The guest list is potentially one of the most stressful parts of planning your wedding day. It doesn’t matter whether you’re having a small gathering or a giant affair in a mansion; there are still people who’ll expect to be invited who you really don’t want to be there. But how do you get around this? We’ve given it some thought and here’s our handy way to determine what people you don’t need to invite to your big day.
How do you decide which of your several hundred "friends" to invite after you've posted your engagement photos online? Do you put anyone on a waiting list? Having planned dozens of weddings and seen these questions come up repeatedly, I decided to investigate what the relevant etiquette sources had to say on the subject. And after finding them lacking, I ultimately came up with my own list of rules that I have been sending couples for years to help them in their quest to generate the best and most appropriate wedding guest list.
Getting Started ~
So you're engaged! You and your fiancé may be wondering "Where do we start?"
1) Write down all of the names of everyone you would like to see when you walk down the aisle.
2) Then, consult your families.
* This is a very important step. Depending on your situation, parents have expectations about who is invited to your wedding. Especially if they are paying! Discuss these expectations from the start to avoid future conflict.
3) Now go down your gust list & discuss if they should be invited using the chart above. Chances are several of the names on your list can be crossed off.
Like any set of rules, there are always exceptions, so use your best judgment.
Finally, you need to be prepared for that incredibly painful moment when someone says, "Congratulations! Am I invited?" Here's a wonderful opportunity to deploy a phrase that you'll use countless times after you have said your vows: "Let me check with my spouse/partner and get back to you."
Even though most weddings are only a one-day affair, the planning leading up to them can be overwhelming. There are so many vendors to coordinate, people to manage, and details to attend to. It’s enough to make any bride’s head spin!
Of course you want your wedding to be the best day EVER, so obviously any bride-to-be will feel the immense pressure to make it perfect—but that doesn’t mean it has to be overwhelming or stressful. With the right hacks and wedding planning tips, your day will be smooth sailing.
We pinky swear promise!
Instead of spending your day worrying if the guests are happy, if your caterer got there on time, or if your heels are going to sink into the ground and make you trip on your walk down the aisle, you should be thinking about how happy your life will be, and that you’ll get to spend the entire night eating great food, dancing, and toasting with family and friends. And with our roundup of useful little hints, this dream can absolutely become a reality.
To make your life easier, we’ve gathered some of the most useful and practical wedding hacks that every bride should take into consideration.
To ease some of the stress and workload, here are 30 of the best wedding hacks to make your planning a whole lot smoother.
Save-the-Dates, Invitations and RSVPs:
#1 For cheaper invites, find a downloadable PDF and print it out yourself. There are also some lovely DIY invitation kits that you can design on your own & print at home. You can embellish them with ribbons, Rhinestones or décor to go with your wedding theme.
#2 Write guests' names on the back of the RSVP cards before mailing them. This will avoid any confusion if they forget to say who they are (and they usually do).
Tip: Free Online RSVPs Made for Weddings
#3 You don't need to provide an invite for each person in a household. Instead, send one invite per couple or family, addressed to all the relevant people - this will effectively cut numbers in half, as well as saving you a fortune on invites & postage!
#4 Proof read (more than once!) all your stationery before it is printed. This will spare you having to fork out twice to cover up any unfortunate typos. Enlist the spell check skills of a second pair of eyes too.
#5 When it comes to sealing the envelopes: use a thin brush and water to spare your tongue the risk of paper cuts.
TIP: If you need to re-open an envelope just put it in a freezer bag and leave to chill for two hours. You should then be able to slide it open.
Money Saving Tip: CONSIDER EFFORTLESS ONLINE WEDDING INVITATIONS AND RSVP TRACKING.
#6 Consider a venue where you can hold both your ceremony & reception. This will cut the cost of booking two separate venues, as well as time because you won't need to get from Venue A to Venue B.
#7 Use a free online table seating designer, this will mean you can move people around without having to keep starting from scratch on a new sheet of paper.
#8 Once you've found the venue, investigate what the price differences are for booking during peak-season (spring/summer) and off-season (autumn/winter), as well as between a weekend wedding and a week day celebration.
#9 Don't be afraid to ask the staff at their venue for their insights. What sort of decorations do they normally think work best and can you see photos? Where would they recommend you display the cake for maximum visibility (and safety from drunk guests)? Utilize their experience and make it work to your advantage.
#10 Before you book your venue, check that you can use suppliers other than the ones they recommend, or possible require. While it's great to work with recommendations in mind, it's also good to have the flexibility to bring in your own vendors if you choose.
#11 Weather forecast for your big day looking hot, hot, hot? Make sure your venue is able to cope with keeping your guests cool.
#12 Invest in pretty weights to stop your skirt and veil from flying up on the off chance your celebration is hit by a gust of wind (your bridesmaids might also appreciate, these too).
Tip: Heel Protectors will prevent any awkward moments & ruined heels if you have to walk on muddy grass.
#13 Be on the lookout for sample sales. Even if you've already purchased your wedding dress, they're a great way to find accessories, veils and outfits for you & the bridal party at lower prices.
#14 Don't be afraid to book trial sessions with make-up counters in department stores. This is a great way for you to try new products and work out how much you do (or don't) want to wear make-up-wise on the big day.
#15 Break in your bridal shoes with the help of socks and a hair dryer.
TIP: Wear thick socks while wearing the shoes; blast with your hair dryer to soften the leather. To minimize slippery soles, rub heels and the underside with sandpaper.
#16 Get rid of any static on your dress by slowly running the long side of a coat hanger down it (just make sure it's clean first!)!
#17 Partial to a glass of red wine…or three? Avoid the dreaded red tooth side effect by sipping on carbonated water in between mouthfuls (the bubbles will help keep your teeth clean).
#18 Wearing heels? Remember to bring a pair of flat shoes, too. As super human as you may feel on your wedding day, your feet will ultimately let you down by evenings end. Spare any hobbling horrors by bringing a pair of super-comfy flip-flops or pretty ballet shoes.
#19 Give your guests favors that are actually useful: whether it’s something that can be used at the reception (such as a customized glass they can take up to the bar), or a snack they can enjoy on their way home.
#20 Want to cut-back on the cost of your flowers? Buy blooms from wholesale markets - but only if you're confident with arranging them yourself (or have an experienced person to step up). Make sure you work this out in plenty of time before your wedding date; otherwise, if things don't work out, you'll be left scrambling to book a florist in time.
Tip: You can order your flowers online & have them shipped to your home.
#21 Bring the decorations from your ceremony over to your reception venue. This will not only cut costs but will also keep the theme seamlessly running from one location to the other.
#22 If you don’t have a videographer, ask someone to film the speeches. You'll be on such a cloud of happiness that you might not take them in properly first time round!
Tip: Wedit, LLC is a fun and interactive way to capture your total wedding experience while saving big bucks!
#23 Create a DIY photo booth area to help you cut down on the cost of hiring one; also, set up a wedding hashtag. On the subject of photography: scope out all the beautiful locations around your venue you want to have your formal pictures taken after your ceremony.
#24 Make sure your MOH has the contact info of all your vendors who you'll be awaiting deliveries from on the wedding day; this will mean you're spared hanging around on the phone when you should be getting ready.
#25 Decide ASAP what your policy on kids is, are you inviting them or not? Let your guests know as soon as you can to guarantee no one is able to pull the 'couldn't find a babysitter' card. People will only be irritated if it's a last minute decision so be upfront about your policy from the off. If you are inviting kids, have activity packs to keep them entertained throughout the duller moments of the day.
TIP: It’s acceptable to tactfully include this information on the invitation.
#26 Don't be afraid to haggle with your vendors: sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, but always try!
#27 Set up a wedding only email address, that you and your partner can both access and use to keep wedding emails separate to your day to day emails.
#28 Set up a mood board on Pinterest (like you don’t already have one, or three). Consider everything you want for your wedding day, from specific photography ideas to decoration details. Do your research and get it all down in one place to make sure you don't forget anything you want to include.
TIP: Be sure to share your boards with your wedding planner so they can get a feel for what you like.
#29 Sign up to as many money saving newsletters as possible (use your wedding email address if you want to avoid a huge influx of emails) and keep your eyes peeled for any relevant offers or discounts.
#30 Keep a detailed wedding planner. Be sure to include pockets in each section for receipts & color sample swatches.
Planning your wedding doesn't have to be stressful or cause you to mortgage your 1st house, if you plan wisely. You don't have to skimp on elegance by using smart planning hacks.
Hunting for the perfect wedding venue can be one of the most fun parts of planning your wedding … or one of the most stressful!
You want a country house, your partner wants city center. Your parents chime in with ”oooooh a castle might be nice!” but you can’t think of anything worse than a drafty old theme park styled castle. Then there are other things to consider – a venue with or without staff, with or without a roof, with or without accommodations. If you’re lucky you’ll stumble across the perfect combination that makes you all happy. If you’re lucky.
