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Winter Wedding Ideas

Winter is truly a wonderland when it comes to inexpensive and creative ideas for your wedding. There are so many fun wintery elements that you can incorporate into your décor to really make your wedding unique. Winter has many possible themes, whether your wedding is centered around the excitement of the Holidays or the quiet peacefulness of nature as it goes dormant. Below are some great winter wedding ideas that will make your big day an event to remember.

Table Settings and Center Pieces
Since few plants flower in the winter, why not skip the flowers on your tables and utilize what mother nature gives you for free. Gather pine cones, twigs, and berries to use as a part of your center piece. They are easy to find and can be painted white, silver, gold, or red to really make them stand out. You can also buy metallic floral spraypaint from a craft store and use it to “frost” your natural elements to make them look elegant and wintery. This DIY centerpiece will cost you very little money, but the results will be priceless.

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Cocktails and Meals
Plan to serve some special wintery cocktails to get everyone feeling warm and toasty. Hot Toddys, cinnamon martinis, or irish coffee are great drinks to warm the soul. Coordinate with the vendor who is providing your bar and see if they can help you choose some seasonal cocktail options to offer your guests.

 

For your meal, consider fare such as game, fowl, or roast rack of lamb. Serve with harvest-type vegetables like squash and root vegetables. You may also want to serve a hearty soup such as pumpkin or butternut squash. Choosing seasonal foods will usually cut down on the catering costs.

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Setting the Mood
For an intimate atmosphere, use lots of candles at each table but keep the overhead room lighting low. This will really warm up the room and enhance the mood of your celebration. For a brighter and lighter atmosphere, try using white Christmas lights or paper lanterns to illuminate the room in a wash of light, which will give everything a magical feel. These affordable lighting solutions will really help set the tone for your reception.

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Winter Wedding Color Palettes
Winter is the time of the year when nature goes dormant, so this should be reflected in your color palette. Stick with various shades of white along with cool and neutral colors for your wedding color palette. Creative accents can add a splash of color against the neutral background.

15 Things Only Southern Bridesmaids Know

Handling everything from the heat to that one Great Uncle, Southern bridesmaids understand Southern weddings like no other.

Original Post

Anna Aguillard
Bride and Bridesmaids Showing Shoes

Bride and Bridesmaids Showing ShoesBridesmaid shoes
Searching for the Light Photography/Getty Images

 

Since Southern weddings are the best weddings, that means Southern bridesmaids are also the best too, right?

1. You know that more really is the merrier.
As a Southern bridesmaid, you’re probably one of ten or twelve or fifteen of the bride’s nearest and dearest. And isn’t that what makes it most fun?

2. You are better than the average wedding planner.
As talented as her planner may be, there’s no way she could have known that Great Uncle Earl was headed for that microphone. You, on the other hand, have been hearing your girlfriend talking about this moment for years.

3. You will find a way to afford the pricey bridesmaid’s dress.
It may mean going home for dinner at your parents’ home and skipping the nail salon, but you will wear that floor grazing, silk shantung gown with a smile.

4. You will use your Southern connections for perks.
She has the sister-in-law who does hair. Her mother does makeup. And they step in and offer their services on the wedding day for free.

5. You know the difference between a bachelorette party and a bridal shower.
These two should never be confused. Especially in the South. Bachelorette parties take place in New Orleans and Austin; bridal showers take place over tea sandwiches with MawMaw.

6. You know how to calm the potential Bridezilla.
There’s no predicting when bridezilla will make her pre-wedding appearance. No sweat. Southern bridesmaids know just how to calm her down with a joke, a hug, a game of Catch Phrase, or a Bloody Mary.

7. You give great gifts.
Southern bridesmaids are wedding party experts, which means you also have gift giving down to a science. And your present is the one every bride cherishes.

8. You understand the importance of the monogrammed robe.
Because the girls must match, and the cover-ups must be monogrammed.

9. You know to have hairspray on-hand.
The only thing bigger than the wedding party is the hair. With the intense Southern humidity, you will make sure you’re armed with hairspray, bobby pins, and power tools, too.

10. You know how to gracefully avoid being set up with a groomsman.
There’s always that one groomsman that your best friend’s momma must introduce you to. At least give him a dance.

Pillsbury Baking
Create a Monstrously Good Treat. Get Inspired. Available at Walmart.
11. You never complain about the heat.
It’s the South, and it’s hot. You will telll her how wonderful the celebration will be, even if she decides to get married at the end of July in New Orleans in the middle of the afternoon.

12. You make sure the bride and groom eat.
Not getting to eat at the biggest party of your life? It happens. And it’s totally unacceptable. A Southern bridesmaid will make sure the bride and groom get to enjoy the menu they handpicked for their friends and family.

13. You know how to get people on the dance floor.
When the band starts playing Sweet Home Alabama, it’s your job—and really your duty—to fill the dance floor.

 

14. You will stay up all night long.
Because this will be the biggest and best party ever. Until the next wedding you’re in, that is. You will make sure the partying goes on until the bride goes to bed.

15. You act selflessly.
This day is all about the bride. This also means you will not post any photos unless they are bride-approved.

Just Engaged? Your First Wedding Planning To-Dos

Once the initial shock of being engaged wears off (and you take a second to peel your eyes away from that sparkly ring on your finger!), you’ll need to make a lot of decisions. Here are the 11 most important things you need to do to really kick off your wedding planning.

