Summer Soirée Wedding Favors That Surprise + Delight

Summer Soirée Wedding Favors That Surprise + Delight

From the invitations to the décor to the getaway, you want every detail of your wedding weekend to “wow” your guests (we totally get it!). But creating a wedding weekend that brings your love to life and pleases your guests is no easy feat. Surprise and delight your nearest and dearest with favors that they’ll actually love! The sweet memories of your wedding day will be sure to linger long after you say “I do.”

Sip on This
With summer comes longer days and refreshing cocktails. Give your guests a taste of your signature summer-sipper with cocktail kits to go. Think mini bottles of champagne and St. Germain, mini bottles of tequila and margarita mix, or Jack Daniels and classic Coke bottles personalized with your monogram. Even better is homemade wine or limoncello. Add a recipe tag or custom label and your guests will be toasting to you from afar.

Keep them Cool
Waking up the morning of your wedding to blue skies and sunshine is every bride’s dream come true. But the summer months can also give way to blazing heat, a passing shower, or even a chilly ocean breeze. Help guests stay comfortable with umbrellas, fans, or even pashminas to stave off any unforeseen weather. And if your ceremony is under the glaring sun, custom sunglasses will keep guests’ eyes shielded and looking cool. Your guests will thank you!


Summer Snacks
Transport your guests back to their childhood days of summer with nostalgic treats. A s’mores kit they can use back at home will have them reminiscing about their time around the campfire. And a DIY candy and dessert bar stocked at the end of the night serving your summer favorites, like saltwater taffy, cotton candy, and popsicles, will leave your guests with a sweet ending they won’t forget.

Give Back
If physical favors aren’t your thing, making a donation in honor of your wedding guests to a summer-themed charity will surely show your guests you care. Did you attend the most magical summer camp? Make a donation towards financial aid for campers who can’t afford to attend otherwise. Or even sports equipment and games at the local Boys and Girls Club or YMCA. Volunteering your time in honor of your guests at a charity race you run in each summer is another great option. The possibilities are endless, and your guests will love the personal sentiment.

Style Me Pretty Contributor – Briana Charlotte is a freelance writer residing in Brooklyn, New York. When she isn’t writing about all things bridal, she can be found on the dance floor at a wedding or bachelorette party.

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Summer Soirée Wedding Favors That Surprise + Delight
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3 Tips On Creating a Tech-Friendly Marriage

Computers and smartphones have become an integral part of today’s romantic relationships. We text about our day, post date night pictures on Instagram, and Netflix and chill when we want to stay home.

Although recent technological advances provide numerous options to stay in touch with our partners, time spent on devices is also a source of tension in many relationships. According to a study by the Pew Research Center, 18% of 18-29-year-olds have argued with a significant other about the amount of time one of them spent online, and 42% said their partner has been distracted by their cell phone.

To guard against these types of relationship problems, couples should negotiate some ground rules for using technology.


Not Everything Should be Posted

For many couples, getting engaged is such an exciting event they want to post pictures of everything from the proposal to the wedding. Although it may be tempting to share it all, some experiences may be more special because you were in the moment instead of documenting it. Also, be mindful that your fiancé may not want to see the chronicles of their life in your feed. When in doubt, ask before you post.

Another reason to be careful about what you post is that employers often check social media when evaluating prospective employees. That picture of your drunken fiancé might not be so funny if it stands in the way of a great new job.


To Share or Not to Share Passwords

According to the Pew Research Center’s study, two-thirds of internet users who are married or in a committed relationship have shared passwords to one or more online accounts. If you and your partner agree on this approach, it may alleviate some concerns about time spent on the phone and computer. On the other hand, you may believe that the level of trust in your relationship makes password sharing unnecessary.

One factor that may impact the password decision is your policy on connections with exes. If, for example, you choose to friend or follow exes, your partner may feel more comfortable knowing your passwords. Whatever choice you make, the key is to be sure about the decision. Once you give your partner access to your phone or social media accounts, it will surely raise a red flag if you later change your mind.


Take Time to Unplug

While it’s essential to determine your guidelines for using technology, it’s just as important to decide when you’ll put down your phones and focus on each other. Depending on schedules, you may want to spend some tech-free time together before work, over dinner or at bedtime.

Additionally, there are two instances when your partner should absolutely receive your undivided attention. No matter how long your lovemaking lasts, it’s not a time to check your phone (a habit 10% of people have). Another time you need to shut down your devices is when your partner needs you. If he or she has experienced a loss, a disappointment at work, or is upset with a friend or family member, you need to be fully present to listen and provide support.

