Thursday, December 31, 2015

Yes, It's OK To Spend Less On A Gift For A Destination Wedding

Ned Frisk via Getty Images
The rules of wedding etiquette are constantly changing, making it difficult for modern brides, grooms and guests to find up-to-date and correct information. That's why we launched #MannersMondays, a series in which we ask our followers on Twitter and Facebook to submit their most burning etiquette-related questions. Then, with the help of our team of etiquette experts, we get you the right answers to your biggest Big Day dilemmas. Check out this week's question below!
If you are traveling to someone's wedding from another state -- or if it's a destination wedding -- are you obligated to give them the same gift you would if the wedding was in your area?
Amber Harrison -- Wedding Papers Divas' resident etiquette expert -- is here to help us answer this week's question. Here's what she had to say:
Regardless of the location of the wedding, the amount you spend on a gift is entirely up to you. You should only spend what feels comfortable for your budget. In the case of a destination wedding, where you will likely be spending a significant amount on travel, accommodations and more, it is understandable that the budget you have set aside for a gift may be slightly smaller. Sometimes restricted budgets can actually encourage creativity that may inspire incredibly personal or meaningful gift ideas.
Remember, you have been invited to be a part of their big day for a reason. As a treasured friend or beloved family member, your support and presence will be appreciated and remembered regardless of the extravagance of the gift.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Our Top 10 Most Popular Weddings from 2015

Top Weddings of 2015

If one thing is for sure it’s that there was no shortage of stunning weddings featured on GWS this year! There were celebrations of all different styles and we loved how they each showcased how creative Green Wedding Shoes couples really are :) To kick off our week of rounding up the best-of-the-best of 2015, we’re excited to share the Top 10 Most Popular Weddings from the past 12 months! These weddings were the most viewed, shared and commented on – both here and on our Pinterest, Facebook + Instagram!

Our GWS team feels so lucky to get to share the amazing work of creative brides + grooms and talented wedding artists every day. We saw eclectic warehouse weddings, romantic outdoor nuptials, lots of stunning elopements + plenty of perfect backyard affairs. 2015 was filled with so much beauty that it makes us pretty excited to see what’s in store for 2016!
Starting at #10 and counting down to the #1 most popular wedding on GWS in 2015…

10. A Boho-luxe Beach Wedding in Mexico

Top Weddings of 2015
This Bohemian-Luxe Sayulita Wedding was one of our most pinned of the entire year thanks to its macrame details, bougainvillea-filled florals + perfectly pastel bridal party.
photography: Taryn Baxter // 2nd shooter: Christine Sargologos // planning: Sayulita Dream Weddings // venue: Teitiare Estate Sayulita in Nayarit, Mexico

9. A Creative Pop-up Barn Celebration

Top Weddings of 2015
When you can’t find a barn big enough for your 350 guests, you MAKE one! It’s easy to see why this Elegant Pop-up Barn Wedding designed by Crosby + Jon, was on our most popular list!
wedding design: Crosby + Jon // photography: Chris and Kristen Photography // wedding planning + stationery: Donna Urban Events

8. I Dos on a Hawaiian Sandbar

Top Weddings of 2015
As far as surreal locations go, the middle of the Pacific Ocean is one of the tops! You loved this Intimate Sandbar Wedding in Hawaii as much as we did and it comes in at #8 on our list!
photography: Geoff Duncan // venue: Ceremony at Kane’ohe Bay Sandbar and Reception at Place in Paradise in Kailua, Hawaii

7. A Custom-made Convertible Dress

Top Weddings of 2015
Our fashion-focused brides were all about the dress transformation from this super sweet Rustic Temecula Ranch Wedding!
photography: John Robert Woods //  venue: The Retro Ranch Temecula, California // day of coordination: Pure Lavish Events

6. A Stylish Vow Renewal in Joshua Tree

Top Weddings of 2015
A vintage TV set backdrop, a gold sequin skirt, killer florals, and a laid-back vibe helped set this Eclectic Joshua Tree Vow Renewal apart from the pack.
photography: Tyler Branch // venue: Hicksville Trailer Palace Joshua Tree, California // event planning + design: Gianna SanFilippo, Chic Celebrations

5. A Big Sur Celebration by the Sea

Top Weddings of 2015
It was all sweet moments + epic views from this Bohemian Big Sur Wedding!
photography: Studio Castillero // rehearsal dinner: Big Sur Bakery // ceremony: Pfeiffer Burns State Park Big Sur, California // event design + florals: Jesi Haack Design

