Throwing a Bridal Shower for the 21st Century Bride

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Let’s face it: getting married today is not like is was 50 years ago – heck, 30 years ago if we’re being realistic – and 10, if we’re completely honest :)  Brides and weddings today are no longer the cookie cutter ceremonies of our grandparent’s era – no sir!  In fact, they are very far from it.

Recently, I had the extreme fortune of being a part of such a discussion with my grandma, good ‘ole Dottie :)  Now, you see, Dottie, is from a very, very old school of thought.  Turning 87 this year, her and my grandfather have been married for 64 years!  And that, my friends, is nothing to shake a stick at!

Anyhoot, in lieu of my baby brother getting married this weekend, there has been nothing but wedding around the family water coolers, and as Jamie – the future bride-to-be – was discussing some of the final details of seating chart drama, Gramma Dottie couldn’t help but let out a large, low, long winded whistle, commenting, “Man, this sure ain’t like it used to be.  We served cold cuts at our reception, and there wasn’t all this fiddle about who could sit with whom or who was or wasn’t speaking to, for or against the other… eesh.”  Another long whistle and she was gone.  Haha!

This got me thinking about how much really has changed and how dissimilar things really are… how dynamic and different each couple’s situation is.  Today’s bride, not only comes in all sorts of shapes, sizes and styles, but she also comes from a completely different background, school of thought and altogether situation in general.  Couples today aren’t just marrying each other, pending their age, race and religion match.  No way.  No how.  More and more couples today – in fact – are marrying who they want, how they want and when they want.

Sometimes, (Gramma, close your ears) sometimes, couples even choose to not get married at all!  Sometimes, they just live together with no deadline or direction on making it official  And when (or if) they do choose to make it official, for some, it might not be the first time they did.  For some, it might be the second or third  or fourth time around!  I think you get my point…

Marriages today are extremely unique – each providing a different situation to the next, and one area I’ve really seen this being broadcasted is in the wedding showers!  Recently, I’ve attended several of these “unique circumstances” showers, and it was very interesting the take some took.  Whether it was the couple’s second marriage or they’d already been living together or because they were getting married later in life and already had everything they needed, each shower was structured in the same uinique way as the couple, and it was very fun to be a part of!  Below are some examples:

  1. Let’s Hear it for a Holiday Theme.  I went to one shower that was holiday themed.  The couple had been living together for several years and had pretty much already established all the typical shower stuff  (ie. plates, appliances, kitchen utensils, towels, etc.).  So, they thought it would be fun to have a shower where each guest bring some sort of holiday decor — be it for Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day etc.  That way, when they were decorating for all the most festive times of the year, they’d have all the ones they loved with them as well :)
  2. Looking to Build on Love.  For another shower, the bride and groom had both previously been married with children but had been living separately.  After months of searching, they finally found a home that would accomodate both families post nuptials – an old, super duper, fixer upper.  While neither one was keen on having a shower – as they both still had gifts from the first time around – their families insisted.  Hence, the Live off Lowe’s gift card shower was born!  Rather than going out and spending money on new place settings, the couple received money to go towards fixing up their new home.  Absolutely loved this!
  3. Not Big Enough for a Shower, just a Little Sprinkle instead.  (This is mayhaps my favorite!)  In this case, neither the bride or groom had been married before, but they were both in their forties, well established in their careers and home appliances.  Therefore, the couple’s friends chose to give them both a “Sprinkle” where they rented out a room at their favorite restaurant – the one where they went on their first date – and had guests bring well wishes, favorite stories or marital advice for the soon to be newlyweds.  It was sosososooo cute, and the couple really loved it!
  4. Wine  for the Win!  Okay, this was my favorite :)  Haha!  In this case, the futire Mr. and Mrs. were huge wine connoisseurs and collectors.  So, rather than have a typical shower, they threw a party for friends and family and simply asked that each bring their favorite bottle of wine to help fill their cellar with love, support and above all, the deliciousness of fermented grapes :)

So, you see, no matter what the situation, just find the one that’s right for you, and if it hasn’t already been invented, be the trailblazer and make a new one!  Who knows, you might just end up being a trendsetter too :)

 

Get in the Bridal Glow with Candle Cake Toppers

courtesy of weddingchicks.com

courtesy of weddingchicks.com

I love birthdays.  Who doesn’t?  The lights (+ gifts!).  The cameras (+ gifts!).  The action (+ gifts!).  The cake — yeah, cake can stand alone :)  And what birthday cake wouldn’t be complete without candles?  None!

