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Kimberley and Kev
The Wedding Crashers Blog from
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Tips for Budget-Friendly Wedding Makeup

In an effort to save wedding, a lot of brides will try to do their own makeup or have a friend do it for them. But, if they are not familiar with makeup products or do not have access to the same high-quality makeup that the professionals do, they may realize their wedding makeup is less than perfect on their special day.

Overspending is an Issue Too

Even if you skip the makeup artist and go the DIY route, you run the risk of overspending on high-quality makeup. After all, a good set of wedding makeup, including brushes and everything else you will need could easily cost $200 to $400 – and a makeup artist much less. So, if you truly want to save by going the DIY route, there are a few things you need to do to keep your look gorgeous and your budget low.

Stock Up on Make Up Early Using Coupons

Drugstores always have sales on great makeup brands and with loyalty programs and coupons, you may be able to walk away with some great wedding makeup at a 75 to 80 percent discount. But, to do all this you will have to be willing to clip coupons, watch the sales, and start early. Most brides will start stocking up on their wedding makeup several months before the big day just to ensure they have enough time to shop all of the sales.

Ask a Friend With Makeup Experience

Everyone knows someone that can do makeup. See if you can work out a trade with them – you supply the makeup and materials and they do the physical labor. That way you still get professional looking makeup without paying for it. Maybe you can get a discount price if you know them too.

Use YouTube

Sometimes to be a makeup artist, you need practice. There are tons of video tutorials available online today that can tell brides how to do their own wedding makeup so that they look glamorous without spending a lot of money in the process. You can search YouTube videos from other brides or subscribe to streams so you can watch video tutorials from the pros.

Go to a Cosmetics Gift Counter

Department stores will give away free gifts if you make a purchase at their counter. And, you can usually get a free makeup tutorial too. Ask them to apply some of your wedding makeup so you can see just how you need to do it – then you can replicate it on wedding day. Also, they can help ensure you pick out the right makeup for your skin color and complexion so that you look perfect on your wedding day.

Trade Services

If you have a trade yourself or you are good at something, see if a makeup artist will be willing to do your wedding makeup in exchange for your talent. For example, you can make business cards; therefore, you offer the artist free design and card printing for one free session of wedding makeup. There is no harm in asking and the worse they can say is “no” but there are plenty of wedding vendors out there still willing to trade services.

Host a Makeup Party

Avon and other cosmetic companies let you host a party and you get tons of free samples plus deep discounts off your order. Use a wedding party for your bridesmaids and let it double duty as your way to pamper them or even their gift. Then see what free makeup items (and free lessons) you can score when you host the party.

Use What You Already Have

If you do not wear a lot of makeup, you may only have a few things. Use up what you already have and then purchase what you need. For example, you might have a thing of blush or even foundation already. All you need are a few essentials for your base.

Borrow It

If you know someone with tons of makeup, see if you can borrow some of theirs. Some people have plenty of lipsticks brand new they haven’t even worn or an eye shadow that is perfect for your wedding. There is no harm in asking friends or family to see if they wouldn’t mind you using their makeup for a day.

Book Your Wedding Appointment as a Bridesmaid

It’s true. Salons will charge twice as much if you book your appointment as a bride, but if you book as a bridesmaid, you get a cheaper price. They never have to know and there is no difference in the makeup service they offer – they just charge more because they assume a bride has a bigger budget than the bridesmaid.

Just Go Natural

Just because it is your wedding doesn’t mean you need to go overboard with the wedding makeup. Some women put on so much makeup that they don’t even look like themselves in their own wedding photos – and people hardly recognize them. The more natural you go, the less makeup you will need – which means you’ll save, but also not look like a complete stranger walking up to the altar.

Schedule a Cosmetics Counter Consult

The girls at the cosmetics counter are professionals – the same type you would hire on your wedding day. Schedule a consult on the wedding day and go in and have your makeup done. Usually they charge anywhere from $5 to $15 for a full application and tutorial – then you will look absolutely gorgeous and all made up without having to spend more than the cost of good foundation.

What are your tips for looking absolutely smashing without spending a fortune on wedding makeup?
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Wedding Tips: How to Ensure You Have Awesome Invitations

How many times have you opened a wedding invitation in the mail to only see something that is crappy and boring?  It is common that people will toss in their crappy invitations that show they put forth no effort what-so-ever into their wedding invites. No one expects someone to keep the invitation, so why put forth so much effort and money into a slip of paper?

Invitations may not be the center of your wedding, but they are one of the most essential components. They are what set the entire tone of your wedding and tell guests what they can expect if they attend the wedding. It also holds as a reminder and for some people, those wedding invitations don’t go in the trash – they keep them for memory books and scrapbooking.

Why You Need to Put Forth the Effort

No matter what, you need to put effort into your wedding invitations. If you don’t think they are an integral component to your wedding, here are a few reasons to reconsider:

They set the tone. You should be able to open up a wedding invitation and envision how it will look upon your arrival – from the colors to styling to the overall atmosphere. If you can’t, then what will entice a guest to show up?

Creates excitement. A wedding invitation also creates excitement and helps the guest look forward to the event. You can mention some of the activities or highlights they can expect too – that way there is some anticipation.

Offers up the pertinent details for your wedding. Most importantly, those wedding invitations are what share the most important details about your event, including the what, who, when, where, etc. You want your guests to read it, get the details and be excited about the date to come.

