Posted on

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.

Posted on

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


Posted on

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.


Posted on

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.

Posted on

10 Ridiculously Fun Games for Your Wedding Guests to Play

flip cup

10 Ridiculously Fun Games for Your Wedding Guests to Play

Not everyone at your reception is going to be sweating on the dance floor. Whether they’re shy, don’t drink, or just not that active, you’re going to have guests that don’t like to dance. So, while the extroverts are jumping away to the DJ’s tunes, here’s some ideas for fun games for the rest of the crowd, or anyone looking to cool down in between songs:

Video Game Wall

How fun is this idea of setting up a giant video game display? Either make use of a big white wall or set up a projector screen and then let the dance dance revolution take over your reception.
10 Ridiculously Fun Games for Your Wedding Guests to Play
[credit: Jody Burnett and Shannon Belletti]

The Shoe Game

Call it The Newlywed Game with a twist. Sit back-to-back with your newly-minted husband, take off one of your shoes and trade him for one of his. Have your guests ask you questions about your relationship, and then you both hold up the shoe of the person you think best fits the answer.
The Shoe Game
[credit: Katelyn James Photography]

Stand Up Sit Down

Have every guest stand up at their table. One by one, eliminate people with certain criteria (i.e. If your birthday is the last day of the month, sit down.) The last person standing, gets a special prize!
wedding games to play
[credit: Melanie McLean]

Croquet

There’s nothing more quaint or classy than a nice & colorful wooden croquet set. Invite guests to the field, have them pick their color, and let the mallets fly.
outdoor wedding games
[credit: Apryl Ann Photography]

Big Kissing Wheel

We love this Price-Is-Right “spin” (see what we did there?) on the classic kissing game. If you don’t happen to have a giant wheel lying around, you can always use a spinner from an old board game.
wedding kissing wheel
[Credit: Ren Davis of Studio 29 Photography]

Flip Cup

Drink. flip. drink. flip. Bring everyone back to the fun-loving, all-flipping days of college, and they’re sure to have a blast.
flip cup
[credit: Jake and Necia Photography]

Instagram Contest

Have an Instagram contest that your guests can participate in, using a unique hashtag created just for your wedding. The winner can receive a prize, at the end of the night, or soon after, for the best/most unique photo taken at the wedding. Not only will guests have fun searching for that perfect snap, but it’s a great way to get more creative photos from your wedding.
wedding instagram hashtag
[credit: Faithfully Focused Photography]

Paper Fortune Teller

Place one of these decorative beauties at each table, and let your guests spend hours having fun while getting to know you and your fiance a little bit better.
fortune teller
[credit: Kat’s Krafts]

Icebreakers

As hard as you try to make sure that your guests are seated together by association, but you’re going to have to combine a few strangers no matter what. This icebreakers game is a great way to loosen everybody up with some fun instead of forced conversation.
wedding icebreakers
[credit: Ala Cortez Photography]

Put-A-Ring-On-It-Toss

This one gives your outdoor reception a good old fashioned carnival feel. Guests will “step right up” to prove they’ve got the best hand-eye coordination of all your friends. Plus, it’s fairly inexpensive to put together.
wedding game ideas
[credit: Instructables.com user Blipvert]
[hr]
What games are you planning on having at your reception? Tell us about it in the comment section below!
Posted on

Rose Quartz and Serenity Pantone Wedding Inspo

Rose Quartz aisle markers

Rose Quartz and Serenity Pantone Wedding Inspo

In a turn of surprising events, Pantone have picked not one, but TWO colors of the year for 2016. According to their website, this is in order to strike a calming  balance between the soft and subtle Rose Quartz, and the cool, tranquil Serenity.

We personally think that the MARRIAGE (See what we did there?) of these two hues creates the perfect harmony for spring or summer 2016 wedding. Check out our Top 12 Rose Quartz and Serenity Pantone wedding inspo to get your creative juices flowing to plan your upcoming wedding:

1. These waxed-sealed envelopes that beg to be opened:
Rose Quartz and Serenity Pantone Wedding Inspo

Photo: Hanke Arkenbout Photography

2. These soft pink heels that will make your feet feel like a present waiting to be unwrapped.

wedding color trends

Photo: ERIKA GERDEMARK

3. This gorgeous pink and blue masterpiece that will make your eyes overdose on sugar:
colorful wedding cake

Photo: MICHELLE KIM PHOTOGRAPHY

4. This retro tulle beauty with matching ballet flats, that will add the perfect touch to a vintage/rockabilly wedding:
retro wedding inspo

Photo: Found on http://invitationsbyajalon.com/

5. This men’s tux with matching Boutonnière, that will show everyone how refined and classy your guy really is:
wedding tuxedo

Photo: Ben Yew Photography

6. These Rose Quartz cocktails that are sure to leave your guests Rose-cheeked.
wedding drinks

Photo: The Great Romance; Catering: The Girl & The Fig

7. These vintage-inspired shoes that will instantly transport you back the 50’s:
vintage wedding shoes

Photo: Emma Case Photography; Shoes: Rachel Simpson

8. This beautiful, layered, blooming gown by Vera Wang, that is the perfect design for Rose Quartz coloring:
rose colored wedding dress

Photo: via invitationsbyajalon.com

9. These Serenity-colored bridesmaid dresses that will keep your ladies serene and cool on your spring/summer wedding day:

Serenity-colored bridesmaid dresses

Photo: Lauren Jackson Photography

10. This bridal bouquet with Rose Quartz and Serenity elements mixed in, that is sure to keep you feeling tranquil as your walk towards your betrothed:
bridal bouquet

Photo: Ryan Ray Photography; Floral Design: Bows and Arrows

11. These lovely Rose Quartz aisle markers, that will infuse the air with amour:
Rose Quartz aisle markers

Photo: Pasha Belman Photography

12. This soothing table setting on the beach, that is the ultimate scene-in-serenity:
table setting on the beach

Photo: Courtesy of Gilded Lily Events

[hr]

Planning on having a Rose Quartz/Serenity wedding? Tell us about it in the comment section below!

