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Eco-Friendly Wedding Gowns

Using sustainable fabric is a huge trend in the fashion world right now, and wedding fashion is no exception

Using sustainable fabric is a huge trend in the fashion world right now, and wedding fashion is no exception.  Materials like organic cotton, bamboo, hemp, and soy blend fabric have a lower impact on the environment than traditional formal wear fabric, and they look and feel just as great – if not better!

At Olivia Luca, you can create a custom-designed gown to your exact specifications using eco-friendly materials like fair trade hand-woven silk shantung, organic linen, and hemp silk charmeuse. With Olivia Luca’s online Design Studio, you can create a one-of-a-kind dress that’s perfect for your wedding day.  The sketches shown above represent just a few of literally hundreds of different options.  I had so much fun pairing the different styles and colors and fabrics, it almost makes me want to get married again (don’t tell my hubby I said that)!

Using sustainable materials isn’t the only way to go green on your big day.  Opting for dresses made with salvaged vintage materials is also easy on Mother Earth.  There are heaps of unused and barely-used vintage fabric and clothing items just waiting for someone to make something beautiful out of them – why not your wedding gown?

The stunning, one-of-a-kind gown pictured above puts a unique spin on the “something old” tradition – it is made from 100% reclaimed vintage fabric scraps in shades of white, cream, and pale blush pink.  The colors and the silhouette are so chic and romantic!  The dress is completely handmade by Tawny Holt, the designer behind the couture fashion label Amour sans Anguish.  All of Tawny’s bespoke creations are made of fabric recycled from vintage garments that might otherwise go to waste.  You will definitely make a statement in a gown like this!

Another eco-friendly shopping tip: channel your inner Carrie Bradshaw and opt for a vintage or pre-owned gown.  Most of them have been worn only once or never been worn, and buying used can help you save some green while going green!  Plus, when you purchase a vintage wedding gown, you know you are going stand out from the crowd.  Look for timeless pieces that express your personal style.  Choose a 30s gown for old-school glamour, a 50s frock for classic femininity, or a 70s style for boho chic.

I found this 1950s era tea-length princess dress at the online boutique Posh Girl Vintage.  This is the perfect dress for dancing the night away!  Layer upon layer of chiffon and tulle fabric give the dress a flirty, feminine silhouette that is guaranteed to make you feel like the belle of the ball.  The shorter tea length gives it an unexpected, modern twist.

Look for fab vintage bridal pieces at your local thrift and consignment stores, or do a quick web search to find tons of amazing vintage boutiques online.  Also check out eBay for a huge selection of pre-owned wedding dresses at bargain prices.

Cover Your Shoulders

Anybody who knows me knows that I am always cold. Even when it’s 75 and sunny outside, I’m the girl with the chill bumps on her arms. Not sure why, but I try to always make sure I have a sweatshirt or sweater on stand by to keep me warm.

Since it seems like 90% of the bridal gowns available these days, including my own, are strapless, finding something to cover your shoulders on wedding day is probably a good precaution. This will be especially important if you’ll be near any body of water, if your city cools drastically at night or if your venue tends to blast the AC.

Your options vary and can be chosen to fit your body shape, color scheme and wedding style.


Very comfortable and familiar since most of us have one of these hanging in our closet right now. The cashmere ones are a little dressier and very soft to the touch. You may already have one nice enough that fits your style so you could save a few bucks here. A cardigan could be better for a vintage wedding where the bride is wearing a knee-length or tea-length dress with a birdcage veil.


Shawls are nice and can easily go casual to formal depending on the material. Think wool vs. lace. Wool would be nice for an outdoor country wedding in Montana, while cashmere would fit well at a formal affair. One drawback for a shawl is that you constantly have to worry about it slipping off your shoulders and it seems like one hand is always occupied trying to keep it together. I’ve heard tale that these are a dime a dozen in New York though, so you could consider outfitting all your bridesmaids or even the entire guest list.


More than a shawl but less than a cardigan, a jacket adds a little more structure without looking like you’re wearing a coat. If your body type is kind of boxy, you could use a jacket with a distinct waist to help create the illusion of a few curves. Or if you’re a little heavy on top, you could use a jacket to help lock and load the girls and help keep them in place even as your foundations start to slip and slide. Jackets are decidedly more casual than cardigans and shawls but if you’re a girl with even just a spot of confidence, you can pull this off, no matter the style of the wedding.


Not quite a jacket or cardigan, a shrug is there to keep literally just your shoulders and a little of your back warm. They are cute though. Of course it comes in several different fabrics from faux fur to satin. You could get one to match your dress or you could opt for one in a totally different color that coordinates with your wedding colors.

All of these options come in a crazy array of colors and can be easily dressed up with a broach or flower. And of course you don’t have to wear it all night. Just keep in mind, when you realize you’re sitting directly below the air vent, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Unique Wedding Favors

Anyone who has ever chipped a tooth on a Jordan almond knows that favors are often one of the most overlooked aspects of a wedding.

Anyone who has ever chipped a tooth on a Jordan almond knows that favors are often one of the most overlooked aspects of a wedding.  Wedding favors are your opportunity to share something with your guests to thank them for being a part of your special day.  I think favors that reflect the couple’s personalities and backgrounds are the best kind of all.  Your guests will appreciate the effort you put into the gifts, and they will walk away with a little reminder of how special your wedding really was.  Here are my top ideas for favors that are sure to make an impression.

Choose favors that represent where you’ve come from, or where you are going.

Honor your family heritage by spending some time with your bridal party making homemade baked goods from a favorite family recipe.  If you don’t have any family recipes, look up traditional recipes from you and your fiancé’s respective ethnicities (Food Network has tons of amazing recipes online).  Package the goodies in pretty boxes or glassine bags with ribbons that coordinate with your wedding color scheme.  For a really special touch, include the recipes you used with a note that explains where they came from and why they are so special to you.

Select regional products to add a personal touch to your favors.  Choose a pair of favors from each of your hometowns, a gift unique to the city where your wedding is being held, or something that reflects where you will be going for your honeymoon.  Edibles like honey, olive oil, preserves, tea, or candy are always well received and are usually easy to find locally.  Bath, body, and home products like pretty soaps, candles, or potpourri are also good options.  Include a personalized note that explains how the favors reflect you as a couple.  Martha Stewart Weddings has a great list of regional favor ideas.

Give your guests gifts that symbolize your ever-growing love for each other. 

Growing gifts can be enjoyed long after the wedding day has passed.  Print your favorite poem or verse or a reading from your ceremony on decorative paper and attach to a seed packet that guests can plant at home.  For something really special and unique, have the favors printed up on paper embedded with wildflower or herb seeds.  Botanical Paperworks has an amazing variety of custom wedding favors that grow into wildflowers.

Another great idea is to give each guest a mini evergreen sapling to take home and plant.  Not only are they good for the environment, but these favors will also serve as living reminders of your love for each other for years to come!  You can choose from a variety of different gift saplings online from the Arbor Day Foundation.

Select favors that express your unique personalities.

Rent an old-school photo booth during your reception for a quirky, memorable favor.  Guests will have so much fun getting their pictures taken, and the photos will serve as a memento for everyone who attends.  Rentphotobooths.comcan even personalize the photo strips with your names and wedding date – how cool is that?

For the music-loving couple: make a custom iTunes playlist of your favorite songs and give it as a gift to all your guests.  Feature songs played at your wedding, or any other songs that remind you of each other.  Or just give a gift card and let guests pick their own music!  Learn more about music gifs on the iTunes website.

Photo Booths

Photobooths seem to be all the rage right now

Photobooths seem to be all the rage right now. Everybody’s doing it and if you’re not, you wish you were. I’ve seen them in all different shapes, sizes, and varieties but they always seem to bring out the best in the wedding guests.


Of course there’s the plain white background. But beyond that the possibilities are endless. You could easily coordinate the backdrop with the theme of your wedding. One trip to your local fabric store can and will inspire plenty of ideas. If you’re a vintage-y kind of gal, maybe you want some nice lace. Or, if your wedding is kind of rustic maybe some burlap would be good. This isn’t somewhere you can really go wrong. As long as you have adequate lighting you could use the darkest fabric or the lightest fabric around. Like I said the possibilities are endless.


Normally when you think of props, you might think of stuff used on a Hollywood movie set. You might not be too far off when it comes to your photobooth. Think of stuff that will really inspire your guests to be themselves and have a good time. I guess the nice, stoic posed shots are okay, but those should be reserved for the photographer outside it front of the venue. The photobooth, like the dance floor, is the place for people to cut loose!

So you might use a feather boa. Or maybe sunglasses. Or maybe hats. Or maybe all of the above. These kinds of things inspire creativity. My personal  favorites though, are the chalkboard and dry erase board. They help your guests say what they wish the picture could say for them. Maybe they have the perfect piece of marriage wisdom or the best one-liners. You might be surprised by what you get.

Vintage Photobooths

Sure there are lots of companies that will rent you a photobooth. A true gem though, is the one that carries old-fashioned vintage photobooths. You know the kind. They have a fake plastic woodgrain surround. And are teeny tiny inside with a curtain that you close to keep the haters out. They’re the kind that used to be in the lobby of the movie house and they’re the kind that spark up true nostalgia. If you’ve ever one of these before, you know what kind of fond memories they can stir up. Whether or not your wedding has a vintage theme, this is one vintage detail you have to at least consider.

The DIY Photobooth

So these photobooths are not always the cheapest, especially if you’re on shoestring budget like us. There is always the DIY option though. It doesn’t require much effort and your biggest issues will probably be printing the pictures. For the photographer, you can use your every day point and shoot camera. Set it on a tripod and either instruct guests to use the self-timer option or hook them up with a remote so they can take their picture when everyone’s ready. Problem solved. The printing is also a fairly easy fix. Use a compact photo printer that only needs a memory card to print, not a full computer setup. Depending on the printer, you can probably program it to print four small pictures on a standard 4″x6″ sheet.

While you’ll probably hire a professional photographer to capture moments on your special day, they probably won’t be able to get a shot of every guest being themselves

While you’ll probably hire a professional photographer to capture moments on your special day, they probably won’t be able to get a shot of every guest being themselves. Think of the photobooth as an extension of your photographer and I promise you won’t be disappointed with the results.

Splurge vs. Steal: Bohemian Bride

The bohemian look is so in style right now, so why not embrace it for your bridal ensemble?

The boho-chic look is a great alternative for the free-spirited bride who wants to embrace an offbeat, worldly style on her special day.  Bohemian style takes its cues from nature, using materials and colors with an earthy, organic feel – perfect for the couple looking to celebrate their nuptials in the great outdoors.  I can just picture how beautiful this look would be for a casual beach wedding at sunset, an intimate destination wedding under a waterfall, or a rustic wedding on a country farm.

Just because the bohemian trend is super hot right now doesn’t mean you can’t get it at an affordable price.  I found some great, stylish options for brides at any budget.

1. The crochet trim, antique ivory color, and layered tiers give this dress a distinctly bohemian feel, but with a luxurious, modern twist.  “Harmony” dress by Claire Pettibone, approximately $4,250 (contact or visit your local Claire Pettibone bridal retailer for exact price).

2. This braided suede headband is the perfect flower-child alternative to a traditional veil.  It would look absolutely heavenly with long, wavy, center parted hair.  The flower is made of leather and lace with Swarovski crystal accents.  Headband, $225, part of the Peace, Love, and Sparkle Collection by Tarina Tarantino.

3. A stack of twelve mixed gold and silver bangles gives the look an exotic flair.  The bangles come in assorted finishes and textures, and no two sets are exactly alike.  Bracelets, $130 by Alex and Ani.

4. This one-of-a-kind, beaded cuff is a stunning piece that will be sure to set you apart from the crowd.  Made of exotic materials like turquoise nuggets, amber and wood beads, and suede, it is equal parts organic and opulent.  Cuff, Beadwork by Cindy Caraway, $300.

5. Wear this gorgeous carved turquoise and sterling silver ring as a right hand ring… just make sure it doesn’t outshine your wedding ring!  Ring by Steven Dweck, $560, available at Neiman Marcus.

6. A rustic leather belt adds an unexpected element that helps bring the ethereal dress back down to Earth.  This one is made of buttery soft calfskin in the loveliest shade of tawny brown.  Sash Belt, $128 by Johnston & Murphy.

7. Delicate bronze leather flats with a turquoise and crystal embellishment finish off the look perfectly.  So chic and comfortable, you’ll be able to dance the night away!  Sandals by Valentino, $575, available at Bergdorf Goodman.

Next one

1. This flowing ivory gown has the same silhouette as the designer gown, but its pared-down design makes it much more affordable.  Made of breezy Italian cotton-silk, you will be a breath of fresh air in this dress!  “Camille” wedding gown, $650, available at J. Crew.

2. This braided leather headband with silk flower embellishment pairs perfectly with the down-to-earth look.  And at this price, how can you possibly resist?  Headband, $4.80, available at Forever 21.

3. This stack of five silver and gold tone bangles with assorted tribal motifs has the same worldly feel as the pricey bracelets, and you won’t believe the price!  Wear a couple sets at a time to really make an impact.  Bracelets, $11.60 for two sets of five, available at Forever 21.

