I will admit that the title “Honeymoon Advice” was meant to grab your attention, but I will be fair and tell you up front that this article is about deciding where to go on your first time away as a married couple. Mean trick, I know! So much time is spent planning the wedding day itself, but once those few hours are over you get to go away and enjoy being a married couple … yay!
One of the myths I want to dispel is that using a travel agent is more expensive … I know from personal experience that it is just not true! Once I did a ton of research on a cruise, booked it and THEN asked my travel agent about it (why I did things in that order, I do not know!), but my agent was still able to find the cruise for a better price. Fancy that!
We have a wonderful resource in town, Melissa Taylor of Travelbugs, and I thank her for guest posting for me today. Have fun planning your honeymoon, and whether your budget is small or grand, there is the right honeymoon waiting for you. Okay, without further due, here is Melissa …
Yes … let’s not forget the honeymoon! When planning your wedding budget, remember that the honeymoon is the ONLY component in the planning process that is just for the bride and groom.
Try not to let yourself get overwhelmed with all of the honeymoon destination options. You can easily narrow down your choices by asking each other a few simple questions. Would we prefer a warm or cold climate? Do we want to drive or fly? Will we want a little adventure or just relaxation and romance? Should we set a budget and then figure out quality vs. quantity or vice versa?
Consider the fact that you and your fiancé may have two very different ideas of the perfect honeymoon. Maybe he wants a lodge in the mountains and she wants an all-inclusive jacuzzi suite in the Caribbean. There is a great solution to that problem, by the way!
A local travel agent who specializes in honeymoon planning is a great resource for keeping your life simple in this department. There is typically no additional cost to working with a local agent because they are paid by the vendors (cruise line, tour operator, resort … etc) as a local employee for you.
Trust your honeymoon to someone who watches for specials, packages, and promotions every single day. Even after the honeymoon has been booked, new promotions and discounts can usually be applied right up until final payment.
So, do not leave the honeymoon decision for last. You two will need this most important vacation you will ever take to finally relax and get to know each other all over again!
Oh, and I would also love for you to check out the possibility of registering for your honeymoon! Especially for couples who already have established homes, a honeymoon is a fun thing to register for. Check it out by clicking here, and thank you, Melissa for your sage advice!
Ok, I am surely a sucker for all things vintage, and I will admit to having a stash of incredible, antique buttons … you know the kind of stash, right? Yes, mine is even housed in a mason jar just awaiting some fun project. Well, when I saw these absolutely adorable buttons, I was amazed that they were good enough to eat! They would make such perfect candy favors for a bridal shower or even a fun DIY style wedding, and they are super simple to make.
A huge shoutout goes to Bake it Pretty for their creativity! They sell the adorable chocolate molds (among other cute supplies) for just $2.25 each (plus S/H). Their prices are very reasonable, so I encourage you to check them out. If you have never, ever melted and molded chocolate, it is VERY easy … truly. Enjoy!
Supplies you will need: button mold, candy melts (you can purchase these in colors through Bake it Pretty or your local craft store), candy flavoring (optional), sandwich bags, microwave safe bowls, spoons, scissors, microwave and refrigerator (or freezer!).
Place the candy melts in a microwave safe bowl. You will not need a lot since the buttons are small, and you will only want to microwave them for about 20 seconds … then check and stir them and repeat. It is better to be safe rather than burn the chocolate.
This is the desired consistency … not super runny yet smooth enough so that the melts are truly melted. As a sidebar, I LOVE eating the chocolate when it is like this (being careful not to burn my tongue … yum!). If you do want flavored chocolate, now is the time to mix in the flavor, and you do NOT need a lot of flavoring (a little goes a long way!).
Spoon the chocolate into a baggie, and just snip a little bit off of the end (just enough so that you can gently squeeze to let enough chocolate out).
Carefully squeeze the chocolate into the mold, being careful not to overfill. The chocolate will expand ever so slightly as it cools, and you do not want the chocolate to spill over the edges.
Continue filling the buttons. If you get spillovers, they will normally be easy to snap off once the molding is finished. Also, once the mold is filled, carefully pick it up and lightly tap it on the surface that you are working on. That will enable air bubbles to surface.
Place the molded chocolate into either the fridge or freezer (depending on how quickly you want the chocolate to set). It hardens fairly quickly, so the fruits of your labor are not far away!
Once the chocolate is set, you merely need to turn the mold over and tap out the buttons. Do NOT twist the mold (especially if it was in the freezer) as it may crack.
A-dorable button candy favors!! I love these colors, too … don’t you!?!?! So many color combinations would work, and they are so darling. Follow the cleaning instructions for the mold, which normally means NO dishwashing … just simple soap and water should do.
There are many ways to package the buttons, but Bake it Pretty has a wonderful link to some paper toppers that you can print out yourself. Click here to view the printable PDF of the button toppers.
We hope you enjoyed this adorable posting! Oh, and for some fun sentiments, how about … “cute as a button” or “sew sweet”. I am sure that you can think of some “buttony” sayings on your own, and feel free to share them in the comments section! Again, thank you so much to Bake it Pretty for this great idea for candy favors.
We can hardly think of a more stunning color combination than that which is in our flag … red, white and blue. An Americana theme is appropriate at many times of the year, yet we wanted to inspire you with just a few of the things that we found in our search for all things patriotic.
When searching for a bridesmaids’ dress why not consider the Searching for My Song Dress by Ruche, or choose the Readymade Dress by Anthropologie for your outdoor rehearsal dinner?
For the bride a delightful bouquet of red roses with white accents adds to the Americana flair.
Make a statement, yet keep comfy in these red and blue Invincible Summer shoes by Poetic License.
Celebrate your wedding and our country with a wedding cake adorned with ribbons and paper accents.
