William Aiken House Wedding: Ivonne + Randy

William Aiken House looked even more beautiful than we could've imagined on this stunning Saturday last April for Ivonne + Randy's English, Gothic inspired wedding!

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Ivonne and Randy gradually arrived with their bridal party, dressed and ready for the day ahead, as family members slowly flooded in for photos. Before the family photos began, Ivonne + Randy enjoyed one of the most romantic first looks we've ever seen. Photographer Reese Moore did a beautiful job at capturing the couple in those intimate first moments of seeing one another. Ivonne couldn't stop smiling! Randy fell in love all over again when he saw her in her stunning Modern Trousseau gown.

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Following some exceptional photos of the classic black + white bridal party, it was time for the ceremony! Instead of "Cannon" by Zox playing as the bridal party made their way down the aisle, Ivonne surprised her future husband with a bagpiper to play the rest of the processional. Randy, beaming from the moment the bagpiper began to the very end of the ceremony, loved his surprise! The ceremony took place on the carriage lot of The William Aiken House, where Ivonne + Randy's closest family and friends witnessed them exchange vows and agree to spend the rest of their lives loving one another.

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Cocktail hour began as guests made their way to the second floor of the William Aiken House for a raw bar, hors d'oeuvres and cocktails. As the hour came to a close, all of the guests were invited to make their way to the upstairs porch to watch the couple's first dance. You cannot beat the gorgeous sunlight from their first dance, it truly was picture perfect!

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Guests followed Ivonne + Randy into their beautifully, decorated tent complete with birdcage chandeliers and gorgeous greenery! Guests were greeted at their tables with personalized calligraphy menus.

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After dinner, Ivonne + Randy cut their cake and danced the night away! The couple invited all of their guests to join them for an after party at Fish just a couple doors down into the wee hours of the night.

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The following vendors were used to create Ivonne + Randy's elegant evening.

Ceremony + Reception Venue | William Aiken House
Planning + Design | Pure Luxe Bride
Catering, Bar Service + Cake | Patrick Properties
Florist | Sara York Grimshaw
Rentals | EventWorks + Snyder
Photographer | Reese Moore
DJ | Stephen Darby (Epic Charleston)
Ceremony + Reception Music | Eklipse Productions
Officiant | Randi Siegal (friend of the couple)
Hair + Makeup | Paper Dolls
Transportation | Charleston Style Limo
Dress | Modern Troussesu
Lighting | Loluma 

Wedded Bliss Tip: 12 Makeup Mistakes We Don't Want Our Brides to Make

What could be more important than the dress, the veil, the shoes... nothing right?! Wrong! After spending money on all of these wedding day necessities, not to mention the photographer and the videographer, the perfect look starts with the perfect make up!
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1. Book a makeup trial Don't skip scheduling a trial with your makeup artist! This is a very important step in figuring out what look you want on your special day. Make sure you and your makeup artist are on the same page - the last thing you want is a smokey eye for your light and romantic wedding.

2. Looking like someone else Your wedding day really isn't the time to experiment with makeup. You should look like the best version of yourself. Makeup is meant to accentuate your best features, not change your face entirely! You want your groom to recognize you as you walk down the aisle...

3. Skimping on waterproof Just don't. You're hugging, kissing, crying, dancing, and more on your special day so just don't skimp on the waterproof anything! Primer, foundation, setting powder, blush, eyeshadow, mascara, and whatever else you can think of.
4. Keeping makeup looks uniform between you and your bridesmaids As the bride, you should definitely stand out from the rest of the bridal party. You're already wearing a stunning dress so why not continue the trend by making your makeup different from that of your bridesmaids too?! If you don't want to see a dramatic difference, just steak your look a little so that you remain the focus.
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5. Using lipstick instead of lip stain Some lipsticks "promise" long-wear coverage that won't come off, but just to be safe, we recommend using a lip stain in stead! We don't want red lipstick on his collar, or worse, your dress.

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6. Leaving your wedding makeup look as the last detail you think about Your makeup is as important as your veil - don't forget about it! As soon as you've chosen your gown, figure out what makeup look you want to go for. This can help you create the entire look.

