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The Top Questions to Ask Your Bridal Boutique Before Making a Purchase

Once the engagement ring is purchased, it is time to find the perfect wedding dress. Wedding dresses are a high-ticket, once in a lifetime purchase. While there are a collection of reality shows and articles sharing the inside scoop on what is in trend and what is not, there is still a lack of professional advice on the gown purchase process. I know it’s way more exciting talking about things like Bridal Fashion Week; however, my hope is every bride enjoys the dress process from beginning to end. Buying a wedding dress can be an emotional process. The more knowledge you have going in will make things more enjoyable and less stressful. After fifteen years as a bridal industry expert, I’m here to share my top questions every bride should be asking before they say “yes”.

The Top Questions to Ask Your Bridal Boutique Before Making a Purchase
Photography: Kristen Weaver

What is your return policy?

Every boutique is different; however, most boutiques operate as “final sale.” Whether it be an off-the-rack dress or a special order gown, “final sale” is a standard. Most designers do not have a storage facility to hold onto returns. Bridal designers are in many ways very small businesses unlike our go-to ready-to-wear online boutiques. From a bridal boutique’s perspective, it could take a store owner months or years to find another bride for the dress. There are a handful of online bridal sites offering returns, but the challenge is they may hold onto your money for up to a month. Look at the final sale policy as a positive. You have to know when to stop shopping and enjoy the dress you found.

Do you have an in-house seamstress?

Every boutique operates differently when it comes to alterations. Often bridal boutiques hire seamstresses as full-time employees while others have partnership agreements. Occasionally, you will see bridal boutiques not offering in-house seamstresses. Instead they provide their clients with a list of recommended seamstresses in the area. If the dress you are considering needs extensive alterations or custom changes, it may be best to work with a full-service boutique offering an in-house seamstress option.

What does “special order” mean?

Kristen Weaver
Photography: Kristen Weaver

When we hear special order, we think custom. Special order in bridal does not mean the dress will fit you like a glove when it arrives. Your bridal boutique will measure your bust, waist, and hip. They will plug these measurements in the designer’s size chart to determine the closest size. You should still expect alterations. Designers do offer custom gowns for additional fees. When you hear a stylist say “special order,” this is the perfect time to ask what they are meaning by the term.

Where is the dress made?

This question is for those needing peace of mind. If you are special ordering a wedding dress, knowing the location it is being produced in is incredibly important. Dresses made in the U.S. or Canada tend to not run behind as there are less parties involved and shipping is quicker. If a dress arrives with a flaw, the resolution time is faster given it doesn’t have to be shipped overseas. Depending on your wedding date, this question can have more value. Peace of mind is everything when you are weeks away from your wedding.

Is it possible to order extra material from my dress?

Whether you are looking to add a capped sleeve or create a flower girl sash, having the option to order extra material is incredibly helpful. Some designers do not sell the fabric from the gown. This is a concern when it comes to alterations. There are many reasons why a seamstress may need additional fabric. For example, when the CrossFit trend started, we saw brides getting toned while gaining inches of muscle. In this case, a seamstress may need to replace a panel to give you more room.

How long has the designer been in business and do they have reputable stores?

We have all seen the horror stories of bridal boutiques closing without notice. What we don’t always hear about are the designers. There are new bridal designers entering the market every week. Unfortunately, not all of them will make it. Check to see how long the designer has been in business and who their other retailers are. If they are carried in established boutiques that is always a good sign.

The Top Questions to Ask Your Bridal Boutique Before Making a Purchase
Photography: Kristen Weaver

Tali Gallon is an owner and stylist of The Bridal Finery located in Winter Park, FL. The boutique offers a new concept to luxury bridal.

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Wedding Emergencies….They Happen! Are You Prepared?

After years of wedding planning, I have seen it all.  We’ve had a wedding guest pass out from heat stroke and dehydration, a pregnant maid of honor go into labor during a reception, and a flower girl suffer an allergy attack from a bee sting (thank you, EpiPen!!). From broken bones to broken down vehicles, emergencies can happen, even on your wedding day.  So when you are preparing all your Pinterest details, planning your layout, and meeting with your vendors, you need to ask yourself… if an emergency happens at our wedding are we prepared?  If you don’t know where to start, we can help!  Here is a short list to get you prepared:

Wedding Emergencies
Erin Morrison Photography www.erinmorrisonphotography.com

Security

Stop the emergency before it happens by having some security and standards in place.  Many wedding venues require security, such as an off-duty police officer, to make sure the event runs smoothly and there are no issues with unruly guests or damage to the property.  Is security common?  Yes!  Are these issues common? No (thankfully!).  The presence of security alone is usually enough to deter wedding crashers, drunk drivers, and family drama that has gotten out of hand.

Limit Alcohol

Wedding Emergencies

Repeat after me: No one will take shots on my wedding day.  Now say it louder for the people in the back (especially the groomsmen!).  Over indulging in alcohol can make your wedding turn into a party that you were not intending to have.  Hiring a licensed and insured bartender is key.  They will not only limit alcohol for guests that have over done it, but they will also institute rules like no shots or keg stands (hey, this isn’t a frat party) so your guests don’t get too far gone in the first place.  Oh, and that million dollar liquor liability insurance policy they bring should definitely help ease your mind as well.

Erin Morrison Photography www.erinmorrisonphotography.com

Take Care of Your Guests

Wedding Emergencies

Food allergies, heat stroke, bee stings… all of these can happen, but they are more likely to happen if you don’t take good care of your guests in the first place.  When choosing your catering menu, ask around for any food allergies or diet restrictions you need to be aware of (sometimes I see this on the RSVPs!).  If you are having an outdoor summer wedding have fans, cooling stations, and plenty of water.  Talk to your venue about their policy on pesticides and spraying for bugs (most commercial venues have a routine for this) and see if you need to offer your guests bug spray or have citronella candles lit outside.

Hospital & Emergency Rescue Locations

wedding

I once had a wedding that decided to spoil the kiddos with a bounce house during the reception.  It was great, until the 4 year old ring bearer bounced right out of the house, on the ground, and broke his arm.   Making matters worse, we were in the mountains with no cell phone service and all of the guests were from out of state and unfamiliar with the area.   Because I was knowledgeable about the location of the nearest hospital, I was able to tell the parents directions to the nearest ER.  Do a quick online search of facilities near your venue, or ask the venue owner, and have the address handy or printed directions if you won’t have service or wifi.  During an emergency, minutes matter, and getting someone medical attention as fast as possible can make all the difference.

I hope these getting started tips help you feel a little at ease so if something goes wrong, you know you have it covered!

The Photographer and Venue Credits:

Juice Beats Photography at Cardinals Nest Wedding and Events
https://www.juicebeatsphotography.com | Instagram: juicebeats1
http://www.thecardinalsnest.com/ | Instagram: cardinalsnestweddings

JoPhoto at Dara’s Garden
https://jophotoonline.com/ | Instagram: jophotos
https://www.rothchildknoxville.com/daras-garden/ | Instagram: daras_garden

Erin Morrison Photography at Dara’s Garden
https://erinmorrisonphotography.com/ | Instagram: erinm_photography

Leah Moyers Photography at Grandview
https://leahmoyersphotography.pixieset.com | Instagram: leahmoyersphotography

Lindsay Ruggieri owns The Bride Link, a wedding advice and planning website, and also owns Custom Love Gifts, Events, & Prints, an event planning company that specializes in wedding details such as invitations and gourmet wedding favors.