4. This unique beaded cuff with turquoise focal stone has the same earthy but luxurious feel as the more expensive piece.  So beautiful and unique, a perfect compliment to the bohemian ensemble!  Cuff, $29.99, available at Etsy.

5. This piece is a dead ringer (pun intended!) for the designer ring, but at a fraction of the cost. Ring, Statements by Amy Kahn Russell, $79.90, available at HSN.

6. This leather sash belt has a designer label at a bargain price, and the faux leather material is easy on the environment.  Plus, you’ll be able to wear this style staple long after your wedding day is over.  Belt by Simply Vera Vera Wang, $16.80, available at Kohl’s.

7. These chic sandals have the exact same design elements as the designer version: flat sole, thin leather t-strap, and turquoise accent.  The perfect way to finish off your boho-chic look!  Sandals, $16.99, available at Charlotte Russe.

Wedding Photos in Your Own Style

Wedding photography was one place I knew I didn’t want to compromise

Wedding photography was one place I knew I didn’t want to compromise. Out of everything, we’ll have our pictures the longest. Initially, I wasn’t sure who we’d use for our photographer, so I scoured the intar-webs looking at site after site. After a while, I started to notice that there were several standard shots – kinda like templates. Everyone had them.Wedding photography was one place I knew I didn’t want to compromise

For the record, I’m not completely against these shots. I just feel it’s important to be yourself on your wedding day and not let the wedding industry and wedding photographers in particular, dictate the tone of your pictures.

If you and your friends normally are not the run-and-jump, on-a-constant-high type, maybe you should just avoid the jumping group shot. Just sayin’.

Everyone is different and has a different flavor that they bring to their wedding day

Everyone is different and has a different flavor that they bring to their wedding day. Make sure you talk to your photographer beforehand and give them an idea of who you are as a couple.

It’s a good idea to give your photographer a list of must-have shots. Not an overbearing, super-bossy, OCD kind of list. But more like an I-would-really-enjoy-these-specific-memories-years-from now kind of list.

Look through some of your old picture albums and find the shots that you admire the most. Take your key from those. If it’s a ten year old picture and you still smile everytime you see it, consider putting a similar picture on your list.

And maybe some of the standard shots are right for you and your personality, but I find it very hard to believe that your personality fits into every one of these categories listed below.Everyone is different and has a different flavor that they bring to their wedding day

Pick your one or two standard template shots, but keep the rest of them orginal.

The groom wears a print, usually argyle or stripes, and usually a bright color, on his socks. The bride will have on her bridal shoes and they become a perfect study in opposites.

Usually the person being carried is uncomfortable because someone is grabbing them in an unmentionable place. The people carrying the bride or groom are uncomfortable because they are straining super hard and are counting the seconds till the flash goes off.

The light shines in perfectly making a perfect silhouette of the bride’s dress. That is, if you can find the perfect window. If it’s North facing, you can pretty much forget it and if it’s 4 feet off the ground you can forget it again.Pick your one or two standard template shots, but keep the rest of them orginal.

The bridesmaids and the bride holding their bouquets all together towards the camera

There’s always that one bridesmaid who blinks or has spinach dip stuck in her teeth. And this shot tends to be super close up on your bouquets. So any shortcuts your florist took in preparing your flowers will definitely show up here. Not sure if you want to be constantly reminded of bruised petals every time you go back through your album.

At least one person is a high jump gold medal winner and another person hasn’t actually jumped in years. This leaves you with a lopsided line of attendants with varying expressions and awkward motion blur.

Monogram Wedding Invitations

A monogram is a great way to add a personal touch to your wedding stationery

A monogram is a great way to add a personal touch to your wedding stationery.  The best part is, a monogram can work for anyone – from the most traditional of couples to the most unconventional.

You can work with a designer or calligrapher to come up with a monogram that suits you to a tee – or even design one yourself!  For my wedding, I designed a bright, bold emblem using the initials of our first names – L & R.  Our invites turned out beautifully, and everyone loved how unique and personal they were.

Here are my top five picks for monogram invites – from classic and timeless to hip and modern!

1. These gorgeous hand printed letterpress invites walk the line between traditional and contemporary.  The scroll and vine design borrows from classical motifs, but the asymmetrical design and bright polka dots add a fresh feel.  The letterpress printing method gives these invites a tactile quality, and the fact that they are made by hand makes them oh so special.  Plus, the designer can customize the color scheme and font choices to suit your tastes.

2. I just love the playful style of this handwritten monogram!  The calligraphy of Jenna Hein is traditional with a quirky, fanciful twist.  All of her designs are custom, and she will work with you to come up with the perfect motif for your special day.  I am totally in love with this design, a collaboration between Jenna and artist/friend Anne le Guern.

3. These elegant invites are sure to make an impression on your guests.  The simple monogram is perfect for the unfussy couple, while the satin ribbon dresses it up a bit.  These invites can be customized however you like them – you choose the wording, fonts, and ink colors.  The best part?  You can use an online tool to preview different options before you order.

4. This bright and cheerful stationery suite, as featured in Martha Stewart Weddings, served as the inspiration for my own wedding invitations.  I love the bright, juicy color scheme and the bold choice of mix-and-match fonts.  The invites are individually silkscreen printed, so each piece is like a little work of art!  Perfect for the couple looking for something a little different.

5. This monogram is so eye-catching and romantic, but understated at the same time – perfect for a traditional wedding.  I think the color scheme and fonts used in the example are gorgeous, but they can also be customized to fit your wedding scheme.  Coordinating save the dates, RSVP cards, place cards, programs, and more can also be made to give your event a unified look.

The Venue Search

When we finally found our venue, it took us a lot longer than I thought it would

When we finally found our venue, it took us a lot longer than I thought it would. We live in a pretty big city with several different price points. Of course, I was wrong.

Even though we started planning about a year before our wedding date, finding a venue ended up taking about 5 months. There were some things I think I could’ve done to make the process easier, but some things I feel I did really helped ease the burden.

Get Organized

I created an Excel spreadsheet to help keep all the info about our venue choices in order. You see lists like this in local bridal magazines, but if you create one yourself, you can tailor it to your specific concerns. The set up is a little time consuming, but the spreadsheet proved to be priceless as our venue list got longer and longer.

In our spreadsheet, I ran all the venue names down the first column. I included stuff like contact info, pricing, deposit, setup time allowed, and pros and cons across the top row. Now I could easily compare one venue to another quickly.

I also added other worksheets; one for each venue. In these I broke down the big costs associated with each venue, like food and alcohol, since each had different policies.

Do Your Research

Before you get too committed to a definite budget, do some light research on how much venues in your area actually cost. This is a mistake we made and a rule we failed to follow. We set our budget on a whim before understanding that venues in our area are actually more expensive than we thought. Now that doesn’t mean you should spend more money than you have available, but that does mean you should prepare yourself for the sticker shock beforehand.

Be Prepared to Act

The first venue we looked at and really wanted was the Belle Isle Casino building. It’s a beautiful, old historic building situated on a city island park. The rental rate was super cheap and we would be allowed to bring in our own caterer and alcohol. The first time I called in July 2008, I was told all of the Saturday dates for 2009 were taken, but there were a few Friday’s left. Well I put it on hold because we really wanted a Saturday. A few weeks later I called back and sure enough those Fridays were now gone. Of course hindsight is 20/20. It would have been smart to go ahead and book one of the Friday dates then, and just cancel if necessary. Instead, we ended up just missing out.

Know Where to Compromise

Maybe you’re dead set on bringing in the caterer of your choice, or you won’t settle for any day other than Saturday. My suggestion is to make a list of all of your top priorities then number them according to importance. This will help you weigh the venues once you have them all in your spreadsheet. Know that very rarely does the perfect venue exist and if it does, it’s out of your price range. Or at least that’s what happened to me. There was certain stuff we had to compromise on, like bringing in our own caterer and alcohol – something we really wanted to do but ended up not being allowed.

The moral of the story is to get organized early and do your leg work, so that you can make good decisions and well thought out compromises. That way you’ll be prepared to act when you find a great venue and hopefully you won’t be stuck in a 5 month venue search like us.

Splurge vs. Steal: Bridal Shoes

For this special edition of Splurge vs. Steal, spendy designer bridal shoes will go toe to toe (literally!) with their less expensive – but equally chic – counterparts.  I found some absolutely gorgeous shoes, and grouped them into six categories according to style– classic, feminine, casual, glamorous, offbeat, and romantic.  I hope this guide helps you find a pair that suits your style perfectly!


For the traditional bride, try a great pair of peep toe d’Orsay pumps in classic white with a pretty fabric flower detail.  These shoes will look sensational with just about any dress.  When your wedding is over, have them dyed black and you’ll be able to wear them forever!

This timeless pair features luxurious satin fabric, leather lining, and a skinny covered heel.  The rose detail is the icing on the (wedding) cake!  “Pomposo” shoes by Stuart Weitzman, $325.

These shoes have all the same details as the designer pair – satin upper, leather lining, covered stiletto heel, and pretty rose detail – for a fraction of the price.  “Anjelica” shoes by Steve Madden, $69.95.


Your wedding day is the perfect time to go all out with girly, feminine details like soft pleating, muted colors, and flowing fabric.  Since this is a more specific style, try to match the detail on the shoes with the detail on your dress – both these pairs would look great with a vintage-inspired lace gown.

This pair is feminine and sexy at the same time with its champagne color, peep toe, and ruched lace detail.  Ruffle peep-toe pump by Nina Ricci, $725 at eLuxury.

These shoes are so pretty!  The ruffle detail around the heel and the soft color recall the designer version, but this version femmes it up even more with pleated satin and a sweet bow at the toe.  Satin pumps by Make me Chic, around $20.


If you are planning to have your wedding at a beach or other outdoor location, casual footwear is the way to go – you’ll look and feel great all day!  But just because you’re going casual doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style.  My picks feature dreamy details worthy of any princess bride!  Both pairs would look stunning with a gauzy, flowing gown and loose, wavy hair.

These flat sandals with lace and chain trim are so gorgeous and unique.  They are part hippie chic, part rocker chick, and part girly girl!   Chain lace sandal by Nina Ricci, $525 at eLuxury.

These shoes aren’t an exact copy of the designer pair, but they capture the feel with their flat sole, delicate ankle strap, and allover lace detail.  “Lacey Lady” flats by All Black, $55.63 at Endless.


Step up the glamour on your big day with shoes worthy of any A-list Hollywood diva!  Choose details like metallic leather, sky-high heels, and jeweled embellishments to channel your inner starlet.  These would look fabulous with a slinky silk gown with a dramatic open back, swept up hair, and lots of sparkly jewelry!

These shoes are the definition of glamour!  A panel of Swarovski crystal embellishment accents the metallic leather straps, and the four-inch heel will transform you into a head-turning glamazon!  Jeweled sandals by Giuseppe Zanotti, $1,044.95 at Endless.

These gorgeous sandals will make you feel like a star.  The strappy style, metallic finish, towering heel, and bejeweled t-strap emulate the designer shoes perfectly.  “Helene” sandals by Unlisted, $59.95 at Endless.


For the bride who doesn’t follow the rules, a bright and beautiful pair of shoes in a bold floral print!  This style would look amazing with a vintage tea-length princess dress and a big, colorful bouquet.  My picks are so versatile and stylish, you’ll be able to wear them long after your wedding day – bring them on your honeymoon and pair them with jeans or a sexy pencil skirt!

These shoes are truly unique.  The pretty floral print, metallic leather trim, and cutout details are sure to make you stand out from the crowd!  Heels by Luciano Padovan, $315 at Yoox.

The stiletto heel has been replaced with a demure flat sole and the metallic leather with jeweled embellishments, but the floral pattern on these shoes is almost identical to the designer pair!  Plus, the price is almost too good to be true.  Floral flats, $13.20 at Go Jane.


I love the idea of embracing romantic details on your wedding day, and your shoes should be no exception!  Choose a pair of sweet ballet flats with pearl details to show off your softer side.  Pair them with a billowy, empire waist dress à la Juliet Capulet, and sweep your Romeo off his feet!

These delicate flats are made of supple bone-colored leather and adorned with pretty ruffles and lustrous pearls.  Worthy of the most amorous ensemble!  “Pearl” flats by Jeffrey Campbell, $109.95 at Nordstrom.

These charming ballerina flats pair strands of pearls with sparkling rhinestones and sweet bows for a look that would inspire even Shakespeare himself!  Rhinestone pearl flats, $15.80 at Go Jane.

Guestbook Options

So while you’re out soaking up your newly married life and taking pictures with your new husband and wedding party

So while you’re out soaking up your newly married life and taking pictures with your new husband and wedding party, your guests will likely be arriving at your cocktail hour or reception. Traditionally, this is the time when they sign the guestbook as a rite of passage before being allowed to enter the shindig.

Old Faithful

The standard guestbook that can be purchased at any craft store or at any online bridal shop is usually a white or ivory book with every page identical to the one before it. You’ve got about 20 lines per page and every guest is asked to write their name address and phone number on a single line.

Side note: Those lines are never long enough.

The book usually comes complete with a coordinating ink pen to be used exclusively for the signing of the book. Because these book and pen sets are usually only used for weddings, they can be overpriced, so be sure to watch out for that.