Creating Awesome Wedding Invitations is Easy

If you are feeling a little intimidated by the wedding invitation, especially now that you know how important it is, there is no reason to fret. Creating the perfect invite is easy – as long as you give yourself enough time and plan it out just right. You do not have to make them yourself if you don’t want – these tips apply to those who want to do-it-themselves or those who want to just order those bad boys out.

Define Your Wedding Style First

You cannot pick a wedding invitation style until you have defined your own wedding style. That is because your invitation is the first peek your guests will get into your wedding – so you need to specify the type of wedding you’re having and showcase that through the invite you send. Use your theme, color palete, etc. to create your style of wedding invite. If you don’t have those yet, then you may want to finish planning out the style first before selecting the invitations.

Know Your Colors

You need your wedding colors before you pick out a wedding invite. After all, you do not want to send a boring white envelope and slip of paper. Sending along colors in your invites that match the wedding colors will really help show off what guests can expect to see from the wedding.

Do Not Be Afraid of Sizes and Shapes

There is no rule that a wedding invitation needs to be the been-there-done-that size and shape. In fact, you can create your own style, play with sizes and shapes and just have fun. While it may cost a little more on postage, it can really help set the tone for your wedding.

Never Order Over the Phone

If you are going to hire out for invites, never hire and order over the phone. Instead, go to the stationary store in person or order online so you can make sure that the order looks exactly how you picture it. You may want to order a sample before you actually place the order that will directly ship to guests – that way you can ensure it is perfect.

Make Sure Its Legible

As you look at the colors and patterns, don’t forget about the text. Your guests need to be able to read it and make sure you take older guests into consideration – after all, if they have to squint to read the fine details, they may just not show up.

Choose the Wording Carefully

You want to use the wording that sticks to wedding rules. That means listing the name of the host first, including the details of the wedding, and ensuring there is a request line after the host’s name, such as “__ request the honor of your presence…”

Do Not Crowd the Text

While you have a lot to say, try to not overcrowd the card with too many details. You can always include a separate sheet of paper for those other things and save the card for just the information. Having too much on a card makes it hard for guests to read, but also clutters up the look and can really kill the overall feel of your important invite.

Start the Process Early

Before you even buy a dress you should start on your invitations. Invitations need to go out early to give guests enough time and you should have your invite ordered and planned well before the actual mailing date. You can save yourself a lot of stress too if you do not wait until last minute to work out the details for your wedding invitations. After all, what if they accidentally print them wrong and you need a week or two for corrections to be ordered?

No matter what, you can have an awesome wedding invitation if you just realize the importance of those slips of paper. Take your time, have fun, and get creative with those invites.

Do you have any tips for creating awesome wedding invitations? Share them with us!
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Ways to Ensure You Actually Enjoy Your Wedding Day

You have spent countless hours planning, day dreaming, creating, crafting, and even swooning over your special day. You are about to marry the person of your dreams and you are more than just excited – you are bouncing off the walls.

Most couples are like this pre-wedding day. But, sadly, most couples never get to fully enjoy the wedding. From all of the anticipation and stress buildup (and lack of sleep), couples tend to find their wedding day exhausting and even stressful.

You are spending the majority of your time planning the perfect wedding right now, so make sure you you actually enjoy the day you have spent time, money and sanity planning.

The Reason Most Couples Never Enjoy Wedding Day

Wedding planning is inherently crazy – no one will deny that. You have to work out every detail from the date to guest list to coordinating multiple vendors and sticking within a budget. You want everything perfect, yet you are stressed that all of your planning will go to waste on the big day. No bride or groom wants a disastrous wedding day, so often the fear of that happening consumes the couple.

In an ideal world, weddings will go 100 percent as planned. But, in reality, every single wedding has a hiccup – including those that are planned by the best, most expensive wedding planners. That is because there is no such thing as a perfect wedding day – after all, you cannot control a dozen people. One of your vendors may be a few minutes late, the weather could change a few days prior to the event, etc. Not everything is nor will it be in your control – but that is OK.

How to Ensure You Enjoy Your Wedding Day

Despite the fact you are not in control, there is plenty you can do to ensure you enjoy your special day and ensure it stays your special moment. These tips can keep you calm, and hopefully, help remind you what your wedding day is all about.

Make Sure You Wake Up Refreshed

Go to bed at a reasonable hour the night before your wedding. While that may be hard with any last minute planning, still aim for at least six to eight hours of sleep. That might mean having the bachelorette party the week before the wedding – so you aren’t up at all hours of the night. Being refreshed and well-rested will help you remain calm at the wedding too.

Remember the Wedding is Not All About You

While it is your wedding and no one will deny you that, if you start thinking the wedding is all about you, you may turn out to be one of those crazy wedding divas that spend more time complaining and yelling than enjoying their wedding. The truth is, the wedding is not just about you and you are not the only person there to enjoy it. You have a spouse, you have family, and other people who are there to share and enjoy the moment just like you are. There are plenty of people who are invested in the relationship just like you – and people who have been looking forward to wedding day just as much.

Limit How Many To-Dos You Have on Wedding Day

What does your to-do list look like for wedding day? If you have a bunch of tasks on your list, consider narrowing them down and leave your wedding day open. There is no need to wake up and rush off to errands. Instead, enjoy a morning of relaxation. The less you have to do on the actual day – the more relaxing and breathing time you have. Also, consider doing something for yourself on wedding day – such as going to the spa for a bridal massage and pedicure or even taking a morning yoga class.

