6 Tips for choosing a wedding cake

6 Tips for choosing a wedding cake

Pick the perfect cake with these hintsChoose a reputable bakeryPick the perfect cake with these hints

“Brides-to-be should absolutely begin their research online. Visit general wedding sites to obtain real customer feedback from other couples. Then visit the bakery’s website to view images of their work. If the photos aren’t up-to-date, their work isn’t either. You want to work with a bakery with positive feedback from married couples and a wide range of cake offerings.”

“Next, you should visit the bakery in person and meet with the staff. It’s important to walk out of the bakery with an image of the cake — either drawn or rendered via computer — so that there aren’t any surprises. If you don’t feel comfortable with the bakery staff, you won’t be happy with your cake. Most cake specialists have a dedicated staffer and a separate area in which to sit down and review wedding cake design. If the sales associate rushes you or fails to answer basic questions, you should consider going somewhere else.”

Pick the perfect cake with these hintsGive yourself adequate time to pick

10 Steps to Finding a Great Wedding Photographer

10 Steps to Finding a Great Wedding Photographer

Photographer taking photo of bride and groom at reception

Unlike the work of your other wedding vendors (music, flower arrangements, cake), photographs aren’t things you can hear, smell, taste or even see at first—you don’t really know what you’re getting until after the fact. That means careful research and selectiveness regarding professional skills, artistic style and personal demeanor are extra-important when choosing your photographer.

Step 1: Settle on a Style

Before you begin researching photographers, you’ll need to first decide what type of photography style you prefer, as that will help determine which kind of photographer you’ll want shooting your wedding. Do any of the following appeal to you?

Documentary: Instead of a series of posed photos, these are candid or spontaneous pictures (read: not styled) of people, decor and the action. Typical shots might include the lavish raw bar before guests start digging in, your motley crew of cousins dancing, or you and your bridesmaids laughing, champagne in hand. With a purely photojournalistic photographer, you’ll very rarely see people staring at the camera—the photos capture the moments exactly as they happened, and together they tell a story.

Portraiture: If you prefer classic portraits (think: your parents’

11 Ways to Pick the Perfect Wedding Bands

11 Ways to Pick the Perfect Wedding Bands

Silver and gold engagement rings and engraved bands

1. Narrow Down Your Choices

Since this is one of the few pieces—if not the only piece—of jewelry you’ll shop for together and wear every day, it’s smart to make some preliminary choices before you even hit the stores. Do you want your band to be the same metal as your engagement ring? Does he want his to match the metal on his watch? Are you interested in something simple, over-the-top or unique? Would you like your bands to include diamonds or gemstones? Do you want them to match one another? Work out these kind of questions beforehand so you can zero in on exactly what you’re looking for before you start shopping.

2. Consider Buying Your Ring and Your Bands Together

If you prefer to be surprised by the engagement ring, or you already have it on your finger, this may not work, but knowing what bands go with the engagement ring can help you make a decision. For example, a unique engagement ring (like a pear-shaped diamond) calls for a simple, no-fuss band, whereas a classic solitaire goes great with the added sparkle of a diamond pave band.

The best hotels to stay in 2016

The best hotels to stay in 2016

 

Choosing the right hotel may be quite a difficult task because of how many choices are available to us. We have compiled a list of hotels located in the United States that offer the travelers a combination of excellent customer service, gorgeous interiors, and the best deals:

  • Waldorf Astoria – Chicago, IL

Friendly staff and sophisticated interior have earned a great reputation for Waldorf Astoria hotel located in Chicago. Additional features include a spa center, a restaurant, and an indoor pool that will definitely make your stay much more memorable.

  • The Peninsula – Beverly Hills, CA

If you decide on visiting Los Angeles and have the most incredible vacation, this Beverly Hills hotel will not let you down. The helpful staff of the hotel will ensure that you get everything your heart desires. A stunning rooftop pool, exquisite restaurant, and spa will make you want to return over and over again.

  • Francis Marion Hotel – Charleston, SC

This spectacular hotel is just what you need to have an unforgettable time while visiting Charleston. Located close to the airport and a number of galleries and museums, frances marion charleston hotel is a perfect destination for those travelers that want to explore the city in the

Tips and Tricks for Your Big Day

Tips and Tricks for Your Big Day

If you’ve already begun the planning process for your wedding, it’s safe to say that you’re now in wedding mode. Everything reminds you of that day, your dress, your guests, the venue, etc. And maybe you’re pretty organized (good move); you’re trying your hardest to plan one thing at a time, making sure no option goes unexplored and leaving no detail left to chance.

