Spring Wedding Dreams: 6 Tips for the Perfect Backyard Wedding

courtesy of layersoflovelyblog.com/

courtesy of layersoflovelyblog.com/

Spring is LITERALLY right around the corner, and as someone who spent the last several months buried under Indiana snow and ice, can I just say…

Okay, now that that’s out of the way :)

And nothing makes me more excited for spring than the thought of all the grooming, gardening and blossoming that comes along with it!  Add on to that the charm of a backyard wedding, and you might as well put me in hog heaven!!

For cereal, this year, I’ll be attending and a part of (yep, two more bridesmaid dresses added to the collection!) a half dozen wedding day nuptials, and the best part?  Over half are outdoors!!  Love. Love. Love.

Knowing that so many brides and grooms are opting for the outdoors, I gathered 7 of the best tips to ensure your in-the-elements nuptials go as smoothly as possible.

1 | Solar Powered Chandeliers. Okay, how to words??  This idea is so awesome; I’m literally rendered speechless! Not only do the chandeliers provide something spectacular to look at during the daylight, but as the sun sets, they’ll powered up to provide all kinds of luminescent pretty!

courtesy of glitterinc.com

courtesy of glitterinc.com

2 | Glow Baby Glow. Flying off the coattails of the theme above, another great way to get that glow is by painting pots with glow in the dark paint!  Available in a variety of colors, these unique additions really come to life after being fueled by the sun all day… creating an unmatched ambiance :)

courtesy of dornob.com

courtesy of dornob.com

3 | Diaper Dandy Hanging Plants.  Sooo, a little less glamorous than its above counterparts, but brilliant nonetheless!  Every wonder how to keep your potted plants swinging without risking dirty water drippage?  Um, hellllooo?!?!  Simply add a diaper to the bottom above the original base, and viola! Mess free success!

courtesy of ladybirdln.com

courtesy of ladybirdln.com

4 | Vase Valence for Fences. Both economical AND beautiful, this budget friendly bloom is great for a DIY bride to go nuts on!  Between the shapes, sizes and colors of glass bottles and the floral friends that will be accompanying them, the options are practically limitless!  And when you knot them along a fence, the look is nothing short of stunning!

courtesy of thefarmersnest.com

courtesy of thefarmersnest.com

**Extra Tip** No fence?  That’s fine!  The bottles can also be hung from tree branches, posts or whatever!  Get creative :)

5 | Further Fence Fashion w/ Mirrors. Absolutely – hands down – adore this!  Talk about getting more bang for your buck! Using framed or hung mirrors through your setting will immediately create the illusion of more space and grandeur!  Not to mention, it can also be a cheap and fun DIY project :)

courtesy of notjustahousewife.net

courtesy of notjustahousewife.net

6 | Bring the Indoors, Outdoors.  Love love love the use of indoor furniture outdoors.  There’s just something fun and whimsical about an oversized couch or lounge furniture decorating a backyard that just makes me happy :)

courtesy of theardentsparrow.blogspot.com

courtesy of theardentsparrow.blogspot.com

Agree or Disagree: Problems Only Bridesmaids Will Understand

courtesy of blog.quickflix.com.au

courtesy of blog.quickflix.com.au

For the majority of females, between the ages of 20-35, you have more than likely experienced THEE experience of being a bridesmaid.  Being 30 myself, I’ve been in my fair share, and as such, have seen first hand how things can sometimes not go according to plan.

Recently, one of the most ridiculous (and one of my favorite) websites ever, buzzfeed.com, came out with an article highlighting what they saw as problems only bridesmaids would understand.  While some of them were definitely outrageous and were meant more to insight humor, rather than factual information… I couldn’t help but find myself nodding along in agreement to several of them.

Below is some of the more pertinent, universal problems, I believe bridesmaids will experience at least once during their service in a wedding party.

