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25 Intimate Small Wedding Ideas and Tips

There are so many perks to having a small wedding. Not only does having a fewer number of guests cut down on wedding costs, but it also allows you and your guests to have more intimate social interactions.

Having a small wedding gives you the ability to get really creative with themes and seating charts, allowing you to leave a more personal touch that truly reflects you and your love. You’ll be able to create a relaxing and enjoyable environment for everyone.

If you are considering having a small wedding and are in need of some inspiration, check out these 25 small wedding ideas for the perfect intimate occasion. Once you find the idea that works for you, you’ll be itching to start planning and send out some adorable save the dates.

couple dancing at wedding

1. Choose a small, non traditional venue

Not having to fit hundreds of guests under one roof means that you are free to get creative with your venue. Consider getting married where you and your partner first met, like a coffee shop or library. This will make your day even more sentimental and meaningful.

2. City Hall wedding

Avoid the costs of a traditional wedding venue by getting married at City Hall. Be sure to check the maximum number of guests when you are setting your date so you can determine who to invite (and make sure to include your photographer!).

3. Replace formal caterer with food truck

Want to skip the caterer and opt for something a bit more unique? Hire a food truck for your outdoor reception. Consider trucks that serve dishes such as fresh woodfired pizza, falafel, street tacos and even ice cream trucks. Just be sure to attain the proper licenses and legal paperwork from your vendor ahead of time.

beach wedding

4. Destination wedding

Destination weddings are smaller in nature since many guests won’t be able to easily attend a wedding that’s far away. Perhaps you and your honey have a location you’re both dying to travel to. If so, this would be the perfect opportunity to cross it off your bucket lists. Plus you won’t need to go far for your honeymoon.

5. Try a potluck meal

If you plan to invite a small group of family and friends that have some culinary skill, consider a potluck meal for the reception. Ask each guest to bring their specialty dish. This is a great way for guests to get to know one another at your intimate wedding and maybe even swap recipes.

6. Camping celebration

Do you and your partner love the great outdoors? Go on a camping trip with a few family and friends and get married among the trees and tents. Supplement a wedding cake with some yummy s’mores and celebrate around the campfire.

bride and groom kiss in backyard wedding

7. Backyard wedding

Having a backyard wedding is a simple way to celebrate you and your partner’s love out of the comfort of your own home. Place tables and chairs under a canopy decorated with string lights and greenery for your guests to eat and socialize. You can even make a dance floor on the lawn with recycled wood pallets.

8. Make welcome gifts or wedding favors

Inviting just a few people frees up your budget to get creative with wedding favors. Treat guests to homemade pastries, preserves or granola or their own mug filled with coffee and tea.

9. Get creative with your seating plan

Fewer seats makes it easier to get creative with your seating arrangement. Play with different shapes or form a spiral aisle to walk down with the officiate in the center.

elegant wedding invitations

10. Make invitations more personal

Make your friends and family feel even more appreciated by calling each of them personally to invite them to your special day in addition to sending a formal invite. Try sending guests personalized champagne flutes as a save the date for a creative touch.

11. Plan events around the wedding

Perhaps you’re getting married in an exciting city. Organize some site-seeing to keep everyone entertained. Split guests into teams and compete in a fun scavenger hunt that is tailored to you and your partner’s interests. Have a special prize ready for the team who wins.

12. Create an intimate seating arrangement

Having fewer guests allows for a much more intimate reception where everyone can get to know one another. Choose to have one large circular table so everyone can conversate more easily.

bouquet of wedding flowers

13. Splurge wisely

Having a small wedding frees up your budget to splurge on a few key elements of your wedding. Whether it’s the flowers, the food or the venue, make sure you determine what is most important to you and your partner.

14. Have a brunch wedding

Celebrate your love with the most important meal of the day. Invite your family and friends over for brunch complete with Belgian waffles, mimosas, fresh fruit and muffins.

15. Shrink the bridal party

Having a small bridal party or none at all is very budget friendly and makes it easier to keep everyone organized. If you can’t imagine getting married without your bestie by your side, consider just having a maid of honor and best man for your bridal party.

wedding musician plays violin

16. Hire a few musicians or make a playlist

Having a few musicians at your small wedding is much more appropriate for an intimate number of guests. Hire some local talent or compile a reception song playlist of you and your love’s favorite songs and queue them up as you please.

17. Be sure to take group photos

Photographers can easily take group and wedding party photos with smaller weddings. Have guests stand together outside of the venue or ask your photographer to get an aerial shot of you and your guests standing in a heart formation.

18. Explore colored wedding dresses

For a non-traditional approach, opt for your favorite colored dress instead of a white gown. Celebrate your personality by wearing something unique and pairing it with a beautiful flower bouquet.

pink macaroons on a plate

19. Serve your favorite dessert

Ditch the fancy tiered cake for you and your partner’s favorite dessert. Choose a wedding pie, cupcakes or macaroons. Or show off your baking skills and make your own dessert!

20. Have fun group games

Provide guests with some fun activities that encourage them to socialize. Play giant outdoor jenga, limbo or even break open a pinata.

