience. Express why you fell in love, your promise to fully commit your life to one another, and your enthusiasm to move forward. While we love traditional vows, a personal approach is not only romantic, but engaging.

Add in a little culture. Where are you from? What is your heritage? Including a little cultural spice is hot right now in the wedding scene. There are many ways you can use your culture to add a personal flare. Incorporate clothing, additional small ceremonies, or even decorations to show off your background and call attention to pieces that are most important to you. For example, if you add a ceremonial element, announce its significance so your guests to appreciate the moment with you. If you add decorations, find beautiful signage that illuminates its relevance.

Include your furbabies. Who wouldn’t love seeing your sweet pup carry your ring down the aisle? If your furry friend is well behaved, consider letting him stand up front with the wedding party wearing his best wedding attire! Some brides even work on tricks with their pet to give the audience a show during the reception. Be sure to include him in your photos and give your guests time to greet your adorable addition.

Ask a family member or friend to officiate. Consider asking a loved one to officiate you’re wedding. There may be a few steps involved, but it is more meaningful and memorable. This is the perfect way to involve someone you love who is not in the wedding party and recognize their significance to you and your nuptials. Be sure that the person you ask to officiate obtains proper licensing long in advance!

What to Include on Your Wedding Website

A wedding website is a terrific online resource for your guests to find pertinent information about your event as you lead up to the big day. While it is a good idea to avoid information overload, here are some specifics you should include.

Add invitation details
Once you have event details ironed out, post them for your guests to start planning. Begin by checking off basic information you plan to add to the invitations.

  • Your names…seems obvious, but we have seen this left out before!
  • Date and time the wedding will take place
  • Venue information: Address, link to directions, parking specifics, or any other factors that are relevant to your guests
  • RSVP details
  • Attire: Letting your guests know the formality of your wedding is helpful for planning
  • Reception information
  • Accommodation and transportation details

 

The extras
You may be bombarded with questions about your wedding. While the bridesmaids can help filter a few phone calls, posting the “extras” on your website may be an easy way to keep your phone from ringing off the hook. This includes more in-depth information about the points listed above. For example, if you include basic transportation information on the main page, add some details about pick up and drop off times along with how many people the vehicle can hold. Let people know if the cars, limos, or busses will run alternate routes through the evening and where the pickup locations will be. You may also want to include extra details about the menu, estimated time dinner and hors d’oeuvres will be served, allergy information, etc. If your guests still have questions, offer a point of contact for people to reach out to.

Add a personal touch
This is where you can tell your love story! You may not want to overload the photos or write a novel but give some insight as to who you are together and apart. Your great aunt who lives across the country may be excited to feel a connection before the big day. Add some photos of you together doing something you love, show off your ring, and tell everyone how you met. You can be creative and write a poem or add captions to candid photos. Set the page up to suite your personality but makes sure it flows easily.

If you are still on the fence as to whether you want a wedding website, here are some benefits that may help you move forward.

 

What Items to Add to Your Wedding Registry

Shopping your registry should be fun and exciting, not stressful! This is a time to find items both you and your future spouse will enjoy. It can be fun for you to create a wish list, but it is also helpful for your guests to have suggestions.  Whether you choose to shop online or in person, here are recommendations to add to your list.

Kitchen items that are sensible. Consider practical items that you need for day-to-day use. Standard plates, bowls, and silverware are a must when you are not already fully stocked. Thinking beyond the basics, add baking items such as: mixing bowls, spoons, spatulas, and measuring tools. Then broaden your list to include pots and pans, toaster ovens, and other cooking necessities.

Your household wish list. Throw in household items (decorative or pragmatic) that you want or need around the house. Consider including bath towels, bedding, pillows, luggage, and even cleaning supplies. This is also the time to add that vacuum cleaner you are secretly wishing for.

Include items that are unique. While some guests will simply shop within their price range others will want to purchase something out of the box. If there is a monogramed or personalized piece that is special to you, include it for the sentimental shopper. Add in distinctive décor or an accent item that will make your home feel extra special.

Add big and small ticket items. Be sure to include items that guests of all budget ranges can afford. Some may even want to purchase numerous gifts at a lower price range. You may also be pleasantly surprised that the high ticket “wish list” item you dreamed about made its way to your home after all. Remember, a wedding registry is a helpful guide for those shopping for you. Be respectful to all budgets as you add to your wish list and grateful for everything you receive. Here are more tips before getting started.