But what about moving the traditional birthday candle cake toppers to your wedding day celebration?  That’s right.  I saw this done this past summer during a girlfriend’s 4th of July wedding.  Of course, they used sparklers in lieu of candles due to the occasion, but after coming across this notion on burnettboards.com, I couldn’t help but take a second (and third and fourth, etc.) look.

Sara, the Honolulu based bloggess behind burnettsboards.com says,  “Traditional cake toppers, flowers, monograms – move over and make room on your sugary sweet pedestal for candles. Tall and tapered or short and plentiful, candles have made the jump from birthday cakes to wedding cakes. Blowing them out and making a wish together is a sweet way to start your married life.”

And after all the ganders I’ve made over the course of the past couple weeks, I couldn’t agree more.  Add the ganders with the Wikipedian history I learned about why candles were even originally added to cakes in the first place, and I’d say that brides and grooms couldn’t find a better cake topper.

Some say that candles were placed on the cake because people believed that the smoke of the candle carried their prayers to gods. Others believe that the custom originated in Germany where people used to place a large candle in the centre of the cake to symbolize ‘the light of life’.

In present times too, people place candles on birthday cakes and a silent wish is made before blowing out the candle. It is believed that blowing out all candles in one breath means the wish will come true and the person will enjoy good luck in the coming year.  – Wikipedia.org

So, we have prayers lifted to God, symbolism to the light of life, good luck and wish fulfillment.  Um, hello??  What more could a newlywed couple ask for?

Check out below and see what I mean :)

Oh, and if by chance candles still won’t do it for you, try taking a peak at some of these aptly awesome and Custom Designed Cake Toppers!

courtesy of terazslub.pl, dollhousediary.com, kissthegroom.com, lover.ly, weddingbee.com, stylemepretty.com, teacupwedding.com, magnoliarougemagazine.com, stylishspoon.com, fabulousfete.wordpress.com, peonyeventsco.com and commons.wikimedia.org

courtesy of terazslub.pl, dollhousediary.com, kissthegroom.com, lover.ly, weddingbee.com, stylemepretty.com, teacupwedding.com, magnoliarougemagazine.com, stylishspoon.com, fabulousfete.wordpress.com, peonyeventsco.com and commons.wikimedia.org

Dear Brides, it’s Time to Stress Less & Celebrate More

courtesy of idoityourself.com.au

courtesy of idoityourself.com.au

#truestory

I came across an article on huffingtonpost.com by Kara Wahlgren entitled, “5 Wedding Details You Can Stop Overthinking,” and this got me thinking… there are WAAAYYYY more than five!  I mean, let’s be real.

I’ve been in more than my fair share (“more” and “than” being the operative words) of weddings, and as such, I feel as though spending a decade of my life as a habitual bridesmaid, I’ve earned my stripes.  Heck, not just my stripes!  I’ve also earned my plaids, polka dots, patterns, prints and plains, as well.  Oh, you think I’m kidding?  I’m not.  Stop by any time and take a gander at the good ‘ole closet… you might be shocked at first, but you’ll soon realize, you’re looking at the real life 27 Dresses :)

And because I’ve been so closely involved in so many weddings, I’ve also been privy to so many brides.  Trust(&)Believe.  I’ve seen them all.  The Normals – those who fall somewhere between one or more of the following groups… The DIY Disasters – the ones who need help with e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.  The Good Managers — which sadly, is the smallest selection.  The Freaker Outters — you know who you are :)  The cool-calm-and-collected-until-the-very- Last Minuters — guilty :)  And last, but certainly not least, the Bridezilla-er’s (haha!) — whhhhy??  Haven’t they seen the show?  Haven’t they heard the term?  Have they no shame?  Why, ladies… just why?

