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DIY Bridal Wedding Bouquets

Mar17

Creating anything for your wedding yourself can be a thrill and a challenge. Any DIY wedding task will give you the opportunity to be a part of the creating and planning process in a way that will be apparent to your friends and family on the big day. Designing and configuring your bridal wedding flowers is a fabulous way to sprinkle your own special touch throughout your wedding from beginning to end, not to mention that you might even save a couple bucks.

What will you need? In order to design your own wedding bouquets, you will need the following items:

  • Ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Rubber bands, or floral wire
  • Flowers
  • Floral tape
  • Flower accessories (sprays, pearls, berries etc.)

Step One: Do your research and search for wedding bouquets online, in magazines, or by visiting your local wedding florist for ideas and inspiration. Decide what varietals you will need, what color ribbon, as well as any accessories you'll need and what size bouquet you're aiming for.

Step Two: Purchase the flowers you'll need for your bridal flower bouquets, either from your local florist, or wholesale flower markets.

Step Three: Store your flowers in a container with preservative solution, which will keep your flowers looking fresh and vibrant.

Step Four: Clean up the flower stems by clipping any stray or unnecessary leaves.

Step Five: Organize the flowers on a large table or on a sheet on the floor with the longest-stemmed flowers in the middle, and shorter on each side.

Step Six: Create your arrangement! Make sure the shorter flowers are on the outside, and use a rubber band or a ribbon to bind them together. Make use of any accessories and add them to the arrangement.

Step Seven: Use wire to keep the stems from drooping and wrap it around each stem. Cover up the wire with floral tape.

Step Eight: Wrap your bouquets in ribbon of your choosing, and use a hot glue gun to hold any loose ribbon into place.

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Honeymoon Locations: Colombia for Coffee Lovers

Mar17

If you're looking for great honeymoon locations in South America, Colombia is an excellent choice—especially if you love coffee, mountain or water sports, and touring old colonial cities. Here are a few reasons to include Colombia in your top honeymoon locations:

  1. Colombia is home to a large number of resorts of impeccable quality, so you get the most out of your money.
  2. There are many gorgeous small towns and colonial cities for those who love history, including Cartagena, Barichara, Villa de Leiva, Popoyan, GIron, Mongui, and Guane. You can spend hours roaming the streets and enjoying beautiful hillside views. Much of the architecture in these towns has been well preserved. For those who love to hike, there is a stone path connecting Barichara to Guane.
  3. The Zona Cafetera, or coffee country, is located around the village of Salento, where you can tour coffee farms (often run by families), hike in the Corcora Valley, and of course, sip a cup of excellent coffee.
  4. Colombia’s Caribbean Coast is full of white sand beaches, gorgeous bays, and even the stunning Tayrona National Park.
  5. The people of Colombia are warm, welcoming and friendly, and the food is incredible. When it comes to affordable honeymoons, Colombia is difficult to beat.


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Asian Wedding Traditions: How to Incorporate Elements of Asia Into Your Wedding

Mar17

Asian wedding traditions offer inspiration for many other cultures and countries, and guests will enjoy the opportunity to learn about these traditions as they join you in celebrating your big day. Here are a few Asian wedding traditions that may appeal to you:

Dress.
In China, brides often wear red silk, often decorated with a Chinese phoenix or dragon. The bride may also wear a red veil and red shoes; a groom often wears a red silk vest. In Japan, brides often wear a quilted robe made of white silk called an uchikake, which usually includes cranes and pines, symbolizing happiness. A Japanese groom will typically wear a black kimono over a white kimono. Korean brides and grooms are known for wearing ornate headpieces and elaborate updos.

Food.
Korean wedding traditions dictate that the groom gives the bride’s family a live, wild goose. Today, many grooms use a wooden goose, symbolizing a long life together. At the wedding feast, noodle soup is a staple. In Japanese weddings, red rice and red beans are often served. Because "mede-tai" is Japanese for happiness, tai is often served at Japanese weddings, such as Tai-no-sashimi (raw sea bream slices) or tai-no-shioyaki (grilled sea bream). Other dishes include kelp (symbolizing joy) or herring roe, indicating fertility. At Chinese weddings, Peking duck is a popular dish, and sea cucumbers are often part of the vegetable dishes, thought to symbolize harmony and lack of conflict.

