5 reasons NOT to do a first look on your wedding day


Erich McVey via OnceWed

Imagine your fiance seeing you for the first time in your beautiful gown on your wedding day. In your mind, is this happening before or during the ceremony? In other words, will you do a “first look”? It seems like almost all couples now participate in this trend, which involves a private or semi-private pre-ceremony meeting between the couple–primarily for the photo opp. Drama included.

If I’m being polite, I’d say, Do what feels right to you and your fiancé. But if I’m being honest? Wait until the ceremony. Here are 5 reasons NOT to do a first look:

5. You can stay in bed a little longer. Just think about it: you were up late at the rehearsal dinner the night before, you probably didn’t have the best sleep to begin with, and you have salon appointments scheduled from 9 til noon (or later!). Knowing you’re meeting your groom a few hours before the ceremony just cuts into your beauty rest and regimen, not to mention the time you’ll have to get ready with your best gals!


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10 unique DIY wedding guest escort cards and seating charts

DIY wedding seating chart

Les Loups Pictures & Songs via 100 Layer Cake

When it comes to wedding details, there’s no better place to showcase your unique personality AND your DIY skills than with details at the wedding reception. One of our favorite ways for brides and grooms to delight with details is with unique DIY wedding guest escort cards and seating charts. As one of the first things your guests see at the reception, it’s important for your escort cards or seating chart to make a statement and convey your wedding theme and feel. (No pressure or anything, right?)

Luckily, these wedding details are fairly easy for brides and grooms to DIY. We’ve rounded up our 10 favorite DIY wedding guest escort cards and seating charts from real weddings to inspire your own special day. Read on for totally gorgeous details (and totally easy DIY tutorials too)!

Escort cards:

DIY wedding placecards

Caroline Tran Photography via Style Me Pretty | Paper boat origami tutorial

DIY wedding placecards

Photo & tutorial via Chronicle Books

DIY wedding placecards

Photo & tutorial via Oh Happy Day

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Budget wedding decor: 3 ways to style your wedding with thrift store finds


Michael and Anna Costa Photography

This is a guest post by our wedding planner and friend Jenny Preston! Read on to learn more about her unique tips & wedding know-how.

We’ve all seen them: those gorgeous weddings that are bursting with originality and details from another era. While you may run into many of these items in your local thrift store, there is a common misconception that it is easy and affordable to style your wedding with thrift store finds. I grew up stomping the dusty grounds of antique fairs and flea markets, watching my mom and grandma bargain with vendors. Over the years they have taught me what to look for and when it is time to walk away. Knowing your budget, having a goal, and staying true to your style will help you determine which budget wedding decor thrift store finds are worth the time and money AND also make the biggest visual impact.

1. China


Half of a reception is spent eating and sitting at the table, and serving your meal on unique pieces of china is a great way to create a special experience for guests while they dine. China will also make a major impact on your tablescape design. The added bonus being that after the wedding, you and your new husband or wife now have your very own set of wedding china completely unique to you! No need to include that classic on your registry…


Paper Antler via Ruffled Blog


If you are planning a large wedding of 100 or more guests, it can leave you wondering what to do with the collection of plates at the end of the day. In this case, consider looking for local rental companies that supply vintage pieces.

Wedding Planner Tip:

Make sure your caterer is wiling to serve on the plates you plan to provide. Many caterers are also happy to pack up the dirty plates at the end of the event, wash them, and have them available for pickup later that week.

Average Price: $1.00 – $5.00 per plate



Between the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception, there are plenty of opportunities to pull in unique vintage seating arrangements. Choosing to feature vintage seating makes a statement while also bringing rich textures and intricate details to your photographs.

Planning on purchasing a new home? One of my brides has decided to purchase, refinish, and reupholster seating for their cocktail hour, and plans to use a majority of her finds in their new home!


Valorie Darling Photography via Desiree Hartstock


Storage. Trying to decide where your seating purchases will stay until the day of the wedding and how they will make their way to the venue can be a bit of a challenge.

Average Price: $5.00 – $75.00 per chair

Wedding Planner Tip:

Stick to using the reclaimed chairs during one part of the event, and opt for more practical rentals for the remainder of the occasion. For instance, at my own wedding I will rent simple seating for the ceremony, with the reception featuring more unique seating arrangements mixed with rented high tops to accommodate more guests and encourage mingling.



Thrift stores are abounding with affordable glass, tin, silver, ceramic and even metal vessels. Select vessels that can hold candles and flowers, while providing height differences and maintaining the overall style of your wedding. With a collection of unique vessels, you may even find that your budget for the florist decreases (yay!).


Paper Antler via Ruffled Blog


Other than finding a convenient place to store the pieces, there are not many cons to this option. They are much easier to store and transport to the venue, and your future dinner parties will always have beautifully styled tables.

Price: $0.50 – $10.00

Wedding Planner Tip:

Don’t limit yourself to thrift stores! You can often find even better prices at auctions. Many items are sold in “lots” and you can walk away with a deal like 20 bud vases for $10.

As overwhelming as it may seem, remember to have fun with the styling of your wedding. Keep your budget in mind and make an afternoon date with your fiancé, bridesmaid, or groomsman at a local thrift store. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to shop owners and ask if they would consider renting pieces out to you. Sometimes all it takes is a little faith, trust, and vintage dust to create the vintage-inspired wedding of your dreams.


jennyprestonJenny Preston grew up in Delray Beach, FL in a home filled with unique pieces from other eras and dreaming of wedding planning. She now owns her own wedding planning and vintage rental company, Jenny Does Weddings, with her fiancé, where she offers brides and grooms advice with a look into her own wedding planning and styling adventures. Follow Jenny Does Weddings on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Chic (but warm!) fall wedding guest styles we’re pinning right now

fall wedding guest style

Damsel in Dior

Autumn is around the corner, and that means that if you’re a wedding guest, you’re going to need to trade in the short skirts for longer hem lengths and layers. While dressing for a summer wedding is fairly straightforward, fall wedding guest style is a little trickier to get right. However, you can be warm, chic, and just formal enough if you know what trends will work best for the changing season! Here are a few looks we love, inspired by our favorite fashion bloggers!

Maxi Skirts

One way to stay warmer? Opt for longer hem lengths (duh)! Added benefit: you don’t really need to shave your legs when you’re going for the longer skirts. Mix and match your favorite skirt with a cute sweater, jacket or blouse for a chic day-to-evening look.

fall wedding guest style

Ohh Couture

fall wedding guest style

Fash for Fashion

fall wedding guest style

Hackwith Design House

Bold Midi Skirts

Not as dramatic as it’s cousin the maxi skirt, your summertime midi skirts are going to transition well from warmer weather to cooler weather. We especially love midi skirts in bold colors and prints for a fun statement.

fall wedding guest style

A Piece of Toast

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