Everyone who is in the process of planning a wedding or has done it in the past knows just how important the wedding party is to ensure the day goes off without a hitch. The wedding party helps plan fun events all along the way from your engagement to your wedding day, support the bride and groom and help the day of run smoothly. So, when it comes to thanking the wedding party for all they’ve done to help you and your fiancé, make sure you find the right balance. If you purchase something too over-the-top for the bridesmaids and groomsmen, you may blow out your wedding budget. However, if you get something thoughtless, the wedding party may feel under-appreciated.
Luckily, there are plenty of gifts for both men and women, for every budget, to help say ‘thank you’ for their support and friendship during the rollercoaster ride of planning a wedding!
- Jewelry – This is a classic and timeless gift that can be used for the bridesmaids. Gifting your girls a matching necklace and earring set they can wear on your wedding day is a great route to take. A simple, matching pair like this will offer your ladies a classic look for the wedding and great set they will continue to wear long after your special day is over. However, you don’t have to gift jewelry your bridesmaids will wear during your wedding. Charm bracelets are a great way to show how grateful you are because they can easily be personalized with a favorite color, quote or a beautiful design.
- Wallett – Anything leather and wood gets an “A” in our book. Get your groomsmen something that they will use every day or simply keep as a keepsake to remind them of the night they may not remember. We really like these custom engraved billfolds in a box from Groovy Guy Gifts They even sent us one to check out for ourselves.
- Sunglasses – If you are planning to have a casual, outdoor wedding then consider stylish sunglasses for the whole wedding party. The bridesmaids and groomsmen can each rock matching shades to help shield their eyes from the sun while still looking the part of being in the wedding party. Now, I’m not talking the flimsy plastic sunglasses; to make ordering fashionable sunglasses easy for you (money and time considering) bulk order them for everyone in one easy purchase. Plus, a gift like this, that’s inclusive for everyone offers you all a fun photo opportunity.
Picture Frame – A photo frame is another gift that can be used for both bridesmaids and groomsmen. If you have a well-loved photo of you and your friend or family member, place it in the frame to gift to it to them. Then, when you get your wedding photos back, they can replace the picture with the professional shot of your special day! Take this idea a step further, by engraving the picture frames with an inside joke or a quote you both love.
- Watch – If you want to give your groomsmen an accessory they can wear on your wedding day and long after, gift them one of these on-trend wooden watches. This is a timeless gift, that’s done in a unique way, so it’s sure to be one your guys have never seen before! Your group will look gorgeous with these watches making an appearance in the wedding photos.
- Mugs- A really trendy gift right now and for good reason. They’re practical, stylish, and customizable. Great for bridesmaids and groomsmen alike! Bridesmaids Gifts Boutique sent us a Simply Seamless Wine Cups to give a sip. How fun are these?
This list just scrapes the surface of the endless options to give to your wedding party, but hopefully, this list helps get the gears in your mind turning! Remember, it’s best to give your friends and family members something personal enough to properly thank them while staying within your budget. To make these gift ideas extra special, pair them with a handwritten note thanking each person in the wedding party for something specific they did to help your months of wedding planning memorable!
Hey Guys, Your wedding and engagement photos are representative of one of the biggest moments in your life. In the past, we’ve shared some important considerations when deciding on your initial engagement photoshoot. Besides the logistic planning that goes into preparing for a shoot, there’s also the personal – what can you do to ensure you look your best?
You know how perfect your fiancé is, but capturing that perfection can sometimes seem daunting. We have some tips on how to look and feel your best in order to capture the ideal representation of the love that you and your fiancé share and be confident while doing it.
Get Your Hairstyle Right
This one may seem obvious, but hair mishaps are very common. You and your fiancé should plan your hairstyles at least a couple of weeks ahead of time. This way, if you’re trying out a new look, you’ll have time to see if the style works. However, it’s best to stick to a style you already know makes you look good. Work with your regular, trusted stylist, as they’re the person who knows your hair best and how to style it. If you don’t have a normal hairstylist, ask a friend for recommendations. It also helps if your bride to be is a hair stylist.
Take Care of Your Skin
Photo-editing can only do so much after pictures are taken, so essential skincare is a must before your shoot. The best advice is to maintain your usual skincare routine, as using new products can cause your skin to have an unwanted reaction – including surprise breakouts, redness, and irritation, or increased sensitivity. If you normally slack on caring for your skin, try to build a routine a few weeks before – drink plenty of water, use a gentle cleanser to wash your face, and moisturize.
Many men face an additional skincare challenge with their facial hair. Bad shaving habits, like using an expired razor or improperly navigating the grain of your hair, can cause annoying breakouts. You can take steps to avoid shaving mistakes by changing your razor every 6-8 weeks, storing your razor in an area where there is limited water exposure to prevent bacteria build-up, and avoiding the temptation to use body wash or soap as a shaving product, as doing so can cause further irritation or breakouts.
Don’t Forget the Details
The smallest details can make a huge difference in your confidence before a shoot. The more confident you feel, the better the final result. To enhance your smile, consider switching out your toothpaste or looking into whitening strips. Making sure your eyebrows are neatly groomed and put together also makes a huge difference in how your face looks. Going to a professional to groom your brows is never a bad idea, but it’s totally possible to do it yourself.
