Friday, April 29, 2016

Crowd-Pleasing Edible Wedding Favors: The Hot Sauce Edition

hot sauce wedding favors
Photo: Charlotte Jenks Lewis Photography

If you and your groom love all things spicy, then why not give everyone miniature bottles of your favorite hot sauces as edible wedding favors? Embellish the bottles with a thank-you favor tag, or have them perform double-duty as escort cards (simply tie an escort-card around the bottle's neck). Or, better yet, make your own hot sauce from scratch for guests to enjoy at home.

Cholula (above): This couple loves their favorite hot sauce so much, not only did they pass them out as favors, they also named their dog Cholula.

hot sauce wedding favors
Photo: onelove photography

Tapatio: At this couple's nuptials, bottles of Tapatio sauce also doubled as escort cards.

hot sauce wedding favors
Photo: Mustard Seed Photography

Crystal: This New Orleans-based couple gave out bottles of Louisiana-made Crystal hot sauce.

See More: Edible Wedding Favors: The Coffee and Tea Edition

hot sauce wedding favors
Photo: Heidi Shub Photography

Frank's Red Hot: If you've got a weakness for Frank's Red Hot, pass out bottles of your favorite brand to guests at the reception.

hot sauce wedding favors
Photo: Amelia Johnson

Tabasco: These sweet favor tags read, "Family and friends are the splce of life. Thanks for warming up our night!"

hot sauce wedding favors
Photo: Jen Philips Photography

Assorted Hot Sauces: Can't decide on a favorite hot sauce? Pass out all your favorites and encourage guests to mix and mingle and try 'em all.

hot sauce wedding favors
Photo: Chloe Giancola Photography

Homemade: If you or a family member are known to make a wicked good hot sauce, consider making a huge batch for guests to enjoy at home after the wedding is over.

Thursday, April 28, 2016


Happy Birthday to me... Thankful for 37 years on this earth. Looking forward to the new year! 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

10 Unique Charities to Donate to in Lieu of Wedding Favors or Gifts

Wedding Registry Charity Donations
Photo: Aniko Productions
Traditionally, weddings and the months leading up to them are bursting with generosity. There are engagement parties and bridal showers. People spend hundreds on plane tickets and bedding sets. Friends and family members offer their time, support, and energy. So, in this time of great giving, what better time to give back? Whether you make a donation to a cause in place of party favors or ask your guests to invest in a charity instead of a crock pot, a little selflessness can go a long way for many non-profits — and experts say the practice is becoming more and more popular for engaged couples.

Choosing which organization will be gifted with your support can be overwhelming — with so many worthy causes to choose from, but you can't go wrong choosing something personal to you and your fiancé. Did either of you lose a family member to a particular disease? Contribute to groups fighting to find a cure. Love animals? Donate to a local shelter. Whatever you pick, know that you're making a difference by paying all that wedding generosity forward.

Here are 10 charities doing innovative and important work across the country to consider donating to in lieu of wedding favors or gifts.

1. The Birthday Party Project
Keep the party going with a donation to this group that hosts birthday parties — complete with presents, cake, decorations and games — for homeless children living in shelters or transitional housing across the country. Last year, the group's volunteers threw more than 180 bashes, and with additional donations and new partnerships with brands like the super yummy Nothing Bundt Cakes and others, The Birthday Party Project aims to host at least 371 in 2016.

2. Flying Fur Rescue
This growing group of volunteer pilots, drivers, and animal rescue workers transport animals at risk of being euthanized (typically at high kill shelters) to areas where they are more likely to be adopted — while they are taken care of in foster homes. Founded in 2015 by a pilot, the non-profit is based in southeastern Pennsylvania and currently pays the $300 to $500 cost of each transport out of pocket. With a little more funding, the group plans to outfit its own dedicated aircraft specifically designed to transport furry friends. 

