Thursday, February 9, 2017

Beautiful Gardens make your day special



Styling Your Garden Your Way 

What is your vision for your garden? Do you want a formal garden?  This garden style, originating from Europe was reserved for only exclusive properties, owned by the likes of royalty and noble families. However, in the modern world this style is widely used in domestic properties and the term ‘formal garden’  refers more to the plants you choose and the carefully planned symmetry of the design lay out. Hedges are central to this garden style, and they, along with the lawns of the property should be kept neatly clipped for maximum effect.




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Image BHG

This garden style favours classic, green plants, perhaps with some white flowering plants added. This design style looks fantastic as it has an amazing visual impact in its uniformity and dense linear hedges, and symmetry.
This garden does require plants to grow into it. What does that mean? If you choose to buy mature plants to achieve an ‘instant’ garden, it is extremely costly, but furthermore, you will find that the overall look and shape of your hedges is inconsistent. When you slowly plant, and allow plants to grow into a space, when you trim, prune and shape, you are able to achieve a much more cohesive look.
The key in keeping it look its best is regular maintenance. If you are irregular in your maintenance, the garden will become overgrown and lose it’s ‘shape’. You will then be required to give it a hard trim, which can result in seeing thick pieces of branches within the hedge as it has been let go for to long.




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Image: Backyard Gardening

Clever planting should draw your eye in and around the design,which requires careful consideration in order to create interest by using different textured foliage and varying heights of plants. Repetition is certainly key to this design style; by using one variety of plant along a whole border, the border looks strong and uniform. You can also choose to use water features such as a pond or fountain in a central position, to create a focal point.
Another option is a Cottage garden where you use dense plantings, informal design, traditional garden materials and a mixture of both ornamental and edible plants. They are more relaxed in their look and feel, and focus less on rules, and more on the love of gardening. As the garden blossoms throughout the seasons, you will be forever enjoying a new and different landscape. Originally, the cottage garden was a mixture of vegetables, herbs, fruit trees with flowers filling in all the gaps, but as time has gone on, the flowers have become more dominant.




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Image: Serenity Secret Garden
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Image: Houzz
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Image: Mississauga

This garden style lacks the rigidity of the borders and hedges, and does not use repetition to create formality or uniformity. Instead, this garden is a mixture of anything and everything that takes your fancy and its appeal lies in the discoveries you may make in little pockets of garden today, that you perhaps did not notice there the day before. Choose different colours and textures to add interest to your garden space.
Today people tend to favour low maintenance gardens, doing away with large grassed areas, and choosing plants that required little or no care like succulents, agaves, etc with feature pavers or rocks. Australia has such a beautiful range of sub tropical, tropical and native plants available which grow throughout the country that can be utilised to create a unique cottage garden, which is less traditionally English in style (see below examples).
For us, our garden is just a blank canvas for now. Hubby felt it needed to be stripped back completely before he could start again, so stay tuned for some progress reports. And as far as style goes, I think we have decided to go for a relatively informal garden, with a decidedly tropical/sub tropical feel and a dedicated kitchen garden for herbs, some citrus trees and vegetables. As a horticulturist, my husband understandably wants to showcase some unique specimens, so a formal garden which requires the plants to be en masse just isn’t viable.





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Image via Style Estate






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Image: Roger’s Garden
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Image: Rogers gardens

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Style Guide Christmas Special

