Tuesday, September 27, 2016

BRIDES Southern California: The Most Luxurious L.A. Hotels To Spend Your Wedding Night


the london west hollywood
Photo: Courtesy of The London West Hollywood
 
After months of planning for one of the biggest days of your life, it goes by like a flash. So to soak up that newlywed glow, and finish out your big day in a luxurious suite on your wedding night. For Los Angeles brides, we've rounded up the most luxurious hotels for your first night as a married couple.

The London West Hollywood
For the fashion-forward couple, the Vivienne Westwood suite in this centrally-located spot. This is a suite you'll want to get ready in before your ceremony — and then come back to in the wee hours of the night. This grand room has its own private patio that is big enough to have an intimate brunch for friends and family the next day (yes, that big!). If you venture out of your room, The London also boasts one of the best rooftop pool areas in Los Angeles. And last (but definitely not least), because the room is an homage to the British fashion designer herself, everyone who stays in the suite gets a private shopping trip to its nearby namesake boutique on Melrose Ave, as well as a complimentary his and hers gifts. Read real brides' reviews here!

Shutters on the Beach

Is there anything more romantic than waking up to the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean the morning after your wedding day? Book the Pacific View Suite at Shutters in Santa Monica and that's precisely what you'll get. This quintessential beachfront hotel boasts a dedicated catering staff, complete with complimentary transportation using the hotel car (yep, it's a Tesla). If you're up for a little exercise the following day, you and your honey can borrow Budnitz Bicycles beach cruisers and peddle along the California coast — or just take some of the plush cotton towels and plop down in the sand right outside your room. Read real brides' reviews here!

The Culver Hotel
This hidden gem is ideal for any Old Hollywood fans, as this 1924 National Historic Landmark space has had a variety of celeb owners including Charlie Chaplin and John Wayne. Decorated in chic-but-cozy jewel tones, the best suite for newlyweds is 610 (make sure to ask for the champagne and truffles when you arrive). Since Culver City is a relatively central location, the staff will happily set you up with transportation for a morning hike followed by high tea in the Grand Lobby. Read real brides' reviews here!

The Line
If you're looking for more of an urban experience on your wedding night, this Koreatown hotel has great mid-century style and is located in a walkable neighborhood. The room to grab is the Hollywood View Suite — offering floor-to-ceiling windows (where you'll casually be gazing at the iconic Hollywood sign while you sip complimentary champagne from your bed). The hotel staff will also sprinkle your room with rose petals and even serve you breakfast in bed the next day. However, if you're a foodie, this hotel boasts the restaurant Pot, conceptualized by famed chef Roy Choi as well as one of Los Angeles' prettier dining rooms, The Commissary, which is set in a glass greenhouse right next to the pool.

The Hotel Bel Air
If the two of you want a little hideaway, this beautiful spot — tucked away in Bel-Air, one of Los Angeles' most exclusive neighborhoods — is your pick. With 12 acres of rolling gardens, this glamorous hotel houses a Wolfgang Puck restaurant and world-renowned spa by La Prairie. We suggest signing up for the Couple's Retreat Package the morning after your wedding, which includes a 1-hour couples' massage followed by an outdoor hydrotherapy bath — topped off with the hotel's signature outdoor picnic brunch. Read real brides' reviews here!

Couple Gets ‘Big’ Surprise When Tom Hanks Crashes Their Wedding Photos

Life is like a box of chocolates: You never know when Tom Hanks is going to jog into your wedding photos.

Photographer Meg Miller had what can only be described as the ultimate New York City celebrity moment over the weekend when Hanks approached the bride and groom she was photographing in Central Park.

Miller said joggers in the park were mostly staying far away from the shoot, but at one point she put her camera down to let “this guy” pass when he came too close to the couple.

Except the guy didn’t pass. Instead, he approached the newlyweds, Elisabeth and Ryan, “took off his hat, just leaned right into the group and said ‘Hi, I’m Tom Hanks,’” she said.
Meg Miller Photography
According to Miller, he then proceeded to shake hands, kissed the bride’s hand and wished the pair congratulations ― even offering up a few wedding services of his own.

“He asked if they needed a wedding officiant, because he is an ordained minister,” she said with a laugh.

After taking a selfie with the couple, which he posted on his own Instagram, Hanks just “sort of took off running,” Miller said. “Had he just run past us we would have never known it was him.”
Miller told The Huffington Post the experience was pretty much a first for her. While she’s had minor celebrity encounters at other nuptials she’s worked, they were “no Tom Hanks-level celebrity.”

Thanks to a video taken by the couple’s videographer, First Day Films, the unforgettable moment has been immortalized on film, too. Just try not to smile over the bride’s reaction faces.

Nothing like a “Big” surprise on your wedding day, eh? Head to Miller’s site and Instagram to see more of her work. And congrats from us, too, Elisabeth and Ryan! 

Monday, September 26, 2016

6 Ways to Become BFF With Your Partner's Friends

group of friends toasting 

Photo: Getty Images
 
As Irene S. Levine, Ph.D., psychologist, friendship expert, and creator of The Friendship Blog, points out, friends are our chosen family. And just as we'd work to impress and befriend our in-laws, it's just as important to work to buddy up to our partner's pals.

"When your relationship with him becomes serious, you don't want him [or her] to lose meaningful friendships that have helped shape the person you've come to love," she explains. "Those friends will help make your life as a couple more interesting and intellectually stimulating. You'll also be able to count on them for support."

With that in mind, here are six easy ways to become BFF (or pretty darn close) with your partner's friends.

1. Discover their interests.
Levine suggests sleuthing out (or simply asking) what your partner's friends enjoy. "Many of their interests may dovetail with your own," she says, "and that will give you fodder for discussion and create opportunities for you to spend time together." What's more, if you can share an activity together, you'll created a history you can reminisce over late, points out Jane Greer, Ph.D, relationship expert and author of What About Me? Stop Selfishness From Ruining Your Relationship.

