A California Beach Engagement by Steve Cowell Photography

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Recently engaged? Thinking about taking some engagement photos in the near future? Or, do you just like really pretty and romantic photos? If the answer to any of those questions is yes, you’ll have to check out this gorgeous beach engagement we have on the blog today!

Stuart and Daena are a gorgeous couple whose engagement session was inspired by their favorite things to do — picnic, be on the beach, sing, and hang out with each other! These gorgeous photos captured by Steve Cowell will make you want to frolic on the beach with your love, all day everyday. Ready to see more? Read on!

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Wedding Etiquette: What are my bridesmaid duties?

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Rad + In Love

QUESTION: If I choose to be a bridesmaid, what are my bridesmaid duties?

GINA’S ANSWER: I may be in the minority in my opinion here, but I don’t believe that being a bridesmaid means you automatically have duties. Frankly, it sucks being in a wedding where you not only have huge financial obligations but a lot of responsibilities as well.

Ultimately each bride sees their bridesmaids’ role differently and only you and your bride can work out those expectations together. For me, a bridesmaid is a wonderful friend that celebrates with you, tells you you’re pretty and maybe carries your lip gloss for you on your wedding day.

JESS’ ANSWER: Whatever the bride needs them to be! If the bride has a wedding planner and her parents are very involved, she might not need the help of the bridesmaids too much. However, if she can’t afford a planner and/or her parents aren’t in the picture, she might need her girls to step in and help her with wedding details. Always volunteer and ask for help!

ASHLEY’S ANSWER: As a bridesmaid, your duties are to aide the bride through the duration of the planning process and the wedding day. Bridesmaids also plan and throw wedding related events, which might include a wedding shower, bachelorette party, or day after brunch. In some cases you may need to be a pillar of support to the bride; go to dress fittings with her, help her with any decision making, and support with family and friends as they all arrive around the wedding.

On the wedding day, it may be suitable to help with putting on the dress, bustling the dress after the ceremony, and assisting the newlyweds throughout the night with items like gifts. A bridesmaid should be helpful in handling the bride’s bouquet and their own bouquet, keeping track of items like keepsakes, re-applying makeup, and helping with attire changes.

If no planner or coordinator is present, throughout the night bridesmaids should help keep the events moving smoothly. If this is communicated thoroughly ahead of time it should make for a peaceful and successful event. Knowing the game plan for transportation just in case people want to leave the wedding, the exit plan for the bride and groom, and making sure that everyone is in the right place at the right time (if there is no coordinator or on-site help) are all things that are helpful as well.

Bridesmaids should also be aware of all of the events for the whole wedding weekend. They can assist guests from out of town and be of use for keeping people in the loop with the wedding events. Bridesmaids should be there for emotional stability as well. Many emotions arise around a wedding and the couple, namely the bride, and will need you and appreciate you.

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.

7 unique ways to invite guests to use Wedding Party

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Sweet Little Photographs

Here at Wedding Party, we aim to make everything about your engagement and wedding planning easier. Our blog, of course, is here for inspiration and advice 24/7, 365 days of the year. However, another great tool you might want to use is our service, Wedding Party! With a customized website and app created just for your wedding, you’ll be able to inform guests about important event info, let them see who else is coming to the wedding, and provide fun, private space for them to share all the photos they take from your engagement party to your wedding day.

Once you set up your account on Wedding Party, you’ll be able to see the great benefits of using our service to communicate and share your wedding with guests. However, nothing these days is really a “build-it-and-they-will-come” situation. You’ve got to invite guests to use Wedding Party to make the most of it! Of course, we have a simple, built-in way to invite your guests to Wedding Party via email, text message, or Facebook messages. But let’s face it — sometimes you need to use more unique tactics to catch your guests’ attention.

Here are some simple tips for easy ways to get your guests on board with Wedding Party, and start getting everyone excited for the big day!

1. Ease them into it at your engagement party or bridal shower

You don’t need to wait until just before the wedding day to get everyone on board — in fact, we’d encourage you to get guests joined to Wedding Party as soon as possible!

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Kate Price Photography

Why, you ask? Well, for one, you’ll be able to get more photos and communicate more easily about all the events that lead up to your special day, like your engagement party or bridal shower. It also gets guests used to using Wedding Party as the central place for them to see everything wedding-related — so on your wedding day, they’ll already be pros at using it!

2. Get your bridal party on board, and tell them to spread the word

Your bridal party is there to support you on their wedding day, and (for the most part) want to help you make this process easier. So why not put them to work? Getting them on board with Wedding Party is a snap, and they’ll love the fun and dedicated space to share everything about your wedding journey.

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Anna Delores Photography

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A DIY Wine Country Wedding by Tim Halberg Photography

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Ready for some well-deserved weekend wedding inspiration, brides? There’s so much we love about today’s wedding, shared with us by the talented Tim of Tim Halberg Photography. In the heat of summertime, there’s nothing I love more than wine tasting around California wine country and taking in the breathtaking scenery. Set against the gorgeous backdrop of grapevines and rolling hills, Lauren and Thomas’ wedding day took place in a particularly stunning venue: Soda Rock Winery in Sonoma!

It’s clear that these two are meant for each other, as they’re completely adorable together — the proof is in the photos! Lauren looks stunning in her flowy strapless wedding dress, and Thomas looks just the picture of handsome, head-over-heels in love groom. We also love the classically rustic vibe of their wine country wedding day, paired along with special DIY touches like their wedding arch decor, table settings, and place cards! Ready to see more of this incredibly special day?

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