DIY Christmas Special E-LookBook

With Christmas just around the corner we have come up with some great recipes for food and drinks and generally styling your day your way with stress free levels.!!!
Christmas is a special time to spend with family and friends so why not download our NEW DIY Christmas Special E-Lookbook and let us become your new best friends !!! http://ow.ly/cQcK3076GkY. Click on our link and purchase your copy hot off the press!!!!
Wedding Style Guide Magazine http://ow.ly/lBmj3076G8m
Our ethos at Style Guide is very practical, our magazines are totally dedicated to helping our readers with styling the whole occassion to help make the experience fabulous and stress free! We focus on directional design and decoration and show the most fashionable trends and concepts to make every event styling unique, as it should be.
Our tema has worked with hundreds of different stylists, organised and styled unforgettable events and our E-LookBooks and DIY magazines will give you the secrets. Our stylists are even doing the shopping for you, finding the prettiest, most unusual and decoartive accessories for maximum effect.
Our hands-on experience means we have seen it all, so our readers will get an insight into the nuts and bolts that hold an even/daytogether, a stress-free event/day is all in the planning. We will always let you in on the stylist’s secrets be it with the latest table setting trends, latest recipes or latest DIY ideas including adding a personal touch to all your stationery and NOW we offer recipes on how to create exciting drinks !!!
At Style Guide we would like to become your new best friends, showing you the most wonderful options for every detail, your perfect styling is sure to be found on our pages in every issue. Visit www.styleguide.com.au and let us help you style your day your way . Purchase your copy of our DIY Christmas Specdial E-LookBook today and make this festive season special. Your friends will be so impressed !!!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Who Walks You Down The Aisle

As times continue to change and weddings become more personalised, brides are asking: Who walks me down the aisle? We all know the traditional answer. Look at any wedding ceremony processional guide, and you’ll find the bride is escorted by her father. Today's bride has many more options! For brides with fathers at home, You may decide to share the longstanding tradition with your father. Your Dad will be honoured to give his little girl away to be married to the love of her life. But if “Traditional” is not for you there are plenty of important figures in your life that would be honoured and deserve to be honoured. Who will you choose to walk you down the aisle?


Brides in any circumstance deserve to feel radiant as they walk down the aisle at their weddings As a cornerstone of the ceremony, this walk lets the bride make her wedding day debut special and memorable. Naturally, Las Vegas brides, you want someone with you who will make you feel confident and calm as you take steps to transition into a new phase of life as a married woman. That special person could be your mom or dad.  If your parents are not available to walk you down the aisle for whatever reason, embrace your identity as a modern bride.
Recently, we spoke with several brides to explore what they would recommend, from the classic “father of the bride” walk down the aisle to nontraditional methods for brides who were from non-traditional families. Of course, each bride is different. You have to find what best works for you, your family, and your fiance. But if you aren’t sure where to start, here are a few “walk down the aisle” options:
If your father and mother are married and both are important to you: You love the idea of walking down the aisle with Dad. However, since Mom played a huge role in your life too, you don’t want her to feel like she’s not included or recognised in your wedding. Ask Mom how she wants to be involved. Does she want to walk you down the aisle? She may be completely content letting Dad walk you down the aisle since she’s involved in many separate, important roles in the wedding. But if you both feel that’s not enough, feel free to ask Mom to escort you down the aisle with Dad. With one parent on each arm, you’ll show your guests just how important both your parents are to you.
If you want your father to walk you down the aisle: You’ve always known Dad would walk you down the aisle. Now that special moment is coming quicker than you can imagine, and you can’t wait to share this special moment as father and daughter. When you walk together at your wedding, take small steps to take your time and soak in the moment. Share a few final words with Dad, who raised you, loved you, and is now letting you go for you to become the woman he always hoped you’d be. Even if you don’t remember what was said, you’ll remember the way you felt on your wedding day, arm-in-arm with Dad as he walked you to your groom. These feelings can be the same even if you have two dads or two moms, walk with the parents or person who is most special to you.
If your parents and step parents equally important to you: Your parents are divorced, and both Mom and Dad have been remarried for years. You’ve always considered yourself lucky because you have two father figures--Dad and Step Dad--and both have always treated you like their own kid. Or you may have two mother figures. Since you love them both and want to show them your appreciation, you can ask both sets of parents to be involved in the wedding aisle walk. Have one of them walk you halfway. When you reach  halfway down the aisle, have the other parent(s) walk you the rest of the way and give your hand to your fiance. Also, if you have enough room in the aisle way, you can consider having one "father" figure on each arm the whole way.
If your father has passed away: You love your Dad, and you always envisioned him walking you down the aisle for your wedding day. Even if he isn’t physically present, you can include his memory in the ceremony. Ask your mom, uncle, grandparent, sister or brother. You may consider walking alone since no one can truly fill Dad or Mom's shoes. Just remember it may be beneficial to have someone who loves you and supports you at your side for this big moment on your special day.