But what do you do when you’re struggling to find that perfect location for your wedding? What if you’ve been hunting everywhere and you just can’t find/agree on ‘the’ one? Maybe it’s time to consider getting married in your own back yard!
Let’s take a look how you can start planning to get married at home:
First things first, you need to think about size. How many guests do you want to have? If you live on a farm you can most likely have a herd of guests, but if you live in a four bedroom with a small backyard you might need to limit your numbers.
Tell the neighbors! You might not want to invite them to the whole thing but do be willing to invite them to the evening bash. This will warm them up to the idea & smooth a lot of ruffled feathers if the music gets too loud. Warn them about the potential for noise, traffic and parked cars.
Which brings us to parking! By all means ask your neighbors if they’d be willing to let your guests use their driveways on the day, but if not and parking is limited on your street, consider a ‘park and ride’ area – a lot or car parking area somewhere close by that everyone can meet at and you rent a shuttle bus to transport them to your house. Failing this option ensure your guests know the parking situation and encourage taxis & Uber!
Now a delicate topic…. the toilet situation needs attention. 30-50 guests and you’ll probably be ok with your own home toilets so long as you have more than one and are happy for people to traipse through your house, but more guests and you’ll need to consider hiring in porta potty. But not those vile grey plastic boxes, nope, you can get lovely festive self-contained units now so shop around for something a little better.
TIP: Unless you live in the country, you’ll probably need to get a permit from the city.
Catering shouldn’t be too much of an issue – you have a kitchen and a running water supply (not always the case with a tent set up) so your caterers are already happy. However a word of warning – not all caterers are insured to work in a private residence so check this out in your search. A good alternative is to have the food cooked elsewhere and brought to the house to be served. This may limit your choices but with a good caterer you should be able to come up with some great ideas. Or ask your favorite restaurant if they will cook and deliver. You’ll have to bring in waiting staff though, so check out some agencies, or even the local catering college.
Another idea? How about hiring a couple catering trucks to serve your guests? These food trucks are no longer only considered "roach coaches", there are some fabulous gourmet trucks to choose from!
Where will people sit and what will they eat off/with? It’s likely your caterer will supply all of the required cutlery, crockery and glass wear so that’s one less thing to worry about. When it comes to seating however, not many people have enough tables to seat 50 people laying around so you might have to consider renting tables, chairs & linens. On a budget? Ask friends and family if you can borrow tables and chairs for a bohemian feel.
Put the bar in the garage. That way you have plenty of storage at the back to keep all of the drinks cool and it’s out of the way. No garage? Consider hiring a mobile bar or a van.
So let’s see – you’ve told the neighbors, rented the furniture, got the toilet situation sorted, booked the caterer and decided on a bar. What’s left?
Do you have pets? You need to consider your four legged family members if you plan to wed at home. It might be worth putting them in a kennel for the weekend but this can be just as stressful as all of those people in their home. Perhaps leave them with a neighbor (easier with a dog but your cat might not be OK with it) or take to them to a family member’s home where someone could house sit with them.
Where’s the alcohol coming from? Short of buying out the grocers stock of whatever wine is on offer, consider a wholesale warehouse liquor center who will usually offer you sale or return on the wine, will deliver and collect and – should you think you’re going to run out – will top you up during the day (check with the supplier).
Who’s your cleaning crew? You will need to enlist the help of friends and family before AND after the wedding for cleanup. You could consider hiring an event crew for this part if you don’t want to impose on friends & family but to be fair, a home wedding is ALL about friends and family coming together so they probably won’t mind.
Have an ‘inclement weather’ plan! the weather is not always going to cooperate, so have a backup plan for the rain/snow/scorching heat! You can have a tent set up in your backyard, however you’ll need to consider overall size, height (do you have poles & wires hanging over your yard?) & consider how it’ll be delivered & set up. Is there a side entry gate wide enough to accommodate tent poles & tarps? If you rent a very large tent it’ll need to be offloaded from a trailer that will need to access the backyard.
One plus to setting up a tent is that with side walls you can monitor the inside temperature with fans, air conditioners or heaters, depending on the weather. But, you’ll most likely need electricity or generators available to run those elements.
And don’t forget the most important element in a wedding, besides the couple of course, you need an Officiant to conduct the ceremony. It won’t be anything other than a party until you get a marriage license & have an Officiant perform the ceremony.
Is your ceremony considered legal if it’s conducted in your back yard? Yup! Your license to marry is legal at any location within the jurisdiction it’s issued. You can get married in those rented porta potty’s if you like (but yuck don’t do that!).
So there you have it – our tips for planning your wedding in your own back yard. Your wedding day should be special and wherever you choose to do it there will be a lot of planning and preparation so we hope this guide is helpful.
BTW backyard weddings are our specialty! Give us a call to discuss your dream backyard wedding!
Bouquet Breakdown: Perfectly Peach & Pink Bridal Bouquet
Peach…It is such a HOT color for any wedding! And although we are officially still in Winter, we are fast approaching Spring…which brings me back to peach…It works beautifully for both seasons and is a great color for those transitional times…like right now. So, lets check out a perfect bridal bouquet for this time of year in today’s Fabulous Floral Breakdown!
This Peach and Pink bridal bouquet has subtle hints of Spring that I just love, but it could just as easily be used in a Winter setting!
This bouquet includes the following flowers: Peach and Pink Ranunculus, White Dinner Plate Dahlia, Bronze Amaranthus, Pink Pepper Berries, and the greens are the Pepper Berry Greenery.
Bronze Amaranthus ~
Warm up with the rich and regal colors of fall anytime of year with the mystifying orange glow of Bronze Amaranthus. Amaranthus features long, curvaceous stems, each lined with fuzzy orange foliage, which makes it an elegant and fashionable choice for adding volume to arrangements.
Pink Pepper Berry ~
Pepper Berry is sometimes sought out for the delicate leaves of the hanging variety. This berry comes in shades from soft pink to muted red. Add a hint of subtle color to your floral palette.
A favorite filler for the latter part of the year, Pepper Berry is coveted for their ability to add ambience to arrangements. For autumn events, the hundreds of tiny red berries represent the harvest and abundance; in wintertime, they add colorful holiday accents that gleefully light up events.
Pepper Berry Greenery ~
Boasting lush, natural hues, this bold greenery is ideal to play the supporting role in any design. The texture and dimension of this wild-growing foliage is a great way to add style and sophistication to any arrangement.
White Dinner Plate Dahlia ~
White Dinner Plate Dahlias are an exquisite white large bloom that swirls to a clear eye center. Delicate Dahlias would add a touch of sweet innocence to any wedding flower arrangement.
Peach & Pink Ranunculus ~
Ranunculus are our favorites! They are so dainty and beautiful they are a staple at almost every wedding! They are pretty hardy considering how delicate they appear and have the longest vase life out of all the delicate flowers (IE. peonies, anemones, veronica, etc).
The Ranunculus flower symbolizes attractiveness and charm across cultures and generations. Originally known as a cost-effective alternative to peonies and roses, these gorgeous blooms have become extremely popular with brides recently as a prime choice for both bouquets and centerpieces.
Interested in DYIng this bridal bouquet yourself? Fifty Flowers can help!
I love the very idea of eloping! The idea of tossing the guest list, the budget spreadsheets, the piles of sticky notes, and running off with your love somewhere exciting to say your vows, just the two of you. So romantic! But even if you're opting for a no frills wedding, planning your elopement still deserves a little thought. Even if you’re just going to the courthouse, you need an appointment & there’s the paperwork to fill out. You need to consider where to do it, what to wear (important!), how to make it special, and what to do afterwards - plus handling all the emotions that come with it - not to mention how to tell your parents and your BFF.
So, if you're thinking of making a run for it, and planning a wedding with just the two of you, we've put together a list on how to elope - the must-dos, and the most definitely don'ts to get you started...
1. Do It For the Right Reasons
Eloping can be something of a statement in itself, so if you're planning to get married without your friends and family, make sure it's something you really want and that you're doing it for the right reasons. Saving money, avoiding fuss, keeping things intimate and personal, or avoiding family drama, are all completely valid reasons to elope - just make sure you've thought a lot about your decision, and you're sure it's what you both want.
2. Don't Feel Bad About It
There can be a lot of guilt associated with elopements so this might be easier said than done, but try not to feel bad about your decision - you don't have to justify it to anyone. Your marriage is going to be about YOU, so your wedding should too! Of course some friends and family might be initially disappointed not to be sharing your day with you, but once they get over the shock, but chances are, they'll be nothing but thrilled for you. I think the adage of “prepare yourself for the worst but expect the best” is key for this, hopefully everyone will be cheering for you, but try not to be upset if a couple of people aren't as excited about your news as you'd hoped.