Even though you see yourself as a vision of wedding-planning perfection, there’s still a tinge (or an overflow) of stress coming from “the unknown”. What is the unknown, you ask? It’s the collection of things you’re stressed out about, but you really aren’t sure what they are yet. The stress is coming from thoughts like, “What if something goes wrong?” “Am I prepared for this?” “Am I ready for that?” and “What if this, that AND the next thing happens?”

Yes, these thoughts will inevitably rise from time to time, especially as you masochistically dig deep into the infinite archives of wedding horror stories available to you online. That’s where we say to you: Keep calm, plan on… and read this blog post.

To help alleviate some of the stress from the unknown, we’ve compiled a list of 13

21 Clever Tricks To Make Any Wedding So Much Easier

21 Clever Tricks To Make Any Wedding So Much Easier

1. Number your RSVP cards so each one corresponds to a guest.

2. Make a new email account specifically for wedding planning.

3. Check out Recycle Your Wedding to buy secondhand wedding items for much cheaper.

4. Seal a bunch of envelopes with water and a foam brush.

5. Or use thank-you postcards to cut out the envelope entirely.

6. Use a personalized return address stamp (or stickers) to save tons of time.

7. Wedding/bridal shows offer tons of free giveaways and access to vendors.

8. Figure out your seating chart with color-coordinated sticky notes.

9. Register someplace that lets you exchange duplicates or unwanted gifts for cash.

10. When you’re unwrapping gifts, ask someone else to write down givers’ names on sticky labels so you can keep track.

11. If you’re invited to a wedding, set the date as a recurring calendar alert in your phone.

12. Have activity books on hand to entertain squirmy kids.

13. Attach tiny weights to the bridesmaids’ hems to keep their dresses from flying up on a windy day.

14. And use veil weights to keep the bride’s headpiece from flying away.

15. If there’s a chance it could be hot during the ceremony, make or buy programs that double as fans.

16. A little baby powder on

Top 10 Destination Wedding Ideas & Tips

Top 10 Destination Wedding Ideas & Tips

1. Consult an Expert

Find a Destination Wedding Specialist who can help walk you through the process and explain the ins and outs of a Destination Wedding. Ask around to see if anyone has a referral, check out blogs and websites and speak to them to get a feel for how you would work together. You will be working with them right up until the wedding, so you want to make sure it’s a good fit.

2. Do not open the discussion up to too many people

We love our friends and family and obviously want to include them in such a huge decision, but be careful about making it a group vote. At the end of the day, people will have varying opinions and you don’t want to inadvertently offend someone because you didn’t choose their top pick. This is your wedding day and you need to find your perfect Destination Wedding location.

3. Pick a resort that meets your needs, not just your budget

When choosing a location for your dream wedding, think about what you want your wedding to look and feel like. Once you have an idea of your expectations, you can start to look for a resort that will check

Top 10 Ideas for a Beach Wedding

Top 10 Ideas for a Beach Wedding

1. Get a good set of speakers
One might not think about this, but the ocean can be noisy! Make sure you have mics and speakers for not only the entrance and exit music but also for the person giving the service and of course, the bride and groom! The wedding I attended last week had a really great sound system which was totally portable and the music they played as they entered created the mood for a fabulous evening.

2. Provide parasols, sunglasses or a shaded area
Most guests will arrive at a wedding 20 – 30 minutes before the ceremony starts which is a really great way to mingle with each other and enjoy the scenery, but make sure you provide parasols, sun glasses or shelter from the direct sun if your day is going to be especially hot so your guests don’t get uncomfortable. This should also inform where you have your “altar” so that if you have a longer ceremony you can be aware of how long you’re going to be in the sun for.

3. Provide slippers for your guests
Sandy beaches are best for barefooted bohemians and gladiator sandal clad guests, however, having a basket of

top wedding styling tips

top wedding styling tips

1. Create a brief

You can’t design anything without a proper brief! Sit down with your fiancé and write down all the words that describe you as a couple. Next, write a list of all the words you want your wedding to be, how it looks and most importantly how it should feel. If you have no idea where to start, take the b.loved style quiz! {While I mention it, have you checked this out yet? It’s a super cool wedding tool!!}

2. Collect your ideas

During the early stages of your planning you should collect everything you like! Try and cover all the different elements of your day, from dress and accessories, to ceremony details, flowers, stationery, reception décor and cakes! Online resources such as Pinterest and Loverly are brilliant for this as you can collect all your ideas onto different boards – and always find where they came from! Pinning from other blogs is great too, Style Me Pretty and Martha Stewart Weddings are two perennial faves! Collecting from magazines is great too! Just gather all your cut out’s safely in a file.

