Blushing Belle: Southern Wedding Traditions

Have you checked out Redneck Couture's wedding line, Wedneck Couture, of Boot Bling? It's handmade, crafted in the US, and ships for free! The Boot Bling can be customized to match bridesmaid gowns as well! Well, while we're talking about weddings and such--here are some southern inspired wedding traditions!

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Weddings in the south have some absolutely amazing and lovely traditions and trends. Here are a few!

Parasols
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Sweet Tea
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Brooches
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Monogrammed Everything

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Lockets
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Burlap, Burlap and More Burlap

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Bridal Portraits
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Mason Jars

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Pearls

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Silhouette Portraits
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Bells
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Ducks
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Carnations
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Daisies
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Iris
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Lavender
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"Bury the Bourbon"
     This is a fun tradition done to insure that there is no rain on the blushing bride's special day. In the south, many weddings are held outside. So, exactly one month before the wedding, the bride buries a bottle of bourbon in the yard neck down. Then during the reception, they dig it up and drink it!
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"Groom's Cakes"
     A Groom's Cake is a special creation by the bride. The Groom's Cake will express the groom's likes, hobbies or self in some way. Many of these cakes are very extensive and creative. 

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The Ultimate Country Concert Survival Guide

Concerts are major events that are good to be prepared for as much as possible. Considering that country concerts and festivals are a lot of tailgating, hanging out and then jamming out, there are plenty of items that you can consider bringing for the ultimate concert experience! 

BONUS SURVIVAL TIP:

The bag you chooses matters! What do you want to bring? How much do you want to bring? Are you going to be carrying it the whole time? Do you need to keep stuff cold? Do you need to keep stuff secure? These are all excellent considerations when it comes to selecting your bag. Also, make sure that you have extra room in your bag for merch that you purchase at the actual event.
Want something cute, efficient and easy to wear? Consider a Redneck Couture knapsack!

What You're Packing:

1. Portable charger

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(Your phone is going to die. This is an inevitable possibility. You're going to be texting, posting, tweeting, instagramming, taking photos and videos, jamming out to music before the concert and perhaps getting in a round or five of Candy Crush (do kids still play that?). It's an excellent idea to pack a portable charger or two for you and your friends to use in order to make sure that your phone is alive when you need it!)

2. Sunscreen

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3. Water!

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(It's going to be hot, there's going to be drinking, dancing and good times to be had--STAY HYDRATED.)

4. Little snacks

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(Whether you're packing bonus snacks or drinks, make sure that you have something to keep you full. Food at a concert is VERY expensive, and is a hit or miss when it comes to quality. So the best decision is to bring your own concessions!)

5. Extra clothing item

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(pack a little jacket, an extra tshirt, etc. You never know what kind of messes you may find yourself in or if you or your pals will get cold.)

6. Sharpies

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(for impromptu autograph sessions or giving that handsome stranger your phone number)

7. Blanket or something to sit on

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(an old quilt, a table cloth, folding chairs, pillows, etc.)

8. An extra pair of shoes.

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(If you're new to boots but want to look your country chic best, you might want to bring a pair of sneakers along with you to change into if you feel uncomfortable after a while.)

9. Something to pull your hair up with.

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(hair ties, clips, head bands, bandanas, etc.)

10. Make up wipes.

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(These not only work for the post sweaty mascara smears, but they are universal cleaners for any kind of mess.)

11. Cash.

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If you can avoid bringing your credit card, you'll be less likely to be totally screwed if you lose your wallet at a show if it just has cash in it. Make sure to bring only enough cash that you're comfortable with spending ($50.00 if you're planning on buying merch and perhaps an $8.00 soda). Keep your phone and wallet as close to you as possible. Perhaps even investing in a fanny pack would be a good idea.

12. Bug repellent.

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13. Lighter.

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14. Sunglasses.

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(Head over to Dollar Tree and load up with at least 3 pairs of shades. You'll be able to share them with your friends that definitely forgot theirs, but at the same time if you lose a pair, not only do you have a backup, but it's not devastating to have lost a pair of $1.00 sunglasses.)

15. Plastic bags.

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(they don't take up a lot of space and you can squish them together. However, after you open a drink, wrap it in a plastic bag before you put it back in your bag in case of spillage. Plus, there's always a use for a plastic bag. (Hold merch, throw out trash, etc.) 

What You're Wearing: 

It's officially summer time. Summer time brings many things: sunshine to bask in from 6am to 9pm, hot weather, bikinis, beach days, adventures, cool sweet tea, and of course country music! Here are some country music concert outfit suggestions and ideas to keep you cool, comfortable and country.
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1. Band or artist merch.

There's a more than decent possibility that your Blake Shelton tshirt or Carrie Underwood tank top cost you more than you'd like to admit--so why not wear it proud!? The nostalgia value gets attached to the totem and it's an article of clothing that you can wear and remember the epic time that you had.
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2. Layers.

As mentioned previously, it's always good to pack an extra clothing item for yourself or your concert pal. A concert starts with the tailgate party in the parking lot at noon--when it's HOT, HOT, HOT and then it just gets hotter throughout the day. For most of the concert you might find yourself in a tank top and some shorts; however, what happens once the sun goes down? Be sure to have something to warm up with just in case (a cardigan, hoodie, extra shirt, sweat pants to go over your shorts, etc.)
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3. BOOTS!

They're made for walkin', stompin', dancin' and more. (Don't forget to doll them up a bit with some hot Boot Bling.)
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4. Hats.

It's going to be sunny. Don't forget your cowboy or cowgirl hat, baseball cap, snap back, or floppy hat at home.

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5. Denim.

Wether you're rockin' cut off denim Daisy Dukes, jeans, or a denim vest, you can't forgo this country staple.
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6. Plaid.

Another fancy redneck must, don't forget to dawn your plaid button ups. Comfy to keep cool and warm!

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7. Something patriotic.

Support the good ol' USA with some red, white and blue.

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Have a blast this summer!

Blushing Belle: Engagement & Wedding Planning Survival Guide

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CONGRATULATIONS! You found the one. You found the fanciest redneck, the sexiest southern bell, the classiest southern gentleman, a courageous cowboy or a cute cowgirl, no matter who you found, you found the one and that is spectacular that you two want to spend the rest of your lives together. Are you ready for the massive amount of questions, responsibility, crushing long hours, and ton of planning? WELL READY OR NOT, HERE IT ALL COMES! Being engaged is such an odd combination of bliss and indigestion. There are so many things that go into wedding planning. The internet and your family can prepare you the best they can, however, most of the time a wedding's details depend solely on the people planning it. Here are some tips, tricks and notes to survive the engagement and wedding planning.

Questions

You will be asked the same set of questions at least 36 times--and that's just within your first week of getting engaged. Here are some possible questions you may be asked:
-How did he propose?
-When's the wedding?
-Are you sure you're ready?
-Who's paying for the wedding?
-Who's your maid of honor?
-Who's the best man?
-When's the wedding?
-How many bridesmaids will you have?
-How many groomsmen will you have?
-Where are you going to go on your honeymoon? 
-Hold on, you're waiting how long to get married?
-When's the wedding?
-Are you pregnant?
-How long have you guys been together?
-Do you know what kind of dress you're going to want?
-What are your colors?
-How many people are you going to invite?
-SERIOUSLY, WHEN IS THE WEDDING?
I'm sure there are few really golden ones that I missed, but these are basically the questions everyone wants answers to immediately if not sooner.

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1. Don't Panic.

If seeing that list of questions overwhelmed you, oh honeybunchesofoats are you in for a ride. Don't panic. At the end of the day your wedding is exactly that---YOUR WEDDING. This is a special day about you and your special someone. You'll be able to figure it out. You have a ton of people willing to help you--family members, friends, a wedding planner, or even simply the internet. You have time. You have options. Take a breath.