3. Wish Upon a Wedding
Spread the love from your wedding to a couple in need through this organization — which funds weddings and vow-renewal celebrations for couples facing serious illness or other life-altering circumstances. Brides and grooms as well as husbands and wives battling terminal cancer, cystic fibrosis, and other obstacles benefit from the charity's work and partnerships with wedding and event industry pros in chapters across the country. In addition to monetary contributions, brides can give a little extra by donating their wedding gown as well.

4. Charity: Water
One in ten people around the world don't have access to clean water. This tech-savvy group works with local partners in places like Africa, Asia, and South America, and it puts 100 percent of public donations toward sustainable solutions as well as education about the crisis. Completed projects include the installation of new water pumps, safer wells, filtration systems, and other infrastructure geared towards cleaner water for all.

5. The Adventure Project
You can add a charitable donation to this global job-creating organization right onto your registry using The Adventure Project's online tools. And to keep the home-making registry theme going, the current targeted donation program gifts a stove that protects a family in need in places like Uganda or India from breathing in the toxic smoke of an open flame. Other featured programs tackle hunger, health, water, and the environment.

6. The Good Beginning
Created by wedding planner Beth Helmstetter, this online registry allows couples to research, choose, and embed a link requesting donations for a variety of local, national and international charities that support everything from human rights to animal welfare to faith-based initiatives right onto their wedding website. Don't see the charity you'd like to donate to on the site's list of causes? Let The Good Beginning know and they can add it.

7. Honor Flight Network
A particularly meaningful pick if you or your fiancé have a grandparent or relative that served in World War II, this non-profit flies elderly or ill veterans to visit war monuments in Washington, D.C. The group is currently in the process of expanding their services to eventually honor veterans of the Korean and Vietnam wars as well as World War II.

8. Arbor Day Foundation
Plant a tree in each of your guests' honor through the conservation and education organization behind the holiday. Your donations can also help fund specific nature-loving programs like rain forest rescue, outdoor education, or community forestry restoration efforts after natural disasters.

9. Heifer International
The idea behind this well-known charity group is to help hungry and poverty-stricken communities become self-reliant through the donation of animals, farming supplies, or small business support. Encourage guests to help you donate a goat, a water buffalo, or a whole "gift ark" to communities in South America, Asia, Africa, or Europe, and you'll receive updates on how your contribution is making a difference.

10. National Guild for Community Arts Education
Music lovers? Painting enthusiasts? This group provides funding and resources to community arts education organizations across the United States that can help kids and adults follow those same passions. With a focus on key initiatives like afterschool youth programming and arts opportunities for the elderly, the New York-based Guild has a wide reach that any wedding guest can get behind.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

How to Pick a Bridesmaid Dress That Makes Everyone Happy

It's hard to please everyone. But no bride wants to ask her closest friends to spend $200+ on a dress that they're going to wear once. Luckily, the diversely dressed but still cohesive bridal party look is in, according to Joe Volpe of Cescaphe Events. "We are seeing mismatched gowns way more often than uniform looks," he says. This often means that brides will pick a small handful of dresses for their bridesmaids to choose from, or specify a color family and let their pals select their own wardrobes — with approval of course.

If you're leaning towards giving your girls a lot of freedom to pick their ensembles, Alex Chalk of Taylor'd Events suggests providing a few helpful guidelines beyond color. How short or how long you prefer the dresses to be, whether or not and what type of embellishment they can have, and what kinds of fabric you like area all good ideas for guidance. "Having them know what you don't want is always just as important as what you do want," she adds. A Pinterest board with some options is a great way to show them what you have in mind, while encouraging them to pin dresses they're considering. Chalk also says to urge your bridesmaids to buy early. "That way if something just isn't fitting in, you can work with them to find something else."

For brides who want a little more control (we don't blame you!), be more specific in your instructions. "What I always suggest to clients is pick a designer and color then have the bridesmaids select the dress they like," says Jennifer Taylor of Taylor'd Events. This ensures that you'll like the general aesthetic while giving your girls a bit of a say in what they wear.