Ultimately, for all the relationship challenges it can create, technology works best when we use it to stay connected to our partner.

Style Me Pr
etty Contributor – Paula Holt is a marriage educator living in Chicago. She is a self-described podcast junkie who enjoys going to restaurants with her family and singing loudly in her car.

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3 Tips On Creating a Tech-Friendly Marriage
Source: Style Me Pretty Blog

Celebrate Outdoor Entertaining with the Ultimate Summer Giveaway

Everyone knows you can’t throw an awesome summer party without an amazing lineup of serveware by your side, and we’re always on the lookout for pieces that are as gorgeous as they are practical. That’s where Nambé and their beautiful lineup of serveware + giftware comes in to play. Think stunning pieces that are one part totally awe-inspiring and one part seriously functional. Scroll for the details on their fab giveaway below.

1. Nambé Forte Ice Bucket 2. Nambé Moderne 12″ Vase 3. Nambé Cabo Salad Bowl 4. Nambé Moderne Glass Pitcher 5. Nambé Forte Condiment Trio

Whether you’re throwing the ultimate BBQ or a sit-down soiree on your patio, Nambé has you covered with items that weave seamlessly between awesome décor and useful serving pieces. We adore their Alloy Collection made from a sweet mix of metals that also happens to retain temperatures by simply setting them in the freezer before use. (Their Tilt Wine Chiller is insane.) And their stunning Forte Collection showcases Nambé Alloy, plus a food-safe lacquered Concrete, and even has the same cold temp retention properties as the Alloy Collection. (We love that.) And if you’re looking for the perfect beachy meets rustic serveware for that next outdoor party, the Cabo Collection has this fab mix of light hues and rustic Ash Wood that is the definition of seaside chic. Bonus? When you’re NOT hosting the party of the summer, these pieces will make your home look extra gorgeous.

6. Nambé Scoop Ice Bucket 7. Nambé Moderne Cake Platter 8. Nambé Cabo Oval Handled Serving Tray 9. Nambé Forte Medium Bowl 10. Nambé Vie Champagne Flute 11. Nambé Cabo Oval Serving Bowl

On the lookout for serving pieces that will stand out above the rest? Check out Nambé on Instagram to get inspired, then head to Bloomingdale’s to peruse all their beautiful products, from their awesome Alloy Collection to their Forte Collection to their Cabo Collection, you’ll most definitely be making a statement at your next get-together.  And don’t forget their stunning Moderne Collection – individually handcrafted glass serveware and giftware mouth-blown and hand-cut by European artisans. They are basically works of art that will def put you on the path to winning #summer2017 in no time at all.

What: Nambé is giving one lucky reader one (1) Cabo Salad Bowl with Servers. (Retail Value $200)

How: Simply follow Nambé on Instagram, then leave a comment below telling us your favorite summer dish. (Ex: I love, love, love to serve up a good macaroni salad!)

Who: One lucky winner, chosen completely at random, will be announced on June 30, 2017. Good luck!

For Terms & Conditions: Click Here

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Celebrate Outdoor Entertaining with the Ultimate Summer Giveaway
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An Ever-After State of Mind Portrait Session

These two. Ten years and one daughter later, and their love is deeper and perhaps more beautiful than ever. Anna Roussos Photography captured their love as it carries on, and every single image makes me tingle. Their looks, cuddles, and smiles say it all, so get lost in this Athens Riviera portrait session.

From Anna Roussos PhotographyHow-we-crossed-paths stories are always so beautiful to hear, but I am admittedly spellbound to capture love not only as it happens, but as it carries on. Raising their 9-year-old daughter Liya and being off-the-football field teammates for 10 years, Opheny and Anthony are the soft and magical forever after!

In its botanical palette and gorgeous milky light, this Athens Riviera airy portrait session is all about their intimate language and history. The inspiration is evident: their steady caress, beautified by affection and the patina of time.

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Photography: Anna Roussos

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An Ever-After State of Mind Portrait Session
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Clean + Classic Nautical Wedding in the Hamptons

A day spent in the Hamptons is always a good idea. Especially when it involves a styled-to-the-nines wedding day photographed by Brklyn View Photography. Think soft and classic with a decidedly nautical vibe, not to mention the prettiest blush Weddington Way bridesmaid dresses you ever did see. Hop to the gallery for even more of this waterside love fest from start to finish.

On a perfect day in the Hamptons, Catherine and Rob were married at the Montauk Yacht Club in front of their closest family and friends. The stunning bride wore the most amazing modern elegant wedding dress from Vera Wang. The groom looked ever bit the part in his custom made tuxedo from Berel and Co. and Ferragamo velvet loafers.

