Wedding Planning Advice
With all the options there are now, choosing a wedding cake can be almost as fraught with indecision as choosing bridesmaids dresses! The right wedding cake designer can create almost everything under the sun, from cakes that look like anything you can imagine to traditional wedding cakes with a twist. Currently hot is the modern wedding cake – which means different things to different people. In general, though, if you’re browsing around Pinterest for modern wedding cakes you’re going to see plenty of sharp angles, solid colors, geometric shapes, thick lines, and contemporary color choices. The designs on modern wedding cakes tend to look more like art than aliment, though one hopes the flavors inside are just as delicious as the exteriors are gorgeous. Here are some examples of what I think of when I’m thinking of modern wedding cakes:
Remember to meet with your wedding cake designer well in advance of the wedding to talk about what kind of cake you’re looking for. It helps to bring pictures, so queue up your wedding cake inspiration board on your phone or tablet before the meeting!
Have a sweet week!
For brides-to-be in the market for a wedding cake topper that’s a little different we are all about the letters! In a world where anything from Matchbox cars to pinecones can become wedding cake toppers, it’s nice to find something that’s both cool and traditional. Enter the monogram, the love note, the wedding date and so on.
We’re seen this called an easy DIY but frankly, we’re not that handy. But Etsy is your bestie when it comes to this type of wedding cake topper.
Personalize it? Oh yes. Love the Mr. and Mrs. (or the Mrs. and Mrs. or Mr. and Mr., natch) because it really sums up the wedding. Provided, of course, you’re planning to share a name.
Not sharing a name? Mr. and Mrs. or the aforementioned variants will suffice. Our favorite thing about this cake topper is how cute it would look on a mantle post-wedding.
Add your wedding date to your cake topper for an even more personal feel.
Letters plus a little something extra – putting a bird on it, in this case. We’re loving the rustic feel in a polished topper that would look great in a garden later on.
How sweet is this? A sweet sentiment on a sweet treat.
Serious sparkle rocks with any message – Mr. and Mrs. or a monogram or a love note to each other. Let your cake topper speak your heart! Read more
Want to spice up your reception table decor while also helping your wedding guests find their seats? Then look no further – these wedding reception table number ideas are cute, fun, and EASY!
Keep it simple with inexpensive picture frames and hand-painted table numbers. Not a crack hand with a paintbrush? Print out whatever you want in your table number frames and then carefully go over that with acrylic paints until you get the look you want. It’s an easy and fairly impressive DIY and no one has to know how simple it really is.
But if you ARE actually a crack hand with a paintbrush, go nuts! There’s nothing saying that your reception table numbers need to be framed. Decoupage them onto cinder blocks, lean them up against your floral arrangements, or hang them from the ceiling. Get creative with your placement – just make sure guests can find their tables.
Want your table numbers to have a more personal touch? Childhood photos of you and your spouse-to-be will dress up frame reception table numbers and give your guests something to bond over. Plus, how cute were you? People should see that!
How cool is this? While it may be just a little more difficult to keep track of ten wedding guestbooks, you have to love the idea of NOT making guests wander off toward a little overly dressed table in the corner to share their well wishes. With the guest book at the table, I’ll bet you get more congratulatory notes from more people who actually take the time to write something more personal than ‘best wishes xoxo’.
And these? These table numbers are just plain cute!
And these are not only glitzy, glamorous, and fun; they’re also a super easy pre-wedding DIY project! Bases and numbers can be found in any craft supply store, as can glitter and some Mod Podge. Make sure they stay pretty (and don’t scatter glitter everywhere) by spritzing them with some spray acrylic before the big day.
Reception table numbers that double as drinkables or the best wedding favor ever? Yes, please. Bonus points if you can find local wines that give your wedding guests a taste of what your neighborhood has to offer. Print your own or look on sites like Etsy for custom wine bottle labels.
Going the rustic route? This wedding reception table number idea has barn wedding written all over it. My favorite part is that you can get everything you need to DIY these numbers at your closest hardware store. And putting them together won’t take a lot of skill so it’s a perfect intro project for brides and grooms who aren’t sure how much they want to take on themselves.
Weddings and flowers go together like love and marriage, chocolate and peanut butter, and all those other cultural icons that get grouped together in the collective consciousness. The association is so ingrained in the minds of most brides- and grooms-to-be that few ever ask themselves what the alternatives are. You can absolutely plan a wedding that involves no fresh flowers whatsoever, but few people end up going that route. It’s hard not to like wedding flowers!
