5 Dark Cocktails for Your Shadow Season Wedding



Calling all witchy, magical, weird, offbeat, cool couples planning an alternative wedding!

We're moving into shadow season, which means the days get shorter and the nights get longer. Halloween will be here before you know it (yes!) and we'll all slip into the warm glow of autumn afternoons and crisp, inky-skied evenings.

This got me thinking. There are loads of articles outlining recipes for wedding signature cocktails. Some are bright and fruity, some are spiced and warm, and they all look and sound amazing.

But what about the brides and grooms who want a signature cocktail that's a bit on the darker side? What if bright and fruity just won't cut it for your fall or winter wedding? Or even your summer wedding, for that matter?

Since we are moving into shadow season, I think it's the perfect time to present you with some dark cocktail options.

The Witch's Heart (by The Flavor Bender)

What does a witch's heart taste like? Apple brandy and blackberry liqueur, of course.

Get the recipe here.



Black Cherry Bourbon Cola Smash (by Supergolden Bakes) 

The name might sound like a video game character's tag line, but this sweet mix takes your cherry cola game to a whole new level.

Get the recipe here.



Black Magic (by Elle Talk) 

It's black and sparkly and tastes like lime (surprise!). So yeah, it's perfect.

Get the recipe here.


Witches Brew (by Sprinkles and Sprouts) 

What's brewing in your cauldron? A mix of lime juice, vodka, and raspberry liqueur.

Get the recipe here.


The Raven (by The Jewels of New York) 

With this dark signature cocktail, your midnight will be anything but dreary.

Get the recipe here.

Dreamy Mason Jar Wedding Invites and So Much More from Basic Invite


This is a sponsored post by Basic Invite.

When it comes to wedding planning, couples may come up against a lot of unknowns and questions. Things like:

What traditions do we include?
Is ___ totally necessary?
Who gets invited?

But one thing everyone knows for sure is that there must be a wedding invitation. Whether they're printed or digital, something needs to go out - otherwise, how will anyone know that you're actually having a wedding?

I happen to think printed wedding invitations are the way to go. They're more personal, they give your invitees something to hold, and they give you something to put into your wedding album. Basically, they're little pieces of art that are both beautiful and practical.

Like these mason jar wedding invites that are reminiscent of a summer night - all blue-black skies and fireflies. 

Basic Invite offers this cozy rustic design and so many more, which makes it easy to say they are anything but basic! In fact, you can customize nearly everything, from the color of the lantern strings to the feel of the paper (shimmer finish, luxe velvet!). 

But that's not all. Basic Invite offers everything you could possibly need to create the invites best suited for your wedding, as well as free wedding websites so you can make sure your guests get all the info they need related to your big day.


With Basic Invite, you get:

Free Wedding Websites - Their all-new wedding websites are completely customizable just like their wedding invitations! These wedding websites are mobile friendly and super easy to use. You can instantly upload all of your wedding details along with images and a map with directions, which is super convenient for your guests. Choose from 180 custom colors and even choose a design to match your wedding invitation suite.

Almost Unlimited Colors - Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows you almost unlimited color options with instant previews online. Once you select a design, you can change the color of each element on the card to over 180 different color options. So, you can make sure the card is exactly how you want it - down to the littlest detail. 

Custom Samples - Basic Invite allows you the ability to order a printed sample of your actual invitation so you can see exactly how it will print, as well as the paper quality before you ever have to place the final order.

Over 40 Different Colors of Envelopes - Choose from over 40 different colors so that you can make your invitation stand out even before it's opened. All of their envelopes are peel and seal so the envelopes can be quickly and securely closed.

Over 800 Wedding Invitation Sets - Each of their wedding invitations is part of a set. You can find everything from save the dates to wedding invitations and enclosure cards, wedding menus, wedding programs and even matching thank you cards.

Free Address Collection Service - Use the free address collection service to request your addresses with just three simple steps. Share a link, collect addresses, and get free envelope printing.

What are you waiting for? Click on over to Basic Invite, create your invitations, and check that wedding planning to-do off your list.


