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What Is Stone Fox Bride? Here’s The Scoop On The Cool New Site To Shop For Wedding Gowns, Rings & More

In an era of bridal TV shows like Say Yes To The Dress and Platinum Weddings, it's hard to imagine preparing for your wedding is anything but complicated. I've heard of one massive wedding that took years--yes, years! to plan and who didn't gawk at this billion dollar wedding. The wedding world definitely seems hectic and over-the-top, not to mention expensive. In the midst of all that tulle and sparkle, how's a girl supposed to find a dress that fits beautifully, hasn't been worn by a zillion of your friends and doesn't cost (much) more than your honeymoon? That's where Stone Fox Bride comes in. When Molly Guy, founder of Stone Fox Bride, was planning her wedding she struggled to find a mellow, high-fashion shop or online site that carried the chic, bohemian frocks she was looking for. When she couldn't find one, she created her own (only three weeks after her wedding!) and thus Stone Fox Bride was born. The Stone Fox Bride shop, which is located in Greenwich Village in New York City, is everything Guy hoped it would be: a relaxed, personal and authentic place for brides-to-be to find their perfect dress. In addition to gowns, customers can also purchase veils, crowns (including some gorgeous fresh floral pieces), rings and a carefully curated vintage selection all in a deliberately relaxed environment more reminiscent of your friend's gorgeous living room than a bridal boutique. What you won't find at Stone Fox Bride? Corsets, ribbing or starchy lace here. Instead, all of the dresses are inventive, slightly off the beaten path of what you'd find at a traditional bridal salon. Even better, Stone Fox Bride's bridal collection isn't horrendously pricey. Gowns start at just $1,200! And just in cases you needed even more reason to check Stone Fox Bride out, they teamed up with Eloquii to offer many of their stunning dresses in sizes ranging from 0 to 24, with special pattern adjustments made on the larger sizes. Pretty sweet, right? If you're unable to make it to NYC to visit the Stone Fox Bride store, you can order the gowns, rings, crowns and veils online at And hey, even if you're not planning a wedding right this very moment, I'd definitely recommend taking a peek at the site because some of the dresses (and the photos!) are absolutely gorgeous. (Secret wedding Pinterest board, anyone?!) Stone Fox Bride has also gotten its share of very well deserved press, including features in The New York Times, Vogue and the Wall Street Journal. Oh and let's not forget TV.  Allison Williams' character, Marnie, wore the Glenda dress (with a Stone Fox Bride headpiece) to get married in Season 5 of Girls. If you've already done all of your bridal shopping, or if you're not quite ready to get married, we won't tell if you get sucked into all the gorgeous real weddings in Stone Fox Bride's "weddings we love" section. Trust is, it's so good and so addictive! Be sure to check out what you need to know about making a wedding guest list and what you really need to know about buying a wedding dress. [Photo: Stone Fox Bride]

The One Thing Every Millennial Is Doing At Their Wedding

Wedding hashtags are so 2013. OK, they still are a staple of millennial weddings, but the newest social media trend that is a MUST when you walk down the aisle is a custom Snapchat geofilter (or multiple). [Photo: Etsy] [Photo: Etsy] Here's how to get one--it's really simple. Go to Create a design by clicking "create now." Or, you can have someone design one for you--tons of Etsy vendors do it. Set a time frame for how long you want your geofilter for. Submit your geofilter and it will be reviewed by Snapchat in one business day. See we told you, super easy. Actually, you can make a Geofilter for pretty much any event, not just a wedding. Birthdays, fundraisers, even for your own home, we guess. Prices range from $5 to a couple thousand dollars, which we guess has something to do with the size of the area you want the geofilter to cover. Let us know how it goes if you try making one! Don't forget to check out: expenses the bride and groom shouldn't pay for and what no one tells you about the wedding reception [Photo: Ryan Ray Photo]

6 Bachelorette Party Games That Aren’t Gross

The bachelorette party is all about having fun and letting the bride-to-be blow off some steam after months of (sometimes stressful) wedding planning. And while playing games can be a great way to loosen up and get everyone engaged, some brides might not be comfortable with anything too raunchy or racy. So here are six games that won't leave anyone screaming "TMI!" 1. Scavenger Hunt. The bridal party can set up a fun scavenger hunt for the bride beforehand, taking her to different locations that are meaningful to her and the groom (or even her and her best girls). The end location is where you’ll be partying it up for the rest of the night. 2. Wedding Category Cards. Come up with a variety of wedding or bachelorette-related categories and write them down on separate note cards. The topics could be anything from wedding dress designers to famous wedding movies. Everyone takes turns choosing a card and then they have 10 seconds to name an item in that particular category. If the player can't think of anything, they're out and they have to drink. 3. The Nearlywed Game. A few weeks before the party, ask the groom some questions about himself, the bride and their relationship (Where was your first kiss? Who said I love you first? What is the bride’s favorite movie?) You can also make the questions a little racier if you want. Then you can all take turns asking the bride those same questions to see if her answers match up to her groom’s. Every time she gets one wrong, she has to drink. 4. The Lingerie Guessing Game. Ask guests to bring the bride one piece of lingerie as a gift (you can specify to keep it on the classier side--nothing raunchy), and have the bride guess who gave her what as she unwraps them. 5. Charades. Divide the girls into two teams for a game of charades. You can choose a wedding theme, with everything from love songs and wedding movies to celebrity couples. 6. Dare the Bride. Have everyone come up with one task for the bachelorette to complete by the end of the night, ranging from the mild (getting a guy to buy her a drink) to the bit more wild (getting a guy to take off his shirt). For more wedding tips, check out how to involve your mother in the bachelorette festivities and how to make the most of your maid of honor. [Photo:]

How To Involve Your Mother And Mother-In-Law In The Bachelorette Party Festivities

Your bachelorette party is the perfect time to get your best girls together to celebrate your last days of being single. And if you happen to be especially close with your mom or future mother-in-law (or both), you might want to include them in the festivities. Here’s how to do it without any awkward situations or hurt feelings. Figure out what you want. If you’re going for a more low-key bachelorette--dinner out, cooking class, spa day, etc.--then by all means invite whoever you want. But if you're planning on getting a little crazy at some point, then you might want to consider whether you really want them there. Ask them about their expectations. While some moms and future MILs would love the chance to join you and your girlfriends for a night out, others might want to skip the festivities altogether because they feel it’s not an event for a lady of a certain age! Everyone also has their own threshold on what they think is "acceptable" behavior, so if either one of them is going to feel uncomfortable, then it’s better to give them a pass on the night. Divide the night into two parts. You can have the best of both worlds at your bachelorette. Simply divide the event into two parts, such as going out to a nice dinner earlier in the night and then hitting the bar/club later on after your mom and MIL have said their good byes. Choose activities that don't involve alcohol. It's often the heavy drinking that can create some uncomfortable situations (and not just for the older ladies in the crowd). If you’d rather skip the drinking altogether, you can always plan a bachelorette party that doesn’t involve alcohol. Schedule a separate celebration. You can always have two bachelorette events—one with your friends where you can do whatever you want and a calmer get-together with your mom, MIL, aunts and even younger female family members who can’t drink yet but still want to find a way to celebrate with you. Be sure to check out how to make the most of your maid of honor and how to plan the wedding after party. [Photo: Barefoot Blonde]

6 Ways To Make The Most Of Your Maid Of Honor

Choosing a maid of honor is a major wedding decision for every bride. This one person will not just stand next to you during the ceremony, but she’ll also be by your side during the planning process. Here are some ways to get your MOH involved in the months leading up to the big day without stressing the both of you out. 1. Give her plenty of notice. When you ask that all important question, “Will you be my maid of honor?” also be sure to discuss what you expect her to take on in this role. If you expect her to be at every dress fitting and meeting with the caterer, then let her know before she makes the commitment to be standing beside you on your big day. 2. Choose just a few important to-dos. You and your groom should be planning the wedding together, so it’s should be unnecessary for the MOH to help you with every little detail of the event. Remember, she does have other things going on besides your wedding! Instead, choose just a few items that you know you’ll need her help with, such as dress shopping, planning the bridal shower, putting together favors and stuffing wedding invites. 3. Play to her strengths. Maybe your MOH is a fashionista? Or her favorite hobby is floral design? Choose tasks that not only will she enjoy, but that she actually has some talent for, which will ultimately help you out much more than loading her with a bunch of mundane tasks she has no interest in. 4. Give her some direction. If you ask her to take charge of some big ticket items, such as planning the bridal shower and/or bachelorette party, be sure to give her some guidelines so she knows what you want. Trying to read your mind will only lead to stress and possible resentment. 5. Skip the micro-managing. No one wants to have someone standing over their shoulder all the time, so after giving your MOH some direction, take a step back and let her take charge. It’s okay to check in every once in a while to see if she needs some help, but refrain from sending constant emails or texts asking for updates. 6. Don’t be a diva. Even if your MOH has the patience of a saint, no one wants to deal with a bridezilla. The best way to entice your best gal to help out more is to make sure you’re pleasant to be around and that you don’t drive her crazy. Oh, and don’t forget to put aside the wedding talk every now and then and ask her how she’s doing! Be sure to check out how to plan a wedding after party and 7 questions to ask before booking a wedding venue.

It’s Official, Colorful Smoke Bombs Are The Coolest Wedding Trend Of 2016

Smoke bombs are blowing up (literally) on the wedding scene. These colorful clouds will definitely go down as the coolest wedding trend of 2016. They are super easy to use and the smoke clears within five minutes. You can go all out and use a variety of colors or stick with one to make a statement. Either way, you're sure to end up with stunning photos. Check out wedding smoke bomb inspo below: Don't forget to check out: questions to ask before booking a venue and what a $1 billion wedding looks like [Photo: Laura Goldenberger Photography]

7 Essential Questions To Ask before Booking A Wedding Venue

Before you can really get into the thick of planning your big day, you need to secure your event space. These seven essential questions will help ensure that you pick the perfect spot. 1. What exactly is included in the per person price? You should not assume that the price quoted includes everything needed to make your wedding dreams a reality. Some venues will tack on fees for things you might see as wedding essentials, but they see as extra special service. “The expense of renting and bringing in tables, chairs, props, linens, glassware and table settings is huge,” says Kara Lamerato, producer and host of the Wedding Planning Podcast. “A couple should fully understand what (if any) of these items are included on their venue contract.” 2. Does the facility have a specific caterer or a list? Often, those exclusive caterers pay to work at the venue and pass the costs along to the couples who rent the spaces, says Chef Alexa Lemley of Artisan Foodworks Catering. “A venue that is open to having your choice of caterers can save you a lot of money--not to mention the ability to choose a vegetarian-friendly one.” 3. Do they have a preferred vendor list? Will they allow vendors that are not on that list? If you have your heart set on a particular vendor, finding out you can’t use him or her after the fact can be a real disappointment, says Dave Yen of 4. How many people will the venue accommodate? You want to make sure the venue can safely accommodate all of your guests (is there a minimum or maximum number allowed), says Lamerato. "You also want to know how much flexibility is there for adding guests as the RSVP date nears.=: 5. Any required insurance certificates which must be obtained and paid for by the couple? This can be a danger-zone hidden cost that typically comes up very last-minute, says Lamerato. 6. Will there be multiple weddings or events happening on the same day? Some couples don’t mind having other weddings taking place at the venue, while others want strictly one-on-one attention, says Lauren Randolph of My Hotel Wedding. If there are other events, where are they located on the premises? Will guests be able to hear the other couple’s band/DJ in the hallway? Share restrooms? Wait in a long line for the coat check? 7. Do they add any taxes or gratuities to the cost quoted? Is this part of the quoted price or extra? You’ll want to be able to budget for these items so you’re not surprised when you’re handed the final bill, says Heidi Hiller of Innovative Party Planners. For more wedding tips, check out how to plan a bridal shower and mistakes couples make when planning a ballroom wedding. [Photo:]

PHOTOS: In Case You Were Wondering, This Is What A $1 Billion Wedding Looks Like

We all know weddings cost a lot of money. To put it in perspective, a $250,000 wedding would get you pretty much whatever you wanted, so a $1 billion wedding is just, uh, unreal. On Saturday, a $1 billion Moscow wedding took place between 20-year-old Khadija Uzhakhovs and Said Gutseriev, an heir to a Russian oil fortune. Uzhakhovs and Gutseriev didn't have a typical wedding. Their band consisted of Jennifer Lopez, Sting and Enrique Ingelsias. The wedding gown was Elie Saab couture, which was absolutely stunning. From the tons of Instagram photos posted, we can all dream of what it would be like to experience an out-of-this-world wedding. Here's J.Lo rockin' her performance and being happy with herself for correctly pronouncing the names of the couple. Enrique performed his catchy hit "Bailando" and the crowd loved it. Meanwhile, Sting sang "Desert Rose" with wedding attendees on stage. The wedding cake was unlike any other. To say it was big would be an understatement. The father of the bride is Mikhail Gutseriev and has a net worth of $6.2 billion from oil and real estate. It's safe to say his daughter (and the world) will never forget this wedding. Don't miss what to expect when you're a bridesmaid for the first time and find out what your wedding song says about you! [Photo: Instagram]

