Hi brides! I am super excited to share this blog about wedding nail inspiration. I love seeing inspiration threads on Facebook because it helps to see what real brides are doing. For the same reason, I also love to do inspiration blog posts! It’s an easy way to show you several different options from brides around the world! As a current bride myself, I couldn’t even decide what I wanted to do – why is it such a hard decision?! I ended up just going with French tip because you can’t go wrong with French tip right? Take a look at these and let me know on Facebook which is your favorite! You can find this blog shared onto my page at Mary Taylor Weddings.
Thanks to all of the amazing brides and photographers for providing these incredible inspiration images!
If this blog helps you to get some inspiration, don’t forget to like me on Facebook at Mary Taylor Weddings and join me in my deals Facebook group Mary Taylor’s Wedding Deals & Finds. And after you’ve decided what you’re going to go with, I would love to see! Feel free to comment a photograph of your wedding nails on this blog post that is shared onto my Facebook page and into my group! Your nail image will help other brides to make their decisions as well <3 It’s all about helping one another! I cannot wait to see you there!
Nowadays there seems to be a sign for everything – from welcome signs to unplugged wedding signs to bar signs! There are several ways to make and create wedding signs and do it on the cheap. You can use vinyl cut outs, paint, markers, or even just simply print and frame signs. First let’s look at some inspiration from other brides so you can get some ideas on what signs you could make and what look you may be going for:
This blog contains commissioned links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This means I may earn a small commission for purchases made through the links provided. I cannot see who purchases what and it doesn’t cost you anything!
Now that you’ve seen some inspiration, let’s discuss how you can create these looks!
First and foremost, one of the best ways to save money (and time) is by making your own vinyl cut outs using a Cricut machine. This machine is not only good for making signs but also for customizing anything (shirts, cups, etc) which can then save you money on gifts and more. If you want to check out the Cricut machine you can do so here.
Pallet signs are probably the cheapest signs you can make. They’re large and can hold a lot of information as well as most likely being free on the side of the road. For a pallet sign all you need is a pallet and vinyl cut outs (make them yourself with the Cricut or get some on Etsy) or paint to write in what you’d like. The pallet sign is great to make a timeline of wedding day events for your guests! You can also use the pallet to make a timeline of your relationship.
Another way to make a wedding sign is by using a plain piece of wood, Plexiglass, mirror or even a chalkboard which you can buy online and then buy or make your own vinyl cut outs (again, Cricut,Etsy, or Amazon. You can even find tons of great ideas on AliExpress). You could also paint directly on the wood, Plexiglass, or Chalkboard. If you’re in search of any of these items to buy online, join my Facebook group Mary Taylor’s Wedding Deals & Finds and let me know what you’re looking for!
Here are some good options for DIY paint (click on the image to bring you to Amazon to purchase/read more):
The most simple way to make DIY signs though is by printing out a pre-existing template (which can be found for super cheap on Etsy – link to wedding sign templates on Etsy). Then, you can frame the print out to make a sign! Here are some that I made and we used at our wedding too! You could also make your own signs using Word, Adobe, or Canva.
Etsy Printable Template
If you’re not much of a DIY purchase, you can also just buy your signs already made. Here are some examples (click the image to shop the look)!
If this blog helped you to get some inspiration, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram at Mary Taylor Weddings and join me in my deals Facebook group Mary Taylor’s Wedding Deals & Finds. Comment on my post in either the group and/or the page with more wedding sign inspiration and your favorite wedding signs you’ve seen in the blog.
This blog contains commissioned links. This means I may earn a small commission for purchases made through the links provided. I cannot see who purchases what and it doesn’t cost you anything!
You’re engaged! Congratulations! Let the fun begin! One of the first things you might want to do is get your engagement photographs taken. Here’s a guide on a few suggestions!
As a current bride and photographer myself, I highly recommend getting your engagement photographs taken. If you have your eye on a specific photographer for your wedding, now is your time to try them out or finally invest in their photography for your special day. Lots of photographers offer engagement sessions as part of their packages in order to get to know their brides and grooms better. If it’s an option, take them up on it! It’s a great excuse to dress up, get updated professional images, and get to know your photographer (their photography and editing style, their personality, and their posing/guiding).
“Do I really need to get engagement photos? What’s the point?” I actually see this in a lot of posts on Facebook. People want to know if they really HAVE to do them. Often times photographers include free engagement sessions in their packages so why not?! This helps you and your photographer to get to know each other better. It helps you to feel comfortable around them and get a better idea of how they run their business. If you have to pay to add on engagement photos, I’d say it’s still a good idea. We used our engagement pictures as decoration at our venue, gave our parents copies for their home (thanks Shutterfly – we got prints and super cute magnets), and used them in our own home. You could also use them for save the dates and invites!
