5 Popular Millennial Wedding Trends

Millennials are about the memories and the moments. There’s no denying that this generation has redefined the wedding industry. They are breaking the molds and reforming the pieces into the makings of new traditions. Which of these top-rated millennial wedding trends will you incorporate in your celebration?

Customized Rings

Couples these days prefer one-of-a-kind engagement rings and wedding bands that reflect their particular personalities and relationships. Diamonds aren’t a thing of the past, but they’re getting a run for their money from more colorful, exotic and affordable options, like rubies and sapphires. Rose gold, palladium, and platinum are more popular than yellow gold, and stacked sets are all the rage.

Themed Invitations

Eschewing the traditional extends to invitations as well. Millennials want invitations that tie-in with their wedding theme. DIY invites are popular and millennials support sustainable options. For example, they’ll happily upcycle old lace, burlap and dried flowers.

Out-of-the-Box Venues

Millennials find that it’s easier to design precisely what they want in unorthodox spaces like barns, beaches, flower gardens and open fields. This generation is climate-conscious and favors carbon-neutral events.

 Personalized Everything

Tying in with customized rings, millennials want everything to be personalized. This includes invites, décor, signature drinks, wedding party gifts and the list goes on.

Rollicking Receptions

Remember when wedding receptions were dry as toast, filled with droning speech after speech, interspersed with renditions of the Electric Slide and the Funky Chicken? Those days are officially over. Today, there is more focus on the party celebrating the marriage. Entertainment is key, whether it be a charismatic DJ, engaging photobooth or captivating live performance.

 Written by Tess DiNapoli

Bachelorette Party Gifts Any Bride-to-Be Will Love

On her last night out as a single lady, you want to cherish and long remember the good times and fun you ladies have had. Not only have fun but also top off the event by giving the bride-to-be a present she will absolutely adore and make her even shed a tear. Okay, there can be some useful presents as well. Nevertheless, a bride-to-be deserves only the greatest things from her maid of honor and bridesmaids. Some of the following ideas will surely wow every bride.

Signature Bubbly

Every bride likes sparkles, and when there is sparkling wine all around, who would say no to that? Wine doesn’t have an expiration date neither does your friendship and love. Try contacting your local winery to see if they will allow you to order a special rosé and name it after your bride. Another idea is to order a custom label to display on the bottle. It could be the date of the bachelorette’s party and/or include a special sentimental note to her on it.

One-Of-A-Kind jewelry

Jewelry symbolizes elegance and uniqueness which is exactly how the bride-to-be must feel on her special day. Jewelry is something she can hang on to forever as a keepsake of her last single night out with her best friends. Moon necklaces are always a fabulous choice to give to the bride if you are in doubt about what to choose. Besides being trendy, this type of necklace reflects the women’s inner beauty and strength, hence their vast popularity.

Wedding Survival Kit

Funny as it may sound, but this present will surely be an extravagant and useful one to give to your bride. A classical wedding survival kit has all the necessities needed for that day and for “just-in-case” situations. A pair of scissors, tissues, bobby pins, mascara, lip balm, small deodorant, and so on. The maid of honor could carry it with her, but if some mishap occurs, the bride will be more than grateful.

Sizzling Lingerie

One present that will surely be used very productively is sexy lingerie. What a good way to prep your friend for a hot honeymoon than by dressing her up in a jaw-dropping outfit. Even if she blushes and neglects the need of wearing such underwear, remind her of the importance of keeping the marriage spicy. And there is no better way to spice it off like the honeymoon.

Spa Day

There is bound to be tension and anxiety over the wedding, so why not give your bride a spa weekend where she would totally immerse in herself? Book and pay for the best weekend getaway possible. Hire a male masseur for a deep tissue massage, spend hours in the sauna, sip champagne along the way and simply unwind.

She deserves the best, so do your best to have a night to remember. Whatever you opt to give her as a present, it will undoubtedly be appreciated.

