Tips for your honeymoon in Mexico!

Engagement season has recently passed, and all you bride-to-bes out here are probably into PLANNING MODE. Part of the wedding planning process is the honeymoon planning, which is extremely important. It will be your calm after the storm, and you will sleep a lot (it will be necessary). If you are thinking of going to Mexico for your honeymoon, like my husband and I did, here are some things to help you plan, as well as some things that will help you once you’re there!

  1. Set a budget. This one may seem obvious, but there is a reason it is first. Depending on how you plan your honeymoon (travel agent, plan-it-yourself, hotel vs. resort), different fees can rack up. I would suggest having a budget for booking the honeymoon, and a separate budget for when you get there. If you spend your whole budget on your plane ticket and resort, you won’t have anything left for sightseeing and adventures! Making seperate budgets for booking/souvenirs/adventures will help keep you from overspending.
  2. They have different money! In Mexico they use pesos, but most places will accept American dollars, too. However it is good to have some pesos with you while you are there. One way to do this is to use a credit card (I have CapitalOne and had no snags). Once you get to the resort, the front desk can give you an amount of money and charge it to your credit card. Be sure to set up a ‘traveling status’ on your card before your trip or your bank might think it’s fraud, shut down the card, and create an unnecessary hassle.
  3. Get your passport. Ok you should have done this a while ago, because it can take up to 3 months to get everything finalized. If you plan on going on your honeymoon within a week after your wedding, I would suggesting getting a passport in your maiden name. You won’t have time to change your name before the trip, and it is easier to have your name matching on all documents while you are there. If you want tips on how to change your name AFTER the honeymoon, check out Megan’s post!
  4. Consider your resort options.  I would 100% recommend staying at an all inclusive adults only resort in Mexico. My husband and I stayed at Secrets Maroma, and it was incredible. I loved being able to walk up to any bar at any time and get whatever I wanted (which was pretty much a margarita, daiquiri, or mudslide)… but the best was the food. OH THE FOOD. I love food, and being able to get whatever I wanted without having to worry about price was a dream come true. Anyway, enough talking about the food (I’ll just think about it fondly as I write…). A family friendly resort is going to have a different vibe than an adults only place. Do you want kids running around you while you try to relax? If you don’t care, good for you- but I wanted no interruptions during my days of doing nothing.
  5. Plan adventures, don’t sit on your butt the whole time! I know, after wedding planning, you’re tired. But don’t let that stop you from making new memories in your new marriage! In Mexico there are so many historical places to visit, or adventures to experience. My husband and I did a tour of Tulum, snorkeling, zip lining, cave diving, four wheeling, and there were so many other options, too! It was worth getting up early to get those wonderful experiences. I do highly recommend planning through the resort you stay at (another reason why I recommend a resort). We worked with Apple Vacations (they pretty much did our whole trip). They give you a time to be at the front, and a guy comes to drive you where you need to be- no hassle at all!
  6. Always have tip money with you. Now, remember when I suggested an all-inclusive resort? That usually implies ‘tips included’… and it might even say that on your paperwork. However, I learned that people still expect tips. Whether it’s at the resort during dinner, or your driver to and from adventures, or the man who brings you your bag at the end of the trip, EVERYONE is working for that tip. Which makes sense, since the minimum wage is Mexico is CRAZY low. Be generous and give tips when they are appropriate. As long as it is an amount your comfortable with, I’m sure the workers will be very appreciative.
  7. Beware of naked beachgoers and people wanting to sell you crap! These were my two real complaints during my honeymoon (which are so extremely minor and did not affect the amazing time I had). First of all, people lay around with however much OR little clothing they want. I saw boobs when I did not expect it. Some people are fine with that, and more power to you. However, when you aren’t expecting it, it’s a little more of a shock. Secondly, there are people walking up and down the beach that are trying to sell you hats, jewelry, blankets (it’s hot, who buys blankets on a Mexican beach?), and much more. If you politely shake your head and move along, they will go onto the next leathery American and you can go back to doing absolutely nothing.
  8. Watch what you eat and drink. In no way am I saying to count calories… they do not exist for the first year of marriage as far as I am concerned. I sacrificed too much the year before the wedding to look how I wanted in my wedding dress… I deserve this now. Anyway- I’m sure you have heard that you are not supposed to drink the water in Mexico. This is true. They usually provide water bottles in your room, and we used that to brush our teeth- no chances taken! Some people say to ask for water with no ice while you are at resort’s restaurant, but we didn’t do that and we survived. You will also have opportunities to eat new and exotic sounding foods, but beware. It doesn’t matter that it’s Mexico- if you eat steak tar-tar (raw steak) and escargot (raw snail) in the same night, you will pay. I know from experience. BRING TUMS. BRING ADVIL. BRING PROBIOTICS. I just saved you, you’re welcome. If I didn’t have these things on my honeymoon, oh Lord it would have sucked. Live outside of your food comfort zone, but for the love of God take some Tums.
Happy planning! If you have a more specific question, feel free to comment below.
No matter where you have your honeymoon, it will be a memorable trip with the love of your life. Now where’s my margarita?
~Eleni

