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

Your big day is fast approaching, and there are SO many things on your to-do list. You want to have unique wedding photos, so you start making a mental list of wedding poses and search for photography shot list PDFs. But what if you chose to ignore the traditional photography checklist? For clients, photographers can get creative and get all of those must-have wedding photos without the worry of toting around a checklist. Promise!

Get Unique Wedding Photos - Scrap the Wedding Photos List


  • Linda Hall - Love Is In The Air - Wedding & Event Decor, Cakes & Catering & More - We have worked with Heather on several occasions and her photos are breathtaking. She is also one of the nicest ladies in the world. We are always excited when the bride tells us that Visions by Heather has been hired to do her photography!

  • Lemon - Gorgeous work and great advice!

  • Kellan - Couldn’t agree with Heather more! Well put!

  • Megan Elliott - Such great advice! I can only imagine how much planning and attention to detail goes into photographing a wedding.

  • Caitlin - I tell every bride I know to make sure she has a photo list for the photographer, esp since there are going to be moments where everything is so hectic you forget you wanted that one shot with your great grandma’s ring!

  • Deborah - So my fiance and I decided the two areas we are putting a lot of importance on is food and photography. These are great tips for wedding photos! We’ll have to work with our photographer on this!

  • Delia Atenea - These are some great tips! My favorite kinds of photos are candids, not posed! I love capturing a persons natural state or situations when they are laughing!

  • Stephanie Whitman - I’m grateful that our photographer had a list of questions for us prior to our wedding day, that way she knew exactly the style of photos we wanted, who we wanted them with, etc. And then I had a good friend of mine who used to shoot my blog photos, who also came before the wedding, to snap photos that I could edit however I liked. It was great!

  • Ashley R - Our wedding photos are one of my favorite things of all time. I never had to touch any of them to edit.

  • Candace Hampton - Great post! I love it when I see very original beautiful wedding photos. In my opinion, they are so much more fun to look at. Weddings only happen once, and it needs to be unique and special to your taste!

  • Carolyn - Getting the right photos were very important to me! I was more interested in pictures of me and my honey over group shots though. I wouldn’t say our photos were unique in nature, but we still like them. Though it would have been fun to get a couple more unique ones!

When planning your wedding, there is a lot to think about! You want your ceremony to be beautiful, and you want your guests to have fun at the after-party. If you opt for a wedding reception DJ hire, who you choose can make or break the tempo of your reception. However, be sure to have your questions ready before you make your final choice.

Questions to Ask your DJ Hire | Hill City Bride


  • Stephanie Whitman - These are definitely some important questions to ask. I had the help of my old theatre company who lent me their sound equipment, and a best friend who was our DJ/emcee. It was probably not as professional as some wedding receptions, but it was still a ton of fun!

  • Kileen - These are great tips! Having a wedding DJ can make or break the event if they’re terrible or know what they’re doing. Thanks for sharing!

  • AshleyR - I got married not long ago and these are all very good points to make.

  • Carolyn - I don’t think I really asked any of these questions for my DJ and I sorta regret it haha. The DJ seemed cool at first, but then she totally went off script and did things I didn’t want and kinda made it awkward haha. Yikes.

  • Whitney - These questions are a must to bring up with booking a DJ. I definitely wish I had done that when booking mine for our wedding. Thanks for always sharing such great tips!

  • Deborah - OMG this post was so necessary! I’m currently wedding planning and I have no clue where to even start with booking a DJ! Thank you for writing this!

  • Jennifer - So glad it’s helpful! 🙂

  • Taylor Mobley - Man I don’t think I asked any questions to my DJ!! They ended up being pretty good (outside of not sticking to some of our song requests) but I’d do it differently now if my hubby and I redid our wedding.

  • Lauryn Hock - This is so helpful! When I was planning for my wedding I had no idea what I was doing, hahaha.

If you love a certain color, sometimes it is nice to think about it in a different way. Honestly, I would not have thought of accenting a dusty blue wedding color palette with burgundy, mint, and peach, but it all works together flawlessly. Add in the stunning backdrop of the Virginia mountains, and you have a beautifully memorable event! Maroon Burgundy and Dusty Blue Wedding Color Palette | Hill City Bride Virginia Weddings


  • Stephanie Whitman - Such a truly breathtaking wedding. The vibe is my favorite – with the mix of light and dark colors, ethereal moods, and the luxurious wooden lodge. I love the way you described the dusty blue color as being similar to the sky. Such a great comparison!

  • Deborah - What a spectacular location for their wedding! The Blue Ridge Mountains are absolutely gorgeous – I have to drive through there when I visit my parents in South Carolina (I live in Washington, DC). I am also really loving this unexpected color palette – how beautiful!