Note: If you decide to have Asian food at your wedding, you should have place cards that explain each dish, where it originated (specifically, which region of a particular country), and what it is thought to represent. This adds more significance to your meal and your choice of dishes.

Flowers.
Flowers are a great way to give your wedding an Asian feel. Try using cherry blossoms, lotus blossoms, orchids, poppies, bear grass, topiaries, bamboo, wheat grass, or other interesting potted plants. For centerpieces, you can have lilies or stones in a clear, elongated vase of water. These flowers help create a tranquil setting. You can also use flowers as place card holders, favor decorations or accents to utensils and place settings.

Table Settings.
Other Asian wedding decorations include square table settings (Square plates, bowls, etc.), especially in colors such as yellow, red, or white; these can also be decorated with cherry blossoms or orchids. You can also make origami napkins, in popular origami shapes such as swans, fans or fortune cookies.

Lanterns.
Lanterns are a great way to incorporate Asian Wedding Décor. You can hang large paper lanterns from the ceiling, or you can have smaller ones gracing the dessert table or as part of your reception table centerpieces. Lanterns can also have a great effect for your lighting, creating a magical atmosphere.

Fortune Cookies.
You do not have to use typical fortune cookies; instead, you can be really creative by adding icing and sprinkles in your color scheme. You could also have them custom made; instead of having fortunes inside, you can insert favorite quotes from the bride and groom, or interesting facts about the two of you written on the paper. Or, you could have questions, such as “How many children do Emily and Jason want to have?” The answer can be written on the back.

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Online Wedding Florist: Bridal Party Flowers Checklist

Mar17

Before choosing an online wedding florist, it is important to figure out exactly what flowers you will need. You have to take into consideration your bridesmaids’ bouquets, your groomsmen's boutonnieres, and reception and ceremony flowers. Here is a flower checklist for the bridal party alone:

  1. You will need boutonnieres for your best man, your groomsmen, the groom, the ring bearer, ushers (this is optional, though your groomsmen may also serve as ushers), the father of the bride, the father of the groom, and the grandfathers of the bride and groom.
  2. You will need bouquets for the bride (and potentially an extra one for the bridal toss), the maid of honor, the bridesmaids, and the flower girl.
  3. Other potential flowers include a headpiece for the bride (this is extremely popular for spring) and a halo for the flower girl.
  4. You will need corsages for the mother of the bride, the mother of the groom, and the grandmothers of the bride and groom.

 

Choosing an online wedding florist will allow you to order online wedding flowers, but you must make absolutely sure that this vendor is reputable. The advantage of going to local wedding florists is that you can have him or her make you up a sample bouquet to get a visual to make sure you have chosen the right color and texture combinations. However, if flowers are not your first priority, an online florist may be the best way to go.

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Wedding Cake Designs: 3 Things to Consider

Mar17

Now is the time to go cake tasting, and you haven’t had much time to think about wedding cake designs. Here are a few things to help prepare you for your first cake tasting visit:

Do you like the look of a square cake or a round cake? Wedding cake designs tend to depend on the overall style of your wedding, as square cakes go well with a more modern style (with the sharper edges), and round cakes tend to be softer, lending themselves well to classic, traditional, or vintage-style weddings. If your wedding is a bit whimsical, you can ask your baker or caterer if it is possible to alternate a round cake and a square cake.

Ask about cake accessories, such as wedding cake stands and wedding cake toppers. Typically, your cake vendor will supply a basic cake stand, but if you want something fancier or more distinct, you should go to a party rental store. An organized caterer can recommend a good rental place.

The more flavors you want, the more expensive it will be. A two-flavor cake is pretty typical, and many wedding experts recommend one basic, traditional flavor (such as vanilla cake with strawberry or buttercream filling), and one less common flavor, such as carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, or lemon-ginger spice cake. You may even want to consider coordinating your cake colors with your wedding colors; for example, if one of your colors is red, serve red velvet cake.