Do Not Forget to Eat and Keep Hydrated

You are busy on wedding day, but make sure you eat a good, solid breakfast (preferably one that has protein in it) and drink plenty of fluids. Being hungry and/or dehydrated on wedding day is no way to start off that special moment. If you do not eat or drink, you may be too weak to enjoy your wedding or worse, have a killer migraine that will ruin your wedding altogether.

Just Trust the Vendors You Hired

You spent time reviewing and interviewing and assessing each vendor. Now is the time to trust in your judgement. You hire those professionals for your wedding and they have done countless numbers of weddings before yours – they know what they are doing. Trust that they will get the job done and do not sit there worrying about your vendors’ every move. If you hired an event planner, let them worry about the vendors while you enjoy your wedding day – that is, after all, what you paid them for.

Celebrate With Everyone

Some couples seem to forget that their wedding is a celebration. If you are having a wedding, you should be there celebrating with your guests. Get out on the dance floor and have some fun – and don’t just dance during the usual ones. Mingle with your guests, have a chat with everyone that came to your wedding and thank them. Just let loose and enjoy the event – you’ve earned it. Do not sit there fretting about the cake cutting being five minutes late, do not check your phone every minute to see if a vendor is running behind and definitely do not worry about the drunk guests – they are only embarrassing themselves, not ruining your wedding.

Your wedding can be as exciting as you want it to be, as long as you remember what is most important. You are there to marry the person you love and celebrate that love. Everything else is just filler.

Share your suggestions for enjoying your wedding day or share what you did to ensure you had a great wedding day yourself!
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Picking the Perfect Wedding Wine on a Budget

These days couples are more savvy about wines. And, more couples are serving up wines at their weddings. While it is tradition to use champagne for the toast, do not feel obligated. You can serve up a different type of sparkling wine to save a little money and no one will ever know  – because champagne is a finer sparkling wine anyway.

But, picking wedding wines is a lot more labor intensive than most couples realize – and if you aren’t smart about it, you can easily blow the wedding budget. So, before you start picking out wines and ordering the glasses, make sure you familiarize yourself with the right wines to stick to the right price.

Deciding How Much Wine to Buy

The first step is finding out how much wine you need so that you can create a wedding wine budget. The rule of thumb is to divide the total number of guests by 2.15. This gives you the number of wedding wine bottles you will need.

So, if you have 100 guests coming, you will need 46 bottles of wine. Now you need to consider how much your per bottle price will be. If you are fine at $10 per bottle, multiple 46 bottles times $10 to get to a budget of $460. If that is too much, you may have to decrease the quality of wine or cut elsewhere. But, for $10 per bottle, you can still find some great wines.

Also, a few other things to remember:

If you’re serving cocktails, order 30 percent less bottles than the max – because people may have cocktails instead.

If you need more than 12 bottles, you can purchase by the case and hopefully get a per case discount. For example, if you need 46 bottles and there are 12 bottles to a case, just order four cases to get a discount.

For summer and outdoor weddings, remember people will want white wine instead of red – white is more refreshing for the heat. Consider serving a sparkling rose instead of the traditional white – it goes great with summer wedding fare.

For fall, winter and spring weddings, people tend to drink more wine, especially reds. This is because red wines are warming.

What About the Champagne Toast?

For the toast, you need champagne or another sparkling wine. To know how much to buy, divide the guest count by 9. So, if you have 100 guests, you only need a little over 11 bottles of sparkling wine. These are reserved for the toast only – so make sure the bartender knows to keep them separate.

Determining What Types of Wine to Buy

Sparkling wine is for the toast, and you already know what type you need. But, for the rest of the wedding wine, the choice is entirely yours. You will want to take a few things into consideration when picking out your wedding wines, including:

The types of guests you have attending the wedding. Just because you love red wines doesn’t mean everyone else will. Consider the guest list and see if you have any wine lovers on the list or if they are all wine novices.

If you are serving rich meat entrees, you will want a full-bodied, rich red wine to go along with it. If, however, you are serving seafood or poultry, you’ll want to stick to a refreshing white wine variety instead.
Remember the wedding theme, time of year and time of day you’re having your wedding. Black tie events usually have red wines, because they are more sophisticated.

Don’t forget the cake. Pair up wines with your cakes to make them taste even better. For example, a dry Chardonnay with a lemon zest cake or a vanilla sponge cake with a citrus-based white wine, or a dark merlot with a chocolate cake.

Choosing Red Wines

Red wine is a crowd classic and perfect for weddings. To choose the right red wine, you will have to consider your wedding wine budget:

For $10 to $15 per bottle – You will want to stick to wine regions that include South Africa, Argentina, Spain, Australia and Chile. These are quality wines that are affordable. Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noirs from these regions are most likely the more affordable versions.
For $15 to $20 per Bottle – You can buy a lot with this price range, but you will want to develop flavors from different regions. Stick to the crowd favorites such as Malbec, Syrah and Merlot.

For $20 to $30 per Bottle – Start looking into reserve wines that come from southern France, such as the Chianti, Merlot and Cabernets.

Choosing White Wines

White wines are fruity, full of zest and always a crowd favorite. They are also more affordable than red wines. You can easily find a quality white wine for under $15, so instead of choosing by price, it comes to choosing the flavor profile you want.

For something zesty – Look to the classic whites like Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio and Vinho Verde.

Bolder or oak wines – These usually come from Chile and Spain (for affordability). Look for a chardonnay – they’re always oaked and full of flavor. They are dry, however, so you may want to include a few lighter varieties or avoid this one if you are serving it up in the middle of summer.

