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10 Things to be Aware of When Planning A Beach Wedding

10 Things to be Aware of When Planning a Beach Wedding

10 Things to be Aware of When Planning A Beach Wedding

Lauren Louise Photography

I grew up in the beach town Delray Beach, working city events held on the beach and along our beach-side downtown strip. Now that I own a wedding planning and styling company, I am very aware of the beauty and hazards associated with a beach event or wedding.

Lauren Louise Photography

Here are my top 10 Things to be Aware of When Planning A Beach Wedding:

Weather

Wind, rain, and high tides are all something beach brides should be cognizant of when beginning the planning process. Beach weather can be extremely fickle and can affect everything from the landscape to the hair dos. Check average temperatures and rainfall in an area around the time of year you plan to tie the knot.

Sand

Sand is just one of those things that gets everywhere and will stick with you for the rest of the night. Wear a dress that is comfortable and light that allows you to wash off any sand that may sneak up your leg and on your feet. Consider going barefoot during the ceremony and wearing flats at your reception so you do not have to worry about the length of your dress being perfect in heels, but dragging down the aisle.

Erosion

Beaches are natural landscapes built on tiny particles of broken down shells and other sediment. My beach changes constantly. One week there are large drop offs from the sandy beach to the breaking waves, the next it is flat as can be and seems to stretch on for eternity. Check with your city to make sure there are no dredging projects planned around your wedding date.

Handicap Guests

Grandma Sue and her walker are going to have a hard time treading through the sand to your ceremony. Consider your guest list and their needs before committing to a beach wedding. Many rental companies, or beach side venues will have flooring available to rent, but these will of course result in additional costs. Consider what is most practical for your guests and budget.

Shade and Lighting

The thing about the beach is that it is ideal for a tan. No awkward intrusion from foliage lingering over you. However, this can prove a little tricky and at times uncomfortable for guests. Plan on having your wedding begin as the sun is beginning to set. This will give you the best light for pictures and the highest level of comfort for you and the guests. If you plan to have the party continue on the beach after the sun has set, you’ll need to bring in lighting that meets city and environmental regulations and provides enough light for guests to navigate the reception space.

Lauren Louise Photography

Have a Backup Plan

Whenever I am planning a wedding held outdoors I always stress the importance for a back up plan – especially during hurricane season. Many cities have strict rules as far as tents are concerned so if it is raining that perfect beach wedding may need to move to your indoor reception site.

Beach Guests

Finding a secluded private beach is always the most ideal option. Public beaches with high foot traffic can equate to large men in speedos checking out your first kiss. Not always the most ideal photo album cover. Finding a reception venue located on the beach or with views of the ocean, will allow for a private beach space for the ceremony and a perfect back up plan.

Sharp Objects

Everything from broken bottles to broken shells find a way onto the beach. Be sure to rake the ceremony’s location and pick up any pieces that may lodge themselves into your foot while walking down the aisle.

Parking

Parking near a beach can be a real pain, especially during “season” in most places. Plan to either have transportation provided from your reception venue, a hotel everyone is staying for the evening, or a public parking garage.

Cost

While many people believe that opting for a beach wedding, or an outdoor wedding is more cost effective, it can end up racking up the same amount of dollars as an indoor wedding. It will take some research, but it is possible to have the beach wedding of your dreams, for a dreamy price tag.

Hiring a wedding planner familiar with the beach will help you sort out the details and keep your budget in line. They will pull together a team of vendors familiar with the landscape and your dream beach wedding will become a reality.

Photo credit: Lauren Louise Photography
Wedding Design and Prop Rentals: Jenny Does Weddings
Floral Design: Ever After Event and Floral Design
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Jenny of Jenny Does Weddings is a blogger, wedding planner, and stylist who can be found spending her weekdays blogging and her weekends’ thrifting.

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You’re Engaged! Now What?

You’re Engaged! Now What?

You’re Engaged! Now What?

Lauren Louise Photography

Last year on New Year’s Eve my life took an unexpected turn. What I thought was a casual holiday lunch date, with my boyfriend at the time, quickly turned into the moment I would start the process of planning the biggest party of my life along with the merging and creating of a new family.

