To Accessorize or Not to Accessorize...That is the Question for Your Wedding Day!

white flower necklace
Whether you're a fashionista who is adept at accessorizing or if you rock a more simple style, how to accessorize your wedding dress can be a tricky topic. A tasteful accessory can really add to the overall look of your wedding attire, but going minimal can be a clean, classic option as well. When deciding what accessories to wear with your wedding dress, stay true to who you are. If you always wear the latest trendy pieces and love funky jewelry and accessories, consider wearing a piece of statement jewelry or hair adornment. Brooches are also a fantastic way to add to your wedding day look. You can go simple and elegant with your accessories, or have some fun with whimsical designs and a pop of color!

A traditional veil and sparkling tiara or headband are always elegant options and you can never go wrong with a classic diamond or pearl necklace and earring set. Here are some of my favorite styles that are a little bolder, for all you daring brides out there.

Statement Jewelry
Think bright bold colors, flowers, bows and vintage beads.

statement jewelry collage

Wear them in your hair or on your dress, or carry a bouquet made out of them.

brooch collage

Hair Accessories
Consider playful hair pins and one of a kind handmade hair pieces.

hair accessory collage

Don't forget your something blue! Accessories are a great way to add that all important touch of blue to your wedding day.

something blue collage

So when planning for your big day, remember to choose accessories that you will still like to look at 20 years down the road in your wedding pictures. Most importantly, choose items that you are comfortable in and make you feel beautiful!

Image Credits: Main image of white flower necklace from Nueva Espana, Statement jewelry collage; beaded necklaces from Green Eyed Girl, red beaded necklace and red flower necklace from Nueva Espana, black beaded necklace, Brooch collage; hair brooch, vintage brooch triosilver brooch, brooch bouquet from Studio del Fiore, Hair accessories collage; green and pink hair piece from Green Eyed Girl, white flower hair piece and leaf hair pins from Twigs and Honey, Purple flower hair pins from Nueva Espana, Something blue collage; blue earrings, flower hair pins and butterfly necklace from Nueva Espana.

A Refreshing Mix of Honeysuckle Pink and Lemon Yellow

Well readers, the wind chill today is -7°, making it nearly impossible for me to think anything else but...buuurrrrrrrrr.  To quell the winter chill, I've bundled up with a cup of hot coffee and put together this refreshing spring wedding inspiration board.  I'm hoping this warm mix of colors will evoke feelings of sunshine and bright, sun-shiny days for all of us.  Featuring an inviting palette of sunny yellows paired with honeysuckle pink (Pantone's 2011 color of the year), I simply can't wait until it's warm again so I can slip on a pair of these awesome yellow heels. Enjoy!
Honeysuckle Pink and Lemon Yellow Wedding Inspiration Board
Honeysuckle Pink and Lemon Yellow Wedding Inspiration Board
Honeysuckle Pink and Lemon Yellow Wedding Inspiration Board
Honeysuckle Pink and Lemon Yellow Wedding Inspiration Board

Happy Planning!

Image Credits: Row 1 and 7: Bride with parasol, child in scarf, and candy centerpieces via Shelly Kroeger Photography, wedding bouquet via In Style. Row 2 and 6: Bridesmaids in honeysuckle dresses courtesy of Cameron and Kelly Studios. Row 3 and 5: Yellow shoes, groom, wooden sign, and bicycle shot via Jose Villa. Row 4 and 6: Popsicles and yellow cake via Erin Swift and Fruit lemonade courtesy of Leesa Oreilly.

Picking the Perfect Shoes for Your Wedding Day

If you are anything like me you can’t have too many pair of shoes. That is to be said for most women. We all have closets filled with high heels, boots, flats, flip flops and the list goes on. It seems like you can find a new pair of shoes to buy every time you go shopping until you are looking for that special shoe… your wedding day shoes. Here are some tips for finding the best shoe for your wedding day.

High Heels: There is nothing better than a pair of high heel shoes but are they the right shoe for your wedding day. Take into consideration that you will be in the shoes all day and dancing as well. If you are a veteran then no problem but if you are not use to walking in high heels you should definitely practice in your shoes so that there are no funniest home videos being made of you falling on your face. Another thing to consider is your height. If your fiancé is not very tall you may not want to go this route. If your fiance is very tall you will certainly want to go this route but again keep in mind your comfort.