2. Take note of their birthdays.
When it comes to their birthdays, do more than leave them a friendly message on Facebook. Go above and beyond, and really make a good impression, by giving each friend a gift on his or her birthday. When you do, says Greer, "they'll feel special to you as well as your partner."
3. Make them feel welcome in your home.
You may not want your partner's buddies over all the time. But when they are there, you do want them to be comfortable. So, "if your partner was single and his friends were accustomed to coming over to hang out without calling, it might entail defining new boundaries that feel comfortable for you and your partner," says Levine. "That way, you'll avoid uncomfortable or awkward visits yet make them feel welcome and comfortable."

4. Give your partner license to have a regular guy's night out.
Just as you need a girl's night out, so does your partner need alone time with his friends. "There will be times when guys want to be together and talk about the old times or pursue activities that would hold little interest for you," says Levine. Your partner and his friends will appreciate you giving them that time without a fight. Plus, there could be something in it for you, too, Levine says. "Your partner may even want to bounce ideas off his friends that will help strengthen his relationship with you," she says.

5. Add them to the invite list.
If you're having a get-together at your home with your BFFs, be sure to add your partner's friends to the guest list, too. "They'll appreciate being a part of your world, and they'll be able to meet your friends and family, if possible, so they get a full picture of your life," explains Greer. Levine says you can extend the invitations to holidays, such as Friendsgiving or even a Christmastime occasion, too. "Shared traditions help strengthen friendships," she says.

6. Nurture friendships with their girlfriends and wives.
Extending your social circle past your partner's friends and onto their significant others means you'll be able to better enjoy group dates and get-togethers. "Yes, it can be complicated to maintain relationships as couples," says Levine. "It requires the meshing of multiple personalities, but these relationships can be especially enriching to couples."

Friday, September 23, 2016

Do We Have to Go to Our Own After-Party?

After-parties are every couple's favorite way to keep the wedding festivities going. After all, who wants to stop celebrating when the lights come up at midnight? But while it sounds like a great idea a few months out, the day of your wedding might be a different story. So can you decide last-minute to skip your own after-party? Our experts weigh in.

Whether you're tired, overwhelmed by the attention, or are feeling a little too tipsy, there's nothing forcing you to attend your own after-party — but that doesn't mean it's canceled! Instead, let someone (your maid of honor or best man, for example) who will be attending know that the guests of honor won't be making an appearance so they can let the rest of your guests know not to expect you. You should also make sure they let the venue manager know you won't be attending, so they know not to try to find you with any questions. Make a point to say goodbye to people as your reception is ending so you can catch any guests you might have missed throughout the night, then head to your room and enjoy a few extra hours of sleep!

Of course, you may want to stop by for just a few minutes to get the after-party going before you head to bed. Grab a water or a club soda from the bar if one more drink just isn't appealing, make the rounds quickly, and then make your exit. Who knows, you may get a second wind!
While you can't force guests to stay all night, even with an open bar, have your wedding party serve as unofficial hosts to welcome guests and make sure everyone is having a blast. And make sure to collect all of those late-night stories during your morning-after brunch!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Handfasting Wedding Ceremony 101: Everything You Need to Know About the Ritual

Unity rituals are a great way to add an extra layer of meaning to your wedding ceremony before exchanging rings and vows. From lighting candles to layering colors of sand, there's a wedding ceremony ritual to fit every couple's style. One of the most popular options is the handfasting ceremony, but what is it exactly? Here's an explanation from our experts.

A handfasting ceremony has its roots in ancient Celtic tradition, symbolizing the binding together of two people (and the origin of the phrase "tying the knot!"). While it is most often included in Wiccan or Pagan ceremonies, today, it has become more mainstream and pops up alongside both religious and secular vows and readings.

During the ceremony, the officiant begins by explaining the ritual and what it means to the couple. This statement often includes the notion of the couple binding their lives together and the union of their hopes and desires. The officiant then invites the couple to join hands, which symbolizes their free will to enter into the marriage. Many opt to cross hands, taking your fiancé's right hand in your right hand and his left hand in your left hand. You could also opt to stand next to one another, joining one of your right hands with the other's left, and have your hands bound that way, around your wrists.
From here, the officiant reads a series of vows as cords are wrapped around the couple's hands. You could opt to use a separate cord for each vow, or twist or braid together a few cords and wrap them as one around your hands. Then, your officiant may make an additional statement about the completion of the binding and the commitment it symbolizes.

After your hands are bound, you can proceed to exchange additional vows, or use your handfasting as the vows you'll exchange and move directly to the ring exchange.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Save-the-Date Etiquette

Pink and white save-the-date design ideas
Photo by Devon Jarvis
 
The ring is on your finger and the planning is underway—time to get your guests in the loop. Your first step: Send a wedding save-the-date card. This pre-invitation officially announces your wedding date and lets guests know that they will, in fact, be invited to the celebration. Here are the answers to your most-asked etiquette questions.

Where to Start

Q. Do we have to send a save-the-date?
As destination weddings and three-day weekend affairs have become more standard, so have save-the-dates. And if you're marrying during high-travel times like a holiday weekend or summer in a beach town, a save-the-date is an expected courtesy. Of course, you don't have to send one if you don't want to, but it will give guests a heads up about your wedding plans. Between travel arrangements and busy schedules, sending a save-the-date will increase guests' chances of attending your celebration. And that's the goal, right?

