Friday, October 30, 2015

11 Things Wedding Photographers Wish They Could Tell You

Ever wonder what's going on inside the minds of the most seasoned pros? We asked some of the industry's bests to share their candid thoughts on what brides and grooms should know about their wedding photographs. Here, 11 of their photography tips that you'll definitely want to know.

Photography by: Laura Murray Photography

Hire a photographer based on more than just budget. 

Rather than blindly setting a budget, first look around to get an idea of what you want in terms of photography style and experience level. Then decide on a number that takes those wishes into account. And before committing, make sure you feel a connection, both with the photographer and his or her portfolio.

"Finding someone that you feel comfortable with is going to be the biggest impacting factor affecting the feel of the day in regards to photography," says Los Angeles-based photographer Shannen Natasha Norman.

Think of an engagement session as a trial run.

There are so many reasons to book an engagement shoot prior to the big day: It's an opportunity to get to know your photographer and his or her style. You'll get more comfortable in front of the camera. You and your groom can experiment with different poses.

"Also, you can look back at your engagement photos and determine if there are any styling elements you would change before the wedding day," adds Laura Murray, a photographer based in Denver. "For example, did you feel like your makeup was too light or too dark? Was your hair constantly in your face? Based on your answers to these questions, you might want to do a second makeup trial, or switch your hair to an updo on the wedding day."

Let us weigh in on the timeline.

A surefire way to make your big day photo session go smoothly? Have your planner and photographer communicate about the schedule of events. Every photographer has his or her own unique pace, so make sure everyone is on the same page.

"I usually have the wedding planner send me the timeline in advance and I will add in my photography-related details," Murray says. "Of course, things may change and the schedule can deviate, but it's helpful to have a baseline for the flow of the day."

Your photographer probably doesn't need a shot list.

While it can be useful to hand your photographer a short checklist of family members or objects you want to be sure are captured, specific "shot lists are often more distracting than they are helpful," Norman says. "They're a bit stifling on creativity. Because weddings move so fast, instead of being able to pay attention to the moments that are happening in a room with a bride getting ready, you're analyzing the shot list to make sure you got the staged photos being requested—which may mean you're missing something really beautiful happening in the moment."

However, if you're worried about missing details and moments, have a conversation about the special parts of the day you definitely want captured, and offer to coordinate a time for your photographer to scout the locations in advance. But at the end of the day, it's all about trust: "Hire a photographer you love, and trust them to do their magic," says East Coast photographer Kate Headley.

See a Basic Shot List

Clean spaces + lots of light = beautiful photos.

Here's a simple formula that gives your photographer (and videographer!) the best canvas for capturing stunning shots. Do your best to prioritize lighting and choose tidy environments.

"If you care about photography, think about the lighting throughout the day," Murray says. "Where will you be getting ready?  Is it a neutral, clean room with lots of pretty natural light streaming in? Or is it a dark and cluttered basement with no natural light? Also, if you would like to do all your portraits after the ceremony, make sure the ceremony ends with at least an hour before the sun sets.  For me, lighting is essential to creating beautiful photographs—maximizing natural light helps tremendously."

As for the reception, "have lots of candles, at least double what is everywhere else, near the bride and groom," Norman says. "That helps me to get really glowy and natural reception shots of the couple."

It's OK to stray from the trends.

Yes, there are some amazing ideas on Pinterest. No, you don't have to attempt them all. "If you've seen the robe shot or anything else 100 times, don't feel like you have to do it," Headley says. "In fact, if something is super trendy, avoid it." But if you do see something you love, pass it on to your photographer—maybe you can come up with your own twist together.

You won't need your phone.

Even if you plan to carry a clutch, remember to pack light. There are very few things you will need, and your phone is not one of them. "Everyone you love is with you," Headley says, "so leave your phone at home. How liberating!"

But you will need your lipstick.

"I think freshening up with lipstick or lip gloss makes you look like you just left the makeup chair," says Charlottesville, Virginia photographer Jen Fariello. No clutch? No problem! Ask an attendant or even your photographer to hang onto the tube for reapplication. Also, bring a backup pair of comfy shoes:  "It's hard to have a great time frolicking for your portraits if you have blisters!" Fariello says.

Ignore us. Seriously. 

For pictures that feel personal and candid, forget the camera is even there. If your photographer wants you to smile or pose, he will tell you, says Headley.

"Instead of focusing on where your photographer is, focus on the loved ones that are present with you on your day," Murray says. "Enjoy your time with them. Laugh, cry, pray, hug … do whatever it is you would do if you didn't have someone there photographing. I think that creates the most beautiful and pure images."

Make the time to make the memories.

Just because you want to be candid does not mean that it won't also take some time to achieve that look. Minneapolis photographer Liz Banfield often hears a bride request taking some group shots "really fast" right after the ceremony. Group shots should not be rushed! If you don't want to spend time on them (and who does?), she suggests trimming the list to the bare minimum. This will free up your photographer to spend their time being creative. Photographer Jonathan Canlas agrees, noting that in 20 years people will be looking at two photos: the one of you and your spouse and the one of your families.

"Take the extra time to make sure you can have a proper schedule to get the photos that your future generations will cherish," he says. And NYC's Rebecca Yale suggests working with your photographer to create the family portraits list and thinking about what photos you'll really want in your album and framed on your wall. "When shot lists have so many combinations I see the bride and groom get fatigued playing what I call the 'wedding hoky poky'," Yale says. " Where you put one person in and take one person out on a constant rotation for 45 minutes. If you think the photo you'll frame is the one of the whole family together make sure that one is on the shot list and then let the individual ones with your cousins and grandparents happen candidly during cocktail hour."

Invest in prints—you'll be glad you did.

Think of your wedding photos as an heirloom you'll pass down to future generations. "Having your images on the computer is great but nowhere near the experience of holding them in your hand," Fariello says. Even if it's not in the budget to order physical prints right away, you can always purchase an album at a later date.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

30 Unexpected Wedding Costs Brides Forget to Budget For

Photo Credit: Still Frames Photography

Sticking to your budget is one of the trickiest parts of planning a wedding -- especially because there are so many hidden costs. To help you out, we checked in with wedding vendors and financial experts across the country to uncover the top items that couples forget to think about when allocating their wedding finances.

Pre-Wedding Costs

Asking Bridesmaids in a Special Way: For many brides, asking their nearest and dearest to stand up with them on their wedding day simply isn't something that can be done via phone or text -- or even just on your regular girl's night out. Brides are popping the question to their ‘maids with creative gifts (try this fun idea!), personalized cards, or taking them out to a nice lunch or dinner, according to Plum Pretty Sugar. But remember that those little costs can add up!