“When do I book my engagement photos?” This is a mix between personal preference and when your save the dates and invites are going out. If you’re not sure about when these go out, check out the blogs linked in the corresponding words above (click save the dates to see the blog about save the dates and invites to see the blog about invites). Engagement photos are great to personalize your save the dates and invitations. We didn’t use our for our save the dates or invites and I really do regret it. Learn from my mistakes!
“Where should I have my engagement photos taken?” You should have your engagement photos taken somewhere that means something to you, describes your personalities, or fits your wedding vibes. These are photographs you’re going to have on display in your home and in albums for the rest of your lives. They’re also photographs you might use around your wedding venue, on invites, and on your wedding website so you want to make sure they fit the look you’re going for. You may also want to choose somewhere that has versatilely so you can move around and look like you’ve changed locations. This allows you have to several backgrounds to choose from when selecting which photographs you’re going to use.
“What do I wear to my engagement photos? I need some inspiration!” This is a great question and something that I see a lot! I always recommend bringing at least two outfits for you and your partner. For men, it’s easy to switch out their shirt or button up to make a whole new outfit. Women, this is where you come in! I recommend bringing one casual outfit (think either jeans and a nice shirt or a sundress) and one fancier outfit (a long dress or something similar). I wore a short, tight white dress with a wrap around skirt over it so that I could easily convert my outfit. Robbie (my now husband) wore jeans with a t-shirt and, overtop, a button up. That made it really simple for him to change from casual to “fancy”. Switching outfits also helps to give you options when selecting photographs to use. With change of backgrounds and change of clothes, it’ll look like you’ve actually done two photoshoots (for the price of one)! Here’s our photos by Susannah Lynn Photography:
Here are some good Amazon engagement clothes options that other brides recommended (they come in different colors/patterns):
If you have any more questions about engagement pictures, please feel free to let me know in the comments on the Facebook post where I originally posted this blog or message me! If you had a unique or interesting engagement story or engagement photos taken or just loved your photographer, feel free to tag them and thank them on the post. You can even submit images and your story below for a chance to be featured on the blog!
I am so excited to finally be writing and sharing this blog post! I have dreamt about it for a long time now. Every bachelorette party is different (which makes it that much more fun). Some include weekend long vacations with tons of friends, getting drunk and staying out until 5am, relaxing at the beach, boudoir photoshoots, or even strippers in a hotel room. Mine was exactly what I could have hoped for – the perfect mix of fancy and laid back, lots of good food, unlimited mimosas, and quality time with a small amount of friends! My sister (MOH) did an amazing job making it happen!
We started our morning by all meeting at the train station where we took a train to downtown San Diego. My sister surprised us all with matching sunglasses and had even set a “dress code” for everyone (black and red). We sipped mimosas (I mean, just orange juice 😉 ) and played games as we peered through the windows at the gorgeous ocean view. If you haven’t taken the train along the coast of California, you have to! It’s absolutely stunning! It looks like you’re floating on water!
One of the games we played was a game where each person had a clothespin with a photograph of myself and my fiancé (well, now husband), Robbie (one picture on each side). A few days before the bachelorette party, my sister emailed us both a list of questions which we then answered separately (and privately – we weren’t allowed to know what the other person’s answer was).
Our answers couldn’t say names or he/she. Some of the questions included (there were 10 total):
Where/when was our best vacation?
My number one love language is…
How many kids are we having?
Who wears the pants in the relationship?
We just had an argument – it was probably about…
On the train, my sister read out a question and one of our answers. Then, the girls had to hold up the picture of who they thought she read the answer of. After she announced who said it, she read the other person’s answer. It was incredible how similar our answers were! It was super funny and a perfect game for my bachelorette party!
Once we arrived at our stop, we took a walk to where we would be catching our boat for the brunch cruise!
We took a photo outside of the boat which my dear friend Kayla ended up buying for me! How cute is that?! Here’s the picture below:
Once we boarded the boat we noticed two other bride-to-be’s! Later in the trip I ended up meeting one of them and handing out dare cards to other passengers on the boat. On the top deck of the boat, there was a live musician who was singing custom songs based on requested. My sister went up to tell him I was getting married and he sang a song about “Mary is getting married!” It was absolutely hilarious! I danced in the center of a massive group of people!
