How To Choose A Wedding Gift For Someone You Don’t Know Well

When you have been invited to a wedding and you do not know the bride or groom very well, buying a gift can cause you to have a headache. You struggle to find a gift the couple will use for their new life together. How do you get a gift if you do not know your giftee? You do not want your gift to end up going back to the store. For the perfect wedding gift for any couple, follow these enchanting, yet simple ideas.

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From Tying the Knot to Setting Up the Nest

Traditionally, people gift a new couple with home items. This can be anything from new sheets to a new lamp. However, if you don’t know a couple, you may not know how long they have been living together and whether the bride has already taken this as the opportunity to head to her favourite home goods store to redecorate. The bulk of their furnishings may have been purchased.

Alternatively, what you can gift the happy couple with is something artsy. For instance, if it is a destination wedding then photographs of the site or paintings of the landscape will mean lots to them. If you are crafty then you can create this on your own. Bring your camera to their destination spot early and take some photos. With even the most simple of software you can add your own personal touch to create a picture that will remind the couple of their first day together.

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Celebrating the First Year

The happy couple may have been under a lot of stress planning the wedding this past year. Spa packages, a cooking class or a night of skiing are fun things the couple can do together. If you do not know them very well, you should head onto their Facebook page and see what they like. Are they always out at fine restaurants or are they hikers? Their photos should help give you a clue.

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Cooking Up Romance

Kitchen items are usually something a couple already has. Instead of something simple like a cookie sheet, go with the culinary trends and gift them with something fun. DIY is all the rage. Did you know that you can make cheese at home? Williams Sonoma has a cheese making kit. This is a fun culinary concoction that the couple can experiment with together.

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The Crafty Couple

Weddings are looked at as a time of new adventure. Couples are building their life together in a sense. Take this idea to heart and gift them with the tools they need to actually build things. A tool kit is a fun gift. Not all couples spend time in the kitchen, but blenders and mixing bowls are seen as traditional gifts. A hammer and set of screwdrivers will help the new couple, truly, build a life together.

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Not Your Grandmothers Gift

Try thinking outside the box when you are selecting wedding gifts. A great idea is to look to the couple’s wedding invitation for inspiration. Is it formal? Is it traditional? Is it new and funky? If the answer is yes to the last one then you can have fun with their wedding gift. A salad bowl set with two lovebirds as the servers and homemade champagne dressing is a little quirky. A knit scarf for him and her in their wedding colors is practical and fun. Whereas, giving then a picnic basket and bottle of bubbly, invites them to be silly.

Remember, weddings are occasions to be celebrated. Have fun with your gift. If you like it, chances are, so will they!

 

Katie writes for Packed Full of Love, an online gift shop in Australia specialising in gifts of love that come from the heart.

A Year in Wedding Flowers: Seasonal Flowers for Your Big Day

Whether you want to keep your wedding seasonal to reduce your carbon footprint, or are simply looking to create the perfect autumnal wedding, matching your wedding flowers to your season will ensure you end up with the perfect bouquet and a blooming beautiful big day.

Here The Real Flower Company give you their guide to the best seasonal blooms, whatever time of year your big date is. From sweet springtime posies to beautiful winter blossoms, we have the inspiration you need to create gorgeous locally sourced arrangements all year round.

Seasonal Wedding Flowers: Spring | Love Wed Bliss

Spring

If you’ve organized your wedding for the Spring, you’ll have no end of flowers and foliage to choose from. To make the absolute most of the Spring blooms on offer, a colourful array is essential. The Spring palette is extensive and full of bright, busy colours, shapes and textures as the floral world gears up to attract the insects which will help to pollenate it for next year. Every flower is out to impress.

From bright, golden daffodils, to many-coloured snapdragons and tulips in bright pinks, yellows, oranges and reds – in fact virtually every colour you can imagine – there is a stunning, eye-popping selection of stand-out blooms to turn your spring wedding into a cacophony of incredible, celebratory colour – helping your guests to really get into the party mood. Freesias are also big, bold and beautiful Springtime flowers to add to your stunning, rich bouquet.