Beauty Treatments: You've already set aside money for your professional hair styling and makeup application on the wedding day -- but remember that you may need more than one trial for each in order to feel fully comfortable on the Big Day. Also, keep in mind any pre-wedding beauty treatments you may want to indulge in, from a mani/pedi to a spray tan to a massage. If there's a more expensive service you are dying to try, look for deals via daily deal sites like Groupon, said Andrea Woroch, a consumer money-saving expert frequently featured on Today, Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, and more.

Your Bachelorette Party: Bachelorette parties today are bigger than ever; more and more groups are planning weekend getaways, like a Vegas excursion or a girls' beach trip. And even though the maid of honor and bridesmaids are supposed to pick up the tab for the party, many brides end up paying for their own airfare or part of the hotel bill to help alleviate costs for their girls -- especially if the bride-to-be is the one pushing for an overnight excursion. Stay close to home to avoid extra travel costs. You will have fun with your girls no matter where you go. Choose a luxe hotel or find a big house to rent near your home, and plan activities to keep the fun going, said Woroch. Try one of these unique themes.

Marriage License: Don't forget to make it legal! Your marriage license will typically cost between $20 and $100, depending on where you're getting married (see your state's guidelines). And in most states, you won't automatically receive a copy of your marriage license after it's been filed -- you'll need to pay for that, too. If you’re having a destination wedding, keep in mind that you may need to fly in a few days before the wedding or even make a second trip to the locale in order to get your marriage license, depending on the waiting period, according to Abra Millar of Hopkins Bay Resort in Belize. This means incurring extra travel fees -- more nights, more meals, and possibly a second round of airfare.

Paper Goods

Day-of Stationery: Don’t blow your entire stationery budget on your save-the-dates and invitations -- you also need to think about programs, escort cards, place cards, menu cards, and any other day-of needs you may encounter. “We suggest adding a separate line item in the budget for day-of stationery so brides can budget accordingly,” advised Wedding Paper Divas. Here's how to save money on stationery.

Postage: When choosing your invitations, be sure to weigh it carefully -- if it's more than one ounce, you’re going to need additional postage. Some invitations can set you back $1 or more in postage fees. Keep in mind that extra postage is also required for square invitations, regardless of weight. Also, don’t forget that you also need stamps for your save-the-dates, RSVP cards, and thank-you notes. And try not to obsess over matching your postage to your invitation theme, which can sometimes lead you to choose a more expensive stamp just for the design -- No one will remember the stamps,” said Woroch.

Getting Ready

A Hotel Room the Night Before: If you and your bridesmaids are planning on getting ready in a hotel suite, pay attention to check in/check out times -- you'll often need to book the room for two nights in order to have the morning to get ready. “Many hotels will not guarantee an early check-in on the wedding date,” said  Karen Bussen, A-list wedding planner and designer of Simple Stunning Destination Weddings for Palladium Hotels and Resorts. “To be safe, and especially if you have a larger bridal party, you might want to consider reserving your room for not just the wedding night, but the night before as well. This way, you can check in at your leisure the night before, sleep a little late, order room service, and invite the ladies to join you for a relaxing day of pampering and getting dolled up.”

Meals on the Wedding Day: Whether you’re getting ready at home or in a hotel, your bridesmaids will likely be with you every step of the way. Don’t let them starve! Keep it simple with bagels and fruit for breakfast and a platter of sandwiches for lunch. “And don’t forget the champagne!” said Damon Dietz of Absolute Media Productions. Here are 5 healthy breakfast ideas.

Forgotten Items: “Wedding brain” can affect even the best of us -- and if you’re not getting ready in your own home, it's far too easy to forget something and need a last-minute replacement. At one wedding Diane Warner, author of Complete Guide to a Traditional Wedding, attended, the groom didn’t realize he’d neglected to pack his dress shoes until he arrived at the ceremony venue; “This required a hasty trip to the closest shoe store,” she said. We recommend starting your packing list at least a week before your wedding, and have a trusted loved one look it over as well to make sure you’re not forgetting anything. (Check out this last-minute wedding-day checklist.


Alterations: Unless you’re extremely lucky, your wedding gown is going to require some alterations, whether that means hemming the gown, taking it in (or letting it out), or structural changes (like adding straps). Some salons offer a flat fee, while others will charge you for every alteration. This can run you several hundred dollars, so don’t blow your entire fashion budget on the gown (psst -- check out these gorgeous gowns under $1,000!).

Undergarments and Accessories: Also, save room in your fashion budget for the extras: Your veil, shoes, undergarments and/or shapewear, and jewelry, which can set you back $200 to $500 or more (see the best new bridal accessories under $100). You can cut costs by making your veil or jewelry your "something borrowed."

Pre-Wedding Party Attire: Another forgotten fashion item: Cute dresses for your pre-wedding events, said Woroch. From the engagement party to the bridal shower to the bachelorette party to the rehearsal dinner to the day-after brunch, you’ll be celebrating all year long with your nearest and dearest. Save money by re-wearing dresses you already own -- you don’t need a little white dress for every party just because you’re the bride.


Transportation for Guests: While you’re generally not responsible for how guests get to and from your wedding, it becomes your concern if a guest gets too intoxicated to drive home. “If you can’t recruit a friend or family member to provide the necessary transportation, you’ll need to pay taxi fare,” said Warner.

Unexpected Guests: Inevitably, a guest who RSVP’d “no” will turn up anyway, a clueless friend will show up with an uninvited plus one, or your cousin will bring her kids even though you specifically said no kids were invited. “As rude and upsetting as this may be, it should be anticipated by planning ahead for a couple extra dinners and place settings,”  said Warner.

Welcome Bags: While these are certainly not required, gift bags are a lovely touch if you’re hosting out-of-towners. “They may include handwritten welcome notes from the bride and groom, fresh fruit or flowers, disposable cameras, bottled water, a schedule of events, brochures for local attractions, and a city map,” said Warner. Get more ideas for your welcome baskets here.

Presents for Parents and Other Family Members: You already know that you’ll need gifts for your hardworking bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls, and ring bearers. But don’t forget about your parents! Consider an engraved frame, an IOU for a parents’ album after the Big Day, or even a second honeymoon package. “It doesn't have to be costly -- the emphasis should be on remembering them. But if you calculate these costs, you won't be surprised down the road," said photographer Elisa Bricker. Some couples also opt to give small gifts to other family members, like grandparents and any siblings not included in the bridal party. “Purchase these gifts early in the planning process so the expense doesn’t hit you at the last minute,” recommended Warner. (Check out 40+ bridal party presents and sweet thank-you gifts for parents.)

