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Savoring Your Engagement

Your significant other popped the question; you laughed and cried, but most importantly said yes! Now, that the engagement rings sitting nicely on your finger…take a deep breath and let’s talk about what you should do in the next hours and days to come.

First, give your parents the honor of hearing the joyous news first. When you do so, be sure to have some champagne popped, ready to start the celebrating. Following that, before you log in to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to update the whole world about your recent relationship status, be sure to call all those important and close to heart in your life first. You will be happy you did!

Now, fast-forwarding a bit. During the first week following your engagement, take the time to get yours ring appraised if it hasn’t yet, as well as, get that bling insured. This may sound a tad unromantic, but nothing’s sweeter than peace of mind.

I know it is tempting to jump directly into planning; however, take some time to soak in the engagement. You deserve it! Once you do dive into the planning process though, we’re here to help you find your perfect wedding dress!

What did you do right after you got engaged? Did you jump into planning or take a step back and enjoy the moment? We want to hear your thoughts!

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Get the Most Out of a Bridal Expo

When the excitement of the engagement begins to fade, brides often find themselves hit with a wave of planning panic. First, take a deep breath and relax. This is the fun part!

Bridal expos are the most convenient way to learn about the countless options you have concerning the big day. However, attending a bridal expo can be extremely overwhelming to an indecisive bride or groom. Well, we’re here to give you a couple tips on attending your first expo.

First things first, do your research and figure out the different bridal expos scheduled in your area. Once you decide on which one will fit into your schedule, register for the show. Oftentimes, shows offer a discount toward the purchase of your ticket if you register early. Next, devise a game plan. Print out a map of vendors and highlight which ones you definitely want to check out.

Furthermore, pack a bag with the essentials. Be sure to bring a camera because after a couple hours, booths will start to blend into one another. Bringing a digital camera allows you the opportunity to snap pictures of that beautiful floral centerpiece you fell in love with or the wedding cake design that inspired you. Later down the road, you will be glad to have those pictures to reference. Also, make sure you have your calendar with you to schedule meetings, tastings, etc.

Now that you are ready for your first bridal expo, make sure you wear comfortable clothes and shoes because you’re going to be doing a lot of walking. So, even though you may feel overwhelmed, stay calm. We’re here to make you wedding planning even easier. Whether you’re having a small intimate wedding or a large one with everyone you know, your event needs are covered. 

Did we get it right? What do you do at Bridal Expos to make sure you get the most out of it?

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3 Ways to Wow Your Wedding Guests

Planning a wedding involves what seems like a billion decisions. No wonder it can be stressful. If you want your guests to be talking about your wedding for months to come, make sure you incorporate these 3 things that will certainly wow them.

1. Cocktail Hour

Aside from rally guests and get them organized, cocktail hour keeps guests occupied and entertained while endless amounts of pictures are taken of the bridal party. We suggest making this time interactive by setting up a wine tasting that guests can sample at their leisure.

 2. Welcome Goodie Bags

Provide guests with a wedding starter kit the moment they arrive at the reception. This can include: mini-bottles of wine, six-pack of a local microbrew, snacks, chocolate, gum, etc. This way they can dive into the goodies during the reception. Also, be sure to add an individual note.

 3. Dine Around

Invite your guests to enjoy various foods from your favorite local restaurants. Organize food stations featuring pre-selected menu options. Food can range anywhere from sandwiches and fries to pasta and shrimp.

What did you do to wow your guests at your wedding? We want to hear your fun and creative ideas!

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When Planning Your Wedding: Choosing a Wedding Planner

When you hear the term “wedding planner”, most people get the vision of Jennifer Lopez feeding a best man’s speech during the movie, The Wedding Planner. Some people also think a wedding planner is only for the rich and famous. But the truth is, a wedding planner is probably one of the best wedding investments you could make. Here are some reasons to consider why hiring a wedding planner should be at the top of your list…

#1. Everyone deserves a little perfection on their big day. All the organizing and planning can be overwhelming to the average person, but, a wedding planner has done this hundreds of times. Count on their expertise and shortcuts to get things done one time and exactly the way you want them to be.

#2. Find it hard to stick to a budget? No worries – with a wedding planner, budget is key and they are specialists when it comes to keep up with the financial aspects of your wedding. They also know how much things cost and can help you avoid paying too much for certain things.

#3. This YOUR big day – make it an enjoyable experience, not a stressful one. Since it’s their job, a wedding planner has the skills to deal with everything on your behalf. All you have to worry about is taking care of yourself and enjoying your engagement period.

#4. Do you WANT to spend hours finding suppliers and trying to figure out who is trustworthy? Didn’t think so. It’s daunting to know how many suppliers are out there (and how many people it takes to make a wedding a success). Knowing who to trust and who is right for you is one of the hardest tasks of planning a wedding. Once you find a great wedding planner however, the rest is much easier. Also, you don’t have to worry about forgetting to plan or pay for something.