3. Refine your ideas

Take all of your images and separate them into piles of different styles or colour palettes.

SEVEN SUMMER WEDDING ITEMS TO KEEP YOUR GUESTS COOL AND COMFORTABLE

SEVEN SUMMER WEDDING ITEMS TO KEEP YOUR GUESTS COOL AND COMFORTABLE

Summer weddings are all about being outdoors and enjoying the beautiful sunny weather. However, when temperatures rise too high wedding guests start to become antsy and annoyed. In order for you to have your picture perfect wedding and also keep your wedding guests happy and feeling fabulous, we’ve compiled a list of must have items to provide relief against the sun! Not only will your guests thank you later, but you’ll also be able to enjoy yourself as a couple, knowing that your guests are relaxed, refreshed, and comfortable.

1.) Sunglasses: You don’t want your guests squinting while you walk down the aisle in your gorgeous gown, so keep sunglasses for them to wear while outdoors. You’ll be surprised to find how many people forget to bring shades to an outdoor wedding. Not to mention, they’re also great photo booth props!

2.) Parasols: These are great stylish and useful accessories to keep for any outdoor wedding. They will keep away the sun, and will look great in pictures as well! If you want to get fancy, you can choose different colors or prints to match your decor.

3.) Flip-Flops: Whether you’re having your wedding on the beach, or just want your guests to

Six Tips To Reduce The Stress That Comes With Planning A Wedding

Six Tips To Reduce The Stress That Comes With Planning A Wedding

1. Hire a Wedding Planner
Instead of trying to do all of the planning yourself, hire a wedding planner who can assist you with your budget, check in with vendors, and delegate dozens of different tasks on the day of the wedding. It will allow you to have a personal assistant who is experienced and knows what mistakes to avoid.

2. Find the Venue First
By finding your wedding venue first, you’ll be able to determine the style of dress to choose, how many guests you can invite, and the types of outside vendors that you’ll need to use. It can help to choose a wedding venue that offers customized options, say the professionals at Noah’s Event Venues. The venue ultimately determines the size and style of the wedding, making it important to select the right location before proceeding to other decisions.

3. Avoid Too Many DIY Projects
You may try to save a buck or two by putting your favors together or making your own wedding cake, but doing everything yourself can make the planning process less enjoyable. Leave certain projects to the professionals and ask for help from your wedding party when you need to make certain items.

4. Get a

10 steps to pro quality pictures

10 steps to pro quality pictures

Wedding Photography Tips: 01 Getting ready

Successful wedding photography is all about telling the story through a series of photographs and this starts with the preparations for the big day. It’s a good idea to arrive at the bride’s house early enough to assess how she’s getting on with her preparations. When she’s in the final stages, a simple shot showing her having her make-up applied – perhaps reflected in a mirror – is a great one to get. I use a mixture of a 70-200mm f/2.8L IS lens and 16-35mm f/2.8 L lens to capture the process of getting dressed and, as much as possible, I try to use natural light.

Look for little details like the delicately embroidered details of the fabric of her dress or try capturing special moments, such as when she has the back of her dress laced up or while she’s chatting to her bridesmaids.

Wedding Photography Tips: 02 Arriving at the church

In an ideal world you should arrive at the church as early as possible before the bride. Don’t waste this precious time. If you’re lucky enough to have an assistant, get them to park the car, making sure you can get away easily. Look for

10 wedding photography mistakes every beginner will make and how to get better

10 wedding photography mistakes every beginner will make and how to get better

Beginner Wedding Photography Mistakes: 01 Inexperience

If your family and friends know that you own a DSLR or advanced compact system camera, the chances are pretty high that at some point you will be asked to photograph a wedding.

It’s important to be realistic about your capabilities and experience before you commit to shooting a wedding – especially if you are to be paid to do so.

Be honest with the couple about your experience and don’t allow anyone to bully you into taking on the job to save money if you are not confident.

