How To Take The Perfect Ring Selfie To Get Featured As Ring Of The Day!


We get asked all the time how we select rings for our uber popular feature Ring Of The Day.  Follow these simple 8 steps as a checklist when taking your captures to increase your chances of getting selected!! 


Blurry pictures will not show off your gorgeous ring in its best light. Be sure to take your picture with a steady hand and clean camera lens.  Ensure that your camera is in focus so that your ring details are crystal clear. 


Make sure that your ring is front and center. Avoid taking a capture where your hand is so far off in the distance that the actual ring details are difficult to see.  



Manicured nails, whether polished or unpolished, always add a special touch to your ring selfie. Be sure that polish is fresh and unpolished nails are neat.





Fun props, such as mugs, signs or even your wedding invitation, are great ways to add a simple backdrop to your ring capture. Step outside and find colorful backdrops such as gardens or even local landmarks. Be sure that any props are either in focus equal to your ring or a blurred backdrop to your in focus ring. The backdrop should support your ring selfie, not replace it.



Natural lighting is the best tool to capture perfectly clear ring captures. Attempt to take your capture outdoors where the natural light will give amazing results. If taking your capture indoors, step close to a window during daylight opposed to relying on indoor lighting.  



Flash unfortunately can actually take from the details of your ring, hand and overall image.  If you have to rely on flash, be sure that the details of your ring are still visible. 



We’ve had lots of brides share they would love to share their ring but are not comfortable sharing their hand. Try subtly hiding your hand by making a fist so that fingers are not extended. 



While we love creative images of just the ring, we only feature rings that are either on your ring finger or held by the hand. Our readers love to see how rings look on the ring finger for future inspiration. Sharing a variety of hand shapes and sizes is the best way to do so.  

To submit your ring, you can either tag us under #ettdringoftheday on Instagram or email us at!

Do I Have To Invite My Coworkers To My Wedding?

Photography: Justin Wright


During our post Top 8 Things Wedding Guests Complain About, we revealed top guest complaints ranging from bland food to underwhelming entertainment.  When it comes to top complaints of planning brides, we are confident that uninvited guests and having to explain no invite will be extended would rank high on the list of complaints brides-to-be face.  

Determining the types of guests that will receive an invitation to your big day is a huge challenge. While you may be certain of rules on friends and family, it may be more challenging to consider others, such as coworkers.

One great rule of thumb in terms of inviting coworkers is “If your work situation changed, would you still keep in touch?”


While inviting coworkers to your wedding is a thoughtful gesture, it also comes with a price. Unless you are confident that you would remain in close touch with your coworkers if there were any changes of employment, we suggest only inviting coworkers you have an outside of work relationship with.


If you work in a small office or department of 10-12 or less employees, it is best to have an all or nothing invite rule to avoid excluding anyone.  This avoids excluding coworkers, such as leaving 1-2 out yet inviting everyone else. If you work in a larger office or department, you can invite only those that you have an outside work relationship with. For instance, if you work in a department of 30, it is fine to only extend an invitation to the 6-7 coworkers that you have an out of work relationship with.  If coworkers are invited, it is also recommended to extend an invitation to your direct manager or supervisor. 

If Unable To Extend A Wedding Invitation:

If faced with the challenge of informing a coworker that you are unable to extend a wedding invitation, try the following:

Unfortunately we will be unable to extend an invitation due to (select the best option: budget limitations, exceeding our guest list, venue space capacity). Not being able to invite everyone that we would love to have has been incredibly challenging for us and we hope that you understand.

Help! I Just Got Engaged And Don’t Know Where To Begin!

During our Wediquette Wednesday Q&A feature, we are always asked where to begin planning after getting engaged. With hundreds of decisions to make during the planning journey, we understand how overwhelming it can be to know where to begin.  

Check out our roundup of the 13 things that every bride should consider after getting engaged below!

  • Consider your wedding vision

We recommend that you make this your first step after getting engaged so that you spend time imagining your wedding vision, free from outside influence. This will be an amazing way to infuse personalized touches to your day that truly speak to you! Be sure to discuss with your fiancé to share ideas.

  • Consider your wedding budget

Your budget will not only determine how much you can afford for your dream day, but also your engagement length. If on a budget, stretching out your engagement will allow additional time to save up funds for your big day! 

  • Consider possible wedding dates

We recommend that consider not only wedding dates but your ideal wedding seasons. Imagine the time of year that you would like your day to take place, such as you if you ideally would love your wedding to take place during the summer or if you would prefer a winter wedding. Considering the season will not only help make decisions towards your wedding theme, but will also come in handy as you contact venues. You may find more availability if you are open to dates in a given season, opposed to one particular date.

