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Updated: 25 min 28 sec ago

Wedding trend alert: More couples choose enchanting winter themes

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 12:00am

(BPT) - The glittering icicles, crisp white snow and a simple unspoken elegance – the wonder of winter has suited weddings well for many years. Today, Disney’s Frozen has renewed interest in winter weddings, with more couples choosing a sophisticated theme that is inspired by the style and storyline of the popular film.

If you think it’s odd to model the theme of your wedding after a children’s movie, you’re perhaps not aware of just how brides are finding inspiration from the movie to create the wedding of their dreams. The reception isn’t plastered with princesses and fairies. Rather, this is chic style that embraces the beauty of winter while taking subtle cues from the movie. Consider these five trendy ways brides are creating Frozen-themed weddings:

The invitation sets the stage and provides guests clues as to what to expect at the ceremony and reception. The Disney Fairy Tale Wedding collection from Invitations by Dawn gives brides two beautiful wintery options. The Disney’s Icy Swirls Invitation is inspired by Elsa, evoking a regal, elegant and magical design that features shimmer paper and a laser cut swirl band in baby blue. For the down-to-earth bride who embraces natural designs, the Disney Natural Beauty Invitation inspired by Anna is the perfect option. Ecru shimmer paper, a wood grain background and choice of design colors combine to show a bride’s free spirit and impeccable style.

The look
Wedding-day style is emulating Frozen with looks that are as cool as ice. Brides are choosing dresses of crisp white satin, glitter and organza to capture the beauty of Elsa. Alfred Angelo even features an Elsa wedding dresses in his 2015 Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings collection. To finish the look and truly exude the character of Elsa, brides are choosing loose braids and soft, shimmery makeup. For the bridesmaids, dresses in tones of evergreen or plum are gaining popularity.

Reception decor
The reception is where brides are really having fun selecting decor to create a winter wonderland setting that captures the attention of guests young and old. Some are going with an all-white setting with touches of sparkling crystal, flickering candles and twinkle string lights for an instantly romantic ambience inspired by Elsa. Others are embracing touches of rich color and natural decor, such as plum table runners, gold-rimmed plates and accents of pine cones and birch branches, much to the style of Anna.

More florists are being asked to model bouquets and centerpieces after Frozen and the outcomes are breathtaking. For an icy winter look representative of Elsa, brides are selecting all-white arrangements with petal tips dusted in micro-glitter or gems peaking out of the center of each flower. For the rich, natural look of Anna, brides are selecting flowers in a variety of gemstones like ruby, garnet, emerald and amethyst for bouquets that pop against a white dress or tabletop.

While diamonds are the traditional stone for engagement rings, more brides are thinking outside the jewelry box and longing for a ring that none of their friends will have. Selecting stones in unique hues is a big trend, and there are many options that capture the beauty of winter. A ring featuring icy aquamarine with blue sapphire accents set in white gold embraces the style of Elsa perfectly. For natural beauties like Anna, an emerald center stone set in rose gold surrounded by rich purple amethyst in the shape of a snow flake is sure to please. Bottom line: when it comes to rings, the sky is the limit and diamonds aren’t necessarily a girl’s best friend any longer.                  

Pint-sized wedding guests: Yay or nay?

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 12:00am

(BPT) - It’s one of the most debated aspects of any wedding: Should children be invited? Some argue children add to the magic of the event while others prefer to keep the potential tantrums far from their big day. Ultimately it’s up to the couple to decide what is right for them, and with the proper etiquette, it’s simple to communicate to guests exactly what they want without offending anyone.

Remember, when deciding whether to invite children, it’s not necessarily an all-or-nothing decision. Some people choose to include children of immediate family, such as nieces, nephews and godchildren, but not the children of family further removed. The wedding experts at Invitations by Dawn note the key to clear communication starts with the wording on the invitations.

The outer envelopes
The main purpose of the outer envelope is for mailing. Guests should be referred to by title, first and last names – no need to mention children. For example, Mr. and Mrs. Chris Jones, or, Mrs. Sara Nelson and Mr. Jon Jefferson, followed by the address.

The inner envelopes
The inner envelope holds the invitation and is where you can specify who exactly is invited to the wedding and reception. For adults-only events, list just those names. If you want children invited also, list the parents’ names and then underneath that, list children’s first names from oldest to youngest.

