Friday, September 30, 2011

Unity Ceremony Alternatives

Lately, brides have been asking for other ways to incorporate the unity ceremony into their wedding.

They think that the unity candle and sand ceremonies are a bit overdone. Here are a couple of my favorite ideas for those of you struggling.

The wine and love letter ceremony. Here, the bride and groom will write each other love letters. During the ceremony, they will place these love letters, other mementos of their relationship, a bottle of wine, and two glasses into a custom box of their choosing. The couple will seal the box together during the ceremony as well. Then on their 25th anniversary they will open the box unless they come across a rough spot in their relationship and need to be reminded of why they united themselves in the first place.

The Oaks
The knot ceremony. The bride and groom will braid some sort of cord during the ceremony to symbolize them coming together. Many couples have also tied their hands together with ribbon or something else meaningful to them. I like the braid, because it makes for a nice keepsake after the ceremony.

Again, personalize it to you! If you can think of some object that is extremely significant in your relationship, you can probably incorporate it as a unity ceremony!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Personalizing Your Bouquet

We have had several brides recently who personalized their bouquets with family heirlooms. I thought that this was such a sweet idea, another great way to personalize every detail about your wedding!

Ashley's Mother's Lace Trim was added to her bouqet... Photo by Caroline Johnson
One of our clients had lockets attached to her bouquet that had pictures of her Grandparents and Great-Grandparents who had passed. This way they were with her every step of the way!

Russell Martin Photography
Another one of our awesometastic brides hand-tied her bouquet with a piece of her mother's wedding dress. So sweet!!

Photography by Lindsey Tropf
Another way you can personalize your bouquet is to tie a handkerchief to it from a grandfather who passed away or even tie a family bible to it. You could incorporate many different heirlooms into your bouquet, it will mean so much more to you and your family!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Personalizing Your Ceremony

As you know, your wedding is supposed to be all about the bride and groom. Knowing this, it would be a great idea to try and put your personality into each part of the wedding, including the ceremony.


You can write your own vows, pick unique readings and bible verses, even pick family members and friends for singers (just don't ask me to sing, I'll scare everyone away)! You can even incorporate a family tradition into it, such as a saying or poem. The ceremony, just like any other part of the wedding, should be personal to you.

The ceremony is also a great way to tie in your culture, whether you are Irish, Polish, Hispanic or whatever, you can use your background to add another personal touch with cultural proverbs, songs, and traditions!


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Inspiration Board: Teal and Yellow

I love the colors teal and yellow together, they are so bright and summery! So I decided to make an inspiration board out of it. These colors would make the perfect fun, summer wedding! Tell me what you think!

Bouttonnierre; Cake; Maracas; Bunting; Dress; Frame

Monday, September 26, 2011

Late Night Treats

Lately, I have noticed that a lot of couples are deciding to do late night snacks for their guests who stay to party! I really love this detail and it makes for a memorable night for your guests.

A couple of great late night treats that I adore are McDonald's Cheeseburgers and maybe some fries, Krispy Kreme donuts, and Chick-Fil-A! Yummmmmm! Your late night treat should probably be something fast foodie and filling. By this time of night your guests are probably a little bit tipsy and just want something easy and quick to satisfy their craving.

RSVP Catering
I love it with the milk! So cute!

Mmmmmm cookies and milk, even betterer!!

Whatever treat you decide to use, your guests will love it and leave happy and content!

This post is making me kind of hungry, five guys for lunch? Yes!

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Week of Unique Treats Finale

When it comes to your wedding favors, I definitely like the idea of something edible. This way, you know your guests can and will use it eat it. This being said, we love the idea of being creative about it and not just do the traditional chocolate gift, even though chocolate is amazing.

I will end the unique treats week with a very unique edible treat that I haven't seen done before, but it's so dang cute!!

Fortune Cookies!! You can leave a fortune for all your guests and personalize it with your names and wedding date. Food and fun, you can't go wrong!