What To Expect When You’re A Bridesmaid For The First Time

I'm officially at the age where all of my friends are getting married. Up until last year, I literally had no idea what it cost to be part of a bridal party aka a bridesmaid. I was recently a bridesmaid in my brother's wedding, which was my first time being a bridesmaid, and I learned a lot about the entire process. Everything was so new to me and it can be really overwhelming. Every bride/wedding is different so the cost of each wedding you're asked to be in will definitely vary. However, in the end, you're going to be spending money. If you're like me and have no idea what to expect, here's a general breakdown of costs. Bridesmaid Dress  Unless your bride is extremely generous, chances are you will be buying your own bridesmaid dress. Depending on the bride, the price of the dress may vary. You may even get lucky and be able to pick out the dress yourself, which is a huge plus because you can pick something according to your budget. However, the average price of a bridesmaid dress is $150 and another $50 if you need alterations. Shoes/Jewelry Obviously, you need accessories to complete your look. Most times the bride will gift her bridesmaids with a piece of jewelry to wear on the day of the wedding. The average price of shoes and jewelry is $100. Hair, Makeup and Nails Hair and makeup is an essential part of your look and depending on what type of hair stylist and makeup artist the bride chooses, this will cost a decent amount of money. You want your hair/makeup to last literally all day and night, so usually for weddings, the price for the beauty services will go up. The average price for hair, makeup and nails is $200. Bachelorette Depending where the bachelorette party is taking place, you can end up spending $500, especially if it's out-of-state. You'll have to pay for airfare, hotels and activities. If it's in-state the average price is $250. Bridal Shower If you're lucky, the bride's family will take care of the bridal shower. That means you just have to chip in for a bridal shower gift, which isn't too horrible. The average price of a bridal shower gift is $75. Wedding Gift  Being a bridesmaid means you have to give more as a wedding gift, in my opinion. You're clearly close with the bride and it's a momentous occasion in her life. The average wedding gift for a bridesmaid is $250. Misc. Items  If the wedding is out-of-state, you'll have to pay for transportation and lodging. Flights could run between $200-$500, if not more if the wedding is out of the country. Hotels are an average of $180 per night. Let's tally it up! Calculating items on the least expensive side, it would cost roughly $1,075 to be a bridesmaid in a "local" wedding and $1,455-$1,755 for an out-of-state wedding. Don't miss 10 creative wedding favors and 8 mistakes bridesmaids make when planning a bridal shower! [Photo: Brookelyn Photography]

Find Out What Your Wedding Song Says About You

Dancing with your partner for the first time as a married couple is a huge deal. Your wedding song says so much about you and your relationship. Find out what your wedding song says about you below! "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" by Israel Kamakawiwoʻole You aren't exactly the most traditional bride but you aren't extremely unique either. You're sweet and caring and probably wouldn't mind being BFF with Zooey Deschanel. In your own mind, you consider yourself as a being a bit quirky and you're totally okay with that! RELATED: Find Out What Your Wedding Bouquet Says About You "All of Me" by John Legend  You're a romantic and you don't mind that other people know it. You invest 100% of yourself into everything, especially your relationship. Having a deep connection with all different types of things is really important to you. RELATED: Find Out What Your Go-To Lipstick Shade Says About You "Better Together" by Jack Johnson You are a free spirit and enjoy the little things in life. You try not to take everything so seriously and you enjoy making other people happy. RELATED: Find Out What Your Lip Shape Says About You "At Last" by Etta James You are very traditional and it's probably safe to say you've been imagining your dream wedding since you were a little girl. Everything in your life is planned out and usually goes according to the plan. You like to be in control...of everything. Don't miss 100 years of engagement ring styles and what to wear to a bridal shower!

This Genius Product Will Save You From A Bathroom Disaster On Your Wedding Day

If you've ever gotten married or been a bridesmaid at a wedding, then you know one of the major issues a bride faces is going to the bathroom in her gown. Since the bride (usually) can't lift the gown herself in order to use the toilet, her bridesmaids put on a happy face and keep her gown off the ground until she's finished her business. Well, that's all about to end thanks to this genius product called Bridal Buddy. This product basically does the job of your bridesmaids except you don't have to look anyone in the face while peeing. Check it out below! [youtube][/youtube] Don't miss 8 wedding expenses you should never pay for and find out what your wedding bouquet says about you! [Photo: Bridal Buddy]  

VIDEO: See How Much Engagement Ring Styles Have Changed In The Past 100 Years

Engagement rings are so unique and personal, so there's no doubt they have changed a drastic amount throughout the years. In Mode's latest video of their "100 Years" series, 100 years of engagement ring styles are modeled. Starting off in the 1910s with a simple solitaire diamond to the ever-popular halo ring of today. Watch below and let us know which ring style is your favorite! [youtube][/youtube] Don't miss 6 mistakes couples make when choosing their wedding bands and 6 creative ways to announce your engagement! [Photo: YouTube]

12 Wedding Decisions You Might Regret–Proceed With Caution

Every bride worries about whether or not her wedding day will be a success. And while not every decision is the right one for every couple, there are a few that almost every bride and groom comes to regret. 1. Listening to other people. Everyone--and we mean everyone--has an opinion about weddings. If you listen to everyone's two cents, it will drive you crazy, says Jen Glantz of Bridesmaid for Hire. "Remember, this is your wedding. Only take on other's advice when you feel as though you're unsure about something." 2. Racking up serious debt. Depending on your market, the average cost of a wedding right now in the US is around $35,000--that is an incredible amount of money for six hours, says Kimberly Morrill of Your Perfect Bridesmaid. “With student loan debt being what it is, and housing costing what it does, many couples wake up the day after the wedding falling into depression realizing that they could have just paid off their student loan or put down a down payment on a house." 3. Not hiring a quality photographer. Yes, a professional wedding photographer can be pricey, but there’s good reason for that. You want your photos to be beautiful and something you look upon for years to come. The same goes for a videographer. While it might seem like a good idea to save money, you might very well regret not having video from this important day. 4. Choosing too many bridesmaids. "Do not choose every woman in your family or friends from middle school just because you feel obligated," says Kinsey Roberts of Vista View Events. "Not only will your bridal party look like a circus, you'll regret having to try and keep so many different women happy. Breathe, relax and make the decision that's right for you." 5. Registering for things you think you need. If you already have a blender and a coffee maker, don't think you need to register for just kitchen appliances. Check out other, more personal, registries, says Glantz. 6. Letting your parents invite everyone they know. If your parents are paying for some or all of the wedding, it can be tough to say no to them. But you want your day to be about sharing your love with those nearest and dearest to you, so in as diplomatic way as possible, try to reason with mom and dad in when it comes to the guest list. 7. Buying wedding favors that no one keeps or uses. "I always advise my clients to purchase favors that are either edible or something the guests will want to keep," says Alicia Smith of Touched By Innocence. "For example if you have a photo booth make sure they have one the spot printing for guests with the event info/logo on the picture. Everyone will keep a picture of themselves and they will always remember that moment is from your special day." 8. Letting a friend officiate. While it sounds fun at the time, in most cases it leads to a less than stellar experience, says Alan Katz of Great Officiants. "When choosing a friend, they don't understand the intricacies of the wedding ceremony process such as where to position the couple, how to use a microphone, when to tell the guest to sit or stand, how to work with the other vendors. A professional officiant is trained to deal with all the aspects of the ceremony." 9. Getting distracted during the ceremony. This is the most important part of the day, so pay attention to all of the details. 10. Not hiring entertainment. While it is often tempting to just plug in an iPod or your phone, it still doesn't address the need for an emcee or master of ceremonies, says Morrill. "You really need to have a dedicated person make announcements in order to keep the flow organized and running smoothly. And while loading songs on to a device ensures music, you need a person to blend in the right mix to ensure dancing. It’s also a huge stress reliever to not have to worry about the potential tech issues that can arise." 11. Too much DIY. "It can end up costing more or close to an alternate option and cause you more stress than it's worth," says Jodi Everts of Love, Madison Weddings. 12. Thinking everything will go wrong. It won't, but some things along the way will. "Don't waste time worrying about this and instead enjoy the day," says Glantz. For more wedding tips, check out how to plan a rural wedding and what to wear to a winter wedding. [Photo: KT Merry]

8 Mistakes Bridesmaids Make When Planning The Bridal Shower

The bridal party has quite a few duties to carry out for the bride--and one of the most important is planning the bridal shower. To make sure that it's a day she’ll always remember (for all the right reasons), be sure to avoid these eight common mistakes. 1. Forgetting to consult the bride. While you definitely don’t want to add to her planning stress, it’s still a good idea to at least ask the bride what she envisions for her shower. Does she want a casual Sunday brunch or Friday night cocktails? Are there certain people she doesn’t want on the guest list? Would she like a coed shower or ladies only? The MOH can have a brief discussion with her on what would make the bride happy. 2. Not setting a budget. Like any event, it’s crucial to set a budget for the bridal shower. And while you’re at it, figure out who is paying for what. Are the bride and groom’s moms chipping in, or is the bridal party covering the entire cost? Once you know, then sit down and have an honest conversation with your fellow bridesmaids about how much you can each afford to spend. You don’t want anyone getting into serious debt over a bridal shower. 3. Throwing together an event. While the shower is not as formal as the other wedding-related events, it’s not something you can just plan at the last minute. You need to secure a venue, decide on the menu, send out invites and come up with favors--all of which takes some time. The idea time for the shower is about two to three months before the wedding. 4. Taking on the entire to-do list. The MOH tends to have all of the planning chores placed on her shoulders--and that’s unfair. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, whether it’s mailing invites, putting together favors or ordering the cake. 5. Inviting people not invited to the wedding. It is bad etiquette to invite someone to the bridal shower who will not be included on the wedding day, which is another reason it’s a good idea to check with the bride about the guest list in advance. 6. Forgetting to include important details. The invite shouldn’t just include the time, date and place—you also need to include other pertinent info, such as the dress code (if any), if there’s a wishing well and if you’re asking guests to jot down advice or fill out recipe cards in advance, etc. 7. Putting registry info on the invite. This is another etiquette no-no. Details on where the bride is registered should be on a separate insert that will go into the envelope with the invitation (most stores will even provide them to you free of charge). 8. Not planning any activities. The shower should be more than watching the bride open her gifts--you want to make it fun for everyone there. So plan some games to keep everyone occupied during the event. For more wedding tips, check out what to wear to a winter wedding and how to plan a barn wedding. [Photo: Gal Meets Glam]

Find Out What Your Wedding Bouquet Says About You

A wedding bouquet can make or break your entire look. It's a key component for any bride and is a great way to show off your personality other than your dress. Find out below what your wedding bouquet says about you! If your bouquet has Roses:  You are a classic bride. Roses are the most traditional of wedding flowers, which makes you the typical princess bride! Succulents:  You're a stylish bride. Succulents speak for themselves so you don't need a huge bouquet to get in the way of your gorgeous dress. They are constructed and organized but make a powerful statement, which is very much like you. RELATED: Find Out What Your Hairline Says About You Peonies: You are a total romantic! It's all about the dreamy details and feminine touch. Tulips:  You like to take risks. Since tulips are bright and vibrant, you have no problem expressing your personality. You also have a very independent spirit. Sunflowers:  You appreciate nature. Sunflowers are perfect for any bride who loves nature and like to make other people happy. You'll certainly do so with bright and cheery flowers! RELATED: Find Out What Your Recurring Dreams Say About You Calla Lilies:  You're a modern bride. Calla lilies are very structural and clean, much like modern architecture. Your structured bouquet reflects your contemporary lifestyle. You also shy away from being traditional. Hydrangeas: You are cool and casual. Hydrangeas are typically seen at rustic or beach weddings, which are more relaxed. You don't put too much emphasis on things and consider yourself to be a laid back person. RELATED: Find Out What Your Wine Choice Says About You

