Yay! It is time to go find that wedding dress that you’ve been dreaming about since you were little! It really is a magical time, but it’s also one that can turn overwhelming if you go in blindly. However, we are here today with some tips that will help ease the process and help keep it a happy time for you and everyone involved! Here are some tips you should keep in mind when shopping for your wedding dress!
Stick to a Budget
We can’t stress this one enough, it’s why it’s first on our list! Make sure you plan out these details before you go in to shop for a dress because that can be dangerous territory! Pick a budget and once you start shopping, make sure whoever is helping you is well aware of that number and nothing more. Remember, there is still a whole wedding to plan and things can get pricey!
Plan in Advance
Our first tip leads us to this one… plan in advance! From the style of dress to the shade you want, make sure you have a vision in mind before entering a bridal store. Not only can it be extremely overwhelming if you go in blindly, but it may force you to choose a dress that you actually didn’t want. Sit down and talk with family and friends, mark up bridal magazines, or head to Pinterest for some inspiration to find your vision for your dress!
Remain Open Minded
The next thing you should do is remain open-minded. Not every bridal store has every style of dress or they don’t have certain styles in certain shades. Maybe you have your heart set on a certain detail, but they don’t have any dresses with that detail… anything can happen. Don’t get stuck on one particular style, but instead be open to various details and elements of a dress. It is great to go in with a vision, but also make sure you’re ready to have some alternate versions of that style. You’ll have a much happier experience because of it!
Shop Sooner Than Later
Searching for that perfect dress can take some time! It is best to put “wedding dress shopping” at the top of your to-do list when it comes to wedding planning. Also, finding your dress sooner allows room for there to be plenty of time for alterations if needed!
Check Different Locations
Not every bridal store will have every style. We suggest checking out other stores to make sure you have all of your options in front of you. Of course, it will take more time when scheduling appointments at various locations, so make sure you plan ahead. However, this will help you see what’s out there and find more options that will make a great fit for your special day!
Don’t Skip Out on Eating
Wedding dress shopping can actually be daunting for some women. Having to squeeze into a dress and look like a queen has been embedded into the wedding world by society for a long time. However, we are here today to shut that all down! YOU are beautiful and it’s best to remember that the dress is made to fit you, not the other way around. A lot of brides like to go early in the day or skip eating before they try on dresses, but the truth is that at your wedding you’ll need to eat and you should be comfortable. Let me repeat that again… you should be comfortable! You are going to be in the dress all night, so this is key! Find a dress that fits YOUR body and know that you are already a queen!
Finding that special dress is such a fun and memorable experience, but without the right tips it can become an overwhelming fast! Make sure to remember these tips and everything should go a lot smoother! Happy shopping!
Photo by Allison Jeffers Photography
While planning your wedding, you probably have information and advice being thrown at you left and right about what you should be doing, how you should be doing them, and when to do them. You hardly ever hear anybody tell you what you SHOULDN’T be doing on your wedding day (even though this is important information to know). We are here today to give you a heads up about what not to do on your wedding day so that way things can go a lot smoother!
1. Wear New Shoes
The last thing that you want on your wedding day is to have your feet hurting. With all of the standing, walking, and dancing that occurs throughout your special day, you want to make sure that you are comfortable! Pro tip- wear your wedding shoes early and break them in before the big day! You can wear them around your house or even to your first dance rehearsals! Trust us, it’ll be worth it.
2. Write Your Vows
Vows take time and thought and shouldn’t be thrown together at the last minute. These are the words that you are vowing to your future partner, which isn’t something that should be taken lightly. If you are needing help, there’s a lot of resources out there to help guide you.
3. Forget to Eat
We totally get it… nerves run high on your wedding day. With sweaty palms and those butterflies in your stomach, eating is the last thing on your mind. However, it is something you should not skip out on! You are going to need your strength and the last thing anybody wants is for the bride or groom to pass out during their wedding day (yikes)! Make sure to have a small snack before the ceremony and if you find yourself too busy during the reception, make sure to have someone set aside a plate for you so you can eat when you have free time.
