Wednesday, January 21, 2015

6 Bridal Shower Gifts for a Bohemian Bride

Is your bride-to-be gal pal a free spirit kind of girl with eclectic tastes? Is her bridal shower right around the corner? Have you found her a gift yet? No worries! Here are some gift ideas that any bohemian bride would be truly thankful for.

Bohemian Bride Gift Ideas

1. A handmade woven blanket is an especially practical gift for fall and winter brides, but it's so beautiful that she'll want to display it all year round. Perfect for snuggling at the beach, campsite, or outdoor festival. Free People, $78

2. This soothing spell bath blend is a mix of lavender, rose buds, white willow, eucalyptus, calendula flower, sage, and juniper and can be used as a facial steam or bath enhancer. Free People, $28

3. Salt lamps are said to emit negative ions, which in turn decrease positive ions, or "electronic smog" (tv screens, computer monitors, microwaves, smoke, etc.). Having one is kind of like having your own mini salt mine or a room full of ocean air. It's a natural relaxation aid. Mystic Crystal Imports, $27

4. What bohemian woman doesn't love a dreamcatcher? This one is aptly named "The Bride" and is a perfect addition to the newlywed's bedroom. Studio Yuki, $59

5. If she's the artsy type, she'll love this watercolor print of a girl wearing the quintessential boho accessory - a flower crown! Maybe package it with a crown of her own. Pink Puddle Studio, $13

6. There's no such thing as having too many clutches, especially when they're as cute as this one. It's the perfect size for everyday use or as a tablet carrier. Summerland, $64

Thursday, January 8, 2015

6 Groomsmen Gifts the Guys Will Love

Wedding blogs talk a lot about the bride and bridal party, but what about the guys we love so much? For today's post, the ladies are taking a back seat and we're talking about the men - specifically the groomsmen. What do you gift the dudes that support hubs-to-be and play such an integral part in the wedding? Here are some ideas.

1. Tool Bottle Opener
A cheeky little bottle opener hand-forged to mimic the look and feel of classic tools. Comes in four styles: hammer, pincer, pliers, wrench. Buy the lot and pass them 'round. Poketo, $25 per tool

2. PGS Whiskey Aftershave
Here's an aftershave that has it all: essential oils and willow bark extract to keep skin clear; sea kelp extract and blue-green algae to deliver phytonutrients and sea water minerals to skin; and amber and sea salt for that pine and whiskey scent. Kaufmann Mercantile, $17.95

3. Caricature Beer Mugs
Because who doesn't want a hand-painted caricature of themselves on a beer mug? Crystal Peace Studio, $70 per mug

4. Beer Soap 6 Pack
Here's a 6-pack of beer that won't cause a hangover. Each hand-brewed soap is a mix of essential oils, natural oils, cosmetic clay and rosemary oleoresin (antioxidant), and the fresh scent of freshly brewed lager, ale, stout, and porter. Give each guy an individual soap or a gift box with the whole assortment. Uncommon Goods, $50

5. Marshall's Haute Sauce
I don't know too many guys who don't like a tasty hot sauce. These are extra special, homegrown sauces that are imbued with seasonally harvested vegetables and spices and are both vegetarian and gluten-free. Choose from Smoked Habanero BBQ, Serrano Ginger Lemongrass, Red Chili Lime, or Habanero Carrot Curry. Kaufmann Mercantile, $11.95

6. Himalayan Salt BBQ Plank
A nifty multi-tasking cooking tool that can be chilled to serve cold dishes like sushi and cheese or heated and used as a grill for veggies. Plus, the salt content adds a bit of flavor to whatever is being cooked or served on it. Uncommon Goods, $29.99

Friday, December 19, 2014

Wedding Trends for 2015

It's almost time to wave goodbye to 2014 and welcome the new year with a big lipstick-red smooch. And with that, we also say hello to all the lovely wedding trends popping up like blooming wildflowers. It's never too early to start planning and dreaming up ways to incorporate these ideas.

Calligraphy Invitations
Sarah Gluchacki | Jessica Tierney | Patricia Mumau
Move over bold typography and make way for sweeping romance. The vintage charm of a handwritten letter is making a comeback. Calligraphy prints can be as over-the-top or simple as you want them to be. Add a few lines in a simple font for a more modern look or print the whole invitation in grand lettering for that ink and quill feel.