For specific examples of proper wording for inner and outer envelopes, visit

The invitations
In addition to the envelopes, some couples who decide not to invite children add a notation on the invitation that reiterates their request. For example, a small asterisk in the bottom right hand corner that states: * No children please, or * Adults-only reception.

No matter how clearly you think you’ve worded the invitation, you may receive responses that include people who were not invited. In this case, the best thing to do is to pick up the phone and talk with the guest one-on-one to explain the situation. Simply state you weren’t able to invite everyone’s children but are hoping the adults can still come. You may choose to explain your parameters for the restriction, such as limited space or that you are inviting just the children of immediate family members. Most people are understanding and will be grateful for the personal call.

Want to celebrate your marriage? Hold a vow renewal ceremony

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 12:00am

(BPT) - Your wedding might have been 50 years ago, 20 years ago, or even just last year. Each year on your anniversary, you and your spouse might give each other cards and a special gift. But this year, why not consider renewing your vows?

Vow renewal is becoming more popular, especially with the growth of social design sites like Pinterest, which provide lots of inspiration for fresh wedding decorations. Couples who loved celebrating their wedding last year or several years ago often want to celebrate again. Some reasons for this desire include wanting to throw a party with family and friends, or to be able to repeat the wedding without feeling all the stress they felt the first time around.

Some couples renew their vows to better connect their family, especially if they have children. They bring their children into the ceremony, showing their continued love for each other and every member of the immediate family.

And some couples who kept their wedding very simple with a destination wedding or even a courthouse ceremony decide to have a vow-renewal service to celebrate with all the loved ones who might not have been able to attend the original ceremony.

To get your vow-renewal service started on the right foot, check out the vow-renewal invitations from Invitations by Dawn. The site has added new styles and designs specifically meant for vow renewals. You’ll find the perfect invitation to send to your friends and family, and you can also use it to hint at the type of party you’ll be throwing.

Head to the Internet to start gathering ideas for how to make your next special day as memorable as the first. You might choose to make the ceremony simpler than the first, or more elaborate, depending on how much you want to spend and how much effort you want to put in. But thanks to the Internet, you’ll have plenty of ideas about how to plan everything for your vow-renewal service, from the clothes everyone wears to the food served at the reception.

Many celebrities are into throwing a bash to renew their vows – even on a yearly basis. While that might be a bit extreme, couples are considering hosting a special ceremony at the five, 10 and 15-year marks to rekindle that special day when they first said, “I do.”

If you and your spouse need something new in your marriage, consider renewing your vows in front of your friends and family. Even if you aren’t celebrating a big milestone anniversary, it’s a great way to reconnect to the love that initially brought you together.

Invitations are the best way to set the style and tone for your wedding

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 12:00am

(BPT) - You might be a fairytale-style bride or a more professional bride who doesn’t tolerate frilly. You might even be the girl next door with a laid-back attitude. Whatever your personal style, your tastes will set the look and feel of the wedding you’re planning.

Over the years, weddings have changed and so have brides and grooms. For example, the average age of a bride has gone up, therefore more couples are choosing to pay for their own weddings. This trend is also causing changes in the overall theme of a given wedding.

If you’re in the process of planning your upcoming wedding, here are some ways you can spice up your wedding starting with the invitations.

* Theme – Infuse a hint of your event’s theme into the wedding invitations. Some couples choose themes based on how they want to decorate. Movies, hobbies and favorite sports teams are popular choices for themed weddings. Invitations by Dawn has a variety of trending theme styles ranging from elegant to destination weddings, allowing you to tease your guests with what they can expect for the big day.

* Voice – Wedding invitations used to be very formal. “The parents of the bride request the honor of your presence in the marriage of their daughter to the groom at ... .” Since many couples are now writing the invitation wording, they’re choosing to add a little personality. So instead of formal language like “regretfully declines” or “accepts with pleasure,” couples might now instead use “Bummer, we’re out,” or “Totes, we’re there!”

* Symbols and designs – Sometimes couples don’t have a theme but will focus on an element like a certain kind of flower, pattern or specific color. This decorative element can have special meaning to the couple. Perhaps the flowers are the same as those the groom gave the bride on their first date, or maybe the lace pattern on the wedding dress was also worn by the bride’s mother or grandmother. Check out the wedding invitations at Invitations by Dawn for designs that incorporate your special element so you can tie the entire event together beautifully.

