1. Be Selective

Similar to the age old saying “choose your battles,” this too should apply to planning your wedding. Weddings are costly, be choosy about the few things you want to splurge on and go cheaper with the other details. If flowers, photography, and music mean the most to you, the don’t sweat small details like programs or an aisle runner. Who says you need that stuff anyway?



2. Get More Than One Quote For Venues

The same goes for vendors. Even if you have your heart set on one place, give a few other places a try. Some vendors or venues might even price match a cheaper rate for you if you bring them a lower quote from a competitor.



3. It’s Not Only Your Day

Shocking to hear right? That is probably because everyone has been drilling it into your head that it’s your day. The truth is a wedding is almost always for your family as much as it is for you. This isn’t a bad thing necessarily. You will surely have a couple “momzillas” out there and relatives who get offended by different choices you make. Try to be patient with them and your partner and take comfort in knowing that despite their seemingly overbearing opinions, they love you and mean well. Take those opinions with a grain of salt, smile and know at the end of the day you’re marrying your best friend!



4. Remember Why You’re Getting Married

It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement and stress of wedding planning, but don’t forget what brought you to this moment. Don’t let details like seating charts or who to invite come between you and your future spouse. Remember, your wedding is just one day, your marriage is forever.

1. Make It Personal

At some point along this wedding planning journey you’ve probably heard the term “cookie cutter.” It essentially means the same as everyone else, which most brides don’t seem to want. There are easy, small ways to make your day unique and special without emptying your pocketbook. One great idea, instead of using table numbers, try names of things or places that are important to you and your fiance. Table 1 could be called “Lilies” in honor of your favorite flower (and maybe your bouquet) and table 2 could be called “Dave Matthews Band” for your first date. This is fun because not only is it personal but it gives you something to chat with your guests about during that table to table greeting. Much less stuffy than “Thanks for coming! How’s the steak?” Awkward.



2. Know your Audience

We’ve all been to at least one of those weddings where you thought the music was lame, barely anyone was dancing and you just couldn’t wait to leave. Obviously, no one wants this and it’s safe to assume that the brides and grooms in these situations may have done one and/or two of these things: A) Catered to their own musical interests and B) Not done enough research on their entertainment choices. So in searching for your DJ and/or band make sure to go see them first or at the very least ask for personal testimonies or videos from weddings he/she/ have worked. Also try to consider your guests and their likes/dislikes. For example, you may love country music but if everyone else loves top 40 music you might be pretty lonely line dancing by yourself. No one likes an empty dance floor!



3. Don’t Stick to the Typical

It’s easy to be lured in by a venue that “does it all” for you but beware, there is usually a hefty price tag that goes along with that convenience. If cost is not an issue for you, by all means, do what works best for you. If you’re like the majority of Americans and have a budget, consider a venue out of the norm.

A friend of Christina's actually chose a decommissioned Naval ship in their hometown. Not only was it MUCH more affordable than other venues but it was unique, and a beautiful staple of their hometown.

Obviously, not every city has a huge ship hanging out in the middle of its bay but consider something that speaks to you and your relationship, maybe you or your partner’s childhood or something that honors a parent or loved one. You might be surprised at how many other places in your area would be happy to host a wedding even if that’s not their typical business.  Unique venues may or may not have their own catering. Also make sure that no matter where you choose, it makes you happy.



4. Invite Fun People

I mean, this one seems obvious but needs to be said. There are going to be a lot of people (i.e. distant relatives whose names you can’t remember and your parents’ coworkers) that you will be “obligated” to invite, but don’t forget to invite who YOU really want to invite. Remember those nights you don’t remember? Your friends who’ve already given you priceless memories will surely not disappoint in the fun department, especially not on your big day!

 


5. YOU Need to be Having Fun Too!

It’s all good and well to find the perfect venue, choose the right entertainment, and invite fun people but you need to be enjoying yourself too. “You Vibe with Your Tribe” so if you’re walking around stressed out and miserable, it will mostly make everyone around you feel awkward. So relax, have fun! People say “don’t sweat the small stuff” for a reason. Have you ever gone to a wedding and thought “wow these napkins don’t match the table runner…” Of course not! Now go enjoy your wedding planning!

1. Celebrating an Anniversary

What better way to celebrate a landmark anniversary like ten or 20 years than a vow renewal? Not only is it an achievement in today’s society but you allowing guests who couldn’t be at your first wedding to celebrate your day with you. Like your children! What a special thing to share with your kids. The beauty of your and your partner’s love for each other after all these years is indeed worth celebrating and sharing with the next generation.