After our brunch cruise we stopped at a rooftop bar for a drink before heading back onto the train. I was given a list of dares and I got to allocate one to each girl at the party and the rest were for me. We didn’t quite make it through the list but we did do some of them including me getting a picture with this random guy (who ended up being a magician and freaking blew our minds)!!! There were a couple of amazing tricks (well, all of them were amazing but two in particular that stood out). I am probably not telling these in the best way but he had me write my name on a card at the beginning of his act and throughout the time kept showing it to me, picking it out of the deck, etc. By the end of the act the same card I wrote on was INSIDE of a lemon that he cut open. We didn’t see any holes or cut marks in the lemon though. My favorite one was when he had me and my bridesmaid, Michelle, hold hands to symbolize our lifelong friendship. I can’t remember if he drew (with his finger) an x on the outside of our hands or we did but when we opened our hands I had an x drawn with sharpie on the inside of my hand! I never felt anyone or anything touching there the entire time.
After our train ride home, we hung out at the pool until that night when we went out on the 101 for some dancing and drinks! We decided that after our individual bachelor/bachelorette parties that we would combine everyone for the evening! It worked out perfectly and was such a blast. Even our families got to join us at the pool to celebrate!
A HUGE thank you to my incredible sister Cristina who made this bachelorette SO special! I wouldn’t have changed a thing! Thank you to everyone else who helped and attended as well <3 It would have been completely different without all your guys’ help, planning, and presence!
I love how bachelorette parties are whatever you want them to be. Every bachelorette party is unique in it’s own way! If your bridesmaids and maid of honor planned you an amazing bachelorette party, I want to hear about it! Go comment on my Facebook post (the one that shares the link to this blog) and tag whoever helped you pull off your epic bachelorette party! You can even submit your story below for a chance to be featured on the blog! I cannot wait to see what you share with us! Don’t forget to join myself and over 600 other brides in our shopping and inspiration wedding group on Facebook. Click here to see what we are all about. And if you’re wondering where I got my super cute “Mrs. Burke” hat and my gorgeous white and gold sash, go check out Wedding Apparel NZ. I will put links to both items in the group <3 You can also check out the blog I wrote about them here.
Let’s talk about timelines. Argh. The dreaded timeline. As a current bride myself, trust me, I get it. I feel the same way! This is probably the least appealing part of the wedding. It’s the part that everything else relies on. Where do you begin? What do you include? And who needs what?
I put off the idea of a timeline because it stressed me out. But when my venue and my photographer reached out to give me a sample timeline, I knew it was time to start considering it. My photographer asked when my HMUA would show up and my venue asked when we would arrive for photos. Everything kind of flows off of each other so even starting was difficult. I gave my start time to my photographer and worked off of her recommendations. I knew what I wanted captured so that was the easy part. As a wedding photographer myself, I can give a good idea of a basic timeline but when it’s your own timeline, it’s a bit different.
On Facebook I always see brides asking for sample timelines but I find that hard to go off of when most people’s wedding days start and end at different times. Below I have included our timeline just in case you’re someone who is interested in taking a look. But first, let’s look at a general timeline. Whether you’re doing a first look or not, only a few things will change but timing will be relatively similar in the grand scheme of things. I’ve put a general amount of time for each “activity” so that no matter when things take place, you can easily adjust these timelines to suit you.
Getting ready (before photographer arrives):
Photographer arrives: about 30 minutes before you’re done with HMU – this is when the photographer captures your detail shots and then a handful of staged images of you getting your HMU done.
Getting ready images: 30-40 minutes
Leave time to drive to venue: depends of course but we did 20 minutes (should have left a little extra room)
First look and a handful of couple photos: 15 minutes
Family/wedding party photos: 1 hour and 15 minutes
Bride and groom images: 30 minutes
Rest/refresh before ceremony: 30 minutes
Ceremony: 30 minutes
Couple photos/extra photos: 30-45 mins
Reception (time varies)
If you’re not doing a first look, just move the photo time to after the ceremony. Still arrive at your venue 30 minutes prior to your ceremony if you need to “hide away” before guests arrive.
Order of reception events (sample):
Cake cutting (I highly recommend cutting your cake before dinner is served! Trust me on this one!!)
Our timeline – like I said at the start this was my biggest worry! I even worried all night the night before our wedding thinking about how I didn’t want it to run late. I was told so many times that Weddings always run late and I didn’t want that to be ours. And to my surprise (and our coordinators and photographers), our timeline was so well planned out that we actually had extra time before the ceremony so we could get some of our couple photos done (and that was even with the guys arriving 20+ minutes late)!
