|Posted by Live Love Mom on January 21, 2021 at 8:05 AM||comments (0)|
by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie McEndree
Start planning at least 1 year before your wedding date. This gives you plenty of time to book your venues ahead of time. If you live in a high population city however, you should start planning at least 15 months before the big day since wedding venues will get pre-booked fast.
Start by looking at things on pinterest. Themes, colors, dresses, suits, flowers, makeup, nails, etc. Get a good idea of what you want. You can make a board on there to save all of your wedding ideas. You can also show them to your future spouse and get their idea of what they would like in their wedding.
Make a guest list of who you couldn’t imagine the day without, then made a “maybe” guest list of other people you’d like there. Once you choose your caterer, decide how many guests you can afford and put together a final guest list. You can comfortably ask your caterer to feed about 75% of your guests. An estimated 25% will not attend or will be no-shows.
Do your research. Look up venues, officiants, caterers, DJs, Bakers, photographer, florist etc. Compare prices and what is included in those prices and make a decision, and make a deposit to each to reserve them for your day. If your budget is super tight, you can go with who is cheapest. If you strongly prefer one over the other, you of course choose the one you prefer.
Make it your own. You can personalize the officiant’s ceremony a little into your own, and make a wedding website for RSVPs and all that. You can get free online wedding invitation templates and printed them out on 65 lbs paper at Staples with an RSVP card. Be sure to buy supplies such as envelopes, some ribbon, doilies and stick-on crystals and voila! Sent out the invitations. You can also come up with themes, and anything else unique to make it even more personal for you and your fiance.
Buying. You should then start buying stuff for the wedding (flowers since we’re going silk, wedding dress, wedding shoes, etc). You should call places such as linen stores where you want to rent linens and other things and ask if they are available on the date you want to have your wedding. If so, start booking. You also want to do the same with other services such as music, officiant, venue, florist, caterer, and anything else you would want at your wedding.
Pro tip: Made a facebook group to keep the wedding party updated on how things progressed and new ideas you have.
|Posted by Live Love Mom on December 25, 2020 at 7:10 AM||comments (0)|
by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie McEndree
Save money and enjoy crafting as you make your own wedding favors. From edible goods to useful household items, create your own little masterpiece filled with love that your guests will enjoy.
Dry rub. Gather all of your spices and either make your own, or follow an online recipe. This is great because dry spices last years, so you can make them way ahead of time. You can always buy spices at the grocery store.
Ornaments. Most people have a holiday tree they put up during the holidays. You can make an ornament for them to decorate their tree with. This is especially appropriate for weddings in December. Your favors can be as simple as picking pine cones, painting them and tying a ribbon so people can hang it on their trees. You can even add a tag with your wedding date on it, or simply write happy holidays on it.
Sugar scrub. This is great to use as a deep exfoliation for your body. Make them for your guests in small jars or even plastic bags tied with a ribbon.
Salt scrub. Similar to the sugar scrub, salt scrubs can last a while and can be made far ahead of time. With coconut oil and a drop of essential oils, it will keep for a while so your guests can wait for a special moment to use it.
Wine Glasses. If you have too many of these in your own home or shot glasses, you can give them as favors. Use a hot glue-gun to write something personal to you and your future spouse, or even a symbol that means a lot to you two. You can sprinkle some glitter on top of the hot glue before it dries or paint over it.
Coffee Mugs. Plenty of people have plenty of coffee mugs, some that they never use. However, not everyone has enough at home for themselves or for visitors and family memers. If you have too many or you do not mind a trip to the dollar store, you can always buy some. You can also get some plain ones and paint over them in a ceramic shop and make them unique.
Soap. Look up a soap recipe, buy the ingredients and make a nice-smelling gift your guests can use to get clean. Everyone needs soap! Just be sure to ask if anyone has allergies.
Baked goods. Make cookies, brownies, cake pops, rice krispie treats and more. These delicious delights will be consumed in no time!
Keychains. The best keychains are those that include something useful on them, like a tool that can do many things, a bottle-opener, mini flashlight, hand sanitizer, sunscreen, a whistle, or anything useful.
Home-made jam. This is a great idea especially if you have fruit trees or berry plants at home. Make your own easily. Just get some fruit, sugar or stevia, and boil while stirring until it’s the consistancy you want. Put in jars and serve!
Alcohol. You can buy mini bottles of different types of alcohol and offer this as favors. They will definitely get used, and the small bottles may even be kept as a souvenir.
Chocolate-covered pretzels. Follow a recipe. You can always buy pretzels, melt down some chocolate, dip the pretzels inside and freeze them to harden the chocolate.
Tea. Tea bags always come in handy for tea drinkers. If you know your guests are the tea-drinking crowd, you can offer tea bags as favors. You can make these yourself if you have an herbal garden and put dry mint leaves in a sachet.
Seeds. Grab some seeds from the plants in your backyard and put them in a little burlap pouch and offer these to guests. You can also harvest seeds from a tree in your yard so each guest can plant a tree in your honor.
Coffee. One of the most common beverages people drink in the world, you cannot go wrong with coffee. You can buy a coffee can and scoop some beans in individually sized bags. You can also add in some hot chocolate powder so people can make themselves a nice mocha.
Caramel apples. You can make candy or caramel apples for your guests to devour. They can also be a fun alternative to dessert if you do not particularily like cake to serve your guests.
Got more to suggest? Comment below!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on December 11, 2020 at 9:15 AM||comments (0)|
Can’t afford a fancy trip overseas for your honeymoon? Do you only have the budget for your dream wedding or dream honeymoon? Would you rather have a small honeymoon now and a big one later? Look no further! Here is how you can have a honeymoon for as low as $100 per night.