2. You Eloped

You might have tried to “get off easy” by sneaking away and tying the knot or simply going to the courthouse. It might be a good option to renew your vows in front of all those people who care about you who were unable to be there the first time around. And it will probably make your parents happy too.

 


3. You Didn’t Have a Wedding

Maybe due to circumstances such as finances, family hardship, or work commitments you were unable to have a wedding. That doesn’t mean you don’t deserve one. Weddings are a special memory that every life long couple should be able to share.



4. FOR FUN

Does there really have to be a better reason than for fun? Realistically though, maybe you had a baby on the way your first time around and were unable to drink, or felt really uncomfortable. You are more than entitled to have a little more fun this time around as well as find a more flattering dress!



5. You’ve Weathered a Storm

Maybe one of you has just beat cancer or another trial in your life. A vow renewal is a lovely way to recommit yourselves to each other. You’ve already shown each other that you can make it through “good times and bad, in sickness and in health” but it could be really cathartic to reenact that actual moment you promised to do so. A beautiful reason for sure.

1. Let Them Wear Something Comfortable

Not only comfortable in a physical sense but in a way that they are comfortable in their own skin. Many brides choose to let their girls wear different cut dresses in the same color (or if you’re really nice, in shades of the same color). This allows your friend to pick something that is not only comfortable on their body but makes them feel the most confident.



2. Be Direct

For some women that “bridezilla” title can come very easily but for most, it can be difficult to be the center of attention. Try to keep in mind that your bridesmaids are not mediums. They cannot read your mind or know what you want so be direct with them. If you have a friend who REALLY wants to plan a Vegas bachelorette party but that is not your style then tell them that. Being honest is different than being bossy and it will really help your girls make decisions as a group if you push them in the right direction.



3. Let Them Choose their Hairstyle

It’s a small victory for someone who is jumping every time you say “jump.” Unless you really have your heart set on a certain look, it doesn’t hurt to let them choose their own. Having them show you what they had in mind for approval before the stylist gets started isn’t a bad idea but keep in mind that they are more than likely paying for this service out of pocket and it adds insult to injury to pay for something you don’t like.



4. Make Them Feel Special

Make sure each girl knows how grateful you are and they are important to you. Obviously, you can’t control other people's emotions but do your best not to make any individual feel more important than another. Women, in particular, can be sensitive creatures and it can be hurtful to feel like you’re not noticed when you’ve invested so much into your relationship with the bride. Take the time to spend time not just together but one-on- one before the wedding. This will not only make your friend feel valued but it will be valuable memories for both of you once life gets busier. At the end of the day, just have fun with them and remember why you chose them in the first place.

1. Minimalist Decor

Well this is awesome news! It is rare that you will hear about a wedding trend that will save you money so take this one into consideration. Modern brides are more often choosing to opt out of using giant centerpieces in lieu of a more delicate look. Clean and crisp table linens with simple greenery and white candles seem to be the look more couples are going for today.



2. Plain Invitations

Gone are the days of heavy cardstock and 15 different inserts that cost $4 each to ship; thank heavens. The new go-to look is something like this: simple font, clean lines and more often than not, good old black-and-white. This is wonderful news for trees, your mailman, and your pocketbook.



3. A Simple and Chic Gown

No more princess-looking ball gowns for the modern bride of 2017. The look in fashion for the modern bride is...yep, you guessed it, simple. Not a lot of lace or embellishments. Crisp, matte fabrics in chic, body-hugging silhouettes.



4. An Industrial/Loft Style Venue

This trend goes along with the rest of the “simple” trend of the twenty-teens. Brides and grooms are aiming to make their venues and weddings look elegant but also have that “I didn’t try too hard” look to them. Over-the- top puffy dresses, sparkly decor and fancy lighting have been pushed to the side for exposed brick, delicate florals and greenery and soft lighting. These more modern venues are not only gorgeous but really a blank slate for any bride to make her own.



5. Opt for a Non-Traditional “Guest Book”

Many couples are starting to steer toward a guest book that is out of the norm. You will already have a bunch of cards with good wishes written in them so why not find a more memorable way for your guests to leave their mark? A popular trend (replacing the photo booth) is the polaroid photo, or the more popularly known Instax mini 8. Many couples are having guests take a photo of themselves and hang it on tiny clothes lines or old shutters. Other couples may opt for “advice messages” to be left in a jar or notes for them to read on their first anniversary. Some have their guests sign a large canvas print of their engagement photo. The possibilities are endless, let your creative flag fly!