21. Throw a post-reception after party

Not ready to stop the celebration? Invite some guests over for an after party and some drinks after the reception is over.

wedding in the forest

22. Get married in the woods

String some lights between the trees, set up a few chairs for friends and family and sprinkle some flower petals down a makeshift aisle. This is a no-hassle way to celebrate an intimate moment with the ones you hold close.

23. Backyard BBQ wedding

Want a more casual reception with some delicious comfort food? Invite friends and family over for a backyard BBQ wedding. Avoid the fuss and enjoy some delicious ribs, pulled pork, corn on the cob and potato salad.

24. Consider getting married on a boat

For a more nautical experience, choose to get married on a boat or a small yacht. Your photographer can get some great photos of the ceremony with the city’s skyline in the background. Guests can opt for a dip in the sea during the reception and you and your partner can make an awesome exit on a jet ski.

just married car with married couple in it

25. Elope

Skip the fuss and spend the day with your love. Whether you choose to run away together or make a spur of the moment decision to elope, you have complete freedom to do whatever you want.

Not only is a small wedding budget-friendly, but it also gives you the freedom to make this special event branded to be a perfect reflection of you and your partner. After all, marriage is about celebrating the love between you and your significant other with the people you truly care about. Once the big day is over, create a personalized wedding album that you and your spouse will look through for years to come.



Pros and Cons of Winter Weddings

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I am getting married in January, all because of a song. The Avett Brothers are one of my (and my fiance’s) favorite bands. They came out with a song called “January Wedding” a couple years ago, and my FH immediately fell in love with it. It was clear that he imagined us dancing to that song for our first dance at our wedding from the moment he heard it. But he also knew that I had always wanted an outdoor, early fall wedding.

When he proposed in March, the first thing we did was talk about a date. (As in, we established our date within about eight hours of the proposal). He started talking about an October wedding, but all I had to do was look at his face to know that wouldn’t happen. The song idea was so special to him, I knew that he really wanted to get married in January. Since I knew he wouldn’t have strong opinions about most of the wedding, I wanted him to have the date he wanted.

I didn’t realize at the time that planning winter weddings have a ton of benefits, albeit there are some potentially serious problems as well. Let’s examine them all:

Potential cons of having a winter wedding

Inclement Weather

The first obvious con of a wedding in January is the possible bad weather. Yes, there might be a blizzard the day before our wedding. If not in Glasgow, then on the East Coast where most of my family is coming from. Or maybe in Nashville where most of our guests will be flying into. When people bring that up, I generally respond with “My parents got married in a blizzard the day after Christmas in Baltimore, and it worked out for them.” Yes, some of my parents’ guests didn’t make it to the wedding. But their families and wedding party did, as well as the priests, so they were good to go. If I had had my outdoor fall wedding, I would have had nightmares about rain for weeks. And there’s a higher chance for rain in October around here than a bad snow in January. There’s always a chance that weather might ruin your day (just look to East Coast brides the weekend of Hurricane Irene for proof of that) but I’m not going to let it stress me out. At least not until the week of the wedding, if I start seeing foreboding forecasts.

winter weddings

The world may look like this on our wedding day…

Limited Floral Options

Another con is flowers. If I were getting married in the summer, I’d be one of those go-out-in-a-field-and-pick-wildflowers kind of bride. And it would be great. And yes, some flowers are cheaper during the summer. But a lot of flowers are the same price all year round. However, because live flowers are painfully expensive any time (without the availability of a wildflowers scenario), I decided to go with silk flowers. It was a hard decision because I love real flowers, but buying silk means I have been able to buy bulk online and also shop sales at Michael’s and other stores. It also means that my mom and her awesome prayer group are going to take those silk flowers and my collection of borrowed mason jars and they’re going to have my centerpieces done in November, two whole months before the wedding. I am sooooo thrilled I won’t have to deal with centerpiece stress the day before the wedding.

Travel Can be Tricky

If you live in an area with heavy snowfall, travel can be tricky– even locally. We have some family members and friends who are basically unwilling to travel during the winter, so we might be losing a few people from our guest list unintentionally.

Vacation Time – Delaying the Honeymoon

Dave is a teacher, and he will already be back in school, so we only get a long weekend and will have to wait until the summer to go on our honeymoon. As a reporter, the busiest months of my job are November and December. Everyone in my office takes sick pleasure reminding me how insane I am going to be the last couple months leading up to the wedding.

The biggest Pros of having a winter wedding


The biggest pro of getting married in January is that there is almost zero competition. I finally reserved my venue the beginning of July, almost exactly six months before the wedding. Out of about four venues we looked at seriously, and four weekends in January, only one of those venues had a conflict one of those weekends. Annnnd, because there is no competition, there are better deals to be found. We are getting married at a state park with the park’s lodge and cabins serving as our hotel. Our rooms are half the price of what they would’ve been if we’d gotten married in peak summer season. (Not to mention the fact that they probably wouldn’t have had enough empty rooms for us.) Also, if no one reserves the reception room for the day before, we can decorate after the rehearsal dinner, instead of the morning of the wedding.

