Hill City Bride | Virginia Wedding Blog » wedding, DIY and travel blog for brides

I had leftover polymer clay from another project, and I thought – I can make something fun with this! Hence, these DIY faux wax seals. Whether you choose to make these for a holiday or use them for a wedding, shower or thank you notes, these old fashioned seals add in an extra wow factor to an already lovely sentiment.

This post contains affiliate links to Etsy and purchases through those links help our blog to grow. Thank you!Β 

DIY Faux Wax Seals for Envelopes | Hill City Bride Virginia DIY Blog


I’m so excited to share this surprise anniversary session in Old San Juan with you today! Why? Well, it’s me! And my husband of 23 years. We recently went on a Windstar Cruises Caribbean adventure, and we left from Puerto Rico. We haven’t had photos done in years, so I surprised my sweetie with an anniversary session and our first Airbnb experience (see here). I love the results!

Surprise Anniversary Session in Old San Juan Puerto Rico | Hill City Bride Destination Wedding Travel Blog


  • Alex R - Beautiful pics . Congrats πŸ™‚

  • Jennifer - Thank you so much! It was a lot of fun. <3

  • Amiekay - First: Happy Anniversary! You two look so happy and in love. πŸ™‚

    Second: I love Old San Juan! These photos really capture the beauty of the city and make it feel appropriately romantic. I love that the photographer went the extra mile too to check out your blog! That’s the way to make yourself stand out from the crowd for sure.

  • Jennifer - That is all so sweet! And yes – he was such a nice photographer. I’m so happy with the results. <3

  • ANITA ZYCH - Beautiful website

  • Nathan - Lovely photos, you guys look so cute together! Looks like a great anniversary you had πŸ™‚

  • Jennifer - Thank you so much! We really did enjoy our timee. <3

  • Jennifer - Thank you so much, Anita! Sometimes I think about changing it, but I really do like it. <3

  • Tahnee - This is cute and you got some great pics!

  • Jennifer - Thank you so much! I love them. <3

So, he popped the question. Congrats! Now it’s time for you to ask your besties to be by your side for your big day. But how do you ask them? Well, I have 9 bridesmaid proposal gift ideas to share with you today!

Etsy affiliate links are used in this post, and a purchase made helps keep our blog going.Β 

Bridesmaid Proposal Gift Ideas | Hill City Bride Virginia Wedding Blog


  • Lisa - The wine idea is super cute and fun. These are all so sweet and who could say no with such lovely gifts?

  • Jennifer - Aw! Thank you. I tried to come up with a fun roundup for sure! πŸ™‚

  • Echoesofhervoice - Super cute ideas! Thank you for sharing!

  • Jennifer - Thank you! I think any bridesmaid would love them <3

Yay for Galentine’s Day! Yes, that’s right – not Valentine’s. No matter what your relationship status, why not get the girls together and have a lovely celebration of your own? I love the Galentine’s Day party ideas I have for you today. Why? Well, most of all because they are fun and easy to implement in a pinch. Have a happy day, and celebrate your friends!



  • Michelle - Great design by Teal Coast Events!

  • Jennifer - Agreed! I think it is all so pretty AND attainable. I feel that it would be a quick and easy thing to do to gather your besties! <3 Thanks for stopping in! xox

  • Kasia - Such wonderful ideas here for a ladies day. I’d love to throw a party like this one day. And yes, who doesn’t love cupcakes!!!

  • ledi villanueva - I love this post. Thank you for sharing <3 i enjoyed reading.

  • Niki - Oh I’m so in for a Galentine’s Day! Too bad that most my female friends are scattered around Europe. I will definitely throw a Galentine’s party once we are all gathered together!

  • Jennifer - Yes! Such a fun idea. πŸ™‚

  • Jennifer - Thanks! Lots of fun ideas. πŸ™‚

  • Jennifer - And personalized ones at that! πŸ˜‰

  • Amiekay - Oh, I love Galentine’s Day! My friends and I celebrate every year but I’ve never been to a party as chic as this one! I’ll definitely have to keep it in mind for next year.

  • Jen - This party is divine! You paid such close attention to detail. I love everything about this!

  • Jennifer - Thanks! The team did a great job – I only posted it. πŸ˜‰

  • Dylan - Great event, great team, great business owner.

  • Echoesofhervoice - I have never heard of Galentine’s Day but I love it. We should celebrate our friendships. Thanks for educating me about this day!

  • Basundhara Ghosh - Such beautiful pictures ! Spending V-day with your besties is a great idea, because you know they will be always at your side πŸ™‚

  • Jennifer - Thank you! Yes… it’s a great way to just have fun. <3

  • Jennifer - Aw, yay! It’s a fairly new thing, I think. <3

Are you looking for a fun gift to give to your bridesmaids? This is even a fun project you ladies can all do together! I can picture someone giving these as a gift with a sentiment such as “You’re a Key-per” or “Here’s the Key to my Heart”… so adorable. This patina key necklace is super easy to make, and if you are wondering how to age metal, this technique will work. It’s especially effective on bronze, copper and brass.

