Before the Wedding Photo Ideas That Don't Spoil the Surprise

Pre-wedding photos The big reveal. The first time the groom sees his bride on the wedding day. This may be one of the most magical parts of the whole day. The anticipation, the excitement and the overwhelming flood of emotions. Whether you are traditional, superstitious or maybe just a fan of surprises, you want your hubby-to-be to wait until you walk down the aisle to see you for the first time on the wedding day.
It is becoming more and more common for couples to take most of their wedding pictures before the ceremony itself. This saves time and doesn't keep your guests waiting in between the ceremony and reception. Brides and grooms can even have a "first look". This intimate moment where the bride and groom first see each other takes place before the wedding and is captured by the photographer. Some of the most heart-felt, emotional photos may be taken at this time. While these pre-wedding pictures might be perfect for some brides, there are still a bunch of us out there that might still prefer to save the big reveal, for the moment the bride walks down the aisle to her groom. If you prefer to wait for this moment make sure that you have two photographers present, one to photograph the bride walking down the aisle and one to capture the groom's reaction.

If you are waiting to take your main wedding photos after the ceremony, there are still a few great shots that you can get in pre-wedding that won't spoil the big reveal! Once the bride and groom have gotten dressed and made up on the wedding day and shortly before the ceremony, take a few pictures of them together but without seeing each other. This can easily be accomplished by having the bride and groom stand on opposite sides of a door, room or wall. They can hold hands, pray together or blow imaginary kisses, but no peeking!

Another beautiful photo opportunity is to photograph the bride and groom before the wedding reading a love letter/ special note from the other. The photo can be taken separately of the bride and groom or together.

Pre-wedding photos

Pre-wedding photos

Whenever and however you choose to take your wedding photos they are sure to be magical and lasting memories of your special day. 

So brides, are you having any pre-wedding photos taken? When are you having your big reveal?

Things We Love - Unique Wedding Card Boxes

Stacked Antique Book Card BoxOne of the special touches we love for weddings are unique wedding card boxes. This might not be something you have given much thought to yet and is probably just a small detail in the huge scheme of your wedding plans. But alas, take a moment to check out these fabulously original ideas to hold all the special cards your guests will bring you on your wedding day. Finding or making a unique wedding card box is just another way to carry your wedding theme through. Whether your wedding theme is vintage, modern or cutesy, tailor your card box to match the decor used throughout your venue. A tasteful, decorative card box can become a keepsake in your home after the wedding.
Stacked Antique Book Card BoxThis Stacked Antique Book Box (as seen at right and above) would make the perfect card box for a Victorian or Renaissance themed wedding, or really any wedding exuding "Old World" charm. This card box would also fit in at a fairytale or book themed event. This beautifully designed box is constructed to look like a stack of three elegantly weathered books. When you turn the stack on its side the top book will lift up to reveal a box to hold wedding cards or special notes from your guests. This piece would look wonderful displayed on a coffee table or bookshelf in your home after the wedding.
Special Delivery Letter BoxA Special Delivery Letter Box is the perfect spot to drop wedding cards for the bride and groom. This vintage twist on a mailbox/card box is charming and practical. Display this letter box next to the gift table and your guests will know exactly where to leave their sentiments. The top of the box lifts up for easy delivery of cards, small gifts or little notes to the happy couple. Personalize the box with the marrying couple's last name for a special keepsake they will treasure. After the wedding the box can be used at home to hold mail, magazines and newspapers.
Vintage Suitcase Card BoxGather wedding gifts and cards together in a gorgeous vintage suitcase. This flea market find can be fixed up to hold all of your wedding loot. Scavenge in your parents or grandparents attics or garage sale-hop until you find a charming vintage suitcase. Many older suitcases like this already have a pretty patterned liner. If yours doesn't, dress it up with a little retro fabric and a "Cards" sign to direct guests. This piece makes for a lovely display on your gift table.
If traditional is more your thing, check out our selection of wedding card boxes here.

Mouth Watering Summer Wedding Cocktails

Cocktails sign The heat is almost here and it's time to cool off with a mouthwatering cocktail at your summer wedding! Lovely lemonades, sinful strawberry drinks and grown-up root beers will have guests coming back for more. These tasty summer cocktails are not only wedding appropriate but can be used at any wedding related summer bash. Bridal showers, bachelorette parties, rehearsal dinners and morning after brunches are perfect places to showcase these delightful drinks as well! Take a look at our selection of summery cocktail recipes and prepare to get thirsty! You should probably make each of these recipes ahead of time to find your favorite. Have the girls over for a cocktail party, I'm sure they won't mind helping you out!

Strawberry Sparkler wedding cocktailStrawberry Sparkler
This lovely cocktail is not only scrumptious but also a sight for the eyes! It's pretty pink color and fruity garnish make for a beautiful display. Consider serving this drink as the bride's cocktail at your reception or as a girly treat at your bachelorette party or bridal shower.

Recipe: (For one cocktail)
- 2 ounces of strawberry infused vodka
- 2 ounces of simple syrup
- 2 ounces of fresh lemon juice
- Top with sparkling wine and garnish with strawberries and mint
Peach Lemonade wedding cocktailPeach Lemonade
Here is a summer treat that even the kids can enjoy. Fresh peaches and lemons pair up in this sunny drink and pack a punch everyone will love. This cocktail can be served with or without alcohol. How perfect would this drink be served in mason jars at your backyard wedding reception or rehearsal dinner?

Recipe: (For 4 cocktails)
- 2 to 3 fresh peaches or nectarines
- The juice from 5 lemons
- 4-5 tsp. sugar (to taste)
- Water
- Crushed ice
Squeeze the lemons and set aside the juice. Peel peaches, remove pit and roughly chop. Puree peaches in a food processor with the sugar until smooth. Mix the lemon juice with this mixture. Add water and ice to your taste. More sugar can be added for sweetness as well.
Voot Beer wedding cocktail
Voot Beer
This playful cocktail offers the taste of a childhood favorite with a grown-up twist! The classic root beer recipe gets a pick-me-up with vanilla flavored vodka. This quick and easy thirst-quencher will be a crowd pleaser!

Recipe:(For one cocktail)

- 2 ounces vanilla flavored vodka
- 5 ounces root beer
- Whip cream for garish
- Maraschino cherry for garnish

Serve with a straw in an ice cold mug

Drink up more delicious summer wedding cocktail ideas on our Signature Drinks Pinterest page!

Photo and recipe credits: Main cocktail image, Strawberry Sparkler image and recipe from Valley and Co. Lifestyle Blog, Peach Lemonade image and recipe from the Mirch Masala Blog, Vootbe from 303 Distillery, found on Creative

Pretty Patterned Bridesmaid Dresses

Patterned Bridesmaid DressesPatterned bridesmaid dresses have been making an appearance at warm weather weddings these last few years, and this wedding season is no different! Brides are donning their maids in  dresses covered in the prettiest of patterns. Whether the pattern you choose is subtle or striking, it is a fun and flirty option for spring and summer weddings. When choosing patterned bridesmaid dresses make sure that you choose a print that will be flattering to all of your girls. Smaller printed patterns seem to be more flattering than large bold designs. If you decide to mix and match patterns, make sure that all the prints are cohesive with each other and don't clash. Not only are patterned dresses unique and fun, another great reason to choose them is when all the bridesmaids are wearing patterned dresses you will notice that the bride stands out even more in her solid white gown! Take a look at several different ways to do patterns for your bridesmaid dresses. From romantic to vintage or even geometric, there is a style for every wedding! 
Patterned Bridesmaid Dresses
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