Now, what stinks about being involved in a wedding – be it as a ‘maid, a mom, a planner, an extra, etc. – with a Bridezilla is that the entire celebration becomes lost.  It’s no longer about the day and what they day means.  It’s all about drama of all the must-be-perfect-or-I’ll-just-die details… and the just checking in phone calls… and / or text messages… and emails… and fittings and run-throughs and “quick” trips and invitation creation sessions… ugh, you get the picture…  Everyone is haphazardly buried under and suffocated by the knowledge that everything HAS TO BE RIGHT that they lose site of and interest in the actual and awesome reason behind what started the bridezilla takeover in the first place — you’re getting married and joining your life with the man you love! I mean, hello!??!  Can I get a “Yay!”

With all that said, best advice I can give any bride must first be met with an urgently important disclaimer.  Bridezillas, you might want to make sure you’re sitting down for this…

DISCLAIMER: something – despite all the planning and hours and double / triple / Buzz Lighter to infinity and beyond checking – something WILL go wrong.

<GASPS!>  That’s right, ladies.  I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the sooner you accept this knowledge, the sooner you can start to relax and get back to the real reason of the day… You get to say “I do” to your #1 boo :) <SQUEE!>

Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, here’s the advice, which I urge you all to remember:

BEST ADVICE:  No matter what goes wrong (I know, I know – you don’t like thinking about it – sorry!), at the end of the day, you still get to be your man’s Mrs.  You get to marry him and love him and be with him for all future bumps, blessings and otherwise.  So, smile, breath, relax, and above all, love that this is the day you get to say, “I do.”

A *Tutu* Cute Bachelorette Party Theme for Ladies Looking to Blast, Team Bride Side

Tutu-Bachelorette-Party

For any of you  – and I’m thinking it’ll be most, if not ALL – who’ve been privy to celebrating a wedding, you know how many things can go into the planning.  Whether you’re a member of the bridal party or simply a friend showing up in support, there are certain aspects of the celebration that all ladies-in-waiting of the bride will be included on.  One of which – and more importantly, most FUN of which – is the Bachelorette Party!

<insert wobble baby wobble baby wobble baby wobble dance here>

Now, I may be being a smidgey partial… after all, it was my future sister-in-law’s bachelorette party… but I was seriously BLASTIN’ at her **Tutus On The Town** themed soiree a few weekends back!!  It was straight amazeballs, and I would HIGHLY recommend it to any other maid, matron or bridesmaid planning a bachelorette party in the future :)

For cereal, it was hands down one of my top shelf, top nights evs!  I mean, helloooo?!?!

Pink Flamingo Bus + INCREDS ladies + a play list filled with nothing but “drop it like it’s hott” tunes + Frilly tutus, and + On the Town Toasting?! 

Fuuhhhgetabout.  That is one mathematical equation I can get behind!

Not only that, but it also makes for a super fun DIY project!  We – and by we, I mean the bride to be and my other sister-in-law – spent a lazy Sunday afternoon creating the feast for the eyes shown above.  After YouTube-ing a couple vids, we hit up the local Hobby Lobby, bought elastic bands, accent ribbons, gobs and gobs of tulle and went to town.  It was seriously, soooo easy!

The only downfall was it left me wishing I had another event on the calendar that would require the use of such awesomeness :)

Tutu-Bachelorette-Party-Themes

 

Pantone’s 10 Fabulous Colors for Fall Weddings

courtesy of Pantone.com via sheknows.com

courtesy of Pantone.com via sheknows.com

Okay, so I’m a blogger – true story!  But like most blog goddesses, it is not my only job.  In fact, my main job is as a designer and marketer for a major wedding wholesaler, and as such, I am all too familiar with Pantone.com and all their fabulous color finds for and throughout the year.