Do Not Forget Rose Wines

Roses are becoming popular once again and they offer exceptional variety and flavor. Choose a rose if you are serving seafood or having a summer wedding, because they are very refreshing. Also, if you are doing certain cuisines like Sushi, Thai or Mexican food, you may find a rose pairs nicely with those flavors.

Choosing Your Champagne

For toasting wedding wines, you will want to choose a wine that is of great quality. Poor-quality champagnes have a poor aftertaste and it is easy to spot a shoddy champagne. If your toast is happening outdoors or in the middle of the day, consider a Prosecco, sparkling Rose or Cava. If it is happening at night, go with a sparkling wine such as French Champagne, Blanc de Noirs, or Italian Classico.

No matter what wedding wines you choose, there are plenty of ways to keep the wedding wine under budget and pleasing to the wine lovers on your guest list.

What are your favorite wedding wines? Where did you find the best price for your wine?
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8 Most Sought After Destination Wedding Locations

Destination wedding events are a growing trend around the world. More couples are opting to say “I Do” somewhere other than local. But, why is going overseas such a popular way to get married? There are a lot of benefits to having a destination wedding – and cost is not just the only reason.

If you are thinking about doing a destination wedding yourself, you are probably wondering about the pros and cons – and of course, where the hottest spots are for such an event.

Why Do a Destination Wedding?

There are numerous reasons why couples skip local weddings and go with a destination wedding. But, some of the biggest advantages to these types of weddings include:

Affordability – There is no doubt about it, a destination wedding will cost less than a local one. Even if you are paying to travel overseas, the cost of travel and the wedding will still come out cheaper. That is because you don’t have to invite as many people (some couples don’t invite anyone), hotels are willing to toss in wedding packages just to entice couples over for a destination wedding, and it combines the cost of a honeymoon and wedding into one.

Easier to Plan – Destination weddings are inherently easier to plan. Even if you do the planning yourself, you don’t have the same vendors or items to coordinate. You can also do your wedding on a cruise, at a hotel or a local resort that caters to destination weddings – and they will do all of it for you. all you have to deal with is buying a dress and getting your soon-to-be-husband a tuxedo.

You Can Avoid Family Pressure – Most couples have to cave to family pressures. Whether it is hosting their wedding at a venue their family prefers or inviting more extended family members than they originally planned – you almost always have to sacrifice something to please a family member. With destination weddings, there just isn’t that same pressure. You can escape all of it, decide who is invited and you are in complete control of the wedding agenda.

Honeymoon is Automatically Taken Care Of – A lot of couples stress over planning the wedding and then turning around to plan a honeymoon. With a destination wedding, it is all at the same place. It’s also perfect for your anniversary – because you can go back to your wedding spot and enjoy another vacation.

The Most Sought After Destination Wedding Locations

You could get married anywhere in the world you want. But, there are some places that are the most sought after for destination weddings because of their favorable weather, prices and just the romance associated with them.

#1: Mexico

It is hard for any country to beat Mexico. They are versatile, offer excellent wedding accommodations and the locals are happy to accommodate others from the United States and other countries. Most importantly, it is one of the more affordable wedding destinations. There are plenty of beach resorts ready to offer up their services, the weather is perfect year-round and the views are absolutely breathtaking.

#2: Bahamas

If you want a true Caribbean wedding, the Bahamas is the place to go for your destination wedding. The water is a clear teal blue that is gorgeous in photographs, the weather is perfect, and there are plenty of main islands inside the Bahamas for your wedding.

#3: Kauai

Hawaiian weddings are hot for destinations, especially on the island of Kauai. It is one of the most exciting, tropical islands and while it is smaller, it offers a more romantic, exclusive feel than the more populated tourist-ridden islands of Hawaii.

#4: Caribbean

While the Caribbean covers a large geographical area, we are talking about the main islands. From the Grand Caymans to St. Lucia, there are plenty of islands to get married on. All of them come with luxury, five-star resorts that offer affordable destination wedding packages too.

#5: Jamaica

Jamaica offers miles of golden sand, delightful waterscapes and locals that are so friendly and accommodating, you’ll definitely be in paradise. This is one of the original destination wedding locations – and it caters to hundreds of couples each year who want to get married in an exotic location. From resorts to local churches, you can find just about everything you need for your destination wedding right here.

#6: Italy

While islands and beaches are predominantly the go-to destination wedding location, Italy is still a big contender. Think about it. Italy is romantic, rich in culture and it is a beautiful place to get away. You can visit beautiful sites like Lake Como or even get married on the Isle of Capri. There are so many unique locations within Italy that might surprise you for a wedding.

#7: Las Vegas, Nevada

While definitely not international or exotic, Las Vegas is still one of the most sought after locations for destination weddings. It has been the wedding spot of choice since Frank Sinatra’s Rat Pack made it the go-to place. There are chapels throughout the city open 24 hours, but you can also have a very classy wedding on the strip or even go in one of the numerous casinos for an upscale wedding experience – all for a remarkably cheaper price than a local wedding. The Bellagio, for example, offers luxury wedding packages that can accommodate up to 50 or more guests for a fraction of the cost of a local wedding.

#8: Costa Rica

Want to get married in the middle of the rain forest? Want a spot that overlooks the water? Costa Rica has it all. From the perfect weather, agreeable beaches and romantic exotic locations, you can find just about anywhere on this island to suit your needs. It is one of the hottest destination wedding spots to date and it is still surprisingly affordable.