4. Try New Skincare
Sparkle and glam are definitely a feature of most brides, but we always advise our brides to skip out on trying any new products before their big day. If you have never tried a certain product before, you may not know how your skin is going to react (breakouts, redness, etc.). Stick to what works for you and what you know!
5. Worry About Weather
This is a BIG worry for so many couples about to tie the knot. Although, our best advice is to let that worry go! Since we can’t control the weather, it is unnecessary stress added to your shoulders. If weather is a big concern, make sure to talk to your wedding venue about a plan B and let the rest occur as it is meant to!
6. Take Away All Technology
Simply put, we live in a very technological focused society. Everywhere you look there are phones, cameras, tablets… you name it! Unless you have a “no phones” sign up during your ceremony, you should expect your family and friends snapping away! Our best advice is to focus on each other and enjoy the moment!
Pro tip- create a wedding hashtag to people to tag their photos with. That way, you and your new spouse will have more photos to look back on!
7. Expect Everything to be Perfect
One of our main points when talking to future brides and grooms is that not EVERYTHING will go as planned. At every wedding we have been at or have heard stories of, the reality of it all is that not everything is going to happen like you are envisioning. From veils flying off to kids sticking their fingers in the cake, the best thing to do is prepare for it all and laugh it off with your new spouse! In the end, everything will happen as it should, and it will be a beautiful day no matter what!
Each couple’s wedding day is different, but making sure you aware of these things listed above will help you enjoy the experience a lot better! Remember, this is YOUR day, so enjoy it to the fullest!
Photo: Allison Jeffers Photography
Venue: Park 31
Planning: Hill Country Planning
Invitations/Menu: The Girl General
Calligraphy: Selah Creative Studio
Dress: Beatitude Bridal
Rentals: Cru Rentals
Flowers: Couture Dezigns
Cake: Creations Cake Shop
Officiant: Texas Wedding Minister
Hair and Makeup: Simply Serene Boerne
Bar: Bartenders 4 You
Catering: Heavenly Gourmet Catering
What is a wedding without your family and friends? Having the people that love, support and care about you two the most at your wedding is one of the most special feelings in the world! However, a lot of couples get so tied up in wedding planning that they forget about incorporating elements into their wedding that will make their guests feel at home. Not only that, but elements that will create memories that will last a lifetime! We know how busy wedding can be, so that’s why we are here today and have done the work for you!
Here are the 5 ways to make your wedding more memorable and comfortable for your guests:
Personal Guest Book
Photo: Amy and Jordan (https://www.amyandjordan.com)
One of the first things your guests will be looking for is the guest book. With this being such an important element for your wedding day and the days that follow, you want to make sure it is special! Signing a book with a paper and pen is very traditional and there has been a major shift in the last few years to stray away from this tradition. We are seeing more and more couples opt for a more personal guest book, which we absolutely love! Not only does it add a unique touch to your wedding day, but it also helps your guests feel a little bit closer to the happy couple! If you’re looking for some unique guest book ideas, Pinterest is your best friend!
Photo: Hannah Duffy Photography
Traditionally, couples would just include wedding favors and call it a day. However, we suggest adding in little elements on your wedding day that shows your guest you’re thankful they attended and that you care about them! For example, if you’re having a wedding during the colder months, then adding in some blankets for your guests is not only kind, but adds an element of love for your guests! If you’re worried about fitting it into your budget, don’t worry! There are many options out there that are very inexpensive and buying in bulk can help reduce the cost as well. It’ll be worth it to have your guests walk away saying “wow, that was so beautiful,” and with warm hearts!
Sold by Envy Events ($60)
Unless you’re only inviting family members, not everyone at your wedding will know one another. Having ice breakers is a great way to help your guests interact and mingle! It will also add a unique touch that will sure to get you smiles from your guests! Some of our favorites include giant jenga, giant checkers, and ceremony program quizzes! There are a lot of fun options out there will help your guests become friends!
Along with welcoming gifts, wedding favors (or otherwise known as the parting gifts) will be one of the last things that your guests see and remember. Customizing or adding a personal twist on this will be sure to leave a lasting impression on your family and friends! Add in a little note, place their name on the item or even add in your wedding day details. It’s all about the little items that add up to big gestures!