Tips for Hosting an Engagement Party

Whether you are hosting a party for a newly engaged couple or planning your own soiree, here are some tips that will help get your planning underway.

The purpose of an engagement party is to gather the couple’s friends and family to simply raise a glass to their new engagement. It can also help break the ice between families who have not had a chance to connect.  If the wedding party has already been established, this is also time for each bridesmaid and groomsman to become acquainted. After all, they will be walking down the aisle together eventually!

Who to invite and how?
Along with family and close friends, it is wise to include people who are sure to make the guest list. Imagine the awkward silence after a co-worker shows up to celebrate only to find out they will not be receiving an invitation to the actual wedding! First, decide how intimate you want the gathering to be. If you are hosting something small in your own home, perhaps you need to stick with close family, the family, along with the wedding party. If you have more space and funds you can start expanding your list from there.

If you are hosting a formal event, invitations are the way to go. If you are keeping things casual, emails and phone calls may be all you need. Be sure you include an RSVP request for planning food, space, and activities. RSVP’s can also help you rest assured that your potential guest received your invitation.

How formal should the party be?
Since the purpose of an engagement party is to simply celebrate the couple, keep the emphasis on FUN. A shower is focused on loading the couple with pre-wedding gifts, so the engagement party can stick with a more casual feel. Keep in mind that your guest should not feel pressure to shop the wedding registry prior to your party.

If you have a theme in mind, let your creativity shine! If the couple shares a common interest, bring it to light. For example, if they met on the running trail, theme your party around sports and fitness. The possibilities are endless and the formality of your party depends on the particular mood you want to set.

What should we do?
The answer to this question is… have fun! If you want to play silly games now is your chance. Otherwise, just toast and mingle. Let the couple be in the spotlight and know how excited you are about their upcoming nuptials!

Rehearsal Dinner Guide

Traditionally, a rehearsal dinner takes place the night before your wedding. This is a perfect time to gather with your wedding party, close friends, and family to intimately celebrate your upcoming nuptials. If you are planning to have a rehearsal dinner party, here are a few tips to get the preparation underway.

Who is the host?
It is customary for the groom’s family is plan, organize, and pay for the rehearsal dinner. Today, some couples choose to share the responsibility and host this event on their own. Whichever route you choose, the person that oversees the event will send invitations, book the venue, plan the food, and pay.

Where should it take place?
Some rehearsal dinners are formal and take place in a ballroom with a seated dinner included, while others take place in the backyard with barbeque. The possibilities are endless. First consider if you want a formal or informal event and recognize that the price will vary depending on the location and size of your party. If your wedding is formal, you may choose to keep the festivities in line with a proper setting.  If your wedding has a more causal and laid-back atmosphere, stick with a relaxed and warm party.

Who should be invited?
When organizing your rehearsal dinner guest list, begin with parents of the bride and groom along with immediate family members, the wedding party, and the officiant. Then it is time to branch out to spouses and potentially their children (depending on how large your event will be). Ring bearers, flower girls, and junior bride’s maids should be included and, depending on their age, possibly their parents. Once this list is finalized, reach out to close friends or out of town guests that you want to be a part of this intimate gathering too.

For unique rehearsal dinner ideas, click here.

Summer Wedding Tips

Summer is just around the corner and is a great time to get married outdoors! If you are tying the knot in the sun, here are some tips to keep you and your guests cool and comfortable.

Provide plenty of shade.
If your outdoor venue does not provide an abundance of natural shade, have tents available to keep your guests from overheating and overexposure to direct sunlight. Consider fun sunglasses and parasols on each seat for extra protection. These items can even double as a party favor.

Consider the menu.
Summer is not the time for heavy hors d’ oeuvres or big meals. Stick with lighter food options instead. Load your food tables with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and meat from the grill. Keep the beverages and extra desserts light too. Think of refreshing cocktails, white wine, and an abundance of cold water, lemonade, and tea selections. Any dessert that cools your guests will be a hit. Add ice cream, popsicles, and mini-light cakes or pies that are easy to create in smaller portion sizes. For more refreshment ideas to keep your guests cool and happy, click here.

Provide sunscreen.
It is likely that some of your guests will forget to apply sunscreen or will need reapplication during your festivities. Consider adding sunscreen stations throughout. Offer a selection with a high SPF that can easily be applied. We recommend sprays for sharing outdoors.

Provide save-the dates for preparation.
While wedding invitations will contain fewer words and focus on event details, you can add information to your save the date cards. Let your guests know that your wedding will take place outdoors and suggest breathable attire. These cards will also help your guests plan around vacation schedules too.