Catherine and Rob have a wonderful sense of style and humor – they love to laugh and have a good time! The couple shared their first look at the Montauk Yacht Club before heading over the to the Montauk Lighthouse for epic portraits with sweeping views of the ocean. Rob gave Catherine a truly stunning wedding gift, a custom diamond necklace made with diamonds from his Mother’s wedding ring. Their ceremony took place outside on the great lawn at the Montauk Yacht Club just as the sun was beginning to set. It was an emotional, touching and joyous ceremony filled with so much love and laughter.

Guests were treated to a cocktail hour outside overlooking the bay before moving inside the Farm Ballroom for the stunning reception. Karen Lenahan Designs created a whimsical Hamptons retreat inside the ballroom with her use of greens and flowers. The Artie Stuart Band from Hank Lane Music brought the house down! Absolutely no one sat down the entire reception!

The newlyweds shared a first dance to Bruce Springsteen and danced the night away with everyone they love so much.

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Photography: Brklyn View Photography | Floral Design: Karen Lenahan Designs | Wedding Dress: Vera Wang | Invitations: Ginger P Designs | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Weddington Way | Hair + Makeup: The House Of Makeup | Lighting: Matt Murphy Event Lighting | Band: Hank Lane Music | Groom’s Attire: Berel & Co. | Groomsmen’s Attire: The Black Tux | Venue: Montauk Point Light | Wedding Venue: Montauk Yacht Club | Bride Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Groom’s Shoes: Ferregamo | Ring Box: The Mrs Box

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Clean + Classic Nautical Wedding in the Hamptons
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6 Refreshing Signature Cocktails For A Summer Wedding

Summer is the perfect season for treating your wedding guests to a refreshing signature cocktail. Whether you’re saying “I Do” on a beach, in a barn, or in your own backyard, your guests will appreciate a beverage that feels light and fresh during the warmer months! Here are a few ideas for cocktails to serve at your summer celebration.

Sparkling Spiked Lemonade

Nothing says summer like a chilled glass of lemonade, and this is one with a little extra oomph your guests will love. Simply add a dash of orange juice, a shot of bourbon, and a few fresh mint leaves to a glass of lemonade.

Cucumber Collins

“A Cucumber Collins is the perfect cocktail for a balmy summer evening,” said Alina Isambert, the president of Thierry Isambert Culinary and Event Design. “The cucumber juice, pressed in-house, is a cool, hydrating summer beverage and mixes beautifully with the other ingredients for a light, tangy, slightly sweet drink.”

The drink combines freshly pressed cucumber juice with fresh lemon and lime juice, Rosemary syrup, a dash of vodka and a garnish of mint, lemon and lime.


Tropical Rum Punch

Having a destination wedding? This smooth drink would be perfect to sip while watching a sunset on a beach!

Combine Malibu Red Rum with mango rum, cranberry juice, pineapple juice, and lemonade. Garnish with some lemon peel twists or pineapple slices.


Grilled Stone Fruit Sangria

Hogan Popkess of Main Course Catering suggests this alternative to a heavy, hard booze cocktail. This Sangria has a base of crisp, dry Riesling followed by grilled peaches, apricots, and plums, peach liqueur, a splash of rum, and is finished with club soda to give it a bit of spritz. Anything fruity makes for a perfect summer drink!

French 75

Some guests will always prefer champagne at a wedding, but it’s easy to liven up the classic for a fun summer cocktail! Create a French 75 by adding a half-shot of gin, a tablespoon of powdered sugar and a dash of lemon juice. Garnish with a lemon peel. This refreshing twist on simple champagne would be a fun take for an upscale summer reception.

Bourbon Arnold Palmer

To bring an Arnold Palmer from a luncheon beverage to a wedding cocktail, just add a splash of bourbon and a splash of peach liqueur to the half-lemonade and half-iced tea drink. Arnold Palmer’s are already a great summer drink, so adding just a bit of alcohol will quench your guests’ thirst and bring the drink up a notch.

Style Me Pretty Contributor – Claire Swinarski is a writer and podcaster based in Wisconsin. When she isn’t writing, she can be found obsessing over football, eating a burrito bowl, or hanging out with her husband and son.

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6 Refreshing Signature Cocktails For A Summer Wedding
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A Windswept Engagement on the Australian Coast

The recipe for a perfect engagement session? Great scenery, great style, and a whole lot of love. And having the one and only Sally Pinera behind the lens certainly doesn’t hurt, either. Take a virtual trip to coastal Australia and see how this session pulls off all of the above.