  • Consider the wedding city

Decide if you will stay local or even have a destination wedding. If  your finance is from a different location, spend time comparing costs between locations to help narrow down the best fit for your budget!


  • Consider your wedding guest list

Decide if you plan to keep things intimate with a small wedding, or expect to have a larger wedding. Be sure to consider a ballpark number of guests, such as keeping your guest list under 100 guests or between 220-250 guests.

  • Consider the wedding venue

Consider the best style wedding venue for your day. Compare the pros and cons of venue space types, such as the amenities and cost to host your day in various venue types. You may decide that a banquet hall is the best fit or that a beach wedding is the perfect fit. 

  • Consider your wedding party members

Consider the wedding party members, from the bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls, ring bearers and even ushers.  A good rule of thumb is to have at least one wedding party member on each side for every 50 guests. 

  • Consider wedding activities

Your wedding activities include the bridal shower, bachelorette party and engagement party. After getting engaged, consider if you will have an engagement party. We recommend that you host your engagement party within 3 months of your proposal. 

  • Consider your vendors

It’s never too early to begin researching vendors! In fact, we recommend that you begin right away! Many vendors, especially those that are popular and in demand, book months, even a year or more in advance. Begin researching vendors early so that you have plenty of time to research, interview and compare.

  • Consider the gown

Saying yes to the dress may take time, or you may find your dream gown on the first try! The first step is to consider your gown budget, then begin to save inspiration images of gown styles that speak to you. Try to find brides with similar body types to note gown styles that accentuate and flatter!

  • Consider the honeymoon

Decide if a honeymoon will fit into your wedding budget. You may have to dish out funds for honeymoon expenses, such as booking flights and even excursions, while also making purchases towards your wedding. We recommend that you consider if you can afford both wedding expenses and a honeymoon. The good news is that many couples are opting to have their honeymoon a few months after the big day, and even their 1 year anniversary, to allow time to save!   

  • Consider wedding decor

Once you have locked in your venue space, begin to save decor inspiration images for your ceremony and reception.  We recommend that you wait until you book your venue space so that your decor fits your venue space.

  • Consider the little details

There are countless little details to consider, from creating the menu to selecting flower girl baskets, that can feel never ending! We recommend that you avoid trying to take on all the little details alone. After getting engaged, consider who can lend a hand to avoid the stress of trying to do it all!


For over 100 more tips that every bride must know while planning their big day, get your copy of our e-book today by clicking the link below!

10 Major Wedding Planning Mistakes And How To Avoid

Photography: Joy Marie
Planning your dream wedding takes hundreds of tasks and hours, meaning that there is ultimately room for mistakes. Follow out guide of Top 10 Wedding Planning Mistakes To Avoid and how to prevent!
1. Procrastinating:
It’s common for brides to simply not know where to start once they get engaged, or even how soon they should begin planning. It’s also unfortunately common for brides to know the tasks that they need to take on but procrastinate in crossing them off the list. While planning a wedding is an incredibly challenging and overwhelming task, it requires strict time management for many reasons.
Falling behind can ultimately cost you:
  • Money-Falling behind in planning can result in having to dish out extra money, such as rush fees to receive your gown in time or to receive wedding stationary. 
  • Options-Falling behind in securing vendors can result in limited availability as preferred vendors calendars may be filled by the time you reach out. We’ve had vendors share that they have turned planning brides away due to waiting too close to the day to book and unfortunately  no time on their calendar available. 
  • Time-Once your wedding date is set, the clock begins to wind down no matter if you are ready or not. The longer it takes to cross a given task off the list, the more time is lost in planning and crossing additional tasks off the list. 

How To Avoid:

Time management will be your best friend during the planning journey. Set deadlines to fulfill each task and break down into small parts to help make more manageable. For instance, consider if it is May and you set a goal to secure a venue space by July. Break down necessary steps, such as determining your ideal venue type, creating a list of local venue spaces, contacting venue spaces for information, scheduling days to visit venue spaces, narrowing your top venue space and final selecting the best option. You may add select tasks to your calendar each week in order to work towards your deadline date. Falling behind on a given task will set you back in accomplishing your goal. Be sure to set realistic time-frames to accomplish and reach out for assistance from family, friends and even a wedding planner to ensure that you stay on track.