Readers: Where is your ideal destination wedding spot?
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Reasons to Consider a Morning Wedding

Think of how many weddings you have been to (or at least been invited to) and you will notice a big trend: they are all in the evening. But, what makes an evening wedding so great? The truth is, people just pick evenings because they think it is convenient. What they do not realize is that they are often paying more for that “convenience” and in more ways than one.

Morning weddings have plenty of advantages – and price is only one of them. If you are looking for a way to create a unique wedding ceremony, consider going for an earlier start time – or even aim for sunrise. There is nothing better than fresh, morning air and bird songs singing during your nuptials.

Even better, most venues will give serious discounts for weddings that happen in the morning – even during wedding season. So, you may be able to get a discount even if you want to get married right in the middle of summer.

Think About It, The Perfect Setting

Think about morning and what makes it so beautiful. The sun is slowly creeping up, the temperatures are mild – and if it is a humid time of the year, the humidity is a little less intense around this hour. Even better, you have plenty of natural light and if you choose an outdoor wedding, your guests get to inhale crisp, fresh morning air – leaving everyone feeling invigorated.

Pros of a Morning Wedding

There are plenty of reasons to have a morning wedding. While they aren’t popular, that doesn’t mean they aren’t the perfect time of day for a wedding. Just a few reasons to consider a morning wedding include:

Cost – No matter what vendor you’re hiring, you are going to get a discount for a morning wedding or any event that ends before afternoon. But, that isn’t the only place you will save. While you will get discounts, think about the menu itself. Breakfasts, brunches and lunches often allow you to substitute expensive dinner items for light, simple food. You also save on lighting – because you don’t have to pay for artificial light to get those photos just perfect. Also, the liquor tab on your open bar will be much lighter – because no one is going to get smashed before noon.

Food – The food choices are much easier for morning weddings. You can serve up a waffle and pancake bar (talk about inexpensive, but fun)or even go with a lunch-type menu or BBQ menu. No matter what, the food is lighter and lighter means cost-effective.

You Won’t Be Rushed – Evening weddings mean couples are rushed by the end of the night. The reception is cut short, they have time for just one dance then they are rushed out the door. With a morning wedding, you have all day. If you leave for your honeymoon the next day, you still have an evening together where you aren’t whisking away to a hotel room for two hours sleep.

Breathtaking Photos – The light creates exceptional wedding photos. You don’t have to worry about running out of natural light or artificial lights making your skin paler or your dress not as gorgeous. You also have more time throughout the day to get photos and your photographer isn’t rushing you to snap all of those moments before the light runs out.

You Can Get Married on Holidays – If you want to get married on Valentine’s Day or even New Year’s Eve, a morning wedding means guests don’t have to choose their own event over your wedding. Of course, avoid Christmas morning weddings – since most people do not want to be at a wedding when they can be at home enjoying presents and family.

Cons of a Morning Wedding

For some couples, there may be a few cons to a morning wedding – but these cons are so minor, most couples do not even look at them. Just some of the drawbacks to a morning wedding include:

Availability – While you may find discounts, not all vendors offer morning services. This is because they primarily work in the afternoons and evenings; therefore, they have limited staff available for the morning hours. So, you may have less vendors to choose from and do a price comparison for.

You’ll Have to Wake Up Early – For your morning wedding to start at 11, you will want to wake up around 6 or 7 in the morning to get ready. For some, that may be a deal breaker.

Some Guests May Not be Available – Depending on the day of the week, some guests may not be up for an early morning wedding – or even available. Some people have to work in the mornings and others may not be able to find a sitter for their kids during early ceremonies. But, this could be a good thing too – because then you can invite plenty of people without worrying about an overloaded venue.

You Don’t Have to be That Early

Do not let the word “morning” throw you off. If you and your soon-to-be-spouse aren’t early risers, you don’t have to do a sunset wedding. In fact, you could aim for a brunch wedding – with the ceremony starting at 11 o’clock. This gives your guests plenty of time to wake up early and get out the door -and still gives you enough time to get ready without waking up while the sun is still asleep.

A morning wedding definitely has its advantages – and it is more unique because most couples skip the morning hours for their weddings. So, if you are having a difficult time figuring out when you should get married, do not discount the beauty of a morning wedding ceremony.
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10 Easy Wedding Updos for Summer

For your wedding, you want those long tresses out of your face and off your neck. We don’t blame you! Summer can be extremely hot and humid and under all of the fabric of your wedding dress, you might feel like hair draped over your neck and shoulders will be nothing more than a sweat-fest for your special day.

These wedding updos are not just perfect for summer weddings – they’re great for long hair in general. Whether you’re doing your hair yourself or hiring someone, we’ve kept them simple because those simple hairstyles are easy to do and still romantic and chic.

A Few Tips First – To Ensure the Perfect Wedding Updos

Summer will bring on the unwanted frizz – and you want your hair flawless, silky and shiny on your wedding day. To get that picture-perfect look during the warm summer months, you’ll need to do a little prep work first.

After you shampoo, apply a moisturizing conditioner and leave it on for a little while. It is best if you apply a deep conditioner once to twice a week starting a few months before the wedding so that your hair is super moisturized by wedding day. But, just applying a thick conditioner the day of will help tame those frizzies too.

Before you blow dry, do not forget to apply mousse or a primer to keep any flyaways at bay.

When you blow dry your hair, use a low setting – even better, just let it air dry. Air drying will prevent any frizzies and keep your hair silky smooth. If you have dark hair, you may want to dry the roots at least, because air drying may leave flakes for some people and it is noticeable with dark hair.

