• Couple Walking

Hidden Wedding CostsWEDDING MAGAZINE

Don't forget to keep money aside in case you come across one of these easily-overlooked wedding expenses...

#1 Your engagement photoshoot

Yes, duh - of course this will cost money. However, you might not realise exactly how much it will cost until you start exploring options! Look for a photographer who will include it as part of a package along with your main wedding photography in order to get the best bargain.

#2 Getting your engagement ring resized

A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do - depending on how drastic the resizing needs to be, this will cost you a pretty penny or two.

fiesta red wedding drinks

Like everything else about your wedding, the drinks you serve should be things you like, but they don’t need to symbolize you or your relationship. I mean, let’s be real—that’s a lot of pressure for a drink. That said, cocktails are delicious! And maybe you want some at your wedding!

wedding anxietyI did not enjoy wedding planning, for the most part. All of the modern wedding “necessities” seemed totally unnecessary to me. I cut corners wherever possible, saved money at every opportunity, and rarely found myself stressed because I just didn't care about the details. I was getting married to the manI loved, and nothing could ruin that.

About five days before our wedding, however, everything changed. I had a run-of-the-mill stomachache, and a friend said good-naturedly, “Maybe you have the pre-wedding jitters!”

That's when I slowly started to freak out.

Is a wedding anxiety attack the same as cold feet?

I've suffered from anxiety my whole life. When I was five, I was terrified of the the wind. At eight, I worried about the existence of God. At 10, I had my first panic attack and not a clue what was happening to me. I've had phases of compulsive disorder. I've struggled with sleep — worrying that I won't fall asleep, which causes me not to not fall asleep, which causes me to worry all over again the next night. My anxiety is a classic case of the self-fulfilling prophecy.

32PhotosPetThinking about incorporating your pet into the wedding festivities? These precious pooches (and a few other animals) are sure to sway you in the right direction. C'mon, how can you resist a puppy ring bearer?

Photo by Town & Country Studios

40 Wedding SongsEvery couple should consider hosting an energetic after-party once the DJ or band has played the last song! Why? Because it keeps guests moving to the music until the wee hours of the morning. Check out these 40 awesome tunes that will appeal to all ages:

Overwhelmed with the logistics of planning your big day? Join the club! We asked top wedding professionals and real brides around the country to divulge their stress-less secrets.

wedding ceremonyBy: Stefania Sainato

Planning a wedding can be the ultimate exercise in stress management. At times, it may feel as if you're being asked to juggle balls while jumping through flaming hoops of fire — all with a can-do smile on your face. And with unexpected wedding costs, vendor disputes or tricky etiquette dilemmas to contend with, it's no wonder some couples fantasize about eloping (or actually go through with it!).

curtain aisleIt's a new year which means new trends in the bridal industry. What's new in gowns? What should I be looking for to help me choose my theme?

Any trend can be incorporated into your wedding regardless of your theme. Using only one may be more effective than using many though. Too much of a good thing is not always a good thing. It may come across as being tacky if overdone....you want people talking about your wedding being the event of the year, but for the right reason.

Wedding Faux-PasThere are many do's and don'ts when it comes to wedding planning. To help recently engaged couples avoid them at all costs, we decided to reach out to the pros—and did they give us the low-down! Find out what these six event planners had to say about a few faux-pas:

Q: What is a common mistake couples make while wedding planning?

"Couples commonly make the mistake of not compiling their guest list first. This is the key to the rest of the planning from budgeting to venue selections to accommodations. Make the A List and then a B List of hopefuls before even searching for venues and setting a strict budget." - Laura Ritchie of Events in the City in Washington, DC

"Not making informed decisions—lots of couples make their planning decisions based on assumptions, other people’s advice, or other’s experiences. I always suggest my clients and potential clients to treat each decision with care and consider all of their options before moving forward." - Leanne Valdes of You Name It Events in Geneva, Illinois

"One mistake that couples make while wedding planning is not researching prices before buying. A lot of couples will go directly to one vendor and accept their offer without looking around for competitive prices. Also, they should listen to their planner’s list of preferred vendors. A good wedding planner will know who has the right price for a specific couple’s budget, and also knows the quality of work for that vendor." - The Confetti of Charleston Team of Confetti Events in Charleston, South Carolina

Q: What do you wish couples knew about the wedding planning?

