Planning a Christmas or Winter Wedding?

Article by Arricca Elin Sansone for CountryLiving

Slide 1 of 16: If you need a signature cocktail for your reception, this pretty rum drink accented with coconut milk and topped with pomegranate arils is the answer.See more at Half Baked Harvest.

  © Kristen Kilpatrick/ Half Baked Harvest

1) White Christmas Mojito

If you need a signature cocktail for your reception, this pretty rum drink accented with coconut milk and topped with pomegranate arils is the answer.

Slide 2 of 16: If there's anything more charming than this mini gingerbread house/place card, we don't know what it is! The tiny house doubles as a personalized favor that's totally edible! See more at Sugar and Charm.

 © Sugar and Charm

2) Gingerbread House Place Card

If there’s anything more charming than this mini gingerbread house/place card, we don’t know what it is! The tiny house doubles as a personalized favor that’s totally edible!

Slide 3 of 16: How perfect for a winter wedding! This darling pine cone fire starter is the ideal themed favor your guests will enjoy using to light their fireplaces or fire bowls at home.See more at Something Turquoise.

 © Something Turquoise

3) Pine Cone Firestarter Favor

How perfect for a winter wedding! This darling pine cone fire starter is the ideal themed favor your guests will enjoy using to light their fireplaces or fire bowls at home.

Slide 4 of 16: Looking for a striking centerpiece for a small or rustic wedding? Snip off single flowers from a poinsettia plant, and place in decorative vases to line the center of the table. One plant yields lots of blooms, so you won't break the bank on your floral budget. See more at Julie Blanner.

 © Julie Blanner

4) Poinsettia Centerpieces

Looking for a striking centerpiece for a small or rustic wedding? Snip off single flowers from a poinsettia plant, and place in decorative vases to line the center of the table. One plant yields lots of blooms, so you won’t break the bank on your floral budget.

Slide 5 of 16: These adorable cookies would look delightful on the dessert table or wrapped in cellophane and given out as favors. See more at Studio DIY.

  © Studio DIY

5) Stencilled Macaroons

These adorable cookies would look delightful on the dessert table or wrapped in cellophane and given out as favors.

Slide 6 of 16: Dress up the tables at your barn wedding with greenery interspersed with these adorable Mason jars filled with cranberries and floating candles. It's inexpensive yet totally rustic chic! See more at A Pretty Life in the Suburbs.

 © A Pretty Life in the Suburbs

6) Floating Candles and Berries

Dress up the tables at your barn wedding with greenery interspersed with these adorable Mason jars filled with cranberries and floating candles. It’s inexpensive yet totally rustic chic!

Slide 7 of 16: These incredibly intricate, lovely wreath cookies look (almost) too pretty to eat! Send one home with each guest, or include them in your dessert buffet.See more at Honey & Lou Baking Co.

 © Honey & Lou Baking Co.

7) Wreath Cookie Favor

These incredibly intricate, lovely wreath cookies look (almost) too pretty to eat! Send one home with each guest, or include them in your dessert buffet.

Slide 8 of 16: Pine cones and preserved greenery make these seasonal boutonnieres stand out with their simple elegance. See more at Lot 450.

 © Lot 450

8) Natural Boutoninieres

Pine cones and preserved greenery make these seasonal boutonnieres stand out with their simple elegance.

Slide 9 of 16: Use any cake recipe you like (or try ours!), then decorate with a forest of delicate frosting trees. Use this as your main cake for a small wedding or as the topper at a larger affair.Get the recipe.

 © Becky Luigart-Stayner

9) Pine Tree Cake Topper

Use any cake recipe you like (or try ours!), then decorate with a forest of delicate frosting trees. Use this as your main cake for a small wedding or as the topper at a larger affair.

Slide 10 of 16: This gorgeous, understated combination of ivory, pink and red roses and anemones, accented with seeded eucalyptus, would suit equally well as your bouquet or as a stunning centerpiece. See more at Julie Blanner.

 © Julie Blanner

10) Seasonal Bouquet

This gorgeous, understated combination of ivory, pink and red roses and anemones, accented with seeded eucalyptus, would suit equally well as your bouquet or as a stunning centerpiece.

Slide 11 of 16: Make this gorgeous gingerbread house your wedding cake, or use it to top a more traditional cake. Or simply use it to decorate your venue. It's guaranteed to add that one-of-a-kind Christmas-y touch for your special day. See more at Sugar and Charm.

