Top Five Wedding Tips for Couples with Pets

Your fiance or your maid of honor may be your best human friend, but what about your best furry friend? For all those couples out there with their own furry friends, we’ve got five cute ways to keep them involved in your wedding. They’re a big part of your lives after all, they should get to be a part of the festivities!
Put Them in the Pictures

While you’re planning your engagement or invite photos, think about involving the furry friends! You can do a fun “family” photo of you two and your pet. Pictures of all of you cuddling, playing, or just flopping around are adorable. Everyone loves cute pet photos, why not up your couple cute factor by adding your adorable furry friend? Just be sure to have a lint roller on hand.


Dress Them Up

Even if you don’t usually dress your little buddy up, it’s a wedding! Everyone dresses up! Swing by a specialty store and pick up some formal wear for your furry friend. Usually things like bowties are easy formal wear for pets that aren’t too annoying for them to wear. Putting your cat in an entire fluffy dress may get mangled quicker than you realize.

Register for the Whole Family

While you’re registering, think about your pet. Try not to register for anything that they could eat/mangle/destroy quickly (goodbye, white lace couch cushions!). If you’re finding that you already have a lot of basic household things, you can register for pet-friendly items. Registering at big box stores like target can give you the option to request pet toys or accessories. All the fun wedding presents don’t have to go straight into the kitchen- Fido should be able to enjoy some wedding presents too!

Give Them a Job

A great way to have your pet help out during the wedding is to give them a job! For bigger animals like dogs, mini horses, and pot bellied pigs, you can have them walk down the aisle or act as the ring bearer (we REALLY want to see pictures if you have your pot bellied pig act as your ring bearer). If you have a smaller animal like a guinea pig, rabbit, or mouse, you can set them up near the guestbook (with some supervision, of course). Involving them is a great photo op, plus gives you the chance to involve them on your special day.



Give Them Room

There’s a family table, a kids table, why not add a pet table? Rather than a table, use baby gates to set up an area for pets. If you’re open to having guests bring their furry friends this could be a really convenient and sweet gesture. Set it up with lots of newspaper or towels, water, and some snacks. If you can, try to get a few people to keep an eye on them too. This lets your guests save on dog sitters and be able to bring their furry friends to the big day too. You’ll be doing them a favor, plus your pet will get a chance to socialize!


Do you have plans on having your pets involved in your wedding? Share them in the comments below!


Top Five Kid-Friendly Wedding Ideas

Got a gang of little ones who RSVP’d? Kids can be tricky at traditional big events like weddings (especially if they’re all dressed up in clothes they can’t get messy!). We’ve got a few tips to help you plan for the little ones to keep them, their parents, and you happy.

Group the Little Ones

While you’re going through your RSVP’s, try to get ages (or at least ballpark ages) for all the little ones who will be at the wedding. If they’re too young, it may be good to keep them with their parents. If they’re old enough to not need mom or dad for every bite, think about doing a kid’s table situated between enough of their parents. Remember, every kid is different, so think about whether it will be good or distracting to keep them together during the ceremony. Ceremonies can be tricky, since you’ll want little distraction. Try to envision if they’re old enough to sit still and not make loud noises while you’re reciting your vows. If they’re not, it may be wise to have a plan B for the little ones.

Have a Contingency Plan

If the little ones will get too distracted during the ceremony or won’t be able to sit still, think about having something else set up for them during that time. It’s perfectly okay to be selfish during your wedding- it’s your show your way. Coloring books and crayons can be good for some kids but not enough for others. If you’re able to, maybe assign someone to babysitting duty with the little ones in a separate room or area from the ceremony. Throwing on Finding Nemo and having some puzzles or toys can keep your ceremony from unwanted fits or crying.

Plan the Floor

If you’re doing drinks or any kind of alcohol, be sure that any tabletops are high enough that kids can’t reach them. A maitai may sound good to us, but it looks like juice to little ones. You may also want to keep the gift area elevated enough that kids don’t try to open everything like a  birthday gift unwrapping party. Keeping kids corralled in a corner away from breakables, glass, and alcohol keeps everyone safe.

Consider Entertaining the Little Guests

A DJ or band will tie over your more grown guests, but will music alone engage the kids? Board games like Candyland or Guess Who can really keep younger ones entertained (and maybe some of your older ones, too!). This BHL blogger was at a wedding years ago that actually had a magician to perform for the children. This may be an expense that isn’t always planned for, but that particular wedding had a large number of children and kept them all entertained and happy while the rest of the guests hit the dance floor.

Thank Them Too

Be sure that the kids know that you appreciate them coming as well. Kids can be hard to plan for at weddings, but you should still be courteous to them as guests just like you would any other guest. Address the thank you note to them as well as whoever took them to the wedding, and give them hugs and thank you’s for coming before they leave. If you can, send them copies of any pictures that they’ve made cameos in. You do need to play to their crowd specifically, but they will feel really good about being appreciated.


Country Chic Wedding from Jessi Marri Photography

Excuse me while I gush over all the pretty details of this country chic wedding located in Anahuac, Texas. Oh my! This wedding is so gorgeous! I am in love with all the DIY details that the bride and her family created. You can tell that a lot of sweat, blood, and tears went into creating such a lovely wedding.  I would not consider myself a country girl, but this wedding has me thinking of buying some cowboy boots of my own! Thanks to Jessi Marri Photography for capturing all the beautiful photos and making this wedding even more special. I can stare at these images all day. Yes, all day! Go ahead and take a look for yourself and you will see why I am so obsessed.






































From the bride…

For months leading up to the wedding day we, or my mother and I, put in a lot of thought and work on cost saving ways to make the day the way we wanted it.  My husband would listen to my thoughts and always just said whatever you want sweetheart!  Through saving mason jars, wine bottles, and various things we were able to make all of the center pieces for the wedding.  We were blessed to have an amazing group of family and friends to help us with many different key pieces.  One of the bridesmaid’s mothers was an ex cake baker and made the wedding cake as a wedding gift.  The favors were from my dad’s candy store, Lindale Candy Company.  My mom did so much work on making different signs to display at the wedding, pictures to display, and other various things.  My dad cut logs for the cake bases and made the giant F for the wedding. 

Three days prior to the wedding, my best friend (maid of honor) and one of my bridesmaids showed up to help get last minute things into place.  My mother showed up two days prior.  We were lucky enough to be able to start setting up a couple of days prior because no one had rented out the lodge.  Now after all of the work put in to the decorations and all of the different pieces it was time to put them all together.  To save money we decided to do all of the decorating on our own.  We worked all day and all night for two days to get everything ready.  We also got a group of family and friends together to set up the chairs at the wedding location.  One of my bridesmaids made all of the bows and tin can displays for the wedding site the day before the wedding.  She also wrapped the burlap through the arch to make it fit to the décor.  Without the help of my friends and family, this day would not have been possible. 

So the wedding day, we all wake up around 7 am to eat breakfast and go get our nails done.  I had spent the night at the lodge with all of my bridesmaids so that we could all be together.  My maid of honor slept in a twin bed next to my twin bed.  We spent hours talking that night and that morning about the day to come.  Once we woke up, we started doing some last minute touches (putting table cloths on, center pieces in place, etc.) before heading out to get our nails done.  After finishing up with our nails, we returned to the lodge where hair and makeup were so that we could get started on that.  While the first two girls started with hair and makeup, the remaining girls started putting flowers out in the vases.  The flowers were ordered bulk and we arranged them ourselves.  The day flew by because we were all busy finishing up the last few things.  After putting the flowers out at the reception we went to the wedding site to put flowers out there.  Once that was done it was time for me to start getting my hair and makeup done.  Before we knew it, it was time to head to the wedding ceremony location to meet the photographer and get everything going. 

While walking down the aisle it was amazing to see all of the hard work we put in come to life.  With everyone there smiling and all of the little touches looking amazing I knew that all of the hard work was totally worth it.  Even when we arrived to the reception I felt like it was all even better than it had been right before leaving for the ceremony.  It was like seeing everyone there enjoying the space made it more special and even more perfect.  This day would not have been possible without the help of my amazing mother, father, my new in-laws, and all of my bridesmaids.  We could not have had such a perfect day without all of their help.


Photographer: Jessi Marri Photography

Venue: Oak Island Lodge

Wedding Cake:  Made by a family friend 

Grooms Cake: Sweet Treats by Cynthia
Caterer: Ezer Catering

Top Five Tips for Seating Charts

Seating charts can be a much harder task to take on than you realize- you need to weigh out who can sit with who, where to put kids, and who needs to be closest to you. It can be pretty hectic! We’ve got some tips to help you keep your cool while you figure out where everyone can go.

Make a Model

It can help to physically put people where they need to be. Print out the layout of the seating area (if you’re doing your ceremony at a hotel they usually have pre-made layouts of where tables will go) and use post-it tabs or push pins to place people. Being able to physically see where everyone will go will give you some clarity and make it easier to move people around.

Make a “No-No” List

Do you have some people who REALLY can’t be seated near each other? It happens! Look over your guest list and highlight anyone who needs to sit somewhere… specific. You can place those people first so that you know there won’t be any unnecessary drama or fighting. Don’t feel like you can’t invite people because they may have issues with other guests, just keep them separated and enjoy yourself. After all, the wedding’s about love and harmony. Keep the peace the best way you can.

Consider Foot Traffic

Are you having a buffet? A drink bar? Any sort of thing where guests will need to be getting up and walking around? Keep that area a little extra clear. If you can foresee a path that your guests will need to be taking, maybe have tables scooched a little more out of the way. Better yet, keep people who are younger and able to move at those tables. You shouldn’t put your 80 year old grandmother at a table where she would need to be moving her chair out of the way for other guests.

Plan Kids Accordingly

Think about any little ones that will be in attendance. Are they going to want to play together? Are their parents going to want to keep them nearby? Kid’s tables can be great to keep all the little ones entertained, but you wouldn’t want their parents to be stressed out trying to watch their kids from across the room. Figure out what kind of parents and kids are going to be there and think about what would work best for them. Just be sure to stock that table with extra napkins for messier little ones.

Plan for Yourself

Think about who you want closest to you. Do you want to do a sweetheart table? Or a big wedding party table? Maybe a table with the parents and the newlyweds? Think about what YOU want most. After all, it’s your wedding! We do suggest that you have your maid of honor as close as possible for anything you may want or need. She’s your wingwoman for a reason- keep her close!


Five Ways to Bond with Your Father-In-Law

In honor of Father’s Day coming up this weekend, we’ve got our focus on some of our favorite guys- our dads! It can be intimidating when your family gets bigger- especially if you’re getting a whole new set of parents as in-laws. We want to help you get along with your new family, and that can start with some good old fashioned bonding. We’ve got tips on how to bond with your new father-in-law that’ll make you the new family favorite.

Figure Out His Favorites

One of the best ways to learn more about a person is to find out what they love and why they love it. Ask him what his favorite book is, then read it. While you’re reading think about the themes and characters. After you’ve read it, bring it up by mentioning that you checked out that book on his recommendation. You’ll be able to talk about what you both liked and may have not liked about it. Plus, it can be humbling for someone to have their recommendations taken seriously. You’ll score some points!

Ask Questions

Next time you’re both at family functions, ask open ended questions that you would be able to answer as well. Try to avoid yes or no questions, or anything that could end a conversation abruptly (ex., how was traffic/weather/your dinner can be conversation killers). Try to find out more about his life with questions about what his favorite things are, where his dream vacation spot is, what his pets growing up were like. Give him the chance to tell a story and he’ll feel closer to you.

Show Off in the Kitchen

Everyone has their signature dish- you should be proud of yours! If you’re doing a family potluck, or even just all getting together for some grub, be ready to cook. As the old saying goes- the best way to get to someone’s heart is through their stomach! If your cooking skills are limited, don’t let that stop you. Try new things and be willing to do some taste testing.

Be Grateful

When he helps out, when he sends gifts, when he does anything for you, always be grateful. It can be difficult for some people to let in a new member of the family, and being friendly and grateful will go far. If he gets any gifts, helps pay for anything, or goes out of his way be sure to thank him.

Take Pictures

This one goes past posting pictures on instagram with the caption #HappyFamily. Involve the in-laws in group pictures and share the shots later. Pictures and happy images can go a long way- it’ll help you both remind each other of the great times you’ve shared! You’ll be able to look back in a few years and wonder how you ever weren’t close with the in-laws.


Five Tips On Creating A Guest List

Putting together the guest list for your wedding can be the headache you never saw coming, but it doesn’t have to be. The guest list is on the list of the most important things pertaining to your wedding. I mean, what’s a wedding without people to watch you walk down the aisle in your beautiful gown? Let me help you make this a little easier with these five tips on creating a wedding guest list.

Budget- Before you can even begin to put a list together, you must know your budget. Without a budget, there is no way for you and your partner to create a good guest list. Creating a list without first budgeting, means you’ll be recreating the list later.

Share The Responsibility- You don’t have to do this alone. Decide, with your partner, how many guests is ideal to the both of you. When that is decided, you both can create separate lists. Once you have your lists completed,  you can look over both lists together.  Chances are, you’re going to eliminate people from both lists for one reason or another. Sitting down and creating a list together has been known to cause issues, which is why doing it at the same time but separately is great way to go.

No Parents Allowed- Keep your parents as far away from your list as possible. Moms get excited when they hear the word wedding. Some forget that it’s not their wedding, but rather yours. Allowing parents to get involved also means you will end up inviting family members you haven’t spoken to since you were a kid. You also don’t want to see more of your parents’ friends than you see of your own. Of course it’s ok to invite some of their friends, but keep them away from your list.

Categories- Creating lists broken up into three different categories is always great. The first one is must have.  This list is filled with close friends and family that you are going to invite no matter what. The second one is the maybe, probably, yes. This one consists of friends and family you want at the wedding but might not necessarily make the cut. Then there is the I don’t know list. This list may consist of  distant family members, and people you haven’t seen in a while but wouldn’t mind seeing. Once the three lists have been created, you can then get out your trusty red pen and start the process of elimination.

Inviting Kids- It is so important to decide whether or not children are going to be allowed at the wedding. Allowing children means more people. Your guest list can quickly go from fifty to seventy-five. Excluding children also cuts your list down due to the fact that some new mothers might not be ready to be apart with their little one. Think this through and make the right decision for you.

I know, this seems like a lot of work, and it is. However, you should think about it like this: the sooner you finish your guest list, the sooner you can get married to the one you love. In the end, it’ll all be worth it.

Three Tips for Flower Girls and Ring Bearers

Incorporating a beloved child or children into your wedding ceremony adds both sentiment and a whimsical touch to your special day. For a blended family becoming united as one, this tradition can be of major significance, as your kids will be there to witness and celebrate the establishment of your new family. Bridal Hot List has three simple tips for making the little ones of your bridal party feel included and confident in their duty.

#1- Practice makes perfect. You want to be sure the young ones are well prepared for what to expect,  and when and where they should go. Remember, this is probably the first wedding they’ve ever attended, let alone been a part of the ceremonial procession. If possible, have them visit the ceremony site several times so they are familiar with the surroundings. They can pick a certain spot on the floor where they want to stand. It is a good idea to let them know how long they can expect to stand at that spot. Give them physical cues, like start walking at the sound of the steel drums, or after Aunt Julie passes the first row of chairs with bows. The rehearsal itself can be a chaotic time, so having the little ones pre-rehearsed will get everyone to dinner and drinks faster and it also sets a good example for the adults!

#2- Include some kid-friendly fun. If there won’t be other kids their age at the wedding, let them invite a friend or two so they can enjoy themselves at the reception. Set up their own table with some kid-friendly activities and snacks. If their ceremony clothing is rented, formal, or elaborate, have them bring a change of clothes and comfy shoes so they can tear up the dance floor with the adults and just be kids!

#3- Embrace the hiccups. The best moments happen when a child says or does something funny, misguided, or super touching without even realizing it. These are the moments that create the fond memories of your wedding that everyone talks about. This can also work as great blackmail when that little flower girl or ring bearer grows up and the time comes for their own wedding! Have the cameras ready and rolling to capture their moment in the spotlight as well as intimate moments with the bride and/or groom. Lastly, don’t forget they deserve a bridal party gift too!

Palm Springs Wedding from Perfectly Made Weddings

Palm Springs will forever be a favorite destination of mine. Being as I am a total Cali girl, growing up with the beach, the mountains, the dessert, and all the fabulous weather all year round, this wedding is a total love. It’s that magical combo of sunshine and glamour which really brings me to this fabulous destination. That is why today I am overjoyed with this gorgeous Palm Springs wedding.  It has all the details that has my heart in total overdrive.  I say all of this because their heartfelt, desert nuptials have me trying to dig up adjectives worthy of their sweet ceremony and cozy reception – but I keep falling short of words that will really do it all justice. Thankfully, the images from Jennifer Yount Photography can express it all.

Bride solo
Rob First look
first look
first look 1
kiss at meet
meet 1
meet 3
ceremony detail 1
Ceremony walk in groom
Flower girl
Groom waiting
Bride walking in
ceremony 2
ceremony sons
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ceremony kids
ceremony ketubah
Ceremony 1
Ceremony Vows
ceremony flower girl looking
ceremony vows 1
ceremony wine
ceremony 4
Ceremony chant
Ceremony ring
ceremony ring exchange
Ceremony hug
breaking glass
breaking glass 1
ceremony recessional
Couple photo 1
couple photo 4
couple photo 2
set up
reception 2
Reception 1
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reception dancing
cake cutting
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couple photo 3
This couple has seriously stolen my heart. I’m in love with them for so many different reasons, but mainly because they seem to be the type of people you want to be around all the time. I have been part of the planning of weddings for many couples, but I have to admit, I have never seen a kind of love like this one. Not just love between the two love birds, (oh THAT is just a bucket full of unconditional love), but the love that is between the couple and their guests. That love is out of this world.  I have never seen such love and joy shared with all that were present. I myself felt like I was part of the family as everyone was so open with their love. It was wonderful! I had the pleasure to help plan and coordinate this lovely wedding.  Perfectly Made Weddings, together with the sweet and fun loving couple, created a unforgettable day. Working with some incredible vendors, this gorgeous wedding had it all. Set at the beautiful Le Vallauris Restaurant  located in the heart of downtown Palm Springs, California, this wedding brought together traditions with a touch of  simple chic.  The couple really wanted to incorporate Jewish traditions into their wedding.  From the Tisch, to the challah blessing, the traditions were done so beautifully. The bride wanted something simple yet elegant for her wedding day. A  beautiful chuppah with stunning drapery and white florals was the center of it all at their ceremony. White flowers, candles, and twinkle lights decorated the reception.   Besides all the amazing ambiance set for this lovely couple and their wedding, the whole day was full of energy. From the moment the guests arrived, to the last guest leaving, there was constant joy, laughter, and energy. My favorite part? In all honesty, I really enjoyed each and every moment of this wedding. Each element brought it’s own unique and special detail, which was simply amazing. I have to say that this has been one of the best weddings I have been part of. Judy and Rob together with their guests really made it effortless. The location, the food, the decor, and all the gorgeous details were just made for these two.
Congratulations to Judy and Rob!
Vendor Information:
Wedding Planner and Designer:  Perfectly Made Weddings
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Le Vallauris Restaurant 
Entertainment:  NeFesh Music