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

 

The After, After Party: Because Reception Halls Might Shut Down, but the Party Doesn’t Have To

courtesy of tumblr.com

courtesy of tumblr.com

#wecantstop #wewontstop

Well, at least that seems to be the M.O. when it comes to a modern day wedding celebration.  Because these days, most matrimonial milestones are all about the After Party – duh!

Trending toward the wedding world for several years, the formality of wedding after parties is more than likely the genetic offspring of their previous, less formal counterparts.  And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, please let me reassure you… you do.  In fact, you’ve probably been a part of one yourself!

Because be it the low hum from one or the loud roar of several, there always seems to be a stable group of guests that long to keep the party going well after the curtain closes on the reception.  This is most often times represented by the incessant, borderline frenzied streak of “Hey!  Where are you going!!?!” questioning.

Several months back, I attended a wedding in Chicago – shout out to the Groesbecks, whoop whoop!…

Mr. + Mrs. Groesbeck - cutest! (courtesy of Taylor Groesbeck)

Mr. + Mrs. Groesbeck – cutest! (courtesy of Taylor Groesbeck)

- and I have to take my hat off to them both. The day was absolutely GOOORRRRGEOUS and to date, contained the best wedding speeches and toasts I’ve ever heard – excluding my own of course, but that could be me just being partial :)  But alas, I should’ve known their day would be epic when I received their invitation in the mail, containing detailed instructions for the  following 3 wedding ingredients:

  1. The Ceremony
  2. The Reception, and (drum roll, please)…
  3. The After Party!

That’s right, y’all: a formal invite to a party after the party! Um, can you say LOVE?!  Alex and Tay (aka. the Groesbecks) did such an amazing job making their wedding day an event for everyone.  It was clear from the start that this wasn’t just a day for them, but for all their friends and family; which after being fortunate enough to be included in that list, I can honestly say I felt honored to be included… and mostly because they made it their honor include everyone.

The G-becks truly relished in the excitement of having all their friends and family – many of who traveled from out of town – in one place celebrating; so, it was obvious they wanted to make the most of it.  Because when you think about it, how often do we get bogged down by conflicting schedules, growing (or declining) careers, doctor’s appointments, ballet recitals, play rehearsals, sport’s team practices or “I gotta go here’s” and “Can’t make it there’s??”   My guess is pretty often, which makes it even harder to gather and rally the troops whenever the mood strikes us and even better when we can.

Then, it dawned on me (ding!); of all the weddings I’ve been to – and there’s been a few ;) - this was the first one I’d ever attended where the invite included a formal declaration of where everyone could go when the DJ’s done spinning and the caterer’s done serving!

Which is fitting, considering the majority of receptions I’ve rocked, there’s always a good amount (if not the whole kit ‘n’ kaboodle) of guests who aren’t quite ready to pack up and head home at 11.  In fact, I can think of several off top where the night ended with a frantic shuffle in the parking lot of people getting in and jumping out of cars, trying hard to conjure makeshift plans through broken texts and interrupted phone calls, all to (fingers crossed) end up in the same spot.  I’m sure some of you reading this right now have been a part of such shuffles yourselves.

After parties by no means are essential, but they sure can be fun!  Because let’s face it, the terminology “let’s dance the last dance” doesn’t always apply to everyone, and sometimes, it’s really nice to have an encore :)

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

 

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

Honeymoon Hotness: 7 Budget Friendly, Wardrobe Must Haves for Every Bride

courtesy of bridalmusings.com

courtesy of bridalmusings.com

As a stunning and smart bride to be, I can almost guarantee that you are as prepared as you are polished.  You’ve – no doubt – booked your makeup artist months in advance.  You’ve bought, fit and lavished in your wonderful and drop dead DIVA gown. You’ve sat in your hairdresser’s chair about five different times just to get the wedding day ‘do down to a T.  Even your STUNNA shoes are more than likely quietly nestled in the designer box in your closet…  For serious, you’re a genius.

But with all these wedding day details in line; something is surely to fall by the wayside.  One such area for many brides is often time (dun, dun, dun!) the Honey*swoon!

Obvs, the next natural step after being a bridal beauty is morphing into a honeymoon hottie!  But if this is something that has slipped your mind, have no fear, my dears!   I’m here to give 7 go-to items that will easily turn budgeting brides into vacay vixens!

1. Chic + Sleek Romper.  These beauties have been one of the hottest trends for the past few years.  Providing a chicer take on the one-piece revival, these mini rompers act as a dress/shorts combo that lets the body breathe in scorching temps.  And the best part?  It’s already a complete outfit… giving you a seriously stylish two-for-one dealio… and more moolah to accessorize!  Duh!

courtesy fashiono.my

courtesy fashiono.my

2. Straw Fedora.  As you’ve undoubtedly booked the most luxurious hot spot you could afford, why not accessorize just as lavishly?  Not only will this celebrity favorite keep you shaded, cool and protected, but it will also have you looking impossibly chic.  And if you think this style comes with a celeb price tag, think again, my little chick-a-dees.  One of these beauties fetches for about $13 at Target!