1. Money. Money. Money. Money. (pause) MONEY!  I’ve been in enough weddings to know that being a bridesmaid quickly takes a toll on your disposable income.  Sure, it may not seem so bad because the expenses are spread out over the course of several months. But one look at the chart below, and there’s no denying you’ll be spending a pretty penny.

courtesy of memorablegifts.com

courtesy of memorablegifts.com

2. Your Social Media + Social Calendar will be Taken Over. From Pinterest and Facebook to Instagram and SnapChats, ladies, it’s time to prepare yourselves for the bridal invasion.  Of course, all these social media networks will only further remind you of your social calendar events

3. Uncomfortable Shoes, Unflattering Dress.  Of course, famously or infamously, most brides will lay claim to the ever present mantra of, “And they’re so great, you can wear them again!”  {insert eye roll here}  Granted, bridesmaids’ dresses have come a long way since our mama’s days, but… I’m gonna be real honest with you, 9 times out of 10, you still will never re-wear any part of it.  You just won’t.  But find comfort in the fact that no one else will either :)

courtesy of someecards.com

courtesy of someecards.com

4. Drunk, Over-Emotional Bridesmaids.  You know there will be at least one in every crowd.

courtesy of lovelyprettycheerythings.blogspot.com

courtesy of lovelyprettycheerythings.blogspot.com

5. Drunk, Under-Rational Groomsmen. Yep, they’re even worse.

courtesy of scottandtemphotography.com

courtesy of scottandtemphotography.com

Not to mention, keeping feuding family members at bay, helping the bride go to the restroom, dealing with the inevitable bridal hierarchy, etc.  Being a bridesmaid can be a lot of work, but let’s be real, at the end of the day, we’re all still honored to be asked… and celebrate a girl who loves us enough to have us there in the first place :)

courtesy of blog.shootq.com

courtesy of blog.shootq.com

For more issues like these and buzzfeed.com’s full list, click here.

7 Super Fun, Super Unique Wedding Ideas

courtesy of lixximphotography.com

courtesy of lixximphotography.com

Every bride wants to have a day that is one for the memory books – both rightfully and deservedly so!  Therefore, when planning your wedding day, one of the best pieces of advice to follow is deeply embedded into the wise words shown below:

People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel.

Same is true for your wedding day.  Very few people will remember what they ate, what you wore or how the tables were decorated, but they will most definitely remember if they had a good time!  In order to make your wedding day as fun as possible, try incorporating some of the below suggestions into your party planning to maximize the amusement!

1.  Serve Signature Drinks and / or Brews.  Whether your create an original concoction or simply provide your favorite beer, wine or spirit, it’s always fun to offer your preferred beverage to your guests.  **For the budget savvy, this is also a great way to cut the open bar budget without cutting it out entirely.  Below are the cards I made for my brother’s wedding this past October.

courtesy of me :)

courtesy of me :)

courtesy of me :)

courtesy of me :)

2.  Create Mixed Tape Wedding Favors, a Treat for the Eyes (AND) the Ears.  In lieu of the more traditional wedding favors, burn CD’s of your favorite and / or wedding songs that will accompany each guest home.  Every time they pop it in, they’ll be transported back to pop-lock-n-droppin on your big day!

courtesy of weheartit.com

courtesy of weheartit.com

3.  Have a (Pre)Wedding Party Field Day.  While some bridal parties may all know each other, the chances of that happening are very slight.  Because most are made up of a mix of friends during all points of your lives, it’d be nice for them to have an opportunity to hang prior to the wedding.  So, why not invite all your bridesmaids and groomsmen out for a field day of fun, games, mixing and mingling?  It’s like old school enjoyment at its finest!

courtesy of foxxfoe.blogspot.com

courtesy of foxxfoe.blogspot.com

4.  Glorify Your Dance Floor with Glitter.  Pending on where your reception is, often times, the venues will offer certain “flair fillers” to really make your reception unique to you.  I recently attended a wedding where they did it, and it was absolutely divine!  Think Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, except with less intimidating figures ;)

courtesy of Victoria's secret via justjared.com

courtesy of Victoria’s secret via justjared.com

5.  Provide Some Room on the RSVP for a Song Choice.  I absolutely la-Louvre when brides and grooms do this!  I helped my cousin (wad up, Kimmi!) plan her big day, and we were DYING over some of the right-in suggestions.  Everything from ridiculous Alma Mater fight songs to ones that we had all but forgotten – very awesome!

courtesy of capitolromance.com

courtesy of capitolromance.com

6.  Incorporate your Baby Pictures with Table Numbers.  Remember your awkward years appropriately.  For each table, provide an image of you and yours that corresponds with the correct number.  For example, at table one, put each pick o photo from when you were one to help provide decorum.  If for nothing else, they provide great conversation pieces!

courtesy of pinterest.com

courtesy of pinterest.com

7.  Make ‘em Say Cheese.  And you can never go wrong with a well-equipped photo booth!  Whether providing a machine or a photographer run ensemble, providing a photobooth gives you instant memories you’ll easily laugh at for years!

courtesy of cakechooser.com

courtesy of cakechooser.com

Bridal Buzz: 6 Simple Tips to Make Wedding Planning Easier

courtesy of Lazaro via jlmcouture.com

courtesy of Lazaro via jlmcouture.com

Give yourself a break, ladies!  Wedding planning can be rough, and the more you stress, the rougher it can get.  And the rougher “it” gets, the rougher you’ll get… and I can’t be having any of my bridal beauty queens looking or feeling anything but FAB(to the)ULOUS on their wedding day!!