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Newly engaged couple holding hands

PHOTO BY JOSE VILLA

Set a Timetable

The minute you get engaged, everyone will be asking for your wedding date. But in reality, you won’t be able to set an exact date until other major decisions—like choosing (and booking) your venue—are made. So first, focus on determining a range of dates that’ll work for you. The average engagement lasts 14 months, but also think about what season you’d prefer, any major holidays or family events you’d like to avoid conflicting with, and how long you predict you’ll need to plan.

Dream Up Your Style and Pick a Location

Before you try on a single gown, book a band or sample a bite of cake, look at the big picture and imagine what kind of style and vibe you want to set for your wedding—and where you want to hold it. Close your eyes and picture your fantasy wedding. What do you see? Is it a candlelit ceremony in a mansion? Are you walking barefoot on a beach in the tropics? Or maybe it’s in your hometown’s botanical garden. While you’re picturing your perfect wedding, here are some key questions to consider: Big (everyone you know) or small (just close friends and family)? Outdoors or in? Home (one of your hometowns or your current city) or away (a destination wedding)? Modern, classic, romantic, vintage, rustic or all-out glam? Fancy, casual or somewhere in between? To help you get a better idea of what you want (and what you don’t want), spend some time gathering inspiration. Check out magazines, books and real wedding photos online, but don’t limit yourself to the obvious sources. Something as unlikely as a wallpaper pattern, a scene from a favorite movie, or a family heirloom can spark your creativity. Bottom line: Always keep your eyes open for inspiration.


Set Your Budget

Sit down with your families and figure out how much everyone is contributing. This number will affect every decision and purchase you make, so be sure to work out your budget before you start planning. It can be an uncomfortable conversation, but it’s better to get it out of the way now.

Draft a Guest List

As you begin to build your guest list, you’ll need to consider a number of factors. If you have a particular ceremony or reception site in mind, for instance, you’re going to be limited by how many people it can accommodate (you can’t squeeze 300 people into a lighthouse). Would you rather have quality one-on-one time with each guest or throw a once-in-a-lifetime party for all your friends and family? If mom and dad won’t budge about inviting throngs of friends and family, you’ll have to hear them out—especially if they’re footing a major part of the bill. Keep in mind that more guests means higher prices, as catering costs are generally calculated on a per-head basis. So, in addition to location, your budget will have a big influence on the size of your guest list.

Register (Before Your Engagement Party!)

Worried that you’ll look gift-grabby if youregister ? Don’t! With all the engagement parties, bridal showers and well-wishing relatives in your future, everyone will appreciate your foresight. And although gifts are optional for engagement parties, some of your guests may want to give you something to commemorate the occasion, so register for at least a few items beforehand so they don’t have to ask (or guess) what you’d like. One thing to note: Don’t include registry information in your engagement party invitations or in any other formal manner. Stick to using word of mouth or links on your wedding website .

Insure Your Engagement Ring

No matter how careful you are, the peace of mind that engagement ring insurancewill give you and your fiance is worth it. There are two basic ways to do it: As an extension of your renter’s or homeowner’s policy (which would reimburse you for a set amount of cash if you lose the ring), or through a company that specializes in jewelry insurance (which might offer more coverage than a standard homeowner’s policy by replacing a lost or stolen ring).

Choose Your Wedding Party

Now it’s your turn to propose to your bridesmaids and groomsmen . Remember, the earlier you ask, the sooner you can enlist their help. And keep in mind that your wedding party is agreeing to spend their hard-earned money and donate their precious time—be considerate and kind by informing everyone about all your plans, showing them a good time and making sure they know how much you appreciate them.

Consider a Consultant

If you’re a super-busy couple, have demanding jobs or have big (read: complicated) dreams for your wedding weekend, then you should hire a full-time wedding planner to help you prepare your entire event, from the announcement to the honeymoon. You can also hire a part-time consultant to devise a wedding blueprint—including budget, schedule, and lists of good vendor and site choices—before you launch solo into the preparations. Another option is a day-of coordinator, who will make sure everything goes smoothly on your wedding day.

Book a Venue (and Set Your Date)

Your reception venue will become the backdrop for virtually all your photos and can influence everything from heavy hitters like your budget and guest list to smaller details like your menu (if you choose a venue with in-house catering). Ensure that you get the look, price and extras you want by scouring local listings, shopping around, scheduling visits and booking early. Bonus: By signing your venue contract, you will officially have your wedding date (congrats!)!

Hire Priority Vendors

If you just can’t imagine getting married without a certain local band playing at the reception or a photographer whose work you love, act fast. Many topwedding photographers and other in-demand vendors are hired more than a year in advance, and once they’re booked, they’re gone. Translation: Figure out what your highest wedding priorities are, whether it’s world-class catering or exquisite flowers, and snap up the vendors whose work you love.

Shop Dresses!

Begin your search by browsing dress photos online (and saving your favorites — you’ll want to take them with you to your appointments). Then, learn the lingo before setting foot in a dress salon. Read up on silhouettes, necklines, trains and hues that might flatter you. The season will also affect your choice. Getting married in the sweltering summer? Go with lightweight fabrics such as chiffon, linen or organza. Having a winter wedding? Brocade, faux fur and velvet will keep you warm. Satin, shantung, silk and tulle are perfect year-round.

Originally posted https://www.theknot.com/content/engagement-ring-shopping-tips

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