Planning Tip Tuesday: Gifts for the Newly Engaged!

Your bestie just got engaged! You're over the moon for her and her new fiancé and you're so excited to help her along the journey towards the big day! In order to celebrate this momentous occasion, why not personalize something unique and special for her and her soon-to-be hubby? There are so many gift ideas online that the task of choosing can be overwhelming, especially if she's a friend who seems to have everything! We have done all of the work for you and compiled a list of our favorite finds, and gifts we're sure the beautiful couple will appreciate and adore!

HelloWorld Paper Co. & Stamps have fun custom stamps that would help your favorite couple addressing all of their heart-felt Thank You's after the big day and as they enter their new life as Mr. & Mrs! This self-inking stamp will stamp over 10,000 impressions before needing to be refilled - amazing! With such pretty fonts, there's a style for everyone!

Rifle Paper Co. is one of our favorite stationary brands, with such delicate soft prints and beautiful colors, they have the ability to make mundane look magnificent! This floral personalized portrait print of the happy couple is something so unique and special, and is definitely the perfect gift for a new home or office! 

BrinnyK Designs on Etsy has a great collection of drinkware that can be personalized for your newly engaged bestie and her beau! This pick is for that coffee loving couple, however there are plenty of wine glass selections. We love the gold font for that extra touch of glam! You can never go wrong with a cute mug!

Kate Spade has something for EVERYONE. Their fun, colorful gifts are sure to make a friend smile! We love the Kate Spade bridal collection and this cosmetics bag is adorable. With two sides, one for "I DO" and the other proudly announcing "I DID!", this is the perfect gift for a gal pal thats always on the go, for honeymoon essentials + beyond!

When it comes to newly weds, we love monogrammed gifts with the couples initials. Mark & Graham have a vast collection of home goods and personal items. For a new home, we love this wooden circular tray for the couple that loves to entertain or that has so many bits & bobs that need a pretty catchall! An added bonus: Mark & Graham offer free monogramming & gift wrap - one more thing checked off of your list!

Fabulous Friday: Looking Your Best in Your Dress!

Looking Your Best in Your Dress: Post-Workout Tips

You’ve got a million and a half things you’re juggling at once to get ready for your big day, and in the midst of it all you have to find time to get in a workout so you can look your best. Every day there’s something new that you didn’t consider the day before: the seating, the lighting, the music, the flowers, and so on – the list is endless. It’s a full time job squeezed into your already busy life, and with little time to waste, it’s more important than ever to make every rep count.

That’s why you should take your recovery seriously. After you work out, your body needs to rebuild.

Photo by Hyer Images

Getting up and exercising is only the beginning of the process, just as picking a venue and setting a date are the first steps leading up to “I do”. When you see the people at the gym who have the body that you want, there’s one thing you should know.

Their workout doesn’t end there, nor should yours. You should strive to maximize the potential benefits of the workout you’ve just put in. Don’t give into the junk food or the urge to over-indulge – as much as you’ve earned it, you owe your body a little more.

The only thing required is a little forethought and planning, which may seem like it just adds to the stress, but in the long-term you’ll be happy with the results. Here are a few post-workout steps you can take to make your workout work, so you can focus on what’s really important:

1. It only makes sense, use something up then put it back in. It’s a little more complex than that. You have to be aware of what you put in your body.

You are unique and so are your fitness goals, which should always be your primary consideration when refueling. A weightlifter needs to eat more to facilitate muscle recovery, in comparison to a casual runner trying to burn a few extra calories. Although, the one thing they share is the body’s need for proteins and carbohydrates during for recovery. Over the course of your workout your muscle tissue experiences micro trauma or small tears that your body depends on the essential amino acids in protein to repair, and carbs are your body’s preferred source of energy. You should find the right balance for you. A 1:1 ratio works well while you’re sweating for the wedding.

To recharge efficiently you should have a quick snack rich in macronutrients on hand after a workout. Prep time is negligible for a quick superfood-packed smoothie or a well-chosen trail mix. Here are a few high protein snacks that are great for recovery:

2. This one is a no-brainer. It’s practically a cliché, but with all over-used tropes comes an element of truth; it’s good advice. Hydrate! You should always be thinking about your liquid intake, however the period following a workout is critical because over the course of your workout your muscles become dehydrated, turning them into sponges for nutrients and water. You also use sweat to cool down, leading to the logical conclusion that you need to replenish the fluid you lost. Water works great for most workouts, but for more high-intensity workouts you’ll want to think about options with more electrolytes. Here are a few pointers from the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) on staying hydrated:

Before Exercise | 14-22 oz of fluid 2 hours before exercise 

During Exercise | 6-12 oz of water or sports drink every 15-20 minutes of exercises 

After Exercise | 16-24 oz of water or sports drink for every pound of body mass lost during exercise 

Fruits can also play a big role in hydration like grapefruit and watermelon.