Terminally Ill Father Walks His 11-Year-Old Daughter Down The Aisle Knowing He Won’t Be There On Her Wedding Day

Zetz joined hands with his sweet daughter in the backyard of their Murrieta, Calif. home on March 14 and placed a sparkling ring on her index finger while their family pastor proudly pronounced them “daddy and daughter.”

wedding makeupYour wedding is one of the most-photographed days of your life. Look your best in all those pictures by avoiding these common makeup mishaps.

1. Trying Something New
Your wedding day isn't the time to experiment with red lipstick or smoky eyes for the first time. "Choose tones that you feel comfortable with and most like yourself," said Jo Levy, makeup artist for Rouge Bunny Rouge. Makeup artist Elise Brill added, "I always tell my brides that my goal is for them to look like themselves, just defined and finished. I would hate for a bride to look at her pictures five years from now and not recognize the girl in them."

"I think brides get too caught up in that it’s their special day and end up doing more than they would normally do, and it ends up being too much," said beauty expert Sonia Kashuk. "It is your special day, and you want to look like you — only better. When you’re walking down the aisle, the person on the other end wants to see you!"

2. Getting Caught Up in Beauty Trends
Thanks to Kim Kardashian, contouring (using bronzer and highlighter to bring out your cheekbones) is a huge trend right now. But this kind of heavy manipulation can look too harsh during the daytime, according to makeup artist Sam Russell. "Natural lighting accentuates your natural beauty, so keep it light and fresh." Always remember that your photos are going to be on display for many, many years after the wedding; you don't want someone to be able pinpoint which decade your wedding took place in based on your face alone. "Think about the timelessness of your look; can it transcend the test of time?" said Kashuk. "When you looYour wedding is one of the most-photographed days of your life. Look your best in all those pictures by avoiding these common makeup mishaps.

1. Trying Something New
Your wedding day isn't the time to experiment with red lipstick or smoky eyes for the first time. "Choose tones that you feel comfortable with and most like yourself," said Jo Levy, makeup artist for Rouge Bunny Rouge. Makeup artist Elise Brill added, "I always tell my brides that my goal is for them to look like themselves, just defined and finished. I would hate for a bride to look at her pictures five years from now and not recognize the girl in them."

"I think brides get too caught up in that it’s their special day and end up doing more than they would normally do, and it ends up being too much," said beauty expert Sonia Kashuk. "It is your special day, and you want to look like you — only better. When you’re walking down the aisle, the person on the other end wants to see you!"

Candy Decor

Imagine these on your candy table....and ohhh so easy to make. Use a foam cone as your base. Starting at the bottom use tooth picks or hot glue gun to attach the candy, and voila!

B epsome salt jars

Bring some of the look of snow, ice and frost indoors without actually bringing in the cold. Think of this done as luminaries, vases, well anything glass really. Something elegant and pretty against winter’s white snow. Something that says Christmas, but isn’t limited to the holiday. Something that could be kept out all winter long.

Beat the Heat at your WeddingAvoid the heat

Adjust the time. Push the ceremony back so it's as late in the evening as possible. Think about a sunset wedding or a night time wedding.

Keep it short. Have a short ceremony and then bring the reception inside.

Find a venue near water. Lakeside or beach wedding anyone? Or, hell, get married on the water on a boat — the breeze from a moving ship should keep everyone cool.

Shade is your friend. Definitely try to set up your ceremony in a shady location.

Cope with the heat

Have a pool party wedding. Pool parties are the coolest parties. You can totally take the "first plunge" instead of a first dance.

Fans and parasols. Turn your wedding programs into fans, or have fans readily available as favors. Or set out a bucket full of cheap paper parasols.

Dress code. Dress in breathable fabrics and inform your guests to dress for the heat — shorts, flip flops, light cotton shirts, sun dresses etc.