  • Amber Dickison - I love the color palette for the wedding and the location is gorgeous. I’m from KY so the landscape is fairly similar.

  • Kileen - These pics are so beautiful! I love the color scheme!

  • Liam Warton - Bröllopsfotograf Stockholm - Such dreamy imagery! I love the tones and highlights – so ethereal and romantic.

  • Carolyn - How fun and unique to see dusty blue used this way! I thought the groom’s suit was just so cool- especially with the tie! Gorgeous couple, photos, & colors all around!

  • Ashley R - I really love this, The shoes are so pretty. A lot has happened since I got married and I hope long sleeve dresses come back into style. They are so great.

  • Delia Atenea - Can we please talk about how magical and breathtaking that wedding gown is? And I would have never thought of burgundy and dusty blue but its such a perfect combo and so creative!

  • Taylor Mobley - This wedding is FLAWLESS. and that RING. I have never seen anything like this!!!!

  • Azanique Rawl - I love the contrast with burgundy being such a bold color! What a fun combination 🙂

  • TianShanae - I love the color scheme! These are colors I would never think to put together yet the work so well.

  • Megan Elliott - Wow! What an unexpectedly beautiful color combination! The bride’s dress is to die for.

  • Morgan Tyner - These captures are simply spectacular! I’ve never been to the Blue Ridge Mountains, but these shares are 10/10 making me want to go. I appreciate the photographer’s detailed focus on getting all the hues right and making the day so picturesque! It definitely shows so much value in the unique vision of this beautiful couple.
    Xx, Morgs*

Yay! The big day is coming, and there is wedding planning to do. After the big day, there is a lot to think about, too – it’s an exciting time! Moving in together can present its own challenges as you try to settle on interior design. I want to encourage you to take your existing home decor items and blend them into an interior redesign.

Home Interior Redesign Ideas | Hill City Bride Virginia Weddings Blog


  • Amy-Jo Tatum/Bride Chic - I’m all for this and totally love the concept. Any creativity you have pent up will no doubt come to the forefront with a project like this . . .

  • Lauryn Hock - My husband and I have definitely had to compromise and blend our interests when it comes to decorating the house. Love these tips!

  • Ashley R - I love using what you have. It’s such a smart idea. I like my home simple and uncluttered so it is easy for me.

  • prowedding - Yes, re-integrating new designs with existing furniture can sometimes bring a different feel, even more suitable than new ones

  • Carolyn - My husband has no input on our home! Sometimes I don’t mind because then I can do whatever I want haha, but sometimes I wish he had an opinion! But all in all, I love our home and it feels cozy…which embodies us as homebodies!

  • Stephanie Whitman - I really love these tips! My husband and I actually had so much fun when we first moved into our space together and began to decorate our home. We hadn’t lived together prior to getting married, so it was definitely an adjustment, but over time, we’ve found our own style together – even though both of us have very different tastes on our own!

  • Taylor Mobley - This is so smart. I am just now starting to decorate my home and it’s very fun to find what works for you! Using what you have is so smart.

  • Deborah - This is something fiance and I have been dealing with since 2017! The problem is we both don’t really know how to define our own decor styles, but it’s still a work in progress!

  • Whitney - This is such a helpful post! My hubby and I definitely had to go through the same process once we got married. Thankfully most of my stuff got to stay LOL

  • Caitlin - There is no reason to start decorating from scratch after marriage! I love this post for explaining how to combine styles to decorate.

Bridal shower planning can be so fun! There are a plethora of fabulous ideas out there, but I’m totally in love with the adorable, lemony touches that these bridal shower decorations provide. From citrusy foods to hints of yellow throughout the big day, this event is full of adorable ideas!

Bridal Shower Decorations with a Lemony Twist | Hill City Bride Virginia Weddings


  • Stephanie Whitman - I appreciate how lemony touches also means just pops of cheery yellow throughout. So happy and fun, especially heading into spring!

  • Kileen - These accessories are so cute and so perfect! I would love to have used all of these!

  • Helena Marz - I definitely think themes are great to work with and it makes everything flow well with certain colours. Love the spring vibe theme, so fresh and lively!

  • Delia Atenea - Oh my gosh I wish I was getting married all over again!
    These lemon decorations are so beautiful! I love lemon in and of itself so I would of totally wanted something like this!

  • Renee || Getting Fit Fab - oh my gosh, how cute is this! I love that the lemons add a touch of color, this was so creative!

  • WanderlustBeautyDreams - I love the pops of yellow! I’m loving the lemon decorations it’s such a cute element to add for a bridal shower!

