Why Where You’re Getting Married Matters

No one is going to wear a winter coat to the beach. Or a tank top while skiing. Would you wear club attire to church – or vice versa? So doesn’t it seem just a little weird that no matter what the season, what the setting, and what the weather, wedding dress options seem frightfully limited? Even when you’re saying your vows, your surroundings should play a role in your sartorial choices.

fall wedding dresses

Walking down the aisle in 2015? Consider not only the who and the how, but also the where. Here are four things to consider:

Air temperature and humidity: Did you know some fabrics can literally wilt in the heat? I, for one, didn’t until I started researching this post. If you’re getting married outdoors in somewhere like Florida look at lightweight gowns first. Fabrics like cotton eyelet will keep you cooler, more comfortable, and looking great for longer. On the other hand, do you really want to freeze your buns (and your bust) off in a strapless gowns in the dead of winter? A jacket works wonders out of doors but some ceremony venues can be surprisingly frosty.

winter wedding accessories - dresses

The Mood: Kicky little 1950s style wedding dresses and simple pearl wedding jewelry looks amazing when the backdrop is city hall. A longer-than-long cathedral train? Not so much, but inside an actual cathedral and you’re rocking it. The one crossover option seems to be the basic sheath. You can dress it up with your bridal jewelry or wear it dressed down, Bohemian style, making it the chameleon of the wedding gown world.

summer wedding dresses - wedding accessories

Your backdrop: Will you be walking down the aisle in a church, a museum, or down on the farm? Will you dance the night away in a barn floor or on an old fashioned parquet floor? If it’s the former (and the barn hasn’t been entirely converted into an event venue) pass on the long, lace train and wear a lace wedding veil instead. In any weather, outdoor weddings call for dresses that won’t attract too much schmutz.

The laws of the land: Culture, religion, and even a family’s own culture can dictate what is appropriate and what isn’t when it comes to bridal fashion. Some religious faiths demand that brides wear modest gowns – and what modest means in any given faith can be quite different. One church may have different guidelines from another even within the same faith! Lots and lots of bridal jewelry is customary in some cultures. The less is more approach in others. When in doubt, ask or risk committing a faux pas that’s captured forever in your wedding photos!

How is your wedding venue driving your choices when it comes to your dress, shoes, and accessories?

Images: Sareh Nouri

christa terry author of iDo
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Beach Wedding Ideas for Every Couple

A beach theme wedding can certainly be a lot of fun but it’s no easier planning a beach wedding than it is planning any other wedding. It’s simply an opportunity to take advantage of the romance of the ocean and the fun of the sandy shore. You can have a formal wedding beach side at a cabana or at a beach side garden. Or you can have an informal beach wedding right on the sand. Here are just some ideas to get you started:

beach wedding arch - beach wedding inspiration 2

Weddings on a sandy beach are beautiful with a white arch covered in flowers and ribbons. Even if you don’t have your wedding at the beach, you can use these ideas to convey the same feeling in a landlocked locale!

beach wedding arch - beach wedding inspiration

Start with your invitations. Traditional invitations in a color scheme inspired by the sea will set the stage early for your beach theme. Have chairs set up for your guests, or even ask them to bring their own chair or towel (for more casual affairs). Remember to consider how you will get less mobile guests to the seating area – walking on sand isn’t easy for everyone.

beach wedding signs

Decorate your reception and ceremony sites with sea shells and candles in beachy colors. Tiny sea shells sprinkled on tables or placed in colorful bowls will attract attention.

beach wedding 1

Add shells, pearls, and other beachy stuff to your flower arrangements and your tables. Decorating with what Mother Nature provides can be a real money saver for the budget bride.

beach wedding cake - beach wedding inspiration

Consider having a clam bake or lobster reception – or go all out with Hawaiian shirts and surf shorts. If you relax, your guests will, too! That said, there’s no reason a catered clambake has to be too casual. It’s all in the presentation.

Visit tourist shops near beaches for special items that will help set the mood.

beach wedding sunglasses

Bright coral-inspired colors, beach towels with summery designs, and scallop shell decor can evoke happy memories of lazy days on the beach. Don’t go overboard unless you really want to – after all, you’re already AT the beach so there’s no need to belabor the point!

planning a beach wedding

Add white chocolate sea shells to your wedding cake. Use a lighthouse or starfish as a cake topper. Don’t feel like you have to make your whole wedding cake into a beach scene, though. Pay homage to the sea with the colors you choose and a few well-placed embellishments.

beach wedding shoes - bridal shoes

Don’t forget your wedding accessories! Ditch the shoes in favor of something that makes walking down a sandy aisle easier and choose beachy accessories like starfish hair pins and even a starfish bridal garter!

For favors, do guests a favor (ahem) and pass out small bottles of sunscreen tied with a ribbon. You can also have a bucket of sunglasses ready for guests as they arrive at the ceremony because so many of the people you care about will probably have forgotten sun protection.
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Summer’s Here! And So are Our Favorite Beachy Must-Haves and Wedding Accessories!