courtesy of blogs.chicagoshopping.com

courtesy of blogs.chicagoshopping.com

3. Retro Sunglasses.  From aviators to cat eyes and fluorescent shades in between, sunglasses are all about blasting to the past!  And when you’re honey-swooning, it’s important to keep the pestering paparazzi off your back… or at the very least, have some fun pretending!  Not too mention, sunglasses are a dime a dozen and cost about just as much; so, if the ocean ends up taking them, you’ll be able to keep your moody blues at bay :)

courtesy of shadesdaddyblog.com

courtesy of shadesdaddyblog.com

4. Boyfriend Blazer.  Hellllllooo!  Not only is this tailored look all the rage right now - following in the fashionable footsteps of its kin, the boyfriend jeans and the boyfriend tee -, but your new hubby probably already has one.  Just raid his closet, throw it on over a cute dress, a one piece romper or even jeans and a men’s daily tee and voila!  You have an instantly adorable boyfriend – I mean hubby! – blazer :)

courtesy of littlehopeep.com

courtesy of littlehopeep.com

5. All White Outfits.  I know some brides might be a little sentimental at the thought of wearing all white again especially right after their big day, but trust&believe me this trend is SO in!  Slip on some hot pants (what else was that bridal bootcamp for?), a wife beater, and a ridiculous amount of gold jewelry and you’ll be the hotter than the white sand beach you’re struttin’ on, sassy pants ;)

courtesy of satisfashion.org

courtesy of satisfashion.org

6.  Flip Flops.  After dancing your wedding night away in some absolutely fabulous, blister-instigating heels, your feet are going to need a serious break. Which is why some good old classic flip flops are an absolute MUST for the honey*swoon. Slip these bad boys on and it’s like you’re walking on a cloud of heavenly relief.  And if you’re a girl who needs a little more sparkle, Marilyn’s Keepsakes has some fabulous rhinestone-studded flops that you can personalize for a truly fabulous touch.  You gotta love us :)

courtesy of fabsugar.com

courtesy of fabsugar.com

7. Sunscreen.  Don’t be a silly sunner!  Keep yourself and your beautiful skin protected.  I promise, you can still return with that fabulous honeymoon / newlywed glow — without completely damaging your most viewable asset :)

courtesy of olehenriksen.com

courtesy of olehenriksen.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.

2013 Trend Alert: Bring on the Bridal Gown Bling

courtesy of jlmcouture.com

courtesy of jlmcouture.com

With the warm weather days of summer coming to a close (boo!), and the crisp chilled nights of fall right around the corner (yay!), brides are turning towards the bling, in order to turn up the heat on their wedding day… and I gotta admit, I love love loves it!

But I suppose I should state for the record that – in all reality – you’d be hard pressed to find a wedding dress trend that I couldn’t get behind.  I mean, really?  They’re wedding dresses!  How can you not love them?  Sometimes, I find myself just wanting to pretend to be engaged again; so, I can have an excuse to go into a store and just try on and twirl around until my heart’s content… I’d have to go by myself though – OBVI.  Some guilty pleasures are simply too shameful to share with others, haha!

And yet, I digress, as my embarrassing confessions are not what this post is all about.  In fact, it is about the **Bridal Bling** making its way into the forefront of fall and winter wedding fashion!  From famed designers like Vera Wang, Lazaro, Reem Acra, Alvina Valenta and Monique Lhuillier the wedding world is getting its fill of gowns that are all about the dream dazzle!

It doesn’t matter if it’s sequins, rhinestones, crystals, glass beads and the like spread from head to toe or simply concentrated in one spot… fall and winter brides are guaranteed to sparkle this season, and if you don’t believe me, all you have to do is a take a gander at some of the standouts I’ve selected below and join me on the dazzle train :)

from the Haley Paige 2013 Fall Collection.

courtesy of jlmcouture.com

courtesy of jlmcouture.com

from the Monique Lhuillier 2013 Fall Collection.

courtesy of moniquelhuillier.com

courtesy of moniquelhuillier.com

from the Jim Hjelm 2013 Fall Collection.

courtesy of jlmcouture.com

courtesy of jlmcouture.com

from the Reem Acra 2014 Spring Collection.

courtesy of reemacra.com

courtesy of reemacra.com

from the Sophia Tolli 2013 Fall Collection.

courtesy of sophiatolli.com

courtesy of sophiatolli.com

from the Tara Keely 2013 Fall Collection.

courtesy of jlmcouture.com

courtesy of jlmcouture.com

from the Vera Wang 2013 Fall Collection.

courtesy of verawang.com

courtesy of verawang.com

from the Alvina Valenta 2013 Fall Collection.

courtesy of jlmcouture.com

courtesy of jlmcouture.com

But nobody – and I mean NOBODY – does the bridal bling quite like one of my FAVE haute couture dress designers, Lazaro.  Check out some of their drop dead gggoooorrrrgeous dresses… from the Lazaro 2013 Fall Collection.

Dream.

courtesy of jlmcouture.com

courtesy of jlmcouture.com

Delight.

courtesy of jlmcouture.com

courtesy of jlmcouture.com

Sizzle.

courtesy of jlmcouture.com

courtesy of jlmcouture.com

Sparkle.

courtesy of jlmcouture.com

courtesy of jlmcouture.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!