Monday, September 24, 2018

Ten Tips For Planning Your Destination Wedding

I planned our entire wedding almost single-handedly. It wasn't by choice, believe me, but by proximity. Pete and I lived in North Carolina and all our friends and family lived in New York. I was so grateful for the three trips my mom took during our engagement to help us plan, but for the most part, it was a destination wedding for everyone but us.

So when I was planning, I treated it like a destination wedding. I looked at it from our guests' perspective and wanted to make sure they came for more than just a five-hour wedding reception. I wanted to make sure they would have an experience.

If you're planning an actual destination wedding, or a faux one like us, I put together a list of ten tips for planning your destination wedding.

Planning a destination wedding is different than planning a wedding at home. Get some tips for planning your destination wedding on www.abrideonabudget.com.

Ten Tips For Planning Your Destination Wedding


1. Choose a location and find out  if you can get married there.
If you're having a destination wedding (either foreign or domestic), you need to figure out the legalities of it all. When do you need to get a marriage license, is your destination location allowed to marry you and will your home location recognize your marriage, and a boatload of other questions. What you need to ask will vary by location, so you should definitely Google and figure out some answers before you have your heart set on a specific location.

2. Take a venue selection trip.
Once you figure out where you're getting married, but before you can do anything else, you have to pick a venue. And you can't really do that without going there. I mean, sure, you can look at venues online, but you can't taste the food via Skype. You need to take a trip to your location ... a trip, not a vacation. You're not going to relax on a beach. You're going to scope out venues, do tastings, find a florist, and look at hotels. Pack in as much as you can during that trip because you probably can't afford to head back a second time.

When you're there, see what packages are offered. Some venues and/or hotels may have excursions available for your guests as part of your wedding package, so definitely look into that.

3. Stay in touch with your hotel.
You want to have an open line with your hotel at all times. They can be your eyes and ears when you're not there, so be extra nice and keep in touch. You can check in with them to see which of your guests have already booked their hotel rooms, ask them questions, and more.

You also want to keep in touch with a venue coordinator, if there is one. If there's not one, consider hiring a planner from your wedding location. The planner will be able to take care of things when you're not there, making planning a lot easier for you.


4. Send your save the dates early.
You want to send your save the dates as soon as you pick a date. The more time you can give your guests to plan -- and save -- the better. Realistically, you want to tell your guests at least a year in advance. That means a full calendar year of birthdays, holidays, and summer vacations that can be adjusted accordingly in order to attend your wedding.

5. ... and add an information packet.
You can't just send out a cute photo with your names and date on it. Destination weddings don't work that way. Instead, you need to include an info packet that contains the venue name, the hotel name, and any relevant travel information. If you met with a travel agent who can give you a group rate, mention that. If there are any deadlines for bookings, you'll want to mention that as well.

6. Pack necessities only.
When we went to Japan this summer, we threw my grandma a birthday party. That meant we packed goody bags and decorations in our suitcases. We also brought gifts for our relatives. I gave my grandma an extra suitcase for these items, in anticipation of her emptying it and letting me pack my souvenirs in it on the way home.

You will end up with a ton of stuff to bring with you. Almost anything in your welcome bags will be traveling with you, so you need room for those items. And if they're heavy, you need to think about your airline's suitcase weight restrictions. With so much wedding stuff, you won't have that much room for your own stuff.

And, speaking of a lot of wedding stuff, check for any customs restrictions. You may not be able to bring certain items into certain countries, and that would be a waste of money and suitcase space to find out at the border.

7. ... and ship what you can.
Definitely ship any decorations, favors, or other items that you can ship. Just budget for that. Shipping can be expensive -- and so can all the items you need to buy to make sure everything is packaged safely. You would hate to open boxes days before your wedding and find out things have gotten damaged.

Also, keep in mind that items may get stuck at customs for a few days so you need to ship early. If that's the case, make sure that you are shipping it somewhere that has space available for you.