What To Wear To A Winter Wedding

Winter has become a more popular wedding season in recent years, and not just because it can save you some money. Other holiday events--like New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day--can make it a special time of year to say I do. But the cooler weather can make choosing an outfit harder for both guests and the bride, so take a look at these tips before making your final decision. Figure out the formality. What you wear to the wedding will determined by how formal the event is, which should be indicated on the invites. For a black tie wedding or formal affair, a ball gown for the bride, while guests can wear floor-length dresses with long sleeves (if you’re worried about being cold). If the wedding is more casual, you can’t go wrong with a cocktail dress, while brides might want to wear something a bit less full and dramatic. Choose jewel tones or metallic. Winter is the perfect time to wear deeper colors, like hunter green, navy blue, plum, maroon, etc. Metallics like silver, gold and copper are also stunning options, and the bride can easily incorporate any of these colors into their look with a sash or their shoes. Think about texture. Brides especially can work with more textures and layers with their winter wedding dresses. Think layered skirts made of feathers, a trumpet bridal gown with organza textured skirt, and a ball gown that features beautiful organza roses on the skirt or a layered tulle skirt. Opt for heavier fabric. You want to stay warm, so choose fabrics that have more weight to them, such as velvet, satin or taffeta. Organza is also a bit heavier than tulle, but still a nice, lighter weight. Look at winter florals. You don’t have to wait until spring and summer to wear floral prints. Opt for a dark floral-print maxi dress so that can you add some flair to your wedding look. Go for separates. You don’t need to wear a dress. A well-tailored suit can be a stylish--and even sexy--option. Or you can opt for a midi-skirt with black tights or stocking, and pair it with a sparkly shirt. Some brides are even going for the two-piece wedding ensemble to help their look stand out from the crowd. Add some sparkle. Sparkle isn't only for the holidays. Both brides and guests should feel free to add some to their wedding looks, whether it’s through sequins or embellishments on their dresses, through accessories or even their shoes. Stay warm. If you’re not wearing long sleeves, be sure you have some coverage, such as a shawl, shrug or even a bolero jacket. While a winter wedding will probably be indoors (especially if it’s in a cool climate), you’ll still need to stay warm when going to the car. Wear closed-toe shoes. Stay warm--but still stylish--with closed-toe pumps, shoe boot or even a beautiful winter boot (especially if there’s snow in your locale). For more wedding tips, check out mistakes couples make when planning a rural wedding and how to have a vegan wedding. [Photo:]

7 Mistakes Couples Make When Planning A Vegan Wedding

Every wedding takes work to plan, but putting together a vegan wedding might add a bit more stress--mainly because you want to keep your non-vegan guests happy. Here are seven mistakes to make sure you miss when planning your own vegan vows. 1. Listening to other people's complaints. Chances are not everyone is going to be thrilled with the idea of going to a vegan wedding. But if it’s important to you, then you can’t make the mistake of caring about what other people will say about the food you served at your wedding, or that they didn’t care for it, says Miranda Tassi of Chancey Charm Charlotte. "This is your day and if it's important to you that it remains all vegan, so be it!" 2. Not factoring in cost. Before you begin planning a vegan wedding, it's important to know that vegan could cost more, says Jyl Deering of Chancey Charm Boston. "For this purpose, meet with your caterer or chef first to see what your options are. Since your menu requests might be more expensive, consider having a buffet or stations in place of a plated dinner." 3. Choosing just any caterer. Hire a vegan caterer or a chef who has in-depth experience with vegan food, says Linda Soper-Kolton, chef at Catskill Animal Sanctuary. "Merely omitting animal ingredients doesn't mean the food will be a creative example of how delicious it can be to eat vegan. There are too many fabulous ways to eat cruelty-free to settle for a meal comprised of 'side dishes.' Feel free to share your favorite vegan recipes as examples of the kinds of food and flavors you enjoy. And be sure to request a tasting before making any commitments." 4. Keeping guests in the dark. Many couples don't think about alerting their guests that they're planning an all vegan wedding. "When you send your Save the Dates be creative and mention that your guests are attending a vegan wedding," suggests the pros at Anoush Banquet Halls & Catering. 5. Not sharing the menu with guests. It's extremely important to have individual menus listing all of the food items your guests will be indulging in, says Tassi. While chalkboard menus are cute, you want to be sure each of your guest’s physically sees a menu and knows what they will be eating. Plus, this is your chance to show non-believers that vegan food can be tasty; you'll want to make sure they know what they are eating, so they can rave about it later. 6. Forgetting about the familiar. The idea of a vegan wedding may already be enough to make some non-vegans skeptical of the food you'll be serving, so consider including some hors d'oeuvres or dishes that will feel familiar, says Soper-Kolton. Think vegan Swedish meatballs, stuffed mushrooms, an artisan cheese plate or a seasonal risotto. "Incorporate familiar herbs and spices to add recognizable flavors to foods. Knowing that you can eat some of your favorite familiar dishes without animal products is just as important as expanding culinary horizons." 7. Thinking it's all about the food. Your dress, cost/budget, flowers, tableware, favors, venue location--these are all crucial selections when hosting a vegan wedding, says Tassi. "Was your dress made with harm? (Silk would not be a good option). Are the groom’s shoes made of leather? Is your tableware eco-friendly? Will your favors be vegan as well? If you really want to reflect on your love of nature and the outdoors, finding an outdoor location or garden may be hard to come across depending on your geographical location. Are your flowers locally grown and organic?" For more wedding tips, be sure to check out what to wear to an October wedding and 10 things to do the night before your wedding. [Photo:]

What To Wear To An October Wedding

While summer is still the most popular month for weddings, fall is definitely picking up steam--especially the month of October. Whether you’re saying I do during this popular month or simply attending a couple’s special day, here are some tips of choosing the right thing to wear. Consider the time and place. Before choosing your outfit, take into consideration the time and location of the big day. Is it a day or night affair? Is the wedding taking place on a farm or in a ballroom? These factors will have a major impact on what you wear to the event. Think past tradition. Most brides skip pure white anyway, but the fall is an especially good time to wear a dress in ivory, crème or even blush pink. And it goes without saying that guests should stay away from white and all of these variations unless the couple requests for their guests to show up in that color. Embrace fall colors. Those rich jewel tones make the perfect color palette for a wedding. Brides can find ways to incorporate it into the gown through a pretty sash or colorful shoes, while guests can enjoy the full treatment by choosing an ensemble in burgundy, hunter green, plum purple or even gold and silver. Or you can simply choose some accessories in a particular fall hue. Bring some coverage. There will likely be a chill in the air--especially at night--so bring a shawl or wrap to keep you warm. Brides can even get some affordable faux pashminas to keep at the reception for any guests who left their coverage at home. It’s a nice touch to show that you had everyone’s comfort in mind. Choose heavier fabrics. The fall season is the time to play up fabrics with some weight, such as velvet, brocade, damask, gabardine and the like. If you choose a lighter fabric, then you definitely need to layer your ensemble (see bring some coverage). Think about a pantsuit. Guests can skip the dress and go for a formal, and even sexy, pantsuit instead. Not only will you stand out from the sea of cocktail dresses, but pants will keep you warm if any of the wedding day festivities is outside. Pick a focal point. It’s okay to show off some skin at a wedding, but just make sure to pick a focal point. So it’s either a plunging neckline or back--not both. The same goes with jewelry: Pick one statement piece, such as a necklace or pair of earrings, and then keep the rest of your accessories understated. Skip open-toed shoes. In general, open-toed shoes aren’t in season for the fall anyway, so stick with classic pumps or statement shoes. If you really want to be fashion forward, try an ankle boot. Choose one bold color for makeup. Fall means you can use darker lipsticks as well as a jewel-toned eyeshadow, but don’t go too crazy. It’s best to choose one or the other--accentuate either your eyes or your lips, but not both. Don't miss what to wear to a fall wedding and how to plan a bachelorette party. [Photo: KT Merry]

Invited To An Outdoor Wedding This Spring Or Summer? Here’s What To Wear.

With the warmer weather on its way, many couples will be moving their ceremony and even reception outdoors. If you’re on the guest list to such an event, it can be hard to figure out exactly to wear. Here are some tips for putting together the perfect ensemble so you can enjoy the day. Don't wear white. For weddings after Memorial Day, it might be tempting to wear a shade of white to the wedding. While some etiquette rules have relaxed over the years, this isn’t one of them. It is never okay to wear white to a wedding unless the couple specifically requests it on the invite. Go bright. An outdoor wedding is the perfect time to show up on some bold colors, or you can go for a print that will help you stand out from the crowd, such as a floral for a garden party or navy stripes for a preppy look. Think beyond the dress. Yes, a beautiful dress is super simple to wear, but the warmer months means you can step out of that comfort zone a bit with your wedding guest attire. A flowy maxi skirt, dressy shorts or a capri pantsuit are all nice alternatives to the cocktail or sundress. Don't get dragged down. Wearing a long dress runs the risk of the bottom getting dragged on the ground, so a better choice is to choose something that hits right at the knee. Skip the stockings. Sitting and dancing out in the heat with stockings is going to be seriously uncomfortable, so feel free to skip them altogether. Have pale legs? Put on a little self-tanner or bronzer to give yourself some color. Get the right shoe. A pair of strappy sandals or wedges are perfect for walking outside. Style your hair wisely. If it's hot and humid, you’ll want to seriously consider pulling your hair back off your face and neck. A loose updo or sleek ponytail are both fun looks, and you can jazz both up with a beautiful headband, barrettes or even colorful bobby pins. Think about a hat. If it’s a daytime event, you might want to invest in a beautiful hat that can shield you from the sun all day. Even a short amount of time outside can result in serious sunburn. Hate hats? Consider a pretty parasol instead. Don't overdo the makeup. You don’t need to pile on the makeup for a daytime wedding anyway, but the heat and humidity will also certainly wreak havoc with your overall look. You don’t want your makeup to melt off your face, so go light on liquid foundation and mascara--and finish off your look with a spritz of a makeup setting spray. Bring your shades. Protect your peepers with a cool pair of shades. You don’t want to spend the entire day squinting! Add some coverage. It can get chilly when the sun goes down--even in the summer--so bring along a wrap or sweater to keep you warm. For more wedding tips, check out what to wear to a fall wedding and what to wear to a bridal shower. [Photo: Style Me Pretty]

What To Wear To An Outdoor Wedding

Many couples are choosing to hold some or all of their wedding festivities outdoors. If you’re one of those brides, you’ll want to take special considerations when choosing your dress. Here are some things to think about before you make that final decision. Choose lighter fabrics. When the temps rise, so does the chances of breaking out in a sweat (wedding day jitters don’t help either). Skip heavier fabrics that might make you sweat even more, and instead look for lighter fabrics that breathe and will keep you cool, such as cotton organdy, chiffon or crepe. Skip the satin. The last thing you want are sweat stains showing up--it's embarrassing and will live on for years to come in photos--so forget about this fabric that will show an excess moisture--especially if you’re wearing a dress with sleeves. Nothing puts a damper on a bride’s day like pit stains! Forgo a train. If your ceremony and reception will be outdoors, skip the long train that will collect dirt and grass stains while you walk down the aisle or around to greet guests. Think about going short. An outdoor wedding is a great excuse to go in a different direction and wear a short, garden-style wedding dress. Show some skin. An outdoor wedding when it’s warm out means you can go as bare as you like. Strapless, backless, plunging, midriff baring--you get the idea. Just don’t choose all of these looks for the same dress! Put on sunscreen. If you’re spending any time outdoors--even if it’s not particularly hot--you risk getting sun burn. Choose a non-greasy, fragrance-free sunscreen to wear on the big day. And make sure it dries on your skin completely before you put on your dress. Look into a petticoat. If you’re wearing a long gown, then you might want to consider buying a bridal petticoat. While you don’t want to wear this the entire time, this is a good investment if you’re taking photos outside before the ceremony. The petticoat is worn under your gown to gently lift the hem off the ground, so the hem will stay clean before you walk down the aisle. Choose the right shoes. Stiletto heels will sink into the ground, so go for wedges. For a beach wedding, you should skip any type of heel and wear flats, sandals or even go barefoot. Bring a wrap. When the sun goes down, it can get chilly--even in warmer months. So invest in a pretty wrap, shawl or even stole that can keep you warm just in case. Keep the veil. Many brides assume a veil is too formal for an outdoor wedding, but don’t ditch it if it’s something you really want to complete your wedding day look. After all, it can help protect your hair from the elements during the ceremony. Just make sure it’s not too long so it doesn’t drag on the ground when you walk down the aisle. For more wedding tips, check out what to wear to a fall wedding and mistakes brides make when planning a wedding in the woods. [Photo: Freddie Harrel]