Flowers are attractive because they have to be—fruits, honey, and the next generation of blooms are all products of floral sex appeal. The fact that they smell good doesn’t exactly hurt, either. Humankind figured out the relationship between flowers and fertility pretty early on, and it wasn’t long before blooms came to be associated with bountiful marriages.
Herbs and florals have found their way into rites of all kinds ever since the first human being had the wherewithal to take notice of nature’s beauty, which means that flora has been a customary part of nuptial celebrations for thousands of years.
The very first wedding flowers were more than likely bundles of strong smelling greenstuffs meant to ward off those ever-present evil spirits. In ancient Greece, brides wore crown wreaths made of flowers symbolizing love and fidelity, and herbal garlands were hung to commemorate the union being formed.
Nowadays, very few brides-to-be consider walking down the aisle with a string of garlic in one hand and a bunch of sage in the other, yet the tradition lives on in the form of the bridal bouquet, the boutonnière, pew ends, and centerpieces. Flowers pop up in other places, too.
Brides and grooms who love their moms and grandmas give these honored guests corsages to wear during the ceremony and reception to distinguish them from other guests. Some brides incorporate real or faux blooms into their wedding day hairstyles instead of wedding hair combs or tiaras, though this works best on those lucky ladies who are not prone to picking at their updos. Edible petals like those mentioned in chapter twelve appear on classically elegant cakes, and fresh flowers can even take center stage in ceremony and reception décor.
Whether you lust after lavish bridal bouquets of brilliant red roses or modern earth-tone centerpieces embellished with lots of greenery will have a lot to do with what kind of wedding you’re planning. That said, you’ll want to wait until you know what you and your wedding party will be wearing before choosing wedding flowers—or choosing to forgo them. Bouquets and boutonnières spend a lot of time against a backdrop of dresses and suits so they need to be somewhat complimentary.
Color theory web sites can help you nail down a wedding flower color scheme that isn’t too matchy-matchy. If the bridesmaid dresses are a lovely shade of periwinkle, the periwinkles you love so much are going to get lost in your photographs.
Professional wedding photos are on most couples’ must-have lists, but that doesn’t mean candid snaps from friends and family are equally special. The problem? Tracking them all down after the big day. I got married in the days before the hashtag so after I said my “I dos”, I was emailing guests, going on Flickr and Facebook to track down pics, and begging when necessary. In the end I got lots of the photos my guests took, and it was a good thing, too. My wedding photographer ended up in the hospital on my wedding weekend and the backup he sent? Stunk. I mean, my pics were awful. Thankfully, my loved ones stepped in to fill in the gaps and I was able to make my own wedding album with my favorites.
These days, couples should not have the same issues that could make finding their wedding photos being so much work. Apparently, 55% of all weddings have a hashtag! Does yours? If not, experts say there’s more to picking the perfect wedding hashtag than putting a pound sign in front of your names. A lot of brides and grooms will choose a mashup, a la Brangelina. Make it easy by including your wedding day or year or some defining feature – like #sarabob2015 or #halloweenwedding2016. Just make sure you check your wedding hashtag on Instagram and other sites to be sure it’s original enough that you won’t be wading through other couple’s photos after the big day.
Just whatever you do, make it easy to remember! If it’s too long or weird or complicated, guests aren’t going to us it. And if all else fails, try the Wedding Hashtag Generator!
The best reason to create and share wedding hashtag is that you get to see your wedding from multiple perspectives! Your photographer will be one person in one position but your friends and family may capture moments your photog never sees. For instance, one of my very favorite wedding photos was myself and my husband and our families posing with the photographer in front of us wearing my mother’s hat to block the sun. If I hadn’t chased down everyone’s pics I never would have seen it!
So pick a wedding hashtag, spread it around, and enjoy hundreds more wedding photos than you would have otherwise!
Are you trying to get in shape for your wedding day? Most brides-to-be have at least some fitness oriented items on their wedding to-do lists. Those dresses can be pretty unforgiving, after all! Here are some real-life tips to get you started:
Make Time – If you tell yourself you will exercise when you have time, you will never get to it. Make exercise a part of your routine and put it into your daily schedule. If going to the gym is too much of a hassle, find ways to work out at home. There are lots of aerobics videos on YouTube! Here’s one free workout we love.