And, when you ship, label everything. Be as detailed as you can so life is easier for you when you and your boxes are reunited.

wedding-welcome-bags

8. Make wedding welcome bags.
You would make wedding welcome bags for out of town guests for a traditional wedding. For a destination wedding, you need to make a bag for everyone. Be very careful of what you add into the bags, though. Some items -- like chocolate -- could melt while you're traveling.

9. Figure out how to get your gifts back.
Your best bet is to not receive gifts at your wedding, but not everyone is going to agree. So that means you'll have to find a way to get back any gifts that are given to you at the wedding. Also, since you didn't declare these items before entering the country, find out what you need to do to declare them on the way out. Different countries have different rules, so it's better to find this out early.

10. Take a day just for you.
There will be a lot of running around and a lot of face time with your guests. What there will be less of is time with your fiance. And yes, you will have the rest of your lives to spend together, but you want to spend some time during wedding week too. If you can't carve out a full day, at least make sure to have one meal just the two of you.

BRIDAL BABBLE: Are you planning a destination wedding?

Friday, September 21, 2018

Nifty Nautical Wedding Favors

Ahoy mateys.

That's exactly how someone should greet your guests if you're planning a nautical-themed wedding. Have someone at the venue dress like a captain and welcome people aboard the S.S. Wedding Ship Of Love.

I'm being completely serious. That sounds amazing.

And it would be a little needed pop at a nautical wedding. Because nautical weddings are really popular and you don't want to be another bride who hangs a couple life preservers on the back of the chairs at the sweetheart tables.

You can have such fun with whimsy nautical wedding favors. Anything with an anchor or boat pretty much passes. Plus, you can focus on rope because you're tying the knot. And an anchor because your new spouse is your anchor. Oh, you see now why this is a popular theme.

I put together my favorite nifty nautical wedding favors. Check them out below.

Planning a nautical wedding? Check out a dozen nifty nautical favors from www.abrideonabudget.com.

Nifty Nautical Wedding Favors

  1. Nautical-Themed Glass Coasters Set
  2. Nautical Anchor Bottle Stopper
  3. Silver Anchor-Topped Kissing Bells
  4. Blue Sailboat Tea Light Holders
  5. Personalized Frosted Glass Votive Wedding Candle Favors
  6. Personalized Wedding Stir Sticks
  7. Anchor Bookmark
  8. "Voyages" Anchor Muslin Favor Bags
  9. Spectacular Anchor Design Candle Favors
  10. Nautical Candy Boxes
  11. Ship's Wheel Design Wine Bottle Stopper
  12. Nautical Mini Candy Bar Wrapper Sticker Labels

Planning a nautical wedding? Check out a dozen nifty nautical favors from www.abrideonabudget.com.
Nautical-Themed Glass Coasters Set
I love coasters. If you've ever been to our home, you know this. We have dozens scattered throughout, just in case you, you know, take a drink into the bathroom and need a place to put it down. Shockingly, I've never gotten a coaster as a wedding favor and I think that is a big missed opportunity, especially when there are cute ones like the nautical-themed glass coasters set. It comes as a pair, but you can split it up (so basically, it's like two nautical favors in one).

Purchase here.

Planning a nautical wedding? Check out a dozen nifty nautical favors from www.abrideonabudget.com.
Nautical Anchor Bottle Stopper
If you and your fiance like wine, you want a favor that reflects that. But you can definitely find a wine nautical wedding favor, like this nautical anchor bottle stopper. Each stopper is just over five inches, which makes it a good size favor. This isn't something little and cheesy. And if you like wine, chances are your friends do too, and they'll actually use this favor post-wedding.

Purchase here.