If you’d prefer something a little less ostentatious, there are dozens of beautiful, restrained Springtime options for you to consider. From pretty, light purple lilacs, to beautiful, white droplet-shaped lily of the valley, you’ll find plenty of pretty Spring flowers which will  set your wedding off perfectly, without overpowering your surroundings. Soft pink cherry blossom, pastel coloured peonies or a simple bunch of spring irises are all gorgeous seasonal spring wedding flowers. Combine a traditional white rose with a purple, pink, or peach tulip.  For a monochromatic effect, why not pair ivory tulips with ivory roses for a stunning bridal effect.

Seasonal Wedding Flowers: Summer | Love Wed Bliss

Summer

Summer is, of course, a rich and verdant season – making a Summer wedding full of stunning foliage and flowers a truly lovely experience. Surround yourself with colour and light with summer peonies, daises, irises, sweet peas and coreopsis in the first half of the season. Towards August interweave sunflowers, asters, dahlias, zinnias and hydrangeas for a truly spectacular arrangement.

For a pared back look, the beautiful pastel blue of hydrangeas looks truly spectacular with a traditional white wedding colour scheme, especially next to a white gown.

Seasonal Wedding Flowers: Autumn | Love Wed Bliss

Autumn

Roses are an option throughout both spring and summer, but autumn roses have a delicate beauty all of their own. Autumn, in the words of Keats is a ‘season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’ and the deep hues of an autumnal palette work beautifully in wedding arrangements. Faded, nostalgic Autumn roses, deep and fiery dahlias, pale mysterious lilies – all create an abundant, warm and intriguing arrangement. In early autumn, we’d recommend considering chocolate cosmos – these are our absolute favourite Autumn flowering treats – exotic, dark red, rich and utterly scrumptious.

Autumn is also a season of berries, which can make a truly gorgeous addition to any floral designs. Snowberries are available and offer a pearl-like berry which sets off arrangements beautifully. Meanwhile, hypericum berries are another addition particularly suited to Autumnal wedding flowers. With berries in a range of colours including brown, red, orange, green and cream, they are a beautiful extra textural element for autumn wedding arrangements.

Seasonal Wedding Flowers: Winter | Love Wed Bliss

Winter

Holly, poinsettia, ivy, mistletoe  – if you’re planning a winter wedding, these traditional festive plants can add real heart and soul to your wedding, providing a striking red, green and white theme, especially if you’re using a white wedding palette. Lots of evergreen foliage can make an absolutely stunning addition to wedding decoration, making ivy a particularly effective and beautiful choice. If you like the organic, pretty hedgerow look – incorporating snowdrops in small winter posies for table arrangements looks divine.

If you’d rather steer away from a conventional, Christmassy feel, there are other floral options which are just as seasonal throughout the British Winter.  Ranunculus offer a brighter winter flower, with densely packed petals in colours including pink, yellow and white. Meanwhile, anemones, with their pretty pastel purple-blue petals, can add floral colour to a winter wedding. Meanwhile, to stick to a winter colour scheme without using conventional winter plants – tall, white amaryillis look completely spectacular – particularly in arrangements with ivy. Jaw dropping winter wedding flowers! 

So there you have it, inspiring seasonal flowers for weddings throughout the year – whatever your tastes. Not only does using seasonal flowers help you to cut down on your carbon footprint, it can also be a more affordable option, all whilst perfectly complementing your wedding season.

 

If you’d like to learn more about seasonal flower bouquets for weddings, The Real Flower Company are passionate about seasonal produce. From hedgerows to specialist growing facilities, The Real Flower Company pride themselves on inspiring with the very best each season can offer.

7 Hot Wedding Gift Trends of 2013

As the official 2012 wedding season comes to an end, it’s never too early to start thinking about the batch of weddings you plan on attending next year. But for those 2013 weddings, you now have a challenge: Bring the ultimate gift to the reception. Not the wine rack from Crate and Barrel or the set of glasses from Pottery Barn. This wedding gift challenge forces you to think outside the box and off the registry. Because just as wedding trends come and go, so do types of wedding gifts. Here are the top wedding gift trends for next year’s wedding season.