10am: Guys and girls arrive at getting ready locations
10:30am: HMUA arrives (she did my mom and my hair and make up) – finished by 1pm
12:30-1pm: Photographer arrives and photographs details
1pm-1:40pm: Hair/makeup images, getting ready outfits/images, getting into dress, putting on jewelry
1:40-1:50pm: First look with my dad
2-2:20pm: Drive to ceremony location
2:30pm: First look
2:45 pm – 4:00 pm : Group photos
4:00 – 4:30 pm: Bride & groom images
4:30 pm: Done with photographs and go to rest at the reception location
4:30 – 5:00 pm: Guests are arriving
4:50 pm: Wedding party will head down to ceremony location
5:00 pm – 5:30pm: Ceremony
5:30pm-6:15pm: Group photos/sunset photos
5:30 pm – 6:30 pm: Cocktail hour
6:30pm: Grand entrance and right into our first dance
6:40pm: Welcome speech & prayer
6:45pm: Dinner service begins (plated meal)
7:15-7:30pm: Speeches (ours ran WAY over so I suggest putting in more time for each person to speak)
7:30pm: Cake cutting and served
10:30pm: Reception ends
If this blog helped you to plan your timeline or gave you any new ideas, let me know in the comments on Facebook and don’t forget to share this blog on Facebook and tag your friends <3 You can also join myself and other brides in our group Mary Taylor’s Wedding Deals & Finds and like us on Facebook at Mary Taylor Weddings.
I feel like this topic didn’t used to be as much of an option as it is now. We are so lucky to have so many amazing music options at our finger tips. Now more than ever, we can DIY our music (and save tons of money doing it)! But is it worth it?!
I’ll be honest this was a topic that my fiancé and I struggled with as well! The only reason we ended up hiring a DJ was because a family friend of ours offered to pay for our DJ as a wedding gift. Of course we wanted a DJ from the start but we couldn’t justify the cost. Now that we have a DJ, I am so glad we have him and his team! We have struggled to even come up with a handful of songs that we want played let alone 5.5 hours worth of music. Organizing a wedding is hard enough without having to figure out who is going to announce speeches, provide speakers and mics, and more.
If you’ve been following me for a while, you may have heard me mention DIY Bridal Academy before. I want to dive deeper into what is, who it’s for, and how you can sign up. Michelle, founder of DIY Bridal Academy, and I have been working for months (and months, and months) to come up with a program to help brides to turn their checklist into action steps. There’s nothing more daunting then getting a list of a hundred things to do and not knowing how to get through those checklist items. We know that some brides want or need a little guidance through their bridal journey. You may or may not also want a full time wedding planner but either way, DIY Bridal Academy is designed to help every bride! Let’s break down those hundred to-dos and figure out when and how to accomplish them.
So, what is it?!DIY Bridal Academy is a step-by-step wedding planning program designed by wedding planners, professionals, and brides. It is designed to help brides to stay organized and feel supported through live Q&A’s, resources, and help from wedding professionals. There are also videos to help walk you through the hardest to-do list items and give you clarity throughout your process. You’ll join other brides from around the world who are also passionate about creating their dream day. You’ll also get to participate in fun, interactive group calls!
Who is it for?! DIY Bridal Academy is really for any bride that feels like they could use some help. This group and program really works well for the bride that WANTS to plan their wedding, knows what they want, doesn’t mind making the calls and doing the vendor comparison. She doesn’t need a full wedding planning package, but wants help along the way instead of just a day of coordinator. As a current bride, I have relied heavily on research, reading, and other brides experiences to help me plan my day. It was very time consuming to have to research everything myself which is why I want to help reduce that time for other brides. Think about it, we are all planning essentially the same event (yes, different traditions, different vendors, and different styles but a lot of the information is actually similar)!
How can I learn more and sign up?! Are you thinking, “why haven’t I already signed up?! This sounds just like what I need!” You can learn more and sign up by going to Michelle’s website www.diybridalacademy.com. You can learn even more by joining us in our DIY Bridal Academy FREE Online Facebook Event on August 12th. To join, click here.
If you’re a vendor and would like to learn more about how you can involved, please join us on August 5th for a free online Facebook event. To join, click here. If you cannot make it for some reason but you’re still interested, please contact me at [email protected]
You’d think that creating a wedding registry was one of the most fun parts of wedding planning- I mean you get to add a bunch of gifts that you want to a website where OTHER people buy them for you! Haha.
For me, it was actually one of the more stressful processes because we have guests from over five different countries coming to our wedding. That means five different currencies and no common stores. Originally, I had just put ideas for cash gifts. We didn’t want to just ask for cash (although we all know that it’s probably the easiest and most wanted gift). I honestly changed our registry page so many times! From suggested cash amounts with an activity, to just a list of activities/items that we would purchase with the cash, to finally seeing the best solution I could find! Trust me, I did a TON of research. I even signed up for several registries that I explored and decided didn’t work for us. Until, I found MyRegistry.com. They had a plug-in that worked on websites across the world so it was super easy to add ANY item to our registry. Not just items that they approve of or that they sell. This made it easy for our guests to purchase e-gift cards in the currency we use and to stores that we actually have in New Zealand.