Posted on

Top 12 Wedding Backdrop Ideas

door wedding backdrop

Top 12 Wedding Backdrop Ideas

A wedding backdrop is a great way to add flair to your wedding. Make it personal, make it fun, or create an ethereal scene worthy of a Lord of the Rings film set. This dynamic decor element can either hypnotize and entrance everyone as you say your “I dos,” or it can serve as a unique photo op for your guests, during the reception. Take a look at our Top 12 wedding backdrop ideas:

Indoor Ceremonies

1. This soft, elegant display made from paper streamers, that shows you don’t have to break the bank to create a stunning backdrop:
paper streamer backdrop
[source: Jemma Keech Photography]
2. This sweet and charming blue-painted slat wall with garland and bursts of fuchsia and white, that creates a Victorian, yet rustic feel:
slat wall backdrop
[source: Tru Studio Photography]
3. This festive, potted greenery backdrop that brings the outdoors in:
 Top 12 Wedding Backdrop Ideas
[source: The Weaver House Photography}
4. This amazing winter tree laced with pink and champagne streamers, and set in front of a beautiful brick wall:
tree backdrop
[photography: Kellie Kano]  [design: Elissa Keno]
5. This simple, yet modern chuppah, made from birch wood and laden with lush flowers, set in front of white drapery.
drapery backdrop
[source: Tasha Owen Photography]
6. These giant vases with pink flowers, baby’s breath and romantic votive candles that creates its own archway:
beautiful wedding backdrops

Outdoor Ceremonies

1. These quaint, free-standing white doors with a pop of pink and peach flowers on top:
door wedding backdrop
[photography: Katelyn James]  [design: Amanda Veronee]
2. This small archway draped in simple, off-white cloth, embellished with crisp, white flowers, and flanked by country barrels, that reminds us sometimes, less is more.
wedding backdrop idea
[source: Michael and Carina Photography]
3. This beautiful book-inspired backdrop that also doubles as a fairytale theme:
wedding fairytale backdrop idea
4. This old barn door that was recycled and set behind big white blooms, and an antique bird cage:
barn door wedding backdrop
[source: Photo: Jacqueline Campbell for Birds of a Feather]
5. This inexpensive and genius display of 1000 graceful little paper cranes:
paper cranes wedding backdrop
[source: Derek Martinez Photography]
6. This simple draping that reminds us that even though nature can be a bitch, sometimes, we can make her work FOR US:
tree backdrop idea
[hr]
What backdrop ideas do you have for YOUR weddings? Tell us about them in the comment section below!
Posted on

Fun Wedding Activities for Kids

wedding activity coloring book

Fun Wedding Activities for Kids

If you’re having a kid-friendly wedding, then you’re going to want to provide them with some fun. Check out our top 11 ways to entertain kids at your wedding, or those 5-minute long wedding toasts may put them to sleep, or make them stir crazy…and you don’t want that to happen:
kid
[source: dumpaday.com]

Indoor Receptions

Kids Cave

Children, much like cats, enjoy being enclosed in small spaces, where their mischievous imaginations can run wild. Give them a corner of the room and set up a space like a tent, tee-pee, or cave like this creative couple:
11 Ways to Keep Kids Entertained At Your Wedding

Activity Book

Giving the little darlings something to color and complete while at the table will keep them occupied and happy. Plus, who doesn’t love coloring these days? Check out these awesome activity books from Etsy seller BizzyHeartsWeddings:
wedding activity coloring book

Kids Coloring Table

A similar option could be to designate a kid’s table, cover it with inexpensive craft paper, provide crayons, and let the little Van Gogh’s go hog wild.
coloring
[source: misstweedle.com]

Legos

We love the idea of providing the kids with their own Lego table, filled with various pieces that will keep them busy for hours on end. Just make sure it’s in a sequestered area of the reception, or those colorful blocks of imagination will become little instruments of death when combined with spiked heels.
Legos

Teddy Toss

Keep the kiddies included in activities normally reserved for just the adults and they just might have a good time. Why not have a separate “Teddy Toss” before or after the bouquet toss?

Camera Scavenger Hunt

Provide each child with a disposable camera and a scavenger list of things to find and take pictures of. This not only entertains them, but provides you with more photographic evidence of the best night of your life.
Camera Scavenger Hunt

Outdoor Receptions

Lawn Twister

Not only will lawn twister occupy their minds, it will also give your little ones great exercise. It’s easy to set up too. Just buy a few cans of different colored water-based spray paint, cut a large hole in a cardboard box, and spray away!
Lawn Twister
[source: signs.com]

Bubble Station

Why not set up a little bubble competition with a bubble blowing station? Watch their eyes light up as iridescent soapy creations materialize in front of their adorable faces.
Bubble station
[source: Breelyn Bowe Photography]

Nature Scavenger Hunt

Turn those wee ones into miniature Lara Crofts and Indiana Jones’s and set them loose on the nature surrounding your outdoor reception. You can print adorable scavenger lists here:
Nature Scavenger Hunt
[source: tinyme.com]

Ring Toss

Have you met a child that didn’t like throwing things? I didn’t think so. Set up a good old-fashioned carnival-style ring toss, and watch them squeal with joy. We love this rustic-style version from Etsy seller (and featured vendor in our November Bride Box), DownInTheBoondocks:
Ring Toss

Hula Hoop Contest

Get those youths in a friendly little hula hoop competition. The winner can get a gift bag of treats. Plus, it’s a fact that kids love hula hooping. Just ask Hayley:
Hula Hoop Contest
[source: buzzfeed]
[hr]
What activities are you setting up for kids at your wedding? Tell us about it in the comment section below!
Posted on

Something Old, New, Borrowed and Blue

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed and Something Blue

Something Old, New, Borrowed and Blue

In this country an old couplet directs that the bride shall wear:  “Something old, something new, Something borrowed, something blue.” – 1898 compilation of English folklore

It’s a saying/tradition we’re all familiar with. Some of us might not know that tradition comes from an Old English rhyme (“Something Olde, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, and a sixpence in her shoe.”) These five objects each represent a different concept that the bride is supposed to carry on into her marriage. You certainly don’t have to abide by this tradition, especially if you are not superstitious. If you are going to participate, don’t let it overwhelm or stress you too much. These are usually little things that your family members bestow upon you so that you don’t have to think about it too much. Although, you can certainly gift them to yourself if you are so inclined.