Wedding Gift Table | Love Wed BlissImage Source

Food & Wine

I’m not talking about a fruit basket with a bottle of wine. Newlyweds want to enjoy experiences together, so buy them a private cooking class certificate and pair it with a lovely evening at a local winery for a tour and tasting. It’s the perfect follow up to a honeymoon.

Show Them the World From Up Above

Again, building off the idea of experiences and post-honeymoon activities, a hot air balloon tour of a picturesque town an hour or two outside of where they are living is a great gift. Throw in a gift certificate to dinner in the town they traveled to for that hot air balloon ride and there’s a good chance the newlywed couple will enjoy a mini, weekend vacation.

Frame the Memories

Wedding photographers deliver photos much differently than they did 20 years ago when you chose which size prints you wanted and received your physical photos a few weeks later. Today your photographer can mail you a thumb drive filled with hundreds of amazing wedding photos in less than a week.

The only downside to that is that more times than often, those photos live on that thumb drive and on your social networks and rarely get printed.

For 2013, change that notion. Buy a gift certificate to a local framing shop, which will force the newlywed couple to print their favorite photos and pick out the perfect frame to match their new home.

Hot Air Balloon Ride for CouplesImage Source

Music to Their Ears

This wedding gift trend could be a little tricky if you have a couple with contrasting music tastes, but tickets to their favorite band’s concert a few months down the road is a perfect gift. It gets the newlywed couple out of the house for the night and if you throw in a gift card for dinner, they will enjoy an amazing date night.

This could quite difficult to pull off, but if you can figure out what their “first dance” song is and that artist is on tour in the coming year, buying tickets can help rekindle the love of the wedding night.

Keep the Memories in the Mail

This gift requires some dedication, but is very touching. At the couple’s wedding, take 30 of the best candid photos of the couple that you can. You don’t have to be a professional photographer by any means, just make sure that you capture the chemistry between the newlyweds.

The next day, print off your photos and mail one each day of their first month of marriage. If you want, write a little message on the back of the photo to show them how much you care about them.

Make Their First Christmas Easier

Newlyweds have all sorts of first-year expenses, from furniture to appliances — maybe even initial house payments. One expense they’re not thinking about is Christmas decorations.

Buy a basic pack of ornaments, but also one personalized ornament with the couple’s name and marriage date painted on it. Throw in a tree skirt, a few packs of white Christmas lights (white is a safer choice over multi-colored) and a gift certificate to an online photo print shop that prints Christmas cards so the couple can pay for their first Christmas card as a married couple.

Couples Massage - Gift IdeaImage Source 

Enhance the Honeymoon

Of course, this requires having a little insider information on the honeymoon. But this can normally be obtained by phoning in some questions to the newlyweds’ parents.

Book a ritzy dinner night, twilight boat tour or a lavish spa treatment. The happy new couple will absolute love it. 

 

Author Taylor Ritchie would like to challenge you to come up with interesting wedding gift ideas in 2013. Taylor works with NRMA Motoring & Services – for unique wedding gift ideas, check out myNRMA.com.au Wedding gift

8 Unique Ideas for Budget Friendly Wedding Favors

When it comes to remembering your wedding, your photos will tell the story.  But often, long after the night is over, your guests will never see the photos you made or the videos you shot.  That’s what wedding favors are for – to remind your guests of your special night and to say ‘thank you for being a part of our special day’.  You can be as creative, unique, economical, or extravagant as you would like with your favors, but here are a few budget friendly options that will give you some great ideas to start with: 

Personalized CD Labels for Wedding Favors | Love Wed Bliss

1. CDs

Let your guests take the party home with them! Burn a CD for each guest including favorite songs of the bride and groom, as well as any songs that will be played at the wedding. Whenever your friends listen to their personalized CD, it will take them back to that great night and remind them of the fun they had at your wedding!

Koozie Wedding Favors | Love Wed Bliss

2. Koozies

Anytime your friends want to keep their drink cold, they’ll be reminded of your wedding! A koozie is a fun and inexpensive favor that will be used by all guests. There are tons of different shapes, sizes, and colors to choose from, and can be personalized to say whatever best sums up your great night!