What favors did you use at your wedding? Did your guests love it?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Week of Unique Treats 4

Part 4 of our unique treats brings me to a favor that one of my clients used. It is absolutely adorable and delicious for your guests! Here it is..

Photography by Lindsey Tropf
Honey!! I really really loved this, and the bride also placed mini photos from their engagement session on each table, you can see it in the top left photo. I think that detail and the tags added such a nice personal touch.

Glenda chose to use local honey, it's delicous, and she supported local business -a win-win-win!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Week of Unique Treats 3

For part 3 of unique treats week, I would like to feature The Roche Shop. They do all sorts of wedding favors but one in particular that I love is decorative soaps!

They can make them in any shape and for any occasion, and they are really cute! Again, this is a favor that you know your guests can and do actually use!

Aren't they beautiful!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Week of Unique Treats 2

A second unique favor that I absolutely LOVE and your guests will too is cotton candy! I like the idea of giving guests something that I know they aren't just going to take home and throw in a box or in the trash.

And it's just fun, don't ya think?!

Joan Allen Weddings via Style Me Pretty

Just a fair waring to our Florida brides, cotton candy and humity do not get along... so beware!

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Week of Unique Treats

I thought I would follow up my guestbook week with a week filled with unique treats for your guests!

There are so many out there, but I thought I would share with you a few of my favorites that I have come across!

The first has to be one of the cutest I have seen, mini tobasco sauces! I love the ribbons tied on the tops to match the wedding colors!

Michael Caswell Photography
I have a bride who just used these as her favor and they are seriously adorable, with personalized labels and all!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Guestbook Week Finale

For the end of our guestbook week, I wanted to share my favorite idea that I have come across. It is so intimate and creative and something you can really keep forever to look back on! And my favorite guestbook idea is...

Polaroids!! I absolutely adore the idea of the guests taking a picture of themselves and leaving a little note by it in a book. This creates added fun for your guests and for you when you get to read it!

You can do it a couple of different ways. You can set up a table with polaroid cameras for the guests to use and have a book preset with places for the pictures and a space for the guests to write a little note.

Or you could hire a photobooth place to set up a photobooth for the guests to take the pictures in. For this set up, I really like the idea of leaving a chalkboard and chalk for guests to write a message and take a picture with it. So cute!!



As you have seen, there are endless possibilities for your guestbook, and as always, do something that suits you.

Have some fun with it!! And as always, make it about your, something personal. Because, afterall it's YOUR wedding.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sweetwater Branch Inn

We love weddings that take place at Sweetwater Branch Inn! It is seriously once of the most beautiful and quaint locations for a wedding in Gainesville!

So, Save the Date! You won't want to miss this "Afternoon with Sweetwater Branch Inn" event this Sunday, September 18th from 1-3pm! 

Yummy food, entertainment, and give-aways- what could be better? 

Make sure to RSVP by this Friday, Sept. 16th by emailing to purchase your tickets and reserve your spot for this funtastic event!

Guestbook Week Part 4

For part 4 of guestbook week, I am gonna share with you an idea that a lot of my clients have been using and it is so cute and personal!

It's what I am going to dub the picturey guestbook. Many of my brides have been taking their engagement pictures and making a book out of them, leaving some space and lines for people to sign. You can do color or black and white. I even had one bride use multi colored pens!!

Image by Luster Studios
I really do love this idea. It is something you can leave on your coffee table and look back on instead of just reading a bunch of names. It also is nice for the guests to have something to look at and even comment on when they sign it!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Guestbook Week Part 3

Keeping up with our guestbook week, today I wanted to feature signed wishes as a guestbook idea. Now this guestbook can be executed in many many different ways. The sky is the limit, really.

You can do wish bowls, wish boxes, wish trees, wish clotheslines, wish books, really anything you could imagine. Here are a few that I really liked.