This post contains affiliate links to Etsy and purchases through those links help our blog to grow. Thank you!Β 

DIY Patina Key Necklace Vintage How to Age Metal | Hill City Bride Virginia Wedding Blog


  • Iva Ursano - Awe how adorable!! What a brilliant idea. xoxo

  • Jennifer - Thank you! They are fun to make, too. <3

  • Laura - How cool is this? I always find keys at yard sales – totally trying this! <3

  • Jennifer - Yes! I purchased mine off of Etsy, but I am totally going to look for them at yard sales, too. It’s a fun project! <3

  • Sherry - Oh my how fun and beautiful! My daughter loves keys and this looks like a great project to do with her this weekend! Thank you for sharing.

  • Jennifer - Yes! It’s so easy – very gratifying because it’s so fast. <3

  • Tahnee flack - What an unusual way to patina. I’ve not heard of it before but I love it!

  • Echoesofhervoice - Such a creative idea! I love it.

  • Jennifer - Yes! It’s fun and easy. <3

  • Jennifer - Thank you! I love how it turned out. <3

  • Rachel Antony - This is a great idea! I love the vintage look of the key!

  • Jennifer - Thank you so much! I am planning on making more, too. <3

I adore winery weddings! The setting is always so beautiful with grapevines and views as you will see in this lovely spring vineyard wedding today. Plus, lovely pastels come into play with the beautiful purples and pinks. Beautiful!

Spring Vineyard Wedding | Hill City Bride Virginia Weding Blog


  • Tahnee - This is gorgeous! I can’t wait to get married and now I found your blog it’s full of great inspo x

  • Niki - Omg! Such a lovely venue!!

  • Jennifer - Isn’t it?? It’s so lovely!! Thank you for stopping by. <3

  • Jennifer - Thank you! I try. Ha! Let me know if you ever have questions. <3

Recently my husband and I went on a cruise (more on that later!), and we left from Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. Our plans were to arrive a day early so that we could explore the city. I decided to surprise my husband (his name is Earl) with our very first Airbnb experience – it was definitely one of a kind!

Want to try Airbnb? Click here for $40 credit on a $75+ trip! I get $20 towards Airbnb if you use it. Safe and happy travels!Β 

First Airbnb Experience Old San Juan Puerto Rico | Hill City Bride Virginia Travel Wedding Blog


  • Basundhara Ghosh - This does look like a unique and remarkable Airbnb. Actually many times they do turn out to be quite memorable. For example, one I took in Paris was on the top floor of a really old building – a huge, huge apartment, with piles of old books and a piano and everything. It was an experience !

  • Jennifer - I love that! It sounds so interesting. It’s fun to be able to find one of a kind places like that. <3

  • Roselle Toledo - I haven’t tried staying in an AirBNB accommodation yet. I’ve always been a hotel or serviced residences type because I feel safer. But I’m looking forward to my first AirBNB experience this year. I must tick it off my bucket list.

  • Jennifer - It’s a fun thing for sure! I have the coupon code you can use to save, too. <3

  • Tahnee - I have yet to try an airbnb but i really should. All the locations are so much more personal than a hotel. So lovely and this place looks so unique I love It!

  • Jennifer - Yes, that’s so true. There really are unique places, and you can score some great deals. <3

  • Iva Ursano - Awe I love your cute little video. What a sweet place you got there!! Great blog too!

  • Jennifer - Thank you!! We thoroughly enjoyed our time there! πŸ™‚

  • Nicole - Yessss!! I love Airbnb! Looks like a great time!

  • Jennifer - Thank you so much, Nicole! We had a ton of fun. <3

  • Lisa - Truly the best reason for booking through Airbnb is the cool places you can find to stay! This little place looks super unique and added to how much you enjoyed your trip. Bonus!!

  • Jennifer - Yes, so true! I love the uniqueness. <3

  • Kasia - Thank you so much for sharing your first Airbnb experience. I’ve never tried it. I’ve heard mixed reviews and I have to admit I’ve been a bit afraid of it. But like you said do your research properly and you can find a gem. What a lovely little place. That swinging bridge is amazing, not for carrying suitcases but otherwise love it.

  • Amiekay - The funky rooftop shack looks like a great time! It has so much personality. I’ve always loved AirBnB’s for this reason and am glad you had a wonderful first experience. (Also, San Juan is amazing!!)

  • Niki - The reason why I love AirBnb apartments is because you get the local feeling of each place. You feel like you have a home for a while in a city which is cool! I’m glad you enjoyed it πŸ™‚

  • Jennifer - Agreed on all accounts! We had so much fun in San Juan. πŸ™‚

  • Jennifer - Yes! I was afraid a bit, too, but I think a little research pays off a lot in the long run! πŸ™‚ Lol on the suitcases – my husband didn’t like that part but otherwise loved it. <3

  • Echoesofhervoice - This is so cool… it looks like you had a great time. I’ve never tried an airbnb and not sure if I ever will. But thank you for allowing me to live vicariously through you!