Packaged Candy Wedding Favors | Love Wed Bliss

3. Candy / Chocolate

We all know you can never go wrong with sweets. There are thousands of options out there of different delicious candies and chocolates. Pick out small, cute bags or boxes and fill them with different types of candy. Your guests will still be enjoying the party all the way home!

Cake Mix Wedding Favors | Love Wed Bliss

4. Brownie /Cake Mix

If you want to give something you know your guests will use and love, pick out your favorite type of cake or brownie. Fill up a pouch with enough of the powder mix so that your guests can make their own batch at home! Attach a note to each baggie with baking directions, and your friends will be thanking you for weeks, and asking where you got the amazing recipe!

Heart Magnet Wedding Favors | Love Wed Bliss

5. Magnets

Magnets are another easy but personal gift to give your guests to show your appreciation. They are not only useful to all, but a keepsake from your wedding will be put up in your friend’s homes for lasting memories!

Flavored Popcorn Wedding Favors | Love Wed Bliss

6. Flavored Popcorn

Another unique and delicious favor idea is flavored popcorn. There are a wide variety of popcorn flavors out there, and you can’t go wrong with any! Pick out your favorites and combine them for your guests to munch on and thank you for days!

Bottle Opener Wedding Favors | Love Wed Bliss 

7. Bottle Opener

A more sophisticated favor idea would be a personalized bottle opener for each guest. They may be small, but will be very often used by your friends! Anytime they open a wine bottle, they’ll be reminded of their newlywed friends and the great night they spent at your wedding.

Chalkboard Candles Wedding Favors | Love Wed Bliss

8. Candles

Scented candles are great for any home, and can act as a great party favor! There are a huge variety of styles, sizes, colors, and scents to choose from. So pick some that work the best with your wedding theme! You can do the same candle or candles for each guest, or mix it up.

 

This article was written exclusively for LoveWedBliss by LowCountry Barbecue, proud to be a leading Atlanta caterer for over 25 years.  LowCountry Barbecue takes Atlanta barbecue to the next level for families and businesses, big or small; no occasion is too small and no party is too much.

{Guest Post} 3 Pearl Jewellery Suggestions for an Autumn Wedding

Autumn is still an incredibly busy season for weddings and most brides will be planning their big day long before the trees begin to shed their leaves. Whilst a wedding is a magical occasion for all concerned, it’s particularly so for the bride who wants to get her style ‘just right’ on the day.

Autumn Wedding Jewellery Ideas

Pearls are traditionally a first choice of jewellery to be worn on a wedding day. Now, with the increased popularity of vintage and classically styled weddings –  where elegance and sophistication are a must – more and more brides are falling under the spell of pearls. The unique qualities of cultured pearls meet all these expectations and you’ll discover that you are able to incorporate the classic look of pearl jewellery into whatever style of wedding ceremony you choose.

Besides the single strand pearl necklace, let’s take a look at three of our other jewellery suggestions if you are getting married this autumn:

1. The White Freshwater Pearl Bracelet

White pearls are a perfect wedding jewellery choice given their elegance and understated sophistication, and the beautiful piece pictured will definitely complement any bride’s choice of wedding dress this Autumn. Stunning and breath taking – freshwater pearls are an autumn wedding favourite.

 

 

 

 

 

2. A South Sea Pearl & Diamond Pendant

A stunning example of just how timelessly exquisite and luxurious pearls can be. This exceptional South Sea pearl and diamond pendant has no shortage of sophistication – something which makes it a perfect choice as a piece of bridal jewellery. Flawlessly crafted and finished, with a curve of pave diamonds set in 18 carat white gold, the pendant is a piece of jewellery that will truly stand the test of time.

 

 

 

 

3. Triple Strand Freshwater Pearl Necklace

No wedding outfit would be complete without a classic pearl necklace. We love the vintage styling of this beautiful triple strand freshwater cultured pearl necklace. Large enough to be eye-catching, the graduated strands of these white pearls will gracefully enhance the neckline and the look of the bride as she makes her way down the aisle.