7. OD'ing on highlighter You will be a glowing goddess on your wedding day, we can guarantee it! You don't need to OD on the highlighter or it will leave your face looking shiny and oily, instead of happy and glowy. Apply highlighter only to your cheekbones, the bridge of your nose and on the inner corners of your eyes.

8. Trying false lashes for the first time Again, not the time to experiment. If you want fuller, thicker lashes, use makeup to get the same effect or opt to glue on individual lash clusters with clear glue because they're easy to apply yourself. If you're getting your makeup done, practice this with them as well.

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9. Plucking your eyebrows the day of It's never a good idea to mess with your face the day of your wedding. If you wax or have your eyebrows done professionally, make your appointment several days before. This way, no rash or unsightly red bumps will appear on your face on the morning of.

10. Getting your first spray tan the day before your wedding Spray tans are practically impossible to remove. If you've never gotten one before, schedule a trial run a month before your date. You can discuss what you want and get a peek at how it'll look beforehand.

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11. Caking on foundation because you think it'll make your skin look better in photos No one looks better in photos with more base makeup on. Use waterproof foundation base only where you need it. Too much makes brides look like they're wearing theater makeup - unnatural, and caked on.

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12. Go bold or go home! Play up one area of your face - your eyes, your lips, whatever - just do it! Choose only one feature to accentuate and then balance out the rest of your face. Whatever you decide, you will look beautiful!

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William Aiken House Wedding: Lauren + Michael

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We could not have been happier to share Michael + Lauren's big day with them! This couple radiated love and every guest shared in their joy as they said “I do” at the William Aiken House in historical downtown Charleston. The color scheme consisted of gorgeous neutrals, complimented by black - bringing quite the old-timey feel.

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Michael + Lauren added their special touches throughout the entire ceremony and reception! As guests walked through the gates, it was easy to spot the handmade corn hole boards engraved with the newlywed's names. The bride also brought a little piece of home to her wedding; guests’ place cards were cookies made to look like New York subway signs - so cute!

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Following a sit down dinner, guests hit the dance floor and enjoyed the musical styling of the amazing Quiana Parler and Friends. The band sang their rendition of “All of Me” by John Legend, as a surprise for the bride and groom as they shared their first dance. Michael + Lauren and their guests didn’t get off the dance floor until it was time to go, love was truly in the air for this one!

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These fabulous vendors helped to make Lauren + Mike's wedding possible.

Venue | William Aiken House
Catering + Bar Service | Patrick Properties
Rentals| Event Works
Ceremony Music | Palmetto Strings
Band | Quiana Parler & Friends
Florist | Wild Flowers Inc.
Photographer | Hyer Images
Hair & Makeup | Paper Dolls
Officiant | Phil Purser

Groomsmen Gifts That Just Keep On Giving

How can you guarantee your groomsmen and bridesmaids will love their gifts?! We have some great ideas for your bridesmaids in our previous post, Top 5 Bridesmaid Gifts Your Girls Will Love. Groomsmen, however, can be a bit trickier to shop for - especially if your groom doesn't even like to shop... Pure Luxe Bride has the perfect solution: subscription gifts! There's nothing better than the gifts that just keep on giving and better yet, a gift that's personalized. We've listed below some of our favorite subscription products and services, catered to fit all the personality types of your handsome groomsmen.

Pasha Belman Photography Copyright © 2013 www.pashabelman.com

1. Netflix | For the Movie Buff

I think it's safe to say that we are all pretty familiar with the Netflix concept but have you ever thought of what a good gift it could be?! A year of Netflix for one of your groomsmen totals under $100 - at the exchange of all of his favorite movies and TV shows in one place... whenever he wants them. He can enjoy his new subscription on his PS3, Wii, Xbox, PC, Mac, Mobile, Tablet and more.

2. Pandora or Spotify | For the DJ

Your favorite kind of music streaming instantly, whenever you want it, wherever you want it. What could possibly be a better gift?! Outlets like Pandora and Spotify only play music their listeners love. How, you ask? Because everything is customized. Users create custom stations and playlists, like the music they want and ignore the music they don't. With access to millions of songs all in one place, your DJing groomsmen will be dancing the year away with his new subscription gift.