If your biological parent wants to walk you down the aisle but your stepparent raised you
: You see your biological parent once a year or so but they did not raise you,  On the other hand, your stepparent has been consistently there for you, and your siblings. You wish your step parent could walk you down the aisle, but your other parent is getting demanding. If he can’t walk you all the way, he won’t come to your wedding. As the bride, you deserve to make the decision of who will walk you, not to have it made for you. If you want both parents to be involved, consider compromises, like having them both walk with you.  However, if you’d regret having your biological father or mother give you away, then you’ll have to talk with them. Calmly explain that you would love to have them in attendance at your wedding. However, you are the bride and you are the one with the right to decide who walks you down the aisle. If you have wholeheartedly chosen only your step parent for your walk, don’t let family drama deter you. Hope for the best, and remember how happy you’ll be when you’re supported on your wedding day walk by the parent who has supported you every day of your life.
If your mother and/or extended family raised you: Dad has never been in the picture. Mom has raised you, and she did a pretty good job, if you do say so yourself. Now that you’re older, she’s become not just a mother, but also a good friend. Honour Mom by asking her to walk with you down the aisle. If you were raised by Mom’s family as a joint effort, consider asking extended family members. If you are close to your grandfather or an uncle, ask him to walk you down the aisle and give your hand to your groom. Don’t forget to think about your brother. If he has always been there for you, he might be honoured to step up and fill these shoes. Whichever family member you choose for the aisle walk, they’ll all be there as guests to support your marriage.
If you are afraid of upsetting too many people by choosing the wrong person: You have no idea who to choose for your aisle walk. In the wake of your parents’ divorce, Mom’s family would take it as a personal affront if you to choose to walk with Dad. You considered asking your best friend who’s had your back since middle school, but he thinks it’s horridly inappropriate. Your brother is volunteering, but you haven’t been close in recent years. Rather than deal with this, you just want to throw your hands in the air and walk by yourself. While this may solve the problem, you don’t want to look back on your wedding with regrets. Talk with your groom, and decide together what would be appropriate and make you happy. Then find a way to make it happen. Easier said than done, we know. See how you can compromise and remind yourself that this is your wedding. While that doesn’t give you power to lord over others, it does give you the right to choose who you want to walk you down the aisle, whether it’s your father or your groom himself.
If you are getting remarried: Dad walked with you once, and he is willing to support you again. If you would like him to escort you down the aisle, then go for it! There’s nothing that says you can’t walk with him just because you haven’t been living under his roof for fifteen years. Enjoy this special moment with Dad. However, if you’ve grown apart from your parents, you’re also allowed to consider your options. If you have a son who’s old enough and mature, ask him if he would like to participate in your new marriage in this way. Either way, make sure that you and the person you’re walking with feels comfortable and proud to be walking down the wedding aisle arm-in-arm.
If you want to walk alone: You’ve been on your own for a long time, and there are no family members who you feel comfortable asking. Also, as an independent bride, you worry that leaning on someone else’ arm as you walk down the aisle shows you’re not self-sufficient. We’re all about beautiful brides with spirit. By carrying yourself to your fiance, you certainly can symbolise your independence as a woman as well as your choice, not anyone else’s decision, to join with your partner in marriage. However, we recommend walking down the aisle with someone not because we doubt what you’re made of. Rather, we know how special it is to have someone with you to share those moments and morally support you as you enter a new stage of life. If you’re walking alone, consider your motives, your family’s wishes, and your happiness with this decision. If you’re walking alone to dodge family drama, then consider compromises and ultimately choose what makes you feel the most happy and supported on your wedding day. However, if you’re confident about going solo and you can gather all the support you need by looking to the end of the aisle where your groom awaits, then step out and strut down that aisle on your own to your future husband. From that moment forward, you’ll never have to walk alone again.
How to Choose: Final Thoughts
As a bride, you can choose whatever you want for your walk down the aisle. Keep your family’s feelings in mind, and do your best to make sure all sides are pleased. But remember this is your wedding day. Don’t compromise your happiness. If family drama arises, don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself. You’re the bride. You deserve to be happy on your wedding day.