These approaches are especially useful because what's flattering on one bridesmaid may not be on another, so body types should be a consideration. "Everyone comes in different shapes and sizes," says Araceli Vizcaino-S of Azazie, who thinks that women who have larger chests are more comfortable in gowns that are pleated at the top, versus draped. She also recommends avoiding low-cut or keyhole styles and opting to for an illusion neckline instead because not everyone wants to wear a strapless dress. When it comes to length, long gowns are good for elongating legs but knee-length can look really good when all the bridesmaids are different heights, Vizcaino-S says.

Your bridal party will also appreciate seasonally appropriate fabrics. "If it's summertime or if you're planning a destination wedding on the shores of a distant beach, opt for lighter fabrics that will provide air circulation like chiffon or organza. While winter weddings can certainly showcase heavier fabrics like satin or silk, the weight of these fabrics can be stifling in the heat," says Vizcaino-S.
Looking to narrow down the options to just one dress for everyone? Vizcaino-S says that a knee-length dress with a sweetheart neckline is universally flattering. "[It] is a winner every single time." And if you're going that route, Volpe thinks giving the bridal party a choice in their shoes, accessories, or hairstyle is a nice gesture. They are your nearest and dearest pals after all.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Where Should the Mother of the Groom Get Ready?

should mother of groom get ready with bride
Photo: Getty Images
That pre-wedding girl time is critical. You get to get all dolled up, surrounded by the women who know you best and love you the most. It's a time for happy tears, champagne toasts, and cute photos galore, all topped off with the moment you get into your wedding dress. And while Mom, Sis and your bridesmaids will definitely be on the VIP list of who's getting gussied up in your suite, what about your future mother-in-law? She is, after all, a woman, and she's about to become a major part of your life (if she isn't one already). So should she join you all for your pampering session? Our experts weigh in.

If you have a good relationship with your future mother-in-law and are getting married in a fairly central/accessible location, by all means, invite her to join you. You can either have her come up to your hotel suite for the entire morning to hang out, or she can stop in when it's her turn in the makeup chair, sip on a little bubbly, and then head back to her room to finish getting ready. Does your fiancé have a sister who isn't in the bridal party? You should invite her along, as well!

If you're getting ready at a local salon, you should also invite your mother-in-law to be a part of the excitement. Again, encourage her to hang out for as long as she'd like, since you and your 'maids might be there for a while!

Planning a wedding in your hometown and getting ready at your parents' house? Who you invite to get ready with you might depend on how much space you have. If you have the room, keep the group as inclusive as possible. Tight on space? You might need to narrow down the guest list, or consider heading to a salon instead.
While your mother-in-law doesn't have to get ready with you the morning of the wedding, inviting her is a super sweet gesture, and a way to acknowledge that, in a few short hours, you'll be family.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Single Girl's Guide to Surviving a Wedding (When You Weren't Given a Plus One)

single girls guide to surviving wedding when you don't have a plus one
Photo: Getty Images
What does a single gal dread more than attending a wedding? Attending said wedding alone, some might say. "It's easy to feel self-conscious when everyone else at the wedding seems to be coupled," commiserates Irene S. Levine, Ph.D., psychologist, friendship expert, and creator of The Friendship Blog.

With wedding tables set up to accommodate even, not odd, numbers and the dance floor crammed with gyrating lovebirds, the proverbial wedding decks can seem stacked against single people — especially those denied a plus-one by their hosts. "A single person may be placed at a table with people she barely knows, and feel socially awkward, especially if she is shy," Levine says. "She could also feel like all eyes are on her, even when they're not."

What's worse, if a woman wants to be married, attending a wedding alone can evoke feelings of self-pity, "even if she feels happy for her friend," explains Levine. "She may feel left behind."
But there's good news: You can beat the plus-one-less blues. In fact, you can fly happily solo at your next wedding event with these expert survival tips.

Say hello to other singles.
Before your friend's big day, reach out to a bridal party or family member to see who else might be flying solo at the reception. "Perhaps you already know one or two of those singles," says Levine, "or could share transportation with someone new so you can meet each other before the wedding." Spending time with other singles isn't just to take the edge off feeling alone, Levine says. It's a chance to make new (and hopefully lasting) friendships. 