Q. When do you send them?
As a general rule, it's best to start spreading the news around six months prior to the ceremony (eight months for a faraway destination or holiday weekend). This gives wedding guests plenty of time to book their travel, save a bit of cash and ask for days off from work. Any earlier and they may toss the notice aside. Any later and it might as well be an invitation.
Q. Do we have to send save-the-dates to everyone?
Just to the people that you want to come to your wedding. Even if you've already received verbal confirmations from certain guests, you should still send them a save-the-date ( bridesmaids, siblings and parents). But remember: Only send to those that you definitely want to attend. Once these are in the mail, there's really no turning back.
Q. Which information should we include?
At this point, you may not have all the specifics, and that's okay. The save-the-date should include the couple's names, wedding date (or dates, for a wedding weekend), location (a city is helpful, even if the venue isn't booked yet) and a notice for a formal invitation to follow. Including a wedding website is ideal, but again, not necessary. At this point an RSVP shouldn't be expected—after all, this is the correspondence that gives guests an opportunity to figure out what their RSVP will be when the formal invitation arrives.

Q. Do our save-the-dates have to match our wedding invitations or theme?
Not at all. Save-the-dates are much less formal. This is your opportunity to let your style as a couple really shine, or try out a theme you love but are hesitant to commit to just yet. Play with colors, motifs or fonts to create something that will get guests excited for the occasion.

Sticky Situations

Q. Can we send electronic save-the-dates?
Email invitations for informal events like bachelorette parties and postwedding brunches are becoming more popular, and as a result, rewriting the rules of snail mail etiquette. We stand by old-school stationery for the big stuff like formal invitations, but leave the use of digital up to the discretion of the couple for any additional wedding events. If you do decide on digital, consider doubling up: Send out an electronic save-the-date to everyone, and send paper correspondence to older relatives or friends that may want it as a keepsake.
Q. Do we need to add “and guest," or can that wait for the invitations?
It's best to be clear about who's invited to the wedding, even this far in advance. By including the actual names of every intended guest on the envelope, you're less likely to have any assumed invitees (like your second cousin's new boyfriend), or general confusion (is your seven-year-old niece invited?). Being up front about who's invited also gives families with uninvited kids ample time to plan for child care, and out-of-towners time to figure out hotel room shares.
Q. What if we send save-the-dates and then change the date or location?
This scenario is very unlikely, since no couple should send out formal wedding information before setting the plans in stone—but stranger things have happened. In the event of an unexpected change of plans, your best bet is to update your wedding website, pick up the phone and start spreading the word. You do have the option of sending out another mailing that explains the dilemma—but a personal, verbal notice is the best way to avoid confusion. (If your wedding guest list is a bit overwhelming, enlist the help of your bridal party.)
Q. What about our registry information?
While your guests will likely want to know where you're registered, it's in bad taste to include this information on your save-the-dates or wedding invitations. Gifts, of course, are not required. Guests will know to ask bridal party attendants or your parents for the scoop. You can also include a link to your wedding website (where your registry information should live) on an invite insert.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Creative Gift Ideas for Co-Ed Wedding Showers



  • Blueprint Registry Tips for a Co-ed Wedding Shower
    Photo: Courtesy of Blueprint Registry
     
    Theoretically, wedding gifts are not gender-specific. Wedding registries are supposed to be filled with things the new couple needs to complete their household, hence the traditional presents, like dishes, blenders (and other small kitchen appliances), linens, and cutlery. Gifts for bridal showers, on the other hand, tend to be more feminine as they're for the bride, specifically.
    But lately, traditional bridal showers are being replaced with co-ed wedding showers that include both the bride and groom, as well as a co-ed contingent of guests. Why the shift? Probably because grooms are far more involved in the wedding planning than they have ever been in the past, and they want to be a part of the pre-wedding festivities. And because married couples like to give showers for their engaged-couple friends together.

    Co-ed showers are usually in the evening, and typically have a lot more cocktail-ing than at a bridal shower. And because the focus is on the bride AND the groom, a little more creativity is required when selecting gifts. Instead of going straight off the registry, or handing the couple a gift card, consider being more creative.

    Bar and Entertainment Accessories
    These are always a hit for a co-ed shower. It's an opportunity give brides and grooms higher-end items than they probably wouldn't buy for themselves. I absolutely love the cutting boards, fancy muddlers, and serving trays from The Wooden Palate. Their coasters made from the old Atlantic City Boardwalk are gorgeous. You can personalize barware for the couple, with monograms on glasses and cocktail napkins. Or get even more creative with monogrammed whiskey rocks that display their wedding date from The Ultimate Man Shop.


    Outdoor Activity Kits
    These are the modern take on giving the traditional picnic basket as a gift. Start with a compact, but high-end, cooler that has slots for wine bottles, in addition to room for food and other beverages. Bed, Bath & Beyond has a selection of options for every budget and style. Pockets for utensils and paper products are a plus, and giving the gift stuffed full of things to use makes it twice as nice. If it comes with picnic accessories, fill the empty spaces with wine, crackers, and other non-perishable gourmet items.

    For a couple who likes the beach, a wheeled cart designed to hold their beach chairs, cooler, umbrella, and beach bags is a huge hit. Personalize it with some luxurious monogrammed beach towels from Advantage Bridal, sporting the soon-to-be-married couple's new initials.

    Emergency Preparations
    For the couple who has everything, HIS and HERS "go-bags" or "bug out" bags are a new thing. Everybody is supposed to have a "go-bag" packed and ready to take out the door in case you have to evacuate. Following guidance from a reputable source such as The Survivalist Blog, fill up color-coded backpacks with some of the essentials. Create a checklist of what-all should be in each bag, mark what you've provided, and put the list in a card with a note of explanation so the couple can complete it themselves.

    Monday, September 19, 2016

    10 Things That Shouldn't Happen If Your Relationship Is ROCK SOLID

    young couple fighting
    Photo: Getty Images
     
    You say the two of you are tight. Rock solid. Impossible to tear apart. The two of you are a match made in heaven. An unbeatable team. Whatever the metaphor is for long-term bliss, you believe your relationship is it. The alpha and omega. Kismet.