With engagement season among us, my social media feeds are filled with guys on one knee and ring fingers with extra sparkle. So now that you’re engaged, what do you do next?

Enjoy the Day

First, enjoy the day! You and your fiancé will be surrounded by so much love and so many clinking glasses that you won’t have time to think about anything else. We chose to wait until the next day to post any updates on social media, allowing us to first share the news with our family and close friends who were all coming over for New Year’s Eve – and engagement celebrations that night.
Lauren Louise Photography

Length of Engagement

Deciding how long you would like to be engaged is another important step. Some couples decide to be engaged just long enough to save up for the next ring, while others choose based on the season they would like to tie the knot. We knew we wanted to enjoy the engagement and get married in the spring, so we set a day in May 2015 – one year and 5 months of engagement time. I normally suggest a yearlong engagement. This will give you enough time to nail down your preferred vendors and plan the wedding, honeymoon, bachelorette party, engagement party…. you get the picture.

Budget

Believe it or not, this determines everything. The budget of your wedding will affect everything from the guest list to the venue. Let your family decide what they are comfortable with contributing, then find ways to start saving your own money. We opened a joint savings account through Ally with a high interest rate and opted for a smaller guest list, allowing for more money to go into our honeymoon and venue.

Meet with Wedding Planners

Once your date and general location is decided upon, start researching and meeting wedding planners in the area, especially if you are someone who is easily overwhelmed by wedding plans. Your wedding planner will listen to you, get to know you as a couple, wrap their head around your style and budget, and present you with a clearer vision of your day. This person should make you feel at ease and take on wedding planning responsibilities that are difficult for you to juggle.

You're Engaged, Now What?

Most importantly, remember to fill the planning process with love and fun! Make decisions that are based in love and practicality and you’ll never go wrong.

Photo credit: Lauren Louise Photography – http://laurenlouisephotography.com
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Jenny of Jenny Does Weddings is a blogger, wedding planner, and stylist who can be found spending her weekdays blogging and her weekends’ thrifting.

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BHLDN Hacks

BHLDN Hacks

BHLDN Hacks

BHLDN Hacks

As a new bride and stylist BHLDN is essentially a daily feast for my eyes. Everything from their website to the package that arrives at your door is perfection. Well almost everything – their prices can be slightly out of reach for many new brides. The good news, if you love BHLDN then you likely love vintage pieces. And if you love vintage pieces then you love searching for a bargain. Many of their items are vintage inspired and incorporate elements of weddings from other eras. With the right amount of creativity, thrift store hunting, and Etsy searches you can easily make your favorite BHLDN pieces more affordable.

BHLDN

Bridal SashSash

A moment of sparkle doesn’t need to cost over $100. BHLDN’s sashes are gorgeous and completely hackable. All you need is a brooch, or a cluster of small brooches that compliment each other, some tulle or silk or satin ribbon from your local fabric store.
Pin the brooches to the ribbon and make sure the brooches do not weigh the ribbon down, causing your sash to droop. Measure the ribbon by wrapping it around your waist and cutting at your desired length. You can easily pin the brooches with the ribbon laid underneath to your dress and tie the ribbon in the back. Not the crafty type? Check out LoveForeverBridal on Etsy for a affordable bridal sash.

Average price: $40 – $60
Savings: $60

ClutchClutch

BHLDN’s clutches are intricately beaded and reminiscent of clutches from the 40s and 50s. Because they were so common in those decades they are often times easy to find in your local thrift store, for far less than $200. Don’t have a thrift store nearby, or in a time crunch? Visit Etsy and search “beaded clutch” you’ll see a range of colors and prices.

Average price: $30 – 70
Savings: $170

Robes

Robes

Who doesn’t love a picture of the bridesmaids and bride in their coordinating robes as they have their makeup and hair prepped for the big day? Floral silk and cotton robes are certainly trending right now and make for some pretty darn adorable and bright pictures of the bridal party. A $60 price tag may not seem too crazy, but when it is multiplied by the average bridal party size of 5 things get a little budget un-friendly.
Head over to Etsy and search for “floral robes” and you’ll see a variety of robes your bridesmaids are sure to love like the ones featured on SunsetToSunrise.

