This Hot Wedding Invite Option Doesn’t Have to Be Hard (Or Boring)

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:

eco friendly wedding invitations 2

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.

eco friendly wedding invitations 3

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.

eco friendly wedding invitations 4

I am so in love with the invitations designed and printed by A Bird & A Bee!

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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.

eco friendly wedding invitations 7

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 wedding invitations 8


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.

eco friendly wedding invitations

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!

christa terry author of iDo

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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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2015 Wedding Jewelry Favorites

Last week, I posted some of my absolute favorite 2015 wedding dresses (from some of my fave designers) and this morning I thought let’s talk about some of the bridal jewelry you can wear with a simple wedding gown. Why go simple when elaborate is so often the name of the game in the bridal world? The short answer is because you can accessorize with impunity. Anything goes! So with that in mind, why don’t we go on a little tour of my favorites from our collection…

bridal bracelet - jewerlry for brides

The Addison rhinestone bridal bracelet is relatively simple but has so much sparkle!

bridal bracelets - wedding jewelry crystal gemstones

And I love the crystal swirl cuff – it’s silver plated and positively dripping with hand-cut rhinestones.

bridal headband - wedding accessories gemstone

Only the most dramatic brides need apply when it comes to the Serafina bridal headband. It is so big, so bold, and so beautiful.

bridal headbands gemstones

Another bridal headband? YES! They’re still hot and this elegant side headband is one of the hottest.

crystal bridal jewelry

Pearl bridal jewelry never goes out of style! The Pearl Bliss wedding jewelry set is one you may be able to pass on to a daughter, a niece, or someone else you love!

CZ crystal bridal jewelry - wedding jewelry

The Ravishing bridal jewelry set is set with scores of generous cz gemstones that will catch the light brilliantly – along with everyone’s eyes.

gemstone bridal earrings - wedding jewelry

You can’t miss these stunning bridal earrings and when they’re paired with a simple gown? Heads are going to turn like crazy.

wedding jewelry - bridal jewelry sets gemstone

And finally, with a name like Crystal Fascination how can you possibly go wrong?

What bridal jewelry have you bookmarked? What have you already bought?

christa terry author of iDo

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The Most Gorgeous Simple Wedding Dresses of 2015

What’s better than a blog post featuring one gorgeous gown? How about a post featuring all of my favorite 2015 wedding dresses in one place! I am not kidding when I say you are going to adore these dresses – which are beautiful and simple and perfect for accessorizing excessively. You know, if you’re into that. These are the kinds of wedding dresses that let you go absolutely crazy when it comes to your wedding jewelry and accessories. Ready to fall in love? Okay, let’s do this!

2015 bridal collection of Rosa Clara wedding dress 2

Rosa Clara 2015

2015 bridal collection of Rosa Clara wedding dress

Rosa Clara 2015

Aire Barcelona 2015 Bridal Collection

Aire Barcelona 2015

Amsale Spring 2015 Wedding Dresses

Amsale 2015

Delphine Manivet 2015 Collection

Delphine Manivet 2015

Marchesa Spring 2015 Bridal Collection

Marchesa 2015

Romona Keveza Collection Fall 2015 Wedding Dress

Romona Keveza 2015

Rosa Clara 2015 Bridal Collection 2

Rosa Clara 2015

Rosa Clara 2015 Bridal Collection 3

Rosa Clara 2015

Rosa Clara 2015 Bridal Collection

Rosa Clara 2015


Sarah Seven 2015

Vera Wang 2015 1

Vera Wang 2015

watters wedding dresses

Watters 2015

christa terry author of iDo


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Taking Care of Out-of-Town Wedding Guests

out of town wedding guests - welcome bags 2

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.

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* 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).

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* 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.

wedding maps - wedding welcome baskets

* 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.

out of town wedding guests - welcome bags

* 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.

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* 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)

christa terry author of iDo

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Today We’re Loving Truvelle

rose wedding dress - canadian wedding designers

Love this wedding dress? Us too! Vancouver-based designer Gabrielle Bayona was relatively new to the bridal scene when she created Truvelle in 2013, but her style is certainly established. Her gowns are just perfect for sophisticated yet non-traditional brides who want to feel every bit the princess without looking like one. This particular gown, which goes by the defiantly understated name Julia, is a stunning rose gold sequined number for the bride who will “dance like nobody’s watching, dye her hair a new colour just because she can, and create something out of nothing.” Dazzling? Absolutely. Dazzlingly simple, too!


