Make Her Mother's Day Memorable

Mother and daughter image
Heads up ladies, Mother's Day is swiftly approaching! Take a mini break from your wedding planning to make your mom's day a special one. There are many ways to celebrate how wonderful your mother is, whether by giving her a gift, planning a special day together or making a homemade treasure that she will cherish! Some things to remember when you're planning for a memorable day or gift for your mom is to make it personal, make it relevant and make it relaxing!

Make it Personal

Personalized Mother's Day gifts

There is nothing more special than a homemade or personalized gift for your mom. Create a scrapbook filled with pictures and mementos. She will love to flip back through this keepsake over the years. Consider personalized picture frames or home decorations for a special present. If you're looking for a gift from the whole family, I love these Hand Print Canvas Kits, a great combined gift from you and your younger siblings. 

Make it Relevant

Hobby related Mother's Day gifts

When choosing a gift for your mother make sure to take into account her interests and hobbies. If she loves to work out, consider getting her a new exercise mat or hand weights. Or sign the two of you up for a weekly exercise class, no doubt she will love to spend the extra time with you. If reading is more her thing locate that new book she's been wanting to read or even better splurge on a Nook or Kindle! And you can never go wrong with something for the kitchen or garden
Images: Yoga pose, Nook from Barnes and Noble, Mom's Garden Sign from Rooster's Perch, Kitchenaid appliances

Make It Relaxing

Relaxing Mother's Day gifts

Spoil your mom with a gift certificate for a massage, facial, or pedicure at her favorite spa. There is nothing more relaxing than a day of pampering. If your mother wouldn't want you to splurge on a fancy spa day for her don't worry you can bring the spa to her. Plan a mother daughter spa day at home with relaxing home spa gifts and bath accessories. Give each other manicures and pedicures and have a light lunch together! Don't forget to start her day with breakfast served in bed!
Images: Spa facialTherapeutic lavender neck wrap gift set, Weekend retreat lavender gift set, Breakfast in bed

Have a Happy Mother's Day!

Image: Mother and Daughter image

Fresh and Fun Tulip Themed Wedding

Seeing tulips spring up is one of the first signs that spring is here and winter is on its way out. I love seeing tulips at spring weddings, where they provide splashes of vibrant color. Their classic shape makes them fit easily into elegant and modern affairs alike. I would love to see this sturdy flower become the focus of a wedding theme.

Tulip themed dresses and accessories are surprisingly easy to find. This tulip jewelry would look gorgeous paired with an elegant and understated strapless wedding down. You can dress your bridesmaids in bright tulip inspired pinks, yellows and oranges. Trendy dresses with tulip shaped skirts will tie in your theme in a lovely way. Your groomsman can sport brightly colored ties that coordinate with your bridesmaid dresses or tulip boutonnieres that look dashing against neutral colored suits in black, gray, or tan.

Tulip Wedding Attire
It's simple to add tulips to your reception tables. They look gorgeous in simple bouquets that can be placed in a variety of vases to coordinate with your wedding style. Mason jars are perfect for that country or shabby chic look. I also love the look of submerged tulips in tall square or cylindrical vases.

Tulip Bulb Favors
You can give your guest a unique favor in the form of a tulip bulb for guests to plant when they get home. You can package it in a cute mini burlap sack or box with a gift tag printed with planting instructions. Other fun favor ideas include tulip shaped sugar cookies,  You can also use brightly colored hand fans to tie in your spring colors without going overboard with your theme.

~ Jenna 

Photo Credit: Tulip Invite, Tulip Necklace, Pink Stiletto, Vogue Dress, Tulip Bulb Favors

Selecting the Perfect Garter for Your Wedding Day

The wedding garter toss
The garter toss is considered one of the oldest wedding traditions to date. The tradition began when it use to be customary for the relatives and guest to accompany the bride and groom to their marriage bed. Thank goodness this is no longer the case and it is now considered a fun part of the wedding reception. Here are a few ideas to keep in mind when you are selecting a garter for your big day.