Look on AirBnB. Some people have their entire houses for rent by the day, week or month. Rates can be as low as $15 a day. Check out the owner’s pictures and see what they’re offering.
Hotel room. Some hotels offer rooms as low as $99 a night. Look up the town you want to go to, and then look at different hotels. Make the hotel in another state or province if you’d like some alone time on the road.
Rent a cottage. Google websites where people offer their cottages or summer homes for rent. Many are luxurious with a view on the water, spas, and more. You can even pick your criteria.
Rent a cabin. Similar to renting a cottage, renting a cabin in a remote part of town is wonderful. They are often in mountains or in forests where you can meet plenty of wildlife. This getaway is perfect for someone who loves photography as you can go on hikes and photograph deer, rivers, and views below.
Go camping. Whether you go glamping with an TV or trailer or you use a good old-fashioned tent, you are sure to get the best views of the sky. Lay on a blanket and stargaze with your spouse, cook on the fire, and bond with nature. There are often parks nearby and beaches, and you can even go fishing.
Road Trip. Fill up your gas tank and drive around. You can visit nearby cities and the sights that you've never seen before. Take historic tours, look at the museums, see an art gallery. Go watch a play or the opera. You can see a sports game, go to a cultural festival, a concert, or even a circus. The sky is the limit!
Visit the beach. Go to the nearest beach where you live and make it a day trip. Bring some folding chairs, towels, sunscreen and your bathing suits and you're all set.
Don’t want to make your own meals while you’re there? Go out to a new restaurant every time and get your food cooked for you. It gives you a chance to explore different types of cuisine and culture while you’re on your post-nuptial vacation.
Got more ideas? Share below!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on November 27, 2020 at 8:30 AM||comments (0)|
by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie McEndree
Here is what’s worth shelling out a few extra bucks on.
Date, Time and Location. Be sure to ask around about your loved ones’ work schedules before you choose a date, since you will be able to know ahead of time what you need to book. Choose a date where most of your guests would be available. Holidays are an inconvenient time for guests as they often go on vacations. You also want to give enough time for people to get ready. Pick a location that is easily accessible to everyone. It’s also best to have your wedding on a weekend, since many people don’t work on weekends. However, if most of your friends and family work weekends, try having it on a weekday. Give crystal clear instructions and an address so guests can locate the area and not end up late to the wedding.
Labels. Clearly labelled areas such as the gift table for wedding gifts are essential, especially if your venue is having more than one wedding going on. You don't want your gift ending up with another couple. You should also provide clear indications of where to go. Venues who are used to hosting weddings and large gatherings already have this set up. However, especially if you have guests who speak and read a different language, it's important to lable important places such as the restroom area, the reception area and the ceremony space.
Weather. Too hot or too cold causes miserable guests. If you insist on having an outdoor summer wedding or a wedding in hot climates, provide lots of water and an indoor air-conditioned space. If you are having an outdoor winter ceremony, be sure to make the ceremony short and offer an indoor heated space for the reception. You don’t want uncomfortable guests.
Parking. Parking should be near the ceremony and reception and be free. No one wants to pay for parking, ever. Don’t make your guests walk for miles in their formal wear either.
Timeliness. Do everything on time. It will stress guests out and they are getting bored. Guests will notice if cocktail hour lasts 3 hours, and if it takes 3 hours to have the meal served. You also need to have some time to let guests be and mingle, socialize, and take bathroom breaks. This is especially important if your venue only has 1 bathroom for 100 guests. The ideal venue will have more bathrooms, so guests needing to go to the bathroom at same time because they will end up drinking and eating at the same time. An example of a good place to host your wedding are country clubs which have many bathrooms with stalls, so everyone can relieve themselves without having to wait in long lines and miss parts of the wedding. Keep in mind guests with children or elderly guests that may not be able to sit still for a 2 hour ceremony and will probably only be able to stay until their children's bedtime. Front-load all of the important things within the first 5 or so hours so everyone gets to participate in the important stuff. Keep the games, drinking contests or anything younger-crowd oriented towards the end.
Entertainement. A deejay is priceless. They can read the room and play songs and games accordingly. They set the tone of your entire day and shouldn’t be taken for granted. They often ask ahead of time if your guests area a younger or older crowd and choose songs, themes, and even make jokes accordingly. Be sure you don't shine light in anyone's eyes!
Music. Guests want to dance to songs they know, and songs that have a good tempo. Be sure to have slow as well as fast-paced songs. Classics never go underappreciated. Provide a song list to your deejay so they can play the songs during the best moments, and you have your chance to get your favorite tunes play at your reception. Be sure the sound system isn't too loud or hard to hear. Ideally, people who make speeches will practice at home or even at the rehearsal so the microphone isn't screeching, staticky or dropped during the reception.
Food. Be sure to serve some good food at your reception. People will be getting hungry, and you don’t want them leaving early because they are starving and can’t stand your food. Also, serve appetizers so guests will be full, especially if your meal is a long time after your ceremony. Many guests skip lunch so they can eat lots on your wedding feast. Warn them ahead of time to have a lunch if you don’t want guests to be too hungry.
Drinks. Guests like having something to drink, even if it’s wine or beer. If you’re not having alcohol, have interesting drinks such as mocktails. Cash bars are also a downer; if you can’t afford an open bar, serve wine and beer. You also want non-alcoholic drinks even if you are serving alcohol. With guests that are younger, be sure to have water and juice available as well, and maybe even milk if you are having really young guests. Sodas can also be used as mixers with alcohol so they are always useful to have.
Acknowledgement. Guests want some time with you, even if it’s just a few minutes. Be sure to chat with them, maybe take a few photos. Make the rounds at each table, the guests will love that they got to have a moment with you on your special day.