When you walk down the aisle at your wedding, walk with someone who loves you and supports your decision to marry your loved one. Enjoy the moment, and take time to absorb the conversation, the emotion, and even your surroundings, from attending guests to decor. Then you’ll feel at ease and at peace for the moment you’ll take your groom’s hand, say your vows, and begin your blessed marriage as a happy couple.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Getting Married

Traditionally, who pays for what?

As a reference, below is a list of the traditional expenses and responsibilities of the bride’s and groom’s families, the bridesmaids and groomsmen, and even the wedding guests. Keep in mind that these days, all of the following guidelines for family expenses are variable—depending on the particular circumstances of the wedding. Often, expenses are shared by the couple and their families, so assign the responsibilities to fit your circumstances.

Traditional Expenses of the Bride and Her Family

  • Services of a wedding consultant
  • Invitations, enclosures, and announcements
  • The bride’s wedding gown and accessories
  • Floral decorations for the ceremony and reception, bridesmaids’ flowers
  • The bride’s bouquet (unless it is customary for the groom to pay for it)
  • Tent, awning, aisle runner
  • Music for church and reception
  • Transportation of bridal party to ceremony and to reception
  • All reception expenses
  • Services of a traffic officer or security, if necessary
  • Photographer, wedding photographs, wedding albums
  • Videographer and finished DVD
  • Transportation and lodging expenses for the officiant if from another town and if invited to officiate by the bride’s family
  • Accommodations for bride’s attendants
  • Bridesmaids’ luncheon, if hosted by the bride or her family
  • Bride’s gifts to her attendants
  • Bride’s gift to groom
  • Groom’s wedding ring

Traditional Expenses of the Groom and His Family

  • Bride’s engagement and wedding rings
  • Groom’s attire
  • Ties and gloves for the groomsmen, if not part of their clothing rental package
  • Accommodations for the groom’s attendants
  • Accommodations for the groom’s parents and siblings
  • Bachelor dinner, if the groom wishes to give one
  • All costs for the rehearsal dinner
  • Officiant’s fee or donation
  • Transportation and lodging expenses for the officiant, if from another town and if invited to officiate by the groom’s family
  • The marriage license
  • Transportation for the groom and best man to the ceremony
  • The bride’s bouquet (when it is local custom for the groom to pay for it)
  • The bride’s going away corsage, if wearing one
  • Boutonnieres for groom’s attendants
  • Corsages for immediate members of both families (unless the bride has included them in her florist’s order)
  • The officiant’s fee or donation
  • Groom’s gift to bride
  • Gifts for groom’s attendants
  • Honeymoon expenses

Maid of Honor’s/Bridesmaids’ Expenses

  • Purchase of apparel and all accessories
  • Transportation to and from the wedding location
  • A contribution to a gift from all the bridesmaids to the bride
  • An individual gift or a group gift from the attendants to the couple (if being in the wedding is not the gift)
  • Optionally, a shower, luncheon, or hens party for the bride

Best Man’s/Groomsmen’s/Ushers’ Expenses

  • Rental or purchase of wedding attire
  • Transportation to and from the wedding location
  • A bachelor dinner, if given by the groom’s attendants
  • A contribution to a gift from all the groomsmen to the groom
  • An individual gift or a group gift from the attendants to the couple (if being in the wedding is not the gift)

Guests’ Expenses


  • Transportation to and from the wedding
  • Lodging expenses and meals
  • Wedding gift

Monday, November 7, 2016

Sri Lankan Wedding


Asham Danoj & Miuru Sibani 





The main ethnic groups in Sri Lanka are the Sinhalese, who make up the majority of the population, Sri Lankan Tamils, Tamils of recent Indian origin, and Muslims. The main religions are Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity. With all these different communities on the island cultural wedding traditions can vary widely but in many interesting cases traditions actually run parallel and overlap.