2. Inviting Everyone:
If there is one consistent challenge that most brides face, it’s questions related to the wedding guest list, specifically if an invite will be extended. While it’s exciting to share with those that made the cut, it’s incredibly awkward when an invite will not be extended. One of the most difficult tasks a bride may face is having to tell someone they would like to invite that they unfortunately cannot extend an invite, whether it is due to budget or exceeding their ideal guest count size.  The thought of inviting everyone that you would like to have for your day after getting engaged is often unrealistic once true planning begins. As difficult as it can be to set a strict guest list, a huge mistake is to veer from your guest list due to guilt or feeling uncomfortable saying no.
How To Avoid:
  • Set a goal guest count limit and stick to it. Avoid adding guests to the list until either certain you can afford or you have received RSVP declines to simply replace the guest opposed to adding to your list.
  • Set rules when it comes to guests that make the cut, such as no workers or only immediate family and closest friends.
  • If outside of your set of rules, create a canned response to explain why you at this time cannot extend an invite, such as “We would love to have you but have already reached our guest capacity for our venue space”. 
3. Peak Season Decisions:
The term “peak season” may not have meant anything to you prior to wedding planning but will become a very familiar and crucial term once you begin reaching out to wedding vendors. Peak seasons are the time of year that vendor rates are often at their “peak” or higher than usual.
Peak seasons often vary by location.  For instance, peak season on the East Coast is often May-September when the weather is ideal.  These months are often considered “off-season”, or less than normal rates, in the South as weather is seasonably high and uncomfortable.   Selecting peak season dates often results in paying more for vendors, venue spaces and even flowers due to the peak in rates.
How To Avoid:
Always ask vendors if there are times when rates are more or even less than usual. For instance, venue spaces may provide that prices are reduced during the day on Saturday’s or during the months of January through March. Florists may provide that specific flowers are more expensive during certain seasons as they are not in bloom and can suggest alternatives that are in season. Your caterer may express that rates are increased during the winter holiday season as staff require overtime to work during the holiday hours. Always inquire about peak season dates to avoid if possible.
4. Having An Unrealistic Budget:
Having an unrealistic wedding budget and even budget that you will spend on a specific vendor is a huge mistake.  Imagine if you refuse to spend more than $700 on a wedding photographer, yet the average starting rate for even a just getting started photographer in your area is $1,200. It’s important to set realistic price points for your wedding budget to ensure that your expectations are realistic.
How To Avoid:
Research the averages in your area before setting your wedding budget. This will help set realistic price points opposed to what you are willing to pay. You can then seek options that are within your price point based on the average rates. For instance, if you are only comfortable spending $500 for a photographer but the starting rate in your area is $900, you may decide to increase your comfortable rate to $800. While still less than average, you can then discuss with potential vendors if there are ways to cut your budget, such as cutting prints and a photo book. 
5. Not Hiring A Day Of Coordinator:
Don’t make the mistake of neglecting to have a day of coordinator manage your big day! Protect the months planning that you’ve spent planning and the money invested into your wedding details by hiring a day of coordinator to ensure that your vision comes to life without a hitch. While you can certainly delegate tasks to family and friends, chances are this may result in their missing out on enjoying the day. This also risks not having an experienced pro handle emergencies that delegated friends and family may not know how to handle. 
How To Avoid:
Contact your venue space to see if day of coordination is included in your booking package. If you will require your own coordinator, research day of coordinators and even full service planners in your area. Many full service planners also offer day of coordination at a fraction of the cost of their full service rates.
6. Not Keeping Track Of Deadlines Or Budget:
Planning a wedding requires an endless list of to do tasks and dozens of purchases that vary from a few dollars up to hundreds of dollars.  Keeping track of when tasks should be fulfilled and how much you’ve spent towards your day is crucial in not only staying on task but on budget.  Many wedding day tasks, such as vendor payments, require meeting specific deadline dates. If missed, you may risk breaking your contract and even loosing your booked vendor altogether. In terms of the budget, not keeping tabs of all purchases is the fastest way to exceed your budget.
How To Avoid:
  • Keep track of all deadlines within an organizer, planner or your phones calendar.
  • Be sure to check your to do tasks daily to ensure that you are aware of approaching deadlines in order to prepare in advance.
  • Record all purchases within a spreadsheet or budget expense form.
  • Save all receipts so that if you do not track purchases daily, you can make a point to update your spending weekly as well. 
 7. Unnecessary Purchases:
Remember that every single purchase you make will ultimately take from your overall wedding budget. For instance, imagine if you purchase $60 worth of miscellaneous reception decor, such as chair signs, only to find that you will not utilize them on the big day. While not a huge investment, that money could have covered the cost for wedding details such as a meal for an additional guests meal or towards vendor tips.
 How To Avoid:
  • Only make purchases that you are confident will be used on your day and in the exact quantity required.  For instance, avoid purchasing dozens of candle holders that you may need until you are certain you will not only use them, but the exact amount that you need.  
  • Avoid purchasing “just in case” items. For instance, don’t purchase pretty picture frames to use for table numbers until certain they will be used on the big day. You may find that table numbers are supplied by your venue space or caterer.
  • Always check return policies for purchases. Attempt to purchase from retailers with flexible return policies so that you can easily return any items that you did not use.
8. Not Checking Contracts:
Vendor contracts provide key information, ranging from terms of services to additional fees charged for exceeding booked time. Not thoroughly reviewing vendor contracts prior to signing can result in misunderstanding services offered or unexpected fees that you did not realize were not included in your rate to book. 
How To Avoid:
Spend time combing through the contract before signing the dotted line. Reach out to your vendor regarding any areas that you would like to clarify, or if there are areas that you would like to negotiate. For instance, you may ask your photographer to waive charging for exceeding time by a 30 minute grace period in the event that your day starts late.
 9. Forgetting Vendor Tips:
To tip or not to tip is one of the most popular questions asked during our Wediquette Wednesday feature. Many vendors include gratuity in their contracts which means that additional tips are optional.  Not considering tipping could lead to scrambling to find resources to tip on the day of or simply not tipping at all.
How To Avoid:
Always view your vendors contracts to determine if tips are included. If tips are not included, don’t hesitate to ask your vendor if they have a preferred method for tipping. They may suggest that you provide reviews on wedding vendor websites that they are listed on or that any monetary tips go to their staff only. If uncomfortable asking your vendor of their preferred method for tips, follow the general practice of tipping 15-18% for great work and 18-20% for exceptional work of the entire bill. 
10. Not Asking For Help:
When you have a clear vision for your dream day, it can be challenging to allow others to take the reigns as you may have a very specific way that you want all of the details executed. While it’s understandable to want to oversee every detail, attempting to do so can be incredibly stressful.
How To Avoid:
  • Delegate tasks to family and friends such as contacting vendors, assembling stationary and favors and even helping keep track of RSVP requests.
  • Consider family and friends with special talents and skills, such as someone that has exceptional budgeting skills or is craft, to reach out for assistance with tasks.