Fewer Schedule Conflicts

I don’t have to worry about anyone’s summer vacation plans or other weddings on the same day. No one on our invitation list has to choose between their vacation and our wedding. We don’t even know of anyone getting married within a couple of months of our date. There’s also more time for everything because vendors are not overwhelmed with other events. I don’t have to book meetings six months in advance of the big day just to meet our vendors.

Cheaper Decorations

I don’t have to pay a dime to decorate the church because it will still be decorated from the holidays. The priest was even thoughtful enough to make sure the decorations he orders don’t clash with our colors!

No Stressing about the Sun

Since I’m getting married in the winter, I don’t have to stress about tan lines! I don’t care if I’m a pale bride; I won’t have to buy a strapless bathing suit or worry about tanning unevenly before I have to don my wedding gown.

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34 Things That Will Make You Say “I Wish I Did That At My Wedding!”

In a world full of Pinterest weddings (probably more fictional than real), most women have at least one moment in which they’ve seen a pin and said “I wish I did that at my wedding!”. Seeing other brides’ ideas and what has been done at other weddings is enough to inspire any bride-to-be…and keep you glued to your computer screen for hours on end. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite can’t miss surprises for your groom, your bridal party, your guests and even for yourself. From games to honoring the people you love, here are 34 great ideas that you’ll want to see come to life at your own wedding. 1. A live wedding painter to capture your ceremony/reception space and your guests Grey Likes Weddings 2. A wedding wheel with fun “prizes” for your guests to spin

Photo by Ren Davis of Studio 29 Photography 3. Arrange ceremony seats in a circular pattern around the couple so that everyone can see.
The Liberty Warehouse 4. Provide coasters that help people keep their drinks while dancing.
Buy at Evermine 5. Give guests to-go boxes so that they can take cake home.
Photo by Bliss Weddings & Events
Buy at BHLDN 7. Create cool door tags for guests who are traveling and stay overnight.
Buy at Designs by DVB on Etsy 8. Have a creative Mad-Lib RSVP card.
Buy at Gray Cloud Print on Etsy 9. Put photos of yourselves at different ages corresponding to table numbers for your guests to enjoy.
Kio Kreations 10. Make your ring bearer a ring security guard.
Photo by Megan Hartley Photography 11. Make/buy an inscribed handkerchief for your flower girl that she can save for when she gets married.
Buy at Napa Embroidery on Etsy 12. Add a pop of color on the tulle under your dress.
Photo by She – N- He Photography and Design 1. Instead of throwing rice….
Buy at thimblepress on Etsy 14. Compile addresses of all of the guests at your wedding.
Eliza Jane Photography 15. Leave fun facts about yourselves on the tables.
Buy at Seahorse Bend Press on Etsy 15. Honor guests that aren’t in your wedding party (or can’t be at your wedding).

(sign reads: please take a yellow rose and pin it on your lapel in honor of your sisterhood with the bride) Photo by Amy Arrington 16. Pin something sentimental on your bouquet.
Photograph by Alisha Brooks. Buy at ILovePaperkits on Etsy.
(This bride pinned her sorority sisters’ membership pins on her bouquet) Photo by Braska Jennea 17. Make your own Instagram hashtag that your guests can use. Not only is it fun for them, but it also allows you to see all of the pictures your guests uploaded to Instagram in one search.
Photo by Faithfully Focused Photography 18. A “Please Call Anyone But the Bride” list of phone numbers for your wedding party to keep stressful, last-minute problems away from the bride on her wedding day.
Photo by Brooke Courtney 19. Include a space on the RSVP where guests can request songs to play at the reception.

Buy at Love vs Design 20. Play The Shoe Game at your reception. The bride and the groom are seated back to back and each hold one of their partners’ shoes and one of their own. Then, the maid-of-honor, best man, and other guests read a list of “who” questions about the relationship (“Who does most of the cooking?”, “Who made the first move?”, etc.) to which the bride and groom hold up the shoe of the person who best fits the answer.
Photo by J.R. Phillips Photography 21. Attach your garter to a football for your husband to throw.
Photo by Amy Arrington 22. Write each other love letters on the day of your wedding and seal them closed in a box with a bottle of wine. Open the box on an anniversary.
Buy at Arrow Sarah on Etsy 23. Have the groom write a message to the bride on the bottom of her shoe the morning of the wedding.
Photo by Alea Lovely 24. ….or have bridesmaids do the same thing. It’s said that whoever’s name does not wear off by the end of the night is the next to get married!
Photo by Ericson-Wolfe Photography 25. Give each table a song name or lyric. When their song plays, the whole table has to get up and dance. If you are doing a buffet dinner, the song could also be the table’s cue to get food.

Photo by Lotus Blossom Photography 26. Create a piñata for you to break open on your first anniversary filled with notes from your wedding guests.
Photo by jenny demarco photography 27. Have guests sign a calendar with their birthdays, anniversaries, etc.

Photo by Robyn Navarro Photography 28. Guests throw darts at balloons filled with paint attached to a canvas. You keep the art.
Photo by Katelyn James Photography 29. Leave advice/prediction cards about your future together for guests to fill out.

Red Fly Photography 30. Number your RSVPs with a black light or regular pen so that you know which guests responded or to help read illegible handwriting.
Found at My Coin Purse 31. Take a picture of the rings with a newspaper from the day of your wedding.Photo by Ashley Bartoletti Photography 32. Throw heart-shaped confetti made of pages from your favorite book.

