Honeymoon Packing List

When packing for your honeymoon, it’s important to remember not to over-pack or under-pack. You want to bring just the right products for where you’re going. Depending on the season, weather, and location will depend on what type of packing list you will need. Here are just a few tips and items that are essential for just about any honeymoon destination.

Suitcases by Spooky Momma

Suitcases by Spooky Momma

What to Bring: For us ladies, it’s tempting to stuff our whole closet in our suitcases – a girl has to have options, right?! For most occasions, yes. For the honeymoon, less is best. You don’t need 50 tops and 30 shorts, despite what your heart tells you! Here are just a few ideas for you to consider.

  • Casual and Formal Clothes: Make sure to pack a variation of clothes, both casual and formal. For casual clothes you’ll want to pack:
    • 1 pair of jeans, 2 pairs of shorts, a few shirts & tank tops, sandals and tennis shoes.

For a formal outfit (because a sexy dinner date is definitely on the list of to-do’s on your honeymoon!) you’ll want to bring:

  • 1 formal dress (don’t forget a slip!), a pair of heels, a sundress, and accessories.
  • Sun Products: Buying sun product necessities at the tourist shops and on the cruise is expensive, so make sure you bring everything you need. For a short list, make sure you have:
    • Sunglasses
    • Sunscreen (bring different SPF’s)
    • Aloe vera
    • Hats (big, floppy, sexy beach hats are my favorite!)
    • Medicines: It’s important to bring a little “first-aid kit” on your honeymoon. You want to be able to enjoy every moment, so make sure you’re well prepared. You’ll want to bring:
      • Dramamine (if you’re going to be on a cruise)
      • Advil/Tylenol
      • Allergy meds
      • Backpacks/Bags: You will want to bring a smaller, comfy backpack or easy-to-carry beach bag for when you go on long shopping trips or excursions. You can also use these bags to hold all of your souvenirs on your trip home.
      • Entertainment: For those Sea Days on the cruise or a relaxed night in your hotel, you’ll want to have something to keep you and your spouse entertained. Bring a book (your nook, kindle, or even a paperback) and a deck of cards.

Bringing the right essentials can really help to pull off an unforgettable honeymoon trip. Make sure to have all your essentials with you, and enjoy your honeymoon!

Saving For the Honeymoon

After spending thousands of dollars on your wedding, spending even more money on your honeymoon might seem a little daunting, to say the least. But your honeymoon is a special time – it’s a time for you and your new spouse to learn more about each other, to fall deeper in love, and to take a few moments away from the everyday hustle and bustle of life to enjoy one another’s company. Take it from me; once the honeymoon is over and life starts full force, time becomes but a fleeting memory, one we all wish we could recapture. Luckily, there are a few tips and tricks to saving a few pennies for the honeymoon of a lifetime!

Money-Saving Tips: Saving money is important, especially in today’s economy. But going on your honeymoon and enjoying every moment is just as important! Here are a few simple ways to help save you a few extra Benjamin’s!

Money Jar by Greg Wagoner

Money Jar by Greg Wagoner

  • Honeymoon Registry: Many traveling agencies have a honeymoon registry. You can let your guests know, in a cordial manner, that you and your fiancé have a “honeymoon piggy bank.” This gives your guests an alternative to buying you gift cards or fifty-million bath towels…
  • Book it Baby! Book your vacation EARLY! The early bird definitely gets the worm on this deal. My husband and I were able to save money by booking our cruise months in advance. No matter where you’re going, whether it’s on a cruise or to a B&B, hotel, or anywhere else, most times the earlier you book the less expensive the rates.
  • Airline Miles: If you used a credit card to pay for your wedding expenses, than you can use the frequent flyer miles to get a cheaper flight. Take a look at what your credit card company offers and see what miles you have available.
  • Better Budget: Set a budget before the planning of the wedding. The better you budget, the better chance you have to saving money.
  • Homey Vacation: Instead of flying or taking a cruise to the Caribbean, you could always vacation close to home. Book a chic and cozy B&B that’s close to home and has lots of activities to keep you and your spouse busy. Plus, who doesn’t like cozy beds, a crackling fire, and a complimentary gourmet breakfast!

By budgeting, booking early, and/or staying close to home, you can really save a lot of money. Remember – enjoy every second of your honeymoon!