Flats: With the increase of beach weddings we are seeing the sandal take a new role in wedding shoes. The great thing about a sandal is comfort and it is very easy to find beautiful sandals to match most wedding dresses. Just a cute ballet slipper is also a comfortable and cute idea. My favorite of all flats would be a cute tennis shoe. I know it isn’t for all brides but it is too much fun to pass up. You can also buy a pair of chucks on the converse website and have them embroidered to add to your special day.

Embellishment: This is where the fun really begins. Find a simple pair of shoes and then jazz them up to match your wedding theme or style. You can add brooches, feathers, rhinestones, ribbon, the sky is the limit and this is a great way to show off your personality.

Color: My favorite new trend in wedding shoes is color! I love seeing a pair of red or bright purple shoes sticking out from underneath a wedding dress. This is another great way to incorporate your own sense of style into your wedding day. The thing I love most about this idea is that you will wear these shoes again. Who wants to spend a ton of money on a pair of wedding shoes that you are only going to wear once, get a pair of shoe that you will have forever.

Now it’s time to put your best foot forward and get out there and find the right pair of shoes. Good luck ladies.

A Recent Letter From One of Our Customers

I had just returned from a business trip - searching for new and unique products for our clientele - yesterday.  I opened my email with over 400 new emails to scan and read.  Out of those 400 plus emails, one stood out from the rest.  This email was from a recent customer of My Wedding Reception Ideas.

I am proud of this email for I consider emails and letters like this a reward for our daily efforts in giving the best customer service possible to our clients and it comes from the heart, every day!  I invite you to read the letter from this customer and my reply to her as well.

From Helene of Los Angeles, CA - Order #74101

I would like to applaud you on the customer service that your company provides, specifically Carrie. I was looking for a company to custom imprint some napkins for me and happened upon your company after a Google search.

I was fortunate to luck out with Carrie on the other end of the phone.  She could not have been more gracious and helpful.  She went out of her way to guide me through the process and came up with a perfect solution to my problem.  She took the time to offer me various options back and forth even though there was no benefit to her for doing so.  She truly epitomizes what customer SERVICE is all about.  I am totally thrilled with the final product and your prompt turn around time.  Carrie has created a lifelong customer and I will direct everyone I know toward your site.

I thought you ought to know what a great job she is doing to further your sales. Customer service isn't dead after all!

Thank you for the great service!'

Los Angeles, CA

My Reply to Helene:

'Hello Helene,
I want to thank you personally for taking the time to recognize Carrie and our customer service.  Letters from customers like you make everything we do worthwhile. It is so gratifying when someone takes the time to say 'thank you' and recognize our efforts.  We truly mean it when we say 'your satisfaction is our greatest reward'.
Carrie came to our company in April of 2009 and is a valuable asset to our company and our customers!  Carrie truly enjoys working with our customers and takes her responsibilities to heart.  It is hard to find great customer services representatives these days but we don't give up looking until we find 'the right people' to take care of our customers.
I tell my staff "you represent me and my ideals when you are talking to a customer" and Carrie certainly does represent my passion for taking care of every single one of our customers.  While you worked directly with Carrie, I can assure you that you will get the same attention to detail from any of our staff.  If you don't, I want to be the first to know about it.
Carrie's performance review is due soon and your letter will certainly be included with her review.
Thank you again, Helene, for your kind words.  We are going to place your letter on our website for all to read.  Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help you in the future.
Best Regards,'

Raymond Miller

My Wedding Reception

Romantic Ideas for the Bride and Groom Gift Exchange

The tradition of the bride and groom gift exchange is a sweet way to convey how you feel about your significant other. This is the person who is most special in your life and the small moment in which your gift exchange occurs is one you will treasure always. I think the most romantic gift exchanges are the ones that take place the morning of the wedding. In the midst of the hustle and bustle the bride and groom, getting ready in their separate spaces, each take a moment to read a love letter from the other and open a special gift. Just make sure you let your future husband know that this gift exchange will take place. He may not be up to speed on wedding trends and traditions.
The gifts you exchange could be anything, though traditionally they are small sentimental ones. Jewelry for the bride to wear on her wedding day is one example of a gift a groom could give to the bride. The bride could, in turn, give her groom cufflinks that have been personalized with his initials. My gift to my husband was a personalized flask and zippo lighter set that was engraved with our last name initial. He loved it! Pair it with a cigar and a nice liquor for him to enjoy during the reception. (Don't forget the lighter fluid like I did!)

