What’s In Our Carry On- Packing For Your Honeymoon!

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After months of planning your big day has come and gone, but don’t worry the excitement isn’t over yet! Now it’s time to get ready for your honeymoon! Travelling in general can be stressful but we’ve got you covered. Here is a list of our top items for your honeymoon carry-on so you can start off your romantic getaway stress-free.

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1. Tote Bag

A cute personalized tote like this geo-prism tote will make it easy to pack all your must-have carry-on accessories.

2. Shoes/Flip-flops

Pack a pair of comfy shoes to change into, as the flight might be long and you will want to be ready for anything once you get off the plane.

3. Earphones

4. Hand Sanitizer

5. Lip Chap

Those planes can be stuffy and dry, which can cause chapped lips. Don’t let chapped lips put a damper on your honeymoon!

6. Sleep Mask

Catch up on some well-needed Zzz’s from all the wedding day excitement! Your wedding day is full of emotion and excitement which can also be a bit draining. Grab a sleep mask and catch some shut eye so you are ready to enjoy your honeymoon!

7. Robe

Don’t forget to pack a change of clothes and your fave silky robe in your carry on, in case something happens to your luggage.

8. Cosmetic Bag

A personalized monogrammed cosmetic bag is perfect for carrying your everyday makeup.

9. Sunglasses

Don’t get caught in the sun without your sunglasses. Pack a pair of inexpensive fun sunglasses for your travels so if they get lost or broken you won’t mind.

10. Camera

Bring a disposable camera along as a fun way to capture your honeymoon memories that you can look back on for years to come.

11. Phone

12. Passport Cover

Keep your passport protected and easy to find with a cute Mr. & Mrs. passport cover for you and your new husband.

13. Money Clip

It’s always hard to know how to store your money while travelling, but with a money clip your money, ID’s, and credit cards can all be stored in one simple location that’s easy to hide in your belongings or your hotel room.

14. Water

Don’t start off by breaking the bank. Bring a water bottle that is refillable and fill it up once you are past security, to save money from those expensive airport convenience stores.

15. Book/ Magazine

16. Luggage Tag

Make sure you label your carry-on! You don’t want to start your vacation off on the wrong foot with lost possessions. This leather luggage tag is not only personalized with your initials but is really durable and classic.

17. Notepad & Pen

A pen and paper is just handy to have. You can write down important information about your flights, or record your favorite memories from your travels.

18. Deck of Cards

Have a layover or a long flight? Bring a deck of cards for hours of entertainment!

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Our Favorite Gifts For Dad

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Mark your calendars because Sunday, June 18th is Father’s Day! This means it’s time to show the men in your life how much they mean to you. Whether he’s a beer-fanatic, outdoorsmen or just loves a good BBQ we’ve got you covered. Here are a few of our must-have gifts for dad this season.

Fill, Drink, Repeat!

Keep Dad’s thirst quenched this Father’s Day with these personalized can-shaped glasses. Personalize with his name and this modern shaped glass is the perfect gift for any cold brew.

June also means patio weather and barbeques!With a built-in bottle opener this caddy is the perfect Summer gift. Fill it with beer, condiments or utensils and he will be ready for any gathering!

Chill Out & Relax

Have you got an outdoorsy, active man in your life? Why not surprise him this Father’s Day with a personalized cooler chair. Great for the beach, ball game or camping.

Pamper Him

Every man deserves a little pampering and relaxation! With this personalized waffle robe he can stay cozy and take a load off this Father’s Day.

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Featured here:
Men’s Grey Waffle Robe 

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How To: Decorate for Less by Skipping the Flowers

Your wedding day budget is depleting and you are looking for ways to save costs. One way couples have found to reduce wedding costs is by replacing flowers with simple décor items. Many couples are straying away from using flowers and are instead choosing to make their own decorations and bouquets out of other unique items. Flowers aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, so if you are a bride who doesn’t want flowers at their wedding we’ve got some alternatives that you and your guests will love.

Aisle Decorations

 

Decorative Lanterns are a great choice to brighten up your aisle. They can be painted to match your wedding colours or dressed up using a decorative ribbon and you’ve got the perfect addition to guide you down the aisle.

Candles are another great way to decorate your aisle. They provide a romantic lit atmosphere perfect for that cozy indoor affair. However, if your venue does not allow open flames, flameless candles are also available.