Buy at Tree Town Paper on Etsy 33. Instead of asking for registry items, let guests donate to your honeymoon fund (also known as a nice way to ask for money as a gift).
Buy at Lola Love Notes on Etsy 34. Incorporate cake pops that match your wedding invitations
Cake Pops Designed by Sweet Lauren Cakes, Wedding Stationery by Wedding Paper Divas



Fun Wedding Ideas That You’ll Love

Two brides holding hands on a beach

Several years ago I went to a wedding I was really excited about. I mean, I’m always excited about my friends getting married, but this wedding in particular sounded like it was going to be awesome. The location was super cool, everyone involved was laid back, and all their plans sounded amazing. In short, it felt like a recipe for an awesome party full of fun wedding ideas. But halfway through the reception, after we’d toasted our friends and gotten all the emotional goodness out of the way, I realized I was… sort of bored. While the couple getting married normally threw pretty fun parties, this party was actually not all that fun.

And then I had a realization: while about half of the weddings I’ve attended have been a blast, the other half have been not really fun at all. So I started racking my brain to figure out why that is.

The first thing I realized is that the wedding industry is built on selling you a pretty wedding. The dress, the tux, the flowers, the invitations, the decor—all of it paints a pretty picture, but very little of it contributes to the actual experience of the day. Because, as my husband wisely pointed out to me a month before our wedding, pretty isn’t an emotion. And how your wedding looks and how your wedding feels are two very different (and nearly unrelated) things. Trust me, I don’t say this to talk you out of getting a kick-ass outfit, or investing time into decorations that make you happy, because I love all of those things. I say this so you can spend some time planning the kind of experience you want at your wedding—something that has nothing to do with pretty.A happy couple dancing and using many fun wedding ideas at their wedding

So if you do want a wedding that goes down as a super fun party, it’s worth being intentional about it from the get-go. Since that wedding, I’ve slowly compiled a list of fun wedding ideas, and things to plan for, if you want to make your wedding a blast.

  1. Think of your reception as a party. Chances are really good that you know how to throw a party that’s fun for you and your people. I can’t tell you what your perfect entertainment recipe is, since ideas of fun are not universal. (I, personally, want to dance to hip-hop till my feet fall off, but that might not be your vibe.) The trick is to figure out what makes you love a party, and then try to incorporate that into your wedding.
  2. The people. The single most important element of your wedding—no contest—is the people. But your guest list also happens to be the thing that the wedding industry tells you to cut first. After hearing the message that you should cut the guest list a thousand times, it’s hard to not get that into your head. But when you walk away from a wedding, you think about the conversations you had, the people you caught up with, and the vibe of all those awesome folks in one room. Chances are, it’s not the decorations that you’re talking about a week later. So no matter how big or how small your wedding, think of the people first, and make everything else secondary.
  3. Make your guests feel taken care of. There is something a little vulnerable about showing up at a wedding where you don’t know many people, and putting the next six hours of your life in the hosts’ hands. You hope they’ll feed you well and sit you next to nice people, but you never quite know. There are as many ways you can take care of your guests as there are weddings, such as providing welcome notes at the hotel, a way for guests to get to know each other (like name tags with a note about how you know the couple at a welcome dinner), and a seating chart. (The wedding mentioned above? There was no seating chart, and we didn’t know very many people. So we ended up sitting at a table talking only to each other… for hours on end.)
  4. Balance what you love with what your guests love. I talked above about knowing what makes a party fun for you (and probably your friends). When putting together your wedding, the goal is to balance your what you love, as well as what your multi-generational guest list will like. That may mean mixing some Motown into your indie rock playlist of wedding reception songs, or it may mean having board games and a cocktail hour.
  5. Let people know what to expect. Guests are surprisingly good at rolling with the (non-traditional wedding) punches, as long as they know what they’re getting into up front. If you’re having a reception where you’re only serving cake and punch, let people know on the invite. They’ll come with full stomachs, ready to have a good time. (Or they’ll decide they’re not into it, and won’t come at all. Guests are grownups like that.) Use your invitation, a wedding website if you have one, and word of mouth to let people know what kind of party they’re in for.
  6. Feed people on time. If I had to pick the number one rule for all weddings ever, it would be this: Feed people. At mealtimes. With enough food. If you’re not serving food, then don’t have a wedding at a mealtime. Hangry guests are not happy guests.

And finally, the most important rule. If you want other people to have fun at your wedding, you need to let loose and have a good time. Guests are paying careful attention to you and your partner, and they’ll take their cues from your vibes. However, even with all of these fun wedding ideas, the single best thing you can do to make your wedding fun for everyone is just to relax and enjoy it. If you’re relaxed, they’ll relax. If you’re dancing, they’ll dance. If you’re having the time of your life, they will too.

Meg Keene

Founder & Editor-In-Chief



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Real Weddings, Real Wedding Photos

One of the best ways to gather beautiful ideas, discover your dream venue, or find talented vendors for your own nuptials is to source inspiration from couples who are just like you. That’s where our Real Weddings come into play! Filter Real Wedding photos by venue type, season, style, color palette, and location below to find exactly what you need.