Old Faithful is nice because when it comes time to write your thank you notes, you have everyone in attendance and their addresses organized in one place. The bad thing is it leaves little room for your guests to really express themselves. Everyone has to fit neatly between the lines and it’s not very fun or expressive.

Engravable Platter

This option can be a little more contemporary. Basically you have a silver platter that comes with a special engraving tool used to write on the platter. The platters come in many different varieties and most people will just make it available somewhere in the reception room, rather than requiring guests to sign it before entering.

The engravable platter is nice because guests are free to write whatever they’d like and you can be certain – they will. There are a few things to take note of though. Make sure you order a platter large enough for all your guests. Because they’re not restricted to a single lines, the length of their prose might get a little out of hand and you want to make sure that everyone has an opportunity to contribute.

Also, you’ll be missing out on the organization aspect of the traditional guest book. This means you likely won’t have any addresses or phone numbers that you were hoping for to help complete your thank you cards.

Guest Book Frame

Another option I’ve seen a lot of lately is the guest book frame. The bride and groom are the featured attraction in this option. It’s usually a picture from an engagement session set in a nice frame with matting, minus the top glass piece. Guests can come by at their leisure and use the provided marker to sign the mat. The pros and cons of the guest book frame are very similar to those of the engravable platter, with one exception. Your guests have even less room to sign since the picture will take up a good amount of the space.

Keep in mind that any of these options could be spun to fit the look and feel of your wedding.  One good idea might be to put that traditional guestbook at the door for when guests arrive, but put one of the other non-traditional options on a table set up in the room. That way you guarantee that you have an organized list of all your guests with their contact information, but you also have a keepsake piece where guests were given the opportunity to really express themselves.

Wedding Day Survival Kit

You’ve been dreaming of your perfect wedding day forever, but let’s face it

You’ve been dreaming of your perfect wedding day forever, but let’s face it – something’s bound to go wrong.  And when it does, you want to be prepared.  A wedding survival kit can help you conquer all those little emergencies that can crop up and threaten to ruin your day – from a stain on your gown to a late vendor to an untimely migraine!  Stash everything in a cute little bag that your Maid of Honor can have on hand all day.  Here’s my checklist of the most important things every bride should have in her wedding day survival kit.

The Essentials

  • A cell phone programmed with all the important phone numbers (including your wedding planner, vendors, and bridal party) in case anyone is late or missing, or you need someone to run a last minute errand.
  • A copy of your wedding vows and readings – when you’re standing at the altar on one of the most important days of your life, you definitely don’t want to forget your lines!
  • Burn backup CDs of all your wedding music.  That way, in the unlikely event of a music malfunction, you’ll still be able to dance to your song, do the Chicken Dance, and Party like it’s 1999.

Quick Fixes for Wardrobe Malfunctions

  • Miniature sewing kit with needle, thread, and scissors – you never know when someone might lose a button or rip a seam.
  • Shout wipes – spills happen, and when they do, these can be a lifesaver!
  • A clever wedding day essential – white chalk.  If all else fails, you can use this to camouflage any stains or marks on your dress until you are able to have it professionally cleaned.  It won’t damage the fabric, and your dress will look flawless in photos!

Personal Hygiene Basics

  • Throw some gum or Altoids in the bag to make sure you are minty fresh before the big kiss and before greeting your guests.
  • Definitely pack dental floss, a toothbrush, and toothpaste.  Brush and floss after dinner – there’s nothing like a piece of spinach between your front teeth to ruin a wedding photo!
  • Tissues are a necessity, especially if you are likely to get emotional during the ceremony!
  • Mini deodorant – you’re going to be doing a lot of standing, walking, and – inevitably – sweating.  Don’t forget to pack a travel sized deodorant stick to reapply throughout the day.

Health and Comfort Necessities

  • Pack travel size packets of over-the-counter meds for common conditions that might pop up during your wedding – like headaches, allergies, or stomach trouble.
  • Don’t forget to keep any necessary prescriptions close at hand.
  • Band-Aids are always good to have – especially useful for blistered feet.
  • Flip flops or slippers – just in case the Band-Aids don’t do the trick!

Beauty Must-Haves

  • Don’t forget the hair essentials – bobby pins to secure pieces of hair that come loose from your ‘do, and hairspray to keep everything in place.
  • Lip gloss – there is going to be a lot of kissing going on, so you will definitely want to reapply!
  • Blotting papers are perfect for quick, on-the-go touchups, and they will keep you from looking shiny in all your wedding photos.


  • Clear nail polish can obviously be used to touch up your manicure, but it also works in a pinch to mend a run in your hosiery or stop fabric or ribbon from fraying.
  • Super glue can fix almost anything, from broken heels and jewelry to damaged wedding toppers or centerpieces.
  • Double-sided tape comes in handy for fashioning temporary hems, keeping a plunging neckline family-friendly, or even repairing a floral arrangement.

Wedding Color Inspiration: Aqua + Red

If you’re looking for a fresh, modern color scheme for your wedding, look no further!

If you’re looking for a fresh, modern color scheme for your wedding, look no further!  The contrast of bright, vibrant red against crisp, cool aqua has a unique, contemporary feel that is sure to make your wedding unforgettable.  Plus, this color combination is so versatile that it can work for any season and any style – from traditional summer nuptials to an eclectic winter wedding.Wedding Color Inspiration: Aqua + Red

1. Go for bold, graphic stationery like these save the date cards to really highlight your color choices.  Shake up the minimal style by varying the fonts and sizes.  The resulting look is contemporary and eye-catching.  Cards by Pink Lily Press, $2.00 each.

2. A red sash really pops on a simple aqua bridesmaid dress.  This one was custom designed on the Olivia Luca Design Studio website, where you can choose from tons of different styles and fabrics.  Try outfitting the maid of honor in contrasting a red dress with an aqua sash so she stands out.  The design studio is a great tool – play around with it until you find the combination you like best!

3. Make sure your groomsmen match the color scheme with these awesome hand printed ties from Cyberoptix TieLab.  The small, independent company has tons of great designs and tie fabrics to choose from, so you can totally customize the look.  These ties have a subtle floral pattern, and are $81 for a set of three.

4. Make your table settings unforgettable by choosing eclectic, worldly accents and bold splashes of color.  I just love the look of this table’s vintage-look china, bright turquoise table runner, and unique centerpieces.  Shop antique stores and flea markets for a truly inspired look – old tea tins, paper fans, and bright spray-painted birdcages would all make fantastic conversation pieces.  Photo courtesy of The Perfect Palette.

5. On your wedding day, no detail should be overlooked – that includes your guest book!  Instead of the traditional white book, opt for an heirloom-quality journal covered in rich, beautiful fabric or patterned paper to match your color scheme.  It will be a cherished keepsake for years to come.  Photo courtesy of Martha Stewart Weddings.

6. Take your place cards from ordinary to extraordinary with a few brightly colored lengths of ribbon.  Here, beautiful calligraphy name cards are perched on ribbons of varying widths, colors, and patterns.  Go to your local craft store and pick out as many fun aqua and red ribbons as you can find – the more, the better!  Photo courtesy of

7. For a traditional wedding with a modern twist, I just love the look of these elegant aqua dresses paired with understated, monochromatic bouquets of red flowers.  Without any fussy details to worry about, the color scheme (and of course, the beauty of the bride and bridesmaids) becomes the focus.  Photo courtesy of Project Wedding.

Wedding Inspiration: All Aflutter

Butterfly motifs have been super popular this year in fashion and home decorating

Butterfly motifs have been super popular this year in fashion and home decorating, so why not extend that to your wedding? Not only are butterflies beautiful, they are also the perfect symbol of the season and of the new life you and your spouse are beginning together. You can also use them to add color and life to your wedding décor in unexpected ways.Wedding Inspiration: All Aflutter

1. Make your favors a work of art by perching a fabric butterfly (available at most craft stores) atop silk flowers and a bright little box tied up with a colorful satin ribbon. Fill them with candy or other small goodies, but these look so pretty on their own, your guests won’t even care what’s inside! Photo from Advantage Bridal.

2. Embrace the butterfly theme from your head to your feet – literally – with these gorgeous sandals from Hen UK. The pearlescent ivory or white leather coordinates with almost any wedding ensemble, and the organza and pearl butterfly embellishment makes these shoes unique. Another thing that makes this pair special – they are handmade to order in London by skilled craftsmen using traditional techniques.

3. Spice up your ceremony or reception location with some colorful butterfly garlands. For an outdoor wedding, these would look amazing intertwined with white lights and strung up among the tree branches. Indoors, they would look just as great draped across a cake or gift table. Get creative – the possibilities are endless! Each garland is over 15 feet long, and at around $5, they are sure to fit any bridal budget! From Funky Moose (actual prices are in British pounds).

4. It’s the extra touches and unique details that guests will remember most about your wedding. While being seated for a hot summer wedding or during cocktail hour, treat your guests to ice cold drinks served with pretty paper butterflies hovering on the straw. Photo and craft project from Martha Stewart.

5. These bridal shower invitations are so cute! Set the tone for your big day by using the same motif for any wedding-related correspondence. The brightly colored, mixed pattern butterfly silhouettes on these invites by Vanilla Ink give them a fun, playful look that is perfect for summer.

6. Get creative with your place settings and use this colorful printed tea towel from Anthropologie as a table runner. You can also search local thrift and antique shops for vintage scarves, cloth napkins, and other linens that match your color scheme and motif. Use a different one on every table for an eclectic, mix-and-match look. Top with a simple arrangement of butterfly garden flowers to complete the look!

7. For the truly daring bride, eschew tradition and wear a gorgeous gown festooned with butterflies in every color of the rainbow! With a dress like this, you can be certain your guests (and your groom!) will never forget the way you looked on your big day. Photo from Monterey Wedding.

8. A simple tiered wedding cake comes to life with multi-colored, lifelike fabric butterflies. The lack of fussy piped decorations means your baker won’t have to spend hours and hours making your cake – which could potentially save you a ton of cash. With its minimal base and inexpensive decorations, this is an affordable – yet stunning – option for almost any couple. Photo from Martha Stewart Weddings.

Splurge vs. Steal: Short & Sweet

While most people think of a wedding as an extravagant

While most people think of a wedding as an extravagant, formal event with attire to match, a short dress can be a great option for brides looking to add a more casual, playful element to the day. Short dresses are also super practical for outdoor weddings and summer season weddings – you will stay cool and comfortable, and you won’t have to worry about the hem of your dress dragging on the ground all day. The short hemline is fun and flirty, but sticking to a classic black and white color scheme with sparkling rhinestone accents keeps the look chic and sophisticated.

1. This statement-making necklace compliments the sweetheart neckline of the strapless dress perfectly. The design is so bold and modern, but still pretty at the same time. ‘Urban Brooch’ necklace from My Theresa, approximately $300 (prices are in Euros).

2. This gorgeous satin evening bag is the perfect accessory to hold all your wedding day essentials. The rhinestone embellishment gives it just the right amount of sparkle, and the pleated details make it unique. ‘Blinded’ purse by Stuart Weitzman, $498 from Zappos.

3. The drapey white chiffon and empire waistline of this dress give it an ethereal, goddess-like look, and the black sash ties up the look with elegance and sophistication. Strapless chiffon dress by BCBG Max Azria, $248 at Lord and Taylor.

4. A long, full veil would look out of place with a short dress. This blusher veil is a great alternative. It still has the classic bridal look, but the smaller proportion compliments the ensemble and the open netting shows off your natural beauty. Blusher veil, $77 from Brenda’s Bridal Veils.

5. Why spend money on expensive white shoes you’ll only wear once when you can wear these gorgeous black satin pumps instead? You’ll look amazingly chic on your wedding day, and the design is so classic and versatile you’ll be able to wear them for years to come. ‘Caroline’ pumps by Badgley Mischka, $225.95 from Endless.

1. This amazing layered necklace with sparkling rhinestone accent looks super expensive, but it has a price tag to fit almost any budget. I think I might like it even better than the designer version! Brooch necklace, $57.80 from White House / Black Market.

2. You don’t have to spend big bucks on designer label shoes to get an elegant, timeless look. This pair has the same basic silhouette and rhinestone embellishment as the splurge style, but for a lot less. The heel height is also a bit more manageable – a practical choice since you’ll likely be on your feet all day. ‘Sharmain’ pumps by Touch Ups, $56.95 from Endless.

3. This dress has all the same details of the designer version – short length, strapless silhouette, sweetheart neckline, draped bodice, and black sash. No one will know you bought it for a fraction of the cost! Strapless satin dress by Teeze Me, $59 from Dillard’s.

4. This veil is almost identical to the splurge version, and it will compliment the short and sweet look beautifully. I love the somewhat retro feel and the versatility of this piece. Birdcage veil, $32 from YJ Design.

5. The finishing touch is this beautiful black satin frame bag with rhinestone and bow embellishments. This purse is a great steal – a gorgeous, designer-inspired piece that won’t break the bank! Satin clutch by Jessica McClintock, $50 from Endless.

your big day

We hope to list ways of saving money for your big day

We hope to list ways of saving money for your big day – as you know if you’ve started planning a wedding, there is already so much to pay for. We have found some great ways of making your own wedding invitations – which we’re sure you’ll like. If you’ve made your own invites then why not send us a picture of your wedding invitation and we’ll publish it on the site here!