And I gotta say, Pantone??  In regards to your Festive Fall Lineup??

Wow. Wow. & Wow!  I am completely jaw-waggled by this palette of ten ahhhh-to the-MAZING finds for Fall! (& yes, I totally had to slow clap it out with Ross above to make my point more viable – haha!)

It’s like they took all the hot colors from spring and summer and literally warmed them up, deepened the hue and altogether provided a richer, more opulent spread.  Converting the peony pinks from summer into a Vivacious magenta and succulent Samba literally had me high-fiving unsuspecting co-workers all morning.  Not only that, but springtime’s soft grays took a Turbulent turn to the dark side; while the bright greens from a summertime in full bloom became an altering pattern of Deep Lichen and Linden Greens – love love love!

Check out below for inspiration on each :)

Emerald (Pantone 17-5614)

photos courtesy of onestopwedding.info, pinterest.com, melissa-munding.com, beautifulblooms.com, jetfeteblog.com, weddingomania.com, arabiaweddings.com, bravobride.com and tumblr.com

photos courtesy of onestopwedding.info, pinterest.com, melissa-munding.com, beautifulblooms.com, jetfeteblog.com, weddingomania.com, arabiaweddings.com, bravobride.com and tumblr.com

Mykonos Blue (Pantone 18-4434)

courtesy of marilynskeepsakes.com

courtesy of marilynskeepsakes.com

Linden Green (Pantone 15-0533)

courtesy of snippetandink.com

courtesy of snippetandink.com

Acai (Pantone 19-3628)

photos courtesy of theverylastdetail.com, platinumtoucheventsla.com, onetowed.com, landlockedbride.com, rusticweddingchic.com, weddingmania.com and weddingbee.com

photos courtesy of theverylastdetail.com, platinumtoucheventsla.com, onetowed.com, landlockedbride.com, rusticweddingchic.com, weddingmania.com and weddingbee.com

Samba (Pantone (19-1662)

photos courtesy of (left to right, top to bottom) lovefromtheoven.com, halterneckwedding.onsugar.com, jessicalewisphoto.com, blog.celeb16.com, colorsareblushandbashful.blogspot.com, thestylishbloom.com, blog.paper-source.com, etsy.com, sophistimom.com and flickr.com

photos courtesy of (left to right, top to bottom) lovefromtheoven.com, halterneckwedding.onsugar.com, jessicalewisphoto.com, blog.celeb16.com, colorsareblushandbashful.blogspot.com, thestylishbloom.com, blog.paper-source.com, etsy.com, sophistimom.com and flickr.com

Koi (Pantone 17-1452)

photos courtesy of greylikesweddings.com, zazzle.com, luvandido.com, ofbeautyandlove.com, thankyousummer.com, charlottesfancy.com, planmydaynow.com, calligraphybyjennifer.net and trendypics.net

photos courtesy of greylikesweddings.com, zazzle.com, luvandido.com, ofbeautyandlove.com, thankyousummer.com, charlottesfancy.com, planmydaynow.com, calligraphybyjennifer.net and trendypics.net

Deep Lichen Green (Pantone 18-0312)

photos courtesy of weddingsonthefrenchriviera.com, oncewed.com, squidoo.com, etsy.com and lilduckduck.com

photos courtesy of weddingsonthefrenchriviera.com, oncewed.com, squidoo.com, etsy.com and lilduckduck.com

Vivacious (Pantone 19-2045)

photos courtesy of vibrantbride.com, blog.hwtm.com and  jobspapa.com

photos courtesy of vibrantbride.com, blog.hwtm.com and jobspapa.com

Turbulance (Pantone 19-4215)

photos courtesy of enjoyweddingnow.com, kandkdesigns.com, ruffledblog.com, tobeadored.com, zazzle.com and elizabethannedesigns.com

photos courtesy of enjoyweddingnow.com, kandkdesigns.com, ruffledblog.com, tobeadored.com, zazzle.com and elizabethannedesigns.com