What To Wear To A Fall Wedding

Fall brides are the mist of heavy planning right now, and that includes wedding dress shopping. Every season brings its own trends and ideas on the best dress to wear for the big day, and you want to make sure you pick something that fits your personal style as well as the time of year. Here are some tips on what to consider before making your final decision. Be bold with color. Many fall brides skip the white and go for ivory or cream, while others take color to a whole new level. Many top designers have showcased dresses in pink, red, blue and even black. In fact, there are no rules when it comes to color and wedding gowns. And with the rich colors of the fall season, this is a great time to step out of the box and wear something totally unexpected. Showcase one fall hue. If you want to stick with a traditional wedding dress, you can still introduce some color. Fall is known for its deep hues, so why not incorporate that into your wedding gown with a sash in a gorgeous jewel-tone (plum, burgundy, navy, etc.) or even a pretty metallic to up the wow factor of your dress. Choose heavier fabrics. The weather can go either way in the fall, but chances are it will be on the cooler side--especially when the sun goes down. So opt for heavier fabrics like guipure lace or silk Mikado. Add some coverage. The cooler temps doesn't mean you have to forgo a strapless or sleeveless gown. But do protect yourself from the chilly weather when you're outside with a bolero jacket, shawl or stole that can easily be removed at the ceremony and reception locations. Show off your back. If you want more coverage--and want to skip the typical strapless wedding gown look--think about showing off your back instead. Backless dresses are a growing trend and can be both sexy and romantic. Take the plunge. Want to wear a long-sleeved dress, but still look a little sexy? Go for a plunging neckline. This look is perfect for an evening, high-glam wedding. Go sheer. You can add more coverage to your sleeves and neckline while still showing some skin with a lace or a sheer overlay. This is a great look for the ultra-feminine bride. Get sparkly. The sun goes down earlier in the fall, so you have plenty of time to show off some sparkle at an evening reception. A few embellishments--a crystal sash, simple beadwork or embroidery--are all good options for adding some glitz and glamour to your wedding day look. Step out of the box with shoes. The cooler temps means you can think beyond the strappy sandal for the big day. Ankle booties, glittery closed-toe pumps, embroidered leather pumps--the sky is the limit with your shoe option when you’re a fall bride! And since the weather might still be nice enough for an outdoor ceremony, be sure to think about that before you make your final decision. Thin heels can easily sink into the ground, so opt for a thicker heel or even a wedge. Be sure to check out what to wear to a bridal shower and mistakes brides make when planning a wedding in the woods. [Photo:]

What To Wear To Your Bridal Shower

While you have to share some of the spotlight at wedding-related festivities with your groom, the bridal shower is all about you! Naturally, you want to choose the perfect outfit to celebrate this special day, so here are a few tips to help before you make that final purchase. You can wear white. While overdoing it with the white ensembles at pre-wedding celebrations can border on cheesy, the bridal shower is one of those occasions where it’s fine to wear white or a variation of it (cream, ivory, etc.). After all, you do want to stand out in a room filled with dressed-up women, and it’s unlikely that anyone else will show up in white as it would be considered a faux pas. Add some color. If you do opt for white, be sure to add a pop of color to your ensemble so you don’t look washed out. It can be jewelry, shoes or even a dramatic red lipstick. Play up your feminine side. Showers usually take place during the day, so you’ll want to leave the glitzy nighttime looks at the door. Forgo sequins and stones and go for a more feminine style, such as lace, floral prints, eyelet and the like. Consider the style or theme. This might be hard if your shower is a surprise, but if you’re in on some or all of the details, take that into consideration when planning your outfit. If you’re shower is being held in a restaurant, you’ll want to dress up a bit more, but if it’s in your mom or MOH’s backyard, you can go with a more casual look. Think about the weather. If you’re getting married in the spring or even early summer, your shower will likely be in the winter. So while you’d love a sleeveless or strapless dress, you might be too cold during the event. So either choose something more weather-appropriate or remember to bring a sweater! Go short. Since your wedding gown will likely be long, why not use your shower as an opportunity to show some leg? Dresses or skirts that fall right at the knee are the perfect length for any body type--you don’t want to go too short! Sit it out. You’ll be spending a lot of time sitting in front of a group of people while you open your gifts. So before you decide on an ensemble, make sure you look good both standing and sitting in it. You don’t want to be uncomfortable or risk showing too much skin to your guests while sitting. Feel comfortable. Think about what kinds of outfits make you feel your best. While you might assume you need to wear a dress to the shower--and this is the easiest way to go--if you're more comfortable in dressy pants, then go with that. You are the guest of honor so you can truly wear whatever you want. Pick the right shoe. You will have to work the room to greet your guests, so this might not be the best time for sky-high heels. And if your shower is outdoors, go with a wedge or chunky heel that won’t sink into grass while you walk. [Photo: Damsel in Dior]

7 Engagement Photos Ideas That Aren’t Lame

From chalkboard signs to hearts in the sand, there are some engagement photo ideas that have run their course. So we asked some wedding pros to share their best ideas to make sure your engagement photos are unique and creative. 1. Rent a drone. Lyft Aerial, a drone company based out of Austin, Texas, is receiving more and more requests from couples for drone engagement photos. "One of our favorite is when we have a couple hanging on a cliff with their feet dangling, we have the drone taking photos looking back at them," says Chris Bonnet. "Another favorite drone engagement photo is when we have a couple on a bridge with flowing water underneath. We take the drone directly up with the camera pointed straight down looking at the couple, bridge and river/creek. The couple is looking up at the drone waiving/kissing." 2. Hit the books. Love to read? Head over to a library for a fun photo shoot, says Slisha Kankariya, co-founder of Four Mine. "The most beautiful and ornate libraries are generally in large cities. Ideally, if you live in or near a city like Boston or New York you can visit the public library and find a beautiful spot to take pictures. Even better, take along some of your favorite books or books you’ve read together to use in the photo shoot. Just don’t make too much noise!" 3. Create a masterpiece. Do you both love cooking? Make a unique photo session with you both cooking up a delicious meal or dessert. Are you both artists? Create a piece of part together while your photographer captures each step. The big reveal of your art can then be showcased at the wedding. "The key in having unique engagement images is not copying what others have done, but focusing on what makes you both unique as a couple," says Johanna Jacobson, owner of Ambientimage Photography. 4. Set a scene. If you're both big movie buffs and have a couple of go-to favorites, use those movies as inspiration for your photo shoot, says Kankariya. "You can recreate a scene or simply dress as the characters. Even better: reenact a scene from the movie and send a video announcement to your friends and family." 5. Start at the beginning. If location allows, why not hold part of your engagement photo shoot at the exact spot you first met? "Whether it's a picturesque park or a college bar--your friends and family familiar with your story will love the reference to where it all began," says Chloe Nalbantian, lifestyle editor of UK-based 6. Keep it casual. Avoid cliché train tracks or hay bales you'll likely cringe at in years to come. "Some of the most successful engagement shoots are of the happy couple together in a natural setting, like in their PJs on a Sunday morning on the couch, or at the point where their morning commute splits ways at the subway," says Nalbantian. 7. Bring out your inner child. Head over to a local theme park or carnival. "Enjoy rides, fun foods and the excitement of being together. It will make for some great pictures as you enjoy each other's company and even a little competitive spirit," says Kankariya. For more wedding ideas, check out first dance songs that aren't cliche and what to wear to your engagement party. [Photo:]

13 First Dance Songs That Aren’t Lame

Don't get us wrong--"At Last" is a beautiful song, but once you've heard it played at just about every wedding, it loses its luster. So we asked around to entertainers, planners and recent brides to find out what first dance songs haven't run their course. 1. I'll Be Your Shelter by Luther Ingram. "My husband is DJ and has a vast record collection so needless to say, music was a huge part of our wedding," says bride Madeline Janning. For our first dance, we played this oldie. My husband framed the 45 of the record which is now hanging by our bed, so now every time I look at it I’m reminded of that special day.” 2. Come Away with Me by Norah Jones. Vincent James from chose this as one song that isn’t a cliché wedding song. 3. The Way You Love to Love Me by Jesse Christiansen. "It really captures the playful and adventurous side of my fiancé and I's relationship," says soon-to-be-bride Allison Boyle. 4. Something About Us by Daft Punk. "Beautiful, yet minimal lyrics coupled with a soulful piano solo make this a deeply personal track to start off with," says DJ Mercurius FM. 5. You're The First, The Last, My Everything by Barry White. "I'm a big fan of funk/disco style music so much of our intro songs at the beginning of our reception were old school," says Dorian Smith-Garcia of The Anti Bridezilla. 6. Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Queen. "This is just one of the favorites we’ve been asked to play," says Mark Weiser of Shake Rattle & Roll Pianos. 7. Ribbon in the Sky by Stevie Wonder. A classic love song that many couples don’t play, ensuring your dance will stand out. 8. In My Life by the Beatles. A simple sentiment: You love each other more than anything else. 9. My Wish by Rascal Flatts. For the country-inspired bride and groom. 10. For Once in My Life by Stevie Wonder. A sweet love song set to a fast beat--perfect for couples who want to stick the slow dance. 11. Everything by Michael Buble. Buble reportedly wrote this for ex-girlfriend Emily Blunt. But don't let their failed relationship deter you from choosing this peppy song for your first dance. 12. Without You by David Guetta. This more modern song is a favorite of the pros at 13. Dakota by the Stereophonics. "It's such an uplifting song and it got everyone singing along, which is always such a special thing to be a part of as a musician," says Tom Sandall of Eight Tray Music. Find out what to wear to your engagement party and what to wear to your rehearsal dinner. [Photo: Sam Blake]

4 Mistakes Couples Make Before Getting Engaged

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not trying to take away the excitement of being engaged. In fact, getting engaged will be one of the most exciting times of your life. However, we tend to forget our relationships and ourselves in all the hype. This often results in small mistakes that can lead to big disasters (aka divorce). We don’t want that…. Check out the most common mistakes couples make before getting engaged. 1. You Don’t Have Your Own Identity If you don’t have your own interests (or friends for that matter), you’re setting yourself up for disaster. The MOST important relationship you will ever have is the one you have with yourself. As comfortable as it is to spend all your free time with your partner, you need to establish your own identity. If you don’t take the time to get to know yourself, your values, your goals, and your deal breakers, how can you ever contribute to the relationship?Remember, codependency isn’t cute, it’s toxic. 2. You’re Getting Married For the WRONG Reasons. Your biological clock is ticking.. All of your friends are married and you’ll be damned if you’re the last one. You’ve been dating longer than most marriages you know… (it’s about that time). Your partner is financially stable and your not ( …not even close actually). You’re not happy with your relationship, but you’re too lazy to get back into the dating game (aka settling). 3. You Haven’t Discussed Your Long Term Goals If you haven’t addressed your future together, then you better hop to it missy! As an individual and couple, you need to have goals. Having goals not only provides a common passion for you to work on, but it also adds a layer of devotion to your relationship. You now have things to look forward together.. 4. You’re Getting Caught Up In the Wedding Frenzy! What could be better than planning a celebration devoted to you! I mean, come on, you’re inundated with love from your friends and family, the preparation of the biggest party you’ll EVER have and most importantly the “serious bank” that you’ll be receiving from your relatives!!!.. (I’m just kidding, money isn’t important, cough cough) On a serious note, one of the most common mistakes that couples make is allowing the wedding planning to cloud the realities that come along with becoming husband and wife. As wonderful as it all may be, there does come a time when the party ends and reality sets in. Make sure you're prepared for it.

6 Mistakes Couples Make When Planning a Non-Religious Ceremony

Some couples choose to leave the religious element out of their wedding ceremony. If you decide to do so, make sure you don't make these six mistakes when planning your non-religious, non-denominational or agnostic ceremony. 1. Assuming a pastor won't marry you. Many religious institutions are getting more liberal-minded with their marriage requirements and don't need you to go through all of the religious rituals during a wedding ceremony, note the pros at LA Banquets. 2. Skipping marriage prep. Often, when couples forgo the traditional, religious route for their ceremony, they forget an important aspect of the religious planning process--the "marriage prep" counseling classes or meetings with a pastor or rabbi, says Malini Bhatia, founder and CEO of During those courses or sessions, couples will discuss and answer questions about how to handle money and careers, discuss views on having children and more. "Couples who plan a secular wedding often overlook this important step of discussing issues with a non-biased third party. It can be a mistake if this part of planning is overlooked." 3. Letting anyone officiate. Thanks to the Internet, anyone can be ordained and marry you--but that doesn't mean you should let just anyone do it. There is an art to officiating a wedding ceremony. You need someone who isn't afraid to speak in front of a crowd and keeps everyone engaged, who knows the both of you well and who is able to convey the love and commitment you want to share with your guests that day. 4. Creating a ceremony that's too simple. Couples can go too far in their efforts to remove/decline any religious elements from their wedding ceremony and turn it into a sterile, by-the-book civil process, says Rev. Clint Hufft. No matter what you decide as far as including or not including religion, a ceremony should cover three things: 1. The commitments between the couple to get married. 2. Who they are as individuals. 3. What they think their marriage will be moving forward. 5. Not explaining everything to your guests. If the couple is hosting the ceremony at a non-denominational church, the bride and groom would be wise to make that clear on the invitation, says Greg Jenkins of Bravo Productions. "In the eyes of many individuals, non-denomination does not imply a person isn't a Christian. Couples should be clear about understanding what 'non-denomination' means to them, and understand what that means to others. The goal will be to make everyone comfortable at the wedding." 6. Offending religious guests. Some of your guests might be religious, so your ceremony isn't the time to explain your issues with organized religions, God and more. You can choose to keep your wedding non-religious without insulting others' beliefs. Be sure to check out what to wear to your engagement party and how to plan a commitment ceremony.

