Author Archives: Grady Savage
So your wedding is over (crying emojis all over the place!) and you’re just coming off of that honeymoon high. What now? What are the first few things you should do as newlyweds post-epic celebration? Here’s a checklist with some key “to dos” that will get your new marriage off to a wonderful start!
Preserve Wedding Items
Hopefully some of this will have been done by your besties right after the reception, but make sure you’re preserving the items from your wedding that you want to make sure you’re able to treasure for years to come. Maybe one of your parents or someone in your wedding party handled freezing the top of your cake for you for your anniversary, but now’s the time to pick it up and get it in your freezer so you’ll have it next year! You’ll also wanna make sure you’ve had your bouquet preserved, and even your wedding dress can be specially cleaned and professional stored away for maximum safety for years to come. Another idea? Put your paper goods (like your save the date, invitation, wedding program, and any other supplemental items) into a shadow box for display in your home!
Name Change (If You Choose To)
If you or your partner (or both!) are choosing to change your last name, it’s a great idea to get started on it as soon as possible after your big day. It can be a long, time consuming, semi-complicated process so getting it over with ASAP will save you some sanity. Dragging it out will just increase its annoyance level and make you live in weird name limbo, which is no fun. The sooner you can visit the DMV, your bank, and every other place where your name change will be relevant, the better!
Review/Send Testimonials to Your Vendors
Before you get too far away from your amazing day, make sure to check in with your vendors and—if you loved them—offer to send testimonials their way! Most vendors get the majority of their business from positive word-of-mouth, so if they were great, be sure to not only let them know, but let others know as well! Many wedding websites, as well as business sites, have places where you can publicly review vendors’ services as well. Make sure to leave a completely honest review, the good and the bad, as it will help future couples make decisions on who to choose for their big day!
Move In Together/Make Your Place a Home
Whether you’re moving in together for the first time after your wedding or you’ve lived together for years before the big day, what better time to give your place a new look than after your wedding? Really take some time to make your house into a home by melding your personal styles, doing a house or room refresh, and adding new decorating elements. Don’t forget your wedding photos, now’s a great time to put together a wedding album if your photographer doesn’t provide one for you, and it’s an even better time to order a giant canvas or create a gallery wall from your wedding day!
Change Pertinent Account Information
This step is a bit more boring than perhaps some of the others, but it may very well be one of the most important, as you want to make sure you have all of your logistical things in place for your new married life. If you or your partner have relevant health or bank accounts, retirement funds, or insurance policies, now’s a great time to make sure you’ve adjusted any access or beneficiary needs. If you or your partner have children from a previous relationship, it may be especially important to review important documents, including wills, in case there need to be adjustments made given your new family situation. As I said, this is a more boring and cumbersome step, but you’ll be glad to have it handled, and peace of mind is so important when starting your brand new marriage!
Thank You Cards
Now that the dust from your big day has settled, it’s time to take a moment and thank everyone who helped with your amazing day. Thank yous for gifts and cards are of course included in this, but it’s also a great time to thank everyone who participated in the day itself, like your officiant or your wedding party, as well as any vendors who were extra special. A handwritten card really means so much and is the least you can do for everyone who made your day wonderful!
Start Some New Traditions as a Family!
This might be the most fun item of all: start deciding on some new traditions to start as a family! Do you want to start a particular event or activity surrounding a holiday? Or do you want to plan a yearly vacation to a certain location? Now is the perfect time to start discussing and dreaming with your spouse about the traditions you want to establish as a brand new family unit! Have fun planning and scheming for ways to make every day—not just your wedding day—amazing!
One of the more fun aspects of married life is having the time and ability to cook meals together! Spending time in the kitchen together can actually be a fun way to bond as a couple, and maybe learn some new skills to boot! Looking for some great, healthy meals for two? Look no further—this list includes meat, vegetarian, vegan, and even a paleo option!
Super Easy, Quick Beef and Broccoli
This ridiculously easy, ridiculously fast beef and broccoli meal will literally take you less time than going to get take out. It’s 15 minutes from start to finish, so it’s a great recipe to try if you and your partner are cooking novices and want to start with something short and sweet.
Salmon Baked in Foil
This is another super-speedy recipe, just 20 minutes this time. This salmon-and-lemon combination has super simple instructions and is baked in foil—great for simplicity and easy clean-up afterwards. This is a great option if you’re hoping to expand your cooking repertoire, but aren’t quite ready for anything super complicated yet. Simple, healthy, and delicious!