Flowerless Centerpiece Options

 

Add a vintage look to your reception with these Candle Holders. You can decorate them to add your own flair. Add some candles and you’ve got a simple alternative to flowers.

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Photography by:
Kat Williams
Featured here:
Mini Mason Jar With Lid

Having a summer wedding and want some pops of color on the guest tables? With beautiful decorated mason jars you’ve got a fun and easy DIY project that the whole wedding party can help out with.

Other summer weddings choose to use fruits to decorate with, filling tall glass vases or jars with different colored fruits for the right amount of color.

The Bridal Bouquet

 

A bride’s bouquet can be made up of all kinds of different things but one of the most popular for today’s bride is a brooch bouquet. These are easy to make, even if you aren’t very crafty and they look fantastic in photos. Brides usually ask for brooches to be donated by friends or family members, but can also find them in antique stores for relatively cheap. This bouquet is not to be thrown though; it is meant as a keepsake for the bride and there is usually a small substitution bouquet that is used if the bride chooses to do a bouquet toss.

Other bouquets may include flowers that are made out of sheet music, comic books or origami paper. Rustic themed weddings have seen flowers formed from burlap and ribbon, and others include fabric flowers made by the bride or purchased from a crafter.

Whether you decide to go with flowers or not, the choice is yours for your wedding. However, if you are feeling adventurous, skip the flowers and let your flowerless décor be the talk for years to come.

Writing & Concept by:  Theresa Gibson

Photography by: Weddingstar, LV Imagery, Kat Williams

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Wedding Advice From Real Brides

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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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Style Spotlight: Greenhouse Chic

View More: http://jessicasparksphotography.pass.us/greenhouse

Enhanced by the natural beauty of a greenhouse locale is a lovely blend of romance and botanical artistry. Rich textures, lush florals and fresh scents all come together for a day that is gorgeous, no matter the season. Streaming through from overhead, sparkling sunbeams shine a light on every impressive detail. This greenhouse chic shoot by Ambassador Katie Theuer from Wedding Belles Events sets the stage for the perfect romantic affair. See how she pulled off this look.

View More: http://jessicasparksphotography.pass.us/greenhouse

View More: http://jessicasparksphotography.pass.us/greenhouse

View More: http://jessicasparksphotography.pass.us/greenhouse

Fill a Galvanized Bucket with long-stemmed flowers and you have the perfect customized chair décor to complement your theme.

View More: http://jessicasparksphotography.pass.us/greenhouse

This Vintage Style Pressed Glass Goblet with its distinctive look and subtle tones are the perfect complement to this greenhouse décor.

A Rustic Wood & Glass Box is a great addition to any event inspired by Mother Nature. Whether you add some flowers to make it a centrepiece or use as a wishing well, this Rustic Glass Box is a must have!

View More: http://jessicasparksphotography.pass.us/greenhouse

View More: http://jessicasparksphotography.pass.us/greenhouse

View More: http://jessicasparksphotography.pass.us/greenhouse

Credits:

Event Design and Planning: Wedding Belles Events

Photography: Jessica Sparks Photography

Florals: Christopher Joseph Designs

Hair and Makeup: The Transformation

Stationery: Linen & Leaf

Cake: Hamley Bake Shoppe

Rentals: Events Unlimited Birmingham

Bride’s Gown: Sarah Seven from The Dress Theory Nashville

Grooms Attire: Men’s Wearhouse

Models: Taylor & Cory Wood

Venue: Bennett Nurseries

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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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Our Must Have Planning Checklist

You’ve made the to do list . . . we’ve got the must haves. Here’s a quick checklist of our favorite items this season to help you during your planning process. From gifts to party essentials we have got it all laid out for you in a monthly checklist.

12 Months – Just Engaged

9 Months

6-8 Months

4-5 Months – Halfway to Hooray!

3 Months

2 Months

1 Month – Crunch Time

For a downloadable version of this checklist, click here.

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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

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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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Sip It Your Way

It’s your party, make it all about you. Signature drinks are a great way to make a big statement. Here are some of our fave ways to have your guests sipping in style.