Planning a nautical wedding? Check out a dozen nifty nautical favors from www.abrideonabudget.com.
Silver Anchor-Topper Kissing Bells
I didn't purchase kissing bells for our wedding because I didn't think I'd be around Pete long enough to actually kiss him. At one point, my mom's friend did start tapping on her glass with a knife, but I turned to her and said, "That's my brother" revealing my younger brother (not my husband) at the head table with me. If you think you'll spend more time together than Pete and I did, check out these silver anchor-topped kissing bells. They're kissing bells (you and your groom will kiss each time they are rang), they're favors, and they're escort card holders. Triple threat.

Purchase here.

Planning a nautical wedding? Check out a dozen nifty nautical favors from www.abrideonabudget.com.
Blue Sailboat Tea Light Holders

If you know us, you know we always have candles burning. They're pretty and set such a romantic mood. Now, imagine an entire ballroom filled with candles. So pretty. You can do that with the blue sailboat tea light holders. Have them act as table decorations during the reception, and you'll save on centerpieces. Then, have your guests take them home as favors, and you'll save yourself clean up. Plus, they're really pretty. Everyone wins.

Purchase here.

Planning a nautical wedding? Check out a dozen nifty nautical favors from www.abrideonabudget.com.
Personalized Frosted Glass Votive Wedding Candle Favors
If you like candles but the sailboat idea isn't for you, check out these Personalized Frosted Glass Votive Wedding Candle Favors. There are actually a bunch of nautical ideas to choose from for the labels. You can mix and match too so if you want some with rope and others with anchors, you can do that. That's easy in case you've decided on a nautical theme, but can't exactly decide on which style of nautical wedding favors you want to go with. You just have to order 24 of each, which should be easy for most weddings.

Purchase here.


Planning a nautical wedding? Check out a dozen nifty nautical favors from www.abrideonabudget.com.
Personalized Wedding Stir Sticks
I'm not sure you can call personalized wedding stir sticks a favor, but I absolutely love them. They're something I only discovered at the very last minute before our wedding and it was just too late for me to order one more thing. So now I'm a big supporter of letting everyone know that these are adorable, available, and a great wedding accessory. These come in three shapes (rectangle, oval, and round), are double-sided, and have over 70 different icons to choose from -- including anchors. Yup, you can get away with calling these useful nautical wedding favors.

Purchase here.

Planning a nautical wedding? Check out a dozen nifty nautical favors from www.abrideonabudget.com.
Anchor Bookmarks
I don't read as often as I would like. I used to read books all the time, but then I started working 14 hours a day and I pretty much don't have free time for anything but dinner and sleep. If you and your guests have time to read, you should definitely get these anchor bookmarks as your nautical wedding favor. They come individually packaged in a striped envelope that you can personalize with three lines of text. Plus, they go great if you've decided on vintage book centerpieces.

Purchase here.

Planning a nautical wedding? Check out a dozen nifty nautical favors from www.abrideonabudget.com.
"Voyages" Anchor Muslin Favor Bags
If you are decided on an edible favor, like M&M's, but they're not exactly themed, you're in luck. You can grab these "Voyages" Anchor Muslin Favor Bags. Since they're not see through, you can fill them with anything you want and you don't have to worry about it matching your theme. The bag takes care of that for you.

Purchase here.

Planning a nautical wedding? Check out a dozen nifty nautical favors from www.abrideonabudget.com.
Spectacular Anchor Design Candle Favors
Last candle favor on the list. I swear. But I couldn't pass up these spectacular anchor design candle favors. I mean, what a cute nautical wedding favor -- with some bling. The deep blue is so dramatic and will add so much color to your table settings. Plus, it'll cut your cost on table decorations and that's always a good thing.

Purchase here.

Planning a nautical wedding? Check out a dozen nifty nautical favors from www.abrideonabudget.com.
Nautical Candy Boxes
If you're planning on a candy buffet being your wedding favor, you need these nautical candy boxes. They're 3 x 2.75 so they'll hold a nice amount of candy, but not too much that you'll have to buy the entire candy store. Plus, they're one of the few favors that if they don't all go, you can reuse them. Use them as popcorn boxes on movie nights or snack packs when you're trying to portion control.

