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!

Spectacular Winter Weddings

While Spring and Fall are popular times of year to tie the knot, some brides dream of a cozy fireside setting instead. Winter can be one of the most beautiful seasons. If your vision involves a white blanket of snow, here are some amazing winter wedding ideas to help get your planning underway.

Great Photo Opportunities
Use nature as a background for beautiful photos! It may be chilly for a moment, but use the temperature drop as an excuse to snuggle up for your wedding album.

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Beautiful Seasonal Décor
The possibilities are endless when planning a beautiful reception. Whites, blues, and all the colors of every winter holiday can be tied into your event. Now is also the time to tie in mistletoe, garland, and jingle bells! (Your guests will have a blast kissing under the mistletoe on the dance floor.) Lighting is also key to making a winter wedding sparkle.  

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Comfort Food
Winter is the season for comfort, so feel free to go on the heavier side with your food options. Soups, chili, casseroles, and pastas are hearty meals that warm the heart. But, don’t stop there. Add hot cocoa, cider, and rich cocktails to keep things cozy inside.

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Not only does the winter provide a beautiful setting for your wedding; you may notice the honeymoon options are less crowded, the vendor costs are more affordable, and the perfect date is easier to secure. Just a few more reasons why winter really can be the best time of year!

How to Fight Wedding Day Illness

There are many small details to think of when planning the perfect wedding, but one thing you may not have considered is your health. Although is an exciting time, there are a lot of moving parts that can cause added stress. This stress can take a lot out of you, and possibly lead to illness. If it does, don’t fret. Take these things into consideration and plan ahead. 

Before the Wedding

The months leading up to your wedding is critical for self-care. Here are a couple easy things you can try to help you stay germ free.

  1. Vitamins: Realizing that stress can play a part in your overall health, add vitamins into your daily routine. Vitamin C is an excellent supplement to start months before your big day to boost your immune system and help your body fight bacteria.  
  2. Steer clear of germs: If a friend invites you for drinks and mentions they have been fighting a cold, politely decline. Simply staying away from infected people will reduce your chances of catching something you don’t want to walk down the aisle with.  
When All Else Fails

If you do wake up on your wedding day and find that you are under the weather, don’t panic. A little adjusting and the help of a few close friends will get you down the aisle.

  1. Add extra time: You may not have an abundant amount of energy to spare, so add in a little extra time for hair, makeup, and anything else you need to get yourself ready.
  2. Medicate: Unless you have allergies, rotate Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen to get you through. Together these medications can help you reduce fever and ease discomfort when necessary.
  3. Rest: Relax and take breaks as much as possible.
  4. Drink: Stay hydrated! Drink plenty of water and beverage with electrolytes to give your body what it needs.   

If sickness lands you in the hospital on the day of your wedding, it’s okay. Your health is more important than any event. Yes, even your wedding which can be rescheduled. Stay in touch with your vendors and let them know your situation. Sometimes communication is key in business. Many reputable companies are happy to do what they can to accommodate and unforeseen circumstances. 

How to Choose Your Wedding Veil

Wedding veils are one of the most elegant and beautiful accessories you will choose to compliment your dress on your wedding day. But, not any old veil will do. Here are a few tips to help you select the right one for you.

Compliment Your Dress

Many dresses already have a veil selection that matches the accents of the gown. But, don’t limit yourself.  If the veil looks perfect and completes the look, run with it. But, if you choose to keep shopping, be sure to find options that are similar in style and color. If your dress is ivory, stick with the same color scheme. A white trim on a veil will not blend well with your ivory ensemble. If you are wearing a formal gown, choose a longer veil that accents its elegance.  Shorter veils tend to be made for a more casual look.

Hair Styles Matter

Consider your wedding day hair in advance. If you are having a hard time deciding, take some practice photos with different hairstyle options. Do you prefer the photos with a certain look? If so, wear your hair in that style on the day of your veil selection. Make sure your veil choice sits on your head in a way that will compliment your hair style.

Be Comfortable

Your veil will be worn for a large part of your wedding day. And, you will want to keep it on for wedding photos. It is important that your pick not only compliments your dress and hairstyle, but also photos well.  If you are taking wedding photos outside on the beach, a veil with a lot of material could get caught in the wind. For indoor photos, a veil that fall nicely and fits comfortably on your head will keep you happy and create a lovely accessory for your photo album.

As you are having fun trying on veils and feeling like a princess, don’t be afraid to ask for help! The consultant at the bridal store should also be an expert at helping you make the right selection. But, at the end of the day, accessorize in a style that makes you feel beautiful.

 

 

 

 

Ideas for Renewing Your Vows

If you want to celebrate a milestone in your marriage, or just remind each other of your growing love, consider a vow renewal celebration.  You can make it an intimate gathering or even host a huge party. Whether you go big or small, here are a few great ideas for celebrating.    

Destination

Did you fall in love with your honeymoon destination? Plan a return visit! For many couples, taking a trip down memory lane and reminiscing about the romantic newlywed moments is a fantastic to keep the spark alive. Even better, do it in the exact location where your journey as a couple began.  While you are there, find an officiant to renew your vows. It will be a treat to compare honeymoon photos with your visit years later.

Ceremony

Many couples who are celebrating a milestone anniversary like to host a gathering of family and friends.  These ceremonies tend to mimic an actual wedding, but the possibilities are endless. If you like being escorted down the aisle followed by a seated dinner with dancing, this is your chance!  Or, be creative and change things up a little.  Allowing time for friends and family to toast during this type of celebration can affirm how you have grown together over the years.  

Unprompted Fun

If all the planning causes extra stress, but you are still interested in renewing your vows, consider a more spontaneous option.  The Las Vegas strip is filled with Elvis impersonators who would love to take part! But, if blue suede shoes aren’t your thing, think of all the things you and your husband enjoy together. If you like to hike, take it to the top of a mountain and express your unending love with nature.  If bowling is your thing, take it to the lanes and ask them to play your favorite song to follow. Making it your own is what really counts. 

Marriage is a beautiful thing and deserves to be celebrated. There is no right or wrong way to do it, so enjoy yourselves…and congratulations on your time together!