Consider adding sun-kissed highlights to your tresses at least three weeks before the wedding. This gives you a natural look, but also allows your hair enough time to recover and not have dead ends on the wedding day. Do not try to highlight the week of, just in case your highlighted color doesn’t come out right.

Moist climates lead to frizz, while dry climates lead to split ends and straw-like hair. If you have hair that easily frizzes, avoid any wedding updos that are tight – because it will accentuate the frizz. If your hair is worn down and dry, apply a thick hair mask the night before your wedding as well as a curl enhancer to keep your locks looking hydrated and refreshed on the big day.

Carry around finishing spray and pomade on the big wedding day to smooth out any frizzes that may show up.

10 Gorgeous Summer Wedding Updos

There are so many different and unique wedding updos out there, but some are too complex. You want a hairstyle that can be easily fixed, just in case you need a touch up during the big day.

For a few ideas to get you started, we have complied a list of our 10 favorite, yet easy summer wedding updos.

1. The Rope Braid Updo – This is stunning and can be breathtaking with any hair color. While it looks complex, the rope braid is really easy when you follow a tutorial. If you do not have super long hair, which you need for this style, you can use temporary extensions to get the look too – and no one will ever know.

2. Slick and Chic – If you are worried about dealing with an elaborate wedding updo, try a chic, slick look. Side part your hair, then slightly slick it back up into a quick updo – it will be immune to the heat and humidity.

3. Messy, Yet Organized Knotted Bun – The knotted bun and braid is perfect for the rustic and even the elegant weddings. It is a combination of a braided bun with small knots. If you have frizzy hair or a few flyaways on the big day, it will almost look as if you planned it with this messy, refined look. This is perfect even if you have medium-length hair, because a few strands can hang loosely from the knotted bun for a romantic look.

4. Softened Updo – For a more romantic, softened look, pull down a few strands and leave them around your face. You can do a simple round bun (high or low), then curl the strands that you leave down.

5. Twisted Wedding Updo – The twisted wedding updo is one of our favorites. It is so polished, yet it doesn’t look too overdone. You can accentuate this style with a few flowers or even gems throughout the curls and twists.

6. The Tight Twisted Bun – This is definitely tighter and more sophisticated. There are no loose strands with this one; instead, every hair is neatly tucked in. This is idea if you have long hair and all of the hairs are the same length. You can accent it with flowers, feathers, gems and even just a ribbon for a deceptively simple, yet elegant look.

7. Asymmetrical – Pull back your thick, long hair into an asymmetrical updo. It’s gorgeous, romantic and perfect if you don’t want any accessories in your hair.

8. Messy Braid – Do a messy braid with a flower crown and add volume at the roots before pulling the braid back into the bun. It is definitely more rustic, but also very romantic. It is perfect for that bohemian, ethereal look.

9. Mussed Up – Create a full bun from mussed-up textured small braids. It looks messy, yet elegant. This braided bun style can stand alone or be accented with flowers.

10. High Bun – This is a classic and it can really pop if you wear a bright lipstick color. It’s very simple too – just create a simple, elegant bun on the top of your head. You can dress it up with ribbon, lace or even flowers.

There are plenty of wedding updos that will keep you cool this summer. It all comes down to your style of wedding and how much effort you want to put into your look.

What are your favorite summer-worthy wedding updos? We’d love to hear about them!
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Create the Perfect DIY Wedding Backdrop

Whether your wedding is taking place in a dull venue or in an outdoor space, a wedding backdrop can make or break the moment. Your backdrop essentially sets the tone of your wedding ceremony – so it is no wonder so many brides lose sleep trying to plan the perfect backdrop.

While some venues offer up their own generic been-there-done-that backdrops, you can create your very own for cheaper and add that unique touch to your wedding that makes it truly your own.

From creating frames to establishing a make-shift alter in the park, there are numerous ways to make the perfect backdrop – and none are too budget breaking.

What is a Wedding Backdrop?

A wedding backdrop sits behind the couple during their ceremony. It can also be pulled out for wedding photos – which is perfect if the venue doesn’t have any photo-worthy spots. Wedding backdrops are the perfect opportunity to create your wedding theme  – and they set the tone of the ceremony itself.

There is no rule to what a backdrop should be made out of or what they should look like. In fact, they are 100 percent custom. So, you can do everything from paper to lights to streamers if you wanted. It is all about what you want to see in your most important photo – the ceremony.

Why Create Your Own?

There are a lot of places online and plenty of local vendors that sell or rent wedding backdrops, but these are often outdated and have absolutely no creativity to them what-so-ever. Plus, they are garden variety, which means other brides and grooms have used them and there is nothing unique. If you have a more creative wedding theme, most of these generic backdrops won’t compliment the theme itself – and may even clash with it.

Creating your own won’t take a lot of time at all and it is one of the easiest ways to cut the wedding budget. Some companies will sell these backdrops for hundreds of dollars and rent them for a hefty rate. You can create your own for over 50 percent less – making it worth the time investment.

10 Unique Wedding Backdrop Ideas to Get You Started

Not sure where to start with your DIY wedding backdrop? Not to worry. We have 10 super cute and unique backdrops that are easy to make and awesome to look at.

1. Rustic Drapes

This can be indoors or outdoors and is perfect for that rustic or chic-style wedding. If outdoors, consider having the wedding over a large tree. Then use the branches to drape burlap or other fabrics to create your own wedding backdrop. You could even write on the fabric or burlap with your initials or another phrase.