To learn more tips and steps to walk you through every step of your planning journey, be sure to check out our 130-page e-book, Getting Started: The Ultimate Wedding Planning Guide! Click the image below to learn more!

Guest Bride Blogger Amy Shares: Update On Where I Am At & The “Bride Tribe”

My fiancé is at work training for this weekends game and my beautiful daughter Miliana is asleep on my chest. She is 2 months old today so we celebrated this morning with a walk to the beach and a “mean green” juice. Starting the day off healthy, as I know Api and I will be indulging tonight. It’s all about balance right? 😉
The last few weeks have been a little more productive. I created a group chat called “Bride Tribe” on whatsapp but you can use any messenger app you like and add in your bridesmaids. This is definitely up there on my list of recommendations as it will keep you organised, everyone in the loop and build the excitement for the day. I’ve come up with some options for the foot jewels and will post photos in my “bride tribe” group chat to get the girl’s opinion. My maid of honor is liaising with the dressmaker regarding the skirts and what kind of material will work. We want something comfortable and light that doesn’t show up everyone’s bumps so they feel content. I am going for a dusty pink skirt to go with the  white lace crops from Grace Loves Lace. They are soo beautiful, I might just get one for myself. 
Speaking of my “Bride Tribe”, we have locked in a date for the Hen’s Party… 16th of September. Courtney posed the question; “Would you like to be a part of the organizing or would you like a surprise?” Hmm that is a tough one. I’ve never been great with surprises but a surprise would make it more exciting. Do I trust these cheeky buggers not to go too crazy?  
I think I am going to be involved with basic details like; city, where we are staying, and let them handle the rest. The girls are also organizing a bridal shower for the older friends and family to attend. I am already asking everyone to come overseas so rather than people giving me gifts I would just love their time celebrating with me over lunch or at a high tea. After all, it is the love and laughter that means the most, I already have everything I could have ever dreamed of. <3
I am feeling completely at ease with everything and I know my beautiful bridesmaids are a major reason why. They are all so amazing inside and out and always offering help where they can. All three of them I have been friends with for over ten years and I know we will be best friends until we are old and grey. 
Choosing the bridal party can be really hard as I’ve spoken about before. I have other really good friends, some who I’ve known forever and as great as it would be to have them all as my bridesmaids, I am only having three. Your friends that aren’t in your bridal party will understand. It is a hard decision and after all the day is about marrying the love of your life, not who is and isn’t your bridesmaid. When making the decision, do consider the following when choosing your bridesmaids:
* Is this someone you are really close with and know you can rely on? 
* Do you talk to a lot? Regular communication is a must when planning a wedding. 
* Are you confident this friendship will last a lifetime? You don’t want to look at your photos in ten years time and feel sad            knowing you aren’t in contact with someone in your bridal party any longer. 
* Can this friend afford to be a part of your wedding? Usually there are costs associated with being a bridesmaid e.g.                      bridesmaid’s dress, hair or makeup. 
Asking these questions should make your decision a little easier. Good luck with selecting your Bride Tribe <3
In other news; we have also decided on the bonbonniere a Fijian designed keepsake which I can’t wait to reveal to you closer to the date once they have been made. My task for the next month now is to find the best supplier for these. When it comes to almost everything for your wedding it is important to put in the research to ensure you are getting the best price and the best quality from a reliable source. 
Also, I think I finally have a vision locked in for my arch. Square bamboo frame draped with flowing white silk and a bunch of tropical flowers tied mid post on each side. A cross between the two photos attached. Visualizing us saying “I DO” in front of this beautiful arch is already being a tear to my eye.
I can’t wait to check in with you next month and fill you in on how my dress appointment went at the GLL showroom. 
Until then; laugh, enjoy the journey and most of all LOVE. 