Sparkling Entwined White Garter SetChoose a garter that matches your style. If you are having a traditional wedding you will want a traditional white and lace garter to match your dress. If you are a bride that likes bling then look for a garter with lots of sparkle and crystals.

Don’t forget the dress. If your dress is a tighter dress choose a garter that will not show a bump on your leg. It is important to also try on a garter as well as your dress to see how it will look under the dress. If you are wearing a larger ball gown styled dress the garter should not be a problem.

Military Bridal Garter Set in Blue Digital CamouflageColor, color and more color. You can also select your garter to match your wedding colors or wedding theme. If you are having a military wedding, consider a military wedding garter. If your wedding colors are fuchsia and orange then you can add a splash of color by getting a fuchsia and orange garter. Something blue is another thing to think about. A garter is a great way to add that something blue to your wedding day.
Personalized Monogram White Garter Set

If you select a personalized wedding garter you will forever have a keepsake from you wedding day. When selecting a garter that is personalized you can usually select from many thread options which will be another way to add some color.

The most important thing to remember is to have fun when selecting the garter. Choose a garter that means something to you and your day. Most garters today come with a throw away garter so that you can keep one for yourself. Good Luck and keep it fun!

Is Free Shipping Really Free?

During these tough economical times, brides are looking for great deals to extend their wedding budget. One enticing offer made by online wedding stores is free shipping. But when taking a closer look at this popular promotion, one question is raised - “is free shipping really free?”

As a bride planning your wedding and shopping for your wedding supplies online, you’ve surely seen free shipping’ promotions like ‘Free Shipping on Orders over $150.00’. While these deals are designed to catch your attention - and your patronage - you may not be getting the best deal possible.

When companies offer free shipping, they are still paying the fees necessary to ship your order. In order to do this and still make money, most companies need to sell their products in large volume, i.e. 200 favors or more, or increase the average per-piece price of the products they offer.

Another way companies can ‘make up the shipping costs’ is to charge higher than normal shipping prices on all their products, every day so when they do offer free shipping promotions, their average shipping revenues will make up for their promotion losses.

So how do you know if you are getting the best deal with free shipping? This answer to this is simple. Once you have decided what favors, decorations, or accessories you want to order, find several websites that offer the same products. Add your products to the shopping cart at each website you are interested in doing business with. Many websites allow you to calculate your shipping and handling costs without actually having to enter any of your personal information. Your shopping cart total is what you want to look at when making your decision. You may find that your total price on a website offering ‘free shipping’ is actually more than your total price on a website that does not offer free shipping.

Wedding accessories superstores like My Wedding Reception Ideas want your business and work hard to earn your trust and loyalty in their products and services. Take a few extra minutes and do your homework. The savings you make with a little extra effort will go a long way to extending your wedding budget.

Budget Friendly Honeymoon Destinations for 2011

A dream honeymoon doesn't always have to mean big $$$.  For many brides and grooms planning their dream wedding on a budget, the honeymoon can often get left behind.  I hate to think of any bride and groom sacrificing their dream honeymoon simply because of money.  To make sure you get the honeymoon of your dreams without emptying your wallet, I have put together this year's top budget friendly honeymoon destination spots from tropical sandy beaches to mountainous terrains.

Mexico's Caribbean Coast
#1) Mexico's Caribbean Coast  - Still one of the most popular destination spots among newlyweds, Mexico is a honeymooners dream.  Whether you love the beach, want to explore the culture, or simply get some R&R, Cancun and the Riviera Maya is the place for you.  Home to beautiful ruins and beaches, Mexico's Caribbean Coast offers attractive all-inclusive packages to meet any honeymooner's budget.

Beaches of Bermuda
#2) Bermuda - Bermuda is home to pink sandy beaches, turquoise water, and warm hospitality.  Whether cruising or flying direct, expect more deals to a country recently voted 'Best Island in the Caribbean and Atlantic' by Conde Nast Traveler readers.