3. Do Have a Reveal Plan
You might want to throw a big party when you get back, and let everyone know you've eloped, you may want to send out announcements, or perhaps you want to quietly tell your nearest and dearest about your good news and leave it at that. However you let people know about your elopement, have a plan. When it comes to parents, siblings and close friends, it's important that they hear the news from you, ideally in person, and not through the grapevine or worse, on Facebook! Save the relationship status updates until after you've told your family. Have a script ready to go - as I said, you don't need to explain yourself - but you both need to be on the same page when it comes to letting friends and family in on your big surprise.
4. Don't Dismiss the Legalities
Make sure you read up on the legalities of where you're getting married; how long you need to have your license in advance, what ID and paperwork you need to bring, and whether the marriage will be valid back home. We all have a romantic notion of an impromptu wedding where you just book your flights and say 'I Do', but sadly, even the most fanciful gestures take some logistics. Oh, and don't forget to collect your certified marriage copies before you fly home!
5. Do Think About the Destination
Do you want a chic city elopement, a sunset ceremony on a cliff overlooking the river, or would you prefer to say your vows next to a lake or waterfall? Once you've decided where you want to go, and the feel you want from your elopement, you can start building a plan from there. It's not a bad idea to hire in a local elopement planner who will not only advise you on the legalities, but can also set you up with an Officiant, photographer, and any other vendors you might want, as well as arranging on the day transport and dining. They'll also know some quiet locations for your vows or photo session, so take advantage of their insider know-how, rather than spending your trip running around looking for a florist and booking taxis.
Don’t burden yourself with the stress of planning. Just because you are eloping doesn’t mean you have to do all your own wedding planning.
6. Don't Forget To Book a Photographer
We always think booking a photographer is sound investment for your wedding day, and even more-so if you're eloping. Having pictures to show your friends and family will make them feel part of your day. Plus you'll have keepsakes of your day to keep the memories alive!
7. Do Make It Special
Just because you don't have 120 guests to wine, dine and entertain doesn't mean your elopement shouldn't be special. Whether it's writing personalized vows, hiring out on a fancy limousine, eating wedding cake for breakfast, or going to a five star restaurant for dinner - do whatever it is that will make your wedding day feel special and truly memorable to YOU. The best thing about eloping is that you can do whatever you want - so make sure you do!
8. Do Rock Something Gorgeous
It doesn't have to be white or formal. It doesn't have to be a dress or a suit. And it certainly doesn't have to be “wedding appropriate”. But do make sure you wear something special to you on your wedding day, whether it's a sequin bridal jumpsuit, a little white dress, your granny's pearl necklace, your favorite t- shirt, or full formal wedding day attire. Have some fun with your look and make sure you feel fabulous on your wedding day, even if you're only dressing up for yourself and your other half.
9. Don't Dismiss a Wedding Day Timeline
You might not think you need one; after all, eloping is about throwing out the rule book, right? But thinking about the structure of your day is the best way to make the most of it. If the ceremony takes 15 minutes, and dinner takes two hours, there's still a lot of day to fill on your wedding day. Take time with your hair and make-up, have a leisurely breakfast or pre-ceremony lunch, have a couples' massage, or go all out with your photography session - just make sure there is a flow to your day so you can keep up the excitement and momentum.
10. Do Expect Some Costs
A lot of couples will plan an elopement to save on the expense of a big wedding, but that doesn't mean there won't be some costs. Your marriage license, bridal bouquet, outfits, hair, make-up and Officiant will all cost the same, no matter how many guests you have - though do ask your planner and photographer if they offer elopement rates, as you may require less of their time on the day. That said, if you can afford it, it's no harm upgrading to a fancy hotel or a plush suite on your wedding night, treating yourself to a fabulous meal or going all out on a fancy bottle of Champagne - what's the point in eloping if you can't indulge a little!
11. Don't Book a Package Without Looking It Over
Lots of resorts, and some planners, offer all-inclusive elopement packages. These often include the ceremony, an in house photographer, local flowers and decorations, sometimes along with cake & champagne. These packages can be handy, and cost effective, especially if you're not really into the details, but make sure you're happy with all the elements before you book.
Do you think Eloping is for you? Give us a call to discuss your wedding day. We'd love to be the professionals you choose to be by your side on your big day!
You’re engaged! Congratulations! How exciting, yet some challenging decisions lay ahead of you. Right after one of the biggest decisions in life, to marry the one your heart loves, comes another big question: how (and when) to get married? Are you considering eloping? What are the pros and cons of this decision to run away and down the aisle, just the two of you and no one else?
First let’s cut to the chase about cost. Undoubtedly, the cost of a wedding includes the rehearsal dinner, the wedding ceremony, the reception and all the parties & “stuff” that comes with them. The more budget friendly alternative is of course to elope.
There are definitely some good reasons that a couple may decide to skip the big wedding and to elope instead.
Most weddings have a lot of decisions to make as well as many unwanted (and usually unsolicited) opinions on which venues to choose, the food, flowers, which colors, themes and on and on. The more people involved, of course the more opinions. With an elopement those opinions are far more scarce leaving you to make your own decisions, and more often to make them together as a couple. In short, FAR LESS stress and headaches along with less out of pocket costs. Big pros for sure for newlyweds!
Now let’s think for a moment about who will be there on your big day. For an elopement you typically just invite your closest friends and family or a couple extra people, if you choose to invite any quests at all. The downside is that this could cause hurt feelings and disappointment to those guests that can’t make that trip or perhaps don’t get invited to your more intimate affair. The pro side of this is that it can be easier on you to tell family and friends that you kept it very intimate and it fit your budget. You could also decide to hold a small party when you return & share your pictures with them, giving them the opportunity to feel included.
Deciding on who you want there might be a difficult decision, but then it might be an easy one depending on you. One thought perhaps is that if it’s an easy decision, elopement is likely right you after all! Most couples I’ve worked with agree they would have had far more people at their big weddings they don’t know well. Surrounding yourself with those who matter most means they will likely be the same people who matter most at your 25th anniversary!
Now let’s explore what you envisioned for your wedding day. Do you envision a gorgeous church wedding and that’s all that you can think of? Or do you imagine a picturesque landscape with a lake or mountains or miles of green space? Or perhaps a courthouse elopement? The choices really can be endless and unique to you. There really isn’t a con for the location for your elopement as the choice you make will fit your budget and your vision.
The Pros and Cons
✓ Pro: It’s Far Less Expensive
Avoid the costs of having a massive reception with a ton of guests, large venue, decorations for a large space, and other related costs.
✘ Con: Potential Hurt Feelings
In an ideal world, people will be happy to let you do your own thing; but unfortunately, the real world isn’t that easy. You may have to deal with some hurt friends and family.
✓ Pro: You Call the Shots
An elopement puts you and your partner back in control. You can make your own decisions without family and friends getting involved.
✘ Con: Fewer Gifts
If you want to receive amazing and touching gifts from family; it’s likely it won’t be as plentiful if you choose to elope.
✓ Pro: The World is Yours
Say your vows by a gorgeous lake or exchange vows on a cliff; the possibilities are endless.
✘ Con: Less Extravagance
Smaller weddings are often less glamorous affairs due to the intimate locations and fewer guests. If fancy soirees are a passion of yours, an elopement might not be the best option for you.
✓ Pro: Only VIPs are Present
If you do decide to bring a few friends and family, they are going to be the ones who matter most to you and your spouse.
✘ Con: You’re Dependent on the Photographer
With the advent of high-quality cameras on smartphones, you can build a great photo album just from photos that friends and family take.
✓ Pro: Privacy
It can be hard to truly share your special moment with 200 people watching you. With an elopement, you can focus more on your special moment.
✘ Con: Fewer Witnesses to Share the Memories
With fewer people, there will be less people to reminisce with about your amazing day. Everyone can see the video but they will never truly know how amazing your day was.
How to Decide
Ignore all the noise
Everyone you talk to about planning a wedding has an opinion, whether it’s what they wish they would’ve done, what they’re happy they did or what they think is best for you. Listen to those who offer their advice, and take it all with a grain of salt. When it comes to making the big decision, take some time to dive into your own visions, and build the day around what you as a couple find most important for yourselves.
Follow your heart
You do YOU! Make sure your wedding day is created just for you, by you. The more you pour your hearts into your day and let your personalities shine through, the more honest and authentic your wedding (or elopement!) will feel. If you’re confident in your decisions from the very beginning, your day will feel just right for you.
Remember, memories are truly what you’re after. The day should be filled with memories of your joy, laughter & you as a couple making the decision to start a life together. Your wedding day should and will be extraordinary. Making your day truly memorable and uniquely special is the primary goal. How you achieve this goal is up to YOU!