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3. Piccolo | For the Photographer

Piccolo is a subscription, photo printing service. All you have to do connect your Instagram or Facebook to the service and users receive monthly prints of their uploaded photos. We all have that one friend who is constantly snapping pics so why not support his habit?! He can choose which photos he wants to receive prints of, and even which ones he wants to send onto friends and family! Wouldn't this be the perfect way to get your hands on the photos he snaps at the wedding...?

4. Zoraab | For the Foot Model

Step one: choose a plan. Step two: complete quiz. Step three: sock selections. Step four: Receive socks. It's that easy! The CEO of the group loves to add his own flare to the daily suit and tie via patterns, stripes and polka dots... on his feet. Whether he's a sock dabbler, sock enthusiast or sock connoisseur, Zoraab is the perfect gift for one of your best men.

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5. Harry's | For the Manscaper

For the infrequent, occasional and every day shaver, Harry's has a kit for everyone! Make sure those groomsmen of yours look clean shaven on your special day by subscribing them to Harry's shaving products. Receive razors and creams at chosen intervals to keep him feeling as smooth and clean as he will on your wedding day. "Worrying is overrated, so forget about forgetting."

6. Julibox | For the Mixologist

Each month, members receive two great cocktail recipes and ingredients. The cocktails are curated by Julibox's world class mixologists and are designed especially to be made at home. Box's include all of the spirits and mixers you'll need to make the scrumptious cocktail. If your best man finds a cocktail he likes, he can order it again!

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7. Mistobox | For the Java Lover

The best coffee, delivered right to his door! Four different coffees will be delivered to his house every month with Mistobox. Tips and expert brewing advice are included with every box as well. Instead of having to run to the closest Starbucks before work, your groomsman will have his favorite pot brewing before he even gets out of the shower.

8. Lootcrate | For the Gamer & Geek

"Epic geek and gamer gear delivered monthly!" Though we may not admit it, we all have a bit of gamer and geek inside of us but for those gamers and geeks that own it, Lootcrate is the perfect gift. This month's box includes awesome items like Star Wars Galactic Playbook and Melting Rubik's Cube (whatever they are).... Your gaming groomsmen will geek out!

9. Mantry | For the Foodie

Mantry is a food of the month club for men, not only full of American artisan food but also, what to do with it... Yes. You read that right. Mantry subscriptions come as One Mantry, 3 Month and 6 Month options. Craft Beer Belly, Breakfast with Pops and Hecho en America are just some of the fun concepts that have been used for past Mantry's.

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10. Try the World | For the Explorer

"A taste of the world in a box." After subscribing to Try the World, members receive a gourmet box of food from a different city around the world. The boxes arrive every two months and are full of the most delicious foods and cultures from all around the world. For example, the Paris Box contains some of their finest gourmet items such as natural jams by Alain Milliat and traditional hot chocolate powder by Confitures à L'Ancienne. Music and movies, perfumes and postcards that capture the French joie de vivre all fit inside one very special box.

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Fabulous Friday: J.Crew Wedding Stationary

J.Crew has teamed up with Sugar Paper to create this super chic, bridal stationary collection- and we're obsessed! The famed, preppy retailer joined forces with the Los Angeles-based stationer to create this exclusive line. There are 13 elegant bridal stationary items including note sets, coasters, gift tags, single and place cards, and even a wedding planner book to help you follow along with your wedding planner!

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With classic designs and delicate aesthetics, the collection uses a soft color palette and playful, elegant typeface. Blush, white, and gold adorn the stationary, complimented by signature dots, stripes and even scalloped edges. Here's to you and your "I do's!"

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We are in love! xo

Fabulous Friday: We're Seeing Red..Velvet!

Today is the day to whip up some sweet Valentine's Day treats for your sweet valentine! It's Fabulous Friday here at Pure Luxe Bride and what could be more fabulous than spoiling each other on Valentine's Day? That's what we thought - nothing! Here are some of the most scrumptious and irresistible red velvet goodies the girls at Pure Luxe like to indulge in.

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Kick Valentine's Day off with a beginning that's just as sweet as its ending - Red Velvet Crepes with raspberry and cream cheese filling! What better way to start off your romantic day together than with a breakfast so yummy neither of you will want to spend the day apart. Not too rich in taste and perfectly filling, these crepes use one of our very favorite secret ingredients... nutella!