  • Jonia - Thanks for sharing your first experience with Airbnb, I’m glad it was a success. I’ve haven’t stayed in an Airbnb yet but I have looked into it. The rooftop and that walkway are so cool! Definitely an added bonus!

  • Thena Franssen - I’ve stayed at an air bnb once, and it was a great experience. I would do it again in a moment.

  • Jennifer - We had so much fun!! πŸ™‚

  • Jennifer - Yes! It was fabulous. <3

  • Matt - That looks amazing, I love the swing bridge entrance. I’ve used Air B&B a few times and never been disappointed. It’s a great way to find some truly unique properties. Just be sure you pay attention to the details and reviews, as you guys obviously did. Great stuff.

  • Jennifer - Yes! I read SO many reviews before I went. We loved it so much, we are thinking of making our basement apartment into one! πŸ™‚

  • Kelly Edgar - I’m glad you enjoyed you first airbnb experience. I love using airbnb, it comes for a more authentic stay at the location. This place looks pretty cool too!

  • Jennifer - Thank you, Kelly! Honestly, we couldn’t have asked for a better experience for our first. <3

When it comes to weddings, professionals experience dozens of events each year. Although it’s natural to think of wedding planners, photographers, florists and the like,Β one group of individuals gains wedding experience in a different way. Wedding bloggers have hundreds of weddings cross their computer screens, which helps them keep up with what’s en vogue around the world.

Favorites from Wedding Bloggers | Hill City Bride Virginia Wedding Blog


  • Laurence - These are great photos!

  • Jennifer - Thank you! I work with some fabulous photographers. <3

  • Enele Ogah - The photos and post itself was amazing!!!!
    Well done!!

  • Jennifer - Thank you! I know a really great group of ladies who really know weddings. <3

Part of your wedding planning is preparing your new home together, and even if you are already sharing a space or combining two households of items, there are still ways to freshen up your room and make it a retreat. Where we sleep is supposed to be a respite, a haven of sorts. It’s a place to get rest, relax and, yes, to connect with your partner. So, I have a list of cozy bedroom ideas for you soon-to-be newlyweds out there. Enjoy!

This post is sponsored by Tomorrow Sleep and contains affiliate links, yet all opinions are mine (and my husband’s) after receiving our own mattress and pillows. If you would like to save $100 on your own system, be sure to check out Tomorrow Sleep hereΒ and use the code HILLCITY100.Β 

Cozy Bedroom Ideas for Newlyweds | Hill City Bride Virginia Wedding Blog with Tomorrow Sleep


  • Basundhara Ghosh - Wow this bed looks so cosy and the perfect one for cuddling πŸ˜‰ Thanks for sharing.

  • Jennifer - It is! Thank you so much for stopping by! <3

  • Cye - Wow! I love those blankets and covers…

  • Rachel - Oo I love all these ideas! I’m not married but I would still love them in my new house!

  • Niki - I’m already married and I wish I had read this before! I really need to spice things ups with some candles and other romantic stuff πŸ™‚ Never too late I guess!

  • Roselle Toledo - Great ideas! Bedroom makeover is on my list for 2nd quarter of 2018 and I’ve been reading a lot for tips and ideas lately,

  • Tahnee - So many great tips! I agree a bedroom should be your private quiet place. Thanks for sharing a great post

  • Jessica bradshaw - This is great! Your photos are so pretty and your bedroom is gorgeous!!

  • Kelly Edgar - Your space is so dreamy! Love the decor

  • Echoesofhervoice - Love the ideas and your decor! Thank you for sharing!

  • Karishma - These sure are some fantastic ideas. I’ve never thought of candles. Gonna try them. Thanks for sharing a great post

  • Christine - Bed looks so comfy and the photo of you smiling makes me smile too. Love the tips as well.

  • Robie Lynn Morrison - Even though I am the Mother of the Groom, this is great advice at ANY age and no matter how many years of marriage! πŸ™‚ This should be the one room in your home that you and your husband can go as your sanctuary, away from it all!

  • Jennifer - Aw! I love that. It is great for ANY stage of marriage!! πŸ™‚ xox

  • Jennifer - Aw, thank you! I wish that was me. <3

Love needs to be celebrated! When you get married it’s for a lifetime, not just for a day, right? I adore it when couples do anniversary sessions to showcase their commitment as you will see in Matt and Amber’s sentimental 5 year vow renewal. So stunning!


  • Allie - Stunning work! Love the details and you captured the love between them perfectly. It’s so encouraging seeing couples continue to pursue each other and celebrate their marriage. Just gorgeous!

  • Jennifer - Yes! It’s so beautiful when couples continue to celebrate. <3

  • megan beaver - I loved this. I never had areal wedding myself and I am considering renewing my vows this was very helpful.

  • Niki - We do not do vow renewals in our culture, yet I would love to do it! Sounds so romantic and I would definitely enjoy it more than my wedding. It would be stress free! :p

  • Jennifer - I’d love to do this also! It would be a fun thing to plan to celebrate love. <3

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