A Preppy Beach Wedding by Dear Wesleyann Photography


Welcome back from the long weekend, brides and wedding lovers! Are you ready for a fresh dose of inspiration to start this Monday off right? Luckily, you know by now that we’ve got you covered when it comes to Monday morning wedding prettiness — and today is no different! We’re absolutely head over heels in love with this preppy beach wedding by Dear Wesleyann Photography, and we know you’ll love it too.

Bill and Blair got married in a sweet little chapel with a gorgeous beachside celebration in Alys Beach, Florida. With hints of aqua and gold, this seaside celebration was preppy perfection with a few fun touches — like custom beer coozies, a fun monogram logo for the bride and groom, and awesome light-up foam sticks that guests used to help send the bride and groom off in style! Read on to see more gorgeous photos by Dear Wesleyann









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Wedding Etiquette: How do you announce an engagement and who should be the first to know?

engagement announcement

QUESTION: Who should be the first to know about my engagement? How do you announce an engagement after telling close friends and family, or should I announce it at all?

GINA’S ANSWER: Go with your gut and call the first person that comes to mind. It might be your best friend, your parents or your grandmother. Beyond the calls to close friends and family, you don’t have to make an official announcement unless you want to. You’re going to be excited, and your recent engagement is going to get revealed naturally through conversations, texts, emails and maybe even social media.

JESS’ ANSWER: Your parents! Then siblings and best friends. A good rule of thumb is, if the situation were reversed, would you want to get a personal phone call announcing their engagement? Save text messages and facebook for those you don’t keep in close touch with anymore.

ASHLEY’S ANSWER: Your parents, immediate family, and anyone who might contribute financially to the wedding should be the first people you share your exciting news with. However, if you have super close friends they should hear about it at the same time. Traditionally, you would notify local news sources to announce the engagement. Typically, most people do not announce their engagement to the local newspaper as often anymore.

Depending on social status, traditions, and how formal your wedding will be, there are different ways to announce it. One formal way would be to send a letter in the mail to all you want to notify. More commonly now, phone calls are the first and fastest way to announce your engagement. Less formal ways are to email, use paperless post, create a blog, status update on facebook, tweet, or text message all you know. Since we live in an age where we are so connected mobily, ability in sharing with family and friends across the globe instantaneously is done easily. You will get the biggest response from your facebook and instagram networks.

Need more wedding etiquette, advice and tips? See previous etiquette posts here.

Gina and Matt_web_175Gina Heideman is a bride-in-training from Boise, Idaho. When she’s not planning her navy/preppy/downtown wedding, she spends her time perfecting her crab cake recipe, drinking wine and playing cribbage with her fiance, and playing outside. She’s an avid swimmer, runner, gardener and reality TV junkie. By day she works as Executive Director of a statewide nonprofit organization that focuses on meth use prevention. By night she’s a freelance graphic designer (www.designscribble.com).


Jess Keys is a Journalism graduate of Indiana University, a Chicago transplant and Founder of The Golden Girl Blog. She was first bitten by the wedding bug at age 11, when she purchased her first Brides magazine in the Lexington, KY airport. She’s partial to red lipstick, French Bulldogs, and a lover of the written word. When she’s not writing for Wedding Party, you can often find her at the closest Dim Sum establishment, or exploring the Windy City with her camera in tow.

Ashley Smith is the wedding planner for Buzzworthy SF. She believes that purpose, craft, design, and strategy are all cohesive elements to produce a successful event. Ashley is available for weddings in California and worldwide. Her expertise is in the Bay Area, but her heart is in Mexico, where she is certified by the board of tourism to plan and work. If she is not in San Francisco planning weddings and being social, you’ll find her on the beach at Playa Azul, Papaya Playa, or exploring the coast lines in Central America via bicycle.

Photo via Melissa Green Photography.

Shopping spree, anyone? Win $1000 to be the best-dressed wedding guest ever!


Don’t know what to wear at your billionth wedding this summer? We don’t blame you. Despite all the articles about “THE ONE OUTFIT YOU CAN WEAR THIS SUMMER TO EVERY WEDDING” — let’s face it. That’s just crazy. But don’t worry, we’ve got your back.

We’ve teamed up with SHEfinds, Maggy London, and Alexis Bittar to give one lucky lady a super-stylish shopping spree. Not only will you get $500 to splurge on a couture cocktail dress from the wonderful wardrobe of Maggy London, but you’ll also get another $500 for gems and jewels from Alexis Bittar. That equals: $1000 and one well-dressed lady. Ready to learn how to enter and win?

It’s easy! All you have to do is visit the giveaway page HERE and follow the simple steps to enter. Really, the hardest part of the whole thing is waiting to hear if you won!

The giveaway runs until July 14th — but trust us, that’s not THAT far away! Make sure to enter before the giveaway closes, as you won’t want to miss out on this opportunity. Good luck!

How to Write Absolutely Bawl-Worthy Wedding Vows

wedding vows

Perry Vaile Photography

I’m pretty sure you’re super pumped up for your wedding, getting ready to marry the love of life. You grab your pen and paper, huddle at your glitter-and-ribbon covered desk, and get your brain geared up to write the best wedding vows the world has ever seen (and thank the Lord when the critics start singing praises about how it’s SO much more romantic than When Harry Met Sally and The Notebook combined).

But your brain shuts down before the ink even touches your paper. You bite nervously at the end of your pen thinking, What if my vows are just plain gawdawful… or even worse, lame? You begin to have a minor freak-out before abandoning your efforts in favor of a delicious slice of Nutella-slathered cake.

I get it. Writing your vows can be intimidating and scary. After all, how the hell do you fit in all you love about your future spouse in the span of a few minutes??? And to do it in a tastefully, witty, and original manner? Defeating Voldemort or preventing the Red Wedding seems to pale in difficulty compared to writing your wedding vows.

First step is, don’t worry. You will be fine. You can do this. YOU CAN DO THIS!!!

And onto the next step.

DON’T Approach Your Vows Like Mad Libs

wedding vows

Stephen Zeigler

There is a boat load of templates for your vows out there, and it’s super easy to pick one really fancy-sounding template out and plunk in the words as needed. While I am of the opinion that you can certainly use templates and modify them to suit your own needs, there’s something that rings just a little lazy when you’re trying to play pick-and-choose with a word bank. Rather than consulting a thesaurus when finding a synonym for “generous” (EDIT: I just looked “generous” up in the thesaurus. There’s “magnanimous”, “munificent”, and “prodigal”… stick with the words you use in everyday conversation.), take a look at the template and the elements you liked about it, and try to write them in a way that sounds most natural to you.

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