Aruba, jamaica, Oooo I wanna take ya

Aruba, Jamaica, Oooo I Wanna Take Ya

Aruba, Jamaica, Oooo I Wanna Take Ya

Are you looking to say “I Do” on a tropical island, sandy beach or private beach? Do you want a small, simple wedding? Do you want something different than the normal wedding affair? Whatever your reason, you have come to the right place. Toes in the water, tush in the sand, salty sea air whipping through your hair, these are just a few of the highlights of a beachy fun wedding. From Cape Cod to the white sandy beaches of the Virgin Islands, beaches come with some details that you need to consider when planning your love fest.

1) Pick an Off-Season Date

This may seem like a no-brainer, but pick a date in the off-season. Peak times may include Memorial Day through Labor Day. Off-peak is anything outside that window of time. The weather will still be stunning, but you’ll hear a lot more “yes” if you’re not trying to pull off a huge event in the middle of local business’ bread-and-butter season. Also, they’ll probably be more flexible in off-peak pricing than if you were trying to get married over 4th of July weekend or something.

2) Privacy

Once you pick a date, you’ll need to decide if you’re going public beach or private beach. The reality of getting married on the beach is that beaches very rarely offer the same freedoms as private property. Also, some people have serious aversions to sand, and consider it a glorified form of dirt. But beach weddings are possible, and not all of them require you to throw a large chunk of cash at an all-inclusive beach resort place.

Also, keep in mind that you may have a lot of gawkers that watch your wedding on the sidelines. There is really no way to avoid this unless you have bouncers or something.

3) Permits

If you choose a public beach, literally memorize the city ordinances governing that beach. Some beaches require permits for bonfires, food services, etc. Also, know THERE IS NO WAY TO AVOID OPEN CONTAINER LAWS. This may depend on the state, country, etc that you are having your beach wedding at, but know this could be a costly mistake if not adhered to.

According to many travel and wedding magazines the following 10 spots are the best locations to get hitched on the beach, in no particular order:

  1. Petit St. Vincent, Grenadines
  2. East Hampton, NY
  3. Watch Hill, Rhode Island
  4. Coronado, California
  5. Kapalua Bay Beach, Maui, Hawaii-
  6. St. Tropez, South of France
  7. Sitges church, Catalonia, Spain
  8. Mount Irvine Bay, Tobago
  9. White Beach, Boracay Island, Philippines
  10. Anse Chastanet, St. LuciaAruba, Jamaica, Oooo I wanna take ya
Consider a Sunday Wedding

Consider a Sunday Wedding

Consider a Sunday Wedding

Consider a Sunday WeddingSunday Fundays aren’t just for drinking anymore. Some couples are utilizing this day to forgo tradition and have their wedding on a Sunday. We used to see few of them, but now it’s common.

Traditionally, Saturday is the most popular day for weddings. But competition for sites and services is making so-called “off peak weddings” more attractive. Even if you don’t marry in June or October, traditionally the two most popular months, a Saturday wedding can be hard to arrange. Many wedding ceremony and reception sites are booked a year or more ahead of time. So, what are some of the reasons that more couples are choosing Sunday as their wedding day?

One, they may not be able to get their favorite wedding location on a Friday evening or Saturday because it is booked-up on their chosen wedding date. Popular locations do book up early. So if you are determined on a particular site for your wedding and its booked Friday and Saturday, there’s a chance you can get it for Sunday.

Of course, this might not be true if your favorite wedding site is a church. It’ll likely be difficult to use the church since church services will be taking place that day.


Consider a Sunday WeddingKelly Vanderploeg Photography

A second reason couples are choosing a Sunday wedding is because it’s often cheaper. Some wedding venues offer special packages on Sunday. Some photographers do the same. Not everyone will be able to give you a special rate for a Sunday wedding, but it never hurts to ask. The venue itself, if they offer a special price on Sunday, can mean a big savings.

To sum up, when you are deciding on a wedding day, don’t automatically nix Sunday. It could be a better alternative to a Friday evening wedding, or even a Saturday wedding. It could save you from the disappointment of not getting the place for your wedding you always dreamed of. And, maybe you’ll save enough money on the wedding to have a nicer honeymoon!

5 Reasons to Consider a Destination Wedding

5 Reasons to Consider a Destination Wedding

5 Reasons to Consider a Destination Wedding

As I’m sure you have quickly realized – weddings are not cheap. The best way you can keep costs down is by 1) eloping or 2) having a destination wedding. Why are destination weddings a growing trend?