Written By: Stella Green Thompson

Wedding Bouquets: Themes & Colors For Spring/Summer

Flowers draw us in with their beauty and scent, but most importantly their color. There are many dazzling shades of pinks, soft blue pastels and bold sunshine yellows that are trending for the spring and summer season. Scroll down to see beautiful wedding bouquets, along with color circles, to inspire you for your wedding bouquet(s). Remember, love blooms no matter the season.

Whimsical

This arrangement is a fairy tale dream come true. The rosy and blush colors add a soft touch to this stunning bouquet that any bride would be happy to carry. Photo by Hannah Mink Photography. 

Nautical

Set sail down the aisle with this sea-loving arrangement with colors from the ocean and sand. The soft colors of pastel blue and green add a beautiful touch to any wedding by the water. Photo by Dave McIntosh Photographics.

Romantic

Dazzle in the rich colors of rose and pastel pink in this fragrant bouquet. This arrangement is perfect for all seasons and will be sure to catch everyone’s eyes with its natural beauty. Photo by High Contrast Photography.

Sunkissed

Say “I Do” to the sunshine with this bright arrangement of cheerful yellows. The beautiful roses and sunflowers are elegant, while still giving the classic country look. Photo by High Contrast Photography.

Written By: Kristen Fox

Simple Ways To Save On Your Way To I Do

For some people, the thought of planning their wedding can be overwhelming, especially if they are working with a limited budget. Weddings are meant to be happy occasions, celebrating love and the joining of two families. Avoid the worry and try out these easy ways to save, so your wedding is a time you can enjoy instead of being too stressed.

Combine & Consolidate When You Can

One useful money-saving tip to consider involves consolidating some of your print items that you may need for the day of your wedding. Many people have name cards printed for each guests’ spot at the tables in the reception hall. Another item some couples have made up is an itinerary listing all of the speakers and sections of the ceremony.

You could cut back on the number of prints you need by getting one large seating chart that has all the names and placements, or one large itinerary for everyone to view. Apply this idea whenever it might be possible to make one or fewer prints and you’ll cut back considerably on your spending. Photo below by Katie Horseman Photography. 

Ways To Minimize Wardrobe Costs

For better or for worse, weddings are becoming more and more of a production. There is more pressure to have each and every wedding-related event a picturesque celebration. Brides and guests alike spring for new outfits to mark the occasion. This can really add up for the bride. You’ll have your engagement party, your shower, your bachelorette, the rehearsal and potentially duplicate events for different areas of family and friends.

Take stock of the options you already have that could be hiding in the back of your closet, where most formal clothing tends to wait for their triumphant return. In the instance that you need to buy a few things to freshen up your options consider shopping second-hand. Optimize your time and energy by shopping at an online thrift store to find the styles and prices that are right for you.

Alternative Gifts

An ingenious gift alternative to consider giving your guests, is setting up your dessert station in a manner in which that allows people to easily take their favorite desserts home. Having dessert options is already a standard part of a wedding reception and a cost you will likely already be incurring.

By providing take-home bags or boxes for a relatively low cost, you can double-dip on the desserts and also make them the gift. By serving double duty dessert favors you also help to ensure you’re not stuck with too many leftovers and can help prevent food waste. Photo below by Katie Horseman Photography. 

7 Phenomenal Food Ideas For Your Winter Wedding

Winter weddings require special, fun planning. The weather is a major contender in what venue you choose and what your dress looks like, but it especially plays a role in how your guests experience your big day. The right decor will make your venue look as toasty as your guests feel once they’re inside, but then what’s on the menu? Every wedding guest looks forward to the ceremony and quickly grabbing a plate at the reception right afterward.

Avoid serving your guests cold food on a cold winter day. Instead, try including these seven phenomenal food ideas for your winter wedding in your menu. They’ll love each dish almost as much as they love supporting you.

Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup

Tomato soup is an easy food that pleases guests, even those with food allergies. Serve it in small glasses with a slice of grilled cheese for a quick and easy appetizer. You can also make it one of your main dishes if you’re a hardcore fan of the combination like most people.

Mac and Cheese Bites

Cold weather makes people turn to comfort food. Serve a classic mac and cheese recipe at your winter wedding or get creative with it by ordering mac and cheese bites with bite-sized grilled chicken pieces or bacon on top.