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Red Velvet Chocolate Swirl Brownie Bars - try saying that 5 times fast. Just kidding, you don't have to! All you have to do is bake and enjoy them! This recipe is halfway between a brownie and a bar. The treat is described by its creator as "fudgier, denser and richer than your typical bar", but not chocolately enough to deserve brownie status.

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For some lighter fare and perhaps a night together at home, indulge in Red Velvet Popcorn. While you can't see it yet, what's holding the red velvet cake dust onto each salty bite of popcorn is... white chocolate. If that doesn't tempt you, I don't know what would!

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What list of sweet treats is complete without cheesecake somewhere?! The Novice Chef teaches us how to make these delicious, Marbled Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies. But get this - they're heart-shaped! You can get creative with this yummy recipe - balloons, cheesecake on a stick, etc.!

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Now last, but certainly not least, comes the Red Velvet Fudge Pie. I don't know if we have ever salivated this much over a photo but this sweet treat looks simply divine! Between the melted chips on top and the richness of the velvet underneath, you can bet this is one treat the girls of Pure Luxe will be busy baking this Valentine's Day.

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When to Stop Using Pinterest as a Bride

Planning a wedding in today’s modern world is so much different from what it used to be. Brides used to get inspired by vendor look books, photographs in bridal magazines, or ideas from real-life weddings. Today, there are hundreds of ways to get inspired as a bride, the largest being on the Internet. To get even more specific - Pinterest. Us wedding planners love to utilize Pinterest to collaborate with our brides, help inspire them and even get inspired ourselves! Moran-150

However, at what point should a bride stop using Pinterest and begin to trust their wedding planning instinct? After their floral arrangements have changed three times? After going over the rentals budget by more than $10,000? There are too many brides who continuously change their wedding design based on what they’ve seen most recently on Pinterest.

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Believe it or not, there is a such thing as too much inspiration. Pinterest overwhelms us with an entire home page of pins we are interested in - and trust me, we’re interested! We can get lost for hours on Pinterest. We get overwhelmed with the amount of designs and details we fall in love with during that time, a lot of them similar, perhaps just shown in a different color or at a different time of year. So how do you think a bride feels when looking at their Pinterest home page? Excited? Overwhelmed? Or perhaps all of the above? There’s an enormous amount of new designs and decor items that inspire their wedding planning but at the expense of wanting to completely change their current design plan. Pure Luxe Tip: don’t let yourself get sidetracked! You already have your general design plan - don’t stray from it. Look out for accent details or decor items that will pull your look together without changing the entire thing. 

View More: http://danacubbageweddings.pass.us/nauticalkatespade

Another note that most brides don't realize is that most of the over the top pictures found on Pinterest are those from styled photo shoots that would unlikely be done for a real-life wedding (like the one above that we did with A Lowcountry Wedding). No matter your budget, vendors or planner, your wedding may never measure up to the wedding you’ve planned on your Pinterest page because of shoots like these! The elaborate tent draping, $5,000 cake and most beautiful orchid arrangements from your outdoor, tropical wedded bliss board are indeed beautiful, but perhaps not realistic for your budget, location, and time of year. It’s so easy for a bride to set her heart on an idea without really understanding what goes into the look, let alone what it actually costs (we actually did a blog last week on what's realistic for a wedding in Charleston, SC check it out here . Pure Luxe Tip: think through your ideas. Heavily allocate your budget to the most important aspects of your wedding and don’t let Pinterest let you plan an over-the-top wedding! Remember that your Vera Wang gown and strand lighting beneath the Charleston starlit sky will make much more of a statement than orchids on every table. 

 

Allison Rasko and Alejandro Chechilnitzky's wedding at the Magnolia Plantation Carriage House in Charleston SC. Wedding photographer Charleston SC, modern vintage photography, amelia + dan, 843.801.2790, ameliaanddan.com

Lastly, Pinterest calls for copycats! Everything on Pinterest has been done… why not design something for your special day that hasn’t been?! There are plenty of brides that saw that same pin as you and decided to include it in their wedding design. Or perhaps they showed the photo to their florist and rental company and asked them to design it like the picture. This is where brides go wrong for two reasons. One, you’re copying something someone’s already done. Two, vendors like to be creative in their design too. Chances are, even if you show them that floral arrangement you love, they’re going to put their own creative spin on it - one that makes it unique to you and to them. Pure Luxe Tip: Be unique. Be yourself. Be your own couple. Wouldn’t you rather have an event that’s truly you as a couple? Make your first night as husband and wife truly memorable, special and all about you!

