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What Is a Minimoon and Why Do You Need One?

Monday, December 13th, 2021

By now, it’s safe to say you’ve heard the phrase “minimoon” – and no, you’ve not been hearing people say “honeymoon” wrong! Taking prominence after COVID-19, minimoons offer a shorter, cheaper and closer option for newlyweds right after the wedding day. While minimoons happen right after the wedding, they are not necessarily an alternative to honeymoons (read more below!). We’ve broken down all the details on minimoons – what they are, how to take one, as well as some minimoon ideas right here in Texas. Either on your own or with the help of one of our travel partners, happy minimoon planning!

 

minimoon

Photo // Brianne Johnson Photography

 

What is a minimoon?

So, what even is a minimoon? A minimoon is simply a short vacation spent together by a newly married couple. Typically a long weekend (up to 5 days) that gives couples a much-needed resting period after all of the stress of planning a wedding. A minimoon typically precedes a honeymoon and can be taken right after the wedding day. Essentially a “micro” honeymoon, minimoons are aimed to keep you close to town while still giving you the romantic getaway offered by a larger honeymoon.

 

Minimoon vs honeymoon?

A minimoon can include all of the traditional elements of a honeymoon, just on a smaller scale – you still get to escape to somewhere secluded to enjoy your first few days as a married couple without any outside distractions. Keep in mind, you don’t have to do one or the other – the minimoon lets you save up for that big trip later!

Some differences between a minimoon and a traditional honeymoon can be:

 

Budget

For the couple that just forked over a big chunk of change to have their dream wedding day, a minimoon is a much more affordable option for a newlywed getaway! Some couples who have a tight budget might have completely scratched out any chance of a romantic few days after the wedding anyway – but, a huge benefit of the minimoon is the expense associated along with it.

With a honeymoon, the expenses can pile up fast – accommodations being the biggest, on top of transportation to get there as well as while you’re on vacation. But, with a minimoon, you’re choosing to stay close as well as cutting out overnight expenses with the shorter time frame. Even if you wanted to splurge and stay at the nicest hotel around, you won’t be spending near as much as you would for a two-week trip, simply because you’re not staying for as many nights!

Because of the travel expenses and accommodations costs, you may be tempted to skimp on the other parts of the holiday – eating out, going on day trips, having a spa day – but with a minimoon, you can stay at the nicer place, eat the fancier food, and treat yourself for a small amount of time!

 

Time

As mentioned earlier, one of the things that makes a minimoon “mini” is the short amount of time! This shorter timespan allows for a less expensive trip and also doesn’t require asking off of work for too much time. Say you’ve already asked off a week for your wedding (plus a few additional days after), those days following your wedding are perfect to squeeze in that minimoon! You may not be allowed an additional 14 days off for a big trip at the time, and a minimoon will maybe only add 3-4 additional days. If you’re self-employed, you also need to be careful with how many days you give yourself off. The minimoon can be that perfect compromise!

 

Frequency

You only get one honeymoon (boo… we know), but with a minimoon, you can essentially get two! With the traditional honeymoon, there can often be a lot of pressure for it to be “perfect,” seeing that you won’t get to have another huge adventure like that. Coming along with that can be a lot of strain – picking THE hotel,  location and activities to do while you’re there. With the minimoon, that pressure doesn’t exist. You can spend that time getting the needed relaxation and share those close moments without the pressure of it “being perfect” or having to make the most of every moment. You can get a break now and visit that dream destination at another time!

 

Location

Another super convenient thing about a minimoon is that you can stay somewhere close by, a little “staycation” if you will, in the state you were married in! Honeymoons often take couples out of the country or somewhere exotic, while a minimoon can be in driving distance from your wedding location. While it may not be the beach, it could be a cozy cabin in the woods or a couple nights downtown in a luxury hotel! Additionally, flights can often bring on more stress, while a quick drive to a romantic location is more stress-free (and cost effective!).

 

Staying Grounded

After planning a wedding, it can be easy to fall out of tune with reality. While a honeymoon is often an additional escape from reality, minimoons are a great way to keep you grounded in real life and work as an easy transition into your new normal, married life.

 

Tips for a great minimoon:

Complement your later honeymoon (if applicable)

If you are planning on honeymooning on the beach at an exotic location, have a city-centric minimoon! A couple nights out on the town enjoying the best shops, restaurants and different cultures will be an alternate experience than you will get by relaxing on the beach. Variety will give you two different experiences to cherish and enjoy!

 

Keep it Simple

As mentioned earlier, minimoons offer less pressure and expectations than the traditional honeymoon. Keeping plans and activities simple are the essence of a minimoon, making it more low key and relaxing. You don’t have to have an extravagant trip to properly celebrate your wedding!

 

Set a Realistic Budget

As with anything, first setting a budget will give you a feel for the type you can have and all that you can do. Prioritize the things you want to do and also figure out the things you don’t think will be needed on your trip. Then, apply all of those things to your budget! You now have a simple, affordable couple of days that you can enjoy free of money stress (and all other stresses!).

 

Unplug

With the smaller time frame, your minimoon will likely go by super fast! Don’t forget to stay present in the moments – unplug! Avoid social media and let everyone know you won’t be replying for a couple of days (so they aren’t worried) so you can soak in that newlywed life. But, don’t skimp on the picture taking!