Here’s a brief rundown of our favorite ideas for Something Old, New, Borrowed and Blue:

Something Olde

Definitely the most sentimental of all the “somethings,” Something Old is supposed to represent continuity and tradition. A lot of mothers and grandmothers donate their old gems, broaches, gloves, or pearls for this portion. Obviously, you’ll want to work with your matriarchs to find the perfect, personal fit for you. We love this idea of tying an old photo from your parents or grandparents wedding day onto the bouquet from JunebugWeddings.com:
Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed and Something Blue
[La Vie Photography]

Something New

Something new is supposed to represent optimism for the future. Some brides keep it simple and use their wedding ring or dress as their something new or assume they will have a new piece of jewelry gifted to them the day of the wedding. However, you can also have fun with it and let your creative juices flow. We like the idea of using your bridal shoes as your something new. Check out these Badgley Mischka ‘Rouge’ pumps, found on Nordstrom:
something new

Something Borrowed

Something borrowed is supposed to represent happiness. This is where you can start to think a bit outside the box. What you borrow, doesn’t necessarily have to be something you wear. You can borrow dishes for the reception, or even borrow a wedding theme from a family member, or even your parent’s or grandparent’s wedding song. We love the idea of borrowing old family photos from both sides to create table centerpieces (via The Wedding App):
something borrowed

Something Blue

Blue is most people’s favorite color for a reason. Among other things, blue represents purity, love, and fidelity; all concepts you want to infuse your marriage with. Some brides enjoy hiding their blue underneath the dress with blue shoes or a blue garter. Both are wonderful ideas, but if you’re looking to take a walk on the wild side, why not apply a temporary tattoo? We love this bold, floral tattoo from Etsy seller Siideways:
something blue
[hr]
What are YOU doing for Something old/new/borrowed/blue? Tell us about it in the comment section below!
Posted on

Rustic Honeybee Wedding

Honey-Theme-Wedding-Ideas

Rustic Honeybee Wedding

Looking for a specialized twist on the classic rustic chic wedding? Honey is a universal symbol for sweetness and love, so why not spread some of that joy to your guests? A fall date is a great time for an outdoor or tented honey themed wedding.

Colors

Depending on your area and what your local bees are feeding on, the honey you use can be a variety of colors. You therefore have a versatile color palette to work with including, light yellow, peach, gold, or deep amber. Any combination of these shades will be complimented by the greenery of the outdoors and your beautiful white or off white dress.
Rustic Honeybee Wedding

Decor

Try going for a base of rustic chic (wood, burlap, chalkboard, etc) and add your twist of honey on top. Try creating table centerpieces with bee pollen stalks inside mason jars, or tin tea canisters. If you are an artist or know someone who is, have them draw or paint bees and honeycombs on your chalkboards, or any wood structures. If you don’t know any artists or don’t have the time, use these stencils from Michaels with spray paint. Check out this wooden honeycomb backdrop designed by The Style Co.
Honey-Theme-Wedding-Ideas
[photo by Hikari Photography}

Fashion

Don’t agonize over your dress. Whatever style you have your eyes on and whatever color from the honey palette you choose, will probably look gorgeous. The key is in the accessories. There are many honeybee or honeycomb accented jewelry pieces out there to top of your look, from headbands, to broaches, and even bobby pins and bracelets. All you need is one perfect piece to give yourself that bee-kissed aura, like this exquisite Austrian crystal honeybee hair clip:
honey bee hair clip

Food

This is a unique opportunity to do something different from the normal served dinner. Of course, you’ll want to provide your guests with some sort of main course, such as roasted herb chicken or dinner ham. For an appetizer, try providing your guests (via buffet table or the guest tables) with platters made of aged cheeses, in-season fruits, and artisan breads. Make sure each table has a sampling of local honey for dipping.
wedding food ideas
[photo by Daniel Kim Photography]

Cake

You have several options here. You can have a simple, understated cake that would go well with any outdoor scheme, or you could go very playful with a full-on towering honeycomb design, complete with fondant bees, honeycombs, and hives. You’ll have to decide which style goes best with your overall wedding tone of course, but we happen to love this cake from Melissa & Matt’s rustic honey bee wedding, created by the bride herself!
honey bee wedding cake
[photo by Lisa Burgess]

Favors

As for wedding favors, tiny jars or vials of honey would be a safe and obvious choice. If you are feeling a little more inspired, then why not try some beeswax candles, or bundles of honey sticks wrapped with decorative fabric or twine (wonderful if you are on a tight budget.) We adore these Old Fashioned Double Filled Honey Candies from Etsy seller holyhoney:
etsy wedding ideas
[hr]
Are you planning on a honey themed wedding? Tell us about it in the comment section below!
Posted on

Wedding Flowers: Real vs. Artificial

Artificial Flowers

Wedding Flowers: Real vs. Artificial

Should you use real or artificial flowers in your wedding? This is not a question easily answered, as there are pros and cons to both.  We have outlined what we believe to be the key points to wedding flowers: real vs. artificial, so that making an informed decision is a little easier for you.

