How To: Choose Your Perfect Honeymoon

Now that the wedding planning is well underway, it’s time to start making plans for that other much-anticipated nuptial event: the honeymoon. From making a master list to making

Photo via www.southpacific-vacations.com

(and not breaking) your budget, follow these easy steps to planning your perfect honeymoon.

  1. Create a master list of all the places you and your spouse-to-be would ever want to go. Fiji, Iceland, Brazil, China, or any location on your Bucket List should make its way onto this list. Having all your travel to-dos in one spot will help keep you both on track during the planning process. Considering the Caribbean, but it’s not on your list? Next. A master list makes it much easier to keep the big picture in mind, and to make sure that you not only have a fabulous trip, but that it knocks off a sight or two at the same time.
  2. Consider what type of trip you want to take for your honeymoon. This last part is key. While I’m sure your master list contains once-in-a-lifetime options, like running with the bulls in Spain or taking an African safari, certain trips may not be suitable for your honeymoon. If you’re planning an over-the-top event, maybe relaxing at a resort in Bora Bora with nothing more to do than walk white sand beaches and sip refreshing cocktails, sounds like heaven on earth. Then again, that may sound more like h-e-l-l…o on earth. Figuring out what type of trip you want to take with your new spouse will help you narrow down that master travel list even more.
  3. Look at your budget. Look at it hard. Five thousand dollars may sound like a lot, but when your dream honeymoon is an over-water bungalow in the middle of Fiji, well, $5000 doesn’t go so far. Hopefully, on your big list, there’s a range of places within your ideal honeymoon parameters. Research those places and figure out which will work best with your budget. Some things to consider here are: time of year, proximity, and trendiness of the location. All of these things can cause your dream location to be in range—or out.

How To: Save on Your Wedding Day

How to save money on your wedding without sacrificing your day

With the cost of a non-destination wedding averaging around $25,000, brides are looking

image via www.whiteme.net

for ways to save on their wedding days more than ever. Don’t worry. We’re not going to ask you to haggle or hunt through bargain bins. No, these ways to save don’t require measures nearly that drastic. In fact: They’re nothing more than the cold, hard facts.

Go Off-Season

Fall is the new spring, spring is the new fall. Truth is, if you’re not stuck to a particular season, you can save 20 to 30 percent off wedding day costs: That’s venue and vendors. The month of November and the months of January-March are historically slower for the wedding industry, so you can get top-notch vendors at a top-notch (for you) price.

Any Day but Saturday

Saturday is THE day to get married, no matter the season. Ask vendors about special pricing for Fridays or Sundays. If you’re having a destination wedding, this only leaves more time for you to mix and mingle with your guests.

Elope

If you’re open to a non-traditional wedding day, consider an elopement to cut the budget. While it has its pluses (and minuses—see our previous blog: Eloping Pros and Cons), one of the biggest upsides to this ceremony style is how much cash it saves you, costing a fraction of the cost of a typical wedding day.

Use What You Have

Another great way to save on costs is to use what you have available to you: Keep decorations down by getting married at Christmas when many churches and venues are already decorated. Have your floral designer use seasonal flowers to keep costs down on your bouquet and arrangements. Let your über-organized Aunt Shannon coordinate the ceremony and reception. If you can’t afford a full-service planner, this option ensures everything will stay on track—even your budget.

Say Yes to The Dress

If you have Champagne taste but a beer budget, don’t despair: You can still find the dress of your dreams and keep your finances under control. Call your favorite bridal salons and ask when they’re having a sample sale, or if they have an ongoing sample rack. Often, boutiques need to move old inventory to make room for the new, leaving you with a steal- of-a-gown and a smile on your face.

 

 

Best Dressed: Elopements

What are the best wedding gowns for eloping?

The best thing about dressing for an elopement: The rules run away with the bride. While

(photo by To Love Photographie via www.100layercake.com)

anything goes, some styles are better than others depending on your ceremony location and post-nuptial plans. A few of our favorites to get runaway brides-to-be started?

Short and Sweet

Short gowns are synonymous with elopements: They’re more casual than a long gown, yet with appropriated lace or beading, can still be special enough for your Big Day dress. When we picture an eloping bride, we see her hand in hand with her lover, navigating her day easily and confidently in a tea-length or knee-grazing gown. Whether you’re getting married at city hall or on a rooftop with a city skyline behind, or in a field of May flowers, a short and sweet dress is suitable for any sort of elopement.

Long and Flowing

Longer gowns can be trickier when it comes to a free and easy wedding day. If you go the longer route, you’ll likely want something that stays by your side, just like your man. A long dress that you pick up easily and take with you no matter the terrain makes for an easier getaway gown than something that doesn’t go with the flow: think fabrics like lighter silk or chiffon vs. bulkier tulle or organza, and A-line silhouettes vs. mermaid.

Day to Night

Even more than when you choose a gown for a traditional wedding day, an eloping bride should think about her ensemble and how it will fit in to her post-nuptial plans. Your dress should easily take you from ceremony to celebration. For example, if you’re eloping in a mountain field in early spring, a bohemian-style gown may be appropriate for the ceremony, but not for the evening’s dinner at a fine dining establishment. If purchasing two dresses is not an option, we would suggest brides look at the big picture—what is the overall tone of the day—and then to try to find a dress that looks fabulous throughout. It is your wedding day, after all, and who doesn’t want to wear her dress as long as possible?