Destination Honeymoon

Luxurious beaches, exquisite cruises, and breath-taking views – going on your honeymoon is probably one of the most exciting adventures you’ll set sail on! You want something extravagant, unique, and unforgettable; you want to embark on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure! There are so many different places to visit and things to see that your options are seemingly endless! Here are just a few of the many unique places you can go for an unforgettable time!

Iceland: Let’s be honest – it’s hot right now. A sweltering summer getaway doesn’t seem all that appealing, and you’re looking for a cool-down. Well, Iceland is the perfect place!

  • Norwegian Cruise Line: On the Norwegian Cruise line, you can visit the unbelievable Blue Lagoon and submerge yourself in steamy blue waters, taking in the fantastic views and incredible atmosphere.

Alaska: I lived in Alaska for six years, and if anything, I remember the incredible beauty that surrounded that whole state. Deep shades of green, warm woodsy browns, and ethereal blues paint a perfect picture of Alaska, The Last Frontier.

  • Cruises: The Princess Cruise and Silversea’s Silver Shadow Cruise Line are two fantastic cruises to go on. You can see glaciers first hand and abundant wildlife everywhere you look.
Misty Morning Cruise by Barbara

Misty Morning Cruise by Barbara

Utah: If you’re looking to stay in the states, but you want to go somewhere totally different, than Utah is the place to go!

  • Snowbasin, Ogden Valley: If you want to go on a skiing excursion, than Snowbasin is the place to go! Fantastic ski runs and beautiful views make this the best skiing destination!
  • The Lodge at Red River Ranch: For a place to stay, this is where you want to go! There are a lot of outdoor activities you and your spouse can do, such as hunting, fishing, UTV rentals, and horseback riding. If you’re looking for an outdoorsy honeymoon destination, this is the resort for you!

Australia: Kangaroos, beaches, and warm relaxation! Australia is the destination of all destinations!

  • Makepeace Island: It’s an entire Island just for you and your spouse! If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of life, than this is the place for you!
  • Byron Bay: Beaches, sun, and delicious food! Byron Bay is chalk-full of things to do! For a place to stay, The Byron at Byron Resort and Spa is one of many fantastic resorts!

Choose somewhere fun, exciting, and completely original for you and your spouse to go! Take pictures, enjoy the quiet moments, and relish every second spent with your new spouse!

A Black Tie Affair

Black doesn’t have to be reserved for funerals – in fact, if you design it right, you can have a classy, gorgeous black and white wedding. Here are just a few helpful tips!

Entire Attire: Here’s where simplicity comes into play. Black and white are incredibly bold colors in and of themselves. You want to pick bridesmaid dresses that are simply elegant; avoid too much ruffle and fluff. For the gentleman, have them where the classic tuxedos – this really adds a touch of class to the entire affair.

Tips to Top It All: Black and white weddings are gorgeous, classy, and romantic. But you have to be careful not to go overboard with decorations, accent colors, and so on.

  • Accent Colors: You want to have an accent color that matches your theme. If you’re going for elegant, opt for a crimson red or a deep purple. If you want something a little more laid back, you could opt for blush pinks and soft yellows.
  • Accent Color Tips: DON’T GO OVERBOARD! With the accent colors, you want to sneak it in to add just a hint of elegant boldness or ethereal softness.
  • Flowers: Opt for lilies, white roses, baby’s breath, or anything else white. This really ties the whole affair together, giving off an aura of royal sophistication and elegance.
  • Decorations: Like the accent colors, you don’t want to go overboard. Opt for simple and elegant, like candelabras and flower petals. Let the black and white boldness speak for itself.

Delicious Delicacies: Decide on whether you want to have a full course meal or if you want just hors d’oeuvres; play with the elegance by serving the right food.

Black and White Wedding by Dizzy Girl

Black and White Wedding by Dizzy Girl

  • Desserts: Use your desserts as an accent piece. For example, use black and white chocolates with red strawberries; pop in some color with food here and there. Remember – don’t go overboard with the accent colors!
  • Cake: Black and white cakes “take the cake” so to speak when it comes to elegance. A simple black and white cake really speaks of sophistication and style.
  • Drinks: Opt for “classy” alcoholic beverages, such as red or white wines, martinis, and champagne.
  • Meal: If you want to go with a full course meal, make sure it’s as elegant as your wedding. Opt for salads, steak or gourmet chicken, and a gourmet side.

