Accessorize the Groom and His Lads!

Yesterday we talked about the groom and his lad’s entire attire. Today, we’re going to look a little closer at what makes the whole outfit – the accessories! Just like you as the bride need to have the perfect accent necklace or those gorgeous teardrop earrings, the groom and his lads need their accessories too! So, here’s a short list of some accessories that will really complete the entire look!

For the Beachy Guys: Beach weddings are awesome – it’s a minimalistic kind of look, so you don’t have to worry about all those extras that “weigh down” the groom and his boys. Here’s a list of some “must haves” when it comes to a beach-themed attire:

  • Sunglasses – You can use these as the groomsmen gifts!
  • Bollman/Fedora/Straw Boater Hat
  • Seashell boutonnieres
Groomsmen on the Beach by Ryan G. Smith

Groomsmen on the Beach by Ryan G. Smith

Take it on Back – Vintage Style: For that fabulous 1920’s look, you really want to make sure you have the right accessories to pull off the perfect look. Here’s a short list for you to consider:

  • Suspenders – This is the best accessory you can possibly find! Every lad in the 20’s had suspenders!
  • Bowties
  • Cufflinks – If you’re having a more formal vintage wedding, cufflinks will really add to the posh appeal.

For the Formal Affair: If you’re going all-out formal, you’ll really want to enhance the “Prince Charming” look by adding a few of these essential accessories:

  • Cufflinks – These add a lot of class to the whole look. Your man and his lads will look posh and put together!
  • Tie – For a black tie affair, opt for the original tie. A bowtie is less formal, but just as snazzy looking!
  • Handkerchief – A handkerchief in the jacket pocket is the perfect touch for the utmost classy look!
  • Shirt Studs – Jacket or not, shirt studs make the outfit look complete and super classy.

Country as Country Gets: I absolutely love everything western! By adding a few of these essential country western accessories, your cowboy will look ruggedly sexy!

  • Bolo Tie – This is about as country western as it gets! It’s the perfect touch to the whole outfit.
  • Cowboy hat and band – Make sure the groomsmen’s band matches; it’s the perfect finishing touch.
  • Cuff Links – If you’re going more formal, cufflinks are perfect.
  • Belt & Buckle – What’s a western outfit if not for the belt buckle? Go all out and get a big ole buckle with a snazzy belt to boot!

From suspenders to cowboy hats, the accessories will really pull the whole outfit together. Make sure you have all the accessories you need for your man and his boys to look complete and handsome!

Dressing Your Groom

We’ve talked a lot about the bride’s attire, as well as the bridesmaids and flower girl look. But what about the groom and his faithful lads? Their attire is just as important as the bride’s and the bridesmaid! Picking out the perfect look that compliments both you as the bride and your wedding theme is important, so make sure you know exactly what you want! Here are a few fabulous ideas grouped together by wedding style!

Country: This is my favorite style, by far. My husband and his groomsmen were all dressed in western attire, and they looked fit to kill! Here are a few different style ideas you can choose from!

  • You can go with the all-out western attire by decking the groom and his groomsmen in:
    • Jeans- black or blue
    • Vest- Choose one of your wedding colors!
    • Boots- black or brown (make sure that all the men wear the same color boots!)
    • Hat
    • Tie
  • Or you can go with a different western look such as:
    • Jeans- black or blue
    • Long button up cotton shirt
    • Bolo tie (my personal favorite!)
    • Boots- again, black or brown
  • Here’s a fancier western look:
    • Slacks- brown, tan, black, cream… any neutral color, really!
    • Jacket
    • Bolo
    • Hat
    • Boots
Western Groom Attire by Tammy McGary

Western Groom Attire by Tammy McGary

Vintage: This is the runner-up when it comes to my favorite grooms/groomsmen attire! Here are a few style options:

  • This is a classic Vintage, laid back look:
    • Slacks
    • Long Sleeves
    • Suspenders (my favorite part!)
    • Flat Caps
    • Leather dress shoes
  • Yet another vintage look, but with a fancier twist:
    • Slacks (you can go all out colorful, or keep it the true vintage look by going with tans or creams)
    • Jacket
    • Leather dress shoes
    • Bow

Classic: When you think classic, you think tuxedos, champagne, jazz music, and ball gowns. If you’re going fancy, here are a few grooms/groomsmen style choices!