6. Have a Hashtag!

Having a hashtag is THE best way to gather all of the many memorable moments from your big day in one place. Be sure to pick something creative, easy to remember (and spell) and make sure people are aware of it! Creating a small sign near the check in, or even a few other places like the bathroom mirror can help ensure that people remember to post and tag all those hilarious and beautiful moments. It is a great way to see your special day through the eyes of your guests and to reminisce on all the fun you had.

1. Something to Save Them Money

It is definitely not the easiest to cater to one woman’s needs let alone a handful but if you can’t avoid asking your party to wear an item the majority is not fond of then it might be a good idea to just add that piece to their gift. For example, if you are insistent on your girls wearing purple earrings that they may likely only wear once, it might be polite to buy the earrings for them. If you planning on giving a single gift and that said gift is intended to be worn on your wedding day, try to make sure you pick something that they can use again.



2. Make It Personal

Try to pick something that is unique and thoughtful to each individual girl. If you have a girl that loves to workout, maybe some nice headphones, a high-quality water bottle or a monogrammed gym bag. A girl who loves her dog/cat? There are lots of cute matching bracelet/collar combos that are a quick online search away. Your wedding party has likely spent a lot of time, money and energy on you and your special day, picking gifts out individually that makes each girl feel special and thought of is a great way to say thank you.



3. Try an Outing

Don’t limit your gift giving options to physical items alone. Being able to enjoy an experience with your friends is a great alternative to physical objects. If all of you love the same sports team or band, try calling the box office and getting group seating for an event together. The gift of tickets can be a fun way to either relax before the big day or keep the fun going after. Either way, it will surely be unexpected and memorable.



4. Don’t Overthink It

There are your closest friends and family, you know them better than anyone and vice versa. Let your gift reflect that bond and don’t go overboard. Your wedding is the beginning of your life with your best friend, definitely not the time to go into debt buying gifts. They will love you either way.

1. Know What You Want...but be realistic

It is definitely a good plan to have at least an idea of what you want (pictures are great) when you go to meet with your florist. That being said, try to have more than one idea in case what you have planned isn’t in season or is not easily or affordably accessible in your area. A good florist will do their best to give you the bouquet of your dreams for your special day but remember that they are not miracle workers. Getting peonies in the fall in New York isn’t really reasonable, affordable or realistic for either of you. Having a few different pictures and ideas in mind will help keep you, your florist and your budget on track.



2. Keep An Open Mind

Keeping with the theme of #1, understand that there are a TON of different floral options available to you. IF your florist is not able to give you the original bouquet of your dreams, they might be able to give you an even better one. Keep an open mind to try other similar options that are more seasonally appropriate. You might be surprised that you like something better. It’s similar to buying clothes, it is better to try something (in this case look, smell, feel something) on for yourself rather than look at it in a picture.



3. You Don’t Always Have to Match

Just because your theme is one color or set of colors doesn’t necessarily mean your bouquet has to be. Your flowers are definitely a part of your outfit that is allowed to be a statement piece.



4. Make It Your Own

Your florist will be more than happy to help you add a personal touch to your bouquet that makes it feel even more special to you. For example, adding a family heirloom like your grandmother’s pearls to the ribbon on the stems, maybe your father’s military dog tags. There are many creative ways to tie in things that matter to you and what better way than in the flowers you carry down the aisle?


5. Trust Your Florist

They are the experts for a reason, be sure to use them! Don’t like anything too fragrant? They can suggest something a little less pungent so you’re not sneezing your way down the aisle. Or if your wedding is outdoors on a hot summer day, be sure to tell them so they can suggest a bouquet that will hold up best in the heat without wilting. They can also suggest the best care instructions for during the wedding and after to ensure not only that your flowers last but that you can get them preserved afterward if you so choose. Be sure to ask any and all questions you may have, that’s what they are there for!

1. Use Your Bouquet as Your “Something Blue”

You have the fun choice of not having to match anyone else and this doesn’t have to just mean your dress but your flowers too. Even if your color theme doesn’t include blue you can still choose a bouquet that is either a lush, bright shade of blue or has blue details in it. It will wow and surprise your guests and be stunning in photos.



2. Know Your Shapes

Not one size fits all and this includes your wedding bouquet. While the most popular shape is Round, be sure to do your research and see if another shape or look is more your style. Try searches like “Cascade bouquet, Posy bouquet, or Pomander bouquet.” You might be surprised how many other options are out there for you.



3. Go Natural

If you aren’t the hearts and flowers kind of girl, have no fear! There are a lot of natural, greenery options that evoke more of an earthy vibe rather than a princess one. Sage, eucalyptus, succulents and ferns are all really popular options. If you want a few flowers, try a simple posy or white roses. Greenery is also a beautiful option for your tablescape. It isn’t overly fragrant while your guests are eating and it goes with almost any color theme you might already be using.