What To Wear To Your Engagement Party

The first chance you'll have to celebrate your upcoming nuptials is the engagement party. And since you'll be center of attention, you want to make sure you pick the right outfit that will wow both your guests and your groom. Whether you're buying a new dress or going through what you already own, here are some tips to make sure your ring isn't the only thing sparkling at this event. Determine your party style. Most engagement celebrations have a cocktail party vibe, but you and your fiancé might decide to do something a bit more laid-back, like a backyard barbeque. Or maybe you want something very formal, like a sit-down dinner at a country club. So before you start shopping, figure out what kind of soiree you want. Showcase your personal love of fashion. You likely haven't planned anything for the wedding yet, so you don't have to worry about your dress fitting in with a particular theme or color scheme. Feel free to let the dress express your personal style. Whether it's vintage, boho or ultra-glam, choose an outfit that works for you. And you don't even have to wear a dress--Amal Clooney wore floral shorts to her super casual engagement party. Pick a color. If you want to follow tradition, opt for a white, ivory or cream frock--it is customary for the bride to wear those hues to the engagement party. But if you want to save that for the wedding day, feel free to choose any color or print that suits your style. For a daytime event, a floral or bold-colored dress would look pretty, while a simple black sheath always works well for an evening affair. You can then dress it up with some colorful jewels or shoes. Take a knee. You can't go wrong with a dress that hits right above or at the knee. A mini dress might be too uncomfortable to move in during the event, and you'll probably want to save the long, dramatic gown for the wedding reception. Feel free to get fitted. Since you'll probably want to go with more ladylike silhouettes for the wedding weekend, the engagement party is the perfect time to wear something a bit more fitted to show off your curves. Just remember to keep it classy since your in-laws and older relatives will be in attendance. Keep it comfortable. You don't want the dress to be so tight that you can't move in it. You'll need to mix and mingle with guests, and maybe even dance, so make sure it's an outfit you feel comfortable in. Don't over accessorize. The most important accessory is on your left ring finger, so there's no need to overdo it with a lot of accessories. Choose one other statement piece (a necklaces, earrings, etc.) and then keep the rest of your look simple. Try some embellishments. Instead of finding the perfect accessories, let the dress do all the work for you. Choose a frock with embellishments, embroidery or even a cool design so that you can keep your jewelry to the bare minimum (some small earrings and your engagement ring). Wear neutral nail polish. You don’t want anything to distract from your new sparkler, so keep your nails simple. This is not the time for crazy designs and neon colors. For more wedding tips, check out what to wear to the rehearsal dinner and 11 items every newlywed couple should have in their home. [Photo: Cheetah Is The New Black]

8 Tips For Deciding What To Wear To Your Rehearsal Dinner

With all of the attention on your wedding gown (and rightfully so), you might have forgotten to find an outfit for the night before. Don't panic--we've got some tips to help you figure out what to wear to the rehearsal dinner. 1. Choose your location first. Some rehearsal dinners are held in fancy restaurants, while other couples decide to go more low-key with a backyard barbeque or bonfire on the beach. So before you start shopping for an outfit, decide on the location and the overall vibe that you want the event to have. A more formal dinner calls for cocktail attire (think a LBD or wrap dress), while a casual outing can be anything from a pretty sundress, capri pants or even a cute romper. 2. Don't feel the need to wear white. Trust us, everyone already knows that you’re the bride, so you shouldn’t feel the need to wear white to the rehearsal. In fact, this is a great time to play with color, such as choosing something that shows off your wedding color palette. 3. Steer clear of your gown style. If you’re wearing a strapless gown to the wedding, then choose a different neckline for the rehearsal. You want that moment you walk down the aisle to be wow your groom and guests; you don’t want them thinking, "I feel like I’ve seen this look on her before." 4. Invest in quality. If you’re going for a dress, choose something you really love and can wear in the future. After all, you're likely not going to wear your wedding gown again after the big day. And every time you put on your rehearsal dinner dress, you’ll be reminded of all of the wonderful memories from that special weekend. 5. Step out of your comfort zone. The rehearsal dinner is a great time to step away from your "usual" look and make yourself stand out. So if you often wear a simple black dress, pick a vibrant color or print that you would normally never wear. Or if you’re always in dresses, opt for a sexy pantsuit or jumpsuit. 6. But make it comfortable. You'll be mixing and mingling with an array of guests at the rehearsal, so make sure the outfit is something you can move around in easily. And while it’s okay to wear something a little sexy, you don’t want to be too revealing--after all, your in-laws will be there! 7. Don't get too trendy. We have all had those "what was I thinking?!" moments when it comes to fashion trends. But you don’t want to have one of those moments on a weekend where your every move will be photographed. While it’s okay to pick something small to make your look current (think your earrings, purse, even shoes), you don’t want to go overboard. And when in doubt, you can’t go wrong sticking with the classics. 8. Consult with your groom. You'll want to be on the same page with your groom when it comes to attire. While you don’t need to color coordinate, you do want your styles to sync up (so he’s not showing up in khakis and a polo shirt, while you’re in a formal dress). For more wedding tips, check out mistakes couples make when planning a religious wedding and 28 songs that will get guests dancing.

6 Mistakes Couples Make When Planning A Commitment Ceremony

Some couples want to declare their love for one another without getting legally married--hence, the commitment ceremony. And while it might not be legally-binding that doesn’t make it any less special. Be sure your ceremony goes off perfectly by avoiding these six mistakes. 1. Skipping the planning. While it might not be a traditional wedding, that doesn’t mean the occasion shouldn’t be treated as memorable. Take the time to plan the ceremony out to reflect your personalities as individuals and a couple. You can include special readings, music and vows--whatever you want to use to express your love for one another. 2. Forgetting to explain what the ceremony is. Why aren't you getting married? Why isn't this a religious ceremony? What is a commitment ceremony? "These are all questions that may cross the minds of your friends and families as they wonder what it is exactly they are attending and why, so take the time to explain it to them," says Sandy Hammer, co-founder and CMO of AllSeated. 3. Not being realistic about budget. Just because the commitment ceremony doesn't have the word "wedding attached to it, does not mean that budget is a big consideration, says Hammer. "The elements of both events are typically very similar, so prior to planning, the couple needs to agree on not only the elements they’d like at the ceremony, but also map out a budget and stick to it." 4. Avoiding the "who pays for what" talk. For weddings, the financial resources are typically shared among families. That's not always the case for commitment ceremonies, says Greg Jenkins of Bravo Productions. "Because these ceremonies are not legally binding by most states, couples who expect their parents to chip in might find themselves disappointed. The idea of parents paying for a ceremony and reception, whereas the couple has nothing really binding is a ‘hard pill to swallow’ for some parents." 5. Not taking the commitment seriously. Since a commitment ceremony is not a wedding and not legally binding, some parties do not take their commitment as seriously, which isn't fair to their partner or the guests coming to the ceremony, says Hammer. 6. Lacking an event vision. The planning and structure of the actual ceremony is sometimes a source of confusion as well, says Hammer. Couples aren't sure how they should structure the ceremony: Should there be a processional? Who should officiate it? Should there be a party to follow the ceremony? Is this becoming too much like a wedding? "Quite often, commitment ceremonies end up following the same format as a traditional wedding ceremony (with a celebration to follow the ceremony), so if that is not what the couple wants, it is something they need to really think about prior to beginning their commitment ceremony planning." For more planning tips, check out 28 songs  that will get guests dancing and 11 items every newlywed couple should have in their home.

7 Mistakes Brides Make When Planning A Religious Wedding

For many couples, their wedding isn’t just a day to celebrate their love, but also an occasion to honor the traditions and beliefs of their religion. Before you set out to plan your own religious wedding, take a look at these seven mistakes to avoid. 1. Skipping the research. Every religion has its own set of rules or requirements for couples getting married. For example, Catholic couples need to go through Pre Cana, a marriage preparation program, before saying I do. And Jewish couples will have to avoid certain dates when planning their wedding, such as Shabbat and major holidays. Be sure to check with your officiant before booking any vendors or putting down deposits. 2. Not consulting your groom. While you might have your heart set on a religious ceremony, you still need to check in with your groom. There might be elements of the ceremony that he isn't comfortable with, or perhaps he doesn't share your beliefs. Keep the lines of communication open and be willing to compromise. 3. Thinking the ceremony can't be original. Just because you’re choosing a religious ceremony doesn’t mean you can’t let it reflect your personalities and who you are as a couple. Your officiant should be willing to work with you on incorporating special readings, music, etc. that can make your ceremony stand out from the typical religious vows. 4. Sticking with traditional vows. While there might be specific vows you need to say to one another in a religious ceremony, that doesn’t mean you can’t add your own personal vows to the I Dos. Just let your officiant know in advance this is something you want to do. 5. Giving up on your "dream" venue. While it’s true that some religions prefer you to get married in a sacred venue (such as a church or synagogue), most officiants are willing to work with you if you have your heart set on a religious ceremony in another locale. For example, a Catholic priest will tell you that you need to get a dispensation of place to have a recognized Catholic wedding in a non-Catholic spot. 6. Forgetting the dress code. Different religious venues might have a dress code in place, which could mean nixing bare shoulders (no strapless dresses), low backs and anything else deemed too revealing. And don't forget to make your guests aware of any dress requirements through your wedding website and a special insert with the invitations. 7. Keeping guests out of the loop. Not only do you need to let guests know about dress codes, but you should also make them aware of anything else they might not be prepared for upon arrival. For example, in traditional Muslim and Chassidic ceremonies, men and women are separated. 8. Not explaining the ceremony to guests. Chances are not everyone on your guest list will be familiar with the rituals performed during your ceremony, so be sure to have your officiant explain them as they happen. You can also put notes in your wedding programs. For more wedding tips, check out the most popular wedding trends of 2016 and 28 wedding songs that will get guests dancing.

28 Songs That Are Guaranteed To Get Your Wedding Guests On The Dance Floor

If there was ever an occasion to curate a kick-ass playlist, it would be your wedding reception — am I right? This is no sweet 16, you're getting married, and there's a good chance that footage from *the most important party of your life* will find its way to the Internet, taunting you and your 200 tipsy guests for ALL TIME... So, please discard the "Cool Beatz" and "Party 2009" playlists you know I'd find in your iTunes library and listen up. To create the perfect upbeat wedding usic rotation, it's important that you balance an understanding of history with an appreciation of modern tastes and culture. Okay, sorry if that sounded like a passage from an old-time-y etiquette guide... What I mean to say is this: respect your guests, throw in some Top 40 classics, but make sure that you also account for the interest of your partner and yourself— it's your wedding, after all. Below, we compiled a playlist that's sure to get the party started on your special day! Listen to it, learn from it, steal from it...   Don't forget to check out: 14 Wedding Trends That Will Be Huge In 2016 and 21 Bridesmaids Gifts That Aren’t Lame [Photo: Brian Dorsey Studios]

6 Mistakes Brides Make When Planning To Elope

You’ve decided to forgo all the stress of wedding planning and run off just the two of you to say I Do. But just because this plan is much easier to pull off, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to put in some effort. Check out these six things you might forget to do before eloping. 1. Checking on legalities. "As a wedding planner, I've had to make sure I'm up to date on all the 'legal' requirements for couples wishing to elope in NYC," says Renae Strozier of Beauty and the Details. "So, my number one piece of advice to make sure they have the legal stuff in order, such as they have all the necessary materials for applying for marriage license in the city/state they wish to marry. Otherwise it can be a major damper to their plans." 2. Talking to a planner. Even though you are eloping and not throwing a traditional reception, hiring a local wedding planner is still strongly recommended, says Miranda Tassi, Chancey Charm Charlotte Wedding Planner & Coordinator. “Especially for coordinating your marriage license and insuring all of your details are good to go. “They also will know the area well and have great options for photo opps!” 3. Creating a vision. Although it’s an elopement, it's also still a wedding, so you should still think about those key details that will make your day special and reflect your personalities, says Jyl Deering, Chancey Charm Boston Wedding Planner & Coordinator. Do you want a particular color scheme with flowers? A small wedding cake? A first dance? Yes, you can have those things even if you elope! 4. Hiring a photographer. Even if the photographer is the only other person at your ceremony, you'll definitely want nice pictures of your wedding to remember the special event and share with loved ones, says Lauren Groeper, Chancey Charm Denver Wedding Planner & Coordinator. 5. Plan your transportation. Figuring out how you're getting where you need to go is often left until the last minute or forgotten altogether--especially if you're traveling out of the country, make sure you confirm what transportation you will use to get and from the site of your ceremony, says Groeper. 6. Preparing for everyone's reactions. Remember to prepare yourself for the reactions of your close friends and family, says Tassi. They may be disappointed they were not able to be a part of your big day. "At a minimum, I would recommend sharing the news with at least your parents prior to eloping. Whatever you do, avoid sharing the news with friends and family via social media--a cute marriage announcement in the mail would go a long way!" For more wedding advice, check out 30 things you must do 30 days before your wedding and how to announce your engagement.