Favors: Favors can cost anywhere from $3-8 (or more) per person, according to Ann Taylor of A Chair Affair Inc., which can make a sizable dent in your wedding budget depending on the size of your guest list. A few ways to cut costs: Opt for one favor per couple rather than per person; go for a DIY option if you’re feeling crafty, or skip favors altogether -- they’re definitely not required, and most guests won’t even notice if you don’t have them. Here are 30 winter wedding favors we love.


Day-of Coordinator: So many DIY brides decide at the last minute that they'll need a little help on the big day. “You really don't want to be stuck taking calls from your florist and band on your way to your first look, do you?" reminded Woroch. Enter the day-of coordinator, which can run you about $500 to $2,000. “It's best to plan this into your budget ahead of time. Then, if you feel you got it all under control, that's just extra cash in your pocket."

Vendor Meals: Your photographer and videographer will be with you for 8+ hours on the wedding day; they’re going to need some fuel to keep making sure you look your best all night long. “Vendor meals are usually much cheaper than guest entrees, but depending on the size of your band, number of photographers, videographers and coordinators, you may be looking at a few hundred dollars extra,” said Woroch.

Videography: “Couple often think they don't need a videographer because photos will be enough,” said Dietz. “Then they come to the realization the month of the wedding that they have made a big mistake. Trying to squeeze in a major vendor like videographer without properly budgeting for it can be a cause for concern.” Fees for videography can vary wildly, from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on what you’re looking for. If you’re wishy-washy on video, set aside the money anyway -- then, if you decide you really don’t need it, you can reallocate the money later on. (Plus: What to ask a potential videographer.)


Lighting: “A simple addition of up-lights around a reception area can cost around $1,000, so it is best to plan ahead,” said Stacey Lynn of Stacey Lynn Design. Other popular lighting options: Pin-spotting (to highlight centerpieces or accent areas, like the cake display), a wash (general room color or dance floor), and a custom-designed gobo projection, such as a monogram. But lighting isn't just an “extra” -- if you're planning an outdoor wedding, it's a requirement. Consider hanging bistro lights, chandeliers or lanterns to create the perfect rustic-chic space, said Stacey Lynn. Check out 15 fun ways to light up your reception here.

Sound: Having an outdoor wedding? Invest in a sound system if you want your guests to actually be able to hear your vows. “It doesn't matter if you're only having 50 guests -- without a sound system, your guests will struggle to hear your ceremony, and that means they'll miss out on the heart of your wedding,” said event planner Amy Kaneko. “And if you've hired musicians to play as you walk down the aisle, they also need to be amplified, or those songs you've so carefully chosen will be wimpy instead of powerful. Spend the money on a sound system, even if it means you need to trim elsewhere.”

Décor Beyond the Flowers: The majority of your décor budget will likely be allocated to flowers, but set aside $25-30 per table for the non-floral elements: “Candles, glass hurricanes, mercury votives, specialty linens, flatware and even how you will identify your tables are all important details that can drastically change your budget if you have not accounted for these details,” said Lindsey of L. Brook Events. And if you're looking to add additional elements like lanterns or vintage décor rentals, you may want to save as much as 40 percent of your total décor budget for these pieces. Plus, you can also save on flowers by choosing in-season blooms -- see your best picks for your wedding month.

Also, always overestimate how many items you'll need. At one wedding Warner attended, the couple planned an elegant candlelit wedding ceremony. “However, as friends and family members began decorating the ceremony venue, they realized they needed at least a hundred more candles to provide enough light at the front of the chapel,” said Warner.

Including Yourselves in the Final Count: Sorry, the bride and groom don’t eat for free at the wedding. “I always have to remind my brides and grooms to include themselves in the table count!” said Douglas Hoagland, director of catering at SLS Hotel Beverly Hills. “I have had seen it too many times where the couple forgets to include themselves when making their table arrangements.”

A Backup Plan: You know that if you’re planning an outdoor wedding, you should have a tent on stand-by in case of rain. But even if you luck out with sunshine on the big day, the previous day’s weather can become an important factor. “At one wedding, it rained hard the previous day, which left the grass soft and soggy. The last-minute solution was to add a wooden floor to the cost of the tent rental,” said Warner. "If there is the slightest issue with bugs or any dew or moisture on the ground (let alone an actual rainstorm!), your whole event could be ruined," said Bussen. "I suggest planning a floor with your tent from the beginning." For a more budget-friendly option, opt for an interlocking plastic floor, which is typically covered with carpet or Astroturf. The more spendy option is a sub-plywood flooring, where the tent company builds a floor and covers it with your choice of coverings. "It's more expensive, but the advantage is this type of floor is level and polished."

Money Matters

Gratuities: When you’re already paying astronomical costs, it can feel downright painful to add a tip on top of that -- if you didn’t budget accordingly. Poppy & Plum Events recommends allotting 5 to 10% of your overall budget to gratuities. The general rule of thumb is that if your vendor is also the business owner, a tip is not required (though it’s always a welcome bonus). Also, some vendors (like your venue or caterer) may already include gratuities in your quote, so check your contracts carefully. According to Bobette Kyle, author of Dream Wedding on a Dime, some of the often-forgotten vendors include bartenders, servers, valets, coat check attendants, officiants, makeup artists, hair stylists, the cake delivery team, and limo drivers.

Sales Tax and Service Charges: Check over your contracts carefully to ensure that sales tax is included in the quoted price; otherwise, you may be in for a surprise when you receive your final bills. ”It may sound insignificant, but when you're talking amounts the size of a reception bill, the taxes can add up,” said Kyle. Also, service charges are not the same as gratuities; “Sometimes, for example, a private club will just charge an 18-22 % service charge for administering the wedding," explained Bussen. "This money is not distributed to tipped employees and gratuities may be left to your discretion, which could double the money you need for 'service.'"

Additionally, the “plus plus” can make a huge difference. “If a caterer quotes you $110 per person ++, that means that you will also need to add service and tax on top of that quote,” explained Kaneko. “Those two tiny plus signs can add as much as 30% on top of the base cost. In this scenario, that miscalculation would equal $5,000 of unexpected catering costs for a 150-person wedding.”

Overtime Costs: Whether your wedding runs over the allotted time because you got a late start or because you choose in the heat of the moment to extend it, keep in mind that you’ll have to pay for any time outside of the contracted time. “When you're in party mode, it's easy to say, 'party on!' But be sure to know ahead of time what the overtime charges will be,” said Dietz. “The venue usually has an option to extend -- for a price --but don't forget your other vendors, such as DJ or band, photographers and videographers. They will also have overtime fees and will most likely need to be paid on the spot to continue.”

Post-Wedding To-Dos: Sorry, but your wedding costs don't end after “I do.” Unless you want to be spending your wedding gift money on thank-you cards, cleaning and preserving your gown, and making prints of your favorite wedding photos, set aside that money ahead of time. “Consider adding a few hundred dollars to your stationery budget for printing pictures and thank you cards,” the events team at the Shade Hotel recommended.