Photo Via Pinterest
Add a Timeline
Photo: Nataly J. Photography
Each wedding flows differently, so adding in your own wedding day timeline will help your guests know what is expected throughout the day. This will ensure that your guests know what time and where certain events are happening. It also helps show that you care about your guests and want everything to go smoothly for not only you, but for them as well. The last thing you want is a lost guest at your wedding (that wouldn’t be good)!
With these tips, your wedding guests are sure to feel comfortable during your wedding day and to walk away with warm hearts! After all, your guests are making a big effort in attending your wedding day, so you want to make sure it is worthwhile for them. There are many different options for the options listed above, but in the long run just remember that it’s the little things in life that make for some of the happiest moments!
The marriage license is signed, your wedding dress is hung up in your closet, and all of your extended family is back home. Now, it’s your chance to soak up some time together and live up that newlywed life! Yep, it’s honeymoon time and we are here to help you with your options! We know it can get a bit overwhelming finding the right location, so we are here today with a list of our top picks that we hope can serve as some inspiration for you.
Cannon Beach, Oregon
Photos: Issac Ordaz Via Unsplash
This is definitely a honeymoon choice for those of you who want a more laid-back and relaxed honeymoon. Not only are there many romantic hotels and cute boutiques nearby, but it is well-known for it’s long shorelines and beautiful scenery! You can rent a bike and take a ride down the shore, sit out and catch some sun, or go to one of their famous restaurants in town. This is a nice place to just enjoy time together with minimal worries, yet maximum enjoyment!
Napa Valley, California
Photo: Trent Erwin Via Unsplash
If you are a couple who loves to sip on some wine once the weekend hits, then this is the place to be! Beautiful views and amazing wineries with romantic resorts and bed and breakfasts… this place is definitely one of a kind! You both can take a hot air balloon ride, wine and dine at a romantic restaurant in town, and of course go do a wine tasting or two!
Photo: Mike Baker Via Unsplash
For the newlyweds who want a good mix of fun and relaxation, this is the best place to be! There are so many fun adventures on the island like snorkeling, the road to Hana, hiking (with breathtaking views might we add), live shows and dancing, and whale watching (in the colder months)! However, it’s easy to switch into relaxation mode with all of the spas on the island that offer couples massages, sunset cruises, romantic dinners, or simply just laying out on the beach (we recommend going to the black sand beaches, they are gorgeous). Either way, you can’t go wrong with Maui!
For the next three places on our list, you’ll need to get those passports ready and pack up your favorite book to read because you’ll be hopping on a place to arrive at these marvelous destinations! These are some of the most remarkable and beautiful places in the world and if they don’t end up being your pick for your honeymoon, they definitely need to be at the top of your bucket list!
Photo: Pascal Debrunner Via Unsplash
This city is a special one because they call it the city of two’s because it sits between two lakes (you are sure to get some amazing views)! Whether you’re visiting during the summer or winter months, you are sure to have many adventurous options for you two to choose from. With being called “the adventure capital of the world,” there is something for everyone here! From exploring Oberhofen Castle to paragliding, this romantic city has it all.
Photo: Igor Oliyarnik Via Unsplash
In the beautiful Lake District of Italy, you’ll have romance wrapped around the both of you! With Lake Como and the City of Milan, you’ll have a wide range of romantic restaurants, breath-taking views, unique stores, and adventures to choose from your pool of to-do’s! While you’re on your way to a wine tasting, you may pass by couples kissing and embracing the moment in this truly romantic place! This is definitely a place to connect, relax, and to make some amazing memories together.
Photo: H. Fall Via Unsplash
Have your heart stolen by this beautiful, more seclusive little town in Greece! A short ferry ride away from the main island, you both will be able to take in the breathtaking views of crystal clear waters and stunning sunsets. Go snorkeling at the gorgeous Faneromeni Beach, embark on an adventure in Antiparos Cave, or simply lay out in your lounger and catch some sun. Romance and relaxation all in one little (yet extremely stunning) city!
Destination weddings are quickly becoming popular and we are on board with this trend! There's excitement, thrill, and so much romance! However, we know planning a destination wedding can be daunting, so we are here to give you some tips that are sure to make things easier!