Central California Vineyard
#3) Central California - For those who love a good glass of vino, go ahead and trade pricey Napa Valley for the California's Central Coast.  In recent years, this region has blossomed with family-run wineries and charming B&Bs at affordable prices.  So go on, sit back, sip, and savor in your savings.

Looking for something unique?  If you and your fiance are the kind of people who enjoy a more offbeat, adventurous type atmosphere, than these last honeymoon spots are a must see.

#4) Montana - Look no further for something off-the-beaten path than the beautiful wonders of Montana.  If you love breathtaking mountains, landscapes that paint a picture, and wildlife, Montana is the perfect destination.  Montana boasts an adventure around every corner featuring dude ranches, 16 ski areas and 2 national parks. Home to Yellowstone Country, head on over to see one of the greatest natural wonders during your stay.

Vermont in Fall
#5) New England States - New England is the region in the northeastern corner of the US that includes Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut.  Perfect for couples who love lazy drives and beautiful landscape, New England is known for their covered bridges, antiques, and colonial architecture.  Whether you're looking for adventure or relaxation, New England has it all.  Visit New Hampshire's White Mountains for hiking, zip lining, and more or take a drive cross state lines during the fall to see the all beauty that New England has to offer.

To get started on great deals and honeymoon packages, check out Travel Leaders current Travel Specials.

Happy Planning!

How Much for How Many? Helpful Tips for Planning Your Wedding Reception

wedding reception tables

Planning your wedding reception can be a difficult task. How many guests will you have? How much food and drinks should be served? How many napkins should you order? So many questions to be answered as you plan this oh so important aspect of your wedding. Here you'll find some helpful tips and guidelines on quantities for napkins, drinks, appetizers, cake and more. Hopefully these recommendations will help your planning run a little smoother!

Napkins Whether personalized or plain, linen or 3 ply, wedding napkins are an important part of your wedding reception. It is recommended that there be 2-3 cocktail napkins per guest for the bar area. Cocktail sized napkins are also appropriate for the cake table. Here it is acceptable to have 1 napkin per guest since most will only eat one piece of cake. So a total of  3-4 cocktail napkins are needed. If you aren't using cloth napkins at your meal tables, plan for 1.5 dinner or luncheon napkins per person. So if you have 100 guests, plan for 150 dinner napkins.

Drinks A good rule of thumb to plan for drinks and alcohol at your reception is to plan for 1 drink per person per hour. This may take some calculations and it is also important to take into account if your guests are a heavy drinking crowd or not for this will affect the quantities of the following drink estimations. Here are a few average drink amounts per guest during a wedding reception.
Beer: 3-4 per person
Champagne: 2 glasses per person (mostly for the toasts)
Wine: 3/4 of a bottle per person (1 bottle of wine or champagne holds around 6-7 glasses)
Lemonade/Pop: (non-alcoholic drinks) 3-4 servings (a 2 liter bottle holds 7-9 drink servings)  
When ordering your alcohol for your reception it is good to order more than you think you will use, some recommendations suggest ordering 1/3 more than you think. Before ordering, check with your distributer, some will allow you to return unopened bottles after your event.

Appetizers If you are having cocktails and hor d'oeurves served before your reception meal it is suggested that this time be 1 hour or 1 1/2 hours long at the most. For this time is is suggested to serve 3 hor d'oeurves per person per hour. Or roughly 5 per person for the entire time. If you are planning an Hor d'oeurves and cocktail only reception with no dinner to follow, it is recommended to serve 12 pieces per guest with a variety of hot and cold appetizers.

Wedding Cake or desserts are certainly one of the highlights to your reception. If you are serving desserts other than cake, it is suggested to plan for 1-2 servings per guest. Regarding your wedding cake, all you need to do is tell your baker how many guests will be attending and they can recommend to you what size cake you will need. It is good to estimate more servings than guests invited for you may have some last minute guests or some may want seconds!