Black and white weddings are elegant, fabulous, and unforgettable. Spruce it up with exquisite decorations and minimal accent colors. Black is back!

Choosing the Right Wedding Photographer

You want to capture every picture-perfect moment at your wedding; you want the first kiss, cutting of the cake, the laughter, the smiles… You want to be able to relive every moment of your wedding day! In order to do so, you have to find the right photographer. There’s a long list of questions and considerations you need to keep in mind when “shopping” for your wedding photographer, but I’ve put together a couple main ones just for you.

List of Questions: Be prepared before you go and talk to the photographer. Have a list of questions ready so you can make sure everything is in proper order.

  • Available Date: Obviously, you want to make sure that they have your wedding date open. Another thing you want to consider is if they have any other engagements that they have to be to. This will determine how rushed (or not rushed) your photographer may be.
  • Advanced Booking: Ask your photographer how soon you need to book the date – and then put that date in your calendar!
  • Portfolio: Take a peek at your photographers past projects and see if they’re up to your standards.
  • Photo Session Length: How long does the photographer plan on being there? What is their average time frame?
  • Packages: Do they have different packages in regards to time frame, props, etc.?
Photographer by Roland Ster

Photographer by Roland Ster

All Things Considered: Photography Style- Once the questions are asked and you feel comfortable with the answers, take into consideration just a few (major) pointers:

  • Ideal Budget: Make sure you have a budget in mind. Your budget will usually determine the quality and professionalism of the photographs taken.
  • Photo Musts: Make sure you have an idea of what type of photos you want. Show them to the photographer and make sure they’re capable of capturing similar pictures.
  • Domain: Ask the photographer if your wedding/venue locations are within their domain – if not, how much extra do they charge as a traveling fee?
  • Payment Plan: Make sure you’re both on the same page with a payment plan, how much they expect, and when.
  • SIGN A CONTRACT: This is probably one of the most important things to remember. A contract will hold the photographer to their word, ensuring that things are done properly.

Capture the beautiful moments of your wedding with the perfect photographer. With a list of questions and considerations, you’ll be ready and capable of finding the perfect one!

2015 Wedding Trends

2014 weddings were and are fabulously chic and vintage, complete with soft hued color palettes and a natural allure. For 2015, wedding colors and dresses are still holding onto that vintage appeal, while grasping for a combination of bolder and softer colors. If your wedding is in 2015, here are just a few trending wedding dress styles and color combinations for you to consider!

Dress Styles for 2015: Minimalistic, natural beauty seems to be the 2015 trend with clothes in general, but especially with wedding dresses. The heavy, multi-layered ball gowns seem to be taking a final bow as the A-line and Mermaid dresses take center stage. For 2015, brides are going for a lighter, softer, “wispy” dress that enhances the bride’s natural beauty and body shape.

Wedding Dress by Daniel Sanchez

Wedding Dress by Daniel Sanchez

  • Styles: Some lighter-fabric dress styles include the trumpet, sheath, A-line, and mermaid styles. Brides are even going for lightly tinted dresses, such as those that are various shades of ivory, or have a hint of pink or peach to them.
  • Necklines & Backs: Sweetheart and strapless dresses are still popular, but swopping necklines or high-necked lace styles seem to be making a bold entrance as well. Off the shoulder, spaghetti straps, and one-shoulder sleeves are popular choices among dress-shoppers, since this adds an elegant yet sensual appeal to the bride and the dress. Also, an exposed back or sheer and lacey back designs are popular choices. These dresses are elegant, but lean more towards a sexy-n-chic style.

Color Schemes for 2015: 2014 was a year tinted with soft pastels and natural colors. The year 2015 is still holding on to the pastel color scheme, but it’s reaching for a bold accent hue to really give the wedding scheme a pop of daring décor. Here are just a few of the many color combination ideas that are trending in 2015:

  • Forest green, salmon, and blush pink: This color combination starts with a bold green and ends with a softer pink color palette
  • Violet, grape, and lilac: Both the violet and grape are bold colors, whereas the lilac acts as a softener.
  • Nautical blue, maroon, and apricot: The maroon is a bold color, but both the blue and apricot act as a natural neutralizer.

These are just a few of the dresses and colors trending for 2015 weddings. If you’re getting married next year, try opting for natural and sexy dresses and bold, softening colors!