Hot Chocolate With Toppings

After your guests take their first few bites, they’ll love washing everything down with hot chocolate. Make the experience more fun by providing popular hot chocolate toppings, like marshmallows or whipped cream and candy canes for stirring.

Pan-Roasted Sea Scallops

Seafood and winter weddings blend perfectly when you pan roast food like sea scallops for a steamy entree. They’re bite-sized and easy to fill up on, so everyone can get the portion size they prefer.

Chocolate Lava Cakes

Lava cakes make for gorgeous dessert pictures and an even tastier dish. Order a few platefuls with your catering or make them on your own by spending just fifteen minutes in your kitchen.

Salmon Pasta With Garlic Sauce

Fish is known as a summer menu item, but you can still serve it at your winter wedding. Pair skinless salmon with fettuccine to create easy salmon pasta, all topped with a creamy garlic sauce your guests will adore. Photo via saltandlavender.com

Endless S’mores Bar

Start a bonfire outside or set up a charcoal pit inside so your guests can enjoy an endless s’mores bar at your reception. Include creative ingredients for extra fun, like candy and different flavored marshmallows. Photo via Pinterest Oh Best Day Ever. 

Choose What You Love

At the end of the day, your wedding is all about what you love. Choose the foods that will make you happy after saying your vows. Comfort foods, desserts and seafood are all great foods to build your menu around while you’re still planning your winter wedding.

Written By: Kacey Bradley 

Kacey is the blogger behind The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Along with writing for her blog, she has written for sites like U.S. News, SUCCESS, Guides for Brides, Hotel Online and more! Follow Kacey on Twitter and subscribe to her blog to keep up with her travels and inspiring posts!

Finances To Discuss Before Marriage

Your wedding day is sure to be full of bliss, excitement and love, but what comes after is just as, if not more, important to enjoy – your marriage. It’s obvious that the two of you are compatible to take this next step in your lives together and we want to make sure you’re set up for success.

Many couples fail to have the discussion of finances before marriage. Speaking openly about finances before and during your marriage will help you avoid the strain that this topic can put on relationships if handled poorly.  If you’re unsure of where to start, take a look at these vital things to discuss regarding your finances so your marriage can start off on the right foot.

Debt 

Discuss any debt you each may have. Not knowing this information can impede future purchases, like a home or car. Some common forms of debt include student loans, mortgages, car payments and credit cards. These can all be fairly crippling to credit scores if the debt is not paid off in a timely manner. Rather than keep these problems in the dark, face these worries from the start so you can build trust as a couple moving forward. 

Buying A House

Oftentimes right before or immediately after a couple gets married, they buy a home to start their life in. It’s important to discuss who will be responsible for the mortgage and other bills. Similar to having debt, your individual finances will greatly affect the types of loans you are eligible for. Talk with a professional mortgage lender about your options and whether or not you qualify for things like first-time home buyer options that may have better terms for newlyweds. Then you will know exactly how much you can afford when leafing through houses for sale and ensure you’re not paying too much in the future. 

Merging Your Bank Accounts

Once you’re married, you will be considered one by the court of law. Therefore, this is the perfect time to discuss whether or not you will be merging your bank accounts. With a merged account, you can pay for general household expenses such as utilities, mortgage payments and groceries. Also, you can use it on things that you do together such as date nights or vacation. It’s fine to have a separate account where you manage your own spending on items that you personally want. Choose a financial institution that works for both of you as your accounts will have to be with the same bank or credit union. 

Discussing things like finances might seem like they could put a damper on your big day. In reality, handling this matter directly will actually lead to fewer financial conflicts down the road. Set you and your partner up for success from the get-go to ensure the delight of your wedding day continues into your marriage.

Tips For A Backyard Wedding

If you’re making plans to stroll down the aisle with that special someone, a backyard wedding is a terrific way to tie the knot, especially during these times. Below are just some of the benefits of having a backyard wedding and some planning tips if you decide it is for you.

