How to Incorporate Your Baby Into Your Wedding

These days, it’s common for families to already have young members before the wedding commences–whether because of a blended family or a late-in-the-relationship wedding ceremony.

How to Incorporate Your Baby Into Your Wedding

Image via fraew

But what do you do if you want to incorporate your baby into your wedding? After all, it’s essential to have all important members of the family involved. Read on to learn how!

  1. Consider the age and abilities of your baby during the wedding. How old will she be once you say “I Do?” Will she be old enough to walk unaided? If not, consider having another family member walk her down the aisle or an older sibling pull her in a wagon.
  2. Consider his temperament. If your baby is naturally passive and quiet, he will probably have an easier time than a finicky baby. Take his personality into consideration before you make your decision.
  3. Appoint a responsible family member or friend as a baby-minder. You’ll be busy with the wedding. When your baby gets tired and needs a nap, have a friend take her away to a quiet area in the church or reception hall.
  4. Plan pictures during the best part of the day. You know by now when your baby is most cranky. If he can’t sit still in the early afternoon, skip that time for posed photographs.
  5. Have a Plan B. While you may have the best of intentions when incorporating your baby in your wedding, things don’t always go as planned. If your baby is resistant to being pulled in a wagon or doesn’t want to toddle down the aisle with a handful of rose petals, fall back to your plan B. In this case, make your baby’s role either easy to replace or simple to remove.

Have you had your baby in your wedding before and have any extra tips? Let us know in the comments!

5 Funny Cake Toppers for a Laid Back Wedding

You’re known by all of your friends as the funny couple. You’re sweet and affectionate toward each other, but aren’t afraid to poke a little fun.

If this sounds like you, then you may want to go for funny cake toppers rather than the traditional (and boring) objects that normally perch atop the cake. Read on for some inspiration.

Funny Cake Toppers: High Five

High Five Cake Topper from Elegant Gift Gallery

Always high-fiving each other? Then this high-fiving cake topper could be a good fit. This is for the couple that always acts like a team.

Funny Cake Toppers: Who Wears the Pants

Bride “In Charge” Cake Toppers

If the bride’s always saying that she’s “the one that wears the pants” in this relationship, why not show it in the cake topper?

Funny Cake Toppers: Cell Phones

Cell Phone Fanatic Cake Topper from Elegant Gift Gallery

Are you two known for always being on your cell phones? Get a cake topper that shows off your bad habit.

Funny Cake Toppers: Frog Prince

Princess Bride Kissing Frog Cake Topper from Elegant Gift Gallery

Sometimes you have to kiss a few frogs to find your prince.

Funny Cake Toppers: Pinching Butt

“The Love Pinch” Cake Topper from Elegant Gift Gallery

What if you want to be more subtle for your tradition-loving guests? This cake topper looks normal from the front, but funny in the back.

What will you put on top of your wedding cake?

5 Reasons Why You Should Give Out Bridal Shower Favors

The wedding isn’t the only event you have to look forward to as a bride, bridesmaid or maid of honor. Before the bride walks down the aisle, there’s another important event to plan: the bridal shower!

Bridal Shower Favors: Why You Should Have Them

“Time Time” Heart Tea Infuser From Elegant Gift Gallery

As you’re getting ready for the shower, picking out a theme and listing out potential guests, don’t forget about the bridal shower favors. While these gifts aren’t mandatory, they’re still great to have at the event. Here’s why!

5 Reasons to Have Bridal Shower Favors

  1. It’s a tradition. If you’ve been to many bridal showers, you’ve no doubt noticed that favors were given out to guests at most–if not all–of them. It’s a tradition in the bridal world. If you’re a fan of tradition and don’t want to disappoint etiquette-loving guests, then you should definitely hand out bridal shower favors.
  2. They can tie in the theme. Most bridal showers have some type of theme. If you want to carry that theme through the event even more, pick bridal shower favors that fit the party. For instance, heart-shaped tea infusers, like pictured above, are great for a tea party bridal shower.
  3. It can make the party even more fun! Having games at your bridal shower? Give larger favors away as prizes for those who win the games.
  4. They’re bringing gifts for you–why not return the favor? Though bridal shower favors are indeed a tradition, bridal shower gifts that the guests bring the bride are even more traditional. Since the bride will be getting gifts, say thank you by giving some to the guests as well.
  5. You’ll leave the guests feeling great. Most people like getting gifts. Not only will a bridal shower favor make your guests feel great, but they’ll also remember your shower fondly for years to come.

Will you be giving out favors at your bridal shower?