Real Flowers

wedding-flowers

Pros

Some say there is nothing quite like the smell and appearance of real, fresh blooms at a wedding. The aromatic ambiance that a real flower creates is usually unmatched; a wonderful feast for the senses. If you are buying in season, they can also be relatively inexpensive, depending on the type of course. If you are using real flowers, it is generally assumed that you are going through a florist, so you will have the added bonus of a professional who is taking care of the nitty gritty so that you don’t have to.

Cons

Believe it or not, real wedding flowers can sometimes have a few downsides. The flowers of your dreams might have to be imported, which can obviously cause the price to spike a bit, due to shipping costs. The price can also go up if you are choosing blooms that are out of season. Also, that enchanting aroma that we were talking about earlier, can also be a con. If you have guests with strong allergies, (according to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology, roughly 7.8% of people 18 and over in the U.S. have hay fever), then this can cause your guests to be extremely uncomfortable, which is the exact opposite effect that you are trying to achieve.
Wedding Flowers Real vs. Artificial
[photo by Yuri Vaysgant]

Artificial Flowers

Artificial Flowers
[photo by Dotmoxee Photography]

Pros

There are actually upsides to using artificial flowers in your wedding. First off, if you are more of a DIY person, then artificial might be your thing. These flowers do not usually come with a florist who is behind the wheel, so you can get your control freak on! The most popular material for these kinds of arrangements is silk, which can look quite beautiful and feel quite soft. Another advantage is that you don’t have to preserve your artificial flowers until the big day, because there is no expiration date for these puppies. Some people don’t realize that you can also add lotions and perfumes to silk flowers to make them smell like the real thing.

Cons

Even if you are embellishing your flowers with lotions and perfumes, chances are it’s not going to smell like the real thing and that could be a deal breaker for you. Some of you may not be very creative, and therefore find it more stressful to DIY. If this is your case, then you’ll probably want to opt for real flowers with a florist in charge. Also, if you are choosing silk material and lots of it, then artificial can often times be MORE expensive than real flowers.
[hr]
Are you using real or artificial flowers in your wedding? Tell us about it in the comments section below!
Posted on

Wedding Flowers by Month

wedding flowers by month

Wedding Flowers by Month

Choosing the flowers for your wedding requires special attention. First, you want to decide on which colors and style your wedding will take on. Then, you can determine what flowers will best compliment that style. Season is also an important factor in this process. Check out the chart below and read our favorite choices for wedding flowers by month.
wedding flowers by season
(found on IvyHouseWeddings.com)

January:

If you’re getting married in January, tulips (meaning: love & passion) are a wonderful option. They are simple, smooth, elegant, and make for a beautiful bridal bouquet.

February:

Soft-headed, with delicate petals, Ranunculus (radiant charm) makes a wonderful wedding flower in February. The Persian buttercup variety features an enchanting, swirling bloom that will captivate you and your wedding guests.

March:

Usually coming in blue, white, or purple, irises could be the perfect choice for your March wedding. They have a message of faith and wisdom; perfect concepts for your new life together!

April:

Gerbera daisies (sharing your feelings) would make lovely displays in April. Not only are they an economical choice, but their warm color varieties and dynamic petals can add lots of happy charm to your special event.

May:

Native to Asia and Southern Europe, the peony flower (m: bashfulness) has a rich history of being used for medicinal purposes. We think these flowers and their soft, pretty colors will add a hint of Asian flavor to your May affair.

June:

Calla lilies are a great choice for a June wedding. With a meaning like “magnificent beauty” you can’t go wrong. These lightly fragrant flowers usually come in a deep, dark, Hot Chocolate color and will add a rich, tropical vibe to the party.

July:

If you’re having a rustic summer wedding, consider the sunflower. These striking, orange-yellow perennials can add the perfect punctuation to your day. They are also great on a budget, considering all that is needed for a bridal bouquet is one, single stem.

August:

Lilies are wonderful flowers that come in a large variety of classifications and spotted patterns. Usually associated with wealth, majesty, and honor, these classic fragrant flowers can add that touch of graceful design you’ve been looking for.

September:

Roses have always been the most popular choice for wedding flowers, and it’s easy to see why. Most associated with love & joy, roses comes in several pleasing and understated colors that are sure to compliment your wedding colors perfectly.

October:

The dahlia (blessings & inner grace) is a lovely option for your October day. The perfectly-symmetrical geometric design of the Ball and Pompon varieties make it perfect for a modern style wedding.

November:

Chrysanthemums are a nice, inexpensive, and not-so-over-done flower for your November wedding. These blooms carry meanings of abundance & truth, and they are sure to impress guests with their uniqueness.

December:

Hydrangeas (understanding) are a gorgeous option for a wedding in December. These thick, lush blooms come in a multitude of (usually) cool color tones, which are sure to mesmerize your guests.
[divider]
Thanks for listening brides! Stay tuned for the next part of our Wedding Flower series!
What flowers are you planning on for your wedding? Let us know in the comment section below!
Posted on

Wedding Party Roles and Responsibilities

bridesmaids

Wedding Party Roles and Responsibilities

In early Anglo-Saxon traditions, the men in the wedding party were referred to as the “Bride’s Knights” instead of the groomsmen. This was because they were responsible for being her protectors before, during, and after the ceremony. Today’s wedding party roles and responsibilities are a bit less…demanding, however, it can be a bit confusing with all the different wedding party roles. Which roles do you pick for your wedding, and who do you give them to?

Maid of Honor

Wedding Party Roles and Responsibilities

Assign your Maid of Honor as soon as possible. This should be someone extremely close to you. Responsible for the bridal shower and other various wedding day details, like helping the bride get dressed, looking out for the bride’s dress train, and toasting the bride at the reception, the Maid of Honor is probably the most crucial party member to you. She is like a second pair of eyes and hands for the bride, and there to provide you with the emotional support you will need to stay sane during this whole process.