 

Minimoon Ideas in Texas:

  • Hiking and exploring the outdoors in West Texas at Guadalupe Mountains National Park or kayaking at The Texas Colorado River
  • Soak in all of the Texas history by visiting the Alamo or the Texas State Capitol
  • Take in the culture with a weekend in Austin visiting The Mexican American Cultural Center or in Houston visiting The Museum of Fine Arts
  • Take a trip down south to Galveston Island or South Padre Island – a mini beach vacay!
  • Visit vineyards and go on wine tours in Texas Wine Country
  • Have a small town getaway by visiting the Silos in Waco
  • Take in the city life with a city-centric minimoon in Dallas, Austin, Amarillo or Houston

Read our honeymoon planning tips here and connect with our local travel agents to start planning your minimoon!

All of the Where, What and How’s of Shopping for Your Bridal Party Attire

Friday, December 10th, 2021

The sooner the better when it comes to finding the right attire for the most special people in your lives to wear when they stand next to you on your big day! The process of finding the perfect style, to getting everything ordered to alterations can take a pretty big chunk of time – between six and eight months. Rather than scrambling and stressing toward the end of wedding planning, start organizing your bridal party attire now. We’ve got the 411 on getting your attire: everything you’ll need to know about what to be on the search for, where to shop, who’s responsible for payments and how to prepare for try-ons and fittings. Let’s begin!

 

bridal party attire

Photo // Rachel Elaine Photography

What to shop for

Don’t go in blind! Start by researching styles and colors to match your wedding theme, while also keeping in mind you and your spouse’s own attire when looking at your bridal party’s. Both bridesmaids and groomsmen attire should complement your bridal gown and your spouse’s attire, without clashing or taking the focus away from you.

When searching for bridesmaids dresses, many elements are in play – do you want all of your maids to wear the same dress? The same color? Floor- or knee-length? No need to fret! Take this into consideration when deciding bridesmaids dresses:

  • Will all of your bridesmaids be comfortable wearing the same style of dress? It’s very important to take into consideration each bridesmaid’s personal style, personality and bodily features when choosing dresses. Some bridesmaids might be uncomfortable wearing a certain color or style of dress, and it’s oh-so-important to ask about these factors before making any final decisions. If all is okay, then proceed with matching dresses! If not, keep reading for ways to accommodate.
  • Mismatched bridesmaids dresses are extremely popular, and we absolutely love to see it! This is a GREAT alternative to accommodating each bridesmaid’s level of comfort, while adding an element of visual interest to your big day. Whether you’re wanting to mismatch dresses based off of color, pattern, style, material or length, make sure they’re all in coordination and complement your lovely gown, not clash with it!
  • Finally, remember to factor in the accessories and shoes your bridesmaids will be wearing! If you are going for gowns with patterns, pearls or jewels, it might be best to not have them wear jewelry, or minimal at best. If you’re wanting to make a statement with their shoes, consider going with shorter, knee-length or high-low cut gowns to be able to show them off!

For your groomsmen, this is the perfect opportunity to get your future spouse involved in the wedding planning with you! Talk through your wedding theme and style and decide if you want more classy or casual, suit or tuxedo, and how you are going to distinguish your groom from the groomsmen.

  • Deciding if your groomsmen will wear a suit or a tuxedo is based off of your wedding theme – are you going with a classy, elegant day or a more casual affair? For an elegant day, groomsmen could wear tuxedos to add a more chic and classy feel to the day. If you are going for tuxedos for your groomsmen, bow ties and suspenders are traditionally worn – these are essentials for this groomsmen look! Suits can be worn for elegant affairs too, but are more typically worn to casual days. A perk to suits is they can be dressed up or down and easily customized to fit your wedding day color palette.
  • If the tuxedo or suit look isn’t a style you and your spouse are wanting, there are plenty of non-traditional options you can shop for. Styles that are becoming popular are: just dress pants with a shirt and tie; dress pants with a shirt, tie and suspenders; dress pants with a shirt and a sweater or cardigan for winter weddings; or a dress shirt with clean blue jeans with a vest and a tie for rustic, casual weddings. Choose the best style for groomsmen, similarly to how dresses suit your bridesmaids!
  • You can’t forget about the accessories! Once you’ve decided the style and look you’re wanting, you can begin customizing each groomsman’s look. Each groomsman can have different colored or patterned ties, socks, pocket squares, cufflinks or anything that coordinated to the style you’ve chosen. We have some of the best options for your groomsmen accessories over on our Amazon shop!
  • A final key factor in shopping for your groomsmen is having a distinguishing factor between your spouse and the rest of the party. This can come in many forms, from your spouse wearing a tuxedo to the rest of the party wearing suits, having a patterned or different color outfit from the rest or having a different color or patterned tie or bow tie.

Where to shop for your bridal party attire

Once you’ve decided colors, styles and themes for your bridal party’s attire, it’s time to go shopping! Bridesmaids’ attire can come from many places, and with COVID-19 hitting, it’s become increasingly popular to shop online. The good thing for bridesmaids dresses is they can be ordered from multiple places (if you’re going with the mismatched look), or all from the same place. On the contrary, groomsmen attire is recommended to come from the same place, from the same manufacturer and be the same style. No big deal! Whether you’re going with suit or tux, mismatched or matching, there are great local bridal party attire boutiques, like Bella Bridesmaids and Beside the Bride, offering both online and in-person services to help you in every step of getting your perfect attire sorted and ordered.