Have anything else to add? Comment below!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on November 13, 2020 at 7:00 AM||comments (1)|
by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie McEndree
Why spend hundreds of dollars on them when they just get thrown out? Do an e-vite instead, or have people RSVP through a wedding website. This option is also greener and more environmentally friendly. Send a letter to grandparents who aren’t very tech-savvy, or those who don’t use the internet.
Programs. These also end up in the trash. No one needs meticulous details about what happens when, and weddings rarely happen on so strict a timeline anyhow. Save your money and forgo these altogether.
Escort cards. These as well as their place holders will never leave a lasting impression, and guests will forget all about them, especially after the wedding. Make a large seating chart instead.
Slideshows. After sitting through toasts and speeches, why make things extra long by sitting through a slideshow? Opt instead for a slideshow area where people can look at it if they so choose. Otherwise, they will be pretty bored.
Guest book. You will get your guest book about half filled if you’re lucky. Guests don’t sign the guest book. Also, what will you do with it after the wedding? Are you going to look through it? Probably not. How often do you look at your yearbook signatures? Probably never, or once every five years. It’s just not worth it.
Favors. At the end of the day, very little people actually go home with favors. They either forget about them, or they don’t care about them. Instead, donate to a charity or just don’t do it at all. No one will be angry that you don’t have any favors at your wedding.
Multiple locations. It’s actually a pain for your guests to arrive to one location, find parking, only to do it all over again multiple times during the day. Your bridal party will already be at the designated place to get ready–a hotel or your place–and have to worry about getting to the venue. It’s a lot to ask, and adds to the cost of your special day. Stick to one location.
Linens. Use traditional linens instead of those with fancy colors. No one will rae about how unique your linens were. What people often remember are the food and music. Stick with white linens and you will be fine.
Elaborate decor. However fabulous the photos will look, it’s good to have shorter centerpieces so guests can actually see the people across from them to carry on a conversation. Many weddings have minimal decorations and the simplicity is what gives it it’s elegance. Guests will take note about how pretty the venue is, sure; for about a few seconds. They will be more anxious to eat, then party with you!
First dance. The guests don’t care about a choreorgraphed dance, if you sway back and forth, dance during the full song or not. What they care about is sharing that moment with you, the first dance between the two newlyweds. It doesn’t matter how you do it, so don’t shell out hundreds of dollars for private ballroom lessons.
Open seating. Especially with different languages in the family, it’s important to have assigned seats, or at least an assigned table. It will also avoid confusion as to where to sit. No one wants that feeling of wondering where they sit as if they are freshmen in high school. Be sure to sit everyone with anyone else who can speak their language, and keep your divorced parents (or other relatives) away from each other.
Cake. Why go overboard? Don’t get a 7-tier cake with fondant. Fondant doesn’t taste good, and 7 tiers is way overboard. Order your cake with the size of your guest list in mind, and opt for buttercream. Keep in mind, not everyone eats cake. Go with a dessert cake.
Bouquet and garter toss. It can be embarrassing for the single ladies and gentlemen to be on display for their marital status to be shown in front of many people. Guests won’t appreciate being told to halt the festivities either, they want to keep dancing! Let them do it!
Grand exit. It would just stress guests out to be shouted at by the photographer to smile, don’t blink, positioned a certain way, etc. It all feels pretty staged and doesn’t feel very authentic. Don’t worry about sparklers and those perfect photos, just have the deejay announce your departure and make a break for it!
Got more suggestions? Comment below!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on November 6, 2020 at 8:30 AM||comments (2)|
by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie McEndree
Lots of people have no idea what to do with their wedding dress after the wedding, or how to use their mother’s wedding dress when they don’t want to wear it themselves. Whether you want to reuse, recycle, or donate your dress, here are 60 ideas for you (with pictures) to inspire your imagination!
- Have it cleaned and preserved to keep for your future daughter.
- DIY wedding dress preservation - $8 Ziplock suit size space saver bag. Put dress in, seal, suck air out. This dress is a full ball-gown style dress that normally takes up over 5 ft of floor space reduced to about an inch in thickness. Easily hung and stored away and can take it out and re-seal anytime!
- Sell it on ebay, or to a used dress shop and make some of your money back.
- Have a “trash the dress” photoshoot.
- Have it made into a wedding memory bear.
- Frame it in a shadow box to display in your home.
- Have it sewn into throw pillows for your bed.
- Have it made into hankerchiefs you can keep or give as gifts.
- Donate it to where people can use it, such as brides across america. If you wore a wedding dress that’s a non-traditional color, donate it to an organization that gives away free prom dresses.
- Donate to an organization that turns them into angel gowns for stillborn babies.
- Keep a piece of fabric to sew into your daughter's wedding dress. You can do the same for your granddaughters, goddaughters, and more!
- Shorten it and wear it as a cocktail or evening dress.
- Have it altered into a nightgown.
- Have a seamstress sew them into christening or baptism gowns for your future children and grandchildren.
- Throw a wedding dress party or wear to the wedding dress charity ball.
- Have the material made into a quilt.
- Hire a seamstress to make the material into a comforter for your bed.
- Scarves can be made from wedding dress material.
- Turn your wedding dress into a gorgeous tree skirt for your holiday tree.
- Use the fabric of the dress to make a clutch purse.
- Use some material for some Christmas ornaments. You can use them for keepsake ornaments where you can stick your wedding garter inside, use the lace to embellish an ornament, or make an angel ornament out of the material.
- Save it for a photoshoot with your future little one.
- Sew it into a fancy tablecloth.
- Make a gorgeous table runner to use for your dining room table.
- Make it into a frame.
- Use some material to make a garter for a family member’s wedding, including your daughter or granddaughter.
- You can sew wedding dress fabric into a little money pouch.
- Use the material to make it into a Christmas stocking.