Bridesmaids

bridesmaids

Typically the amount of bridesmaids you have will be determined by the size of your wedding. If you are having a large formal wedding, then up to twelve bridesmaids can be acceptable. A smaller, less formal wedding will constitute fewer. As for who you appoint in the bridesmaids positions, they should be your closest gal pals and should be willing and able to help with smaller wedding planning tasks such as stamping wedding invitations and crafting wedding centerpieces, etc.

Best Man

best man

Your hubby-to-be will want to appoint a Best Man. This role is typically responsible for acting as his right-hand guy, advisor, and aid throughout the process. He will most likely be the one responsible for planning the bachelor party,  paying the officiant’s fee, making sure the groom is on time for the ceremony, and of course, toasting!

Groomsmen

groomsmen

Just use your bridesmaids rules for choosing groomsmen; more for larger weddings, fewer for smaller weddings. However, the groomsmen can also double as ushers. This can be handy if you are trying to whittle the wedding party down.

Mothers & Father of the Bride

mother and father of the bride

Your mother can be responsible for as much or as little as you want. A lot of brides appoint these lovely ladies as their wedding-day contact so that they can relax knowing that “mama’s got it.” Your pops is responsible for footing most of the wedding bill, walking you down the aisle, and most importantly, the father/daughter dance.

Mother & Father of the Groom

mother and father of the groom

(Photo by: dparkphotography)

Once again, the mother of the groom can assume whatever role your man wants her to. She also has the privilege of dancing with her wonderful son during the reception. Your superhero father-in-law is usually responsible for footing the cost of the reception dinner, and trying not to tell every cheesy joke he knows.

Wedding Officiant

Wedding Officiant

This is pretty much non-negotiable. You will need an officiant to receive and witness your consent to marry each other so you can be, well…legal!

Other wedding party roles you can have but are certainly not required to fill include: Ushers, candle-lighters, flower girls, ring bearers, and pages (or train bearers.)

[divider]

Ok brides, that about wraps it up. How are you narrowing down your wedding party? We’d love to hear from you in the comment section below!
Posted on

Best Places for a Destination Wedding

wedding in Italy

Best Places for a Destination Wedding

At some point in your planning process, you may have decided to have a destination wedding. Not only is it a great excuse to limit the guest list, but you can also enjoy an exotic experience from ceremony to honeymoon, all in one place. Check out our best places for a destination wedding!

Kauai

If you want to be surrounded by a pristine beach, huge volcano, or romantic waterfall when you marry, then look no further than Kauai, Hawaii. Also known as The Garden Island, Kauai is one of the oldest and less populated islands in Hawaii, so it definitely exudes an old-timey, authentic feel.
best places for a destination wedding
(photo by Coconut Coast – Kauai Weddings & Photography)

Italy

Italy has been a hot spot for destination weddings for a long time. With such rich, diverse regions, it’s no wonder why. You can have your nuptials on the rocky Amalfi Coast, surrounded by the dazzling ancient ruins and art of Rome, or on a beautiful bridge in Venice. Either way, you’ll be livin la bella vita!
wedding in Italy
(photo by Cristiano Brizzi)

Costa Rica

If you want a tropical-vibe destination wedding with a little more affordability, you might want to consider Costa Rica. Lush rain forests, beautiful beaches, striking volcanoes, and some of the best eco lodges in the world have kept Costa Rica at the top of destination wedding lists.
Costa Rica wedding
(photo by a Brit and a Blonde photography)

Belize

With 78-degree weather year round, friendly locals, a great barrier reef, and ancient caves, Belize is a great choice. You can wed on the shores of Ambergris Caye by candlelight, and then explore Mayan ruins in Chiquibul Forest Reserve for your honeymoon. Plus, it’s just a quick 2 or 3 hour flight from most places in the U.S.
Belize wedding

Las Vegas

Everybody wants an excuse to go to Las Vegas. Have your wedding there and your guests will feel like they are getting away for the biggest party of the year. Say your vows against the backdrop of stunning canyons and rocky landscapes, and then head to the strip for swanky shopping amidst resplendent lights and energy.
Las Vegas wedding
(Seen on: 702wedding.com)

Aruba

Located in the southern Caribbean, Aruba is often called “the happy island.” What better place to start the happiest period of your life? Home to amazing, crystal-clear waters and intriguing shipwreck sights, Aruba provides the perfect backdrop to your special day. You and your guests can always party it up at one of many of the islands casinos in the days leading up to the wedding.
Aruba wedding
(Photo by Crooze Photography)

Jamaica

With 600 miles of gorgeous coastline and home to lots of wedding-friendly resorts and villas, Jamaica has always been a top destination wedding locale. Enjoy the frenetic nightlife of Negril, or tour a coffee farm in Brandon Hill. ‘Ey mon, it’s romantic!
Wedding in Jamaica
(photo by Tryall Club)

Bahamas

Picture your stunning, white wedding dress draped over soft pink sands. That little fantasy can be a reality if you wed in the Bahamas. This has always been one of the most popular wedding destinations thanks to it’s rich and friendly atmosphere. Consider having your wedding at the beautiful Versailles Gardens, located on Paradise Island.
Wedding in the Bahamas
(Seen on: OceanClub.com)
That about does it brides! Where is your wedding destination going to be? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!
Posted on

How to Write Your Own Vows

our vows

How to Write Your Own Vows

Greetings ladies! Are you planning on writing your own vows for your wedding? You might be a bit overwhelmed wondering where to start. Read on to get some tips and pointers on the fine art of vow creation.

how to write your own vows

Step 1: Get Inspired

How can you set about creating something unless you first get inspired? Use books and the internet to look at as many different examples as you can to get an idea of WHAT you want and HOW you want it to be. Create a new folder on your desktop labeled “Vow Inspiration” and start loading it up! Encourage your fiance to do the same and then you will both be imbued with the creative power of inspiration!