One idea I particularly adore is the fingerprint jewelry trend that has been generating talk lately. For this the bride and groom each have a ring made with their fingerprint pressed into the inside of the band. You would wear the ring with your new husband's fingerprint and he would wear the ring with your's. If he isn't the ring type of guy, you can also have cufflinks and other trinkets made with your fingerprint. I love the symbolism behind it and the idea that your significant other is always touching you. This is an idea that can also be incorporated into the wedding bands. The fingerprint rings shown at the right can be found on etsy.
Another gift idea I love is a picture calendar created with photos of the happy couple. A lot of print companies, like shutterfly, that make photo calendars like the one shown here will also allow you to highlight specific dates throughout the calendar. This would be the place to put reminders of your first date, the first time you held hands, your first kiss, and your first anniversary!
Other fun things to include could be their favorite cookies or candy, a favorite wine to enjoy on your wedding night, or some sweet shades to wear on the beach you are heading to after your reception.
Don't forget to include a love note telling your love why you chose the gift for them and how much they mean to you. This is the best part of the gift!


Photo credit: Bride and Groom embracing from Cheyenne Schultze Photography.

Setting the Budget for Your Big Day

planner and wedding rings
So he popped the question and you said yes! Now what? You may be feeling a little overwhelmed with all the plotting and planning that goes into preparing for the big day that you don't even know where to start. One of the first things you're going to want to do is set the all important wedding budget. Your wedding budget dictates almost every aspect or your wedding. What size or type of wedding do you want? Do you want an intimate gathering or a grand affair? How big will your guest list be? Will you plan a local wedding or a destination celebration? So many questions will be easier to answer once you set that budget. Depending on how long your engagement is you should set a basic budget as soon as you can, or at least 12 months in advance, if you have that long.

According to the January issue of Brides magazine, the average American wedding cost is around $25,000. Don't worry if this sounds too high, for you can make your wedding just as special for less. That is why you need to set your budget early on, so you don't run the risk of spending more than you can afford.

Here are a few essential questions to ask early on that will help you set your budget:

When is the wedding?
Knowing when you're going to 'tie the knot' will dictate now long you have to save up money.

Who's paying?
Traditionally the bride's family picked up nearly the whole wedding tab, now days more and more often the groom's family is contributing. Also, couples themselves now pay a good amount towards their 'I dos', especially when their tastes and wants exceed what their families can afford. When deciding who pays for what, set down with each set of parents separately and ask for a dollar amount that they are able to contribute. It also may be easier to have your parents pinpoint a certain part of the wedding that they can cover (i.e. ceremony, catering, honeymoon, alcohol/bar). If you and your fiancé will be covering the tab yourselves, really focus on the next question.

How much can be saved?
As soon as you're engaged figure out how much you can afford to put aside each month. Something to consider; the longer your engagement, the more money you can stash away.

Now that these important questions have been answered, here is a formula to follow to set your budget:

wedding budget formula

Once you have pinpointed a number for your budget, it's good to have a general idea of how your budget is going to be distributed amongst the different costs of your wedding. Below is a basic distribution of costs. This can be adjusted to fit your individual wants and needs. If a destination wedding is in the plans, then you will want to set aside a larger percentage for transportation. If you know you are going to splurge on that designer gown you've been dreaming of, then other aspects of your wedding will have to be adjusted accordingly.

wedding budget distribution

Now that your budget is set, let the planning begin! Don't get stressed if your budget needs to be adjusted along the way. Just remember to stick close to your original number, you want to be able to enjoy your special day, not regret how much you over spent. Most importantly, keep in mind that it's not the amount of money you spend that makes your day special, it's that special someone you spend the day with!

Credits: Rings and planner image, Budget formula adapted from January issue of Brides magazine, Budget distribution adapted from Ashley's Bride Guide 

Wedding Welcome Bags Say a Very Special Thank You

While there are some couples that relish in the idea of a romantic elopement at an exotic faraway destination, a large majority of us wouldn't miss the chance to share our biggest day with our closest friends and family members (Not to mention my dear old mom and dad might be forced into physical violence if their only daughter ran away to Tahiti.  Dare to dream).  All joking aside, your wedding day is your chance to shine and really would not be complete without close friends and family members to celebrate with.