Choosing a bridal party. 

 

Elenis bridesmaids
Photobooth fun with my bridesmaids!

 

ryans groomsmen
My husband Ryan with his groomsmen, Dad , and some uncles!

Fiancée? Check. Engagement ring? Check. Wedding date? Check. Bridal party? Uh…

Choosing a bridal party can be an unexpected challenge once a couple gets engaged. For some, they have known for a while who will be standing by their side during their wedding day. However there are others- like my husband and I – who are very indecisive. We knew for sure who we wanted to be the maid of honor and best man, and we knew we wanted our siblings involved. At first, we decided to leave it at that! Five people total, sounded nice enough. But in the end, we had…(*takes in a huge breath*)… seven bridesmaids, seven groomsmen, a flower girl, a ring bearer, 2 ‘ring security’, 2 guest book attendants, and one singer. Whew! In the end we are so happy with everyone we included and would not change a thing. Here are some things to consider while choosing a party.

  1. Don’t be afraid to have a large party. Even though we initially wanted a small party, Ryan and I don’t regret having a bigger one. We started to consider adding more people once we began to look for a photographer. There were so many pictures of big groups laughing, smiling, enjoying the day with all their friends. That’s when we decided to not leave ANYONE out. Even though there were family members who questioned our decision (‘How are you going to fit that many at the front of the church!’ … ‘The procession will last an eternity!’), I am glad we stuck to our gut. We got to enjoy the day with all of our closest friends.
  2. Consider the personalities you are inviting. If you are thinking about including people that may make your wedding process a little more difficult, think about whether they NEED to be in your wedding. Wedding planning is hard, and the wedding day can be very stressful. Adding personalities that are selfish, dramatic, or bridesmaidzilla-esque may only bring you sorrows. If it’s not a close friend or a family member, maybe just make them the guest book attendant or an usher. If you chose to include them, try having a conversation early on about your expectations so they can be set up for success, rather than causing problems along the way.
  3. Think about your expenses. It is important to keep your budget in mind while picking the number of people to involve. Remember that is it customary to buy gifts for the bridal party. If you are dead set on getting a nice gift for each member, think about how much gifts will cost. Also if you NEED to have everyone to ride together, a party bus vs. a stretch limo can be a big difference in money. You may need to expand your budget or make cuts in certain areas to accomate the bridal party.
  4. Think about THEIR expenses! The truth is, it’s expensive to be in a wedding. There are tuxes, dresses, shoes, accessories, money for gifts, bachelor party, bachelorette party… It can all add up quickly. If you want someone to be in your wedding, but you know they are tight on money, it’s important to realize that they may not be able to participate. Be sure you aren’t putting them in a tough spot, and understand their situation before guilting them into anything outside of their financial means.
  5. Location, location, location. While there are friends you always pictured being in your wedding, real life can happen and put distance in the way. It’s also difficult (but still possible) to have a long distance friend be a part of your wedding. It is also much more expensive for them, because there may be a lot more traveling involved. They also may miss a lot of pre wedding events due to the distance. While it’s entirely possible for a long distance friend to be in your wedding, keep in mind the extra struggles that may occur along the way.