Wear something that makes you feel wonderful.
The quickest way to give yourself a boost of confidence is to wear something that makes you feel amazing from head-to-toe. That, says Levine, means selecting everything from an outfit to shoes, makeup, nails, and a hairstyle that you love. Dressing to the nines, Levine says, "will give you a confidence boost on your friend's big day."

Chat it up.
Levine says when it comes to attending the wedding reception, it's time to "be friendly and outgoing. Look at the wedding as an opportunity to meet new people, the ones seated on both sides of you, and those at other tables." Make conversation with others waiting for their drinks at the bar, "and get on the dance floor when the music moves you," Levine says. "People are attracted to people who look like they're having fun."

Don't stick to only singles.
While it's smart to seek out people in a similar situation as you, "don't limit your outreach to only them," Levine says. "You may enjoy conversations with older people or younger people. And reach out to couples, too. Everyone is a festive mood and you already have something in common to talk about: Your friendship with the bride and groom."

Keep your perspective.
Yes, attending a wedding without a plus-one can be the pits. But if you can keep things in perspective, you can forget you're flying solo and really have fun. "Remember that you are there to celebrate and support your friend," Levine says. "It's her important day and just another day for you. By inviting you, your friend has told you that you are an important person in her life."

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

9 Fancy Floral Dresses to Wear to Your Engagement Party

Floral Engagement Party Dresses
Photo: Derek Kettela

This spring, designers are taking a fresh approach to botanical-inspired design, from oversized prints to delicate appliqués, — these aren't your usual florals. And what better place to showcase these gorgeous blooms than your springtime engagement party?

All eyes will be on you as you as you kick off your wedding festivities, so we've rounded up nine ultra-chic floral dresses that are fashionista approved!

Floral Print Engagement Party Dress by Reformation
Photo: Courtesy of Reformation

This dainty rose print short dress is perfect for a casual daytime engagement party. ("Rhoda" fit and flare dress, $218, Reformation)

Floral Engagement Party Dress by Lela Rose
Photo: Courtesy of Net-a-Porter

Lela Rose's spring collection was influenced by her love of nature, and it sure shows on this amazing billowy magnified poppy print dress. (Tiered floral silk-gazar dress, $1,995, Lela Rose available at Net-a-Porter)

Floral Engagement Party Dress by HM
Photo: Courtesy of H&M

This 70s-inspired swing dress is perfect for bohemian brides. (Patterned dress, $29.99, H&M)


Floral Engagement Party Dress by Tracy Reese
Photo: Courtesy of Nordstrom

Art lovers will appreciate this abstract floral appliqué beaded dress by Tracy Reese. (Floral appliqué silk dress, $478, Tracy Reese available at Nordstrom)

Floral Engagement Party Dress by ASOS
Photo: Courtesy of ASOS

There's nothing more delicate than this watercolor floral print wrap dress. (Floral wrap dress, $94, Closet available at ASOS)

See More: 8 Gorgeous Dress Options For Your Rehearsal Dinner

Floral Engagement Party Dress by Topshop
Photo: Courtesy of Topshop

Get this feminine ruched dress with tiny printed buds if you are a Suki Waterhouse fan. She wore it to Topshop's fall 2016 show last month. ("Hortensia" midi dress, $475, Unique available at Topshop)

Floral Engagement Party Dress by Tanya Taylor
Photo: Courtesy of FarFetch

Try mixing prints, like this Tanya Taylor dress, for an unexpected look. (Silk blend floral dress, $696, Tanya Taylor available at FarFetch)

River Island Floral Jumpsuit
Photo: Courtesy of River Island

For a fun twist on this trend, try a floral printed fitted jumpsuit. (Floral tapered jumpsuit, $96, River Island)