4. Romantic

If you are on the girly side, your bouquet is a great place to showcase that without being tacky (as it might be in your decor). Peonies, roses, and hydrangeas are all extremely fragrant as well as soft and feminine. Not only are these classic flowers but they are a great way to decorate your ceremony space and provide and soft and lovely scent that will surely make your vows memorable. Add some white candles around the space for an extra romantic and intimate feel.


5. Go Big 

Large, cascading bouquets are on trend for this year. These luscious florals are great for a few reasons. They really create that “wow factor” when your guests first see you, they look lovely in pictures and can be used as part of your table decor when you arrive at your reception. Keep in mind that most florists will provide you with a small tossing bouquet if needed. And don’t worry about the flowers covering your gorgeous dress, let it be a statement piece. Everyone will see your dress at the party!

1. Lavender and Green

This dusty hue of purple along with rich bold greenery is a beautiful and unique twist to the ever popular “rustic” trend. Adding some darker shades of purple along with some light gray tones really give this color combo a gorgeous dynamic that can be used during any season. Add some silver to the mix for a more glam look.


2. Mauve and Navy 

Both of these colors are popular wedding colors that look great on almost every skin tone but are rarely put together. But why not! The mauve is a soft and romantic look on the women with a ton of floral options while the navy looks dapper and classic on any man. This is yet another scheme that would be appropriate for any season. For an even softer, feminine look, try some lace details with some peonies if they are in season.


3. Grey and Blush

This will be a popular theme this year and will probably be replacing the long-running rustic trend of the earlier 2000s. This is a great color combo because again it really works for both the men and the women. Traditions have pigeon-held the groom into wearing the basic black tux (or white if he so dared) but with these newer trends of navy, latte, and gray, the groom and his groomsmen really have a lot more options. This color combo is most appropriate in the spring and summer but with the right details, florals and decor could be appropriate for other seasons as well.


4. Burgundy, Burgundy, Burgundy!

If you are planning your wedding for the fall or winter, chances are you might already have burgundy in your theme. Burgundy and blush are the hottest trends this year and you will continually hear about both. Burgundy and blush together are stunning but you will also see burgundy and gray, sage, gold, dusty or steel blue even peach. Burgundy is to weddings what a pair of jeans is to an outfit; goes with almost anything. If this is your theme, have fun with it and try anything.

With every season, women and men’s fashion changes. New accessories help your own unique style evolve and reflect your personality. What is trending can make a big impact on how we express ourselves in daily life, through fashion, accessories and personal style.These are the top trends for 2017’s spring and summer:

Artistic Earrings - Small studs are fading out of style, and are being replaced by larger, more extravagant styles. Designers are creating a variety of new styles that stray from the traditional studs and dangling earrings. They are also incorporating a wider variety of color into their styles for a more eclectic look. You can mix up your earring style by trying bright colors and unique shapes. And if you don’t have your ears pierced, you can still join in with ear cuffs of all kinds of designs.

Simplicity in Neckwear - Chokers were the winter of 2016’s most popular necklace style. But this spring, designers are opting for more simplistic pendants and long-chain necklaces. These styles are delicate and artistic, which matches the spring and summer style. Try different pendants and custom charm necklaces to express your unique style. You can pair a simple necklace or chain with your summer outfits to add an air of elegance to your style.

Arm and ear cuffs - Cuffs and bands have been popular for years because they are simple yet very stylish. You can see plenty of celebrities accessorizing with arm and ear cuffs in this summer’s runways. Try gold and silver arm cuffs for a simple style, or jeweled cuffs for more of a statement piece. Beaded cuffs are also popular. You can add custom charm beads and monograms to your arm cuffs for a customized style.

Eclectic rings - Decorative rings are making another comeback. In past seasons, gemstone rings were the top design for fashion rings, but now stylists are incorporating unique styles to rings as they do necklaces and bracelets. You can find rings of all shapes and sized, companies that let you design your own. If you’re looking for a way to accessorize without going over-the-top, try out multiple rings, mixing and matching them to suit your style.

Nature-Inspired Jewelry - With summer and spring comes more chances to enjoy the great outdoors. Nature-inspired jewelry is trending, especially natural stone and even flower petal jewelry. You can custom-order jewelry made from your favorite fresh flowers. This style allows you to have a piece of jewelry that’s totally unique to you. Plus, you can choose your favorite color or combination of colors to design your flower petal jewelry.

Check out My Flowers Forever - Bellabeads collection of handmade jewelry and gifts. You can follow us on Facebook and Instagram to see our unique designs and jewelry sales.

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