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Budgeting for your wedding

You’re engaged!!!  Congratulations! Some of you may already have had your wedding all planned out since you were 5 and some of you probably never gave it a second thought.  Regardless, you have a lot to do from this point on.  Beginning with one of the most if not the most important part of your wedding planning – the wedding budget.

Whether you are having a simple intimate wedding for 30 or an extravagant lavish wedding for 300, the first thing to do before any pinning on Pinterest, is to determine your wedding budget.

Budgeting for your wedding

 

Determining and agreeing to a wedding budget will save you and your fiancé lots of heartache and stress throughout your wedding planning journey and also keep you focus on what is more of a priority for both of you. So how do you figure out your wedding budget?

Ask yourself these questions:

  • How much can we save on a weekly basis from now until 2 weeks prior to the wedding?
  • Is anyone else contributing to assist with the wedding cost? If so, ask them if they wouldn’t mind letting you know what the amount will be so that you can accurately budget for your wedding.

Once you determine what the total wedding budget number is going to be, know that half of that budget will most likely go into your venue space and catering.

Let’s use $15,000 as an example budget for your entire wedding.  A minimum of $7,500 will automatically need to be allocated for your venue and catering.  If you have 100 guests, that is a total of $75 per person.  Know that your venue and food budget has to include gratuities, tax, etc.

The other $7,500 will need to be divided among everything else (invitations, wedding attire, DJ, cake, flowers, photographer, etc.).  Now that you have a basic idea what the rest of the budget will go towards, you need to decide what is more important to you and your fiancé.  Maybe it’s a $2,000 wedding attire or maybe it’s beautiful flowers.  Whatever is most important to both of you determines how you spend the rest of your wedding budget.  Just remember that if you spend too much on one thing, you will probably have to sacrifice on another.

Wedding

Well, that’s the quick and dirty version on budgeting for your wedding.  Just remember that planning your wedding should be a fun and stress-free journey to the rest of your wonderful life’s journey.  Whatever your budget is, use it as a guideline. Know that it can always run a little over and if you are lucky, a little under.  The point is, don’t make yourself too crazy.  Best of luck in your wedding planning journey!

 

Romantic at heart, Jolie Colon is the owner of i do events and party rentals. Also owner of Le Fluer Atelier of i do events…
Published, award winning and innovative planning and floral studio was founded in 2007 and is based in Central Florida.
Globally recognized for providing luxury wedding planning, floral for weddings and events. Weddings are our passion – quality is our trait.

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Your Pre-Wedding Night Packing List

Everything you’ll need to be ready for your big day

Image Credit: Sweet Ice Cream Photography on Unsplash

Wedding planning revolves around checklists and in the days leading up to your nuptials you’ll need them more than ever to make sure everything gets done! Between breaking in your shoes, last minute check-ins with coordinators and submitting your final shot list, you’ll have enough on your plate without worrying about forgetting to pack something the night before. That’s where this guide will come in handy, to give you peace of mind that you’ll have everything you need for your special day.

Essential toiletries & tools

Image Credit: Charisse Kenion on Unsplash

Makeup and brushes – even if you have a makeup artist coming, bring your everyday and best cosmetics. This way, if you end up not liking your look, you’ll have your favorites at the ready for last-minute fixes.

Face mask – choose one that you know hydrates your skin and has no chance of causing a reaction. Do not risk using anything new on your skin in the days leading up to your wedding.

Skincare – pack everything you would usually for a night away. Make sure to have make up remover that can cope if you are wearing heavy-duty coverage.

Toothbrush – toothpaste, floss and mouthwash for fresh breath all day and all night.

Hair care – hardcore hairspray, heavy-duty shampoo and conditioner to wash away hardcore hairspray, dry shampoo, bobby pins, hair bands, hair brushes, any styling tools you’ll be using and heat protection.

Body – shower gel, razor, shaving gel, body mitt, deodorant, moisturizer, perfume.

Extras – Remember to pack your favorite items from your gorgeous bridal subscription boxes, as well as a nail file and tweezers for any hairs that may have escaped waxing or surprise chips in nails. Plus, if you are wearing false lashes, keep the glue close by!

Bridal clothes & backups

Image 3

Image credit: Jeremy Wong Weddings on Unsplash

Wedding dress – of course, plus any accessories such as detachable skirts, second outfits and shrugs/cardigans if it’s going to be cold.

Underwear and PJ’s – something comfy and color coordinated for the day and something special for the night, even if you do both end up passed out in your pajamas after all the celebrating!

Bodice/Spanx – make sure to pack the undergarments you have already tried on with your dress to ensure that you don’t have visible straps or lines.

Tights, socks + extra pairs – even if you are wearing bare legs, having a pair of back up tights and socks is a good idea in case your shoes rub, or you get chilly in the evening.

Shoes – your wedding shoes and any flats for the evening for when your feet get tired.

Veil – and any other hair or headpieces.

Second outfit – everything you’ll need for your evening change of clothes.

Must have accessories

Image 4

Image Credit: Sweet Ice Cream Photography on Unsplash

Something old – something new, something borrowed, something blue… and a silver sixpence for your shoe!

Jewelry – your earrings, rings, bracelets and necklaces for both your wedding and the day after, ideally kept safe in a travel jewelery case to avoid any damage before your big day.

Regular clothes

Casual clothes – For the day after, remember you’ll probably be hungover so have some comfies at the ready and get that #wifey t-shirt packed too. Equally, if you’re doing a post-wedding brunch, make sure you plan your outfit in advance ready to pack.

Underwear – bra, pants, socks, tights and double up on everything so can rest easy.

Weather protection – sunnies and sun cream if it’s hot. Coats, under clothes, hat, scarf and umbrella if it’s not.

Bathing suit – and goggles if you’re planning to use any pool facilities.

Image Credit: Clay Banks on Unsplash

Final thoughts

Sewing kit – for last minute tears.

Safety pins – see above.

Band-aids – for cuts and blisters.

Shoe cushions – in case they rub.

Painkillers and tampons – should you need them.

Birth control – if you use them.

Any medications – that you need to take.

Cash – just in case you need to get a taxi or a drink for any reason.

Charger – to keep your electronics juiced.

Headphones/speaker – for watching movies, shaking it out in your room.

A book – for relaxing the night before.

Admin

Don’t forget your other checklists! You should be able to just relax and get ready when you wake up on the morning of your big day, but just in case make a final list of everything you need to check up on and make sure to bring it with you so you can relax fully when you get into your PJ’s for the last night of unmarried life.

And relax

The night before your wedding should be a little nerve-wracking, but mainly super exciting. Ideally, by this time all loose ends will be tied up and by following this guide you should have everything you need to be able to just chill, run a bubble bath and unwind before one of the biggest days of your life!

 

Nat is a fashion-conscious blogger with an interest in all things wedding related. Having been married for over four years, Nat is still running her wedding blog entitled Help! I’m Getting Married. Her other interests include health and beauty, family, travel and hanging out with her cat.