Remember, if someone truly cares about you, they won’t complain about what job you did or didn’t give them for your wedding day. It’s YOUR DAY, so be kind but stick to your guns. And if someone complains about not being included, but they didn’t ever ask you to have a part in THEIR wedding…walk away. The less negativity during the wedding process, the better. You do you!

~Eleni

Things I Wish I Knew About Wedding Dress Shopping

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Happy Engagement Season!  Did you get engaged over the holidays?? Congratulations!  Enjoy every minute, because your wedding day will come faster than you think!  And yes, I know you CAN’T WAIT for that day to FINALLY come.  But relax and take it in right now, you’ll treasure this special time.

Okay, enough with the sappy stuff.  Let’s get down to business.  WE HAVE A WEDDING DRESS TO FIND!  I’m going to be honest, wedding dress shopping maaaaay have been one of my favorite parts of wedding planning (you know, except for the marrying the love of my life part)..  I’ve never been so consumed by any article of clothing in my whole life.  I’ve also never felt more like a lunatic.  Have you ever seen the show  ‘Bridezillas’?  You don’t want to go there.  So before you go out and start searching, read these tips first!

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Bring the right underwear.

Imagine stepping into a dressing room with a lady you just met five minutes ago and she says, “Okay, take your clothes off.”  That’s wedding dress shopping.  You’re going to get real comfortable being in your underwear around people, because chances are, you won’t be able to get into your dress by yourself.  You’re going to need a hand (or a few) to get that puppy on.  Do yourself a favor and wear some decent underwear.  I’m talking full-coverage.  The acrobatics required to get into a wedding dress are not the kind of moves you want to be doing in a G-string.  I don’t care what you wear on your wedding day, but at least for the shopping phase… just consider it.

While we’re talking about undergarments…

Consider finding the bra you want to wear on your wedding day first.  The right bra changes everything.  The way a dress fits and feels is very much dependent  on your bra.  I would  recommend getting yourself measured and investing in good quality.  You want unwavering support and comfort! You’re going to wear this thing on the longest (and BEST!) day of your life.   I opted for a strapless, nude-colored bra.  Your dress will shift during the day (lots of moving, hugging, dancing, etc.) and if your bra happens to peek out the top a bit, chances are nobody will notice (until a trustworthy bridesmaid swoops in to save the day).  

Keep an open mind.

I went in thinking I knew exactly what I wanted and no one could tell me otherwise.  I wanted a fit-and-flare, lace-sleeved, flashy gown.  And what happened?  I ended up falling in love with an old-fashioned, lace ball gown that I absolutely adored.  So when Mom wants you to try on a hideous, 80’s prom queen wedding gown, just do it.  What’s the worst  that could happen?  You may find out that you love white satin.  Okay, probably not, but you get the point.  Your perfect gown may be the one you never considered before!

Bring the right people.

I cannot stress this enough.  Only bring the people who absolutely have to be there.  I’m not saying you don’t love every single one of your 27 bridesmaids, but do they all need to be there?  Consider making it a special day with just you and those you are closest to, whether that be Mom, Grandma, your sister, your best friend…  More is not always merrier, especially when it comes to opinions.  Remember, this is YOUR day.  Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about it!

Have a budget.

Step away from the dresses until you decide how much you’re willing to spend.  The biggest mistake you could make is to go in without any budget at all and fall in love with a dress you can’t afford.  I know it is your wedding day, but do keep in mind, it is one dress that you will wear one time.  (Check out these other wedding budget tips!) There are plenty of beautiful dresses in your price range.  I would recommend calling dress shops  ahead of time to make sure they have a decent amount of dresses within your budget.

Be patient and bring loose fitting clothing.