Should You Have a Wedding Dress Code? We’ll Help You Decide!

Wait before you send those save-the-dates or wedding invitations–you have a decision to make first. You’ll need to ask yourself: Should I have a wedding dress code?

Should you have a wedding dress code?

Image via ereyesleblanc

In the past, a dress code was necessary. They’d let guests know if they should come in formal attire (think gowns and tuxedos) or more casual outfits. These days, there are some arguments on whether wedding dress codes are passe. If you’re stuck on this decision, read on for some serious pros and cons.

Why You Should Have a Wedding Dress Code

  1. You’ll avoid misunderstandings or embarrassing moments. Just because you’re having an outdoor wedding doesn’t mean that flip-flops are a great choice for footwear. By saying something like “casual chic” for your dress code, this’ll avoid guests dressing down too much and feeling like they made a faux pas.
  2. It’ll make dressing for your unconventional wedding much easier. If you’re having a beach wedding or a barn wedding, guests may not know what to wear. After all, they may never have been to a wedding like yours. Help them out by describing a dress code in the invitations.
  3. You want absolute control over your wedding. While you wouldn’t describe yourself as a “bridezilla,” you still don’t want any surprises on your big day. In this case, a wedding dress code is a must.

Why You Should Ditch the Dress Code

  1. Most people already know how to dress for a wedding and already have outfits on hand. Anyone who’s been to a wedding before knows the standard dress code. For a traditional wedding, you needn’t describe what your guests should wear. They’ll know! And if they don’t know, they’ll probably ask you anyway.
  2. Complicated wedding dress codes can confuse your guests. Your Great Aunt Hattie won’t understand a Beach Chic dress code anyway. Remove the confusion by abolishing the dress code altogether.
  3. You just don’t care what your guests wear. You’re an unconventional bride having a non-traditional wedding. Perhaps it’s in your own backyard with a small group of friends. Or maybe you just want your guests to show up as how they usually look–and not a dressed up version. Don’t worry about a dress code!

As you can see, having a dress code depends on your unique wedding and what you expect from your guests. What will you do?

How to Pick a Wedding Date

Congratulations! You’re engaged! Now that you know you’re going to get married, you have one of the very first decisions you have to make: you have to pick a wedding date. You can’t book a location, hire a caterer or any of the other dozens of tasks on your wedding to-do list until you make this key decision.

How to Pick a Wedding Date

Image via MightyBoyBrian

But how do you pick a wedding date that works for you? After all, you don’t want to pick a date that ends up conflicting with other things, reducing the amount of guests that can attend. Read on for some essential steps for choosing a great wedding date.

  1. Choose your ideal season. You can narrow down your potential wedding dates by picking a season. Summer is the most common for weddings, which means you might have a harder time finding locations with availabilities. When you pick a season, consider the weather in your area for that time. You might want to avoid an outdoor wedding during hurricane season, for example.
  2. Skip a weekday wedding. In almost all cases, weekday weddings are a mistake. Your guests may have other obligations during this time, and there’s a good chance they’ll leave the reception early because they work the next day. Stick with the weekend instead.
  3. Avoid any holidays. As you’re narrowing down the search for the perfect wedding date, look at a calendar with all important holidays. If you pick a wedding date during a time when most people are out of town, like Labor Day, you’re going to have a limited number of RSVPs.
  4. Give yourself enough time to prepare. You’re excited. You want your big day to come now. Still, the wedding planning process can take a long time. It can be really difficult to plan a wedding in less than 6 months, and a year is an ideal time frame. Consider this when picking a date.
  5. Pick a date that means something to you. Perhaps it’s the first day you met or the anniversary of your first date. If you pick a date that has special meaning, that’ll make your big day even more special.
  6. Talk to the most important guests. No matter what happens, there’s a short list of people that you need to have at your wedding, like your parents and best friend. Before you finalize a date, make sure that your VIP list can make the wedding on that day.

What day will you choose?

5 Fun Wedding Dress Codes for a Creative Ceremony

Just because you’re getting married doesn’t mean you have to go with the traditional ceremony and reception. While a classic white wedding is good for some, it can be much too constricting for creative types. And, if you’re having a non-traditional wedding, why not have a unique wedding dress code for your guests?

If you’re looking for something different, read on for 5 fun wedding dress codes for your big day. Just list these on your wedding’s save-the-date or invites to let your guests know what to wear for the event.

Beach Chic Wedding Dress Code

Image via Mod Wedding

Getting married in the sand? Ask your guests to dress in Beach Chic. This is all about breathable fabrics and light, pale colors. The men could rock light, linen pants and the women could wear pale yellow sundresses. This is one of the few occasions where guests are allowed to wear white to the wedding.