Start Slow – Begin with a low-intensity activity such as swimming, biking, or walking. Do this three times a week for 15 minutes. Gradually increase your workout to 30 minutes a day, six days a week, with more strenuous activity. Obviously if you already work out your starting point may be different.
Stretch – Before exercising, jog in place for a few minutes to warm up and then do a short stretch routine. When you complete your exercise routine, make sure you stretch well to prevent stiffness and increase flexibility. Stiff? Yoga can be a workout all on its own.
Drink Water – Drink plenty of water throughout the day and especially before and after exercise. Dehydration can cause dizziness and exhaustion at the very least, and heat stroke at the worst. Water also helps your body recover after workouts.
Use Weights – For muscle definition, consider walking with small hand weights. If you are feeling up to it, begin a weight routine with 5-lb barbells like this one. Give your muscles plenty of rest in between weight workouts. A trainer can help get you started and once you learn the ropes, you can continue on your own.
Don’t Rush – The worst thing you can do is crash diet before your wedding. You won’t feel good and if your body is starving for nutrients, you aren’t going to look that good either. Remember that thin does not necessarily equal beautiful. Think about being your best, healthiest you on your wedding day.
Never forget that your intended loves you the way you are. Of course you want to look amazing in your wedding photographs. And if you’re happy, well nourished, healthy, and fit, you will, no matter what the tag in your dress says.
Note: Beginners should only use weights twice a week. If you have any health concerns, it’s important that you see a doctor before starting an exercise routine.
Now I hate to be confusing. If you follow my posts you know that I’m always saying anything goes, do what you love, wear what you want, etc. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some style mistakes that should be avoided. You can wear what you love and look a bit silly – or worse, look back and realize you don’t really like how you looked on your wedding day. For that reason alone it pays to pay the tiniest bit of attention to some simple style rules.
So what are the bridal jewelry mistakes you might be making without even realizing you’re about to commit a fashion faux pas? Read on!
1. You buy your bridal jewelry before your dress.
I’m not going to say there’s not a single reason to grab jewelry before the gown – a good sale is a good sale, after all – but how can you accessorize your wedding dress if you don’t even have it yet? Even if you’re in love with your necklace, earrings, bracelet and shoes, and headpiece, too, you may end up with an overall bridal ensemble that looks incomplete or mismatched.
2. You’re upstaging the dress.
You find the ultimate wedding gown and now you’re draping it in every bit of crystal and every pearl you can find. That’s wonderful except… your perfect dress is already embellished to the max. My advice – take it down a notch. Think about balance. A beaded, lacy gown with lots of bows and ruffles may call for simpler bridal jewelry than a simple sheath that can be dressed to the nines. But be careful. Sometimes a bold dress demands bold jewelry.
3. You have ignored your skin tone.
You were so careful when wedding dress shopping to differentiate between ivory and cream and diamond white, now you’ve descended upon the pearls with nary a thought to your own coloring. Are you a gold or silver girl in your day to day life? Stick with the tones that work well on you. Gold wedding jewelry may not be as popular as silver but if it looks gorgeous on you, who cares?
4. You’re getting too trendy.
Your wedding day will be over in a few hours; your wedding photos will be there forever. Make sure you still love looking at them years later by thinking timeless. Sure, no piece of clothing or accessory is truly timeless but some trends are more long-lasting than others.
5. Your thinking is limited.
This is a great time to play dress up. You’re shopping – try something new! Maybe you always wear tiny stud earrings. It’s fine if you want to wear them on your big day, too, but why not think outside of your usual repertoire and have some fun. Try on pieces that don’t immediately call to you. It’s like wedding dresses – the one you fall in love with isn’t always the one you thought you’d like!
6. You’re getting too matchy-matchy.
Maybe you have a special accessory you inherited from your grandmother and you’re trying to build your bridal jewelry ensemble around that. Don’t worry about achieving perfect harmony. Your gran’s pendant can be the standout piece that takes center stage. No one is going to notice if its gemstones are champagne while your other accessories are crystal clear. In fact, the difference could make that pendant all the more striking!
7. You’re wearing a veil when you’d rather not.
Yes, it’s traditional but so was capturing brides back in the day. You can wear a tiara, a headband, or nothing at all! The same goes for almost everything else. If you don’t want to wear earrings, don’t. If bracelets make your wrists itch or you can simply never find the right size, why feel obligated to wear one. They’re accessories, for goodness sake. They should be fun. If they aren’t, move on!
