Hill City Bride | Virginia Wedding Blog » a wedding blog to inspire brides

Happy almost 4th of July! I truly hope you will be enjoying a relaxing day with friends and family, and I wanted to share some patriotic inspiration with you in the form of red, white and blue dress ideas. The BEST part? These are all rentable gowns from Rent the Runway, which means that whether you choose them for bridesmaids, a rehearsal dinner, a getaway or as a frock to wear as a wedding guest, these are all easy on the budget. Have fun perusing these ideas today!

This post contains affiliate links for RTR, which don’t cost you any extra but help our blog. Yay! 

5 Red White and Blue Dress Ideas to Rent from Rent the Runway as seen on Hill City Bride Virginia Wedding Blog

Our red, white and blue dress ideas flow as you would read a book. Enjoy!

  1. I adore this gown with a plethora of colors. Gorgeous! With a high low look of an asymmetrical hemline, this is perfect for more formal events with its criss cross back, which would also work for your bridesmaids. Pair it with strappy sandals for a summery feel! Floral Jadore Gown, $105-$120 rental ($550 retail)
  2. It can get so hot at summer outdoor weddings, so why not consider this red and white dress? Gorgeous! With a cold shoulder style and lovely embroidery, this gown gives off a boho vibe. Red Cassie Maxi, $30-$65 rental ($299 retail)
  3. Love red? This is another dress with an asymmetrical hemline and a light lacy pattern to add interest. A round neck is paired with an interesting criss cross back for a dressier look. I can so picture this as a bridesmaid dress. Stunning! Red Abstract Floral Dress, $90-$105 rental ($595 retail)
  4. Adore Lilly Pulitzer? Well, you can rent it! Wearing white to a wedding may be taboo for some, but this dress with its gold crochet neckline has just enough style to not outside the wedding gown. This would also make the perfect exit dress as you leave your wedding. Resort White Pearl Shift, $30-$65 rental ($195 retail)
  5. This cobalt blue off the shoulder dress is stunning! It’s perfect for cooler summer nights to give you a strapless feel while still covering your arms a bit. Cobalt Off the Shoulder Dress, $30-$65 rental ($295 retail)

Didn’t find a frock to suit your needs? Rent the Runway has several options for you to choose from – and it’s not just all red, white and blue. Just take a peek at their full collection here – and they have other options besides dresses, too! If you adore white, check out our inspiration here.

Whether you choose to get together with your bridesmaids the day of the wedding or beforehand to celebrate, it’s nice to have an event to honor those ladies that hold a special place in our heart. A summer coastal bridesmaid luncheon is the perfect way to do so!

Coastal Bridesmaids Luncheon as seen on Hill City Bride Wedding Blog

Take a peek at our tips on how to create your own coastal bridesmaid luncheon.

  • Gather coastal elements for your own event. Scour thrift stores and vintage haunts for truly unique elements. Take note of the adorable mermaid figurine and the mermaid salt spoon. Adorable! Seashore themed new elements, such as the seahorse double bowl and glass serving tray are subtle yet high impact. Take special note of the white octopus figurine, and seashells, which are free from the ocean if you are willing to do some collecting. A silver crab bowl and the centerpiece of faux coral in aqua add a bit of panache to the event.
  • Here plates made of melamine (I didn’t even realize melamine came in such lovely patterns!) are paired with aqua plates and navy blue napkins to create an ocean vibe.
  • Use sisal and naturally woven pieces such as the placemats and runner as a base to create a beachy feel for a coastal bridesmaid luncheon.
  • Fresh flowers from a local farm add in extra pops of color – and don’t you just love the coconut? So cute!
  • Wondering what to serve? Our event had freshly cooked burger sliders topped with lettuce, crumbly cheese and avocado. Fresh watermelon and a salad of butter lettuce are a healthy choice, and a selection of cheeses with water crackers add in a bit of crunch.
  • The individually infused water tastes refreshing yet also looks lovely with a slice of lime nestled in the bottom of a stemless wine glass (secret: it’s a plastic glass).

Love these ideas? Then take a peek and create your own coastal bridesmaid luncheon. Your ladies will feel special and refreshed as they take a mini trip to the seaside.


Looking for more bridesmaid luncheon inspiration? Check here for a fun cookie exchange idea!

Lavender is in bloom for just a short time, and that time is now here in Virginia, although it’s possible to obtain dried lavender all year round as you will see in this posting. Take a peek at all of our finds in our lavender bridal shower inspiration board today!

Nothing stinky around here! We’re up front about the fact that we use affiliate links in our postings to support our endeavors. 

Lavender Bridal Shower Inspiration as seen on Hill City Bride Virginia Wedding Blog - purple, favor, twine, natural

Our lavender bridal shower ideas flow clockwise starting from top left.

  • There are so many lovely elements to this lavender bridal shower, and we’d love to share them with you! One of our favorites are these oh so useful milk glass containers… lovely! They are perfect for holding dried or fresh lavender, and they can be gifted to the bride or used in your own home later. Bottle Set from Beau Coup, $34.50/3
  • Stemless wine glasses are so easy to hold, and these are perfect for giving as a wedding or shower favor. They can be used at the event and taken home. Plus, the tiny sprig of lavender is a beautiful touch, especially when containing a purple drink. Personalized Glasses, $3-$11.50
  • For a rustic event, this Mr. and Mrs. wire cake topper is a subtle way to top your cake – even at a themed lavender bridal shower. What a sweet way to have something to use both at your shower and wedding! Cake Topper, $20
  • Ok, now on to the super important stuff for a lavender bridal shower… the lavender! Dried and billed as “rice” it makes a wonderful, scented item to use as your wedding toss in addition to utilizing the buds throughout your shower or wedding day decor. Lavender Wedding Rice, $30 per pound
  • Whether you are wrapping your lavender toss, favors or accenting your plates, this baker’s twine comes in a variety of colors for your wedding and shower needs. Baker’s Twine, $7
  • If you are searching for the perfect DIY favor, I’d suggest these syrups for a lavender bridal shower. The instructions for this cute how to are here. What a lovely post-shower gift!

