Top 10 Honeymoon Destinations

Here are the top ten honeymoon destinations. Check them out with your travel agent today!

  1. Paris, France – There’s nothing more romantic than viewing Paris from the Eiffel tower.
  2. Cancun, Mexico – If adventure is what you’re seeking visit Tulum a Mayan ruin or swim with dolphins at Isla Mujeres.
  3. New Zealand – Check out the glaciers and hot pools in Westland/Tai Poutini.
  4. Madrid, Spain – History and romance abound in this city.
  5. Marshall Islands – These coral islands in the Pacific Ocean are part way between Hawaii and Australia and offer white sand beaches and excellent diving.
  6. San Diego, CA – Go to La Jolla Cove at sunset for a romantic sunset picnic or watch colorful kites fly above Mission Bay Park.
  7. Monaco – Be ready to play at the Casino de Monte Carlo in this principality by the sea.
  8. Rome – This city has it all, romance, history and shopping!
  9. Prince Edward Island – The “Gentle Island” is home both to Anne of Green Gables and some of the most beautiful parks and trails.
  10. Alaska – Breathtaking views and excitement await in this state where the midnight sun shines.

Want to Party? Bachelorette Parties

Bachelorette parties are no longer the one last, wild time before the wedding. If you’re having one, check out some of these fun ideas.

  1. Go bowling. There’s nothing better than beer and laughing at how bad or good you are at this game.
  2. Kick up your heels and dance the night away. Get your groove on with all your girls at your favorite club.
  3. Take a hike. Get your girls together for some adventure at your local nature preserve.
  4. Get some culture. Check out a local museum or historical place.
  5. Relax with a spa day. Get some much needed pampering and feel refreshed before the wedding.

Eco-Friendly Tips For Your Wedding

Here are some tips to help you have a beautiful and eco-friendly wedding.

  • Look for wedding dresses that have already been worn. You can always have them recut and tailored to fit your style.
  • Decorate your ceremony and reception site with potted plants. You can later plant them in your home.
  • Have your ceremony and reception in the same location. This will cut down on carbon emissions from everyone driving.
  • Give out flower seed packs as wedding favors or favors made from recycled materials or can be recycled.
  • Use plates, glasses, and silverware that can be reused at your reception.

Do you have some creative green tips you would like to share? Click here to share them with me.

Choosing Your Wedding Dress

Remember these tips when you choose your dress:

  • Be true to yourself. Choose a dress that makes you feel beautiful and comfortable.
  • Look for cuts that emphasize what you like about your figure and camoflage what you don’t.
  • Don’t be afraid to wear color whether its a sash, bodice or garter.
  • Match your dress to the style of your wedding. For example, outdoor weddings require dresses that do not have extra long trains.
  • Remember in what season you’ll be married. Winter weddings can be cold if you’re wearing a strapless gown.
  • Think about what accessories you will need to go with the gown including lingerie.

Double Duty

Are you still looking for ways to wed for less? Try some of these tips to get more out of your special day!

  • Instead of buying flowers for the ceremony and flowers for the reception, use your bridesmaids bouquets, your bouquet, and the ceremony flowers to decorate your reception.
  • Try booking the same location for both ceremony and reception. If you use the same location for both, you can always ask for a discount.
  • If you are using an Inn or Hotel for your reception, ask for a discount for any guest who will want to stay the night. You may even want to honeymoon there.
  • For brides choosing their wedding lingerie, choose items that you can wear again either everyday or if you are going out.
  • When sending your thank you cards, check out stationary that you can personalize to use for any occasion.

Flower Power

For many couples, wedding costs are the most important concern. You can have a beautiful ceremony and still save money. Ceremony and reception flowers can be a large part of the cost in getting married. Here are some ways that you can save money.