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Pro Tips: Setting & Managing Your Wedding Budget

Girls, it’s time to set aside the romance for a moment and talk dollars and cents. Unless you’re one of a chosen few for whom the sky is the limit, you are going to need to set a budget for your wedding. I know, I know. Who wants to talk about money when you can be thinking about matrimony? But I speak from experience when I say you’re going to enjoy your wedding (and the subsequent years as someone’s wife) so much more if you aren’t feeling weighed down by debt. A budget wedding can still be a beautiful wedding, and you’re still just as married even if you only spend a hundred bucks.

wedding budget ideas tips DIY planning

So let’s get started. First, you’ve got to determine two very important things:

1. How much money you want to spend on your wedding?
2. Who will be contributing to the wedding and how much?

The traditional rule that said the bride’s family would naturally be paying for the entire wedding is fast becoming history. Today, there is much more sharing of expenses between the bride’s family, the groom’s family and the bride and groom. You may even be paying for your ceremony and reception without any help at all, and more power to you! Many couples are getting married later in life and are well established with their own careers. Sound like you? These brides and grooms are able to pay for more of the expenses. Sometimes they want to pay for the entire wedding from the open bar to the wedding jewelry themselves, just because they can.

And now on to the nitty gritty. A good way to define your budget is to set priorities. What matters to you isn’t necessarily what matters to me or to You need to sit down with your intended to discuss which elements of the wedding are most important to you personally. For instance, is it the reception location, the bridal gown, or the entertainment that is most important to you? How about your spouse-to-be? You should choose 3-4 items that are your top priorities and set the rest of your budget from there. That way you can spend on the things that really matter to you and cut corners on the stuff you don’t care about. Remember, there are literally no wedding must-haves other than the couple, the license, the officiant, and the witnesses. Everything else is negotiable.

Now let’s look at some of the actual costs. Your reception, including the food and beverages, can average 50% – 65% of your total wedding budget. That means the reception location you select and how many guests you invite will have the most impact on your budget. Tread carefully!

Today, the average wedding costs between $12,000 & $25,000. With that in mind here’s a spending guideline based on a $15,000 wedding budget for about 100 – 125 guests:

Category % of Total Avg. Cost
Reception Site, Food & Beverages 50% $7,450
Photography & Videography 13% $2,000
Music 11% $1,600
Apparel 10% $1,500
Flowers 7% $1,000
Invitations 2% $350
Wedding Cake 2% $300
Transportation 2% $300
Miscellaneous 3% $500
Total 100% $15,000

Don’t forget, that’s simply a guideline to help you get started. You can spend your wedding dollars however you like – and you can spend as much or as little as you want. But keep what I said at the beginning in mind. Debt is not a great way to start a life as husband and wife! Good luck!

image via

christa terry author of iDo

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5 Great Organization Tips for Bumble-Headed Brides

That’s not a burn! Believe me – I was as bumble-headed as they come. Gone are the days when most of the wedding planning was done by a mother-of-the-bride who was herself a housewife or a student bride-to-be who could do it all between classes. In the US, the average bride is 27 years old so chances are she has a full-time job and a rich life. Wedding planning is hard to do during your lunch hour unless you’re doing all your planning online or locally. Today, wedding planning requires organization and lots of it. So here are my best organization tips to help you stay on top of all your wedding planning to-dos.

1. Get a notebook and write everything down that has to do with your wedding plans. Phone numbers, decorating tips you’ve heard, wedding vendor information. The bridesmaid jewelry you have your eye on. Your Instagram password. Keep this notebook with you always! Whenever you get a brainstorm or you havea  question to ask a vendor or someone to add to the guest list, write it down immediately. Don’t wait. You will forget.