    And you may be right. There is one way, however, to measure up if your relationship is rock solid, or not. These 10 things will never happen if the two of you are really such an ironclad pair.

    1. Cheating.
    Don't tell us the two of you are a solid pair if there's constant cheating. I'm not just talking about having physical contact with another person; I'm talking about the emotional cheating: Facebook affairs and texting with another person who is not your partner.
    If your partner is "loving" and "liking" every hot photo of every hot chick and completing the sentiment with sexy comments, this is cheating. This is disrespecting you. An ironclad relationship has no part of this nonsense.

    2. Second-guessing.
    Are you always looking at your partner's phone? Second-guessing everything your partner does or having insane suspicions constantly says your relationship is not rocks, but rather, paper.

    3. Name-calling.
    Everyone gets mad at each other, but a tight relationship doesn't get involved in name-calling or nastiness. A great relationship is respectful. Calling someone harsh names is not a sign of respect.


    4. Having identical identities.
    An ironclad, match-made-in-heaven relationship has signs of separation. By separation I mean the two parties have their own unique identities. They get to be who they want to be in the world around them, without the other trying to control how the party is framed or how the party reacts with other people.

    Of course, both parties are respectful and maintain boundaries, but both people in the relationship have identities that are distinct outside of the relationship.

    5. Controlling behavior.
    A solid relationship NEVER involves one party controlling or monitoring the other person in any fashion. Any sign of control or manipulation is a sure sign of a negative relationship, not a solid one.

    6. Walking on eggshells.
    A solid relationship has two people who are able to clearly state how they feel about everything, from each other to politics. These two people never have to be reminded to be respectful with their words, because they just are. But either way, neither party censors the other. Both partners feel as if they can share their feelings with their partner without being shunned or hurt.


    7. Asking for unreasonable accommodations.
    A partner who is close with you and cares for you will never ask you to impossibly alter yourself. For example, an ex of mine ragged on me for being too sensitive. This wasn't something I could easily change. Could I change other things? Sure, but a person who loves you for you isn't going to ask you to alter something that is incredibly unreasonable.

    8. Gaslighting.
    Two people who deeply care and are committed to each other will not gaslight the other partner, making a "loved" partner doubt his or her own sanity or perception. Someone who does this is downright abusive. A loving and solid relationship has no time for this behavior.

    9. Criticizing constantly.
    Yes, a solid relationship is marked by honesty. However, two independent and loving humans don't feel the need to share every single thing with each other, especially if these things may be hurtful. A smart and loving partner will know when the keep his or her lips zipped. It's a sign of love and total devotion.

    10. Relying on power dynamics.
    Every partner has his or her own role in a relationship, but a solid couple will not rely heavily on power dynamics in which one party is completely and emotionally dependent on the other. A solid relationship requires people who know how to shift gears, take turns, and utilize each person's individual strengths to keep the relationship going.

    Friday, September 16, 2016

    Classic Wedding Color Palettes We Love

    Check out the hottest classic wedding color combos that we’re obsessed with right now.


    1. Black + White

      Inspiration for a black and white wedding color palette
      Photo by Clockwise from top left: Jana Williams Photography; onelove photography; Jana Williams Photography; Jana Williams Photography
      Good for: formal winter weddings
      Tips for pulling it off: What's more classic than a timeless wedding color palette of black and white? It may seem intimidating to design, but you can make it your own with the use of different fabrics, textures and décor accents. If you really want to make a statement, wear a black and white gown. For something more subtle, keep an all-white look until the reception, then accessorize with a few pieces of black jewelry.
    2. Peach + Sage

      Wedding color inspiration for a peach and sage palette
      Photo by Clockwise from top left: Audrey Rose Photography; Robert & Kathleen Photographers; Jason+Gina Wedding Photographers; Audrey Rose Photography
      Good for: whimsical spring weddings
      Tips for pulling it off: Looking for a pretty palette that radiates springtime enchantment? Peach and sage it is. These two colors live beautifully together, and they thrive when they're styled in an alfresco reception space. Continue to let spring blooms inspire the details all the way to your favor—a potted plant!

    3. Yellow + Gray

      Yellow and gray summer wedding color combo
      Photo by Clockwise from top left: Roohi Photography; L Photographie; Mandy Paige Photography; Mike Larson Photographer
      Good for: casual outdoor weddings
      Tips for pulling it off: For a bright and inviting party vibe, opt for a cheerful palette of yellow anchored by a dark gray. Let yellow take the lead in all the accent details—think: envelope liners, bouquet wraps, cocktail napkins and even sprinkles! Then add in some gray (or sleek accents of silver) when you need to create depth. With a palette so cheerful, it should be matched with memorable entertainment, like an interactive dessert station or photo booth with quirky props.
    4. Red + Gold

      Red and gold wedding color inspiration
      Photo by Clockwise from top left: Mirelle Carmichael Photography; Our Labor Of Love; Mirelle Carmichael Photography
      Good for: formal summer or fall weddings
      Tips for pulling it off: We love the regal appeal that comes with gold in a color palette, especially when it's paired with red for a bold and modern look. Since red is such an eye-catching hue, you only need touches of it here and there for it to stand out. For example, decorate the tabletop with gold chargers, flatware and napkin rings, then accent with a single red napkin or place card. For your blooms, pair red stems with shades of pink to soften the floral arrangements and create a trendy monochromatic effect.
    5. Jewel Tones (Eggplant + Ruby + Fuchsia)

      Jewel toned wedding color palette
      Photo by Clockwise from top left: onelove photography; Allison Maginn; Jess Barfield Photography; onelove photography; Ron Soliman Photojournalism
      Good for: formal fall weddings
      Tips for pulling it off: Can't decide on just two colors? No problem! Try a range of hues in the same color family. The key is picking colors that are close in saturation. You'll have nearly unlimited options when it comes to florals, and not to mention how thrilled your bridesmaids will be to pick out their own dress color. We love the sultry yet playful vibe created by a range of deep jewel tones.
    6. Coral + Light Blue