If you want to get lean before your big day, go try on some wedding dresses.  You’ll be sweating in no  time!  Not only are you doing bends and twists you haven’t done since first grade, once you’re finally in, you’ll realize they do not breathe.  And sometimes you can’t even breathe in them.  Bring a water bottle and take a break.  And please, oh please, don’t wear your tightest skinny jeans and wool knit sweater.  After trying on about 13 dresses, the LAST thing you’re going to want to do is squeeze yourself into skin-tight denim.  Opt for a loose fitting shirt and leggings.  You won’t regret it.

And last but not least, HAVE FUN!

Just ENJOY it!  When I finally found my dress, paid for it and got in the car, my heart sank.  “It’s over??  I never get to try on wedding dresses ever again?? “  I was devastated.  I even started questioning my dress decision.  Don’t let this happen to you.  Just enjoy the process and make some great memories that will last a lifetime.  When you finally find the dress, CELEBRATE!  You did it!  And now you’re one step closer to marrying your best friend!  😉

~Megan

6 Ways to Avoid a Bad Wedding Photographer

  
Picking a wedding photographer is one of the first big decisions in the wedding planning process. You have to think about budget, style, location, personality… But even after those considerations, there are a few more tips that you may not think of at first, but will be sure to help. Here is a quick list of things to think about, along with a snipet of how I learned these things the hard way. Hold on tight- it’s about to get real. 

  1. To get the best service, make sure your photographer does this as their FULL TIME job. If they have other distractions, you will not get their full attention, and this can be a huge problem. My photographer did weddings as a side job, so my pictures were not her first priority. Therefore, the quality of her work with me suffered immensely. 
  2. Meet your potential photographer in person before you decide.  This is the only way to really get to know their personality. If you love them online, but they are less than impressive in person, don’t feel like you still have to hire them. Choose someone you are compatable with. When my husband and I met our photographer in person, he thought she had no energy and didn’t take initiative in learning about what we wanted. I wish I would have take his comments more to heart, because she ended up not being compatable with us. I wish we would have chosen someone else. 
  3. They should always get back to you within 24 hours of contact if they are a real professional. Communication is key when you are wedding planning. If you don’t hear from them after a day, maybe that’s alright with you- but two days is unacceptable! If you have trouble setting up appointments or there is a lack of communication in the beginning- it will only get worse. There were times my photographer did not answer my emails/texts/calls for TWO WEEKS. There is no excuse for this. It’s 2015, people. Don’t believe the bull that they ‘didn’t have service.’
  4. Make sure they can handle being a director, especially when you give them a list of ‘must have’ snapshots. Things get busy and you will forget if you wanted a picture with your second cousin twice removed. Don’t get too specific for the entire day, but at least have a list for the church pictures. This will help move things along without people getting frustrated. Be sure your photographer can direct large groups so these get done in a timely manner. I had a list for my photographer, and she didn’t get them all. She had the list on her phone, not printed out, and kept having to unlock the screen and scroll back to where she left off. It took forever, and she missed quite a few. She didn’t direct people where to stand, what angles to get, and so our pictures did not look on point. 
  5. Be extremely specific in your contract about what you will be given in your wedding package, and WHEN you will receive it. After the wedding day is done, you should receive the items you paid for, but you should get them without too much of a wait. I would say 4-6 weeks is a very generous amount of time to give a photographer. Have a specific date you will have your picture by, even if you decide 3 months is an ok time for you- HAVE IT IN WRITING. My photographer told us she would have everything done in about 2-3 months. I was not aware that this is longer than normal, so I agreed. However this was not written in our contract. We didn’t get our pictures until FIVE MONTHS after our wedding. 
  6. Lastly, if you are dissatisfied, ask for compensation. Your wedding day is the most important day of your life. The photographer has one of the most important jobs of the day- capturing the memories. If you get your pictures back and they are not what you expected, communicate this to your photographer. It is ok to ask for some money back if you are not happy. You paid for their services, and if those services were not delivered, it needs to be fixed. After not getting our pictures back for five months, having no communication from our photographer, and being extremely unhappy with the pictures we finally got- we asked for a partial refund. We did get some money back. While it doesn’t fix our crappy wedding pictures, at least we stood our ground and communicated how unhappy we were. 

