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5 Stress-Free Tips for Cutting Down the Guest List

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One of the more arduous tasks of wedding planning is pinning down the guest list. It’s an amazing feeling to have everyone you love and care about in the same room celebrating you and your hubby. Unfortunately, you more than likely will be limited by space and/or money, and a cutoff must be set. The fear of causing tension or stirring up bad blood might be nagging at you, but your wedding is about you and your fiancé’s happiness. If you’re needing to cut down your guest list, consider some of our tips below!

5 Stress-Free Tips for Cutting Down the Guest List

Photo // Alba Rose Photography, Vella Nest Floral

Make an A- and B-List

The first step in creating your wedding guest list is writing down who instantly comes to mind. This will be your A-list. These are people you can’t imagine your day without. The next step in constructing a B-list. This list includes people who you’d love to be there, but they may or may not expect or desire an invitation. Put this list in order of priority, and then send invitations out in waves. As people decline their invitation, send another round out to the people at the top of the B-list. Parents typically enjoy inviting some of their close friends as well, especially if they’ve watched you grow up. Discuss this with your parents and in-laws and decide together who makes the A-list and where certain people should go on the B-list.

Ask Yourself, “Would I be offended if I wasn’t invited to their’s?”

When there is a question about whether to invite someone or not, ask yourself if you would be offended if you weren’t invited to their wedding. If the answer is “no,” chances are they probably will feel the same way. If your relationship isn’t at the level of inviting each other to life-altering events, that’s okay! Usually, the feeling is mutual.

3-Year Rule

You and your fiancé are about to start your future together, so invite people you know will be a part of that future! If you haven’t seen or even spoken to someone in three years, it’s obvious they aren’t a part of your present and will most likely play a very small role in your future. However, there are some exceptions, like if they made your A-list or live far away. You’ll know which people to be more lenient with, but it will help you knock a good amount of people off the list.

No Plus-Ones

While offering your guests a plus-one is a nice gesture, it’s more important to be able to invite everyone you desire. You might still allow your bridal party to bring a date out of courtesy, but don’t feel obligated to extend the option to every guest. Choosing who can and can’t bring a date can get complicated as well. It’s safer to just have a set rule for all attending.

Adults-Only Wedding

Another quick way to shorten the guest list is by inviting adults only, no children. You may ask that guests not bring children under a certain age. Whether it’s a matter of space, money or just for the sake of the atmosphere, most guests will understand and respect your request. You can always consider providing a childcare room where kids would stay during the ceremony and, possibly, the reception. Be sure to make it clear if parents should retrieve their children for the reception or if the children are expected to remain in the childcare room through that time as well.

Now that you have your guest list cut down, it’s time to send invitations! Check out some of DFW’s best invitation and save-the-date designers here!

Modern Romance Wedding Inspiration in Blush and White

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In minimalistic yet oh-so-romantic light-filled wedding scenes planned and styled by Alexa Kay Events, this modern romance wedding inspiration unfolds in posed and candid shots that have us daydreaming about portraiture ideas for couples, floral-filled altars to be wed at, plus the prettiest dessert table ever! Models that are real-life husband and wife mean that the chemistry seen in this inspiration shoot is 100% authentic, and this bride looks absolutely radiant styled with a bright and glowy makeup look by Brite Beauty along with a loose and romantic, low updo. Tablescapes lined with velvety, neutral textiles from AM Linen Rental make things feel luxe and elevated while still looking clean and simple, and we love how so much floral can make a blank canvas of a space feel so alive and warm! Captured by Sami Kathryn Photography, there is so much evident romance in the scenes of this modern romance wedding inspiration! Read on for a note from the photographer about the shoot and all its many gorgeous details. Cheers!

Photos // Sami Kathryn Photography

From the photographer: “If you love pretty details and sweet treats, then this wedding inspiration is for you! The beautiful dessert table, stunning details, abundant florals and precious pup are romantic yet modern. Planned by Alexa Kay Events and captured by Sami Kathryn Photography, each component of this wedding drips in greenery and artful florals by Petals & Pastels. The dreamy dessert table includes cookies imprinted with the couple’s initials, chocolate-covered Rice Krispie treats and a gold-leaf, floral-covered cake. The cupcake seating chart featured wax seal-adorned escort cards created by Liza Child. Stunning beaded shoes from Bella Belle serve as the centerpiece for the thoughtfully captured details. The tablescape features modern ceramics from Year & Day alongside simple gold flatware with clean and elegant lines, neutral velvet linen, a silk ribbon-adorned menu and gold ink calligraphed place setting cards. Somehow minimal and modern, yet romantic and luxurious, all at the same time!”