- Use the material to make jewelry such as a lace choker, lockets, bracelets, earrings and more.
- Make a miniature replica of your wedding dress with the material. You can make it small enough for dolls, or big enough for a child to wear.
- Turn it into a tote or beach bag.
- Save some material to turn into hair pieces, such as a delicate lace headband.
- Turn it into a white ruffled wreath.
- Turn the bottom into a fancy skirt to wear.
- Use the top part to repurpose into a blouse or a lace or embellished top.
- Use it to make beautiful bassinette skirt, especially if you plan on having children.
- Make a bouquet wrap.
- Use pieces of fabric to embellish your wedding photo album.
- Turn it into a princess dress for family members, or a formal dress for a younger girl.
- Dye it a different color to wear to different occasions.
- Wear it on your wedding anniversary to surprise your spouse.
- Renew your vows and wear the same dress.
- Make a jewelry display out of the lace so you can hang earrings off of it.
- Turn them into ring pillows for your children’s weddings for the ring bearer.
- Sew it into a baby blanket for your future child.
- Use the lace to use as decorations with candle holders or mason jars.
- Make shoes for baby baptisms or christenings.
- Make it into a tutu for you or a young girl to wear.
- Use the dress to make padded clothes hangers for your future daughter or granddaughter’s wedding dress.
- Use as a lampshade in your home. To repurpose/reuse a wedding veil: I cut off the lace trim because it clashed with my wedding dress. I draped it over boring lampshades to give them a feminine touch.
- Turn it into a throw for your living room furniture.
- Have part of the dress made into a belly sash for your future pregnancy.
- Use your wedding dress to make a belt for your daughter or granddaughter’s wedding dress.
- Use tulle or details from your wedding dress to add to your daughter or granddaughter’s wedding bouquet.
- Use pieces of the dress or a silk flower from your wedding into a corsage for your daughter’s prom and wedding day.
- Recreate your wedding photos on your anniversary or during special occasions such as a pregnancy or birth.
- Use details from your dress to make a unique hair piece for yourself or your daughter, such as lace barettes, hair ribbons, or scrunchies.
- Use pieces as keepsakes.
- Turn the fabric into wedding decorations for your daughter’s wedding or your own anniversary party down the line.
- Turn fabric into works of art for you to hang in your home.
- Repurpose your dress into curtains for your new home.
- Use the fabric to make a Christmas angel for the top of your Christmas tree.
- Make some gorgeous lingerie to wear on your anniversary nights.
- Make a gorgous sash! You can use it for your daughter's bachelorette party, or even just a chic accessory with an evening gown.
- Make it into a shawl to wear on those cold nights with your favorite nightgown, or at a fancy affair to go with your floor-length dress.
- Make a tie for your husband, your son, or another special person in your life. This works best with silk gowns, but you can also make a lace tie for your daughter, aunt, mother, or anyone else to wear as well!
- Make flower girl dresses from your wedding dress by sewing parts of your dress into miniature versions!
- Turn your dress into a magnificent hijab. Whether you have a family member who is getting married, you know someone or you just want a woman to look amazing on her wedding day while respecting her religious traditions, this is a perfect way to surprise a bride-to-be!
- Turn a piece of your wedding dress into a beautiful headdress for your daughter. You could even bunch it together to make fabric flowers to add to it!
- Make fabric flowers out of it to display as decorations in your home, use as a bouquet for your children, or to embellish clothing or curtains you own.
- Make a boutonnier out of pieces of your wedding dress so your son and his groomsmen can wear on their wedding day. Your son could also wear it on his prom night!
- Make a cape a family member can wear on their cold winter wedding day.
- Make it into a fancy coat to wear over a fancy dress.
- Sew it into a kimono. If you are Japanese or someone you know is, it would be a great way to repurpose your wedding dress. It could be made into either a wedding kimono or to wear during holidays.
- Have you ever seen those cute little white bags that carry candy, nuts, or other wedding favor goodies? Make little pouches so your daughter can use for her favor bags on her wedding day.
Do you have more suggestions or ideas? Comment below!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on October 30, 2020 at 8:20 AM||comments (0)|
by: Rev Dr Stéphanie McEndree
I see this question come up a lot in wedding forums; what to do with wedding flowers after the big day is over? Often couples have too many flowers to showcase in their homes, and often only the bridal bouquet is kept or preserved. However, what do you do with the rest? Also, what if they are silk flowers? Here are some ideas for you to recycle your wedding flowers, silk or fresh!
Lay them on loved ones’ graves. You can lay your own bouquet at a grave, or arrange leftover wedding flowers into bouquets to lay at headstones. Even vines can be draped on top of headstones and look very elegant.
Give them away to guests. Bridesmaids, maids of honor, flower girls, groomsmen and the best man should get to keep their own flowers.
Give them to grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and siblings. Mothers of the bride/groom and fathers often go home with a corsage and boutonniere, but the rest of the family is left empty-handed. Make sure everyone gets a souvenir by giving them some flowers as well.
Offer them as prizes, such as the couple who’s been married the longest, the newest couple, etc. This can be figured out by the DJ or band asking every married couple to dance, and then say “keep dancing if you’ve been married more than 5 years,” then 10 years, etc until the last couple is left.
Compost them. Some cities collect compost, or you can lay them in your garden to compost for your own benefit.
Donate to a senior resident’s home. Having a fresh, nice-smelling bouquet delivered into their rooms will be sure to brighten up their day. It doesn’t have to be in their room either; the senior home can put them in common areas as well as centerpieces.
Donate to a veteran’s home. Honor those who have fought and defended the country by donating to these homes, shelters and centers to bring some life.
Donate to a funeral home. They will probably be used in the next funeral and the family will appreciate having fresh flowers for their loved ones.