Organic Bouquets
Jason and Anna Photography via Ruffled | Zephyros Farm & Garden | Amanda K. via Trendy Bride
Think wildflowers, unstructured, straight-from-the-earth bouquets. You can even incorporate other natural elements like wheat, fruits, and herbs. 

Mirelle Carmichael Photography via The Frosted Petticoat | Fly Away Bride | Lavender & Twine via Green Wedding Shoes
Kites as decor, kites as guestbooks, flying kites! If you're tired of giant balloons, consider the humble kite. It's the perfect accessory to a spring wedding, whether used as decoration or actually flown. Plus, they make for great guest favors. 

Flower & Moss Lettering
Emily Steffen Photography via Wedding Chicks | Vintage Shore | Paeony Floral Design
Whether it's flowers and moss or just moss used for lettering, this trend is perfect for a garden wedding or for a couple who wants a more organic look. 

Neon Lights
Rebecca Douglas via Love My Dress | Brilliant Imagery via Little Vegas Wedding | TTM Events
It's not just an 80's thing. Custom signs lit up with bright neon colors really add a pop to drab walls and dark spaces. Use mini neon signs as table centerpieces or light up the walls with some lovey dovey text.

Interactive Food Stations
Rex and Regina via Weddings Illustrated | Clayton Austin via Weddings Illustrated | The Party Dress
Food bars are an unexpected way to delight your guests. 
"No two people are alike, which means that no two palates are alike. Creating food stations or bars gives guests a way to customize your menu choices to their tastes. It's a way to cater to every kind of eater - those who don't like too much sauce or those who prefer a little more garlic. The use of stations will also get guests out of their seats, perfect for mingling and conversing." - Weddings Illustrated
And there are a multitude of options - everything from pancake bars to cocktail mixers to build-your-own pizzas.

Video Booths
The Knot Australia | Huffington Post | FD Weddings
No doubt, photo booths were a huge hit in 2014, but now it's time to shake things up and put a little twist on the old photo. Enter video booths! Have guests record a message instead of signing a guestbook or let them do their own thing in front of the camera. You're sure to collect plenty of laugh-worthy moments.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Monique Lhuillier Spring/Fall 2015 Wedding Dresses

Ballerinas and Bliss - those are the words to describe Monique Lhuillier's spring and fall 2015 wedding dress collections. From the romantic blushing pink gowns in the Bliss collection to the music-box inspired ballerina ball gowns, these dresses are sure to have you swooning.

See these and more at Monique Lhuillier.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

8 Unique Wedding Reception Ideas

Photo by: Lev Kuperman Photography

Let's face it - there are some people you'll send your wedding invitation to who will either a) grumble at having to sit through another boring wedding or b) decide to go for the free food and alcohol. Sure, people should be over the moon about your upcoming day, but the truth is, most people would rather get a root canal than have to pretend to care about what flower arrangements you picked out or the monogrammed thingamajig they'll get as a wedding favor.

They're your friends and they love you, which is why your wedding day should offer them a little something more than the standard fare. I'm not saying make it all about them or spend mega bucks trying to impress your nearest and dearest. Just get a little creative. Add some spice to your wedding as a thank you to friends and family. Here are some ways to throw a fun-filled wedding reception and keep guests smiling.

Photo Booth + Stand Ins
Everyone loves a selfie. Rent a photo booth, make your own, or set up a photo stand in.
Photo by: Katie Stoops

Caricature Drawings
Book a caricature artist and turn guests into a work of art.
via Giant Invitations

Food Trucks
Skip an extensive menu and hire a food truck. Serve up everything from dinner to dessert or have the truck come rolling in later in the evening for a surprise snack fest. Guests will love a popcorn/taco/donut break.
Photo by: Chelsey Boatwright Photography

Could be for the kids or the grownups...because who doesn't love candy falling from the sky?
Photo by: Sherman Chu Photography

Unexpected Entertainment
I'm talking tarot readers, magicians, stand-up comics, and belly dancers. You could even have the dancers teach guests a few moves.
Magician Matt Parro

