Photo Credit: Stephanie N. Baker Photography & Graphic Design
Love at First Sight
“I knew he was special the moment I saw him. We instantly clicked like we were very old friends. After four months, we were engaged! I always thought people in my situation were nuts — I mean, how could you meet someone and know you want to spend the rest of your life with them in such a short amount of time? Well, I just knew! I know I'm the lucky one. He surprises me everyday with his kindness, acts of selflessness, and his huge heart.” —Emily B.
Photo Credit: Juan Navarro
Although the two go hand-in-hand, cost should be at the top of your list. Detail what you can realistically afford. And don't forget to factor in the incidentals. Gratuities, dress alterations, the bridal emergency fix-it-kit and other not often though of wedding necessities can really add up. While some all-inclusive resorts offer gratuities-included prgrams, outside vendows such as photographers, florists and musicians may expect to be tipped. The customary ammount varies for each destination, so ask your on-site wedding coordinator for a recommended tipping guide.
The islands of St. John and St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands deliver big time on romantic inspiration with top catch-your-breath views, silvery white beaches and easy breezy marriage laws. Plus, each packs its own unique spin on the perfect wedding destination.
Caneel Bay Resort, St. John
In 1955 mega-financier and conservationist Laurance Rockefeller realized his dream of a natural resort worthy of Shangri La on St. John. Today this rustically elegant getaway reflects a simpler time with seven pristine beaches set on 170 untouched and spectacularly lush acres. Perfect for couples who want to leave their harried lives behind, there are 166 rooms each with wow views of secluded beaches, tropical gardens and free-to-roam deer, mongoose, donkeys and tropical birds galore.
The creative force behind EmmalineBride.com, a wedding website that celebrates the handmade and homemade approach, shares some of her craftiest ideas and tips.
It Starts With Your Theme
Seasons can provide plenty of inspiration, from color schemes to flowers. A winter wedding might include candlelit lanterns, masses of evergreen wreaths and a roaring fire in the reception hall. A backyard ceremony, a bouquet of wildflowers and a tented reception are hallmarks of a perfect summer fête.
Hobbies and shared interests are another jumping-off point. If you’re foodies, why not plan a wedding reception catered by a favorite restaurant with a menu of your must-have entrées? On your invitation’s reply card, include an area for guests to select a preferred dessert option, like “cake” or “pie.”
Look in a “next-door town” for venues and vendors.
If you live in a big city, you should consider looking at venues, caterers, florists photographers and more in “next-door towns,” which are just smaller towns outside of big cities. Often you can save 20 percent or more on fees.
David Tutera's Daily Schedule:
Photo Credit: WETV
5:45 a.m. My alarm used to wake me up, but now it’s Cielo, my daughter, or Lucy, my rescue dog.
5:50 a.m. Feed and change Cielo.
6:15 a.m. Head downstairs to feed and walk Lucy.
7:00 a.m. Turn on the coffee maker (this used to be the first thing I did, now it’s the thing I’m lucky to even get to).
The “Elegant Eternity” invitation by Jenny Romanski for Wedding Paper Divas sets the stage for an emerald-inspired fête. Lisa puts lush vines and potted flowers in the spotlight, illuminating them with candlelight and string lights.
Photo Credit: Wedding Paper Divas (left); Micki and Sonja Photography (right)
An airy, loft-like venue — Carondelet House in downtown Los Angeles — was the scene for this stylish wedding, brought to life by the creative minds at Sterling Social. The venue is notable for industrial-chic architectural details such as polished wood floors, brick walls and high, vaulted ceilings — the better to show off the ceremony centerpiece: a large runner hand-calligraphed with the couple’s wedding vows.
Photography by This Modern Romance.
Once there’s a ring on your finger, you expect to share your proposal story over and over, bounce wedding ideas off your loved ones, and have fun gown shopping and working on DIY projects with your bridal party. What you don’t expect are the frustrating questions you’ll be asked by well-intentioned family members and friends. Here's how to handle the frequently-asked questions that newly-engaged brides tell us they're tired of answering.
Photo Credit: Saltwater Studios via Lover.ly