  • Yukti Agrawal - Wow all these decorations look very lovely and like a fairy tale wedding. I loved adding the color yellow to make the place more bright and lively.

One thing that couples learn quickly is that sometimes it takes compromise in order to make both happy. The decor may be a blend of what he wants and what she wants. You may have to take turns choosing restaurants. It’s also possible to have both of your wishes when it comes to unique honeymoon destinations. Learn how to blend your wishes and have a memorable time away – together!

9 Honeymoon Destinations Worth the Compromise | Hill City Bride Wedding Travel Blog


  • Deborah - This post came at the perfect time! My Fiance and I are in the beginning stages of planning our wedding and we’re already getting stressed! Every time we get stressed out, we start planning our honeymoon instead because it’s more fun haha!

  • WanderlustBeautyDreams - The Maldives is a dream destination for me! These are great honeymoon destination suggestions.

  • Kileen - I want to go to Portugal and Thailand so badly!! Thank you so much for sharing!!

  • Stephanie Whitman - My husband and I ended up honeymooning in DC and Charlottesville to save our money after the wedding, but we originally considered California. Maybe one day we’ll get a chance to do a “real” honeymoon and go to one of these amazing places.

  • Candace Hampton - A friend of mine went to Croatia on her honeymoon. She said it was her absolute favorite place she’s traveled so far. I have been to Thailand and I fell in love with it. I would never have thought of the grand canyon as a destination – unique!

  • Ashley R - Croatia is at the top of my list. We went to Jamaica for our honeymoon. These are all such wonderful ideas!

  • Azanique Rawl - Thailand is a true dream destination wedding location! SO much good inspo here.

It’s 2020, and we are finally back into the swing of things in the New Year. And with a new calendar year always comes a new Pantone color. This year it’s the timeless hue of Classic Blue. I scoured the blog looking for ways you can incorporate the Pantone Color of the Year 2020 into your wedding palette. Enjoy our selections and happy planning!



  • Deborah - I just got engaged last month and this post is perfect for me! I did think of having blue as one of our wedding colors so this was great inspiration!

  • Nataly - I just love this color! There are so many fun ways to incorporate blue into a wedding. I really love the vibrant cobalt blue the best.

  • Azanique Rawl - Classic blue is absolutely my favorite so I am SO here for this color of the year. I love the pops of blue in the floral arrangements and suits!

  • Kileen - This is so awesome! Blue is my favorite color because I feel like it can go with so many different outfits and other colors! And it is so easy on the eyes!!

  • Stephanie Whitman - I have been 100% crazy about this particular Pantone color, and the way you highlighted it within wedding culture is just spectacular. I liked that it wasn’t a forced thing – that the subtle touches were acceptable as well – but it also looks great as a bridesmaid dress or a groomsman suit. There’s so many fantastic ways to incorporate this beautiful color, and I think you found them all! Great ideas!

  • Jennifer - Thank you! I think it’s a hue that is easy to incorporate, too. It’s a refreshing color for sure!

  • Tara Fuller - I love the blues – it’s always such a beautiful color and is so easy to incorporate into wedding colors. I really like the little ribbon addition, that’s so clever!

  • Ashley R - All of this is just gorgeous. I’m loving how the color pops. I love it so much!

  • Nicole Flint - I love blue in weddings! When I was in my brother’s wedding a couple of years ago, the bridesmaids wore blue gowns and the men wore blue ties. It was beautiful.

  • Taylor Mobley - This blue is SO beautiful!!!! I love it!

  • Megan Elliott - What a beautiful shade of blue! It goes so well with so many other colors too.

  • Lily - I was never really attracted to blues, but over the last couple of years it’s been a favorite. Especially navy blues, love them!

  • Caitlin - Gosh, I just ADORE this color! What a fab blue!

Winter is such an enjoyable, beautiful time to get married. It’s no wonder as the season is filled with fresh greenery and whimsical color palettes, which can add an extra element of fun. Whether you are sticking to traditional winter florals and hues for a winter wonderland wedding or are straying away from the ordinary with pops of color and unexpected flowers, here are a few ideas that won’t break your budget.

Unique DIY Winter Wedding Ideas | Winter Wonderland Wedding | Christmas Wedding on a Budget


  • Deborah - What great ideas – especially the warm drinks station! Mulled wine would be a perfect drink!

  • Stephanie Whitman - This makes me want to get married all over again, and do it in the winter rather than the autumn, because these ideas are just brilliant! I love the decor concepts, and the favor suggestions as well! So creative and beautiful.