Interactive Cocktail Hour
Let guests gather 'round for wine and beer tastings with connoisseurs.
Photo by: Nessa K Photography via Grey Likes Weddings

Open Kitchens + Edible Menus
Set up a few "kitchen bars" with their own cuisine themes: Asian, Mexican, Italian, etc. Hire professionals to cook up plates while guests watch and munch. Also, edible chocolate menus!
via Room Forty

Games + Activities
Play a game of I Spy and let guests capture wedding-day memories.
Left: Ash & James Photography | Right: Atypical Type A

Saturday, November 22, 2014

10 Tips for a Successful Bridal Salon Appointment

Photo by: Yolande Marx via Southbound Bride | Dress by Pearl & Ivory

One of the things I hear brides stress over the most is shopping for the wedding dress. Is there enough time to find the perfect one? Will I find the one I want? How does a bridal salon work? No worries, darling! I've got some tips to help you get the most out of your wedding dress shopping experience.

1. Make an appointment.
When you make an appointment with a bridal salon, you get better one-on-one service and won't have to cull the racks yourself. If possible, try booking during the week or early morning on the weekend. Keep in mind that weekend hours are the busiest.

Also, don't overbook yourself. Each appointment lasts between 60 and 90 minutes and if you're hustling from one appointment to the next you'll get frazzled and might not even remember what you tried on.

2. Eat something before you go.
There's no sense in starving yourself so you can "fit" into the dresses. You definitely don't want to pass out and ruin the whole day. Bring a bottle of water, too. The lights can get hot and you'll be making quite a few changes, so stay hydrated.

3. Be on time.
Dress consultants will thank you. Plus, if you have a few appointments to go to in a day, you'll want to keep yourself on time. Feeling rushed will only lead to frustration.

4. Wear proper underthings.
A strapless bra and seamless, nude-colored undies are ideal. And remember that someone will be in the dressing room with you, so if you don't want to flash your helper, wear undies that cover your bum.

5. Wear your hair up.
It'll help you get a clearer view of the gown's neckline.

6. Wear the right size heel.
Wear shoes similar to the ones you'll wear on your wedding day so you can get a feel for where the dress will hit.

7. Have a vision.
Have an idea of what you want your dress to look like. This includes style, shape, attitude, and feel. Bring pictures and think of keywords to use like beachy, romantic, modern.

8. Bring someone whose opinion you respect and trust.
No more than three people. A large group will likely confuse you with too many opinions.

9. Try on different silhouettes.
Keep an open mind and try on each dress the consultant brings you. You never know what you'll fall in love with. And sometimes what looks drab on the hanger can actually look stunning on a bride.

10. Save choosing your dream dress for another day.
Have whoever's with you take photos of you with each dress on (make sure it's okay with the bridal salon first). Look over the photos at the end of the day and think about which dress you like most. If you give yourself time between dress appointments, you're less likely to have buyer's remorse.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Family-Friendly Outdoor Wedding: Amber + Nate

Family-Friendly Outdoor Wedding: Amber and Nate

I think we can all agree that one's wedding day is a special mix of fantasy and reality. On the one hand you have all the things you've been dreaming about for ages: the beautiful dress, the carefully crafted cake, the man of your dreams watching you walk down an aisle of rose petals. And on the other hand you have those things that don't quite go according to plan: a rainy day, a menu mishap, a baby who won't stop screaming at the back of the church.

But that's what makes weddings so special and why I love Amber and Nate's wedding captured by Maggie of Echo Photography at the High Star Ranch in Kamas, Utah. "Amber & Nate have a beautiful 2 year old daughter, Charlie, and she was involved in the whole wedding, including sitting on Amber's train during the wedding ceremony," Maggie said. 

"When I asked Amber if she had any advice for couples planning their wedding she said, 'If you have kids, involve them! I can't imagine how boring my wedding day would have been without her. Allow your actual life to be what people see. My day was chaotic but it was real and full of love and excitement for our new family. I think since we happily embraced it our guests loved it and felt it was us.'"

Photographer: Maggie Herbst, Echo Photography