  • For the classically classic look, try:
    • Black tuxedo
    • Black leather shoes
    • Tie
  • Another classic look includes:
    • White jacket
    • White slacks
    • Black leather shoes
    • Bow

Beachy: When you think beach, you think laid back, fun in the sun, sand between your toes, a romantic sunset, and super light clothes. Here are a few great beachy style options for your groom and his men!

  • For the classic Beach attire, try:
    • Shorts
    • Rolled up long sleeves
    • Sun glasses (of course!)
  • For a fancier beach look, try:
    • Slacks
    • White Shirt
    • Jacket (or vest)
    • tie

From sexy southern to classically handsome, there are a ton of different style options that you can choose from when it comes to dressing your man and his lads! Choose the one that best suits your wedding style and go from there! OH – and don’t forget the accessories!

A Wintery Wonder: Christmas Wedding

Snowflakes, mistletoe, and hot cocoa make for a whimsical winter, one we’re all familiar with. What better time to have your wedding than around Christmas time! Here are a few fabulous tips, decoration ideas, and delicious delicacies you can choose from!

A Christmas Wedding by Heather Bradley

A Christmas Wedding by Heather Bradley

Colors: When you think Christmas, you think red and green. If you want something a little more original, here are just a few color ideas for you to consider!

  • Silver and White: Silver and white give off a cool feel, surrounding your guests in an aura of snowy wonder.
  • Silver and Burgundy: The contrast of colors gives off both a cool and warm feel, wrapping your guests in the perfect wintery atmosphere.
  • Gold and Burgundy: It’s classy, warm, and the perfect winter palette.
  • White and Sky Blue: Again, another cool and wintery color selection.
  • Gold and Cream: This is a warm color palette, giving your guests that cozy feeling!

Decorations: There are a ton of fabulous Christmas decoration ideas. Here are just a few ideas to consider!

  • Burgundy & White Candles:  Place lit burgundy and white candles everywhere – on the tables as centerpieces, the guest table, and even the buffet tables.
  • Silver Platters: Have your dinner dishes displayed on silver platters, and you can even use the platters as centerpieces. Place candles, fake snow, and holly on them for the perfect touch.
  • Christmas Trees: Various sized Christmas trees placed throughout your reception area will give off the perfect Christmas aura!
  • Christmas Lights: Hang white Christmas lights on the front of the Bride and Groom table, and on the door entryways.

Food: There are so many different food ideas out there that are perfect for a winter wedding! Here are just a couple fantastic selections!

  • Ginger Everything: Ginger bread, ginger cookies, ginger snaps – these are all delicious and perfect for finger foods!
  • Squash Soup: Any kind of soup, really, is fantastic. It’s warm, delicious, and filling!
  • All White Wedding Cake: A white wedding cake with silver decorations will be the “icing on the cake” to your winter wedding theme!
  • Brisket and Gravy: Brisket and gravy is a classic favorite for a warm winter meal!

Drinks: There are many festive alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks out there. Here are just a few delicious ideas!

  • Eggnog: Have both a virgin and alcoholic selection of eggnog for all ages! For alcoholic eggnog, mix it with spiced rum – my absolute favorite holiday drink!
  • Red and White Wine: It’s a classic drink selection that appeals to just about everyone!
  • Spiced Apple Cider: My Grandma makes this every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas. You can find all kinds of recipes online!
  • Hot Cocoa Bar: Marshmallows and different flavored cocoa powders make for a fantastic cocoa bar!

From spiced apple cider to Christmas tree decorations, you can have the perfect Winter Wonderland Wedding!

Music Genres for Different Wedding Themes

We’ve already taken a peek at what songs would be great as first dance songs, but what about a complete genre type for each wedding theme? There’s a ton (to say the least…) of different music genres out there and finding the perfect music genre for your wedding theme can sometimes be a little difficult. You want people to dance and enjoy themselves, so finding “groovy” music is a must! Well, not to worry! Here’s a short list of some fabulous genres organized by wedding theme!