The Top 8 Things Wedding Guest Complain About & How To Avoid!

While the wedding is of course all about the couple and their dream coming true, it’s important to also ensure that guests are considered to make your day enjoyable for everyone. It may be impossible to please or wow everyone, consider these 8 top guest complaints to avoid on your big day.
  • Weather Related Complaints
One of the top fears brides face when it comes to their big day is fear of rain or unfavorable weather, especially if a segment of their day will take place outdoors.  For guests, unfavorable weather is a concern as well, especially if there are no backups in place. An outdoor ceremony during the rain, unseasonably cold or extreme heat can make the experience less than enjoyable for guests.
How To Avoid:
If having a portion of your day outdoors, be sure to have a backup in place in the event of undesirable weather. Discuss with your venue space having a tent available in the case of rain. If having your day during the summer, have water bottles available for guests in the case of extreme heat. If during the fall or early winter, offer pashmina scarves or blankets are available to keep guests warm if the weather is cooler than expected.   If having a destination wedding, be sure to research the weather during your preferred wedding months. If your destination is known for extreme rain, or during hurricane season, you may want to consider selecting another date when the weather is less risky.
  • Food Related Complaints:
There’s no greater guest complaint than bland or limited food options. When it comes to guests recapping the day, they generally report how beautiful the bride looked and how amazing, or disappointing, the food options were. 
How To Avoid:
Be sure to have someone with a love of great food accompany you to your food tasting to help select the best options. Be sure to ask if the same chef for tastings will be used on the big day as well. Always avoid skimming on food when it comes to saving towards your day. The more fueled your guests are through the night, the more likely they are to stay to the end and remain interactive. Consider the time of your day as well. If your day will go on into the night, consider fun late night options such as a taco or pizza bar as guests may enjoy a light snack a few hours after dinner.  For cocktail style receptions, always have more than enough hors d’orves to ensure guests are not scrambling for selections. For a reception under 4 hours, 8-10 selections per guests are appropriate. For longer than 4 hours, consider at least 12 selections per guest.  
  • Complaints That Day Was Too Long:
The average wedding lasts 6 hours, including the ceremony (15 minutes-45 minutes), receiving line (15-20 minutes), cocktail hour (45 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes) and reception ( 4 hours).   The length of each brides wedding day will vary based on various factors, such as religious or cultural traditions. Certain cultural weddings can last an entire day, or even weekend. For traditional weddings, days that last well beyond the average 6 hours can feel a bit too long for guests.
How To Avoid:
If incorporating religious or cultural traditions that may extend the length of your day beyond the average, be sure to make note of times that your wedding will last on your invitation so that guests are prepared.  Be sure to also have additional food options available throughout the day to ensure that guests are not waiting long periods to eat.
  • Complaints On The Wedding Location:
Hosting the day within inconvenient locations, such as in the heart of a busy city during a busy time of the year or in a remote location that requires challenges to reach can put a damper on the arrival of guests to your day. 
How To Avoid:
Check the calendar of events during the time of your wedding if hosted in a popular location. Be sure to make note of large fests or activities that may increase traffic or access to the area during your wedding weekend. If your wedding location is in a remote or challenging to access location, consider a meeting destination where shuttles will regularly run to easily transport guests to the wedding location, and back to their drop off location in the event they need to leave early. 
  • Complaints On Entertainment
Guests look forward to not only celebrating the union of the couple but also having a great time. Guests complain about attending weddings where there was an underwhelming choice of DJ or band or little to do if they are not fans of the dance floor.
How To Avoid:
Consider your guests. Are your guests more likely to mingle over cocktails or dance the night away? Will they enjoy multiple options to keep them busy, such as a photo booth, food stations or even cigar making? Imagine if you are a guest at your own wedding and the type of entertainment that you would enjoy. Don’t forget to mix it up to fit different ages as well. For instance, your younger guests may love a DJ that plays all the latest hits, but this may isolate older guests. Be sure to mix up the music throughout the night to keep all guests entertained.
  • Complaints On Day Starting Late:
Starting the day shortly after the listed start time, such as 10 minutes behind schedule, is common and even a safe way to ensure late guests have time to get seated before the start of the ceremony. Starting the day more than 10 minutes late can not only leave guests a little antsy, but also put you at risk of exceeding your vendors overall booked time. Attempt to avoid starting the wedding more than 10 minutes past the listed time.
How To Avoid:
Have your entire wedding party begin getting ready for the day at least 5 hours prior to the start of your ceremony. This will allow time for not only getting ready but pre-wedding captures. For large wedding party sizes, consider allowing more time to avoid risking any members pushing their time.  Always create a clear day of timeline that allows an additional 15-20 minute cushion for all day of segments to plan ahead for emergencies. 
  • Complaints Of Not Seeing The Couple
not seeing the couple-the couple not taking time to say hello, especially to out of town guests. while day will go fast and challenging to spend time, should be just as important to greet guests as it is to make day go off without a hitch. guests have taken time, traveled, make a priority to say hello either with receiving line or designating a time during reception such as during desserts. Guests may be wowed by details like decor but will remember if they didnt get a chance to see or speak to couple
  • Complaints Of A Cash Bar:
While budget savers for the couple, cash bars are not fan favorites of guests. 
How To Avoid:
Think of your guests. Some couples may find that a cash bar is unnecessary if the majority of their guests are light drinkers. If an open bar is out of the question, consider offering wine, beer and even a signature drink opposed to a cash bar.  If you are confident the majority of guests will enjoy bar options, attempt to include without hosting a cash bar. Consider cutting where possible to finance the bar, such as using your budget for guest favors towards the bar. Work with your venue for budget friendly options, such as skipping premium shelf liquors for bottom shelf or even having a limited bar where drinks are available for a set time, opposed to all night.