The 30 Things You Must Do In The 30 Days Before Your Wedding

The month leading up to your wedding day is a busy one with lots of things to do. To make sure you don’t forget anything important, check out this list of 30 tasks you need to do in the 30 days before your I Dos. 1. Get a final head count. It’s a sad fact of life that many people simply don’t RSVP--even to a major event like a wedding. Once your deadline has passed, it’s time to start calling or emailing those people who haven’t sent back their response cards. You can ask your parents and maid of honor to help you out if it’s a large list. 2. Set your final fitting. Put those final touches on your wedding gown before the big day. 3. Decide on hair and makeup. You should have already booked your beauty pros, so it’s time to nail down how you’ll wear your hair and makeup when you walk down the aisle. 4. Make spa appointments. Book your mani and pedi--as well as any waxing, massage, etc.--appointments to make sure you get the time you want. 5. Get your marriage license. In many states, the license is only valid for a set amount of time. Check with your local town hall to find out what the requirements are where you’re getting hitched. 6. Meet with vendors. About two weeks before the big day, you’ll want to call all of your vendors to make sure they’re set for the wedding. Go over what time they need to arrive, what they’ll be doing, etc. If you have a wedding planner, you can delegate this task to her. 7. Create a wedding day timeline. Set a schedule for the wedding day--when hair and makeup starts, when the photographer should show up, etc.--and share it with your planner, vendors, bridal party, etc. to make sure the day runs smoothly and on time. 8. Pack your emergency kit. Hopefully, nothing will go wrong, but it’s best to be prepared. To find out what you need, check this out. 9. Figure out seating. This is one of the hardest wedding-related tasks, but it’s a necessity. Make it less stressful by looking at these tips. 10. Print out place cards. Once you’ve got the seating under control, you can print out place cards. This is something you can easily DIY if you want. 11. Put together favors. Finalize your favors (if they’re edible, you might want to order them a bit closer to the wedding date) and if they need to be packaged, ask your bridesmaids for some help. 12. Create a wedding program. This is also something you can easily DIY using an online template and pretty stock paper bought at a craft store. 13. Make welcome baskets. If you have out-of-town guests, putting together welcome baskets for them is a nice touch. 14. Deliver final song list to band or DJ. Create a list of must-have songs for the reception, as well as important dances (first, parent, etc.) 15. Send shot list to photographer. You'll also want to jot down a list of important shots you want your photographer to capture on the big day. 16. Check in on the groomsmen. Men can sometimes be forgetful, so send out a friendly reminder about sending in their measurements for tuxes, scheduling their fittings and pickup times. 17. Confirm transportation. Go over pickup times and locations for the day. 18. Buy gifts for bridal party. Wrap them and write out thank you cards for everyone participating in your special day. 19.Write a love note to your groom. With all of the business of planning the day, it can be easy to lose sight of why you’re even throwing this wedding. To make sure your groom knows what’s important to you, write him a love note to give him the night before the wedding. 20. Finalize the rehearsal dinner. Your future in-laws might be planning and paying for this, but you’ll still want to check in to make sure it’s going smoothly. 21. Check in on your bridesmaids. Make sure everyone has their dresses fitted, accessories ready and they know where they have to be ad when. 22. Jot down a few words. Be prepared to say a few words at the rehearsal dinner--it’s a great chance to thank your parents, bridal party and your out-of-town guests. 23. Prep the dress. Have your dress pressed one last time before you put it on. 24. Go over the ceremony with your officiant. Include any important readings or anything you want him to speak about during the vows. 25. Practice your first dance. Whether you’ve taken lessons or not, you should do a run through with your groom before hitting the dance floor. Nervous? Look at these tips to wow your guests. 26. Confirm honeymoon plans. Check up on flights, hotel reservations, excursion plans and anything else honeymoon-related. 27. Make a honeymoon list. Write down everything you want to bring on your honeymoon so you don’t forget anything. 28. Pack. Don’t leave packing for the honeymoon until the last minute--you’ll have so much to do those few days before the wedding. So it’s best to do this in advance. 29. Deliver ceremony extras. The unity candle, programs, extra décor--drop all of this off to the locale a few days before the big day. 30. Take it all in. Try your best to stay stress-free and enjoy these last few weeks and days before you say I Do. For more wedding tips, check out the worst wedding photo mistakes and how to make your first dance amazing.

7 Tips For Choosing the Perfect Wedding Day Wines

You don't have to be a wine aficionado--or break the bank--when it comes to choosing wine for your wedding day. Start by following these seven tips to make the perfect selections for the big day. 1. Choose your menu first. You'll want the wines at your wedding to complement the dishes you’ll be serving, so it's best to nail down your menu before you start choosing the wines. 2. Consider the season. The season you’re getting married in has a definite impact on the wines you’ll serve. Brisk white wines (Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris/Grigio, Riesling), dry rosés and light- to medium reds (Pinot Noir, Beaujolais, Italian Valpolicella, Spanish Rioja) work better for warm-weather weddings because they're lighter and offer more refreshment. For winter and fall weddings, wines with more weight, like Chardonnay, Merlot and Syrah, work better with cooler temperatures and heavier foods. 3. Think about timing. Guests tend to drink less at daytime weddings, and probably also don't indulge as much if you're having your event on a Sunday evening and many people will have to go to work the next day. Take this into consideration if you are supplying your own alcohol for the wedding. 4. Ask for advice. Most caterers will be able to help you select wines based on taste, budget and the menu. If you live near wineries, you can also visit a few to get an idea on what you like. 5. Hold a tasting. Buy several wines in your price range and invite family and friends over for an impromptu tasting to help you decide which ones you like best. 6. Don’t get caught up in price. Much like skincare products, a pricey bottle of wine doesn’t necessarily mean it's good. So don't feel like you need to spend a fortune to impress your guests. 7. Be sure you have enough. If you figure a half-bottle per person, which is about three glasses, you should be fine. While all guests won’t drink that much, it’s better to have too much than too little. For more wedding tips, check out how to write personalized wedding vows and 7 tips for giving a great wedding toast.

How To Write Personalized Wedding Vows That Aren’t Lame

What better time to express your undying love and commitment to one another than at your wedding ceremony? As more and more couples are choosing to write their own vows, here are some tips to make sure your words aren’t totally lame. 1. Get on the same page. While you don't want to give away too much about what you're going to say, you should still have a convo with your spouse about what you’re comfortable with him revealing in the vows, the tone (he might want to do a mini standup routine, while you want something more heartfelt) and more. You don’t want to be control freak about it, but it’s always best to make sure you’re not going to be completely embarrassed up there either. 2. Think about what makes your relationship special. Every couple is unique, so to make sure your vows don’t sound generic, try to include some short tidbits about what makes your relationship so special, like your mutual obsession with The Walking Dead or that you’re both thrill seekers who love a good adrenaline rush. 3. Don’t include clichés. Just like certain wedding readings have been overused, there are some phrases that sound so cliché that they come off a bit fake. "You're the love of my life," "You’re my knight in shining armor," "Life began the moment I met you." They might all be true, but they're still cliché. 4. Write a few versions. All writers will tell you they go through a few (or many) rough drafts to get it just right, so be prepared to craft a few versions of your vows. You might want to even run the final version by a trusted friend or family member. 5. Avoid anything embarrassing. Although you might think that certain stories about your groom are hilarious--like the super mushy nicknames you’ve given one another--you don’t want to risk embarrassing your future spouse in front of a room filled with people who can repeat that info time and time again. 6. Look at other vows for inspiration. Search online for examples for sayings, poems, song lyrics, etc. that can serve as inspo while you’re writing your vows. 7. Keep it short. If you have a lot to express, consider writing your groom a nice, long love letter. But for the wedding, try to keep the vows short and sweet. You don’t want to bore your guests with your declarations of love and risk the ceremony running too long. Fore more wedding advice, check out how to give the perfect wedding toast and who pays for what at a destination wedding.

The Bride’s Guide To Who Pays For What At A Destination Wedding

More and more couples are choosing destination weddings, but it’s not always clear who should pay for certain items when getting married in a different locale. In a perfect world, you or your families would have the funds to cover everything. But since that’s likely not realistic, here’s a breakdown on who covers what when having destination I Dos. The bride and groom (and/or their parents) will pay for: - The wedding reception - A rehearsal dinner - A welcome party - A morning-after brunch (this is optional) The hosts--again, whether it’s the couple and/or their parents--should try to pay for: - Selected activities for guests (you should book at least one, such as a tour of a local winery, sunset cruise, etc.) - Transportation to and from the ceremony and reception sites if they’re in separate locales - A shuttle to pick up your guests at the airport and bring them back to the hotel - Hotel rooms for the bridal party. (If these expenses are too much for you, let your maids and groomsmen know you don’t want wedding gifts from them. Their presence is truly the gift.) Guests should pay for: - Their plane ticket - Their hotel rooms - Meals or beverages that are not part of the wedding events - Any non-wedding activities they want to try during their stay Attendants should expect to pay for: - Travel expenses - Wedding outfits and accessories - Hair and makeup - Food and drinks that aren't part of a wedding event - Any excursions or activities they choose to do on their ow that is not wedding-related For more wedding tips, check out how to plan a park wedding and how to choose a wedding band or DJ.

7 Tips For Giving The Perfect Wedding Toast

Toasting the bride and groom at their wedding is a big responsibility. But don’t panic--these seven tips will ensure that you wow the guests with perfect words for the happy couple. 1. Keep it clean. You should try to keep any scandalous stories about the bride and/or groom for the bachelor or bachelorette parties. There will likely be older family members and parents' friends at the reception, and they won’t want to hear about those partying college days or the wild weekend you all spent in Vegas. 2. Stay sober. While you might want to have a drink for some liquid courage, keep the drinking to just the one. You don’t want to be a slurring, unsteady mess up there. 3. Write in advance. Some people are great at speaking off the cuff and can go up there and improvise an amazing speech. But most of us don’t have that talent, so it’s best to write the speech a week or so before the big day. 4. Run it by someone else. Whether it’s your significant other or a good friend, practice the speech before the event. And make sure it’s someone who is honest and you can trust his/her opinion! 5. Make it short. The toast should be under three minutes. People want to get to the party, so don’t bore them with a soliloquy. 6. Mix emotions. You don’t have to be Amy Schumer up there, keeping everyone in stitches the whole time. If you want to tell a quick, funny anecdote--go for it. But don’t forget to also speak from the heart. 7. Focus on the bride and groom. While you might want to regale guests with college tales or childhood stories about you and the bride/groom, remember that this day is all about the bride and groom. So while you can include a quick anecdote about the good old days, keep the focus on the newlywed and their love. For more wedding tips, check out what you need to know about planning a park wedding and 8 ways to stay healthy before your wedding.

7 Things To Consider If You Can’t Decide On A Wedding DJ Or A Band

Band vs. DJ--it’s a common dilemma for couples planning their wedding. And which one you choose can set the tone for your reception, so think carefully before making your final decision. Here are seven tips to help you out. 1. Choose your vibe. While DJs have definitely come a long way since the days of handing out glow sticks and leading the dance line, hiring one usually creates more of a “party” atmosphere, while bands are looked at as more sophisticated (but still fun). 2. Set your budget. When it comes to cost, DJs are definitely better for your budget. Live music will always cost more (unless you’re booking a celebrity DJ) and the more musicians and pieces you have at the wedding, the more it’s going to cost. 3. Consider your space. If you’re getting married in a very small space, you have to determine if you have room for the DJ and all of his equipment. On the same note, a cozy venue will also factor into how many musicians you can have playing the reception. 4. Think about the range of music. A DJ usually has a wider range of music genres on hand to entertain a wide range of guests, while a band might only be comfortable performing certain types of music. The best way to find out is to see any of your potential entertainers in person to see how diverse their repertoire is. 5. Look at your guest list. If the majority of your guests are on the younger side, you’re probably better off going the DJ route; while older family members and your parents’ friends will appreciate live music more. 6. Get to know their personalities. The DJ or the band’s leader will be the emcee for the night, introducing the bridal party, first dance and keeping guests entertained. So you’ll want to meet both to see who’s personality best meets your needs. 7. Hire both? If your budget allows, think about hiring both. You might want small group of live musicians for the ceremony or cocktail hour, then switch to a DJ for the reception. For more wedding tips, check out  mistakes couples make when planning a city wedding and things to consider before having a destination wedding.