Floral Engagement Party Dress by Michael Kors
Photo: Courtesy of Macy's

For the ultimate bridal look at your engagement party, opt for this white floral lace dress by MICHAEL Michael Kors. (Floral lace dress, $325, MICHAEL Michael Kors available at Macy's)

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

17 Things to Add to Your Wedding Gift Registry

In the past, picking china patterns was the norm for newly engaged couples. Nowadays, many couples either inherit the china from their parents or don’t use it at all. That leaves a lot of wiggle room on Ye Olde Wedding Registry! There are some don’t-miss items that all newlyweds should make sure to add to their registry. Here are 17 of them:
1. Your honeymoon. This registry item is gaining in popularity, especially for couples who already have everything they could possibly need to enjoy married life. Consider a honeymoon registry like Honeymoon Wishes.

2. Kitchen appliances you really need. This is the perfect time to register for that KitchenAid stand mixer you’ve always wanted. Also consider Crock Pots, coffee pots or espresso machines, food processors, toaster ovens, or other appliances that will make your life easier.

3. At least one good frying pan or skillet.
4. Hobby accessories. Campers, bikers, hikers, athletes, and other hobby enthusiasts shouldn’t be shy about registering for items they’ll really use.

5. Outdoor grilling items.
6. Electronics. Things like cameras and camcorders will help you capture all of your newlywed memories, so don’t miss them as you’re getting your registry stocked.

7. A Dutch Oven. If you ever plan to cook for a group, a good Dutch Oven is a kitchen must-have.

8. Barware. Think outside the glasses, folks. To have a well-stocked bar for entertaining, you’ll need cocktail shakers, pourers, stirrers, pitchers, decanters, an olive pitter, etc.

9. Luggage. Trust us on this.

10. A sewing machine or kit. There will come a time when someone loses a button, a hem starts unraveling, etc. Having the tools to fix them in a pinch will save you a lot of headache.

11. A vacuum cleaner. This is about the least romantic thing to include on a registry…but it’s also the most practical.

12. Nice linens. You’re no longer living the dorm room life. Stock those linen closets with new sheets and towels that you can use when you entertain guests.

13. Yard care items. Also on the practical side, yard care items are a registry must. Think of lawn mowers, weed whackers, edgers, rakes, leaf blowers, etc.

14. Storage/organization tools. You’re going to need places to put all of the cool stuff you get off your registry. Make effective space for them with the help of good storage items.

15. Good knives. 
16. Home décor. Choose some items together that you both like…picture frames, artwork, vases and knickknacks, etc.

17. Gift cards or cash. When you don’t know for sure what you both want or need, you can always request money to spend at a later date. Just do so tactfully!

Monday, April 18, 2016

6 Wedding Planning Secrets Every Couple Should Know

We love to share tips and suggestions with couples who are planning their weddings. Still, we know that some of the topics we cover are general knowledge, so we thought it’d be a nice change of pace to mention a few things about wedding planning that you might not consider. Here are six wedding planning secrets every couple should know.

pros and cons of joining social media groups to wedding plan

1. Things will always be more expensive than you think, so create some cushion in your budget.
2. Planning is going to cause friction in your relationship. There’s bound to be something you don’t agree on, whether it’s who you invite, where the wedding is taking place, or what song you dance to. Just remember that your relationship is more important than any decision you make for your wedding.

3. You will freak out over the number of options you find on Pinterest or wedding blogs. Limit your exposure and purge pins and posts regularly when you find something you like better.

4. More people will offer you advice than you expect. Be comfortable with your decisions and don’t worry about pleasing everyone.

5. Wedding vendors have come to loathe the phrase, “Simple but elegant.” This phrase covers a wide range of tastes and styles. Narrow down your wedding vision as much as you can before approaching vendors so they can provide you the best quote.

6. You’re driving people nuts with your wedding talk. You probably don’t realize how often you’re mentioning your wedding around people you know and love.