1. Visit the Venue in Advance
We all know that scrolling through Pinterest can be mesmerizing, but when it comes to choosing your venue for your destination wedding it is better to see the site in person! Plan a trip with your partner months in advance to make sure the place is one that you both absolutely love and cherish. You will both be able to gain a feel for the area and see if it is actually somewhere you would like to start this new chapter of your lives together!
2. A Wedding Planner is a Must
Destination weddings can be tricky when it comes to planning everything out. Not only are you unfamiliar with the area, but the lack of connections with vendors will also put a strain on your wedding planning. Hiring a wedding planner or coordinator will not only allow for those connections to be established, but it also creates more time for both you and your partner to focus on what you need leading up to the day of your wedding.
3. Send out Invitations well in Advance
With this being a destination wedding, you’ll want to make sure your guests have a heads up in advance! Make sure to give them enough time to figure out if they are able to go, book a flight, and find a hotel around the venue. Much more planning goes into destination weddings, so making sure everyone has an ample amount of time to set everything into motion is definitely needed!
4. Use Local Vendors
Booking with local vendors will not only lower the cost of the wedding, but it will also save you a lot of time! However, we suggest doing research before signing a contract. In addition, it will also make things easier if you have a wedding planner by your side. They have connections that will make the process of finding vendors a little less hectic!
5. Make a Checklist (passports, etc.)
You want to make sure that both you and your future spouse have everything ready to go! With destination weddings, you want to make sure that you bring along everything you need and leave nothing behind. Start planning out your list in advance and give yourself plenty of time to pack. The last thing you want on your wedding day is to have forgotten something important!
We are now offering Destination Weddings! If you or someone you know is planning their destination wedding, we would love to help make this very special day easier. Head to our contact page above and lets make some magic!
Photo: Benjaminrobyn Jespersen via Unsplash
We know how it can be when it comes to picking the first dance song for your wedding day. You search and search, but nothing speaks to you and the anxiety starts to set in. Well, grab a drink and take some notes because we are here to take you through a list of songs that make for perfect first dance songs! The best part? They are songs that you haven’t heard over and over again!
1. Better Together by Jack Johnson
An airy and light acoustic folk song that will make you want to grab your partner and start dancing! This song will surely put a smile on both of your faces as well as all of your
2. Falling Like the Stars by James Arthur
Looking for a romantic tear jerker? Well, look no further! This song has a heart warming effect that will have everyone in awe while you and your new spouse dance away! It will make you feel as if you are truly dancing with the stars!
3. From the Ground Up by Dan + Shay
This song is a country love song that doesn’t get enough credit! With lyrics signifying the start of a new beginning, this is the perfect song to symbolize the new chapter of both of your lives.
4. The Bones by Maren Morris
This soulful pop song with hints of country reflects a strong relationship. Despite everything that may be going on around them, these two people can get through anything together.
5. I Will Spend My Whole Life Loving You by Imaginary Future ft. Kina Grannis
This folk love song truly encaptures the meaning of love between best friends and all that it entails. This one is sure to pull at some heart strings!
6. Blessed by Thomas Rhett
With this slow, romantic country love song, both of you will be reminded of how lucky you both are to have each other in your lives. You can definitely feel the love in the lyrics with this one!
7. You Are Mine by Spencer Combs ft. Holley Maher
Folksy yet instrumental, this is a song that may call for tissues once it is over. The lyrics from this song seem like vows themselves and not only are they touching, but they are filled with so much love.
8. I Get to Love You by Ruelle
This is another song on our list that really focuses on how appreciative and grateful one is to have the love of their life right in front of them. The reflection of loving one another forever is mirrored perfectly with this one!
9. How Would You Feel by Ed Sheeran
Ed Sheeran is an artist whose songs make an appearance at a lot of weddings. With songs like “Perfect” and “Photograph,” how could they not? However, this song is
one that not a lot of people turn to, yet has the same heart-warming effect! We like to call it a hidden gem.
10. I Choose You by Ryann Darling
Saying “I do” and the union of two souls is perfectly translated in this song by Darling and makes for a beautiful first dance song. With the background music featuring the piano, this song is one that will get the water works going for everyone!
11. Crazy Love by Michael Bublé
Lighthearted and feel good are words that perfectly sum up this one! This song fully captures those joyous moments and happiness in every way. If you are a couple that wants a more mirthful effect, Michael Bublé is the man for the job!
12. I Won’t Give Up by Jason Mraz
When this song came out, it had so much buzz, but for some reason it slowly faded. Well, we are here to put it back on the map! This acoustic, ebullient tune
embodies positivity and hard work in a relationship. Everything a first dance song should be!
13. Here Tonight by Brett Young
If you and your partner want to truly live in the moment during your first dance, this song is a perfect song for you! With a more upbeat melody, it will definitely be one to create a heartening, romantic effect.
14. Better Together by Us the Duo
Everytime we hear this song, we always start to sway our heads back and forth. With such a light hearted, acoustic vibe, this song is sure to make for such a sweet moment between you two lovebirds!
15. How Long Will I Love You by Ellie Goulding
Sentimental and sweet, this tune is one that focuses on the depth of the love that one has for another. The piano background music adds for a soft and romantic effect that will perfectly reflect the emotions of your special day!
Let’s face it. Weddings can be so much fun, but they can also be fast paced and make us forget what day of the week it is! From forgetting to book your final fitting to forgetting to invite your great aunt Lisa, it can all be a bit messy at times.
If you have an upcoming wedding, don’t worry! We are here to give you some tips on how to reduce stress and to enjoy the moments leading up to your special day instead of worrying about them. We got your back!
1. Hire a wedding planner
Those who brave out the storm alone usually tend to be the most stressed about planning their special day. With hiring a wedding planner, stress is instantly taken out of the equation! We aren’t saying that there won’t be days where you have a lot on your plate (you are going to have a wedding after all), but wedding planners can help take an immense amount of pressure off of your shoulders!
From having connections to vendors, from coordinating the entire day, your wedding planner will essentially become your hero when it comes to making your vision a reality! Not to mention, they will help keep things on track when it comes to your budget and can possibly help with vendor discounts. Need we say more?
2. When in Doubt, Talk it out
This may be an obvious one, but there are so many brides and grooms who hold in their thoughts and frustration. All of those emotions can add up and take the joy out of planning your wedding. Being open and honest with someone you trust, whether that be your fiancé or a close friend, will help you let out what’s bothering you and get some advice that may really help you. You’ll be able to talk it out, breathe, and keep going! We promise you will feel better after, it works like a charm!
3. Trust the Ones You Love
It’s okay to fall back on the people that are close to you. That’s what they are there for! From your best man/maid of honor to your mother-in-law, they are there to help you get through all of the highs and lows that come with planning a wedding. Give them a list of things that you may need help along with all of the details for each. Remember, just because it is your wedding day doesn’t mean you HAVE to do it all. We all need some help from time to time!
4. Spend Time With Your Fiancé
Your love for each other is what led you here in the first place, right? Spending time reconnecting can help not only relieve stress for you and your partner, but it can also help bring you two closer together and enrich your relationship! This is especially true if you’ve both been caught up in wedding planning. Go on a date night, rent a movie and pop some popcorn, or simply spend time outdoors together. Anything that will help both of you rekindle and relax is a win in our book!
Photo: Allison Jeffers Photography
Rentals: Cru Rentals
Flowers: HEB Blooms
Dress: Beatitude Bridal
Hair and Makeup: Simply Serene Salon & Spa
Venue: Contigo Ranch
We are so excited to announce the addition of Hill Country Weddings & Events that we started in November 2014. This company will offer rentals, bar service and the first Wedding and Events Magazine in the Hill Country. We are so excited to offer a magazine on weddings in the Hill Country and the launch date is March 2015. Stay tuned for lots of amazing things in the 2015 year and also visit our website at www.hillcountryweddingsmagazine.com
Hill Country Planning is pleased to announce the addition of Jennifer Howell as our new Director of Marketing. Jenn received her Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design from San Francisco State in 2000, and has owned her own business for the last 10 years. Her experience in marketing paired with her knowledge of business development will make her new role at Hill Country Planning a perfect match. Jenn moved to the Boerne area from Northern California this past summer with her husband and two children. We are excited for this addition to our team and look forward to many spectacular events in 2014.