One way to cut costs is to arrange your flowers yourself. Buying your flowers at a bulk grower or discount store like Sam’s Club can help you manage your budget while still finding selection, quality and freshness. However, you must remember that making your own floral arrangements will take time and you will need to do it as close to the ceremony time as possible. If your wedding is later in the day, trying doing your arrangements with all the girl and guy help you can find at brunch. If your ceremony is in the morning, you will have to do them the night before. Gather your bridesmaids around and put your flowers together at the ceremony rehearsal. This will give everyone something to do while waiting for the person who is inevitably late. Most brides who choose this route are not creating elaborate arrangements. Don’t forget to have lots of vases and floral arrangement foam to keep your flowers hydrated if they will be over-nighting at the ceremony site.

If you still want to save money but you do not want to have a lot of arrangements to make just before your ceremony, consider silk flowers. With silk flowers, you can create larger arrangements in advance of the ceremony. Giving you more time to enjoy your day, silk arrangements can look just as beautiful as the real thing. Don’t forget you can mix real and silk flowers together in your ceremony. For example, I carried a bouquet of real flowers and was married in front of an arbor decorated with silk flowers.

All of these money saving tips will help you wed for less!

Feeling Crafty?

Feeling Crafty?

page0_blog_entry0_2.jpg If you are having difficulty with choosing your reception party favors, stationary, or wedding style check out Jo Gartin’s Weddings by Jo Gartin. The ideas in this book will inspire the Martha Stewart in you. Many of the ideas can be adapted to suit any budget or style. I liked the idea for the wine bottle opener with the invitation tags. I think this is also an effective reception favor for adults. It is an inexpensive and easy favor to assemble and does not require any special crafting skills or tools. This book also has ideas that require a little more skill like the Preserves Jar invitations that Mother-In-Law and Bride-To-Be spend time together canning and label themselves. This book offers ideas that are fresh and have not been repeated in someone else’s wedding. So pick up a copy and get crafting for your wedding today!

Top 10 Places in Ohio for Wedding Photos

Getting married in Ohio? Well the “Buckeye State” offers more than just beautiful scenery for your wedding day photo backdrops. Check out some of these sites. Who knows there just might be a hidden gem in your hometown!

  1. Toledo Museum of Art – This location is very popular for weddings but try getting your pictures inside. The many halls and galleries offer art of all forms to compliment your sense of style and admission is free.
  2. The Frankiln Park Conservatory – This public botanical garden has two great exhibits that are thrilling for photos and for receptions. Both the Chihuly and Blooms and Butterflies exhibits are worth exploring some amazing photos.
  3. Fountain Square Cincinnati – The newly reopened Fountain Square in downtown Cincinnati is the new cultural center for the Queen City and is also close to all of the action downtown.
  4. Hocking Hills State Park – At this state park there are a multitude of caves that you can explore for some original wedding photos. Be prepared if you do go to this location. Scout out where you want your photos first and have some fabric cleaner incase your dress does get dirty.
  5. Kings Island Eiffel Tower – If you can’t get to Paris and you want to have a fun reception Kings Island is the place to be.
  6. Clifton Gorge – Is the photographic site for the adventurous Bride. This state nature preserve offers a chance to find the rare snow trillium along with spectacular waterfalls. It is located in Greene County close to better known John Bryan State Park.
  7. Cincinnati Observatory – This astronomical observatory is steeped in history and is a treasure in Cincinnati.
  8. Tallmadge Church – Located in Tallmadge, OH is a beautiful white church built in 1825. It is great place for pictures and is available for wedding ceremonies.
  9. Kelley’s Island – This island in Erie county offers breath taking coastal views and charm.
  10. Bryn Du Mansion – The federal styled mansion located in Granville, Ohio sits atop a forested hill overlooking a polo field and is an ideal site for wedding ceremonies and receptions.

If you haven’t already seen my first article Top 10 Places to Get Married in Ohio check this article out as it has more unique ceremony sites. Another Top 10 Places in Ohio to Get Married has even more suggestions for ceremony sites. Those of you getting married in Cincinnati check out – Top 10 Locations for Cincinnati, Ohio Weddings.