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7 top tips to find your dream wedding dress on a budget

7 Mistakes to Avoid When You Go Wedding Dress Shopping

Your wedding dress is one of the most unforgettable aspects of your wedding. However, it does not have to be one of the most expensive aspects as well.

Trim down your wedding gown budget and find you dream dress for less with these 7 top tips to find your dream wedding dress on a budget from Best for Bride, Canada’s leading bridal boutique.

Keep it simple

Choose a simple gown in a single fabric with few details and save a lot of money. Then, dress it up with statement accessories like an embellished sash, opulent jewelry, or a stunning veil. You can thus achieve a stylish look without having to splurge on an expensive wedding gown. For more tips on making an affordable wedding dress look expensive, visit this post on the Brides Website. You can also opt for simple silhouettes like the sheath that cost less than elaborate dress styles like the ball gown.

Target clearance and end-of-season sales

Score fantastic new wedding dresses at clearance and discount sales, when bridal shops slash prices. Most boutiques conduct sales in June and November to get rid of existing stock and make way for new collections. Therefore, you can find beautiful gowns at unbelievably low prices at these events. The dress will of course, be from earlier seasons. However, it is highly unlikely that anyone at your wedding will even notice.

Mix and match

With bridal separates being a big hit on the wedding fashion scene, this is the right time to embrace the trend and take your wedding dress budget further. Not only do bridal separates give you more choices to fit your budget, they also allow you to enjoy a unique and highly personalized bridal look. The options are endless, and whether you prefer an edgy Bohemian bridal look or timeless elegance you will have no trouble finding the perfect combination. Visit this post on the Martha Stewart weddings website for fantastic ideas on how to pull-off bridal separates.

Explore second-hand options

Find your dream wedding dress at a fraction of the original cost when you buy it second-hand. Websites like Preowned Wedding dresses and Bride2Bride list used wedding dresses online and simplify the entire shopping process. Alternately, you can also buy your dress at a bridal consignment store or thrift store. This cost-savvy idea is not just environment-friendly, it is also a beautiful way to give a wedding dress a second chance to shine.

Rent the dress

Renting your wedding dress is another cost-effective, practical, and environment-friendly choice. Rental wedding dresses are well-maintained, and most boutiques allow slight alterations to ensure the dress fits you perfectly. Moreover, you need not worry about preserving or selling your dress after your wedding day. Simply return it to the bridal store, and they will take care of the rest. Hence, it is a sensible option to look like a dream on your wedding day in an expensive designer wedding dress, without drilling a hole in your pocket.

Buy off-the-rack

The sensible choice for brides who are on a tight timeline, buying off-the-rack is also a smart way to find a fantastic dress when you have a limited wedding dress budget. The only constraint in this case is finding the right size. Most bridal stores stock floor samples and off-the-rack gowns in standard sizes only. Therefore, you may have trouble finding a suitable gown if you are on either end of the size spectrum. With limited choices available, it is also likely that you may have to settle for what is available. When shopping off-the-rack, make sure to thoroughly check the gown for any damages. Also, entrust alterations to a talented seamstress to ensure that the final fit is perfect.

Explore unconventional choices

You can save a lot on your wedding day attire, if you are flexible with your options and open to non-traditional dress choices. Make a major fashion statement on your wedding day with a curated dress that is unconventional, but chic. Find the right dress that reflects your bold personality from bridesmaid collections, dresses for special occasions, wedding jumpsuits or collections of colorful gowns. With this choice, you are more likely to wear the dress again which makes it worth the expense. This post on the Knot website will direct you towards unexpected, but interesting ideas for unconventional wedding dresses.

Author Bio: As Canada’s modern bridal shopping destination, Best for Bride is home to exquisite designer wedding dress collections, bridesmaid dress collections, bridal accessories, dresses for members of the wedding party and a wide range of wedding day services. Having been in the wedding industry for over a decade, this bridal specialty store caters to all needs of the modern bride through four bridal shops and an online shopping portal. Find out all about their extensive dress collections and services by visiting the Best for Bride website – http://www.bestforbride.com

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Hidden gem locations that brides don’t think of that offer spectacular wedding photos

Brides often describe their wedding days as a blur because things happen so fast. From preparation to reception, photographers actually have very little time to produce “money shots”. These images are the ones prominently featured in album covers and wedding blogs, romantic portraits of the newlyweds happily ever after. The good news is that you don’t need to get married at exotic venues for beautiful images. Learn how to see the light and memorable portraits can be captured even in the most ordinary locations.

 

Just add water

A wise photographer once said that the key to make photographs interesting is to add water. Brides wouldn’t want to get soaked in the rain before the reception but don’t be afraid to walk closer to lakes, the beach and shallow river streams.

 

Walk as far as you can whenever you see a dock to surround yourself with open skies, mountain ranges and clear water.

 

The bridal party can tag along for even more fun, who wouldn’t want to have group pictures on the beach? Everything looks much better when the bridesmaids’ dresses match perfectly.

 

There is the church, then there is the annex

Couples mainly book the church for the ceremony. Unless there is another event immediately after, it pays dividend to scout around, especially if you find a dark annex in the back of the church. Having an indoor location is a great alternative to cold or rainy days, always have Plan B ready.

 

Hidden in the back and neglected, we discovered this dark annex with incredible window light coming in from both sides. I immediately advised to keep the lights off to maintain the mood.

 

The window offers soft, directional light that is very flattering for portraiture. The closer, the better. Look for more wedding backdrop ideas here.

 

The local park

A classic choice, clients visit the park often out of necessity, being the location closest to the venue but quality portraits can be photographed here. Just watch out when walking with high heels, they tend to sink into the grass.

 

Be careful of what you wish for. Sunny days mean harsh light, which can be difficult to work with. If you are positioned towards the sun, your eyes will squint. If positioned on either side, the sun will cast a harsh shadow that splits the face, hardly flattering for wedding photography. The safest choice is to stand between the sun and the camera.

 

Let the golden back light shine through your hair, veil and wedding dress for dramatic imagery. Speaking of hair, don’t forget to check out our edgy wedding hairstyle recommendations.

 

Pay your neighbor a visit

These two lovebirds wanted to have their pictures taken near home, located in a rural area. We drove around, only to come across a wide farm land as the sun starts to set. With just some grass and trees, there is nothing spectacular about this place really but remember to always seek beautiful light and not locations.

 

Korean wedding Cantley by Pixelicious Ottawa wedding photographer

It is a good idea to mix things up during the photo session. A wide shot establishes the scene just like in the movies.

 

Then zoom all the way in for an intimate, close up portrait where we focus on the expression. Similar to the sample park pictures above, take advantage of the harsh sunlight by position it behind our couple.

 

Skip the dance floor for a minute

The lights are turned off and the music is pounding, everyone is having fun on the dance floor but if you can just allocate five minutes for your photographer, highly original images can be taken just outside the venue at night.

 

The absence of light is what makes an image sing. During the day, this scene would have been just another park bench under a tree. Revisit the area late at night to capture a silhouette.