Backyard Wedding Benefits

There are a lot of awesome benefits of getting married in your own outdoor space. A few include…

  • The ability to choose any wedding date and time
  • Saves money, since there are generally less guests (which in turn is less rentals, food, etc)
  • Pets can easily be a part of the celebration
  • It’s intimate and carries sentimental value
  • Can include numerous original personal touches

The Logistics

Thinking a backyard wedding could be for you? Start with the logistics. Realistically, how many guests can your backyard accommodate? Create an excel spreadsheet with your guest list and reassess if need be. Discuss finances and allocate responsibilities. Determine which vendors you can pass on due to the venue and which are essential to your celebration.

Find out if you need a special license to host an official ceremony in your private space. Consider purchasing wedding insurance just in case of the unfortunate event that a guest gets injured on your property. Furthermore, have a plan in place to remove any potential hazards from your yard. Also, consider your power sources and if they will be sufficient for the music, lighting, caterer and more. Additionally, assess your parking situation, notify your neighbors in advance and have a plan B in place.

Plan B 

There’s no way to  predict the weather, so its imperative to have a “Plan B” location in place. Whether that be a tent, indoor space on your property, or a completely different location. Having these safeguards in place will keep your nerves at bay and keep the celebrations going.

Timeline

Although you have the ability to choose the day and time, be mindful of your guests and neighbors. Choose a start time that is convenient for your guests, especially if it is taking place on a weekday. Also, decide on an end time and stick to it as a courtesy to your neighbors. The after party can always take place at a nearby bar. Consider yard games and activities that can entertain guests while you’re busy taking wedding photos.

Theme & Décor 

Once you’ve addressed all of the logistics, the fun begins. Think of planning your outside wedding, in the same manner you’d do in every other venue. What will your theme be? What type of decor do you want? What special touches can you add? You’re probably already running on different DIY thoughts, which lead you to choose a backyard wedding in the first place. Below are some suggestions to inspire you even more. 

  • Hang outdoor string lights to create a warm, magical atmosphere
  • Complement the outdoors by using textured/ patterned tablecloths or runners
  • Use freshly cut flowers as table centerpieces
  • Embrace the space with sofas, chairs and other furniture
  • Laminate photos and string them together to display
  • Let the season and their colors influence the décor, flowers, attire and more

Photos by Katie Horseman Photography

What To Know About Virtual Dress Shopping

Weddings and the surrounding events will likely look different for quite some time. As couples now prepare for ultra-intimate — or even virtual – weddings, or are looking to purchase a wedding dress for late 2020 or 2021, virtual dress shopping provides a safe way to have that once-in-a-lifetime shopping experience. Here’s what you need to know…

1. Experience & Customer Service is Important 

Go with a shop that has experienced consultants. Narrowing down dresses is much easier when you’re working with someone who knows what they’re doing and has a knack for pulling the right dresses.

2. Understand the Process 

When you call a shop to inquire about a virtual appointment, make sure you get details like how you will connect, how long a consultant will spend with you and how they will showcase the dresses they pull so you can see fit and details.

3. Ask About Next Steps 

As stores re-open, shopping will be altered dramatically. Ask the shop how they plan to handle selecting your final dress after shopping virtually, what precautions they’re taking and how your experience may be affected.

4. It may be different than you imagined, but still fun! 

Virtual dress shopping may not be what you envisioned, but it can still be a lot of fun for you and your wedding party. Talk with the bridal shop you choose and see if they’re able to include multiple family members or friends on the virtual experience. The more support you have, the more “real” the experience will feel.

virtual dress shopping at Gamberdellas

Grab a bottle of champagne and toast to crossing the dress off your list with ease. 

Mary Gamberdella, owner of Gamberdella in Towson, MD, has been serving brides for more than 40 years. Last year, Gamberdella’s massive renovation included technology upgrades with a special in-room camera and floor-to-ceiling TV screen so brides can shop virtually and include out-of-state bridesmaids and family members unable to travel while they shop for the perfect dress. Gamberdella recently launched its Get Bridal Ready campaign, a virtual shopping experience where brides can start the process online and finish in store.