A Seaside Wedding

Soft sand sifting beneath your feet in a soothing crunch as you walk down the make-shift aisle, the pungent smell of sea salt wafting through the air on the wings of a gentle breeze, and birds singing with the soft tunes of your processional music – the beach is a magical and captivating place to get married! If you’re having a seaside wedding, here are just a few tips and decoration ideas for you!

Beach Wedding by Roberto Carlos Pecino Martinez

Beach Wedding by Roberto Carlos Pecino Martinez

Tips: As beautiful as a beach wedding is, there are a few things you should take into consideration to make it more comfortable and practical for you and your guests.

  • Attire: For you and your bridal party, opt for light dresses and tuxedos; you don’t want anything heavy or cumbersome. Follow the beach’s example – go light, breezy, airy, and natural!
  • For your guests: Have a couple baskets of inexpensive plastic sandals that your guests can wear if they choose. This gives them the option to save their expensive shoes from the sand and wear something a little more practical and comfortable. Also, a shell- styled fan is great for keeping the heat at bay.
  • Backup Plan: The weather is unpredictable at best and volatile at worst. Have a backup plan in case things go awry and you need shelter from major wind, rain, or lightening. A tent or an indoor reception area are two great options. 

Decoration: You can have a lot of fun with color schemes and decorations when you have a seaside wedding. Play up the colors and accentuate the beach’s natural beauty!

  • Colors: A soft-hued color palette is usually the best choice for a beach wedding. You can opt for various shades of soft pinks, pale yellows, sea greens, sky blues, or faded oranges.
  • Décor: Here are just a few ideas when it comes to seaside wedding décor:
    • Nautical is the new favorite these days!  With a nautical theme, you can opt for decoration ideas such as stripes (chevron or straight) and anchors.
    • If you want something more traditional, than go with various types of sea shells. (Make sure to choose one theme and stick to it so you don’t overwhelm and take away from the beach’s naturally stunning décor.)

A beach wedding will really set the tone for your romantic day. With just the right decoration pieces, back up plans, and attire, a whimsical beach setting will be perfect for you and your spouse to say “I do!”

Fabulous Food & Delicious Drinks for Your Bridal Shower!

Food, drinks, gifts, and fabulous company; a bridal shower is a fun way to get all your favorite ladies together and really enjoy one another’s company. With the right menu, both food and drink, you can really set the atmosphere of your bridal party. Listed below are just a few “tip of the iceberg” ideas – have fun with your menu and make it personal!

Bridal Shower Foods by Yi Tsang Chen

Bridal Shower by Yi Tsang Chen

Foods: The type of setting you want, whether it’s formal or relaxed, depends on what type of menu you have. If you’re looking for a more relaxed setting, than go for finger foods and heavy appetizers. If you want a formal setting, than go for a full course meal.

  • Appetizers: If you have a theme, such as Hawaiian, country, or chic, choose a food menu that really accentuates that. Some examples include:
    • Chips & dip (or hummus and crackers)
    • A veggie & fruit tray with dips
    • Fondue (cheese, white/dark chocolate, etc…)
  • Desserts: Choose any universal favorites such as:
    • Cupcakes (chocolate, vanilla, red velvet)
    • Cookies (chocolate, sugar, oatmeal raisin)
    • Pastries (Cannoli’s, sfogliatella, éclairs, tartlets, cream puffs)
    • CAKE! This is your centerpiece – make it decadent and gorgeous. Have the flavor a universal favorite, such as vanilla. Or choose any flavor you know most, if not all, will enjoy!
  • Formal Dinner: The formal dinner setting will really amp up the style of your bridal shower. You can choose from all kinds of dinner menu choices, playing with various meat selections, side dishes, salads, and desserts. Make sure the foods are something everyone will enjoy. With a dinner setting, it’s harder for your guests to pick and choose what they do and don’t like – manners prevent pickiness.

Drinks: There are tons of different drink options out here, from alcoholic to non-alcoholic. Here are just a few ideas of both.

  • Non-Alcoholic: These are your standard drinks, such as:
    • Sweet/Un-sweet tea
    • Punch (get creative with colors and flavors – try to match the punch colors to your bridal shower theme)
    • Lemonade
    • Coffee (regular and decaf – depending on what time your shower is)
  • Alcoholic: Spruce up your shower with a few of these fun favorites!
    • Raspberry Champagne Fizz
    • Sangrias/Margarita’s
    • Wine (have a smorgasbord of different flavors)
    • Mimosa Punch

The bridal shower food and drink menus are two great ways to accentuate your theme. Have fun with the different options and really put a personal touch everywhere possible!