Summer is finally here at USABride headquarters – finally! And we are looking forward to three months of amazing beach weddings that’ll have us gushing over bridal accessories, dresses, and everything else at ceremonies and receptions on the shore. Naturally I have my own pretty strong opinions about what is hot or not for beach weddings but I thought let’s keep it simple. Your tastes are yours, mine are mine, but there’s definitely going to be things we agree on. Like these beach wedding must-haves:

1. a gorgeous beach wedding hairstyle:

beach wedding hairstyles

2. and a beautiful bridal hair flower to put in it:

wedding-hair-flower

3. a wedding dress that’s light, airy, and easy to wear in the sand:

beach wedding dress - destination wedding gown

4. something like this because heels are a no no:

beach wedding shoes - sandals

5. bridal flip-flops – make them fun:

beach wedding flip flops

6. comfy semi-formalwear for the groom:

beach wedding groom

7. and maybe some beach wedding accessories just for the guys:

beach wedding groom boutenniere

8. something fun for bridesmaids:

beach-wedding-ideas-meg-courtney-photography

9. what you need to beat the heat:

bridal parasol - wedding umbrellas

10. an antidote to the sun’s glare:

southboundbride-sunglasses-wedding-favors-002

sunglass-wedding-favors

11. a beachy bridal bouquet (should be loose and light, not heavy):

beach wedding bouquet

12. keepsakes to help guests keep cool:

wedding fans - beach wedding fans

13. And something pretty for your favorite ladies, of course:

starfish earrings - destination wedding - beach brideAre you getting married on the sand? Share your pics here!

 
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When You Have to Plan a Wedding Fast

How quickly can you plan a wedding? It’s not a question that many brides-to-be ask themselves, considering the average length of engagement is roughly 15 months. Still, plenty of couples are on the expedited ceremony and reception plan where time is of the absolute essence. We won’t get into why there’s a need for speed because there are just oodles of reasons – suffice it to say, sometimes you need to met all those wedding planning deadlines – from booking a venue to choosing wedding jewelry – sooner rather than later.

For many, the answer is hiring a wedding planner. While hiring a pro to plan a wedding can be a big expense, it doesn’t have to be and in cases where time is of the essence, it can end up saving the couple money (not to mention time) in the long run. That’s because a planner will have the inside track on services and professionals who have openings on the wedding date in question. Some vendors will charge a premium for a wedding that’s a mere month or two away, while most will simply be unavailable. Planners have the glorious ability to find those who aren’t booked and get a good deal.

wedding planning quickly

But let’s say a planner just isn’t in your budget… what then? Then you need to figure out a timeline that will help you realize your dream wedding without freaking out. Step one is still going to be figuring out your budget and whether the number is huge or tiny, it’s an important one. Step two? Finding a venue and reserving it ASAP. Preferably one that can be used as both the ceremony and reception spaces and will come decorated. Then you need to book your priority vendors. Realize that you may not get your first choice pros on your schedule.

These are the three most important things you’ll need to do when planning a wedding fast! Everything else, from choosing a wedding dress (like the Sandals wedding dress in the pic) to buying your wedding jewelry to picking your bridesmaids can be done in a more relaxed way without gumming up the works. Which isn’t to say you can drag your heels, but once you have the big three under control your wedding is pretty much in the bag whether it’s in six weeks or six months.

Just remember that when you’re rushing it, you’re probably going to have to make sacrifices. Maybe that will mean having a Sunday afternoon wedding instead of a Saturday evening affair. Your dream of walking down the aisle in a designer dress may not be realized. And second choices may have to become your top choices. The payoff is that you get to have your wedding when you want to or need to – and you miss out on months of wedding planning stress. That’s what we call winning!

 
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Outdoor Wedding Tips for the Fabulous Bride

Outdoor weddings are a recipe for chaos, right? Not necessarily! All it takes is a little wedding pre-planning on your part to make an outdoor wedding run every bit as smoothly as an indoor wedding. Here are a few tips that have helped those of us who decided to say “I do” and party down under the sky keep it together on the big day.

  • Think comfort, whether you’re choosing bridal shoes or guest amenities. Will there be easy access to bathrooms? How about shade if the weather will be on the hot side? Portable heaters can keep guests comfy in the fall. And don’t make guests wait around outside between the ceremony and reception unless you’re planning to have a well-stocked cocktail hour.
  • Have a backup plan. Rain happens, even in areas that are usually bone dry. Make sure there will be an alternate indoor location available or a tent at the ready in case of showers – or threatening grey skies.
  • Think in terms of unfussy style when you’re choosing a wedding dress and wedding jewelry. An elaborate pearl bridal comb paired with a simple sheath dress can look every bit as elegant as a wedding day look with more embellishment, but you’ll feel more comfortable out of doors.
  • As beautiful as Mother Nature’s creation is, most outdoor wedding venues can use a little sprucing up. Check sites like Pinterest for amazing wedding decor inspiration that will help you improve on nature. We love outdoor chandeliers, arches, and bunting, but there are literally thousands of ways to decorate outside.
  • Are the right permits in place? If you’re planning to say your vows in a park or on the beach, you may need to apply for permission from your city and play a small fee. Even if you feel sure that you won’t need a permit, we suggest taking a minute to call City Hall for complete instructions on how to have a legal wedding in a public space.
  • Make a list and check it twice. While couples like to think of outdoor weddings as casual and easy, they can also mean having to coordinate more of the details yourself. Like trashcans. Tables and chairs. A dance floor rental. Make sure you know what you’re getting into before deciding to get hitched outdoors, then double check to make sure you understand exactly what you need.

Are you planning an outdoor wedding?
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Yes, We Have Beach Wedding Dresses!

write considering it’s now March. It would seem that December was just biding its time until February was over. In other words, we’re in the thick of an unexpected cold snap. And when things get cold, our thoughts tend to turn to all things warm. Like beach weddings. Putting flowers in our hair. And the kind of crystal bridal accessories that pick up just enough of the sunlight to outsparkle the ocean.

But what we want to talk about today is the dresses. Beach wedding dresses are some of our favorites because they’re pretty, unfussy, and easy to wear. There’s no reason to sacrifice sophistication because you’re getting married in the sand. Beach wedding dresses can take you from seaside vows to beachside reception without missing a beat. Of course, we only stock the ones we think make brides look amazing on the beach and off, and so we thought it would be fun to share some of our very favorites.


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