Dance Floor by Krista Guenin

Dance Floor by Krista Guenin

 Modern Wedding Theme: This one is great – basically every genre that’s newer goes well for a modern wedding theme. Here’s a list of a few possibilities:

  • Instrumental – This is great for dancing music. Although there are no words, the tunes themselves are all you need! A great instrumental band (like 2Cellos, The Piano Guys, Paul Cardall, and Escala) will keep your guests swaying all day long!
  • Alternative Rock
  • Soft Pop
  • Country Pop
  • New Acoustic 

Country Wedding Theme: This one’s probably the easiest theme for choosing music. Here’s a short list of some great country tunes:

  • Contemporary Country: This is all your newer country songs.
  • Traditional Country: This is all your classic country tunes – George Straight, for example, is a great traditional country artist.
  • Bluegrass: This one is great for giving that vintage feel, while still keeping to your country theme.
  • Country Pop: Taylor Swift and Jason Aldean (to name a few) are great examples of country pop.

Vintage Wedding Theme: For your old timey wedding theme, 1920’s music and classic tunes are great options. Here are a couple genres that are great for vintage weddings:

  • Jazz: There’s a ton of different varieties of Jazz music; from slow to upbeat, you’ll be able to find all the music you need within the Jazz genre.
  • Romantic Classical
  • Bluegrass: For a vintage/rustic wedding theme, Bluegrass is great!

Black Tie Wedding Theme: For a classy wedding theme, you want to choose classy tunes. Here’s a small list of some great genres to choose from:

  • Classic Wedding Music: Think your original wedding music tunes. They’re both classy and classic.
  • Jazz: Again, Jazz is perfect for a black tie wedding. It’s classy and upbeat or slow and romantic – perfect dancing music!

Grab some coffee or wine, have a selection of delicious finger goods, invite your bridesmaids, and have fun creating your perfect wedding music list!

First Dance Songs

To say there are a lot of great “first dance” songs out there is an understatement. To say that finding the perfect first dance song can be difficult is also an understatement. You want to pick a song that’s meaningful to both you and your fiancé, but you also want to pick a song that matches your wedding theme. I get it. But not to worry! Here’s a miniature list of some fabulous songs that would work well for your first dance as a wedded couple!

First Dance by Eileen Rivard

First Dance by Eileen Rivard

Country Theme: If you’re having a country-styled wedding, then you’ll want to pick a country song. Country songs are great for rustic, outdoor weddings – they add the perfect western-y touch to the atmosphere. Here are a couple great choices:

  • Making Memories of Us by Keith Urban
  • Bless the Broken Road by Rascall Flatts
  • Johnny and June by Heidi Newfield
  • Lost in this Moment by Big & Rich (this was my husband and I’s first dance song!)
  • Amazed by Lonestar (a great classic!)

Vintage/Classic Theme: For those of you going for a more vintage styled wedding, you’ll want a list of vintage styled songs. Well, not to worry! Here’s a very small selection of some really great classics!

  • Everything by Michael Bublé (come on, who doesn’t love him!)
  • Fly Me to the Moon by Frank Sinatra
  • I Will by The Beatles
  • Just the Way You Are by Billy Joel
  • Wild Horses by The Rolling Stones

Popular Songs for 2014/2015 Weddings: If you’re on the hunt for a really popular 2014/2015 first dance song, than here’s the perfect list for you! There’s a large selection of genres, beats, artists, and styles, so you won’t be want for more!

  • Power of Love by Celine Dion (I admit it… I used to belt this one out in the truck every time it came on the radio. It’s a beautiful classic!)
  • A Lonely September by The Plain White Tees
  • Be Mine by David Gray
  • A Long and Lasting Love by Crystal Gale
  • A Groovy Kind of Love by Phil Collins

Finding the perfect first dance song for you and fiancé to sway to doesn’t have to be a wild goose chase. Narrow down your search by deciding what genre of music you want, what tempo you’re looking for, and if you have a favorite artist or band. Also, if you and your fiancé have an “our” song, than use that one! If it’s not the perfect genre, that’s ok – it’s the meaning that counts in the end!

Gifts for your Groom

Everyone says the wedding day is your day, but what about the groom? It’s a huge day for him too, so remind him of your love by giving him a gift! From sweet to sexy, you can give him something that shows how much you love and appreciate him! Here are just a few fabulous ideas for you to consider.

Engraved Wedding Bands by Anthony Carr

Engraved Wedding Bands by Anthony Carr

Gift Ideas: There are tons of different gifts that you can give your future husband, so don’t get overwhelmed when shopping around! Make it fun and make it memorable!