Carafe (Pantone 19-1116)

photos courtesy of elizabethannedesigns.com, vintageweddingstyle.com.au and bisoubride.com

photos courtesy of elizabethannedesigns.com, vintageweddingstyle.com.au and bisoubride.com

 

Breathtaking Baby’s Breath for Weddings that WOW

courtesy of mermaidsweddingstuff.wordpress.com

courtesy of mermaidsweddingstuff.wordpress.com

Last May, I had the extreme fortune of attending a former co-worker and forever friend’s (wad up, Keah!) wedding.  Set amidst the rolling hills of Stoney Creek Farms in Noblesville, IN, the wedding was a picturesque scene of rustic charm and down on the farm fun.  After working with Keah for several years, there was no doubt in my mind that:

A) she’d make a devastatingly drop dead GORGEOUS bride, and
B) her wedding setting would be nothing short of amaze with a side of awesome-sauce.

And as suspected, I was correct on both accounts:

Evidential Support for A: 

photos courtesy of lindseykroemerphotography.com

photos courtesy of lindseykroemerphotography.com

Evidential Support for B:

photos courtesy of lindseykroemerphotography.com

photos courtesy of lindseykroemerphotography.com

See what I mean?  Beautiful bride.  Beautiful local.

One of the things that I think really stood out, which is almost paradoxical as the thing that did the standing almost did so through its subtlety (you heard me, haha!) – was all the baby’s breath details!  Baby’s breath – to me – is not a standout bloom.  I mean, let’s just call a spade, a spade here, people.  It’s not a rose or a ranunculus.  It doesn’t have the large bloom of the peony or the coloring of the hydrangea.  Quite the opposite, in fact.

Baby’s breath, by nature, is a colorless wisp, and yet, when you see all clustered together, it really has a dramatic effect.  And it’s one of those floral trends I continued to notice throughout the past year in weddings – both attended and researched.  And it’s not hard to see why…

Both simple and sweet, the delicate flower offers a softness that I would say is unmatched by most other contenders.  Baby’s breath provides a kind a whimsy, while still remaining charmingly rustic.  It’s also extremely versatile.  It looks just as good at a high end, over the top extravaganza as it does decorating the local of drive-in’s and barns.  Check out below and see what I mean :)

Baby’s Breath Bouquets.

photos courtesy of notesonawedding.com

photos courtesy of notesonawedding.com

Baby’s Breath Boutonnieres.

photos courtesy of somethingturquoise.com

photos courtesy of somethingturquoise.com

Baby’s Breath Pew Bows.

photos courtesy of perfectpairweddings.ca, pinterest.com, harveydesignsevents.wordpress.com, weddingbee.com and followpics.net

photos courtesy of perfectpairweddings.ca, pinterest.com, harveydesignsevents.wordpress.com, weddingbee.com and followpics.net

Baby’s Breath Centerpieces.

photos courtesy of inloveengaged.wordpress.com, luxefinds.com, weddingdiaryblog.com, victoriaangela.com, juliazavelifestyles.com and theeverylastdetail.com

photos courtesy of inloveengaged.wordpress.com, luxefinds.com, weddingdiaryblog.com, victoriaangela.com, juliazavelifestyles.com and theeverylastdetail.com

 

Swag Altar Style: Decorating Your Ceremony with Love (+ 6 Amazing Details)

Because it provides the soul purpose behind the big day, your wedding ceremony is now (and forever shall be) the most pivotal point of your entire wedding day. It’s the moment you finally get to say “I do” to your boo in front of all your closest family and friends; so, it’s important to have your personal style reflected in its epic significance. But how to do it? Here’s a list of the latest and greatest trends that chic couples everywhere are using to decorate their altars with their love:

Garlands. And I’m not just talking about your grandmama’s busted, green holiday garlands either!  I’m talking anything with #swag ;) Whether it’s lots of tiny strands of lights, feathers or paper cutouts sprinkled into the backdrop or full and quirky strings of pomanders that dazzle your ceremony settings, garlands can be done as big or small  been seen everywhere. Not to mention, the festive festoons make for as a great DIY project! Because it can be designed to complement any wedding, theme or color, garland truly is one of the most workable projects. White, honeycomb garlands look simple and elegant, silk petal garlands add a touch of natural beauty, and colorful pom strings give a sense of playfulness.

photos courtesy of LiaMiCasa via etsy.com, lovewedbliss.com, engagednowwhat.com, alowcountrywed.com, anthonybarlich.com and joystudiodesign.com

photos courtesy of LiaMiCasa via etsy.com, lovewedbliss.com, engagednowwhat.com, alowcountrywed.com, anthonybarlich.com and joystudiodesign.com

Branches. A popular option for outdoor or seaside nuptials, this rustic altar pays homage to the great outdoors. A close representation of beautifully washed-up tree branches, these structural beauties can be bare-boned branch simplicity or rustic fullness complete with twigs and leaves. Fashion into a simple arrangement or construct an entire canopy but be warned: this DIY may require the aid of a handy friend or carpenter.

photo courtesy of boards.weddingbee.com

Signs. As one of the newest trends to lend a hand, these altar ornaments tend to lean more toward the untraditional side of things. From smaller signs to bigger banners, this type of altar decorum is known to say anything from “L-O-V-E” to “Today Begins Our Happily Ever After”. Just make sure the words you choose truly reflect your personalities as a couple, and don’t be afraid to get creative.

courtesy of marilynskeepsakes.com

courtesy of marilynskeepsakes.com

Flowers. Floral arrangements are more customary as far as altar options go but still stunning, nonetheless. To make this altar accessory truly unique, fashion with the best of your garden desires: pears, ivy, flowers, birds, butterflies, palm fronds, etc.

courtesy of bellethemagazine.com, jubileeflowersfairhope.com, mimosaflowers.com and stpkaty.org

courtesy of bellethemagazine.com, jubileeflowersfairhope.com, mimosaflowers.com and stpkaty.org

Bamboo. Similar to the branch altar displays, bamboo beauts can have just as much rural appeal as they do beach time entanglement. Because of their sturdy – typically cleaner – construction, they also work incredibly for building altar archways. Embellish them with a seaside theme by adding seashell garlands, palm fronds, tropical flowers, streams of tulle, or simply leave as be for a more rustic touch.

photo courtesy of designsbyhemingway.com

Lanterns. Add to your wedding day glow by adorning your altar with floating lanterns. Essential for a nighttime ceremony, you can dangle these luminaries in an arc-shape, putting a romantically modern twist on the traditional alter arch.

photo courtesy of athome.kimvallee.com

Clean, Classic Invitations: Because Sometimes Trend Free is the Way to Be

courtesy of etsy.com via Kraft & White

courtesy of etsy.com via Kraft & White

I recently received the sweetest video Save-the-Date from my cousin (wad up, Zac!) and his future wifey (holler for a dollar, Chelsea!), which I absolutely la-Louvred it!  Not only did Z+C take time to create a video that was sentimental, sweet and humorous, but it also took all of their potential guests on a journey :)  It began with Zac, my amazeballs cousin who happens to be an EMT for the Indianapolis Fire Department, riding on the IFD truck on his way to propose, followed by their request for all of us to “Save the Date” and concluded with a random selection of lol-worthy “bloopers.”  Seriously, so so cute!

courtesy of facebook via Chelsea Witt

My cousin, Zac and Chelsea during their engagement session downtown Indy. (courtesy of facebook via Chelsea Witt)

^^^^^Like I said, so SO CUTE!^^^^^

And according to Mindy Weiss, one of the today’s most prominent and well to do wedding planners of America’s royalty, this is exactly what a future Mr. and Mrs. should do.  Weiss recently offered some advice to InStyle, stating, “If you are going to do a gimmick, do it in the save-the-date or website,” but alas, according to Weiss, this is where the gimmick train should end.