I've been seeing more and more couples cater their wedding planning efforts towards their guests, splurging on items like the food, drinks, the DJ, and guest favors.  Planning your wedding around your guests really shows them how much they are appreciated and ensures that everyone will have a good time on your big day.  When you're planning all those little details, don't forget about the friends and family that traveled from far away to be with you.  Personalized welcome bags are a great way to say a special thank you to those individuals.
Custom Printed Frosted Gift BagsPersonalized Kraft Gift BagsCustom Printed Kraft Gift Bags
Fill your wedding welcome bags with itineraries, maps of the area, late-night snacks, and water bottles.  Other great filler ideas are travel sewing kits for popped buttons and regional gifts that are known for your location (ex/ Maple syrup bottles for Vermont, caramel apples for The Big Apple, fleur-de-lis favors for New Orleans).  Most hotels are very accommodating to their bride and grooms.  To take the task of staging the hotel rooms away from you, ask the hotel staff if they will set a bag in each room so your guests are greeted with their goodies the moment they arrive.

Happy Planning!

Spring Wedding Cake Topper Ideas

The spring wedding season will be here before we know it. The spring bride will be looking for the unique and beautiful styles of the season. When planning your spring wedding, don’t forget to consider the perfect cake topper for your wedding cake. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

'Showered with Love' Spring Theme Cake Topper

Bride and Groom: Figurine bride and groom toppers have come a long way over the years. It is so much easier to find that perfect couple that represents the bride and grooms personalities. For spring you should consider a bride and groom standing with an umbrella in a spring shower. Another lovely idea would be a couple on a beach if you are having a beach themed spring wedding. The best thing about figurine bride and groom cake tops is that the choices are endless.
Sugar orchids, hydrangeas, and ivy wedding cake topper

Flowers: Of course you can never go wrong with a small bouquet of spring flowers on top of your wedding cake. Spring is the season for blooming flowers. Lilacs, orchids and daisies are just some of the flowers to consider and they are sure to bring a fresh feeling to your spring wedding.

Silver Monogram Letter Cake Picks
Monograms: The monogram cake toppers have become one of the most popular in recent years. They are classic and can be used on any type of wedding cake. I love the clean lines of the monogrammed cake topper picks. They come in many different styles, some plain and some with rhinestones for the more glamorous brides. You can never go wrong with a monogram cake top.

Porcelain White Dove Cake TopperBirds: Birds are another symbol of spring and are also becoming a popular choice. Two beautiful porcelain love birds a top a cake definitely says spring. Doves would be another great choice. Ask your baker if he or she can design spring birds snuggled in a nest, made of fondant or modeling chocolate as a special spring cake top.

This should get you started on the hunt for your spring wedding cake topper. Whatever choice you make, keep it personal to you and your

Vineyard Venues - Classically Romantic Settings for your Modern Wedding

Wine is symbolic in many cultures of purity, sophistication, and tradition. This makes wine and weddings a classic pairing. While it is almost always present at a wedding, in 2011 wine will gain a more prestigious postition as more weddings are based around themes that involve elements of Tuscan or Italian culture, vintage vineyard venues and wine tastings in lieu of cocktail hours.
A vineyard is the perfect place to begin a new life together. After all, the wine you will drink at the reception began it's life on the vines and aged to perfection as your marriage will. I am picturing sunwashed rows of grape vines and aged wooden wineries that will offer beautiful backdrops for both the ceremony and photos. Afterward, there will be a candlelit wedding reception where cheese, grapes, and italian bread adorn tables as edible centerpeices. Vintage wine barrells that have been revamped into cushioned bar stools offer creative seating while violins play soft music for the happy new couple to sway to during their first dance as husband and wife. The scene is pure romance in a sophisticated, yet casual and earthy way.  The connection to the vineyard and the creative use of old winery materials make this an eco-friendly choice as well.
Give your guests a unique experience by setting up a wine tasting table or having an hour or so dedicated to a wine tasting mixer before the ceremony or reception begin. Serve traditional pastas with white sauces, like fettucine alfredo. With a big salad full of vegetables and lots of deliciously fresh bread this meal could be inexpensive and fabulous! Small details like the adorable resin wine cork placecard holders shown above help tie your whole look together. At the end of the night you can send guests home with their own mini bottle of wine or an organic grape bunch fresh from the vineyard. 



Photo Credits: Bride and Groom courtesy of Ken Kienow. Barrel Table and Chairs found at American Country Home Store. Vineyard courtesy of Italian Lakes Rings on Wine Bottle courtesy of Gray Photography. Vineyard Invitations found on Etsy. Wine Bottle Favors/Invitations from My Personal Artist.
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