2. It's Okay To Dream.

A lot of people have a "dream wedding" in mind whether it's this big fairy tale event that they have had a Pinterest board for since they were eight years old, or even simply just a couple of details that they have forever had their hearts set on. It is totally okay to have these dreams and goals and ideas. It is up to you to make them a reality. Sometimes, dreams don't work out--but that's okay! You do whatever you can to keep this wedding a dream of yours. Make compromises when you can, and fight for whatever it is that you need.

3. Making Sacrifices Is Part Of The Experience.

Remember how I just went over how you should fight for what you need? Well, you should also kind of know when to pick your battles. More often than not, you're going to have a final say in what happens at your wedding--especially if you are financing the whole shindig. However, there are those instances where some people that are contributing to the wedding, or are important to you, or are actual professionals with experience with this kind of thing, that will trample all over your dreams, ask for something that you think is ridiculous at the time, or will spend every waking moment of their lives making sure that something happens or doesn't happen at your wedding simply because it's something they want. Whether it's a mother-in-law that absolutely has to have lobster there, the maid of honor that hasn't looked good in purple since freshman year and refuses to wear that color dress, or even the wedding planner looks you dead in the eye and tells you, "You absolutely cannot have a breadstick fountain...how...how would that even work?" It happens. Everyone is going to want their own piece of this wedding cake (haha see what I did there?) and sometimes you're going to have to make compromises and sacrifices that you may not like. For example, if the parents' are paying for the wedding and they want to invite Aunt Helen and her smelly brat children, you might have to suck it up and let the kids and their weird stench come to the wedding. When you do make these "sacrifices" you have to remember something: this is your night that you get to share with people that you hold the closest to you. And at the end of the day...

4. Wedding Guests Only Remember The Food, The Booze, And The Music

Seriously, no one is going to remember the wedding favors, what kind of flowers were at every table, or the giant flower wall that took you three months to make because you saw it on a Buzzfeed list and absolutely had to make it because you wanted a DIY wedding. Details like these should absolutely be important to you, but don't sweat the small stuff if you don't have to.
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5. Write Everything Down.

Whether you are a note taker that needs a spiral bound notebook, an Excel sheet or a word document, figure out a system that works for you that allows you to keep track of all of your wedding planning. This will actually make your life much easier, believe it or not. If you have a detailed record of your planning, it will save you a lot of time in hassle in the long run. Keep track of it all so that you can refer back to it. Need to contact the venue because you have a guest list change? Boom you have the person's contact information on your Excel sheet. Wondering where in the world your bridesmaids' dresses are that you ordered? Check the tracking number you had saved in your word document. Keep track. Keep every single receipt. It's better to have it all then have nothing.

6. Make A Timeline.

No matter if you are getting married six months, a year or two years from the engagement, you should make and keep track of a timeline for your wedding planning. This way you can see when you need to have tasks done.
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6. There's An Infographic For It.

I love the internet. It's a beautiful (and sometimes horrible) place that is full of wedding help. It's a lot to slog through bridal magazines and wedding blogs--so sometimes browsing Pinterest and finding infographics with tons of really great information is a lot easier. They are also super helpful when you are showing it to a person that is involved in the wedding planning, but isn't very detail oriented. Look, sometimes grooms aren't exactly gun-ho about wedding planning--but looking at a fun picture can be informative and easy to look at!
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7. Budget!

Weddings cost a crap ton of money. There are so many things at play when it comes to having a wedding. Did you know that 23% of wedding budgets go to just flowers? Well that's a made up statistic, but it sounds pretty accurate right? That's because people blow a ton of real, factual money on flowers that will be dead halfway through the reception. Come up with 3 budgets:
1. The Dream Budget--which isn't a budget at all. Come up with all of the things, number of people, and details that you want your dream wedding to have.
2. The Scale Down--this is your first budget. Now that you have a reality to face of what money you actually have to work with, see how you want to cut your budget up. Are flowers absolutely not important to you, but you still think you might want your bridesmaids to hold something (although I am definitely a supporter in bridesmaids holding puppies instead of flowers)? Contribute 2% of your budget to flowers, while you know that the food will be super important to you and your family and will get 45% of the budget.
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8. Your Gift Registry Shouldn't Be Treated Like A Christmas List.

That sounded much harsher than I wanted it to, but I hope you get what I'm trying to get at. The idea of people getting you tons of super cool stuff is an amazing one, however you really have to be realistic about what you need and what you want. A lot of power will rush to your head when you're at Target or Nordstrom and you're holding that price gun to scan all of the super cool things in the store to go on your registry! Both of you should sit down and figure out what you want, what you need, and what people can afford to get you. Also, register somewhere that you actually shop or can benefit from! Amazon is great because the registry comes with deals (for example, if you put a Keurig coffee maker on there and someone buys it, Amazon will throw in a month's worth of coffee for the Keurig). For those reading this that know someone with a registry that may be out of your "price range," check to see if you can get the same product somewhere else. (Have those obnoxious Bed, Bath & Beyond coupons? Utilize those!).
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9. You Have A Million And Eight Food Options--Be Realistic.

Your venue may have catering options for you (example: the venue can charge you $94.00 per person, but that will include a full buffet of food, appetizers, cake, bar, etc.), your friends may know a guy, you can also take on the giant task of making your own food. Whatever you choose make sure that the food is good, in budget, and that you can handle it.

10. Relationship First. Wedding Second.

If people put a fraction of the time, effort, Pinterest boarding, agony, blood, sweat and tears that they do into the relationship as they do wedding planning then most marriages nowadays probably wouldn't end in divorce. Getting married and having a wedding is so splendid, fun, crazy and spectacular. The details that go into it are so important, and the day itself will be in your hearts for forever--but make sure that after that fairy tale day is over, that prince and princess charming can continue to live happily ever after. Take silly relationship quizzes and learn your love languages, try to find out something new about one another every day up until the wedding. Pick a new hobby to learn together--start a new TV show every few months. Keep the relationship strong.

Blushing Belle: Engagement Party Themes

Engagement Parties are a fairly new tradition in the getting married game. Since the dating game has changed so exponentially, Engagement Parties were created in order to bring the families of the bride and groom together under the same roof to meet and mingle. We are a generation of celebration. Any kind of accomplishment is a reason to party, so an accomplishment in finding a soul mate is DEFINITELY a reason to party.

There are a lot of gray areas surrounding Engagement Parties because none of them are the same. Some common questions are:

When should the engagement party be?

Give yourselves a minute to revel in your newly engaged bliss. However, it's absolutely up to you. Some couples have their engagement party two weeks after they get engaged, while others wait up to three months after the engagement. It all depends on what kind of details you wish to share at the engagement party. You'll get asked a ton of questions that you might not be able to answer two weeks in.

Do people bring gifts to an engagement party?

They most definitely can! Again, it's all about how long you wait. Some couples have the engagement party and are already registered. Some party guests can use your registry as a reference to see what they can get you. However, some other parties have more congratulatory gifts (gift cards, bottles of wine, etc) or just cards. 

Who should be invited to the engagement party?

If they are invited to the wedding, they should be invited to the engagement party. If they are not going to be invited to the wedding, it may be awkward to have them at the party. However, if you want all of your friends and family to be there, but you know you're only going to have a small wedding, inform the guests of that. "Hey, we want a very small wedding of only twenty people, but we still wanted to share this special time with all of you. I hope that's okay." People will understand, and they will appreciate feeling included.

Where should the engagement party be?

Depends on what kind of party you are thinking to have, who is throwing the party, how many people are going, what time of year, etc. More often than not, the parents of the bride or groom host the party. That way it's a literal welcoming the other family into their home. However, couples can host their own parties, or even rent a venue.