      Coral and light blue beach themed wedding inspiration
      Photo by Clockwise from top left: Gabe Aceves Photography; B Hull Photography; Laura Simson Photography; Sweet Tea Photography
      Good for: outdoor summer weddings
      Tips for pulling it off: For a coastal affair, keep things tranquil. A light blue hue will complement any waterside event, and a preppy pop of coral (think: inside of a conch shell) will keep the vibes upbeat and fresh. Incorporate a water element onto your tabletops with floating candles to really round out the aesthetic.
    7. Scarlet + Navy

      Scarlet and navy summer wedding color combo
      Photo by Clockwise from top left: Jacqueline Patton Photography; Brandon Kidd Photography; Brandon Kidd Photography; Broxton Art Photography
      Good for: vibrant summer weddings
      Tips for pulling it off: Keep the look less "America the Beautiful" and more "your wedding is beautiful!" by adjusting the shade of your colors and playing with textured materials. Mismatched colored glassware, embossed charger plates and contemporary flatware make for one stylish reception.
    8. Lavender + Sage

      Organic sage and lavender wedding color palette
      Photo by Clockwise from top left: Artistrie Co.; Joshua Aull Photography; Birds of a Feather; Heather Payne Photography
      Good for: formal spring weddings
      Tips for pulling it off: Soft and sweet, this organic palette is perfect for a sophisticated alfresco reception. Coordinate the wedding party with lavender dresses for the bridesmaids and matching pocket squares or bow ties for the guys. When it comes to the reception, wake up your guests' senses by garnishing each escort card or place setting with sprigs of lavender, or incorporate it into a signature cocktail. For the finishing touch, add layers of lace, tulle or other billowy fabrics to soften tablescapes and add wisps of color.
    9. Peony + Burgundy

      Summer peony and burgundy wedding color combo
      Photo by Clockwise from top left: Brandon Kidd Photography; Brandon Kidd Photography; Meg Ruth Photo; Eli Turner Studios
      Good for: casual late-summer weddings
      Tips for pulling it off: Are you totally inspired by peonies? We don't blame you. Lean on your favorite summer bloom to anchor your wedding color palette and décor. Paired with a dark red and contrasted with plenty of greenery, these flower focal points can go a long way. If you can't spring for a reception full of peonies, incorporate a peony motif into your stationery and signage to keep the theme consistent without splurging on a lot of stems.
    10. Jade + Cerulean

      Seaside destination wedding color palette
      Photo by Clockwise from top left: Jodi Miller Photography; Jodi Miller Photography; Jodi Miller Photography; One Eleven Images
      Good for: destination weddings
      Tips for pulling it off: Planning a nautical bash? Get inspired by a monochromatic palette of chic seaglass blues. Print and texture mixing is encouraged, along with a signature sip and dessert bar that perpetuates the color scheme.
    11. Hunter Green + Orange + Navy

      Hunter green, orange and navy fall wedding color palette
      Photo by Clockwise from top left: onelove photography; onelove photography; Ashley Seawell Photography
      Good for: eclectic fall weddings
      Tips for pulling it off: For something contemporary and totally trendy, go for a colorful palette of green, orange and navy. We love coordinated groomsmen, but for the fashion-forward groom, a dapper two-toned navy suit with black lapels is a sure way to stand out from the crowd. If formal is what you're after, elegant patterned china and colored stemware is a great way to steer the vibe away from boho and toward country club chic.
    12. Purple + Turquoise

      Vineyard wedding color inspiration with turquoise and purple
      Photo by Clockwise from top left: Melissa Jill Photography; Annie Mcelwain; Melissa Jill Photography; Melissa Jill Photography; Allison Maginn
      Good for: modern vineyard weddings
      Tips for pulling it off: Want a color pairing that's equal parts bold and beautiful? A vibrant turquoise and pure purple combo is perfect for the couple who wants to make a statement. Turquoise pairs beautifully with the natural greens in your florals, so amp up the greenery for more of a garden vibe. If glam is what you're going for, incorporate exotic flowers like orchids and add some metallic accents into the mix.
    13. Ballet Slipper Pink + Dove Gray

      Romantic light pink and gray wedding color palette
      Photo by Clockwise from top left: Photo Love; Our Labor Of Love; Shara Jo Photography; Studio Finch Photography
      Good for: romantic backyard weddings
      Tips for pulling it off: These two soft colors act as a neutral base for romantic details. We're talking scenic backdrops, overhead bistro lighting, fabric drapings and lengthy garlands of greenery—and don't forget the flower crowns! The perfect finishing touch? A dramatic exit with sparklers aplenty.
    14. Cornflower Blue + Navy

      Photo by Clockwise from left: Meg Ann Photography; Meg Ann Photography; Marni Rothschild Pictures
      Good for: coastal nautical weddings
      Tips for pulling it off: We love a good seafaring navy, and we love it even more when it's accented with a peppy cornflower blue. Hop on the mismatched dress trend and let your bridesmaids choose which shade looks best on them, while still achieving a coordinated look. Natural blue florals are limited (you could go with white flowers with a blue tint), so lean on white blooms to blend in with the rest of the décor, while placing blue details elsewhere, like tabletop, bar and favors.
    15. Rose + Rose Gold

      Bright summer wedding color palette with rose and rose gold
      Photo by Clockwise from left: Abby Jiu Photography; onelove photography; onelove photography; onelove photography
      Good for: preppy summer weddings
      Tips for pulling it off: Rose gold is having a moment—not only in the jewelry world, but in the décor world too. Metallic blush accents are popping up everywhere from dinner plate designs to welcome signs. Our favorite rose gold moment? The foil on mini champagne splits. It's perfectly coordinated with the color scheme and makes for the cutest favor.