Create flower arrangements throughout your home to stop and smell the roses as you pass different rooms in your house.
Dry them and display them in frames or shadow boxes.
Dry them and make them into potpurri.
Have guests win centerpieces with fun little contests at your wedding. It will also mean less cleanup for the venue and you won’t have to worry about assigning someone to gather them up as you make a run for your honeymoon.
Donate to a church; especially if you get married on a Saturday, offer for them to use the flowers for their Sunday mass.
If they are safe for pets, donate them to a petting zoo where the rabbits can munch on them.
Donate them to a hospital for patient’s rooms. Especially those in palliative care, the flowers will be a warm and welcoming gesture. Want a more personal touch? You can always contact an oncology center and drop them off in person in different patient’s rooms.
Turn them into paperweights. Some companies preserve the flowers by turning them into gorgeous paper weights.
Stick them in a vase in your home to liven up your decor.
Bring a smile to senior’s faces and donate them to a senior home. Loose flowers can be used for crafting activities so they can make their own bouquets which promote physical and mental stimulation, and they can feel good making something ncie for themselves or a nice gift for their children or grandkids.
Donate them to craft workshops or art centers.
If they’re still in great shape, sell them so other brides can use them. They can use them as boutonniers, bouquets, or corsages.
Donate them to second-hand stores such as Goodwill, Value Village, Salvation Army and other stores. They give items a second chance and a second life and sell goods for low cost so low-income families can afford them.
Add to your hair accessories by gluing them to some plain hair clips.
Donate to a school or daycare where children can make arts and crafts with them.
Use them to decorate your office or desk at work so you can remember your special day and reminisce on your breaks.
Create homemade gifts with them. You can add individual blooms to headbands, barettes, hats, and more.
Hang them in your car. Often if you have a round ball made of flowers, you can stick a ribbon in it and loop it around your rearview mirror.
Arrange them into new bouquets and donate them by visiting the elderly, hospital patients, veterans, women’s shelters and more.
Donate to a center that donates and repurposes flowers, such as Bouquet of Kindness.
You can donate them to centers that offer free prom dresses so girls can also take home flowers to make a corsage or put in her hair, or use a button hole or boutonniere. Bonus points if you can make them into corsages yourself before donating; it’s a great way to also recycle all that tulle and ribbon!
Donate to Brides Across America or a similar organization who give free wedding dresses to military wives and first responder wives. Let them have their bridal bouquet as well from your flowers.
Donate or sell to a decorator. Lots of places rent out decorations for weddings, so they’ll be happy to have even more to offer for their clients.
Donate the flowers to a local funeral home so they can decorate for people’s funerals. Funeral costs are through the roof, and grieving families will appreciate that there could still be flowers by their loved one’s remains even though they couldn’t afford it.
Donate them to hospitals where they can pretty up rooms, reception areas, common areas or even go donate them to patients in the rooms.
Support your local businesses by contacting them and asking if they could use some free flowers for their decor. Spas, beauty salons, candle stores, even bridal shops could use the flowers for decoration, promotion, or even as giveaways.
Donate or sell them to photography studios. Photographers appreciate having as many accessories they can to please a vast variety of clientele. They can use the flowers to decorate in newborn photoshoots, pregnancy photography, portraits, engagement photos and more. Bonus points if you can make a belly sash or headbands before donating them.
Many of these ideas work for both artificial and real flowers. Be sure to comment if you have any other ideas. Let us know what you did with your extra wedding flowers in the comment section below!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on October 23, 2020 at 8:15 AM||comments (0)|
by: Rev Dr Stéphanie McEndree
Unsure of what to do for your bachelorette party? Here are some cost-effective ideas for every kind of bride.
Rent a house. AirBnB offers whole houses to yourself, and for just a few hundred dollars you can have a luxury spot to celebrate your bachelorette party! Look for places that have all the ammenities you’re looking for; pool, fireplace, air conditioning, or whatever else you have in mind.
Book a hotel room. Not only is this practical for out-of-town guests or a party the night before the wedding (since you’ll already know where you’re staying), but you’re sure the venue will make some great pictures, and you won’t need to worry about cleaning up. Whether you’re looking for a motel room or a lavish 5-star hotel with a view, choose your hotel room accordingly. Lots of hotels also have indoor pools, gyms, restaurants and even spas.
Sleepover. Gather the girls for an old-fashioned sleepover with snacks, movies, even face masks, hair braiding and nail painting. Talk about boys, read gossip magazines, and play some old-fashioned board games.
Bed & Breakfast. Stay at a local bed and breakfast and wake up to brunch with your lady friends. Relax and enjoy the peaceful surroundings, a fresh and new location, and taking some time for yourselves. Reconnect with old friends!
Spa getaway. Lots of spas have packages at low costs. Reserve one for your girls and enjoy their facilities and unwind. Relax and have fun! Spa packages can start as low as $50 or less per person and includes access to all of the facilities.
Wine-tasting. Go to a local vineyard or brewery and sample the local wine or beer. You can bring a picnic of grapes, crackers, cheese and baguette bread for a fancy snack. Perfect for the bride and bridesmaids if they are wine-os.
Visit a new place. Whether it’s a small town or a big city, book a tour and enjoy exploring and discovering the history, culture and beauty of a new spot. Book a tour in an old city and look at the ruins. Immerse yourself in the culture of musical and artsy places such as New Orleans. Tour downtown of a big city and see all the sights. The possibilities are endless.
Road trip. Book a limo, a bus or whatever else you fancy and party inside. Often they come with drinks, sometimes a few snacks. It’s even a good idea to use just to take to your destination, especially if it’s out of town.
Tea party. Break out your vintage dresses, tea sets, pretty hats and meet in a local garden or even your backyard for a fancy tea party. You can also have cupcakes and lots of other pasteries to nibble on.