Average price: $20/robe
Savings: $40

Sadie Wrap

Sadie Wrap

For brides planning to walk down the aisle this fall or winter considering a chic wrap or shawl is a must. I’m a full-bred Florida girl getting married in New Hampshire, so you better believe I was on the hunt for an affordable wrap. I had this vision of white fur covering my shoulders and I found the perfect piece at my local Goodwill. Luck have it, the piece was also 50% off bringing the final price to $30. That is a far cry from the Sadie Wrap’s price of $190. Furs are tricky to buy online, you want to make sure they don’t have any hidden holes or smell funny. I would definitely recommend searching your local thrift stores, especially in wealthier areas of town, as furs were a common status symbol.

Average price: $50 – 70
Savings: $120

Saving money can be fun and very rewarding, but if you absolutely love a piece and you’ve been pinching your pennies whenever possible I think a few splurge items are perfectly fine. I purchased my reception dress from BHLDN and I couldn’t be happier with my decision. The fit was perfect, I will not need alterations, and seeing it on me made me smile like a silly goon for hours. My advice to all brides: splurge when something makes you smile like a silly goon.

Jenny of Jenny Does Weddings is a blogger, wedding planner, and stylist who can be found spending her weekdays blogging and her weekends’ thrifting.

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What to Wear for an Engagement Shoot

What to wear for an engagement shoot

What to Wear for an Engagement Shoot

One of the best parts of my job is styling engagement sessions. They are each so unique to that couple’s own style and love story. I am often asked, “What is the best thing to wear during an engagement shoot?”

Lauren Louise Photography

Consider Location and Climate:

I live in Florida, which means as much as I love pea coats and cozy sweaters, they are hardly ever the practical choice. Think about what will make you feel pretty and handsome, yet comfortable for at least 3 hours. As far as location goes, if your vision is to climb the tree where the proposal took place, a mini skirt may not work. Consider instead a maxi dress that is easy to move in, while still providing a dramatic or ethereal element.

Consider Your Style:

Think about your personal style. What does your home look like, what would you be excited to frame and hang on your wall? I’ve seen everything from bathing suits, jean shorts and a striped v-neck, to formal gowns. I love them all. Having your picture taken for 3 hours isn’t always the most natural feeling, even if you know the photographer. If I wore heels during my session I would have been so focused on not toppling over that going barefoot was the practical choice for me. If you feel confident in what you are wearing you’ll be focused on the moment rather than that tight itchy waistband.

Lauren Louise PhotographyConsider Your Partner:

Do not match. Instead, compliment. A formal gown wouldn’t make sense with a pair of cargo shorts and a white t-shirt. Maybe one of the stripes in your partner’s check is the same color as your flower crown. Having subtle similarities can add cohesion to the pictures, without risking a prom moment.

Micah Kvidt PhotographyConsider Your Props:

The styling doesn’t end at the clothing. Many shoots I have styled feature furniture, textiles such as blankets, pillows, flowers, books, chandeliers, you name it. When we shot our engagement session I knew I wanted to evoke the whimsy found in the pages of my mom’s old fairytale Golden Books. The book’s illustrations and the props I brought along were colorful and graphic. Therefore, Glen and I chose to wear neutral colors of cream, blush, grey, and khaki allowing the props and the fairytales to shine.

Consider Going Bridal:

How many times in your life do you get to wear white lace head to toe and have it looked at as perfectly normal? Not often. I always encourage brides to embrace their bridal style throughout their engagement. Intricate beading, lace, white dresses, tulle, diamonds, full skirts, and sashes are all items and textures I strongly support.

Lauren Louise PhotographyConsider a Flower Crown:

There’s just something about flowers wrapped in a circle and placed on top of your hair that will make almost any girl happy. Skeptical? Just try it; you’ll begin to wonder if wearing one to work is within the dress code.