Purchase here.

Planning a nautical wedding? Check out a dozen nifty nautical favors from www.abrideonabudget.com.
Ship's Wheel Design Wine Bottle Stopper
A nautical favor list wouldn't be complete without the ship's wheel. The classiest place I found it was as a ship's wheel design wine bottle stopper. If you didn't like the cork on the wine bottle stopper above, this metal is the way to go. I love that the boxes are labeled to say, "Love is a Voyage" ... because that's a very true sentiment.

Purchase here.

Planning a nautical wedding? Check out a dozen nifty nautical favors from www.abrideonabudget.com.
Nautical Mini Candy Bar Wrapper Sticker Labels

If you have a little free time pre-wedding (or really helpful bridesmaids), definitely pick up the nautical mini candy bar wrapper sticker labels. You can actually print on them yourself, so you can add your names and wedding date. Or just write "Ahoy." You then affix them to mini chocolates.

Purchase here.

BRIDAL BABBLE: Which of these nifty nautical favors is your favorite?

Deciding on wedding favors?

Check out our post: 100 Wedding Favors (Your guests will actually take).
wedding favor ideas

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Football-Themed Wedding Ideas

Football season is finally here. It's Pete's favorite time of the year. If it's yours too, you may want to include football into your wedding. So, for you, I put together a list of football-themed wedding ideas.

This is definitely a theme where you could go overboard, so be sure to pick wisely.

You want to have subtle football wedding ideas around, but not anything that makes your big day look more like a Super Bowl party instead of a wedding.

Planning a football-themed wedding? These ideas from www.abrideonabudget.com are GREAT! #footballwedding #weddings #wedding #weddingplanning #sportsthemedwedding

Football-Themed Wedding Ideas

  1. Football Wedding Cake
  2. Football Cake Topper
  3. Football-Themed Wedding Invitation Suite
  4. Football Rose Boutineer
  5. Football Cufflinks
  6. NFL Socks
  7. Football Team Nail Tattoos
  8. Football-Themed Garter Belt
  9. Personalized Football
  10. Football Jersey Guest Book
  11. Foil-Wrapped Chocolate Footballs
  12. Football-Shaped Chocolate-Dipped Oreo Pops

For a football-themed wedding, you need to go with green. Green dresses for your bridesmaids, green bow ties for the groomsmen, lots of greenery in your bouquets. Let the green of the field really shine through in your accents.

Planning a football-themed wedding? These ideas from www.abrideonabudget.com are GREAT!
Football Wedding Cake
I'm in love with this football wedding cake from Momma T's Place (although the site no longer exists). If you remember, our wedding cake was super modern and on theme (it basically was a sand castle cake), but this is something special.

If you want more of a traditional wedding cake, you could do one layer of the cake in the photo above and have it as your groom's cake. Or just have a traditional cake and add football helmet cake toppers.

But if you want something more traditional ...
Planning a football-themed wedding? These ideas from www.abrideonabudget.com are GREAT!
Football Cake Topper
... go with this playful football cake topper. You still get your bride and groom on top of your cake, but when people are looking a little closer, they'll see the football in the groom's hand.

Purchase here.

Planning a football-themed wedding? These ideas from www.abrideonabudget.com are GREAT!
Football-Themed Save The Date
Planning a football-themed wedding? These ideas from www.abrideonabudget.com are GREAT!
Football-Themed Table Numbers
Good, now that we have cake (my favorite part of a wedding) settled , let's start at the beginning -- the pre-game, if you will: invitations and your stationery suite.

MagnetStreet makes a really great football-themed wedding invitation suite called Touchdown Wedding. You can get save the dates, invitations, RSVP cards, table numbers, and more. There is the outline of the NFL logo and a field behind the image. I actually really like this set. Plus, it's a way to tell your guests right from the start that football is going to be a huge part of your event.