    Thursday, September 15, 2016

    6 Mouth-Watering Menu Ideas for a Late-Summer Wedding



    menu ideas for a summer wedding
    Photo: Jose Villa

    Planning a summer celebration? Celebrate the season's incredible bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables by incorporating them into your wedding reception menu. Here are six of our favorite summer-inspired wedding menu ideas.

    Prosecco & Popsicles (above): Help guests cool off during cocktail hour by adding berry popsicles to glasses of chilled prosecco or champagne.


    menu ideas for a summer wedding
    Photo: Lauren Kinsey

    Shrimp Gazpacho: A chilled soup like tomato gazpacho (added bonus: shrimp!) served in a shot glass is a guaranteed cocktail-hour crowd pleaser.


    menu ideas for a summer wedding
    Photo: Caroline Tran

    Frozen Watermelon Slices: During cocktail hour, have servers pass out slices of frozen watermelon skewered on a stick.


    menu ideas for a summer wedding
    Photo: Rebecca Arthurs

    Caprese Salad: You can't go wrong with a quintessentially summer salad—the caprese, with slices of ripe tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil.

    See More: 35 Modern Wedding Cakes for Chic and Unique Couples


    menu ideas for a summer wedding
    Photo: Julie Mikos Photographer

    Poke & Seaweed Salad: If your guests have a more adventurous palette, serve up small plates of poke (a raw fish salad in Hawaiian cuisine) and seaweed salad.


    menu ideas for a summer wedding
    Photo: Jessica Burke Photography

    Strawberry Shortcake: Nothing screams summer more than strawberry shortcake! We love this version served in individual mason jars.

    Wednesday, September 14, 2016

    5 Things No One Tells You About an Outdoor Wedding

    Having an outdoor wedding may seem like a great way to celebrate your love of nature and put a fresh spin on a traditional wedding. But before you say "I do" and dance the night away underneath the stars, you need to do your research about outdoor weddings — and how to handle the potential issues that may arise. Here are five things no one tells you about outdoor weddings (so that you can be prepared!).

    1. It's going to get hot.
    Whether you decide to have your outdoor wedding in the middle of winter or you rent a tent to protect you from the summer heat wave, it's going to get hot. When people are spending the night close to one another — let alone breaking it down on the dance floor, body temperatures will be hotter than usual. Be sure to give guests fans if possible, and also consider having an indoor spot or lounge tent they can take a breather in if they need some refreshing between dances.

    2. Bugs are a given.

    Outdoor weddings mean that your number one wedding crasher may be uninvited bugs. As a precautionary measure, be sure to have cans of bug spray available — and even chat with the outdoor venue to see if they can spray the property beforehand. Another great way to avoid bugs is to purchase fans, which can be turned on to blow air throughout the space, helping to keep the airflow moving throughout the night.

    3. You may have more wedding crashers than normal.
    Since you're doing your wedding outdoors, blocking off the property from the general public may be difficult. This is especially true if the wedidng is taking place at a public beach or park. There are a few options when it comes to this conundrum: Find a way to barricade the area, hire security, or just accept the fact that you may have a few crashers that want to partake in all the fun!

    4. Dirt will be everywhere.
    You're spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on the wedding dress of your dreams and a pair of shoes, and of course you want to keep them looking pristine. However, being outside in the elements will definitely take its toll on your ensemble. Unfortunately, there's not much you can do about this besides have a backup pair of shoes and a Tide stick on hand. Ultimately, if you're having an outdoor wedding, it's important to be at peace with the fact that at the end of the night, your dress and shoes may be black instead of white.

    5. Remember to have a bad weather back-up plan.

    While you can control many things during the planning process, weather is never one of them. So if you're going to do your wedding outdoors, have a viable and easy bad weather back-up plan. No one can truly predict what will happen hours — or even minutes — before it's time to walk down the aisle, so make sure that you have a location that you can fall back on if the weather gets out of hand.

    Tuesday, September 13, 2016

    Beautiful Love Song

    14 Totally Rational Wedding Day Worries Every Bride Has

    wedding worries every bride has Photo: Getty Images
     
    Everyone always says, "Stop being such a worrywart" or "Don't worry, everything will work out". But, like any other bride, you can't help but stress out. After all, it's only the biggest day of your life and you'd hate for anything to go awry. So join the club, brides, because here are 14 totally "rational" wedding day worries that run through every engaged gal's mind.

    1. Bad weather
    More specifically, rain, especially if you're saying, "I do" outside, but not necessarily. Every couple loves taking pics outdoors and would hate to have the weather rain on their parade. Hey, that's what backup plans are for though. Oh, and clear umbrellas and rain boots too. Let's face it, you'll be checking the weather like a mad man every day leading up to the wedding. There's just no way of getting around it.

    wedding dress gif

    2. Dress drama
    What if it doesn't fit? What if it's too long? What if you spill something on it before you even get down the aisle? What if someone steps on the train, or worse, it totally rips on the dance floor? So many things could go wrong, ugh.

    3. Someone not showing up
    Whether it's the groom (noooo!), one of the bridesmaids or a vendor, every bride can't help but fret about a key person to their big day not showing up and leaving them stranded. Um, like the officiant. Now, that would be bad!

    4. Tripping down the aisle
    You're probably getting the jitters right now just thinking about it! The walk down the aisle is supposed to be so elegant and graceful, and that's a lot of pressure for one bride to handle, particularly with all those eyes on her. You'll never live it down if you bust your ass or fall flat on your face on that walk.
     
    chrissy teigen crying gif

    5. Ugly crying
    Think Chrissy Teigen at the 2015 Golden Globes kind of ugly cry where the mascara (note to all brides: wear waterproof!) is literally running down your face. It's a legit worry, and chances are, you will shed a tear or two, but with the right tools (again, waterproof mascara...it'll save your life, some tissues and a hand squeeze from your hubby) you'll be good to go and just as stunning as ever.