2. Tissue Paper Mural

Want something insanely cheap and unique? Crumple up tissue paper and glue it to the wall – you can do it in a shape or just make a big square. Use colors from your wedding, of course, and you have a quick, cheap wedding backdrop that can be fun, unique and definitely colorful.

3. Write It Out

What is more personal that a wall of words? Using a large paper roll, have the roll unwrap at the top of your heads and work its way down the aisles. This will take a lot of time and you may need some help. But you could write everything from your thoughts about your significant other to favorite poems to your most admired moments and more. After the wedding, roll it up and keep it.

4. Crepe Paper Ribbons

This is super simple, yet elegant. Just use string or another device to hang up paper crepe ribbon streamers for a flowing, beautiful backdrop. You can use the colors of your wedding to add a little pop and even mix in different streamer colors for fun.

5. Pinwheel Paper Flowers

Mix pinwheel paper flowers with crepe paper ribbon backdrops for even more flash. You can use PVC piping to create a large backdrop – and no one will know, because everything is covered by the paper.

6. A Wall of Feathers

Use feather boas in any color you want to drape along the wall and create your wedding backdrop. It’s elegant, unique and creates a refined look that can be used for summer, spring and even winter weddings. If you have feathers elsewhere in the wedding, this is a great way to integrate that decorative theme.

7. Hanging Frames

Use string to hang empty, open frames and flowers. Stagger the frames and make sure to use various sizes so that you create contrast. So that each frame stands out, have the colors slightly off from one another too and then use your wedding flowers and colors for a little pop.

8. Wooden Heart

A simple wooden heart made from tree branches and lit up with small lights is downright elegant. It works perfect for those simple, rustic, yet refined weddings.

9. Coffee Filters

Dye coffee filters to the colors of your wedding for an insanely gorgeous wedding backdrop. You can create garlands, flower streamers and so much more using a single super cheap ingredient. You will, however, have to start this process somewhat early, since it can take awhile to dye and dry coffee filters.

10. Yarn Balls

Creating different shaped balls of yarn is a lot easier than you might realize. All it takes are balloons blown up to various sizes, some glue and yarn. Dip the yarn strands in a bowl of glue, wrap around the balloon and then let them dry. Once dry, pop the balloon and you have perfectly symmetrical yarn balls for your wedding backdrop.

No matter how you do it, there are plenty of ways to create a DIY wedding backdrop that is breathtaking and budget-friendly.

What is your favorite DIY wedding backdrop idea? Share it with us!
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How to Plan a Picture Perfect Fall Wedding

Fall is a great time to plan a wedding and for good reason: it is downright gorgeous that time of year. If you have just gotten engaged, you might be aiming your wedding date for sometime this fall – but you might also be on the fence as to whether or not that is the right idea.

Why a Fall Wedding?

As summer fades into fall, you get a beautiful horizon of golden and rusted leaves, candles and cooler temperatures. Who doesn’t want that for their wedding? No more scorching temperatures or frost-bitten guests – you have the perfect temperature.

If you don’t think a fall wedding is right for you, here are a few reasons to reconsider:

Fall just has something about it that creates something intimate and romantic.

The color palette for fall is absolutely breathtaking. From the deep purples to blood red and ivory, there isn’t a color you won’t like for your fall wedding.

The scenery makes for a stunning backdrop. Think about the fall foliage of your favorite park or a row of pumpkins – how could that possibly be a bad background for two people in love?

Blankets make it more fun. You can add more creative twists and “thank you” ideas to your plate in the fall – such as leaving everyone some cozy blankets.

Believe it or not, there are plenty of flowers in-season during this time of the year. From the dahlia to alstroemeria to roses and carnations, you get the pick of the crop – so to speak.

Venues free up. The venues that were once too full in the summer are now ready to go in the fall. One of the most popular fall venues is that of the barn – because then you are outside enjoying those perfect fall temperatures and picture perfect scenes.

You can use neutrals and no one will care. For some reason, if you send out neutrals any other time of the year, people think you are too plain. But, if you add a neutral color to your wedding (or go all neutral) in the fall, you are super creative.

There are plenty of fall items that you can use in your wedding to save on decorations – such as pumpkins, apples (which are practically falling from the tree by the way) and even leaves.

Candles are more practical in the fall than in the summer or spring.
It’s perfect for the budget-savvy couple. Because in the fall, you get cheaper prices for hosting your off-season wedding – which means you may spend less on those nuptials than friends who got married in the middle of summer.

A Few Tips to Pull Off That Perfect Fall Wedding

While fall is perfect for weddings, and absolutely inspiring, it does have a few drawbacks. For one, you cannot predict the weather in fall – and much like spring, your fall wedding could get an unexpected rain shower or some super chilly nights as the sun goes down.

But, that shouldn’t discourage you from enjoying a fall wedding. Instead, you just need to be a little more prepared (and even a titch creative) while planning your fall time event.

1. Ask for a Deal – Some wedding vendors will offer you a discount if you just ask – so don’t be shy. Ask about how you can get a cheaper price for your fall wedding and see if your venue offers any special discounts for fall. You may need the savings for a few fall-related prep items – so there’s no harm in asking.

2. Prepare Wedding Guests – Your wedding guests need to be happy, so make sure you warn them about your venue and anything they need to be comfortable. If you are having an outdoor wedding, make sure to tell guests they will be outside – and to bring jackets. People won’t be able to enjoy the wedding magic if they are freezing, so consider adding some portable heaters, a tent or even umbrellas if there is a chance it will rain on the big day.