  • Designer Watch: Give him a watch to mark the time of your love! Gift him with the designer watch of his dreams, and add an extra touch by having his initials or your wedding date engraved on the back.
  • Cuff Links: This is a popular gift that many brides give to their grooms, mostly because they’re practical, purposeful, and useful. Make it even more special by having them engraved with his initials or the date of your wedding.
  • Grill Set: If your man loves to grill, than gift him with a high quality grill set. Make it fun by attaching a note saying “for our weekend grill dates!” or something else cute and quirky. What better way to spend a date night at home than with your hubby, perfectly grilled steaks, a bottle of wine, and jazz music?
  • Engraved Wedding Band: My husband and I had each other’s wedding bands engraved. It adds a personal, loving touch to the rather intimate wedding ring. You can have your initials engraved inside, your wedding date, or a sweet note such as “forever yours”, “forever and always”, “forever my number one”  or anything else you can think of.
  • Love Journal: If you’re anything like me, than you have a box full of love notes that you wrote to him and he wrote to you. Make something special with those notes by binding them in a book and giving them to him on your wedding night.
  • Boudoir Photos: Boudoir photos are a great idea for giving your husband something to look forward to. Add a sexy and personal touch to the photo shoot by wearing his favorite shirt or tie… You can be guaranteed he’ll love it!

Giving gifts to your fiancé can be fun and memorable! Make sure that your gift is personal and intimate, something that he’ll remember and appreciate for years to come. From a designer watch to a love journal, you’re guaranteed to give your future husband the gift of all gifts!

A Fail-Free Guide to the Perfect Maid of Honor Speech

You’re the maid of honor; therefore, you’re responsible for standing in front of all those guests to give a speech. Terrifying, right? I know what you mean. As the maid of honor in my best friend’s wedding, I was given the terrifying honor of well-wishing too. No pressure, right? Well, here are just a few tips for you ladies in the same boat as me to help the process go smoothly and easily!

Maid of Honor Speech by Ashley

Maid of Honor Speech by Ashley

Tips: Ok, let’s be honest here for just a moment – this is not the time to spill the beans on any private stories, get happy-drunk, or write a mini-book. This is a great opportunity to be short, sweet, and to the point. Here are a few easy tips to follow to keep it memorable!

  • Plan Ahead: There aren’t many of us who can have a fabulous fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants speech. If you want it to go smoothly, have meaning, and be memorable in a good way, write your speech out ahead of time. And practice. Honestly, the saying “practice makes perfect” is true in this case. So – write it ahead of time and practice, practice, practice!
  • Be Careful & Considerate: Like I said, this is not the time to mention the bride’s ex-boyfriends, or need-to-be-forgotten mishaps. This is a time to glorify the bride and her relationship with her new hubby. Don’t make an enemy because of your speech. Also, avoid crude humor; this isn’t the occasion for that.
  • Make it Funny: You’re both going to be crying (I know I will be), so lighten the mood with clean humor. Tell a short, funny story that’s appropriate and light. Everyone enjoys a good laugh!
  • Time It: Like I said previously, this is not the time to have a two hour speech going on and on… people are hungry and ready for a good time filled with dancing, chatting, and eating! You can say a lot in 5 minutes or less – trust me.
  • Use Props: This is an adorable way to make your speech memorable. Use little props to make your points hit home. For example, if your bride is routinely late to places, have a clock or watch with you. Once your speech is over, give the props to the groom. He’ll appreciate it, and it’ll make your speech go smoother.

Remember, this isn’t a time to drag on about inappropriate shenanigans or make a speech that you didn’t prepare for. Make it light, short, sweet, and to the point!

Tamed and Fabulous: Bachelorette Party Ideas for the Maid of Honor

For you Maid of Honor’s who are responsible for hosting an unforgettable bachelorette party, there’s no need to panic! Coming up with the perfect “to-do” list can seem intimidating, but don’t worry! Here are a few (tame!) bachelorette party ideas that will keep the night rolling!

Going Out: There are a ton of different things for you to do if you choose to have a fun night or weekend out with the girls. Here just a couple ideas for you to consider!