    6. Drinking too much
    Alcohol calms your nerves, but you know too much booze on your big day is never a good thing, ah! You'll be popping champagne while you're getting ready. Hopefully your BFFs can help you keep the alcohol in check so you don't overdo it. Just enough to take the edge off!

    7. The groom getting too drunk
    Honestly, what it comes down to is you don't trust his groomsmen and guy friends to not try to feed him shots the entire night. And you ain't trying to babysit nobody, especially not him. Let's just say you'll definitely be having a big talk with your guy beforehand.

    wedding guest gif

    8. Out of control guests
    And/or inebriated bridal party members causing a scene. Let's just hope your Uncle Fred can keep it together for five hours...

    9. Embarrassing speeches
    Under no circumstances does grandma ever need to find out about that one time you downed one too many margaritas in Vegas and hopped up on the bar only to get swiftly kicked out. Or the time your groom accidently puked all over one of your bridesmaids. Eek! Is it possible to vet speeches beforehand? Because like, that would be really, really awesome/necessary.
     
    wedding dance gif

    10. Screwing up the first dance
    You took dance lessons for a reason, but OMG, what if you forget all the steps and totally screw up everything in front of everyone. Having to dance for an audience already gives you enough anxiety as is!

    11. No one dancing
    It's, like, every bride's worst fear: a completely empty dance floor and a bunch of awkwardness all around. Number one reason to hire a dope DJ, right?

    goodbye gif

    12. Everyone peacing out early
    What if your wedding is so boring that everyone just dips out early to go do something else? It's a totally rational but also completely irrational thought because you planned a banging big day and everyone will obvy want to stay, duh.

    13. Someone trying to steal your thunder
    It seems like there's always that one person at every wedding that tries to upstage the bride, and she's not always wearing white either! Maybe her dress is just more expensive than the bride's or she had her hair and makeup done professionally and looks like a runway model. Or perhaps she takes over the dance floor and has all eyes on her. Ain't no bride got time for that on her big day.

    14. Bad food
    Of course, you had a tasting, but what if something terrible happens and the food winds up tasting like crap the day of? What will your guests think? Ugh, hopefully the caterer gets it right...

    Monday, September 12, 2016

    What Should We Include in Our Non-Religious Wedding Ceremony?

    It's exciting to look forward to the reception (and that amazing dance party you've planned), but really, the most important part of your wedding day is the ceremony. If you're having a religious ceremony, it may not involve too much planning beyond choosing readers and deciding on aisle décor. But for a non-religious wedding ceremony, there are a lot more details to consider, since the format is really up to you. Where's a couple to start? Here are a few things you should make sure to include in your non-religious wedding ceremony.

    Before you start adding personality to your ceremony with fillers like readings, songs, or unity rituals, make sure you've included the basics: A word of welcome from your officiant, your vows and ring exchange, and your presentation as a married couple. For a ceremony that's truly bare-bones (we're talking five minutes or less!), that's all you need. Of course, it's such a momentous occasion, and you'll want to give your ceremony a little more heft and meaning. Here are a few things you can include that will make your ceremony one to remember:

    Meaningful Readings
    Whether you choose a passage from your favorite book, a poem or sonnet you love, or even lines from a song, readings that hold value for the two of you will infuse your ceremony with a hint of who you are as a couple. Look for excerpts that help define what marriage means to you — not just a passage about love in general, but one that relates to your relationship and the future you hope to build together.

    Guest Readers
    Without a religious context in your ceremony, you have more flexibility when it comes to readers (especially if they practice a religion other than your own). Invite friends or family members who have played an important role in your relationship to share a few words, or get creative and have two readers share a passage together.

    Unity Rituals
    You might opt to skip a unity candle, which has roots in Christian tradition, but there are so many other symbolic practices you can weave into your event. Getting married at a vineyard? Blend together two bottles of wine, then share a glass after you exchange vows. Having your ceremony on the beach? Take turns layering different colors of sand into a glass bottle, and have your officiant explain that, just as you two are coming together, the two colors of sand can now never be truly separated. Are you the outdoorsy type? Gather jars of soil from each of your hometowns, then use it to plant a tree that can be permanently planted at your home.

    Your Love Story
    What's more personal than telling the story of how you met and fell in love? Work with your officiant to write an abridged version of how it all happened, with nods to special moments or events that made you realize you'd each found The One. You can also opt to include some of this in your vows, if you're writing personal ones instead of using more traditional lines.

    Friday, September 9, 2016

    6 Original Transportation Ideas for Your Wedding

    Today is Car Collector Appreciation Day, which made us think about what an impact a couple can make by arriving to or departing from their wedding in a classic car. Sometimes it’s a touch like this that makes the most memorable moments at a wedding. If you’re thinking of arranging some fun or cool transportation ideas for your wedding, maybe one of these six ideas will hit the mark:

    1. A trolley. Trolleys make a wonderful option for groups, whether you want a fun way to get your wedding party to and from the venue or if you need to shuttle your guests around. One note of caution is that most trolleys are open-air, which can get windy and possibly ruin hairstyles.

    Wedding Transportation

    2. A boat or yacht. Arriving or departing on the water can make a dramatic and romantic impact. A boat or canoe would be a good option for the two of you, whereas a yacht would allow you to transport your guests and wedding party, too.

    Wedding Transportation

    3. A hayride or sleigh ride. With rustic-chic weddings still so popular, a hayride would be a fun way to transport and entertain your guests. If snow’s in the forecast, a sleigh ride would be a wonderfully whimsical option instead.

    Wedding Transportation

    4. An elephant. Arriving on an elephant’s back is a popular tradition in South Asian weddings. Talk about making a grand statement!

