Boo-tified and Classy – A Halloween Wedding!

Eleven short days until ghosts, pumpkins, and vampires grace our door steps and make the customary “trick or treat!” calls. For the ever-so-brave bride who’s opting for a Halloween wedding with a classy twist, I applaud you. I know it’s coming up soon, so the jitters and last minute preparation musts are setting in! Don’t worry though; here are just a few decoration, food, and drink tips for you to throw in for the perfect, classy Halloween wedding! 

Colors: For a Halloween wedding, you’ll want to opt for darker colors to really set off the mood. Some color options include:

  • Black
  • White- (This could be your main color, and use the other colors as your accents).
  • Red
  • Lavender purple
  • Orange

Decorations: For a classier Halloween wedding, don’t go for blood dripping fangs, spooky witches, and dead stuff. Instead, opt for things like:

  • Candles: Cozy, yet spooky! Especially if they’re in a black candelabra.
  • Lanterns: Lanterns will add the perfect rustic, classy, Halloween touch.
  • Centerpieces: Twigs are great! If you want to incorporate “Halloween death” without seeming ghoulish, try for twigs and sticks placed in black or red vases. Classy, yet Halloween-ish.
  • PUMPKINS! I love pumpkins – pumpkin everything, actually. If you want to really make your Halloween themed wedding classy, try painting your pumpkins white and then dipping the tops in glitter. Gorgeous!
  • Black Lace: On your table cards, seating charts, or napkin holders, you could incorporate black lace (instead of spider webs) to give off that Halloween, classy feel.

The Tables:

  • Table Settings: For place settings and seating arrangements, go Halloween-themed. Instead of each table being a city or country, try having each table Halloween-themed, such as The Vampires, The Witches, etc…
  • Table Cloths: Black table cloths are perfect. Make sure your centerpieces have lots of color though in order to soften the harshness.

Food: Of course, for fun food, try:

  • Candy Bar: Have a Halloween-candy bar as your appetizer section. Your guests will love you for it!
  • Pumpkin Everything: Oh my goodness, pumpkin is in the air! Try having a lot of pumpkin-y foods, such as pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, pumpkin cake, and anything else pumpkin you can think of.

Drinks: For alcoholic beverages, have fun with your Halloween theme! Some alcoholic beverage ideas include (but are definitely not limited to!):

  • Bloody Mary’s
  • Spiced Rum Apple Cider
  • Pumpkin Martini’s (it’s pumpkin, therefore, my favorite!)
Pumpkin Martini by Ally Mauro

Pumpkin Martini by Ally Mauro

Remember, for your Halloween-themed wedding, have fun with the decorations and the color scheme! If you’re opting for a classier wedding, than go for fun, not bloody! And please, no “till death do us part” coffin wedding ring holders…

Bridal Accessories from Head to Toe!

Your dress is gorgeous (to say the least) but every girl has to have accessories! From tiaras to gorgeous peep-toe heels, you’ll be able to top off the perfect look with ease! There’s a lot to consider when shopping for accessories, so make sure you know exactly what you want before the shopping ensues!

Headed to Perfection: Whether you’re going for all-out princess attire or looking for a simple flower piece to complete the look, you’re guaranteed to look ravishing!

Hair Piece by Lianne Nichols

Hair Piece by Lianne Nichols

  • Head Pieces: There are lots of different head pieces out there that are great for just about any wedding theme. A few ideas include:
    • Tiara: Perfect for the Princess-bride! From ornate and elegant to simple and sweet, there are tons of different styles to choose from.
    • Hair Accessories: From large pearl and diamond appliques to a small brooch-like piece, you can really add pizazz to your gorgeous hairstyle.
    • Head Bands: Another great choice to add that little touch of beauty.
    • Pearls: Strategically placed throughout your billowing locks, this will really add a touch of class.
    • Flowers: Something simple and elegant – perfect for the outdoor, vintage wedding!
  • Veils: There are many different veil types, so make sure to choose one that goes well with your dress and wedding style. Some styles include:
    • Cathedral
    • Fingertip length
    • Elbow length
    • Shoulder length
    • Birdcage (my personal favorite!) 