It’s also important to have the right kit. Ideally you’ll need two decent cameras and a selection of lenses along with a couple of flashguns.

What’s more, it’s absolutely crucial that you know your equipment inside out and are confident in using it. A wedding is not the time to be trying a setting for the first time.

If you decide that being the main photographer at the wedding is too big a step, you could always offer to take on the second photographer duties, shooting from alternative angles, getting background shots and duplicating some of the pro’s shots, it’s all good experience.

If you decide to get serious about shooting weddings

Planning a Holiday Wedding?

Planning a Holiday Wedding?

How to Keep it All Together!

When shopping, holiday parties, and family traditions are taking up your time, how do you still plan a wedding and keep from total meltdown? Here are some holiday hints and multi-tasking ideas for a very busy bride.

Getting Organized is Even More Important Now!
Training yourself to be organized will help make other parts of your life easier as well, and the holidays are a great place to start. Buy a 3-ring binder with tab-dividers, small enough that you’ll remember to bring it along and use it. Label the sections for each major area of your wedding, then add a holiday section for gift ideas, recipes, events, or whatever else you think you’ll need. Put a pouch or two in to hold receipts and ideas torn from magazines, as well as a few pens for making on-the- go notes.

Wedding Invitation & Holiday Card Lists
If you have organized with your wedding invitation lists, sending Christmas cards should be a snap. If not, this is an excellent time to do both. As everyone in your family is gathering addresses for their own lists, and seeing distant relatives at holiday gatherings, remember to

12-Month Wedding Planning Checklist

12-Month Wedding Planning Checklist

You’ve said yes to the big question, now what? If you’re starting to become overwhelmed with the thought of planning your big day, sit down, take a deep breath and look over this 12-month planning guide. You’ll see that planning a wedding is simply a matter of getting organized. You can do it!

11-12 Months Before the Wedding

  • Officially announce your engagement.
    Your own personal wedding site is a great way to share the plans as they develop. Your out of town family and friends will definitely appreciate it!
  • Set a time and date for the wedding.
  • Decide style of ceremony (size, setting, formality, etc.)
  • Contact wedding a officiate.
  • Arrange for your families to meet if they haven’t met before.
  • Develop a budget and decide who will pay for what.
  • Begin compiling your guest list.
  • Visit and reserve your reception site.

9-10 Months Before the Wedding

  • Order your wedding gown and determine who will make any necessary alterations.
  • Choose your wedding party.
  • Decide on a color scheme (consider the reception site).
  • Meet with potential wedding professionals for your ceremony & reception. Interview local videographers, photographers, florists, DJs & Musicians, caterers, and bakeries. Be sure to get a contract that states wedding date, time, and location

9 Tips for Picking the Perfect Wedding Venue

9 Tips for Picking the Perfect Wedding Venue

If you recently got engaged, you’ve probably been thinking about where you want to tie the knot. Booking a venue does help dictate how the rest of the planning process will go, after all. But before you put down any deposits or form an attachment with that rustic barn that doesn’t have electricity, there are a few major things to consider. Here are 9 things to think about when picking the perfect place to say “I do.”

1. Estimate your guest list and budget.

You might not have a firm grip on your guest list or budget just yet, but you’ll need to know roughly how many people you’re inviting and how much you can spend before you start drawing up your list of dream venues.

2. Consider your big day style.

Whether it’s rustic, formal, boho, low-key, or a blow-out bash, the wedding style you and your partner envision will be a big factor in determining where you can host your celebration. Consider whether you want a traditional or non-traditional venue. There are plenty of venues that regularly play host to weddings — even barns and galleries! — but if you opt for a totally non-traditional venue that’s not equipped to host a

12 Steps to Finding the Wedding Dress of Your Dreams

12 Steps to Finding the Wedding Dress of Your Dreams

1. Start your search about nine months to a year prior to your wedding date, if possible. “Designer gowns should be ordered six to nine months in advance to ensure there is enough time for delivery and alterations,” says Mara Urshel, the co-owner of Kleinfeld. If you want to customize your dress by adding beading or lace or by modifying the neckline or train, it can take even longer, so plan accordingly. On a time crunch? Ask your consultant if your dress of choice can be rush delivered for an additional fee or consider attending a sample sale, where brides can score off-the-rack styles with discounts of up to 80%.