Buddhism is the most common religion in the island country, and Buddhist Sri Lankan weddings borrow a lot from Hindu traditions.  Things like horoscopes and formal family proposals are equally apart of both traditions though they play out slightly different between them.

Largely marriages in Sri Lanka are arranged or semi-arranged through the community and the match-making services that exist within the various traditions.  Modern weddings are leaning more and more towards love matches, like in the rest of South Asia, but tradition and religion are still paramount to the proceedings.


Before the revival of Buddhism in the 19th century, marriage in Sri Lanka generally followed the Hindu marriage laws of India.  There were strict rules regarding how a woman was allowed to act, and both parties, the bride and groom, had to formally request the consent of their parents before being allowed to marry.  In addition, caste was incredibly important to matching couples.  Buddhism, with its treatment of marriage as a secular rather than ritualistic union, is generally believed to have improved the condition of the Sri Lankan woman and to have created a more gender equal society.

Because Christian, Hindu, and Muslim traditions in Sri Lanka generally align with typical weddings from these communities with only slight variation, in this guide we will be focusing mostly on Buddhist Sinahala and Kanyada wedding traditions and speak only briefly about the above cultures.  Over the course of this wedding guide we will be exploring the lead up to the wedding, the variety of ceremonies that are absolutely key to the marriage, the clothes, the food, and the history of Sri Lankan wedding traditions.











Thursday, October 13, 2016

TOP 10 FASHION TIPS FOR GROOM & GROOMSMEN








  1. We are seeing a huge move away from the traditional (more formal) tux style suit, to a more relaxed style in shades other than black, like charcoal and grey. Black works best for formal wedding, but for the warmer months and for beach weddings linen suits with crisp white shirts look great too.
  2. A good quality suit is paramount, shop around for one that has a cut to compliment your build. A slim fit suit looks great on a lean guy, however a European cut suit flatters most shapes. Single breasted suits flatter most, at the moment I would opt for one with one or two buttons over a three button style. The suit pants should be flat front with no pleats on them which can look very dated.
  3. I like the groom to stand out, and feel his suit should be a lighter or darker shade from the groomsmen. For example, get the groom into a dark grey charcoal suit and dress the groomsmen in a light grey suit. They can all match with white shirts and black ties to have some continuity, or the groomsmen can wear ties that match the colour of the bridesmaids for a bit of colour.
  4. When deciding whether to rent or buy your suits remember that these days purchasing an good quality suit can cost the same as hiring one.
  5. If you want to look back at your photos in 20 years time and see a timeless, elegant look (who wouldn’t!) then I suggest dressing the boys in a very dark grey or black 2 button suit, with white shirt and black tie. That classic 1950’s and 1960’s style doesn’t date, and is particularly on-trend at the moment thanks to hit US series Mad Men.
  6. Accessories are the key to bring your suit to life and make you look sharp. Consider your options of cufflinks, a pocket handkerchief, belt, tie-pin, watch and a flower in your buttonhole, those little touches will give your look an individual style.
  7. Always wear a nice pair of leather shoes and ensure that your shoes are clean and polished. Avoid chunky shoe styles or that have a thick rubber sole and always match your shoes with your belt.  Leave the work boots at work!
  8. If your wedding is during winter, getting a light self-tanner or spray tan is something you should consider. This definitely isn’t for all men, but it will prevent you from looking washed out and pale in the wedding photos next to a tanned bride and bridesmaids. You can either do it yourself with a very light self-tanner (making sure you use one specially formulated on your face to avoid breakouts) or by heading to a salon to get lightest spray-tan available.
  9. On the big day have a great strong posture, shoulders back, chest out and smile, nothing looks worse than a slouchy guy in a suit. Be a man, not the hunch back of Notre-Dame.
  10. Empty your pockets of excessive coins, key, phones or bulky wallets, just carry the bare essentials. If not, you will have balloon like pockets in all the photos, not a good look!