We’d also like to make it clear that we *love* wedding cake – and are hoping to bring you the perfect recipe if you want to make your own! If you’ve got a recipe or wedding freebie you’d like to share with us then please get in touch. We’ll be happy to share your ideas with all of our visitors.

There is a free wedding brochure you can send for, and some £10 vouchers which you can spend on your underwear for your wedding, as well as a £10 voucher for Confetti.

We’ve also listed places to buy alcohol for your wedding reception – as we think you’d love these money off vouchers we’ve got for you.
We’ve listed some online jewellers and other sites we think you might find really useful.

If you’re getting married then you’ll find the links we’ve put together useful – if you have favourite sites we’ve not mentioned then please get in touch. If you’d like to tell us about your wedding plans, your wedding or any aspect of you getting married then we’d love to hear from you.

You could spend virtually nothing on your wedding – wearing clothes you already have, holding a cheap reception at home, and not going away on honeymoon, but you could have a lot more fun if you know how!

Lots of pubs offer free room hire for events and parties. You can get a cheap buffet done, or take your own. Ask around at lots of your local pubs and you might be pleased to find one nicer and nearer than you think.

Getting married costs on average over £15000. That is such a mad amount of money to spend!

Plan the perfect wedding

How To Plan Your Own Wedding And Have It  Turn Out Perfectly Saving Yourself  Money, Time and Frustration

At Last! Everything You Need to Throw the Perfect Wedding – Including Insider Tips, “Do’s and Don’ts”, Time-Proven Advice, Money-Saving Techniques, Fresh Ideas and More – Are Revealed!

Dear Bride-To-Be

Your wedding is, quite simply, one of the most important events of your life. It’s a time of exciting change that is celebrated in many different ways, but no matter how it is celebrated it always symbolizes unity and trust between the two people being joined together.

Now, as you prepare for your wedding, you’ll want to make it the best day it can be for you and those you care about.

This means a lot of planning for both you and your fiancé, as well as for your family and friends.Dear Bride-To-Be

Things, such as the invitations , reception , catering , music , dress , ring , and transportation and much more, all must be taken into account and planned for.

But luckily for you, I’m about to reveal something that makes planning the perfect wedding faster and easier than you probably ever imagined it could be – something so incredible that it could make this the most important letter you read before you get married!

That’s right, all the tips, tricks, advice and techniques you need to know to plan the perfect wedding are now available in one convenient, inexpensive ebook!

Get this incredible, comprehensive guide today and you’ll be well on your way to truly enjoying the best day of your life.

#weddingpictures #wedding #weddingphotographer

Here is just SOME of what you will learn:

  • The history and customs of marriage – you’ll learn how the bonding of people into long-lasting, formalized, and committed relationships has survived as an institution for thousands upon thousands of years!
  • What wedding rings symbolize and how to select the perfect one – including where and how to find the highest quality diamond!
  • How to turn the selection of your wedding dress from the most stressful aspect of planning a wedding into the most enjoyable – you’ll definitely be surprised at what you read here!
  • How to choose a dress that fits you perfectly and ensures you’ll never have looked more beautiful than you do on your wedding day – follow these tips and you are sure to mesmerize your fiancé and friends and family when you walk down the aisle!
  • How to select the perfect location for your wedding – this is one of the most important considerations you will have to make when planning your wedding … here I’ll give you tips that will make this process as easy as 1, 2, 3!
  • How to plan the wedding ceremony – find out what you should always consider when planning this huge part of your wedding day … plus, learn how to plan the rehearsal and how to pick an officiant, as well!
  • 5 questions you should always ask your officiant before the wedding – forget to do this and your wedding could be ruined!
  • How to select the right invitations for your wedding – I’ve even included sample wording that you may want to use to ensure your invitations “set the proper mood”
  • What other materials you may want to consider including with your invitations – should you also send reception cards, response cards, announcements, maps, and other materials? Find out here!
  • How to choose the right food for the reception – follow these tips and everyone is sure to enjoy the event!
  • How to use flowers to add bright splashes of life and color to your event – follow these tips and you are sure to have a beautiful wedding!
  • How to choose take-home gifts – giving guests something to remember your wedding by is a common way of cementing the good feelings produced by the ceremony and festivities, find out just how to do it here … I’ve even included 13 great money-saving wedding gift ideas!
  • How to select the right music for the reception – including whether it is always best to use a live band or a DJ!
  • 12 things to look for when hiring a DJ – ignore these suggestions and you risk having an awful reception!
  • How to select a photographer – plus, how to best plan your special day in order to get the best work out of him or her!
  • 15 questions you should always ask a prospective photographer – ask these questions and you are sure to hire a responsible, quality photographer!

Your wedding seating plan

Ensure You Have the Perfect Wedding You’ve Always Dreamed Of!

Finally, after all these years of waiting and searching, you’ve met the one with whom you want to spend the rest of your life: a companion, a partner to share with you the long nights and the hard days, and the attendant joys of security and fidelity.

You can’t believe your luck.

And now the moment has come: it’s time to plan the wedding – that ancient ritual, that passage into a new form of adulthood. This event is truly a milestone in anyone’s life. It is a joyous, transformative event.

You couldn’t be more excited.

But you’re also a bit frightened of the coming ceremony. You’re terrified, actually.

  • What will the wedding be like?
  • What if something goes wrong?
  • What if you do something wrong?
  • It could ruin your whole life!

First off, relax. Fears and doubts about the marriage ceremony and its attendant rituals are common. They are nothing but a natural human response to an event of great importance – which for many people is the most important event of their lives.

All you need to ensure the perfect day is good planning advice. In short, all you need is the “Wedding Planning Made Easy” ebook!

This ebook contains the tips and information you need to know to plan a truly wondrous event.

You see, magnificent, fantastic weddings – whether 500-guest royal events or 10-person shaded-glen affairs – are the result of proper planning, plain and simple.But planning a great wedding can be a difficult

But planning a great wedding can be a difficult

But planning a great wedding can be a difficult struggle and an intensely arduous process if you don’t have the right guidance. The key question you will face is how to express your own personality in one of the most formalized of human rituals.

How can you keep your and your fiancé’s individuality while still retaining the universal, the solemnity, the gravitas that must necessarily mark a bond based on a choice of lifelong commitment?

How do you balance lightheartedness, beauty and seriousness?

“Wedding Planning Made Easy” will show you how to do all of this – faster and simpler than you ever imagined possible!

Whether you want to plan a simple or elaborate event, “Wedding Planning Made Easy” contains the advice and information you need to turn your wedding into a breathtakingly beautiful occasion – an occasion that you will remember and cherish for the rest of your life!

You’ll learn:
  • How to plan your dream wedding – without going crazy or broke!
  • How to properly invite your guests to the big event – and ensure they’ll all want to come!
  • How to select the type of ceremony you will have
  • How to choose the officiant
  • How to pick and purchase the perfect rings
  • How to save money – lots and lots of money – on the cost of your wedding
  • How to choose the members of your wedding party
  • How to select the perfect location for your wedding
  • How to ensure every step of the wedding and reception is carefully planned and executed
  • How to choose your dress
  • What food and drink to serve at the reception
  • Whether or not you should provide take-home gifts
  • How to ensure you hire the right photographer
  • How to select the music to ensure that everyone has a great time
  • And much, much more!

Make Your Dream Wedding Come True!

Make Your Dream Wedding Come True!

The sheer number of decisions you have to make leading up to your wedding can be very intimidating. You’ll have to coordinate all the wedding arrangements, you’ll have to take into consideration both families’ feelings, you’ll have to hire the right professionals, and the list goes on and on.

In fact, eloping might begin to seem like not so bad an idea after all!

But don’t despair. “Wedding Planning Made Easy” takes all the complication and confusion out of the wedding planning process!

You’ll get all the information and advice you need to stay organized and on top of every detail, from choosing a location to planning the ceremony to selecting the reception entertainment!

This comprehensive guide offers support and salvation for the busy couple that wants their ceremony and reception to be perfect, but doesn’t know where to begin!

You’ll learn:

  • Four important things to consider when selecting a wedding ring (how to find the perfect diamond is just one of them!)
  • How soon you should begin looking for your wedding dress and where you should look to find it
  • How to make sure your invitations make the best first impression for your wedding
  • How to find the perfect location for your wedding and how far in advance you should plan to book it
  • The five most popular destination wedding locations and how to decide if one of them is right for you and your fiancé
  • How to make every member of your wedding party – best man, groomsmen, maid of honor, bridesmaids, flower girl, ring bearer, ushers, reader, guestbook attendant – feel important and special, without offending anyone who is left out
  • And much, much more!And You'll Learn Not Just How to Plan Your Wedding But How to Save Money as Well!

And You’ll Learn Not Just How to Plan Your Wedding But How to Save Money as Well!

Did you know that the average cost of a wedding is approximately $30,000?

It’s true. But thanks to “Wedding Planning Made Easy,” you don’t have to worry about spending anywhere near that much to have your dream wedding!

On the pages of this comprehensive ebook, you will find the advice and information you need to cut your wedding costs, but not your wedding quality!

You’ll learn:

  • How to select a month, day and time for your wedding that could save you as much as 70% off your facility costs!
  • Whether, in the long run, it is more expensive to buy your rings retail or wholesale – this information could save you tons of money!
  • Where you can find a high-quality wedding dress at a bargain price!
  • Money-saving travel tips that dramatically slash the cost of a “destination wedding”
  • 5 ways to save money on invitations
  • And much, much more!This is Your Chance to Learn the Planning Tips, Tricks and Secrets You Need to Know to Have a Dream Wedding!

This is Your Chance to Learn the Planning Tips, Tricks and Secrets You Need to Know to Have a Dream Wedding!

“Wedding Planning Made Easy” is full of practical and fun ideas for creating a truly magical event that will be remembered and cherished by everyone, especially you and your fiancé.

A properly planned wedding will create beautiful memories that will be treasured and cherished forever. An improperly planned wedding may also be remembered forever – for all the wrong reasons!But luckily for you, everything you need to know to plan a perfect wedding is now contained in one comprehensive yet easy-to-read guide!

You’ll get all the tips and tools you’ll need to create a truly memorable event. “Wedding Planning Made Easy” doesn’t just provide a general overview of wedding planning, it covers all of the specific details you need to consider to have a truly wonderful wedding – many of these are details you would probably never think to consider on your own, but can have a dramatic effect on the quality of your wedding!

Ask yourself this question: Don’t you owe it to yourself, and your fiancé to throw the best wedding possible? If so, you need “Wedding Planning Made Easy.” It covers everything from choosing the rings to developing a budget to planning flowers, photography and the reception!

Here’s the Bottom Line on this Incredible

Few things are as exciting as finally setting the date for your wedding. But that euphoria is often soon replaced by dread – the dread of having to plan a dream wedding.

Did you know that planning a wedding requires you to answer over 300 questions? Here’s just a few:

  • “Can I plan all of this myself without going crazy?”
  • “When would be the best date to get married?”
  • “Where should our wedding and reception be held?”
  • “Who should we invite?”
  • “What type of wedding gown do I want and where do I get it?”
  • “Who should be in our wedding party?”
  • “Do we want a traditional ceremony?”
  • “Should we write our own vows?”
  • “Should we have a theme?”
  • “What about decorations?”
  • “What type of food should we have for the reception?”
  • “Should I hire a caterer?”
  • “Should I hire a live band or a DJ?”
  • “What song do we want played for our first dance as man and wife?”
  • “Who will make our cake?”
  • “How should I use flowers to decorate the wedding location?”
  • “Where can we find a good photographer?”
  • “How much will everything cost?”

And there are many, many more questions that you will need to answer!

But the good news is, at last all the answers to the above questions as well as any other wedding planning questions you may have are now available in one convenient ebook – “Wedding Planning Made Easy!”

This fantastic ebook puts everything you need to know to plan the perfect wedding right at your fingertips!“Wedding Planning Made Easy”

“Wedding Planning Made Easy”
Covers Such Important Topics as :

  • The History and Customs of Marriage
  • The Ring
  • The Dress
  • The Location
  • The Ceremony
  • The Invitations
  • The Food and Drink
  • The Flowers and Favors
  • The Take-Home Gifts
  • The Music
  • The Photographer
  • And much more!

We specialize in Wedding Photography

Welcome to Aarhus Expressions Wedding Photography Aarhus

Welcome to Aarhus Expressions Wedding Photography Aarhus. Our mission is to  offer you a new perspective on wedding photography  ā€“ quietly capturing the real moments as they happen for the bride and groom. It is our goal to use photography to tell the story of your wedding day. 

While we do our job by taking care of what would be your memories, you can relax, enjoy your reception, and share with your loved people. Our photojournalist wedding photography style mixed with traditional portraiture and black & white, put the worldā€™s best wedding photography, Aarhus photography and event photography in Aarhus bay area at your fingertips.  

We want to help Brides and Grooms by giving them a website where  they can plan their weddings easily

We want to help Brides and Grooms by giving them a website where  they can plan their weddings easily , so they do not need to go and surf the whole web looking for their wedding stuff. You can find here your wedding dress, the maids dresses, the tuxedos, the wedding rings, the catering, the DJ, the event planer, the favors, the limousine, the venue, the cake, the musician, the reverend or notary, the videographers, etc.