10 Things Bridal Shop Owners Wish They Could Tell You

Wedding-dress shopping—it's fun and exciting, but it can also be overwhelming. But don't freak out! We asked bridal shop owners to share their best tips for making sure you find "the one" without the stress! By Tia Albright of Martha Stewart Weddings Contributing Writer Watch your wallet. Know your budget and stick to it. "The worst thing a bride can do is try on a dress that's way out of her budget, and then fall in love with it," says Mallory Thorburn of The White Magnolia in Atlanta. After that, it'll be hard to find a dress you love just as much in your budget. One way to safeguard your experience: Tell the bridal shop your budget when you make your appointment. If the shop doesn't stock dresses in your price range, they'll let you know. Clear your calendar. Set aside a special day just for dress shopping. "You want to be fresh and relaxed, as finding your gown is such a special time," says mother-daughter team Connie Lucks and Kristin Shelton of Fleur De Lis Bridal Boutique in Missouri. They recommend visiting two to three boutiques so that you see enough dresses to find what you love but not so many that the confusion sets in. Save the #squadgoals for the bridal party. While it can be fun to have a parent, friend, or future in-law with you, bringing along the whole crew can be less than helpful. Too many voices in the room can make the first appointment feel overwhelming, and brides often leave without a sense of what they like and don't like, says Alix Childs of Ceremony Boston. Limit the guest list to two or three people whose opinions you respect the most. Go glam. You'll be all dolled up on your wedding day, so why not do the same when you're trying on dresses? "Fix your hair and makeup so you feel your absolute prettiest the day you're trying on gowns," recommends Lucks and Shelton. Break out the lingerie. While we don't expect you to bring your entire lingerie drawer (save it for the honeymoon!), it's a good idea to bring a seamless pair of undies, shapewear, and a few good bras (including a backless one for low-cut or sheer dresses), says Childs. With the right undergarments, you'll have a better idea of how a dress will look and how comfortable you'll be in it. GET LINGERIE TIPS Pin it! Start a wedding dress board on Pinterest and pin away. Pull in everything you like, and share it with your stylist. Now let her do her magic. It's great to have a few pictures of dresses you like, but keep your options open. "Gowns look more beautiful on the bride than they do on the hanger," says Lucks and Shelton. Try on a variety of styles and fabrics so you can see how they look on you. GET MORE UNEXPECTED TIPS Be ready to buy. If you find a dress you love, buy it. Many boutiques sell samples off the rack, and designers may discontinue a dress while you're mulling over your decision. "If you don't buy a dress you love, there's a chance you may not be able to get it once you're ready to buy," says Thorburn. Know the lingo. Made to order and custom made are two very different things, advises Childs. Your made-to-order dress is what you'll try on in the store. If you find the dress you love, they'll order you the size closest to your measurements, but it will still need alterations to make it fit you just right. A custom-made dress is completely made from scratch for you and your body. OUR ULTIMATE ALTERATIONS GUIDE Save the date. While every boutique and designer is different, it typically takes four to six months to deliver a dress, plus add two to three months for alterations. Childs recommends starting your dress shopping about a year before the wedding. Lucks and Shelton agree on the timeline and caution against starting any earlier. If you try to get really ahead of the game by shopping more than a year in advance, styles will change and you may miss out on something you'd like better. It's OK not to shed a tear. Your dress experience is about you. It doesn't have to be a certain way, and not every bride is going to have a "this is it" moment complete with tears, says Thorburn. It's all about your personality. The most important thing is to find a dress that makes you feel beautiful. More from Martha Stewart: Quick, One-Pot Meal Ideas To Feed the Whole Family, 45 Meatless Meals for a Healthy Dinner, 36 Dinners You Can Make in Just 15 Minutes!, 10 Grown Up Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, 27 Easy Party Food Ideas You Can Make in a Pinch [Photo: Apt. B Photography]

6 Things Every Couple Should Know Before Deciding On A Destination Wedding

More and more couples are choosing to get married in another country. And while saying "I Do" in a foreign locale can be super romantic, it can pose a bigger logistical problem than getting married at home. Here are six things to remember when bringing your vows abroad. 1. Hire a planner. While it might be tempting to forgo this added expense, don’t skip on the local wedding planner. He or she will be able to guide you through the process of finding a venue, vendors, paperwork and residency requirements (more on that later) and take care of all the details--big and small--since you can’t be there in person. This extra expense is worth the lack of stress you’ll face when planning a wedding remotely. 2. Set up a budget. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that getting married in another country is going to be more expensive. You need to pay for airfare, hotel rooms, excursions and more. In addition, the wedding itself can be more expensive depending on what part of the world you’re having it--saying I Do in Paris is bound to cost you more than if you got hitched in your hometown. So make sure you sit down and create a realistic budget for the event. 3. Make sure you have your paperwork in order. Different countries require different forms to be filled out before you can get marries there. For example, in some Mexican cities you need health certificates from a Mexican doctor. So make sure you have them filled out way in advance of the wedding date. 4. Check residency requirements. Many countries require that you stay in the country for a certain amount of time before you get married. For example, England requires that either the bride or the groom be in the country for at least 15 days before the ceremony, while France wants you to be a resident for 40 days. And in some countries couples need to "post the banns" (place an announcement of the wedding in a local paper) to give people a chance to voice any objections. In several countries, including Italy, this requirement is waived for U.S. citizens; but in others, such as Greece, the practice is still required. 5. Take out wedding and travel insurance. Just like any trip, bad weather, sickness and family emergencies can wreak havoc on your plans. To make sure you don’t lose any money, be sure to take out both wedding and travel insurance. 6. Look into the weather. Of course, weather patterns can differ depending on what part of the world you’re getting married in. For example, when it’s summer here in the US, it’s winter in Australia. Tropical destinations are more prone to hurricane season. And Scandinavian countries aren’t known for their stellar weather. So be sure you do a lot of research beforehand on your desired locale’s climate at the time of your wedding. For more wedding tips, check out wedding centerpieces that don't involve fresh flowers and how to word and address wedding invitations.

For Love & Lemons’ Founders (And BFFs!) Gillian & Laura Share Their Best Advice For Brides

After seeing the breathtaking photos of For Love & Lemons co-founder Gillian Rose Kern's Wyoming wedding (see below), and learning that her partner in crime/business Laura Hall was also engaged and planning her big day, we just had to sit down with the uber stylish and gorgeous gals behind the brand to pick their brains. From choosing your perfect dress & accessories, to the one thing every outdoor bride should remember, their advice is soooo good! Brides and some-day brides, read on: SHEfinds: What should a bride remember when choosing her wedding dress? What about her shoes and other accessories? Gillian: The most important thing about choosing your wedding dress (as well as your shoes and accessories) is how you feel in it. Do you feel like yourself? Do you feel comfortable? Those are the two questions I asked myself and they are the most important! You don’t want to be worrying about sucking it in all night or how you are going to dance in all that fabric, or wobbly heels. Comfort is key, you will already have enough to think about the day of! Laura: I agree with Gillian, you have to feel comfortable. If one little thing isn't you, you’re going to remember that forever. For Love & Lemons founders Gillian Rose Kern and Laura Hall on Gillian's wedding day. SF: Gillian, having already been a bride, what are you tips for Laura in planning her upcoming wedding? Gillian: Try to tackle one task once a week, don't try to figure out everything at the same time, it gets really overwhelming. And remember, this day is about you, so don't let others give too much opinion on how things should be! SF: What was your favorite part of your wedding day? What details should brides focus on-and which should they not worry about? Gillian: My favorite part of the wedding was meeting my husband at the end of the aisle and reading our vows. I was really nervous at first to be baring my soul in front of a bunch of people. But when it really happened, and I saw my husband looking at me, all my nerves seemed to disappear. Time slows down and it is a very special moment. The most important details to me where my vows and how to personalize the ceremony. Joey and I wanted to express who we are as individuals and a couple. I truly believe that is the most significant part of the wedding, the rest of the details like what silverware to get, what kind of food to eat, really are not as important as being able to share warmth and love that you feel in your ceremony with all your family and friends as well. People remember that part the most, not if the food could have been better, or if the plates didn't match the glass (sounds silly, but those are things that can stress you out at the time). SF: You had a beautiful Wyoming wedding, Gillian. What are your tips for other brides planning an outdoor wedding? Gillian: Make sure to have a tent in case the weather acts up! Gillian's wedding dress from the back.  SF: Laura, tell us about your wedding dress! Are you designing it yourself? Laura: Yes! Gillian will sketch it out, and we will sew it up right here at the FL&L studio!! I have a lot of plans for ''the dress'' but nothing set in stone quite yet, I'm sure soon as we start the fitting process it's going to come to life! SF: What should a bride keep in mind when choosing her wedding lingerie? Gillian: Make sure it’s not too complicated to get on and off, and if you are wearing it under a wedding gown, make sure you can't see the fabric underneath the dress, less is more in this case. Laura: Pick something you feel super sexy in! Your new hubby will love seeing you feel so confident! SF: What's next in store for Love and Lemons?! We are launching a beautiful swimwear collection in the upcoming months! Stay tuned!  BFFs since childhood, Gillian Rose Kern and Laura Hall

How To Word And Address Wedding Invitations

Planning a wedding is stressful enough, the last thing you should be worried about is flubbing the invitation wording. Fortunately, finding the right language for your wedding invites is actually quite simple once you nail down the style of your celebration. Whether you're going formal or informal, here's a quick guide on how to word your wedding invitations. Formal Mr. and Mrs. John Smith request the honour of your presence at the marriage of their daughter Jane Anne to James Stephen son of Mr. & Mrs. Peter Jones Saturday the sixth of May at six o'clock in the evening Name of Location of Ceremony Reception to follow at [reception locale] City and State Or Mr. and Mrs. John Smith and Mr. and Mrs. Peter Jones request the honour of your presence at the marriage of their children Jane Anne Smith and James Stephen Jones Saturday the sixth of May at six o'clock in the evening Name of Location of Ceremony Reception to follow at [reception locale] City and State Informal Together with their parents Jane Anne Smith and James Stephen Jones invite you to celebrate their marriage Saturday May 6, 2016 at 6pm Name of Location of Ceremony Reception to follow at [reception locale] City and State As for how should you address wedding invites, here are some quick guidelines: - If you’re inviting single friends with a plus one: Ms. Sarah Miller & Guest - If you’re inviting single friends without a plus one: Ms. Sarah Miller - If you're inviting an engaged couple or a couple living together, be sure to include both guests’ names: Mr. Michael Carter & Ms. Sarah Miller - If it’s a married couple: Mr. & Mrs. Michael Carter - If a guest is a doctor: Dr. & Mrs. Michael Carter or Dr. Sarah Carter & Mr. Michael Carter - If both are doctors: The Doctors Carter - If it’s a same sex couple: Mr. Kevin Martin & Mr. Richard Lawrence For more wedding tips, check out what to include in the wedding invitation suite and everything you need to know about thank you notes. [Photo: Minted]

A Beginner’s Guide To What’s Included In A Wedding Invitation Suite And Why

A wedding invitation is more than just a piece of paper with your wedding day details--it's your guests' first glimpse into  what they can expect on the big day. In other words, your invitation is your guests' guide to your wedding, and should include the most important information about the day: the names of wedding hosts/sponsors (usually parents), names of bride and groom, day of the week, date, time, and address of the ceremony and/or reception. But that's not all; there are other elements that make up the invitation "suite," specifically the enclosures. An event that continues through the weekend or is at a particular destination may require a folder with multiple components for directions, accommodations and even an itinerary. For a local wedding, the most common enclosures are: - Reception cards that provide guests with the time, date, and location of the wedding reception. - Response cards, which guests will use to RSVP to your wedding. They simply fill in their name on the card, along with how many guests will/will not be attending. The card is then mailed back to you in the enclosed self-addressed, stamped envelope. Some couples also ask guests to choose their main course when they respond. While some couples think having guests RSVP through their wedding web site or email is cost-effective, it can wind up causing a lot of stress since emails get lost and websites go down. - Maps/Directions to both the ceremony and reception sites. Most venues can supply pre-printed direction cards that you can include in your invites. Even if the locales are easy to find, it’s still a good idea to provide your guests with this info. - Envelopes, including the response card envelope which is self-addressed and stamped so that your guests can mail their RSVP back to you; the inner envelope which will house all of your invitation components; and the outer envelope which is where the inner envelope will be placed. Your guests' names and addresses will be written (usually by a calligrapher) on the outer envelope. For more wedding tips, check out 10 mistakes couples make when planning a big wedding and everything you need to know about writing and sending thank you notes. [Photo: Minted]