Step 2: Get on the Same Page

Once you both have a rough idea of the direction you want to go in, make sure that you and your fiance are on the same page. First, you’ll want to go over your plan with your wedding officiant. Different churches may have different rules when it comes to vows. Some might not allow DIY vows, and some may require you to recite some of the traditional vows. Once you have done this, you’ll then start the process of agreeing on HOW you will both set about writing the vows, and what tone you want to create: Funny, romantic, tear-jerking, etc.

vow writing ideas

Step 3: Brainstorm your Beloved

We know that sounds kinda funny. Normally you would brainstorm things like new job possibilities, or ideas for other kinds of creative projects. What we mean by “brainstorming” your beloved is: Grab a paper and pencil and jot down all the aspects of your relationship that are the most special to you. What kinds of moments do you want to share with your wedding guests? Where did you first meet? When did you know you were in love? What do you love about him? Write down anything and everything that comes to mind.

Step 4: Dare to Declare

We promise that if you give yourself enough time to do the brainstorming in step 3, and make sure you are thinking about those key moments and memories, it will make the process of declaring your vows much easier. “In sickness and in health, through the good times and the bad,” are traditional vows that go without saying. Why not declare something more personal, like, “I promise to let you play Call of Duty in peace for at least 2 hours when you have had a bad day.” He could vow something like, “I promise to give you and your gal pals the living room all to yourselves so you can drink wine and watch Leonardo Dicaprio movies, at least once a month.”

Step 5: Revise and Refine

Once you have all your vows written down, you’ll want to revise and refine it until it is ready for the big day. Try to make sure there’s nothing that is too personal. You want to make sure that your wedding guests can connect to and relate to what you’re saying, even a little bit. You’ll also want to try to cut it down so that it does not take forever to read aloud at the ceremony. A good rule of thumb is to keep it to one minute or less per person.

Step 6: Practice Makes Perfect

Nervous about reciting your vows in a room full of 100 + people? Practice, practice, practice. We cannot stress the importance of this step enough. A lot of couples want to surprise their future spouse by not revealing the vows until the ceremony and end up getting tongue tied and feeling regretful. Practice saying your vows aloud to each other over and over again until it feels comfortable. If you really need to surprise each other, write a separate set of vows and recite them to each other in a romantic, honeymoon setting.

our vows

*Extra Credit!*

Create a Keepsake

Want to use your vows to create a special keepsake that will last forever? Why not create a frame-able piece of art with them? If minimal is your style, you could just frame your original vows that were written in pencil. Or if you’re handy with Adobe software, you could digitally render them onto a photograph of the two of you. The possibilities here are endless.

That’s it beautiful brides! Are you planning on writing your own wedding vows? Let us know what steps you’re taking and if you have any advice for your fellow future brides in the comments section below!

Posted on

The Bride Box Vendor Spotlight

pearls + pennies

The Bride Box Vendor Spotlight

Hey there brides! We thought we’d take some time to tell you more about some of the amazing and talented vendors that we have featured in The Bride Box – a monthly subscription box for brides!

Yellow Note

The Yellow Note is a wonderful, custom design studio based out of New York that features address stamps, stationery, and party goods. Visit their website and you will find gorgeous, gold foil lettering on napkins, tote bags, gift tags, and other items. They have designs ranging from classic and pretty to playful and fun, and will gladly work with any customer closely in order to provide a something that is perfect for their style or occasion.
best day ever napkins

Lola’s Handcrafted

Lola’s Handcrafted is an amazing shop, featuring luxurious, natural soaps that are hand-made with the cold process method. They are hand poured and 100% Soy wax. Lola also features mineral cosmetics, hand blended perfume, and lip balms made with local beeswax and nourishing oils. All of their products are made from scratch in the shop, with great passion. Visit their website to find alluring products with ingredients like jasmine vanilla, honey toffee, and Tahitian gardenia. Yummy!
lolas handcrafted

Pearls + Pennies

Pearls + Pennies is an East Coast boutique that specializes in wedding glassware, monogrammed accessories, jewelry dishes, and more. Visit their website to look for lots of customizable options, such as shot glasses, mugs, and ring dishes. They even have adorable little pacifiers for your future little ones! Buy the wine glasses to surprise the ladies in your wedding party, or one of their ring dishes to keep your most-prized possession safe until your big day!
pearls + pennies

Jesse & Co

Jesse & Co is a design studio based out of Los Angeles. They feature a collection of jewelry and leather accessories that are sure to fit your needs for any occasion. Go to their website to see a wide range of products like contemporary, nature-inspired designs and recycled pewter jewelry.  They also feature beautiful, personalized initial jewelry like the beautiful hammered initial cuff (seen below), which would make the PERFECT gift for your bridal party!
hammered initial cuff

Oh So Fabulous

Oh So Fabulous is one of the most charming paper goods shops around. Ashlee Sosa, owner and chief designer, calls it “sweet and sassy,” and if you visit the shop, you’ll see why. Featuring everything from lingerie shower and wedding invitations, to pillow covers, they’ve got you covered. There’s even a delightful, wine-bottle label and adorable bingo cards for you to use at your bridal shower! Have a great time ladies!
bridal bingo game
Do you have a product you would like to include in The Bride Box? Click here to contact us.
Posted on

Rustic Weddings

Vintage-Rustic-Decor

Rustic Weddings

Mason jars and chalkboards and burlap, OH MY! If somebody told you a year ago that the rustic wedding trend would be dying down by the end of 2015, they would’ve been wrong. Rustic weddings are STILL the most popular wedding theme at the moment. What is a rustic wedding you ask?