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Bridal Websites: Should You Have One?

Mar16

Many couples today are designing their own wedding websites, but is this a necessary aspect of the wedding planning process? Some couples shock guests with their speediness; a few days after they are engaged, they already have their bridal websites up and running! Though it may not be entirely necessary, a personal wedding website can be of great benefit to you and your guests, especially if you are doing a destination wedding. Here are a few reasons why:

  1. You can use wedding planning websites to share useful and relevant information with your guests. Since details are likely to change throughout the process, you can keep your information up to date and relevant. Out of town guests and those planning to attend a destination wedding will especially find this useful.
  2. Bridal websites are an excellent way to communicate with your guests and involve them in the process. Many websites have an option for guests to subscribe, so you can send out messages when anything changes. You can even link an RSS feed to Facebook or other social networking sites.
  3. A wedding site can be interactive. For example, you may be deciding among four or five different locations for your honeymoon, and you want guests’ input. You can have guests take a vote: Dominican Republic, Hawaii, Bora Bora, Lake Como, or Puerto Rico. (You may or may not decide to go with the popular vote, but it is fun and interesting nonetheless to see what people say). Perhaps one of your guests has been to certain place and highly recommends it (or dissuades you from going). You can also get your guests’ input on music choices and playlists (so that everyone can have their favorite song played).
  4. You can also post a wedding blog. People love to hear about how your planning is going. Perhaps you went to a cake tasting one afternoon, and want to share your experience, or maybe you had a great meeting with your DJ. You may want some feedback on color schemes and flowers. This is a great way to savor and enjoy the planning process; writing about it can be therapeutic and even help you make some tough decisions.
  5. Many bridal websites offer tracking features, which can help you keep track of things like RSVP’s, what type of meals have been requested, etc. (Also, if you have people RSVP online, they will only be able to RSVP for the number of guests who have actually been invited. Many brides run into a problem with paper RSVP cards: guests will cross out the number that has been invited, and add more people. This may sound absurd, but it happens all the time.)
  6. After the wedding, you can post photos, not just of the wedding, but also of the rehearsal dinner, the bachelorette party (if appropriate), and the bridal shower.
  7. A wedding website will also serve as an archive of your wedding planning. You will have photos, thoughts, and a ton of other memories of this special time in your life.

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How to Preserve and Care for Antique Wedding Rings

Mar16

Brides today are more likely to appreciate and desire antique weddings rings than they were in the past. Brides are likely to find other brides wearing versions of their ring if the ring was purchased at a standard jeweler. With antique wedding rings, you have a more unique piece of jewelry that no one else will be wearing. Here are a few tips—that are also relevant for a groom planning to propose—for making sure that your ring retains all of its sparkle, shine, and beauty:

  1. Do not mix your ring in a drawer with other jewelry or in a jewelry case, as pieces can easily scratch each other.
  2. Store the ring in a dry and clean place, preferably in a soft, fabric-lined jewelry box (with dividers), or in a single box with tissue or silk fabric around it.
  3. Use a soft brush (if needed) to remove dirt or other grime. Make sure the brush is extremely soft, and that the bristles are not hard enough to scratch.
  4. Soak the ring in a warm solution of water and liquid detergent; then swish the ring around and rinse it with warm water. Dry with a lint-free cloth.
  5. Do not take the ring to a pool that uses chlorine. Bleach and other chemicals can cause damage or discoloration.
  6. Try not to touch the diamond (or other stone) with your hands. Try to handle the ring by the band.
  7. Use a wooden toothpick or dental floss pick to carefully push dirt away from your diamond or other stone. The key is, be very careful not to scratch it. If you are worried about damaging it, it is better to have your jeweler clean it.
  8. Go to your jeweler at least once a year to have your ring checked for loose prongs, worn mountings, and other signs of wear. Have your ring cleaned every few months, if possible. Note: it is also possible to buy a small machine to clean your ring, such as an ultrasonic cleaning machine. They can be useful in some cases, but it is imperative to check with your jeweler first to see if the type of machine you are going to purchase is safe for the particular material(s) your ring is made of.
  9. Do not wear your ring when doing hard work, as it can be chipped.
  10. When you wash your hands or take off your ring to do dishes, do not leave it on the edge of the sink, or anywhere where it can easily slip down the drain.