Body: Spruce up your wedding dress with a gorgeous accent belt or sash! Also, you can’t forget about a necklace (if your wedding dress needs one) to really spruce up the look. There are tons of belts and necklaces to choose from such as:

  • Sash: Some styles include:
    • Sash with applique (pearls and diamonds galore!)
    • Thick/thin rhinestone belt
    • Floral and rhinestone sash
  • Necklaces: If you’re going to have a necklace, opt for something simple and elegant like a pearl or diamond piece. You want to accentuate without being overdone – this isn’t the time for a huge statement necklace (unless, of course, your simple dress would go well with one!). 

Tootsies: Ah, the best part! Some shoe types include:

  • Stilettos (make sure to have flip flops or ballet flats handy – your feet will probably be blistering sore by the end of the night.)
  • Heels
  • Peep-toe pumps
  • Ballet Flats
  • Boots (my favorite! I did this and LOVED it!)

Remember, accessorize to accentuate! Have fun, find the best accessories that go the greatest with your wedding dress, and spruce it up!

A Much-Deserved Spa Day: Manicure Style!

This last season has been full of crazy days, dress shopping, food tasting, and invitation making. You’re exhausted! Just looking back on my 7 month wedding planning rendezvous makes me want to take a nap. Every bride deserves a little pampering in between stamp –licking and dress fittings, so make sure to treat yourself a day or two before your wedding! Get your fingers primped and beautified – they’re going to be the focus of a lot of pictures!

Spa Day by Foundry ParkInn

Spa Day by Foundry ParkInn

Non-French Manicure: For those of you who want to do something a little different, here are a few non-French manicure ideas!

  • Lace: My personal favorite! Lace your fingers with a soft white (or colored!) lace design that really gives your fingertips a feminine appeal!
  • Polka Dots: For the fun, playful, and retro bride, polka-dots are great!
  • Half & Half: Try going two-toned. Have it in a diagonal pattern, one side white and the other side your wedding color. It’s great for a popping look that really adds pizazz.
  • Accent Nail: This seems to be the biggest hit these days. Choose one nail on both hands and have it look a little different. Some options include:
    • Glitter
    • Beads
    • Whole finger nail one color
  • Blue: If you’re still trying to figure out what to do for your something blue, paint your nails a soft, pretty aqua or Tiffany blue!

French and Fabulous: There are several French-tipped manicures. Look for a style that best fits your personality!

  • Original: I’ve always loved the original French manicure- it’s super classy, chic, and elegant.
  • Lined: Have each finger (or an accent finger) lined with “diamonds”. Or, you could even line the white with a super thin black line. Super posh!
  • Accent: Again, accent nails are the biggest hit! Try having one of your French-styled nails topped off with a bow for a cute touch!
  • V-Shaped: My mom is a huge fan of the v-shaped French manicure. It’s just a little different than your original manicure, giving it a sexy pop of style!
  • Colored French Tip: Instead of the original white, try having your nails tipped in one of your wedding’s accent colors.

Nail Tip Styles: There is more than one way to file your nails. Here are a couple ideas:

  • Stiletto: Super sexy, new, and definitely edgy!
  • Rounded
  • Square
  • Oval
  • Squoval: As the name suggests, it’s a hybrid between square and oval. My personal favorite!

Remember, this is your day to relax and take a breath before the big I-Do’s! Enjoy your time, sit back, relax, and (if the salon offers) have a glass of wine!

Glamorize Your Tresses on Your Wedding Day!

Whether you have gloriously long, luscious locks or Pixie-sweet short tresses, there are tons of different hairstyles out there that will add the perfect touch to your wedding look! Here’s a short list of some hairstyle suggestions!