So, here are 7 Tips & Tricks (you might not have thought of) to make your planning all the easier on you!

1 |  Create a new email account specifically for wedding planning.  If you’re anything like me, you probably already have more than one email address.  One for work.  One for play.  One for Junk, and one for “I’m not sure what I was thinking and / or am embarrassed that I bought from there” emails.  Yep, guilty :)  So, by creating a fresh new account, you’ll keep everything in one place and – more importantly – away from any other distraction!

courtesy of google.com

courtesy of google.com

2 |  Use a personalized return address stamp.  And save LOADS of time on addressing all the invites and thank you cards you’ll need to send.  Trust(&)Believe, when I say this is a HUGE time saver!  Plus, with all the designs out there to choose from, it’ll even add cool, custom look to whatever you’re mailing.  Win / Win!

courtesy of Studio255 via etsy.com

courtesy of Studio255 via etsy.com

3 |  Number your RSVP Cards.  That way, each number will correspond to a particular invite, and you’ll easily be able to decipher illegible names or who has yet to get back to you at all.  In a perfect, this wouldn’t be needed, but let’s be real, we all people who will drop the ball  - mayhaps even some of us have been guilty a time or two :) – and this just makes it easy.

courtesy of lavastationery.com.au

courtesy of lavastationery.com.au

4 |  Break in your bridal shoes.  I’d like to think this one goes without saying, but as every bride might not be the I-have-two-closets-one-for-my-clothes-and-one-for-my-shoes type, it’s vital to stress just how IMPORTANT it is for your shoes to be properly broken in.  Wear them while doing laundry or watching a movie.  Put them on while vacuuming or simply lounging around… just make sure to put them on and break them in!

courtesy of elegantweddingconcept.com

courtesy of elegantweddingconcept.com

5 |  Create a list contacts for vendors to call on your wedding day.  Let’s be real, you need to be worried about gettin’ your hur and makeup did and lookin’ Beyonce level *F*L*A*W*L*E*S*S*  No need for you to deal with last minute questions; so, create a list of people you trust to handle certain situations, and let them handle it.  Even if they have to come to you for verification, at least you’ll remain hands-free :)

courtesy of PaintTheDayDesigns via etsy.com

courtesy of PaintTheDayDesigns via etsy.com

6 |  Use Postcards for Thank You’s.  And cut out the middle man of the envelop altogether.  No more sticky sealing or additional postage; just a crisp, clean alternative to a newlywed’s must do list.  Use a picture from your wedding to create something even more sentimental… not to mention adorably distracting!  People are less likely to notice if you got writer’s cramp at 2am and had to write a little less ;)

courtesy of nostalgicimprints.com

courtesy of nostalgicimprints.com

Grown Up Advice from Not So Grown Up Kids

courtesy of weddingringpillows.org

I love kids for a number of reasons. 

  1. They’re fearless.  They haven’t lived long enough to know true heartbreak or ache, making them far braver than any adult counterpart. 
  2. (An extension of one) They love recklessly and unconditionally.  They’re pure spirits, yet untainted by the worries and stress most people know all too well.
  3. They’re hilarious.  Dead sere, no one makes me laugh like my 3 year old nephew and 2 year old niece. In a word, they’re riotous.
  4. But most importantly, they’re honest.  While they learn the difference between what is right and wrong, they still have the innate ability to give responses that both refresh and revive the soul.

And when you combine points 3 and 4, you generally have some severely comical moments.  I recently received an email forward from my crazy Aunt Julie – holla AJ! – and I thought I would share it all with you.  So, so funny!

1. HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHO TO MARRY?  

You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and be sure to keep the chips and dip coming. – Alan, age 10  

-No person really decides before they grow up who they’re going to marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who you’re stuck with. – Mary, age 10 

2.  WHAT IS THE RIGHT AGE TO GET MARRIED?

-Twenty-three is the best age because you’re old and practically known the person FOREVER by then. – Camille, age 10

-Once I’m done with kindergarten, I’m gonna find me a wife. – Bert, age 6 (Who says only older men want to commit?) 