Tuesday, October 4, 2016

WEDDING ETIQUETTE – THE WEDDING SEATING PLAN




Organising the seating plan can often be a dreaded task for brides and grooms. Your Auntie Maude and his Grandma Helen can't stand each other, your friend Diego speaks Spanish only and your pregnant sister needs easy access to the bathroom and on top of all of this there seems a minefield of do's and don'ts! But don't panic! We've got a few tips to guide you through who sits where + with our Seating Planner tool it's super easy!
  • Don't split up couples
  • Put people with others whom they already know and get on well with.
  • Place guests who don't know anyone next to people who are friendly and easy to talk to.
  • Don't worry about sticking religiously to male-female, male-female. The most important thing is that guests sit next to people whose company they enjoy.
  • Allocate an area for young children and babies if they are going to be at your wedding. This area should be equipped with highchairs perhaps some colouring books and crayons.
  • Consider special circumstances like family members or divorced couples who don't get along and make sure they are not seated close to each other.
  • If parents have been divorced and remarried, they should be seated next to their new partners.
  • The closer people are seated to the bridal table, the more they are honoured. i.e. the closer a relative, the nearer they should be seated to the bridal table.
  • If the reception is informal, you can let guests decide where they will sit. Another alternative is to decide who sits at which table but not designate specific seating arrangements at that table. People can then sit next to whom they choose at their table.
  • Don't get stressed or fight over the seating plan. Accept that you will not be able to please everyone.
The bridal table is always at the centre of attention. Everybody wants to catch a glimpse of the happy couple. Traditionally the parents of both the bride and groom sat with them on the bridal table along with the best man and chief bridesmaid. Below are examples of bridal table arrangements that include parents






Most couples these days opt to have a parents' table and seat only the bride, groom and bridal party at the bridal table. Below are examples of this.




As with most wedding traditions, these are not set in stone and you can totally disregard these arrangements. It's best to select an arrangement that will make you and those around you happy, whatever that may be!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Wedding Gifts from the Groom's Parents




When a son is getting married, parents of the groom often want to get their child and his new wife a special gift. Although there are guidelines on what the parents of the groom are supposed to pay for during a wedding, there are no real rules of etiquette regarding gifts they should get the new couple. Most couples have a wedding registry filled with items they prefer as gifts, but most parents choose to get their child something more special. Whether the groom's parents have a small or large budget, there are several gift ideas parents of the groom can utilize when looking for the perfect wedding gift.

Wedding Gift Ideas

Parents of the groom who want to give a special wedding gift to their son and his bride should give the gift to the couple together either at the rehearsal dinner, the morning of the ceremony on in the few days leading up the ceremony.

Money

Although money seems like an impersonal gift, it is an appropriate from the groom's parents, and one that can be very helpful for the new couple. Once the groom's parents have decided upon an amount they are comfortable with, the gift can be given just as money for the couple to use to get on their feet, or for a more specific purpose. For example, the parents may give money with the intention of the couple paying for the honeymoon, or using it as a down payment for a new home.

Heirloom

A family heirloom is another gift that is an appropriate way to celebrate the start of a new union. Items that have been passed down from generation to generation within the family can be given to the couple. An item, such as a piece of jewelry owned by someone in the groom's family can also be given to the bride to welcome her to her new family. New heirlooms can also be given for the couple to cherish such as a bottle of fine wine or liquor that comes with instructions to open on a specific anniversary down the road.