When it comes to preserving your gown, Bussen advised: “Try to book in advance --it may save you money if you reserve to preserve early. And your bridal retailer may have discount deals or coupons to share.” (Here's a breakdown of all your post-wedding to-dos.)

The "Other"

Already included all of the above items in your budget? Congratulations, you budget-savvy bride! But regardless, every bride should set aside 10 to 20% for “the other.” Lara Goldman of explains: “’Other’ is when the flower delivery got stuck in a storm, and you have to hire a local florist to use local flowers. ‘Other’ is for when the power suddenly goes out and you have to go buy 200 candles. ‘Other’ is for the 'dear friend' who cried that she and her new boyfriend weren't invited, and you have to lie and say her invitation got lost in the mail. ‘Other’ is for the broken nail that broke so low you have to get a full set of acrylics at the last minute so your hands don’t look like a ditch diggers'.” If you prepare for the unexpected ahead of time, you won't be left scrambling to come up with extra cash at the last minute.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

5 Late Night Snacks to Surprise Your Wedding Guests

My favorite part of every wedding is when the groom sees his bride for the first time. Whether it is during a first look or as she walks down the aisle, he is always in awe of her beauty. With that said, my second favorite part is the late night treat.

Think about it: Dinner happened about two hours ago and you’ve been drinking and dancing since. It only makes sense that a snack get passed around to keep the momentum going (and to eliminate any said hangover from occurring).

Whether it is passed to the guests while on the dance floor or as they depart the reception, a late night treat is the way to go. Consider one of these options:

1. Coffee Bar
This is one bar that will keep the party going strong all night long. Whether you have it setup while cake is being passed or as everyone is on the dance floor, this station is sure to please everyone. You can even spruce it up by adding a coffee liquor or sweet topping to the table like sprinkles and marshmallows.

late night treat, wedding

2. Milk and Cookies
Sure they had cake, but wouldn’t it be a sweet touch to have a server pass out a classic? Keep it simple with a chocolate chip cookie and a glass of milk. Or consider having a shooter glass filled with chocolate milk, rimmed with sprinkles and topped with a snickerdoodle cookie. With cookies and milk, the possibilities are endless.

late night treat, weddings

3. Fried Pies
Let’s be honest, anything fried is the way to go. Especially when you’ve been dancing all night. Fried pies are a cute and portable way to go. Depending on the company you select, they may even send one of their own to walk around and pass out the pies – like Dales Fried Pies. If you elect to have a station instead, guests can help themselves as the night progresses. Here in Atlanta we have The Varsity. I’ve been to a wedding that had their famous apple and peach fried pies setup at a station, and it was an amazing treat!

late night treat, wedding

4. Mini Meal
We know your wedding guests have already had some kind of meal, whether a plated meal or buffet option. And you are probably thinking how could they be hungry enough for another meal? You’re right. However I am talking about a mini meal. Just a small bite to keep them going. Consider using a small scale version of cheeseburgers, fish and chips, grilled cheese or even corndogs.

late night treat, wedding

5. Popcorn
This late night snack can bring out your creative side. Why you ask? You can either hire a wedding vendor to come in and setup a popcorn station or you can do-it-yourself by creating fun bags pre-filled. Simply provide the bags to your venue and ask that their staff set them out at a certain time.

late night treat, wedding

Now that we’ve shared our top picks for late night snacks, do you think you will use one at your wedding? Maybe you’ve already decided on one. Regardless, we want to hear from you. Leave a comment for us below on the late night snack you’ve selected or would use.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


94,541,400 seconds
1,575,690 minutes
26,261 hours 
1094 days 
156 weeks 
3 years.....
I Love You 
Happy Anniversary!! 

6 Ways to Spice Up Your Marriage

If you've been married more than a few years, you probably wouldn't describe your marriage or sex life as "spicy." Even if you started out in the "habanero pepper" range on the spicy scale, you've probably ended up in the "salt and pepper with a dash of Tabasco" range. But you don't have to stay there. Couples can and do add fun, heat and excitement to their marriages. If you're ready to do the same, here are 6 ways you and your spouse can spice things up:


Prioritize time for the two of you. It's hard to create or maintain a hot marriage when you're too busy to connect with your spouse. But that's exactly where most married couples, especially those with children, find themselves. Both spouses are running all day, every day -- to work, to school, to soccer practice, to meetings. When they collapse into bed at the end of the day, spicy sex no longer seems like a priority. So plan time every week just to connect with your spouse. Find the time by simplifying other areas of your life or saying no to activities that just aren't as important as spending time together.

Talk about it. Honestly, this one is hard. It may actually be easier to just go for it and try something new than to actually talk about your sex life. I'm terrible at this, and my poor communication has caused problems in my marriage more than once. So don't be like me. Instead, open up the conversation. Tell your spouse that you value your marriage and sex life and want to spice things up. Then listen to what he or she has to say and talk about it. And don't assume that it's "one and done" -- come back to the conversation and continue it regularly.

Schedule sex. Yeah, I know. Scheduling sex doesn't seem very spicy. As a matter of fact, it seems downright boring. But you know what's even more boring? Not having sex because you didn't schedule it and then life came along and consumed all of your time and energy. The reality is, in order to spice up your marriage, you need to be having sex. Regularly. So talk with your spouse and figure out ways to get it on your calendar. Every week. A couple of times a week.

Change something. Most couples fall into the habit of doing the same thing at the same time in the same place. So mix things up a bit. Every third time you have sex, change one thing -- the location, the time, the attire, the position. And most of the time keep it simple -- "change the location" doesn't have to mean "go to a hotel." It can mean "have sex on the floor or in the dining room."

Add something. One of the easiest ways to spice up your sex life is to add something new. If you're like me, you've gotten pretty comfortable with your regular repertoire. Which is fine, except when it becomes the same old same old. So once or twice a month, add something new -- a game, music, a toy, a position. Agree with your spouse on what you're going to try ahead of time, and don't insist on something that makes him or her uncomfortable.

Step out of your comfort zone. Although you should never insist that your spouse move out of his or her comfort zone, it's perfectly fine (and a good idea!) to encourage yourself to step out of yours. Sex in the comfort zone is great -- it probably makes up 95% of sex in most marriages. But if you're looking for more energy and excitement in your sex life, you probably won't find it there. So every once in a while, push your boundaries a bit and try something you haven't been willing to try in the past -- maybe something your spouse has mentioned or something you've often thought might be fun. Start small and see how it goes. It may be great or it may be a total flop, but it will give you and your spouse something to talk about and create a launching point for trying something else new and different.