Paleo Sweet and Sour Chicken
This paleo sweet and sour chicken recipe is admittedly a step up in skill level and experience from the first two, but it has high praise and is said to be often mistaken for take-out! The fact that it’s all that AND paleo too, what more could you ask for? This would be a great option if you and your sweetheart are looking to explore some healthy alternatives to classic recipes but are unsure of where to start.
One Pot Sausage and Vegetables
It doesn’t get much more simple than a one-pot recipe, and this one’s made even better by it’s healthy ingredients and less-than-30-minute time commitment! If one person begins the cooking process and the other person prepares the add-ons as the food cooks, this recipe will be on your table in no time—approximately 20 minutes! And with only one pot to clean too, you won’t have to play rock-paper-scissors to figure out who’s doing the dishes.
Cantaloupe Curry Soup
This vegetarian soup recipe might be the easiest in the whole bunch—it literally only has one step and you’re done! If you need a healthy, delicious dinner in a rush, this recipe seriously cannot be beat. One of you can whip this together while the other one sets the table and you’re good to go!
Tuna Spring Rolls with Pineapple Dipping Sauce
If you’re looking to make a more unique, healthy dish, this is the perfect one to try! With a few substitution options listed as well, it should be pretty easy to make this recipe exactly to you and your partner’s liking. The dipping sauce also looks incredible, and could be a fun thing to try with other dishes if you’re the adventurous type.
One Pan Garlic Chicken Recipe
Similar to the classic one pot recipes, this delicious one pan garlic chicken and asparagus looks absolutely incredible, and simple to boot! Almost all of it is prep time—which you can easily work on together—and then you simply throw it in the oven, wait 20 minutes, and you’re ready to eat! And again, you couldn’t ask for an easier clean up!
Vegan Blueberry Almond Muffins
This teeny tiny serving of vegan blueberry almond muffins (the recipe literally makes two muffins) is the perfect option if you and your partner are looking for a great breakfast meal to make together! You could make it the morning of or could bake it ahead of time and have it ready for the AM. It’s a sweet, super healthy option, especially if you’re transitioning into veganism and are craving a sweet treat.
Watermelon Feta Salad
Looking for an awesome summertime dinner option? Look no further than this amazing Watermelon Feta Salad recipe! With super simple, natural ingredients and even a recipe for an easy homemade balsamic vinaigrette, this is a ridiculously quick, wonderful dinner to prepare together. A perfect option for eating on the porch on a hot summer night or throwing together a speedy meal or side dish for a summer dinner party. So fresh, healthy, and delicious!
Another awesome vegan option, this tofu scramble is particularly great because it’s so easily customizable. While you’re cooking, if your sweetheart realizes they want to substitute one ingredient for another, it’s easy as can be. And, because there are so many options, you’ll be able to make this recipe time and time again without it getting old—just keep swapping out items for others and see what you like best!
As you can see, there are lots of healthy, fun recipe options for you and your partner to try out together in the kitchen. From super quick, one pan wonders, to more complicated—but delectable—recipes, there’s sure to be something on this list that you both will love! Happy cooking!
Once all of the pomp and circumstance of the ceremony and the formal couple photos are over, it’s time to let loose and party it up at the reception! There are so many options for the first time you arrive and are officially announced as couple for the first time: some couples have the DJ play the first dance song and begin dancing right away, others enter alongside their bridal party in a more understated manner, and some even forgo the formal reception entrance all together. But what if you’re hoping to really make a splash for your first entrance in wedded bliss?
Enter in a Unique Vehicle
If you have the means and ability, why not go for an entrance that will really get your guests talking? Arrive at your reception location in the most unique, head-turning vehicle you can find! The great thing about this option is you can very easily match it to the theme and tone of your event, too! Everything from a helicopter, chartered boat, vintage car, or a horse & carriage—whatever option best fits your personalities will make an incredible statement! All of these sounding a little too much for you? How about an adorable bicycle-built-for-two? Any kind of unique vehicle is sure to make a lasting impression on your guests, so you really can’t go wrong!
Showcase a Special Talent
Do you and your partner have an awesome talent you could showcase for the evening? If you’re incredible dancers, why not enter with a choreographed number to wow everyone? If you’re singers, coming in with a rehearsed love song will pretty much guarantee there won’t be a dry eye in the house. But maybe an even more amazing option would be for you both to learn something new to really showcase a hidden talent for your guests! A comedy routine, magic show, or some other kind of fun, exciting brand-new talent would make for a totally unexpected, fun wedding entrance for you and your brand-new spouse.
