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.


Read more

Brides, Roll with the Punches

The backstory: This couple was posing for their wedding photog when they were photobombed by a random gent. And the bride and groom are still smiling. Maybe even smiling bigger because that one photo has a little more flavor for the weirdness of the moment.

how to have a perfect wedding

Is every wedding misstep or mishap cause for celebration? Of course not. But no wedding is perfect. Not ours, not yours, no bride’s. You can get pretty close to perfect – if you’re lucky. Luck plays so much into it, honestly. Consider the weather.

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-GDDYqGogmGw/T5oG4y9ideI/AAAAAAAAFJc/7VwG8XP6trU/s1600/20110806_andkai_selects_0178.jpg

You can’t do anything about it if you’re planning to say your vows outdoors. Just like you can’t do anything about your mouthy Aunt Edna who says whatever comes into her head, come what may. Some things? You can control. You pick your bridal jewelry. You pick your wedding dress – which isn’t to say that something horrid can’t happen along the way because it can. But you can’t help moments like this one.

Point being, there’s no sense in getting incensed when the inevitable happens and something goes amiss. Bad things happen and as much as you’d like to plan for every wedding day emergency, you can’t. Maybe you open your garment bag and your gorgeous gown has a stain that came from who knows where but it’s there now. Maybe the best man never shows. The caterer delivers a sit down meal for half as many guests as you actually have.

Maybe the dock where you were taking pics sinks out from under your wedding party’s feet.

Or maybe it’s something as simple as a photobomb.

How you react to wedding day disasters big and small may just set the stage for how you react to the kind of everyday disasters every married couple has to deal with. The fridge goes bust. There’s a leak coming from inside a wall. Or you’re arguing about the dishes. Again. Make your wedding day a day where you practice a skill you’ll need for the rest of your life. Bad things happen; it’s how you deal with them that matters, now and for the rest of your marriage!


Read more

Dare to Bare: Galia Lahav Collections 2015 Wedding Dresses

Can you say gorgeous? I know you can! Galia Lahav’s 2015 bridal collection combines just about everything I like – and even some things I don’t like but we know some of our brides like (so everyone wins). There’s drama, grace, and a whole lot of well-placed lace, which is the upcoming season’s darling detail.

galia lahav bridal

Called La Dolce Vita, the 2015 collection was inspired by the open sky, sea, and sand but don’t expect to see these wedding dresses at the next beach wedding you attend. Galia Lahav gowns are evening ready and very, very grown up. See what I mean?

galia-lahav-spring-2015-wedding-dresses-Alora B_1

galia-lahav-bridal-2015-navona-long-sleeve-sheath-wedding-dress-close-up

galia lahav wedding dresses 2015 - detail 2

galia lahav wedding dresses 2015 - 6

galia lahav wedding dresses 2015 - 4

galia lahav wedding dresses 2015 - 1

galia lahav bridal gowns

For those brides-to-be wondering what you wear with one of these gorgeous Galia Lahav gowns, my answer would be not much! Keep your bridal accessories ultra simple and let your wedding dress take the spotlight. Think plain but luxe earrings like our Allure cz wedding earrings or a Swarovski crystal headband.


Read more

Wedding Trend Alert: LACE!

When it comes to bridal accessories one of the easiest mantras to remember is ‘pair like with like.’ And since strapless gowns are giving way to Grace Kelly inspired wedding dresses constructed with lace, lace, and more lace (ed. note: it’s about time) you had better believe that accessory designers are following suit. Lace and delicate bead and crystal patterns that mimic lace can be found on more than just veils – everything from bridal headbands to wedding invitation sets to wedding cake can now justly be described as lacey. Curious? Here are just some of the ways brides are wearing and using lace:
Think rustic means no lace? No way! Check out these amazing burlap and lace pew bows sold by Etsy seller PinkSlipInspiration:

rustic lace bow - ceremony decor wedding

The same goes for wedding invitations, like this one that pairs plain unbleached cardstock and pretty lace from Etsy seller TheWeddingInvitation:

lace wedding invitation

Lace or the look of it can also be found in bridal headpieces like our very own Lacey Couture Pearl Headband:

bridal trends lace - bridal headbands

Don’t forget – there are different kinds of lace! Our Angelic Lace Veil features gorgeous Venice lace:

lace wedding veil

It’s a heavy damask lace that usually features floral and leaf patterns – don’t you just love it?

VB-5016-3T

Would you believe you can even find lace on brides’ feet? These are some of the most beautiful bridal shoes we’ve ever seen:

lace wedding shoes

Not more gorgeous than this lace and jewel encrusted wedding gown, though:

lace wedding dresses

Now about those wedding cakes we mentioned! Lace made out of icing? Yes, please:

lace wedding cake

Of course, you’ll need to find an amazing baker to make a lace wedding cake like this:

lace wedding inspiration

This lace bunting from Etsy seller The GlitteredBarn is simple and lovely and the kind of decor that makes a wonderful keepsake:

lace wedding bunting

The same goes for this lace backdrop for your ceremony and pics:

lace wedding backdrop

Finally, check out this UH-mazing lace bridal bouquet wrap:

lace bridal bouquet wrap

Tell us how you’re using lace in your wedding here!