The First Time Bridesmaid's Guide to Hosting a Hen Party



Throwing a hen party, also known as the bachelorette bash, is a bit nerve-wracking--especially if it's your first time serving as a bridesmaid or maid of honor. There are so many details to keep together, and you have to plan each aspect carefully. 

Above all else, you're responsible for giving the bride a night she'll never forget. 

Fear thee not, fair bridesmaid. Take a deep breath, sip some champagne, and read our guide to hosting your first Hen Party.

Work Out the Budget and a Cushion

Hen parties fall to pieces the moment that money becomes an issue. Planning carefully eliminates the problem before it rears its ugly head. 

Once you know what the bride wants and what's reasonable for everyone, you can put together an itinerary. From there, estimate the costs for each member of the bridal party. During this stage, you should also discreetly ask the other women what they can afford to contribute. That allows you to estimate a total from the beginning. 

Don’t forget to include a small cushion for extra goodies or unexpected circumstances.

Book the Venues Early

The bride has her heart set on mimosas at the most popular brunch spot in town, or maybe she dreams of being in the VIP section of her favorite nightclub. Whether you're just booking space at a bar or if you have to work on restaurant reservations and a pub crawl, reserve the space as soon as you know where you're going. 

While you're at it, ask about group rates and gratuities. Not only should you save where you can, but you want to make sure that you leave room to tip the people who help to keep the night running smoothly.

Order Gear for the Girls

You want everyone who sees you to know that you're in the middle of a hen party, right? The bride and her bridesmaids need gear that fits with the theme. For some bridal parties, that means tiaras all around to complement a princess persona. 

Need something a bit more chic and stylish? Announce your sisterhood and the celebration in matching Bride Tribe tanks with just the right amount of bling. For the bold bride who loves attention, sashes should do the trick.

Photo by Amy Shamblen on Unsplash
Reserve the Transportation

At any event or venue that serves alcohol, the bridal party needs a designated driver. You can factor in practical transportation during the financial part of your planning. 

Research party bus services and limos in the area that will fit your group comfortably. Most of them aren't outlandish, particularly when everyone pitches in for the cost. 

Just remember that you have to tip the driver whose job it is to get your group from place to place safely and soberly.

Splurge on Hen Night Gift Bags

The whole group should have souvenirs to remember the night, as well. Usually, the bridal party pools together to buy the bride a gift, while the bridesmaids receive goodie bags or unique gifts. Lots of brides enjoy being included in that tradition, too. 

You can put together a collection of treats, such as face masks, alcohol nips, or risqué party favors. Then again, you can also opt for a practical gift that everyone can use after the party, too. Personalized pint glasses or shot glasses are on-point for parties that involve a pub crawl.  


Plan for Games and Prizes

Icebreaker games at the beginning of the festivities will engage everyone so that you can all get to know each other better. It's also customary to play games that rely on everyone's history with the bride, as well as the history of her relationship with the groom. 

You can buy a drink for the winner of each game or collect little prizes to give out at the end of every round. It doesn't have to be expensive, but the gifts should be on theme. Consider risqué candy or cute items that memorialize the night.

Micromanage Just a Little

Embrace your tendencies to manage the event in terms of directing the flow of the night. You need to get from place to place in a timely fashion. At the very least, try to keep the group together, entertained, and happy.

Use your imagination and communicate with the bridal party at all points along the way. Do that, and you'll throw an excellent hen night for the bride. Your hen night will be the stuff of legends. Brides and bridesmaids will chase the thrill of it for years to come.


Author Bio:

Katie McDaniel is a writer and content strategist. She specializes in writing about the latest in wedding and promotional marketing trends.

Top Honeymoon Lingerie Must Haves

Photo by Sweet Ice Cream Photography on Unsplash

When it comes to celebrating wedded bliss, it all comes down to the bridal trousseau, a collection of goodies that makes a bride feel luxurious and pampered. Starting with vintage-inspired luggage, fill it with new makeup and toiletries, stylish stationery for thank-you notes, and most importantly, a selection of luxe lingerie. 