Martha Stewart
Martha Stewart

Image from the knot
Jonathan Ivy Photography

This one I absolutely LOVE! You have your guests sign their wishes on a postcard and have a mailbox set up to place them in. Then you have them mailed out the next day so you come back from your honeymoon to a mailbox full of well wishes!

Martha Stewart
There are too many good ones!

Did any of you use signed wishes? What did you do?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Guestbook Week Part 2

As I mentioned yesterday, today's guestbook idea is etched bowls! This idea is seriously cool. I found this bowl from Steuben, you buy the glass bowl and it comes with a special scribe that has a diamond tip for writing on glass!

How awesomesauce is that?!

Etched Bowl
Another option would be to just buy your own crystal bowl and then purchase a crystal etching pen from Lowes.

I just think this looks so elegant and neat, and it's so unique, you know many of your guests wouldn't have seen it before. Come back tomorrow for part 3, signed wishes!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Guestbook Week Part 1

Lately we have been seeing a lot of fun and different guestbook ideas out there. I thought I would take a week to highlight a few of them and give you guys some ideas! I did a post on the guestbook tree with fingerprints that you can see here, this is still one of my favorites, and I have seen lots of spin offs of it that are awesome!

First off this week, I am really liking the idea of signing a dish or a plate. You can personalize it with all sorts of engravings from quotes, to designs, to monograms and logos and even your names and wedding date!


The Younique Boutique
It looks great when you take it home!

Personalize it for you, there are so many ways to make this your own! Stay tuned for tomorrow's guestbook idea, etched bowls!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Get in Shape: Mind

The most important thing to get in shape for your wedding day is your mind. You need to make the week of your wedding a relaxing one, otherwise you may set yourself up for a freak out.

Here are some tips to keep your mind calm and at ease:

  1. Finish all your projects and planning two weeks before the wedding. Try as hard as you can, there may be certain things that have to be left to do the week of the wedding, but get everything out of the way that you possibly can before then, this will save you so much stress.
  2. The things that need to be done the week of and day of, delegate to someone else, a mom, a bridesmaid, a wedding planner, whoever. You need to have someone else in charge of things, especially on the day of, otherwise you are gonna get super stressed out trying to make sure that everything is on time and set up correctly. I recommend a wedding planner, that way you and your family can enjoy the day! MasterPiece Weddings would be happy to fill this role for you!
  3. Do relaxing activities the week of your wedding. Have a spa day with the girls. Go to lunch with family that is in town. Have a nice dinner and movie date with your hubby to be. Again, the key here is to relax yourself and DE-stress!

All of these tidbits will allow you to have a much more enjoyable wedding experience, trust me. If you are running around worrying about every little detail and about every little thing that could go wrong, you are not going to enjoy the day. I've seen it happen to brides, and it's not fun, it's really sad.

This day only comes around once, so you've got to make the most of it!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Get in Shape: Body

For today's get in shape post, we are talking about the body. Now I think brides can go a little overboard with this part for their wedding day.

Every girl wants to lose a few pounds here and a few pounds there, but let's not go crazy okay. We don't want you passing out on your wedding day from malnutrition!

Tips for getting your body in shape, you may have heard these before, but I would like to stress these key points.
  1. Eat healthy. This sounds simple but everyone has a hard time with it. This does NOT mean stop eating good tasting foods. Eat less fast food and ready made dinners. Eat more fruits, veggies, and lower fat proteins such as fish and chicken. Try to roast and bake more than you fry foods.
  2.  Drink lots of water and less soda.
  3. Eat more whole grains and less processed foods. Just be more aware of what you are taking in. Also, treat yourself every once in a while!! Wedding planning can be stressful and dieting only adds to it, don't completely deny yourself. Reward yourself!
  4. Exercise. Again, sounds simple but it's harder than it sounds. Make it a family affair, get your family fit for the wedding! Play sports together, go on bike rides, take classes at the gym. It's better when you have someone to do it with. Also, don't go overboard! Do what you can, 3-4 times a week for at least 30 minutes. Try to fit in some weights, muscle helps burn fat!
  5. Remember that your fiance loves you how you are, they've been with you up until now, and they probably don't care if you lose those 5 or 10 or fill in the number pounds! You are beautiful to them now, and you are going to look beautiful on your wedding day, you just are, so don't go crazy stressing yourself out about losing weight! Just be healthy.
Caroline Johnson Photography