Tips: Go for something that makes you feel your best. Remember, you’re the Belle of the Ball, so spruce up your mane and show it off! Some things to consider:

  • Is it going to be hot or cold?
  • Is it humid the month of your wedding?
  • Is it indoors, outdoors, or a bit of both?
  • Is your wedding super chic and classy, or laid back and relaxed?

Take these factors into consideration, and then start looking at styles! Have fun, go bold, and look elegant!

Short Up-Do’s: For the short-haired ladies, here are a few suggestions:

  • Fan Bun: Go low, fan out your bun, and top it off with a side fishtail braid. Add in some accessories or leave it just as it is! Either way, this slicked-back style is perfect for the Posh Princess.
  • Headband Braid: If your hair is long enough, try a “halo braid” – where you have just a top braid. Put the bottom locks in a bun and you have the perfect style for a relaxed wedding!

Long Up-Do’s: Here are some ideas for those of you have lusciously long locks:

  • Bun with a Braid: Have a loose bun with tendrils of hair cascading in a downward spiral, than finish the look with a gorgeous French or fishtail braid on top.
  • Fishtail: For a single side braid, the fishtail will add detail and relaxed sophistication. It’s perfect for the outdoor bride who’s looking to relax and enjoy her special day!

Short Down-Do’s: If you want to keep it down, here are a few short hairstyle ideas for you!

  • Curl: Spiral curls add a whimsical, fairytale-like innocence and elegance to your style. Accent with gorgeous hair pieces to top it off!
  • Wave: Beachy waves – my favorite! This is perfect for a relaxed wedding. Add a headband for a retro-relaxed look!

Long Down-Do’s: For those of you who have long hair, play it up with some of these fabulous long hairstyles!

  • Straight: Stick straight, elegant, and sophisticated. Top it off with a tiara (be bold, remember!) and call it perfect!
  • Curls or Waves: Like the short hairstyles, waves or curls are perfect for accentuating your blushing-bride beauty. Accent with gorgeous hair pieces, and you have a flawless look!
Bridal Hair by David Jones, CPP

Bridal Hair by David Jones, CPP

For that perfect look, find a style that best accentuates your wedding’s style. Go bold, go elegant, and have fun!

Makeup Tips for the Blushing Bride

You want to look your absolute best by enhancing your natural beauty and showing off your wedding-day glow. Whether you plan on doing your makeup yourself or having a qualified makeup artist do it for you, there are a few things to consider. Here’s a short list of tips and tricks to keep in mind!

Getting Ready by Kris Kesiak

Getting Ready by Kris Kesiak

For the Do-It-Yourself Bride: For all you ladies who are doing your own makeup, I admire you since I wasn’t brave enough! Go for it, but make sure to follow these few simple ideas and tips to ensure flawless makeup for the whole day!

  • Go Heavy: As a general rule, pictures wash you out. So when applying your makeup, apply it a little heavier than usual. It may feel like too much, but trust me, it’s not!
  • Prime It Up: Make sure to apply primer before your foundation as this helps to ensure a long lasting wear. Also, eye primer is imperative since this also helps to keep your eye shadow on for the whole day.
  • Cream Blush: For that blushing bride look, opt for a cream blush. This adds a sheer appearance to your cheeks, making you fairly glow!
  • Enhance Your Eyes: Opt for eye shadows that enhance your eye color. For example:
    • Blue Eyes: Light purples are a great color!
    • Green Eyes: Again, every shade of purple will enhance green eyes.
    • Brown Eyes: For us lucky brown-eyed beauties, just about any color looks fabulous! Therefore, find colors that enhance your skin and hair color.
    • Luscious Lashes: Fake eye lashes are the greatest thing since sliced bread. Your eyes will pop and look absolutely fantastic!
    • Waterproof: Waterproof mascara and eye liner is vital! Use waterproof and waterproof only!

Make-Up Artists: For those, like me, who aren’t quite as confident in their makeup applying abilities, go to a makeup artist. They’re fabulously amazing!