Lace Gartered Chemise

Not only are garters the ultimate symbol of sex appeal, but they also create a sleek silhouette by highlighting sexy legs. Pair it with the body-shaping cut of the chemise, which helps smooth and sculpt your figure. To highlight a sun-kissed glow, look for pieces made with white lace, a romantic and feminine style that effortlessly takes you from the altar to the bedroom. Wear the chemise with a strapless sweetheart neckline and make it a 2-in-1 statement piece that fits flawlessly under a sleeveless bridal gown.

Silk Robe and Panty Set

Not all honeymoon lingerie needs to be intricate and complicated like garters, teddy negligees and the like. Take your honeymoon lounging to the next level of comfort and luxury with a sheer silk robe and matching panties. For lots of mix and match potential, choose a robe in white, which can be worn with other negligees in a layered bedroom ensemble. To complete the look, say ‘I do’ to a pair of feather accented kitten heels, which can also be worn with other lingerie outfits.



Lace Teddy

A one-piece negligee, the teddy can be worn in a variety of ways, including the ultra-trendy style that highlights all your sexy curves with strappy edging from head to toe. For an extra boost of come-hither sex appeal, look for lace teddies with a halter neckline, a cut that accents bare shoulders while providing extra lift and support of the bust. The halter style is an essential piece for every intimate apparel drawer because it flatters any body type – it minimizes large breasts while creating an illusion of volume for petite figures.

Babydoll

There’s a reason the babydoll is considered a lingerie classic with enduring style. It’s the ultimate marriage of sexiness and comfort thanks to a flouncy, natural waistline that provides coverage of the waist and hips. To keep in line with the wedding tradition, look for styles made with sheer white chiffon for a dreamy effect that beautifully showcases a matching panty or G-string.

Lingerie Gown

For an ultra glam look from top to bottom, the floor-sweeping lingerie gown gives your bedroom style a dramatic effect while giving you full coverage of your figure. Look for silk gowns in monochromatic shades of white, beige, or light pastels, the colors of dreamy elegance and classic romance. The mermaid cut outlines a sexy hourglass silhouette with its sleek, body-shaping bodice and a subtle yet voluminous ruffle along the hemline.

The floor length lingerie gown can also be worn over your favorite skin-tight négligée for a sweet confection of delicious and velvety layers. The more lingerie to take off, the greater the anticipation and excitement – a classic formula for old-fashioned seduction.

 
Bra and Panty Set

Matching bra and panties make up the building blocks of every lingerie wardrobe, and honeymoon lingerie is no exception. The bra and panty set gives you a polished and put together look that takes you from everyday casual to bedroom sexiness. Show off a bare torso with white or beige panties in satin or lace, which can be worn alone or under your honeymoon wardrobe.



Lace Corset

With its multi-purpose ability to conceal as it reveals, lace remains a classic fabric for luxury lingerie. Its delicate floral patterns also impart a romantic and feminine vibe to intimate apparel, including the lace corset, a classic lingerie piece with retro sex appeal. Whether you wear it underneath your wedding gown or as a stand-alone statement piece for the boudoir, make the outfit complete with irresistibly sexy garters and a matching panty, the trifecta of vintage luxe.

Corset Dress

While much of your honeymoon will most likely be spent in between the sheets, a special evening out gives you the chance to flaunt your true love in public while enjoying a gourmet meal together. Make it an elegant and sophisticated affair with the corset dress, which incorporates acrylic boning into the bodice to accentuate an hourglass figure with its body-sculpting profile. A classic statement piece on the red carpet, the exposed underwire also lifts and supports your breasts while giving you an edgy underwear-as-outerwear look. In contrast to the skintight cut of the bodice, the luscious ruffle skirt offers coverage of the hips with a fun and flirty sense of movement.

The beauty of honeymoon lingerie is the versatility - you’ll be able to wear these mix and match pieces long after you walk down the aisle.

What Does it Mean to Have Cold Feet?

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash
What Exactly is Cold Feet?
Just what exactly is cold feet? The term can refer to a psychological reaction as well as a physical reaction related to health. Cold feet in the physical sense may be a reaction to cold outdoor or indoor temperatures as well as be the result of other health-related causes. The meaning of the psychological reference is worth looking at in regards to marriage.

"Cold Feet" - The Saying
"You have a case of cold feet," someone says to you after you have backed out of an agreement, such as a purchase of a vehicle or of marriage on the wedding day. It means loss of nerve and withdrawal of confidence in your choices. This is used often in urban slang and is used to describe those about to be married who are filled with doubt.