To learn more visit: https://gamberdella.webflow.io/ 

Photos Courtesy of Gamberdella

Shelby & Cole: 08.02.20 Real Wedding

Photographer: High Contrast Photography / Wedding Venue: Vandiver Inn / Dress and Suit by Calvin Klein 

Cole and I got engaged in September 2018, and agreed to have a longer engagement to make the wedding planning process less stressful. Then came COVID-19. Initially, I was not very concerned, but slowly our pre-wedding events were postponed. In mid-May, the time came to postpone our big June celebration.

Fortunately, my engagement ring had a matching
wedding band that we selected via text message…

Cole and I still wanted to get married and did not want to wait any longer. We asked our amazing venue, Vandiver Inn about having a private ceremony that weekend in June and scheduling the same weekend in 2021 to celebrate our wedding reception and first anniversary. With less than a week before our plans, I found out I had been exposed to COVID-19. I could not get a rapid test, so we postponed our private ceremony. Fortunately, I was negative. 

Shelby’s engagement ring and wedding band designed by Martin Flyer for Smyth Jewelers / Cole’s wedding band by Manly Bands
Amanda’s Florist 

The time between our original June date to our August 2nd wedding day went by so slowly. I kept knocking on wood anytime I would discuss the wedding in fear of jinxing ourselves. I had another ‘crisis’ when the zipper of my dress broke and I had to find a new dress the week of the wedding. I scrambled into Macy’s and quickly came across a beautiful Calvin Klein dress that I ultimately wore. It coordinated well with Cole’s suit that he wore as a ‘brides-man’ in his sister’s wedding. Fortunately, my engagement ring had a matching wedding band that we selected via text message with Smyth Jewelers. 

Hair and Makeup by Lita at Swept, LLC

The morning of the ceremony I was surprised at how calm I was. By the time I walked down the aisle, I was thrilled! In attendance were my parents, my two brothers, Cole’s parents, and my matron of honor who is also married to our wedding officiant/friend. Other members of our family and wedding party were able to watch on Zoom. We selected to read the poem, “All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten” by Robert Fulghum because we met in college as aspiring teachers. Also, we both started our careers as kindergarten teachers. After we stated to each other the vows we had written, the ceremony was over and I felt a rush of relief! We continued our celebration nearby, at  MacGregor’s Restaurant in their private banquet room. It was a simple, but fun day nonetheless, and we look forward to continuing with our celebrations into 2021!

Written By: Shelby B.

Before Canceling, Consider If A Micro Wedding Is Right For You

COVID-19 has turned so many of our lives upside-down, from work-related changes to financial struggles. There is one part of life that doesn’t have to change, though. You can still marry the love of your life. Before canceling the big day, consider if a micro wedding, with just your spouse-to-be and a few beloved guests, is right for you.

1. Ideally, what would be your guest list size?

The idea of a micro wedding revolves around lowering your guest count to under 50 people. It brings your wedding back to an intimate celebration of your commitment surrounded with those closest to you. In larger weddings, you are splitting your time between your many guests and are lucky if you get a little more than a few words with each of them.

Micro weddings allow you to relax and spend true quality time with your smaller number of guests. Katie Horseman Photography.

2. Are you looking to lower your wedding budget?

The average cost of a wedding in the US is $33,900 — that’s some major sticker shock.

Micro weddings, on the other hand, are dramatically less expensive. By minimizing your guest list, you save money on nearly every part of the process. You and your spouse can put your money toward starting your lives together instead.

3. Would you consider non-traditional venues?

If you are searching for a Saturday evening date at a traditional wedding venue, your options will be somewhat limited. This is particularly true as 2020 brides shift their original wedding dates to the fall or into 2021. If you only need space for a few close friends or family members, on the other hand, the world is your oyster.

You’ll have your pick of romantic venues, unique locales, and beautiful backdrops.

Micro Weddings Combining Safety and Bliss

The uncertainty that comes from COVID-19 may throw us all for a loop.  Just know that as you look towards the near future, there will be options to have a wedding day you’ll love and cherish for the rest of your life.

Events by Yosira has simplified the wedding planning process by providing a micro wedding package in the Annapolis area. To learn more about the service  CLICK HERE.