Roaring Twenties Wedding Dress Code

Image via danani on Etsy

Whether inspired by The Great Gatsby or you’re just a fan of the era, a Roaring Twenties dress code could add some serious magic to your wedding. Let your guests know that anything 20s-inspired is welcome at the wedding, whether a beaded drop-waist flapper dress or a gangster-style suit.

Black and White Wedding Dress Code

Image via Annasinclair and Etsy

A Black and White dress code is an easy yet unique one to ask of guests. Most people have something black or white (or both!) in their wardrobe. Plus, it’s a chic dress code that will look great in photographs.

Costume Party Wedding Dress Code

Image via Jessicajessicax

A Costume Party dress code is a must if you’re having a Halloween or themed wedding. You could ask guests to come in any costume they’d like, or you could narrow the theme even more. Superhero or zombie wedding, anyone?

Cowboy Chic Wedding Dress Code

Image via Tammy McGary

Love the country or the ranch? Then go with a Cowboy Chic dress code. This can be similar to a traditional wedding dress code, but the girls can wear cowboy boots with their dresses and the guys can reach for the bolo tie. Cowboy hats welcome!

What unique dress code speaks to you the most?

5 Fun Outdoor Bridal Shower Themes

You’re in charge of planning the bridal shower. You may be the maid of honor, a responsible relative or even the bride herself. Either way, your main goal is to create a fun, unique and memorable bridal shower.

Outdoor Bridal Shower Themes

Rainbow Fortune Cookie Bridal Shower Favors from Elegant Gift Gallery

Sure, you could have a traditional brunch bridal shower theme, but what’s unique about that? If you’re having an outdoor bridal shower, check out some of these fun outdoor bridal shower themes.

  1. Yoga in the sun. Yoga is a great way to relax and stretch–and it’s even more fun out in the sunshine! Ask your guests to bring yoga mats and ask a yoga-knowledgeable friend (or hire a professional) to lead a group yoga session.
  2. A rustic camping trip. Some brides–and their friends–are all about camping. If you’re having a smaller bridal shower and you know all your guests would be into the idea, make it an overnight camping trip. This would also be a good idea for the bachelorette party.
  3. A s’more party. Just because you’re not going camping doesn’t mean you can’t have a bonfire with one of the funnest aspects of summer: s’mores! This is perfect for an outdoor bridal shower that starts in the late afternoon or evening.
  4. “Kids Again” party. Sometimes you just want to have the fun you had when you were a kid. For this bridal shower, set up sprinklers and slip-and-slides in your backyard. Ask guests to bring their bathing suits and a water pistol.
  5. Glamorous picnic party. Why not spread out some colorful quilts on the grass and have a picnic? Provide wine, cheese and fun salads for guests to munch on as you open presents. You can also give away edible bridal shower favors like the fortune cookies above as the picnic’s dessert.

What outdoor bridal shower themes sound the most fun to you?

5 People to Talk to About Your Wedding

5 People to Ask About Your Wedding

Image via Adam Lerner

Although you could get a lot of wedding inspiration and advice from magazines and blogs (hello!), these aren’t the only places to learn tips and tricks about your big day. If you want some real world advice, ask these five important people.

  1. Your most recently married friend. Step number one? Talk to someone who has experience with planning a wedding–especially someone who did it recently. They’ll give you advice and tips based on their own experiences. You’ll hopefully be able to avoid some pitfalls and learn from their mistakes.
  2. Your mom. Sometimes you just need a mom’s advice and input. This could also be a different mother-figure in your life, like an aunt, grandmother or even your fiance’s mom.
  3. A younger guest. Kids tend to see things that adults do not. If you’re curious about an aspect of your wedding, especially the reception, ask the opinion of a younger guest. They’ll especially be able to help you make sure the event is nonstop fun.
  4. Your marriage officiant.  Marriage officiants, like a priest or minister, have presided over so many weddings, they’ll have all the answers regarding the ceremony. Honestly, they’ve seen it all.
  5. Your fiance. Don’t forget: you’re a pair! If you’re unsure about a decision in the wedding planning process, ask your fiance. This is honestly the most important person to communicate with for your wedding, but is oft forgotten.

Who has been your favorite person to get advice from about your wedding?

10 Questions to Ask a Potential Wedding Photographer

They say that there are three things you shouldn’t skimp on when it comes to your wedding: the music, the food and the photographer. If you have all of those squared away, then you’re likely going to have a really good day.