 

L'Ambroisie Montreal wedding

A good photographer can make light even where there is none. Wedding pictures by the fountain is so cliché, why not try something different?

 

Known as Pixelicious, Jimmy Chan is a wedding photographer from Montreal (Canada). Often quoted in prominent wedding, business and lifestyle publications, Pixelicious exists to do the opposite of what other photographers do. We are obsessed in delivering stellar customer service and value to our clients, wedding imagery that are described as elegant and timeless.

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20 Father-Daughter Dance Songs

20 Father Daughter Dance Songs

Photo credit: Ashley Eiban Photography

A father and daughter have a special bond, and that is so evident on the wedding day. It’s hard for daddy to give his little girl away, which is one reason their dance is so special. Here are a few ideas for songs that are perfect for the father/daughter dance.

  1. A Song for My Daughter – Ray Allaire
  2. Ain’t That Love – Ray Charles
  3. Butterfly Kisses – Bob Carlisle
  4. Daddy – Beyonce
  5. Daddy’s Baby Girl – Jimmy Needham
  6. Daddy Dance with Me – Krystal Keith
  7. Daddy’s Little Girl – Michael Buble
  8. Daughter – Loudon Wainwright
  9. Gracie – Ben Flowers
  10. I Wish You Love – Frank Sinatra
  11. I Loved Her First – Heartland
  12. It’s for My Dad – Nancy Sinatra
  13. My Darling – Wilco
  14. My Little Girl – Tim McGraw
  15. My Wish – Rascal Flatts
  16. Stealing Cinderella – Chuck Wicks
  17. Unforgettable – Nat King Cole & Natalie Cole
  18. When You Need Me – Bruce Springsteen
  19. Wildflowers – Tom Petty
  20. Zoe Jane – Staind

What will be your Father/Daughter dance song? Let us know in the comment section below.


Jennifer Prince blogs for brides at www.hillcitybride.com. She lives in VA with her husband and three kids, and her favorite type of music is from the 80s.


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6 Tips for Choosing Your Wedding Flowers

6 Tips for Wedding Flowers

Photo by Laura’s Focus Photography, Florals by Stems & Whims

Flowers add so much to your wedding… pops of color and fragrant scents all help to set the tone of your day – not to mention that they are also beautiful and add softness to any event. I reached out to my friend and floral designer, Amy Thornburg of The Arrangement Company, and she offers 6 tips to consider with your wedding flowers.

  1. Think outside the color box. When choosing the palette for your wedding, don’t feel compelled to have it all match. Coordinate, yes, but matching isn’t a necessity. Multicolor combinations and contrasting colors can be a pleasant alternative to a monochromatic or two-tone approach. The Perfect Palette is a great resource to help you visualize different combinations.
  1. Choose seasonal flowers. Many brides desire a peony wedding in November, but for peonies, you are best to stick with April and May. Global growers and worldwide shipping provide peonies throughout the year, however the cost increases significantly. There are many other flowers that are similarly affected, but rejoice because there are always flowers in season. Keep an open mind, and make your choices practically.

Photo by Steven and Lily Photography, Florals by Irvington Spring Farm

Photo by Steven and Lily Photography, Florals by Irvington Spring Farm

  1. Hydrate your blooms. During pre-wedding photography keep in mind how long your bouquets are out of water. You don’t want to walk down the aisle with bouquets that have been tossed around and dehydrated for two hours prior. While you want the bouquets in your photos, consciously limit their time out of water, or perhaps the flower shots can be reserved for after the ceremony.
  1. Be aware of your budget. Not everyone has had to buy flowers in quantity like they do for their wedding. This can cause quite the “sticker shock” during planning. Be sure to enter each consultation with a figure in mind so your designer knows where to begin and how far they can go. A little research on wedding costs can prevent the surprise that can come with the quote and can save you time while easing your mind.

Photo by Maria Grace Photography, Florals by DIY Bridal Network

Photo by Maria Grace Photography, Florals by DIY Bridal Network

  1. Choose linens thoughtfully. Linens are an important piece of your table décor. The right choice can enhance and compliment the centerpiece, while the wrong choice can make the flowers appear washed out or dull. If colored linens are not an option, a simple change from white to off-white can make all the difference.
  1. Bring in the professionals. The most well executed event has more than likely had numerous behind the scenes challenges. Vases break, layouts change or linens can be the wrong size. In such times, experienced professionals are able to respond appropriately. They have the resources to resolve potential disasters, taking upon themselves the stress that you do not need in the days leading up to your wedding.

Jennifer Prince’s favorite flowers are peonies, and she provides inspiration to The Bride Box brides each month via an advice card and also through her wedding blog at www.hillcitybride.com


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30 First Dance Songs

A couple’s first dance is a classic “must” at a wedding reception, yet sometimes finding the right song can be difficult. Here are 30 first dance songs we love to get you steered in the right direction!

  1. At Last – Etta James
  2. Baby I’m Yours – The Arctic Monkeys
  3. Better Together – Jack Johnson
  4. Can’t Help Falling in Love – Elvis
  5. Come Away with Me – Norah Jones
  6. Count on Me – Bruno Mars
  7. Crazy for You – Madonna
  8. Crazy Love – Van Morrison
  9. Faithfully – Journey
  10. God Gave Me You – Blake Shelton
  11. How Deep Is Your Love – The Bee Gees
  12. I Want to Know What Love Is – Foreigner
  13. I Will – The Beatles
  14. I’ll Stand by You – The Pretenders
  15. I’m Yours – Jason Mraz
  16. In Your Eyes – Peter Gabriel
  17. It Had to Be You – Harry Connick, Jr.
  18. Last Night on Earth – Green Day
  19. Lost in Love – Air Supply
  20. Make You Feel My Love – Adele
  21. Love Never Fails – Brandon Heath
  22. Lovesong – The Cure
  23. Marry Me – Train
  24. Make You Feel My Love – Bob Dylan
  25. One in a Million You – Larry Graham
  26. True Companion – Marc Cohn
  27. Unchained Melody – The Righteous Brothers
  28. We Have All the Time in the World – Louis Armstrong
  29. You and I – Stevie Wonder
  30. Your Song – Elton John

What will your first dance song be? Let us know in the comment section below.


Want more wedding ideas? Be sure to head to www.hillcitybride.com for more from VA based blogger Jennifer Prince, who still remembers her first dance with her husband – 22 years ago!


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9 Tips for Choosing Your Wedding Colors

Photo Credit: CYork Photography

Let’s talk color! It’s definitely safe to say that whether we realize it or not, color has a big role in our lives – and I’m glad. After all, playing with hues is fun – especially when you are planning your wedding, and this is a time when you can definitely use some wedding color advice.

Before I get into the nitty gritty of talking about color, I want to stress one thing. This is YOUR wedding! I want to give you suggestions and guide you along the way, but the one thing I love about today’s bride is that she gets to use her creativity and stay true to herself. I’ve seen soft, lovely monochromatic weddings, yet there are also stunning events that use a whole rainbow’s worth of colors. So, keep in mind that this is your special day.