3. Use fall elements in the big day. They’re free and perfect to let everyone know you’re having a fall wedding. Don’t be shy about asking your wedding planner to stick to fall-only flowers and decor.

Fall Wedding Ideas

When you think of fall, what do you picture? Do you think of apple pie from all of those fresh apples falling from the trees? Do you think of parks and cool breezes?

Everything that inspires you to think about fall should be what you use to design the perfect fall wedding.

Use the season to help point your way to creative wedding decor. For example, fill your centerpieces with apples instead of flowers – makes for a great snack too.

Use pumpkins as part of your decor or even consider having your wedding cake flavored as pumpkin. Fall seems to be more about natural looks too – so consider doing a more natural wedding cake – decorated in deep chocolate or berries. Just about everyone craves pumpkin pie in the fall – so you could host a dessert bar at your wedding with apple and pumpkin pie bites.

Get creative with the drinks, such as having an apple cider bar – complete with different varieties of apple cider.

Embrace fall-like decor. That could include bales of hay, burlap sacks and banners, bird cages, farm-style features and more.

For wedding favors, have a little fun and include something like caramel apples with cute handmade tags out of paper bags.

Do not forget to have your bridesmaids embrace the season with fall colors. Everything from a deep, luscious red to a hunter green to ivory and brown are great for bridesmaids dresses.

What is your idea of the perfect fall wedding? Share your tips and inspiration with us!
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The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your Wedding in Six Months or Less

Not all couples have a lot of time to plan their wedding. In fact, some couples have under six months (or in some cases, just 30 days) to plan their perfect wedding.

But, a tight timeline does not have to ruin your wedding or even mean you will sacrifice on the big day. It just means that you need to be much more organized and move the pace a little faster than you would for a longer engagement.

Establishing the Timeline

Before you can start planning, you need to see how much time you really have to plan. Do you have exactly six months? Will there be any issues that arise causing you to push it ahead even further?

Rushed weddings often turn chaotic because the couple isn’t clear on their deadline. To create an accurate wedding timeline and checklist, you need to know just how much time you have and be able to squeeze every aspect of the planning process out of the few days you have to work with.

It is possible for any couple on a short timeline to stay within budget too – as long as they know where to start with the planning process. So whether you have an unlimited budget or you have a tight budget, make sure you follow these tips for getting your short-term plan right.

Get the Venue Out of the Way First

Now that you know when the date is, you need to work on the venue. Most venues book fast and if you are getting married during “wedding season” – anything between April and August – you may find that the best venues cannot accommodate your wedding date.

Create a list of venues that you are okay with and have a backup in case the first few are booked. You may need to be flexible with your dates – such as moving it to a week before or after or even doing a mid-week wedding so you can still enjoy the venue you love.

No matter what, book the venue first. This is the most important part of short-term wedding planning – because you can’t exactly move forward if you don’t know where the wedding will be.

If everything is booked up, you can also consider a park or even a friend’s house with a gorgeous (and large) backyard.

Getting the Dress

Next comes the dress. Most brides purchase their gowns at least a year out. This is because the designer needs time to create the dress and you need enough time for all of the dress fittings. But, do not think a short timeframe means you cannot get the dress you want. You can still get a custom-made wedding dress in just under three months. You will, however, have to pay more for the rushed service – most designers charge anywhere from 10 to 25 percent more for a rushed gown.

If you are on a budget and a strict time, get the ready-to-wear gowns off the rack.

Skip Save the Date and Go Straight to Invites

Instead of hassling with the save the date cards, move straight to invitations for the wedding. Not only will this save you a step, but it will save you a bundle of money too. If you really want save the date cards, send out electronic versions instead of paper. It’s eco-friendly too.

Start Working on Your Cake Order – Pronto

Cake designers book just as fast as venues. So, you need to find one and give them enough time to plan. While making a wedding cake is just a week process, most cake designers take on multiple wedding cakes that same week – so you want to make sure you squeeze in a spot during their week they still have some availability.

Also, some cake designers will charge more if you book last minute -because they do not have time to save on better deals from their suppliers.

You will need to put down a deposit to book the wedding cake, so have your deposit funds ready. If no cake decorators are available, consider skipping the cake and serving accessible sweets – like a donut tree, chocolate bar or even a chocolate fountain.

Get Talking with Caterers

Caterers book up fast too – and if you haven’t booked one, now is the time. You will also need a deposit with your caterer, so have that money ready to go. Make sure your caterer is available for the date you have booked with your venue.

If all of the caterers are booked for that date, try something simpler, yet still refined, like a food truck. Food trucks are more budget-friendly than most couples realize and it could give your wedding a fun twist.

Don’t Forget the Honeymoon

While you are trying to scramble and plan a wedding, don’t forget to plan your honeymoon too. You will definitely need a vacation of some sort after planning a wedding in record time.

Destinations like Puerto Rico, Mexico and even cruises often have plenty of availability and accommodations for those last-minute honeymoon bookings.

Don’t forget other locations on the East Coast of the U.S. or even visiting California’s Napa Valley.

If you are planning a short-term wedding, you may be strapped for cash. So, look at hotels that offer honeymoon bundles – which may include your room, activities, food and airfare in one. These can save you additional money. You may also want to speak with a travel agent to see if they can find any other applicable discounts to make your honeymoon more affordable.

Planning your wedding in under six months won’t be easy and you may feel rushed. But as long as you do everything as soon as possible, you should be able to pull off a perfect, memorable wedding that takes others a year to plan.
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