Burgundy is one of my favorite wedding colors. The berry-hued, wine-inspired jewel tone beautifully pairs with a wide range of colors while providing a rich context for any wedding palette. With variations of gold, blue, and delicious autumnal shades, these burgundy color palettes will have you rethinking your wedding colors!
Burgundy and Blue
This color combination makes for a beautiful and striking contrast. We love how the blue really pops against all things burgundy. And lucky for you, there are gorgeous invitations and bridesmaids’ dresses for both of these colors.
Burgundy and Blush
Burgundy and blush have an elegant femininity to them. The blush really stands out from the burgundy and the burgundy helps accent the deeper colors within the blush. It is a sophisticated palette and can be used for weddings in many settings.
Burgundy and Peach
Burgundy and peach is an unlikely combo, but they pair so beautifully together. This color palette works best in the fall because the tones of Mother Nature are helping these two colors come to life.
Burgundy and Yellow
I love the touches of yellow paired with burgundy. It makes you feel like fall is here and Thanksgiving dinner is just around the corner. This color combination offers a lot of variety when planning and photographs beautifully.
Burgundy, Green, Gold & Black
This modern take on the burgundy color palette still surprises me every time! Striking green leaves, petals as gold as they come, and black glassware make for a uniquely bold approach to your reception design.
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It’s an honor to be asked to be a bridesmaid, but it’s also a big responsibility with a lot of expenses involved. According to a recent study, the cost of being a bridesmaid is about $970 per wedding, but that can quickly increase to over $1,500 or more! How can it possibly be that expensive? Pretty easily, actually, when you factor in purchasing the dress, hair, makeup, and (much!) more.
The average cost of being a bridesmaid might actually shock you, but breaking it down can make things a bit clearer and less stressful, and help you find ways to save money in the process.
So, what does being a bridesmaid actually involve?
Before diving into the cost of being a bridesmaid, let’s quickly run through what being a bridesmaid actually means. Simply put, a bridesmaid is a close friend or family member who will support the bride both before and during the wedding. That could mean a variety of things depending on the bride and the wedding. Usually, a bridesmaid has to purchase a specific dress for the wedding, help plan and attend pre-wedding events ( the bridal shower and bachelorette party),walk down the aisle and stand beside the bride during the ceremony.
Of course, anyone who’s ever been a bridesmaid will tell you that some brides will “require” far more than these basic tasks and some brides will be more conscientious of your budget than others. And if you’re the maid of honor, you’ll have even more responsibilities (and expenses) as leader of the bridal party crew.
How much does a bridesmaid dress cost?
The average bridesmaid spends $200 on a dress—that’s quite a lot for a dress you may only wear once! Also, bridesmaid dresses frequently need alterations to guarantee a perfect fit (you want to look amazing in those photos too, don’t you?). This can add an additional $50 to the final dress cost.
While the cost of a bridesmaid dress may seem a bit frightening, many brides are helping their attendants save by allowing them to choose their own dress (about half of bridesmaids are given that option) within a specified color scheme. That way, the bridesmaids can select a style they’re more likely to wear again.
How much do bridesmaid accessories cost?
Nearly 80% of bridesmaids purchase new shoes to wear with their dress, and over 60% buy additional accessories like jewelry, hair accessories, and more. If you add all that up, you can spend an average of $135 on these bridesmaid accessories. However, these costs can be easily defrayed by wearing shoes you already own or borrowing accessories—or your bride may purchase these extras for you as bridesmaid gifts so you’re not spending a ton.
Do bridesmaids have to pay for their own hair and makeup?
Sometimes. If a bride requires that her attendants get their hair and makeup professionally done, she should pay for these services. If she leaves the choice up to the attendants, then the bridesmaids can pay for professional hair and makeup if they want, or do it themselves. About half of bridesmaids go the professional route for hair, and 37% choose to have their makeup done by a pro. On average, a bridesmaid will pay $150 for wedding-day hair and makeup.
What about Mani/Pedi services?
The same holds for mani/pedi services as hair & makeup. If the bride requires that everyone matches, she should pay for it. If she leaves the style & color choices to each attendant, then you’ll pay for it yourself. This can set you back an additional $75.
What about all of the parties—the bridal shower, bachelorette party, etc.?
A big part of being a bridesmaid is planning, hosting, and attending those numerous pre-wedding events—from the engagement party to the bridal shower to the bachelorette party, and maybe more! A bridesmaid can spend over $200 on hosting responsibilities, and gifts for all of these events combined, and the bachelorette party is usually the most expensive. An elaborate destination bachelorette party that requires travel can cost a bridesmaid nearly $400! And these days about 45% of bachelorette parties are in a location other than where the bride lives—so more and more bridal parties are forking out the cash for that girl’s weekend.
And after all of that, a bridesmaid has to buy a gift too? Seriously?!
Yeah, a bridesmaid still has to purchase a wedding gift for the couple. On average, a bridesmaid spends $125 on a wedding gift. This is usually something off of the couple’s registry, or the bridesmaids may choose to chip in to purchase a larger group gift for the couple.
Being a bridesmaid sounds a little intimidating huh? Is it worth it?
Most former maids would say yes! According to a recent survey, a whopping 95% of bridesmaids found their experience enjoyable. So, though there is a financial cost involved, standing beside a loved one during this milestone occasion is a huge deal and entirely worth the money involved.
Purchase beautiful Bridesmaid Dresses at discount prices at The Dessy Group:
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Gorgeous fall bouquet of Burgundy Black Dahlias, White Anemones, Protea, Seeded Eucalyptus, Green Upright Amaranthus, Blue Thistle & Amnesia Lavender Roses
Dramantic anemones and romantic roses are still among the most popular flowers for wedding bouquets, but it's safe to say that dahlias are far from a bloom you'd turn your nose up at. In fact, today's bride is even clamoring for the dahlia to become the focal point of her arrangement.
It's easy to understand why: This symmetrical flower makes a big impact and can be far less expensive than other popular wedding flowers. Why? The dahlias affordability is in large part due its comparatively long growing season. While these blooms grow abundantly for several months, others peak just during late spring, meaning you'll pay more to bring them into your big day bouquet.
While they're certainly practical, there's no denying that dahlias are incredibly beautiful, too. And, with dozens of common varieties grown, there's no shortage of options to pick from in order to find a look you love for your wedding day.
Burgundy Black Dahlia
Stunning with rich dark burgundy and chocolate hues intertwined on the petals. An eye-catching flower for any arrangement, these decorative globe-shaped flowers feature with dark burgundy petals, nearly black or dark chocolate in appearance.
Add a dramatic statement to your arrangements with White with Dark Centers Fresh Cut Anemones. Anemones have a classic circular shape. The petals are an ivory white hue, while the centers are crisp black; this creates dynamic color contrast that is ideal for vintage or modern arrangements.
Symbolism: Anemones come from the Greek word “anemos,” meaning wind. Anemones are commonly known as the Windflower.
An incredibly unique tropical flower that looks straight out of a storybook. This novelty flower is the largest in the protea family and features a huge fuzzy center that gently slopes upward to a soft point. Spiky petals surrounding the center give it a regal look; from the side it looks like a crown. Leathery green petals cradle the heavy head and a thick stem supports it. Novel and intriguing, the protea will look fabulous at a bridal shower or chic wedding. A member of one of the oldest families of flowers on earth, proteas date back 300 million years and, according to Greek legend, are named after the shape-shifting Proteus, son of Poseidon. Entirely magical, protea flowers symbolize transformation, diversity and courage. So magical and unique, how can you resist?
Seeded Eucalyptus is a very diverse green that is frequently used in weddings. With sturdy but easy to manipulate stems, it is a great choice for table arrangements, bouquets, personal flowers, garlands, and so much more. Seeded Eucalyptus will add texture and depth to your decoration and fits well with any theme you choose for your wedding.
Green Upright Amaranthus
Add natural volume to your arrangements with Green Upright Amaranthus Bulk Fall Greens. Each stem is long and curvaceous, featuring soft foliage that creates a fashionable ambiance, like moss elegantly growing on ancient marble houses. Amaranthus adds fantastic girth to arrangements.
A fresh blue flower, Thistle has a distinctive spiky snowflake-shaped bloom with a cone center. Each stem averages between 2 and 5 blooms. Varying from a grayish blue to royal purple blue, this unique flower is sure to make a memorable wedding bouquet, table centerpiece or flower arrangement.
Lavender Amnesia Rose
The Amnesia Rose has lavender colored blooms with a hint of pink giving it a sophisticated look. It has strong stems and healthy green foliage. Lavender symbolizes love at first sight and will elicit feelings of spirituality.
All of these gorgeous flowers can be found at Fifty-Flowers:
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For newly engaged couples planning a wedding for the first time, it can be stressful to know the proper wedding etiquette when it comes to who's invited to what event.
