Something Blue

Your dress is new, your mother gave you something old, and you borrowed something from your best friend. Now, all you need is something blue. Incorporating the color into your wedding day is easier, and more fun, than you may imagine.

Why Something Blue

The wedding cliché “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue…” originated during the Victorian era. Blue was believed to symbolize fidelity and faithfulness. Today, many brides follow the cliché for good-luck.

How to Include Blue

At first, you may wonder how on earth you are going to wear something blue, especially if your wedding colors don’t exactly coordinate with the shade. Fortunately, there are plenty of options. Here are just a few suggestions.

  • Invisible wedding accessories – If blue clashes with your wedding colors, invisible accessories are a great way to incorporate blue. You are still following the wedding superstition, but the guests, and camera, don’t see the blue. One option is a blue garter. If you prefer a white garter, you can purchase one with a tiny blue bow. Another option is undergarments with blue detailing. This can be as subtle as a blue bow on the front of your panties or as extravagant as blue lettering across your hinny.
  • Visible accessories – If you want the blue to be visible, you can choose blue jewelry, headpieces, or shoes. This is a great way to add color to an all-white ensemble.
  • The Wedding Gown – Traditionally, wedding gowns were white or ivory. Today, gowns incorporate any color imaginable. Again, this can be subtle, such a small blue flower, or extravagant, such a blue trimmed train. The best part is you can choose the shade of blue that best coordinates with your wedding theme.
  • Wedding Flowers – Traditionally, brides carried an all-white bouquet. Today, many brides incorporate color into their bouquet. You can include blue flowers in the arrangement, or you can simply add blue details such as a blue ribbon wrapped around the stems. Another option is to wear a small blue flower in your hair.

These are just a few possibilities. We would love to hear your suggestions for fulfilling the wedding tradition of something blue.

Wedding Day Necessities

Wedding Day Necessities

Wedding Day NecessitiesRegardless of what time of day your wedding will be held, the fabulous wedding shoes you purchased, and whether you’re doing your own hair and makeup or hiring a professional, there are a few wedding day essentials that you won’t be able to live without! Avoid pre-wedding disasters by packing a kit of necessities (or delegate the task out to the maid of honor or close friend). Don’t forget these Wedding Day Necessities.

Hair Maintenance: Whether you’re styling your coif yourself or bringing in a professional hair guru, make sure you bring along hair care products for touch-ups throughout the day. Regardless of how perfectly your noodle nest is styled, hair mishaps can happen during your commute to the ceremony/reception sites or during outdoor photo shoots. Be sure to pack some extra hairspray, bobby pins, and a brush or comb to fix unruly tresses.

Make-up Kit: Be sure to come equipped with make-up essentials for touch-ups all day long. Most important is powder to eliminate shine and concealer to cover up blemishes. Also, be sure to keep some extra lipstick/lip gloss, waterproof mascara, and nail polish with you at all times.

Hygiene Products: It’s better to be safe than sorry! Bring along a small container of deodorant, dental floss, tissue, perfume, q-tips, feminine hygiene products, and breath mints to avoid unpleasant mishaps.

Dress Prep: Avoid dress disasters by packing items needed for repairs. Be sure to have a small sewing kit with you for any unfortunate accidents, as well as hem tape, safety pins, double-sided tape, static cling spray, spot remover, chalk (to cover stains on the wedding dress), and scissors. Finding Your Dream Wedding Dress.

Back-ups: It never hurts to have a backup, especially on your wedding day. Pack an extra pair of pantyhose, earrings (and backs), hair clips, and even shoes, just in case.

Sustenance: Most likely, you’re going to be feeling an overwhelming mix of emotions on your wedding day, from excitement to nervousness to last-minute stress, and such anxiety can diminish your appetite, but it’s essential that you have something in your stomach. Pack some bottled water and snacks to make sure you, and all of your bridesmaids, don’t get weak or light-headed.