Ok, let’s chat about the “lovely” and other things to consider when you are choosing a color palette for your day with 9 tips for choosing your wedding colors:

Think About the Season

Some hues lend themselves to a season more easily than others. When I think of fall, browns, burnt orange, yellows and rusty reds come to mind, yet that is contrasted with spring, where soft pastels are more useful. The season – and flowers that may be in season at the time of your wedding – play a big part in your color scheme.

Assess Your Location

When you are getting married outdoors, pretty much any color can come into play – yet move things inside, and you truly need to assess your location. If your ballroom is dark or small, you may want to consider a lighter, brighter color palette to make the room seem larger and more spacious – especially when it comes to reception linens.

Determine the Personality of Your Event

Looking for a regal, upscale feel? Choose jewel tones, metallics or a monochromatic palette. Want a vintage vibe? Pastels and lighter colors will evoke a sense of nostalgia.

Be Thoughtful

Afraid of color? Use bold colors selectively. If you love magenta yet are afraid to utilize it full force, then use it as an accent – the writing on your invitations, the boutonnieres, floral ribbons and the like may be where you want to use those fun pops. If your bridesmaids are bold, have them wear a bright hue, which will look stunning!

Photo by CYork Photography

Photo credit: CYork Photography

Placement is Key

Your colors evoke a feeling, yet so does how you utilize them. If you are bold enough to go for orange, there is a big difference between having your bridesmaids decked out in the hue and having it in your bouquet vs. utilizing it for the main table linen color and uplighting. You can do it all, but careful color placement has a higher impact than overuse.

Trends? What Trends?

Don’t be afraid to buck the trends. There I said it! If I’m seeing a ton of a certain color wedding palette on Pinterest, my personal tendency would be to stay away. You shouldn’t feel pressured to utilize certain colors just because they happen to be en vogue at the time – again, this goes back to being true to yourself. If the hot hue is blush, then by all means don’t be afraid to deck your groomsmen out in red. We all love a great surprise.

Photo by Stephanie Leigh Photography

Photo credit: Stephanie Leigh Photography

Color Wheel

We all took art, but you don’t have to be an expert! A friendly glance at the color wheel can also help to blend colors. Honestly, I’m not a big fan of complementary colors, which are opposite on the wheel. Supposedly they go together well, but I’m not sure I’d want to have a bright purple and yellow wedding, yet softening the colors to a more pastel hue would work nicely.

Expect the Unexpected

Look in unexpected places for inspiration. When you are undecided, finding cues in your everyday may be the best thing. Does the floral pattern on your yearly planner bring you joy? Take note of the hues on the cover – maybe they could be translated into a wedding scheme. Going for a walk may even help. A budding flower garden may inspire you to combine colors that you didn’t even dream of! Perusing a local art gallery will provide ideas, too. Look at what pieces speak to you and draw inspiration from the artist’s color choices.

Photo by Franzi Photography

Photo credit: Franzi Photography

Neutral for the Win!

When in doubt go neutral or monochromatic. If you truly are unsure of yourself, going with a neutral, natural palette won’t steer you wrong. Neutrals include whites, browns, grays and greens. Yes, green is a neutral – after all have you ever seen a flower that didn’t match it’s stem? I dare say that blue – powder, denim, navy – is also a neutral. Think about the sky and your favorite pair of jeans. It’s hard to find something that doesn’t complement blue! Play around with different neutrals. If that doesn’t work, a monochromatic palette of your favorite color is also a lovely choice.

No matter your choice, your event will be a day to remember, and in the end you get to marry the love of your life. I’d be tickled pink over that… ha! Happy wedding planning!


Jennifer Prince is Virginia based wedding blogger who enjoys providing wedding inspiration at www.hillcitybride.com and in your Bride Box each month. She loves spending time with her husband and three children in the great outdoors.


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Bridal Jewelry Fit For a Queen

We like to think that choosing your bridal jewelry can be one of the most fun activities of the wedding planning storm. It’s your chance to be Holly Golightly, having breakfast at Tiffany’s or even just to pretend you’re picking pieces for a night at the Oscars. You’re most likely only going to wear them once, so don’t hold back and unleash your inner jewel goddess. Here are 10 pieces of bridal jewelry fit for a queen, and will hopefully get you inspired for the big day:
These lovely epaulettes that work for you whether your theme is 1920s vintage, bohemian, or just big and luxurious.
Bridal Jewelry Fit For a Queen

Photo credit: Etsy shop ADbrdal

This rhinestone & crystal gold hair comb that is as lovely as it is simple.

crystal gold hair comb

Photo credit: HairComesTheBride.com

This low-hanging back drop necklace is a beautiful choice for a bohemian and/or minimalist wedding look:

back drop necklace

Photo credit: Etsy seller HedgehogProject

These beautiful crystal leaf earrings are a wonderful, understated accent for your lovely ears:

crystal leaf earrings

Photo credit: NotOnTheHighStreet.com

This gorgeous Austrian crystal chain can drape across your forehead, or be pinned to the back of your hair to accent your wedding do:

bridal hairpiece

Photo credit: Etsy seller danani

These unique gray druzy necklaces are simple, rustic, and sure to fill that something blue requirement:

druzy necklace

Photo credit: Etsy seller TheRusticBohoChic

This striking headpiece by Ann McKavney of Eleventh Heaven highlights both the face and the updo:

bridal headpiece

Photo credit: Jeff Langhorne Photography

These pretty pink, olive, and clear rhinestones with antique gold detail would add the perfect touch to your bridal ears:
bridal earrings

Photo credit: BHLDN.com

Another pair of stunners from BHLDN; these earrings evoke a vintage feel, while still giving you that modern luxury feel:

BHLDN earrings

Photo credit: BHLDN.com

This couture headpiece by Viktoria Novak will show everyone that, as the bride, you elegantly rule over all:

couture bridal headpiece

Photo credit: Elanna Harlow Photography

What bridal jewelry are you planning to wear on your wedding day? Let us know in the comment section below this post.

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12 Perfect Wedding Dresses for Summer

How to choose a wedding dress is one of the most difficult decisions you can make while planning your wedding. What neckline will compliment your shoulders and arms? Which skirt style will bring out the full beauty of your body’s shape? There’s also the consideration of season and how it will play a part in your overall comfort. We think that having an open-back wedding dress is a great way to keep cool and let yourself breathe during your warm-season wedding. Here are 12 perfect wedding dresses for summer:

1. This gorgeous Stella York gown with floral sheer sleeves, and a sheer open back:
12 Perfect Wedding Dresses for Summer 

Photo credit: Stella York

2. This elegant yet sexy corset-style dress with a ballgown skirt:
Corset style wedding dress

Photo credit: Stella York

3. This Stella York dress with a sweetheart neckline and trumpet skirt:

wedding dress

Photo credit: Stella York

4. This amazing tea-length beauty by Alessandra Rinaudo with sheer bodice and floral cutouts:

short wedding dress

Photo credit: Alessandra Rinaudo

5. This wonderful Rinaudo gown with open back, trumpet skirt, and matching arm warmers:

Beautiful wedding dress trends

Photo credit: Alessandra Rinaudo

6. This V-back shaped gown by Alessandra Rinaudo that has a beautiful modified A-line skirt with luscious drape-like details:

Amazing wedding gown

Photo credit: Alessandra Rinaudo

7. This simple, lattice bodice with full, silk ballgown skirt by David Tutera:

Wedding Dress

Photo credit: David Tutera for Mon Cheri

8. This stunning Tutera gown with a full-open back and mermaid skirt:

2016 Wedding Dress

Photo credit: David Tutera for Mon Cheri

9. This sleeveless beauty designed by David Tutera has gorgeous floral details and a full, trumpet skirt:

Wedding Dress trends

Photo credit: David Tutera for Mon Cheri

10. This exquisite, beaded sheath dress by Lihi Hod that is perfect for the elegant bohemian bride:

Lihi Hod wedding dress

Photo credit: Lihi Hod

11. This lovely, sleeveless Elbeth Gillis trumpet design with lace bodice:

Elbeth Gillis from Wedding Inspirasi

Photo credit: Elbeth Gillis from Wedding Inspirasi

12. This Lihi Hod V-Backed beauty that will keep any beach bride cool:

Lihi Hod from Wedding Inspirasi wedding dress

Photo credit: Lihi Hod from Wedding Inspirasi

What style wedding dress have you chosen for your big day? Let us know in the comment section below this blog post.

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Laser-Cut Wedding Inspo

Intricate lace, complex patterns, and artsy shapes; these are a few ways that laser-cut details can wow your wedding guests and create that magical feeling on your big day. We have picked out some of our favorite laser-cut details from recent weddings in hopes they will give you some helpful laser-cut wedding inspo during your creative wedding planning process.

Table Signage

We love this Sweets & Treats table signage for your wedding dessert table.
Laser-Cut Wedding Inspo

Photo credit: Claire Thomson Photography

Bride & Groom Chair Signs

We absolutely adore these wedding chair signs made by Narwall on Etsy.
Bride and groom chair signs

Photo credit: Narwall.Etsy.com

Rustic Sign & Easel

Give your wedding guests clear direction on where to sign your guest book with this rustic signage.
Rustic wedding sign

Photo credit: StylineDesigns.etsy.com

Wedding Cake Topper

A beautiful glitter cake topper from The Bride Box featured vendor, ZCreateDesign.
Wedding cake toppers

Photo credit: ZCreateDesign

Black Laser-Cut Floral Invitations

Simply stunning laser-cut black floral wedding invitations.
Laser-Cut wedding invitations

Photo credit: ElegantWeddingInvites.com

Wine/Champagne Tags

These wine laser-cut tags make for a great gift for your wedding party!
Wine laser cut tags

Photo credit: SouthernFriedPaper.etsy.com

Save The Date Magnets

Send these save-the-date magnets out to your wedding guests to help them remember your big day is approaching.
Save the Date magnets

Photo credit:  CorkCountryCottage

To Have/To Hold Signage

Use this sign to take beautiful wedding pictures, as well as attach them to your sweetheart table.
To Have and To Hold Signage

Photo credit: bhldn.com

Cheers Fence Sign

Another lovely wedding sign to use at your bridal shower, engagement party, or even on your big day!
Cheers sign

Photo credit: The Nicholas

Colorful Floral Invitations

We’re in love with this laser-cut wedding invitation from ElegantWeddingInvites.com.
Colorful Floral Wedding Invitations

Photo credit: ElegantWeddingInvites.com

Which one of these laser-cute wedding ideas would you incorporate into your wedding? Let us know in the comment section below this blog post.

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8 Perfect Wedding Cocktail Pairings

tacos and margaritas

8 Perfect Wedding Cocktail Pairings

Ah, the wedding cocktail hour. This is the time you want to hold your guests over with scrumptious little morsels and light spritzers while your wedding party finishes up with photos. Or, maybe you want to serve sweeter pairings at the end of the evening. The 2016 trends are showing more and more couples choosing to serve food pairings instead of just the usual, separate cocktails and appetizers at their weddings. Here are some of our favorite combos right now. Hopefully they get your creative juices flowing!

8 Perfect Wedding Cocktail Pairings:

Before Dinner:

1. We can’t think of a better union for a spring/summer wedding than sliders and beer. Yummy!

sliders and beer[photo by: Olivia Leigh Photographie]

2. Keep their hearts, souls, and bellys warm with mini grilled-cheese sandwiches and shots of tomato soup; it’s mmm mmm good:

8 Perfect Wedding Cocktail Pairings

[photo by Bre Thurston]

3. Give your guests a down-to-the-pub feel with this pairing of fish-n-chips and cold beer:

fish and chips

[photo by Braedon Photography]

4. Find me a person who doesn’t love tacos and margaritas; I betcha can’t:

tacos and margaritas

[photo by Root Photography]

5. Keep your guest’s hunger at bay with fried-chicken-filled shells and adorable mini coke bottles:

fried-chicken-filled shells

[photo by Mel Barlow]

6. We love this simple pairing of champagne cocktail served only with blackberries, for guests who are dieting, or may not be hungry yet:

wedding cocktails

[photo by Eric Kelley]

7. This classic, elegant, shrimp cocktail served with a shotglass of cocktail sauce, is always a crowd satisfier, and perfect for a warm spring or summer wedding:

shrimp cocktail

[photo by: Lauren Kinsey Fine Art Wedding Photography]

8. A different take on the mini tacos with margaritas, these mini fiestas are served on limes, and come with mini bottles of Patron:

mini tacos with margaritas

[photo via Style Me Pretty]

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What type of cocktails will you be serving on your big day? Let us know in the comment section below.

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Top 10 Spring 2016 Pantone Colors

Lilac Gray pantone color

Top 10 Spring 2016 Pantone Colors

Your wedding color scheme should reflect not only your personal style, but also set the tone and texture for the entire event. Some couples are afraid to try anything more adventurous than the usual pinks, white, and blues. If you and your husband-to-be like to think of yourselves as more creative than that, we’ve gathered some of our favorite inspiration in the form of Pantone’s very unique Top 10 Spring 2016 Pantone Colors:

1. Rose Quartz

These ladies are rockin’ that soft, subtle pink trend:

Top 10 Spring 2016 Pantone Colors

[photo cred: Rebecca Walker for Ira Lippke Studios]

2. Peach Echo

This lovely reception set-up complete with beautiful ribbon-wrapped chairs:

Peach Echo pantone color

[photo cred: Joseph Francis Photography]

3. Snorkel Blue

This luscious cake that looks like it’s fit for a king and queen:

Snorkel Blue pantone color

[photo from: InvitationsByAjalon.com]

4. Buttercup

We love these small and simple but charming centerpieces that makes perfect use of the buttercup color to add that pop:

Buttercup pantone color

[photo cred: Hilton Pittman Photography]

5. Limpet Shell

Why not make your guests eat your color inspiration in the form of limpet-shell macaroons? Yummy…

Limpet Shell

[photo cred: from DeerPealFlowers.com]

6. Lilac Gray

These ladies are proving that you don’t need to be wearing a bright color to stand out:

Lilac Gray pantone color

[photo cred: A Bryan Photo]

7. Fiesta

With a powerful pigment like Fiesta red, you don’t need a lot of it to make a statement. Try adding just one, big flower to your wedding cake:

Fiesta pantone color

[photo cred: from WeddingOMania.com]

8. Iced Coffee

These beauties are draped in various shades and strengths of iced coffee:

Iced Coffee pantone color

[photo cred: Manchik Photography]

9. Green Flash

This bohemian beauty rockin’ a floral crown with gorgeous flashes of green:

Green Flash pantone color

[photo cred: Christine Meintjes]

10. Serenity

This elegantly Serenity cloth draped over a vintage table is perfect for a Spring garden wedding:

Serenity pantone color

[Photo via: HappyWedd.com]

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What color scheme are you planning for your wedding? Tell us about it in the comment section below!