Now, I hope I have not made you afraid about choosing a wedding photographer. Remember, we are all human and have lives that can sometimes cause a wrinkle in plans. However, watch for signs that a photographer may not be the one for you. Read reviews, look at their online galleries, ask how many weddings they have photographed, ask your married friends who they would suggest,  grill them as much as you want to ensure you will get exactly what you want for your big day.  Once you have chosen your photographer, congratulations! Coming soon will be a suggested ‘must have’ snapshot list, so stay tuned! Happy (wedding photographer) hunting!

~Eleni

Mrs. Who?: Changing your name after marriage

When it comes to weddings and marriage, there are a lot of things you don’t realize you don’t know how to do until it’s time to do it.  Lighting your unity candle, cutting your wedding cake, packing for your honeymoon, and above all – changing your name.  Here’s a few tips if you don’t know where to start.  Don’t expect it to happen quickly – it will take a few months to get everything finalized.  Good luck, Mrs!

Name Change.jpg

~Megan

What to do on your Hawaiian Honeymoon

What to do on your Hawaiian Honeymoon

Hawaiian Honeymoon

Romance? Check. Sun and sand? Check. Adventure? Check.  The most amazing time of my life?  Double check.  If you’ve always dreamt of spending your honeymoon in a tropical paradise – Hawaii is the place for you!  Tyler and I spent a week on the island of Maui.  I had never been anywhere off the mainland of the United States.  Hawaii is actually a lot further away than I though (it always has it’s own little box positioned conveniently on the bottom left corner of U.S. maps).    When we booked our Hawaiian honeymoon, it was a pretty surreal feeling.  You start answering a lot of questions like, “How long will you stay??”, “Why don’t you just go to Florida?”, and “Oh wow, how long does it take to get there?” (which you answer with a confident “11 hours”, even though you feel a twinge of panic when you think about flying over the Pacific).  Let me tell you a little bit about some of our favorite Maui spots.  If you’re planning your own trip, consider these ideas, or if you’re just curious, keep on reading!