Newly Engaged? Get That Wedding Planning Ball Rolling!

We were so thrilled when  A Lowcountry Wedding asked us to guest blog to their newly engaged readers! And, what better topic to discuss than how to get that wedding planning ball rolling?! After some serious Pure Luxe brainstorming, we came up with the five most important steps to help you get started.

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1. Do your research.

The very first step in planning your wedding must include research. It is very important that you weigh all your options when it comes to venues and vendors, price ranges, and of course, planners. To get married in coastal South Carolina or the church your parents were married in? An indoor or outdoor ceremony? How much does a wedding cake typically cost? These are all very important questions that your research can help you answer.

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2. Discuss your budget and stick to it.

After you've begun your research, you'll become more familiar with the pricing of all things weddings. You'll learn that getting married on a week day or in the off-season could cost exponentially less than a Saturday wedding in March. You'll decide whether you and your spouse-to-be prefer a band or a DJ to help you dance the night away. Discussing a budget and sticking to it is the most important aspect of wedding planning - hands down. Get your finances in order and figure out the best allocation of your resources for your special day. Unfortunately, you can't spend money that you don't have BUT you can do a lot with the money you do have. Figure out what number works for you and do your best to stay within it. Everything else will fall into place with the help of your planner and vendors.

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3. Be realistic.

Creating a budget is a difficult task in itself, but creating a realistic budget can be even more difficult. Your dream wedding is within reach; it just requires a creative spin and a few adjustments here and there. The worst thing that can happen in the planning process is when reality becomes a distant memory, and the ideas of draping the entire tent emerge. If details like this aren't in your budget, don't even go there! A bride who's dreams become bigger than her budget makes for a disappointed bride and the last thing we want is for our brides to be disappointed!

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4. Think about your guest list.

One way to combine your research and budget in a realistic and all-encompassing fashion is through a tentative guest list. Discussing who the essentials, probably's, maybe's and definitely not's are ahead of time can really help you manage your budget. A huge amount of your decisions and costs will be based upon how many people will be invited/attending your wedding. Small pricing details also come into play once you're familiar with your guest count such as save the dates/invitation pricing, escort/place cards, favors and more.

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5. Work as a team

As exciting as planning your wedding can and will be, it is very easy to get caught up in the craziness of it, and even forget the real purpose behind it all. Remember that you and your future-hubby are a team and your decisions should be joint. Include him not only in the big decisions such as guest count and catering choices, but also in the smaller details like the color scheme and florals. Chances are, he'll leave these decisions to you but he'll love that you included him and wanted his opinion. Most importantly, make sure to just simply spend some time together, sans wedding details. Have a movie night, take a cooking class, or just sit on the couch and catch up - whatever you do, make time for one another.

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The Realistic Guide to Pinterest

Pinterest...we all love it, but do we know how to use it? Whether we are pinning on our computer, our iPad, or even our phone, the addiction of ‘pinning’ has become an obsession in the wedding industry. In fact, the usage of Pinterest has transformed the wedding industry in terms of decor and inspiration. It can be such an advantage for the Pure Luxe Bride who knows how to use it properly! Lucky for you, we have compiled a list of tips to help our brides be realistic when pinning to their wedding boards! Cassady Clayton and Joe Hild's wedding at the Gibbes Museum in Charleston SC. Wedding photographer Charleston SC, modern vintage photography, amelia + dan, 843.801.2790, ameliaanddan.com

DIY Overload: First things first, remember that Pinterest should be used as a source of inspiration for your wedding day. You do not have to copy every DIY craft, bouquet, or table arrangement that you come across. We suggest that you incorporate different elements that you find on Pinterest, along with your own taste and preferences, in order to transform that idea into something that is unique and original to you and your groom. Originality is key into making your wedding day personal. Often on Pinterest, ideas can become way too repetitive and show up at every wedding that season.  No wonder we see everyone with swizzle stick straws sticking out of mason jars. Take ideas you find on Pinterest and transform them into something of your own.