#5. Friends and family making you feel torn with demands? Choose NOT to have to deal with a ton of conflicting opinions from friends and family about how YOUR wedding should be, and hand them over to your wedding planner who will deal with your family’s expectations, show you the available options and can be relied upon to give you expert advice so you make an informed decision.

#6. Are you planning a destination wedding? Forget stressing over how to organize suppliers that you’ve never met or imagine a space you’ve never seen in person. A wedding planner with experience in organizing weddings abroad can get the job done the way you want.

 

Did you recently get married and use a wedding planner? We would love to hear your experience!

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Top Tips for a Summer Wedding

Are you getting married this summer? Don’t worry about the heat because we’ve got you covered with quick summer wedding tips to ensure that your big day will be picture perfect!

1.) Invest In Extra Flowers

Flowers sometimes have a hard time withstanding the heat. Be sure to invest in a few extra boutonnieres and corsages. Keep in mind that you will be wearing these all day so they could get a little beaten down. There will be an extra charge involved, but it will be worth it when you have healthy, vibrant flowers all day and through the night!

2.) Purchase Fans For The Ceremony

Outdoor weddings in the summer months can get brutally hot and uncomfortable for guests. One way to show you care is to provide fans. Ever considered making your ceremony program into a fan? It’s an awesome way to incorporate the two things into one useful item for your guests!

3.) Greet Guests With A Drink

Dehydration is a possibility when guests are outside in the hot weather. Create a fun, refreshing drink for guests to sip on when they arrive. Consider making it a “signature drink” where you make up your own mix and give it a fun name. For example, give out pink lemonade and call it the Blushing Bride. Or hand out tea and call it the Golden Groom.

4.) Keep The Dance Floor Cool

All brides hope that the dance floor is packed all night long. The best way to keep the groove alive is to keep the dance floor cool. Provide fans that aim at the floor and consider providing iced washcloths for guests to cool down with.

5.) Get Rid of Pesky Bugs

Even if you don’t think bugs will be an issue, you will still want to plan for the worst and invest in bug spray. Also, add citronella candles and tiki torches all around the venue. They will add a sense of mood lighting, while also functioning as a repellent for those nasty mosquitos!

 

Are you planning your summer wedding? Let us know if we have left anything important off of the list!

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5 Ways To Include “Something Blue”

We all know the old rhyme – something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. There are so many ways that you can include blue into your special day. Here are a few of our favorites!

1.) Blue Jewelry

A fun way to include blue in your big day is to rock some blue jewelry. It could be something subtle like in your earrings or a bracelet. Or even something more prominent like in a necklace. Whatever you think looks best and goes well with your dress. This is a great way to include blue without being over the top (like wearing a blue dress!).

2.) Blue Bridesmaids Dresses or Blue Suits

Why not make your wedding color blue and put your maids or the men in shades of blue? That’s probably the easiest way to incorporate it into your wedding day.

3.) Blue Nail Polish

Painting your nails blue could also be a fun way to include this old tradition into your wedding. It doesn’t have to be all of your nails; it could just be your pinky or even your toenails to make it more discrete. Then you’re also nicely manicured for the honeymoon right after the wedding!

4.) Blue Garter

Since there are two garters that you wear on your wedding day (one for the groom to toss and one to keep), consider incorporating blue into your toss garter with a simple ribbon or some blue crystals woven in.

5.) Something Sentimental in Blue

We love the idea of including something sentimental in the tradition of “something blue.” Consider getting a small piece of your mother or grandmother’s wedding gown, dying it blue and wrapping it on the handle of your bouquet. Or another trendy idea is to sew your wedding date to the inside of your dress using blue thread.

What did you use for your “something blue” at your wedding? We would love to hear from you!

 

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Stress – Free Wedding Planning

The time in-between saying yes to the proposal and your actual wedding day is supposed to be one of the most exciting times in your life. But planning the big event can be stressful if you have several different people offering opinions on or making requests about the big day. Staying in control of the wedding planning without ruffling feathers may seem impossible, but it can be done! Here is your guide to stress-free wedding planning:

Hire a wedding planner

 Wedding planners can help SO much when it comes to alleviating the stress from wedding planning. From making vendor calls to managing the budget, they can help you focus on the small details and they can take care of all of the big things.

Do your research

 Being well researched before starting the planning process can be a huge help. There are so many choices to be made from vendors to a location for the ceremony and reception to your overall colors and/or theme – knowing what you are looking for upfront and having done your research will help you rule things out and help you make a final decision. Trust us, the front-end heavy work will be worth it when your wedding is PERFECT!

Stay organized

 We can’t stress it enough – be as organized as possible! Keep a binder of wedding ideas, contact information, budget spreadsheet, etc. This will help you keep track when there’s so much to manage.