You’ll want to know first off how much you have in your budget so you can plan properly when creating the guest list. Once you've finalized your wedding guest list, you'll probably discover that you can’t invite everyone on that list to all the wedding events & stay within budget.
From invites to toasts, here’s a breakdown of all the wedding events leading up to the big day and most importantly – who to invite for what event.
When does it take place: 1-3 months after your engagement
An engagement is a celebration in yours and your fiancé’s honor so normally, you won’t do the majority of the planning. Be sure to invite family members on both sides, close friends, grandparents, closest aunts, uncles, cousins, and the bridal party. You might want to invite your entire wedding guest list, but you’ll want to give your engagement party a completely different feel from your actual wedding. And if you’re not inviting someone to your wedding, do not invite them to any of your
When does it take place: 1-3 months before the wedding date
The Bride's Closest Female Friends and Relatives: No, you don't need to invite every single female wedding guest (unless it's a particularly intimate wedding). Simply send invitations to the closest female friends and relatives of the bride.
Close Female Relatives of the Groom: Consider inviting the close female relatives of the groom too, especially if his mother is hosting or helping to plan the party. Essentially, anyone who shares a close relationship with the bride should be there.
When does it take place: 2 months – 1 week before wedding day
One last wild night! Your bridal party will most likely plan this fun excursion. You just have to decide who to invite. Be sure to spend time on the guest list, which usually includes the bride’s closest friends. You should always extend an invite for any sisters of the bride and groom even if they’re not in the wedding party.
When does it take place: The night before the wedding
If you’re footing the bill for your wedding, you and your fiancé have complete control over who to invite. This is the perfect time to practice before your big day so it’s important to invite those who will play a role on your wedding day. This means anyone who is doing a reading, the ushers, and/or your officiant. The immediate family should always be invited to this intimate event. That also includes any parents, siblings, and grandparents.
What’s a party without guests? One of the hardest (but most important) parts of planning your wedding is creating the guest list. It’s a little more complicated, though, than simply making a list of everyone you’d like to celebrate with. There are people you’ll have to invite, others you really want to skip, and those who may or may not make the cut, depending on your venue’s capacity. So how do you decide who does—and doesn’t—get an invitation to your wedding?
Here are 5 guidelines to help you and your families figure it out:
1. Make a preliminary list with just your partner.
2. Decide where you’ll cut off family invitations—and stick to it.
3. Give both families the same number of extra guests.
4. Make the call about children. Do you want children at the wedding or not?
5. Follow modern “plus one” protocol.
Post Wedding Brunch
When does it take place: Morning after your wedding
If the wedding isn’t a solo event, but a weekend’s worth of celebrating, you’ll need to cater to your guests. Why end the celebrating at the reception? Keep the party going and host a morning-after brunch. Proper etiquette is to invite your entire wedding guest list as it’s a part of the inclusive weekend. You’ll get to spend another day with your guests, especially those who you don’t get to see all that often.
Planning all of these wedding related events can be fun, and a way to get you and your guests excited about your big day. But it’s no secret that the cost of these events are going to start to add up quickly, especially when you’ll still have an entire wedding ceremony and reception to pay for on top of it all. What’s important is to invite your family members and dearest friends that you know will make your day extra special. Don’t feel obligated to send out invites to everyone. It’s your celebration!
Don't invite anyone to additional events who isn't invited to the wedding. This may seem obvious, but inviting people who aren't invited to the wedding is inappropriate. It will likely offend them and will look like you're fishing for gifts. The only exception is an office bridal shower, where coworkers want to shower well wishes on the bride.
So, upcoming brides, it’s that time of year for the best sales right? Well, we have been working hard to come up with the BEST deals for your holiday shopping as well as some great deals for your upcoming wedding! :)
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Don't wait this offer ends at midnight EST on 12/01/2018!
Every bride expects her wedding day to be the best day of her life. She doesn’t want anything to go wrong – most of all, her dress, make up, and hair. If you are a bride to be, the two main factors that you should keep in mind while choosing your wedding hairstyle are your dress and your hair type. Updos go with all kinds of dresses and look elegant no matter what your hair type is.
Updos are not only weather proof, but they also highlight your radiant face, as well as your gown's neckline and back details. We’ve highlighted 8 Elegant Wedding Updos that are beautiful from every angle, from one hairstyle & 8 different accessories. Consider switching accessories for a different look, without completely changing your hairstyle, from the ceremony to the reception.
We have compiled a list of 8 beautiful bridal updos to help you decide on your wedding look:
With Comb Veil
High wedding updos are all about elevating your look. This style works well with cascading veils and classic tulle veils. Generally the veil is worn below the updo, but it all depends on the length of the veil and what looks and feels good to you.
A sheer drop veil pairs beautifully with a high wedding updo. Simply position the veil’s comb above the bun and the sheer fabric will gracefully drop over the bun for a look that’s ethereal and romantic.
If styling your veil with a hairpiece, nestle your veil comb between your updo and headpiece to create a beautiful image. Consider wearing a blusher for that touch of mystique. We suggest a delicate veil to contrast this classic hairstyle. It will add softness and grace as it frames your face.
With Flower Comb
We’re in love with this elegant wedding hair perfect for a white floral themed wedding. Hair combs are by far the most popular choice among brides. With so many different styles to choose from it is easy to find something that fits in with the style of your wedding and your personal style. Combs work best accenting an updo in the back or side of the head. You can't get more romantic than a beautiful bridal hair flower. Choose a simple hair flower for a casual garden or backyard wedding or opt for a beautiful embellished look for a more elegant look that is still soft and romantic.
With Veil & Head Chain (aka Brow Band)
Bridal head chains and headpieces that are made specifically to be worn across the forehead look great with any type of hairstyle, but look striking when paired with a classic updo. This style has made a comeback thanks to celebrities like Kim Kardashian. Bridal head chains, sometimes called brow bands, are a great way to accessorize your wedding dress. We love bridal head chains because they work with multiple wedding styles, from retro to boho. It’s a great way to add some extra bling and sparkle to your overall look. Pair it with a beautiful veil for a romantic look.
With Veil & Headband
Easy to wear and perfectly pretty, a sparkling headband adds sweet shimmer to your bridal look. This light little detail may be “dressed up” with a dramatic veil or worn alone for a simple bohemian style. An elegant, shimmering design adds a hint of timeless beauty to your bridal look and wonderfully complements a beaded or embroidered veil.
With Birdcage Veil
Nothing says vintage like the birdcage veil. If you have a hairstyle that is inspired by the Great Gatsby, then a birdcage veil could be the veil you are looking for to go with your eclectic style. A gorgeous wedding updo looks beautiful with a birdcage veil and it is a veil style that usually covers the face with a sheer netting & is held in place by a barrette or headband.
A birdcage veil is another option that will look great with retro and boho hairdos. If there is a side bun or ponytail these veils are usually attached near that feature. If the style is symmetrical often beautiful clips are added as an additional feature.
Generally made from tulle or net, it is attached to one side of the hairstyle. The French or birdcage veil is a beautiful choice for brides seeking a veil without too much fuss that matches all hairstyles. They are also ideal for windy venues where it can be difficult to control a long veil.
A headband or tiara can create a beautiful classic look or a dramatic statement depending on the style. Choose a dainty understated look for a more traditional style or a blinged out glamorous look if you want to make a statement. Headbands and tiaras can work great with any style hair including an updo hairstyle.
With Barrette & Facinator
But to really rock that vintage look, go for a fascinator. It’s dramatic and bold and sexy. There is probably not a single film from the 1930s in which the female star did not wear a fascinator. And with this accessory, you’re not evoking just the 1930s — fascinators in one shape or another have been worn for centuries, so they are quintessentially vintage.
A gorgeous wedding updo looks beautiful with a Facinator and it is a veil style that usually covers the face with a sheer netting & is held in place by a barrette or headband.
With Spanish Mantilla Veil
Of Spanish origin, the mantilla veil often falls to the elbows in a circular shape. They are attached to the head through a buckle and leave the face exposed, so it is very flattering for brides with triangle-shaped features. They give a unique romantic touch and are often embroidered or have very detailed work. They are ideal to enhance a simple dress, and for those brides looking for originality.
This veil is usually crafted in tulle or lace. Its style is very similar to Spanish dresses with details on the edge, or subtly embroidered appliques.
The mantilla can be attached in a variety of ways depending on the bride’s preference. Today, stylists can recreate real wonders and all kinds of “retro” looks, combining it with vintage jewelry pieces, brooches and hair combs or tiaras.
If you're interested in any of the bridal accessories shown here please visit our sister site:
A Beautiful Bride
Getting engaged is such an exciting time! One of the first things newly engaged couples do is plan a special engagement photo shoot to mark the occasion. Your engagement session is the beginning of your life together, which is why it is so important to plan for it accordingly.