-No age is good enough to get married.  You gotta be a fool to get married. – Isaiah, age 6 (He must not know Bert.) 

3. HOW CAN A STRANGER TELL IF TWO PEOPLE ARE MARRIED?

-You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids. – Derrick, age 8 (Brilliant!)
 4.  WHAT DO YOU THINK YOUR MOM AND DAD HAVE IN COMMON?  

-Both don’t want any more kids.  — Lori, age 8

5. WHAT DO MOST PEOPLE DO ON A DATE?  

-Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough. – Olivia, age 8 

-On the first date, they just tell each other lies and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date. – Martin, age 10 (Seems logical enough – hehe)

6.  WHEN IS IT OKAY TO KISS SOMEONE?  

-When they’re rich. – Lucy, age 7 (Pam’s my favorite so far – haha!)

 -The law says you have to be eighteen, so I wouldn’t want to mess with that. – Curt, age 7

-The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry them and have kids with them. It’s the right thing to do. – Howard, age 8 (And who said chivalry was dead?  Look at Howie here… so incredibly noble!)

7. IS IT BETTER TO BE SINGLE OR MARRIED?  

-It’s better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them. – Anita, age 9 (bless you child )

8. HOW WOULD THE WORLD BE DIFFERENT IF PEOPLE DIDN’T GET MARRIED?  

-There sure would be a lot of kids to explain, wouldn’t there? – Kelvin, age 8 (Sooo cute!) 

But the best answer by FAR…

9. HOW WOULD YOU MAKE A MARRIAGE WORK?

-Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a dump truck. – Oscar, age 7 (Haha!  Amazeballs!)

Out of the Mouths of Babes: Marriage Advice from Kids Who Know

Sweetest-Flower-Girl-Ever

My Adorable Flower Girl, Princess Sophia, trying on dresses at David's Bridal

I love kids for a number of reasons.  They’re fearless, at least braver than any adult I’ve ever met.  They love recklessly and unconditionally.  They’re pure, untainted by the worries and stress most people know all too well, but most importantly, they’re honest.  While they learn the difference between what is right and wrong, they still have the innate ability to give responses that both refresh and revive the soul.

I received an email forward from my girlfriend, Anna – holla Anna Banana! – and I thought I would share it all with you.  ‘Cause Lord knows, with my wedding two weeks away, I need all the advice I can get, especially some as good as this… 

1. HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHO TO MARRY?  

You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and be sure to keep the chips and dip coming. – Alan, age 10  

-No person really decides before they grow up who they’re going to marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who you’re stuck with. – Kristen, age 10 

2.  WHAT IS THE RIGHT AGE TO GET MARRIED?

-Twenty-three is the best age because you know the person FOREVER by then. – Camille, age 10  

3. HOW CAN A STRANGER TELL IF 2 PEOPLE ARE MARRIED?

-You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids. – Derrick, age 8  (Brilliant!)
 4.  WHAT DO YOU THINK YOUR MOM AND DAD HAVE IN COMMON?  

-Both don’t want any more kids.  — Lori, age 8

5. WHAT DO MOST PEOPLE DO ON A DATE?  

-Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough. – Lynnette, age 8 

-On the first date, they just tell each other lies and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date. – Martin, age 10 (Seems logical enough – hehe)

6.  WHEN IS IT OKAY TO KISS SOMEONE?  

-When they’re rich. – Pam, age 7 (Pam’s my favorite so far – haha!)

 -The law says you have to be eighteen, so I wouldn’t want to mess with that. – Curt, age 7

-The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry them and have kids with them. It’s the right thing to do. – Howard, age 8 (And who said chivalry was dead?  Look at Howie here… so incredibly noble!)

7. IS IT BETTER TO BE SINGLE OR MARRIED?  

-It’s better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them. – Anita, age 9 (bless you child )

8. HOW WOULD THE WORLD BE DIFFERENT IF PEOPLE DIDN’T GET MARRIED?  

-There sure would be a lot of kids to explain, wouldn’t there? – Kelvin, age 8 (Sooo cute!) 

But the best answer by FAR…

9. HOW WOULD YOU MAKE A MARRIAGE WORK?

-Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a dump truck . – Ricky , age 10 (Haha!  What a sweet thing to do!)