Miscellany: In addition to your beauty essentials, bring along some additional items for any unforeseen circumstances. Pack some aspirin and band-aids, tweezers, nail file, camera, cell phone charger, cash (just in case), handheld mirror, matches/lighter, and scotch tape.

Bridal Beauty Kit

Wedding Wishing Lanterns

Recently went and saw the Hangover II. Like the first movie, the film ended with a beautiful wedding. In this case, the wedding took place in Thailand. At the end of the reception, the couple and all of the guests released floating lanterns. It was beautiful, and it got me thinking, what are these lanterns?

Wishing Lanterns

Wishing Lanterns are an Asian wedding tradition (hence, their appropriateness at a Thailand wedding). They are also used for other celebrations such as holidays. The release of the lantern symbolizes a release of worries and problems. They also symbolize the hopes and dreams of the newly married couple.

How to Use Wishing Lanterns

Wishing lanterns are a unique way to end or start the night. It can be a special moment between the bride and groom, or it can involve all of the guests. Here are a few ideas for incorporating wishing lanterns into your wedding day.

  • At the beginning or end of the reception, provide a lantern to each guest or couple. After a short wedding speech, everyone can release the lanterns at the same time.
  • At the beginning or end of the reception (or during the wedding ceremony), the newlywed couple can release a single lantern to symbolize their love and commitment. This is similar to lighting a unity candle.
  • Have each guest write a wish for the couple on the lanterns before they are released. Some people believe that the lanterns will carry the wishes up to the heavens.

How to Purchase Wishing Lanterns

Wishing lanterns come in a variety of wedding colors. They are safe and easy to use, and they are 99% biodegradable. To learn more about Wishing Lanterns or to purchase wishing lanterns, visit Wish Lantern.

Wedding Lighting Ideas

Butterfly Themed Wedding

Many couples want a “theme” for their wedding. This overarching idea brings unity to the day and offers insight into the couple’s personalities and dreams. A wedding theme can be broad, such as country or vintage, or it can be specific, such as hummingbirds. One popular theme is butterflies, which symbolize transformation.

About the Butterfly

The butterfly is a fascinating creature. It starts out as a tiny caterpillar. Then it hibernates in a little cocoon. In the end, a beautiful butterfly emerges. A variety of cultures and religions believe the butterfly is a symbol of new beginnings and transformation. This tiny insect shows that life is about leaving behind one stage to emerge into a more beautiful stage. This concept is exactly what a wedding is. The couple starts the day as individuals, but by the end, they emerge a united couple.

Incorporating the Butterfly into Your Wedding

A butterfly theme offers endless possibilities. You can choose to subtly incorporate butterflies into the day as a way to represent your new beginning, or you can have a full-blown butterfly theme. Whether you use one or all of these ideas, here are some ways to incorporate butterflies into your wedding day.

  • Stationary – You can get invitations, thank you cards, and seating cards with a butterfly design.
  • Favors – There are a variety of favor possibilities ranging from butterfly picture frames to butterfly key chains to butterfly wine corks. If you want to use candy, you can find or make bags or boxes with a butterfly design.
  • Cake – If you search google or yahoo, there are plenty of butterfly themed cakes. You can choose a subtle design with a few scattered butterflies or you can choose an elaborate design such butterflies wrapping all around the entire cake.
  • Accessories – Accessories are an easy way to incorporate a symbol without it overpowering. Some ideas are jewelry with a butterfly emblem or shoes with a butterfly jewel.
  • Butterfly Release – Instead of throwing rose petals or blowing bubbles, some couples have guests release butterflies as they exit the ceremony.
  • Music – You can choose butterfly themed songs such as “Butterfly Kisses” by Bob Carlisle.

Do you have other ideas for butterfly themed weddings? We would love to hear your feedback.

Wedding Butterfly Release

Some people throw rose petals or blow bubbles when a newlywed couple exits the wedding ceremony, but a fun and beautiful alternative is to have guests release butterflies after the nuptials. Butterflies symbolize new beginnings, so a butterfly release is a magical way to symbolize a marriage.

How Does a Butterfly Release Work?

You can release the butterflies in one of two ways, an individual release or a mass release. For the individual release, each butterfly is in a small, secured box. As the couple exits the ceremony site, each guests opens a box and releases a butterfly. For the mass release, the butterflies are held in a large box or container. When instructed, someone will open the box and all of the butterflies will be released. This is typically done by the bride and groom.

Where Do You Buy Butterflies?

Butterflies can be ordered from a variety of companies. They are typically shipped to you prior to the event. Here are a few possible places to order butterflies:

Swallow Tails Farms – They offer monarch butterflies. While they recommend ordering as soon as possible, they are sometimes able to accommodate last minute orders.

Amazing Butterflies – They offer monarch butterflies and painted ladies.

Butterfly Release Company – They also offer monarch butterflies and painted ladies. Last minute orders are accepted.

Tips for Releasing Butterflies

*When you receive the package, replace the ice pack with a frozen one. This will keep the butterflies dormant.

*An hour before you want the butterflies to fly, take the boxes out of the insulated shipping box. This gives the butterflies time to wake up.

*When choosing the type of butterfly, know that painted ladies will linger after being released while monarchs will fly away quickly. However, the monarchs are twice the size of painted ladies.

Wedding Bouquets – 4 Alternatives

A few weeks ago, country couple Miranda Lambert and Blake Shelton tied the knot. Miranda wore her mother’s beautiful ivory wedding gown and a multi-million dollar necklace, but as she walked down the aisle, she was flowerless. Yes, flowerless. Most brides carry a beautiful bouquet of flowers as they walk down the aisle toward their future husband, but not Miranda. She went a different route —she carried a brooch bouquet.

What is a brooch bouquet?

A brooch bouquet is an alternative bouquet made of brooches instead of flowers. It is a great way to incorporate an heirloom into your wedding day. It is also perfect for a wedding with a vintage flare. Best of all, you can save the bouquet after the wedding. Unlike flowers, this bouquet will last forever.

To make a brooch bouquet, begin collecting a variety of brooches. These can be found at flea markets, thrift stores, yard sales and your grandmother’s jewelry box.  Not crafty? No problem. You can order brooch bouquets on Etsy.

Unfortunately, brooch bouquets can be expensive, unless you make them yourself. Here are some other, more budget-friendly alternatives to traditional bouquets.

Felt Bouquets

Felt is a soft but durable fabric. It comes in a vast amount of colors and can be transformed into almost any shape. Felt bouquets are made of individual felt flowers. The designs can be simple or extravagant. These are perfect for summer or springtime weddings because they have a more casual feel.  If you are crafty (and have free time), you can make these bouquets yourself, or like the brooch bouquets, you can order from online stores such as Etsy.

Paper Bouquets

Don’t like felt? No problem. Another alternative is paper flowers. Don’t be fooled. These do not look like the flowers you made in kindergarten. In fact, many of these flowers are so artistically crafted that you can’t even tell they are fake (until you touch or smell them of course). The possibilities for paper bouquets are endless —there are tons of colors, textures, and patterns. Online stores such as Etsy offer paper bouquets for all types of weddings, ranging from casual summer weddings to romantic fall events. Again, this can be a DIY project, but you better me crafty and you better have some free time.

Silk Bouquets

Silk flowers are another alternative to traditional wedding flowers. Many silk flowers are beautifully crafted to look like real flowers. One of the great things about this option is the cost. Whether you make your own bouquet or purchase it, this option is typically cheaper than traditional bouquets. Also, you will have a great keepsake. Unlike real flowers, silk flowers don’t die.

All of these alternative bouquets have pros and cons. When choosing a bouquet, whether it is made of flowers, fabric, paper, or brooches, you need consider the tone of your wedding, your budget, and your priorities. Choose a bouquet that fits your personality and wedding-theme. The options are endless; you decide which option is best.

Below are two examples of Paper Bouquets.












Engagement Party Planning

You’re engaged! Congratulations! Now, it’s time to celebrate. Plan a fabulous engagement party with these simple tips…

Schedule It Soon: The point of an engagement party is to celebrate your engagement, so don’t wait too long to plan the festivities. The engagement party should be held relatively soon after the proposal, within a few weeks or months. Just make sure the party is scheduled closer to your proposal than to your wedding day.

Spread the Word: The guest list can be as big or small as you want it, but one rule of thumb applies: anyone invited to the engagement party should also be invited to the wedding. Invites can be as casual or formal as you prefer too. An evite, word-of-mouth invite, or formal invitation is acceptable, depending on the overall theme of the day.

Choose a Theme: The engagement party’s theme and décor should be different than the wedding. This is your chance to have a little fun. Plan a beach BBQ or fall festival, or opt for a dreamy romantic evening outside. You definitely don’t want the engagement party to outshine the wedding, but it can be its own unique and inspired event.

Arrange the Food: Since the party can be as informal or formal as you choose, there is no set rule about food. If you’re hosting a lavish affair and money isn’t an issue, plan a nice dinner for your guests. Otherwise, it’s totally reasonable to serve hors d’oeuvres, gather for brunch, or simply have a dessert bar.

Have fun: The party is supposed to be a celebration of your engagement so don’t be afraid to have fun! Plan some interesting and exciting activities for your guests, such as games or dancing with a Chicago Wedding DJ.

BHLDN has arrived – Anthropologie Weddings

Monday was a big day in the bridal world.  BHLDN, the bridal brainchild of the people at Anthropologie was launched.  The whimsy, magic, and delicateness of Anthropologie has now been packed into a beautiful world for brides.

BHLDN is of course heavily focused on wedding gowns.  Their selection is one-of-a-kind and makes almost any past, present, or future bride swoon.  They’ve got something for every body type and every type of bride.  If you want elegant, they’ve got it.  If you want romantic, they’ve got.  Vintage inspired, garden appropriate, whimsy laced…yep, they’ve got those too.  The selection is nothing short of beautiful.  However, just because Anthropologie is a big name, doesn’t mean they’re pumping out their gowns by the thousands.  Dresses are sold on a limited basis, so brides don’t have to fear seeing their dress on every corner or at every alter.

And in true Anthropologie fashion, the customer service of BHLDN is special and sincere.  Their website abounds with ways to narrow down your style and find the perfect look. Shipping is affordable and returns are free with a prepaid label.  And don’t fret about confusing bridal sizing.  The folks at BHLDN have made it easy, with a focus on traditional sizing and a fit guide that can help even the most size confused bride.

But BHLDN doesn’t stop at bridal gowns, they make it a point to continue the bridal experience creating party inspired dresses for attendants, family members, and guests.  These dresses are also perfect for the bride to wear to other wedding related events and festivities.  BHLDN is the antithesis to stuffy, cheesy, and unwearable bridesmaids dresses.  It’s hard to find one dress on their site that you don’t love.

Continuing the magic, BHLDN offers shoes, lingerie, accessories, and more.  Their shoes are Cinderella worthy, and their accessories are statement pieces fit for a queen.  Glancing at their website, its easy to forget you’re in wedding world, because their pieces are so timeless, you’ll be swooning and loving them long after the wedding has passed.

Please enjoy the following images from the BHLDN collection.

Five Wedding Traditions You Can Skip

Tradition is an integral part of a wedding celebration.  It has defined the ebb and flow of ceremonies for centuries, passed down through families and cherished by loved ones. Heartwarming: yes. Necessary: not always. The tradition that trumps all is a couple’s personal touch on their special day, and their overall part in the process. If you are rethinking a traditional ceremony, read on for some examples of add-ons that you may want to leave behind.

1.       Guests should have assigned seating. Unless your cousin can’t stand your uncle, there’s no need to corral and separate grown adults into assigned seating at dinner. Guests enjoy socializing and open seating gives them the freedom to move around and sit with different relatives and friends throughout the evening. If you are going for a casual feel, this tradition is best left in the past.

2.       You shouldn’t see your fiancé until the ceremony. I pose this question: why can’t you see your betrothed before the ceremony? Do you like the idea of waiting to glimpse his face when you are walking down the aisle, or is it just tradition for tradition’s sake? Bottom line: if you want quality time with your almost-husband before the ceremony, go ahead and take it. It’s your day, and you should do what makes you comfortable.

3.       You should have a same-sex bridal party. Yes, the bride and grooms’ attendants usually belong to their respective genders, but who says your best guy friend can’t stand next to you on your wedding day? The tradition of including friends in the ceremony is an important one, and should supersede whether they are female or male. Friendship is invaluable; include those who deserve to be included.

4.       Guests should sit on “sides.” Many couples struggle with an imbalanced guest list; that is, one side of the family is bigger than the other. Mitigate the problem by eliminating sides altogether. Not only does it even things out, but it encourages the families to mingle and get to know one another. It’s a win-win.

5.       You should toss the bouquet and garter. Many people consider this age-old tradition cheesy, but they play it out because it is expected. While some wedding guests may be looking forward to fighting for wilting flowers or a satin skivvy, it is avoided by others. If you aren’t keen on this tradition, review your guest list to help decide on its inclusion. If there are 50 singles attending, you might let this one go. One the other hand, if the single people are limited to your twice-divorced step-uncle and your 45-year-old aunt, it may be best to spare them the awkwardness.

Tradition has its place, but your wedding should be your own creation. Give the “should’s” of wedding planning a backseat to your own feelings. You will be happier with the result.

Thanksgiving Weddings

Thanksgiving is the perfect time for an elegant yet relaxed celebration, as the autumn holiday lends itself to natural settings, simple decor and comfort food. And while the general rule of thumb is to avoid having your wedding around a holiday, Thanksgiving presents an entirely different set of circumstances. While you probably don’t want to hold it on Thanksgiving Day, the Friday or Saturday after can be a great option. Most friends and family will either already be in town or planning on traveling anyway – so making the trip to your wedding may not be a burden. Plus, most of your guests will already have the day off. Need more convincing? Here are some creative ways to plan your Thanksgiving wedding in style…

Ideas for a Thanksgiving Theme Weddings

Invitations and Stationery

  • Send out save the date cards as soon as possible since your wedding will fall on a holiday weekend.
  • Dress up ordinary wedding invitations and wedding with inexpensive silk fall leaves included in each mailing.

Wedding Flowers and Decor

  • Instead of gaudy arrangements featuring pricey blooms – keep your decor a simple enhancement to mother nature’s natural bounty. Use the autumn harvest for inspiration; think gourds, pumpkins, squash, gold dipped fall leaves…you get the idea.
  • Use hollowed out pumpkins or cornucopias for centerpiece holders.
  • You’re not confined to rustic and casual for Thanksgiving. Create a posh Thanksgiving ambiance, and drape lush velvet in a rich chocolate brown or gold throughout your party space. Accent the scene with antique broaches, crystal candelabras and stemware.

Menu and Catering

  • The food is the main attraction for this party. You cannot go wrong with traditional favorites: turkey, red potatoes, corn bread dressing, green beans, and honey glazed carrots.
  • Consider incorporating your family recipes into your wedding menu and serving the meal family style (if your guest list is small).
  • Serve traditional fare in sophisticated, creative ways. For instance, present soup or veggie puree in mini shot glasses or hallowed out gourds, or warm apple cider in glass mugs with cinnamon sticks.

Wedding Cake

  • To round out the thanksgiving feast – serve a pumpkin cake or even a tiered pumkin pie!


  • Make it – homemade goodies like fudge, candy apples, or jams presented in festive packaging always go over well
  • Bag it – fill mini burlap bags with coffee beans, bulbs, or any treat you desire, and tie a label with your monogram or wedding date to the top
  • Pour it – miniature bottles of maple syrup are a sweet treat
  • Fill it – miniature wood crates lined with straw and filled with goodies are a rustic touch