So, to help you plan for your engagement photo shoot with ease, we’ve put together this list of the 11 most common mistakes couples make when planning their engagement photo shoots, and what to do instead.
1) Don’t book a photographer until you know what your own photography style preference is. Do you want pics that are cute but quirky? Dark and moody? Or ethereal and airy? Photographers vary in their style of photography. Sometimes couples request images that don’t represent the work showcased on the photographers website. This puts photographers in a tricky situation. They want you to love your images but if your request doesn’t fit with the style you hired them for, you might not be happy with the results. Get familiar with the most recent work on a photographers blog and Instagram feed to make sure you like what you see. If you don’t, keep searching until you find a better fit.
2. Don’t try to pose during your shoot. Trying too hard to pose instead of just being natural often looks contrived. If you’re not a high fashion model don’t try and be one. Relax, be comfortable in your own skin and just have fun. Your photographer is a professional so accept their input. That's why you hired them!
3. Don’t wait until the night before to pick your outfits. If you have to rush to the store in the morning, you’ll probably end up wearing clothes with tags or crease folds from the shop. Take some time to plan your outfits thoughtfully. You’ll integrate the images from the engagement session into your life more than you would expect!
4. Don’t bring the cheesy props along. Don’t get me wrong – there is absolutely always a time and place a little bit of cheese – but your engagement shoot is usually not it. Instead of silly “I’m with stupid” cutouts, you can opt to incorporate something meaningful such as love letters or items which represent shared hobbies instead. Often a meaningful location is a great way to add a personal touch to your shoot.
5. Don’t be afraid to go glam! Jeans, unless set in an urban environment and styled to perfection, do not always make for beautiful photos. Couples are always encouraged to dress up regardless of whether they’re shooting in a natural environment like a forest, field, park or the beach.
Don’t be too afraid to go all the way! Your engagement session and your wedding day are the only two days where you are allowed to dress up and be fancy and feel fabulous! Go as fancy as you like. These photos might be on your Save the Dates or your wedding invitations, so don’t come dressed in something super casual and then regret it later. You don’t have to break the bank to dress up, but it’s always a good idea to put your best foot forward.
6. Don’t forget your second outfits. Consider bringing two outfits to a shoot – one casual and one more formal. That way you have a range of looks and images which better your story as a whole.
7. Don’t forget to have a basic plan for the shoot. Both logistically and stylistically. It helps to have a basic idea in mind in terms of the location you’re after, and the kind of look at feel you want. Your photographer will be able to guide you as to when the best light can be found where, so you can plan around it. Natural looking photos still require thought and purpose – remember you want these photos to last a lifetime! Plan accordingly.
8. Don’t forget to book a hair and makeup stylist. The more effort you make with your outfit, hair, make-up and styling, the better your photos will come out.
9. Don’t forget to have a plan B in case of bad weather. Of course we’re got our fingers crossed that the skies are beautiful and blue, the wind has taken the day off, and rain is nowhere in sight. But, just in case things don’t work out, it’s always advised to have an alternate location your love in mind for plan B.
10. Don’t overlook travel time between multiple locations. If you’re planning on shooting at both the lake and your fave coffee house but they’re 20 minutes apart, you might have increase the number of hours you’ve booked for your session. Work with your photographer to create a realistic timeline which is practical not only in terms of travel time between locations, but that factors in time to change your outfits, finding parking, locating crowd-free spots & lighting.
11. Don’t fall victim to the Pinterest Let Down. Pinterest can be extremely helpful in terms of visual organization and getting inspiration for your engagement session, but there is a downside to pinning endless romantic poses, clothing, and locations. If you are going to Pinterest, do so with flexibility. Don’t expect your session to be EXACTLY like the photo and manage your expectations clearly. Photographers want your engagement photos to be representative of YOU as a couple, and not as a carbon copy others have seen on Pinterest a hundred times.
How to Plan Your Dream Wedding Using Pinterest ~ Bonus: FREE Downloadable Workbook "Defining Your Wedding Vision & Priorities"
WARNING Long Post
Gone are the days of torn out magazine pages, bulky folders, and stacks of handwritten notes. We are truly in the digital age right now when it comes to wedding planning. Now it’s all about online platforms, apps and tools when it comes to planning a wedding for the modern bride.
A perfect example – Pinterest!
Whether you are newly engaged, or have been secretly planning your wedding for the last 5 years, it’s likely you have stumbled across the extensive visual platform that is Pinterest.
And by ‘stumbled across’ we mean… have been obsessively scrolling, clicking and saving pins of flowers, dresses, cakes and more wedding-related inspiration than you know what to do with!
Although Pinterest is an amazing visual tool and can be an incredibly helpful resource when it comes to planning your wedding, it can be a little overwhelming if you don’t know where to start.
Luckily we have some tried-and-tested tricks up our sleeve when it comes to using Pinterest to plan your wedding!
First things first, are you signed up to Pinterest? If not, you should be utilizing it when it comes to planning your wedding.
Pinterest is so much more than just a collection of beautiful pictures (though there are so, so many beautiful pictures!). It’s essentially a very useful and simple way to collect wedding ideas and inspiration, communicate with prospective vendors, learn how to DIY your own wedding decorations, and help define your wedding vision. And did we mention the beautiful pictures?!
Think of it as an interactive vision board where there are no limits. Pinterest gives you access to all of the inspiration you could ever need to create your dream wedding. And the best part is that it’s completely free!
The first step is creating your account. All you need to do is go to Pinterest and sign up for a new account with your name and email address. It’s really that easy, and now you’re ready to start using Pinterest to plan your wedding!
How to use Pinterest – the right way
Creating inspiration boards is essentially what Pinterest is all about, so this is where the fun really begins!
But make sure you have an organized approach when it comes to gathering your inspiration.
If you don’t, you could end up feeling overwhelmed very quickly!
Wedding Inspiration Overload? Organize your Pins!
Create and Organize your Boards:
Once you sign up you’ll see you have your own profile with the option to create different ‘boards’ with different titles. As you start browsing through Pinterest you’ll start to find images you love, and the option to save it to a particular board. So it makes sense to create a ‘Wedding’ board and save all of your inspiration here, right?
Now, take a moment to consider all of the different elements of your wedding. The flowers, the stationery, your hair and makeup, your dress…and the list goes on & on.
Only allocating one board for all of your wedding inspiration means that it could grow to contain literally hundreds of pins. Obviously, that’s going to get very confusing when you need to start making actual decisions, or communicate your inspiration to someone else (like your wedding planner or florist).
The easiest way to organize your pins is to create a separate board for each category. One for ‘floral’, one for ‘wedding dresses”, etc. This way, you can save each pin into the relevant category and keep things nice and streamlined.
If you’re already an active pinner with tons of boards already on topics like food or interiors, it’s a good idea to create an entirely new Pinterest account solely for your wedding planning. This way you can log in to your wedding Pinterest account with a clear frame of mind, and avoid unrelated pins from causing you distractions.
Think of your Pinterest profile as a filing cabinet, and your boards as different folders that you can file your inspiration into. When you need to refer back to a particular photo, you’ll know exactly where to find it.
And don’t forget that you also have the option to create ‘secret boards’. Secret boards are great to use if you are connected to friends or family on Pinterest, but want to keep your wedding plans hush-hush (like for an elopement).
You’ll see the option to create secret boards right there on your profile, underneath your public boards. These secret boards are only visible to you, so you can pin your heart out without giving away any details!
Find and save your dream pins:
So your categorized boards are set up and organized thoughtfully. But, they’re empty! Where to begin with finding your dream inspiration?
There are a few different ways you can start collecting your wedding inspiration on Pinterest and finding beautiful images that you love.
When you first sign up, you have the option of following different categories created by Pinterest. By following categories like ‘weddings’ or ‘pretty flowers’, Pinterest will then tailor your feed to reflect this. So each time you sign in, you have hundreds of wedding-related pins waiting for you to peruse through. Can you see now why brides are spending sooooo much time on Pinterest?
Keep in mind that simply searching for ‘weddings’ can give you very broad results. It’s likely you could be scrolling through pins for days without finding exactly what you’re looking for. It’s best to use the handy search bar and be a little more specific when it comes to the vision you have in mind.
Instead of searching for ‘weddings’, try searching for something like ‘organic wedding designs’ or ‘colorful summer wedding’. Use descriptive words to describe the look and feel you are wanting to achieve. You can even get super specific with something like ‘blue watercolor stationery with gold foil’ and you’ll find it!
The ingenious thing about Pinterest is that once you click on an image you love, it will suggest similar photos that you might be interested in.