The above tips and estimations are only recommendations. Your caterer or event hall will also be able to help you with quantities and accurate guidelines as well. Another great rule of thumb for your reception is that it is always better to have too much than not enough! Nobody likes a hungry reception guest!

Image Credits: Reception tables from Meeting House Grand Ballroom

Keep the Celebration Rockin' with a Reception After Party!

Your wedding day is cause for a huge celebration. The best way to celebrate means something a little different to each couple, but more and more couples are forgoing the grand exit to enjoy a wedding reception after party. Theses informal gatherings can consist of anything from just a few guests hitting the bars to a planned party on the reception site or the bar or restaurant of the hotel your guests are staying in. For those who love the idea of partying until the wee hours of the morning, here are a few tips on how to pull it off.

Photography by Katie Day Photo via

A lot of couples question who to invite to a wedding reception after-party. If the event will be at all organized, it is important that you invite everyone on the guest list. In this case you can simply add it to your invitations or in your wedding programs. A simple "join us after the reception" will suffice. One couple even had business card sized invites printed up for the ushers to hand out as they sat guests. This is a cute way to let guests know about the after party if you planned it after the formal invitations were sent out. If your after party consists of the bridal party heading out to the bars in a party bus or limo, it is still a good idea to let guests know where they can meet up with you by word of mouth. The more the merrier, after all!

Another common question is how to fund an after party. On a tight budget, a couple and all who want to keep the party going can hit the bars. It is usually understood in these situations that any food or beverage desired is paid for by the guests. However, if you are hosting an after party in the hotel or on your reception site an open bar is never inappropriate. This may be a good compromise for the couple who can't decide whether or not to serve alcohol at their reception. A dry reception keeps the evening family-friendly while still providing adults a chance to enjoy their beer and cocktails at the after party. I especially love the idea of hosting a casual bonfire at the beach or a campsite for rural wedding or having a night out on the town in a bigger city.

There are a few more things you may want to consider. Does your honeymoon flight leave early the next morning? If so, you may want to keep your celebration short. You will also want to have a wardrobe change for your after party, especially if you are leaving the reception site. What girl doesn't love a reason to buy a new outfit? Lastly, make sure that all guests will have a safe way to return home. Collect keys if you must. You can get a party bus, call for cabs, or even ask a few non-drinking guests if they mind being a DD. With all your bases covered, you will have a night that is wonderfully memorable for all the right reasons!

Have Fun!

Choosing Bridal Jewelry to Compliment Your Wedding Style

Bridal jewelry for your wedding day
The bridal jewelry you choose for your wedding day will help tie your entire look together. Since much of your wedding day photos will be close-ups of your beautiful face, your jewelry will help to frame your face and complete your look.  When choosing bridal jewelry, be sure to consider the look you are going for and/or the personality of the girl you are buying for to showcase your individual style.

Traditional? - Your gown is a simple, strapless A-line and you are styling a classic updo. Simple pearl bridal jewelry like drop earrings and pearl strands are ideal for your style.  For more elaborate gowns, crystal and rhinestone jewelry will also look elegant and will compliment your traditional style.

Vintage? - Your gown is made of the most intricate lace detailing and your coif has unique pin curls and waves. Antiqued rhinestone jewelry or pearls are the perfect choice.  Bridal brooches and pins are also a great way to get that vintage look you've been searching for.  Add a rhinestone brooch to your wedding dress sash, attach to a silk headband to add sparkle, or simply pin to the strap of your halter dress for a period look.

Modern? - Your dress is straight off the runway and your hairdo could only be described as a work of art. Unique pear-shaped stones and eye-catching bridal jewelry sets with colored gemstones will complement your one-of-a-kind look.  Large chunky jewelry is also very popular right now and is a great way to showcase your inner fashionista on your wedding day.

To learn more about how to style your wedding day look, check out our selection of bridal jewelry for other great tips and ideas.

Happy Planning!

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