Limit outside opinions

 When it comes to planning a wedding, everyone thinks they know what is best. Take everything people say with a grain of salt. Definitely hear what they have to say (they may have some good advice!) but remember to trust your own instinct and don’t loose track of your vision.

Last but definitely not least…Remember why you’re doing the planning in the first place!

Planning a wedding can be stressful, but try to just take a step back and enjoy the process!

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Picking Out Your Wedding Songs

Music plays such a huge role in the success of a wedding. Have you ever been to a wedding where the reception is just starting to take off; the bride and groom have cut the cake, they’ve had their first dance, the toasts have been made; and the DJ starts playing and – uh oh – it’s awful and no one is on the dance floor. That is the last thing that you want to happen at your wedding! You want the dance floor to be packed with people and everyone to have a great time!

We’re here to help! Here is a breakdown of all of the major categories for music that you will need to decide on, as well as other parts of your day that you may not have even considered yet!

Ceremony Processional – The processional music is what you walk down the aisle to at your ceremony. You make choose to pick one song for your wedding party and a different song for yourself as the bride, or you can have everyone walk to the same song. It is completely up to you! We recommend something soft and romantic, but pick something that fits your style and the theme of your wedding. Keep in mind if you are having a religious wedding, as some churches are more strict as to what songs you may use.

 Ceremony Recessional – The recessional music is what you walk to when the ceremony is complete. Here, we would recommend something a little more upbeat and joyous sounding. You did, after all, just get married!

 Cocktail Hour – Cocktail hour is traditionally hosted after the ceremony and before the reception. This is the ideal time for guests to get settled in and ready for your reception. It’s also the time for them to mingle, therefore, the music should be soft and in the background. We recommend instrumental music to make sure conversations can be had without any strain to hear.

 Reception Entrance – The reception entrance is a fun thing to choose! Again, here you have the choice to choose an individual song per couple that enters or have everyone walk into the same song. Whatever you choose, be sure that the song is upbeat and fun and, of course, can be danced to.

 First Dance – I am sure you know what the first dance song is, but I do want to stress that this song is SUPER important. It’s the song that defines who you are as a couple. Choose wisely, my friend.

 Father/Daughter and Mother/Groom Dance – These songs can be very special and should be meaningful to your relationship with your mother and your groom with his mother. You can also go traditional with these songs and choose something that speaks to the relationship.

 Reception – Many songs will be played throughout your reception so you might not have an opinion on every song that is played, but you do have the right to talk to your DJ and what songs you want played and what songs you don’t want played. Speak up on this! It’s your big day so be sure it is 100% what YOU want.

We want to hear from you! What songs did you pick to be played during the big moments at your wedding?

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Flowers For Your Summer Wedding

Are you looking for flowers for your summer wedding? Summer is by far the best season for flowers, so you’re in luck if you’re a summer bride!

Ordering flowers that are currently in season is not only the most affordable choice, it’s also the most environmentally friendly option. Flowers that are not in bloom in the summer  (i.e. tulips) must be grown in a greenhouse or shipped from a foreign locale.

There are plenty of beautiful, popular flowers in season for summer that are ideal for weddings! Here are some of our favorites:

Baby’s Breath
Chrysanthemum
Carnation
Calla Lily
Gardenia
Lilac
Iris
Hydrangea
Gerbera
Lily
Daffodil
Alstroemeria
Lisianthus
English Lavender

Of course, there are tons of flowers to choose from, these are just a few of our favorites for summer weddings!

Did you have a summer wedding or are you getting married this summer? What flowers did you use? We would love to see what you chose!

 

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Wedding Thank You Notes

In the age of impersonal emails, texts and “likes” on Facebook, writing a thank you note is making a welcome comeback! Not sure where to start with your wedding thank you notes? Here are a few tips on where to start:

Keep It Brief

Don’t stress about making your thank you note lengthy and drawn out. The great thing is that it is a note – therefore, in itself it’s meant to be short and sweet.

Timing is Important

Don’t wait too long to send out thank you notes. The sooner the better! You want to make sure you remember the details and the sooner you write it the fresher it will be on your mind.

Make It Unique

The most challenging part about writing a good thank you note is making it unique. It can be hard to write a well thought out note when you simply received money. But, there is always a way to spin the verbiage to make it seem personal, even if the gift was not.

Here is an example of a thank you note for a monetary gift:

Dear Aunt Nancy,

 Thank you so much for the generous gift! Tom and I truly appreciate it. We plan to take use the money towards our honeymoon. There was a fun excursion that we wanted to go on and your generous gift will go a long way to helping us do that!

 Sincerely,

Amanda

It Doesn’t Have To Be Fancy

The card itself doesn’t have to be expensive. The most important thing is that you show your gratitude. Writing a heart-felt letter is so much better than any fancy paper.

 

Have you recently had to write thank you notes for your wedding or shower? We would love to hear what tips you have for writing thank you notes!