Got any more fun ideas? Comment below!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on October 9, 2020 at 9:00 AM||comments (0)|
by: Rev Dr. Stéphanie McEndree
With more and more eco-friendly options available to help us save the planet, it’s only fair we do our part. Weddings can be incredibly wasteful with single-use plastics and a “littering” custom such as plastic or paper confetti. Here are some cheap, easy and even free ideas to buy or make your own biodegradable confetti!
This can often be free; simply gather fallen leaves or pick some from your backyard or local park and use your hole-puncher to create a natural, colorful confetti. You can prepare them a few weeks before the wedding and dry the leaves, but store in a dark, dry place to avoid mold growth. You can also do this the day before the wedding so it’s fresh and ready to go. You can even use shaped hole punchers to give you more variety in appearance. You can even mix in herb leaves for a naturally healing scent.
Dried flower confetti.
These are easy to DIY or even buy pre-dried. You can buy flowers from the grocery store, pick them from your yard or even pick wildflowers. Dry them and press them, then put them in reusable cloth bags and distribute to guests! You can buy pre-made by the litre. Get at least one handful per guest so they can enjoy throwing it at the newlyweds. Dried flowers are used in pot-purri and always smell amazing. The natural scent of roses or lilacs will be preserved and everyone will smell amazing!
Fresh rose petals.
These are often provided by florists, this is the priciest option. If it’s a year before your wedding, consider planting or buying rose bushes to pick your own. They smell great, look great and make for a very classic and romantic exit for the guests. You can choose whichever color you want; baby pink, hot pink, red, white, yellow, and even black or blue. You can also go to the grocery store and get a bunch of flowers a day or two before the wedding and use the petals from them. They are often cheaper than the florist's.
These can be gathered from plants or trees with small leaves. There is no need for a hole puncher and you can gather these stress-free the day before your wedding. If you don’t recognize poisonous plants such as poison ivy, stick to getting leaves from trees to avoid getting a horrible rash the day before.
You can plant them in the spring and harvest them in the summer! Whether it's basil, rosemary, mint, or sage, the leaves are sure to smell amazing. You can dry them or pluck them fresh a few days before the wedding and have guests throw them. They can even be an alternative to flower petals for the flower girl to sprinkle. These herbs are also calming so everyone will feel zen and serene.
Leave a feast for the birds and let guests celebrate with you at the same time! You can buy large amounts at your local dollar store. Since rice has been outlawed due to it being harmful for the birds, this will be our feathered friends' favorite option. Be sure to have this thrown in an area where you will not visit again that day, such as the ceremony location as the newlyweds walk back down the aisle as they are newly married. This will avoid birds flocking and bothering any guests or the wedding party. It can also be thrown at the end of the reception as the newlyweds make their getaway to their wedding night.
A calming flower, lavender confetti will smell amazing and help save the planet. Make sure no guest is allergic before ordering or gathering. Make paper cones to hold them with some old sheet music, book pages or newspaper. Lavender does have an effect that can make people drowsy, so be sure to use this at the end of the reception. You don't want your guests retreating home for a nap right after the ceremony!
Don't have roses or don't want any? You can go flower-picking in a field and use those petals! Simply go pick the flowers one or two days before the wedding and pull the petals apart from the flowers into little cloth bags so your guests can grab a handful and throw them. You can also do this a few weeks before the wedding and dry the flowers out in the sun for a day and then store the petals in the bags. You can also grow your own flower garden if you have at least a year before your wedding, or if you got engaged in let's say the winter, you plant the flowers in the spring and you marry in the summer. You can have whatever flowers you want for just the price of the seeds and some water to take care of them. If you don't have a yard or a garden, simply pot the flowers and put them on your balcony for some sun or even by the window.
Have any more ideas you'd like to share? Comment below!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on September 25, 2020 at 9:00 AM||comments (0)|
by: Dr. Stéphanie McEndree
Not sure how you can keep guests hydrated and happy without paying $2 a glass from a caterer? Whip up some punch! Here are some tips on how to make it happen.
Non-alcoholic punch. Having a dry wedding? It’s important to have some tasty drinks to keep things tasty, so mix up a mocktail for your guests. You can find plenty of recipes and ideas here.
Spiked punch. There are some wonderful recipes out there that mix many different types of alcohol, even beer! My favorite is a list of 14 big batches of recipes, all for under $30 here. You can also find many more recipes here.
Keep it cool. Make a punch ice ring that will slowly melt to keep your punch nice and cold for hours. It’ll infuse the concoction with flavor instead of watering it down. Not sure how to make one? Here is a recipe, and you can find many more online and on Pinterest.
Make big batches. Whether you are serving slush-like cocktails, spiked punch, cocktails or mocktails, you will need big batches for weddings, even if you only have 25 guests it’s better to have too much than not enough.
Glassware. Be sure your venue or caterer provides enough glasses for everyone, even if it’s just one per guest. If you are providing your own, be sure you have enough and that there is a sink available at the venue for guests to rinse out their glasses if they want to try many different cocktails.
Keep guests hydrated. No one wants a hangover in the morning, or guests getting sick due to dehydration. Keep plenty of bottled water on hand, or bring a water dispenser if you have one, or make sure there is a water fountain at the venue. This is especially true if your venue is outdoors and during the hot summer months. You want to keep your guests happy, healthy and comfortable.
|Posted by Live Love Mom on August 28, 2020 at 9:00 AM||comments (3)|
by: Dr. Stephanie McEndree
It’s the age-old question; is it cheaper and better to buy or rent linens? Here we break down the pros and cons of each so you can make your own educated decision.