 

How to be prepared for a dress/suit fitting

You’ve found the place and you’ve got your style, now it’s time to try it all on! Once dresses and suits arrive, here’s some suggestions when it comes to trying on bridesmaids dresses and groomsmen’s suits:

  • Bridesmaids, come with the right undergarments! Wearing neutral undergarments will be crucial in being comfortable when trying on your dress. Don’t be afraid to bring a couple different bra options, too, to determine which one will be the best fit with the dress. The more prepared with undergarments, the better!
  • We also suggest bringing any jewelry and shoes you will be wearing on the big day, to see how they will look and if the dress will need to be altered to accommodate. Wear a little makeup and your hair in the style similar to how you might be on the day is also suggested, as you can see how it will all fit together right from the start, instead the day of the wedding!
  • Groomsmen, it’s helpful to know sizes coming in to a fitting, but getting an updated fitting is also a great option! Come with any accessories you may be wearing (socks, pocket squares, cufflinks or suspenders) to see how it all looks together.
  • For all members of the party, get alterations done to how you look now, versus how you think you will look when the wedding rolls around. It’s very easy to take away material, but very hard to add material back. Better safe than sorry!

Who is responsible for payments?

While it’s not an easy topic to discuss, bridal party attire is an essential expense in every wedding budget. First, decide if you will be renting or buying all of your bridal party attire. Once that is determined, it’s time to pay! Traditionally, bridesmaids and groomsmen and responsible for their own outfits. However, if you have enough money in your budget and are willing, you can most definitely pay for your bridal party’s attire. If the party is paying for their own, it is suggested that they are paying for outfits they are comfortable in and also fit their budget.

Some ways to save money when it comes to bridal party attire can be going with mismatched bridesmaids dresses, like mentioned above! Finding dresses you approve of and are coordinating with the theme of your day can be cheaper for your maids, plus they can find a style that suits them and their personality. For your groomsmen, consider giving them an accessory item as a gift, instead of it being an expense out of their pocket. Purchasing quirky socks, personalized cufflinks and providing them with their tie or pocket square is a small expense they won’t have to be worrying about, and it’ll serve as a great memory from your wedding day!


You’re ready to find the bridal party attire of your dreams! Head to our local attire vendors’ page for locations on finding the perfect attire for your big day. Cheers!

Traditional Wedding Processional Order & How To Make It Your Own

Tuesday, November 30th, 2021

First comes love, then comes walking down the aisle, then comes marriage! The bride’s walk down the aisle is always one of the highlights of a wedding day – however, she’s not the only one to take that walk during the ceremony. A few other important people, such as the officiant, groomsmen, bridesmaids and groom all make an appearance on the aisle before the bride makes her grand entrance. So, how should all of these people enter in the ceremony? Whether you’re the traditional bride or the bride looking for alternates to break tradition, we’ve laid out both the traditional wedding processional as well as alternates to making it your own based off of wedding party and couple preference. Read on for all the details, as well as to get our perfectly curated playlist for walkin’ down the aisle and a downloadable worksheet to help you construct your ideal processional. Cheers!

 

Traditional Wedding Processional Order

What is the traditional ceremony processional order?

Before jumping into the traditional order, you first need to know what a processional is. Essentially, the wedding processional refers to the group of people that walk down the aisle in a specific order to mark the beginning of a wedding ceremony. This is where anyone in the family, bridal party or other people close to the couple find their place in front of all guests before the ceremony begins.

The processional order for the traditional bride is as follows:

Mother of the bride: When the mother of the bride enters, that is the signal that the processional is about to begin. She can be accompanied by another family member (a son, nephew or cousin, if not in the bridal party) as she walks down the aisle, or she can opt to walk alone. Once she reaches the end of the aisle, she will take her seat on the left side of the aisle (traditionally) in the first row.

Officiant: Next in the processional order is the officiant. The officiant can be a friend, family member, or anyone ordained to perform weddings chosen by the couple. The officiant will make their way up to the altar and stand their while the rest of the processional makes their way forward.

Groom: The groom is the next to enter the ceremony space, entering from the side of the venue close to the right side of the altar, where traditionally the groom and his family are placed. However, many couples also choose to have the groom escorted down the aisle with both of his parents, who then sit on the right side of the aisle in the front row.

Best man: The best man then either walks in from the same side that the groom came from, or walks down the aisle alone. When they get to the front of the aisle, they take their place next to the groom at the altar in the closest spot behind him. The best man may also have the bride’s ring with him to give to the groom when needed.

Groomsmen: The groomsmen enter the ceremony space by walking down the aisle one by one. Groomsmen walk in order of who will be places farthest away from the groom to who will be standing by the best man.

Bridesmaids: The bridesmaids walk down the aisle one by one before the maid of honor enters.

*Some couples may choose to have the groomsmen and bridesmaids walk in together in pairs down the aisle. The same order of placement will follow – farthest away from the couple to the best man and maid of honor entering last.*

Maid of honor: Before the ceremony, the maid of honor helps the bride with any dress, veil, or train needs, making sure everything is perfect before they walk down the aisle. The maid of honor then stands by the bride’s side at the altar and holds their bouquet and sometimes the groom’s ring during the ceremony.