The Champagne Pop

Pop! Fizz . . . and more fizz! Here’s a fun twist on a classic sip. To create this look all you need is a personalized flute filled with your favorite champagne. Garnish with a fun flavored rock candy and some metallic gold and pink ribbon and let the festivities begin.

The Straight Shot

For the daring (fun, loud, awesome) couple, the Straight Shot is a straight shooter. Fill this personalized shoot glass with Vodka and top with a slice of tangy grapefruit and you’ve got yourself a straight shot drink.

The Coconut Kiss

Serve up a tropical delight in these sleek stemless flutes. Besides, cracking into those natural coconuts is definitely no walk on the beach. Fill flutes up with coconut martini and rim with some sweet coconut flakes and you have created your own tropical paradise.

The White Wedding

Simple yet sophisticated, your favorite chardonnay served in a stemless wine glass never goes out of style. But personalized just for you, that’s the piece de resistance! (Translation- the best!)

The Love Potion

With it’s creamy, dreamy flavor here is a seductive shooter your guests will find difficult to resist. The name says it all perfectly. With a dash of strawberry cream shooter and a pinch of candy for garnish you have the perfect recipe to go along with this tall shot glass.

The Red Romance

Nothing says “Best Day Ever” quite like this classic charmer. Tall, shapely and pretty all over, here’s a little number that is sure to get your guests talking. You can add a little romance to any event, with this personalized Twisted Stem Flute filled with grapefruit mimosa and garnished with a slice of grapefruit.

Can’t choose just one? Mix and match for a fun look.

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How Much Does It Cost To Be A Bridesmaid?

It is an honor to be asked to be a bridesmaid, but how much will it actually cost you? When you factor in every possible cost, from the dress to the bachelorette party to the wedding itself, it can be surprisingly expensive. Here’s our bridesmaid’s budget breakdown to keep your stress levels low and keep your friendship with the bride intact.

Bridesmaid Budget Breakdown

It’s tempting to feel so flattered you jump at the opportunity but if cash flow is a problem and the bride is not a very sharing person you may want to consider the costs to you before you accept. Here is what can be involved in being a bridesmaid:

  • Bridesmaid dress
  • Dress alterations if needed (these could work out even more if you’re pregnant too!)
  • Shoes, jewelry and any other accessories the bride requires you to wear
  • Professional hairdressing and
  • Professional make up on the morning of the wedding
  • Bachelorette Party spending money
  • Wedding rehearsal dinner spend if required
  • Travel to dress fittings, bachelorette party, wedding rehearsal and/or travel abroad if required
  • Wedding present for the bride and groom

Hundreds and Thousands

This list is not exhaustive but it gives a pretty good idea of what’s involved and could come in at anywhere between a couple of hundred dollars and several thousand. A wedding abroad could cost even more due to overseas travel and accommodation, so it is worth taking all the potential costs into account. If the bride does want you to pay, it could work out to be more expensive than you think.

Who Pays and How To Compromise

Traditionally the bride’s parents would cover the costs of the bridesmaids dresses but these days most couples pay a large proportion of their wedding costs themselves and it has become more acceptable to ask for financial contributions from the bridal party. Unless the bride and groom are offering to pay for everything, it’s worth discussing costs and coming to a compromise where you are all happy.

If your little girl is asked to be a flower girl you may be expected to pay for her outfit. Luckily she won’t need cash for the bachelorette party so it’s a lot less expensive than being a bridesmaid, but you may still be asked to pay for her shoes and accessories.

How To Cut Bridesmaid Costs

Assuming the bride is in agreement, you can cut costs substantially by wearing a second hand bridesmaid gown, an informal low cost summer dress you can wear again, or even a dress you already own. For fashionably non-matching bridesmaids you can save cash by choosing low-cost gowns that co-ordinate in similar colors or styles.

It often falls to the maid of honor to arrange the bride’s proverbial ‘last night of freedom’, and another way to cut costs is to organize a low-key bachelorette party in a venue that is local to you or a casual bridal shower at home which can be just as much fun as an expensive night out in the city or a weekend abroad.

And finally, don’t ever let it cost you your friendship. There will always be a compromise and the key is to discuss it all and be mindful of everyone involved. The bottom line is the bride is special to you and she wants you to be a part of her special day. Together you should be able to find a way for that to happen.

Credits:

Originally written by Kate Thompson-Confetti