Having a Ball at Your Bridal Shower!

Bridal showers can be so much fun! From delicious food and beloved girlfriends and family members to fun and exciting games, your bridal shower will be one unforgettable day! There are tons of different bridal games to choose from, such as decorating cupcakes and playing Musical Bouquet. With fun games like these, you can really turn up the excitement at your bridal shower!

  • Toilet Paper Attire: This one’s awesome for good laughs and great photos! Split up your guests into a few groups and have each group designate a model. Give them rolls of toilet paper and have them dress the model in full “wedding attire!” With a dress, veil, jewelry, and hair pieces, your groups can get pretty creative! Once the competition is done (make sure to set a reasonable time limit), choose the best winner and hand out fun prizes to the winning group!
Toilet Paper Brides by Rich Aten

Bridal Shower Games by Rich Aten

  • Bride Trivia: Bride trivia is a great way for everybody to see how well they really know you! When it’s time for the games to commence, hand out a trivia pamphlet to each lady, letting them know cheating isn’t allowed! Once everyone is finished filling out the pamphlet, have the bride say the answers, and each person who got the right answer raises their hand. Whoever had the most correct answers is the winner!
  • Musical Bouquet: Instead of musical chairs, play musical bouquet! Play fun tunes and have your ladies pass around a bouquet of flowers. Whoever is the last one in the circle is the winner!
  • A Stroll Down Memory Lane: When you send out the bridal invites, attach a blank notecard and have your ladies fill it out with a fond bride-included memory. When the time comes and everyone is gathered together, have each guest share their favorite memory! This is a sweet and endearing way to take a stroll down memory lane with all your favorite ladies!
  • Dec-A-Cupcake: Have each lady decorate their own cupcake, giving them all the items they need such as icing, sprinkles, and toppers. Here’s the fun part; before everyone takes a bite, let them know there’s a ring inside one of the cupcakes, and whoever has the ring is the next one to get married!

Make your bridal shower even more memorable with fun and exciting games! Involve each of your guests, effectively breaking the ice and possibly helping to create future friendships. Have fun and get creative!

Style Me Pretty: The Wedding Cake Version!

Ah, wedding cakes! I love everything about wedding cakes – they’re gorgeous, scrumptious, and absolutely superb! The best part about a wedding cake is you can really make it your own by styling and decorating it however you want. There are tons of different artsy options out there, making it a little easier for you to go traditional or be original!

Tiered Cupcakes:

Instead of the traditional 3-tiered cake, you could go original and have tiered cupcakes instead! This option is great for giving you the freedom to choose several different flavors, appealing to everyone’s taste buds! For example, if you wanted to have 4-tiers, place each flavor (such as red velvet, vanilla, and chocolate) on its own level, saving the top tier for your mini round cake – the one you and your husband get to eat on your one year anniversary (I mean, come on… who doesn’t like freezer-burnt year old cake in remembrance of your wedding day?)

Many Minis:

This is a great idea for changing up the cake routine. Have several mini cakes (about 7-8 inches in size) placed on different leveled tiers, giving it a separated yet chic appearance. Plus, with the mini cakes you can splurge on flavors! From carrot cake to almond-vanilla and red velvet, your options are endless.

Traditionally Tiered:

The tiered cake is an excellent choice for going traditional. Tiered cakes are different than stacked – a tiered cake has the pillars, spacing each individual section. These cakes are gorgeous and can be tiered however you like. From as few as two-tiers to as many as 6, you can vary your heights, sizes, and designs of each tier. Traditionally, a 3-tiered cake will feed about 150-200 people, depending on if you have a round tiered cake or a square tiered cake (the square tiered cake will feed more guests).

Savory and Stacked:

Stacked cakes are gorgeous as well, and you can choose between round or square. Stacked cakes are when each layer is placed directly on top of the other with stands inside the cakes to prevent a tragic collapse.

Wedding Cake by Eileen Rivard

Wedding Cake by Eileen Rivard

Depending on how many people you need to feed (and if you want left overs), ask your cake decorator what size each layer needs to be. Have fun with your wedding cake! Make it as traditional or original as you want, making your cake stand out among the rest of the delicious delicacies!

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