Treat your guests to a star studded favor with custom red, white and blue cookies.
Of course, there is no exit more appropriate for a patriotic celebration than a bride and groom illuminated by sparklers.
In our quest for all things American, we found this cute idea from an engagement party that can be easily translated into a wedding theme. Wrapped sparklers and the verbage “dynamite duo” just add to the festivities of the day.
Lastly, we wanted to share a photo not of weddings, but of something else that brings joy and a tear to our eyes … The Grand Old Flag. Happy 4th of July from Hill City Bride!
Thank you to Cami Smith for highlighting Celebration (and Tresca on 8th) in this wonderful posting. If you missed the first part, please click here to get caught up (and to watch a video of the Celebration gals in action!). Also, the photos of Celebration were taken by Photography by Thomasina, one of our new advertisers here on HCB. Enjoy!
I believe there are a few girls in this world who don’t enjoy getting dressed to the nines for a special occasion, but I don’t know any of them. When I hear about a gala, second chance prom or a black tie wedding invitation crosses my desk my mind immediately goes to one thing, the dress!
Well, many already know of a gem in downtown Lynchburg that specializes in beautiful ball gowns, cocktail attire and some of the most stunning wedding dresses to be found, Celebration Bridal. But what many may not know is that Celebration is the success that it is because of the team of ladies who seriously know how to bring it when it comes to special occasion fashion.
Leecy Fink, Tara Cofer, Jessica Boardman and Rebekah Huntsman make up this team that collectively run Celebration Bridal at 920 Main St. and Tresca on 8thth. Celebration owner, Fink, will be the first to tell you that each of her girls will dress you from head to toe paying attention to every detail. She says it is about the experience, and experiencing these ladies at work is one you will never forget.
Photo by Crystal George Studios
When they are not attending to each client’s every need, their quirky banter will have you laughing until your sides hurt. These women love their jobs, their clients and each other and it shows.
Are you a bride? From the moment you walk in the door for your personalized appointment to the day you wear one of the shops designer couture gowns, it is about you. And don’t leave out the family; Celebration can dress everyone in your bridal party, even the flower girl.
Prom and homecoming are other events that cannot be overlooked or under planned and there are jaw dropping gowns and accessories just waiting to be paired. There is no event that is too small or too big for these ladies to prepare you for and while they know how to ready you for the party, they certainly know how to throw one as well.
When the lights are turned off and the doors are locked on Main Street, the work has already begun at Tresca on 8th. Owned 50/50 by Fink and Cofer, Tresca has become a staple event venue downtown. The inside has been transformed upstairs and down into a classic urban chic canvas for each event to make its own.
The familiar faces of Celebration will be running the show at Tresca as well. Boardman, Huntsman, Cofer and Fink work from set up to tear down and everything in-between to ensure each event is a success. There is no heavy lifting or job too dirty for these girls to take one and they are proud of it.
With a team like this, we are sure to expect great things from Celebration and Tresca for years to come.
A while ago I received an invitation … a beautiful invitation, in fact. It was professionally printed, came in a lined envelope and levitated itself out of the envelope once it was opened. Sound crazy? Well, once you check out Paperless Post, you will become a believer, too … especially because you get to test it out for FREE just for being a Hill City Bride reader!!
Today’s bride wants to do things a step above and creatively, too, so I am pleased to introduce you to the new wave of invitations that end up in the inbox instead of the mailbox. Before you formulate your opinion, you simply must see them! Other online companies have offered e-mailable invitations, yet these are definitely the “upscale” version of the traditional online announcement. I am excited to share them with you and how simple the process is.
Here goes …
First go to the Paperless Post website and choose your type of card that you want to send. You can send a batch of cards as announcements, invitations or save the dates, or you can send cards singly for birthdays and other occasions.
Once you have chosen your design, you will be able to customize it. I love how this looks like “save the date” was engraved on the invitation!! Some of the cards let you choose the color motif.
If the invitation has an image, you can choose the image, its placement and its color. Amazing!!
Yay! You have the option of preset wording (whew!), or you can come up with your own. You can also customize the font style, font size and even its color. Isn’t this great?!?!?! This is probably the most time consuming part … decisions, decisions.
Once you decide on the final look for your invitation, you can choose an envelope (or not … they also offer “casual” invitations without the envelope). In my opinion, half of the fun is receiving the invitation, seeing the envelope open and have the card slide out for you all on your computer screen … I would definitely not skip the envelope, but that is just me.
There is an easy system of creating a guest list, and once the e-mails go out, the responses roll in. Guests can RSVP and add comments if they would like, and the site keeps track of it all for you. So simple! You can also send reminders to your guests and update them without using additional “stamps” from your account. What are stamps? See below, and you will receive stamps just for being a HCB reader … lucky you!!
Paperless Post has their own currency in the form of “stamps” that you purchase. My most recent purchase was for 150 stamps for $10.00, which would be $66.00 if you actually mailed invitations (not to mention the cost of the paper invitations themselves). So for a small price, you have custom invitations. I do have to say that I was impressed when I received my first Paperless Post!! Custom coins on Paperless Post can be used to upgrade things like envelope liners, and businesses can even add their logos to their cards … wouldn’t that wow someone?
Again, a VERY special thank you goes out to Paperless Post for letting me feature them, AND for offering 35 free stamps to the readership of Hill City Bride. Just click here to go straight to Paperless Post. Whether you need save the dates, are hosting a bridal shower or just want to send some birthday cards, be sure to put your free stamps to good use. Oh, and I would love it if you would comment on this post letting me know how you used your free stamps.
I also want to give a shoutout to the sweet ladies at Paperless Post … thank you Aya and Jill for helping me put this together. I wish Paperless Post much success in the future, and I know it is a service that I will be using for a long time.
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