Because when it comes to the actual invitation, she suggests couples keep it clean and classic.  According to In Style, a couple’s invitation should be a classic beauty that [brides and grooms] will want to keep, frame and enjoy for all the years, cheers, anniversaries and new homes in the future.

It’s important to note, however, clean and simple does NOT {have to} mean boring!  I fear some brides may take this advice to extreme’s and think in order to create something clean and timeless, it has to be white on white and not stray to anything extraordinary, nor away from the ordinary.

To those brides, I would even more simply say, “Don’t be silly, silly!”  You can still incorporate some sense of whimsy and charm into your wedding day invitations, while adhering to the “classic” look.

For example, I’ve seen where brides and grooms will add a touch of lace or a pop of topography, maybe even a crisp element of design.  You could also consider creating an original monogram, crest or even a unique name play etc. and still provided something that will be frame-worthy and appealing through the years.

Try googling “clean” or “simple” or “classic wedding invitations” and take a gander at the images.  You’ll see, simple by no means has to be plain :)

*And for a full selection of DIY Invites, Inspiration & Ideas be sure to check us out and see where your creativity can take you!

8 Wedding Trends Brides Will *Fall* in Love With

photos courtesy of societybride.com

photos courtesy of societybride.com

As the summer wedding season comes to a close, we mourn the end of yet another ahhhh to the mazing run, while looking forward to the next best thing… (say it with me!)… Awesomely Autumnal Nuptials!  I absolutely LOAF fall weddings, and with October topping June for most frequented wedding month, it would appear everyone else has jumped on board too!  It’s just such a beautiful time of year :)

The humidity has finally eased off, the hair has frizzed down and the beautifully rich hues of ever-changing trees and trends start to take over.  With the world of weddings continually serving up great trends, this autumn is sure to be just as spectacular. Here are the hottest wedding trends wedding forecasters are predicting for the top of Fall’s Finest:

#1 Mixed Florals.  This category actually extends way beyond your typical bouquets of fresh blooms. Deep red roses, vibrantly orange calla lilies and golden sunflowers serve as fall favorites, but arrangements will incorporate the great outdoors, as well. Think rustic twigs with raffia, pomegranate succulents, fresh hay and the best crunchy hues fall leaves have to offer.

photos courtesy of onewed.com, elizabethannedesigns.com, mountainsidebride.com  and photosbyjennifer.com

photos courtesy of onewed.com, elizabethannedesigns.com, mountainsidebride.com and photosbyjennifer.com

#2 Mini Pies.  These tiny treats actually blew up this summer as homemade reception favorites.  But warm and “nummy!” pies couldn’t have a better place than in the crisp weather of fall.  Not to mention, anything that comes in miniature is that much cuter and delicious!

photos courtesy of weddingchicks.com

photos courtesy of weddingchicks.com

#3 Styled Aisles.  Whether your ceremony takes place outside amongst the trees, or takes cover from the cold inside, your aisle is the perfect platform for some fall style. Jazz it up with a seasonal aisle runner, and embellish with mini pumpkins, orange lanterns, and leaves in every color.

photos courtesy of brideorama.com, elegantweddinginvites.com, louisville.styleblueprint.com, ashleysbrideguide.com and thebrideandgroom.com

photos courtesy of brideorama.com, elegantweddinginvites.com, louisville.styleblueprint.com, ashleysbrideguide.com and thebrideandgroom.com

#4 Caramel Apple Bars.  As wedding desserts grow more and more nontraditional, take a cue from a fall time favorite: caramel apples. Set up a buffet where guests can coat their apples with all the creamy caramel and chopped nuts they can handle.

photos courtesy of mydiyweddingday.com, marilynskeepsakes.com and camillabinks.com

photos courtesy of mydiyweddingday.com, marilynskeepsakes.com and camillabinks.com