What actually happens at an engagement party?

Have you tracked a theme here yet? EVERYTHING DEPENDS ON THE COUPLE. So, here are a few Engagement Party themes and ideas to make your celebration FANCY.

Classic Engagement Party

You can't go wrong with a classic. This includes the bride's parents hosting the party--which luckily takes a lot of pressure off of the bride and groom to plan party details. 

The party will be a nice dinner at the brides' parents' house, at a restaurant or perhaps even at a venue to fit the amount of people on the guest list (which the groom and bride should consult on). Be prepared for a lot of questions during this event. Announce your bridal and grooms parties at a designated time in the evening for a personal touch.

Holiday Engagement Party

I am obsessed with Christmas. What some people call a problem, I call holiday spirit. So it made sense that I wanted to have a Christmas themed engagement party. Luckily, my fiancé and I got engaged in October, so it was perfect timing to wait until December to host the party. The party is a mash up of engagement and Christmas themes.

The music and decor are a combination of congratulations, wedding and Christmas.

The Bridesmaid Proposals

I bought these giant ornaments at Dollar Tree, along with the stockings. My bridesmaids will be wearing custom Boot Bling to match their dresses, so I wrapped the Bling around the stocking to present it to them. This way, the proposal is personal for me, and it's something they can keep forever--both the ornament and the Boot Bling.

You aren't just limited to a Christmas engagement party though. You can do a theme for any holiday (Halloween, Thanksgiving, St. Patrick's Day, Valentine's Day, Fourth of July, etc). Doing a holiday themed party allows you to kill two birds with one stone: you can celebrate the holiday with your friends, as well as this special time. It also makes shopping for decorations, food, drink, and games much easier!

Murder Mystery Engagement Party

Please don't actually murder someone for this party theme. However, there are a ton of fun ways to play a murder mystery game with your guests. Come up with a super fun narrative, or download a game and template online! This is a fun and classic way to engage your guests, and get to know the people in each family.

Throwback Engagement Party

Remember the 90s? How about the 80s? 70s? You've probably been to a retro party where everyone dresses up in mullets and tie-dye, but this party is actually about nostalgia for an era that you participated in beyond pooping your pants for the last few years of that decade. This allows for you guys to relive your childhoods or teen years together, but this time as a soon to be Mr. & Mrs. 
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90s, 80s, high school, elementary school, summer camp, college, etc. Have everyone dress up from that nostalgia period and bring things to really set the mood: photo albums, other clothes, vintage items, music, yearbooks, toys, etc. Bring it all together and go back in time for a night. Include mementos from your pasts specifically so that you and your future spouse and reminisce (or cringe) at your previous selves. You're about to reinvent yourselves for a future together, take one last look back before you do.

The actual theme, decorations, food and drink of your party entirely depends on which nostalgic time you select. For a 90s party you might want to go with grunge, movie posters from that time period, run some old Nicktoons in the background, etc. If you go high school, bring back your school colors, mascot, and leave the cliques at the door.

Fairy Tale Engagement Party

Let everyone become the prince and princess they were always meant to be. You can go Disney themed, to straight up classical fairy tale with knights and shit. Give out little plastic tiaras to the women of the party, and the men can get foam swords. This is your happily ever after.

Luau of Love Engagement Party

This theme depends on where you're hosting the party and when you are hosting the party. If you are having a summertime engagement, then this is perfect! Get your beach bunnies together for a luau of love! Celebrate your love "by the beach" with these fun luau ideas.

Flip Flops made from frosting and Nutter Butter cookies on some graham cracker sand.

Buy some new sand buckets to use as serving dishes. Twizzlers make for cute pool noodles!

Make a sandy beach cake with graham cracker sand, and blue frosting sand. Carve the initials of you and your fiancé right on the "beach."

Everyone can get "lei"ed at this party.

Give out treat bags as party favors, or even utilize this super simple DIY design for your bridesmaid proposals.

Game Night Engagement Party

Gather for board games, video games, hide and seek, and more! Get together for a night of friendly competition. Get your friends and family members to bring their favorite games to the party, surf online for fun engagement party games (like the ones here, here, here and here) or take a game that you know and love and make it into an Engagement Party game!

A Bar Engagement Party

Yes, you could all just go out for drinks at your favorite watering hole, but this is not the kind of bar I'm talking about. This party theme is set up around bars:

Dessert Bar
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Cocktail Bar
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Candy Bar
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Sandwich Bar
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Popcorn Bar
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Ice Cream Sundae Bar
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Keep the options open to a variety of people and flavors, and let your guests serve themselves.

A Night At The Movies Engagement Party

Do you and your spouse love Netflix? Binge watching? Going to the movies? Then have a movie themed Engagement Party! Feature popcorn and boxed candy as the main snacks for the party, give everyone name tags that correspond with a famous movie or TV character, make fun banners featuring the best, romantic movie lines, and more. Transport the party to the silver screen for the night, and feature your Oscar winning romance story.

Remember:
Your Engagement Party is about you and your soon to be spouse. No matter what kind of party you choose to throw, who is going to be there and so on and so forth, the most important part of the event is that you two get the opportunity to celebrate your love with the people you both care about the most. Have fun!

 

Extraordinary Affairs: How To Plan a Luxury Wedding Without the Celebrity Price Tag

This article comes from Extraordinary Affairs at 5280, a spectacularly lovely wedding planning site that will make planning your fairytale wedding a beautiful reality. They are incredibly talented wedding planners located in Denver, Colorado, but their site is jam packed with insightful advice, tips, tricks and inspirations for a wedding anywhere. Please check them out. Give the original article by Angela Alizadeh a read here!

HOW TO PLAN A LUXURY WEDDING WITHOUT THE CELEBRITY PRICE TAG

 

Yes, a celebrity caliber wedding can be within reach; even if you don’t have a 7-figure wedding budget.

In this article, I’d like to show you how.

plan a luxury wedding

First, let’s establish one thing: luxury weddings aren’t reserved exclusively for celebrities and heiresses.

As a DENVER WEDDING PLANNER who oversees a wide variety of upscale events both small and large, I can confirm that, these days, couples across the country of all backgrounds, religions, nationalities and personal preferences plan luxury weddings every day. 

Although the typical 6-figure luxury wedding budget is significantly higher than the $32,641 national average in the U.S., having a higher end affair is still within reach to a wide variety of professionals and everyday couples who may not even consider themselves in the luxury category. (Ref: 1)

Luxury wedding budget

Some couples may have been born into a higher tax bracket or come into an inheritance early, while others have simply entered into high society by means of their own personal life journey and career choices.

Regardless of the type of couple planning a luxury wedding, many are financing it themselves.

According to Splendid Insights, 40% of couples with luxury wedding budgets ($96,000 or greater) pay for part or all of their wedding themselves, making them not all that different from average budget weddings. (Ref: 2)

Who pays for the luxury wedding?

Which is why more and more couples, possibly like you, are investigating in creative ways to re-create celebrity trends and mainstays on a more accessible budget.

When PLANNING WEDDINGS IN DENVER for my clients, I try to innovate ways to create celebrity-worthy event elements even if we aren’t working with a celebrity budget.

I can help, Let’s dive in.

Set the Tone with Memorable Invitations

upscale wedding invitations

Photo credit: FROZEN EXPOSURE & PLATYPUS PAPERS

Today, luxury weddings are all about creating an experience. It’s a defining shift in the mindset of modern couples and the true mark of a luxury affair. 

The Knot reported that, in 2015, the trend toward making the guest experience a priority continued with per-guest spending increasing while guest count decreased. (Ref: 3)

Your wedding invitations should be a preview of this coming attraction. 

They are your guests’ first impression of the kind of experience they are about to have at your upcoming nuptials.