1. Virtually Stress-Free

Pop in the classic movie “Father of the Bride”, and you’ll soon understand why destination weddings are so popular. They are almost guaranteed to be simpler (and faster!) to plan than a traditional wedding and reception.

If you’re not getting married at a resort, you can hire a stateside wedding planner who specializes in destination weddings or start early and do it yourself. Either way, you won’t have to plan a reception, and won’t that be a relief?!


5 Reasons to Consider a Destination Wedding

2. No Drama, Mama

The second reason destination weddings rule? No scene-stealing family drama. Dread having to see your horrible Aunt Rose with the bad breath, or your Uncle Rob with the napoleon complex in tow with fifteen screaming kids? If you don’t want your dream wedding turning into big affair filled of barely-remembered relatives and nodding acquaintances, a destination wedding can a tactful way to dissuade them from attending.


5 Reasons to Consider a Destination Wedding

3. Cost Effective

The affordability of a destination wedding has many couples speeding off to the airport faster than you can say “I do.” For instance, a couple can fly to an all-inclusive resort in Jamaica, get married, and stay for a deluxe week long honeymoon for a few thousand dollars, including lodging, meals, drinks, and airfare. Compare that with your average 150-guest wedding costing about $22,000 — which can easily skyrocket to more than $40,000+ in big cities — plus a few extra thousand for a honeymoon. To ease the financial burden, many couples opt to travel to a place where they can get married, have a honeymoon, and still have some money left over to start their new lives together.


5 Reasons to Consider a Destination Wedding

 4. You Call The Shots

While formal weddings hold meaning for many couples, linking them to the traditions of their ancestors and culture, others want the experience to be unique, with a ceremony and location that reflect their true colors. The world is your altar. You make the rules! Feel free to wear a sundress or shorts (even a bikini!), go barefoot, carry fern fronds, hire a ukulele band, and toast your love alone on your balcony at sunset. If you can dream it, you can do it.


5 Reasons to Consider a Destination WeddingHelen Havard Photography

5. You’re Already on your Honeymoon!

The best thing about a destination wedding is that you can combine a honeymoon vacation with the actual ceremony itself. Still want that tropical wedding on the beach? Many resorts offer wedding/honeymoon packages, where you get married, have the reception, and enjoy your honeymoon right at the same resort. This is particularly true in popular honeymoon destinations, such as Thailand and Hawaii.


5 Reasons to Consider a Destination WeddingWhite Orchid Wedding

At a typical wedding, you’re on the run, meeting and greeting. Destination weddings are on vacation time. You’re usually required to arrive a few days early to fill out the paperwork, so by the time your wedding rolls around, you’ve had two to three days of fun with your sweetie, family, and friends. How often do you have the opportunity to spend no-rush quality playtime with dear, far-flung friends? This is your chance.

Guide to Changing Your Last/Surname by SimplyBridal

Guide to Changing Your Name by SimplyBridal

Guide to Changing Your Name by SimplyBridal. So the wedding is over, phew… time to relax! Oh wait, but don’t forgot you’ve just gone from Miss to Mrs. It’s time to change your last name, there are so many important documents with your name on it that will need altering. Make sure you have your Marriage Certificate before trying to make any leeway with any of the steps below. One really important factor before changing your identification (drivers license or passport) is to make sure you wait until after your honeymoon or preplanned trips before changing these docs. If you change it before your trip, the name on the official travel document and your identification won’t match.

Guide to Changing Your Name by SimplyBridal

Hollywood Styled Honeymoon Destinations

For most newlyweds the honeymoon is almost more important anticipated than the actually wedding itself! The most popular honeymoon destination is Mexico, followed by Italy, Figi, Greece, then Hawaii. Where do the celebrities go? This week SimplyBridal has pulled together a list of Hollywood styled destinations for your most important vacation ever!

TypesOfWeddingPhotography V1.0

Honeymoon Hotspots

When the party is over and the last guest has gone home, for the newlywed couple, the fun has just begun.  After the dust settles, most couples prefer to spend about a week or so basking in a relaxing sanctuary, soaking up the sun (if a tropical destination is your style) on their honeymoon.  We researched the hottest spots for honeymoons this year and came up with a list of places that fit almost every type of couple as well as a variety of budgets.

Anguilla:  This British West Indies Island is known for modern luxury and is a hotspot for celebs and the rich and famous.

Who it’s for: Foodies and super chic hipster couples.

Where to stay: The Viceroy is quickly becoming THE place to stay especially among young couples.  The resort boasts modern white tranquil open spaces perfect for a serene look out onto paradise with a bright infusion from famed interior designer Kelly Wearstler who was sought out to bring an extra dose of cool to the hotel.

