But if I were to get married now (to the same man, of course!), I have found some ideas I would use. Everything you'll see here is handmade by Etsy artists. Click on the photos to be directed to the item and shop.
Let's start at the beginning - the proposal.
I don't know about you, but I haven't seen such a creative idea as these nesting dolls. What a unique way to ask for someone's hand? Not sure how many men are reading this blog, so ladies, show your friends' men! This is sure to get a "Yes!" and probably some tears.
Now let's move on to The Dress. Here's what I would wear:
Simple, but not simple at all. Lovely. Perfection. And to me, all it needs is a simple, unadorned cathedral length veil. Like this:
Next, a bride needs her bridesmaids. When I got married, nearly 8 years ago, I just asked my best friends to be my bridesmaids. They're your best friends after all, so formality is often overlooked. But you are asking the women closest to you in your life to stand by you during a ceremony before your God and all your family and friends while you make the most important and sacred vows you will ever make. Why not make your request a little more special?
Now these ladies deserve special dresses. So get them some couture that won't cost them a fortune. You'll often hear brides say they want their bridesmaids to be able to wear their dresses again. It's an honest wish when you know your friends have to fork over a couple hundred bucks or more. But how many times have you re-worn your bridesmaid dresses? These are under $200, and I bet you'd wear these to a party:
Let's not forget the little ones who make our ceremonies so special. My favorite part of the wedding party are always the kids. If you're getting married this summer, your ring bearer will look like the handsome little man he is in this. And it even comes with a hat. All he needs is a beautiful pillow to deliver the ring.
Your flower girl will feel like a princess in these dresses. For a more casual wedding, I'd choose this. It's remarkably only $20, and she can wear it all summer or for Easter.
For a more formal wedding, I'd pick this dress. Still only $55, and she can wear it again for first communions, Easter, family portraits, or any special event.
Now that everyone is dressed (except for the groom, who, depending on the formality of the wedding will probably wear a suit he owns or will just want to rent if he doesn't own a tuxedo already), it's time to party! For a bridal shower, here's a modern, but still lovely invitation.
As an alternative to real flowers, here's an artistic option for shower decorations that will last forever.
Now on to the wedding invitations and program. To me, these are perfect for a summer or fall wedding.
During the wedding, if there are any messages you would like to give your guests, chalkboards make a pretty and functional option. Direct them where they need to go, display menu options, or just use it as a sign to commemorate the event. This chalkboard is from my shop, CMB Display Designs. A table easel is all you need to set it up for any use.
For wedding decorations, I would rely mostly on fresh flowers. But to mix it up, I'd re-use the pink flowers from the shower and add these paper flowers. Give them as wedding favors to guests and bring them home to decorate your house. I would generally advice against fake flowers, but as you can see, these do not fall into that category. They're true works of art.
When the wedding's over, you will have a lot of thank you notes to send out. Think ahead, and use these props during the wedding. You'll be able to use the photos to create custom thank you cards. But be sure to write a handwritten note inside. No amount of creativity can replace good old-fashioned manners, which are too-often overlooked, in my opinion. This is for more formal weddings.
And this is for more casual weddings. As a side note, loving this bride's yellow heels!
If you're a soon-to-be bride, I hope you've found something that inspired you as it did me. Most of all, have fun planning, and here's a toast to a lifetime of happiness!