Also, you can plan your honeymoon: you can find here: air tickets, hotels, car rental, event tickets, entertainment, insurances, restaurants, etc. You are going to be surprised surfing our website, discovering all the links and vendors we have available , just for your commodity.

Our photography business is located in Aarhus in Juthland

Our photography business is located in Aarhus. We are the photographers for your event. We cover weddings, Aarhus, sweet sixteen and sweet fifteen, engagements, portraiture, kids photography.

October is Professional Photographers of Denmark (PPA) Family Portrait Month. Book now and help us to create a smile.

Your Wedding Needs Some Etiquette

It’s your wedding, do it your way and forget about the rest, right? 

It’s your wedding, do it your way and forget about the rest, right? If you plan to make a few people unhappy and quite a few more wondering where your manners are, then that is the way to go.

Although we do not want to think or talk about it, wedding etiquette is essential. At this very important time in your life, you want everyone to know who you are and what kind of life you are planning to live. The way that you present yourself here is the way they will see you as a couple.

Even if you do not care much about what they do and think, it is still essential for you to find a way to make them feel welcome into your life.

Not To Worry, It’s Not Hard!

The hardest part of wedding etiquette is learning about it. That you will do here. The easy part is doing it. There are very few things that are too hard to accommodate. Besides, a wedding is all about pomp and circumstance, so why not lay it all out there?

Wedding etiquette may seem like a difficult process but once you learn a few facts about it and how to easily execute it, you will be well on your way to pleasing your guests, your parents and even find yourself enjoying it all!

Worries Relieved

Another benefit of following the right etiquette for your wedding is that you can avoid problems like these:

– You forgot to invite someone to your wedding and now, they are upset with you!

– You do not know how to properly announce your wedding. Should you put it in the newspaper or send an announcement in the mail?

– Who should you invite to your wedding shower?

– Is it okay to do a gift registry for your wedding? If so, should you put expensive items on it? Does it imply that you want gifts?

– What should you do about guests that are out of town? Is it up to you to provide for them?

– Who’s going to pay for what? Should your bridesmaids pay for their dresses? Should you fork over the money for gifts?

– Who should throw your bridal shower?

– Is email an acceptable form of thank you notes for your gifts?

There are plenty of things that are big ‘ifs’ and since most of us only get married one time, it is rather difficult to actually determine what the right way to go is.

That’s why you need to take some time now to determine what the right way to handle these and other circumstances for your wedding is. When you handle them correctly, no one has hurt feelings, has to do too much and you don’t look bad.

Wedding etiquette also shows respect and understanding for others. By doing what you can to provide for these things, you show those that you are inviting how much you really do care for them.

Romantic Engagement Photographs

Start Your Wedding Album with Romantic Engagement Photographs

You are getting married! Now is the good time for your first professional shots together as an engaged couple before the wedding day. There is no better way to begin your Wedding Album than passionate engagement photos.

Engagement Photo Session is like a rehearsal before the big day. This is the perfect time for you to practice being comfortable in front of a camera. At the same time, your wedding photographer from Copenhagen will learn the best angles that suit you.

This is also the perfect opportunity for you and your wedding photographer from Copenhagen to establish a good relationship which will result to a more natural, emotionally rich and stunning photos both in the engagement session and in your wedding day.

Engagement Photo Session is exciting

Engagement Photo Session is exciting! It is all about having fun, being happily engaged and in love. It is the best time for you to bring out your sexiness, glamour and playfulness.

Though you want to look fabulous and gorgeous, you should avoid wearing black or white clothes and flashy outfits in your engagement photo session. Dress casually. Look more simple and elegant, so your photos will focus on your expressions and emotions not in your clothing.

Your Photographer from Copenhagen will give you suggestions on what clothes to wear. Such Photographers are reached at Copenhagen Wedding Photography. It offers quality wedding photography as well as engagement photo sessions at an affordable and reasonable price.

Wedding Photographers in Copenhagen

Wedding Photographers in Copenhagen from Copenhagen Wedding Photography will also take care of finding the best engagement session locations in Denmark for more romantic engagement photography or if you fancy a certain place, they are always open for suggestions.

During the photo session, photographers from Copenhagen will gently coax you to take various poses and creative ideas to bring out your true emotions. They will lead you to into a fantasy world where you can be whoever you want to be. Soon you will forget the camera and the magic happens.

Many soon-to-wed couples have chosen Copenhagen Wedding Photography

Many soon-to-wed couples have chosen Copenhagen Wedding Photography to shoot their engagement photographs and create their wedding treasure. Why? Because its wedding photographer from Copenhagen differ from the average photographer in Copenhagen, he only takes photos of real moments with real emotions. His photography is not mechanical; it is heartfelt, beautiful and moving.

Your wedding seating plan

Seating plans are an important part of your reception planning and should be done after all your guests are confirmed

Seating plans are an important part of your reception planning and should be done after all your guests are confirmed and you know exactly how many are coming. Deciding on where your guests are going to sit should be a fun task, but dont leave it till the last minute, draw up your plan about a week before the day so that you will still have time for any last minute changes.

Seating plans will help your guests quickly find their seats

Seating plans will help your guests quickly find their seats at the reception and will help ensure everyone has a place. Drawing up a plan means you can sit people together who will get on well or apart if you think they wont! Harmony is the key here. You dont want arguments or heated discussions breaking out in the middle of your meal!

When drawing up your seating plan

When drawing up your seating plan, begin by writing down all the guests names and table numbers on separate pieces of paper. Spread the table numbers out on a table and start by placing guests on each table. Move them around until you are happy with what will work. This will take time so allow an evening or afternoon to do it.

Think about where you want your top table positioned. Traditionally the top table is a long table placed so that all other guests can see it. However, you may decide on a round table in the center of the room.

Consideration should be given to any elderly guests

Consideration should be given to any elderly guests, who may appreciate being seated away from any entertainment which you may have. Also if you are inviting children consider having a separate table for them. Whilst young children are best seated with their parents, older children may appreciate a table of their own. Cover it with a paper table cloth and pots of coloring pencils to keep them occupied.

When it comes to arranging your top table

When it comes to arranging your top table it is traditional for the parents of the bride and groom to sit with them. If for any reason this wont work you may have to consider an alternative option. Your bridesmaids and best man should also be seated on the top table. When thinking about the top table, work out what will suit you best and what will keep everyone happy, whether that keeps with tradition or not.

It is important you think of all your guests individually and give consideration as to who you think they will get along with. If you are concerned about people not getting along, sit them far apart. Your wedding should not become the time to settle feuds or force people in to getting along with each other.

Finally put your seating plan together on a large piece of cardboard

Finally put your seating plan together on a large piece of cardboard. Print out each table number with a list of guests names underneath it and arrange them on the board as the tables are laid out in the room. You can get someone to do this for you and some stationers will provide this service. Your seating plan will be displayed at the entrance to the room where your meal will be held.

Georgina Clatworthy is a dedicated full time writer who composes informative articles related to wedding favors and wedding. She is connected with, todays leading wedding planning social networking site.

Top 5 Places to Spend Money on Your Wedding

When it comes to your wedding budget, it seems that all the advice you are given centers around how to save money, but do you know where you can actually spend money & splurge on your wedding?

When it comes to your wedding budget, it seems that all the advice you are given centers around how to save money, but do you know where you can actually spend money & splurge on your wedding? Before you reach for your check book, here are some tips on which aspects of your day are worth spending more money on.

1. Wedding Photography

Its a sad fact but all your hard work will be a distant memory the day after your wedding. Your cake will be no more, the flowers wilted & your dress back in its cover & hanging in the closet. But your photographs will live on long after the last of the champagne has been drunk. Your wedding photos are your souvenir of your day & a reminder of all the hard you put in, as well as how fabulous you all look & how wonderful it was. So it is worth spending more of the wedding budget on a top notch photographer to make sure your photos document every aspect of your day.

Be a bit savvy & shop around for the best photographer you can find. Make sure they are someone you feel comfortable with & can fit with your budget. Ask about packages which are often good value for money, but make sure you take a good look at what is offered & swap out anything you dont like or want. Deluxe wedding albums, websites & other novelty items all seem like a definite must have, but they wont make your pictures any nicer than they already are & can add a considerable amount to the price. Ask to see previous work, be sure that any editing carried out, such as re-touching, cropping & printing are better than you could do yourself! Make sure you will get a set of pictures printed by the photographer & ask about getting a CD with your pictures on so your can get re-prints for family & friends.

2. Your Wedding Dress and Appearance

Lets face it, for many of us some days are better than others. Ever had that feeling when you wake up in the morning that nothing is going to look or feel right & the day will just be miserable? Then the next day you wake up feeling bright & breezy & everything is perfect & right with the world. Your wedding day should definitely be the latter, you want to walk down the aisle feeling confident & fabulous. Feeling on top of the world during your wedding day will not only help you get through the day with a smile on your face but will also come through in your photographs. With this in mind dont be tempted to go out & buy the cheapest wedding dress you can find. Spend more money on getting the dress of your dreams & one which will make you feel a million dollars the second you put it on. Dont skimp on your accessories, shoes or make-up either. Cheap versions here could let down your dress & spoil your whole look. Dont forget the groom either. You need him to look his best too, so splurge a bit on his suit or tuxedo as well.

But be wise, the most expensive dress in the store is not necessarily the right one. Check out sales, sample sales & discount stores for the best deals. Dont dismiss second hand gowns either. Ebay is often full of designer gowns at bargain prices.

3. The Right Wedding Officiant

When you really think about it, your wedding is all about the two of you & the way in which you say I do. Therefore your ceremony is the most important part of the day, the reception afterwards is just the cherry on the top & nothing more than just a celebration of the fact you both just said I do! So when you come to choose your officiant pick wisely. Make it is someone you are comfortable with & can get along with. Make sure they share your beliefs & are prepared to give you the ceremony you both want. If you already know someone but need to fly them in, then so be it or take the time to find someone locally.

If you find the perfect ceremony location but dont like the officiant provided there, then dont be afraid to ask about bringing in your own.

4. Your Sanity

There is little doubt that planning a wedding is a stressful experience. The pressures on you both to create the perfect wedding seem immense & at times it can all get too much to bear. So make room in your budget for some things that will help you to relax & take a break from all the plans & all the details. If you need to hire a wedding planner or coordinator, do so. A good wedding planner is worth their weight in gold & they can take a lot of the pressure off. Another option is to just splurge on a day at the spa with a friend. Remember that being relaxed on your wedding day is more important than the color of the ribbon on the favors!

Taking time out to relax doesnt have to cost the earth though. Delegate some of the tasks on your planning list to family & friends, you dont have to do everything yourself!

5. Whats Most Important to You

Take some time to consider the finer details & what is important to you both. Perhaps you dream of having a fireworks display or a luxurious chocolate wedding cake. It is your wedding & you should make exception for those little details that will make the day special for you.

When you fill out your budget planner remember that in order to accommodate those special little touches you will have to reduce the budget in other areas. There are other ways to include special details to your day, think about personal wedding readings or borrowing family heirlooms such as your mothers jewelry or wedding veil.

Planning a wedding is never an easy task

Planning a wedding is never an easy task and most people wish they had an easy way to do it

Planning a wedding is never an easy task and most people wish they had an easy way to do it. If you are one of these people, then Las Vegas is the place for you. There are more than one hundred thousand wedding ceremonies that are performed here each year. This destination is best for those who are open-minded because you will not be able to have a traditional wedding here. Las Vegas has become very popular place for couples that want a quick wedding. Apart from the unique experience, there are some advantages of getting married in Las Vegas. These include:

It is affordable

A wedding in Vegas will only cost you some few hundred dollars unlike a traditional one that runs into thousands of dollars.

The time

Most wedding chapels usually require you to book early to avoid disappointments but in Vegas you only need to give a short notice and sometimes all you have to do is walk in to a chapel and get married.

It is convenient

The hotels in Las Vegas have wedding coordinators who can help you make sure that everything goes right during your wedding. You can arrange for all this over the phone or over the Internet.


Getting married in Vegas is a fun way of doing things because the atmosphere is relaxed and you do not have to follow any procedures.

Everything is in reach

When you get married in Las Vegas, you do not need to travel to another destination for your honeymoon. This is because there are so many places nearby that you can have your honeymoon.

As good as a wedding in Las Vegas is there are some disadvantages you should bear in mind. These include:

You determine how it goes

There are no manuals on how to carry out weddings in Las Vegas and therefore your decisions will determine how it goes. The packages offered are not elaborate and the details are never emphasized on.

Traveling expenses for your guests

Some of the people that you invite for your wedding may find it a problem to travel all the way to Vegas. This means that only a few people will be able to attend. This can turn out to be a good thing if you wanted to leave out some of them from the ceremony. For those who want most of the family and friends to attend this is not the best option for you.


Las Vegas does not offer much when it comes to places to hold wedding receptions. The best thing would be to find a private room in one of the many restaurants and hold the reception there.

If you choose to have you wedding there, make sure that you arrive early so that you can apply for a marriage license. You have to be over the age of eighteen to get a license and the charge is only 55 dollars. The best place to choose is a hotel with a casino because they offer you the best services. Choose to have a wedding in Las Vegas today and enjoy the unique benefits.