Guest Bride Blogger Sabrina Shares: The Secret Place To Find Wedding Details For Less!

Wedding budgets can get blown pretty easily and fast! Make it a point to stick to your guns and I promise you can stay within your budget pretty well. Some of the ways I stayed within that budget was to shop around and check out all my options. I hit the wedding budget jackpot when I looked into… ETSY!! I used Etsy for everything, from my wedding invitation design, to my jewelry, to our cake topper, to wedding gifts, my veil, and even a personalized keepsake we had everyone sign at the wedding. Etsy is that magical place where anything you could possibly want, is there. Did I mention affordable and budget friendly?



I found this incredible designer on ETSY who put together my Invitation, RSVP and Thank you cards all for under $25 dollars. It was only the print file (which most only do), but the quality and effort she put into it was well worth it. She was helpful, quick and so sweet whenever I had questions, concerns, or corrections to be made. I wanted something different than the normal invitations you see on most websites, and these turned out to be perfect and everything I could dream of. You are able to customize which was also a huge plus.

I then had everything printed at my local Staples. HUGE money saver! I spent about $125 dollars for all 250 invitations, RSVPs and Thank You cards and Envelopes!! That is a huge amount of savings compared to the average amount people spend on invitations, which can run around $600- $800, sometimes not including postage.


I was able to find gifts for my flower girl, Mother of the Bride and Groom, all of my bridesmaids’ robes, and a gift for my Groom! I love how you can get anything custom made and get your items fairly quick and the quality of course was great on everything I got. Read reviews as well, it is important to shop around.


My favorite gift I was able to customize, which of course depends on everyone’s likes and needs, was a watch for my husband that I had engraved on the inside. It was perfect for him and he loved it so much he wore it on our wedding day. It’s a special touch you can give to anyone involved in your big day. The possibilities are endless, in the most amazing way!