Grenada: Also known as the “ Spice Island,” Grenada is known for its lush foliage and truly breathtaking landscapes.

Who it’s for: Low-key nature lovers and privacy seekers

Where to stay: Spice Island Beach Resort is the spot for private patios and terraces, oversized tubs and plunge pools.  Charter a safari tour or waterfall jump for an extra dose of adventure on your romantic getaway.

Napa Valley: California wine country meets romantic mecca in this Northern California region known for its attention to detail and hospitality.

Who it’s for: Wine lovers,of course, and foodies alike.  The two go hand in hand here as some of the most famed chefs in the world call this place home. Dine at Thomas Keller’s French Laundry or one Michael Chiarello’s namesakes for a truly unforgettable experience.  Enjoy the vast and lush green vineyard settings that make you think you are in Tuscany while still enjoying all of the comforts  of American Classic style.

Where to stay:  It’s pretty hard to go wrong here since the area demands high standards in hotels and B&B’s alike.  Our favorites are Bardessono and Auberge du Soleil.

Don’t Be a Bride-to-be Who Misuses Social Media

Social media is a great way to stay connected with friends and family and to share and find ideas. However, there are always those people who abuse social media and annoy their followers. If they aren’t careful, brides-to-be can easily become that friend. Here are a few ways to avoid becoming the annoying bride on Facebook.

Wait to Change Your Relationship Status

Of course you are excited to change your status from “in a relationship” to “engaged,” but don’t do it too quickly. Make sure you share the news with close friends and relatives before posting it online. People who are important to you should hear the news from you and your fiancé not the internet.


Go Easy on the Ring Pictures

We know you love the new diamond engagement ring sparkling on your hand, but your Facebook friends don’t want to look at constant pictures of you modeling the rock. A close-up or two to share with friends and family who won’t get to see the ring in person is fine, but don’t become obsessed with modeling your new accessory.

Beware the Countdown

An occasional update on the nearing date is fine, but don’t be the bride who writes a countdown post every day. Also, on the day of, fight the urge to give minute by minute countdowns. No one wants to read their news feed and find “Three more hours until I get married” followed by “Two more hours until I get married.”

Send Thank You Cards

Posting about your shower and all the great gifts is fine, but don’t forget about thank you cards. A thank you on Facebook is not the same as a handwritten thank you in the mail.

A Few Pictures Will Suffice

Everyone wants to see pictures of your big day, especially people who weren’t able to attend, but they don’t want your photos constantly showing up in their newsfeed. Create one album and fill it with your favorites. You don’t need to include every single photo.

Enjoy Your Honeymoon

After the wedding, you should be looking forward to quality time with your new hubby not uploading photos and creating a new status every ten minutes. Take a break from social media while on vacation and share some photos and details when you return. No one expects constant updates while you’re honeymooning.


Extra Wedding Events

Sure, your nuptials are the main event, but it’s not the only affair you (or your guests) will be attending during the weekend of festivities. Here’s an overview of the additional events to consider planning for your wedding weekend:

Welcome Party: If you have a lot of guests coming in from out-of-town for your wedding, consider hosting a party to welcome them to town. This can be as simple as a backyard barbecue or as elaborate as a swanky cocktail party. Not only will it make your guests feel honored and appreciated, it’ll give you an opportunity to spend quality time with loved ones that you might otherwise only talk to for a few minutes at your reception.

Bridesmaids Brunch/Luncheon: This gathering can also be as casual or classy as you prefer and it is typically held one or two days before the wedding. A close female friend or relative who isn’t part of the bridal party traditionally hosts it and it can be held in a restaurant, at someone’s home, or at a tearoom. The primary goal is to spend time with your bridesmaids, closest friends, and close female relatives of you and the groom.

Rehearsal Dinner: The rehearsal dinner is offered following the—you guessed it—rehearsal. Traditionally, the rehearsal dinner is hosted by the groom’s family and is offered for the entire bridal party and anyone helping with the wedding. It can also be opened up to out-of-town guests who are particularly close to the bride and groom. This can be held at a nearby restaurant, a reception hall, in a hotel, or at someone’s house.

J. Jones Photography

Bachelor/Bachelorette Party: While the bachelor/bachelorette parties can be held in the weeks or months leading up to the wedding, a lot of couples opt to enjoy them one or two nights before the wedding. Whether you opt for a wild night out on the town or an intimate dinner with your closest pals, hosting the bachelor/bachelorette party shortly before the wedding is a great way to truly celebrate the end of your single life.


Farewell Brunch: If you aren’t departing for your honeymoon immediately following your wedding, why not host a morning-after-the-wedding brunch for your close friends and family? The wedding day is such a whirlwind, so an event the following day will give you a chance to relax, have fun, and ruminate on the best moments of the day.