Whether you've been married 5 years or 35 years or more, you can enjoy a fun, hot and spicy marriage. My husband and I have been married for 30 years, and our marriage is spicier now than it's ever been (albeit still a work in progress!) If your marriage has cooled off and you'd like to heat it up, take steps to get the ball rolling. Although you'll need your spouse's help in order to make significant changes, you can take the initiative to start moving things in a hotter direction.

Originally published on CalmHealthySexy.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Kind father of the bride invites stepdad to help walk daughter down the aisle


Todd Bachman was ready to walk his daughter down the aisle. He also knew he couldn't do it alone.
Bachman stopped daughter Brittany Peck's wedding processional Saturday to request the presence of another crucial figure in Brittany's life — her stepdad.

Bachman and Peck's stepdad Todd Cendrosky have both played vital roles in Peck's upbringing — so vital, in fact, that Peck wasn't sure who should walk her down the aisle.

Two weeks before the wedding, Peck was torn. "She called me and said 'Dad, something's bothering me,'" Bachman told the Chronicle-Telegram in Lorain County, Ohio.

"I told her I already had something planned. She was so torn, and the last thing I wanted was for her to be torn."

Bachman kept his plan to include Cendrosky a secret until seconds before the wedding, when he grabbed Cendrosky's hand, pulled him from his seat, and led him toward Peck, who had just arrived at the ceremony and was preparing to walk down the aisle.

Image: Facebook/Delia D. Blackburn Photography
"Not a dry eye at the ceremony... including me," wrote wedding photographer Delia D. Blackburn in a Facebook post. "Families are what we make them... make it about your kids and not your ego."

Friday, October 23, 2015

10 Wedding Dress Designers to Follow on Instagram Immediately

Haven't found the dress? Have no idea where to start? Looking to double-tap some swoon-worthy gowns?
If you said "yes" to any of the above, you'll want to follow these Instagram accounts, stat.
From over-the-top tulle gowns and modern jumpsuits to tips for choosing accessories and real-bride photos, these designers will give you all the Insta-inspiration you need for the big day:
@ClairePettibone A favorite of lace-loving brides everywhere, Claire Pettibone's account leaves us feeling utterly romantic every time. 
@AlexandraGrecco This just might be the sweetest, tulle-filled account around. Follow Alexandra Grecco for pretty tutus and totally feminine gowns. 
@Ruedeseinebridal This New Zealand-based brand will inspire boho brides and vintage lovers alike! 
@MoniqueLhuillier There's a reason she's one of the most well-known bridal designers... Follow Monique's Instagram account for high-fashion bridal looks that will make you feel like you're sitting front row at Bridal Fashion Week. 
@VeraWangGang Fashionista? Vera Wang's Instagram page was made for you. 
@JennyPackham With a mix of runway high fashion, bridal couture and photos of real couples, this British designer garners many a double-tap. Follow along with #JennyPackhamBride for wedding specific inspiration! 
@Reem_Acra An Insta-classic! Follow Reem Acra's account for show-stopping gowns with one-of-a-kind details. 
@Charlie_Brear This British designer has a lock on trendy two-pieces and gowns! Follow her for something unique. 
@DelphineManivet Follow this account for all dresses flirty and fun! 
@RomonaKeveza This designer gives you the full picture! Head on over to the Ramona Keveza IG page to see what we mean...
Happy Insta-stalking, Loverlies!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

8 People You Don't Want to Invite to the Wedding (but Have To!)

Wedding escort cards
Photo by K. Corea Photography
Some guests get the automatic check just for being family, while other guests -- like your boss -- are simply harder to reject than include. And, as if making your guest list isn't complicated enough, your parents also get a say if they're helping to pay for the wedding. The bright side? Unwanted guests don't have to ruin your big day -- as long as you know where to put 'em. Meet the top eight nuisances and troublemakers you'll invite (and learn how you can minimize the damage!).

Bridesmaid's Weird Boyfriend

Why He's Invited: Okay, so it's a little strange that he wears Batman T-shirts and barely talks. But even if he's not your fave, your bridesmaid loves him -- and she's gone through a lot with you (read: three dress fittings, two cake tastings, and one crazy breakdown over your flowers). Not inviting her boyfriend (he's not exactly a random fling, you know) would be a huge slap in the face.
Where to Put Him: Instead of having a large table with your entire wedding party plus their dates, mix things up. Sit with your maid of honor, best man, and their dates; then spread the rest of the wedding party throughout other tables. Not only will this keep you away from your bridesmaid's boyfriend (bonus!), it'll also keep some of your guests from feeling like they're stuck at a D-list table while you and your wedding party are rolling VIP-style.

Kooky Wedding Planner

Why She's Invited: Aside from the fact that she, um, helped plan out your entire wedding (and admit it: you weren't always easy to deal with), she's your number one in command on the big day. Trust us: It's worth putting up with her cat stories -- or even foisting the cat stories on your guests -- in order to have her on hand for all the details (and disasters). Besides, treating her like an actual guest (with a real seat, meal and invitation) will help make her feel more welcome.
Where to Put Her: Your planner will be so busy during your wedding you'll barely even notice she's there. Besides, what's really the worst that can happen -- she talks to your guests and reveals her Barry Manilow obsession? For all you know, they love "Copacabana" as much as she does. Sit her at a table with your equally whacked-out aunt, or take a chance and throw her in the mix of your friends. Nothing she says will be that shocking after a few glasses of champagne anyway, so stop worrying!

Little Niece

Why She's Invited: So you explicitly told your sister you weren't inviting kids to your wedding, but of course she didn't think that rule applied to her kid. Not wanting little ones at your wedding is certainly understandable. But making your sister spend half the night upstairs in her hotel room reading bedtime stories (and thus missing out on the first dance, and the cake cutting, and the bouquet toss) isn't exactly fair to her -- or you, for that matter.
Where to Put Her: If having a baby at your wedding bothers you that much, offer to hire a babysitter. Suggest that your niece stay with the sitter during the ceremony (so there's no crying during the vows) and then leave it up to your sister to decide whether or not she wants to bring the baby to the reception. By that point, guests will be drinking and dancing; they won't even notice a sleeping newborn. You can also assign your sister a table close to the door in case she needs to scoot out for a diaper change or other mommy emergency.

Fiance's Horny Ex-Frat Brother

Why He's Invited: Do you remember the last time that you met up with your guy's best college buddy and he spent half the night rubbing up against you and your friends? Well, forget it (at least for now). He's one of your fiance's closest friends, and not having him at the wedding would hurt him way more than it would benefit you.
Where to Put Him: First of all, it's not like you're on the market, so you have nothing to worry about (although you might want to give your single friends a heads up). Sit him at a table with other single people, or suggest to your fiance that Mr. Fratastic bring a date of his own. Really, as long as he's not grinding or groping, there's not much destruction he can cause. And as for how much he might annoy you -- you'll be too busy visiting with all of your other guests to even notice the guy.