Looking for more lavender inspiration? Just check here for lots more! And check here for a posting on local lavender farms!


When you’re planning your day, everything comes down to your wedding expenses. Whether it’s $5,000 or $50,000, most couples find that they don’t have the means to splurge on everything that they want at their wedding. At the same time, there are some things that you should consider spending extra to get the best quality. Read on for ideas on where to splurge and where to save.

Splurge vs. Save on Weddings as seen on Hill City Bride Virginia Wedding Blog

All photos by Kam Goodrich Photography, and view the full event here.

SPLURGE: Your photographer

In ten years, you won’t have much left from your wedding besides your marriage – and your wedding photos. The pictures that you take on your wedding day will become a forever keepsake, so it’s worth going the extra mile to ensure that they’re of the very best quality.

SAVE: Your photo booth

While these are certainly a hot commodity and now come bearing social media sharing qualities, those on a budget should save their money and skip the professional version. If a photo booth is a must-have, consider going the DIY route with a patterned background and some funky cut-out props on sticks.

Virginia Secret Garden Wedding as seen on Hill City Bride by Kam Goodrich Photography

SPLURGE: Your catering

Ask a bunch of wedding guests what the most memorable part of the event is and most will mention the quality of the food. Delicious food is a must at any wedding, plus the caterers that cost a bit more often come with more experience and are more adaptable in new situations. Some may even include certain rentals, which will save you more in the long run.

SAVE: Your cake

While the cake cutting is a major part of the wedding reception, the cake itself is sometimes seen as an after-thought. Guests have usually filled up on their dinner and will stick to only one piece of cake, especially if you have other desserts available. Consider having cupcakes in lieu of a cake, or get a small cake for the cutting and have your caterer serve a sheet cake to guests. Trust me – they won’t know the difference!

Virginia Secret Garden Wedding as seen on Hill City Bride by Kam Goodrich Photography


On your wedding day, your DJ is responsible for keeping the flow of the event and making sure people are having a good time and getting on the dance floor. They also act as an MC, so you want to be sure your DJ is one who is personable and charismatic. Don’t cut your wedding expenses for a DJ who is lackluster and unexperienced!

SAVE: Alcohol

Alcohol can add up to be a major expenditure at weddings, especially if you plan on having an open bar. While a few drinks certainly liven up the dance floor, consider limiting the bar to beer and wine and perhaps a signature cocktail. While you’re at it, skip the champagne toast and stick with a drink-in-hand toast – your guests won’t mind! You can also save big by getting an ABC license for the day and purchasing your own alcohol. Anything that isn’t opened can even be returned after the wedding.

Virginia Secret Garden Wedding as seen on Hill City Bride by Kam Goodrich Photography

Planning a wedding is all about balance – find a happy medium between splurging and saving to ensure that you stick to your budget. Create a list of your priorities and wedding expenses and stick to it!

Amanda Zack is a wedding PR specialist with OFD Consulting, based in Richmond, VA. She also serves as a Public Relations adjunct professor at her alma mater, Virginia Commonwealth University.


Ok, we all know that weddings are… well, expensive. So, why not choose items that can do double duty, right? These reusable wedding planters are smart buys as you can use them at your ceremony or reception and then give them life in your new home. Plus, they are all sturdy and lovely. Enjoy our picks!

#truth – this post contains affiliate links, which keep our blog growing! 

5 Reusable Wedding Planters as seen on Hill City Bride - plow and hearth, garden, flowers, urn, wheelbarrow, boat

Our reusable wedding planter ideas flow clockwise from lop left. Enjoy!

  1. What a statement these Plow & Hearth tall planters make! I can truly picture them at the very front of your wedding as you say your vows. Or how about at the beginning of your outdoor ceremony aisle to greet guests? Best thing? These reusable wedding planters can welcome visitors to your home. Beautiful, and they are available in several colors! Lexington Tall Planter $110
  2. If you adore tall planters, yet want something a bit more metallic, then these planters may just fit the bill. Would you believe that they are resin? And they come in three sizes to suit your needs. Lovely! Sussex Planter $40-$100
  3. These red half rounds are so lovely – your flowers can complete the circle. These are low and not obtrusive, yet they offer high impact and hold a lot of flowers. Coco liners are included with these, and they would be the perfect decor at your outdoor reception (or indoor, too!). Planters with Coco Liners $140/2
  4. Having a more rustic event? Then this root wheelbarrow is super cute – use two or more as reusable wedding planters. This is such a cute accessory to place into your front yard or outside of your apartment door to use long after the wedding. Perfect! Root Wheelbarrow Planter $125
  5. Boats are perfect for a nautical affair, and this recycled metal boat is oh so cute – and what a keepsake it would be after your wedding! So darling as one of your reusable wedding planters. Handmade Recycled Metal Planter $150

Such fun ideas, do you agree? It’s so smart to choose things that can do double duty. If you want favors that do double duty, check here. Happy planning!

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