Tips for a Perfect Honeymoon

In the hectic days and months leading up to your wedding, it’s often easy to forget that a relaxing vacation awaits you after saying “I do.” The honeymoon is your first getaway as husband and wife, and after the stress of organizing a wedding, it’s most certainly warranted. Enjoy a perfect, stress-free honeymoon by following these simple honeymoon tips:

Select a destination that either has significant meaning to you and your mate, or is a place you’ve always wanted to visit.

Choose a location based on what’s most important to you during your honeymoon, whether that be a relaxing getaway or a week of adventure.

Book flights and accommodations well in advance to take advantage of great deals and to avoid any last-minute stress right before the wedding.

Utilize online deal sites to purchase discounted airfare, hotel rooms, rental cars, or admission to attractions. Not only will this help you stay within your budget, it’ll also clear up extra funds for shopping, eating out, or excursions.

Don’t book an early morning flight the day after the wedding; instead, plan to fly out later in the day or, better yet, a day later to give you time to sleep in and relax following your big day.

Purchase a travel guide or research area restaurants, attractions, activities, shopping, and landmarks to ensure you make the most out of time away.

Make a packing list several weeks before your trip to give you ample time to shop for any clothes or necessities you might need. Don’t forget to think about all vacation scenarios, including sightseeing, strenuous activity, or sophisticated nights out.

If you book your reservations in your new married name, don’t forget to bring along a copy of your marriage license to the airport or you won’t be allowed to board your flight. (To save yourself the stress: book everything in your maiden name so it matches your ID.)

Pack for the trip at least one week before departure to ensure you don’t forget anything and aren’t stressed out in the final days before the wedding trying to get everything done.

Don’t forget the camera! You’ll want to make sure to capture memories from your first trip as husband and wife.

Stick to the budget, but don’t be afraid to splurge a little bit on something special like a couples massage, guided tour, or elegant dinner.

Unique Wedding Registries

Registering for wedding gifts can be one of the most fun aspects of the pre-wedding festivities, but if you already own a great deal of housewares or simply loathe the idea of picking out a China pattern, perhaps you should consider a different type of wedding registry. Here are a few fun and different ideas for prospective wedding gifts…

Honeymoon Fund: Opt out of knife sets and gravy boats and get a killer vacation instead! Online registries like HoneyFund  and Honeymoon Wishes allow wedding guests to go online and make a contribution to your honeymoon. The trip package is broken down into several parts—airfare, hotel, dining, activities, etc—so guests can choose exactly what they want to chip in towards and can help ensure that you enjoy a wonderful and worry-free vacation as husband and wife.

Lifestyle Experiences: Start your marriage off with fun and excitement by registering for unique activities through a lifestyle registry. Companies like Cloud9 allow couples to register for over 1,700 experiential gifts, including cooking classes, guitar lessons, whitewater rafting excursions, skydiving, and spa packages. Instead of packing your house full of more stuff, why not treat yourself to an adventurous outing that you’ll remember for a lifetime?

The Gift of Time: Alternative gift registries, like New American Dream, allow couples to register for gifts that emphasize service, quality time, thoughtfulness, creativity, and environmental consciousness. Instead of asking for generic material possessions, brides and grooms create a list of items or opportunities that they’d enjoy. For example, couples can express their desire for everything from a cookbook full of family recipes to volunteer hours to help paint their new home to homemade baked goods from friends. Any and everything can be added to the registry, giving guests clever ideas to bless the happy couple in thoughtful and practical ways.

Charitable Donations: Use your wedding to raise awareness for an important cause or charity. In lieu of gifts, ask your guests to make a donation to a non-profit organization of your choosing. Online charity registries, such as the I Do Foundation, allow wedding guests to make a secure donation to the charity/charities of your choice. Choose from over 60 organizations, including Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America, Habitat for Humanity, National Wildlife Federation, Doctors Without Borders, Planned Parenthood, and the National Center for Family Literacy.

Food & Drink: Now you can have your gifts and eat them too! Sign up for edible goods with registries dedicated to food and beverages. Bottlenotes, an online wine community, allows happy couples to stock their cellars with registries dedicated to boutique wines and stemware. Brides and grooms that love to eat out will enjoy stocking up on gift cards to local restaurants though sites like Foodie Registry.

This & That: If you’re in need of items for your new home but can’t settle on one store, consider creating a general registry that pulls items from a variety of retailers. A personalized wish list at Amazon or Wishpot  is a great way to keep track of all the things you need and desire in one central location.