Flower girl and ring bearer: The flower girl and ring bearer are the final processional members to precede the bride before she walks down the aisle. Traditionally, the ring bearer carries the wedding rings tied to a small pillow, which is then handed to the best man (however, some couples opt to give the maid of honor and best man the actual rings to ensure they are not lost or dropped along the way). The flower girl may carry a basket full of petals to scatter as she walks down the aisle. Once both make it to the end of the aisle, they can find a seat with their parents or stay standing with the rest of the bridal party.

Father of the bride and bride: The father of the bride traditionally is the one who escorts their daughter down the aisle, standing to the right side of her as he does so. After the father of the bride “gives them away,” they lift the veil and kiss the bride, signifying their blessing, then take their seat beside the mother of the bride.

Is there a history to this order?

Many wedding traditions that we follow today derived from early Christian customs, in which the groom waits at the end of the aisle for his bride to walk down to him and stand at his side (not seeing each other before the wedding and the father walking the bride down the aisle, to name a few). Another tradition is that of bridal parties –which, as you know, consist of the bride and groom’s closest friends and family. In today’s weddings, bridal parties are seen as an honor by those asked to participate, but in early wedding party history, the role of the wedding party was for the bride and groom’s protection.

In early history, bridesmaids tended to the bride’s preparations in the days before the wedding and wore matching outfits. This was so that in the case that someone attempted to harm the bride, they would not be able to identify which of the women was the bride and which ones were her bridesmaids. This also was the case for the groom and his groomsmen.

The order of the wedding processional directly relates to the early purposes of the bridal party mentioned above. The first members that walked down the aisle in the processional hold a position of honor (the mother of the bride, the officiant and the groom) and mark the beginning of the ceremony. After those people take their places, the best man and the groomsmen traditionally walk down the aisle, in order to protect the groom from evil spirits or attackers. Then the bridesmaids make their way down the aisle, followed by the maid of honor. Following the tradition, the bridesmaids are intended to protect the bride from evil or harm prior to her walk. Once they are at the end of the aisle, the bride then begins to walk, traditionally accompanied by her father, so that he may give her away to her new husband.

Arranged marriages used to be the norm in society, serving as more of a business deal than anything. More than just not seeing one another on the wedding day, couples might have never even met one another before walking down the aisle (this was totally normal, and even expected in some cases). The deal was usually made by the bride’s father who wanted her to marry rich to help the family out. The father might worry that if the groom saw the bride before the ceremony he might not find her attractive and call off the wedding. To avoid risking the family’s reputation, the tradition that the couple didn’t see one another until the ceremony was born. The veil also plays a role here, too – by having it over the bride’s face he wouldn’t see her until the very last moment when it would be too late to back out.

How can a couple make the processional their own?

Not all wedding parties may have everyone included in the traditional order described above, and that’s totally fine! Some bridal parties might also include the growing trend of “bridesmen” or “groomswomen” – having the opposite sex in the bridal party. The traditional order also might just not be a good fit for you as a couple. Good thing there’s plenty of room for customization to make it your own!

Ways to switch up the traditional processional order:

  • Have the officiant walk down the aisle first
  • Have the officiant already be waiting at the end of the aisle
  • Add grandparents into the processional order
  • Have the groom’s mother walk him down the aisle
  • Mix the wedding party up, alternating bridesmaid and groomsmen as they walk down the aisle
  • For a blended family on the bride’s side, have the stepmother walk in behind your mother at the start of the ceremony
  • Have all of your close family walk down the aisle before the traditional processional of bridesmaids, groomsmen and the bride and father of the bride
  • Send in the groom (with or without his parents) right before the ring bearer and flower girl in the traditional order

 

DOWNLOAD OUR PROCESSIONAL WORKSHEET

Are there alternatives for fathers walking down the aisle?

Maybe you’re a bride who does not have a good relationship with her father, or maybe you do not have a father to walk you down the aisle – or, maybe you’re looking to break traditions.

Whatever the reason may be, there are a few alternate options to fathers walking down the aisle:

  • Have the bride and groom walk in as a couple at the end of the processional
  • Have both your mother and father walk you down the aisle
  • Just the mother of the bride walks her down the aisle
  • The bride walks in by herself
  • Walk in with someone who means a lot to you, such as a grandparent, uncle or brother
  • Walk in with your children if you have them
  • Have your four-legged friend accompany you down the aisle
  • Enter alone and meet your spouse in the middle of the aisle, then walk to the alter together
  • Skip the processional and just walk to the front from wherever you may be at the time!
  • To incorporate a stepfather and father on the bride’s side, have the stepfather walk the bride half way down the aisle to meet the father, who then take her to the altar

Need a song to walk down the aisle to?

Walking down the aisle doesn’t have to be boring – no matter what way you and your processional choose to do so! Looking for unique tunes to play when the big moment comes? We have the perfect playlist of hand-selected songs on our Spotify that’ll get you “Walkin’ Down the Aisle” in style!

PRO TIP: Having a curated playlist that you and your processional walk down the aisle to helps the order move along smoothly and gives your ceremony a bit more structure.