 

 

 

 

 

Pearls are such a perfect choice of wedding jewellery that it is easy to fall in love with these unique gemstones. Their strong sense of history and tradition can easily add a touch of elegance to a bride’s outfit for her big day. If you are getting married this autumn, hopefully some of the suggestions above may give you some ideas for choosing the right wedding jewellery for you.

 

All jewellery images are copyright and used with permission of Winterson Pearl Jewellery

{Guest Post} How to Take Perfect Wedding Photos

Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life. The photos you take on your wedding day often represent a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see family and friends gathered in one place, all dressed in their best. Taking perfect wedding photos an essential element of capturing the memories of that special day.

How To Take Perfect Wedding Photos
Photo by Amanda Wilcher
Take Important Photos First

If you want a group photo with your favorite great aunt, all your nieces and nephews, and those out-of-town guests who need to leave right after the reception, make sure you communicate that fact to your photographer. Provide the photographer with a list of four to five must-have photos before the wedding ceremony, so that he or she can gather essential players for these essential photographs before the children mess up their outfits and start getting fussy.

You may also consider taking posed shots of the bride and groom in their wedding clothes even before the ceremony. Although this defies tradition, doing so gives the photographer more time to pose the couple and get the best shot. If you’re absolutely stuck on the tradition, an engagement photo of the bride and groom is a good substitute.

Accommodate the Venue

Are you planning a candlelit wedding ceremony? Have you planned an outdoor reception among trees and abundant flowers? Communicate these circumstances to your photographer, so that he or she can bring along the proper equipment to get the best shots. Lighting is an especially important consideration for your wedding shots. Situate your shots so that no one is standing with glaring sun shining into his or her eyes.

Take advantage of architectural features of your wedding and reception venues in framing your wedding and reception shots. For instance, a stately staircase is an ideal stage for formal photos of your wedding party. A shot of the bride strolling through a flower-decked archway on the arm of her father is another shot not to be missed.

Photo by Jasmin Star
Take Black and White & Color Shots

It’s almost certain that the bulk of your wedding photos will be in living color. However, plan for at least a few black and white photos. Black and white photos lend a certain formality to the occasion that reflects the solemn commitment that a wedding represents. Possibilities for black and white shots include a shot of the happy couple or a posed shot of both families or of the entire wedding party.

Use a Second Camera – or a Second Photographer

No matter how good a photographer is, he or she cannot be in two places at once. Especially for large weddings, hiring a second photographer is well worth the extra expense.  One photographer can concentrate on formal photos while the other scouts out candid shots. 

If a second photographer is out of the question, at least ask your photographer to bring two camera bodies, each fitted with a different lens. This allows him or her, the flexibility to take close up shots or wide angle poses without needing to stop to change lenses. Another possibility to increase the number of candid shots is to purchase inexpensive single use cameras at each table of your reception venue and invite your guests to take their own shots, leaving the cameras behind.

Photo by Jose Villa
Further Reading

 

Rachel Myers contributed this guest post for Hairfreeplus.com.au. Rachel is a freelance writer and she is studying photography. She enjoys writing for various online lifestyle magazines. Learn more about HairFree on their website.

How To Simplify Choosing Your Wedding Flowers

Are you finding yourself stuck on what to do what your wedding flowers? If so, you’re probably considering just handing out the decision to your florist, and calling it a day. However, before you hand over the reins, consider trying to come up with something on your own. It’s not too difficult when you know where to go for inspiration, and in the end you’ll feel quite special that you’ve created such beautiful floral arrangements.

Where to Look for Inspiration

Wedding floral arrangements are everywhere and that means you have a ton to choose from to find the ones best for your wedding theme.