Purchase here.

Planning a football-themed wedding? These ideas from www.abrideonabudget.com are GREAT!
Football Rose Boutineer
If your guests receive football-themed save the dates and invitations, they won't be surprised when they see your guys' uniforms ... um, wedding attire. Tuxedos with green or NFL ties, but don't stop there.

I am slightly obsessed with this football rose boutineer from Sports Theme Weddings. It's so creative, and so different, and will definitely last a lot longer than a live rose corsage will last. Until I was writing this post, I had never seen anything like this, so I know your guests will be really awestruck by it too.

Purchase here.

Planning a football-themed wedding? These ideas from www.abrideonabudget.com are GREAT!
Football Cufflink
Planning a football-themed wedding? These ideas from www.abrideonabudget.com are GREAT!
NFL Cufflink and Tie Bar Set
Don't stop at the boutineer, though. Definitely go with fun cufflinks. You can go with simple football cufflinks or you can pick up a NFL cufflink and tie bar set with a specific team. This is such a great idea for a groomsman gift. If your groom knows all his friends' favorite football teams (and I'm sure he does because we know who all our friends root for), this would be a really fun gift for them.

Purchase here.
Planning a football-themed wedding? These ideas from www.abrideonabudget.com are GREAT!
NFL Socks
If you want something more subtle for your groomsmen, I suggest NFL socks. You can get each groomsman a different team, or maybe his favorite team, and have them wear the football socks on your wedding day. Be sure your photographer snaps a photo of all the men pulling up their pants legs to reveal the socks.

Purchase here.
Planning a football-themed wedding? These ideas from www.abrideonabudget.com are GREAT!
Football Team Nail Tattoos
Now, what about your attire?

If you want something subtle, check out these football team nail tattoos. They come four to a pack, but I would suggest you only put one on each of your ring fingers (or pointer fingers, depending on which accent nail trend you fancy).

Purchase here.

Planning a football-themed wedding? These ideas from www.abrideonabudget.com are GREAT!
Football-Themed Garter Belt
To do something simple that doesn't take away from your dress at all, you can go with a football-themed garter belt. I found this one at Fanatics, which boasts a lot of college teams. That's cool if you love your college. But you could tweak this Michigan State garter belt by pulling off the Trojan helmet. Now you have one that looks like you wanted New York Jets colors. Works for me. Since, ya know, I'm a big Jets fan.

Purchase here.

Planning a football-themed wedding? These ideas from www.abrideonabudget.com are GREAT!
Personalized Football
Speaking of your garter, instead of throwing it, have your groom throw a football. I found the personalized football in the photo above on Etsy, but the shop is taking a break. Instead, you can head over to Wilson and make a custom football there. Add your names and wedding date and "You're Next" because, really, that's what the garter belt catch means.

Purchase here.

Planning a football-themed wedding? These ideas from www.abrideonabudget.com are GREAT!
Football Jersey Guest Book
While you're being non-traditional, go with a completely different guest book. Purchase your favorite player's jersey, or create your own personalized football jersey. Use your wedding date as the number and your new last name on the back and have your guests sign it. That would be something really fun to hang in the man cave after the wedding.

Purchase here.
Planning a football-themed wedding? These ideas from www.abrideonabudget.com are GREAT!
Foil-Wrapped Chocolate Footballs
Planning a football-themed wedding? These ideas from www.abrideonabudget.com are GREAT!
Football-Shaped Chocolate-Dipped Oreo Pops
And of course, you need football wedding favors. You know I am always a fan of edible favors, so I vote with either foil wrapped chocolate footballs or football-shaped chocolate-dipped Oreo pops. Count me in for your wedding with either of those as favors.

Purchase here and here.

If you're looking for more sports themed wedding ideas, check out our Baseball Weddings Pinterest Board.
BRIDAL BABBLE: Which of these football-themed wedding ideas is your favorite?