Wedding Advice From Real Brides

View More: http://jvephoto.pass.us/winterstyleshoot

Photo by Jennifer Van Elk

Brides who are planning their wedding want to know first-hand what other brides would have done differently on their wedding day if they could. Here are some top responses we’ve received from real brides, sharing their best wedding advice.

Do: Take Time To Eat

“My only regret was not having food available for myself and my bridesmaids after pictures and before the ceremony. We had a late wedding (ceremony at 5) and were all so hungry by the time the ceremony started… so ya, if I was doing it again, I’d have food (and wine!) “ –Cynthia

“Make someone set you aside a plate of food for afterwards! I was starving. During dinner you’re likely to be too busy taking photos and greeting to eat”-Peyton

Do: Research & Spend The Money On An Experience Photographer

“I wish I picked different photographers. I went off recommendations and experience but they focused on quantity not quality. I have 1300 photos of my wedding day, yet there’s more photos of the staff than of just me (the bride). They also blurred out me a few times to focus on the background. It was just very disappointing.” – Sammie

“Completely regret my photographer. Spend the money, that’s one place to splurge and then save somewhere else.” –Jac Lynn

“Photography.. really REALLY do your research and don’t cheap out. If they don’t have a Facebook page pass on them.. I thought I had a good one. I’ll never forgive myself” – Chantal

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Photo by Brooke Images

Do: Have A Clear Idea On Photos You Want

“Took more pictures with my entire family/extended family. We have photos with everyone by themselves but not a single group photo of our families together. (Like aunts/uncles/cousins) Make sure you get every single photo you want as those are the only thing that last a lifetime. “ –Eilea

“I wish I put more emphasis on photos with family members. I told my photographer to speed through it so we can start the reception and now I don’t have half the photos I wish we did.”–Carolyn

“ I used my aunt as a photographer and she wasn’t really up to date on newer more adorable poses but she did it for cheap so I used her…I wish I would have paid more and had a better photographer” – Brianna

Do: Splurge On A Videographer

“Get a videographer. Your day goes so fast and you don’t get to see everything. I would give anything to be able to watch my wedding video back but I never got a videographer. “ – Tiffany

“Even if you have to sell your right arm to do it, get a videographer! This is my #1 regret, not having one. I wish I could relive the day through videos.” – Beth

“All the other ways that we cut corners to save money turned out great but I really regret not getting a videographer… Not sure where the money would have come from but I really wish I had made it a priority and figured out a way to pay for it.” –Lauren

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Photo by Alan Maudie Photography

Do: Take Time To Thank Your Guests

“Taking two moments as bride and groom to address and thank all of our guests for attending. We had intentions on doing this, but after speeches and dinner, it slipped the itinerary. We greeted each table, but I feel like taking the microphone and thanking the guests as a whole would have been nice as well.” – Courtney

Do: Coordinate Carefully With Your DJ

“I got a “great deal” on a DJ, but he didn’t play any of the songs we requested. Lots of old stuff and repeats. If my MC didn’t tell him to play certain songs we may not have had a first dance! It was the worst part of my wedding for me, but people still danced and no one remembers what songs were played anymore (except maybe me).” –Amanda

Photo by Rhythm Photography

Do: Make Sure You Have Enough Time

“I wish I wrote down that the ceremony started a half hour earlier on the invites. We ran late waiting for guests so everything else got cut short. “ – Kristy

“I wouldn’t have changed anything except I would’ve made the reception longer. I felt like one minute we were eating dinner and the next someone was tapping me on my arm telling me there was half an hour left” – Lala

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Top Three Destination Wedding Tips

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Photo Shoot Location: Reynisfjara-Black sand beach near Vik, Iceland

Destination weddings are becoming more and more popular. They also involve extra attention when it comes to planning and preparation for the big day. Today we are sharing with you expert advice from event planner and Weddingstar Ambassador Phoebe Lo.  Here are her top 3 destination wedding tips:

1. Work With Professionals

Enlist the services of an experienced planner with a background in destination wedding planning, especially in the location you have selected for your celebration. Expect to work with both hometown and on site vendors and service providers to tackle the countless logistical details that all come together to customize your event.

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featured above: Small Gold Decorative Candle Lantern / Medium Decorative Candle Lantern / Heart Shaped Sand Ceremony Vase Set / Just Married Sandals

2. Planning Is Key

Thorough preparation is crucial when planning a destination wedding. Be knowledgeable about customs and border regulations that may affect what you can pack. Consider all aspects of the transportation and have a backup plan in case of bad weather. To help ensure your planning does not have gaps, envision a walk-through of all the activities, starting from the moment you depart from your home.