 © Sugar and Charm

11) Gingerbread House Wedding Cake

Make this gorgeous gingerbread house your wedding cake, or use it to top a more traditional cake. Or simply use it to decorate your venue. It’s guaranteed to add that one-of-a-kind Christmas-y touch for your special day.

Slide 12 of 16: How cute is this for a rustic wedding favor your guests actually will use, er, devour! The DIY kit includes a tiny chocolate bar, graham crackers, and marshmallows. You even can personalize the candy bars with wraps in your wedding colors. See more at Mountain Modern Life.

 © Mountain Modern Life

12) DIY S’mores Favors

How cute is this for a rustic wedding favor your guests actually will use, er, devour! The DIY kit includes a tiny chocolate bar, graham crackers, and marshmallows. You even can personalize the candy bars with wraps in your wedding colors.

Slide 13 of 16: These pretty and practical napkin roses are simple to fold, and they add a touch of elegance and a pop of color to a traditional place setting.  See more at StoneGable.

 © Yvonne@StoneGable

13) Napkin Rose

These pretty and practical napkin roses are simple to fold, and they add a touch of elegance and a pop of color to a traditional place setting.

Slide 14 of 16: A sprig of fresh greenery, a few berries, and a cinnamon stick are all you need to dress your place setting at a small informal event. You could attach a place card, too, for an inexpensive but classic seasonal accent. See more at Julie Blanner.

 © Julie Blanner

14) Seasonal Place Setting

A sprig of fresh greenery, a few berries, and a cinnamon stick are all you need to dress your place setting at a small informal event. You could attach a place card, too, for an inexpensive but classic seasonal accent.

Slide 15 of 16: These lovely clear vases show off gorgeous holly leaves and berries, and they're so simple to make! They work well anywhere you need a splash of color from centerpieces for the guests' seating areas to the buffet table. Mix and match vase shapes for extra style points.See more at 33 Shades of Green.

 © 33 Shades of Green

15) Holly Vases

These lovely clear vases show off gorgeous holly leaves and berries, and they’re so simple to make! They work well anywhere you need a splash of color from centerpieces for the guests’ seating areas to the buffet table. Mix and match vase shapes for extra style points.

Slide 16 of 16: Dress up each place setting with these gorgeous cookies, which guests can enjoy or take home with them. See more at Honey & Lou Baking Co.

 © Honey & Lou Baking Co.

16) Elegant Place Setting Decor

Dress up each place setting with these gorgeous cookies, which guests can enjoy or take home with them.

Source: https://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/weddings/planning-a-christmas-wedding-don-t-miss-these-brilliant-ideas/ss-BB19oyka?ocid=msedgdhp#image=16

How to Plan and Save for Your Wedding During the Pandemic

a man wearing a costume: "I'm telling couples to get engaged now — and wait," says celebrity wedding expert Colin Cowie

© Getty “I’m telling couples to get engaged now — and wait,” says celebrity wedding expert Colin Cowie

Almost every big wedding this year has been rescheduled for 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic’s devastating impact on the world, celebrity wedding expert Colin Cowie tells PEOPLE.

“I’m telling couples to get engaged now — and wait,” says the party planner, whose A-list clientele includes Oprah Winfrey and Ryan Seacrest. “The idea of a socially distanced wedding with people standing 10-feet apart, I don’t find anything exciting or glamorous about that.”

Couples were “extremely and bitterly disappointed” at the idea of postponing their weddings, Cowie says. But after he explained what would have to be done to follow CDC guidelines and ensure everyone’s safety, all of Cowie’s clients elected to wait.

“A wedding is a very emotionally charged event — people have spent years dreaming of what it’s going to be like,” Cowie says. “You want to make those dreams come true, and we can’t do that in 2020. We have to wait until 2021.”

That doesn’t mean you can’t spend your extra time and cash prepping for the big day. Below, Cowie and finance expert Kelly Lannan share their best tips for planning a wedding during a pandemic.

Nail Down Your Venue

Cowie forecasts that 2021 will have twice as many weddings as usual if the situation in the U.S. improves, so he advises booking weddings set for May to December 2021 now.

“All the venues are very, very busy,” says Cowie, who is based in New York and has offices in L.A., New York and Miami. “Settle on a date immediately.”

Lock in your band and photographer too, he says: “Everything else can wait.”

Add a Cancellation Clause to Your Contracts

Cowie has added a cancellation clause to every one of his client’s contracts, stating that if the date needs to be moved again, “there will be no penalty, and any deposits we have will be respected and move forward.” With outcomes far from predictable, “it’s the smart thing to do,” he says.