Download our wedding processional worksheet to use as you construct your ideal processional! Happy planning!

Now That You’re Married, Will You Be Changing Your Surname?

Monday, November 1st, 2021

Will you be taking your partner’s last name, sticking with your own, hyphenating? Out of all the options, which one is best for you and your spouse? Move over traditional last name transitions and hello to all the new possibilities that can come with last names once you’re married! With so many new options, it seems impossible to not come to a solution between you and your partner. Whether your last name has sentimental value or you’re wanting to feel more unified as a couple, we’ve broken down all of the different ways you and your partner can decide on surnames once you’re married. Cheers!

 

Now That You're Married, Will You Be Changing Your Surname?

Photo // Molly Murphy Photography

 

Taking your partner’s last name

This is the most traditional option for couples once they get married, and it is usually expected of the couple to go this route once married. There are many reasons why you would choose to go this route, ranging from you like your partner’s surname, yours has always been difficult to pronounce or spell, or you just love the idea of being a cohesive family unit together. Maybe you have always wanted this for yourself once you got married and have been looking forward to following the tradition.

Beyond personal preference, there are other reasons why you may want to take your partner’s last name. Taking their last name makes it less complicated when it comes to having children, traveling together, and dealing with medical issues when they arise. You may also want to choose to move away from your family name if there are any difficult relationships with relatives, making you unhappy with having that family association.

While this is the most traditional option, there are some grooms who opt for taking their bride’s maiden names as their own. Just because it is the traditional route doesn’t mean it needs to be followed if it does not fit you as a couple!

Check out this blog for all the things you’ll need to do to change your name after marriage in Texas!

 

Keeping your surname

While keeping your surname is not the most common thing to do after getting married, it is becoming more and more popular as the idea spreads among couples! It is also the least complicated choice when it comes to name changes after marriage. If you’re both keeping your last names, there’s no stress about updating all of the info in legal, personal or financial documents! Jumping through the hoops seems like too much of a hassle – you just want to be married, why stress about the documents if it’s not needed? However, there may be some instances where you will need to prove if your marriage is legitimate, and you may have to provide a marriage license.

Besides it being the least complicated choice, there are many personal reasons why you may choose to keep your last name. You may simply just like your last name, or your partner’s last name may be difficult to pronounce or spell (just like personal reasons for maybe wanting to change your last name). Your last name may also be a connection to your family background or cultural heritage that you may not want to part ways with. In the same sense, your partner might not have a strong connection to their family background and connection, so why would you want to take their name? Maybe your last name is also how you are referred to by, like a nickname, and you feel like you’ll lose that part of you if you switch your name.

This way also makes the options for same sex couples easier when deciding whose name to take once they are married. How do you decide which name to choose? Simply keeping your own name could make the most sense depending on your preferences as a couple.

 

Alternate options:

Keep your surname professionally

If you have built a name for yourself professionally, such as building a business or brand around your name or going to medical school before getting married, it could be crucial to your career to keep your last name, at least professionally. Keeping your professional identity separate from your married identity may be the way to go. With this option, you change your name legally, but professionally, you continue to use your maiden name. If you would like to follow tradition, you are able to do so, while you’re also able to maintain your professional life.

This option does not affect your professional life in any way and can make it easier for everyone in the professional area. Your recent work will still show up in a simple Google search and still easily be found to the public. In this way, you will not lose any reputation and it will cause less confusion. However, having two last names could get confusing to some, and it may become a hassle to explain.

 

Make your surname your middle name, or vice versa

This option is as easy as it sounds – you simply make your maiden name your middle name and you take your partner’s last name as your own. It’s essentially like you get the best of both worlds, with a modern spin on the classic tradition! It’s an easy way to add your partner’s name to yours while still not giving up part of your identity. Be aware that some last names might not make the prettiest middle names!

 

Hyphenate both names

Hyphenating your names together is a great solution to being able to be connected to your spouse while also staying connected to your identity all in one. With this option, either one or both partners hyphenates their last name with their partner’s. This is an easy solution that pleases both parties and their families & can still help you maintain your professional reputation. One downside that could arise is that hyphenating your names could result in a long, awkward, complicated last name.

 

Combine your names

Combining your names is an interesting and creative approach that can add a whole new level of unity to your relationship. You can do any possible mash-up of names that makes sense and that you like! This option for last names is probably the most unique and will give you a one-of-a-kind last name to carry on for generations. By doing this, it also keeps one of you from feeling bitter about changing your name and also represents the merging of your families together. With this option, however, you will have to go through legally changing your last name, not just for one person, but for you both.

 

Crate your own new last name

If no other options seems to fit you and your spouse, creating your own last name is a valid option! You can make this whatever you want it to be – it can be based in shared interests, a mix of letters or maybe pull from ancestral influences. This is another creative and individualist way to set your family apart on their own!


ICYMI: If you’re changing your name, get all the details over on our blog, here!