Cold Feet - Before the Wedding
Doubts about getting married are common; an article by Benedict Carey in the New York Times, discusses the research that found that those who think they might be making a mistake are more likely to eventually divorce.

As the wedding day approaches, those with doubts tend to dismiss these fears as just pre-wedding jitters. In fact, warning signs can be ignored in the hustle and bustle of preparing for the wedding. It can be hard to pull out of the arranged event, when the venue is booked, invitations ordered, caterer chosen, band invited, and everything else that goes along with a big wedding.

Photo by Petr Ovralov on Unsplash
What Does It Really Mean?
The nagging feeling that something isn't quite right and that a mistake is being made is part of cold feet. It might be a voice within that keeps yelling, "Stop Now!" or any other words that tell you to end it.

One can ignore that voice because it is just too embarrassing to stop the wedding planning. Losing the deposit and other financial woes are just part of cancelling a wedding. Losing the good will of friends and relatives can be a strong reason to not stop something that seems to be a mistake.

Lost Loves
If you really love someone else, and that is giving doubt, is just one reason to have cold feet. A more difficult reason to deal with is that you are having doubts about the whole thing. One uncommon phenomenon found to occur the night before the wedding day is that one of the partners has sex with an old lost lover as a goodbye to them; the next day they walk down the aisle with their new love.

People questioned about this reaction mentioned that as they were marrying their present love, they wished that it was the former lost love instead. Yet they go ahead with the marriage, and years later, when the lost love contacts them again, they leave their marriage and go back to their former lover.

An article in Psychology Today discusses the cold feet syndrome at length. It is a serious problem when doubts arise before a wedding and are buried beneath a flurry of activity. Feelings should be taken into account and in time, they will surface again. Maybe it is not so bad to have cold feet, in this case.

About the Author

Kayla Clough is the email specialist at OurStart . Kayla is a recent graduate of Eastern University in PA where she majored in Marketing and Human Resources. Kayla loves all things fashion, her golden retriever Max, and coffee. When she is not working, you can find her binge watching Sex in the City and baking her latest find on Pinterest.

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Destination Wedding Essentials: Packing Checklist

Photo by Mikayla Herrick on Unsplash

If planning a local wedding is a challenging hobby, planning a destination wedding is a full time job. Luckily, it does come with benefits!

Whether you're reciting your vows in a charming chapel on Malta island or jet setting to a rustic Tuscan vineyard, there are some absolute essentials you'll need to put in your luggage. I'm not talking the stuff that's forefront in your mind, like your wedding gown and rings. Although those things are definitely important, there is a whole host of other important items that you might overlook, and overlooking them could wreak havoc on your dream day.

So let's take a look at what these destination wedding essentials are. Ideally, all of these should be in your carry-on luggage.

Destination Wedding Packing Essentials:


  • Passports
  • Copy of birth certificates 
  • Visas, if necessary
  • Plane tickets
  • Itinerary
  • Boarding passes
  • Credit cards/cash
  • Marriage license
  • Vendor contact info
  • Copies of vendor/venue contracts
  • Proof of down payments to vendors/venue
  • Receipts for gifts to show customs
  • Copies of vaccinations/prescriptions
  • Trip insurance, if applicable
  • Contact info for closest home country embassy
  • Marriage certificate if you have already had your legal ceremony



Other Important Destination Wedding Reminders:


  • Leave a copy of your passport and birth certificate with someone at home (not traveling to the destination wedding).
  • Let your bank know that you will be travelling so they won't place a hold on your credit/debit cards.
  • If you're thinking of using traveler's checks, make sure your destination country is able to approve and use them.
  • Pack your items in airport-approved luggage.


Steps to a Perfect Bridal Smile

Photo by Autumn Goodman on Unsplash


A bride is perfectly ready to take on any aspect of wedding planning, including herself and her look. Everything from the all-important gown to the veil is planned months in advance. But one thing you most certainly don’t want to happen is to have a bad smile in all of your photos! But what is a good smile, and how can you get one? It’s not at all difficult, if you only follow these tips:
Good dental hygiene

This is a no-brainer. Wedding or not, you should always brush and floss your teeth to make sure you’re getting rid of any food residue and protecting your teeth. If you have any dental health problems, like gum disease or cavities, you should fix that as soon as possible, because nobody wants to spend her wedding day with a toothache. 