Keeping in mind these essential tips will do wonders for your look before your big shoot so that the only thing you’ll have to worry about is celebrating you and your fiancé’s love and commitment.
It goes without saying that being engaged is one of the most exciting, happiest moments in life. Between finding the person you want to spend the rest of your life with and celebrating this special time with your friends and family, it can be hard to stop smiling! One of the first things newly engaged couples do when planning their wedding is schedule their engagement photo session. Here are a few things to consider for your engagement shoot to help you feel more prepared the day of.
1. Location, location, location
When it comes to picking a location, choose a place where you feel comfortable or somewhere that has meaning to you. If you are shooting at multiple locations, be sure to look into parking ahead of time. If parking is an issue, consider Uber, Lyft, or taxis to save time. Be sure to look into the rules and regulations of your location ahead of time as well. Some location charge a fee to use their property or require a permit. If a permit is needed for your shoot, apply for it ASAP. Do not wait until the last minute. Don’t worry about the location being pretty at every corner. There is beauty everywhere, we just have to find it!
2. Time of day
There is about a two-hour window right when the sun peeks its head above the horizon that is perfect for photos. It creates a calm environment and feel and the light tends to be cooler and less hazy. If you’re an early riser, this time may be perfect for you! Afternoon sessions can be a little tricky because the light is harsher. However, it is still possible to get beautiful pictures at high noon! Lastly, there is the sunset session. If you’re taking your photos during the “golden hour” the light will be more soft and flattering which makes for some trendy pastel images. With that being said, as a natural-light photographer, the sun dictates how long I can photograph you. Please make proper considerations for traffic, hair delays, and fashion emergencies.
3. Day of the week
While most couples are typically more available on weekends, it might not be the best time to have your photoshoot. Locations tend to be busier on weekends and it may be distracting having a lot of people around watching you shoot. You may also end up with people in the background of your photos if you’re at a busy spot. Weekdays are usually less busy than weekends, so if you and your fiancé are able to get a weekday off this may be your best bet.
4. Clothing selection
What you wear to your shoot is the key to getting the most out of your photo session. I recommend sending photos of what you plan on wearing to your photographer to review. Bring a few different outfits so you have several wardrobe options or just in case something rips or gets dirty. If your location demands a lot of walking and you want to wear heels in your photos, bring a pair of flats and change into your heels once you’ve reached your location. Some brides-to-be schedule their trial makeup session for right before the shoot. This is a great opportunity to not only see how your wedding makeup will look photographed but to also help you feel more done up. While this is not a requirement, it can help you feel more confident during your shoot! It’s always fun to bring along props as well. This helps to make the shoot look like it could be in a magazine, so feel free to bring along any items that reflect you and your fiancé’s personalities. Any items that reflect you individually or as a couple is great, such as bikes, polaroid camera, magazines, soccer balls or other athletic gear, etc.
5. Symbol of love
While the location and wardrobe selection is important to the shoot, so is your ring. A lot of brides-to-be want to show off their gorgeous engagement rings in the photos so it’s important to not only bring it with you but to make sure that it is clean and photo ready. You may also want to get a manicure before your shoot. That way when your photographer takes the ring shot, your ring is the focus of the pictures rather than chipped nails. Being photographed can be a little uncomfortable at first, so be sure to check out some of my previous engagement sessions before the shoot. I’ve noticed in that the past that this helps the prospective groom feel more comfortable in front of the camera. This is a great opportunity for you and your photographer to get to know each other before your big day and to spend some quality time with your significant other. Have fun and be yourself!
Tips to Find the Perfect Destination for Your Wedding
There are a lot of details, both big and small, to consider when planning a wedding. The ceremony, the dress, the menu for the reception. But if you’re planning a destination wedding, the biggest question is the most obvious – where are you going to go?
Finding the perfect destination for your wedding involves some careful consideration and may mean making a few compromises. You may have some creative and exotic ideas and dreams, but unless you have an unlimited budget, you’ll probably need to think realistically at some point along the way. To help get you on the right track, here are some handy thoughts and tips on finding the perfect destination for your wedding.
What’s your style?
A perfect destination should be one that matches your personal tastes, and reflects what you like to do. Think about it – if you’re both avid outdoors people, which destination suits you better: a country inn in the mountains of Utah, or a trip to California? Remember, first and foremost, that you want surroundings that you’re both comfortable and happy in. And really, won’t those mountains in the background look better in the wedding imagery too?
How big is the guest list?
If your wedding guest list includes a lot of people (and you really want them to be there), you’ll need to choose a destination that’s practical for them to travel to. If your wedding guest list is smaller, you’ll have a lot more flexibility in your choice of destinations.
What’s your budget look like?
Most wedding planners and guides will tell you that the first thing to consider in wedding planning isn’t the dress, the photographer, flowers, or wedding video editing. It’s the budget. Its good advice and especially important when you’re considering a destination. It’s simple math, of course. If you want the beach for your wedding, price makes the difference between a secluded Carribean resort or the Gulf coast. Both can serve, but your budget will, by necessity, be a big part of the decision you’ll make.
Consider the season
A tropical paradise may seem like the perfect place for a special wedding, but if you put it in the wrong season you may find yourself sweltering and swatting insects rather than enjoying the sunset (even the best editing might have trouble cutting all of that out!) Find out the best seasons for your destination before you settle on the destination and date. Of course, remember that the best season will probably be the busiest, which brings us to the next point…
Be realistic and plan ahead. It’s important to realize that popular wedding venues and resorts may be completely booked a year or more in advance. As you’re considering your potential destinations, create a short list of your favorite, plus some backups. You don’t want to get your heart completely set on one particular destination and have your hopes dashed when you get the bad news that it isn’t available when you want it.
Consider any special requirements
Choosing a destination for your wedding can make the event special, but it also means that important parts of your wedding, like wedding & photo & video editing and more, may be out of control of local professionals you would have had a chance to interview and work with before the ceremony. Check reviews from others that have used the destination and see what you can find out about the wedding professionals you may need to work with at the destination
After a full year photographing more weddings than we ever have before, we’re finally getting around to blogging some of our favorite images. Capturing details is one of our most favorite aspects of a wedding day. We realize that couples, wedding planners & stylists spend a large amount of time and resources perfecting the details that go into a wedding day. Katie and I like to start roughly 2.5 hours before the ceremony to ensure we have enough time for photograph not only the dress, shoes, and jewelry but also your venue and ceremony site decorations. Our goal is to capture all the details before our brides begin to get into their dress and to fully capture the locations sites before guests arrive and begin to make it their own. (That’s a kind way of saying completely demolish everyone hard work before the bride and groom even get to see it.) Maybe it’s a midwest thing, but couples should really make great strides to try and view their reception spaces before their guests arrive. Some venues have separate cocktail and serving areas which make this a possibility.
This year was the year of glitter & gold, which combined with rustic tablescapes, burlap sack coverings & vintage glass telephone insulators was a dream to photograph. Large bright florals with silk ribbon accents by our favorite local artist, Fawn Mueller, made for some incredible wedding bouquets that included elements and plants we had never seen before. Succulents and non-floral elements made their way into many -a- groom’s boutonniere in 2016. We expect this trend to extend into 2017.
The key to photographing wedding details is finding even diffused light in an area that is slightly removed from the getting-ready-area. Since most brides want to keep their wedding dress a surprise for the aisle, we have to work quickly and often under specific guidelines when photographing the dress. No pressure. You have 5 minutes to find a location, position, photograph, and deliver the dress back to the bridal suite without so much as a popped stitch. We always love a good challenge and default to keeping the dress in mint condition. Keep in mind that a wooden hanger makes a world of difference.
Lastly, don’t forget the rings and the invitation suite. We like to use these in conjunction with floral elements and items from various arrangements and accents from your wedding decor. Ultimately, we want all of your images to cohesively tell your story in anthology form. This really begins with the details. If all of these elements can be captured before the hustle of the day really begins, we can naturally focus on documenting the rest of the day as it unfolds. We encourage our brides to keep all of these details in a shoe box. This keeps everything in one place and ensures we don’t have to seek out items upon our arrival.
From the minute the wedding invitation meets your hands, there is much excitement leading up to the event. There aren’t many people who can say they don’t enjoy attending a wedding, but there may be many who don’t enjoy figuring out what to wear to the wedding. Most couples provide all of the details you need to know in the invitation but forget to add the dress code. This can sometimes cause a bit of confusion for you as the guest. In this article, we come to the rescue with a few great wedding guest style tips to help guests decide what to wear and to help brides come up with a good dress code for her wedding invite.
The Black Tux is a snazzy online store that offers a stylish collection of modern formal wear for the men in your life. They have shared with us their wedding guest style guide for both men and women. This guide is a great tool for both brides coming up with a dress code to suit their wedding, as well as guests who aren’t too sure of what to wear.
The age old universal rules of dress etiquette still apply today. These would include:
Don’t wear white or any other shade that is close to white, that is reserved for the bride ONLY.
Don’t wear anything too short or revealing.
Don’t wear anything in the same color as the wedding colors, that is reserved for the bridal party and family only.
Look respectable no matter what your personal style may be.
Some of these rules have changed over time and continue to change as weddings take on a variety of different themes in some less than traditional locations. A great general rule wold be to stick to the dress code if you have been given one. If you haven’t been given a dress code in the wedding invitation, here are a few things to bare in mind when looking for an appropriate outfit:
Dress for the season and location. If you know it will be an outdoor wedding, be sure to choose your shoes wisely ladies.
Dress comfortably, you want to enjoy the reception dancing up a storm to your favorite song, even if this means bringing along a change of shoes.
Be respectful of the bridal couple and their family, if you know they wouldn’t approve of your outfit, then don’t wear it.
Coordinate with your date. You are sure to be the couple who turn heads in complementing colors and patterns.
If you are still in doubt and can’t decide what to wear, rather choose to overdress than underdress. It’s much better to be the only man with a tie, rather than the only one without.