Still on the hunt for more gorgeous inspo? Check out all our styled shoots and curated wedding inspiration here.

How to Preserve Your Wedding Dress and Bouquet After the Wedding

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After all the planning, stressing and excitement, your wedding day has suddenly come and gone so quickly! A bride’s wedding gown is the most expensive, gorgeous piece of clothing she’ll ever wear. She also puts a lot of thought and money into creating the perfect bouquet to carry down the aisle and toss to her girls. Parting with these items can be hard, but preserving them lets you keep them to reminisce on forever! If you want to keep your gown, it’s important to take the necessary steps to preserve it. Otherwise, your dress will most likely turn yellow, develop brown spots from oxidation, grow mold and mildew and/or have permanent creasing. You also can’t just put your bouquet in a vase and expect it to last a lifetime. There are several ways to preserve your wedding dress and bouquet that will keep them looking brand new and also help preserve your memories of your special day. Keep reading to find out how!   

How to Preserve Your Wedding Dress and Bouquet After the Wedding

Photo // Ben Q. Photography

Preserving Your Dress

Taking or sending your dress to a preservationist is the easiest way to preserve your dress. They will clean it and package it using special methods to ensure safe, long-term storage. Just ask your bridal boutique where they suggest! However, it can also be pretty pricey. If you’d like a cheaper option, preserve it yourself with these steps!

Get it cleaned

Getting your gown cleaned is essential to preserving it. Have your dress professionally cleaned within six weeks, unless it’s silk, which should be done immediately. The less time stains have to set in, the better. If you’re going on your honeymoon right after the wedding, make arrangements with a family member or bridesmaid to take your dress to the cleaners right away. 

Do your research to ensure your dress is in the hands of specialists who know exactly how to manage delicate fabrics and embellishments, like pearls, beads, sequins, etc. Find out whether they use a virgin or recycled solvent. Recycled solvents can cause your dress to acquire an odd smell. Check the label on your dress for any cleaning directions as well. Lastly, take a look at their policies. What’s their warranty like, and do they guarantee a refund of the cost of the dress AND the cleaning should any damage occur? Notify the cleaner of any and all stains. Be aware of clear, invisible stains, like sugar, alcohol, soda and oils, and places you might have sweat as these stains will oxidize, discolor and become noticeable over time if not treated. 

Seal it, box it, or bag it

*Before handling your newly cleaned dress, make sure you’ve washed your hands to get rid of any lotions, oils and anything else that could transfer onto the dress. Wearing cotton gloves is strongly advised!*

Most preservationists either seal, box or bag dresses. Sealing it involves vacuum sealing your dress in a bag. While this might seem like the most protective route, sealing your dress can actually cause the permanent creases, yellowing, molding and mildewing we’re trying to avoid. It also prevents you from being able to check on it regularly. Most people prefer boxing or bagging their gown.

Boxing your dress first involves folding your dress and wrapping it in white acid-free tissue paper to help prevent creasing. If the tissue is any color besides white, it will dye your dress! Consider stuffing the dress with tissue paper to help it maintain its shape. Then, place your dress in an acid-free box made from acid-free board. Acid-free wedding chests are highly recommended! Boxing allows your gown to breathe and to be accessed easily. If you box your dress, it is advised to refold it every two to three years to avoid permanent creasing. 

If you decide to bag your dress, hang it on a padded hanger by the loops inside the dress connected to the strongest seams. Then, bag it in a cotton or acid-free plastic bag, NOT regular plastic. While hanging your dress offers the best air circulation and permanent crease prevention, long-term hanging of your gown is not ideal.

Find a good place to store it

Where you store your dress is just as important as the cleaning and the packaging. Cool, dark and dry environments are best, such as under your bed or in a dry closet. Places with extreme temperatures, lots of light or humidity, like attics, garages, and basements, are a no-go. You might put some silica desiccant packets inside your packaging to help control humidity. 

Preserving Your Bouquet

Preserving your bouquet lets you get in touch with your creative side! We’ve listed a few popular options below, but they don’t stop there! However you choose to preserve your bouquet, make sure you do it while your flowers are still fresh for the best results.

Press them

Do your research on your flowers before you press them because certain flowers press better than others. For example, there are flowers that quickly fade in color, have petals that easily fall off, or have a higher water content, which makes them more likely to mold and brown. Some flowers take longer to dry, and bulkier flowers might need the middle petals removed or turn out best when separated into individual petals or flowers. 