  • Trial: Make sure to schedule a trial long before your wedding day. You want to make sure you know exactly what you want done and by who.
  • Compare: Get referrals and then compare prices. In the end, choose who you are most comfortable with.
  • Natural Beauty: Make sure to tell your makeup artist that you want it as natural looking as possible. Enhance your beauty, don’t cover it up.

You want to look your absolute best, so go with a look that you would normally wear, just a little heavier. Whether you’re the independent, brave beauty or the dependent makeup lady like me, go for a natural, blushing bride look!

Who Flips What Bill?

As we’ve established, weddings can be and are expensive. When it comes to who flips what bill, lines can get a little smudged, and that’s ok. Traditionally speaking, I will give you a list of who pays what, but this list, by no means, is set in stone! Make sure your side of the family and your fiancé’s side of the family discuss wedding finances. Everyone does things a little differently, and that’s ok! This traditional payment list is a guide to help you decide on who flips what bill.

To-Do List by Tony

To-Do List by Tony

Bride: Traditionally, the bride’s family pays for most of the wedding expenses. Girls come with the territory (think dowries…) of wedding bills. Here’s a list of traditional payments made by the bride’s family:

  • Ceremony: The bride’s family pays for renting expenses, the officiant, and anything that has to do with the ceremony.
  • Bride’s Attire: The bride’s family traditionally pays for her wedding gown and everything that goes with it.
  • Flower Arrangements: This includes all the decorative flowers, and the flower girl and bridesmaids bouquets.
    • NOTE: Here’s where my family did it a little differently – we paid for all the flower expenses, including my bouquet, the boutonnieres, and corsages.
  • Photography/Videography: Anything photographed or videoed is paid for by the bride’s family.
  • Reception: This is all-inclusive, meaning, the bride’s family pays for the food, renting of the building/space, and decorations.
  • Invitations: Anything paperie is flipped by the bride’s family.
  • Transportation: If you have a limousine (or a horse-drawn carriage like I did) the bride’s family pays for it.

Groom: Traditionally speaking (again), the groom’s family pays for less than the bride’s family (I was always told boys were cheaper… I guess they were right…). Here’s what the groom’s side pays for:

  • Grooms Outfit: His tux/suit, shoes, etc…
  • Flowers: This includes the bride’s bouquet, the boutonnieres, and the mother/grandmother corsages.
  • Honeymoon: Traditionally, the groom’s family pays for the honeymoon.
    • NOTE: This is where we differed from traditional payments – my husband paid for the honeymoon expenses, as this was something he wanted to do.
  • Rehearsal Dinner: The groom’s family hosts the rehearsal dinner. As the host, they have free reign to choose.
  • Marriage License: Again, my husband and I veered from tradition with this one, and we flipped the bill. But traditionally speaking, the groom’s family usually does.

Remember, this list is a traditional idea – it’s not set in stone and a must-follow. Everyone differs, and that’s ok! Choose what best fits in each side of the family’s budget, and go from there. Remember, this is a special occasion, so don’t cause WWIII by trifle financial arguments! Smile, breathe, and enjoy!

Wedding on a Budget: Favorite Favors

Honestly, we all take a look at the favors placed on the tables at our friend’s wedding and wonder, what in the world am I going to do with a bookmark, antique wooden key, or jars of bubble gum? Yep, we’ve all been there. Not to mention, favors can be expensive. If you’re trying to save a few dollars, a great place to start is with your favors. Here are a few simple tips for you to consider when shopping for favors.

Tips: Like I said, favors can be expensive, especially when you’re buying for 150 guests. Here are just a few ideas for you to take a gander at!

