{ Throwing a Rehearsal Dinner }

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As many frequent wedding attendees know, often the biggest night of the wedding weekend is not actually the night of the ceremony and reception. Instead, it’s the eve of the wedding that stands out most: what is known as the rehearsal dinner. These dinners take many forms. Though traditionally hosted by the groom’s side, in modern times it’s becoming increasingly more common for both sides to split the cost, or even for the bride and groom to cover the cost themselves. There are a few reasons this night ends up being one of the highlights of the wedding weekend: there’s not as much pressure, everyone has just arrived and is ready to start celebrating, and the toasts are often the most memorable part. Again, though it has become customary for more than just the best man to speak at the wedding, the rehearsal dinner is often the more intimate night in which members of the wedding party, family, and other special guests have the opportunity to toast the couple.

Dinner Toast

Make no mistake, this night does require some attention to set the tone for what’s to come.

  • It’s not a bad idea to put the vibe out there that you’re open to toasting and even roasting! I attended one wedding where the groom’s father asked that people please keep their toasts brief and to the point. Of course this mild request basically turned everyone off from toasting.


  • Attendants and family: use this night as an opportunity to be playful with the special couple. The best dinners I’ve attended included the shoe game in which bride and groom sit back to back and each hold one of the other’s shoe in their hands. As members of the wedding party as the couple questions, each must hold up whichever shoe represents the answer. Kind of a pre-newlywed game of sorts –but fun and lively and always a crowd-pleaser.


  • Another wedding I attended in Florida included favors for the wedding party from the mother of the bride: each bridesmaid received a copy of Anne Morrow Lindberg’s A Gift from the Sea. This was such a nice personal touch – a way to thank the wedding party in a private and thoughtful way before the rest of the guests descend on the weekend.


  • Be a planner! There will be plenty of out of town guests clamoring at the opportunity to begin celebrating. Choose a festive bar or restaurant for everyone to descend upon during or after the dinner. But watch yourself….you don’t want to fall victim to the “rehearsal dinner” night syndrome, in which you have a little too much fun or are what my dad likes to call “over-served” to enjoy the actual wedding and reception the next night. Pace yourself and maybe give yourself a curfew.


Whether you choose to keep this night simple, with just immediate family, or open it up to a much larger group – it is most often the beginning of it all: be present and enjoy every moment.


Liz Mathews is a Connecticut based mother, teacher, and freelance writer who blogs on children’s books and related topics at La La La. Her work has appeared in Quality Women’s Fiction, Town and Country magazine, and Literary Mama.

{ Hipster Wedding }

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It’s hard to define what a hipster wedding is, but I know one when I see one. These non-mainstream, counter culture, vintage-inspired fetes, with a bohemian flair tend to incorporate some traditional wedding elements but have a more casual feel. Airstreams, food trucks, mason jars, animal masks, beards… these are just some of the key elements that make up a hipster wedding.

Animal Dance Party{Photo: JBM Weddings}

If ever there was any confusion about whether or not you’re at a hipster wedding, just look for the vintage trailer.

Airstream{Photo: Braedon Flynn Photography}

Beards, bow ties, and suspenders are all key style elements, for men, in any hipster wedding. Man bun? That’s a bonus.

Groomsman style{Photo: Etsy}

Hair crown and a vintage style dress? Check and check!

Gold Crown{Photo: Leave it to me Photography}

Photo booth in a vintage VW Van? Doesn’t get much cooler than this.

Photobooth VW{Via: Happy Solez}

It’s all in the artsy details. Loving these mismatched chairs and Wes Anderson theme.

Wes Anderson 2

{Photo: Pat Furey}

Still unclear on what constitutes a hipster wedding, or if you’ve been to one? Check out Refinery29’s hilarious yet informative infographic here.



{ Tipi Weddings }

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As a fan of summer camp, glamping, and Moonrise Kingdom, there is something about a wedding tipi that appeals to me more than a wedding tent. Yes, tented wedding receptions are gorgeous and elegant, but wedding tipis have a bohemian air to them that feels carefree and chic, in a DYI way, even if you don’t do any of the details yourself.

Tipi Reception{Photo: Ammy Lam Photography}

Newby Hall vintage inspired wedding, north yorkshire{Photo: Via}

For those not wanting an entirely tented event, smaller tipis make great accent pieces for lounge areas, or a section for children.

 Tipi Area Reception{Photo: Aaron Delesie Photography}


{Photo: Katie Pritchard}

Traditional tipis have their roots in Native American culture, where it wasn’t only an efficient structure, but also a symbolic expression of humanity’s relations with the natural and spiritual worlds. Tipis, sometimes spelled teepees, were used as sacred places to hold ceremonies…and what’s more sacred than a wedding? It’s a perfect match.