Cousin You Barely Know

Why She's Invited: You might have played in the sandbox together 20 years ago, but these days, you can't even remember if she was the cousin with the glasses or the one who borrowed your Malibu Barbie and never gave it back to you. Yet your mom still wants you to invite her to your wedding. What gives? Well, she's family (sorry, that's the way it goes). Not inviting her would be extremely awkward not just for you, but for your parents too. And they'd probably be the ones who are stuck explaining to her parents why she wasn't invited. In this case, it's easier on everyone to just be inclusive.
Where to Put Her: Sit her at a table with other family members she knows or, if you think she'd enjoy it, mix her in with some of your friends. Hey, it's been a while since you've seen her -- she just might end up being the life of the party (besides you, of course).

Wedding Hater

Why She's Invited: She's one of your best friends and has been by your side for everything from college graduation and birthdays to the time you got sick for two days after eating less-than-fresh sushi. The only problem: She's currently in a love rut and is completely sick of weddings. Sigh. The fact is, if she's truly your friend, she'll still be happy for you. And even if you think she'll pout at everything from your dress to your bouquet, chances are she won't.
Where to Put Her: Introduce her to some other singles at your wedding beforehand (say, at the engagement party) to make it clear she won't be the third wheel. If there aren't many singles in your circle of friends, invite her to bring a date -- even if it's just a friend. Having someone to dance with will save her from sitting out the slow songs; plus, she might feel more confident with a partner-in-crime. Oh, and seat her with a younger crowd. She'll feel like an old maid if she's chillin' with your grandma.

Your Boss

Why She's Invited: Well, perhaps if you hadn't run into your office screaming, "I'm engaged!", spent hours upon hours of work time browsing wedding websites or telling your boss every little detail about your dress, venue, and cake, you wouldn't have this problem. But you did, and by this point, your boss feels as close to your wedding as your bridesmaids.
Where to Put Her: Invite your boss along with her significant other (at least she'll have one person to talk to). And honestly, it might not be the worst thing to let her come since she decides your salary! If you're particularly close with a few coworkers, add them to your guest list as well and seat them at a table with your guy's work buddies. And if you cringe at the thought of your boss witnessing some of your sloppy friends in action, well, maybe she won't be able to attend, anyway.

Drunk Uncle

Why He's Invited: Oh, that family rule, don't you just love it? So here's the deal: Your uncle is your father's brother...or your mom's brother, or your dad's sister's husband (you get it -- he's close), and whether or not he's had seven too many Heinekens doesn't change that. Even if he has a history of mooning party guests or slipping into a tequila-induced mean streak, your uncle still makes the cut.
Where to Put Him: While you don't want to bog down your dad with babysitting duties, seating him near your uncle so he can keep an eye on him is fair game -- especially if it's an open bar. You might also politely ask the bartenders to cut off any guests who seem to have had their fill. If there's a particular drink he's a fan of, don't stock it. Also, keep plenty of water on the tables and serve dinner early so nobody's drinking on an empty stomach.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

10 Genius Ideas for Your First (Paper) Anniversary Present

happy-bride-after-wedding.jpg Photo: Getty Images
Does the idea of sticking to tradition and gifting your husband something made from paper for your first anniversary make you seize with panic? What exactly, other than tickets to a sports game — which you totally already bought him for his birthday — might he like?

Luckily, we've done some digging and come up with 10 gift ideas, from the mushy to the practical, that are made from paper and your man will love.

A notebook — with your notes inside it, of course.
This gift requires a little forward thinking, but whether you start the first week of your marriage or just jot down your thoughts a month before your first anniversary, hand your man a notebook or journal filled with the reasons he makes an awesome life partner, your favorite memories, the funniest things he's said to you — whatever you know will make him smile to read.

Make a digital photo album.
Gone are the days where women have to print out paper photos and glue them into a scrapbook. Now, you can use online tools such as Blurb or Shutterfly to build a professionally bound book of photos of your first year together.

Be professional with stationery.
Jazz up plain ivory cards by adding your husband's monogram, then include custom wax seals, stamps, return address stickers and more in a package that will amp up your husband's business presence.

Buy a pair of plane tickets.
Destination? Your husband's dream trip, of course. As a bonus, clear the vacation days with your husband's boss on the sly, and include the time-off form with the gift, so he'll know he's got nothing to worry about but what to pack.

Commission a custom portrait.
Head online to Etsy, or visit a local artist's loft to work with him or her to create a painting or sketch of your family. Have a pet? Make sure your fur-baby gets in on the action, too!

Get your friends and family in on a gift.
Give yourself at least a three-month head start for this one. Circulate a notebook among friends and family, asking them to contribute their favorite memories of you as a couple or the best marriage advice they've been given. Your husband will love reading others' thoughts on your life together, too.

Schedule a photo shoot.
Ask your wedding photographer to help you plan a one-year-anniversary shoot with a theme that will celebrate your first year together. Together, you and your husband can choose your favorite prints and create a gallery wall in your home.

Hang a world map.
Make sure it's large, because the point of this present is to spend time with your man plotting the points on each continent you'll one day visit together. Art and vacation plans; what's not to love?

Make his wishes come true.
Write down as many "wishes" as you can think of, from a night with complete control of the remote to his favorite home-cooked meal, and place each wish inside a jar. Let him know that when he needs a pick-me-up, he can pull out a wish and you'll make it come true!

Or make a wish for your future.
Purchase a pair of Chinese paper lanterns, which you can light together and send off on your anniversary night with wishes for your next year of marriage.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

25 Bold Statements You Should Make About Your Marriage Today

Whenever I am nervous about something in my professional life, it is a must that I give myself a motivational pep talk. I typically look in the mirror and remind myself that I’m stronger than I know and actually say “You can do it, You can do it, You can do it.” This statement inspires me and confirms there isn’t a task placed in front of me that’s too difficult for me to accomplish.

Although I appreciate the wins I have in business, nothing can compare to the successes I experience in my marriage, which will not come without proper planning.

The truth is, a marriage can’t survive without setting goals and having good intentions. The same idea behind motivating ourselves to achieve our career goals, can also happen in our marriage. 

Building our relationships up and using words of affirmation speaks life into our marriages. Couples must start expecting success. Those expectations will quickly turn into positive behaviors, only enhancing the quality of a relationship and increasing the chances of its survival. 