  • Azanique Rawl - I love all pinecone decor in the winter! It is seriously my favorite 🙂

    -xo, Azanique | https://www.lotsofsass.com

  • Kileen - Love a Winter wedding. They are so beautiful and so dreamy. The decorations are always so stunning and love these DIY Winter wedding ideas!


  • Nataly - These are such good unique ideas for a winter wedding! I sometimes wish I decided to get married during the winter instead of spring!

  • Ashley r - I would never think to serve hot chocolate at a winter wedding but that’s so great!

  • Candace Hampton - Winter weddings are so magical. I love the mixture of greens, reds, and whites. Those pinecone place card holders are a nice detail. I love how elegant and affordable these ideas are!

  • Renee || Getting Fit Fab - My bestie is having a winter-ish wedding next year! The hot chocolate is such a great idea.

You’re planning the perfect day for you and your groom, and that day also includes your friends and family. Your wedding guests are a big part of your big day, and you try your best to calculate the average wedding attendance. Unfortunately, there is the possibility that you will have a few wedding no shows. As disappointing as that can be, how do you deal with last-minute wedding cancellations?

When Guests Go Rogue | Dealing with Wedding No Shows | Hill City Bride Virginia Weddings Advice


  • Carolyn - I have never heard of charging the no-shows for their expenses! Wow! I wonder how that goes over. Thankfully I never had a vendor go rogue!

  • Julia Comil - I love the tips! I need to send this to my friend who is getting married because it really helps to feel better about the no-show situation.

  • Stephanie - Honestly, I wish my husband and I hadn’t spent so much time stressing over our guest list. Yes, we wanted to make sure everyone important to us was there, and we wanted to have the space, but in the end, about a quarter of the people who RSVP’d didn’t even attend, and it drove us nuts that we’d gone out of our way to tell others no to their +1 or purchase extra chairs for the day. So while it’s kinda unavoidable to have these issues sometimes, it’s also better to just let it roll off your back if you can!

  • Jennifer - Honestly, I don’t think I’d have the guts to charge no-shows, either. I’d just take it as a loss for sure!

  • Nataly - Luckily, I didn’t have any guests who didn’t show up for our big day and wouldn’t have even thought about charging those who didn’t show! But, thank you for sharing this insight.

  • Ashley R - I just got married and the way I see it, there’s leftover food that family can snack on after the wedding is over when people no show. It is such an annoyance though! One of my bridesmaids flew from Portland OR to Austin TX to be in my wedding. What a saint.

  • WanderlustBeautyDreams - This was an interesting read. Didn’t realize all these things can happen at weddings. Sounds like so much stress that goes into just for a couple of hours in a day. Makes me not want to get married lol. Last minute cancellations should be charged for the inconvenience though.

  • Nailil - I had never given thought to this topic. But I assume there are plenty of no shows at a wedding just like any other event.

  • Jess - Great topic to discuss! I definitely think as long as your main people are there then you’ve got everyone you need, but it’s so good to have a plan and I love these tips!

No matter the time of year, skin can always benefit from a salt bath made with Epsom salt. Bath recipes with essential oils are especially soothing in the winter when skin tends to get drier. In the summer both mind and body can be soothed with a soak using therapeutic bath salts. Recipes are easy to make, and whether you need to make a bath salt recipe for stress or want to make a homemade bath soak, this recipe is perfect for both. DIY bath salts for gifts work perfect for favors, too! Your guests will be so delighted to take home something that will smell good, have skin benefits, and help them relax.

Epsom Salt Bath Recipes with Essential Oils | DIY Bath Salts | Hill City Bride Virginia Weddings


  • taylor aube - This is such an amazing gift idea for the holidays! I love this idea and you can’t go wrong with gifting a DIY project! Such a cute gift!

  • Helena Marz - I haven’t taken bath salts in ages and I remember using them – it made my skin feel so smooth! This sounds like an amazing product to try and perfect for a Christmas gift!

  • Stephanie - I love the idea of giving bath salts as a gift or favor of some kind. It’s the type of product you can make in large quantities, easing the process of gifting it. This particular combination sounds fantastic to me!

  • Ashley R - I am on a budget this year since I am getting married so this is such a big help.

  • Erin - What a unique but awesome idea!

  • Chloé Arnold - What an amazing idea!! This would be cute even or teachers gifts or mom gifts!!

  • Delia Atenea - This is such a great gift idea and I love that its so personal! The fact that it’s personally made, makes it so special!

  • Deborah - Wow, this is a great DIY! Holidays are so stressful and gifting bath salts are a great way to relieve some of that stress!

  • Sharon Wu - love me a good diy! this is such a great gift idea and sounds fun to make too!

  • Tara Fuller - I would love this as a gift!