Another big part of dental hygiene is a good diet, because processed foods high in sugar are the main cause of tooth decay. I replaced all of my store-bought snacks with fresh fruit to make sure my teeth were in perfect shape for the big day – and it’s a good habit to have in general! If you also want to protect the whiteness of your teeth, then try to avoid foods that stain them, like red wine, coffee and cherries.
The perfect pose

Everyone’s smile is beautiful, as long as it is natural. But if you are taking thousands of photos during the day, it can be hard to maintain a natural smile in all of them. This is why practicing your smile, as well as your posture, will play a big role in how your smile will look in photos. 

Make sure you always straighten your back, elongate your neck, and don’t be afraid to squint your eyes. Forcing your eyes to stay open will only give you an unnatural look and ruin your smile. Practice in front of the mirror to find your best angle and make sure your photographer knows it.

Photo by Wyron A on Unsplash
Braces

I was properly scared right before my wedding and nearly postponed it out of fear that I would either have crooked teeth or visible braces – neither of which was in my bridal beauty plan. Luckily, a Chatswood orthodontist had a solution for anyone in such a situation. 

It was invisible braces that are completely unnoticeable both in photographs and in real life, especially if you get the kind that is bonded to the inner part of your teeth, so you can start working on getting your teeth in shape without fearing how it will look in photos. 

And while you’re there, you can ask them about different procedures for teeth whitening, to make sure your smile is a row of perfectly white pearls.
Makeup on point

A lot of how our teeth look is based on what is surrounding them. Even if you have perfectly bright teeth, they still might look slightly yellow if you compare them to your wedding dress. For your lipstick, opt for a cold-toned lipstick, since warm toned ones can make your teeth appear yellow. 

Make sure you stay clear of any orange shades and lip glosses with too much shine, because the white reflection won’t look good in photos, nor will it look good near your teeth. If you are exaggerating your lip shape with a lip pencil, make sure you don’t go too wild, and still have your lips look natural and proportional.

Most importantly, smile from the heart. It’s going to be a long day, filled with so many emotions, and while you can’t expect to be caught smiling in every single photo, you can definitely make sure you don’t force a fake smile whenever the flash goes off. Just let your emotions shine and you will look stunning.

Article by Diana Smith.

10 Important Questions to Ask Yourself While Planning a Wedding



Planning a wedding is probably one of the biggest (if not the biggest) projects you’ll ever take on in your life. It’s well worth all the trouble, of course. The light at the end of the tunnel is your happily ever after with your significant other. But getting there can be challenging at best and downright painful at worst, especially if you aren’t on top of your planning. It’s important to get all your ducks in a row well before the big day to make it as stress-free as possible. 

Here are 10 questions you should ask yourself.

1. Who’s in the Wedding Party?
First thing's first: who do you want standing up there next to you on the biggest day of your life? For some people, this is obvious. It’s as simple as calling up your siblings or a close friend or two. For others with larger families or friend groups, it can be tricky. At the end of the day, make sure you ask those people who you’re closest to — everyone else will get over any offense by the big day.

2. Who’s on the Guest List?
This might be the most difficult part of wedding planning to navigate, especially if your parents or your fiancé’s parents are heavily involved in the wedding planning. Confer with your fiancé to decide if you’d like to keep it to close friends and family or if you’re comfortable opening it up to your parents’ friends and colleagues. Then present a united front when you discuss the matter with anyone who needs to know.

3. What’s the Budget?
Once you have a rough idea of the guest list, you can think about the budget. You might want to get some quotes from venues and vendors before doing this. If you have only a certain amount of money to spend, then set the budget early and find vendors that can fit within your range — even if it means getting creative.

4. Inside or Outside?
While you’re perusing venues, you’ll realize you have to figure out one key component of your day: should it be inside or outside? If you’re okay dealing with heat, rain or other potential weather snafus and don’t feel that they’ll cause stress on your big day, go for an outdoor wedding. Just make sure your venue has contingency plans in case of bad weather.