Get Your Bridal Party to Help
Many of the recently trendy wedding exits could also make a pretty incredible entrance, if only you had the help to do it! And that is, of course, where your faithful bridal party comes in. Options like sparklers or ribbon wands would look extra-adorable if the people holding these are the people who have been helping you prepare, plan, and execute this incredible day. Another really fun option would be something like confetti or glitter; you and your partner could wait behind closed doors and, at your signal, your party would throw a TON of glitter or confetti into the air above you as you enter! It’s such a fun thing for everyone participating, as well as a super memorable way to be first presented, and the photos will be incredible! Remember—your party is there because they love you and they want to help, so if you need a hand or two to make your perfect wedding entrance a reality, don’t be afraid to enlist them to assist you.
Now that the more formal part of your wedding day—the ceremony—is complete, you can have a little bit of extra fun with the reception. So why not go BIG with your reception entrance and make a choice that is really suited and niched to your preferences and interests as a couple? Do you and your partner love sports? Consider having your DJ announce everyone like they’re on a sports roster or have the happy couple run and break through a giant paper banner to get into the reception? Do you and your partner have a preference for super weird music? Well, now’s the time to embrace it and play that loudly and proudly as you march in! Do you and your partner have a favorite movie or TV show? Why not incorporate that into your entrance? (Jim and Pam’s wedding, anyone?) Now’s the time to really embrace what you love and make it a statement in your day!
Costumes and Props
There is, of course, the option to completely change your outfits for the reception, and that is absolutely possible here, but you could also just add a few key elements to make your entrance really stand out. Harry Potter nerds? Hello glasses, capes, and wands! Love Star Wars? Looks like you’re bringing in some light sabers! However you choose to incorporate costumes or props, they can be a hilarious and unique way to make your entrance stand out!
The most important thing to remember about your reception entrance is that it’s yours and only yours. So however you choose to enter—whether it’s in a super-stretch limo or a football jersey—if you bring as much of your relationship and personalities into it, your guests will certainly be talking about it for years to come!
Photo booths have been a rising trend in weddings for some time now, but what if you don’t have room in the budget to rent one of those fancy machines? What if your event is more on the DIY-side and you want to keep the photo booth in line with that? No worries! It can actually be quite simple to put together one of your own if you have these few things in place!
You might be thinking that a super fancy camera should be number one on the list, but the reality is that the type of camera is far less important than the type of lighting you have in the photo space. If you put your photo booth in an area with a very dark lighting set-up, not only will your space not look inviting and fun, but the camera will have a hard time focusing and getting good shots, which is the whole point to begin with! You can purchase an inexpensive lighting kit if you can make that investment, but even if you can’t, adding lots of light to the area (natural light is awesome, if possible!) will make a massive difference in how the photos turn out. If nothing else, invest in your lighting for great photo booth photos.
There are lots of options for what you want your guests to use to actually take the photos – and what you choose depends more on preference or aesthetic than anything else. The main thing to make sure of is that whatever you choose to use is of decent quality so that you will get some great photos out of it, but is also something that you’re comfortable having A LOT of guests handle. The reality is not everyone at your wedding will be a professional photographer who knows how to handle photography equipment, so you should keep that in mind before you borrow your best friend’s $2,000 DSLR to do the job! If you’re not going to delegate one particular person to take all the photos, it’s a reality that whatever you choose needs to be something that you’re okay with your guests—who may have had a champagne or two—handling.
Rather than trying to set (and keep) your camera settings on self-timer mode, why not purchase an inexpensive camera remote control for your big day? They are extremely inexpensive and incredibly user friendly – it would certainly be an awesome way for groups to get full photos without leaving one person out of the shot, and it can be super fun to see how people try (or don’t try!) to conceal the remote control in the photos! It’s a nice detail that will make things much easier for everyone if you can make it happen.
A cute backdrop can make or break your photo booth! You can set it to match the general theme and aesthetic of the whole event or you can make it something a little more wild and sassy if you wanna get some variety in there. Solid colors or even textured backdrops tend to look the best, and are certainly the least distracting in large group photos, so if you’re not sure what to go with, it might be a good call to opt for something along those lines. If you want to go all out, you could make a full flower or paper chain wall to add some contrast and interest to the background without making it too busy.