How to Calculate the Right Amount of Catering Based on Guest Count

Tuesday, October 19th, 2021

You’ve curated the perfect *chef’s kiss* menu for your wedding night, whether you’re doing a BYO nacho bar or working with one of our favorite local caterers, but now comes the challenging part: deciding just how much of those yummy eats and sweets you need to actually have catered. First knowing your guests, the type of reception you’re having and the type of dinner to be served is pivotal in getting an accurate catering count. As a general rule of thumb, it is always better to err on the side of ordering more food than ordering less, as you do not want to leave guests unsatisfied with the reception! However, no need to worry, as our easy to follow guide below outlines the perfect amount of food to order per guest count. Cheers and happy planning!

 

how many appetizers to order by guest count

Appetizers

In general, calculate your appetizer number to be 6 pieces for every 1 guest in attendance. When planning out your wedding timeline, take into consideration how long it will be before guests eat dinner. If you have a long intermission between the ceremony and the reception, you may want to offer more appetizers. If you are asking people to leave and come back later, offering less appetizers is the way to go. Keep in mind that offering appetizers will typically help keep your buffet cost down, since guests will eat roughly 10% less at dinner when appetizers are served. Also, the smaller the appetizer bite, the higher the number can go.

PRO TIP: Try a different appetizer for every 40 that are needed. If you are needing 120 appetizers, have 3 different options for guests to eat!

how much catering to order by guest count

Entrées

If you are not offering a plated meal where guests RSVP with their entrée choice, calculating for 1.5 servings for every 1 guest will get you a general entrée count. When serving a buffet, keep in mind that one dish may be more popular than the other among your guests (people tend to gravitate to what is most comfortable to them). Remember to take your vegetarian and vegan guests into consideration when planning out your entrée menu, and make sure that number is accounted for, also. Decrease your meat count and increase your veggie count as needed.

PRO TIP: Make sure to include your vendors in your catering count. This ensures they get fed and are able to enjoy your reception, too!

 

how many drinks to order by guest count

Non-alcoholic drinks

Non-alcoholic drinks will average out to around 2 gallons per 1 guest at your reception. In general, you should plan for 1-2 cups of water per guest and 3-4 non-water drinks (tea, lemonade, soda), estimating to be about 5 drinks per person, or 1 drink per hour. Depending on your location, water or non-water drinks may be more favorable to guests. If you are having an outdoor wedding in the heat, having more water at the reception is ideal.

 

how much alcohol to order by guest count

Alcoholic Drinks

Planning to have 1.5 drinks per hour per guest is a general idea for how much alcohol to allocate to your guests. Keep in mind that the reception time also affects how much alcohol to serve. If you’re tying the knot in the morning or early afternoon, guests will be less inclined to drink than at a nighttime celebration. Guests will also be more likely to indulge at a weekend wedding than during the week.

If you are opting to do an open bar instead of set signature drinks, the exact ratio to supply of each type of alcohol will depend upon your guests’ preferences, your budget and the season. A standard guideline when determining the right amount of alcohol to serve is 50% wine, 20% beer, and 30% liquor. Additionally, you’ll want to provide plenty of options for each, meaning at least one type of red and one type of white wine, a few different varieties of beer and a handful of liquors and mixers.

 

how many desserts to order by guest count

 

Desserts

Offering your guests more desserts than just the cake? If this is what you’re opting for at your reception, a good calculation for additional desserts would be 1.5 cupcakes or 3 cookies for every 1 guest, on top of allocating 1 slice of cake per guest already (see this blog for all the details on ordering the right amount of cake per guest count!). The guests who eat more will likely balance out the people who will not eat any, and how and when all desserts are served determines how much will be eaten. If cake is passed out to tables and individuals, it is more likely to be eaten than giving guests the option to come up and grab a slice themselves. Also, if desserts are served immediately following dinner, guests may be too full to eat dessert at that point!

PRO TIP: Additional desserts can double as favors for your wedding guests. Cupcakes and cookies can easily be taken home with guests in monogrammed boxes or bags with the couples names on them!


Now that we have your mouth watering, it’s time to plan out that menu and calculate ALL the bites! Let one of our top local caterers help you curate that dream menu!

Prim in Pearls | Timeless Wedding Inspiration with Soft, Luxurious Feels

Wednesday, September 8th, 2021

Naturally beautiful in all of its lustre and elegance, pearls are the star of the show in this soft, timeless wedding inspiration that boasts romance in every scene! The Trinity River Audubon Center was without question the most perfect setting for this dreamy editorial to come to life. As featured in almost every stunning element from this scene, romantic bunches of a variety of white roses, including playa blance and majoloca spray roses, as well as lisianthus, delphinium and yarrow from Must Like Flowers bring an ivory, pearl colored touch to this shoot to contrast oh-so well against the venue’s gorgeous statement wall. Climbing floor pieces make for a killer addition to bridal photos, as well as add that extra detail to any tablescape that we didn’t know we needed until now! Speaking of dreamy tablescapes, we think this set up of a light gray linen with stark white napkins from AM Linen Rental work in perfect harmony with minimalist place setting pieces from COHOST and natural wooden chairs to complete the design flawlessly.

Our model bride is eye-catching in a pearl-studded gown and veil from Bridal Boutique, that when combined scream classy, chic and sophisticated. Continuing with the romantic and natural feel in the glam, AW Wedding & Co. created a soft, luxurious bridal look with intentional elements to make our bride’s stunning features pop, as well as featuring curls as natural as pearls themselves. Opal & Onyx Photography does it again by expertly capturing every detail in this timeless wedding inspiration, including the custom invitation suite from Bethany’s Letter Shop that features playful calligraphy and an envelop liner of the gorgeous venue itself! If you’ve loved seeing every detail of this shoot so far, you’re not going to want to miss this editorial in video, captured by BSR Wedding Films with drone footage by Silver Bear Creative. Scroll to see our Prim In Pearls editorial and to read from vendors themselves about some of their favorite elements. Cheers!

 

From hair and makeup artist, Emily of AW Wedding & Co.: “My description of the look would be a romantic bride. Soft glam to highlight the bride’s radiant beauty with light shimmering eyeshadow to make her shining eyes pop. For the lips, we used a delicate pink so that her bright smile would be the main focal point. The hair was styled into glamorous waves to frame her stunning features and flow in movement with her stunning gown.”

From the florist, Hannah of Must Like Flowers: “Pearls are elegant, romantic and timeless, so I wanted to make sure that all the floral elements reflected this! I also love things that have a lot of movement and texture, which can really bring the floral pieces to life. With the centerpiece, I definitely wanted a big statement! Being able to design a more large scale piece really helped to showcase each bloom both separately and together. I wanted to make sure that the floor pieces felt natural and organic but were still really elegant – like pearls are! I made sure to use a lot of greenery to give the piece a natural flowy feel. It was also important to bring the floral to life by using different heights and texture throughout each piece. The bridal bouquet is always the most important floral element on a wedding day. It is typically photographed the most and it is a part of the bride’s entire look. I wanted to make sure to keep this bouquet timeless but still with the organic and romantic feel of the rest of the floral.”

Watch the Prim in Pearls behind the scenes video here!

 


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Pop the Bubbly! Recapping our FW21 Mag Release Brunch at The Laurel

Friday, September 3rd, 2021

Pop the bubbly – our Fall/Winter 2021 issue of the Brides of North Texas is here, and we couldn’t be more in love with all the amazing content found inside from North Texas’ best vendors! Stunning issues are only possible with the help of our incredible vendors, and they deserved the best brunch celebration at the gorgeous venue The Laurel to ring in the new issue. We always look forward to celebrations like this as it’s a time to gather together, celebrate all the hard work and just have fun – and this brunch did not disappoint!

Full of all of the best whimsical, delicious and summery things, EZ Party Time‘s grand balloon installation welcomed guests and vendors to the day and set the tone for all the fun vibes that were to come! Luscious blooms in coordinating shades of pink, peach, cream and lavender from Something Pretty Floral adorned the reception space to bring in soft summery feels and add a fresh element to the scene. Light cream linens from AM Linen Rentals made a solid foundation for stylishly curated place settings from COHOST to adorn each table and chic spaces for everyone to enjoy the tasty bites of the day! Boxwood Hospitality and Ashton Marie Cakes teamed up to serve the most scrumptious eats and treats for everyone to snack on throughout the day, while Nightowl Coffee Cart supplied all the caffeine needs with their specialty gourmet coffee drinks. Conversations and laughs were shared while Marquise Pro kept the good vibes going with their perfectly curated tunes and while Capture Co. Photo Booth‘s digital photo booth was online and ready for guests to capture and share the best memories a la photo, boomerang or short video clips (see the gallery here!). As the best party favor, Savor Patisserie‘s macaron boxes made for scrumptious on-the-go favors and a “sweet” memory for guests to have once they left. Scroll to see all the details of our Fall/Winter 2021 magazine release event captured by the amazing Stephanie Brazzle Photography! Cheers to a new magazine and the vendors that made it happen!

Coffee cart photo: Marissa Merritt Photography

 

See the photo booth gallery from Capture Co. Photo Booth here!

 

Color Us Impressed with this (Geometric) Gem of Wedding Inspiration!

Wednesday, September 1st, 2021

Color us impressed with this (geometric) gem of a wedding inspiration shoot! Give us all things 90s, whimsical and having to do with this jaw-dropping ceremony backdrop from Satin Pavement that steals the show in this perfectly curated bold and memorable scene. Centered on this unique geometrical wedding element, every stunning detail that comes into play only elevates the overall feel and style of this shoot, expertly captured by Kelsey LaNae Photography. Settled within the walls of the HALL Arts Hotel, this artfully crafted venue held the perfect environment to infuse the feel of the Dallas Arts District with the funky, playful elements showcased throughout. Bethany’s Letter Shop proves that you can never go wrong with a big and bold invitation suite that features different geometric shapes and styles, combining to create paperie that is quite literally our dreams brought to life. Bringing a fresh and organic element to this scene, Root + Bloom Floral Design‘s cheery poppies, ranunculus and sweet pea provide a stunning bright contrast against the more soft colored backdrop they’re placed against. Our model bride’s glam of full 90s curls and a bold pop of red on her lids from Etoilly Artistry make a subtle statement, yet still get the theme across in the perfect way while she rocks a flattering, form-fitting gown with delicate floral detailing from Elizabeth Scott Bridal. As if this inspiration could’t include any more geometric elements, Savor Patisserie‘s macaron tower in sweet pastel shades features hand-painted lines that seem to break the traditional boundaries of a normal tower – also making them almost too pretty to eat! Scroll to see ALL the inspiration and to read about a couple of this shoot’s elements from the vendors themselves. Cheers!

From stationery designer, Bethany with Bethany’s Letter Shop: “This one’s for the bride who wants to have a bold and memorable design that leaves her guests expectantly anticipating the big day! As soon as I saw the inspiration for this shoot, I immediately knew I wanted to do something unique with the shape of the wedding invitation. I absolutely love the way the rounded edges of the invitation play well with the rigid lines of the envelope liner. This was such a fun one to design, and I am so proud of the way it turned out!”

From macaron baker, Kelli with Savor Patisserie: “We had fun playing with color on this tower. The asymmetrical color placements and hand-painted lines throughout the tower was our way to create ‘shapes’ within the boundaries of a macaron tower.”


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Soft as Velvet | Relaxed, Cozy & Intimate Elopement Inspiration

Monday, August 16th, 2021

If a relaxed and intimate elopement is speaking to your wedding day love language, our Soft as Velvet editorial from the creatives behind Celebrate Dallas is for you! Full of tender romance and delicate details, this editorial embodies slow mornings, sweet kisses and neutral tones, allowing any couple to easily make their ideal ceremony uniquely theirs. The Sinclair Hotel boasts a perfect space for every event for your day – a cozy room to wake up in, a modern reception hall to dance the night away and a dreamy rooftop balcony to have the Dallas skyline be the backdrop for your intimate ceremony. Deep mauve and burgundy tones mixed with mustard and light pinks create a cozy, autumnal color palette and fall garden feel in the middle of the city. Hellebore, fritillaria, ranunculus, roses, lisianthus and snapdragons from Kate McLeod Studio bring that garden feel to the rooftop and make for a stunning altar scene with Loot Rental‘s chute rug and eclectic assortment of candlesticks.

If this editorial scene looks familiar to you, it’s because it was just that good, we had to put it on the cover! Featuring our cover image captured by the amazingly talented Sara Boyd Photography, it only took one look for us to fall head-over-heels with this couple, design and image! Our model bride graces this scene wearing the beautiful Monet gown from Grace Loves Lace – an ultra femme and romantic gown that truly took our breath away. Tease to Please Hair and Makeup created a stunning bridal glam look of a low chignon hair style and a soft yet romantic makeup look complete with hints of subtle light pink throughout. Adding a little bit of eye-catching sparkle to the look, fine jewelry from L’unique Diamonds and Fine Jewelry is the perfect diamond on top of it all. If you’ve loved every detail of this editorial, you’re not going to want to miss it in video from the makers at Ocular Pophere! Scroll to read about the inspiration from this shoot from Caitlin with Celebrate Dallas and to see all the stunning details. Cheers!

 

From the planner, Caitlin with Celebrate Dallas: “It is super common (and great if that’s what you choose) for the bride and groom to sleep apart the night before the wedding, but I couldn’t imagine waking up to or starting that day with anyone other than my person. For my inspiration, I imagined the sweet kisses, romantic words and little giggles the solo morning would create. I wanted to incorporate colors that would make a statement but keep the mood relaxed and cozy. Delicate little details and neutral tones created a super dreamy atmosphere, and I could picture a couple soaking up the quiet before the storm. Holding hands, fixing ties, the whole vibe would be slow and as soft as velvet. On trend colors like mustard, rose water and amethyst also flowed into the couple’s ideal ceremony — small, chic, modern and uniquely theirs.”

This Light and Airy Hometown Wedding is Your Feel-Good Story of the Day

Monday, June 14th, 2021

If you’re needing a feel-good story of the day, you must read about Jessica and Vic’s light and airy hometown-centered wedding day! Made possible by the expert wedding planners at MK Event Boutique, all of the festivities of this wedding weekend took place right in the bride’s hometown neighborhood. She woke up in her childhood bedroom, walked down the road to her favorite coffee house to start her morning, got ready in her parent’s house and had their ceremony at her hometown church outside by the pond she helped lay stones at when it was being built. There’s not a more special way to have a few last moments in your hometown with your family before you move on and start a new life with your husband!

Light and airy neutrals with bunches of natural lush greenery and perfect pops of metallic gold fill their reception space at Legends Hall at The Marq Southlake. Jessica was literally glowing in her simple yet classic bridal gown from the Bridal Boutique – the perfect gown to wear for a warn, sunny October wedding day! With the couple’s love for dance, Royal Dukes Band was able to play a huge part in one of the couple’s favorite memories. For the last song of the night, they played “Friends in Low Places” by Garth Brooks, and while being unprompted, all of Jessica and Vic’s guests formed a giant circle around them and started swaying and singing while they slow danced in the middle – truly the perfect end to a perfect day! Scroll to see all of the details of this light and airy wedding day and to read about the bride’s favorite vendor. Cheers to the Meyers!

Photo // Kylie Crump Photography

From the bride about her dream wedding maker: “Annie Edgar at MK Event Boutique! Annie is truly incredible, I really don’t know how she does it. In the year of COVID with some tough decisions to make or not-so-great news to deliver, she was up front and honest with us, but did everything in her power to help us make the wedding happen as close to originally planned as possible. I loved her energy, kindness, and humor. She truly made the process so much more fun!”


Planning a wedding of your own? Check out even more real wedding inspiration here. Cheers!