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.


Top Five Fourth of July Staples for Your Wedding

We LOVE the Fourth of July. The BBQs, the Fireworks, the day off (whoohoo!). Overall, it’s a fantastic time that everyone enjoys. Sound familiar? It’s got the same ‘good times all around’ vibe of a wedding! Why not merge the two a little to make your wedding that much more fun?

Pack a Punch

Add this to the buffet or to tables- make your famous punch! Punch is such a great BBQ drink that brings everyone back to childhood summers. Opt for something refreshing and red (that screams Fourth of July). If you want to do something a little more elevated, do some fruit punch with some freshly sliced lime wheels in it. It’s up to you whether or not you want to spike it.

Dine Picnic Style

If you love the BBQ aspect of the Fourth of July, trade out the silky linens for more picnic-y linens. A thicker crisp linen with some red or blue stripes screams Fourth of July fun and makes the table look much more inviting. Think gingham-chic and you’re all set! Bonus points if you get a similar (if not the same) fabric as a napkin to wrap your silverware.

Grill It Up

Want to give your guests the festive flavor of the Fourth? Have an on-site grill going! Even if it’s not necessarily hot dogs and hamburgers, you can throw steaks or veggie kabobs on the grill. Grills are fun, interactive, and create a fantastic flavor profile for anything that is thrown on there. Plus that smoky scent will get all your guests excited for food!

Add a Spark

If your wedding goes into the night, pass out sparklers when the sun starts to set. Little ones are easy to obtain, have a low risk of any damages or fires, and look amazing in photos. You and your fiance have clearly had some sparks in your relationship, why not spread the love? Its basically a tiny firework you can hold in your hand, how awesome is that?

Spark Something Bigger

This is a splurge, but if you can pull it off it will be legendary. There is a trend of having fireworks incorporated into the actual wedding festivities and it ALWAYS wows. It’s a big magical explosion that makes everyone feel like a child in awe of the sky. It’s a Fourth of July staple and it’s on the top of our wedding wish list. Yes, sparklers are an awesome homage, but actual fireworks completely blow everything else away.


Top Five Must-Haves for a Stay-Sane Bridal Kit

Planning a wedding isn’t easy- there’s a reason there’s an entire profession dedicated to expertly handling the event. There can be a ton of stress that goes along with making one big event go perfectly and smoothly. It’s important to be able to take a moment to relax and de-stress so you don’t get overwhelmed or anxious before the big day. We have a few must-have items that you’ll need to get through the hectic planning phase. Just keep this kit stashed somewhere nearby and you’ll feel zen in no time. Bonus points if you’re a bridesmaid and can put this together for the bride!

On the Go Lotion


Keep a small stash of lotion on hand in case you feel dry, or if your head starts to hurt. If you feel a headache coming on, simply take a tiny bit of lotion and rub your palms. Focus on the part of your palm just under your thumb and it can ease the pain. Simple massaging and rubbing can fend off the worst of migraines and headaches without popping any pills. Plus, your hands will get super soft!

Instant Smiles


When you’re getting frustrated or flustered, the best thing you can do is mentally retreat to good times. Thinking about a fun party or people you love can help you refocus and get into a good mood (even if it feels challenging in the moment!). Keep cute pictures that make you smile stashed in your purse or set as the wallpaper of your phone. Having constant reminders of the love and the light in your life will keep you feeling good, even if you’re under stress.

Snack Attack


This may sound maternal- but always pack a snack! Sometimes skipping meals or not eating enough can make people cranky or irritable. You want to go into all your wedding decisions and meetings feeling good and balanced- so attack it with a snack! It doesn’t have to be anything big, but your snacks should work for you. If you’re super active and need more energy early in the day, you may need something a little heavier. If you get sleepy or just need something to chew, maybe little pieces of candy just to wake you up. Keep a stash in your car just in case you need something on the go between meals. Just try not to snack too much before the cake tasting!

Stay Shady


Good sunglasses are a Southern California staple and should never be forgotten! You may need to remember to stash them in your purse before you start running around doing wedding errands for more reasons than just to look cute. Keeping the sun out of your eyes keeps your eyes from straining, preventing symptoms like headaches and eye strains. Keeping UV lights from getting to your sensitive eye skin can prevent your eye skin from aging as quickly. The less damage your eyes receive, the less damaged your eyes look! Make sure your pair of shades is not only adorable, but offer some UV protection. You’ll thank us when you look refreshed and young in your wedding photos!

The Es-scent-ial Candle


Have you ever smelled something and immediately felt happy? Your sense of scent is actually very strong and is known to cultivate memories. Go splurge on a great candle for yourself that reminds you of being happy. If you don’t have any scents that you can think of, look for a stress-relief candle (yes, it’s a thing!). Light it when you get home as you’re relaxing or working on wedding planning. The scent will help you stay level headed and ready to focus.


Five Tips for Planning with Long Distance Bridesmaids

Is your bridal party scattered across the state? Across the nation? Never fear, Bridal Hot List is here! It’s very common to have bridesmaids who aren’t in town. Maybe they’re your besties from back home or your college roommates who left for a new city. Whatever the case, it happens and you know it doesn’t lessen the friendship! The distance may pose some challenges, but we’re here to help. Consider us your bonus bridesmaid!


Schedule Touch Bases

Sure it may feel a little formal, but it’s necessary for keeping everyone up to date! Set up Skype or facetime dates with anyone you can’t grab coffee with at the same time every week leading up to the wedding. It’s good if you have some sort of agenda to go over- dresses, shoes, bachelorette party details, whatever it is you should have some idea of what you need to discuss. Let her know that the talks will be totally wedding-based so she has some idea of what’s going to happen. It helps you both be prepared and keeps you from digressing.

Use the Buddy System

If you have more than one long distance bridesmaid in the same city, say you have a few bridesmaids from your hometown but you live farther away, have them buddy up. Have them keep each other accountable to any tasks they’re responsible and to be there for each other. If your bridesmaids are more spread out, ask for help from your maid of honor. She may have more time to track down long distance bridesmaids and can help out with scheduling or wedding questions. Plus, you’ll get the chance to have your bridesmaids bond (which we love!).

Be Accessible

If you can, be able to facetime or Skype in when your bridesmaid goes bridesmaid dress shopping. If she has any questions, be there to help her. It can be hard to get ready for a friend’s wedding from afar (particularly if there’s a time difference between you two!), so do what you can to be there for her. If you have an email address set up for your wedding, have it go to your phone so you can field any questions remotely.

Help Plan When You Can

Be flexible, but know that you’ll probably need your bridal party at least a few days before the wedding, if not a whole week. If your long distance bridesmaid can’t afford that many days off work, schedule the big events to have her there. Be involved in her travel plans so you know what to expect when she’s around. The more connected you two can be in planning, the more smoothly your plans will go!

Be Thankful

It’s hard being a part of an event from afar- this girl’s got to have put in some work to be a part of it all! When you’re thinking about your bridal party gifts, think about something for her. Maybe a nice webcam so you two can skype or an airline voucher so you can see each other soon. Be thoughtful, she has had to be very thoughtful on her end as well. Being a part of a wedding is stressful as is, but adding travel on top of it makes it a bigger deal. Let her know that you appreciate her. Remember, manners and a ‘thank you’ go a long way.


Five Wedding Organizing Tools You Didn’t Know You’d Need

Bridal binder? Check. Magazines? Check. Address book? Check. You may have the basic wedding organization tools, but we’ve got five awesome items that you won’t realize you’ll need until it’s too late.

Arsenal of Color

Color coding makes EVERYTHING better. If you have a weekly planner, put all your food appointments in green, all your dress appointments in red, your venue appointments in blue, etc. It’ll make your at-a-glance planning that much easier to process. You’ll be able to tell what you have lined up for the week and instantly make it easier to focus on your upcoming tasks. Whatever your color key is, stick to it and you’ll be better prepared for everything.OrgItems.jpg.jpg


A step up from post its, hard plastic tabs are a lifesaver. Use them as placemarks in magazines for items you’re eyeing, or in your address book to know how many outstanding R.S.V.P.’s you have. Best of all, you can write on these with markers for notes. They don’t rip or fall apart like post its do and look much more sleek and organized.

Card Case

While you’re shopping vendors, you’ll be getting a lot of business cards. Pick up a card case (cigarette cases are the same size and can do the trick) and have it strictly dedicated to wedding vendors. That way, the cards don’t end up crushed at the bottom of your purse or car.  Write notes on the vendors on the backs of their cards to help you remember which vendors were which.

Wifi Shooter

If you can afford it (or already have it!), hang on to a small point and shoot camera with wifi. While phones are great, you don’t want to lose vendor photos in your camera roll along side selfies and pet pictures. You’ll also be able to adjust your camera’s functions and have more control of how your photos look versus using your phone. Once you get all the shots you need on your flowers, dresses, linens, anything, just email them to yourself (or your designated wedding email address) so you know exactly where they are. While phones are handy, an actual small camera can be more handy. If this seems like it could be pricey, look for a refurbished model. Some decent point and shoot wifi cameras can be as low as $30 refurbished.

Memo Apps

Download a note app like Evernote to hang on to any and all notes that are wedding related. Make sure that the app is dedicated to wedding notes so you don’t lose anything in the midst of other topics. You can create folders dedicated to songlists, food ideas, color schemes, and anything else! Having one app dedicated to all your notes, ideas, and anything wedding related will help you be that much more organized.


Five Tips for Planning a Destination Wedding

If you have your heart set on somewhere beautiful outside your neighborhood for your wedding, no worries. Destination weddings are a great option for couples who can afford it and have the will to travel. Before you start spinning the globe and day-dreaming about currency exchange stations, check out our top tips for planning your destination wedding.

1. Set Your Date Wisely

Have you dreamed about Hawaii in the summer? You’re not alone. Aiming for off-seasons can help cut your costs considerably. If you’re planning on taking anyone with you (such as family or friends), you’ll want to find a property that can accommodate everyone. If you’re unsure about when the off-season is, look at hotel rates for different dates on hotel booking sites like Expedia or If you’re noticing a pattern of lower rates one weekend over another, that’ll be a more cost-effective time to get hitched. Since you’ll most likely have guests going to the wedding with you, you should ensure that it will be as affordable as possible for them as well. Keep in mind that there may be local events going on that could cause a busy weekend; for example Washington D.C. has a cherry blossom festival annually which causes just as much tourist traffic as the summer does. Do your research and your wallet will thank you later.

2. Warn Your Family

It will be smart to plan very much ahead for destination weddings- we’re talking a few months. Not everyone may be able to afford to travel for a wedding, but if you give your loved ones enough time they may be able to save. If you price out flights, hotels, and rental cars (if needed) in advance and show the costs to your guests, they will be more likely to attend. If you’ll need to save extra, your family and friends may need to as well.

3. Do Your Research

It is wise to at least have visited the place you’d like to get married before you get there. You may day-dream about Cabo and not feel the magic once you hit the beach, and you don’t want to risk that. Be sure it’s a place that you and your fiance both love. If it’s been a few years since you’ve visited your dream destination, take a weekend off with your love and check it out. It’s a nice excuse for a vacation (but honey- it’s wedding research!) plus you may find some unexpected finds nearby.

4. Block It Out

If you’ve settled on a location and a hotel, get in touch with the sales manager at the hotel. If you contact them directly and let them know that you’ll have some friends and family coming out with you for your special day, they may do some extra work for you. A hotel sales manager wants to make sure that your (and your loved ones’) experience is as excellent as possible- they want to make it easy on you. They may be able to set up a block of rooms so your guests are all on the same floor or area. They may also (and this may be an advanced move- but it can be done!) be able to set up special lower rates since you’re guaranteeing them a solid amount of room nights. It’s not a guarantee, but it’s worth a shot. If they are unable to accommodate you, they may be able to offer suggestions for other properties as well.

5. Plan Ahead

If there’s one unexpected storm, you and your wedding party are landlocked. It may be a long shot if you’ve got your dates planned right, but there’s no harm in setting up a safety net. If you’re flying or driving, plan on leaving at least 1-2 days before your wedding events start so you have that time to settle in and get ready. Do what you can to not book the last flight of the night- if an earlier one gets bumped you can always go stand-by on the next one. Have a few hundred on retainer in case you need to move your flight with short notice. You would not want your luggage to get lost and show up to your wedding a day late.

Five Ways to Use Your Extra Hour

Happy daylight savings day! Today we are granted a whole extra hour. Sure, it may be tempting to sleep in, but you could be productive. If you’re up and about and ready to take on your extra hour, we’re right there with ya!

Go Over Your Budget

Crunching numbers can be boring, but you’ve got an extra hour so hey- buck up and get it done! Excel sheets are one of the easiest ways to have a financial snapshot of your wedding. If you’re not great with excel, grab a tech savvy friend or watch a few tutorials. It’s quite easy to make spreadsheets that will calculate all your expenses so you can keep track of spending.

Practice Your Looks

Do you know your best angle? Do you know your best smile? Take some time and check yourself out in the mirror! Have a set go-to pose for photos that you know you will feel great doing. If you’d like some tips on how to get your best photo-ready look, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Primp, Primp, Primp

You can use this extra hour for something that will make you feel better now- taking care of yourself! Deep condition your hair or give yourself a sea salt scrub. Doing something small like a blackhead removal strip on your nose can make your face feel instantly fresher. If you want to get more and more detailed, try a more advanced move like a lip exfoliator.

 Partner Up

Take some time with your fiance to talk wedding talk. It can be crazy times right now, and you don’t want to get wrapped up in the chaos of it all. Go out for omelettes with your extra hour and talk about what you love about each other. Treat each other to love letters. Take time to slow down and enjoy being in love with each other.

Plan Ahead

Remember that there’s still wedding work after the wedding! Plan ahead for thank you cards early so you can really kick back and relax after you’re married. If you’re going to use a photo from the wedding ceremony on your thank you cards, plan for it. Think about doing customized stamps with your rings to add a sweet touch. It could also help to have all of your guest’s names and addresses all in one place, like a spreadsheet. that way you can cross off their names when you write thank you cards. Some small prep now will save you time (and maybe a headache!) later.

Simple DIY Wedding Tips

Although you will be excited about planning your upcoming wedding, try and keep things in perspective so that the costs don’t get out of hand. You can have a beautiful and inexpensive wedding if you carefully plan a budget and stick to it. The advice in this article will help you to keep within your wedding budget, while still having an unforgettable day.

Purchasing your wedding gown on the internet can be a budget saver, cutting down your costs by hundreds of dollars. Make sure to order early so you have time for alterations if any need to be made. It is also important to realize that alterations can cost quite a bit of money. Make sure the costs are included in your budget.

It is obvious that that most important aspect to think about in a marriage is the one whom you will marry. Never rush into this decision that will change your life. Give this person’s habits a great deal of consideration.

If you’re one of the many people who don’t want to spend upward of a thousand dollars on a fat-and-sugar-laden wedding cake, check with local bakeries for lighter, individual-sized wedding pastry suggestions. Many bakeries offer beautiful cupcakes with a variety of healthy fillings.

Brides who want a look of luxury can embellish their wedding bouquets with something that sparkles, like rhinestones, Swarovski crystals, or even a tiny bit of diamonds. For example, incorporate vintage brooches, Swarovski crystals or costume jewelry into the design. For a consistent look, all of the stones should coordinate in terms of cut, color, and size.

It might be a friend or a family member. All that’s needed is someone who can happily carry your gear during the ceremony and photo sessions. They can also be of assistance in rounding everyone up for the group photographs, and this will make sure no one is left out.

Find out if the lights at your reception venue are the type that can be dimmed. You may not think this detail is important; however, consider the effect of low lights on parts of your reception. For example, you may want to dim the lights for your first dance or other important dances and brighten them when you want everyone to participate in dancing. Be sure to ask the if the venue has this feature before you commit to it.

A beautiful wedding on a budget is possible if you plan carefully and have realistic expectations. It is possible to have your dream wedding and keep your wallet full by choosing to follow the advice from this article.

Just Engaged? Top Five Ways to Start the Planning

Congratulations on your engagement! This is a wonderful time where you celebrate your love and enjoy the engagement. Typically  most couples have a one year engagement, however a wedding can be planned in six months or less. (I will tell you more about this later). Even though this engagement is very special time in your lives, there is a bigger special day coming up which requires planning.

1. Set a date! – The time of year determines almost everything from the style of dress to wear, to the colors to choose . Choosing a date can be as simple as what time of the year you like to get married, fall, summer, winter, or spring. Some couples choose a date which falls on a holiday weekend, so each anniversary they will have a three day weekend! Whatever the reason, choosing a date must happen first.

2. Set a budget – Consult with each other and set a budget. This will help with planning the wedding and avoid financial conflict later. There are no rules in who pays for the wedding. It all depends on your family, culture, and traditions. These days I have seen many couples pay for all or some of the wedding costs. Some couples will split the wedding costs between both families. (Groom’s parents and Bride’s parents). Whoever is paying for the wedding, there still needs to be a budget!

3. Venue location – Now that the date and budget have been set, you can choose your location. If you are getting married in the summer, an outside venue would work great. However, even with outside venues there needs to be a back-up plan in case mother nature decides to change. The venue location determines all the other elements of the wedding day.  This may be a good time to consider hiring a wedding planner. A wedding planner can help save the couple money and time!

4. Shopping for the dress! – Now that the date, budget, and location have been set, the you can look for your dress! This is a fun time where the bride and her family and friends can go shopping!  The advice I would give is to make sure that you go to several bridal shops and try on different styles. It may look good in a magazine, however you will not know until you try it on. No matter what your mom or friends tell you, YOU have to feel that dress is right for you for your special day. Ultimately it is YOUR decision in choosing the dress. You will know when you have found “the one”.

5. Meet with all other vendors – Now that you have the date, budget, location, and dress you can start to choose and meet with other vendors. Photographers, videographers, florists, cake bakeries, officiants, jewelers (choose the wedding bands, if not chosen at before engagement), caterers, DJ/live bands, etc.

Good luck!