From the bride… The raw and rugged beauty of the Mornington Peninsula coast and the breathtaking sunset reminds me of the goodness and the faithfulness of our Creator God and the miracle of our lives being intertwined.

Three years ago, our paths crossed and there began a beautiful adventure – more exciting and stretching and yet more amazing and fulfilling in every sense of the word.

Jason’s quiet strength carried me through the many changing seasons in life: his love allows me to flourish and blossom in the safety of his embrace; his constant support and encouragement release me to be more than I could ever imagine and to pursue dreams that are larger than life.

As we relish and savour every moment of the evening, embraced by strong winds and warm golden light, we are so thankful for our beautiful photographer Sally and her husband, Robert who capture our joy, our love and this special season of our lives so well, but also inadvertently inspired us with their marriage and enlarged the vision for ours.

We could not think of a day more magical or more swelled with beauty.

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Photography: Sally Pinera | Florist: The Flower Dispensary | Hair + Makeup: Miss Aimmey | Calligraphy: Jadelee & Co. | Bridal Seperates: Lace & Liberty | Casual Dress: Fame And Partners

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A Windswept Engagement on the Australian Coast
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Bouquet Breakdown: Mauve + Lavender Textural Blooms

Now that we’ve fully immersed ourselves into the beauty of this morning’s inspiration shoot photographed by Jeanni Dunagan, it’s time to take it one step further. We’re breaking down the bouquet that left us speechless – one bloom at a time. Laura’s Floras is delving into details of her bouquet work of art, and you can snag a few pointers to get the look for yourself.

From Laura’s Floras… I find it is so important to draw inspiration for each bouquet from the bride’s dress. This bride’s lacy Claire Pettibone dress begged to be paired with soft, textural florals. Mauve and lavender hellebore and the adorable checkered hellebore brought a touch of color to the floral design, with the purple color adding to the regal feel of the shoot. The cappuccino garden roses were used to help with the color transition between the white blooms and the mauve and lavender flowers. I also chose them because their color goes so beautifully with the sandy tones of the venue.

THE FLORAL RECIPE

Japanese Spirea
White Nerine
White Ranunculus
White Astilbe
White Canteberry Bells
White Sweet Peas
White Double Lisianthus
Dogwood
White Muscari
White Fritillaries
Garden Roses in Caffe Latte, Cappuccino, and White.
White Peonies
Pieris Japonica
Mauve Hellebore

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Photography: Jeanni Dunagan Photography | Event Design: Kelly Oshiro | Floral Design: Laura’s Floras | Wedding Dress: Claire Pettibone | Wedding Dress: Claire Pettibone | Groom’s Attire: The Black Tux | Venue: Sunstone Winery & Villa | Bridal Shoes: Bella Belle | Bridal Shoes: Bella Belle | Headpiece: UntamedPetals | Headpiece: UntamedPetals | Jewlery: 33 Jewels | Ribbon: Tono & Co | Ribbon: Tono & Co

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Bouquet Breakdown: Mauve + Lavender Textural Blooms
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How Many Gifts Does a Bridesmaid Really Need to Buy?

Whether she’s throwing an all-out destination wedding or an intimate backyard affair, the bride knows being in a wedding can be expensive. She does not expect you to shower her with expensive gifts too. You love your friend and want her to have everything she ever dreamed during this time in her life. But every budget has limits.

As the wedding costs add up, the party invitations can add up, too. So how many gifts is a bridesmaid supposed to buy?

Bridal Showers
When it comes to bridal showers, bridesmaids are typically invited to them all. That does not mean you have to travel for each one. But if you do attend, bring a gift. While you aren’t expected to spend a lot, it’s potentially awkward to show up to a party empty-handed, especially if the bride plans to open gifts in front of the guests.

Brides include an array of prices on their registries. If you know you have three showers to attend, set a budget—say $100—and find three gifts within that range. Some stores offer free gift-wrapping, so your present can look like a million bucks, no matter what you spend.

Lingerie Shower
As part of the bachelorette celebration, bridesmaids often band together to host a lingerie shower. This will be the most exclusive invite list, so each bridesmaid should bring a silky, lacy, or flirty selection. Feel free to go a little crazy with this one! A lingerie shower is the inner circle’s chance to spoil the bride in a way only her best friends can.

Wedding
At a minimum, a bridesmaid must send a wedding gift. If you’ve already spent the equivalent of a rent check and a car payment, consider picking something small and thoughtful from the wedding registry. The idea is the couple will have a keepsake to forever think of you from their special day.