Beauty Skin Tips for Your Wedding Day

Wedding planning takes a lot of time and thought. The few weeks leading up to your ceremony, give yourself a little TLC too. Here are some tips to help you look and feel your best when you walk down the aisle and say, “I do!”.

Exfoliate
When it comes to exfoliating, you have options. Find a gentle salt or sugar scrub and rub in a circular motion for 30 seconds to eliminate dead skin and to clear your pores. Exfoliating tools are also available and work just as well. Do this once a day leading up to your wedding but be gentle on your skin to prevent abrasions or redness. Don’t forget to prevent flaking lipstick. Remember to exfoliate your lips too!

Tanning
While we can all agree there is beauty in glowing skin, don’t overdo the tan before your nuptials. Wear sunscreen with UVA protection outdoors and choose safe tanning alternatives. There are now a variety of streak-free self-tanners on the market that do not give an orange finish. Spray tans are also a great alternative. We recommend you choose a shade close to your natural color and tan two to three days prior to the big day to give it time to set and look natural.

Prevent Shine
Use a light foundation to hold your makeup in place and keep the powder close. Find a light-weight option that will not build-up with reapplication through the festivities. When convenient, use a tissue to lightly dab your skin to remove excess oil and sweat.

Waterproof Makeup
Wearing waterproof eye makeup on your wedding day can prevent mascara and liner from running. It can also help with your tears of joy! If you are not accustomed to waterproof options, we suggest you test the product 2 weeks prior for any unwanted reactions. If waterproof makeup is not an option for you, try concealer and powder under they eye area to hold your makeup in place and finish with a setting spray. Always use a primer before application.

Wedding Dessert Trends for 2021

Your wedding cake is a staple, right? As dessert tables, mini cakes, and individual sweets are creeping into receptions everywhere, you will be pleased to know that traditional wedding cakes are still a hit. So, before you ditch the baker, here are a few ways you can add to your dessert repertoire and wow your guests with sugar.

Keeping safety in mind.
If you are holding an intimate celebration and contemplating safety guidelines for COVID-19, consider offering your guests small cakes or table cakes to reduce the spread of germs. Families and friends that travel together can sit at reserved tables with an individual “table cake” for sharing.

Another possibility is to offer individually packaged desserts for each guest. This will reduce contact from sharing and can double as a party favor! Cookies, cupcakes, brownies, macaroons, or even a mix of all can be individualized and dispersed after the meal. Be sure to add a personal and creative touch to the wrapping.

Have your cake…and ice cream too.
If you are keeping things traditional, cut and share your cake with an ice cream bar on the side. A few flavor selections are great, but the joy is in the toppings. Whether you set up a toppings bar so guests can help themselves or create grab-and-go options, the bigger the selection the better.

Dessert beverages are a success.
Cookies and cakes will always be a hit, but dessert cocktails are making a comeback! Offer a few options for differing taste palates. Fruity cocktails, chocolate martinis, hot toddies, or cocktails mixed with cinnamon and spice are sure to be a hit! Here are a few cocktail ideas for you to consider.

Beautiful Beach Wedding Inspiration

There are so many benefits to tying the knot seaside, where do we even begin? Mother nature is your backdrop, the sunshine lights your space, and crashing waves create a calming ambience…and this is just a start.  If you are taking your nuptials to the shore, here are a few reasons why we are on board!

You can make it a destination wedding.
People are ready to travel again after a year of quarantine at home. Planning a beach wedding is a great excuse to take that long-awaited vacation. For those who may still have anxiety in group gatherings, the open air can help ease some angst. Follow these tips to create a safe environment for you and your guests.

A beach wedding provides a getaway for everyone, but it can also double as your honeymoon. No need to plan a separate vacation, just stay an extra week and celebrate in the sun.

Easy Planning.
Most resorts have a wedding coordinator on staff who can plan and sort details for your ceremony. There may be a few chairs, floral arrangements, or an archway to decorate the space; but a beach wedding allows the laid-back couple to relax. Your ceremony can be beautiful, memorable, and low-key. Many resorts even have an outdoor space for you to host the reception only steps away from the ocean.

Keep Things Intimate.
While you may have a surprise “Yes” from the co-worker who needed a reason to travel, a beach wedding typically involves close friends and family. Many people are unable or willing to travel for a destination wedding. Chances are that your wedding day will be spent with those who are the closest and most valuable to you.

If you are sold on the idea of getting married in the sand, here are a few planning tips to help.