3. You don’t need to stretch before a workout. Actually, you really shouldn’t. Despite what you’ve been undoubtedly told, passive static stretching (PSS) is best saved for after a workout to relax them and increase blood flow, stimulating muscle repair and helping to prevent future injury. Make sure you target the areas that feel the tightest to get the best results.

Before your workout, try an active dynamic warm up (AD) that mimics and preps your targeted muscle groups for your planned workout.

Photo by Aaron and Jillian

4. The gym shouldn’t become an every day event. You need to give your body time to rest and recover to maximize the benefits of your workout. It’s almost as important as the workout itself.

Resting doesn’t equate to inactivity; you should scale your activity. You need to rest in between each day of workouts to be ready for the next round – five days on moderate to high intensity and two days off at low intensity, for example.

Alternating muscle groups in your daily workouts is another important form of rest.

Finally, get a good night’s sleep. Getting REM sleep helps your body produce growth hormones that repair damaged muscle tissue. 6-8 hours of sleep a night is the magic number to kick start your recovery and leave you looking your best on your wedding day.

Magnolia Plantation Carriage House Wedding: Megan + Patrick

Megan + Patrick's wine country inspired Magnolia Plantation Carriage House Wedding was a rustic dream come true! The overall setting was simple and elegant with a neutral palette, which was a perfect match for the rustic venue; this celebration had the ultimate balance of feminine details, soft colors, and fresh blooms and greenery. Since the bubbly couple got engaged in Sonoma, California, their wedding emulated the feeling of wine country! They used wine boxes as their cake stands, wine barrels for their ceremony arrangements, and a wine bottle as their guest book to open on their one year anniversary! As guests arrived, the bride + groom enlisted their favorite little ones adorned with halos to greet guests and snap a picture of everyone for the guestbook! After the ceremony, a peacock made an unannounced appearance during the bridal party photos which made for a few yelps and some incredible, unexpected pictures. Guests danced the night away, and said sweet goodbyes to the newlyweds during a picture perfect sparkler departure. 

 

Fabulous Vendors:

Planning | Design | Draping | Pure Luxe Bride

Baker | Wild Flour Bakery

Caterer | Mosaic

Florist | Wild Flowers Inc.

Linens | Event Works

Ceremony Music | David Gilease

Reception Music | DJ Wade

Photographer | Aaron and Jillian Photography

Rentals | Event Works

Specialty Lounge | Snyder

Hair + Makeup | Paper Dolls

Transportation | Charleston Style Limo

Ceremony + Reception Venue | Magnolia Plantation Carriage House

Officiant | Beth Adams

Videographer | RePeet Productions

Lowndes Grove Wedding: Katie + Matt

Katie + Matt's Lowndes Grove Wedding was a beautiful warm summer day! The couple said their "I Do's" at the historical Cathedral of St.John the Baptist on Broad Street in downtown Charleston. Guests then moved over to Lowndes Grove Plantation for cocktail hour complete with a raw bar and yummy eats, followed by the reception adjacent to the house. The tent was accented in navy and white, with lovely blooms by Wild Flowers Inc. In lieu of a typical table number, the couple named each table according to popular streets in Charleston, we just loved this unique idea!  Since the groom was in the airforce, for their grand departure, the bride and groom walked through a tunnel of paper airplanes! The perfect end to the evening all captured by Richard Bell Photography! 

Fabulous Vendors:

 Wedding Planning | Pure Luxe Bride

Ceremony Venue | St. John The Baptist

Catering/Bar/Cake | Patrick Properties

Florist | Wild Flowers Inc.

Rentals | Event Works

Reception Music | Ric Rush 

Photographer | Richard Bell Photography Wanda

Videographer | Dockhouse Digital  

Hair and Makeup | Paper Dolls

Bride + Groom Getaway | Lowcountry Valet

Planning Tip Tuesday: Cake Cutting Songs

Cake cutting songs are a great transition into the dancing portion of the night or a perfect time to pick a slower song for other couples to enjoy. The cake cutting is a way to incorporate a sweet song for you and the groom - maybe your runner up song for your first dance or another song that's special to the two of you. We've found that while many brides are opting out of a traditional wedding cake and having a smaller cutting cake with mini desserts they still enjoy the tradition of cutting and eating their first slice together.  We've compiled our top 10 favorite cake cutting songs: 

© Dana Cubbage Weddings 2015

1. "Better Together" by Jack Johnson

2. "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz

3. "Grow Old with You" by Adam Sandler

4. "All You Need is Love" by The Beatles

5. "You and Me" by Dave Matthews

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6. "Marry You" by Bruno Mars 

7. "How Sweet It Is" by James Taylor

8. "Build Me Up Buttercup" by The Foundations

9.  "Sugar" by Maroon 5

10. "The Sweetest Thing" by U2

Helen&Aaron0786

Fabulous Friday: Color Inspiration with Adore Me

The fabulous ladies of Adore Me inspired us to create a mood board on which colors influenced us in their spring collection of lingerie and we couldn’t be more excited to share! Although we love a soft romantic natural palette, this year it's all about fresh bright colors and we are loving it! You can never have too much color, and when paired together properly, it definitely makes a statement.  This wedding bouquet is the root of our inspiration for the lingerie pieces we are crushing on this season. Think hues of coral, mint, blue, fuchsia and pops of yellow!