When it comes to the actual act of pressing flowers, there are a number of ways you can do it. Stick them inside the pages of a big book, like a phone book or textbook or between two pieces of bolted plywood. Either way, you’ll need to make sure to sandwich the flowers in between materials that soak up moisture. Cardboard and paper often work well for this. Parchment paper is common, too, but doesn’t always work due to its inability to soak up moisture. When they are ready, arrange them how you’d like, maybe around a picture or two, and frame them! Another option is placing them throughout your wedding photo album! 

Dry them

Drying your flowers keeps them in their original shape and is easy to do! There are multiple approaches to this as well. The most common is tying the bouquet together tightly and hanging them upside down somewhere temperate, dry and preferably dark to preserve color and perfume. Covering them with silica gel in an airtight container also produces a beautiful dried flower! After they’re dry, frame them how you’d like or put them in a cute silk bag as a keepsake. 

Turn them into a paperweight

Another popular idea is to preserve them in epoxy resin and turn them into a globe or paperweight! This allows your flowers to look exactly the same as they did on your wedding day! It’s possible to do this from home by getting a prism, sphere or cube mold, placing your flower in it, and filling it with resin. Most do the process in layers. Put the resin in first, then the flower, then add more resin until the mold is filled up. To prevent ruining your flowers, try it first using non-sentimental flowers or just take your flowers to a florist or business that does flower preservation. 

Dip them in wax

Dipping the flowers of your bouquet is another great way to preserve your beautiful blooms. However, keep in mind that wax only extends a flower’s life temporarily, not permanently. The process first includes melting the wax using boiling water and then letting it cool to a warm temperature. Next, gently dip the flowers one by one into the wax, pulling them out right after. Hang them upside down to dry and allow all excess wax to drip off. Then, voila! Your flowers will thrive for another six months or so!

Paint them

While painting your bouquet isn’t preserving the flowers themselves, it still preserves the memory of your flowers in full bloom in an artistic way. Search around for a local artist that does custom paintings or drawings of bouquets. There are several artists on Etsy as well that do a magnificent job! 

If you are interested in preserving your dress, check out some of our bridal gown salons that provide preservation services here!

Celebrating the Release of our New Issue – Social Distance Style!

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Were we ready to see our friends, or what?! It was SO wonderful to have our beloved Brides of North Texas family back together for a social distance style soiree to celebrate the release of our Fall/Winter 2020 issue! Hosted at The Empire Room’s open-air patio, there was plenty of room for guests to spread out and get a first look at the new mag! Lonestar Letter’s cute, custom signage and photo backdrop welcomed guests as they entered the event. Paired with Pink on the Weekend’s amazing balloon installation, it was the picture-perfect scene! Misting fans and linens were graciously provided by Lawson Event Rentals. Gil’s Elegant Catering packaged the perfect array of savory bites to nibble on alongside guest’s morning mimosas, followed by sweet treats from Detour Doughnuts and Coffee! An iced coffee from Night Owl Coffee Cart was our refreshment of choice – and paired perfectly with those amazing doughnuts. Thanks to Marquise Pro – part-time DJ, part-time killer saxophone player – guests were entertained all morning long! We were lucky enough to have Sami Kathryn Photography there to capture all of the details. Scroll below to see the full gallery from Sami!

Photos // Sami Kathryn Photography

Vintage Curios Make this Eclectic Mansion Wedding Inspiration So Unique

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This eclectic mansion wedding inspiration really tells a story – and a unique one at that! Full of so many vintage curios, there’s lots to see in these stunning wedding scenes captured by Laning PhotographyPlanned and coordinated by Maxwell and Gray, this styled shoot features a palette of burnt orange, mauve, maroon and black accents bringing a modern touch and moody ambiance, and we love the eclecticism of all the amazing pieces from POSH Couture Rentals. A perfectly set tablescape with an abundance of autumnal-toned floral, black candlesticks and detailed hand-lettering placeholders from Ellis Page Calligraphy make this wedding scene even more stylish! Our model bride looks flawless from head-to-toe with a flowy lace-bodiced gown featuring an illusion neckline from Patsy’s Bridal Boutique as well as a glowy bridal makeup look and loose updo by Tease to Please Hair and MakeupThere is nothing about this styled session full of vintage curios that we don’t love! Read on for a note from the florist about the inspiration behind this eclectic mansion wedding shoot. Cheers!

Photos // Laning Photography

From the florist, The Floral Eclectic: “Our story behind this shoot centers around an impromptu wedding at an English countryside manor. Foraging in the fields around the property to create centerpieces, utilizing eclectic heirlooms from their home and borrowing some of their botanist father’s beakers.”

Still on the hunt for more? Check out all our styled wedding inspiration here. Happy scrolling!