Read more

Quick Tips for Bringing Your Stylist to Your Destination Wedding

If you’re getting married close to home, you may already have a stylist you’re addicted to – in which case you’re all set. But if you’re having a destination wedding, getting married somewhere you know no one and no one knows your particular beauty peccadilloes. Your choices are this: you can find a wedding stylist near your ceremony locale using online reviews or recommendations from your venue, or you can take your own stylist with you. Shocked at the idea? It might be less expensive than you think if the extra airfare and a hotel stay are in your budget. Maybe a per diem, too.

Let’s say that sounds great! No worrying about working with a stylist who doesn’t know you and your colors. No worrying that a stylist you’ve never met is going to leave you hanging high and dry. Overall, very little worrying. But not NO worrying whatsoever. Here’s what you DO need to worry about when you’re bringing your favorite stylist to your destination wedding:

1. Make sure your venue will have a place set up for your stylist to work. You don’t need grand accommodations – a table and chair in a well-lit area will do just fine.

2. Don’t assume the stylist can do extra people last minute – or at all. Make sure that your stylist knows whether s/he will be doing just your hair and makeup or the hair and makeup of your entire bridal party plus moms, too.

3. Do talk to your stylist before you fly to your destination so they have what they need on hand. All of the pre-wedding stuff you usually do with a stylist should still be on your wedding planning to-do list. First meeting to discuss options. The trial run. Etc.

4. That means you need to have your wedding hair accessories before that trial run. Your wedding planning timeline may be a bit different than most but it’s still up to you to be prepared.

5. Be sweet and invite your stylist to the wedding – I mean give him or her full wedding guest status instead of treating them like a vendor. They’re traveling for you and possibly also changing their schedule for you. Make sure your stylist is comfortable from start to finish.

6. Last but not least, make sure that you have a backup plan. Travel can be unpredictable. What if your stylist’s flight gets canceled or s/he has a family emergency? Call around at your destination to see how you can beautify if the worst happens.

Are you bringing your own stylist to your destination wedding?

Images via: leahandmark.com; wedding-populars.com


Read more

Planning a Wedding You Want (Not a Trendy One)

You love the bridal magazines. You are addicted to Pinterest. You’re practically a wedding planning expert at this point. The only problem. You hate – I mean cannot stand – the latest wedding colors. Next year’s gowns make you yawn. The fun little touches that brides and grooms are just dying over leave you cold. And it’s killing you.

You want to like these things like everyone else planning a wedding in your age group or income bracket or city. But you can’t. What you can do, of course, is push your feelings down and plan what looks like a gorgeous wedding.

But you shouldn’t.

Do that and it won’t be YOUR wedding. 20 or 50 years from now you’re going to look back on your wedding photos and you will fall in love all over again if what you see in those images is you enjoying the things you like. Plan a trendy wedding that makes other people ooh and ahh doing everything right according to the wedding experts and you’re going to be looking at an event that looks like someone else planned it.

If you’re a quirky couple, then be quirky. You may get some flack for dressing up like characters from your favorite anime or saying your vows on horseback dressed like rodeo clowns, but so what? Own it – that’s who you are.

Brides, be yourself – even when you’re planning your wedding. Someday, you’re going to want to remember who you really were!

Images via: The Little Things We Do; tux & tales photography; Tulle & Chantilly Custom Wedding Gowns


Read more

How to Prepare for an Engagement Session

Your engagement session may just be the first time you really feel like a bride. It might not be your wedding day, but it can still be a pretty romantic one! Relaxation is key because if you’re relaxed at your engagement session you can have fun, and if you’re having fun your photos are going to be amazing. Here are more tips for making your engagement session perfect.

Plan ahead: Don’t get a sunburn if it’s summertime. You should be wearing sunscreen every day anyway but if you haven’t been now is the time to start. Do a hair and makeup trial run, and then make sure you’ll have enough time to get ready before your engagement session. Don’t do anything drastic to change your appearance in the month before your session, either. You want to look like your best you.

Pick outfits that make you feel comfortable: Your photographer will be able to offer wardrobe tips based on the season and on the backdrop for your session, but no matter what wear something you can move in. Make sure you have a wardrobe backup plan in case your first choice doesn’t end up looking as nice as you thought it would.

Do something special with your accessories: This is a great time to wear your mother’s or your grandmother’s wedding jewelry if you’re not going to wear it on your wedding day. Or to see how your own wedding jewelry set will look in photos – wearing it now will give you a sneak peek at bride-hood.

Don’t be matchy-matchy: You and your sweetie should coordinate but not wear matching cat sweaters or anything else silly. Think harmony. Unless, that is, you are silly people and cat sweaters are your passion. In that case have fun with it!

Tell your photographer what you have in mind: Go to Pinterest, pin a ton of engagement session photography, and find your style. What do you like… the outdoors? Racing cars? Eating pizza? Make it part of your engagement session.

Bring props: Flowers are good. Balloons are fun and cute, too. Food, for the foodies. Lollipops and ice cream are both (pun intended) sweet. A basketball or hockey sticks for the sports enthusiasts. You get the idea.