#5 Tiered Dresses.  A striking gown trend that is sure to be in full force for the fall is tiered wedding dresses. These gowns range from feminine to structured, and are sure to be as multidimensional as your autumn wedding.

courtesy of weddinginspirasi.com

courtesy of weddinginspirasi.com

#6 Autumn-liscious Favors.  Send your guests home with a sweet slice of autumn. Apple butter, candied apples, and jars of apple cider are the perfect favors to thank your guests and celebrate the season.

courtesy of wedshare.com

courtesy of wedshare.com

#7 Bridal Cardigans.  Another craze garnering much attention these days is the bridal cardigan.  Ideal as a perfect touch of 1950s vintage, these trendy little sweaters are the perfect protection from chilly nighttime breezes and are sure to keep the bride rocking out the reception in style.

photos courtesy of loveandlavender.com and savannahsmiled.com

photos courtesy of loveandlavender.com and savannahsmiled.com

#8 Photo Booths.  Photo Booth mania hit a high this year and is no stranger to most bride-to-be’s. But when you get a backdrop exclusively designed for fall time weddings, you’re sure to have scored a fun reception accessory that most haven’t seen yet. Throw in a few Halloween costumes and let the good times roll.

photos courtesy of greenweddingshoes.com

photos courtesy of greenweddingshoes.com

And for a list of all our Favorite Fall Time Wedding Accessories, check us out at marilynskeepsakes.com.

Dreaming of a Destination Wedding?: You Name the Price, They Do the Work

Because who wouldn't want this has their backdrop? (courtesy of truephotography.com)

Because who wouldn’t want this has their backdrop? (courtesy of truephotography.com)

Brides looking to do destination weddings on a budget have one more reason to cheer… for Paradise Maui Weddings is here!  Recently, a girlfriend went through this very same site to book her nautical nuptials , I couldn’t be happier with how smoothly everything has gone.  And while her actual day – October 12, 2013 – has yet to arrive, all the prep work has been a dream!

“So far, so good.  Everyone I’ve worked with has been super friendly, and super helpful.  I like the whole ‘name your own price tool.’  It always reminds me of Flo from Priceline… and I’ve always liked her, haha!” (Abby, Indianapolis, IN)

All joking aside, however, Paradise Maui Weddings is the self-proclaimed, very first “name your own price” wedding company that is looking to create a once in a lifetime experience for all of their once in a lifetime brides.

With wedding packages starting as low as $400 and ranging to as high as your budget will allow, there’s really no limit to what you can do with your destination wedding besides the ones set by yourselves.  Their packages include everything from in room hair and makeup professionals, authentic Hawaiian floral bouquet and lei arrangements, professionally edited photos and videos, as well as limousine services, pre-wedding planning, in-cred-i-ble ceremony locations and on-site assistance.

Seems pretty much perfect, right?  It’s no wonder this type of event planning is more appropriate than ever!  Even though our country may still be in a recessed state, destination weddings have continued to remain on the rise the past few years.  While most couples think of destination weddings as an expensive splurge, it’s not always the case.

In fact, brides and grooms doing the destination scene more often than not report they actually save on overseas excursions!  Because both the guest list, as well as the bottom line details are often cut for destination weddings, the final pricing can be significantly lower than the more traditional, hometown honey “do’s.”  And according to “not-from-around-here” newlyweds it’s easier and more fiscally responsible to travel for nuptials than to stay at home and throw a big friends and family bash.

You know what?  I’ll take their word on it, because Maui seems like a more than ahhhmazing place to set your wedding scene!  So, if any of my beautimous brides-to-be out there are planning on diving head first into one of these destination dreams, don’t forget where you got the idea… and feel free to send said inspiration station an invite!  I love Maui!  Haha :)

And don’t forget, here at Marilyn’s Keepsakes, we have all the perfect Beach & Destination Wedding Finishing Touches to really make your day a dream come true!