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Also, don’t let beautiful tablescapes and glamorous shots of venues be misleading. Many of the elaborate decorations you find on Pinterest come from wedding styled shoots and are not from an actual wedding. These shots are designed to serve as a vision for the wedding industry. These shots are also very expensive, and hardly in budget. Therefore, take these styled shoots for what they are...inspiration! Whether it is a color scheme, bouquet, or flatware arrangements, there is inspiration to be gathered from these amazing shoots.

If you are the bride who is looking for craft inspiration, then we have some advice for you. As you know, Pinterest is overflowing with DIY ideas for your wedding day. We do not blame brides for loving a good DIY craft. However, it is important for brides to remember that crafts do not always turn out as planned. Therefore, no bride should spend the months leading up to her wedding day pouring all of her time and energy into tons of DIY crafts. Before Pinterest, it was not normal for brides to do absolutely everything themselves. Taking that into consideration, brides should rely on their vendors and the services they offer, as well as their wedding planning team. At Pure Luxe Bride, we offer in-house design services, which are sure to make your wedding day look gorgeous! With the help of these fabulous sources, brides can have a beautiful visual concept for their big day, without all of the glue guns and glitter.

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Lastly, don’t be naive. You cannot believe everything you see on Pinterest. Keep in mind that it is a great tool and reference for inspiration. Some things may not be accurate, and often can be misleading. Therefore, use Pinterest wisely and be realistic about what you see.  Take advantage of the ability to organize different inspiration boards. Use Pinterest as a guide to come up with ideas and make up your own to make your wedding day YOURS

Visit the Pure Luxe Bride Pinterest page for tons of inspiration for you big day!

Wedding Favor Ideas for the Creative Couple

Having creative and unique wedding favors is a great way to show the bride and grooms personality, as well as to leave a lasting impression with guests. Getting creative and brainstorming different ideas for couples to incorporate is one of the many things Pure Luxe Bride loves to do for couples. That is why we have created a list of innovative and unique wedding favor ideas for couples to get inspired by. Several of these ideas can be DIY projects for the crafty bride and groom. These wedding favors are great for a Charleston wedding and A Palmetto Rose that is made locally in the lowcountry is a great wedding favor for Charleston weddings. These hand-woven, decorative objects are made of sweet grass and are unique to Charleston. They are available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and prices. They are sold throughout Charleston but can be purchased online from Charleston Sweetgrass.

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Personalized koozies have been gaining popularity for years now as wedding favors. These koozies are a great way to incorporate the bride and grooms new monogram. Guests will enjoy these favors during the reception as well as in the future. Custom Ink is a great site to get started on personalizing your wedding koozies with unique  phrases. Benjamin_Benjamin_PaigeWinnPhoto_EC1A645536_0_low Give you guests a Charleston favorite, a mini package of southern pralines. Purchase these delicious southern treats from River Street Sweets or have someone from Copper Pot Confections on-site making fresh, hot pralines for your guests to enjoy or take with them! YUM!

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Create burlap bags full of coffee beans that are decorated with a personalized wrapper that quotes “Love is Brewing”. This past May, our couple Ashley + Joe purchased coffee from a local spot Charleston Coffee Roasters and filled their burlap bags with their own special brew.

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For a unique, Charleston inspired wedding favor, visit the Savannah Bee Company shop on King Street and purchase a bottle of Charleston honey, lip balm, or honey bar soap for your guests. N:Web Site2011 PDG-HTN WEBSITE315x400 product imagesjug_wildflower.jpgFor the savvy bride, personalized, heart-shaped cookies are the perfect favor. If you want to get more personal, make cookies in the shape of a significant object or the state you were married.

Create a package of family recipes to give each wedding guests, with the couples name and wedding date on the outside of the package. Recipes could include dishes that you and the groom grew up enjoying, as well as your favorites to create together as a couple.

For more wedding favor inspiration, visit the Pure Luxe Bride Pinterest Boards where the creativity continues!