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10 Stunning Spring 2016 Wedding Invitations

10 Stunning Invitations for Your Spring 2016 Wedding

10 Stunning Spring 2016 Wedding Invitations

Your wedding invitations should entrance and excite your intended wedding guests. The spell should burst out of the envelope and work its magic on the recipient with the promise of good times on a crisp, spring day. These are just some of our favorite 10 stunning Spring 2016 wedding invitations:

1. These printable spring blossom invites will tease your guests with a floral peak into what’s in store for them at your wedding:

10 Stunning Spring 2016 Wedding Invitations[Photo via: LiaGriffith.com]

2. These lovely, romantic peach flower invites evoke a nostalgic, Victorian feel with its intricate, laser-cut lace:

romantic peach flower invites[photo via ElegantWeddingInvites.com]

3. These bold, richly-pigmented wonders will entice any ladies who see them into gladly attending your bridal shower:

bridal show invitation

[Photo via StellarDesignsPro.etsy.com]

4. These darling invites from Etsy seller VintageBellsAndCo reminds us of those quaint illustrations from books of the 60s and 70s:

Spring wedding invitation[photo via: VintageBellsAndCo.etsy.com]

5. Etsy seller ForLovePolkaDots knows that nothing says Spring more than the combination of bright yellow and elegant lace:

yellow and lace spring wedding invite[photo via: ForLovePolkaDots.etsy.com]

6. These succulent invites from Etsy seller EdenWeddingStudio will give your spring wedding the initial floral pop it needs:

succulent invites

[photo via: EdenWeddingStudio.etsy.com]

7. These exquisite, gold-glitter lined envelopes with glitter-band wrapped invites will give your guests the proper motivation:

gold-glitter lined envelopes[photo via: JustInviteMe.com]

8. This minimalist design that includes gold embossed lettering and a lovely Serenity-colored envelope are sure to impress:

gold embossed lettering[photo via: JustInviteMe.com]

9. Set a bohemian tone for your bohemian wedding with these beauties from Etsy seller PaperNPeonies:

bohemian wedding invitation[photo via: PaperNPeonies.etsy.com]

10. These soft and delightful invites will summon your guests with the power of Pantone’s colors of the year, Rose Quartz & Serenity:

Rose Quartz & Serenity wedding invitation[photo via: SwoonAtTheMoon.co.uk]

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What will your spring wedding invitations look like? Let us know in the comment section below.

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10 Wedding Cakes That Give Us The Winter Feels

snowflake wedding cake

10 Wedding Cakes That Give Us The Winter Feels

From simple, naked rustic cakes adorned with berries, to super-frosted and snowflake covered towers of white snow, this winter season we’ve seen some of the most elegant and unique cakes. Below, we have compiled a list of some of our favorite 10 wedding cakes that give us the winter feels. We hope it inspires you to choose a delicious and stylish cake, not to reach for the sweets!

1. This luscious, 6-tier naked cake that’s layered with thick cream and uncut berries reminds us of our childhood homes getting snowed in for the holidays.
10 Wedding Cakes That Give Us The Winter Feels

[Cake: Chawna Dil of Sweet Marie’s; Photo: Dana Grant Photography]

2. This bold beauty reminds us of a Christmas tree with its nature-inspired etchings, gold dustings, and topping of a giant cherry nestled in some winter greenery.

wedding cake inspiration

[cake: The Sugar Lab; Photo: Arina Borodina]

3. This white wonder, wrapped in lace and dolloped with flowers and greenery transports us to a divine winter wonderland.
winter wedding cake

[Cake: Création Boule Argent; Photo: Genevieve Albert]

4. This quaint tower of cuteness that is designed like growth rings on a tree, and topped with baby owls makes us feel like a whimsical woodland creature gathering around a large wooden tree trunk for winter dinner.
winter wedding cake ideas

[Cake: Artisan Cake Comapny; Photo:  Hazelwood Photo]

5. This 2-tier concoction that is roughly frosted, topped with three small pinecones, and lightly dusted with “snow” reminds us how special simple holidays can be.
pinecone wedding cake

[Photo: Little White Dress]

6. This red velvet fortress, layered with sweet cream and sprinkled with candy canes makes us feel the tingly warmth that peppermint brings with the holiday season.
Candy cane wedding cake

[Photo: Kate Botwinski Photography]

7. This assortment of barely-frosted towers, surrounded by wreaths, trees, and set on an antique sled, makes us long for Christmas in the woods.
holiday inspired wedding cakes

[Photo: Jacque Lynn Photography]

8. This exquisite sculpture that’s decorated with holly berries, pine cones, and other fine winter elements, tricks us into thinking we are a wondrous snow queen, receiving a magnificent royal gift of sugar.
pinecone cake topper

[Cake:  Once Upon a Cake Co.; Photo: Amber Lynn Photography]

9. This richly-pigmented masterpiece is adorned with bits of snow, winter greenery, and silver-encrusted twigs in order to give us a starkly-modern, dramatic Yuletide sensation.
wedding cake

[Photo via Sortrature.com]

10. This snowy-white tower with an argyle pattern etched into the sides and strategically-placed silver snowflakes, makes us feel like Elsa, in her tower made of ice, letting it all go…including our wedding diet.
snowflake wedding cake

[Photo via: The Couture Cakery]

[hr]

Planning on a winter wedding? Tell us about your cake in the comment section.

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10 Favorite Bridesmaids Dresses

dusty blue mismatched bridesmaids dresses

10 Favorite Bridesmaids Dresses

Selecting your bridesmaid dresses is one of the most stressful endeavors you’ll undertake as a bride-to-be. You want your lovely ladies to be comfortable, stylish, AND complement the wedding theme. You also want to make sure that the style or styles will be flattering to all the different shapes and sizes in your bridal party. We’ve compiled a list of our 10 favorite bridesmaids dresses at the moment. We hope it helps you get inspired:

1. This bohemian ensemble, complete with a patterned maid of honor frock, and flanked by sea-green bridesmaids.

sea-green bridesmaid dresses

[dresses: Katie May; photo: Our Love is Loud]

2. This gorgeous, crepe-material “White by Vera Wang” gown that features a  long V neck and an open back. It also comes in a stunning “VW Champagne” color that is strikingly close to Pantone Color of the Year: Rose Quartz.
White by Vera Wang bridesmaid dress

[found on David’s Bridal]

3. Another vision in Rose Quartz, this “White by Vera Wang” Sleeveless Tulle over Lace Dress is an exercise in elegance.
White by Vera Wang Sleeveless Tulle over Lace Dress

[found on David’s Bridal]