Wedding accessories:

Jewelry, veils, garters oh my!!!This can be an unexpected cost that you don’t realize when you are for the extras when wedding dress shopping!

I think I was most surprised and shocked while looking for wedding dresses, was the fact that belts, sashes and veils were in the hundreds of dollar range. I remember looking at a belt that went perfectly with my dress, I tried it on and I fell in love with it, but that’s when I saw the price tag of $800! That was half the cost of my dress! I was determined to shop around and see what I could find, here came ETSY again to save the day. I was fortunate to be able to find two belts for $40 each, pretty good steal. I knew if I did not like either one I could try and resell them and if I had to hang onto it that would be fine because I would still be saving money for two over the $800 amazing belt.

The same goes with the veils, I found one that was the same designer as my dress, but I was not in love with it.  I wanted something simple and at a price I could justify spending the money. I again found a beautiful, simple veil for only $45. Don’t get me wrong I was a bit nervous about buying the veil and belt without seeing it in person, but the veil ending up being amazing and worked extremely well for my budget and wedding day.

Bottom line is try ETSY. It may be an obsession, but hey it’s a healthy one 

5 Simple Ways To Have Luxury Wedding Style For Less!

Photography: Melissa Schollaert Photography

Having a wedding that looks lavish without breaking the bank is totally possible! Check out our 5 Ways To Have Luxury Wedding Style For Less!

1. Amp Up Standard Details:
Swap standard details, such as simple table number holders or standard clear flower vases for stylish, stand out options. 
  • Click here for glam picture frames for your escort cards and table numbers
  • Click here for bulk mirror centerpiece vases


2. Bling Out The Details:
 The little details can add luxe for less while remaining budget friendly. Small touches, such as adding mirror centerpieces with flower arrangements, can turn a traditional arrangements glam without breaking the bank!  
3. Incorporate  Silk Flowers:
Wedding flowers on average account for 10-12% of the average wedding budget. Keep your wedding flower budget in check by mixing real flowers with silk flowers. When mixing real and silk flowers, consider incorporating silk flowers in areas that guests will spend limited time, such as the escort card table.  Opt for silk flowers when your top flower choices are costly or out of season as well. For instance, if your flower of choice is a stem that averages $7-10, go with a realistic silk flower to get the look for less. 
4. Mix The Size Of Wedding Centerpiece Arrangements:
Wedding centerpiece arrangements vary in price based on size. For instance, smaller arrangements are more affordable than larger, lavish arrangements. To save, mix up the sizes of wedding centerpiece arrangements to save on the overall cost of decor. For instance, use large, midsize and even small arrangements at guest tables opposed to only using large arrangements. Attempt to use more small and midsize arrangements as they are more affordable than large arrangements.

5. Add Hints Of Costly Details:

Add hints of costly gown details, such as beading and embroidery opposed to selecting gowns made entirely of the fabric. Details such as beading, embroidery and even lace are often more expensive than than traditional fabrics, such as polyester blends. Not only are they more expensive but also costly to alter due to the delicate, intricate detail. Skip full gowns made with costly details by incorporate into your gown with budget friendly accessories such as sashes, belts and even headpieces! 

Real Brides Share The #1 Thing Every Bride-To-Be Should Know


Photography: Leah Langley
Get advice from real brides on the #1 thing that every bride-to-be should know!
  • “It is so easy to get swept in the wedding planning process. After all, it runs through your mind 24-7! But it is so important to not let this time consume your relationship. The closer to our date we get, the busier we can become so we are really making an effort to limiting wedding talk to only a few nights a week and going on dates where we talk about anything BUT wedding talk!” – Bride Blogger Kimberly
  • “To enjoy it and not get worked up or stressed if some of the things don’t happen just as you want them to! On the day, it will be perfect and you won’t notice the things you were worrying about!” –   Bride Blogger Charlotte
  • “Some advice for upcoming brides, when it comes to your bridal party, choose people that you have been close to for a long time and that you have always gotten a long with. Choose people that will put your wedding as a priority and not be busy doing other things, missing events or meetings and always showing up late. Pick people that you know will help you on your big day if things go out of order. Most importantly, pick people you see in your future with your husband and future family. “ – Bride Blogger Niicole
  • Everyone will have an opinion; you should take what some people say with a grain of salt.  –  Bride Blogger Leah


  • “Ask all your friends about suggestions from their wedding. It’ll help give you a basis of where to start” – Bride Blogger Melanie