Words have transformative powers. Use them wisely and watch what happens in your relationship as a result. The 25 bold statements below are just a few examples of the positive phrases you can use for your marriage.
  • I will fight to stay in this marriage
  • I will fight for this marriage
  • I will try as hard to keep my spouse as I did to get him/her
  • I am in control of my temptations and I will remain faithful to my spouse
  • I will never intentionally hurt my spouse
  • I will be excited about loving and taking care of my spouse.
  • I will defend my spouse and protect my marriage

  • We are stronger and better together
  • We will live a Mark 10:9 marriage, “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
  • We are both working to make this the best marriage possible for one another
  • We expect our marriage to succeed
  • We will not allow anyone or anything to break our bond
  • We are prepared to do all that’s necessary to maintain a happy and healthy marriage
  • We got this!
  • Our marriage is built on a solid foundation of love, trust and friendship
  • Our marriage can survive anything
  • Our marriage includes two people who are willing to communicate effectively and make sacrifices
  • Our marriage was designed by God  
  • Our marriage is healthy
  • My love for my spouse is unconditional
  • My spouse is my priority
  • My vows matter and remind me of the spouse I promised to be
  • My spouse is my best friend
  • My spouse still excites me
  • My marriage is beautiful
Even if the above statements aren’t true in your marriage right now, know it can change at any moment. These 25 phrases are just the beginning.  Remember, they aren’t to be said lightly; actions must accompany them. If you find you aren’t quite ready to commit to these words, it’s best to hold off. They won’t work without an honest effort.

Monday, October 19, 2015

5 Food Groups to Avoid the Day Before Your Wedding

Food Groups to Avoid Before Wedding
Photo: Getty Images
You've juiced, you've spun, you've mastered the downward dog — and now the day is finally here. Well, almost here. The days and hours leading up to your wedding are bound to be full of excitement: The rehearsal dinner! The morning of! With an eye towards helping you rock your dress with maximum confidence, we asked a few nutrition experts what food groups you're better off avoiding in the day (or days) before your wedding — plus what you can do in the eleventh hour to reverse any unintentional damage.

1. Salty Food
According to celebrity nutritionist Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN, the number one food brides should avoid is sodium. "When you're looking to get rid of every last ounce of unwanted bloat under the skin, steer as clear from salt as possible," Glassman recommends.

2. Fried Food
Even though you might want to bury your nerves with French fries and onion rings, it isn't going to make slipping into that dress any easier. The problem with fried food, Glassman explains, is that it can cause bloating and inflammation — also noting that, "inflammation is bad for everything from hair to skin."

3. Packaged Food
Packaged foods are often full of sugar, salt and preservatives — none of which have a particularly fabulous effect on your bod — or your gut. Your best bet is to avoid highly processed foods altogether, but in a pinch you can try counteracting any unpleasant symptoms with potassium. Laura Iu, the registered dietician behind the health-inspired Instagram account @dowhatiulove explains: "While sodium makes the body retain water, potassium helps the body shed water." The best part? Your options are pretty delicious. Mango, avocado, papaya, kiwi, dandelion greens and bananas are all high in potassium.

4. Cruciferous Vegetables
"Some superfoods should be super avoided when looking to de-bloat," quips Iu. That list, unfortunately, includes cruciferous vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and cabbage. Emily Cope, MS, RDN, explains: "while vegetables are typically part of a healthy diet, these vegetables contain a unique sugar called raffinose, [which] feeds the methane-producing bacteria found in the colon." The result? Gas and bloating. Cope suggests filling your plate with other veggies instead. "Lettuce, cucumber, zucchini, spinach and peppers are all composed of more than 90% water," she says, which along with helping you de-bloat and stay hydrated, aids in the elimination of toxins from the body.

5. Carbonated Beverages
We're crushed to report that carbonated beverages — yes, that includes bubbly — also made the naughty list. "Soda, seltzer, beer and champagne all have carbon dioxide, which travels through the intestines and can make your belly feel distended and gassy," explains Iu.

Friday, October 16, 2015

The Do's and Don'ts of Living with Your Guy and Keeping the Peace

Relationship Versus Roommate Problems
Photo: Getty Images
The unmade bed. The kitchen counter never wiped. Yogurt, cilantro, light bulbs, tampons and soap all forgotton at the grocery store. Stubble in the sink. Toilet seat up. Living up close and personal with a boy can be difficult and, at times, even disgusting. The list of your fiancé's housekeeping transgressions may be long (and growing), but how you interpret his missteps can have a big impact on your relationship.

Don't read into the socks left on the floor for a week. His dirty socks do not mean he doesn't love you, or that he's punishing you, or is trying to make you mad. His socks are not an aggressive act; but instead may very well be how he lived as a bachelor, in his pad, without you. He probably doesn't even notice they're there.

Do have an awareness that he lived many years on his own, without you. In his own style, his own way. Granted, it's not your way, but have respect anyway for the way he does things.

Don't get bitter. Don't do all the cleaning yourself — furiously, or sighing, hoping he'll get the message and pick up the broom — and then hold it resentfully over his head.

Do strategize together which are "his" departments and which are "yours." Who's better at and prefers cleaning the bathroom? The kitchen? Vacuuming? Folding laundry? Determine which household tasks are easy for you and for him, then divvy them up that way.

Don't assassinate his character. He's not a slob. He's not a mess. He's just different from you. That doesn't make him a lesser person. He may just be the Oscar to your Felix.

Do focus on small behavior changes, for both of you. "I'll agree to stop nagging about your socks when you pick them up off the floor at the end of the night."

Don't elevate roommate problems into relationship problems. These problems are not about how you love each other or care for each other, but how you live together, in the same space, day to day. You'd have roommate problems with anybody you live in close quarters with.

Do accommodate your differences. Even if they are different definitions of what "clean" is.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

2015 Alive and Running

Thanks to all our efforts... we raised over $300000.00!! ‪#‎AliveandRunning2015‬ ‪#‎erasingthestigma‬ Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services!!!

10 Grown-Up Ways to Use Glitter At Your Wedding

Just because it was a staple in your childhood art class doesn't mean glitter isn't sophisticated enough to make a few appearances at your wedding. From escort-card displays to grand exits, there are so many ways this DIY essential can be incorporated into your decorations. Take a cue from these real weddings, and show us how you used glitter at your wedding using the tag #theknotDIY on Instagram and Twitter.