Some events are elegant and sophisticated, some are quirky and unique while others are fun and lighthearted. Whatever mood your event will set, your invitations can become part of the affair.

With an investment of between $4-$20 per invitation, creating a surprising and impressive preview to your wedding can be well within reach. 

high end wedding invites

Photo credit: KRISTIE WITH A MAGICAL AFFAIR & PLATYPUS PAPERS

When Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones got married, they created highly specialized wedding invitations embossed with custom holograms. Not only did this special effect make their invites stand out, they served a purpose too. The hologram allowed security to keep crashers from entering the event with fake invitation replicas. (Ref: 16)

It’s not necessary to throw a 1.5 million dollar affair, as these actors did, in order to create a fantastic preview of your event with your invites; it only takes a touch of creativity or resourcefulness. (Ref: 4)

Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones created a sense of exclusivity with their invitations, what kind of experience do you want to make with yours?

Luxury Wizard of Oz wedding invitations

Photo credit: PLATYPUS PAPERS

The Interactive Save-the-Date

Want to create a wedding experience that makes your guests feel involved in the fun? 

If so, you don’t have to wait until the big day to get started. With playful invitations like edible board game save-the-dates and Mad Lib inspired response cards, your guests will be active participants from day 1. (Ref: 5 & 6)

The Element of Surprise Invite

Whether it’s invisible ink, 3D reveals or scratch-off lottery style invitations, you can let your guests unveil the details of your upcoming event with a bit of playful amusement. (Ref: 7 – 11)

The Anticipation Builder

Luxury wedding invitations

Photo credit: HTTP://UNTILSUNDAY.IT/

Luxury weddings are a tremendous investment of time and resources so, naturally, you’ll want your guests to be as excited about your coming affair as you are. What better way to build anticipation than with a countdown chart? (Ref: 12) 

The Story Teller

A few years back the infographic storytelling invitation became a popular trend. Today, you can build on that concept with even more creative ways to share your story as a couple or how you met. 

One couple incorporated their love of making music into an originally recorded song invitation that recipients could play using the invitation itself. (Ref: 13)

PAPER RECORD PLAYER from KELLIANDERSON on VIMEO.

Less Is More

Luxury affairs are instantly recognized by their superior guest experience. From the instant ambiance and over-the-top décor to the delectable food and savory wine, upscale events have a way of whisking guests away to a fantastical place, if only for a day.

But this extraordinary experience comes at a cost, which typically gets broken down by “head” or individual.

 

Thus, for those trying to keep their luxury event within, or even under, a $100,000 budget, the key is to manage the number of guests invited. 

The larger a crowd, the more stretched a budget becomes; even a high-end budget. 

Which is why being selective about whom to invite to your wedding can help you reach your goal of creating a premium event experience for everyone in attendance, including yourself.

Guest list management for luxury wedding

Photo credit: TREVOR BROWN PHOTOGRAPHY

Many married couples would confess that they no longer keep in touch with a decent portion of their guest list, and possibly even a few bridal party members. 

While this may seem completely improbable for you, it is actually quite common. For this reason, it might be worth taking the time to seriously consider the strength and closeness of your relationship to each and every guest prior to inviting everyone you know. Your current budget and future self will thank you.

Here are 7 tips for helping you narrow down your list:

  1. First, respectfully ask parents, and possibly other close friends and family, not to discuss your wedding date with others or verbally invite anyone until you’ve formally created your guest list, to avoid embarrassment. It would be humiliating for both you and the uninvited guest if they had the impression they’d be invited to your wedding and were not. Likewise, it would be frustrating for you to feel obligated to invite someone you’d never intended to invite, due to an avoidable misunderstanding.
  2. Decide in advance the percentage of your final guest count that will be allocated to each set of parents. Many couples honor their parents with a reasonable percentage of guest list choices, especially when they are contributing financially.
  3. Create 3 categories of prospective guests: 1) Essential family members and wedding attendants you wouldn’t dream of excluding (grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, first cousins, the wedding party and ushers), 2) close friends and extended family (second cousins), 3) Colleagues and other friends. As you firm up your per-person investment and confirm how many guests your overall budget can (support), you can begin trimming down the list from the bottom up, starting with category #3. Remember to account for the guests on your parents’ lists.
  4. Ask yourself, ‘how close are we really?’ If you’re considering someone whom you haven’t spoken with or spent in-person time with for a year or more, they may belong in Category 3 and could be one of the first to exclude when you begin to narrow your list. This should include any person you’re inviting mainly because they are close friends with one of your close friends, even though you personally are not as close with them.
  5. While it may feel like your colleagues play an important role in your life today, because you see them on a daily basis, frequent interactions can be deceiving. Ask yourself whether or not you would truly stay in touch with that person if you were to transition to another company or job. If a co-worker is genuinely a close friend outside of the office with whom you spend a good deal of non-work time, then they are probably a good invite choice. If not, some extra consideration may be in order.
  6. If you strongly believe that a plus-one will significantly enhance the enjoyment of your wedding for all of your single guests, then certainly provide this option. However, don’t assume that you’re obligated to allow for an additional guest for your single invitees. This is a personal decision that is entirely the prerogative of you as a couple.
  7. Don’t forget about vendors. Some wedding vendors, such as musicians or photographers who are present throughout the entire day, may require that you supply them with a meal as part of your contract.

When Matters

The day and season of your wedding can have a tremendous impact on the overall investment, along with a few other perks.

The more flexible you are with your wedding date, the more financial freedom you’ll have to fashion a spectacular wedding experience from top to bottom.

Weekday Weddings

Cameron Diaz and Benji Madden shocked the media when they chose to get married on a Monday; which some believe was motivated by a desire for privacy by catching the paparazzi off guard. (Ref: 14)

Luxury weekday wedding savings and privacy

Photo credit: NICOLE NICHOLS PHOTOGRAPHY

Privacy isn’t the only advantage to getting married on a weekday. Weekday weddings can also mean:

  • Better availability of the most prestigious, talented wedding suppliers and venues in the area
  • More attractive rates with the finest venues and wedding resources
  • Fewer crowds in prime public spaces for desired photo shoots
  • Only the closest, most excited guests (not everyone may be willing to take time off of work for your wedding)

Whether you choose to wed on a weekday or weekend, you can also get access to in-demand vendors and enjoy more attractive rates at desirable venues by choosing a date in the off-season. 

Non-Peak Seasons

Non peak wedding season savings

Photo credit: REBECCA MARIE PHOTOGRAPHY & MILE HIGH CELEBRATIONS

Weddings tend to have a peak season and a slower season. If you choose to plan your event during one of the less popular months of the year and not during a holiday, you may enjoy the same benefits that weekday weddings offer. 

In 2015, The Knot Real Weddings Study reported that Fall is on its way to becoming more popular than Summer for weddings; only 33% of couples wed in the Summer while 39% of couples held nuptials between September and November. (Ref: 3)

Imagine how much more you’ll be able to splurge on your highest priority wedding items when your venue and supplier costs fall by 15-30% simply by selecting a less competitive wedding date.

Land a Designer Gown or Suit for Less

Celebrities are known for investing substantially in their bridal gowns. According to Business Insider, Madonna wore an $80,000 Stella McCartney gown when she married Guy Ritchie in 2000 while Victoria Adams tied the knot to David Beckham in a $100,000 Vera Wang dress. (Ref: 15)

Designer bridal gown for luxury wedding

When you’re hosting an extravagant event, it’s only natural to want to feel luxurious yourself. Celebrities have long known that part of the whole experience is acquiring the finest, designer attire you have access to.

Fortunately, there are a few clever ways to source some of the most exclusive dresses and designer gowns without investing more than you’ve set aside.

1. Commission a Custom Piece

If originality and exclusivity is more valuable to you than designer name, then you might consider sourcing a local custom designer or tailor to fashion a one-of-a-kind gown or suit for you as a couple.

Going local will drastically reduce the investment without compromising on quality. Custom designers and tailors are often very selective with their choice of fine fabrics and will pay close attention to every detail.

You won’t have to worry about another bride or groom wearing something similar when the garment is crafted by hand just for you.

2. Premium Pre-Loved Attire

The life of a wedding dress is short lived. Enjoyed for only a day or two, then preserved for a lifetime, most gowns never receive the use they deserve.

That’s why it’s so refreshing to see a few discerning bridal boutiques make consignment available to their community.

Local shops like THE ALTAR BRIDAL CONSIGNMENT and THE GREEN BRIDEhere in Denver carry a wide variety of lightly pre-loved gowns in all shapes and sizes that are often no older than 3 years. If you have a particular designer in mind, you can work with them to procure the exact type of dress you’re pining for and save thousands. 

3. Designer on Discount

Your perfect designer gown or suit doesn’t necessarily have to be new this season or on special order, if you’re not too particular.

With sample sales and last-season blowouts, many exclusive higher end bridal boutiques offer an opportunity to acquire top of the line attire for far less than original retail price.

If you are able to snatch up an in-demand designer piece on discount, no one has to know your secret.

By following any of these three tips, you’ll not only be able to flaunt a fabulous, coveted gown or suit on your wedding day, you’ll also have more funds to allocate to other high impact aspects of your event.

Borrow, Don’t Buy, the Accessories

Real diamond bridal jewelry for wedding

Photo credit: TREVOR BROWN PHOTOGRAPHY

Your gown and tux aren’t the only wedding attire available for less when you know what your resources are.

For decades celebrities have held a coveted secret to their red carpet look: rental. 

The reason so many celebrities are able to create a completely unique and stunning look for every red carpet event is that they borrow their outfit rather than buy it outright; including the jewels.

With resources like ADORN BRIDAL, you can actually rent your own diamond and real, precious gemstone bridal jewelry without investing five or six figures to get it.

With necklace rentals starting as low as $75, the most lavish accessories become well within reach.

For a svelt tux that requires zero in-store visits, check out Manguin, a more modern way to rent a fashionable suit.

Or you can order custom Boot Bling from Redneck Couture's Wedneck Couture Bridal Line--provide your Bridesmaids with their gifts at a reasonable price, allow them to have a beautiful piece of hand crafted jewelry that is splendid for any occasion, and the shipping is FREE!

Choose an Unconventional Venue

A sure-fire way to have guests rave about your wedding for years to come is to choose an unconventional and memorable venue. While not everyone has their own private island to host their nuptials at, as Johnny Depp and Amber Heard did, you can find unique and beautiful venues to create gorgeous ambiance and a luxury backdrop for your evening. (Ref: 31)

Have it at Home

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, Drew Barrymore and Will Kopelman, Ellen DeGeneres and Portia De Rossi; these famous couples have one thing in common - at home weddings! (Ref: 17) Celebrities often choose to be married at home. They already have a beautiful estate, and using your own place means extra privacy.

If you don’t have your own gorgeous gardens or mansion to hold the wedding in, consider reaching out to relatives. Perhaps you have always loved your Grandmother’s garden, or your close friend’s beach house. By borrowing their space you can create an intimate and meaningful ceremony, with the luxury of privacy and discretion.

Castles

If destination is more your style - you can always follow Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ suit and tie the knot in a castle! Tom and Katie chose the Odescalchi Castle in Bracciano, Italy. (Ref: 18)

There are many castles in Europe and the United States to consider, such as Denver’s Castle Marne here in the Colorado area.

If an actual castle seems out of reach, consider a Cathedral. Many old-age cathedrals resemble the gothic-style design of castles, and create an ornate and formal feel for your ceremony. Most famously, Prince William and Kate Middleton were married in Westminster Abbey, known for its high ceilings, two towers, stain glass, and marble. (Ref: 19)

The Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception is a gorgeous Cathedral here in Denver, as beautifully photographed by our friends at ELEVATE PHOTOGRAPHY.

Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Denver CO

The Field Trip

Think museums, planetariums, zoos and aquariums are just places for school children? Think again! 

Hilary Rhoda and pro hockey player Sean Avery were married at Long Island’s East End Parrish Art Museum. Desiree Hartsock and Chris Siegfried, a match made in Bachelorette heaven, hosted their reception dinner at the Redondo Beach Historic Library.(Ref: 20)

Add a touch of sophistication at your local art museum, or host a playful revisit to childhood at a Zoo. Many educational establishments also host high-end affairs and have their own ballroom and event staff. What better way to dance the night away then under an entire planetarium of stars?

Town Car Vs. Limo

Celebrities often opt out of the traditional wedding party limo, and instead ride up to their weddings in style. Rolls Royce, Aston Martin, and Mercedes are just a few of the luxury rides available. 

Rent for the Day 

luxury wedding vehicle and classic car

Prince William arrived at Westminster Abbey on the day of his wedding in the Queen’s own Bentley, the “Bentley State Limousine.” (Ref: 21) While you might not be so keen on purchasing a luxury car of your own, many are available for daily or hourly rent. 

Horse Drawn Carriage

If you prefer to make an even bigger statement, and be a true princess for a day, you might consider a horse drawn carriage as Princess Diana did when marrying Prince Charles. (Ref: 210). Carriages can also be rented on an hourly basis and create a memory like none other.

Beverage Welcome

To add to your guest’s luxury experience, consider having beverages served upon arrival at the ceremony, rather than later during the cocktail hour. This is an unexpected extravagance that many celebrities have added to their higher-end affairs to keep guests excited and having a good time.

wedding welcome beverage

Opt for Non-Alcoholic

To keep this addition less costly have non-alcoholic beverages served instead. Lemonades, strawberry infused water, virgin-spritzers, and Arnold Palmers will keep your guests refreshed while they wait for the festivities to begin.

A Signature Drink

Add personalization by creating a custom drink named after the happy couple. Choose ingredients that symbolize each person’s personality to create a one of a kind beverage. 

Entry Statement

As your guests enter your venue they should be greeted by a setting that sets the tone for the entire evening. 

Alex Jones and Charlie Thomson are from the Welsh mountains and New Zealand respectively, and wanted their guests to arrive amid greenery and atmosphere that represented their very different yet equally beautiful homelands. Through the entry way were placed winter trees and twinkling lights, which led way to a corridor adorned with rainforest sound effects and thick vibrant greens. Guests were transported into a dream like world where seasons changed rapidly. (Ref: 22)

Pick Your Vibe

Choose an entry treatment that lets your guests know what sort of an evening it will be. 

modern wedding lounge for luxury event

A trendy yet casual lounge sets the scene for a relaxed and fun night; Billowing curtains and decadent floral arches promise a romantic evening. The first impression is so important - don’t forget to invest wisely in this crucial space!

Signature Focal Points

Designating separate spaces for guests to explore at your reception can add to the extravagance of the party. Using special lighting and luxurious furniture to turn your venue into an inviting atmosphere.

The Private Lounge

Celebrities are often seen in VIP lounge booths at clubs and parties. These coveted “above the crowd” spots create a sense of mystery and intimacy at events.

Having lounges throughout your ceremony may seem out of reach, but coordinated furniture can be rented starting at just 300 dollars. You don’t need enough of this seating for every guest, but just enough to create small getaways from the party where guests can go to steal a private moment with one another. (Ref: 23)

Unique Food And Beverage Presentation

A sure way to elevate the status of your event is to create unique food and beverage presentations. Take your dinner from drab to fab by making an experience out of the meal.

Edible Arrangements

food as wedding decor

Photo credit: THE WILLINGHAMS

Many couples are choosing to add food to their décor. Lisa Karvellas of Cedar Lake’s Estate says, “We have seen everything from apple branches (with apples still attached!) as floating centerpieces, to ruby red beets and purple artichokes in bridal bouquets..” (Ref: 24)

Specialty Bars

Many couples are choosing to have themed bars at their weddings to show off their particular tastes. Choosing from specialty cocktail bars, whiskey bars, or even dessert bars can allow your guests to taste something unique and unexpected. (Ref: 24)

Bacon bar at wedding

Surprise Guests With The Human Element

Many celebrities have live entertainment at their weddings that reaches far past the typical band or DJ. Circus performers, celebrity artists, servers, and performance artists can add the “human element” of live entertainment to your guest’s experience.

For their first dance, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian were serenaded by none other than John Legend. (Ref: 32)

Local Talent

Hire local talent to come in and enhance your big day. Station a local painter to come and paint the first dance live as guests look on, or hire a young singer to serenade guests outside the reception hall as they enter. 

Aerialists

Aerialist for wedding

Recently two celebrity circus performers for Ringling and Brothers made the news by being married on top of a high wire. (Ref: 33) 

While you yourself may not want to participate in such a daring endeavor, you can easily find aerialists to perform and stun your guests. Contortionists, dancers, and acrobats enliven the atmosphere and add a shock-factor to your reception.

Food and Drink Experts

Add the human element to your refreshments with bartenders trained to entertain, or rotate chefs to each table with flambeau dessert stations. You can also have personal waiters and waitresses for each table, eliminating the guests need to retrieve their own drinks from the bar. 

Food presentation for luxury wedding

Photo credit: STUDIO JKPHOTOGRAPHY

Creative Use Of Lighting And Video

When Kanye West proposed to Kim Kardashian he had the entire AT&T baseball stadium in San Francisco in darkness as guests entered for his surprise. Then slowly the lights lifted as a fifty piece orchestra serenaded Kim with her favorite song. (Ref: 25) 

You can recreate this use of lighting to create a mysterious and romantic atmosphere at your own wedding.

Color Wash

Color wash lighting effect for weddings

Photo credit: TREVOR BROWN PHOTOGRAPHY

Color wash lighting refers to engulfing the entire room in a certain color. Use blush pink or pale blue to create an atmosphere or decadence. (Ref: 26)

Pin Spot

Pin spot lighting effect for wedding

Pin spotting uses mini spot lights to amplify special parts or attributes to the room. You can hang pin spots over special stations, such as the wedding cake, the guest book, or the center pieces. (Ref: 26)

Privacy

Perhaps a celebrity’s most sought after element on their wedding day, privacy, can add an element of exclusivity to your event. 

Don’t Share

Ensure privacy on your big day by selecting venues that only allow one wedding at a time, or picking a date when no other weddings will be held. 

Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren rented the entire Sandy Lane Resort in Barbados and the island’s only helicopter company to ensure paparazzi would be unable to snap their ceremony. (Ref: 18)

No Posts, Please

Kindly ask guests to keep their phones away during your ceremony, and instead invite them to use a wedding themed photo-booth. This can also act as a guest book that you can look through after, and encourages guests to stay in the moment instead of online during your festivities.

Be Wise With Food

Exotic or gourmet foods can come with a hefty price tag. Choose wisely what and how you serve your guests.

Meal Alternatives

Instead of surf & turf for the main dish add seafood options as passed hors d'oeuvres during the cocktail hour. Guests will still enjoy the luxury of fresh seafood, but you’ll be able to manage the investment better.

Another Human Element

Having wait staff serve your premium nibbles instead of displaying them on a self-serve table will also minimize costs without detracting from the luxury experience. If anything the wait staff service adds a greater touch of elegance to the event, while monitoring the amount of food circulating at any given time.

Seasonal Flower Choices

Blake Lively’s bouquet when marrying Ryan Reynolds was filled with seasonal flowers including, pink jasmine, andromeda, dusty miller, and blushing bride hydrangea. (Ref: 28) 

Choosing season flowers can allow you to splurge on volume and variety while remaining in budget. 

Winter

Carnations, Gerbera Daisies, and Evergreens are all in season in Winter. (Ref: 29)

Gisele carried a bouquet of white orchids when walking down the aisle to marry Tom Brady at their winter wedding in Costa Rica. (Ref: 30)

While orchids may not seem like a winter flower, they are in Costa Rica, which naturally grows over 1400 varieties of orchids. (Ref: 34)

Autumn

Anemone, Baby's Breath, Bittersweet, Carnation, China berry and Chrysanthemum are all Autumn flowers. (Ref: 29)

Spring

Apple blossom, Bird of Paradise, Brodea, Calla lily, Cherry Blossom, Corn flower, Cosmose, Dahlia, Delphinium, Delwood, Forsythia, and Freesia are in abundance in Spring time. (Ref: 29)

Summer

Summer flowers include Hypericum, Iris, Kangaroo paw, Liatrus, Lilac, Casa Blanca Lily, Gloriosa Lily, Star Gazer, and Lisianthus. (Ref: 29)

Start Planning Your Celebrity-Inspired Wedding

As you can see, a celebrity-inspired luxury wedding can absolutely be within your reach. All it takes is a little ingenuity and resourcefulness and you’ll be planning an upscale event guests will be blown away by.

Love this article or have your own tip to add? I’d love to get your input in the comments below.

Planning a downtown Denver wedding? And if you’re local to the Denver area, I would be thrilled to chat with you about how we can bring more celebrity-inspired luxury into your event. Explore my DENVER WEDDING PLANNING AND DESIGNservices to get started.


REFERENCES

1. https://www.theknot.com/content/average-wedding-cost-2015 
2. http://www.thinksplendid.com/2014/01/luxury-wedding-statistics-whos-paying.html
3: http://ir.xogroupinc.com/investor-relations/press-releases/press-release-details/2016/Wedding-Spend-Reaches-All-Time-High-As-Couples-Look-To-Make-The-Ultimate-Personal-Statement-According-To-The-Knot-2015-Real-Weddings-Study/default.aspx
4: http://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/most-expensive-weddings-of-all-time/4/
5: http://www.layeredbakeshop.com/game-of-love-fun-save-the-date-cookies/
6: http://sparkvites.com/holographic-foil-geometric-wedding-invitation/
7: http://www.polkadotbride.com/2013/03/amy-and-johns-backyard-surprise-wedding/
8: https://www.etsy.com/listing/92796375/scratch-off-lottery-ticket-save-the-date
9: http://www.ohsolovelyblog.com/fun-unique-save-date-idea/
10: http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/most-creative-wedding-invitations/
11: https://www.image3d.com/retroviewer/price-list
12: https://www.behance.net/gallery/Counting-The-Days/3126457
13: http://kellianderson.com/blog/2011/04/a-paper-record-player/
14: http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/experts-weigh-cameron-diaz-weekday-wedding-article-1.2067939
15: http://www.businessinsider.in/The-8-most-expensive-wedding-dresses-in-Britain
16: http://www.forbes.com/2007/07/12/celebrity-media-weddings-biz-media-cz_lg_ts_0712celebweddings.html 
17: http://www.elledecor.com/celebrity-style/celebrity-homes/news/g1042/celebrity-home-weddings/?slide=3 
18: http://www.today.com/id/19735933/ns/today-today_entertainment/t/money-no-object-when-celebrities-say-i-do/#.V5qmgI-cGM- 
19: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westminster_Abbey 
20: http://www.popsugar.com/home/Celebrity-Wedding-Venues-40943179 
21: http://mommiesmagazine.com/15392/top-celebrity-wedding-cars/ 
22: http://www.thewildebunchblog.com/alex-jones-wedding-flowers/ 
23. http://www.bellaweddingrentals.com/rentals/lounge_furniture.html 
24. http://www.marthastewartweddings.com/390657/wedding-food-and-cocktail-trends-2015
25: http://www.mtv.com/news/1722426/kanye-kim-proposal-keeping-up/ 
26: http://www.brides.com/blogs/aisle-say/2014/12/wedding-lighting-terms.html 
27: http://www.elle.com/culture/news/a36391/kardashians-photo-booth-mir-mir/ 
28: http://celebritybrideguide.com/celebrity-wedding-flowers/nggallery/image/blake-lively/
29: http://www.theflowerexpert.com/content/growingflowers/flowers-and-seasons 
30: http://www.brides.com/blogs/aisle-say/2016/02/gisele-bundchen-tom-brady-wedding-photos.html 
31:http://www.etonline.com/news/159438_amber_heard_johnny_depp_wed_on_private_island/ 
32: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/video/tvshowbiz/video-1186948/Kim-Kardashian-Kanye-Wests-dance-wedding-day.html 
33: http://www.theknotnews.com/circus-high-wire-wedding-video-11286 
34: http://www.montezumabeach.com/costa-rica-orchids/

For the Fancy Redneck On Your Nice List 2016

The holidays are quickly approaching. That means lots go shopping, gift wrapping, decorating, and making phone calls to relatives that you forgot you had. It's still a spectacular time to be had by all. 

Here's a simple gift guide to help you this season to buy for the fancy redneck in your life!

Gift Cards

Purchasing a Gift Card for someone can often times be misunderstood as impersonal, but let's be honest, Gift Cards are awesome for both the giver and the receiver. Gift Cards allow for people to buy someone a gift they will actually like via proxy.

CA$H MONEY

Yeah, this one is super impersonal, but seriously, for the college student you know, he/she will rejoice at having some extra spending money.

 

Redneck Couture

Shameless plug, but Redneck Couture has quality apparel and jewelry for the fancy redneck in you. We have released three new Boot Bling designs this year, and we have twenty different tassel color options--perfect for special occasions, bridesmaids, or matching school colors.

Amazon

Seriously. This site has everything. Amazon comes equipped with really useful suggestions, recommendations and deals as well. If you know your friend works out a lot, get them a water bottle that can also be a wallet. Does your mom love the idea of making spaghetti out of a zucchini? Boom get her a Veggetti machine that can literally turn any vegetable into delicious "pasta."

Veggetti Pro
(amazon)

Kangaroo Bottle
(amazon)

Etsy

If you're looking for cute, quirky, and crafty items for someone special, Etsy is the place to check out.

Money Soap
(etsy)

Tip:

Buzzfeed and Pinterest are great aggregators for Gift Lists. They have categories and lists for every single person on your list. Don't be afraid to give them a scroll.

Tip:

KEEP IT SIMPLE. More often than not, simple and useful gifts are pretty spectacular ones. If you feel that you don't know someone enough, or that someone has everything, you can probably just do something simple.

Tip:

Timing is everything. Shop on weekdays. This way stores aren't as zany and crowded. If you find yourself shopping on the weekend, go really early in the morning.

Tip:

I'm a really big Dollar Tree supporter. Go there. You can find everything you need to wrap this year: really cute wrapping paper, boxes, gift bags, gift tags, tissue paper, tape, scissors, etc.

Tip:

BUDGET! Come up with a "Nice List" of people that you plan on buying for this year. Then, come up with a budget. How much can you afford to spend on gifts this year? Then divide it up amongst the people on your list.

 

Tip:

Buy cards! If you aren't doing gifts this year, and even if you are, get cards for the special people in your life. Everyone likes a card, and it will make them feel like you were thinking of them.

Tip:

Free shipping is the best kind of shipping. Shop at websites like Redneck Couture, Mod Cloth, Amazon, Apple and even Target. Some websites require minimum purchase amounts to qualify for free shipping (like Apple), but more often than not, you're already going to be spending that minimum anyway. Also, stores like Walmart and Target allow for you to pick the items up in stores--so you don't have to pay for shipping.

Tip:

Organize your gifts. I'm the type of person that keeps her life in Excel sheets. Be organized when it comes to your shopping, because it will keep you on budget and on time. Make sure you know how much you're spending, where you're spending it, and what/who you are spending it on.

Tip:

Keep every receipt. Again, I do this for everything in general, but for the holidays I keep an envelope of receipts from my holiday shopping. This allows you to figure out when and where you bought stuff, and makes returns simpler. 

Tip:

Get gift receipts and put them in the boxes. This is especially true if you purchase clothing for someone.

Tip:

If the person has never mentioned it, he/she probably doesn't want it or need it.

Tip:

Make gifts! Don't spend more money on DIY projects than you would on the actual purchased item, but sometimes it's fun to make a gift with a personal touch. Pinterest has an endless amount of ideas.

Blushing Belle: The Wedding Photos

Your wedding is a special day that you'll hopefully want to remember forever. Make sure to capture it anyway you can!

Step One:

Do you want photos? Photos and video? Just video? Staged photos? Candids? 
(bridalicious)

Don't be overwhelmed! It's actually better to have too many options than no options at all. When it comes to figuring out what kind of photo package you want with your wedding here are the following items to consider:

-Budget
-Date (figure in weather, sunlight, etc.)
-Wedding party (how many bridesmaids and groomsman are there? are there many kids involved?)
-Photographer/videographer
-Time (how much time do you have for photos on the wedding day? how long do you want the photo shoot to be? do you want a photo shoot a few days before the wedding?)
-Complexity (how involved do you want these photos to be? poses? props? locations? photoshop?) 

When you step back and consider these options, it'll help you hone what you want to do.

Options:
Just Straight Up Photos
This is just photos. Gather the wedding party an hour, hour and a half before the wedding ceremony to take photos outside of the location, at home, the hotel or wherever you choose. Then have the photographer grab candids during the reception--such as the first dance, daddy daughter dance, mother son dance, cutting the cake, tossing the bouquet, the garter game, people sitting and eating together, etc. Sometimes just photos are better because have you ever really watched a wedding video after the fact?

Photos and Video
There are plenty of really fun ways to capture a wedding in both photo and video. Hire both a photographer and videographer to capture the events of the day.

Documentary Experience
You could document the whole wedding from development to reception by taking photos and video of the planning, prepping and finally the wedding itself. Then throw it all together for a documentary of your lovely journey!

Step Two:

You've narrowed down what you want, now it's time to find a photographer or videographer.
Redneck Couture recently did an amazing Wedneck photo shoot to show off our new Wedneck Couture Boot Bling. Tom and Holly Fuller of Fuller Photography did an amazing job. We didn't just pick them out of a hat though, we did our homework first.

When choosing a photographer you want to consider similar factors as you did above--mainly budget. However, you also may want to consider equipment that is needed, where you want to shoot, etc. Find a photographer that you like too. You not only trust their ability, but you're comfortable with him/her taking photos of you and your family.

Look at a photographer's previous work to really get an idea of their style and ability--not only when it comes to the photographs, but the post work on the photographs as well.

Research photographers in your area online. Many photographers have their own websites, Tumblrs or you can even find them on Pintrest. Ask your friends that have had wedding photographers if they have any recommendations as well.

Step Three:

Time to plan the actual photo shoot. Now, more often than not you can meet with the photographer you have selected and the two of you can bang all of this out together and allow him/her to express their artistic vision, but then again...it's your special day. Where do you want the shoot to be done? When do you want it done? How long do you want it to take? How many people are going to be involved? What else will be involved? Make a checklist, sketch out a storyboard, or look at other photos online to get inspiration. Any way that helps you organize your thoughts and helps you figure out how you want to best capture your day is a good way.

Locations-

You can do wedding photos in plenty of places. Some people choose to do the photos at the venue itself, more often than not there are venues that have specified outdoor and indoor areas for such events. Others take photos at home in the backyard or in the house itself. People go to studios, local parks, and all over! Keep your options open based off of preference, convenience and budget.

Local Parks
First off, make sure you can legally take photos in the park. Sometimes you have to get a permit issued, but costs little to nothing and isn't a painful process. However, other places sometimes are so large and public that you can shoot wherever and whenever. Don't forget to pick a semi isolated area so that you don't get many photo bombers. Choose a park that is pretty, nice, has variety or perhaps even sentimental value.

At the Venue
Doing photographs outside before the venue is a great option considering the lighting. Photographers love natural lighting because it can make life very easy. Scout out locations at your venue, or in the surrounding areas. That way you can take photos before the wedding and then get the show on the road!

Unique Spots
Perhaps you and your bridal party want to do a unique and fun photo shoot based on your personality. For example, if you're a fancy redneck you might want to do a wedding shoot at an Arboretum among all of the nature, trees and dirt. Or find a local farm that will let you take photos in and around the barn and animals. Choose a location that reflects the life that you plan on spending with your significant other for forever.  

(bridalmusings)
(carriedarlingsevents)

(bellapictures)

(theknot)

Theme-

You could add a theme to your wedding photos if you'd like. Fancy Redneck, Alice in Wonderland, Retro, Fairy Tale, Disney, Cute Baby Animals, etc.

(tgkdesigns)

(bridalguide)

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(theguardian)

Fuller Photography

Props-

Depending on if you want to give your photos a theme or not, and even if you don't want a theme you could still make it fun! Gather props for your shoot to add to the dynamic. Also, props might be fun for the kids in your bridal party. If they have something to interact with or play with, it might make them more cooperative in front of the camera. 

Flowers
Find out which flowers are in season, pick your favorite, gets flowers that match your dress, etc. Flowers are fun and versatile in any photo shoot. PRO TIP: Go to Michael's crafts or Walmart and create a bouquet of faux flowers that way you can keep it forever, but it'll also withstand the test of the whole event. Check out our Blushing Belle: Flower Guide for more tips!
Fuller Photography

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Stuff
Different and fun props like cut outs, signs, and objects!

(peterson-design-photo)

(wedpics)

(ivy-weddings)

(123cheese)

(branhamperceptionsphotography)

(yeahmag)

Poses-

Fun wedding poses make the memories even brighter. Check out this fun list of awesome wedding poses!
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(jeremybeasley)
(eminphotography)
(chrisjoriann)
(wedinator)

Most importantly though, have an absolutely wonderful day. Congratulations!

Other Helpful Wedding Photo Links:
Shooting Weddings...When You're Not a Wedding Shooter 
68 Essential Wedding Photography Tips 
10 Wedding Photo Mistakes Every Beginner Will Make 
The Do's and Don'ts of Wedding Photography 

Don't forget to check out our Wedneck Couture line to add that Fancy Redneck touch to your special day. Take plenty of photos and tag us! We would love to feature your beautiful day on our social media!

Interview With a Farm Girl: A True Fancy Redneck

This is Rose. She does it all. She owns, operates and runs a farm and business. She was kind enough to give us some insights on what it's like to run such an amazing operation.

Where are you from? What is your farm called?

"I’m from Wrightstown, NJ and my farm is Robson’s Farm"


What types of duties do you perform?

"Well, I own the business so I pretty much do it all! Planning, planting, picking, packing, delivery, basically anything that needs to be done to run the farm business."


What is your favorite part about working on a farm?

"I love the quiet and freshness at 5 AM.  I love being outside all day (rainy days included). I love watching a seed turn into a little green plant, that turns into something incredible like a gorgeous sunflower.  There are so many favorite parts."


What aspect do you dread?

"I don’t really dread any part of it. You have to look at certain tasks as “work is work.” Approach it with child like excitement paired with the mentality of a crossfit athlete and the quicker you get to it the more quickly it’s done."


Working on a farm is taxing and messy work. How do you feel about it? Do you think it's glamourous in its own way?

"Farm work is indeed taxing. However I have some pretty toned arms to show for it! It’s easy to feel like I’ve lost touch with being “girly” but then there I am in the field with peal earrings and cute little blue boots and I feel very “lady-like.” I think strength and drive are very glamorous and feminine."  


What "farm girl" stereotype do you wanna toss in the mud?

"I don’t have a huge crew working for me. I actually do the work. Sometimes people think I watch what’s going on from my pick up. Please, I love being in the field."  


Do you get a lot of hassle because you're a lady farm hand?

"I don’t really get hasseled because I work just as hard as the boys do.  I try to always start my day thinking about someone I know who I consider an incredibly hard worker. Then I think to myself, Ok, today I’m going to out work him."  


Would you consider yourself living a southern lifestyle?

"I lived in South Carolina for 5 and a half years. And my lifestyle was completely different. It’s much more country now. I think every corner of the country has the “country” lifestyle not just the south."


What country song would you consider to be the soundtrack to your life?

"Hmmm I can’t just choose one so I’ll give you 3.

  1. Working Man’s PhD by Aaron Tippin
  2. Dirt by Florida Georgia Line
  3. And this new one they’ve been playing on the highway on XM radio: America’s Sweetheart by Elle King. I love it!"

How are you spending your summer?

"I spend my summer working between 80 and 112 hours a week getting food and flowers to the people."

Are you ready for the fall?

"Yes! Fall is my favorite time on the farm. The weather is great and who doesn’t love pumpkins! Things slow down just a little so I really get a chance to enjoy what I’m most passionate about."


What is your definition of country?

"My mind first jumps to a place when you say country however on second thought I think it’s more of an idea. I mean please, I live in NJ! Not what most people think of when they think country! Country is living a full life that may seem simple to many but it’s actually very rich. Enjoying the outdoors. Seeing the stars, hearing the crickets through an open bedroom window…it’s crazy how much I missed those things when I lived in Chicago for a year. Country is comfort and home for me."

Brand Update: Can't Top Us!

New and exciting things are blooming this spring and summer for Redneck Couture from new products to campaigns and of course prep work for vending at all of the hottest country events to see our Fancy Rednecks!

New products!

The Redneck Couture Camo Hat


Perfect for cowgirls and cowboys alike for a sunny day outside. Comfy, classy and for your cranium. Get this cap for just $25.00 http://www.redneckcouture.com/collections/cowgirl/products/camo-hat

Cardigan Couture

This cream colored cardigan is lovely for any kind of weather. Made of a light material that stretches and breathes but cuddles you just right, it is the best fashion statement of comfort. It's also a color and material that goes with literally anything from a skirt to jeans to plaid to leggings and everything in between.  Get this layering must-have for $60.00 http://www.redneckcouture.com/collections/cowgirl/products/hooded-thermal-cardigan

New Bling! We also have added a few members to the Boot Bling family...coming soon!

Want to keep up on more of Redneck Couture news and updates? Don't forget to follow our social media!

Redneck Couture Girls

Wondering where the Redneck Couture girls have been?  Or are you wondering where they will be next?  Here are a few places where you might see them... 

6/28 Dierks Bentley @ Susquehanna Bank Center, Camden, NJ

7/11 Kenny Chesney w/ Eric Church @ Lincoln Financial Field Philadelphia, PA

7/22 Shania Twain @ Wells Fargo Center, Camden, NJ

7/24 Florida Georgia Line @ Susquehanna Bank Center, Camden, NJ

8/1 Rascal Flatts @ Susquehanna Bank Center, Camden, NJ

 

XOXO

-The Redneck Girls