Don’t Book a Destination Wedding Outside the U.S.

Cowie, 58, got married to commodities trader Danny Peuscovich on Feb. 22 in Cape Town, South Africa.

“The week after we got back, the whole world went into lockdown,” he recalls. “It was the last big, great wedding before everything came to a bitter end.”

He doesn’t think he would have been able to get almost 200 guests to travel to a wedding in South Africa for several years given the pandemic.

“I was so lucky,” he says.

Cowie thinks guests will be far more likely to travel inside the U.S. before they will travel internationally. And given potential travel restrictions, they might not be able to.

Take Over a Hotel

Buying out boutique hotels will be “very, very, very popular” when large gatherings are safe, Cowie says. Consider taking over a 50 to 100-room resort or a more modest yet charming inn.

“That way you can have more control,” Cowie says. “Think about it: you go into a restaurant, you don’t know who is on your left or your right, but you know who is on your guest list.”

Livestream Your Wedding

Even if a vaccine is available by the time you say “I do,” not everyone on your guest list will feel comfortable attending in person, so Cowie advises pre-planning a virtual option over Zoom just in case.

“There will be a hybrid wedding,” Cowie says, predicting that weddings might have a mix of Zoom viewers and guests who are physically present.

And depending on rapidly changing local guidelines, in-person guests might have to be completely ruled out.

Have a Virtual Bridal Shower and Bachelor/Bachelorette Party

Kelly Lannan, the 34-year-old Boston-based Vice President of Young Investors at Fidelity, was invited to 10 weddings this year — and all of them were postponed because of the pandemic. (She has officiated four weddings, and actually offered to marry her friends whose weddings were delayed. To date, no one has taken her up on the offer.)

But online bridal showers and virtual bachelorette parties can — and should — still happen, Lannan says, because they’re fun and make guests feel included.

Take a Hard Look at Your Guest List

When Lannan got married two years ago, her mother and her future in-laws handed her guest lists.

“The guest list completely dictates a significant portion of your wedding budget,” she says. “There were people on my original list I realized I hadn’t talked to in eight years since I graduated college. The relationship wasn’t there. While it may hurt to cross someone off the list, it could definitely be a healthy decision for your budget, especially now when venues are really looking at the size of your wedding party. There’s a lot of capacity limitations given the coronavirus pandemic.”

But these B-list guests don’t have to be entirely excluded from your big day — you can send them the virtual link.

Get Crafty

You may not have pictured yourself as a DIY bride, but given the pandemic, you might have more time to spend with your glue gun working on a complex centerpiece.

“Get creative with those little things,” Lannan says. “That’s a good opportunity in the coronavirus.”

Put Your Gym Membership Money in Your Wedding Account

Is your gym membership still on hold? Not going to pilates or boot camp classes? Haven’t had a hair cut in months? You can funnel all that money plus what you’d normally spend on subscriptions and nights out into your wedding fund.

“You could even make automatic payments,” Lannan says. “That’s an easy way to save without thinking about it.”

Plus, if you have a virtual bachelor or bachelorette party, the money you would have spent in Las Vegas or Mexico can cover a splurge item on your wishlist.

Set Up An Emergency Wedding Fund

Lannan tells all her investing clients to have an emergency fund. It’s important to create one for a wedding, too, she says.

“Weddings always cost more than you think,” she says. “It’s important to anticipate over charges. Then you’ll be the one bride in the history of weddings who comes in underneath your budget.”

Lannan kept a couple thousand in her own wedding emergency fund two years ago.

“That definitely helped me feel comfortable,” she says. “And I dipped into it a little.” (She paid for hair and make-up for her 13 bridesmaids on the big day.)

Consider Wedding Insurance

Many of Lannan’s friends are buying wedding insurance for their rescheduled dates.

“From my understanding, it really does protect a couple’s investment from things beyond their control,” she says. “What if your limo driver doesn’t show up – they contract coronavirus, and you need to find someone else, and they are charging three times the price? The insurance will cover.”

Look at the Bright Side

“It’s okay to be sad postponing your wedding,” Lannan says.

But try to find an upside.

“My friend hated her original save-the-date cards. Guess what? She gets to send a new one,” Lannan says.

Don’t let the pandemic stop you from planning the wedding of your dreams, Cowie advises. Just be patient.

“There’s no crystal ball for this future,” Cowie says.