Featured today

Marc and Wilmlie’s wedding in Pocomoke City, Delaware

Photography / Duane Sanabria Photography

Venue / Maryland Yacht Club

Style / Rustic, Fall

View wedding The wedding of Wilmlie and Marc

Recent Real Weddings

Get inspired with over 9,800 Real Weddings submitted by couples and photographers.

The wedding of Alicia and Nathaniel The wedding of Alicia and Nathaniel 1 The wedding of Alicia and Nathaniel 2 29 Photos The wedding of Alicia and Nathaniel 3

Nathaniel & Alicia

Kailua Kona, Hawaii

Sheraton Kona Resort & Spa at Keauhou Bay

Beach, Spring

The wedding of Amy  and Vincent The wedding of Amy  and Vincent 1 The wedding of Amy  and Vincent 2 15 Photos The wedding of Amy  and Vincent 3

Vincent & Amy

Bronx, New York

The New York Botanical Garden

Classic, Spring

The wedding of Lynne and Jai The wedding of Lynne and Jai 1 The wedding of Lynne and Jai 2 48 Photos The wedding of Lynne and Jai 3

Jai & Lynne


The Alida Hotel

Elegant, Fall

The wedding of Grace and Kyle The wedding of Grace and Kyle 1 The wedding of Grace and Kyle 2 225 Photos The wedding of Grace and Kyle 3

Kyle & Grace


The Betsy – South Beach


The wedding of Mary and Vikram The wedding of Mary and Vikram 1 The wedding of Mary and Vikram 2 32 Photos The wedding of Mary and Vikram 3

Vikram & Mary

Purcellville, District of Columbia

Sylvanside Farm

Rustic, Summer

The wedding of Tiffany and Kyle The wedding of Tiffany and Kyle 1 The wedding of Tiffany and Kyle 2 17 Photos The wedding of Tiffany and Kyle 3

Kyle & Tiffany

Inverness, Florida

Lakeside Ranch

Rustic, Summer

The wedding of Deanna and Tom The wedding of Deanna and Tom 1 The wedding of Deanna and Tom 2 72 Photos The wedding of Deanna and Tom 3

Tom & Deanna

Ann Arbor, Michigan

The Inn at St. John’s

Elegant, Summer

The wedding of Lauren and Will The wedding of Lauren and Will 1 The wedding of Lauren and Will 2 34 Photos The wedding of Lauren and Will 3

Will & Lauren


Ignite Glass Studios

Classic, Summer

The wedding of Ady and Ethan The wedding of Ady and Ethan 1 The wedding of Ady and Ethan 2 59 Photos The wedding of Ady and Ethan 3

Ethan & Ady

San Luis Obispo, California

Avila Beach Golf Resort

Elegant, Summer

The wedding of Jennifer and Fernando The wedding of Jennifer and Fernando 1 The wedding of Jennifer and Fernando 2 46 Photos The wedding of Jennifer and Fernando 3