5. What’s the Vibe?
Once you choose your venue, that’ll make some decisions for you, especially in terms of aesthetic. But still, you’re in charge of the vibe of your wedding. Do you want modern or rustic? Glam or simple? Classic or totally unique? It’s up to you, just decide with your significant other and stick to it.

Photo by Tom The Photographer on Unsplash

6. Do We Want Free-Verse Vows?
While most people stick with the traditional “I do,” if you and your fiancé are the creative types who don't mind a bit of public speaking, consider writing your own vows. It's romantic and always a crowd pleaser, but more importantly, it's a special thing for the two of you to share during the ceremony.

7. Should We Assign Seats?
If you’re going more casual, you might consider letting your guests seat themselves at the reception. Designing a seating chart that works for everyone can take hours and lots of brainpower. More laid-back settings don’t necessarily require them.

8. Do We Stick with Traditions?
Will you throw the bouquet? Do the garter toss? Have first dances with parents? These are some things you should discuss in advance. You might find that you and your fiancé aren’t really interested in upholding all these old traditions, but do want to pick and choose a few.

9. What Will Our Registry Look Like?
It used to be that you went to the store and scanned everything you wanted in your married home for your registry. But today, you have lots of options. You can ask people to contribute to a fund for your honeymoon or purchase gift cards so that you can make updates to your home. Feel free to think outside the box when it comes to your wedding registry.

10. Should I Hire a Wedding Planner?
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the details of your big day, you have one question left to ask yourself: should you hire a wedding planner? A wedding planner can help alleviate a lot of the stress of your impending nuptials, but also comes at a cost. Weigh the pros and cons and make the right decision for you and your fiancé.

Now that you have the checklist you need to start wedding planning, hit the ground running. Just keep in mind that, at the end of the day, your wedding is about one thing: you and your sweetie devoting your lives to each other. Try not to lose sight of that as you dive into the wedding-planning process.

Kacey Bradley is the lifestyle and travel  blogger  for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic  lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of  style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. 

Along with writing for her blog, she frequently writes for sites like US Travel News, Thought Catalog, Porch, Tripping.com and more!



Follow Kacey on Twitter and subscribe to her blog to keep up with her travels and inspiring posts!

Top Wedding Flower Tips

Top Wedding Flower Tips


A big part of the wedding décor is the beautiful flowers that enrich the setting, the outfit,s and almost every detail of the ceremony. However, you don’t want to leave picking and arranging your flowers for last, because it is not nearly as small of a task as it may seem at first. 

But if you’ve never before planned a big event that required working with a florist, you might be a bit lost in the petals. No worries – here is everything you need to know to make sure your wedding has the floral potential of a Beauty and the Beast movie set.

Set a Budget


Flowers are not cheap, and a big chunk of your overall wedding budget will go towards the floral arrangements. However, there are ways to get the flowers at a more manageable price. For starters, you need to think about strategic placement. You don’t need a huge bouquet on every table and you also don’t need a bunch of flowers decorating the bow on every chair. 

Place one large arrangement somewhere where everyone will see it – like the greeting table or the main table – and fill the rest of the space with smaller arrangements. 

The second thing that determines the cost is the type of flowers you use. We will talk about this more later, but it’s important to understand that flowers vary drastically in prices depending on the season or where you live. Some need to be imported, which might be the most expensive kind out there. Local wild flowers are a great way to decorate a boho, natural wedding, and are usually a cheap option that gives a lot of character.


Choose Your Flowers


If you don’t usually dabble in flowers, then you need to do some research on what you might want. Start looking at inspiration boards, magazines, and visiting floral shops to see what kind of flowers you like. 

Armed with that data, go to a florist or floral stylist whose portfolio you like. Asking around for recommendations, especially if you want something similar to what you’ve seen at another event is a great way to find someone. 

Remember that flowers don’t bloom all year round, and different flowers are available in different seasons. If you have a kind that you are absolutely set on, set the date around that. A great option is beautiful silk flower arrangements that look just like real ones and are going to look exactly the same the day you order them and on your wedding day months down the line. 