Pros of renting linens:
You don’t have to worry about re-selling them
They won’t take up room in storage in your home
The renters often decorate for you
Your wedding insurance can reimburse you if you make a claim if something went wrong
No need to clean up, the providers will do it for you
No need to come back after the wedding and pick things up
Cons of renting linens:
It’s often pricier, going upwards of $3-$5 per item or more
There is a LOT of stuff to rent; chair bows, chair covers, table cloths, table skirts, napkins, table runners, etc.
You run the risk of the provider never showing up or bringing the wrong linens
The providors could decorate things not to your stipulations
Image result for wedding linens
Pros of buying linens:
Often cheaper and sold in bulk
You can always make your money back by reselling them
You can decorate the room exactly as you like it
You get to keep them for future fancy events if you so wish, such as baptisms, baby showers, anniversary parties, retirement parties, graduation parties and more
You can pass them on to friends, family or even your child for their wedding
You buy exactly what you want and you know you’ll get exactly what you want at your wedding
Cons of buying linens:
You’ll probably have to wait until wedding season rolls around again for you to resell them
You’ll have to clean up yourself (in some cases)
You’ll have to go back to the venue after the honeymoon to pick them up, or arrange a family member or friend to pick them up after the wedding
You’ll have to wash them yourself, and depending how big your wedding is, can mean MANY loads of laundry
Takes up space in your home as you wait to resell them
Feel free to add more pros and cons in the comment section if you can think of any others. I hope this post helps you narrow down which choice you’d like to make for your wedding.
|Posted by Live Love Mom on August 21, 2020 at 9:00 AM||comments (3)|
by: Dr. Stephanie McEndree
Are you a bride who doesn’t mind going against the grain? Do you wish you could get away with a different color dress at your wedding? Do you dream of adding a splash of color to your dress? Then this beautiful trend is perfect for you!
You don’t even need to stick to one color. You can go with rainbow colors, colors of the sunset, or even many different shades of a single color. Your dress is sure to be unique and stand out on your special day.
Guests will be wowed that you took such a daring plunge as you walk down the aisle. Your dress will make a lasting impression for years to come. You won’t ever be forgotten, that’s for sure! Such a bold statement and all eyes are sure to be on you.
Sure, more traditional and closed-minded brides may turn up their noses at this trend. However, did you know that the white dress was made popular by one royal bride wearing it to her wedding? It was thought to be extremely lavish to have a white dress only for one day since it wasnharder to wash out stains back then. Without this revolutionary choice, brides would still wear black to this day!
So put on that dazzling dress and glide to your future spouse. You are radiant, confident and a goddess. You are a trend setter, and you follow your own rules. Strut your stuff and get married!
What I love about this look is that it looks like the bride stepped into the sunset as if it’s a painting. The yellow and red look like the flames of love that she will be fanning effortlessly throughout her marriage. It shows that she would walk through for for her spouse. The darker colors below look like the dark of night, like those cold winter evenings she will warm her husband, and how in dark times she will still be there. These types of dresses tell so many stories, they’re a work of art on their own. It’s like getting married in a famous painting that fits you just right.
A bonus is that this dress can fot in with all sorts of different traditions and cultures. It’s perfect for a Dia de los Muertos wedding, as well as for a Celtic wedding with the groom wearing a similar quilt. They look great in every season, and compliment many different skylines, backdrops and landscapes.
An unexpected advantage? With your dress dark at the bottom, any dirt accumulated during the day walking outdoors and kicking up dust won’t show at all. Some dirt won’t even show up in photos, let alone stand out against the wine red or midnight sky colors. You can trudge through mud, stomp the yard and dance up a storm without a worry!
Your photos are guarenteed to look spectacular. You can even have bridesmaids with dresses that compliment your dress colors; such as red, orange, yellow, blue or purple. You can even have all of the above with mismatched dresses! The possibilities are endless. You can even DIY this look yourself or custom order!
|Posted by Live Love Mom on August 6, 2020 at 9:00 AM||comments (7)|
By: Rev Dr. Stephanie McEndree
Wedding hashtags are rising in popularity. With the social media generation, it makes finding your wedding-specific posts easier.
Hashtags were created to find specific things you are looking for. Since the hashtag #wedding has millions of posts, it would be hard to dig through those for hours just to find your photos. Professional photographers, venues and family members can use a custom hashtag created by the couple so it’s easier to find their posts. Are you ready to find yours?
For those who have tough last names, such as Asian or Russian names, we suggest a hashtag in your own language. Or, use the woman’s last name in a hashtag such as this: #RomanovNoMore for those who will take their husband’s surname. You can also use generics, such as #MrAndMrsGusenov and such.
Here are some ideas for popular last names.