Props are one of the funnest aspects of a photo booth! Of course you can go for the themed bride-and-groom ones, but you can also go a little more off the beaten path if you’d like. A collection of strange hats, feather boas, and weird sunglasses always make for some entertaining options. A personal favorite is a chalkboard or two where guests can write their own captions or thought bubble responses – looking through those later is pretty much guaranteed to be a hilarious treat! Whatever you choose, just make sure there is a LARGE variety of options, it’d be a total bummer to have a sparse prop table when all of your friends want to get together for a big group shot!
Plenty of Signage
This might be one of the most important parts of all, because if people don’t know there’s a photo booth, they can’t use it! Make arrows pointing the way to the booth, include information in your programs or signs at the reception, or even appoint a bridesmaid or groomsman to be in charge of making sure people get over there. Especially if the booth is set up somewhere that’s not immediately in view to everyone at your event, it may get overlooked. You want to make sure you have photos of EVERYONE in that bright pink wig, don’t you?
No matter how you decide to settle the details for your photo booth, it can be a fun, entertaining, and hilarious addition to your wedding reception. And with just a few things in place, it can be a super easy thing to DIY for your big day!
The gown you choose to wear for your wedding ceremony will be absolutely gorgeous of course, but what if you want to change it up for your reception? What would be the benefit of doing that? Here are some reasons you might choose to switch out your outfit for the reception.
Showcase an Additional Dress
When you were wedding dress shopping, if more than one dress caught your eye, changing at the reception might be the perfect excuse to showcase both dresses, especially if they differ in style and type. If you have it in your budget to wear two separate, full-out wedding gowns, changing at the reception is a perfect option for you! You might also want to wear a wedding gown that’s been passed down in your family, but weren’t sure how to incorporate it. This is especially wonderful if you had a hard time deciding upon what dress to choose in the first place — so why not both?
What if, for the reception, you’d just like to change a bit of your dress to add some extra flair? Why not choose a transforming dress for the reception? This way you can still change up your look for the second half of your wedding day, but without the price tag and potential hassle of a whole separate dress for the occasion. Some dresses are have a detachable top shrug piece or even a skirt that can be removed to give your reception outfit a sassier, more party-ready look.
One benefit of changing at the reception is that you’re also able to get a variety of looks in your photos for the day! Some brides choose to not only change their gown from the ceremony to the reception, but also their hair and makeup as well – maybe a classy updo with the full gown at the ceremony and a more free-flowing hairstyle with the less-fancy reception dress. However you choose to do the details, changing at the reception gives you the opportunity to not only showcase another dress look to your guests, but in your future photo albums and wedding video as well.
Traditional for the Ceremony, Sassy for the Reception
Especially in the cases of religious ceremonies, there may be specific expectations placed upon the gown you actually get married in. Many churches and other places of worship require shoulders to be covered, or a certain length of skirt for the bride’s attire. This means that your dress options would be limited to gowns that are appropriate for those settings. And if your personal style doesn’t align with those options, you might feel frustrated by your dress choices. Changing at the reception means that you’re able to honor and respect those traditional expectations while still being able to celebrate your wedding in a gown that you really feel represents you and your personal style. This might be especially applicable if your favorite gown is a little more revealing than the venue would prefer, or has a fit (like a mermaid style) that may be tighter than a traditional ceremony location might find respectful. It’s your wedding, so you should wear whatever you love the most, but making the change from ceremony to reception gives you the opportunity to respect both your venue AND your personal preferences!
More Appropriate for Ceremony Activities
There are also times when you may need to wear a different dress for your reception, depending upon what the activities you have planned for your reception. The most obvious example for this is, of course dancing, but you could even have an extra-special activity or exit planned that would require you to have more mobility than perhaps a traditional gown might allow. In this case, changing into a cocktail-type dress might be a great way to keep yourself comfortable while you’re dancing your heart out, but still look like an absolutely stunning bride on your big day.
Wear It Again!
One of the extra-special things that can happen if you do choose a more casual reception style to change into is the ability to wear the dress again for special occasions in the future. Some brides choose a cocktail-style reception dress and then wear it every year to dinner on their anniversary! I’ve even heard of a bride who, after the wedding, dyed her short reception dress a gorgeous color, and now wears it to every wedding she attends as a guest, as a way to remind her and her husband of the day they made that special commitment to each other. However you choose to utilize a reception dress in the future, it can be especially wonderful to know that you’ll be able to revisit the dress from one of the best days of your life and wear it again and again.