Accommodations

Paying for special accommodations for the bride and groom can be a special wedding present to make the bride and groom's special day even more memorable. Parents of the groom can arrange for special accommodations for the bride and groom to get ready on the day of the ceremony, or the day after the ceremony if the couple is not leaving for a honeymoon right away. Also, parents can get their son and his wife a special hotel room in which to spend their first night together as husband and wife. The accommodations given as a gift should be special and more than just a standard hotel room. If the couple already has accommodations, a gift of surprising them with an upgraded suite or room can be given as well.

Shower Gift Ideas

Wedding shower gifts are often given at the bridal shower, where the son is not in attendance. Even though the son may not be at the actual shower, the gift should still be for both the bride and the groom to enjoy together.

Gift Certificates

Gift certificates may not seem like personal wedding shower gifts, but giving gift certificates to help the couple pay for something in lieu of handing them cash is a more appropriate gesture for a shower. Certificates for the groom to get his hair cut and the bride to get her hair done on the morning of the wedding make thoughtful gestures and make for one less thing the new couple has to pay for themselves. Gift certificates for the couple use on the honeymoon are both thoughtful and useful. Many times, the bride and groom are responsible for paying for all of the meals and activities on their honeymoon, which can get costly. Items for area restaurants or spas that the couple can use together make great gifts.

Items for the Wedding

A wedding shower is a great time for parents of the groom to give the couple a special gift that can be used during their ceremony or reception and then kept as a keepsake. Prior to purchasing a gift, the groom's parents should check with the bride's parents to make sure they haven't already purchased the same gift for the couple. Most wedding keepsakes can be personalized with the bride and grooms name and the date of the wedding. Some wedding keepsake ideas are:
  • Guest books
  • Unity candles
  • Cake knife and server
  • Champagne flutes for toasting

Gift Giving Etiquette

Some parents choose to simply fulfill their traditional responsibilities for the wedding and forgo giving an additional gift. According to most rules of etiquette, the parents of the groom are responsible for paying for the rehearsal dinner and boutonnieres and corsages for immediate family members. The grooms parents may also pay for the honeymoon, the groom's cake and the alcohol at the reception. However, many parents of the groom also volunteer to help with other expenses as a gift.

Letters

Parents who volunteer to pay for all of these items may choose to be more budget-conscious about another gift, so it is acceptable to give the bride and groom a special letter and a small token of good luck on the day of the wedding. According to common rules of etiquette, it is a polite gesture to write a letter to the bride and to her parents on the day of the wedding. The letter should welcome the bride and her family to the groom's family.

The Perfect Wedding Gifts

No matter what type of gift parents of the groom decide to give their son and his new bride, gifts should always focus around the new couple and their love for one another. While choosing a gift keep the couple's personalities in mind to make sure their gift is truly a perfect sentiment for their special day.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Wedding Songs


25 Romantic Songs to Walk Down the Aisle To (That You Haven't Heard a Million Times)


Gone are the days of "Here Comes the Bride"—the processional is now one of the first opportunities you have to inject personality, meaning, and romance into your wedding ceremony. It's also the song that will literally bring you down the aisle to the love of your life so, naturally, there's some pressure to find the perfect tune to accompany that big moment. That's where we come in: 

You want to take this already dramatic moment and find music that complements and enhances it, without overpowering it.  Ideally, the goal is to try and accomplish all of this with music that holds a special place in your heart." Another tip to personalize your processional song is to pair the song with the venue surroundings—like Bob Marley for a beach wedding, Etta James for a classic ballroom setting, or Arcade Fire for a modern space. That said, "you don't want anything too dancey and avoid things like distracting lyrics. Keep it simple and beautiful. With those tips in mind, here are 25 of the best songs to walk down to the aisle to that you haven't heard a million times before.