Friday, April 15, 2016

The Most Inspirational Marriage Proposals

Here at How He Asked, we read through countless proposal stories every week, and we truly find every single one of them romantic, adorable, and beautifully unique. Some of the most jaw-dropping ones, however, are from couples that have overcome some of life’s toughest obstacles together. We consider ourselves lucky to be able to share their stories with the world. Below, find some of the most inspirational stories we’ve read so far.

Cody and Ashleigh

Shortly after this beautiful couple met, Cody’s family was struck with tragedy. Ashleigh was there to comfort him through the loss of both his parents, and for their proposal, he recreated the first date, when he told his parents he knew she was the one.
Read the full story here: Romantic Rooftop Proposal

Brittany and Ben

At 26 years old, and 9 months into their relationship, Brittany was diagnosed with breast cancer. Ben said he already knew he wanted to marry her, but with surgery scheduled in just two weeks, the time felt right. During what was supposed to be a pre-surgery party, he got down on one knee to propose.
Full story (and video): Breast Cancer Proposal

Bonnie Kate and Max

bonnie kate and max
This video will have you completely in tears. Max’s absolute dedication to the woman he loved, even when she showed no signs of returning the sentiment, even through months of no communication when Bonnie Kate was deathly ill in Haiti, and even more so after her injury in the Dark Knight theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado. Their story is almost too beautiful for words.
Story and video : Movie Trailer Proposal

Krista and James

There’s something so moving about love found through tragedy. James was waiting at the finish line of the Boston Marathon in 2013 when the bombing occurred. During recovery, he fell in love with Krista, his rehabilitation nurse. “I now realized why I was involved in the tragedy,” James said. “It was to meet my best friend, and the love of my life.”

Sarah and Samuel

dave matthews fans
Friends since middle school, this couple survived the 1999 Columbine High School shootings together. They fell apart after high school, but reunited and fell in love just a few years later. They shared a love for the Dave Matthews Band, and Samuel proposed to her at one of their concerts.

Lauren and Justin

Inspirational beautiful proposal_11Photo by Joy Stacey
Soon after the beginning of their relationship, Justin was in an accident that put him in a coma, and when he woke up, he was paralyzed. He stayed strong through his recovery and therapy, and Lauren was always there for him. It became clear the two were meant to be together forever. On their second anniversary, a little over a year after the accident, Justin walked to Lauren, got down on one knee, and asked for her hand in marriage.

Fred Evans, Gracie, and Kate

father-walks-unmarried-daughters-down-the-aislePhotos by Fotocrew members Matt and Julie
This heart-breaking story of a dying father and his wish for his daughters will have everyone in tears. Evans was diagnosed with cancer after receiving a double-lung transplant, but he could not withstand chemotherapy treatments. With just months to live, this father wanted to walk his two unmarried daughters down the aisle and renew vows with his wife before crossing the rainbow bridge.

Marcus and becky

Heartwarming proposals
When Becky’s sister passed away, she started to see her sister’s birthdate pop up everywhere – on the clock, documents at work, even her total at the drive-thru. When Marcus proposed to Becky they couldn’t help but notice the time stamp on their proposal photos read 7:13, her sister’s birthday! It was just what Becky needed to know her sister was smiling down on their engagement.

Lucas and Tamara

Chemotherapy Proposal
After being diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma right before Valentine’s Day earlier in the year, Tamara went through several treatments of chemotherapy. On the 6th and final treatment Lucas swept his high school sweetheart off her feet with this heartwarming proposal.

Spencer and Melea

Emotional Proposal at Disneyland
Melea and her dad were best friends so when he was told he only had a short time to live, she wanted nothing more than for him to see her get engaged before he passed. Spencer had been nothing but an angel to her and her father, but she never expected him to make her dream proposal come true at Disneyland.  Melea was so happy that her father was there to witness it all the day before he passed away.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

AdChoices This Comic Nails The Nightly Routine Of Married Couples Everywhere

If you’re in a relationship with someone who routinely falls asleep on the couch, just know you are not alone.
All around the world, there are countless boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands and wives who live with a chronic couch crasher — a person who claims he/she is “totally awake right now” and “not even tired” and then falls asleep within minutes.