Make sure your flowers fit the theme and colors of your wedding. If you are going for a soft, pastel look, then opt for peonies instead of red roses, no matter how much you adore roses. Unless you’re an expert, don’t micromanage the arrangements. You are going to a professional for help for a good reason, and after you’ve picked the main flower, let them create something around that. Make sure you let them know if you or any of your guests have allergies to certain flowers.


Take Advantage of Your Venue


Different venues work well with different flowers. If you are hosting an outdoor wedding, see if there are already planted or potted flowers around. If so, they can be a great alternative to vase bouquets. 

If you have a rustic venue, then you will do well to scatter some wildflower wreaths around the venue, but if you have a glamorous ballroom, then small, round bouquets will be a better option. See if you can hang some flowers from the ceiling, or put some flowers in the cracks in the beams or walls. Every small bud you place will be a detail your guests will notice and appreciate. 

But if your venue follows a very specific theme, then you will want to match that theme with your arrangements. A tropical wedding in a beach-side hut is no place for sophisticated roses. All flowers can look beautiful and you should play around with them until you find something that looks just right.

Make sure you don’t forget to include the most important piece: the bridal bouquet. It can be matched to the rest of the flowers, but it is a better idea to match it to your dress and overall style. You can swap out the bouquet for a flower crown or a basket of flowers, and give a basket to your little flower girl as well. Flowers will make any venue look more romantic, friendly and in unison with nature.

Written by Georgia Selih.

Wedding Rules You Should Actually Follow

Photo by Sabina Ciesielska on Unsplash

I love creative, alternative weddings that really represent the couple. Weddings should be special and individualized. I am sure there are many traditional rules you’d like to toss to keep your wedding true to you. However, there are some rules that shouldn’t be broken!


Set a Budget and Stick to it


Decide on a budget that you’re comfortable with and can afford. Most couples use credit cards to pay for their wedding, but if you need some assistance, try a personal loan. This way you’ll have a specific amount you have to stick to and it’ll be easier to pay monthly payments for budgeting after the wedding.


Take Care of Your Vendors


Vendors work hard to make sure your day is nothing short of amazing. Treat them well! Weddings are long, so be sure to provide them with a free meal and tip appropriately. Professionalism is key. If you’re really pleased with their work, writing a thank you card or leaving a positive review on their site goes a long way.


Be Aware of Your Bridal Party Budget


The average bridesmaid budget is over a thousand dollars! From the dress, shoes, hair, makeup, bridal shower, bachelorette party - weddings are expensive, even for the bridesmaids! It’s important to be conscientious of this this when deciding on your bridesmaid dresses and help cover costs whenever you can. They’re your best friends, after all!


Make it Easy for Your Guests to RSVP


When sending out invites, include postage. If you decide to go the digital route, you need to provide some guidance. Some people might not be as tech-savvy (like grandparents) so include an insert on how to RSVP on the save-the-date cards you mail out. If you have a wedding website, include the instructions there.



Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash


Don’t Compare or Compete with Your Friends’ Weddings


It’s hard not to compare your wedding to thousands of others on Pinterest or maybe even another bride that’s having a wedding close to yours. But just don’t. Your wedding is not a contest. Your wedding will be special in its own way. It just needs to be honest and authentic. Don’t let comparison be the thief of your joy. If you’re still not sure, re-read this.


Do Send Thank You Cards


It’s the right thing to do. For anyone that went above and beyond, for those who gave you a wedding-related gift, etc. A thank you card will be appreciated and make you memorable. Especially if you ever need another photographer, caterer, or DJ for any future events!


Invitations


If you’re unsure of whether to send someone a save-the-date card, know that you’ll have to invite them to the wedding no matter what. Similarly, if you invite someone to a pre-wedding party, shower, or bachelorette party, the right thing to do it also invite them to your big day. This way you’ll avoid hurting someone’s feelings and avoid the unnecessary tension.


Have Fun!


This is the most important rule! The big day is finally here and it’s YOUR day. Dance the night away, drink champagne, eat cake, and take lots of memorable photos with your family and friends. Take it all in and cherish your wedding.


For more tips, check out mistakes not to make at your wedding.