Whatever reason you choose to change at the reception, there are many wonderful ways this can spice up your wedding reception look and add a new spin on things! Did you change at your reception? Are you glad you did?
As you’re starting to piece together the details of your wedding, you may want to create a wedding website (or “wedsite”) to pass along to friends and family and update with information as you get closer to the big day! But what needs to be included on this site? Are there certain things you want to make sure not miss? Here’s a list of helpful information to include on your wedsite.
Your Relationship Story
Including the story of your relationship is a huge–and fun!–part of your wedding website. It’s the perfect place to give your friends and family some background of how exactly you got to where you are today, plus it’s a great way to share little things people might not know, like your engagement story or how you first met. If you want to get extra sweet, have separate sections for you and your partner to each tell your individual perspective of those big events! This is also the perfect place to include likes and dislikes, fun facts, or anything else to add more of yourselves to the site.
Engagement Photos/Couple Photos
If you had engagement photos taken, this is the PERFECT place to display them. A lot of template wedding websites have an entire page for posting photos of you and your boo, and engagement photos are the perfect option for those pages. You could also use the photo space to showcase a timeline of your relationship, photos from your first date all the way through to updated ones of today. It’s a really fun, visual way to show everyone how far you’ve come and also showcase some neat places you may have been or activities you might participate in as a couple. The photo section also helps people, like more distant relatives who may only know you (or your partner) get acquainted before the big day!
Bridal Party Info
Although optional, it’s super fun to include some photos and short blurbs to describe your bridal party on your site as well. This serves a few purposes: it’s a nice way to acknowledge the folks who are helping so much as a big part of your day, and it also helps point friends and relatives towards people who can be helpful to them as they get closer to your wedding day. You don’t need your nine college besties all texting you for directions the day before your wedding, but if they know your maid of honor, they’ll make sure to reach out to her instead! Including your bridal party on your website is kind, fun, and practical!
This is one of the things people will absolutely be on the lookout for on your website: information on where they can stay for the festivities. If you’ve blocked out any groups of hotel rooms, this is the place to confirm that with the name, address, phone number, and website of the location! You might also use this space to include some alternative locations nearby that may not have rooms booked, but could be options for folks in different ranges of budget. Having a place to start can be a huge help for people who aren’t local to your wedding location, and this will help curb you or your family getting lots of questions about accommodations.
This is probably the most important thing to include on your wedding website—all of those little details that you want to make sure people know but that you don’t want to be bombarded with in the days leading up to your event. Some obvious things to include here would be the addresses for both your ceremony and reception (if they’re in the same place, it’s a good idea to explicitly say that) as well as the exact start and ending times for the difference parts of your celebration. Additional important information would be things like shuttles to and from the hotel, if that’s something you’re providing. And make sure you include any specifics on wedding dress code, I cannot even begin to tell you how many people said they checked our wedsite for attire information before our wedding. People will forget and will want to confirm these things, so the more information on there the better! If you’re unsure about including something, just put it on there. you’ll likely have at least one person searching for that information and having it all in a concentrated space will make life easier for all involved.
I did not personally do this on our personal wedding website, but I do know several people who have included the option to RSVP directly there. This would probably be the best option for friends and family who are technologically advanced and would find this option quicker and easier than returning a physical RSVP card. Some couples even choose to do both options, including an RSVP option on their site but also sending out invites with RSVP cards inside. This way, the guests can choose which option is preferable to RSVP by and will act accordingly.
Wedding websites are not only super fun to make, but can be extremely helpful to curb unnecessary questions or confusion during the planning process, plus it’s a great record of an amazing time in your life. When in doubt, add it to the wedding website! Be sure to include your own personal story, photos, and flair to your site and you can’t go wrong with whatever you choose to include.
An absolutely massive part of wedding planning is finding the perfect vendors for your big day. It can take a lot of work and research to make sure you’re finding folks who will be a good fit for you and your partner, as well as the general plan for the event! And none of the vendor choices are as difficult or personal as your wedding photographer and videographer! These people are the ones you’re trusting to document the day in ways you’ll continue to look back on for years to come, so making a great choice here is particularly important. So what are some things to consider as you’re making this big decision? … read more
If you’ve been married for awhile (let’s be honest, even a short while!) you may have considered the idea of renewing your vows. It’s a fun, exciting way to celebrate your beautiful, lasting union! If you’re thinking about a vow renewal, there are lots and lots of ideas you can use to keep it from feeling stale. … read more