  • “I would have to say do what you want and do not worry about what other people think. You cannot and will not please everyone. Remember it is your day and it should be exactly how you want it. Trying to please everyone will eventually stress you out. Also… don’t forget to eat on your wedding day!” –  Bride Blogger Anntoinette
  • “That it is okay to say no. There were many friends/family members that came out and said “I can help you do this after all I planned a wedding myself”. I found that their style of décor or what was important to them was less important to me. I found it really hard to say that it was not what I liked or wanted or their style was not what I had wanted. For example, I had one aunt wanting to do all the bouquet (for myself and bridesmaids) she wanted to do all fake flowers yet I wanted real ones (I wanted to dry my bouquet out and put it in a shadow box). I ended up getting real flowers made and I am so happy as my bouquets photographed beautifully.”Bride Blogger Katrina
  • “I wish someone would have told me that so many people would want you to plan your wedding for you and around them. I call them People Pleasers. People Pleasers make your wedding planning that much more difficult. So with that said, try not to let them. Focus solely on you and your groom! This is YOUR day, and allow it to be just that. I also didn’t know that the day would FLY by as QUICKLY as it did! You spend so much time planning and perfecting every little thing, and the day is over within a snap. So embrace EVERY. SINGLE. MOMENT!” – Bride Blogger Christi
  • “You’ll never please everyone. But I got that advice very early on still at my first fork in the road I hit, from my matron of honor & it helped me through that patch & I know it will help again.”Bride Blogger Emily
  • “Wedding planning will consume your life! I ended up realizing this quickly after making arrangements for our church and venue. As soon as those were contracted it was non-stop wedding planning for me. Luckily I had a year and a half to plan and amazing family and friends willing to help with any task! Overall, Jose and I loved our wedding and so did our guests! Looking back at it, there’s nothing we would change. It even rained on our wedding but we made the best of it. We were able to find clear dome umbrellas the day before and had great pictures! If something goes wrong or not as planned, don’t stress about it. You would most likely be the only one to noticed if something went wrong. Enjoy your wedding day, it goes by fast! Take time out and enjoy your future spouse one on one. You’ve work hard to get there and the journey is well worth it!”Bride Blogger  Jocelyn

Why You Should Plan Your Wedding With The Assistance Of A Wedding Professional

If there is one thing that we love, it’s a Do It Yourself bride.  We love brides that are empowered to take on their wedding day tasks like a pro and love hearing how rewarding it was to see their hard work come to life on their dream day. 
While we support brides that do it themselves, we also highly encourage working with a pro for input and advice. 
The Pros Can Anticipate What You May Not:
One of the benefits of working with a pro is that their experience has given them insight on what to expect and avoid on the big day. For even the most seasoned pro, emergencies are bound to happen. The way to tell a true professional isn’t the avoidance of a mistake or error, but how quickly they resolve. When doing it yourself, common areas that pros look out for may not be considered, which could lead to avoidable oversights. For instance, florists are aware of the best floral choices that will last throughout the day without wilting while cake bakers know the best icing for outdoor weddings that can withstand the heat without melting. Seasoned photographers know how to capture the moment without obstructing the view of guests or even appearing in your videographers captures. Wedding day of coordinators know exactly what time each vendor should arrive for set up and take down in a carefully orchestrated order. 
If doing it yourself, ask the pros for feedback on your plan. For instance, if creating your own centerpiece arrangements, purchase florals from a florist and walk through how you intend to assemble, transport and how long the arrangement will be in use. The florist may provide tips to safely transport or the best flowers to last the duration of your event.  
The Pros Can Route You To Getting What You Want:
The pros eat, sleep and drink weddings, meaning they know dozens of resources and vendors that they can refer you to.  Share with pros areas that you need assistance for them to provide recommendations. For instance, if you mention to your wedding florist that you are struggling to find a wedding photographer, they may recall options that they have worked with they can refer you to.  
The Pros Understand Hosting A Large Scale Event
For weddings over 100 guests, having a seasoned pro that understands the logistics of catering to a large scale event is crucial to keep the day organized. For instance, if having a large wedding of over 200 guests, your wedding planner may recommend skipping a receiving line to instead visit guest tables during the dessert portion of the reception. If having a buffet style menu, your planner may recommend having guests go up by table, recommending to seat older guests closer to the food stations to ensure they are not too far away and can get served first. They may consider seating younger guests closer to the dance floor to encourage them to get up and enjoy themselves, and expecting, older and handicap guests closer to the bathrooms for easy access. Be sure to loop in the pros when creating seating charts and your ceremony and reception plan.