  • Scavenger Hunt: Go to a large, big-hit area (like Disney world if you live in Florida or New York Times Square if you’re in The Big Apple) and make a list of things to do or find. Split up in groups of 3 to 4 (depending on the size of your party) and let the hunting begin!
  • Hotel Rendezvous: If you’re looking to relax by the pool with a delicious drink and fabulous company, staying in a posh hotel for one or two nights is a great way to go!
Fun in the Sun by Visit Florida Editor

Fun in the Sun by Visit Florida Editor

Staying In: For those looking to keep it close to home, here are a few fun activities, games, and things to keep you girls occupied!

  • Movie Night: This one’s a classic! Choose one or two wedding-themed movies like Runaway Bride, Revenge of the Bridesmaids, or Made of Honor. Get in your PJ’s, grab your drinks, and have fun!
  • Name That Lingerie: A bride’s gotta have lingerie for her honeymoon! What better way than to have all the girls buy her lingerie and then have the bride name who the buyer was. It’s fun, sexy, and the bride will have a blushing-good time!
  • Card Games: There’s no such thing as a party without cards! Some ideas include:
    • Beeramid
    • Fire Square
    • Ring of Fire
    • Queens

Food and Beverages: You’ve gotta have food, and you’ve gotta have drinks! Here’s a list of food and drink must haves!

  • Foods: Sweets and finger foods are the perfect option, such as:
    • Cheesecake brownie bites
    • Cheese & chocolate fondue
    • Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Dip
    • Pizza (have the ladies bring their own favorite toppings)
    • Chips and dip
  • Drinks: A few girly drinks to have at the bachelorette party include:
    • Pear Batida: Ingredients: Rum, pear juice, lemon juice, and champagne
    • Cherry Punch: Ingredients: Vodka, triple sec, grenadine, and cranberry juice
    • Pink Margarita: Ingredients: Tequila, campari, lemon juice, honey

Between drinks, delicious food, and a fun weekend with the girls, everyone’s guaranteed to have the time of their lives! Pick and choose your favorites and make it a night (or weekend) to remember!

Too Cute for Baskets and Pillows!

It’s probably the cutest part of the whole wedding – the little ring bearer shuffling his feet down the aisle and the flower girl dropping handfuls of crushed flower petals at the bride’s feet, smiling her big-toothed grin. Everyone giggles as the little ring bearer scurries back to mom in a rush of embarrassment.

If you’re having a little tyke ring bearer and flower girl in your wedding, there are some fabulous alternatives to the original pillow and basket. Here’s a list of just a few!

Ring Bearer and Flower Girl by Jamey M. Photography

Ring Bearer and Flower Girl by Jamey M. Photography

Ring Bearer Alternatives: There are tons of cute ideas, so many so, that I could only fit a handful on here. So, here’s the shortened version!

  • For the Book Lover: If you have an old book that you’re OK with repurposing, try cutting out a large heart through several pages. Stick the rings in the cut out and you’ll have a fabulous piece of memorabilia for all eternity,
  • Wooden Box: I love this idea. Have a tiny wooden box with a Mr. and Mrs. side for the rings. Super cute for the rustic, outdoor wedding.
  • Antique: For the vintage, garden party, chic wedding, try shopping for an antique metal box to place the rings in. So romantic!
  • Pumpkins Please! Oh my goodness, this is absolutely perfect for a fall wedding! Paint a little pumpkin white and have the stem or top half dipped in glitter for extra glitz.
  • Grandpa’s Pocket Pill Case: If you can find someone with an antique pocket pill case, that would be a great option for a vintage styled wedding.

Flower Girl Alternatives: From balloons to bubbles, you can really add a sweet innocence to her trek down the aisle!

  • Banner Babies: If you have two (or more) flower girls in your wedding, have them hold a banner that says something like:
    • Here comes the love of your life!
    • Here She Comes, __________! (grooms name)
  • Balloon Bliss: Have the little princess hold a few balloons down the aisle, and once the “You May Kiss the Bride!” is announced, have her let the balloon arrangement go! Perfect for an outdoor wedding.
  • Puppy Love: If you and your fiancé have a dog together, have your flower girl walk down the aisle with him/her. The dog could have a tiny sign around its neck with a cute saying.
  • Signs n Such: A homemade wooden sign wrapped in burlap with the saying:
    • _________ (grooms name), Here comes your girl!
  • Tinkling Bells: Super cute, different, and vintage! The perfect arrival announcement if you ask me!

There are tons of different alternatives to the original pillow and flower basket. Choose your favorite and really make it adorable!

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…

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