Rustic weddings, also know as barn weddings, or wild west weddings, are a way for a couple to offer chic, quaint charm and without spending a gargantuan amount of money. Some couples also prefer it because they want to create a warm, enchanting atmosphere, as opposed to cold, formal and stuffy.

Think a rustic-style wedding is for you? Here are some tips for how to create a rustic wedding that will put your guests under the whimsical spell of love.

Location

As for the location of your rustic wedding, the obvious choice would be outdoors. There are rustic wedding venues all over the U.S. Some let you rent out a large barn space, and some let you rent out farm land, either way, you will most likely be getting married amongst the beautiful trees.
barn wedding

Invitations

You will most likely want your invitations to be simply designed, with natural, earthy colors. Using lace, burlap, or even old-style typography will also strongly communicate your theme to your intended guests. We adore these invitations designed by Etsy seller tranquillina:
rustic wedding invitations

Decorations

You have many decorating options to help you create your rustic atmosphere. Just grab a bunch of mason jars, burlap rolls, hay barrels, and wild flowers and go to town! Here is some inspiration to get your creative juices flowing:
Vintage-Rustic-Decor

Cakes

Whether you choose a simple, minimally frosted, or bare naked cake, your rustic wedding cake should be a complement to the themes and colors you have displayed for the rest of the wedding. We think that naked cakes are the perfect touch on a rustic wedding. These cakes tend to be decorated with fruits, flowers, and even plants as opposed to thick icing and fondant designs. We love this Three-Tier Naked Cake with Strawberries and Roses by Ellen Hutto:
Naked cakes
(BY GABRIELLA RELLO)

Bouquet

Your rustic bouquet should also be a reflection of the rest of the wedding decor. Taut, sphere-shaped bouquets are not for rustic weddings, and should be considered more for formal weddings. Instead, try piecing together wild flowers that match the other decorations, and don’t worry about making it look perfect, as they are supposed to evoke a come-what-may feeling!
rustic wedding bouquet

Guest Book

Signing a guest book at a rustic wedding should transport your guests to another world for even just a few moments. You could set up an old typewriter (one that still works!) on an antique desk so that your guests can type out their messages of love, or you could have postcards that your guests can fill out and then “mail” back to you by putting them in a vintage suitcase. We love this message-in-a-bottle idea from Etsy seller Angelfishweddings:
message in a bottle wedding idea
Planning a rustic wedding? Tell us about it in the comments section below!
Posted on

Where to Honeymoon

baha-mar-resort-bahamas

Where to Honeymoon

We know there are an overwhelming amount of choices for where to honeymoon. You and your new hubby may want to sink into the soft sands of a remote, secluded beach in the middle of summer. Or, you might want to bundle up and ski gracefully down the mountains in Park City in November. Obviously, budget, personal preference, and time of year will all play a part into where you end up going. We have compiled a list of popular honeymoon destinations (some old, some new) to help stimulate your decision process.

The Classics

Bahamas

Whether it’s the velvety sand, aquamarine waters, historic sites, or luxury resorts, Bahamas has you covered. The new Baha Mar Resort in the capital city of Nassau is getting raves reviews and boasts five hotels in one, plus a casino (coming soon.)

baha-mar-resort-bahamas

Paris

Ah sweet Pari! It does not get any more romantic than the city of lights. Experience the breath-taking view of the Eiffel Tower from almost anywhere in the city and gorge yourselves on delectible food, wine, and art. Can you hear the french accordion already? Tres magnifique, no?

honeymoon in Paris

Kauai

Another tropical local located in Hawaii, the Island of Kauai is a gorgeous getaway for you to consider. Along with crystal-clear waters and mocha-sand filled beaches, Kauai hosts plenty of canyons, trails, and state parks if you’re in a more adventurous mood. Aloha!

Hawaii-Honeymoon-Princeville-Ranch-Adventures

Venice

Venice is a city of many nicknames including, The City of Water; The City of Bridges; and The City of Masks. Whatever you call it, the romantic atmosphere is rich and palpable. Take in an evening of exquisite opera at Teatro La Fenice, go for a slow quiet stroll along the streets, or hire a gondolier to row you along tiny, charming canals.

Nguyen_Elwell_D_Park_Photography

Domestic

If you are in the U.S. and you are looking to save a little money by not going oversees, these are some domestic options that can provide just as much oomph as the foreign destinations.

Orlando

If your honeymoon doesn’t fall into the dead middle of summer, then consider a trip to Orlando, Florida. This place is home to a TON and some of the BEST theme parks in the world, like Islands of Adventure, Universal Studios, and of course, Disney World. Put on your mickey hats and get down there!

disney honeymoon

Napa Valley

Want all the thick, lush scenery and charm of Tuscany without having to pay the airfare? Try Napa Valley, where the mustard plants are plentiful, creating miles of lemon-lime roads for you both to gaze upon together. The list of activities for Napa can include winery/vineyard tours, fine dining at the famous French Laundry restaurant, and indulging in a sweet picnic for two.

napa valley

Park City, Utah

If your honeymoon falls on the winter season, consider Park City, Utah. Home of the Sundance Film Festival, this city has a cool, classy western atmosphere and plenty of activities including, mountain skiing, luxury spas, and hot hair ballon rides. You could also aimlessly explore the quaint streets of this winter wonderland.

utah

New Favorites

Nicaragua

If eco-adventures are what you’re feeling, maybe look into a Nicaraguan honeymoon. Nicaragua is steadily becoming a favorite for travelers who want the central American vibe and atmosphere, but don’t want to dish out as much cash as they would for Belize or Costa Rica. Nicaragua has plenty of beaches, volcanoes, and rain forests for you to dig into.

