Lessons From A (Very Recent) Newlywed: Part II


Heather Hawkins Photography

It’s here. Your wedding day has arrived, and you’re feeling calm, collected and ready to do this thing. Feeling adequately prepared, you’re well rested and ready to tackle all that the day will throw at you. How? You read Part I of Lessons From A (Very Recent) Newlywed, and now you’re about to read Part II, and the duo left you in an ideal state of preparedness. Ready to fulfill destiny? Read on, brides to be.

1. Don’t get too drunk the night before.

Let’s start with the obvious, which is waking up as fresh as possible on your big day. This means saying “sayonara” to puffy eyes or a swollen face, which inevitably means saying “Nope” to that shot offered by your cheering cousins at your rehearsal dinner the night before. Trust me, it all sounds fun in the moment, but the next day you’ll be kicking yourself as you search for the Motrin.

2. Have an escape plan

…For the rehearsal dinner, that is. It’s so easy to get caught up in chatting with your nearest and dearest, but when the clock strikes [Insert your ideal leave time here], it’s time to jet, or you’ll end up closing down the venue before you had time to blink. Assign a committee to cordially pull you away from the crowd. Mine was my mom and sisters, who took me aside and reminded me to Houdini from the party before another conversation started. I did, and was happy to be in bed at a reasonable hour to get my beauty sleep before the big day.

3. Wake up early. Enjoy the morning.

Beyond marrying my best friend, one of my favorite moments of the day was in the morning. My mom, maids of honor and I woke up, threw on comfortable clothes, grabbed coffee, and took an impromptu walk on the beach. We didn’t talk about anything in particular; it was just about enjoying one another before the craziness of the day began. Starting the day this way was the true icing on the cake as it helped to ground me and kept my mind clear from anxiety before all the prepping began, which at that point was exactly what I needed.

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Isn’t That Charming

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Get Luxurious and Affordable Wedding Invites from Invitations by Dawn


Picking out your wedding invitations can be one of the most exciting parts of wedding planning. Your stationery will truly be your guests’ first impression of your wedding day, so you need to make sure it embodies the celebration you’re planning! Letterpress invitations are becoming a popular choice for brides who want their paper goods to have a luxurious and romantic vibe. While letterpress invitations are easy to love, oftentimes the price just isn’t right.

That’s why we love the new Featherpress Collection by Invitations by Dawn. With tons of gorgeous designs to choose from, your wedding invitations can have the look and feel of letterpress, at a fraction of the cost! Having a rustic barn wedding? What about a cosmopolitan hotel wedding? Or a preppy beach wedding? No matter what your theme, Invitations by Dawn has a Featherpress invitation suite perfect for your special day.



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Wedding etiquette: How much should I spend on a wedding gift?


Joseba Sandoval

QUESTION: How much should I spend on a wedding gift?

GINA’S ANSWER: I don’t put a price tag on my guests’ heads and would rather they attend my wedding, gift or no gift. Everyone’s financial situation varies and you should spend what you feel is appropriate and can afford.

I’ve had instances where I only gave a card because I was cash-strapped and/or spent a lot of money to travel to the wedding, and other times I’ve given a gift worth up to $100. Do consider your financial situation and your relationship with the bride and groom, be thoughtful, and stay within your means.

JESS’ ANSWER: To the bride and groom, it shouldn’t matter how much you spend on your gift. The couple should have registered for a variety of items at different price ranges. They know not everyone can afford to buy them Waterford crystal!

Find something on the registry at a price point you’re comfortable spending. If not, a great option is to always go in on a “big” present with a few friends.

ASHLEY’S ANSWER: You should always spend what you feel comfortable spending and spend within your means. There is no need to break the bank on a gift!

Many couples put their registries and honeymoon registries on their wedding websites. This is a great tool for both parties, as you can select items you as you wish and the couple is getting items they actually want.

Honeymoon registries are especially fantastic because you can choose an amount to contribute to their desired honeymoon, whether it be a $50 dinner out or a $1200 plane ticket to a remote island. This is a wonderful opportunity to express your excitement for the couple, and to help them in the ways they would most appreciate.

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.

Boho Wedding Inspiration for the Blushing Bride


Jenna Bechtholt Photography

Summer is wedding season, and nothing says summer quite like a boho wedding. If you’re looking for something a little less traditional than a black tie wedding, boho may just be the way to go. It’s fun, flirty and ethereal and will make you feel like a woodland princess.

To help get you started on your boho wedding planning journey, we started a list of boho wedding inspired hairstyles, shoes, and dresses–the three wedding day essentials for any blushing bride. Boho weddings tend to incorporate flowers, lace, and billowy fabrics, so keep that in mind when shopping for your special day.

Check out our list of boho wedding inspired style ideas for all your boho wedding planning needs. Take a look below to get inspired and then like, comment and share to let us know what you think.



Love Is a Big Deal


Nessa K Photography


Sarah Gawler Photography


Priscila Valentina Photography


Priscila Valentina Photography


Priscila Valentina Photography

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