Choosing a Potential Wedding Photographer

Image via Matus Kalisky

When it comes to the photographer, you’ll want to make sure that you’re choosing someone with not only a lot of experience, but the right experience for your unique wedding. Read on for 10 questions you should ask any potential wedding photographer while you’re looking for someone to hire.

  1. How long have you been a professional photographer? There are a lot of amateur photographers out there that hide their lack of experience behind a well-designed website. Weed these out by asking how long they’ve been a pro.
  2. Can you show me photos you’ve taken of weddings similar to mine? Just because a photographer has been doing it a long time, doesn’t mean they have experience with a beach wedding or a wooded forest wedding. Try to find a wedding photographer who has already done what you’re looking for.
  3. What are your wedding photography packages like? Do they charge by the hour? Do they have one package to choose from or several? Do they let you customize the package for your specific wedding?
  4. Will you be alone? Some wedding photographers work with an assistant. This way, they can get posed shots done quicker. Others have a secondary photographer doing candid wedding photos. Asking this question will give you a good idea of what to expect on your wedding day.
  5. Do you have a checklist to work from? There are a lot of different pictures to take on a wedding day–especially if you have a big family. If the wedding photographer has a checklist they work from, this can help prevent forgetting an important shot. It’s even better if they have one that you can add to in the weeks before the wedding.
  6. Do I get pictures or a photo album with this wedding package? What will you be getting once the wedding is over? Some wedding photographers only give a CD, DVD or USB drive full of the pictures. Others provide an album or canvas print with the package. If they don’t offer exactly what you’re looking for, do they provide it a la carte?
  7. Do I get the rights to my wedding pictures? Although you’re hiring the wedding photographer to capture you on your big day, they still hold the copyright to the photos. Still, most wedding photographers will have an option for you to have rights to do whatever you want with the pictures. If you choose that option, make sure you get it in writing–that way you have proof to show when you try to get pictures printed by a photo lab.
  8. Will you photograph my whole wedding? Some photographers only do parts of the wedding, like just the ceremony and an hour before and after. Others will only do the first few hours of the reception in addition to the ceremony. Make sure the photographer you choose can do what you’re looking for.
  9. Have you photographed a wedding of this size? Having an epic wedding with 1,000 guests? Better get a photographer that has experience handling that kind of crowd.
  10. Have you won any awards? While there are plenty of great photographers without awards, an award-winning photographer at least has some proof of their skills. It doesn’t hurt to ask!

If you ask these questions, you should end up with a great photographer for your wedding.

Should You See Each Other Before the Wedding?

A big question you’re going to ask yourself when planning your wedding: Should you see each other before the wedding?

Seeing Each Other Before the Wedding

Image via Sergio Vassio

While traditional weddings have always had the bride and groom see each other for the very first time as the bride steps down the aisle, that tradition has started to be challenged by modern brides. If you’ve ever wondered what the pros and cons are between each scenario, we’ve got you covered!

Today we’re answering a big question: Should you see each other before the wedding or wait until the ceremony.

4 Reasons to Wait Until the Ceremony

  1. You love tradition. Grooms have been seeing their brides for the first time at the ceremony for decades. It’s the traditional wedding rule. If you’re all about tradition and the classic wedding, then you should wait.
  2. You’re superstitious. Some say that it’s bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the wedding–especially in her wedding dress. Don’t want to take any chances? Then you’ll just have to wait.
  3. You want to capture that first look at the alter. As Katherine Heigl’s character said in 27 Dresses, the best thing to watch is the groom’s reaction at the alter when he sees the bride for the very first time. Make sure your photographer captures that look!
  4. You need all the prep time you can get before the wedding. Who has time to see the groom when you have to worry about hair, makeup, nails, shoes, the dress?

What about beforehand?

4 Reasons to See Each Other Before the Wedding

  1. You don’t care about tradition. Sure, it’s fun to follow some of the rules, but you don’t mind if you choose cupcakes instead of a wedding cake or a pink dress instead of white. Why not see each other before the wedding, too?
  2. You’re not superstitious. You don’t believe in that old superstition.
  3. You want to get the bulk of the posed photography over with. When you see each other beforehand, you can get a lot of the wedding photography done before the ceremony. That way, once the ceremony is over, you won’t have to sit through a bunch of photos while you wait for your reception to start.
  4. You can get his “first look” reaction in a cooler setting. While it would be neat to capture his reaction as you walk down the aisle, you can still get that reaction outside of the church. Just let your photographer know when you’re going to see each other so she can be there camera-ready.

Which one will you choose?