How much time have you spent shopping for your bridal jewelry?
One of the least lasting parts of your wedding will be the invitations. While you may hold on to an invite or three for a memory box, chances are your guests will (at best) recycle them and (at worst) throw them in the trash. You can minimize the environmental impact of your wedding invitations by doing the trendy thing and shopping around for eco friendly invitations. The good news is there are now big invite companies and indy artists designing and printing earth-friendly wedding invitations that are every bit as beautiful as the less green options out there.
Here are some examples we love:
It doesn’t get much more conscious than this all of a piece invite from Paper Lapin! It’s a wedding invitation, a map, and its own envelop – printed on recycled paper that was created using only green energy.
Did you know that cork is a sustainable material? I didn’t! Cork Country Cottage creates wedding invitations (and save-the-date cards) out of cork and also wood. The text is laser engraved instead of printed, which makes this way more of a keepsake than your everyday invite.
I am so in love with the invitations designed and printed by A Bird & A Bee!
Eco-friendly, green, natural, and traditional is how Beacon Lane describes their wedding invitations, and how could you not agree? The best part is that the company offers complementary customization on almost every option you can think of.
Simple and unique, the designs on offer at Appleberry Ink are not only earth-friendly and adorable but also affordable. Great news for any bride who wants to respect Mother Earth while keeping to a budget.
Eco friendly letterpress? YES! Bella Figura is an upscale letterpress studio in upstate NY. They use things like tree-free paper, recycled envelope liners, and FSC-certified pocketfolds. Learn more about green printing options here.
This wedding invitation suite comes from K&V Crafts, which has committed to using as many green raw materials as possible in its invites and other stationery. So beautiful for a rustic wedding, and good for the planet to boot!
Seriously, how can you not love these? When in doubt, chose soy-based inks, recycled papers, and consider seed paper – your invitations become flowers. Amazing!
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.
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.
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.
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
There will more than likely be guests coming to your wedding who live hours away. By plane. I’m talking serious travelers, here. People will hustle to your wedding ceremony coping with sleeping off jetlag in an unfamiliar bed. While you, the bride and groom, are not obligated to pay for any of their extra expenses, it’s just simple courtesy to do what you can to make traveling less of a chore for your out of town wedding guests. How can you make your out of town wedding guests’ time in your hometown as comfy as possible? Here are some easy ideas:
* Research hotels in your area and post them on your wedding website. Find two with good reputations and different price ranges and reserve a block of rooms at each. Send the hotel information with your wedding invitations. By reserving the rooms in bulk, everyone on your guess list can score a discounted rate.
* Send out a wedding newsletter early on.You can include travel tips and things to do, of course, but if you’re feeling ambitious take it to the next level with a multi-day schedule of events (e.g., a pre-wedding barbecue or a post-wedding brunch).
* Of course, that means scheduling events. Ask your mom or a friend to host a pre-wedding cocktail meet and mingle for the bridal party and out of town guests.Just don’t go overboard – give out of town wedding guests a chance to relax, too.
* Provide them with rental car information. And if you can afford it, arrange to have a car service pick them up at the airport. It’s a nice way to welcome guests and take one thing off their plate.
* Provide them with transportation to and from the wedding. This is a really nice gesture for your out-of-town guests that don’t know their way around your city or town. It is also good for any elderly guests that might have trouble driving. A mini-bus or van can be rented for the day and you can ask a friend to be the chauffeur.
* Put gift baskets or bags in your out of town wedding guests’ rooms before they arrive.The best welcome bags and baskets are fun and useful. Maps are good, as are toiletries hotels don’t usually provide. Local delicacies, from wine to spice blend or even specialty candy, are always appreciated. Don’t forget to include a thank you!
* Don’t go too crazy, though, unless your budget allows. Most welcome bags for out of town wedding guests are a little treat rather than a big to-do. One way to make simple welcome bags special is to choose cloth totes with your state or some other form of personalization on them.
* Finally, consider inviting out of town wedding guests to the rehearsal dinner. It’s not a necessity but it is nice!
(Images via Be Collective, An Exercise in Frugality, 23Eleven Events, Anne Elizabeth Designs, Lion in the Sun, The Indigo Bunting)