  • Shop Online: This is usually what people do when shopping for favors, but try avoiding the overpriced, marked up wedding websites. Usually, you can find the same or similar favors at popular online websites like eBay and Amazon.
  • Craft Day: For all you crafty folks out there, this should tickle your crafting fingers. Have a craft date with your girlfriends and make it an enjoyable time! Here are a few DIY wedding favors you and your friends can whip together in no time:
    • Granola Mix: Throw together 3 different types of granola mixes for a variety, and put them in cute little Mason jars. Wrap the jar with ribbon, put a label on it, and call it a day! It’s cute, delicious, and usable!
    • Hot Cocoa/S’mores Mix: For winter weddings, this is perfect. Your guests are guaranteed to LOVE this wedding favor. Place these in little Mason jars for an added chic touch.
Jars of Cocoa Mix by Jamieanne

Jars of Cocoa Mix by Jamieanne

  • Jars of Honey/Jam: If you want to be super nifty, try getting small jars of local honey. Or, for a cheaper route, see if you can get large contains of regular honey and put it in several mini Mason jars. Same goes for the jam.
  • Be Practical: Like I said, favors are expensive, so make sure you put your money to good use. For example, if you don’t want to do favors per se, you can:
    • Donate: Donate to your favorite charity in your guest’s name. This will be practical, useful, and helpful for others. There’s no money wasted, and a good cause is supported.

By forgoing the traditional favors, you’d be surprised at how much money you can save. Jars of cocoa mix or meaningful donations are perfect solutions for wasted favors and money.

 

Wedding on a Budget: Flower Power!

Sweet smelling roses, soft, creamy white petals, and blossoming lilies fill the brides trembling hands as she walks down the aisle to her soon-to-be husband; it’s picturesque, perfect, and exquisite. Flowers bring the whole picture together, giving a soft, sweet, and finished touch. You want to find the perfect flowers for your bouquet, but if you’re on a budget, it can be difficult to find the right ones for the right price. Luckily, there are a few fabulous tips and tricks you can follow when flower shopping. You don’t have to spend tons of money on flowers – there are easier ways to go about it!

Bouquets by Shelley Rich

Bouquets by Shelley Rich

Tips: When shopping for flowers, take into consideration the time of year, types of flowers, and what you’re going to do with them after your trek down the aisle. Here are just a few simple ideas for you to consider to help you save a few extra Benjamin’s!

  • In Season: This is a biggie. If you want to save, look for in-season flowers. Here are a few suggestions:
    • November: Calla Lillie’s, Iris’s, Peonies, and Roses – just to name a few
    • December: Poppies, Delphimium’s, Gardenias, and Tulips – a few of many selections
  • Mix n’ Match: When designing your bouquet arrangements, opt for mixing and matching. You don’t have to have just flowers – throw in a few other non-floral arrangements such as:
    • Berries: My favorite! Perfect for a winter wedding
    • Twigs: This adds a rustic-y touch to your bouquet. Another favorite of mine.
    • Pine Cones: For a winter-y/fall wedding, this is the perfect touch.
  • Daisies & Carnations: These are fabulous because they’re pretty much in season all year round, and they’re inexpensive. You can put them in your bouquets or use them as centerpieces and decorations. Either way, they’re fabulous flower selections.
  • Pulling Double Duty: Make your flowers earn their keep by having them pull double duty. Once you and your ladies are done walking down the aisle, place your bouquets in vases at your tables – this gives you a place to put them and a delicate touch to your decorations.
  • Grow Your Own: This is for the truly nifty, DIY, garden-loving bride. Choose the flower types that you love and will grow well in your area, plant them ahead of time, and then use them for your bouquets. Not only will this save you money, but it will add a personal touch as well.

From in season flowers to growing your own, you can really save a bundle and a bushel on flowers. Shop around, do your research, and save a few pretty pennies!

Wedding on a Budget: Wedding Cake 101

As far as food goes, the cake is the focal point. It ties everything together, such as your decorations, wedding theme, and food, so when you’re shopping around for the perfect cake, you want to find something that does it all. Unfortunately, as beautiful as wedding cakes are, they can also be pretty expensive. If you’re looking to save a few dollars on your wedding, starting with your cake, here are a few simple ideas for you to consider!