Here are just a few of the places to find sample floral arrangements and bouquets:

  • Bridal Magazines – It’s likely you’ve already invested in a few of these, but it’s unlikely that you’ve taken a really good look at all of the floral arrangements and bouquets included. Buy some magazines, if you haven’t already, or start flipping through the ones you already have again. Pay particular attention to all of the flowers in  the magazines, and start to either color copy, or cut out the ones you like. Create a small scrapbook of the ones that you like the most to show your florist. While you may not know the type of flowers they are, your florist will.
  • Pinterest – This social networking site is most popular among women, and many of these women are either getting married, in a bridal party, or just love wedding themes images. Create an account on the site, look through the thousands of wedding floral arrangements and bouquets on the site, and start pinning them to your board. When you’ve found a few you like, invite your florist to see them. She can help you identify the specific flowers and either copy ones you see, or create a unique one bringing different flowers together.
How to Match Flowers to Your Wedding

Many brides find flowers they like the look of, but they don’t naturally grow in the color they would like them to be. Well, that’s no problem at all because many flowers can be dyed to your desired color, especially if the flowers come naturally in white.

Leave the Arranging to the Expert

Now, that you have the flowers you want in your arrangements, and you’ve solved the problem of them not coordinating with your wedding, the next task is putting them together, so they look neat and sweet. This is the part that should be left to the expert – the florist. While many brides do make their own arrangements, it’s usually done with much frustration and redo’s that many brides, such as yourself, do not have the time for right before wedding day. Not to mention the patience it takes when arranging – you just aren’t at your optimal patience level when you are trying to make sure everything else is going well with the wedding.

Check Off Flower Arrangements

Once you have given the florist your floral desires for your wedding, you can go ahead and take that off the list. Ah. What a great feeling, isn’t it?

 

 

About the Author: Marcelina Hardy worked with her wedding planner Meridian MS to choose her floral arrangements and used a wedding floral designer Lauderdale County to arrange them.

 

{Guest Post} Ten Destination Wedding Favor Ideas

A destination wedding can easily be one of the single most exciting types of weddings you can have, but choosing favors may seem a bit tougher if you’re going to be away. You want something that will truly help your guests remember your special day, but you don’t want the added hassle of carrying anything too big too far. These ideas can help.

1. Leather Luggage Tags

You’re all traveling, right? Why not consider a traveling essential like a luggage tag? Given that your party is likely to be fairly small, there’s no reason you can personalize each with the guest’s name and address so they can use them right away, and include a special message. Something like “Thanks for traveling with us. We hope your journey is filled with love,” then include your names at the bottom. Allow these to serve as place cards at your reception if you like.

2. Tote Bags

Adding a tote bag to each person’s room is the perfect way to welcome them and thank them from coming. You can fill them with almost anything including local delicacies, supplies they may need while they’re away from home, treats to satisfy those late night cravings while they’re in the hotel room, souvenirs from local vendors, pampering products like sleep masks and foldable slippers, toys if you have little guests, or even maps and brochures to help your guests find their way while they’re in the city.

3. Travel Related Items

There are hundreds of things you can have personalized these days, and choosing travel items your guests can use again and again is a great way to help them remember this particular trip in the years to come. Go with a travel alarm clock that has both of your names and the date on it. A manicure kit is also a great idea. Mini sewing kits work well too. All of these are super useful to guests as they travel, and almost all of them can be found with personalization options.

4. Bookmarks

For most, vacations mean a chance to sit down with a good book, and almost everyone could use a great bookmark if that’s the plan. Design the bookmark of your dreams for your guests online, then have them ready and waiting at the hotel when you arrive. Consider putting a picture of the destination on there as well as your names or even a picture of the two of you together.

5. Holiday Ornaments

If you’re getting married near the holidays, consider Christmas tree ornaments as your favor. Choose something that reflects the area where you got married, and have it customized with your names and the date. For example, if you were getting married in a tropical destination, go with a palm tree that has the city printed on it as well as your names.

6. Personalized Sunscreen

If you’re going tropical, this is an ideal choice. Many companies make sunscreen bottles hooked to a carabineer, and some will even personalize it for you. It’s practical for your guests, and they’ll always remember your special day as they slather on the lotion at their favorite beach.

7. Personalized Playing Cards

While this would work as well for any wedding as it would for a destination wedding, it will certainly give your guests something to do during their downtime. Choose just the cards themselves or cards in beautiful personalized travel tins with your names and the date engraved on them.