2. Buy yourself an accordion folder with sections or pick a notebook with file pockets. Label the sections (flowers, church, good wedding planning ideas, bridesmaids dresses, etc.). Then whenever you see a print article about or a picture of something that you love (like a bridal bouquet with evergreens or a bridal veil), tear it out and stuff it into whichever section it belongs.

wedding planning tips organization

3. Buy a wedding planning software program. It can seem like overkill but I swear they are a useful way to track guests and RSVPs, what gifts people have given you, menu selections, table assignments, and more. It also allows you to create a wedding budget and to keep on top of payment schedules. As expenses go, these are cheap. Most range from $35 – $60. Alternately, use a spreadsheet program to do the same thing yourself.

4. Use index cards and a recipe box to file them. This is very simple and a very effective organization technique. Simply write one index card per couple/family or single guest. Include their name, address, and phone number, then include space to mark off if they have RSVP’d for the wedding and/or shower. Write down what gift they gave you for both the shower and wedding and whether or not a thank you note has been sent. You can also include their table assignment for the reception.

5. Keep a Master Wedding To-Do List with all the tasks needed to be completed. Then from your Master List, break down the tasks into weekly or daily wedding planning to-do lists. This will make you more productive by focusing on a few tasks and at the same time reduce some overwhelming feelings by breaking down the larger tasks into smaller, more manageable tasks.

6. Keep a wedding calendar. Like, a paper calendar that you can hang somewhere you will see it every day. Include all of your appointments with vendors and deadlines required by your vendors (i.e., payments due, menu selections, ordering deadlines, etc.). Be sure to include your self-imposed deadlines as well, such as when to have the photographer chosen and when to have invitations ready to mail.

How are you staying organized while you plan your wedding?

christa terry author of iDo

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Ideas You’re Not Going to See at Every Other 2015 Wedding

Looking for wedding planning ideas and bridal accessories that aren’t going to make the trend lists? I feel you! Once a wedding planning idea hits the trend lists chances are everyone and their sister will be using it in their ceremonies and receptions. So here’s what you do – you stay away from the wedding trends lists that are practically ubiquitous. You look at inspiration without an agenda. No theme. No must-haves. You do what you love. And you mix it up with ideas like these:


Botanicals (omg ferns) are going to be a big deal in 2015 but simple tables? When are simple wedding tables ever really trendy? Pillar candles and not much else can make a wedding reception table feel complete.

glitter wedding inspriation

Glitter, glitter, glitter! If you love sparkle, unleash a glitter bomb on your DIY wedding decor and put it on everything. It’s okay – sometimes too much is just enough!


Industrial weddings may be a 2015 trend or not. I have my doubts it’s going to make it much past the pages of the bridal mags so if you love this look you’re probably going to be in the minority.

outdoor wedding blankets

Boring white folding chairs? AS IF. Take your outdoor wedding to the floor with picnic blankets, baskets, and bottles of wine. (Though be kind and put out a few chairs for older guests who might have trouble getting back up once they’re down.) via

photo table runner wedding

How cute is this pictorial table runner I found on Yes, it’s great for an engagement party but why not use it as sweetheart table decor or a way to gussy up your cake table?

smores wedding favors DIY easy

Who loves s’mores? Everyone loves s’mores. For fall and winter weddings, s’mores favors are not to be missed! via

wedding ceremony arrow decor DIY

This glitter – yes, glitter – arrow I found on guides wedding guests to the ceremony spot in the most fabulous way. That’s one way to wow your guests before they even see your gown.

wedding coloring book DIY

If you love this coloring book for the kids at your wedding, just think about how much your littlest guests will adore you for having it ready and waiting on reception tables! Or skip the DIY and just print the ready made coloring book here.

wedding dress pin DIY

Embroidered initials on the lining of your gown is okay – if you plan to keep your dress. If not, DIY a dress charm with symbols that are special to you and your spouse-to-be. After the big day, it’s a keepsake you can actually keep with you.

wedding matches DIY old fashioned

Super traditional and not at all trendy, wedding matches are making a modest comeback as favors your guests will actually use.

wedding video booth guestbook

And finally, the wedding photobooth is super played out but still a big hit because, well, it’s fun! You can take the idea to the next level with a video wedding guestbook that will be fun to watch for years to come.

What are you doing at your wedding that WE won’t be seeing at any of the weddings we attend next year?

christa terry author of iDo

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