Maui Resort
Battling some serious jet lag right now.
Walking on the beach
My Heaven on Earth.
  • This isn’t really a “must see”, it’s more of a suggestion.  Tyler and I have never been big spenders.  In fact, we’re quite the opposite.  We booked our trip through Costco Travel.  (You have to have a Costco membership.)  I did some price comparisons and we ended up saving  thousands of dollars.  Plus, it made things SO easy.  Everything is online.  We were able to book our flights, hotel, car rental, and activities all in one spot.  If you plan on staying at a resort,  there are a lot of hidden “resort fees” (beach access, room service, valet parking, etc.) that are basically just a sneaky way to make their rates appear cheaper upon first glance.  Just make sure you do your research!  Bonus:  Instead of paying jacked up tourist prices, if you have a Costco membership, stop by the Costco on Maui.   Everything is priced the same as on the mainland.  Tyler and I stocked up on some breakfast and lunch food to save some money!
Maui Costco
You can get 50,000X the Honey Nut Cheerios for half the price!
  • Makena (Muh-kayna) and Wailea (Why-Leia):  Take a drive around and see how the wealthy people live.  You wouldn’t believe some of the incredible houses around there.  Also, just a fun fact, Oprah owns a GIANT house up on one of the mountains and had her own road built straight down to Wailea because she loves it that much.  While you’re out that way, stop at Big Beach in Makena State Park.  Absolutely breathtaking!
Big Beach, Makena State Park
Big Beach in Makena State Park. -sigh-
  • Kayaking Snorkel Tour:  Tyler and I signed up for a guided snorkel tour in Wailea.  We took a two-person kayak out to a the coral reef where you can see the most beautiful colorful fish that you will only find in Hawaii and, if you’re lucky, sea turtles!!  We got to see a young green sea turtle swimming around the coral reef.  I’m pretty sure my heart stopped for a moment.  I was freaking out.  One thing to keep in mind, don’t chase them around and try to touch them.  First of all, it’s illegal, and second of all, it’s really annoying for everyone else.  There was a guy on our tour who started chasing this poor  turtle around, pointing at it as if we couldn’t see it.  Don’t be that guy.  Note:  If you tend to get sea sick (like me), take Dramamine an hour beforehand and go on the earliest tour possible.  The water tends to get choppy as the wind picks up later in the day – a recipe for nausea.  I am the queen of motion sickness – if I can do it, so can you!
Lil John sea turtle
Pretty much our snorkeling experience.
Volcano
Okay, so I don’t have any cool underwater photos, but here’s a  volcano!
  • Ululani’s Hawaiian Shave Ice:  THESE ARE NO ORDINARY SNOW CONES.  Once we discovered Ululani’s, we went there every single day until our trip was over.  It’s like a middle ground between snow cones and sorbet.  They have a huge list of homemade syrup flavors (they use real cane sugar, that’s the secret!).  You can even get ice cream underneath.  I have a mad addiction now, which is too bad because I think they’re only in Hawaii.  The prices are very reasonable, as well.  Do yourself a favor and just go with the small, or if you’re obsessive like me, the medium.
Ululani's Hawaiian Shave Ice
I MISS THIS.  Also, I ate Tyler’s when mine was gone…
  • Old Lahaina Luau:  We actually booked this luau through our Costco Travel package.  We had no idea what to expect.  I thought maybe we’d get some pork, sit on some folding chairs and watch a few hula dancers.  We show up and there are wait staff showing people to their reserved seats, asking you if you want a Mai Tai (the answer is “yes”), there’s an open bar, unearthing of the traditional pig, and an INCREDIBLE view.  We were in shock for about 30 minutes.  We sat at a table with three other couples and ate the best food we’ve ever had from the buffet.  They performed a traditional hula dance that told the legend of Hawaii’s beginnings.  There was singing, and drums, and insane hula dancing – my mind was blown at that point.  Then our waiter brought us a tray full of Hawaiian desserts (-heart stops beating-).  I’m just saying, if you want to see a luau, this is the one to see.
Tyler and I at the Old Lahaina Luau
Excuse us, Pineapple.
Old Lahaina Luau Hula Dancing
Postcard? Nope, just Hawaii. Every picture is a postcard.
  • Hana Highway:  If you like adventure, this one’s for you.  Take the trip of a lifetime through the winding roads (and I mean winding) of Haleakala’s rainforest (Haleakala is Maui’s eastern volcano)..  It’s a white-knuckle-inducing 50-something mile drive over 54 one-lane bridges and around more than 600 hairpin turns.  This is not for the faint of heart.  Many locals use this road as their everyday commute, including big scary dump trucks (see photo below).  There are SO many cool stops along the way.  I would highly recommend downloading the GyPSy Guide: Road to Hana app.  It’s a GPS based map with a narrator to guide you.  The GPS part is important because you won’t have cell service 99% of the time.  Some of favorite memories from Hawaii we credit to our little GyPSy friend.  Stay tuned for a post about our Hana Highway adventure!
Dump truck on Hana Highway
Oh, hi. We had to reverse down the side of the mountain until the truck could fit through. Anxious moments…

If you’re looking for a vacation that is equal parts relaxation and adventure, Maui is the place to go!  You can’t possibly take advantage of everything Maui has to offer in one week, but we certainly tried!  What is your dream vacation?  Let us know in the comments!

*Please note:  This is not a sponsored post.  All links are for your convenience and curiosity! :-)*

~Megan

Splurge or Skip: Weddings

Splurge or Skip- Weddings

Attention Ladies (and Gents, if you’re listening), I got married in September and made it to the other side (the more sane side where I’m less likely to spontaneously combust).  Planning a wedding on a budget is all about knowing when to hold your horses and when to bite the bullet.  Trust me, 99.999% of the “must haves” on Pinterest won’t make or break your wedding day.  You’ll go on living your new amazing married life without ever thinking about how you could have added just one more DIY candle to the centerpieces.  I hope these little tips can help you decide what’s important to YOU.  So if you’re a bride, take a breath and relax for just a moment (I know it’s hard!).