    Wednesday, September 7, 2011

    Get in Shape: Hair

    An extremely important part of your bridal beauty is your hair. Brides know this and they stress over it a lot. We did a post on different hair styles about a month and a half ago that you guys can check out here.

    This post is about prepping your hair to get done on the actual day.

    Here's what to do and what not to do:
    1. DO NOT wash your hair the night before! Your hair will stay better being one day dirty and your hairdresser will thank you, it's much easier to work with.
    2. It is also helpful for you to straighten your hair the night before as well, unless you are wearing your hair wavy or in tight curls.
    3. If you are getting your hair colored, do it at least a couple days before, maybe even a week. You don't want to have left over dye all around your face.
    4. As far as length, I would say grow it out until you have your trial done, then you can play with it and see if you like long hair or short hair better. Just remember, you can always cut it, but you only have so much time to grow it back. Temporary extenstions are always an option.
    Some inspiration for you
    Photography by Bobbi and Mike; Hair by Graceful Strands
    Powers Photography


    Tuesday, September 6, 2011

    Get in Shape: Skin

    For the second day of our get in shape week, we're gonna tackle skin. This is a very important part of your body that you need to prep for your wedding day so you can be glowing and smooth.

    Photography by Pure by Lindsey; Make-up by Christy Connor

     Here are some tips:
    1. For tanning, natural is best; if you want to do a tanning bed, that's your choice. But make sure to wear sunscreen, none of this 4 or 8 spf either. Let's go with 30 spf to be safe. You don't be want to be a lobster on your wedding day! I would try to stay out of the sun at least a day or two before the big day.
    2. DO NOT GET A SPRAY TAN! Please, you just look orange and it's going to rub off on your dress. Just say no!
    3. Make sure to moisturize daily at least a few weeks prior, so you have nice soft skin for the day and for your honeymoon!
    4. Try not to stress as much as possible the week of your wedding. Stress can cause breakouts, and it doesn't do anything good for your skin! When it gets down to the week of your wedding, you've planned all you can plan so there is no use worrying about it! Just try to relax!!

    Monday, September 5, 2011

    Get in Shape: Nails

    We are gonna start our get in shape week with something small, your nails.

    Your nails are probably not too high on your priority list, but you still want them to look presentable on your wedding day, not like this..


    Ew right! You at the very least want them trim and polished! I have a couple tips for picture perfect nails on the big day.

    1. If you are getting them done by a professional, no sooner than the day before your wedding, otherwise you run the risk of them getting chipped and ruined or growing out if you get acrylics.
      1. Side Note: if you want to avoid a little bit of pain when getting your nails done, push your own cuticles back with your nails or a cuticle pusher, it's so much better, trust me.
    2. If you're doing them yourself or having a friend do them, its best to go with the day of the wedding cause they probably won't last as long. And make sure they are COMPLETELY DRY before you put on your dress, please! Have them done a few hours before you put on your dress as precaution.
    3. Toenails are important too ladies. Although they may not be showing all day, it is likely that the photographer will snag a couple photos of them in your shoes and you want to look polished.
    4. Trim! You don't want them too long, medium length is probably best, then you won't need to worry about them breaking.
    5. Neutral colors or a french manicure is best I think. You can try to match your colors if you want, but I think dark nails with the white dress is a little much. But if that's your personality, then go for it!
    Here are a couple of images of pretty nails for the day.


    Feel free to bling them up a little with some small jewels or stick on flowers, but don't go overboard. You want the attention on your bridal beauty, not your nails, they are just an accessory.
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