At the end of the day remember that this session is supposed to be an adventure in love. You are capturing the beginning of your lifetime together. Soak it all in and be sure to wear something you won’t find in your closet – a smile.

Jenny of Jenny Does Weddings is a blogger, wedding planner, and stylist who can be found spending her weekdays blogging and her weekends’ thrifting.

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Jenny and Glen’s Love Story

Jenny and Glen’s Love Story

Jenny and Glen’s Love Story

Jenny and Ben's Love Story

Get to know a little bit more about Jenny at Jenny Does Weddings, and how she met her fiance, Glen!

Our love story may be a fairytale now, but it didn’t necessarily begin that way. Was it love at first sight? Absolutely. Out of all the classes I took in college and all the students I saw but never paid much attention to, I remember almost everything about the class we took together and how quickly I noticed Glen. His smile, his laugh, his voice, and his height were all pretty swoon worthy.

We didn’t officially meet until I opened my drunken mouth and asked one of his teammates if they knew each other. Had I ever spoken to him? Nope. But the next day, Glen walked right into classes and said, “Hey Jenny”. I then sat through an excruciatingly long 3 hour class and tried to calm the mini heart attack I was experiencing. After dropping my phone right in front of him and sprinting out the door, we began texting on a daily basis, sometimes right up to 4am.

Jenny and Glen's Love Story

We eventually ended up dating other people and after over a year of poor relationship decisions we starting talking again. We hung out with a group of my friends – it was awful. He was uncomfortable, I was newly single with no patience, and we didn’t speak for 2 weeks.

When my friend, now a bridesmaid, convinced me to reach out and give Glen a second chance, I asked him to pick the place and I met him on his stomping grounds. After a few beers I could see he was relaxed. I had butterflies multiplying at a rapid rate in my stomach and after our first kiss they never really stopped.

Photo: Lauren Louise Photography

Since that night we have been inseparable. We moved into our first apartment together after dating for 4 months and were engaged one year later.

It has been a whirlwind. If someone had told me my Junior year that signing up for Drugs and Society would change my life, I would seriously begin to question what exactly they were referring to. Our story reminds me that everything happens for a reason, and almost everything has to do with timing. We let our story unfold over time, never rushing, and never forcing a decision. Now we get to see how the rest of our lives together will unfold, and I couldn’t be more excited.

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Budget Friendly Thrift Finds for Your Wedding

Budget Friendly Thrift Finds for Your Wedding

Budget Friendly Thrift Finds for Your Wedding

There are about a million and one pieces to a wedding. Between the necessities, such as chairs, and the gifts for the wedding party it can seem like an endless list of items you need to work into a budget.

Recently, many brides have been turning to thrift stores in an attempt to dress their wedding in a unique fashion while pinching a few pennies. These are a few of my favorite things I’ve found for my budget friendly wedding that could help you in your search.

Lauren Louise Photography vintage dress

The Dress

Before you look at me with those crazy eyes, just trust me. Over the past 6 months I have found a total of 3 perfectly perfect vintage and handmade wedding dresses, all under $130. I am lucky enough to fit into my Grandma’s dress from the 1950s, but that did not stop me from buying three other potential dresses- because that’s just what happens when you have a pretty sparkly thing on your finger.

Don’t be afraid to thumb through the wedding dresses hanging in your local thrift, vintage, and consignment shops. I found the most beautiful 1950s designer wedding dress stuffed in a plastic bag in the back of a thrift store for $40.

Keep in mind, finding a size or two larger is always better than it being too small. A seamstress will work his/her magic and create a custom fit just for you.

 

Vintage Cake Stand

Cake Stand

Every time I see a cake stand in a thrift store I feel an impulse to purchase. Your cake is about as important as your dress, and it

certainly deserves a gorgeous cake stand to stand upon.

Cake stands are even great to stack on top of one another, creating a multi-level dessert bar. Plus, every new home will need at least one to proudly display homemade treats.