1. Accent petals

Bridesmaid holding glitter-covered red rose petals
Photo by Tin Sparrow Studio
Planning a fun petal toss after your "I dos"? Consider adding a little sparkle with some glitter spray paint. Not only will they be cool accents in the petal cone, but they'll make for great pictures once they're tossed in the air.
From A Governor John Langdon House Wedding in Portsmouth, New Hampshire

2. Edging details

Hand Lettered Escort Cards With Glitter Edge on Moss Background
Photo by Alison Conklin Photography
For just a hint of shine (and a totally doable technique), outline the edges of your escort cards with glitter glue. A hand-painted detail such as this pairs perfectly with whimsical-looking calligraphy.
From A Romantic, Vintage Wedding in Philadelphia

3. Gold-dipped feathers

White escort card feathers with gold accent
Photo by Loreto Caceres Photography
A feather escort-card display looks beautiful on its own, but adding a touch of gold introduces a unique boho-glam vibe. If you really want to go above and beyond, consider swapping out plain white feathers for something more striking, like pheasant feathers.
From A Glam Park Wedding at Boathouse in Prospect Park in Brooklyn, New York

4. Cocktail accessories

Pink And Green Cocktails With Gold Glitter Heart Drink Stirrers
Photo by Onelove Photography
Turn up the volume on your signature sip. Make a custom drink stirrer by cutting out hearts (or whatever shape you like) from glitter construction paper and gluing them to stirring sticks. Use that same paper to line the bottom of your serving trays for extra points.
From A Toscana Country Club Wedding in Indian Wells, California

5. Votive wraps

Miniature mason jars wrapped with gold glitter ribbon
Photo by Milton Photography
Behold: the easiest wedding craft in existence. Pick up a roll of wide glitter ribbon from a craft or art store and wrap cut pieces around candle votives. Add a bow, or secure with a dot of hot glue.
From A Country Glam Wedding at Deer Valley Meadows in Alix, Alberta

6. Canvas upgrades

Small gold glitter favor bag with silverware
Photo by June Bug Company
Plain canvas pouches aren't too impressive on their own, but a little glitter makeover takes them to a whole new level. Dust half the bag with glitter, or create a fun design motif. Pair with glitter silverware for the ultimate, sparkly place setting.

7. Block letters

Gold glitter and yarn wrapped cardboard initials
Photo by Caitlin Thomas Photography
Give plain cardboard letters some life with a lovely layer of shine—and don't be afraid to mix and match textures. We love the combination of sparkly glitter paired with the cozy, softer look of yarn.
From A Succop Conservancy Wedding in Butler, Pennsylvania

8. Edible dust

Yellow cupcake with frosting and edible glitter
Photo by Kim Guthrie Photography
A sprinkle of glitter atop confections is a fun detail guests will definitely notice, but it's subtle enough to fly under the radar in photos—giving your cake (or cupcake) the center stage it deserves.
From A Modern Wedding at Wichita Boathouse in Wichita, Kansas

9. Succulent wrapping

Succulents In Glitter Pot Escort Cards With Toothpick Flag
Photo by Bonnie Sen Creative Photography
Succulents never disappoint, but give them an attention-grabbing wrap job and they definitely won't be left behind! We recommend finishing it off with a cello bag that's an inch or so taller than the plant container to help manage any soil spillage on the ride home.
From A Glamorous Summer Wedding at Oaks Waterfront Inn in St. Michaels, Maryland

10. Picture-perfect exit toss

Bride and groom grand exit with a glitter toss
Photo by Jenna Lee Pictures
Sure, you might be finding glitter in your hair for the next couple of weeks, but for a photo like this…it's worth it. Opt for coarsely cut glitter and give guests tiny handfuls—a little goes a long way!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Bridesmaid Jumpsuits Are the Greatest Thing to Happen to Weddings

Some brides dare not appear in anything but traditional ivory lace--nor have their maids in anything other than Easter egg chiffon. But what if that lace were in the form of a crop top? Or that chiffon as pants? Enter the new wave of envelope-pushing aisle style.

Bridesmaid Jumpsuits Are the Greatest Thing to Happen to Weddings

Most Body-Con: Crop Tops

Boho is big right now--this we know. But ladies who commit to baring abs at the altar are evidently doing crunches months before the big day. A corset never looked so comfy. (However, there are other more modest options where not as much skin shows.)
Bridesmaid Jumpsuits Are the Greatest Thing to Happen to Weddings

Biggest Risk: Shorts

It’s the rare fashionista who can pull off thigh-grazing white silk without looking like she’s wearing her honeymoon lingerie. How street-style MVP Olivia Palermo pulled it off? By showing only a tiny bit beneath her Carolina Herrera-designed ball skirt.
Bridesmaid Jumpsuits Are the Greatest Thing to Happen to Weddings

Trendiest: Jumpsuits

If rising fashion legend Solange Knowles wore it, it can’t be that wrong. And for the girl whose vibe is more Coachella than "Get Me to the Church on Time"? Behold the bridal romper.
Bridesmaid Jumpsuits Are the Greatest Thing to Happen to Weddings

Most Wearable: Capes

If it’s just the top half of Solange’s enviable ensemble you’re after, look no further than reigning wedding queen Monique Lhuillier (she recently sent one down the runway) and new affordable favorite Reformation (which just debuted one).
Bridesmaid Jumpsuits Are the Greatest Thing to Happen to Weddings

Most Bridesmaid-Friendly: Also Jumpsuits

Slow clap to any bride who gets on board with this idea.
Bridesmaid Jumpsuits Are the Greatest Thing to Happen to Weddings

Most Inclusive: The Granny Bridesmaid

Who cares about the dresses? Look at this 89-year-old bridesmaid!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

15 Love Notes From Couples Who Have The Relationship Thing Down Pat

In a time when couples all-too-frequently communicate via text message, Gchat and email, there's something extra special about a handwritten love note.

Below are 15 cute notes from lovebirds who took the extra time to put pen to paper. Some are sassy, others are sweet -- but all of them are worth holding on to.


"You're never too old to leave love notes on the mirror. Happy anniversary to my honey and very best friend."


"After a rather cranky start to the morning, involving a small argument over something rather unimportant, I showed up at my husband's office with a peace offering. He loved the note best of all."


"Lucky girl."


"Tim always leaves the house before me, but today I left first and came home to this love note and a few others scattered throughout the house. It's the little things." 


"I found this in the drawer of my makeup desk."


"For our wedding anniversary, he surprised me in the bathroom with a note." 


"Morning coffee cup ready."


"My husband sent me this 'memo' that he made for himself. We just found out that we are expecting our second child! I am one lucky lady!"


"My fiancé leaves notes for me regularly, for which I am very grateful. I'm sappy and such a sucker for them!" 


"This note was on my Timehop app. My son Cy was 2 years old then."


"My boyfriend left this for me when he went to work before I woke up. I'm always losing my glasses then spending the day without them and ending up with a migraine."


"Love note found on my desk at the end of the day."


"My loving husband of six years often leaves me and our little daughters love notes on our bathroom mirror. He leaves really early in the morning for work so I always wake up to a sweet note in the morning!"


"It's the little things."


"Best part of my first day back to work."