Tips: 6 tiers, flowers or chocolate covered fruits descending in a waterfall-like tranquility, and decadent icing pearls lining the bottom of each tier – it’s extravagant, to say the least. Your wedding cake can be as picture-perfect as you’ve always wanted, but without the budget-breaking price tag. Here’s how!

  • Simple vs Elegant: Simple is just as beautiful as elegant. With simply decorated cakes, you can really give off a modern exquisiteness that shows the perfection of each tier. Think meticulous lines, smooth icing, and perfectly placed ribbons. With highly decorated, exquisite cakes, you run the risk of amping up the cost.
Wedding Cake by Mark Aaron Murnahan

Wedding Cake by Mark Aaron Murnahan

  • Compare Bakeries: Ah, here’s the best tip of all! Compare prices at all of your local bakeries and stores. Some stores (like Publix) can make you a gorgeous cake that’s cheaper than going to a well-known bakery. Visit all of your local stores, give them an idea of what you want, and compare the prices. You could even get a price at a baking school. Students won’t charge as much as a professional.
  • Tiny Extravagance, Big Sheets: This is a fantastic way to save a few extra dollars. If your heart’s set on having an elegant, breathtaking cake, then opt for a mini one. Go all out extravagant with your tiny two-tiered cake that you and your spouse cut in to, and then have the servers in the back slice up iced sheet cake. Cake all tastes the same, whether it’s elegant or not!
  • Tiered Cup Cakes: Cup cakes are the greatest thing since sliced bread. They’re basically like micro-mini cakes! Tiered cup cakes are cheaper than a tiered cake. Remember, compare prices at bakeries and large stores to find the best option.
  • Square vs Round: Believe it or not, square cakes are usually less expensive because you can feed more people with the same size. For example, if you get a three tiered square cake and a three tiered round cake using the same measurements, you’ll be able to feed more people with the square cake.

From tiered cupcakes to a square cake, you can really cut corners and save a few dollars. Know what you want, shop around, and save!

Wedding on a Budget: Drinks, Drinks, and more Drinks!

Let’s be honest, we all get a little excited when we see that open bar at our friend’s wedding, or that delicious selection of wines available for us to choose from. As much as we love to have a nice drink at a wedding, we all know that the outrageous bill almost isn’t worth it. If you’re adamant about having alcoholic beverages at your wedding, here’s a few simple ways to avoid the big bill!

Tips: When we think of alcohol at a wedding, we think of an open bar and tons of choices. Well, for a wedding on a budget, an open bar is pretty much out of the question. But don’t sweat! You can still serve delicious beverages at your wedding, but at half the price! Here’s how:

  • Be Selective: Instead of having every drink option imaginable, opt for a smaller selection. For example:
    • Beer: Choose one or two different flavors and have a light and dark option.
    • Wine: Again, opt for one or two different flavors and have a white and a red selection.
    • Signature: If you want to spruce it up a bit, you could offer a single signature drink, like a Blueberry Pie, Blushing Berrytini, or Amaretto Hustle. Choose your favorite and serve it up!

Martini by Zach Zupancic

Martini by Zach Zupancic

 

  • Cheers! Champagne is delicious, but real champagne can be expensive. Here are a couple alternative options:
    • Toasting Only: If you really want champagne, and you want to treat your guests, than only offer champagne for toasting.
    • Stingy Savings: It’s not a bad idea to only have champagne for you and your groom and sparkling grape juice for your guests.
  • BYOB: Buy your own alcohol – this will save you money in the long run, and if you have any left over, you can always take it back. Just make sure to keep your receipts!
  • Cases/Kegs: If you decide to only serve beer, get cases or kegs of beer – it’s cheaper than buying individual bottles.
  • Dry Wedding: If you want to be totally frugal, avoid the booze altogether. Take it from me – you’d be surprised at how much money you save and how much fun you can still have without the alcohol!

Alcohol is expensive, but if you play your cards right, you can still serve delicious beverages at a fraction of the cost. Do your research, decide on what you and your fiancé want, and go for it!

 

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