Fernando & Jennifer

Naperville, Illinois

Abbington Distinctive Banquets

Casual, Summer



100 Ideas for Summer Weddings

X 100 Ideas for Summer Weddings From color palettes to centerpieces to cakes, get tons of inspiration for a summer wedding. Having a beach wedding? Check out 50 more ideas just for you! By: Kristen O’Gorman Klein Enter Slideshow Bouquets Bouquets -139182 A simple bouquet of sunflowers makes a bold impact. Photo Credit: Wren Photography BouquetsBring a beachy vibe to a landlocked wedding with this coral-inspired wildflower bouquet. Photo Credit: Kathleen Hertel Photography BoutonnièresA boutonnière of spray garden roses and dusty miller gives off a vintage feel. Photo Credit: Dixie Pixel Photography BoutonnièresChoose hardy flowers for your boutonnière so that it won’t wilt as the day progresses. Photo Credit: Figlewicz Photography Bridesmaids’ DressesYellow is a cheerful choice for summer. Let your ‘maids each choose their own dress in this happy color. Photo Credit: Daniel Kim Photography Bridesmaids’ DressesPatterned bridesmaids’ dresses are fresh and fun for summer. Photo Credit: Wren Photography Bridesmaids’ DressesSunflower-printed bridesmaids dresses are a delightful pick for summer weddings. Photo Credit: Orange Photographie Bridesmaids’ DressesWe love how these bridesmaids’ bouquets coordinate perfectly with their printed dresses. Photo Credit: Vitalic Photo Bridesmaids’ DressesWe love this bright shade paired with natural-hued wedges. Bonus: with wedges, your girls won’t have to worry about their stilettos sinking into the grass as they walk down the aisle. Photo Credit: JoPhoto Bridesmaids’ AccessoriesJazz up inexpensive flip flops with sweet bows in your wedding colors. Photo Credit: Snappy Shots by Bev Attire for GroomsmenBright blue ties and yellow boutonnières pop against tan suits. Photo Credit: Casey Durgin Photography Attire for GroomsmenDress your men in easy-breezy shorts and lightweight button-downs. Have the groomsmen wear shorts that match the bridesmaids’ dresses, and let the groom stand out in white! Photo Credit: Daniel Kim Photography Attire for GroomsmenFor a lightened-up yet still formal look, try white or ivory tux jackets. Photo Credit: Rich Kessler Photography Ring BearersYour ring bearer will be a lot happier if you don’t force him into a hot suit. Photo Credit: Photo Love Ring BearersIncorporate your favorite summer activity, like this baseball-inspired ring pillow. Photo Credit: Nashville Wedding Photographer Derek Lee Ceremony IdeasAttach programs that double as fans to each seat — that way, you can ensure that no guest will be without a cooling device. Photo Credit: Sherman Chu Ceremony IdeasProvide chilled bottled water for your guests at the ceremony. Photo Credit: Brett and Jessica Ceremony IdeasProvide parasols for your guests to shade themselves during the ceremony. Photo Credit: Orange Photographie Ceremony IdeasWant an outdoor ceremony but don’t want to sacrifice the dramatic moment when the doors are thrown open and everyone sees you for the first time in your gown? Bring the doors outside! Photo Credit: Wren Photography Ceremony IdeasOversized umbrellas will keep your guests out of the sun’s harsh rays. Photo Credit: Memoire Studio Ceremony IdeasHave your guests blow bubbles as you leave the ceremony. Photo Credit: Poem84 Ceremony DécorDress up the area above your aisle for even more eye candy. Photo Credit: John Labbe / Wedding Planner: Preston Bailey TransportationRelax in open-air transportation, like a trolley. Photo Credit: Azelle Photography Food & DrinksCotton candy will have your guests feeling nostalgic for summer carnivals. Photo Credit: Heather Fitch Photography Food & DrinksAlcohol-infused popsicles are a fun choice for your cocktail hour. Photo Credit: Mr. Haack Food & DrinksIce cream isn’t the only thing that can be served in a cone — pass trays of tuna tartar in waffle cones. Photo Credit: Shoreshotz Weddings Food & DrinksServe up filet mignon sliders for an upscale take on classic barbecue fare. Photo Credit: Craig Paulson Photography Food & DrinksIt’s your wedding day – enjoy an ice cream cone! Photo Credit: J. Larose Studios Food & DrinksA layered dessert inspired by push-up popsicles, a childhood favorite. Photo Credit: Shoreshotz Weddings Reception IdeasString lanterns from the trees — they’ll help keep the bugs away from your guests. Photo Credit: Santana Photography Reception IdeasA clear tent gives you the best of both worlds — you’re protected from the elements while still dining and dancing under the stars. Photo Credit: Annie X Photographie Reception IdeasWhen the sun goes down, light up some fire pits to create a rustic backyard vibe. Photo Credit: Christian Oth Studio Escort CardsMake your escort cards work double duty by also providing a refreshing treat. Photo Credit: Ira Lippke Studios CenterpiecesMini arrangements of sunflowers in mason jars, accented with burlap, create the perfect rustic table setting. Photo Credit: Wren Photography CenterpiecesUse contrasting colors in your centerpiece to really make it pop. Photo Credit: Diane Askew Photography CenterpiecesAdd a nautical touch with rope-wrapped centerpieces. Photo Credit: Jack Deutsch © The Stonesong Press, LLC. CenterpiecesPlace your flowers in upcycled wine crates for a lovely vintage vibe. Photo Credit: Ken Kienow CenterpiecesInstead of oversized floral arrangements, place a mini cake on each table. Photo Credit: Lola Rose Photography CenterpiecesWorried about your flowers wilting? Use floating candles for your centerpieces instead. Photo Credit: Inspired By This via Reception DécorThe black and white dance floor transforms a backyard into an elegant, glamorous location for a wedding reception. Photo Credit: Abby Jiu Photography Reception DécorLight up the night with strands of café lights. Photo Credit: Jessamyn Harris Reception DécorGarden-glam centerpieces with family photos displayed in reclaimed windows. Photo Credit: Rochelle Mort Photography Reception DécorString chandeliers and twinkle lights above the dance floor. Photo Credit: Picotte Photography Reception DécorHang small arrangements of cheery flowers, like sunflowers, behind the head table. Photo Credit: Wren Photography Reception DécorMake a beautiful outdoor space look more luxurious with elegant chandeliers hanging from the trees. Photo Credit: Aaron Delesie Reception DécorAdd a beachy vibe with this soft color palette and laid-back furniture. Photo Credit: Liz Banfield Photography Wedding CakesAccent a simple cake with tropical flowers. Photo Credit: Life’s Highlights Wedding CakesA chocolate cake accented with sunflower and topped with lovebirds. Photo Credit: Wren Photography Wedding CakesWith a naked wedding cake, you don’t have to worry about the frosting melting during an outdoor reception. Photo Credit: Alea Lovely Fine Art Photographer Wedding CakesA sweet strawberry-themed cake, complete with a basket of strawberries on the top, trimmed with rich white-chocolate strawberries and delicate strawberry blossoms. Photo Credit: Choco Studio Wedding CakesNot a fan of cake? Serve a tier of pies instead featuring the season’s best fruit. Photo Credit: Jose Villa Wedding CakesA tower of cake pops will stand up to the heat on even the hottest of days. Photo Credit: Sweet Lauren Cakes FavorsGive out sunglasses personalized with your names and wedding date in your wedding colors. Photo Credit: William Walker Photography FavorsYour guests will recall happy memories of your wedding every time they use these beer koozies, customized with a beautiful photo of your favorite beach. Photo Credit: Life’s Highlights FavorsSend your guests home with a delicious, personalized frozen treat. Photo courtesy of eCreamery Must-Have PhotosOr take it up a notch with this fiery idea, accomplished with flaming steel wool! Photo Credit: Nathan Desch Must-Have PhotosTake advantage of the warm weather to gather all of your loved ones in a fun group photo. Photo Credit: Inspire Photography Sendoff IdeasFor a dramatic sendoff, release lanterns into the night sky. Photo Credit: JoPhoto