© Dana Cubbage Weddings 2015

Photo Credit: Dana Cubbage 

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Planning Tip Tuesday: Welcome Bags

What better way to kick off your wedding weekend than with a bag full of goodies for all of your guests?! Favors are becoming a thing of the past and welcome bags are the perfect way to say "thank you" in advance to your sweet guests for traveling from near and far to celebrate you + your man on your big day! While favors often get left behind at the reception, a welcome bag is a great way to greet your guests as the arrive in Charleston!

Welcome bags are also a great way to incorporate more of your unique style, and even the local Charleston flare, into your wedding. Our custom welcome bags incorporate Southern staples such as Charleston sweet tea, astisan truffles, and local homemade pralines! Other fun welcome bag items include custom-built hangover kits with essentials such as Advil, Emergen-C, a pack of gum, lip balm, face masks, and more. You could even include a small note with a list of local restaurants, shops, and sites for guests to check out while in Charleston! Have fun and get creative with these one-of-a-kind bags, and don't forget to stash away two for you + your hubby!

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Photo Credit: Hyer Images 

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Photo Credit: Juliet Elizabeth

Planning Tip Tuesday: Writing Your Invitations

Today for Planning Tip Tuesday, we've got a fabulous guest post from the ladies over at Ivy Ellen on Writing Your Invitations!

 ‘How should I word my wedding invitations’ – one of the most commonly asked questions in all of wedding history. We all know that traditionally the bride’s parents pay for the wedding and are therefore the hosts of the wedding, however with more and more couples paying for their own big day sometimes wording etiquette can get a little confusing. With so many wording worries on your mind we have rallied up a few top tips to make sure you know that your stationery is both grammatically gorgeous and perfectly pretty.

1. Ivy Ellens Agnes Belly Band Wedding Invitation from £1.95 www.ivyellen.com

1. If you are hand writing or DIY-ing your wedding invitations then you need to first consider your wording. Think about who is hosting the wedding and whether you want a traditional look or modern. You can find wording suggestions on the Ivy Ellen website and many others online. Whoever is hosting the wedding (paying for) usually invites the guests, therefore if your parents are paying it would be “Mr and Mrs Smith request the pleasure of the company of….. at the marriage of their daughter……. To ………” Whereas a more modern invitation would be something along the lines of “Sarah and James would love……. To join them at the celebration of their marriage….” If both sets of parents are contributing or the wedding is paid for by a mix of people it is contemporary to put “together with their parents, Sarah and James invite….”

2. Ivy Ellens Insert www.ivyellen.com

2. You next need to think about the information you are including, for example if you are having separate RSVP cards and information inserts. These days many couples choose to include an email or website for the RSVP. This can then simply be added onto the wedding invitation. However often there is information the guests need such as parking, transport and accommodation – this can all be included on a separate information insert.

3. Ivy Ellens Cantoni RSVP Card from £1.20 www.ivyellen.com

3. The gift list – this is always a worry for brides and grooms as they never want to appear rude or pushy. Have no fear, there are many ways in which you can politely and discreetly mention your wedding gift list. For example a sweet poem or limerick always works well… “If you’re thinking of giving us a gift, to help us on our way, a gift of cash towards our honeymoon, would really make our day. Then while we’re relaxing on the beach, or by the pool so blue, we’ll sit back and know that it is truly thanks to you!”

4. Ivy Ellens Fairytale Wedding Invitation from £2.95 www.ivyellen.com

4. Another important question people ask is “How can I make it clear who I have invited to my wedding?” Most wedding venues have a limit and therefore brides and grooms need to be exact with numbers. We recommend you address your invitations to the specific people you wish to attend your celebrations. If you send out a general invitation to a household you may find that additional family members and friends may turn up who you were not expecting. This is very important especially if you are have a ‘child-free’ wedding day. A side note mentioning this will always help if you are still worried!

5. Ivy Ellen's Bunnies Wedding Stationery from £0.60p www.ivyellen.com

5. And last but not least is the handwriting! Many stationers, like us, offer services such as guest name printing and calligraphy however a lot of couples choose to handwrite their own names or even their whole invitations. We suggest buying a few pens that you like the colour and look of and try them out on the paper you are using. For example at Ivy Ellen our inserts are a pearlescent paper therefore we recommend a fine tip Stabilo Sensor pen in black. Talk to your local stationers for recommendations.

6. Ivy Ellens Hedgerow Wedding Stationery www.ivyellen.com

Should you follow these top 5 tips, we are confident that you will be sending out the perfect wedding invitations! Have fun!  

Ivy Ellen