Article by Wendy Grossman Kantor  for People©

Source: https://www.msn.com/en-us/lifestyle/weddings/how-to-plan-and-save-for-your-wedding-during-the-pandemic-according-to-experts/ar-BB16d0En?ocid=msedgntp

Wedding Trends That Are In For 2020

Wedding Trends article by  Linda DiProperzio, a weddings expert and freelance writer based in New York.

Note:  This article was written in December 2019 before the virus emerged.  However, most trends listed are doable given todays restriction.

The New Year is coming up soon, and it will bring a fresh crop of hot trends that both wedding planners and vendors predict will help any couple’s big day stand out. From bridal fashion and florals to cocktails and desserts, here is a list of the 11 biggest wedding trends to watch out for in 2020.

1. Smaller Weddings

Having weddings under 50 people is becoming increasingly more common, as well as eloping or marrying abroad, says Elizabeth Babinski of Liz Rae Weddings.

2. Customization

This is a big trend, according to Whitney Cox of Vegas Weddings. “Couples want a wedding that is uniquely ‘them,’ and they don’t mind switching up traditions to create a personalized event.

5. Crystal Touches

Crystal wedding accessories are the newest unique wedding trend, say the pros at Fawn & Sparrow. “Ethereal brides are choosing natural crystal gemstones to incorporate into their modern weddings– with everything from the cake, favors, and hair accessories getting the mystical crystal touch!

Desserts

6. Dessert Tables

“A bountiful buffet table withdesserts can make you feel like a kid again-and it’s a great thing to pick up on your way tothe dance floor,” says Anthony Cuellar, Catering Chef de Cuisine, Wente Vineyards. “Couples are seeking desserts that have meaning–whether it represent theirculture, country or hometown.”

Cocktails

7. DIY Cocktail Stations
José Rolón of José Rolón Events tells couples to expect to see more make-your-own cocktail stations.

Click here to read the whole article:

https://www.shefinds.com/collections/11-wedding-trends-that-are-in-for-2020/#slide-1

June is for…..Honeymoons

Best Honeymoon Destinations

Once the wedding is over, many couples look forward to celebrating their newlywed status on their honeymoon. To help couples find the ultimate postnuptial getaway, U.S. News reviewed expert opinions along with thousands of traveler votes to determine the best honeymoon destinations. From culture-focused cities to relaxing tropical beaches, this ranking offers a range of places suitable for a variety of couples. Here are the candidates:

    • St. Lucia

      St. Lucia

      #1 in Best Honeymoon Destinations

      If you’re seeking a luxurious Caribbean honeymoon, look no further than St. Lucia. You’ll find white sand beaches and lush mountains dotted with boutique resorts. If you need a break from the sand, visit the Soufrière area to see natural attractions, such as The Pitons, Sulfur Springs Park and Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens.

 

    • Hawaii - The Big Island

      #2 in Best Honeymoon Destinations

      Whether you’re looking for a relaxing honeymoon or one filled with adventure, Hawaii’s Big Island has you covered. Here, you and your spouse can relax on stunning beaches, hike to spectacular waterfalls and get an up-close glimpse at an active volcano. You may even score a deal on your room by choosing this island over its neighbors.

       

       

    • Bora Bora

      Bora Bora

      #3 in Best Honeymoon Destinations

      Bora Bora’s jaw-dropping scenery is just the tip of the iceberg – or, rather, the volcano. Newlyweds have their pick of gorgeous beaches and lagoons for sunbathing, snorkeling and sailing, plus luxurious spas and overwater resorts. Hotel rates on this Tahitian island are high, but can you really put a price on a memorable honeymoon?

      • Maldives

        Maldives

        #4 in Best Honeymoon Destinations

        If you and your sweetheart truly want to get away from it all, head to the Maldives. This remote island chain overflows with seclusion and romance. Each resort’s extravagant services and amenities will make you never want to leave your private bungalow. When you’re ready to venture out, visit the Maldives’ tranquil beaches and spas.

      • Bordeaux

        Bordeaux

        #5 in Best Honeymoon Destinations

        It’s easy to dial up the romance while honeymooning in Bordeaux, France. In this historic port city, you’ll find a charming downtown area, as well as a serene riverfront with bike paths and greenery. After exploring Bordeaux, head to nearby wineries like Château d’Agassac and Château La Tour Carnet, where you can enjoy tastings inside castles.

 To see 15 more honeymoon destinations, go to: