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Decorative Foods and Drinks

I know that most of us have been told to not play with our foods, but what if your food could not only taste good, but also look good and be a part of your decor? The most popular way of doing this is with a charcuterie board and dessert table, but what about your drinks and cups? Liquor bottles come in all sizes, shapes, and color – finding something that matches your theme and aesthetic can actually help you save money on decor by killing two birds in one stone. You can even have cute little flasks as gifts for the bridal party to use as part of the rehearsal dinner, and have a matching set for the wedding couple to exchange first swigs at the Sweetheart table! While foods and drinks are not supposed to be played with, they can definitely play a huge part of your decor, and if you trust your event decorator, they can make your event look and feel much more expensive than you are paying for!

Can I Do My Own Make-Up?

The simple answer is, yes, of course! There are many Youtube videos teaching you how to apply make up that is best for your eye shape, face shape, nose shape, lip shape – and plenty more tutorials from talented make-up artists giving their feedback on the best waterproof make up brands to use, and what kind of styles would look best. If you are going through with the DIY route, I would suggest you try out the products you’d like to use at least a month or two before your wedding, and practice, practice, practice! An added layer of this is that you must also make sure that your bridesmaids (or groomsmaids) are able and willing to also put in the same amount of work to ensure they look great for your wedding photos as well. You would probably also ideally want to make sure their looks are cohesive with one another, so you may also want to invest in having a specific pallet or color for each of them. One thing to also note is that while you may be great at doing your own make-up for every day, make-up for the camera is different, so I always advise my brides who are looking to do their own make-up to do their research, and make sure they test their make up with flash photography in multiple lightings, and even try wearing the make up look for as long as possible to test staying power. Hiring a make-up artist can be expensive, especially as we add family members and bridal party into the mix, however, I personally almost always recommend my brides to steer away from doing their own make-up. Hiring a make-up artist is not just about the time and skill that they have, but also the experience, professionalism, and the products. Most make-up artists offer a trial, where they would be able to ensure the look they achieve is to your liking, and that the products used work well with your skin type, texture, and look that you are hoping to achieve. This in itself is going to go a long ways from having you take multiple trips to Sephora and requesting samples of products that may not work for you one way or another before buying the actual products. And of course, it also takes the stress off of the bride in having to do her own make-up, or making sure that everyone in the bridal party has a cohesive look – a makeup artist (or team) would be able to mitigate those stressors and make sure you look beautiful from the inside out!

How to Choose a Wedding Band

There really isn’t a “right” way to choose wedding bands. Wedding bands, at the end of the day, are simply representations of the wedding, and cannot replace true faithfulness and marriage. Here are some things to consider: What are you and your spouse comfortable with? I have friends who are gym-buffs and don’t wear their wedding bands to the gym, but I also have friends whose partners don’t feel comfortable with them not having a ring on. Are silicone rings an option? Do you want two rings – a traditional metal ring, and a silicone ring? There’s no right or wrong answer, and the conversation may be different from couple to couple. What is your budget? Make sure that you aren’t breaking your wedding budget on rings. I know that I will get some hate on this – especially since engagement rings tend to cost a pretty penny – rings are easy to lose. This is especially true if your partner are not accustomed to wearing rings on a daily basis. In fact, 40% of American men end up losing their wedding bands. There are wedding bands that come in a set, and they tend to be more cost efficient. A majority of these sets are for heterosexual couples, but that’s not to say that there aren’t matching sets for couples of all dynamics. Also consider that not all matching sets have to look exactly alike, especially when made for couples of the same gender. There are also wedding bands that come in a set with engagement rings. This is ideal in terms of getting a wedding band that matches well with the engagement ring. A plus is that like #3, this tends to be more cost effective. Even if you did not purchase your engagement ring with a matching set, it doesn’t hurt to return to the jeweler where the engagement ring was purchased to ask if there is a matching band. Sometimes, even if there isn’t a specific wedding band created to be matched to the engagement ring, buying a wedding band from the same collection is an option! Plus, it allows room for haggling, depending on where your ring was purchased from. Are you looking for rings that match exactly? Or do you want complementary styles? Rings can complement each other without being exactly the same, so that you can still show off differences in your styles! Please remember to keep an open mind whilst shopping for a wedding band, because every couple has different things they are looking for. Be gracious with one another, and accepting of differences in perspectives and lifestyles. After all, there’s a lifetime more of compromising, communication, and celebrating ahead!

Wedding Cake Tips

Wedding cakes are usually a large (and expensive) focal point for wedding receptions, but how many people actually eat the cake? To be honest, not very many people actually eat the cake, but most couples are encouraged to spend an exceptional amount on the cake to feed all of the guests. **If your family is big on cake, there’s nothing wrong with that, but for many of us, the cake ends up taking up storage room in our freezer until it’s eventually thrown away. A way to avoid this is to have fake cake layers, and having only one of the cake layers being a real cake. This allows for you to have cute cake-feeding photos, and those who want cake can have some, without breaking the bank. Another tip? Make sure that you hire a cake cutter. It is another person to pay and tip, but it can actually save you a lot! Contrary to popular belief, cake, especially large cakes, are not meant to be cut into pie-shape slivers. A cake-cutter will be able to help you cut the cake so that it feeds however many people the cake is meant to serve. Another great thing about having a cake cutter is after the cake is served, you can ask the cake cutter to slice up the rest of the cake and place them into small to-go boxes for guests to take home. For our brides who are on a very tight budget, consider buying a plain white cake from the supermarket. You can decorate the cake by texturizing the cream and adding flowers. Please make sure that if you are using real flowers, you wash them well and use floral tape at the ends to avoid getting pesticide juices into your cake!

Do You Need a Wedding Planner/Coordinator?

The simple answer is no. Technically, you can plan everything by yourself and ask your friends to help run errands for you during the ceremony, and hope your bridal party can help take care of the pre-ceremony errands whilst also getting ready. I’m not being sarcastic – it’s completely do-able and cost friendly. I’ll be completely honest as the friend who is almost always asked to be the unofficial wedding planner/coordinator – I wouldn’t trade my spot for the world. It’s humbling and a blessing to be able to walk so intimately with my friends in this part of their life, and to see to it that their wedding day goes without a hitch. However, sometimes it really does suck to have to miss parts of the ceremony to make sure the reception is well decorated, and then to not really have time to mingle with friends whilst I am making sure the reception is running well. It is useful to have a wedding planner by your side to help make sure everything is going according to plan, and to have them facilitate the entire wedding planning process. Please keep in mind that not all wedding planners also coordinate, so please be sure to ask your planner if they (or their team member) will be coordinating. Most venues also provide their own event coordinator to make sure all things are within their guidelines, so that is also an option to go for* If you have a separate coordinator, what is helpful is that they will usually start coming in about a month or two before your wedding to familiarize themselves with what needs to be done, so that you have peace of mind in knowing there is a point person for everything, and that guests are able to fully enjoy the wedding experience. Wedding planners can seem expensive, but having a wedding planner can actually help you lower costs. While they do cut into your budget, wedding planners can also help you with negotiating down prices. A wedding planner usually has a list of preferred vendors, where – full transparency – they might get a bit of commission if you choose to go with the recommendation. On the plus side, you are getting the benefit of a wedding planner negotiating on your behalf as a loyal customer and referral. Think of it as a discount code – but for multiple vendors. Percentage off a retail shopping order may not seem a lot, but when you are planning a multi-thousand dollar wedding, your discount code will go a long way! Another great thing about a wedding planner is that they can help make sure that everything is a seamless process. Event planning is stressful, and even more so if it’s something as important as your own wedding! A wedding planner can help remind you of things that you may not regularly have to do – such as remembering when all the different vendors and different policies need to be paid for. It can definitely get a little messy since all vendors have different policies and time frames. Weddings big and small can definitely greatly benefit from having a wedding planner/coordinator. While not necessary, we can cut out a lot of the unnecessary stressors that can keep you from focusing on the most important part of your wedding: celebrating the love you have found, and celebrating the people who have shaped and molded you and walked alongside you in this journey. I am certainly not the only wedding planner in the world, so I highly suggest you go to multiple wedding planners and find one who not only is within budget, but someone you like. A wedding planner who not only understands you from a surface level, but understands your vision from the inside out will be able to work well with you to make your dream a reality.