{ Monogramming Your Wedding }

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Although monogramming has early Greek and Roman roots, and eventually came to represent royal origins, today monograms have become increasingly popular with weddings – as an identifying stamp for the new couple, or a way to personalize gifts.  In the past, a newly engaged couple may have excitedly debuted their new monogram on their save-the-date or wedding invitation. And while monograming may have formerly evoked a more conservative or preppy vibe, times have changed.  Now, with the rapid advances of technology and graphic design, monogramming has proliferated across all aspects of wedding planning, and has become yet another way for couples to showcase their creativity or personal style.

Monogram_Etsy{Via Etsy}

For the big day, brides and grooms may choose to monogram everything from cocktail napkins, table runners, and ceremony programs, to cookies, wedding cakes, and gift bags. On a smaller scale, crafty brides and grooms may paint a monogram on decorative items like rocks or shells used as place cards or table decorations. A true devotee may include a monogram on his or her wedding band. Gifts for the wedding party can also be personalized with each attendant’s monogram embossed or embellished on wine totes, coasters, koozies, or even dress shirts or robes. The possibilities are truly endless.

Monogrammed Cookies{Via Etsy}

For wedding gifts, monograms can, of course, be included on silver, linens, cutting boards, even doormats to grace the new couple’s first home together. Monogramming can be playful too: a recent trend includes monogramming games like corn hole that can be enjoyed with friends and family long after the big day. When bestowing a monogrammed gift, though, be aware that there is etiquette for the order of initials depending on the gift.

Though many monograms may be initially hand painted, couples now use a digitalized version of this image on all aspects of their life beyond the wedding: on stemware, clothing, even as decals for cars! Designers like Rhode Island School of Design graduate, Kearsley Lloyd, specialize in customizing weddings with original, personalized logos. Digitalized images like the one Llyod designs become a true representative image of a couple’s wedding, appearing everywhere from the postage stamps for the rsvp cards to the ties the groomsmen wear on the wedding day.



{Via: Kearsley Lloyd}

Whether you’re using a monogram traditionally or in a more modern whimsical way, it is a paragon for what a wedding ultimately represents: two interwoven images coming together to form one symbol – of love.


Liz Mathews is a Connecticut based mother, teacher, and freelance writer who blogs on children’s books and related topics at La La La. Her work has appeared in Quality Women’s Fiction, Town and Country magazine, and Literary Mama.

{ Industrial Weddings }

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As weddings are becoming less traditional and more inventive, wedding venues are also becoming more diverse. Industrial wedding venues are trending and it’s easy to see why. There is something about exposed brick, iron light fixtures, and high ceilings that set the stage for a very hip party.

Industrial Wedding Tennesee{Venue: The Church on Main, Photographer: Jac & Heath}

Industrial spaces provide the perfect backdrop for live bands, signature cocktails, and some spaces like Washington DC’s Lost and Found, even allow food trucks for a more causal party.  One of Lost and Found’s Owners, Hilarey Leonard said that people “book the space for wedding after parties mostly, but also rehearsal dinners.” They have one booked now and the couple is bringing in catering
and having a blues band.  Another couple is eloping in Fiji are doing a post-nuptials party there for family and friends.

Lost and Found DC{Venue: Lost and Found, Photographer: White Room DC}

While Industrial weddings sometimes have a “hard edge,” it’s easy to soften up the space with flowers and lights. Some couples even bring in their own art or choose a space that has a gallery. These raw spaces are open to customization, and thats what makes them very unique. It’s easy for a couple to put their own unique spin on the place.

NY Industrial Wedding{Venue: NY Wedding, Photographer: Isabelle Selby}

From Brooklyn to LA, and everywhere in between, Industrial weddings are hot right now and finding a modern venue like this is easier than ever. Check out our Pinterest page for some ideas.

Industrial Wedding PA

{Venue: Urban Outfitters Headquarters, Photographer: Love Me Do Photography}

What are your thoughts on Industrial Weddings? Head over to our Facebook Page and leave a comment.



{ Winter Weddings }

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Although summer seems to be the official season for weddings, winter weddings are a gorgeous alternative. Full of luxe fabrics, rich colors, and gorgeous snowy backdrops, winter weddings are often underrated. Below is a visual roundup of some beautiful winter weddings. Hopefully these photos will inspire some to tie the knot “off season.”


Bridesmaids Winter






Bridesmaid Snow


Kissing Snow




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