Not sure how much to spend? One rule of thumb is to estimate the bride’s cost per guest, then budget that for your gift. If you’re bringing a date, budget that for each of you. Looking for more guidance? Tendr created this handy state-by-state guide to give you an idea of how much other people are giving in your area.

The bride asked you to be in her wedding because it’s most important to have you standing by her side on her big day. Remember, to her, your friendship is the best gift of all.

Style Me Pretty Contributor – Madeline Littrell is a Dallas-based writer and PR strategist. Born and raised in Tennessee, she loves big hair, country music, and chicken fingers.

 

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How Many Gifts Does a Bridesmaid Really Need to Buy?
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Inspired by Old World Elegance and a Serious Love of Lace

Straight out of a European destination wedding, this vineyard inspiration proves you can capture that same spirit and old world charm no matter where your venue resides. Surrounded by the traditional villa-esque beauty of Sunstone Winery, Kelly Oshiro and Laura’s Floras set out to craft a day filled with elegant details and in the genius words of Kelly – “a serious love of lace”. Get inspired to infuse some stunning European beauty into your day with image after gorgeous image captured by Jeanni Dunagan plus a film by Lola Video too.

From Jeanni Dunagan, the photographer… Nestled in the picturesque hills of the Santa Ynez Valley, Sunstone Villa transports you into another time and place. Reminiscent of an old Tuscan manor, Sunstone provides the perfect location for an intimate wedding or elopement. My goal for this project was to infuse European elements – classic architecture from Italy, natural landscape from the olive grove region of Greece, romantic textiles & furnishings from France – to provide inspiration to couples wanting to incorporate elegant European design into their wedding, whether stateside or abroad. From the rustic charm of the villa… To the lush floral design… To the fine lace textures, this European inspired elopement shoot is replete with exquisite details that will inspire a European reverie.

From Kelly Oshiro, the stylist…Inspired by old world elegance and a serious love of lace, I designed this wedding editorial for Jeanni Dunagan Photography. And when it comes to lace wedding dresses, Claire Pettibone’s stunning designs always fit the bill. We chose a long sleeved lace dress with delicate pearl embellishments, booties from Bella Belle which also featured lace and pearls, a delicate pearl headpiece from Untamed Petals and an estate pearl ring from 33 Jewels. For the ceremony design, I used the existing frame at Sunstone Villa and asked the florist to create a Dutch still-life inspired “flower painting” inside the frame featuring spirea, delphinium, and roses. French chairs from Barn Relic made for elegant and comfortable guest seating. For the reception table, I chose an extra long gray farmhouse long table draped with lace linen so the color of the table was still visible. The Ark’s elegant French place settings featured scrolled seating cards by Graceline Calligraphy along with individual flower corsages for guests. The lush florals in tones of white and green with hints of lavender and mauve featured some of my favorite flowers including, white muscari, sweet pea, hellebore, pieris and astilbe arranged in delicate glass and silver footed containers. And what old world inspired shoot would be complete without a vintage getaway vehicle? Or, in this case, a surrey from the 1880’s (and formerly owned by Michael Jackson) and pulled by Mo, the mini donkey.

From Laura’s Floras, the florist… In keeping with the concept of the shoot, I decided to incorporate soft and textural elements into the floral design. I used whites and fresh greenery with touches of sand, mauve, and lavender. The dripping pieris buds, white lilac, astilbe, and lush Spirea are all perfect early spring blooms that are also lace-like in texture. I find it is so important to draw inspiration for each bouquet from the bride’s dress, and these Claire Pettibone designs begged to be paired with soft, textural florals. Mauve and lavender hellebore and the adorable checkered hellebore brought a touch of color to the floral design, and their purple color added to the regal feel of the shoot. The cappuccino garden roses were used to help with the color transition between the white blooms and the mauve and lavender flowers. I also chose them because their color goes so beautifully with the sandy tones of the Villa.

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Photography: Jeanni Dunagan Photography | Cinematography: Lola Video | Event Styling: Kelly Oshiro | Floral Design: Laura’s Floras | Wedding Dresses: Claire Pettibone | Cake: Lele’s Patisserie | Jewelry: 33 Jewels | Hair + Makeup: Janet Villa | Groom’s Attire: The Black Tux | Venue: Sunstone Winery & Villa | Bridal Shoes: Bella Belle | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Ribbon: Tono & Co | Ring Box: The Mrs Box | Stationary + Calligraphy: Graceline Art | Tabletop: The Ark Event Rentals | Veil + Headpiece: Untamed Petals | Vintage Rentals: Barn Relic

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Inspired by Old World Elegance and a Serious Love of Lace
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