Mediterranean Cruise

Can’t decide on just one romantic European city? Why not hit a gaggle of them by hopping on a Mediterranean cruise? Anywhere from 6 to 15 days, these cruises will bring you to some of Europe’s oldest, most exotic places, like Athens, Lisbon, Rome, and Venice.

cruise

English Countryside

Thanks to George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin’s 2014 honeymoon in the U.K., the county of Berkshire is quickly becoming one of the most popular honeymoon destinations in Europe. With gorgeous castles, intensly-green landscapes, and a quick hour drive from London, it’s no wonder this destination is luring more and more freshly-married Americans.

english countryside

That’s it brides! Good luck planning your honeymoons. We hoped this helped narrow down where you want to go. Where are YOU planning on going for your honeymoon? Let us know in the comment section below.

Posted on

How to Narrow Down Your Wedding Guest List

wedding guests

How to Narrow Down Your Wedding Guest List

how to narrow down your wedding guest list

We know that the stress of planning your wedding can feel like being inside a pressure cooker at 250 degrees Fahrenheit. On top of that, the guilt of having to nix people from your guest list can send you boiling over the edge. We are here to tell you that you don’t have to indulge that guilt. This is YOUR special day, and cutting people from your guest list is one of the fastest, most efficient ways to cut from your overall budget. Here at The Bride Box, we’ve gathered some wisdom and techniques on the art of the guest-list chop. So, grab a pen, pair of scissors, or X-ACTO knife and get ready to cut cut cut…

1st Consideration: Venue

First and foremost, you need to decide on a venue. You can’t really determine how many people you can afford to entertain unless you first know the cost of entertainment per head. Decide on the location of your reception and then you will have a rough number to start with.

2nd Consideration: Percentages

You also need to decide on what percentage of the guest list is allotted to you and your fiance, and what percentage is allotted to your parents. Because the bride’s family pays for most of the wedding, they usually have more control over the guest list than the groom’s family. You can work that out however you see fit, but keep in mind both sets of parents will want to invite their close friends.

3rd Consideration: Groups

Another good way to slash larger quantities of peeps is to think about the groups they fit into, such as young children, co-workers, extended family, or acquaintances. Perhaps you decide that you don’t want to invite the extended family that you never see anyway. Maybe you decide that you don’t want to mix your private life with your work life by inviting your co-workers. If you cut the entire group, you will also avoid hurting certain people’s feelings.

4th Consideration: Time

If there are still more people that you are conflicted about, a good rule of thumb is to think about the last time you saw them. If it has been a year or more, you can probably leave them off the list. Of course, there are going to be exceptions to this. If your bestie moved to the Southern France two years ago, to live off of wine and baguettes, you’d still want to toss her an invite!

5th Consideration: Introverts

Another thing you may want to think about is any introverts that are in your circle of friends. Some people may care a great deal about you but also dread weddings due to their shy nature. Cutting these people from the list may not only do you a favor, but them as well. If you’re not sure about a particular person, you can always just be honest and ask them how they feel in a way that doesn’t put them on the spot.

We hope this helps you cute down your wedding guest list! Remember, this is one of the most important, special days in your life, so don’t let ANYONE make you feel guilty for your guest-list decisions! Good luck brides!

wedding guests

What techniques are you using to narrow down YOUR guest list? Let us know in the comments section below!

Posted on

Who Pays for What in a Wedding

wedding photo

Who Pays for What in a Wedding

Picture this scenario ladies: It’s 3000 b.c. and your family has decided that you will marry Lord So-and-Such from a neighboring village. You haven’t met this man, but you hear from the townsfolk that he’s mildly handsome and has plentiful farm land and lots of animals that will provide you with all the support you need. Now picture your father offering this man some of your family’s cows, land, or jewelry in order to make the union between your families more appealing.

It all sounds like such a whirlwind of enchanted romance!

Who Pays for What

Or not. Luckily, we don’t live in the old days anymore. We are no longer tasked with securing our family name’s future and livelihood through marriage. Now, we are free to fall in love with whomever our heart desires. There are, however, some modern financial customs that stem from these ancient dowry dealings. The following is a rough guide to the traditional rules that most modern families adhere to when paying for the various costs of a wedding. Of course, you may have your own take on things, so let this serve as a general outline of information you can turn to if you are lost in a quagmire of financial decisions:

The Bride’s Family:

Traditionally, the bride’s family is going to cover most of the total wedding bill. These costs include, but are not limited to:

– Engagement party
– Wedding planner or coordinator
– Bridal party transportation to wedding
– Vendors
– Gifts for the couple
– Reception costs, including food, music, decorations, rental fees and entertainment
– Ceremony costs including rental fees, decorations
– Flowers for ceremony and reception
– The bride’s wedding dress and accessories
– Invitations, announcements, programs, and mailing costs
– Favors
– Photography
– Their own attire and travel expenses

wedding photo

The Groom’s Family:

Ladies, this is where your man’s family comes in to take some of that pressure off your family’s plate. It will also probably keep your father from having a nervous breakdown:

-Rehearsal dinner
-Alcohol at the reception (optional)
-Their own wedding wear
-Gifts for the couple

groom and mother

But don’t think you and your guy are getting off scot-free! You are both responsible for a few small, yet very important expenses for the big day:

You:

– The groom’s ring
– The groom’s wedding gift
– Bridal part luncheon
– Gifts for the bridesmaids

Groom:

– The bride’s engagement ring
– The bride’s wedding ring
– The bride’s wedding gift
– Boutonnieres and corsages for the wedding party
– The officiant’s fee
– The honeymoon
– The marriage license

bride and groom wedding photo

Did you notice how the groom’s family list was significantly shorter than the bride’s family list? This is most likely due to those ancient dowry customs we were talking about before. But, due to ever-changing, ever-evolving hearts and minds of the modern 21st century couple, these customs are becoming less and less revered. If both of your families have a different take on things, then more power to you all!

Happy planning brides! How are you budgeting YOUR wedding? Let us know in the comment section below!