8. Coffee Favors

Premeasured coffee packs are a great way to thank your guests. Whether they take it home or use it in the hotel room’s coffee maker, this is an excellent way to help them wake up in the morning and remember your special day at the same time. Many favor companies will print your wedding details right there on the package, too!

9. Drink Mixes

From margaritas to martinis, drink mixes are a great destination wedding favor because they’re so easy to carry. With many different choices out there and simple instructions on the back of each drink mix, your guests are going to love the chance to unwind. Most companies will even print your wedding details on the package.

10. A Postcard Album

Get postcards from all of the local sites, then put them in a mini photo album for each of your guests. Have your names and the date on the front of the album, and guests will automatically get a souvenir of all of the area sites as well as a quick guide to the city.

There are lots of ways to find great destination wedding favors for your guests, even if you’ll be marrying far away. Just remember to stick with favor ideas that are as affordable as they are easy to carry.

 

 

 

Pinkchic18 is a guest writer who enjoys party planning, holidays and events. She is also a regular contributor to the Wedding Favors Unlimited Blog, where you can find great decor ideas and inspiration for your wedding.

Image by Wedding Favors Unlimited

{Guest Post} Chair Arrangement & Chuppah Decorations For The Beach – Part 2

In Part One of their fabulous beach wedding series, our friends over at OBX Brides discussed Beach Wedding Challenges and how to solve them. Today we’re delighted to have them back to share their wisdom about creative chair arrangements and ideas for your chuppah.

Ideas For Real Feet-On-The-Sand Beach Weddings

Wedding in The Round

For smaller beach weddings seating people around the bride and groom creates an intimate feel. Arrange the chairs in a circle, semi-circle or spiral seating arrangement. This can also be done using a square rather than a circular arrangement. If you want all eyes to be not only on you, but also on the ocean choose a semi-circle.

Traditional wood folding chairs may or may not set well on sand. Alternatives are benches or even pews. If you choose backless benches, you might want to offer some chairs to guests who might find backless seating uncomfortable. If the benches are very low keep in mind any pregnant guests, the elderly or those with health conditions who might find it very hard to sit down and stand up from a low seat. Renting a floor for your chairs to set on solves all sorts of problems.

Seating Savvy

Yes, sunset ceremonies are breathtaking but they call for some seating savvy. By angling the seating arrangement so the sun is not directly behind you, but rather, off to one side your guests won’t be blinded by the sun. And to keep you and your groom from being blinded by something other than love create a Chuppah with sheer fabric that reaches to about shoulder level on both sides. This will keep the sun out of your eyes and the guests will still be able to enjoy the ocean view—and you.

The Chuppah

The chuppah is fabric, or sometimes flowers or foliage, attached to the tops of two or more poles and usually draped from pole to pole. The word chuppah means “covering” or “protection” and is where the bride and groom stand while reciting their vows, it adds structure to the wedding and allows for some absolutely awesome decor opportunities. Decorations for the chuppah can be as unique as the couple standing under it. They can be very simple and casual with just some gauzy fabric or can combine many elements such as flowers, shells, starfish, tiny lights, grapevine, garlands and various greenery.

So now you have some ideas for seating arrangements and the chuppah. In our final article in this series, we’ll give you inspiration for gazebo decorations and unique touches to make your outer banks wedding truly special.

 

 

 

Having a destination wedding on the Outer Banks can be daunting. At obxBrides.com, trusted vendors and “been-there” brides come together to offer the most extensive OBX wedding resources.

Photos credits: Island Photography /  Neil GT Photography /  Brooke Mayo Photography

{Guest Post} Have You Considered A Trash The Dress Session?

Have you been considering a trash the dress session? Wondering whether it’s worth ruining your precious wedding gown? Maybe, you just want to know exactly ‘what is a trash the dress’ and what’s involved? Well, photographer Veronica Spriggs is here to answer those questions plus explain the many options you have when deciding to go with this popular wedding trend.

A trash the dress session can be an exciting end to your wedding day. Trash the dress sessions are when you and the groom get together after the ceremony with the photographer and literally trash the dress simply for the opportunity to capture some unexpectedly memorable photos.