Cartoonist Adrienne Hedger of Hedger Humor perfectly captures this all-too-common dynamic in comic form: 
Adrienne Hedger of Hedger Humor
Another ~wild~ night in the life of a married person. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Do I Need a Wedding Planner or Can I Do it Myself?

wedding planner or do it myself
Photo: Gianluca Adovasio
Jen Glantz is a "Professional Bridesmaid" and the founder of Bridesmaid for Hire. She's the author of All My Friends Are Engaged and frequently wears old bridesmaid dresses to the grocery store and on first dates. For her column, Jen is here to give some expert advice to brides on whether or not they should get a wedding planner

A lot of us being to plan our weddings when we're younger, long before serious boyfriends and college degrees. We brainstorm how the day will go, using our Barbies as props, and cut outs from magazines to imagine how the inside of our wedding venue will look. We think we know what we want and we think, when the day finally comes, we'll be able to execute it as easy as one, two, three.

So when the day finally comes when the love of your life has popped the question, and your ring finger is gleaming with a diamond the size of a full grown pimple, you will find yourself asking the question: can I plan my own wedding, or do I need to shell out the hard cash for a wedding planner?
The first thing to consider is how much time you have available. Planning a wedding is a giant time sucker and will often feel like you're taking on a part-time job. If time is on your side, then you can consider planning your own wedding. But you should also consider what type of planner you are. Are you organized? Detail-oriented? Patient? Willing to coordinate and negotiate with vendors? If you don't think you can handle some of these things, you may want to enlist the help of a wedding planner, especially if you need fresh ideas or someone to keep you focused on a set timeline for planning your wedding.

The other thing you can consider, if you're looking for help but don't need a full-blown planner, is to hire a day-of coordinator. That way, you can have someone help you handle the details and the vendors on your wedding day.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

How Can We Discourage Guests from Bringing Gifts to Our Destination Wedding?

While these days most wedding guests buy gifts off of a couple's online wedding registry, some guests still head to the store to pick something out in person, and a few even bring the gift with them to the wedding. Not a big deal if you're getting married close to home, but what if you've planned a celebration that's a few hours (or more!) from where you live, one you have to fly to and that might even involve customs? Our experts have a few tips for discouraging guests from bringing physical gifts with them to your destination wedding.

This might be the one instance where checked baggage fees are your friend: There's almost no chance that your guests will pay for an extra bag or overweight luggage just to bring a wedding gift with them to your destination wedding, so you probably don't have to worry about it too much.

But just to be sure, include a note on the registry section of your website advising guests against bringing gifts with them. Try something like "While your presence at our wedding in Puerto Rico is gift enough, if you do wish to purchase something off of our registry, please ship it directly to our home instead of bringing it with you. Avoid the extra baggage fees and save room in your suitcase for swimsuits and flip flops!" Provide the address where you'd like gifts sent, whether or not they're on your registry.

You should also spread the word amongst the wedding party and your immediate family. They'll probably field more registry-related questions than you will, so they can tell guests to arrange to have gifts shipped directly to you.

You might want to tuck an extra tote into your suitcase in case a few people bring gifts that you can take home safely on the plane, or ask the front desk at the hotel to send a larger box back to you via FedEx or UPS — and if that's the case, you might as well throw those extra favors in there, too!

Monday, April 11, 2016

13 Totally Cute Cocktail Napkins You'll Want for Your Wedding

cute cocktail napkins paper source
Photo: Courtesy of Paper-Source

After the "I dos" are over and your wedding ceremony has come to a close, it's time for the party to begin: Cocktail hour, a time for your guests to nibble on tiny appetizers and sip delicious beverages while they wait for you and your fiancé, bridal party, and other VIPs to finish up wedding portraits before the reception. Along with the drinks and apps come, of course, cocktail napkins. Our suggestion? Forget the plain white variety and go for something that adds a personal and unique touch to your big day. Here are a few of our favorite custom napkins.