Hydration station. Have water, iced tea, and/or lemonade readily available

Who knew coffee filters could look so pretty?

B DIY Coffee Filter FlowersThink of the potential these flowers have. They can be used in so many different ways, from decor, centerpieces, jazzing up your favours to your bridal bouquet.

Coffee filter flowers are delicate looking and absorbent ~ perfect for dying! Play with the different methods and types of dyes to create the look you want for your flowers.

See tutorials and many different methods of creating these beauties at bridalmusings.com

Photo questions Answered

Most wedding magazines will give you a list of questions to ask your wedding photographer. Stuff like: "Can you describe your style? What equipment do you shoot with?"Let's be real: Those questions are boring. And you probably don't actually care about the answers anyway. So I surveyed some brides and photography-friends, and put together a list of all those questions you really want to ask, and all those things we really want you to know.

Once you've got a few favorite photographers, narrow it down to a handful of favorites, and set up a time to meet them. Make sure you're meeting with the person who will be wielding the camera at your wedding, not a sales consultant or studio owner. You have to, like, trust and get along with your photographer — that way you can leave the magic of photo making in the photographer's hands. Not only should you like their images, you should also like them! You'll be spending many hours with them during your wedding day.

2. How many photos do I get?

The wedding photographers I surveyed typically deliver 50-100 photos for every hour of coverage they provide. Four hundred photos may seem like a lot, but your wedding photographer is preserving all those little details and the moments you missed while you were mingling.

3. I love those photos with the blurry backgrounds. How do you get that look?

How much easier can it get to make a statement???  Silverware simply wrapped in a paper doily and tied with twine. Perfect for that casual garden wedding! Enough said...

tips to calm nervous bridesA wedding isn't referred to as a bride's "Big Day" for the size of the wedding cake or the length of her train. Most brides will feel at least a slight twinge of of stress on their wedding day — and that's totally normal. After all, it's one of the most important moments in your life. (No pressure!)

To help calm your nerves before you walk down the aisle, here are six pieces of wisdom from wedding planners.

doily lanterns2

Create a classy chabby chic piece of decor that can be used so many ways in just 3 simple steps.

Shopping list

krista a jones photographyThe purpose of a first dance is to introduce the newlyweds on the dance floor. krista-a-jones-photographyTogether, you need to keep to the rhythm of the music—step-by-step, twirl-by-twirl, and dip-by-dip. (Throw in a kiss, too!)

patterned linnen blogWhat better way than with patterned table linens.....simple and sophisticated or intriguingly casual.  Whatever look you're going for patterned linens will work.  With so many patterns and colours to choose there's one for every taste.  

Wedding Planning Advice You Can IgnoreIf you’re planning a Wedding-Planning-Advice-You-Can-Ignorewedding, you’ve probably encountered your fair share of (ahem—mostly unsolicited) opinions. Everyone including your mom’s gal pal from knitting club and that random dude on the subway seems to have two cents to add. When advice is being hurled at you from every direction, sometimes the good old trusty “smile and nod” is your best bet. Here are six nuggets of (non)wisdom you have our full permission to leave at the curb. #thanksbutnothanks

You should really tone up/color your hair/whiten those teeth/do something about those eye bags for the wedding. Um, thanks? Ignore. Your fiancé(e) loves you just the way you are (cliché but oh-so true!) and you don’t have to alter your appearance one bit for your wedding day if you don’t want to. Don’t let misguided personal comments get to you. If you feel comfortable, that’s all that matters!

No need for a rain plan—that’s negative thinking! A positive outlook might keep the metaphorical clouds at bay, but that’s not what we’re going for here. Having a Plan B doesn’t make you Debbie Downer—it just makes you a smart planner. Also, Murphy’s Law says that if you don’t have a rain plan, it will rain. So there’s that.

Wedding PhotographyHiring a friend isn't the same as hiring a professional.

Just because your friend is a great hobby photographer, doesn't mean you'll get the results of great wedding photos on your big day. An experienced photographer knows how to shoot a mix of shots.....shots of you getting ready, walking down the isle, the infamous family and group shots, your first dance yet not forgetting the candids.