You can also click on the image again, and it will take you to the original website source (if the original poster hyperlinked it). This is extremely helpful because the original source is usually from a blog featuring a real wedding or a styled shoot. You’ll be able to see even more photos from the same setting. More inspiration!
If you’ve been browsing through some wedding blogs, you can also save images from these sites onto your Pinterest boards for future reference. Just hover your mouse over the photo until you see the Pinterest icon pop up and save it straight into one of your boards (pop over to our blog & pin us!).
Click, pin, and repeat. There’s a step missing here that is going to be very helpful in the long run, and that’s noting your pins!
Each time you pin an image, take a moment to write a brief note in the description. Explain why you have chosen to save that particular photo. Even just a few words like ‘love this color palette’ is going to be a helpful reference when you are re-visiting pins that you may have saved months beforehand.
It’s also a nice way to personalize the whole process and infuse your thoughts and personality into your boards. It can be very easy to become a Pinterest robot, clicking through images and saving pins like a crazy person, without really thinking about why they are meaningful to you. The extra couple of seconds to note your pins is going to make all the difference when it comes to pulling your ideas together.
Say YES to Your Wedding Style!
Like choosing your future spouse or your bridal gown, you’re going to have lots of wedding options. Now comes the Pinterest After-party: As you reflect on the boards you’re created, a few style finalists have emerged naturally (they’re the ones you can’t stop looking at!), so get with your fiancé and decide which wedding motif speaks to you both. Once you’ve come to a mutual agreement, trust your instincts and commit to it. Just say NO to second guesses!
At this point, begin cleaning up your pins to reflect your chosen style. By filtering out pins that don’t fit your vision, you’ll curate a focused collection of images to inform your decision-making process. Keep only those that match your theme and that you also really love. Delete all other pins. Yes, I said it. Delete! This process will help you stick with your decision, and prevent Pinterest A.D.D. (Oooooh, shiny!)
Communicate with your dream team:
Your Pinterest boards can be a very personal thing to begin with, but when you’re ready to start making final decisions it can be a great way to collaborate with your wedding vendors.
You’ll find that most wedding vendors also have a Pinterest account. This means you can invite them to view and collaborate on your boards, and offer their own advice and inspiration. It’s also an easy way to communicate your wedding ideas to your vendors visually so they know exactly what you’re vision is when you approach them.
For example, by inviting your florist to collaborate on your ‘floral inspiration’ board, they will be able to browse through your pins and get a really good idea of your style and preferences (this is where the notations come in handy). Your florist can then add their own inspiration for you to look over, and can make their own notes on your original pins. It’s a great way to brainstorm and bounce your ideas off each other!
If you have a wedding planner, they will also be able to go through all of your Pinterest boards, get a feel for your ideas, and help you to define your wedding vision. This usually means pulling your key inspirations together into one cohesive board.
Be realistic and true to yourself:
There’s a fine line between drawing inspiration from all of the fabulous images on Pinterest, and replicating something down to the very last detail. Remember, there is never going to be another couple exactly like you and your partner. You are both unique in your own way, so do you really want your wedding to be an exact copy of a photo you’ve seen? Probably not.
It’s crucial to keep in mind that a lot of the weddings you see on Pinterest are carefully orchestrated styled shoots. Behind the scenes is an entire team of professional wedding vendors who have spent countless hours creating one beautiful table that is then photographed from hundreds of different angles and edited to perfection. That one gorgeous photo could have taken hours to get just right.
These shoots (while incredibly beautiful!) would be extremely difficult and expensive to replicate for an entire wedding. So keep your expectations realistic and understand that the Pinterest weddings you see might not be completely achievable, but they are fabulous sources of inspiration.
By keeping these tips in mind, you will become a Pinterest pro in no time at all as you embark on your crazy wedding planning adventure!
Embrace Pinterest for what it is; an amazingly effective digital tool to gain inspiration in a creative and organized way while giving you a platform to communicate with the people involved in bringing your special day to fruition. And most importantly, a fun way to enjoy the process of planning your dream wedding!
BTW We're on Pinterest!
If you need a little help to get the ball rolling, download this FREE worksheet. Print out two copies and lock in a time with your fiancé to sit down and figure out what your expectations are priorities are for the wedding!
I’ve been asked several times how long I’ve been Officiating, how long we’ve been in business & why we provide the services we do. So I thought, why not just explain who Blissful Elopements is & how we got to this point of our services.
I owned a successful wedding planning company here in Chattanooga in 2007. At that time I also owned Blissful Elopements, a photo booth company, linen company & a stationary company. Basically, we did it all!
At that time, Blissful Elopements only provided standing ceremonies around Chattanooga, without any decor or amenities. In 2012 I sold all of the companies, except Blissful Elopements, & moved to Los Angeles, CA.
I kept Blissful Elopements dormant, but retained the name & domain because I knew that someday I’d return to my beloved Chattanooga.
When I arrived in California I immediately set out to establish a wedding company. I developed & operated a very successful destination beach wedding company in Los Angeles, and the business grew beyond what I originally set out to do. Since California is a destination location, most of our couples came from outside the state & the country, so I had the pleasure of marrying couples from all different nationalities, religious beliefs & personalities. It was fabulous!
Also, since same sex marriages were legal in CA, I was honored to provide several marriages to couples from all over the country, and internationally, since 2012. By a strange coincidence, one of my couples was from Tennessee!
In 2015 I sold the company in CA & took a break from planning weddings. During this time I traveled to the Middle East & taught English to refugees, under the umbrella of the UN.
Earlier this year I decided that it was time to come home. So, while preparing to return to the US I worked on Blissful Elopements again & got ready to relaunch. On my way back to the US, during my layover in Paris, I hit the publish button on my website & Blissful Elopements was again in business. I hit the ground running.
We are now fully established in Chattanooga & thrilled to be back home!
So, who exactly is Blissful Elopements now & what the heck do we do? Well, I’ve taken the concept of a destination beach wedding & revamped it to suit the Chattanooga area. All of our services & packages are available at a location of your choosing, both indoor & out. We do practically everything & our packages are all-inclusive. When your hire us, you’re hiring all of your vendors & services.
We provide services at venues, lakes, parks, private residences, etc. Our services also include assisting you to find the perfect ceremony spot. This is especially helpful to couples who are coming to Chattanooga from outside the state, or the country.
Chattanooga is fast becoming a destination location & weddings are changing fast. More couples are opting to forego a large impersonal wedding & have a small intimate ceremony with either just them, or with a few close friends & family.
Blissful Elopements is always changing & we look forward to growing & evolving to suit the needs of our couples!
Would you like to see pics of happy couples from our past weddings?
Take a look at our: Gallery/Love Notes
Elegant shades of Peach, Gold and Mint create a beautiful romantic wedding palette.
A peach, gold and mint color palette is stunning for a spring or summer wedding: it’s subtle, delicate and looks very romantic and natural. Mint fuses with the greenery around, peach looks natural with blooms and gold adds an elegant statement. Wanna know how to pull off this color mix in an ideal way? Let’s have a look at these cute ideas.
This mix of colors creates a lovely English garden wedding theme with delicate vintage touches. The beautiful mint carries the color palette. Roses are a must in an English garden and what better roses than the peach garden rose? The soft green linen, and white bone china, lends to the vintage touch. Other vintage accents are the soft mint linen napkins, frosted gold tea lights, and perfect succulents. The styling was inspired by the nature found among a garden.
Mint green has been an ultra trendy color for the past few years, and with its versatility as a pastel cool color, it is easily paired with most other shades of the rainbow. In a wedding cake, it looks particularly beautiful when paired with gold, both matte and sparkly, as well as warmer pastel tones such as peach, and even soft pink.. This contrast of warm versus cool colors in pastel tones is enough to be eye-catching and unique, yet it is not too striking of a difference to seem mismatched. These three colors create a gorgeous rustic springtime wedding palette & a gorgeous cake.
Romantic guest book in linen, peach, mint & gold flowers, pearls & lace...so dreamy!
A peach flower girl dress makes a gloriously memorable wedding. When paired with mint green bridesmaids dresses, the effect is so soft and romantic.
Having bridesmaids in alternating colors is a great way to introduce your color theme. You can mix and match the soft colors, which all of course compliment an ivory or white wedding dress.
You may wish to be completely different and choose mint green as your bridal gown color. This is a match made in heaven for this color palette.
Planning a wedding is equally one of the most exciting and stressful times of your life. With sites like Pinterest and Instagram sharing every wedding trend from couples kissing in cowboy boots to couples cutting into a 10-tier cake with a flaming sword, couples feel pressured to make their day one to remember.
What these sites won't tell you is that even the most rustic burlap-and-mason-jar wedding can break the bank when you start adding in all of the little designer details. By the time you've recreated that intricate table decor (times 15) you're out thousands of dollars.