Above: Choose a favorite love quote or song lyric to emboss on your napkin, above your names. If there's an "o" in the mix, replace it with a heart to really get that loving feeling going. So Happy Together Custom Cocktail Napkins (Above), starting at $30 for 50, Paper-Source

wedding paper divas
Photo: Courtesy of Wedding Paper Divas
Instead of a monogram, boldly showcase your names on your napkins. But don't settle for just an ampersand. Modernize it with a custom design, like a heart and arrow. Arrowed Adoration, starting at $34.99 for 50, Wedding Paper Divas

cute cocktail napkins my wedding reception ideas
Photo: Courtesy of My Wedding Reception Ideas
Let the games begin! Not that your wedding needs more fun, but it never hurts to create more opportunities for it, like in custom word search napkins that include details about the bride and groom. Word Search Puzzle Personalized Cocktail Napkins, starting at $30 for 100, My Wedding Reception Ideas

cute cocktail napkins paper style
Photo: Courtesy of Paper Style

Who said cocktail napkins are just for the wedding? Dress up your rehearsal dinner with "The Night Before I Do" napkins. Another memento from a great wedding weekend! The Night Before Custom Cocktail Napkins, starting at $49 for 100, Paper Style

cute cocktail napkins michaels
Photo: Courtesy of Michaels
Don't save the iconic bride and groom characters for your cake toppers. Put them on your napkins instead! Plum Napkins, starting at $19.99 for 50, Michaels

cute cocktail napkins amazon
Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

Match your napkins to all of that wedding chalkboard signage you spent so long creating. The best part of these napkins? You don't have to painstakingly stencil the artwork! Mr. and Mrs. Chalk Paper Beverage Napkins, $4.44 for 18, Amazon

See More: Non-Cheesy Ways to Add Sparkle to Your Wedding

cute cocktail napkins betsy white
Photo: Courtesy of Betsy White
Keep things simple but elegant with gold-foil decorations. Instead of filling your napkins with words, fill them with hearts — or other symbols of your love — that really shine. Blush-Gold Flutter Heart Napkins, $18 for 50, Betsy White

cute cocktail napkins etsy city
Photo: Courtesy of Etsy
These cocktail napkins will really have your guests talking! While they mingle, they can compare fun facts (choose 8-10) about the bride and the groom, which they can find written on their napkins. Trivia Personalized Napkins, starting at $38.99 for 100, Etsy

cute cocktail napkins jupiter and juno
Photo: Courtesy of Jupiter and Juno The Shop
State the obvious: Your wedding was the best day ever and your cocktail hour attendees should know it. Emboss it on your napkins in gold foil to really make the words stand out. Foil Napkins, starting at $10 for 25, Jupiter and Juno The Shop

cute cocktail napkins etsy beyonce
Photo: Courtesy of Etsy

Mix a little Beyoncé and a whole lot of social media into your wedding with these modern cocktail napkins. Underneath "Drunk In Love," include your wedding hashtag so guests have no confusion as to what they should tag their snaps with. Personalized Napkins, starting at $35.90 for 100, Etsy
inRead invented by Teads

cute cocktail napkins lh calligraphy
Photo: Courtesy of LH Calligraphy
Encourage a round of bubbly and a toast to the two of you with "Pop, Fizz, Clink" as inspiration on the napkins you pass around at cocktail hour. Pop Fizz Clink Cocktail Napkin, starting at $20 for $25, LH Calligraphy

cute cocktail napkins tiny prints
Photo: Courtesy of Tiny Prints
A classic lyric and your wedding date are all you need for a cocktail napkin that makes a strong statement. Consider these scripted goods a go-to for a chic wedding. Lovely Cocktails, starting at $29.99 for 50, Tiny Prints

cute cocktail napkins etsy city
Photo: Courtesy of Etsy
If your city has earned a special spot in your love story, celebrate it via skyline embossed napkins. These subtle illustrations will have a big wow factor — and share a part of your story with your guests. Personalized Napkins New York Skyline, starting at $34.98 for 100, Etsy