4. Storybook Romance + a Dream Wedding Dress

Top Weddings of 2015
Top Weddings of 2015
It was no surprise that this Fairytale-Inspired Wedding made the most popular list! One look at the magical details, ethereal dresses, and creative photos proves that going with the right theme can really pay off!
photography: Jessie Holloway Photography // planning + design: Bettina Hamblin // venue: Knoxville Gardens & Arboretum Knoxville, Tennessee

3. Love in Brooklyn, New York

Top Weddings of 2015Top Weddings of 2015
This gorgeous bride wore one of our most pinned wedding dresses of all time, but that’s not the only reason her Modern Chic Brooklyn Wedding made our list. There were lots of sweet moments + gorgeous details, too!
photography: Phil Chester // venue: 26 Bridge Brooklyn, New York // day of coordination + florals: The Dedicated New Yorker

2. An Epic Star Wars Themed Wedding

Top Weddings of 2015
With the recent release of the latest Star Wars film, this bride + groom’s Star Wars Inspired Wedding is sure to inspire other couples who are just as crazy about the beloved franchise!
photography: Cacá Santoro Photography // venue: loftSeven Los Angeles, California // event planner: Stephanie Estes Events

1. A Gorgeous Chateau Wedding in France

Top Weddings of 2015
It was really no surprise that this Laid Back French Chateau Wedding made #1 on our list! Between the backdrop, the bride’s dress + all the sweet details, it was hard not to fall in love!
photography: Logan Cole Photography // venue: Chateau le Mont Epinguet Normandy, France
In just a bit we’ll be sharing a super festive New Year’s Eve editorial, and stay tuned throughout the week for more fun round-ups, including the best bouquets, engagement sessions + cakes of 2015!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

6 Tips to Make 2016 the Best Year of Your Life

It’s almost a New Year. That’s means a new YOU! What’s your New Year’s resolution going to be? I love the idea of the New Year because you get to bring it in with the ones that mean the most and January 1st just feels like a new, clean slate! You get to start over and set goals for yourself to make a better you.

It seems that a lot of people never accomplish their New Year’s resolution and their resolution happens to be the same every year. Let’s make 2016 different. Be a new kind of you this year with these easy tips! Let’s begin shall we:

1.Create habit. Set your goals for this year and create habit. Focus on your goals everyday, big or small. At the beginning, it’s kind of hard to have your goals in the back of your head everyday. Write your goal(s) on a sticky note and put on your bathroom mirror so that you are reminded everyday. Another idea, is to write it in your planner.

2. Keep a positive mind. Keep an “I can and I will” attitude. If you keep negative thoughts in your mind, negativity will follow. I’ve gone through one heck of a 2015 and there are times when I felt like I wanted to quit. You have to keep trying hard to move forward. Take your battles and use them at motivation to do better and keep going, even stronger than before. When you’re faced with a new battle, sit back and breathe for a minute and see how big of a deal it really is. As my mom says, “don’t sweat the small stuff.” Moms are always right..
positive, hobby, exercise

3. Get Organized. Create lists, planners, binders and get rid of your mess and clutter. Starting with your home is best. A rule in my house is if you haven’t used it in 6 months, toss it. Organize your closet, bedroom, and office/desk. Organizing your bills and important paperwork is a great way to take a load off. Grabbing a planner (if you don’t have one, Target and Hobby Lobby planners seem to be my favorite!) is a way to make me feel like I have my stuff together and makes me feel less stressed. Put your energy into something fun!

office, organized

4. Find a new hobby. This will get your mind off of things and let you enjoy you-time. Hobbies give you time where you can decompress, forget your struggles, or unwind after a long week. A few hobbies that I recently have found that I enjoy are painting and kayaking!

5. Make your own path. Whatever your goal is for the New Year, make it your own. Don’t follow the crowd. Ignore the negativity of “you can’t do that” and “that’s dumb” and do what makes YOU happy. Follow the road less travelled and enjoy your own experiences to share with others. Life is a journey, enjoy it the way you want to.

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

6. Plan a trip. There is nothing more exciting than experiencing something that you never have before. Your trip doesn’t have to be super elaborate, it could simply just be a place you’ve never gone before. Take the time of your busy year and plan a weekend or weeklong trip where you see the world. Go ride a train or subway for the first time. Go sit in a free talk show like Live! With Kelly and Michael. Planning a trip will have you looking forward to something and keep you motivated.

packing, suitcase packing, honeymoon suitcase

Monday, December 28, 2015

Let the Countdown Begin! 5 Ideas for an Unforgettable New Year's Eve Wedding

We could start off by listing all the reasons a New Year's Eve wedding is an awesome idea, but you probably already know them, particularly if you've ever been a guest at one: think open bar, set plans and no standing in long lines or getting body checked by strangers all night. It's the one night of the year everybody, including your parents, are looking to party, and for a party, for that matter. With New Year's Eve falling on a Saturday in 2016, we suspect a bunch of brides and grooms will be saving the date.