SPLURGE:  Photographer

Now I don’t necessarily mean you need to spend the most money possible on your photographer.  I mean you need to expend the effort into finding a photographer who suits your style and the style of your wedding.  Before you start requesting information… look through portfolios, read reviews, and ask around.  For example, if you want your wedding to be classic, vintage, and soft, maybe don’t opt for a photographer with a lot of angular, harsh photos.  Most good photographers will try to give you what you want, but their style is their style.  In other words, don’t try to make a square fit into a circle.  When the wedding is all over, you’ll want photos to look at over and over and over again.  Trust me.

SKIP:  Calligrapher

I didn’t know this was actually something you could do before we started planning our wedding.  I’ll be honest, I hand wrote all of the addresses on our wedding invitations and it was a pain in the tail.  The idea of having someone write it all for me was tempting, but I just couldn’t justify the cost.  If you don’t want to write them yourself, instead of hiring a calligrapher, think about printing out clear labels with a nice font.  (The nice font is KEY, labels can go from effective to cheesy real quick.)  Or consider buying a personalized stamp for your return address.  You can find these on Etsy for less than $20.

SPLURGE:  Videographer

My husband and I almost didn’t do this.  I am SO SO SO glad we did.  Seriously.  Get a good, reputable company to film and edit a wedding video for you.  We used Complete Weddings+Events.  They have franchises all over the U.S.  Pictures are extremely important to me, but there’s just something about video.  It’s like reliving the best day ever over and over again.  Get video.  You won’t regret it.

SKIP:  Champagne Fountain

I know, I know, it sounds super cool.  And I’ve been known to have more than my fair share from champagne fountains, but for the price, we decided it simply wasn’t worth it.  It’s expensive and by the time the champagne filters through so many times, it loses it’s bubbles.  And that’s no fun.

SPLURGE:  Airbrush Makeup

Hire a good artist and get airbrush makeup.  It may sound ridiculous, but this one’s a game changer.  I had a makeup trial done a local salon and it was TERRIBLE.  I seriously lost it.  It was shiny, messy, and streaky.   I ended up hiring the same makeup artist Eleni had for her wedding.  Airbrush makeup stays on like CEMENT.  If you’re like me and blubber at the mere thought of your wedding day, you need airbrush makeup.  You’ll look flawless all day long.  Just a tip:  Moisturize like your life depends on it before getting airbrushed.  It WILL dry out your skin.

SKIP:  Hairpieces (or any accessories for that matter) from wedding shops.

If you’ve ever glanced at anything at a wedding shop, you know it all costs an arm and a leg.  These shops always have that “when in Rome” kind of feel to them.  Like, “Hey, if I’m going to buy my dress, I might as well buy this bedazzled headband, that flower, a belt, earrings.. Ohhh, that necklace, and this pair of shoes that will probably deform my feet.”  Do yourself a favor, if it’s not really all that important to you, stop by any store like Charming Charlie or TJ Maxx.  You could even search for wedding hair accessories on Etsy.  There’s some awesome stuff on there.  You don’t have to spend $300 on a hair clip.

SPLURGE:  Ceremony Coordinator

You don’t necessarily need an all-inclusive wedding planner (Ohhh, to have the kind of money *sigh*).  But I would highly recommend getting a ceremony coordinator… Someone to watch the clock and keep things rolling.  A good coordinator will keep everyone on the same page and be the middle man between the boys and the girls.  Remember, nothing starts without the bride but it doesn’t hurt to have someone there to make sure your guests aren’t tapping their feet waiting for the show to start.

I hope these tips got you thinking a little bit!  If you’re getting married, congratulations and have fun!  If I could go back in time and give my engaged-self some advice, I would say don’t get too wrapped up in the nitty gritty details and let it take away from the pure joy of being engaged!!  Pin ‘til you can’t pin anymore!  If you’ve already gotten married, do you have any things you wish you had or hadn’t done at your wedding?  Let us know in the comments!

~Megan