Everything You Need To Know About Writing And Sending Wedding Thank You Notes

Just because the wedding day has come and gone doesn’t mean your wedding-related tasks are over. Guests came to celebrate your big day with you (and hopefully gave you and your groom a nice gift!) so it’s time to sit down and write those thank you notes. Here are all of the etiquette rules you need to know. You do not have one year. Contrary to what you might have heard, couples don’t have one year to send out their thank you notes. Waiting that long will leave guests assuming you forgot or are simply not sending a thank you at all, and then you risk offending people. Instead, write and mail out those notes within three months of the wedding day. Of course, you should also send notes to bridal shower guests, preferably no later than one month after that event. It must be handwritten. Those cards with a generic printed thank you message that you can order online--don’t do it. Guests traveled, spent money on attire and gifts and made it a point to be there for the most important day of your lives. That deserves a handwritten note. Choose the right stationery. Write your notes on quality stationery. If you use a monogram, make sure it reflects your married name. And if you want to include a wedding photo, be sure your photographer is aware of your time frame well before you hit that three-month mark. Make it personal. Mention the specific gift in the thank you note (“We just love the crystal vase and will display it in our living room.”), or if you’ve been given money, tell them what you plan to do with it (“We’ll be putting it the bank to save for our first house!”). Remember your bridal party. Even if you gave your maids and groomsmen a beautiful gift at the rehearsal dinner, you should still send them thank you notes for being a part of your special day. And don’t forget both sets of parents, too--especially if they helped pay for the affair! Don’t try to do it all in one day. This can be a tiring and tedious task, so don’t try to do it all in one sitting. You want to make sure every guest gets a neatly-written, from-the-heart note, and you can’t pull that off if you’re tired, your hand is cramping and you’re bored. Be sure to check out 9 things the maid of honor should do on the wedding day and 6 things you should do before putting on your wedding dress.

What To Pack For A Destination Wedding

Destination weddings are still a popular choice for many brides and grooms. And while saying 'I do' in a different locale is exciting, it can be a more difficult endeavor to pull off--especially when you think about all that you have to bring with you for the event. Here is a checklist of things to pack for your destination wedding. - Passports. You'll definitely need these if you're traveling out of the country. - Wedding Rings. Place these safely in your carry-on bag. - Wedding dress. Do not to check it with your luggage. You should carry it on to the plane with you. Most planes have a closet where you can hang it. The rest of your ensemble (veil, shoes, undergarments, etc.) can get packed in your suitcase. - Wedding tux/suit - Plane tickets/itinerary/boarding passes - Credit card/travelers checks/cash - Swimwear and beach essentials (sunscreen, beach bag, etc.). You'll want these items if you’re going to a warm destination. - Wedding welcome bags and guest favors. You may also consider shipping these to your hotel before you leave. - Bridal Party Gifts. You can also ship these with the welcome bags. - Safety pins/Travel sewing kit - Copies of all vendor/resort/venue contracts. If you hired a wedding planner in your destination city, then he/she should have copies of all of these on hand. - List of all vendor contact info. Again, a wedding planner should have these stored in her phone, but it’s a good idea for you to keep a copy of this info, too. - Prescriptions/health insurance cards - Proof of trip insurance - Phone number of the closest US embassy - Marriage certificate. If you had your legal ceremony at home and will be having a religious ceremony abroad, some countries will require proof that you are legally married. - Wedding night lingerie/undergarments - Something old, new, borrowed and blue - Your vows. Print two copies, just in case. - Cake topper - Programs, Menu Cards, Table Numbers, Escort Cards - Guest book - Traditional Ceremony celebration items. Think a unity candle or sand ceremony supplies. For more wedding planning tips, check out 9 things the maid of honor should do on the wedding day and 8 things you need to do before your hair/makeup trial.

Every Bride-To-Be Needs Jamie-Lynn Sigler’s Headband For Her Bachelorette Party

The only thing more fun than tying the knot and saying, "I do"is the bachelorette party that comes beforehand. Jamie-Lynn Sigler was spotted celebrating her bachelorette party with a headband that spells out "Future Mrs," how clever! This headband couldn't be a more perfect accessory for your last single night out on the town with your BFFs! If you love it as much as we do, check it out below and buy it for yourself! Ban.Do Girl Talk Headband - Future Mrs ($15) For more celebrity style, check out: Taylor Swift's Initial Ring and Lupita Nyong'o's Turtleneck Sweater. [Photo: Instagram]

8 Things Every Bride Forgets To Do Before Her Hair And Makeup Trial

You have the dream dress and the right accessories, but none of that matters if your hair and makeup isn’t perfect at the main event. To make sure your look is beyond beautiful, make sure you don’t forget about these eight crucial steps. 1. Give yourself enough time. You’ll likely have to go for two to three trials before you find the right hair & makeup pros or even the best bridal look for your big day. So don’t forget to start making appointments at least three months before the wedding. 2. Prep your hair. Before you go for a hair trial, wash and blow dry your hair the night before--you can even do it two nights in advance if your hair isn’t on the oily side. Hair that hasn’t been washed the same day is actually easier to style. 3. Groom your brows. If you haven’t paid that much attention to your brows, start doing so ASAP. If shaped correctly, they “complete” your face. Ideally, you will have been going for a professional shaping well before your first makeup trial so that you have time to grow in certain spots if needed. 4. Bring your veil. If you’re wearing a veil or any type of accessory in your hair, be sure to bring it with you during your hair trials. It is an essential part of your wedding day look, so you can’t make a final decision about your hair without it. 5. See an esthetician. Just like your brows, you want to pay attention to your skin well before the wedding day. Whether it’s waxing certain areas or getting a monthly facial to get your skin looking its best, start those beauty regimes before you go to makeup trials. 6. Bring your best photo inspiration. You’re probably looking at tons of photos for hair and makeup inspo. Try to narrow it down to three to five faves before you start your trials. Looking at so many different styles can be overwhelming for you--and the stylists--and focusing on just a few looks will help your makeup and hair pros figure out what you really want and create a style just for you. 7. Take a photo of your dress. Your hair and makeup pros probably won’t get to see you in your dress until the big day, but it will help them immensely to see a photo of your dress beforehand so they can consult on the best styles and looks that go with your gown. So have one of your bridesmaids snap a photo of you (front and back) in your dress at a fitting that you can bring along with you to the trials. 8. Wear white. Whether you’re wearing white, ivory, blush or another color, wear a shirt in that same hue during the trials. For more wedding advice, check out mistakes brides make when planning a casual wedding and 6 things you need to do before putting on your wedding gown.

7 Tips For Changing Your Last Name

Once you’re back from the honeymoon and in the “real world” once again, it’s time to think about your name. While you might opt to stick with the one you were born into, some women still go with tradition and decide to change their last name in at least some capacity. If you’re leaning towards this option, check out these tips for making the process go smoothly. 1. Figure out your new name. If you’re simply taking your spouse’s name, it’s an easy decision. But many couples are choosing to combine their last names, or you might choose to hyphenate your maiden name and married name. A growing trend also has some women using their maiden names as middle names. Whatever you choose, it’s best to think about it and discuss it with your spouse before you start filling out any paperwork. 2. Get your license. Your marriage license, that is. You won’t be able to legally change your name without it. You should automatically get one in the mail a few weeks after your wedding--it will be an original with a raised seal. Most places will only need to see the original or accept a copy. But the Social Security office will likely want an original on file, so order a few extras from the county clerk’s office for a small fee. 3. Start with your Social Security card. Since this is the most important document for your identification, going on everything from your income tax returns to your back accounts, start by going down to the local Social Security office to fill out Form SS-5 (you can also download it online and fill it out beforehand). Bring your current card, your driver’s license and your marriage license. Your Social Security number will actually stay the same--only the name will change. 4. Then head down to the DMV. You’ll need to go down to the DMV (sorry!) with your new Social Security card, your current driver’s license and your marriage license to get a driver’s license with your new name on it. You should also check your state’s DMV site to see if there are any additional requirements (proof of residency, etc.) you need before going down there. 5. Notify your employer. You’ll want to let Human Resources know about your name change and show them any documentation they might need. This will ensure that your payroll taxes, benefits, insurance, etc. is all in the correct name. 6. Change everything else. Once you have your new social security card and driver’s license, everything else should be a breeze. Bank accounts, credit cards, lease agreements and anything else you can think of shouldn’t give you a hard time now that you have the proper documentation. 7. Think about a name change site. If you simply don’t have time for multiple trips or calls, you can try a service like Hitch Switch or MissNowMrs that have all of the necessary forms and letters you’ll need for an easy switch. But you’ll still need to go down to the Social Security office and DMV in person. Be sure to check out bridal shower games that aren't lame and 9 things to remember when planning a rustic wedding.

8 Joint Bachelor/Bachelorette Activities That Aren’t Lame

You’re getting ready to share your lives together, so why not share your last big event before you officially become man and wife? Here are some ideas to make sure you and your groom--along with your friends and family--have a great time. 1. Wine Tasting. Spend the day touring local wineries—many offer live music, private tours or even the chance to make your own bottle that you can save for your one-year anniversary. Then you can end the day at your favorite restaurant for dinner. 2. Camping (or Glamping). If you both love the outdoors, plan a weekend camping trip. You and your bridal party can spend the day swimming, hiking, cooking and more. If you don’t want to sleep outside, then think about glamping, where you spend time outdoors, but sleep in a cabin. 3. Concert. Get tickets to see your favorite band or musician—or even better, go to a festival so you can spend all day listening to music with your friends. 4. Comedy Show. Guarantee a good time with a night out at the local comedy club. 5. Amusement Park. Relive your great childhood memories by riding roller coasters, playing games and stuffing your faces with junk food. You can even make it into a competition--the person who rides the most adrenaline-rush rides in one day gets a special prize. 6. Sporting Event. Cheer on your local sports team together. Bonus points if you get your names and photos on the Jumbo Tron! 7. Karaoke Talent Show. Take karaoke to the next level by having everyone prepare their acts in advance. You can even have a few pals sit out to judge the performances, American Idol-style. 8. Volunteer. You can go in a different direction and spend the day working as a team for a good cause. Build houses for Habitat for Humanity, serve at the local soup kitchen, or clean up trash at the park. Then you can go out and party to celebrate your impending nuptials--and for being such good citizens! #9: Scavenger Hunt. Participate in some friendly competition by planning a boys vs. girls scavenger hunt. Make it interesting by having the clues relate back to the couple’s relationship, leading to the place they first met, their favorite dating spot, where he proposed, etc. The losing team has to pick up the tab for dinner or drinks that night. Be sure to check out bridal shower games that aren't lame and why October is the new cool month for weddings.

8 Bridal Shower Games That Aren’t Lame

While bridal showers are all about, well, showering the bride with gifts and well wishes, you still want to make sure your guests have a good time (and watching you open presents can get boring, believe it or not!). While past bridal shower games can be pretty lame, we’ve come up with eight that are sure to be fun for all. Enjoy! 1. Who Am I? Write famous names on cards and have everyone attach them to their foreheads with a headband or tape them to everyone’s backs. Guests then have to give one another hints until each person can figure out who they are. You can also make this significant to the bride by writing down people, places, movies, etc. that are important to her and the groom. 2. How Old Is The Bride? Collect photographs of the bride from childhood to the present. Number them and paste them onto a board (not in chronological order) and have guests guess the bride’s age at each photo. The guest that gets the most correct answers wins a prize. 3. Words of Wisdom. Have each guest write down words of wisdom for the soon-to-be-married couple, ranging from the serious to the silly. As the bride opens each present, the gift giver will stand up and read her advice. 4. Gift Bingo. Write the names of gifts the bride may receive, and have guests mark the appropriate spots as she opens her presents. Planner can get a bunch of prizes from the dollar store or the dollar bins at Target so there can be multiple winners. 5. Banned Words. Every guest receives a bracelet, as well as a list of banned words (like wedding, bride, etc.). If someone hears another guest say one of the words, she then takes that person’s bracelet. Whoever has the most bracelets at the end wins a prize. 6. Marriage Mad Libs. Create marriage advice-themed Mad Libs, where you have the bride give words for the pages (with help from the other guests), and then read it out loud. 7. The Price is Right. Line up some common household items—toilet paper, cleaning products, canned foods, etc.—and have guests write down what they think each items costs. The guest who gets the most correct guesses wins a prize. 8. Dressing for the Honeymoon. Blindfold the bride and fill a suitcase with crazy items: a tutu, weird hats, oven mitts, etc. Once she touches an item, she must put it on. It will make for a funny photo when she’s done getting dressed. For more wedding tips, check out 9 engagement ring trends you should know about and fall wedding trends that are out.