    Wedding Transportation

    5. A Vespa. If you want an option that’s cute, sweet, and environmentally friendly, rent a Vespa that can cart the two of you off after the reception. Don’t forget the “Just Married” sign on the back!

    Wedding Transportation

    6. A hot air balloon. This one can be tricky because the conditions have to be just right, but a hot air balloon departure would be simply amazing in photos. Pack some champagne and finger foods to nibble on as you both float away to begin your new life together.

    Wedding Transportation

    Thursday, September 8, 2016

    Thinking Outside the Candle: Wedding Lighting You Haven’t Considered

    If you’re thinking of how to make a statement at your wedding, lighting is the way to go. Very little makes as much impact, especially if you think beyond basic candles. Wondering what lighting you should use at your wedding? Maybe one of these ideas will fit the bill:

    1. Gobos. A lighting gobo is a custom monogram that is usually reflected on the dance floor or one of the walls at the reception, making it a beautiful focal point. It often has the couple’s names or initials and the wedding date, and might also include a pretty embellishment that reflects the theme of the wedding.

    2. Strands of twinkle lights. If you’re having an outdoor wedding, one of the simplest ways to awe your guests is to bedeck the trees with twinkle lights. You can wrap the trees or create dripping icicle-like lighting by hanging them from branches. Another thing we’ve seen couples do is bundle strands of lights under glass vessels, making it look like trapped fairy lights. So whimsical and sweet!

    real-wedding

    3. Marquees. Consider lighted signage to make a fun visual impact at your wedding. You can have the word “bar” lit up above the bar, for example. A few strategic signs will definitely draw the eye!

    4. Chandeliers. You can either choose a venue that has amazing chandeliers or have a special chandelier wired somewhere in the reception as a statement piece. Directly over the sweetheart table is a suitably dramatic spot for this lighting element.

    5. Paper lanterns. Numerous paper globes casting soft light offer a wonderfully romantic touch to a reception space.

    Wedding Lighting Ideas You Haven't Considered

    6. Edison lights. The rise of rustic-chic weddings and retro styling has increased the popularity of glass Edison lights. Strings of these lights across the ceiling of your reception space will create the perfect vintage look.

    7. Glowing tables. If you want to make a more understated impact with your lighting, consider placing lights under the tables so they glow from the inside-out. You can use white linens or colorful ones to enhance the glow.

    8. Image projections. Lighting companies can create many different looks by projecting images like snowflakes, hearts, or other symbols around the room. These lights can transform a typical ballroom into a winter wonderland or a magical fairytale garden.

    Wednesday, September 7, 2016

    Statement Looks for All Your Wedding Needs

    You’ve picked out/purchased your dream wedding dress for the big day, then it hits you… you’ll need something to wear for your bridal shower, bachelorette party, rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. Panic mode officially kicks in! But fret not, I’ve put together some statement looks that will be perfect for all your wedding events. 

    Bridal Shower
    Get a sophisticated look to wear the day of your bridal shower. Something that is comfortable and cute for all the pictures you’ll have. 

    Little White Dresses for Your Wedding Weekend 
    Get the Look: Dress from Black Halo, Shoes from Nine West, Purse from M2Malletier
    Bachelorette Festivities
    Before purchasing this dress, be sure to chat with your MOH in order to get a better feel for what type of dress you’ll need. If you are jetting off to a tropical location, something long-sleeved should be avoided… obviously.
    Little White Dresses for Your Wedding Weekend Events 
    Get the Look: Two Piece from Lulu’s, Shoes from Lulu’s, Necklace from Baublebar, Clutch from Macy’s Little White Dresses for Your Wedding Weekend Events 
    Get the Look: Dress from For Love & Lemons, Shoes from DSW
    Rehearsal + Rehearsal Dinner
    Seeing as this is your test run down the aisle, you will want something a little fancier. Go with a white maxi dress (to practice how you’ll walk in your wedding gown) or something fun with peplum. Just be sure to avoid jeans and a t-shirt, especially because your photographer may be there too.
    Little White Dresses for Your Wedding Weekend Events 
    Get the Look: Dress from Lulu’s, Necklace from Baublebar, Clutch from Nordstrom, Shoes from DSW Little White Dresses for Your Wedding Weekend Events
    Get the Look: Dress from Lulu’s, Necklace from Baublebar, Clutch from Lulu’s, Shoes from DSW
    Day After (Travel Outfit)
    More than likely you and your new spouse will be traveling to your honeymoon hotspot, which means you will want to be comfortable. Skip the high fashion stilettos and think in terms of easy for the airport or car.
    Little White Dresses for Your Wedding Weekend Events 
    Get the Look: Dress from Revolve, Shoes from DSW, Crossbody from Michael Kors, Hat from H & M Little White Statement Looks for Your Wedding Weekend Events 
    Get the Look: Top from Magali Pascal, Shorts from , Hat from , Shirt from bella dahl
    Honeymoon
    Whether you are jetting off to a tropical local or hitting up a mountain town, it’s important to remember to keep your honeymoon looks comfortable and breezy. Particularly if you will be honeymooning in the summer. Beach bound? Pick up a cute all white bikini and matching cover-up. You can also pick up some casual dresses for your evenings out.
    Little White Statement Looks for Your Wedding Weekend Events 
    Get the Look: Mesh Bikini Top and Bottom from Everything but Water, Hat from Nordstrom Little White Dresses for Your Wedding Weekend Events 
    Get the Look: Dress from Nordstrom, Purse from Louis Vuitton, Hat from World Market, Belt from H & M
    Photo Credit:
    1. Memorandum | 2. Lulu’s Tumblr | 3. Pinterest | 4. Lulu’s Tumblr | 5. Lulu’s Tumblr | 6. Pinterest | 7. Gypsy Lovin Light | 8. Southern Curls & Pearls | 9. Pinterest