Trash the dress is a modern concept and steers way clear of preserving the dress for your daughter’s wedding. Instead of a dress to remind you of your special day, you will only have photos of what once was. With that said it is crucial to realize that a trash the dress session may leave you without a dress. Keeping that in mind, you may want to opt for something that may be undoable with a trip to a good cleaners. Otherwise, you can fully commit and let havoc reign.

In a typical trash the dress session anything goes. I’ve seen everything from mud wrestling to creative paint play. Ultimately, a trash the dress is all about having fun and choosing the session that’s right for you. I’ve seen some absolutely amazing trash the dress photos and some that simply weren’t for me.

Your keys to a successful trash the dress session will be not to let the photographer coerce you into something he feels comfortable shooting. If you are forced into an activity that you are not comfortable with then your photos will appear forced. As well don’t force your photographer into something he feels uncomfortable shooting. A professional photographer will know his limitations and respectfully advise you of them. If he tells you he is unsure he can fulfill your wishes take his word for it and instead ask him for a referral.

Trash the dress sessions much like your wedding, are a chance to live out your fantasies. You can choose ethereal beauty, embrace your inner child or be a total rock star. Just make sure the theme you choose suits your personality.

Options for Visually Striking Trash the Dress Photos

Underwater

I have to say If I were going the route of trash the dress this is where I’d head. These shots can be absolutely amazing. Obviously some things to consider about underwater shoots. Can you and your partner swim? Is this something your photographer is even capable of? If you are considering an underwater shot it may be necessary to hire a separate photographer for this or be certain to look for a photographer who can handle both the ceremony and the trash the dress session.

Public Fountains

Still keeping with the water theme this is for those us less aquatic. Find a beautiful fountain and put the beautiful couple in it and good things are bound to happen. What could be more beautiful or romantic than a happy couple frolicking in a fountain? This will surely make for a memorable set and unlike the underwater session will allow your guest to get a better view of what takes place.

Autumn Forest

Should your wedding have the good fortune to take place in the fall imagine a beautiful woodland setting with multi colored leaves swirling around you and your beloved. This is the stuff fairy tales are made of. Weather permitting of course. When it comes to weather there are no guarantees. Keep in mind this is a trash the dress session so less than optimal weather conditions could possibly add to the aesthetic. Tip to consider: should this be the route you take consider bring a leaf blower.

Trash The Dress Options for the Not So Faint of Heart

Paint Play

Paint splatters, smudges or smears can turn a once pristine canvas into a collage of color making for a stunning set of photos. Opt for bright, bold colors in water color or perhaps acrylic. You’ll want to choose a paint that flows easily, photographs well and is easy enough to clean from your person when you are done. Your photographer may have some ideas on what works best. Get your guests in on the action. Give them each a paint brush to dip in their favorite color and then either splatter or paint on your dress.

Food Fight

Consider ordering an extra cake specifically for a trash the dress session. This takes the traditional cake smearing to a whole new level. When all the festivities are complete have fun with a mini version of your wedding cake. When ordering your cake ask the pastry chef if they can duplicate the top two tiers of your cake to create a mini cake just for the session. Or instead opt to have a fun novelty cake created. This may not be for everyone but if you have a fun spirit why not run with it?

Burn the Dress

That’s right set your dress ablaze. This is the epitome of trashing the dress. This option could be perfect for the rebel at heart. The right setting and the right photographer could produce some photos certainly worth talking about. Though it goes without saying, I’ll say it anyway, when considering this option safety first! Don’t select a novice photographer to do this type of shoot. They will literally only get one chance to get it right. You want to make sure the photographer you choose knows how to photograph fire. It’s not as simple as you may think.

If you haven’t considered trash the dress you may want to add it to your list of things to think about. You may find this a great way to unwind and de stress after months of tedious wedding planning. You will most certainly capture some shots that rise above the mundane.

Trash The Dress Photos: Casa Fragma

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Veronica Spriggs is a full time graphic designer working from home creating wedding album templates for photographers. She is also an amateur photographer always looking for the perfect shot. She has a love of art, music, movies, food and all things beautiful. Veronica enjoys educating others and offers many helpful photographer tutorials on her blog.