 

Vintage VeilThe Veil

As beautiful as they are, I’m not entirely sure why veils cost $100 on a good day when you happen to hit up a trunk show or bridal sale.

I recently found a gorgeous long veil with lace details running along the edges for $10. Which means if it happens to fly off your head as you are walking down the aisle and it is only worn for 10 pictures, you won’t feel so bad about it.

Thank You Gifts

Squirral

This might be my absolute favorite thing to purchase during our thrifting adventures. Here you have an opportunity to find something completely unique and personal. During one of our trips to our favorite outdoor antique fair we purchased a pair of candle holding squirrels for my mom and a 1930s Maine license plate for my stepdad (he might love the great state of ME more than he loves me). There’s just no way I could have found those gems at the mall. I think my mom about cried when she saw the squirrels, and understandably so.

I hope this blog post helps in your quest for budget friendly thrift finds for your wedding!

Jenny of Jenny Does Weddings is a blogger, wedding planner, and stylist who can be found spending her weekdays blogging and her weekends’ thrifting.

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The 4 People You Should Hire for Your Wedding

The 4 People You Should Hire for Your Wedding

The 4 People You Should Hire for Your Wedding

Close your eyes and imagine your wedding day. Are you stressed out of your mind while guests stand in an empty warehouse that smells oddly like new paint and only has the echoes of footsteps and awkward conversation to fill the air? I would guess not. You’re likely imagining the opposite. You are sipping on a glass of rosé feeling like a pampered princess while your hair and makeup artists flurry around you, meanwhile guests begin to casually mingle in a charming warehouse space styled to perfection, with an alter area draped in ferns and peonies, while a band plays your favorite songs and the scent of your 5-star meal begins to linger by the caterer’s station. Which is exactly why the following are the 4 people you should hire for your wedding: a wedding planner, wedding stylist, entertainment, and a caterer.

1. Wedding Planner

The 4 People You Should Hire for Your Wedding

Take it from me. I’ve been working in events since high school and even I will be hiring a wedding planner. You may be the most organized person and have negotiation skills that land you a venue for half the price during peak season, but when it comes to the hours before you walk down the aisle to do this marriage thing, the last worry you will want to deal with is finding an extra chair for Grandma Suzy because the hotel miscounted while you were getting your nails done. Find a wedding planner you are comfortable with and who understands your vision. You can hire someone for the entire planning process, or hire a day-of planner who will manage the details for the week leading up to the day. Let the wedding planner sweat over the details while you sweat on the dance floor.

2. Wedding Stylist

Vis Photography featured on Wedding Chicks

A wedding stylist will communicate with you, the florist and the rental company while searching for the perfect props to ensure a cohesive look is maintained throughout the entire event. To take an example from one of my favorite shows of all time, Ace of Cakes, think of your wedding planner as the one who bakes the cakes, while the stylist is the person who comes in and works their magic with fondant and icing to create the detailed cake rendition of Hogwarts. The stylist will work to decorate your space and photographs with all of those perfect details. A great way to do a trial run is to ask your stylist to style your engagement session.

3. Entertainment

Ryan Polei

Whether it is a DJ, the band that frequents a local pub, or a cirque du soleil troupe, invest in entertainment. The best events have a form of entertainment to keep guests lingering longer while taking the pressure to be everyone’s source of entertainment off you.

4. Caterer

Jessica Charles PhotographyYes, you may have thrown amazing parties in the past and made all of the food from scratch leaving your guests raving about each bite. However, a wedding is different than your typical dinner party. Hire a caterer who has similar tastes to your own culinary style. You’ll still feel connected to the experience, even if you weren’t the one rolling each cannoli. Many certified caterers also handle the serving staff, bartender, as well as a liquor license.

At times a wedding can seem like a giant puzzle. Think of these 4 hires as the corners of your puzzle, holding everything together and helping the other hundred pieces to fall into place along the way.

Jenny of Jenny Does Weddings is a blogger, wedding planner, and stylist who can be found spending her weekdays blogging and her weekends’ thrifting.

Who are the 4 people you would hire for your wedding day?