4. These convertible, chiffon dresses by Jenny Woo that mixes light and dark purples shows that you don’t have to sacrifice elegance to have a lovely Boho wedding:
Our 10 Favorite Bridesmaids Dresses

[dresses: Jenny Woo; photo: This Modern Romance]

5. This brilliant idea of a sequined crop top paired with a chiffon maxi skirt.
sequined crop top with chiffon skirt

[found on Ok Bridal]

6. This rose quartz wavy cropped dress by Vera Wang gets our vote for most unique bridesmaid dress of the year:
rose quartz wavy cropped dress by Vera Wang

[from David’s Bridal]

7. These elegant beauties who are pulling off the mismatched dress trend like it ain’t no thing:
mismatched bridesmaids dresses

[photo: Love Like Weddings]

8. These dusty blue mismatched bridesmaids dresses compliment the pretty pop of white in the bridal bouquets:
dusty blue mismatched bridesmaids dresses

[photo: Marissa Lambert Photography]

9. These nude dresses that make good use of the pattern craze, with the added bonus of metallic sequins:
metallic sequin bridesmaid dresses

[photo: Our Labor of Love]

10. These blush-pink, open-back dresses that gleam and sparkle bright like diamonds:
open back bridesmaids dresses

[photo: Archetype Studio]

[hr]
What are some of your favorite bridesmaid dresses right now? Tell us about it in the comment section below
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10 Charming Ways to Surprise Your Groom

Tender Tie

10 Charming Ways to Surprise Your Groom

In modern society, it is a given that the guy is supposed to surprise the gal. Popping the big question at your favorite restaurant, throwing that surprise 30th-birthday party, showing up at your door with flowers and a chick flick when you’ve had a bad day, etc. Why not take the opportunity to turn the tables and surprise HIM on your big day? Show him that you too, are skilled in the art of the unexpected and shower him with a secret attack of sentiment. Here are 10 charming ways to surprise your groom:

1. Geek Garter

Surprise your sweetheart with a pop culture garter that is specific to his geeky passions like his favorite superhero, video game, tv show, or sports team.
10 Charming Ways to Surprise Your Groom
[photo: Something Blue Wedding Photography]

2. Love Letter

Tell him how much he means and how excited you are by crafting a quick, from-the-heart love note. Hide it in his dopp kit, or be extra cute and give it to the flower girl or the ring bearer to give to him when they reach the alter.
Love Letter
[photo: dnk Photography]

3. Message on a Fingernail

We love this clever, sneak attack of putting a tiny message on the polish of your ring finger. When he grabs your left hand and pulls it towards him, watch both his and your eyes well up.
Message on a Fingernail
[photo: Freshly Wed]

4. Lego Links

Everything is awesome indeed! Before the wedding, stash a pair of Lego cufflinks among his belongings. Or better yet, give them to his best man so he can help apply them.
Lego Links
[credit: Michelle Prunty Photography via WeddingsOnline.ie]

5. Tender Tie

If you are a crafty cat, you can try sewing or embroidering a secret tender message of love on the underside of his tie. He’ll find this as he’s getting dressed, and it’s 100% guaranteed to melt his heart.
Tender Tie
[Janae Shields Photography]

6. Groom Gear

We’ve all heard about wedding survival kits, but those mostly include items for the bride. Why not assemble a groom kit, complete with everything your guy’s gonna need like socks, mints, and maybe a wee bit of alcohol for nerves.
Groom Gear
[credit: ShadesOfPinkPaperBtq]

7. Sentimental Sway

Put together a kick-ass dance routine with your bridesmaids to show him how you move. Dance to some Uptown Funk, Single Ladies, or even a mash-up of some classic dance hits.
Sentimental Sway
[photo: Craig Warga Photography]

8. Emotional Engraving

Get his wedding band engraved on the down low. Write your own inscription, because it will be more special that way. Keep it short, simple, and from the heart.
Wedding Band Engraved
[photo: Susan Stripling]

9. Double Take Cake

We are willing to bet that your man is a Star Wars junkie, and that it’s probably at a fever pitch lately with the release of the new film. Have your baker hide a Star Wars design in the back of the cake, and watch his eyes gleam like lightsabers!
Star Wars Cake
[cake design: Julia Baker; photo: TierByTier.co.uk]

10. Lingerie

Nothing delightfully surprises a newly-wed groom more than a little something special on your wedding night. Wow him with some new lingerie that you think he would love and spoil yourself at the same time.
Lingerie
[photo: Claire Pettibone lingerie]
[hr]
How are you planning on surprising YOUR groom? Tell us about it in the comment section below.
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11 Reasons To Have a Bohemian Wedding

12 Reasons To Have a Bohemian Wedding

11 Reasons To Have a Bohemian Wedding

Delicate ribbon, furrowed creaky trees, crisp flower crowns and woven dream catchers. The rustic trend seems to be slowly evolving into a new, more free-spirited bohemian style. We’ll be seeing more and more of these hippie-chic weddings in the months to come. Here’s our list of 11 reasons to have a bohemian wedding:

11 Reasons To Have a Bohemian Wedding

[credit: Danelle Bohane via Rue de Seine]

1. These pretty pastel dream catchers, hanging from a simple wooden frame perfectly sets the tone for a beach boho wedding:
dream-catcher backdrop

[design: Petal Play Design & Violet and Pearl Vintage; photo: Olivia Leigh Photographie]

2. These gorgeous crystal leaf earrings by Erin Fader:
crystal leaf earrings

[photo credit: Whiskers and Willow Photography]

3. This flowing maxi-style dress topped with nature-inspired embroidery by Lihi Hod:
nature-inspired wedding dress

[credit: Eyal Nevo]

4. This lovely, off-white cake that is simple, smooth, and adorned with one, single strand of greenery:
off-white wedding cake

[cake: Windflower Cakes; photo: Maria Lamb Photography]

5. This super-natural, middle-parted hairstyle, topped with a beautiful floral crown:
natural wedding hairstyle

[flower design: Bows and Arrows; photo: Ryan Ray Photography]

6. This mountain-side, wooden-frame alter with antique glass, wildflowers, and vintage luggage transports us to another world:
wooden-frame alter

[event styling + florals: Laura Giuliani; photo: Wild Whim Design + Photography]

7. This untamed & colorful bouquet design by Pearl & Godvia:
colorful bouquet design

[photo: Paula O’Hara]

8. These fruit-infused water bins, set on an antique end table, that is sure to quench our thirst for boho style:
fruit-infused water bins

[photo: Alixann Loosle]

9. This dinner setting with gold candle votives and Moroccan-style tableware, surrounded by a utopia of hanging lanterns and rich greenery:
boho wedding decor

[design & florals: Knot Just Flowers; photo: Meghan Elise Photography]

10. This cake, sparsely decorated with wild flowers & baby’s breath, and just a hint of marble pattern:
Boho style wedding cake

[cake: Sweet Lydia’s of San Diego; photo: Whiskers and Willow Photography]

11. This exquisitely creative tent, made from twigs, is a beautiful idea for a fall or winter wedding:
Winter boho-inspired wedding ceremony

[design: Oleander; photo: Lauren Fair Photography]
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What elements are you including in your boho wedding? Tell us about it in the comment section below!