Engagement photo sessions are kind of a trendy thing right now for brides and grooms but we think this is a trend that’s going to stick around for a long time. What could be better than a folder full of gorgeous photos of you and your sweetie before you became husband and wife (or wife and wife or husband and husband)?

Images via: Heather Kincaid Photography; Elevate Pictures; Hudson River Photographer; Kristeen Marie Photography


Read more

What You Need to Know About Getting Married in a National Park

Love nature? Then chances are you’ve at the very least considered having your wedding in a national park. What could be easier than having Mother Nature herself taking care of almost everything? National Parks are gorgeous, great to support, and part of our country’s heritage. But getting married in a national park isn’t as simple as driving in and doing the deed. Here are some of the things you need to consider before planning a wedding in a national park:

Not every national park allows weddings. Nearly every national park website will have info about special events – how to get permits and permissions, how many guests can attend, and other rules about who can get married, where and when.

Banff winter wedding

You may need to apply. The protocol for requesting permission for your national park wedding may involve writing a letter of request that promises that you won’t make a big mess or otherwise cause a distraction.

You’ll need to get your marriage license in the state where you’ll be saying your vows, not your home state. Seems obvious but it’s not something every couple thinks about.

http://www.nps.gov/romo/planyourvisit/images/Wedding-rersized.jpg

Your guest list will be limited. Very limited compared to your average wedding. If you have your heart set on getting married in a national park plan on having an intimate ceremony.

That may be okay considering most people don’t live all that near the big national parks. You might very well be planning a destination wedding if you choose one of the big national parks as your ceremony venue.

http://cdn.allrockymountain.com/images/content/5207_15002_Rocky_Mountain_Colorado_Wedding_md.jpg

Walking may be required. The parking facilities at your favorite national park may not be right next to the most beautiful ceremony location, which means you’ll need to be sure your guests (and you) can make the trek.

Like we said, Mother Nature will be your decorator. Unless you’re that billionaire who decked out the redwoods to the nines, don’t expect to bring many decorations. This not only shortens prep and clean-up time, but also ensures you won’t leave anything behind accidentally.

http://ouracadia.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/setting-8.jpg

You can’t count on cans. Trash cans, that is. Plan to take out *everything* you bring in. You also can’t count on facilities. Plan to be dressed and ready – from your bridal shoes to your wedding jewelry – when you arrive.

Have a backup plan. No matter where you’re saying your vows, weather can be unpredictable – take your ceremony to a mountaintop and expect the unexpected. Some parks have things like shelter areas and electrical hookups, some don’t.

Finally, remember that you’ll be using a space that every other American has access to so if there are other folks around you may have some gawkers following along with your vows.

Images via: Cherry Tree Occasions; the National Park Service; All Rocky Mountain


Read more

How to Enjoy Your Wedding as a Pregnant Bride

A bun in the oven doesn’t stop some brides from walking down the aisle, white gown and all. Sometimes a bride is so very surprisingly pregnant that pregnant wedding guests sitting in the pews are wondering how she’s staying on her feet! Our take on mixing up the order of operations of adulthood is this: own it! A bump on the bride just means her entire family gets to attend and that’s cool. This post is for all the brides with buns out there who may be wondering if they’ll actually enjoy the wedding. Well, good news. You can and you will, if you take these tips to heart:

1. Expect some challenges when dress shopping – though not as many as you might have encountered once upon a time. Maternity wedding dress options abound, and if you can’t find the perfect maternity wedding dress there are scores of maternity bridesmaids’ dresses that are available in gorgeous shining white. In either case, don’t feel like you need to camouflage your bump.

2. Consider flats. Even if just for the reception. We know plenty of pregnant fashionistas who never gave up their sky high heels for a second but you never know. If you’re set on heels pack some pretty flats just in case. Because really, you never know. Should you find you feel faint, flats will be a lifesaver.

3. Have a mock ring made or buy something inexpensive from a costume jewelry shop. You should be able to wear your wedding ring forever so don’t size it to fit your pregnant fingers. Not every pregnant woman has swollen digits but just in case you go up a ring size or three, plan to wear a temp. If you’re wearing a bridal choker or any other rings, the same tip applies.

4. Get down with the teetotalers. We’re not going to stop a bride from having a few sips of champagne on her wedding day but many pregnant brides will choose not to indulge. Have an alternative for toasts – like sparkling cider or gourmet soda – and consider having enough to share. You would be surprised by how many people don’t actually care for champagne.

5. Remember, you can’t please everyone. In the US pregnant brides are still a relatively rare sight so don’t be surprised if you get some stares while shopping for your wedding dress or bridal accessories. Just ignore the haters, should you encounter any. Our hope is that judgmental people will keep their yaps shut but you never can tell. Don’t let any old fashioned busybodies – even if they’re related to you – get you down.

And if nothing else, if you’re still feeling nervous about being a pregnant bride, you’re in amazing company. After all, how many famous brides have walked down the aisle in “a delicate condition”!

Images via: The Oslo Times; The Noviamor Blog; Lovemydress.net


Read more