In fact, apart from good music and decent food, most guests don't actually notice the details. If you're trying to put together a wedding without taking a second mortgage on your home, consider saving time and money by foregoing the 12 following things that your guests really don't care about:
1) Cheesy Wedding Favors
You’re feeding them. You have liquor & awesome music. They’ll just be forgotten on the table anyway. Yes, we tend to think anything customized with our name and wedding date are cute and must-have accessories; but most guests don’t. Opt out of wedding favors and guess how many guests will ask where their favor is? That’s right….zero.
2) Save the Dates
Just tell people. Send Invites. Get RSVP’s (see #4). They’ll just end up in the trash, probably even before your wedding day. Set up a wedding website & send out save the dates online. You’ll save a tone on postage too!
3) Ceremony Programs
They start on the seats, they end up on the seats, or the ground. Only your mothers & grandmothers will keep them.
4) RSVP Cards
RSVP cards are a formal way for guests to reply to your wedding. But most people don’t know how to fill them out, or forget to turn them in. As the host, you end up paying for the cards… and the postage. Then, you have to manually track the responses (and hope you don’t lose them). If you’re going to build a wedding website (which most wedding planning sites like The Knot and Wedding Wire offer for free), use their Guest Tracking Tool. You upload your list of guests by party, then your guests RSVP on your website and your guest list is automatically updated online and in the app. This is a life saver!
5) Customized Aisle Runners
Aisle runners are a nice accent to your wedding aisle. They define the aisle, protect the brides dress from dragging on the floor & they’re just pretty! Customized runners can get pricy fast & they just end up in the trash after the ceremony. Save some of your budget by using a plain runner, toss some beautiful rose petals on the aisle & call it a day.
6) Customized Monogramed Robes for Your Bridal Party
Your bridal party will look just as cute & have just as much fun in unmonogramed matching
t-shirts in your wedding colors.
7) Expensive Champagne
Most people don’t know Dom Perignon from Korbel. Save a considerable amount by going for a cheaper brand for the guests, but do get a nice bottle for your private toast in the evening.
Tip: There’s no law that you must toast with champagne, use a nice white wine instead.
8) Large Bridal Party
Save your friends money & yourself too! Sure you want everyone to be in your wedding, but the costs add up quickly.
These are the costs that the couple should cover for their attendants:
* Bridesmaid's flowers & men’s boutonnieres
* Lodging for out-of-town attendants
* Transportation for the bridal party to ceremony and reception
* Thank you gifts to attendants
* Bridesmaids' luncheon & groomsmen’s dinner
* Hair and makeup
* Manicures & Pedi’s
9) Small Children in the Bridal Party.
You love kids, but you've decided they don't fit in at your wedding. That's okay! You don't have to invite kids to be in your wedding.
Let’s be honest about this. To the average small child, weddings are a complete bore. They have to spend hours hanging around in uncomfortable fancy clothes. Small children get tired & then start crying, or worse throw themselves down in the middle of the aisle during your processional. Unless you find that adorable, it’s better to skip the babies toddling down the aisle.
10) Disposable Cameras.
Everyone has an iPhone or digital camera & they’re annoying enough! Disposable cameras are expensive (both the cameras themselves and developing the film). A better approach is to create an official wedding hashtag and ask guests to use it when they share their photos on social media. People can use their own smartphones (which pretty much everyone has) and you will have full access to their candid pictures.
11) Multiple Wedding Dresses
It’s becoming more and more of a trend to splurge on not one, but two (or three!) wedding gowns for your big day. But if you’re looking to cut on costs, this is probably not where you should be spending your extra dough. This can be a big drain on the wedding budget and such a hard thing to discard if it’s never used. Instead, put all of your pennies into one jar for that one special dress you only get to wear for one night.
12) Fancy Centerpieces
Although table decorations and centerpieces enhance the overall look of your wedding, most guests won't remember whether you used peonies or hydrangeas, or if the votives were set in gold mercury glass or Victorian amber candle holders. What they do care about is being able to see what’s going on and talk to their table mates over dinner. If all you can swing is clean tablecloths, farmers market flowers, a little greenery and some twinkling votive candles, no one will bat an eye. Your guests just want an inviting place to sit, eat, sip and laugh.
Friday's Fabulous Florals ~ Lavender, Dianthus, White & Ivory Roses, Lisianthus, Succulents, Bupleurum, Scabiosa, Statice & Freesia
Succulents are fantastic for wedding decor! Not only because they are a huge trend right now, but also because they don’t wither so fast as flowers. Incorporating them into your wedding decor is easy, and they suit almost any theme: desert weddings, beach, rustic, woodland, glam and so many others.
Few things add such a huge impact to a wedding bouquet & centerpieces as adding succulents. No matter what your wedding's theme, you can use succulents to enhance your flowers.
Add gorgeous blooms of English Lavender to your bridal bouquet for a striking look and aromatic touch. Lavender features soft blooms that run atop dainty stems. The grey-purple tones and wiry posture are a perfect touch to a garden-inspired wedding bouquet or centerpiece.
A fresh pink flower, Dianthus averages 10 to 15 blooms per stem. Each bloom opens into a delightfully rounded petal with a gorgeous rounded center. This pink flower is sure to enhance any wedding bouquet, table centerpiece or flower arrangement.
Create glamorous arrangements with True White Roses. Each bloom looks like a dreamy cloud, with their large cup-like shape and fluffy layers of petals that delicately swirl outwards from a tight center. The petals are a classic, creamy white color, making them perfect for crisp vintage-inspired arrangements.
The Ivory Rose has a large head that opens into a delightful semi-star shaped bloom. This yellowy cream rose is a perfect neutral rose for any wedding bouquet, table centerpiece or flower arrangement.
Gorgeous Lavender Lisianthus Flower will add a touch of femininity to your wedding arrangements.
Add an enchanting element to your bridal party arrangements and table centerpiece with the sweet touch of lisianthus. Hues of Lavender Lisianthus Flowers feature multiple blooms with soft lavender petals. The unique lavender blooms are the perfect touch when mixed with other flowers and sprigs of greenery for a dreamy wedding arrangement. Or simply arrange alone and tie with a cream lace ribbon for a statement bridal bouquet.
Natural succulents are perfect for adding unique texture and visual interest to your bouquets and arrangements.
Succulent Flowers are a stunning and unique fresh cut bloom. Frosted shades of green and pink colored rosettes form at the end of stalks, which make them easy to tuck or wire into any arrangement. Succulents can be used for eco-friendly centerpieces, modern place card holders, beachy bouquets, and more!
Showcase the cheery, shining glee that makes afternoons under the sun so extraordinary with Bupleurum Flowering Greenery! Bupleurum is a thick and vivid filler greenery, marked by its small clusters of oval-shaped leaves with spike-like tips and small, sunny-yellow flowers that smile back at you.
These lavender blush blooms are perfect as a focal or a filler. Scabiosa flowers are also known as pincushion flowers. The lacy bloom is sure to enhance your rustic floral bouquets, table centerpieces, and flower arrangements.
The scabiosa flower features small buttons surrounded by fluffy petals that are held high by tall, slim stems. A favorite in butterfly gardens, scabiosa is a wonderful flower to use for a garden tea, baby shower or outdoors wedding.
Statice flowers are a popular filler flower with and average of 5-8 tiny blooms clustered together. Statice is known for its award winning premium quality and long lasting vase life. This lavender tissue paper-like flower would serve as a subtle backdrop for any wedding bouquet, table centerpiece or flower arrangement.
Like a graceful fairy perched atop delicate stems, Lavender Freesia Flowers bloom with a poise and elegance that is perfectly balanced. Trumpet-shaped blossoms happily open to showcase a gradient of milky, off-white lavender transforming into a crisper lilac hue.
You’ve decided to pop the big question — the question, the one that will change your lives forever.
But before you can start planning your happily-ever-after with your future spouse, you have a little shopping to do.
It’s natural to feel overwhelmed by how much you need to learn when you set out to buy an engagement ring.
Find the “one” whom your soul loves. Check. Plan the perfect proposal. Check.
Buy engagement ring. Hmmmm…..
Buying an engagement ring can be an overwhelming task. There’s a lot of pressure on this purchase. It’s a symbol of your love, and it’s a token of your willingness to take the relationship to the next level. Plus, it doesn’t help that your fiance will be showing off the ring to their friends and family, and everyone!
For many, the purchase of their love’s engagement ring will be their first experience in the the wild world of jewelry. When they walk into a jewelry store they’re inundated with terms and concepts that they’ve never heard before. Tiffany setting? Inclusions? Eternity band? What the...?
Never fear. We’ve put together the ultimate guide to help you purchase an engagement ring that your future spouse will flip over. Let’s get started!
We're the go-to source for all things matrimony. This isn't our side-job, this is what we do. If you have a wedding question we likely have an answer.
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