Locate wedding consultants in Denmark

Our site is designed to help you locate wedding consultants in Denmark

Our site is designed to help you locate wedding consultants in Denmark and vendors by category who offer products and services in your area or wedding destination. You will find vendors in cities large and small worldwide who are ready to help you with your wedding needs.

From the moment you receive your engagement ring many decisions and planning must be done.  The first decision is whether to hire a wedding consultant or plan your own wedding.  This decision should be based upon your personality and needs.

If you feel like planning a wedding….

If you feel like planning a wedding would be too overwhelming and time consuming you probably will want to hire a wedding consultant.  A wedding consultant is a professional who has been trained to see to the every need of the bride from the engagement to the honeymoon. 

The wedding consultant

The wedding consultant will determine your needs
style and most importantly your budget.  Your budget should include the fee structure of the wedding consultant as well as all expenses for the wedding.  

If you want to be in complete control of every detail of your wedding
a wedding consultant may not work for you.  If you decide to plan your own wedding you should make a list of all possible vendors and a budget for each category. 

Then you should get an estimate for the same thing from each vendor.  Once you have narrowed your search face to face interviews should be arranged. 

Always make sure to get everything in writing from each vendor you have chosen.  If both you and your fiancé work together to make decisions you both will be happy with the results.

Wedding Traditions

Have you ever wondered why we do the things we do at weddings. Well here are some the ways that modern day Wedding traditions began.

The first record of a multi-tiered Wedding Cake

One of the oldest and fondest wedding traditions, the wedding cake has been associated with weddings throughout history. Many say that the wedding cake as we know it began in England in the 17th century. The first record of a multi-tiered wedding cake was in Great Britain in 1840, for Queen Victoria’s wedding, it was more that nine feet in circumference.

The Sharing of your Wedding Cake

The sharing of prosperity, generosity and love for the wedding guests and the bride and groom.

One of my fondest memories of my wedding was sharing a piece wedding cake with my husband, Troy. Our wedding cake was simple, beautiful and delicious. It was baked at a local bakery with a reputation for beautiful wedding cakes that taste great. We decided to skip the traditional and have a layer of chocolate cake and two layers of white cake. It was a good choice and none went to waste.

There was a time when a sweet cake would have been too expensive for most. Sugar was an expensive ingredient, so only the rich could afford a wedding cake. Over time the cost of sugar came down, making having a wedding cake more affordable. The wedding cake came to symbolize the sharing of prosperity, generosity and love for the wedding guests and the bride and groom.

How to choose a Wedding cake

There are a lot of things to consider when choosing your wedding cake.Remember beautiful does not have to mean dry and inedible. Many bakeries make cakes that taste as good as they look. White cake is no longer the rule many brides are choosing delicious rich flavors like chocolate with chocolate mousse, yellow butter cake topped with light, creamy butter cream frosting topped with seasonal berries. Ask around to find a bakery with a good reputation. Make a list of questions to ask the baker such as; Do you deliver to the reception site? Is the cake made from scratch or from a mix? What cake flavors or filling are available?

I hope you find the cake of your dreams… and remember you can have your cake and eat it too!

Planning a Wedding

Planning a Wedding:

“Something Borrowed, Something Blue” if you don’t want the bride to be the something blue, then there needs to be a lot of planning before the wedding day. Whether it’s a small home wedding or a massive church wedding attention to detail will make the difference between a day the couple will always remember fondly or a nightmare they want to forget.

Tips for Planning a Wedding:

  • Make a list

There is a long list of things to do before the big day. So the first thing you need to do is make a list of all the things that need to be done and another list for all the things that need to be purchased.

  • Make a Budget

Next and probably the most important step is to sit down and make a budget with the person or persons who will paying for the wedding. This budget needs to be all inclusive, tips, fees and all. Do your best, you may call around to get some estimates. Don’t be surprized though that some places won’t even talk to you if the wedding is still a long way off.

  • Compare your facts, ask for recommendations

You’ll be amazed at the wide range of prices for flowers and services. It can be very over whelming at times. Ask friends and family for recommendations.

  • Consider hiring a Wedding Planner

A good Wedding Planner can save you time and frustration by recommending vendors that will give you the most for your money. They are able to do this mostly because wedding vendors will usually go out of their way to do an extra good job for a wedding planner that referred them knowing that they will get repeat business. A professional Wedding Planner will also help you decide on a budget and stick to it.

The Duties of the Best Man

The Best Man

The best man needs to be someone you can count on because he has a lot of duties. He will be one of the busiest people at the wedding. He needs to be someone who can manage several activities at once. His list of responsibilities varies but could include travel agent, witness, valet, toastmaster, messenger, advisor, coordinator of the ushers or chauffeur.

Before the wedding

Before the wedding the best man should review with the groom
1. Wedding attire
2. lodging for out of town ushers
3. boutonnieres
4. the marriage license
5. bachelor party

The Wedding Day

On the wedding day the only thing that the groom should have to worry about is arriving for the ceremony on time.

  • The best man should make sure the Groom is perfectly dressed and groomed and that his boutonniere is placed over the button hole on his coat lapel.
  • The best man should carry the Bride’s ring in his vest pocket or on his little finger to give to the Groom at the appropriate time during the ceremony.

At the Wedding site (at least 30 minutes before)

  • The best man should only briefly leave the Groom to make sure the ushers made it, that they are properly dressed, and that they have their boutonnieres.
  • The best man should also at this time deliever the sealed envelopes with gratuities or fees to the wedding official, musicans, etc. The envelopes should be presented in the name of the Groom.
  • The best man gets the Bride and Groom off to the reception site as quickly as possible.
  • If the reception is at another location the best man should arrange for transportation for the Bride and Groom.
  • If a driver for the Bride and Groom is unavailable the best man will act as chauffeur.

How to be a Wonderful Bridesmaid

It’s an honor to be chosen to be the bridesmaid

It’s an honor to be chosen to be the bridesmaid. This will be one of the brides biggest days of her life and she chose you to stand beside her. Enjoy this time together. Here are some tips for helping her achieve the day of her dreams.

1. Help her gather resource materials such as advertisements for florists, bakeries, travel agencies and bridal stores. Keep a record of color swatches to give to guests who want to know the brides color scheme.

2. Attend bridal fairs together, be sure to collect information for her as you go, carry bags and fill out all the ballots for giveaways, this allows the bride more time to look around.

3. Assist her with addressing labels and placing stamps on the envelopes for wedding invitations and thank you notes.

4. On the wedding day, be sure to pack some light snack for you both as she may have been too busy to eat.

5. Don’t forget your camera, tasteful candid shots of the Bride getting ready can be really fun.

6. Its your job to ensure that the bride looks her best for photos by straightening out her dress, puffing up her bouquet and touching up her make-up.

7. It’s a really extra nice gesture when a bridesmaid goes the extra mile and instead of just giving a speech at the reception she have made a slide show of pictures of the bride and groom with a special song or has even just collected pictures and made a display.

8. It’s also the Bridesmaid’s job to help at the reception. Talk with guests while the bride and groom are busy and dance with the brides brother who may have come alone.

9. Sorry the bridesmaid cannot leave early. She needs to stay and help cleanup, unless someone has been hired to do so, even then she must make sure that some mementos are saved for the bride, such as the centerpiece, part of the wedding cake, and a few wedding favors.

10. The Bridesmaid makes sure the bride gets off ok, that she can get into the vehicle with her dress and vail and that her personal belonging are not left behind. I also think that the bridesmaid should arrange a special treat for the bride and groom either in their car, where they are going to stay the evening or at their home when they return such as a bottle of champagne, basket of fruit, or a nice gift basket.

The perfect wedding gown

Important questions to ask yourself before you run out and purchase the perfect wedding gown.

1. If you are getting married at a church or synagogue are there dress restrictions such as no low-cut necklines, sleeveless or backless gowns? You may be able to get around these with a little matching jacket during the ceremony.

2. What is the style of your wedding? Formal or informal.

3. What time of year will you be getting married? For a summer wedding a lighter weight sleeveless gown would be just fine but maybe not for a December wedding. There are different weights of satin material. A lot depends on where you are getting married as well.

4. Will you be kneeling during your ceremony or walking down stairs. These are important factors that many don’t consider and choose a form fitting gowns that make these tasks difficult.

Answering these questions will help you make a wiser choice when it comes to choosing a wedding gown.

Gown Styles

Here is some bridal gown words that you will want to know before hitting the bridal stores.

A-line: a fitted bodice that flares out to the hem creating an A shape.

Ballroom: This is the classic Cinderella type gown, full skirt, off –the- shoulder and a natural waistline. This type of gown is great for the full-figured bride.

Basque waist– the waistline begins below the waist, forming a U or V shape: slenderizing: a good choice for brides with wide hips.

Empire: Cropped bodice, high waist, slightly flared skirt: not a good choice for large busted brides, along with clingy fabrics and heavily decorated bodices.

Miniskirt– The hem is above the knee

Princess: Slim fitting bodice with emphasis on the waist.

Sheath: No waist: fabric continues down the body from the shoulders to the ankles for a close-fitting look.

I’m sure there are others that I did not include here or variations of these.


How to choose your perfect Wedding gown

Tips for Selecting a Bridal Gown

A wedding dress is certainly a high priority for most brides. Let’s face it the Bridal Gown is the ultimate dress for a day that is a major milestone in life. You are only going to do this once and you want to look spectacular. Picking the perfect gown is not as easy as finding a great pair of Shoes (which by the way, you are going to need) As a matter of fact you will need to choose your wedding shoes and wear them at your fitting so that any adjustments can be made ahead of time.

It’s your special day so make sure that you feel as beautiful as you look. Take the time to try on the various styles available at different shops , pick the dress you look and feel the best in.

Bride, Groom: You Canít Afford to be Average!

Many bridal shops carry a nice selection of formal and evening gowns for special occasions and pageants. Bridal salons may carry one-of-a-kind gowns. Bridal gowns now come in a variety of lengths and colors. Here is a list of Gown Styles to help you get started in your search for the perfect wedding gown.

Important questions to ask yourself before buying your wedding gown.

You’ll need to ask yourself some important questions before you start your quest to the Bridal stores. Answering these questions will help you choose a wedding gown that will be perfect for you and your special wedding day.

Looking good all day long:

You’ll want to carefully consider the fabric for your dress. Especially, if you will be in the dress for a few hours. There is no way to avoid wrinkling a dress once it is put on; however certain fabrics wrinkle more easily. Here are a few ways to preserve your dress: Get dressed at the ceremony site, eliminate traveling in dress before ceremony, bring a stool to the ceremony site for sitting on, and make sure there is an aisle runner if you have a long train. Detachable trains and veils make it easier to travel about and dance at the reception. Just remember, this is a day to enjoy, don’t worry if your dress is tattered and stained at the reception; with a cleaning and preservation service most stains and problems can be fixed.

Picking up your dress:

It’s actually very smart to leave the dress at the bridal shop even if the dress is ready far in advance of the wedding day. The bridal shop should be better equipped to store and keep the dress fresh and pressed.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The following recommendations are for your protection:

1) Be careful about where you buy your wedding dress. Ask your friends and family about where they went and what their experiences were. Unfortunately there are a lot of wedding gown horror stories, get referrals!

2) make sure the delivery date of your dress is well in advance of your wedding.

3) get a copy of the order or receipt with a guarantee of delivery date to keep with your wedding records; and call to confirm delivery, it’s your right to know that your gown arrived safely, if not they will have time to correct the problem

4) if a contract is used, read it carefully (even the fine print) before signing! If you have any questions or concerns about the company, check it out with organizations that keep track of the reputations of companies.

Your Wedding Story

How to Choose the perfect site for Your Wedding Story

When: six months to one year before (or as soon as possible)
Choosing a wedding site that is just right for you can be a lot of fun. If possible, both the bride and groom should attend all interviews.
Take with you a note pad and pen to write down important information and questions that may arise during your interview.
Wedding Band Alternatives Guys Just Wanna Have Fun Gift Ideas for Valentine’s Day Bride, Groom: You Canít Afford to be Average!

Before you start looking, make a list of all the things you would like to have at your wedding site

Before you start looking, make a list of all the things you would like to have at your wedding site ( a piano, a winding staircase, a gazebo) as well as a list of places. In the end your final choice will be determined by your budget, your wedding theme, the atmosphere you want to create at your wedding, your interests, and your guests.
Location will be one of the most important aspects of your wedding so carefully decide what will make yours a special, one-of-a-kind wedding event.

There are many options including a do- it- yourself wedding

There are many options including a do- it- yourself wedding (with the help of family and friends )Here is a list of ideas for wedding sites to get you started.
  • A do- it- yourself wedding in a home,
  • Rent an auditorium, possibly at the college where you met
  • A public or private beach – you may need permit and or license
  • A full service Bed and Breakfast
  • A full service Country Club
  • A public or private garden.
  • A Gazebo makes a wonderful setting for a wedding ceremony
  • House of Worship
  • Mansions
  • Museums -some museums offer celebration rooms
  • Parks, Great for a do- it -yourself wedding
  • Ranch – Great for a designation wedding
  • Resorts- Again great for a designation wedding
  • Stadiums -Great for sport fans, plenty of room.
  • Yachts or Cruise Ships – Designation Wedding.
Choose the site that best meets you and your guests needs and budget but have an alternative site just in case.

Full Service Wedding Sites and Facilities

There are many facilities and Wedding sites that can take care of every little detail regarding your ceremony and reception. But even with this type of service you’ll still need to attend to your personal needs such as, attire, wedding accessories and wedding gifts for each other, family, and wedding attendants.

Sites available on a rental basis

There are many wedding sites that are available on a rental basis. Some provide only the space, while others may provide tables,chairs and possibly linens, tableware, flatware and glassware as well. Some of these sites may have a working relationship with selected caterers and may be able to recommend other wedding service providers and vendors.

Public Sites

Public parks, beaches and gardens make great wedding sites and are perfect for do it yourself weddings. They offer you the opportunity to express yourselves in an unconfined atmosphere. Most are free to use but you’ll need to do the majority of the planning and contracting. Your first step is to find if you need any permits and or licenses. If you do, obtain them.

Home Wedding

Many apartment complexes, condominums, mobil home parke and gated communities have club houses for their residents´ use. So whether you choose to have your wedding in a home or a club house, you’ll need to be in charge. Do recruit your family and friends and assign them appropriate tasks. Most will be honored to be asked and excited to be a contributing part of your wedding.

How to Find Wedding Sites:

Once you have chosen the type of wedding site you want for your wedding, do the following:

  • Ask your family, friends and acqaintances for recommendations
  • Attend bridal shows
  • Search the yellow pages under the appropriate category
  • Either call or visit the facility and request a brochure specific to weddings
  • Check the internet for local wedding sites and go to their websites. Bookmark or add to your favorite list (create a folder titled “Wedding Sites”) the websites that are agreeable.
    When calling or visiting a potential wedding site, ask yourself these questions, the answers will help you determine whether or not the site is right for you and your guests:

  • Were you greeted cordially?
  • Were you able to obtain the information you requested in a timely manner?
  • Were the people you spoke with helpful? Too helpful and eager?
  • Do you like the look and feel of the location?
  • Did they provide you with the information you are looking for?
  • Does it show or tell about unique one-of-a-kind weddings ?
  • Did you find a clearly posted name, address, phone and email contact?

What to Expect of the Representative of the Facility:

  • A name and contact number of each person you may be working with within the facility.
  • A brochure that explains what is offered and any exclusions, rules, regulations and options.
  • References
  • A tour of the facility so you may check their amenities.

Some questions you may want to ask about the facility:

*Not all questions will apply to all facilities, use your own good judgement as to what questions need to be asked.

  • Are there bathrooms on the premises?
  • Are there garbage recepticles on the premises?
  • Are there electric outlets on the premises?
  • What are the hours available for a wedding?
  • Is there a parking area close by?
  • How long have you been accomodating wedding parties ?
  • How many wedding clients have you served?
  • Do you have an in-house wedding coordinator?
  • Do you offer a bridal package?
  • What are your rates for the different packages and what are the options available?
  • Can you recommend wedding vendors and service providers your customers had a good experience with?
  • Do you offer any discounts?
  • What additional expenses may be charged?
  • Do you provide an insured and bonded babysitting service?
  • How much and by when will we need to put down the deposit?
  • What is the latest time frame for making changes?
  • Will you provide us with a written contract?
  • Does the contract include a 3 day cancellation clause?

Make Your Tight Wedding Budget Your Greatest Asset!

Tight wedding budget got you down?

Tight wedding budget got you down? We know what you mean! As planners of our own beautiful wedding on a budget of just $2,000, we understand the challenges facing you.

Planning a wedding on a tight budget need not tie your stomach up in knots. In fact, your tight budget can make your wedding truly remarkable!

Do you want to know how to make your tight budget a major ally instead of your adversary? How would you like to stop hating your budget restrictions and start appreciating the advantages you have over other wedding planners?

To know this freedom, you need to know the positives to planning your wedding on a tight budget. Then, simply make the choice to major on those positives to achieve the wonderful wedding of your dreams. Focusing on the helpful aspects of your budget will lead you to the amazing side benefits that you never knew accompanied your wedding budget.

In this article, we look at several of the great assets your tight budget can give your wedding planning.

Right at the top of the list we find the value of increased creativity that comes with your tight budget. As the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention. The needy wedding planner discovers her inventive, creative wedding planning skills. Your wedding will not turn out like another “cookie cutter” wedding. Instead, your budget will force you to think outside of the airtight box that suffocates most weddings.

So go ahead and let those creative juices flow! Instead of planning an ordinary wedding, plan an extraordinary wedding!

As a wedding planner who must abide by a tight budget, you will not find yourself ordering straight out of the wedding catalog. Instead of simply ordering a pre-made, one-size-fits-all wedding, you will choose to piece together a wedding that truly reflects your personality. Your wedding will truly be YOUR wedding!

Relax, let your hair down! Allow your personality to permeate your wedding planning. Welcome to your wedding! Traditions and magazines know about weddings in general but they don’t know about your wedding!

As a wedding planner on a strict budget, you will have good reason to rely on your family and friends for support. Instead of simply plopping down a chunk of change and letting the professionals handle everything for you, you will benefit from working with your family and friends to bring your wedding dreams into reality.

Every wedding event requires a community for its success. Your budget will help you keep your community involved all the way through the planning process to your wedding day! With your friends and family involved in your wedding planning, you will find your wedding to be extra special to you and your community.

Since you cannot afford the fees charged by the professionals, you carefully plan your event to reflect your personality and keep your family involved. You also put lots of your own creativity into the wedding. Your creativity, personality, and community all infuse themselves into your wedding planning and two more advantages emerge from your tight budget…

A sense of ownership pervades your planning experience. Your wedding really feels like your wedding to you since you created it and poured yourself into it. Your sense of ownership will in turn produce a great sense of satisfaction in you as you realize that you created a great master piece – your wedding day.

In the end, your budget can help produce for your wedding these five assets: creativity, personality, community, ownership, and satisfaction. By focusing on these five positives, your budget will take its place among your most powerful wedding planning aids. You must live with your budget limitations anyway – Why fight it? Let your budget work for you!

Look on the web and you will find many helpful resources out there, such as our blog and book, just waiting to help you make your wedding budget work for you. Do not settle for anything less than the beautiful wedding of your dreams!

Bride, Groom: You Canít Afford to be Average!

More than 1/3 of couples getting married pay for their own weddings

More than 1/3 of couples getting married pay for their own weddings. Even more couples for at least a portion of their wedding expenses.

If you are a bride or groom reading this article, then you are probably one of the couples who are paying for or at least helping to pay for their own wedding.

Even as more couples get involved in planning for and paying for their dream weddings, the wedding price tag continues to grow more forboding. In the year 2007, according to, the average U.S. wedding cost was $28,800. This figure is expected to steadily rise in years to come.

Today’s bride and groom have become so desensitized to the incredible expense of planning a wedding that they hardly stop to think about how much money that really is. Let’s take a moment to put that $28,800 price tag in perspective and look at a couple ways to make your wedding more affordable.

First, let’s consider that $28,800 is more than most brides or grooms bring home from work in a year.

Now, suppose a couple wants to save up for their wedding so they don’t go into debt. If they are saving for a $28,800 wedding, they should consider how much they should feed their wedding savings piggy bank each month. If they can only afford to save, say, $300 per month, they should plan on saving for a full 8 years ($300 x 96 months [that’s 8 years]=$28,800). What engaged couple is willing to wait 8 years to get married?

We haven’t even considered that it takes considerable discipline to save $300 each month. Some might need to wait longer as they can only save $150 a month or even less.

Most couples choose to get married within a year or two of their engagement. If they are paying for their own wedding as more than 1/3 of couples do, they often plan their expensive wedding courtesy Visa or Mastercard. That saves them the trouble of budgeting and saving for all those years before marriage. Instead of saving before marriage for their wedding day, they spend those delicate first years of marriage after the wedding day struggling with debt and living uncomfortably frugal lives together. Their credit card company keeps them under its thumb for years as interest piles up on interest and the poor couple barely scrapes by.

We wish that we were exaggerating here but all too often this is the scenario in which young couples find themselves. All so they could glory in one splendid day marking the beginning of their marriage. Hoping that somehow the perfection of the wedding day would somehow rub off on each succeeding day of marriage, the couple had poured a year’s salary into that big day. The reality is that the expense of that wedding day is paid for day after day of their married lives and they realize all too late that financial stress is the number one killer of marriages.

Americans with their individualistic attitudes tend to believe that they are special and that the rules do not apply to them. Likewise, couples planning their weddings tend to think that they will be the exception. That they will somehow spend less than most spend or that they will somehow be able to pay their credit cards off later without much problem.

Well, if you are not careful, you will soon discover that you are not exempt from the norms and that you are all too average. You will discover yourself in a quagmire of financial stress and marital disharmony day after day for years all for the sake of a wedding that was bought at a much too high of a price – we regret to say that it could even cost you your marriage.

What should you do? Stop being average. Stop planning your wedding the way most young brides and grooms plan their weddings.

Set a realistic spending allowance for your wedding – a spending allowance that you and your lover can live with. Go into your wedding planning with your eyes wide open.

You really can have a wonderful wedding day on whatever price you are able to pay – whether that be $5,000 or just $500. You would be amazed at how far that money can go when you are committed to planning your dream wedding on your chosen budget.

We were personally willing to spend no more than $2,000 for our wedding. We worked out a strategy that allowed us to stay under budget while planning a very memorable and special wedding day that is on par with any other wedding we have attended.

We have written a wedding planner to guide you in your wedding planning. In the wedding planner, we guide you in creating a reasonable wedding budget and show you step by step just what you need to do to see your dream wedding come true while staying under budget.

You can’t afford to be average. Instead, be amazing!

Wedding Planning on a Budget is available as an instant download which can be read on your computer or printed at your convenience. To get your copy of this powerful wedding planning guide visit the Wedding Planner Download Page

We wish you the best and hope that you have an amazing wedding and a wonderful marriage together for the rest of your lives.

Your Wedding Can Be Beautiful and On Budget

Your Wedding Budget: Five Steps to a Debt-Free, Dream Wedding

When we got engaged, we weren’t sure how we would afford our dream wedding. We had little in savings, a growing education loan, and no expectation of a handout from our parents who also had tight finances.

These five simple steps were key to our success in planning our dream wedding for just $2,000 in a community where couples spend on average over $24,000 on their weddings.

1. The Rules of the Game

We all love the challenge of an exciting game. The goal is always the same: To Win!

By understanding the rules of the game and applying our creative thinking and other skills, we can achieve victory.

The same is true of budgeting for a wedding. Fortunately, the rules are simple:

Find out how much you can afford to spend on your wedding. Plan your dream wedding; but don’t spend more than you can afford.

In our case, we were big winners. We played by the rules, which said not to spend more than $2,000 to plan our dream wedding. Smart strategies led to a triumphant wedding day full of surreal beauty and the freedom of knowing that we were starting our married life without a penny of wedding debt.

2. Know How Much You Can Afford to Spend

To know how much you can spend, you should take a look at how much you both have in your savings accounts. Also, find out how much your parents can contribute to your wedding planning.

Consider how much you make each month. Also calculate your monthly expenses. You should also think about what your income and expenses will be once you are married.

The first few years of married life tend to be full of financial obstacles for most couples. So, you don’t want to add the heavy burden of wedding debt to your new life together. You may even want to have some extra money in savings to help your new life together get off on the right foot.

Also, consider how much money you will want to keep aside for your honeymoon.

3. Discover Your Magic Number

As you consider how much you can afford to spend, you will become more and more comfortable with spending a particular amount of money on your wedding. We were comfortable with spending $2,000 on our wedding. This was our magic number.

What is your magic number? Is it $10,000? …$5,000? …$500?

Do not be afraid of the number you discover. You will be surprised at how a bit of smart planning can make your dream wedding possible even though you can only spend a small amount of money.

Thousands of couples have been downloading our book “Wedding Planning on a Budget” to discover tried and true strategies for planning their dream weddings at a price they can afford. Like them, you can follow winning strategies to plan your dream wedding at a price you can afford.

The amount that you decide you can afford to spend on your wedding is your total wedding budget allowance.

4. Anticipate Where the Money Should Go

The best way to make sure that every part of your wedding is paid for without spending more than your wedding budget allows, is to assign portions of your allowance to different parts of your wedding. You can, for example, assign 50% of your total wedding budget allowance to your wedding reception, 10% to your wedding dress and other attire, and so on.

Once you know how much you plan to spend on your reception, you can divide that money between the various components of the reception such as Room/Hall Fees, Tables and Chairs, Food, Drinks, Cake, Linens, Service Fees, Staff and Gratuities, Rentals, etc. Of course, you only have to apply money to the components you plan to include in your wedding.

You can use our free wedding budget spreadsheet that calculates all of these percentages for you and keeps track of all your planned spending and actual spending to help you stay on target. Our wedding budget planner is available at Wedding Planning on a Budget

5. Making Your Budget Do the Work for You

Now that you know how much you plan to spend on each item of your wedding, you can begin using some winning strategies and creative planning to acquire each item or service at the price your budget says you can afford to pay.

Before making any wedding purchase, first consult your budget to find out how much you can afford to pay. After the purchase has been made, record the actual cost of the purchase in your wedding budget.

If the actual price paid is less than what you had planned for, then you can afford to spend that much more on another item found on your wedding budget spreadsheet. If, however, you paid more than what you had planned for, then you must reduce what you can plan on spending for other items on your wedding budget.

In other words, the amount you actually pay for each item can be adjusted but make sure that all of the items end up totaling no more than your total wedding budget allowance.

You now know the rules of the game and how the game is played. With smart planning and by following some proven strategies you can, like us, achieve the wedding of your dreams at a price you can comfortably afford. We wish you a very happy wedding planning experience and a beautiful, dream come true wedding day.

Make Your Budget Wedding Look like a Million Bucks!

Contrary to popular opinion, beautiful weddings can be achieved while spending little to none

Contrary to popular opinion, beautiful weddings can be achieved while spending little to none of your (or your parent’s) money. We should know! We planned our beautiful dream wedding on less than $2,000 and want to share a few tips and ideas to help you plan your dream wedding on a tight budget.

The first thing you need to understand about planning a wedding is that the budget is your foundation. That is why we call it wedding planning ON a budget. Before you do any planning, you need to sit down with your fiancé and figure out what you can afford to spend. Consider what type of help your parents will be providing and what you have available in savings. The amount you are both comfortable spending is your wedding budget.

Once you have a set amount of money earmarked, it is time to figure out how you will achieve your dream wedding without spending more money than your budget permits.

You and your fiancé should develop a vision of what your wedding will look like and write it down. Ask yourselves the following questions: What aspects of your dream wedding are most important to you? What would make your wedding day a dream come true? Don’t be shy about flavoring your wedding with touches that reflect your personality. Personal touches not only add meaning, but make the occasion more memorable.

At this point you have two clearly defined goals: 1) A budget that tells what you can reasonably afford to spend. 2) A summary of how you envision your dream wedding.

Keep these written goals in a prominent place in your wedding planning folder and refer to them throughout your planning experience.

Now it’s time to save the big bucks! Most brides spend a lot of energy trying to get discounted wedding products and services. These are of course important to successfully planning a wedding on a budget. However, discounted wedding products and services are often not enough to help you achieve your dream wedding within your budget. In addition to discounted products and services, you should follow strategies that will produce FREE wedding products and services for your wedding.

Learn how to get not only discounted but more importantly FREE wedding products and services. Download the wedding planner that reveals how we planned our beautiful dream wedding on a $2,000 budget. Discover our proven tried and true strategies for planning a dream wedding on a tight budget!

Get Our Money Saving Secrets for Your Dream Wedding!
Download Wedding Planning on a Budget to discover how Tim, Lisa, and other
couples have been saving thousands upon thousands of dollars on their dream weddings!

commonly asked questions

Here are a few commonly asked questions regarding our service.  If you don’t see your question here, feel free to contact us using the link below!

1.  When should I register and how?  Do I need to register before I order my invitations?

Register as soon as possible to reserve your RSVP date. To give our customers the best service possible, we have a limit on the number of bookings we accept per month.  Hurry though, we  book a year ahead in some cases……Yes, you need to register either by phone or online before you order your invitations, this will save you money by eliminating the need to purchase response cards. We will also then provide you with your toll-free number and web site address to have printed on your reception cards.

2.  What format should my guest list be in?

Almost any electronic format will do but preferably in Microsoft Excel or Word. We need only the guests’ names and phone numbers. Please include first names also to avoid any confusion if there are multiple last names that are the same.

3.  What if I need to add or delete names from my guest list after I have already submitted it?

Once we receive your guest list, we will upload it to a web page you can access at any time. Nearly everyone has a few last-minute guests they need to add to their list. We make it easy for you to do that! You can also update the guest list if any of your guests respond directly to you.

4.  Can I get an update of those that have responded?

Guest lists are updated at least once a day. Your guest list is always available to you on a password-protected web page.

5.  Should I notify you of any responses that I receive?

Yes, please inform us of any regrets or confirmations. You can either call, email, or update your guest list directly.

Videography Services

Capturing the most important day of your life on video is critical

Capturing the most important day of your life on video is critical. Your wedding day is so hectic and filled with emotion. It’s impossible for you to see everything that is going on and the emotion felt by your family and guests.

Our professional videographers will capture the entire day events on tape. We then digitally master 8+ hours of raw footage into a 30-60 minute tape capturing the highlights of your wedding.

Our video editors are true artists. They create videos that allow you to recapture those heartfelt moments over and over again without the desire to fast forward the tape.

Our equipment is state of the art

Our equipment is state of the art. We use 3-chip digital cameras with wireless microphones and run 2 cameras throughout the day. We are familiar with where to position ourselves and are very discrete,, you won’t even know we are there. There is no time limit, we will be there 1 hour before to capture the Pre Ceremony and will stay until you leave.

We only offer one package. Why you ask! Because you deserve to have it all at one great price. Rather than picking and choosing and having to compromise features you will receive all of the features of our competitors top end packages.

Registering Online

The days of classic registries containing fine china and matching “His” and “Her” towels is over

The days of classic registries containing fine china and matching “His” and “Her” towels is over. With online shopping becoming increasingly popular on a daily basis, many soon-to-be-wedded couples are choosing to register at various online stores for many non-traditional items.

Now couples can register for books to complete their home libraries, new computers

Now couples can register for books to complete their home libraries, new computers, and hand-thrown dishes all with a few quick clicks of the computer mouse. Not only are they able to register at large department stores without the hassle of walking through the store with a barcode gun in hand (I can say, from personal experience, registering in a store isn’t all it’s cracked up to be – we ended up more stressed than giddy from a shopping high), but they are able to choose from more unique stores to fulfill the needs of basic newlywed tasks, such as home decorating or remodeling.

For remodeling plans, many couples are even choosing to register for the larger items online

For remodeling plans, many couples are even choosing to register for the larger items online, which multiple family members and friends can purchase together. One type of registry that is growing in popularity is that similar to the one found on Google. With such a huge selection of bathroom vanities, bathroom mirrors, and cabinetry, couples are able to choose items that may accent or complete their new home which they may not be able to afford otherwise.

Not only do online registries provide couples with greater options, but they are also relatively easy for shoppers

Not only do online registries provide couples with greater options, but they are also relatively easy for shoppers. The couple can create a wish list of items for registry online, which can be emailed to all guests (though that doesn’t mean you should). The list will include all the information for purchasing items online, which means shoppers can also avoid department stores. Friends and family interested in purchasing a gift off a couple’s online registry are able to do so with ease and usually without having to worry about the cost of shipping. In fact, more shoppers are inclined to shop online to avoid the long lines and elbow-to-elbow packed stores.

So before you run to the nearest department store to register for a set of plates or kitchen appliances, consider looking at a few of the more unique online registry ideas. With nearly every type of retailer available online these days, couples have endless possibilities and can find everything their new home may need – from bathroom fixtures to yoga equipment – in one or two websites – saving themselves precious wedding planning time.

Needs more tips for registering? Here are a few things I wish I had known before we registered.

– Some things that you find online can’t be purchased in stores, and vice versa. Just keep that in mind as you look through each item.

– Unless you’re obsessed with a single department store, chances are you won’t be able to find everything you want in a style you like in one place. Count on registering in at least two places.

– Not everyone will buy you something off of your registry. So, no matter where and how you register, if the number of gifts they suggest you register for is three times the number of guests you have, don’t listen. Register for what you think you need and/or want, but don’t put things on your list just for the sake of adding things your registry.

– It’s entirely possible that you will get half (or just bits and pieces) of any sets you register for. For instance, we registered for a whole table of new plates, bowls, etc. In the end, the only pieces of that set we got was a set of six dinner plates.

– Along with the tip above, don’t feel like you need to get new anything just for the sake of having new stuff! If you or your fiance already has a set of glasses that you love, use them. Leave new ones off your registry.

I’m Engaged, How Do I Find a Photographer?

One of the biggies on that list is finding the perfect wedding photographer

Ok, so now you’re engaged and your todo list is going to grow by the day. One of the biggies on that list is finding the perfect wedding photographer. Looking for the right photographer can be one of the more intimidating parts of wedding planning. When you book a wedding photographer you’re purchasing a product (albums, canvases, prints etc) but you also need to find someone you can trust completely. Knowing where to begin can be a challenge. Here are some tips to get you started.

OK, we’ve set the date…when should we start looking for our photographer?

You really can’t start too soon. Planning on having your photographer booked at least six months in advance of your day is a good goal. Any less than that the risk is not bingeing able to hire your first choice. Also, having less than six months restricts your options for bridal and engagement sessions. If you live in a region that has more extreme temperatures you may find yourself limited to a hot or cold time of the year. Finally, more time to cultivate the relationship with your photographer is always a good thing.

Alright, I’ll start looking…how do I start?

If you have friends that have been married within the last year, start asking them about their wedding photographers. Ask to look at their albums, images and just as importantly pick their brains about the experience of working with that photographer. Google is also ad incredible tool. Search for photographers in your area and don’t forget to search using the name of your venue. Look for photographers that have blogged about your wedding location. Make a favorites folder in your web browser and limit yourself to 15-20 wedding photographers. Once you hit 20 always knock someone off of the list when adding someone new. From that list make a “Top 5″ list. Contact those photographers and set up consolations. From that point you already love their photography. Personality, budget and availability will likely be the deciding factors.

How much do I need to know about their camera equipment?

Photographers love to talk about gear, so don’t be afraid to ask about their cameras, lenses and backup strategies. Photographers that shoot digital should be shooting on the latest camera bodies. Technology has made huge leaps in the last 18 months and the creative possibilities available to photographers in low light are better than ever. Your photographer should have backup camera bodies and and assortment of large aperture lenses specialized for low light photography.

Ask your photographer how they handle the security of your images after the wedding. Typical solutions should included multiple backups in their studio as well as secure off site backups such as duplicate hard drives in a back safety deposit box. They should have “worst case” plans. Hard drives are mechanical and will fail, and home and studio accidents can happen. You want to know the long term safety of your wedding day images has been planned for.

We hadn’t really thought about an engagement session, is one really necessary?

The time in your life between your engagement and wedding is one of the most exciting you’ll experience. Having a photographic time capsule by virtue of an engagement session is something that you’ll be more grateful for as the years pass. Not only that, the time and experience spent with your photographer before the wedding day goes a long way towards establishing the trust a photographer needs to create their best work. Having spent time creatively together before your wedding, you will understand the way your photographer works and having seen the results you’ll trust that work. Knowing that you can just enjoy the day and your wedding photographer will be there to scoop up the moments is a wonderful feeling on your wedding day.

How important is a second photographer?

There is a lot of talk about second shooters these days. Quite frankly, you don’t want to hire a photographer that couldn’t capture your day solo. One person cannot capture every moment but neither can two. A second shooter may add a small measure of security but it is often marginal. Some photographers would disagree with me on this point but from my perspective as a wedding photographer I would rather be concentrating on my clients and their moments on their wedding day than managing a second photographer. If you are paying extra for a second photographer I encourage you to ask to view a portfolio of that shooters images. Photographers often charge for a 2nd photographer and then use unpaid assistants that are looking for experience.

If you are having a very large wedding with many attendants (250+ guests) that’s when a second photographer really adds value.

What should I expect after my wedding?

Talk to your photographer about expectations after your wedding day. Of all the vendors you choose, your photographer may be the only one you talk to after the big day. Have your photographer explain the time frame for image delivery, album design etc. This is my typical time frame for an example. I blog teasers within a week after the wedding. The entire wedding if posted in an online proofing gallery 3-4 weeks after the wedding. From that point by clients choose their favorites for their wedding album. Once I have the favorites, I start the design process. The bride and groom give the final OK on the layout and then it’s about 4-6 weeks to have the album created. The whole process typically takes around six months. DVD of high resolution images is delivered with the wedding album. Every photographer is slightly different for how they handle delivery after the wedding so make sure you know what to expect.

Choosing a Non-traditional Wedding Ring

Nowadays, the modern bride has several options when it comes to choosing engagement rings

Nowadays, the modern bride has several options when it comes to choosing engagement rings.  Women who know that they’d rather not have a traditional ring should not be shy about letting their significant other know their preferences. Weddings are stressful enough with the multitude of decisions that have to be made but choosing a ring should be a choice that doesn’t involve compromise.

A helpful suggestion

A helpful suggestion for women who know they are soon to get engaged is for them to drop helpful hints to their significant others.  If wedding ring shopping is stressful for the husband-to-be suggest going shopping for the ring together.

Sometimes a traditional solitaire ring can seem impractical

Sometimes a traditional solitaire ring can seem impractical, especially if it is to be worn daily.  An increasingly popular non-traditional choice is the black diamond engagement ring. Black diamonds are diamonds that weigh a bit more than colorless diamonds.  Although they lack the sparkle of colorless diamonds,   black diamonds are still highly reflective. As the character Carrie Bradshaw from the show Sex and the City exemplified, black diamonds are an elegant choice for the non-traditional bride.

Adding gemstones to  band is an option

Adding gemstones to  band is an option if you would prefer not to wear the traditional diamond. Some of the stones that can be used are sapphires, rubies, and emeralds, and gemstones are a great way to add color.

Other options to consider include perhaps going for a band instead of a diamond, choosing a less precious stone, or even designing your own ring.

With all the options for rings today, the modern bride can have the engagement rings that represents who she is and her personal tastes.