For anyone who is now engaged, check out my scavenger hunt, assassins style wedding game – Wedding Wars. There is a $75 gift certificate offered for the winner of the game. All rules can be viewed in my discussion forum under Wedding Wars Clues and Hits.

Wedding Ceremony Saver Tips

Are you interested in wedding for less but still want a beautiful ceremony? Look no further, here are some tips to save costs on your big day!

Buy your flowers in bulk. Flowers in bulk are less expensive and you control the way they look by putting your bouquets, corsages, and boutonierres together. This is a great pre-wedding activity that will help you bond with your bridesmaids, mother and mother-in-law.

Look for local talent. When searching for your ceremony, cocktail hour and reception music, local musicians are a great choice. Try looking for local musical talent at a nearby university or music conservatory. Students and music teachers are always looking to book their next event and are often less expensive then professional groups with just as much talent.

Try making your own ceremony programs. Many copy centers offer beautiful papers that you can accent with dried flowers or cut outs to fit your theme. Or if your guest list is small enough and you have a quality printer, you can make them at home. These programs are often just as beautiful and special as programs that are purchased.

Book your ceremony site and reception site at the same place. You can often get a discount if you book the same site for both. This will make it easier for guests to find both the ceremony and the reception and give you more time for pictures to be taken after the ceremony. This works great for outdoor weddings at parks or beaches and indoor weddings at churches.

Do you have more cost saving tips? Share them by emailing me.

Featured book of the week

Featured book of the week

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Trying to plan for that destination wedding but getting bogged down in the details? This book will help to get you organized, packed and ready to go. The Knot Guide to Destination Weddings is my must have book of the week. This book is compact and easy to use. It includes worksheets and lists to help you pack, plan and prepare for your big day. This book also offers in depth information on some of the most romantic places to wed away. Its advice is helpful and informative to make you look like a pro when you are planning for your day. So what are you waiting for, order this one today!

Packing tips

As your big day nears, don’t forget to pack the following for your honeymoon or destination wedding:

  • Passport / driver’s license
  • Vendor contract copies
  • Travel itineraries and travel reservation confirmations
  • Marriage license
  • ATM card, credit cards, and cash for tips
  • Vendor, doctor, pet or house sitter, credit card phone numbers
  • Prescription medicine in the original bottle
  • Cell phone
  • Computer or planning book and file
  • Makeup
  • Jewelry and rings
  • Your vows
  • Wedding emergency kit
  • Extra underwear and garter
  • Something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue
  • Nail polish and polish remover
  • Eye drops
  • Handkerchief or tissues

The Top 10 Destinations to Wed Away

If getting married in an exotic and exciting place is for you, here are my top ten suggestions:

  1. Antigua: There is an overwhelming number of resorts that are opening, some great deals to be had, and 365 beaches.
  2. Italy: There is no residency requirement to fulfill before the wedding can take place. Also, between beautiful museums and breathtaking coasts this country offers something for every style.
  3. The Yucatan Peninsula: There is a great amount of history and excitement that can be found in this part of Mexico. The Yucatan Peninsula is home to the ancient Mayan ruins and I highly suggest taking a tour of Tulum. Also, the night life and shopping in Cozumel and Cancun are fabulous.
  4. Santa Catalina Island: Situated just off the coast of California, this desert island offers beautiful views, great snorkeling and buffalo! This island is well known to movie buffs too for the many films that have used this destination. This island is both intimate, adventurous, and affordable.
  5. Nevis: The license fee is very affordable and this island offers beautiful reefs and rainforests.
  6. Turks and Caicos: This collection of 40 islands is less developed than much of the Caribbean and offers a more intimate style.
  7. Lanai, Hawaii: The ‘Pineapple Island” has adventure for everyone and all within the United States. This means there is no residency requirement.
  8. Maine: This is the place to be if you love the fall weather. Maine is least crowded in the fall and the beautiful coasts and parks are more accessible.
  9. Scotland: Incredible golfing and and beautiful castles highlight this destination.
  10. Thailand: If you have a sense for adventure and Thai food this is the place to wed.