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featured above: Gold Compass Wedding Favor

3. Pack & Go Style

In spite of the spectacular scenery, this remote location required a few critical accessories to help set the stage. Here are a few points when travelling to a foreign destination with décor products. Checked luggage is stowed as cargo so expect extremely cold temperatures and rough handling. Securely wrap all fragile items. Upon arrival, a custom agent may require you to prove ownership, so take along purchase receipts and detailed information. But, have a plan B just in case an item is not allowed through customs.

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featured above: Heart Shaped Sand Ceremony Vase Set-The Adventure Begins

If you are planning on having a destination wedding, make sure you keep these tips in mind!

Credits: 

Event Design and Planning: 
Phoebe Lo Events
www.phoebeloevents.com

Photography:
Rhythm Photography
www.rhythm-photography.com

Model:
Sally Leung of Sally Leung Fitness
www.sallyleungfitness.com

Desserts and Sweets: 
Cakelaine
www.cakelaine.com

Jewelry and Accessories:
The Loved One
www.thelovedone.ca

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DIY Wedding Wednesday: How To Celebrate Valentine’s Day in Style

valentines day party style

If you haven’t noticed by our recent post topics, we’ve really been in the mood to party lately. And it has everything to do with all the great celebration essentials that were recently added to the Weddingstar line up. With a varied array of party ready accessories, from customized napkins to personalized glassware, all you need to do is mix and match your favorites for your own personal party perfect assortment. Today we’re lining up our favorites for a stylish Valentine’s Day soiree, which can just as easily apply to an engagement party, bridal shower, or any get together where pink and pretty is a must.

Tabletop Style

Set the stage for a love celebration with little more than a few key tabletop accessories. It can be as simple as incorporating custom and clever paper napkins, or as creative as using pretty with a purpose florals. Little details really do make all the difference.

valentine's day tabletop details

featured here:
“love” plates set, filled with roses and used as a centerpiece concept

love plates

heart plates

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heart shaped plates

personalized napkins

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‘drunk in love’ & ‘kiss’ printed paper napkins, paired with gold strokes black cocktail napkins

heart shaped cake topper

Cheers to Love

What’s a celebration without a proper toast of pink bubbles! Serve yours up in unique glassware options for an easy way to customize your event, and incorporate your choice drink into your takeaway concepts for a favor they’ll love.

personalized glassware

featured here:
can shaped glasses personalized with ‘i love you like xo’ and ‘i can’t even without you’

personalized glass favors

xoxo.

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DIY Wedding Wednesday: Will You be my Bridesmaid?

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With one of our favorite holidays, Galetine’s Day (that’s right, you read right, Galentine’s, not Valentine’s) just around the corner (February 13th), we couldn’t help but share one of our fave (also doubling as one of the cutest) ways to ask “Will you be my Bridesmaid?”. Complete with mini champagne, pretty polish, a couple key spa essentials and a sweet little tote bag, this creative concept has all the elements covered.  Here’s everything you need to ensure your girls shout out “yes”!

The Supplies

will you be my bridesmaid tote

The Details

black and gold bridesmaid tote bag mini prosecco favor gold foil straws bridesmaid gift ideas - nail polish bridesmaid gift ideas - bath salts

xoxo.

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DIY Wedding Wednesday: Just Engaged Tote Essentials

just engaged tote essentials

If you’re new to The Details blog, chances are you’re probably a newly engaged bride. And you wouldn’t be alone. With December continuing its reign as the number one month for marriage proposals, the world is filled with overjoyed ladies in engagement bliss. But now that the new year is here, and bridal shows are taking over venues across the country, you’re no doubt either in or on the verge of entering the planning stage. And we have one major tip for you on that front, keep organized to keep sane. It’s the number rule to a smooth planning journey. While you’re at it, why not keep it stylish too. Which brings us to today’s post, a “just engaged” essential, the tote bag. One for you, one for your MOH and one for mom. Because you know they’ll be walking those shows and visiting all those vendor appointments with you. A perfect and pretty accessory ready to house and keep organized the stock pile of details coming your way. Happy Planning!

black and white canvas tote

a maid of honour essential
featured here:
large black and white canvas tote bag

black colourblock tote

mom approved
featured here:
black colourblock tote bag

black and white tote bags

xoxo.

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DIY: Chalkboard Signs Part 1

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credits:
Flowers- Periwinkle Flowers, Photography- Attakat, Hand Lettering- Love Lettering, Creative Styling- Lorrie Everitt, Location-The Warehouse Event Venue, Wedding Cake and Baked Goods-Cakelaine, Vintage Tableware- The Perfect Table

 

Beautiful hand-written chalkboard signs are trending this season, and there are lots of opportunities to be creative when it comes to designing a chalkboard sign to fit your wedding décor. With that being said, you don’t have to be a pro calligrapher to create a chalkboard sign for your big day. Our Ambassador Lorrie Everitt from Creative Bag has provided you with a step-by-step guide and template to create your own chalkboards signs.

The Supplies

 

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Decorative Chalkboards With White Frame
• Liquid Chalk Markers
• White transfer paper
• Pencil
• Masking Tape
• Scissors
• Print out with design/ text

The Step by Step

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Step 1:

Cut out the lettering or template you are using as shown above. Position the lettering design on the chalkboard and use masking tape to keep the paper from shifting.

Step 2:

Insert a piece of white transfer paper between the paper and chalkboard with the chalky white side facing down towards the chalkboard. Now you are ready to trace the design onto the chalkboard.

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Step 3:

Test a small area of your design to make sure that your tracing paper is placed properly between the paper and chalkboard. If you don’t see a faint white traced image on the chalkboard as shown above, take the tracing paper out, turn it over and place it back into position. Continue tracing your design until it has been completely copied.

Tracing Tip: Check that your traced image is not missing lines before you remove the tape.

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Step 4:

This is what the traced image will look like. If you are not happy with your tracing, you can remove it with an eraser and start again.

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Step 5:

Now draw over the design using a chalk marker using the traced image as a guide. Don’t worry if some of the faint lines from your tracing are showing as you trace, keep your lines fluid.

Tip: Keep in mind that once the chalk is completely dry you can use a soft cloth to remove any white marks that are remaining from the traced image.

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Tip: If you mess up your first time round don’t worry, as it can be removed with water while the chalk is still wet.

Here are some free downloadable templates to get you started doing your very own chalkboards.

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Download these six reception sign templates here (Once Open Right Click to Save Image)

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Download this Best Day Ever template here (Once Open Right Click to Save Image)

Chalkboards come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Visit weddingstar.com for more chalkboard options and let your creativity run.

We’d love to see your completed chalkboard projects. Post your pictures on Instagram and use the hashtag #weddingstar or tag us @weddingstar so we can find them.

Credits:
DIY Photography and Styling: Lorrie Everitt

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Top 10 Mistakes Brides Make When Planning Their Wedding

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We are surrounded by the most beautiful couples and weddings all year long, and after more than 30 years in the business we’ve learned a few things along the way! This top 10 list is a must read and a must share for brides who are beginning to plan their wedding.

1. Announcing the engagement too soon

Technology and social media make it very tempting to spill the beans early on, but it might be a good idea to resist the urge. Telling your close friends and family in person and seeing each of their reactions can be the most exciting part. Not only is it more fun for you and your husband-to-be, but your inner circle will really appreciate that you took the time to tell them personally.

2. Choosing bridesmaids out of obligation

There are many reasons why as a bride you may choose certain people to be a part of your big day. Make sure that you pick yours for the right reasons. Logic like, “She asked me to be a part of her wedding first” or “I just don’t want to hurt her feelings by not asking her” might cause you some regret down the road. Do what makes you happy first and foremost.

3. Choosing the venue before considering your guest list

In the excitement of the initial wedding planning, it is easy to forget some of the finer details. Remember that your venue has to fit your circle of friends and family that will be celebrating with you. Jot down a rough list of names you are considering inviting. That will give you a rough idea of the size of venue you will require.

4. Not confirming your wedding plans with your vendors

Make sure you touch base with all your vendors before the big day. Confirm addresses, times and package details with them to make sure everyone is on the same page. This could help prevent mishaps and mix-ups on the big day!

5. Having a closed mind when dress shopping

It is always great to go into your dress appointment with a few ideas, but don’t count anything out just yet. Ask your bridal consultant for some suggestions and try on as many styles as you can. You just might be surprised about what style fits your body type best.

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6. Forgetting to leave wiggle room in your budget

Try as you might, it can be hard to stay true to your budget. Hidden costs and last minute things are very likely to sneak up on you. Leave a miscellaneous costs column in your budget for some of these details. This way you can make sure all your vendors are paid on time and you won’t be filled with that dreadful feeling in your stomach wondering how you will ever pay for it all.

7. Forgetting to schedule time to visit with guests

Your wedding day is going to be a busy one, but it is important to set some time aside for a receiving line or to visit each table. Even a short visit will mean a lot to your guests. After all, they did come to celebrate with you!

8. Ruling out the idea of a wedding planner of day of coordinator

It is easy to tell yourself, “I can do it all myself” or “I would never be able to afford one”, but don’t rule it out too quickly. Do you find that you get stressed easily? Are you organized enough to handle all the details? Are there a lot of elements that will need to come together? Does my venue have an on-site coordinator? Answering these questions will help you decide if you need a little extra help. These professionals will often help keep things running smooth and create an enjoyable, stress-free experience.

9. Failing to loop everyone in

Your bridal party and parents are going to play a big part in how smoothly or how chaotic your wedding weekend goes. If you fill them in on any important changes, locations and information, you will save yourself the headache. Jot down a few of the important details and send a document to everyone a few weeks before the wedding. Include addresses, phone numbers and important point people. This will ensure everyone gets to where they need to be, when they need to be there and that any important jobs you have assigned are clear.

10. Forgetting to eat

With all the butterflies and excitement, food and water are likely to be the last thing on your mind. But make sure your force yourself to have a few light snacks throughout the morning. Also consider having a few snack platters prepared for your bridal party after the ceremony. It is easy to get caught up in the fun and photos, but the afternoon will be much more enjoyable if everyone is well fed and happy.

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DIY Wedding Wednesday: How-To Ask Your Mates – Vegas Style

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Listen up guys. This ones for you! Today we’re talking the ultimate way to ask your best mates to stand by your side as your groomsmen. And it all boils down to one amazing thing….Vegas baby! Give them no option but to say “heck ya!” after spoiling your boys with a weekend of fun. Plan out the festivities, arrange for the travel specifics (no one’s expecting you to foot the bill but arranging the details will earn you mega points), and as a special token of your friendship, send them packing with a few necessities for a weekend in Vegas. Here’s everything you need for the ultimate guy’s goodie bag.

Go Big or Go Home

The only way to do Vegas right is to go all out. Set the right party tone with a personalized, supersized, growler.

personalized growler

 

Travel in Style

You don’t need much for a weekend in Vegas. But what you do take needs to be on point, like this simple and sleek weekender bag.

personalized weekender bag

xoxo.

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DIY Wedding Wednesday: Pretty Packages for Your Bridesmaids

pretty packages

Couple weeks back we shared our two pennies on how to pop the big “will you be my bridesmaid” question to your BFFs and it all went something like this, “Make it sparkle. Make it pretty!”. If you missed the post, check it out {here}. And because we’re total girly girls, we got so caught up in all the fun that we decided to come up with a couple more super sweet ways to show your besties you adore them and can’t see your big day going off without them. And just like with our last post, making it sparkly and pretty was the direction of choice.

Message in  a Bottle

Go for the surprise factor and forgo the usual boxed presentation for a non traditional container that’ll throw her off of what’s inside, a darling monogrammed pendant necklace. And, we love this little glass corked bottle, made all that much more lovely with a touch of lace filler.

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featured here: mini glass bottle

will you be my bridesmaid tag

What You’ll Need

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Serious {Card} Stock Value

Every girl loves getting a sweet greeting card. Up the value of yours by pairing it with a little bit of bling by way of this gorgeous double heart pendant. And if you’re feeling really festive, pair the presentation with some gold glitter!

bridesmaid greeting card

featured here: new celebration design bridesmaid gift backer card and new heart pendant necklace – coming soon!

bridesmaid gift - necklace bridesmaid stationery will you be my bridesmaid card

xoxo.

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DIY Wedding Wednesday: Whimsical Wedding Wands

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If you’re looking for a super simple and sweet way to get your friends and family involved in your wedding ceremony, consider it found! Just add these 3 step whimsical wands to your festivities. Complete with tiny bells for ringing off your recessional, and fittingly personalized “…and they lived happily ever after” satin ribbons, these delightfully dainty wands are the perfect addition to any exchange of vows. And if the blue and white color combo featured here isn’t right for your wedding theme,  simply customize the look with nothing more than a switch of ribbon colors. Here’s how to get the look.

The Supplies

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The Step by Step

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Step 1: cut ribbons to a length of approximately 40-41″. Layer the personalized blue ribbon over the wide white ribbon and tie to your wooden stick, about 2″ from the top. Once looped and before securing, make sure to position your ribbons on both sides of the strand such that the wording faces up.

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Step 2: cut gold twine to the same length as the ribbons and loop it through the front of a hole punched tag. Note: looping through the front of the tag versus the back will impact how your card sits. Lay the card behind the ribbons and secure the twine around the ribbons with a double knot. Once the tag and twine are secure, knot the ribbons around the twine, again making sure to position your ribbons on both sides of the strand such that the wording faces up.

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Step 3: loop the mini bell through the already attached gold twine and secure to the ribbons with a double knot.

The End Result

diy whimsical wedding wands mini wedding bells blue and white wedding wand satin ribbon wedding favor tag mini wedding bell ceremony wedding wands whimsical wands

xoxo.

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