2. Come up with a realistic budget. “Just because you have $1,500 set aside for your wedding dress doesn’t necessarily mean that you can buy a $1,500 gown,” says Courtney Lutkus from Simply Radiant Events. Factor in tax, shipping (if you’re not buying off-the-rack) and alterations. Some salons cap alterations at a certain amount whereas others charge a flat fee. Most salons require a deposit that accounts for 50% of the ticket price of the gown — pay by credit card so that you have a record of the payment in

Put a Modern Twist on Wedding Traditions

Put a Modern Twist on Wedding Traditions

Incorporating wedding traditions is fun! It’s a way to celebrate and recognize the historical significance of marriage. But where do these traditions come from and how can we update them for modern society? Maybe this will help!

Tradition: The Proposal
History: Formal contract between families. Often times the groom would send a group of friends or servants to state his intentions. The group would not continue on the journey if on the way they saw a monk, a nun, or a blind man. These were thought to be omens that the marriage would be doomed. If, however, they saw a nanny goat, a pigeon, or wolves, the union would be blessed with a lifetime of good fortune.

Modern Twist: Today, most couples become engaged as a matter of mutual agreement that, thankfully, has nothing to do with the sighting of omens. However, some couples still pay homage to the tradition by having the groom announce the engagement to the families after the bride-to-be has already accepted the proposal.

Tradition: Diamond Engagement Ring
History: Medieval Italians believed that the diamond was created in the Flames of Love.

Modern Twist: Today, the diamond engagement ring is a symbol of the commitment made between

The Wedding Catering Contract

The Wedding Catering Contract

No matter who is catering your wedding – a restaurant, caterer, on-site caterer – you will need a contract. Catering takes an average of 45 to 50 percent of your wedding costs, so be sure to choose a caterer carefully.

After deciding on a caterer, make an appointment to discuss the menu. Let the caterer know whether you would prefer a buffet, sit-down dinner or cocktail and hors d’oeuvres reception. At a sit-down dinner it is easier to control the flow of events (cutting of the wedding cake, dancing, etc.). A buffet dinner allows your guests to mingle. A buffet dinner isn’t necessarily cheaper than a sit-down dinner because the caterer must prepare more food per person to keep the buffet looking presentable.

Here are some of the items that should be covered in your agreement:

  • Be sure to include the exact location and room for the event and if more than one wedding going on at the same time. Make sure your wedding date and time are listed.
  • List the type of service you are having (whether it be a seated meal, buffet, tea, cocktails, etc.)
  • It should outline the staff-to-guest ratio. Make sure it will cover the type

15 Fun Wedding Reception Ideas

15 Fun Wedding Reception Ideas

1. Walk Down Memory Lane
Make the guest feel like integral parts of the day by incorporating them into the décor — in a gallery of meaningful photos. “We do something we like to call ‘memory lane,'” says Northern California event planner Sasha Souza. “We hang pictures of the bride and groom with friends and family along the walk from the ceremony to the reception. It’s a fun cocktail party conversation starter.” As guests take a leisurely stroll and find pictures of themselves with you, they can reminisce and socialize.

2. Break the Ice Creatively
When you enter your reception for the first time as husband and wife, don’t just take a conventional arm-in-arm stroll. “Run. Skip. Dance. Swoop in on a rope swing!” suggests Alyssa Brown of AE Planning+Design in San Francisco. Brainstorm with your groom about the most creative, appropriate way to make a big impression. This is a great way to break the ice and set up for a fun vibe for the rest of the event.

3. Play Party Games
“We did a wedding where the menus were puzzles, so each person got one piece of the puzzle at their place setting, then everyone had to put the

10 Tips to a Great Wedding Reception

10 Tips to a Great Wedding Reception

Your wedding day will pass by so quickly. You want to be able to enjoy every moment of it. Here are ten tips to make sure you and your guests get the most out of your reception.

1. Plan like crazy during the months prior to your wedding, but on the wedding day, let everything go. It is so easy to get caught up on all the details of your wedding reception, but when the big day arrives, there is very little you can do as events unfold. Don’t get upset over little things like the cake knife getting lost, or a flower falling out of your bouquet. You will waste precious time fretting over little details that no one else will notice.

2. Don’t make your guests wait. We provide our clients with a timeline of the wedding day from the moment they start getting ready through the exit from the reception. We tell everyone that the time prior to the start of dinner is firm. We don’t want anyone running late, because the guests will be left standing around doing nothing. In particular, make sure your ceremony starts on time and that the photographer doesn’t take longer than the cocktail