So for the sake of you and your guests, please don't drop the ball on planning! Go big or go home with these epic New Year's Eve wedding ideas.

1. Set up a modern champagne bar
Spice up your typical wedding toast with a champagne bar featuring an array of modern bubbly cocktails in honor of the new year, recommends celebrity caterer and CEO of Elegant Affairs, Andrea Correale. "Bring in a professional mixologist to really make a splash." You can also never go wrong with a big, great gatsby inspired champagne tower, notes Erica Taylor, co-founder of Tinsel & Twine.

2. Have a themed wedding
It's not cheesy if it's on NYE, right? For couples that want to have some fun, an era specific wedding, such as a roaring twenties theme, will tie in with New Year's nicely and add an extra layer of excitement for guests, advises event producer Marc Wilson, owner of Weddings by MWD Lifestyles.

3. Send guests home with a grand "New Year, New You" gift bag
Cheers to new beginnings and not just marriage! Jessica Janik, founder of The Invisible Bridesmaid, strongly believes that if you're going to throw a NYE wedding, everything better be over the top — your favors and welcome bags included — since you're essentially dictating how your guests will spend the holiday. Treat them to a curated gift box full of goodies to kick off the new year right. Some ideas Janik loves are massage gift cards, meal delivery service, a healthy cookbook, nutrition supplements or even certificates to boutique workout centers, such as Barry's Bootcamp and Pure Barre. Beauty products are a no-brainer too, particularly after a night of partying.

4. Create a New Year's resolution guest book
Complete with a photo booth! As planning pro Cynthia Pesce of The Inn at New Hyde Park points out, it's a great way to capitalize on the NYE wedding theme, plus it gives you something to keep in touch with friends and family about. Photo booths generally print out two copies of each photo so people can stick one in the guest book next to their resolution and hang onto the other as a fun memento, she says. As for props: Berets, pearls, feathers, masquerade masks, NYE party hats and boas are perfect.

5. Do a midnight ball, balloon or confetti drop
Turn your wedding into Times Square on New Year's Eve by DIYing your own live ball drop, covered in crystals of course, suggests invitation designer Danielle Behar. "Ask your videographer to capture any midnight kisses on camera too." If you can't do the ball drop, wedding planner Amy Shey Jacobs, President of Chandelier Events, says she'd absolutely end the night with a dance floor confetti drop or a balloon drop if confetti were banned at your venue.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Happy Holidays

From Our Family to yours... 
We wish you a very Happy Holidays!! 

Scott Jasmine Jacelyn and Isaiah

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Wedding 101 5 Smart Ways to Document Your Proposal (Because It'll Happen in a Flash)

While your proposal is undoubtedly a memorable moment, it can be surprisingly difficult to actually remember how it went down! Between the shock and excitement (um, is this real life!?), the whole thing will happen in a flash, leaving you wondering what was really said and done and desperately searching for details as you recount the story to eager friends and family ("And then I... Uh, wait...").
Whether you're popping the question or expecting a proposal ('tis the season...), make the memory last with one of these five ideas:
Photo by Gina & Ryan Photography on Inspired by This
1. Hire a photographer. Photos make amazing keepsakes because they capture your joy (and shock!) in such an intimate moment. Plus, you can use them later for your engagement party invites, save the dates, wedding website, and so much more.
These days, there are photographers who specialize in just proposals. The pros are good at laying low so your partner doesn't expect a thing — in fact, some will stay in hiding the whole time so you can later surprise your new fiance with the special snapshots! We've also heard stories of couples or families going on what they think will be a ordinary photo shoot that turns into something special.
Not sure you want to splurge on a photographer? (Save that dough for hiring a wedding photographer,) and ask a talented friend to snap a few pictures in hiding. Or, if you're planning a more public proposal, take a chance on a passerby. Ask them to snap what seems like a regular old photo, then surprise everyone by getting down on one knee.
Photo by Planning for Dudes on Society Bride
2. Catch it on video. A picture's worth a thousand words, but why not take it to the next level with a video? A video makes sure you capture every word (you've been practicing your proposal speech, right?), and you'll never forget the sweet exchange. Just like pro photographers, skilled videographers can stay out of the way so your unsuspecting love won't know the proposal is coming.
3. Snap a selfie. Proposals are super personal and intimate, and lots of couples would prefer to be alone — with no photographers or friends and family around to capture the moment. If that's you, don't worry! We LOVE proposal selfies (share them on Insta with #soloverly). Be sure to get both of you in the photo — and the ring! We wouldn't judge you for bringing a selfie stick...
Photo by Nathan Fiske on How He Asked
4. Save a souvenir. Whether you get engaged on an exotic Tahitian vacation, at your favorite local pizza joint, or on your own couch over Chinese take-out, you can remember the special location by saving some memorabilia. So get creative! Take a jar full of sand from the beach and use it in your unity sand ceremony on the wedding, write your names and the date on a napkin to frame, or crack open those cookies and keep the fortunes somewhere safe.
5. Write it down. You know how those special moments that you think you'll remember slowly start to fade away over time? Do NOT let your proposal be one of them! The day it happens (or the day after) write down everything you can remember — what you said, what your partner said, both of your reactions, what you did right after. It could be a Facebook update, a blog post, or just an entry in your personal journal. You'll cherish your writing years later!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

How Long Should You Be Engaged Before You Get Married?

How Long Should You Be Engaged Before Marriage
Photo: Getty Images
Few couples marry within days of a surprise proposal. Fewer still actually go the Five-Year Engagement route. It's somewhere in-between that most couples find their sweet spot, but how exactly do you know where you should fall in a six month to two-year time frame?
Unfortunately, says Bela Gandhi, relationship expert and founder of Smart Dating Academy, there's no one-size-fits all answer to the question of how long you should wait before you tie the knot. "There are so many factors that play into a wedding date selection," she says. "For example, crazy work projects that offer no breaks, medical or law school commitments, or wanting to wed in the church they've dreamed of for years only to find out it isn't available until 2019."

Before you select a date and determine just how long your engagement will be, Gandhi suggests asking yourself how long you need so that you won't feel a paralyzing amount of wedding planning stress. She also recommends taking into account your family and guests: How long will they need to prepare for your wedding and other related festivities? Finally, hiring a wedding planner could help shorten your engagement period significantly, Gandhi points out, so it's smart to know whether one fits into your budget before you begin.

There are also advantages and disadvantages to weigh on how long you wait. "The advantages of a short time frame are that you start running and you get it done," explains Gandhi. "I have plenty of clients who are in their late 30s and don't want to spend one or two years waiting." But with a shortened engagement could come additional stress, she warns, in a time during which you might simply want to soak up your engagement.

If you're leaning toward waiting longer, consider that you will probably have your pick of wedding vendors, which is a plus. "But the downside," Gandhi warns, "is having too much time to obsess about the details, and that can lead to stress and arguments."

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

6 Ways to Figure Out What Ring She Wants Without Asking

Is she a princess-cut, cushion-cut, or round-cut type of girl? Would she rather have rose gold or white gold? Talk about information overload for a guy who's (probably) never spent this much money on one piece of jewelry before! To help, wedding jewelers Garrick Courtney and Simoni Shah, Co-founders of Cosh NYC, and Jade Battad, diamond and jewelry consultant for Adiamor, weigh in on how to shop for a ring she'll love without blowing your cover.

Photography by: Sang An

Stalk her social media accounts

"Women tweet, post, and pin the things they like, so check out your girlfriend's social media accounts for posts, pictures, and retweets that will give you clues into the styles she likes," Courtney and Shah say. She may have already pinned a dream engagement ring on her Pinterest's wedding board, or she probably has liked a few of her friends' rings on Instagram.

Ask one of her friends or family members for advice

If you feel you can trust someone to keep your secret under wraps, ask her sister, mom, or best friend for ring advice. "They may already have an idea of what she would like … or can get her to talk about a celebrity's engagement ring," Battad says. Her best friend will know how to get information out of her without it seeming fishy.

Capitalize on her obsession with celebrities 

Does your lady spend Sunday night watching Keeping Up with the Kardashians? Does she crack up at Chrissy Teigen's tweets everyday? Whoever her celebrity girl crush is, pay attention! "Instead of rolling your eyes while she gossips about the Kardashians, listen in—you may get some great tips on the engagement ring styles she loves and hates," Courtney and Shah recommend. After all, who wouldn't want a cushion cut set between two diamond eternity bands like Chrissy Teigen's?

Get information with an Oscar-worthy performance

You can still ask about engagement ring styles in a non-direct way. "If someone you both know got engaged, mention the ring and see what she has to say about it … does she like it or does she prefer something else?" says Battad.

Find a reason to take her through the jewelry department

Ask your lady to go to the mall with you to pick out a new winter coat or shop for a birthday gift your sister. "Head to the mall or a big department store … just make sure your plans walk you right past the fine jewelry counter," Courtney and Shah say. Take note of what colors, diamond shapes, and styles she pays attention to.

Let her personality pick the shape 

Is she in love with one-of-a-kind vintage furniture and all-things Brigitte Bardot? Or is she the type to fangirl over Rihanna's latest look? "More traditional ladies tend to choose round brilliant cuts, while those who fancy themselves trendsetters opt for less traditional fancy-shaped pieces like ovals, cushions, and even heart shaped diamonds," explain Courtney and Shah.

Monday, December 21, 2015

How Will Your Relationship Change if You Already Lived Together Before You Tied the Knot?

How Relationships Change After Living Together
Photo: Getty Images
There's a well known but little discussed fear among couples who live together before they tie the knot: That nothing will change. And while your world may not turn quite upside down, there are definitely still changes that happen before and after "I do." Here, four women reveal what really changed for them after marriage.

"We were just really happy," says one married woman. "The excitement of having tied the knot stayed in our apartment for a long time. For example, when we just lived together and one of us got home from work, it was normal for the other to just nod as we sat on the couch and didn't get up. When we were first married, however, we would leap up and hug each other as soon as we walked through the door."

"There was a feeling that we were really, truly partners," says another woman. "When you live together, sure, you pay bills jointly, you don't swap out the sofa without talking to the other person first, etc. But when you get married, you're not just coexisting together. You're in it together — and that's a weighty thing."

"My husband was good at keeping his, uh, 'man tendencies' to himself when we just lived together, but once we got married, it was as if my husband threw in the good manners towel — and not into the hamper!" says one married woman. "All bets were off once he 'had' me. He farted under the covers. I found his dirty socks in trails to the bedroom. He burped. A lot. Let's just say reality hit a little too hard!"

"Not much changed for us personally," admitted another woman, "but how people regarded us was ever so slightly different. You can tell that people take your relationship way more seriously when you're married, versus just 'shacking up,' as our parents liked to say!"

Friday, December 18, 2015

12 Things Your Spouse Needs To Hear From You More Often


We all live busy lives, and for most of us, there isn't enough time to do everything that we need to do in a given day. Marriages often take a hit in order to cover the rest of the bases.
We take a lot of things for granted in our marriages because we have been together and have a lot of history. We assume that our spouses know how we truly feel about them, but there are some things we all need to hear from time to time.
Here's a list of 12 things that your spouse needs to hear from you more often:

1. "I love you."

Sometimes we think that because we've said "I love you" a few times, we don't need to keep saying it. However, it's important to let your spouse know on a regular basis that they're loved and adored and that you want to always be by their side!
2. "I enjoy being with you."

What a joy it is to hear your spouse say that they really enjoy being with you no matter how long you've been together!
3. "Your opinion is important to me/your feelings are important to me."

It's so important to one's self esteem to know that what you think and feel matters to someone else, especially the person you're closest to.
4. "You look great!"

It feels good to know that your spouse is paying attention to how you look. It makes you want to look your best.
5. "I'm so glad I married you."

When you say this to your spouse, you're saying, "Out of everyone else in the world I choose you today and always. Our relationship was and is a choice! We choose each other in the good and the bad, in the joys and the sorrows of life."
6. "What do you want to do?"

It's important for us to not just assume we know what our spouse wants to do or where they want to go. We need to ask questions and let them respond and possibly sacrifice what we want to do for what the other wants to do. If something is important to your spouse, but not as important to you, learn to give to your spouse in that area.
7. "I can't wait to be with you."

This says, "I love being with you and miss you when we are not together. I think about you throughout my day and look forward to being at home with you."
8. "Our relationship is the most important one I have on this earth."

Hearing these words is encouraging, relationship building, and can help a spouse to hang in there and not feel disheartened when life is getting in the way of spending the kind of time together we desire.
9. "Please and thank you."

Manners are a must in our closest relationships, even more so than in public. If we are able to express please and thank you to strangers, there is no excuse for not expressing those sentiments to our spouses and children. We must not take each other for granted and become complacent in our relationships.
10. "I'm sorry; please forgive me."

We must admit when we have made a mistake, hurt our spouse's feelings, done something that has hurt or disappointed them. Sometimes all it takes is a sincere apology for us to right a wrong. Stubbornness and unwillingness to admit we might have caused a problem creates distance in our relationships. Harboring bitterness and carrying grudges creates even more distance. We may feel justified in our hurt and our anger, but having a spirit that's unwilling to approach the problem and resolve the issue will push us apart and chip away at our love for one another.
11. "I appreciate it when you ... "

It's very important to express appreciation toward our spouses. Instead of finding fault all the time and nagging at one another about the things we don't like, we need to express appreciation for what they do that's helpful. Nagging is discouraging and creates resentment and anger, which leads to more negative interaction. The more appreciative we are, the more likely our spouses will continue to do the things we appreciate. It's always easier to respond to positive input with positive behavior. When we feel appreciated, we tend to want to do even more to meet the needs of our spouses. The more we're able to express appreciation to our spouses, the more satisfied and content we are in our relationships.
12. "It meant more to me than you will ever know when you... "

When your spouse has done something for you that's meaningful, it's good manners to let them know. It can also touch their heart to know that the effort was worthwhile. This response reinforces the meaningful behavior.
All of us like to hear these words from our spouses often. We need to work on expressing them to our spouses regularly. If you haven't been in the habit of speaking words of encouragement and love to your spouse, you can begin now with taking just one of these and putting it into practice.
This article originally appeared on YourTango.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

A Sneak Peek at 2016 Wedding Fashion


Believe it or not, we’re rounding out 2015 and will soon be celebrating the New Year. Where has the time gone? With 2016 right around the corner, we thought we’d take a look at some of the trends you’ll see in wedding fashion next year.,, and recently released their spring collections. Here are some of the upcoming trends for brides and grooms:
Gown Bodices:
    -Plunging necklines. Bridal fashion has been pushing limits on skin exposure for years, so it wasn’t terribly surprising to see a number of deep V-necked gowns on the runways.
    -Illusion bodices. As brides get more comfortable with showing their figures, designers get bolder in their fashions. Some wedding gowns include only enough fabric to cover the vital areas. If you’re considering a gown like this, you may want to consider a nude under-layer that matches your skin tone.
    -Keyhole necklines. For those brides who don’t want to take the daring plunge, keyhole necklines are a nice option. They cover more, but open up along the breastbone to show a little skin.
Gown Bottoms:
    -Overskirts. For brides who want a streamlined silhouette but the flow of a ballgown, overskirts are the way to go. They can also be removed for a second look during the reception.
    Sheer skirts. Right in line with the overskirts are sheer skirts. This continues the trend of showing more skin.
    -Thigh-high slits. If you don’t have a sheer skirt but you want to show some leg, a thigh-high slit in your skirt might be for you.
    -Tiered skirts. Layers are a big trend for 2016, so tiered skirts were a shoe-in for designers.
Gown Details:
    -3-D floral appliqués. You’ve seen gowns with 3-D flowers on them, right? In 2016, those gowns will be hotter than ever.
    -Feathers. Don’t think “chicken” when we say feathers. Think light, airy, wispy feather accents that highlight the bodice or skirt. Perfect for spring!
    -Wave details. Designers were inspired by the ocean for 2016. Many prints include wave designs, and a number of skirts were cut to flow like waves.
Gown Styles:
    -Pants. Perhaps the hottest trend for 2016 is wedding pantsuits instead of gowns for brides. Definitely bucking tradition!
    -Mini-dresses. Gown designers have decided that brides need a LWD (Little White Dress) to match their LBD. A number of styles involve miniskirts, and they’re deemed suitable for either a second reception dress or for the entire event.
    -Long sleeves. We’re not talking chaste long sleeves here. Inspired largely by Kate Middleton, wedding fashion has been incorporating more and more long-sleeved styles. The sleeves are usually gossamer and lacy, though…more delicate than purposeful.
Men’s Fashion Trends:
    -Slim cuts. While pants are getting a bit fuller in the leg next year, the overall suit style will be slim.
    -Pant cuffs. Pant cuffs are still popular, but Sal Lauretta cautions against men choosing this style if they’re not very tall.
    -Color and Materials. Plaid prints and bold colors are trendy, as are wool (for cool months) and linen (for warmer months).

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

10 Reasons Christmas is the Perfect Time for Proposals

This time of year holds an extra special place in my heart, as it wasn’t too long ago that my now-husband dropped to one knee by the beautiful Christmas tree and asked me a super special question. To this day, when the holidays roll around, I flash back to that sweet memory. Eager for a magical Christmas moment of your own? Here are the reasons why it’s officially the season for perfect proposals!

The Perfect Gift

It’s hard to think of any Christmas gift that could compare to the magic of an engagement ring. My own ring is, without a doubt, my favorite gift ever, and it’s not a bad way to start a little sparkly tradition, now is it?

Family + Friends In Abundance

With friends and family guaranteed to be nearby to toast with champagne and hugs all around, the holidays are a perfect time to invite loved ones in on all the celebratory action.

Holiday Glow

We’re already all glowing with festive feelings aplenty and a proposal is the perfect way to tap into all that amazing energy.

Beautiful Surroundings

Everywhere and everything looks better during the holidays, decked out in beautiful lights, festive wreaths and more. Your post-proposal pics are going to look fab no matter what!

Special Spots Galore

With all the shining surroundings, special spots to pop the question are for the picking! From the sparkling Christmas tree to the romantic mistletoe, your man will have no lack in locations to choose from to drop to one knee!

Christmas Gets Even Better

The holidays are the happiest time of the year, but did you know there is a way to make them even better? Oh yes, the right hand ring finger holds the key!

Great Story

The Night Before Christmas may get all the glory but let’s get real, your new sparkly surprise is going to be the story that you and your loved ones really remember for years to come.

Fresh Starts

What better way to start the new year than with a shiny new sparkler and exciting plans ahead for you and your partner! Perfect motivation and inspiration!

Smart Timing

Getting engaged at start of the new year gives you just enough time to still plan a summer wedding if you’d like! Don’t want to feel any rush? No worries, my year and a half engagement was the perfect timing for us!

Special Sales

And let’s not forget the logistical side as well; holidays may one of the best times to take advantage of special deals and sales with jewelers! We love romantic and resourceful gentlemen!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

An Exact Timeline for Every Bride's Pre-Wedding Beauty Needs

Timeline for Bride's Pre-Wedding Beauty Needs
Photo: Larissa Cleveland
It's time to face the facts when it comes to peak bridal beauty performance! We've mapped out all of your pre-wedding beauty rituals, in accordance to your wedding day, to ensure stress-free satisfaction when walking down the aisle.

6 Months Before
If you're planning on cutting your windswept locks into a flirty bob, or going from brunette to platinum blonde, this is the time to do it! Any hair modifications/experimentations should start six months prior to the big day to avoid any non-reversible damages.
Use this time to make appointments to see your dermatologist to discuss a personal cleansing and moisturizing program for supple wedding day skin.

Take extra long walks on the beach with your hubby-to-be if you want to shed a few pounds before slipping into your lace Vera Wang. Developing an exercise routine six months before your big day will ensure a healthy way to lose, or maintain, your goal weight.

4-5 Months Before
Make consultations with both your wedding day hair and makeup teams to go over exactly what you envision while walking down the aisle. Knowing you and your stylists are on the same page when it comes to wedding day style will ensure a stress free "getting ready" party with your bridal squad.

2-3 Months Before
Begin the process of booking all of your day-of appointments (hair, makeup, etc.) and write everything down in a personal planner or calendar. Staying organized is always in a bride's favor!
Beach wedding? Play around with your favorite self-tanners and decide which ones bring out your natural glow and not make you unusually orange.

1-2 Months Before
Round up all of the beauty products, and extra accessories you will need to complete your wedding day look. Whether you've opted for a classic red lip, or a feather hair clip, you don't want to miss the boat when it comes to your favorites selling out.
Go through a trial run with your makeup artist to seal-the-deal on your bridal look. Every bride needs an excuse to sit back, relax, and get pampered!

2 Weeks Before
Make a mental note to consistently drink water throughout the day to maintain clear, hydrated and glowing skin.Exfoliate and moisturize everything from your elbows to your feet daily from this date on. Confirm all of your big day beauty appointments for some extra stress-free satisfaction.

1 Week Before
Book your final wax before your celebration. Anything from your eyebrows, legs, and everywhere in between can be scheduled at this point to allow enough time for your skin to heal.
Facials should be scheduled one week before your big day. Any allergic reaction, or unexpected skin outcome, can be maintained in time to walk down the aisle.

1 Day Before
Pamper yourself with a mani/pedi and lots of beauty sleep.
Continue to drink lots of water to maintain optimal hydration from the inside out.

Wedding Day
Don't forget to eat something healthy! The excitement of the day can sometimes be overwhelming and cause you to forget this very important guideline. Lots of champagne on an empty stomach leads to a flushed face and an early night!
Most importantly, don't forget to celebrate, live in the moment, and have fun!

Monday, December 14, 2015

10 Foods to Avoid on Your Wedding Day

Make sure you feel your best on your big day by skipping these foods that cause bloating and other unwanted wedding crashers.

Photography by: Bryan Gardner
Wedding dress, check. Shoes, check. Makeup for touch-ups, check. Tissues, check. The one thing most brides forget to include on their wedding-day checklist? Something to eat! In all of the hustle and excitement of getting married, it's easy to forget to bring snacks to munch on while prepping for your big day. And though comfort foods may seem the logical choice to calm those last-minute nerves, the last time we checked nausea, bloating, and gas were not on your guest list. Quell those hunger pangs with anything other than these treacherous 10:

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1. Sugar

An insulin spike isn't on today's menu… Save yourself for your cake, and grab some fruit instead. One caveat: Bananas and grapes are both high in sugar," says Brad Davidson, author of The Stark Naked 21-Day Metabolic Reset, fitness expert, and nutritionist. Better, low-fructose bets include berries, kiwi, and citrus.

2. Cheese

That cheese platter may seem appetizing, but it can cause some not-so nice side effects. "Cheese contains a heavy burden of hard-to-digest fat making it more likely for you to experience nausea, bloating, and fatigue," says Davidson.