Note: The same recommendations and rules apply to all mens wedding rings, whether they are vintage gold, platinum, or a modern titanium. Today there are some new materials often used for the groom’s ring, such as tungsten carbide and titanium. Though tungsten can be permanently polished, and is much harder than gold, it is still susceptible to scratches. Some say that because tungsten is heavier than other metals, they are more likely to notice if it has fallen off. Even with titanium rings, it is likely that you will notice varying degrees of denting, surface marks, and scratching. It is important to take off any ring when doing rough work or labor.

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Questions for Your Wedding Day Makeup Artist

Mar16

In order to find the right makeup artist that fits your unique wedding day needs, you have to have all of the proper questions in tow. Once you know what to ask you’ll be able to narrow down your search with ample time to plan your wedding day beauty.

The first, and probably the most important question is of course all about cost. The best way to inquire about bridal makeup prices is by simply asking how much they charge. Their answer could be simple or more involved depending on how many girls will require professional makeup on the day of your wedding.

Also make sure to ask them if they can come to you, or if you need to go to them. It may be more convenient for you to go to them depending on your wedding day schedule and location. Most bridal makeup artists offer on site makeup, but make sure you don’t assume anything.

If you need a hairstylist, ask if they offer that service as well. You may get lucky and land the best bridal makeup artist and hairstylist in one fell swoop. The fewer stops you’ll need to make on the day of your wedding the better.

Before you make your final decision ask if they have an online portfolio. This will give you a thorough idea of what kind of experience they have and what your options will be.

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How to Negotiate Discounts on Groomsmen Attire

Mar15

Though most people remember the bridesmaids’ dresses more clearly, your groomsmen attire plays an important part in your wedding aesthetics. If you are doing your best to stay on a budget, and if you want to minimize the cost for your groomsmen, here are a few things to think about:

Rent from a business that gives discounts for group rentals. This is probably the single best way to save money on a groomsmen tux or suit. If you have a large wedding party, and are also planning to rent the attire for the ring bearer and the father of the bride and groom, you are even more likely to get a better deal. Do your research beforehand by calling tuxedo and suit rental shops to see what they offer. Remember, you are the one bringing them the business; point it out if another place offers you a better discount, and give them a reason to try to make you a customer.

Note: You may be limited if some of your groomsmen live out of state, because you will want to rent from a business that is nationwide. If all of your groomsmen are local, you can be more flexible in choosing your rental venue.

If your groomsmen are open to this and are confident of their size, you can consider renting your groomsmen attire online; many sites offer substantial discounts.

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California Honeymoon Destinations

Mar15

If you love the California coast, or the idea of a romantic getaway in the heart of the wine country, then a California honeymoon might be right up your alley. Due to its diversity, California is saturated with honeymoon spots that offer myriad activities, backdrops, and jaw dropping scenery. Use the following honeymoon ideas to help narrow down your top California honeymoon locations.

San Francisco: Give your hubby a San Francisco treat and visit this bustling, beautiful city. It offers more than twenty museums, countless theaters, a thriving nightlife and some of the best restaurants in the country. If you choose SF, make sure to visit the upscale area called the Marina District, which offers insatiable restaurants and fun boutiques.

San Diego: San Diego’s superb coastline and warm climate make it a prime California honeymoon location. If you and your hubby want to be in the thick of the California beach scene, (perhaps you’re surfers?), then San Diego is your spot! San Diego offers countless elegant hotels, posh restaurants, and countless upscale as well as beachy boutiques.

Sonoma County: If the thought of relaxing in a romantic verdant countryside with only the best wine right at your fingertips, then this is the spot for you! Located approximately 30 miles north of San Francisco, this destination offers picturesque landscapes, some of which offer views of the Pacific Ocean, Lake Sonoma, Redwood forests, or the Russian River. Not to mention the rolling hills lush with miles of grapevines and fresh produce.

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