  1. "Something" The Beatles
  2. "Stay" Rhianna
  3. "Make You Feel My Love" Adele
  4. "Wild Horses" Rolling Stones
  5. "Hallelujah" Jeff Buckley
  6. "In My Life" The Beatles
  7. "Higher Love"- James Vincent Mcmorrow
  8. "Halo" Beyonce
  9. "Crazy Love" Van Morrison
  10. "Pink Moon" Nick Drake
  11. "Your Hand In Mine" Explosions in the Sky
  12. "Future Days" Pearl Jam
  13. "Thank You" Led Zeppelin
  14. "What A Wonderful World" Louie Armstrong
  15. "I Will Follow You Into The Dark" Death Cab for Cutie
  16. "God Only Knows" The Beach Boys
  17. "Fade Into You" Mazzy Star
  18. "I'll Be There" Mariah Carey/Jackson 5
  19. "Blackbird" The Beatles
  20. "First Day Of My Life" Bright Eyes
  21. "Sea of Love" Cat Power
  22. "Falling In Love At A Coffee Shop" Landon Pig
  23. "Can't Help Falling in Love" Haley Reinhart
  24. "At Last" Etta James
  25. "Heartbeats" Jose Gonzalez

Thursday, September 15, 2016

7 Ways to Surprise your Groom at the Wedding


1. Make a "love notes" journal. The Mr. is a published author and while I couldn’t be prouder, he isn’t exactly the king of public speaking or even conversing in a private setting. However, he knows just how to melt my heart by scattering love notes around the house. I will publish each one in a leather-bound journal, along with new letters written by me, and give it to him on the morning of our wedding day. It doesn't cost a lot, but the sentiment is priceless.

Photo Credit: Wildflower Weddings
2. Get your bridal party in on the fun. Although I adore all things mush, we all know I can’t deny my inner sass, which is why I just may have my girls flash my groom a message right before I walk down the aisle. Not only is it adorable, but he’ll never expect it...

Photo Credit: Wedding Day Dreams

Photo Credit: The Lovely Find
…or have your girls text him the message instead. Either way, he’ll be counting the seconds till you walk down the aisle! 
3. Engrave his wedding band with a meaningful message. It can be a verse, your wedding dates or something that is sure to make him laugh. (While he knows about this idea, the Mr. will not know what I choose to engrave—he will surprise me with my own engraved ring on the wedding day as well).
Photo Credit: Susan Stripling
4. Plan a private moment after the vows. We’re marrying in Italy near a lake, so after the vows, I plan on surprising Edwin with a magical boat ride for two. The guests will be mingling during the cocktail hour, so it’s the perfect time to sneak in some alone time. If you're having a fall-themed wedding, consider having a hayride, instead.

Photo Credit: Green Wedding Shoes
5. Include his favorite foods. It’s 12 a.m.—do you know where your man is? Mine is snacking away, and since food is the way to a man's heart, why not include some of his favorite munchies at the wedding? Add them in for cocktail hour if he's a hamburgers-and-hotdogs kind of guy, and you want your reception menu to be a bit more upscale. Or have a midnight lounge where you serve breakfast items like mini pancakes, quiche and donuts, to celebrate his favorite meal of the day.

Photo Credit: Family Bites
6. Have breakfast in bed the day after the wedding. Nothing is more romantic than waking up to your guy as his wife for the very first time. But with crazy events and the never-ending hosting that comes along with throwing a wedding, you may be too busy to enjoy lounging the day after. Ask your Maid of Honor or planner to send over breakfast in bed, which could be just the cure. 

Photo Credit: Zsa Zsa Bellagio
7. Take some boudoir photos for him. It’s a trend that I L-O-V-E and couldn’t be more of a fabulous gift. You don’t have to channel the vibes of Playboy, but you can make it sensual by wearing his favorite sports jersey or his 9-to-5 business shirt (and nothing else). Although most brides surprise their groom with boudoir photos on the wedding day, I plan on giving him mine either on our honeymoon or one-month anniversary so that he won't see it coming.

Photo Credit: Charlotte Boudoir