The Sweetest Bridal Shower Cakes

These confections are almost as pretty as the woman of the hour. There’s just nothing like being engaged. After all, the time between “yes” and “I do” is filled with plenty of pre-wedding parties that celebrate the couple and their future as husband and wife. For the bride, the bridal shower is often a stand-out experience. She gets to spend a morning or afternoon with her sisters and best friends—the people who have seen her grow into the bride-to-be she is today. After the girls have all caught up, the bridal shower games have been played, and the gifts have been opened, the only thing left to do is end on a sweet note.Enter the following bridal shower wedding cakes. Pretty, petite, and perfect for your girls-only party, they’re sure to delight your bride. From a pale blue three-tiered confection topped with a dainty crown (of course!) to personal-sized cakes covered in buttercream roses, there’s a confection here your bride-to-be is sure to love. We kept all of your favorite cake trends in mind when curating this special list, too. You’ll find subtle ombré, naked, and gold-foiled treats that pass the ultimate test—every guest will try to snap a photo for Instagram.Of course, deciding on a bridal shower cake comes down to the bride’s personal taste. Is she a free-spirited bohemian planning a shabby-chic fête? Opt for a petite treat covered in fabric-inspired florals. Is she the classiest girl you know? An all-white confection, adorned with creamy sugar flowers, might be her dessert match. No one knows the bride as well as you do—that’s probably why you’re planning her shower!—which means you’ll know which of these cakes would be her favorite. No worries if it’s a little tricky, though. All of these beauties are incredibly inspired. 1 of 24 Advertisement Advertisement Pink and Red Why not serve the bride-to-be a confection frosted in love’s signature colors? If your bride is a romantic at heart, she’ll go crazy for this sweet treat. 2 of 24 Gold-Flecked Edible gold leaf brings a bit of sparkle to a mini cake. Serve one to each guest, or purchase slightly larger single-tiered cakes to place on each table. 3 of 24 Advertisement Cloche and Confettis Serve each bridal shower guest a personal naked confetti cake in a dainty cloche—fresh florals add a botanical element. 4 of 24 Seasonal Blooms A spray of ranunculus and thistle brings texture and color to this barely-frosted cake. 5 of 24 Monogram Juniper Cakery Dress up the bride’s personal dessert with hand-painted flowers and a monogrammed crest. 6 of 24 Advertisement Advertisement Pink Ombré This petite creation fades from blush to true pink. 7 of 24 Modern Gray and inky smudges make this masterpiece feel like a work of abstract art. Your contemporary bride will go crazy for it. 8 of 24 Naked Cake Peanut butter icing is the only thing this on-trend naked cake needs to shine. 9 of 24 Advertisement Fit for a Royal We’re not sure what we love most about this pastel creation—the pale-blue icing, the gold detailing, and the regal crown topper are all stunning. 10 of 24 Flamingos Throwing a tropical-themed bridal shower? Skip the two-tier and opt for flamingo-inspired cupcakes instead. 11 of 24 Romance Cover a nearly-naked confection with fresh blooms and greens for a romantic touch. 12 of 24 Advertisement Cocoa If the bride is a chocolate lover, a cocoa cake—enhanced with sugar flowers and copper embellishments—will make her day. 13 of 24 Confetti Top a simple dessert with confetti to make it bridal shower-ready. 14 of 24 Subtle Ombré This white cake, by Pretty Sweet, has an evergreen ombré and gold foil base that makes it a trendsetter’s ultimate dessert. 15 of 24 Advertisement Hand-Painted This tile-inspired single-tier feels decidedly Mediterranean (perfect for the bride who’s planning a destination wedding in Greece!). 16 of 24 Fabric-Inspired Rose gold floral details make this beauty look more like a dress than a cake. If your bride is the fashionista of the crew, you can’t go wrong with this treat. 17 of 24 In Bloom The bridal shower cake isn’t just about the cake—it’s about presentation, too. Top a simple white cake with plenty of fresh flowers, then set the confection on a bloom-covered stand. 18 of 24 Advertisement All-White An all-white confection adorned with creamy sugar flowers is the perfect choice for a traditional bride-to-be. 19 of 24 Gold Braid If you’re throwing a big shower, go for a full size confection. This one is the prettiest shade of pale blue, but it’s the braided detail that will surely catch your traditionalist bride’s eye. 20 of 24 Roses Rose-piped buttercream makes this petite right at home during a garden-themed fête. 21 of 24 Advertisement Cake Bouquet A halo of blush blooms, greens, and berries gives this one-tier major presence. 22 of 24 Floral Crest An ornate gold crest gives this watercolor flower illustration a vintage look. 23 of 24 Trendy If your bride’s an innovator, opt for a cake of the moment. We love this blue-washed confection’s icing drip and fresh flower adornments—both are super trendy right now. 24 of 24 Advertisement



Tropical Shirts aren’t Just for Party Animals Anymore

    It’s about style as much as comfort.