 

 

Runaway Bride – Traditional Wedding or Elope?

The Pros and Cons of Eloping

We all know the 1999 film, Runaway Bride, with Julia Roberts. We all saw how she nabbeddresses to elope in each of her men, planned each elaborate wedding affair, and promptly  and literally ran away from it. All of it. Hers was the case of not having found the “right one,” yet we can’t deny that there may be something larger than that at play: Maybe, just maybe, not all brides are meant for a Big White Wedding.

Today’s brides are echoing that sentiment more than ever as they opt out of traditional, larger-than-life ceremonies and opt instead for intimate elopements. We don’t have a dog in this fight other than the bride’s happiness: Large wedding or small, we want our brides to have the ceremony that suits them to a T-backed gown. That’s why we’d be remiss if we didn’t tell you about this popular trend, and share the pros and cons of this alternative ceremony style.

First, couples choose an elopement over a traditional ceremony. Often, it’s personal preference: They want the intimacy and the simplicity of an elopement. Spending a year planning an extravagant fête or standing in front of hundreds of folks they don’t know may not be how they envision their wedding day. Second, couples also choose elopements for budgetary reasons. With the average wedding in the United States costing over $25,000, an elopement costs a fraction of this amount. The couple may want to keep that money for a down payment on a new home, or take more frequent trips—or they just may not have the money to begin with. The beauty of elopements are: They are what you make them and what your budget says they can be.

Here are a few pros and cons of skipping off into sunset solo on your wedding day:

Pros

  • Save money and hassle. Eloping will cost you a fraction of the cost of a traditional wedding.
  • More intimacy, less obligation. With the two of you as the focus, you’ll be able to truly be present in the moment.
  • Your day is your day. Spend your day however you like. It’s just the two of you. Or invite family and friends. The beauty of eloping is that it can be whatever you want it to be.

Cons

  • Absence of family and friends. This may be the hardest part of eloping: the lack of family and friends sharing your special day.
  • No ceremony, no gifts. Ok, so this isn’t exactly true. You may still receive a few gifts, but we wouldn’t count on it.
  • Feelings may be hurt. Not everyone is going to understand or agree with your choice. Be prepared for feelings to be hurt, and be respectful of those feelings, but don’t let them drag you down. It’s your day.

 

Favor-ites : Five Fun Wedding Favor Ideas

On your wedding day, do your guests a favor by sending them home with a gift that is truly unique and exciting. Wedding favors are a great way to offer guests a small token of your appreciation and send them off with a souvenir from your big day. Here are some of our favor favorites:

Get Local

Whether you’re getting married in your hometown or in a land far, far away, let your guests in on why you love this location. Share with them a bit of local charm through favors that represent what the city is known for. Getting married in New Orleans? Bag up some famous beignets as a take-home dessert. Seaside wedding? Saltwater taffy, of course. Did you and your hubby meet at the local coffee shop? Perk up your guests with a bag of your favorite house-made blend. If you’re not sure what your city is known for, contact the local visitors’ center for some ideas.

Everything Looks Cute in a Jar

A fun and exciting twist on favor packaging is a mason jar. You can put just about anything

Cake in a jar: www.samishome.com

in them and they’re easily portable for your guests. For a sweet tooth, layer cake and frosting in the jar and attach a cute spoon with ribbon, or fill it with your favorite small candies, like M&M’s matching your wedding colors. (You can order those here.) On the savory side, fill jars with homemade pickles, peppers, or olives. For a non-food option, pamper guests with a homemade salt scrub, bubble bath or lotion.

Love Grows

Succulents: www.etsy.com

Let your guests help your love grow. Giving plants is a great way to go green and give your guests an interactive gift that will remind them of you every time they bloom. Send home packets of your favorite flower seeds, herbs or even veggies. Complete the gift by packaging them in small, decorated pots. If you lack a green thumb, an easy option is a succulent. They require little care and are often sold in mini-sizes, perfect for gift giving.

 

Drinks on Us

After the birdseed is thrown, keep the party going for your guests by sending them home with your favorite beverages. His and Her pairings are a great way to show off the couples’ personality. Tie together a bottle of his favorite beer and a mini of her favorite wine, or his dark roast coffee with her Earl Grey tea. Make it a set by including a glass or mug in the gift. Hot cocoa mixes, complete with all the fixins, are sure to please the little ones!

 

 

 

 

 

Nitsa’s Haute Bride Accessories Trunk Show

Nitsa’s is having a Haute Bride accessories trunk show at the Charlotte store January 18th and 19thHaute Bride Trunk Show

Haute Bride’s couture accessories are all delicately handmade by a skilled artisan in the USA.  The company got it’s start in 2001 when a soon-to-be bride couldn’t find the perfect hair accessory and instead set out to make it herself. Since then, Haute Bride has become a huge success and has expanded to offer a range of glamorous items. The line includes bracelets, brooches, earrings, a variety of hair accessories, necklaces, sashes, belts, and veils.

Haute Bride trunk show at Nitsa's

Finding just the right piece can be a daunting task, but every one of Haute Bride’s accessories are elegant, glamorous, and designed by someone who truly understands what a bride really needs. This trunk show is the perfect place to find a timeless accessory that will make you shine on your special day!