Wedding Books to Get You Started

Wedding Books to Get You Started

So he popped the question and you said “YES!”, but now what? Where do you begin to plan for your big day? Don’t worry, the best way to start planning is to get organized. I selected four popular wedding planning books and broke them down to help you select the right book for you.

The Knot Guide to Destination Weddings
by Carley Roney with JoAnne Gregoli

page0_blog_entry0_1.jpgI found this guidebook to be the most helpful of the books I reviewed. Although it is intended for destination weddings, it can also be helpful to couples planning a wedding closer to home. The book has some great etiquette sections, vendor questions, destination tips and choices to consider in planning a destination wedding. There are also example weddings and fusion ideas that are outlined. There is also a section on destinations that are popular with tips and local custom information.The book organization was the easiest to use. It includes a chapter setup and index along with a timeline on what to plan and where to find the necessary information for each subject. There are also worksheets for budget vendor contact lists, checklists for what to pack, and wedding day timelines.In all, this is a compact book that is easy to pack, is fresh and up to date on wedding trends. I highly recommend this book as a must have.

Jo Gartin’s Weddings: An Inspiring Guide for the Stylish Bride
by Jo Gartin

page0_blog_entry0_2.jpg This book is more of an idea book than an actual guide or planning book. If you are having some difficulty with finding a style that suits both of you, try looking for ideas in this book. A word of warning, I would only choose to incorporate one or two ideas in from this guide. There is an expense, time, and skill factor that you will need to consider in using any of the ideas detailed in this guide. Most brides are usually very busy with wedding plans by the time you are choosing party favors and invitations, and your budget may also be strained. These are things to keep in mind when looking through this book. However, it is very inspiring and there are always ways of adapting any idea to fit your wedding style and budget. For examples of some of my adaptations check out “Feeling Crafty?” in my book review page.I also found the organization was clumsy because of the table of content. If you are quickly trying to find information by the chapter, the contents page may be of no use to you. A better way to search would be through the index, which does have a scheme to help you find anything you are looking for. This also has a resources index with websites that may be helpful. Overall, this is a book with a lot of great ideas and can help you to bring your personality into your wedding.

The Modern Bride Survival Guide
by Lisa Milbrand

page0_blog_entry0_3.jpg I was not impressed with this planning guide. While this book does have tips and tricks for a successful and beautiful event, each section skimps on details. The book also contains some planning worksheets and timelines, but they are located at the back of the book and are not easy to find. The book does have a subscription offer for Modern Bride magazine and also has helpful phrases and vendor vocabulary that will help you to negotiate vendor fees. The book does have a helpful table of contents and standard index.Overall this was a rather run of the mill planning guide and not one that I would pay for either. This is definitely one that is better to borrow from a library and use for additional ideas.

Emily Post’s Wedding Planner, 4e (Emily Post’s Wedding Planner)
by Peggy Post

page0_blog_entry0_4.jpgI was very surprised by this book because when I think of Emily Post I think of antiquated etiquette, but this book is anything but. Since it is an etiquette book, it has a lot of advice on how to properly make announcements but it also offers good advice on how to deal with the stress of planning your wedding. If you are feeling put out by the latest disaster in your planning, this book will help you to get back to reality and deal with whatever is going.While the advice is valuable, this guide also has added value with its vendor questions, where to begin planning, and how to handle any situation in planning. Included is a budget planning worksheet, but it is somewhat limited in scope. This was the only book I reviewed that included a section on getting engaged and the events involved with engagement. There are also interesting wedding facts like how traditions were started. This book was also a little weak on incorporating ethnic and differing religious traditions. Overall it is a valuable for its stress eliminating advice and it is one that I would purchase.If you have a wedding planning book that has been of great use to you, tell us what book it is and what helped you the most by emailing me.