* Type of invitation – Paper invitations are still the most popular option, as most couples aren’t interested in sending e-vites for their big day. However, the style varies depending on the couple’s taste. Some are choosing to do away with the formal invitation with multiple envelopes. Instead they’re picking tri-fold invitations or postcard notifications and responses. Some couples are opting for photo cards, so they can share their engagement photos in the invitation. Pocket initiations are also very popular. Invitations by Dawn has these styles and much more, giving you plenty of options to help you find the perfect wedding invitation.

Planning a wedding is a lot of fun. When you find an invitation that introduces your wedding theme beautifully, you’ll know you have a winner!

10 questions to ask before hiring your wedding photographer

Wed, 12/03/2014 - 12:00am

(BPT) - Some moments are simply too important to trust to a camera phone.

Your wedding will be one of the most memorable times of your life and no one can capture it better than a professional photographer. So how do you find the right one? As you begin the interview process, here are 10 questions to help you determine if you’ve found the best photographer for your wedding.

1. Does the photographer have a gallery of wedding images you can review?

Reviewing sample work allows you to see the photographer’s strengths and weaknesses – don’t fool yourself, every photographer has them. You’ll also be able to get an idea of their style. Are they formal with an eye for the perfect picture or do they love to capture the hidden moments when no one is looking? Look for images that you can see yourself in. Think of three words that describe you and share those with your photographer. Every photographer has a style and reviewing their gallery can help you determine if theirs is right for you.

2. What is the photographer’s working style?

Some photographers are orderly and operate like wedding planners. Others prefer to sit back and let the events of the wedding unfold. It’s important that you find someone who can understand and meet your expectations. Discuss this ahead of time and ask away, so that you understand how well the photographer’s working style matches your own.

3. Is the photographer available for an engagement session?

An engagement session does more than provide you with priceless images together before you get married. It’s also your first opportunity to work with your photographer and develop a relationship that will allow you to be completely at ease on your big day. Use this session to confirm if the photographer is indeed the right person to capture your wedding.

4. Will the photographer create a detailed shot list?

This list will ensure no important photo is missed during the commotion and excitement of the big day. You should be able to create that list together, add to the list leading up to the day and have a copy of that list the day of. Take an honest look at what images really matter and fill your photographer in on situations he or she might need to be aware of in order to prevent awkward moments, and to ensure that he or she can get the shots that matter most.

5. What kind of lighting will be used?

Whether you have an indoor or outdoor wedding, you’ll want to make sure your photographer has professional grade lighting equipment to deliver the images your wedding deserves.

6. Does the photographer have backup equipment?

You’ve prepared contingency plans for every other aspect of your wedding; your photographer should as well. A true professional photographer won’t miss your perfect shot because of a technology issue. He or she will always bring one or two backup cameras, lenses, flashes, additional lighting equipment, extra memory cards, and batteries.

7. Does the photographer have liability insurance?

Accidents happen at weddings and if one of your guests trips over your photographer’s light stand, it’s good to know you both are protected. Your reception venue may even ask the photographer to submit a certificate of liability ahead of time.

8. Will there be one photographer or two?

A second shooter increases the probability that no shot will be missed, especially if you are having a large wedding. If there will be two photographers, ask to meet them both to get a feel for their personalities and how well they might blend in on your big day.

9. What will happen to the images after your wedding?

Will your images be backed up to a hard drive or the cloud once processed? How long will your photographer keep the images afterward? Will they be kept for a couple of years or dumped immediately? If you have any concerns about losing your photos, knowing what the photographer plans to do with your images after your wedding is important.

10. When will you get your photos?

No, you won’t get your pictures the day after; no photographer can deliver that quickly. It’s a good idea, though, to get a general idea of the timeline ahead of time. You might even be able to agree on getting a couple of images ready for social media use very quickly. But obtaining your photos will likely take several weeks. To help with the wait, some photographers will send you a sneak peak with a few images. Just ask ahead of time!

You won’t be able to see everything that happens during your wedding day. The right photographer will capture moments you never knew existed. To learn how you can find the perfect photographer for your wedding, visit

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