    6 hours agoHawaiian shirtHomer Simpson was wrong about Hawaiian shirts. They’re for everyone.Shutterstock

    When you’re on vacation, wearing a bright tropical shirt is practically expected. But it’s not just because earth tones are for the office. Tropical shirts were created to be comfortable in day-to-day island life, where the heat and humidity can make even the most languid schedule feel arduous. Here’s what to look for, when you want to be comfortable on your getaway.

    You’re Here to Party

    Digital Palms ShirtTommy Bahama Men’s Digital Palms ShirtAmazon

    Breathable material, like silk or cotton, should be at the top of your list. By letting heat and moisture out, a tropical shirt makes it more comfortable to be active and to be in the sun without needing a hydration backpack. It also feels good on your skin, which is a nice bonus.

    From the Bag to the Beach

    Air TropicalVan Heusen Men’s Air Tropical Short Sleeve Button DownAmazon

    Also important is care. You probably don’t want to spend much time on a long vacation doing laundry, let alone caring for a delicate garment or sending out dry cleaning. Wash-and-wear and non-iron design will let you just take your shirt off the hanger and get down to the far more important business of relaxing.

    A Look of Your Own

    28 Palms28 Palms Men’s Standard-Fit Tropical Hawaiian ShirtAmazon

    But don’t ignore style and fit, either. While the classic tropical shirt has tended to fit loosely, and stuck to classic patterns, there’s a whole host of shirts that fit in different ways in patterns that fit your individual style. After all, when you go on vacation, it’s about relaxing and dressing the way you want.



    Wedding Planner & Wedding Coordinator

    Finding a Wedding Planner

    Let us be the first to admit that wedding planning is no walk in the park. After a couple has gotten engaged and the excitement of that special moment dies down, the reality sets in. And many couples have no idea where to start when planning their wedding, or what sort of undertaking it will be. That’s when it’s time to consider talking to a professional. Wedding planners, also know as wedding coordinators or wedding consultants, have the knowledge, organizational skills, and experience from previous events to help make your special day the best it can possibly be.

    Committing to your significant other was a no brainer, but finding and booking the right wedding planner for your big day can be a little more tricky. Here are some thing to consider when beginning your wedding planner search.

    Types of Wedding Planners

    First things first. This may come as a bit of a shock but there is more than one type of planner. In fact, there are about seven types of wedding coordinators. Knowing the difference between these wedding professionals can make the selection process all that much easier.

    Starting with a full service or all-inclusive planner. This type of wedding coordinator will be with you every step of the way during the planning process and on your big day. These planners are best for couples who may not have a lot of free time to plan a wedding or need help with small decisions like incorporating the color palette with linens and flowers. A full service wedding planner will help with everything from selecting vendors, to optimizing your budget.

    You can also have a month-of-planner. As the name suggests, these consultants will come into the picture in the last few weeks or days before the wedding. They exist to be an extra set of hands during crunch time. These planners can help with any last-minute issues that pop up unexpectedly, as well as working with vendors to finalize contracts and set up for deliveries.

    Another option would be a weekend wedding coordinator. This type of wedding planner is going to be a major component of making your wedding day run as smoothly as possible. However, they are not solely there for the big day, they can also help with organizing and welcoming guests as they arrive and planning wedding related events like the rehearsal dinner and morning-after brunch.

    Similar to a weekend wedding coordinator, a day-of coordinator is there to make sure your wedding takes place with minimal hiccups. Many couples wish they had hired a day-of coordinator after the fact. They ease the stress of having to focus on the tiny details so your special day can be enjoyed to the fullest.

    If you are planning an out of state, or out of country wedding. A destination wedding coordinator may be the best choice for you. If you and your fiancé(e) can’t physically be there for planning, a professional consultant may be the way to go. These wedding planners meet with vendors, scout for venues, and understand specific regional information like weather, since that can be a huge aspect of planning any wedding.

    There are also planners who work specifically with scouting venues and giving referrals. This type of planner will be able to go with you to look at venues and negotiate vendor contracts. These planners are often very well connected and can help you meet with vendors that are considered the best in the business.

    If none of these options seem like the best fit for you, consider looking for wedding planners that have services à la carte. Planners are aware that not everyone wants or needs every service they provide. Creating a custom planning package can be easier on the budget and still allow for professional help.

    Wedding Planner Prices

    The cost of hiring a wedding planner will vary from state to state, region to region, and country to country. Full service coordinators are going to be more expensive than day-of planners. Planners in less populated areas are also likely to be less expensive and so will the cost of the entire wedding.