Your wedding gifts should be gifts that match or be close to the price of per plate (that’s my opinion at least). However, you should have a range of price points. Remember that some guests are coming as a couple so a few high ticket items are always a good idea. Some people would prefer to get you two small gifts instead of one large gift. Also, some people may not be able to afford their price per plate in terms of a gift. Give your guests options so they’re excited to give you a gift. We asked for a couple of excursions and food gift cards for our honeymoon! This is a great way to get something you want and allow your guests to be apart of your honeymoon experience! You can even tell them where you are going and let them choose any restaurant they think you would like to try! We also asked for a gift certificate for a couple’s massage.
** Some of the links above are affiliate links and I may earn a small commission from them. This doesn’t cost you anything and helps me to continue my blog! Thank you so much! If you’d like to continue to support me, join me in Mary Taylor’s Wedding Deals on Facebook.
I did a poll in Weddings, Wine & DIY to see what my next blog topic should be (because let’s be honest, I could write about a million things when it comes to planning a wedding)! You guys chose bouquet and garter toss!
First, let’s talk about where the garter toss originated from. If you don’t know this already, definitely keep reading because it’s really interesting (and weird AF). Tossing the garter is an old time tradition. Brides and grooms used to have show proof that they had consummated their marriage. Friends and family members would join the couple in their room to witness this and would then need to leave the room with the “proof” aka the garter. Yup, you read that correctly! And, it gets better (or should I say worse). Having items of clothing from the bride and groom was considered lucky so while the couple was consummating their marriage, the eager onlookers would try to grab their clothing for good luck. Often times the bride (nor the groom) liked people trying to grab at them (shocker) which is why the tradition changed to tossing the garter so no one else would need to obtain it themselves. It’s said that in other cultures, people race/compete for the garter instead.
Now that you know the history, here’s some pros, cons, and other ideas!
The biggest pro is that it’s tradition (well in some sense at least). If you still want to have a garter or bouquet toss, no problem! I’d first recommend having an extra of each so that you can keep your actual bouquet and garter for your own memories.
The biggest con is that it can make single people feel left out (especially if most of the people at your wedding will be married). To keep with the idea of tradition but not make anyone feel bad, you could hand your bouquet to the couple that has been together the longest.
Another con to the garter toss (and garter removal) is that it’s just awkward. No offense but no one REALLY wants to see your man under your dress grabbing at your lingerie with his teeth – especially your parents and grandparents. While it can be funny, it also makes several people uncomfortable. With that said, you do you.
Another way to go about it is to still have a garter but just have your husband remove it in the privacy of your own room after the wedding. If you still wanted to do the toss with it, have him remove it privately in another room and then come back to the reception to toss it.
So, what can you do instead to fill the time?
An anniversary dance for your parents and grandparents
If you still want to do the bouquet toss or hand out your bouquet but want to skip the garter toss, toss something else (like a football, stuffed animal, etc). You could also pretend to go down to get the garter but pull something else out (large granny panties, a doll, something else funny, etc).
Girls only and guys only choreographed dances with your bridesmaids and groomsmen
Split the bouquet (or have another one made to split) to give a part of it to each of the important women in your life. Some people also make a breakaway bouquet to toss.
Dance with your grandparents
The kissing game
Just skip it and don’t replace it with anything else – there are so many people to talk to and songs to be danced to. There is no need to get caught up in a ton of “extras” if you don’t want
I hope this helped you to think about the pros and cons of all the options! Remember, this is YOUR wedding day so make sure to do what feels best for you and your partner.
Want to learn more about wedding planning and find great deals? Don’t forget to like me on Facebook and join me in my group for wedding shopping fun and great deals!
This week I launched Mary Taylor’s Wedding Deals! As a bride myself, I know how expensive (and time consuming) it is to plan a wedding. I also know how valuable the opinions and experiences of other brides are. Because I am currently planning, I am also coming across new deals all the time. Instead of constantly updating my past blog posts about current deals, I created a place that not only I can share the deals that I come across but you can also share the products that you have purchased and love!
It’s all about creating a community of brides that love shopping, love to get ideas from other brides, and love to share their own wedding day purchases. Don’t you sometimes just want to share your amazing deals you’ve found but can’t because your guests will see? This is the perfect place to save money, have fun, and meet other brides <3
I will even help you find what you’re looking for! So, what’s something that you’re unsure about or want help looking for?