Murray: #WillYouMurrayMe #GettingMurrayed #WeAreGettingMurrayed
Smith: #SmithenByYou #ForeverSmithen #AlwaysSmithen
Hall: #HallwaysAndForever #DeckTheHalls
Moore: #ILoveYouMoore #MineForeverMoore
White: #AllDressedInWhite #WhiteDressWedding
Day: #ItsOurWeddingDay #DayTimeWedding #DayWeddingTime
Lachapelle: #GettingMarriedAtLachapelle #HitchedAtLachapelle
Gates: #GatesToMatrimony #GatesToHeaven
Rider: #RiderOffIntoTheSunset #RiderIntoTheSunset
Herman: #HerManForever #HermanAndWife
Tremblay: #ImTremblayingWedding #ImTremblaying
Black: #BlackTieWedding #BlackSuitWedding
Johnson: #JohnsonNoMore #JohnsonNotLonesome
Gahm: #2CanPlayAtThatGahm #GahmOn
Schucks: #AwwSchucks #SchucksToBeSingle
Wright: #FoundMrWright #FoundMissWright #FeelsSoWright
M(a)cPherson: #YoureMyMcPherson #YoureMyFavoriteMacPherson
Richards: #ForRichardsOrPoorer #RagsToRichards
Jones: #JonesingToBeA(husband's last name) #JonesingToBeHitched
For first names:
Chris & Mary: #MaryChrisMrs
Stephanie & Hugh: #StephanieReasonsToLoveHugh
Hugh: #HughTakeMyBreathAway #ILoveHugh #WillHughMarryMe
Saul: #SaulIEverWantIsYou #SaulIEverWanted
William: #WillYouBeMyBride #WillYouMarryMe
Mei: #YouMeiKissTheBride #YouMaeKissTheBride
Bart: #YoureAPieceOfBart #YoureAWorkOfBart #AlwaysPartOfMyBart #MyLoveMyBartMySoul
Cameron: #CamtWaitToMarryYou #CameronNeedsMaceroons
Zachary: #ZachsWhatImTalkingAbout #ZachsAllFolks
Wanda: #IWandaBeWithYou #IWandaMarryYou
Ashley: #AshleyEverAfter #AshleighEverAfter #AshleeEverAfter #AshMeToBeYours #AshMeToMarryYou
The best hashtags for weddings are punny and make use of the words and names used. When common names are used, such as Smith, the wedding year, date or location can make yours more unique. For your own unique hashtag, be sure to email us at email@example.com or comment below
|Posted by Live Love Mom on July 29, 2020 at 9:00 AM||comments (5)|
by: Rev Dr. Stephanie McEndree
In my experience, it’s always better to write your very own vows. I’ve said vows to my husband three times; once at our wedding where they were bits and pieces of vows I read online I felt I related to. The second, at our handfasting where my husband and I read the traditional celtic vows. And finally, just today where I wrote my very own vows that came from the heart. It’s only with the vows from today that I cried saying them, and that they felt truly 100% right. My husband wrote his very own with no pre-written guides at the wedding, and he cried, and never regretted them. I therefore stand strong in my opinion: always go with your very own vows, straight from the heart.
Now some people aren’t the best writers, and that’s okay. There are many tips that can be used to make your words into beautiful vows, or even just say them the way they are. Here are some tips to help you write vows from your own very heart.
Listen to other people’s vows. Choose the style you like the most, and what you love most about what was said. Was it when the bride reminisced about when they first met? Was it when she described their first I love you’s? Was it when she described the very essence and depth she feels her partner’s love?
Use your own words. This is very important to make them your very own. For example, my cousin’s vows to her wife were ”You are in my bones Heather Dawn.” and her wife’s words were ”You are in my bones, the tips of my toes to the tips of my fingers.” So I went with the parts of me that I felt my husband’s love…I said ”You are in my heart, my mind, my soul, and my womb where our child will grow, Bart Alan.” You see, I described where he was in my being, which turns out were very different places, and had very different meanings. You can do something similar in your vows.
Get fancy. If vocabulary isn’t your forte, look up the adjective you want to use on the thesaurus website and search for synonyms of the word you want to say. For example, if you want to say your husband is good to you but want a fancier word…you can use sweet, kind, generous, understanding, compassionate, etc. Go deeper than a general word if you can. Just exactly HOW is he good to you? What does he do that makes your heart sing?
Choose difining moments. When was the time you knew she was the one? When did you have your first adventure together? How did you feel when she proposed to you? These and many more you can use in your vows, and bringing you back to those magical moments on your wedding day, with your future spouse in front of you looking your best in front of all your friends and family, will make your heart burst with joy.
Include your culture. If you want, you can include aspects of yours and your fiancee’s cultures. You can speak about the times you first read the Torah together, or how special it was having your fiance at Temple with you. If your spouse converted to marry you, that is also something you can bring up to show how moved you were at their dedication. You can include your spiritual journey together, or quotes such as ”couples that pray together stay together.”
Following these tips, you are sure to create a masterpiece. Feel free to write many different drafts, even combine them and make something truly unique.
|Posted by Live Love Mom on March 31, 2020 at 6:45 AM||comments (4)|
by: Stephanie McEndree
Your wedding is planned and all set. You’re getting married in a few days, weeks or months. Then, something happens that throws off your plans! For many brides and grooms all over the world, their venues, officiants, caterers, DJs and more are all cancelling on them. Months and years of planning are going down the drain. So, what can you do? Here are ways you can have your dream wedding, or a wedding, during hard times.
Throw out your guest list. If you want to get married on your date, you need to tell everyone not to come. If your country requires witnesses, you can bring two people, but it has to be people you are in close contact with regularly, such as parents, kids or roommates, to minimize the chance of passing on an illness (in the case of COVID19). Ask if the venue will consider still having the wedding if it’s just the couple, two witnesses and the officiant and maybe a photographer.
Online option. Ask if your officiant is willing to marry you both online, where he can sign the marriage certificate once you are married and send it to the both of you to sign it, then you can mail it in. I am not sure if this is possible or even legal, but it can’t hurt to ask.
Stay at home. You can scrap all of your plans and just get married at home. Tell the officiant to meet you at your domicile, or in your backyard for more safety. Get married just the three of you present, and sign the license and be on your way.
Go to the courthouse. If they are open, call and ask to schedule an appointment to get married by a justice of the peace. Remember you can always have your big wedding later. What’s important is to get married and make it official.
Reschedule. Tell your venue to postpone the date for 2021, or ask them when they have an open date available later this year. With the virus being unpredictable, no one quite knows how long countries will be shut down for, so ask for a date several months away.
Remember, the most important thing is that both you and your partner are safe and healthy. This whole thing really is unfortunate, it really is. Hopefully, in a few years you will be able to laugh about it with your friends. You will have a dramatic story to tell your grandkids someday.
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