3. Caffeine

We all love a cup of freshly-brewed coffee, but on your big day it may leave you feeling jittery and anxious. If you have to stay focused, grab a small cup of Joe or brew some herbal tea to calm your nerves.

4. Granola

Processed-granola bars can contain as much sugar as a candy bar, (and without the energy boost you hoped for). Instead, make a homemade trail mix filled with protein-packed nuts and seeds to keep you feeling full.

5. Alcohol

Cheers! You should enjoy Champagne and decadent cocktails, but hold out until the reception. "Beer and carbonated beverages release carbon dioxide in the stomach, which will result in bloating and belching", says Angela Onsgard, Miraval Resort's resident nutritionist.

6. Spices

Beat the heat, and save the spices for another day! "Eating spicy food may result in acid reflux or heartburn. It can also contribute to bad breath," says Onsgard. And that's not what you need for your first kiss as husband and wife!

7. Carbonated Beverages

Bubbly drinks may seem harmless, but they can irritate your stomach. "Choose still water or tea to prevent bloating," recommends Onsgard.

8. Cruciferous Veggies

Cruciferous veggies such as broccoli, brussel sprouts, and bok choy are healthy, but can stir up more than butterflies in your belly. "Be careful not to eat too many raw vegetables in the couple of days prior to, and on your big day, as the extra load of fiber can make you gassy if your digestive enzyme levels are low," says Davidson, who suggests steaming your veggies to "to reduce the stress on your digestive system."

9. Fried Foods

Rather than reaching for fatigue-causing greasy foods, choose a salad with an oil-based dressing to bolster your energy. "Avocados, coconut oil, and olive oil are a safe bet to keep your blood sugar stable for long periods of time. Yawning at the alter is not allowed," says Davidson.

10. Carbohydrates

What do dried fruit, bread, crackers, and potato chips all have in common? An unhealthy amount of carbs. "Many carbohydrate foods, especially those containing high amounts of fiber, can result in gas production during digestion," says Onsgard. Instead, Onsgard suggests eating "easy to digest grains" such as buckwheat, rice, quinoa, and millet, to increase digestibility and reduce bloating.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Warning: 5 Things the Mother of the Bride Should Never Say to the Bride

MOB Shouldn't Say
Photo: Getty Images
Your little girl is all grown up — now she's engaged and planning her wedding! As the mother of the bride, you'll wear a number of different hats — confidante, friend, sounding board, voice of reason, and sometimes banker. Although, this is an exciting time it can be overwhelmingly stressful, so the trick is figuring out which hat your daughter wants you to wear at a given time — remembering when she's acting irrational, that your job is to stay collected.
Brides can be sensitive creatures, and comments that might not normally bother her, may light a fuse. You know what triggers your daughter, but it's wrong to push her buttons when she's already feeling emotionally-charged.

It's easy to lose your temper when your adult daughter is being completely unreasonable, but try your best not to use any of the following five phrases:

1. "Don't be such a Bridezilla."
Unless you're on a reality TV show, this is the ultimate insult to a bride. Nobody wants to be thought of as a high-strung, demanding, and selfish bride. Choose your words wisely when confronting your emotional daughter about her behavior.

2. "I don't know why you didn't just elope."
Ouch! Although you may be trying to say that you feel left out of the decision-making process — the bride is hearing you say that you didn't care if you were present to see her exchange vows. This isn't nice to say to someone who has taken the time to involve family, friends and has chosen to include her loved ones on her marriage day.

3. "Fine. Do what you like and pay for it yourself."
If you've offered to pay for something, accept that you're going to have to compromise to make sure your daughter achieves the vision she wants — while you get the quality and price you're comfortable with. Threatening to withhold funds you've already promised will only stress her out and make things more acrimonious between you two.

4. "Your father will never agree to that."
Try not to drag her father into the disagreement unless you absolutely have to. If you do — have him tell your daughter what he thinks — rather than you play messenger. You're her mother and you don't need to hide behind her father to put your foot down. If you're the one who disagrees with her, own it.

5. "The world does not revolve around you because you're getting married."
Theoretically, she knows that already, but depending on how self-involved she is — and how crazy her life has gotten since she got engaged — it may truly feel like she is the center of the universe. When you say this to her, you're telling her that you're not on her team, even though you really are. Try to use supportive phrases even when you're being the voice of reason.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

24 Wedding Favor Ideas That Don't Suck

Most involve food and alcohol, naturally.





Setting aside part of your wedding budget for useless favors that guests will throw out as soon as they get home just isn't worth it. (We're looking at you, picture frames inscribed with the couple's names and wedding date.)
Instead, give your guests something they'll actually want to eat, drink or keep. Below are 24 fun and useful favor ideas that they're guaranteed to love.