My Experiece With Wedding Apparel New Zealand

Shopping for our wedding has been nothing short of an adventure! Because we are having our wedding in California, we have used companies all over the world to find exactly what we were looking for. I started following Wedding Apparel New Zealand a while ago – before I even started Mary Taylor Weddings! I loved following their Facebook page and seeing all their new custom creations. I was so excited when I got in touch with them and they said they’d love for me to try out some of their products! What I like about Wedding Apparel New Zealand is that they’re not only local but they’re personable. You know that these are real kiwis doing their best to help brides and grooms all over New Zealand. They communicated with me regularly and allowed me to make changes to my items as I needed! 

So let’s get in to what I actually got! I will include links below so you can easily find the items on their website! First up is this hat! How gorgeous is this hat?! I love that the brim is metal so I can easily shape it. I plan to wear this for not only my bachelorette party but also our honeymoon in Hawaii! To see me wearing it then, follow me on Facebook and Instagram! I can’t wait to get to show off this hat in person and take super cute photos with me! 

Next is the sash! I know there’s lots of places to get sashes but having our wedding color be gold, I saw this sash and HAD to have it. The gold is really sparkly and I love the ring design that’s added to it. I plan to wear this for my bachelorette party and possibly even my bridal shower! 

This next thing is probably one of my favorites because being a photographer, I know how important it is to have a beautiful hanger. It’s not something you normally think about but it’s great for pictures of your dress hanging up and it’s a keepsake that you can use to store your dress even after your wedding day.

Lastly was our custom wine bottle stickers! When I saw these, I fell in love with the idea! Our wedding is wine and travel theme so this added touch is going to look beautiful. For the ones we got, I wish they were a bit more purple toned instead of brown but nevertheless, I still love them and cannot wait to use them (you’ll have to come back to the blog to see what we do with them on our actual wedding day)! 

They also included this super cute custom cake topper for my bridal shower as a little gift! It was perfect time because when they emailed to let me know, I was had just emailed our baker to order our cake for my bridal shower! 

Thank you so much Wedding Apparel New Zealand! I cannot wait to include your gorgeous products in my wedding day celebrations and to show off how we use everything! 

If you want to check out Wedding Apparel NZ’s website head to:

Don’t forget to follow them on Facebook to see all their amazing products and updates! 

To learn more about wedding planning tips, tricks, and deals head to my Facebook page: and follow me on Instagram: You can also find other amazing deals and products in my Facebook group Mary Taylor’s Wedding Deals & Finds.

I hope this helped you to learn more about Wedding Apparel NZ, their beautiful custom products, and a little bit more about our wedding day! We cannot wait to show you more!

Signing off,

Mary Taylor <3


© Mary Taylor Photography |

What is DIY Bridal Academy?

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.

© Mary Taylor Photography |

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! 

© Mary Taylor Photography |

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)!

© Mary Taylor Photography |









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 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]

We can’t wait to see you there! Don’t forget to like us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram, and join Mary Taylor’s Wedding Deals and our free wedding planning group Weddings, Wine & DIY.

Signing off,

Mary Taylor <3


Spray Tanning Before Your Wedding – What You Need to Know & Who I Recommend

Have you ever had a spray tan or used self-tanner? I see so many brides asking about tanning before their wedding day. We all want to look our absolute best of on our big day but if you’ve never used artificial tanning before it can be a bit daunting. You should still look like you. And have you ever see people who turn out looking orange?! Wouldn’t that be a nightmare before your wedding day?!

As many of my readers know, I live in New Zealand but our wedding is in California. With seasons being flipped, we will be leaving our winter to attend our summer wedding in the States. The majority of our guests will be blessed with a glowing tan but I will be a shade of pale. I actually didn’t fully consider doing a spray tan until I saw a company called Little Honey. They’re crafted here in New Zealand (yay for local products), paraben free, cruelty free, and vegan! I loved that I could do it at home, take it with me to California, and apply as much or as little as I wanted to. When I first got the box, I was SUPER nervous about trying it because I had no idea how it would turn out. Would it be difficult? Would I end up orange? Would I do it wrong and end up with an uneven tan?! I had posted a picture on my Instagram story of it and had friends asking for me to video myself trying it out. So, I did! Check out the Instagram story footage below.


Look at this end result!! Not only was it SUPER easy but it smelled amazing! I was really scared it would hurt my sensitive skin after shaving but it didn’t hurt or sting at all. I am SO impressed! And, it didn’t rub off on anything. It takes only 10 seconds to dry and I was under a white fuzzy blanket after (yes, it’s freezing here). 

I cannot say how other tanning experiences would go since I haven’t tried any others yet but Little Honey was exactly what I was looking for. And lucky for you (no matter where you live), they ship internationally! 

So here’s some tips I have in general for any spray or self tanning for your wedding day.

  1. Do it ahead of time to see what you like and don’t like. You don’t want your first time to be the week of your wedding.
  2. Shower and exfoliate BEFORE you get your tan.
  3. If you’re doing it at home, have someone help you with your backside (legs, back, shoulders, etc.)
  4. If applying at home, apply carefully onto your elbows, hands, etc. because of the creases in your skin.
  5. Wear shorts or loose clothes directly following your tan so it doesn’t rub.
  6. Wait a minimum of four hours before showering after your tan (this could change depending on the type of tan you use). I personally waited until the next day.
  7. You CAN tan your face as well (check with whoever you purchase your tanning solution from or where you get your tan done just to be sure).
  8. Each day after your spray tan, remember to moisturize your skin so the tan lasts longer and your skin feels smoother!

I hope this helped you to not only decide if a self-tanner is right for you but also helped you learn more about self/spray tanning and Little Honey! If you’re going to try Little Honey, go comment on the Facebook post about this article! Don’t forget to join me on Facebook at Mary Taylor Weddings and Mary Taylor’s Wedding Deals for fun wedding shopping and great deals.

Find Little Honey on Facebook here or online here. Images by Mary Taylor Photography.

Signing off,

Mary Taylor <3


Kimberly’s DIY Bridal Shower

I love getting to write blogs about real brides – brides that are currently going through the motions of planning their wedding. When I saw Kimberly post a bunch of images from her bridal shower on Facebook, I had to talk to her! As I am planning my own bridal shower, I have been looking at Pinterest. But sometimes, it’s hard to envision it all coming together that beautifully. When I saw Kimberly’s post, I knew it was possible! Her bridal shower is 100% Pinterest-worthy! When we got chatting, I learned that Kim’s bridesmaids and aunts did everything themselves! Even the bath bombs. If you want to create a bridal shower like Kim’s, look out for links to products throughout. Check out our DIY bridal shower signs and games on Etsy here.

Chalkboard Signs: 

When asked what her favorite part about the shower was, she says, “My favorite part of the bridal shower was being able to spend time with family. My fiancé’s family are all from New York and it is extremely rare that both of our families get to be together at the same time.” Because everything was 1. DIY and 2. absolutely gorgeous, I also wanted to know which of all the incredible decorations were her favorite. She said she LOVED the centerpieces, “the flower was gorgeous and the rose gold mason jars really added a nice accent. Our accent color in the wedding is going to be rose gold as well.” I love that they matched the bridal shower theme to the wedding theme! We are going to try to do the same for our wedding and shower as well. She said the bath bombs that her maid of honor made were also a huge hit and so was the pedicure in a jar (what to include below). 

(Click the images above to view them larger)

DIY Pedicure Mason Jar – Mason jars: Super cute nail files: Q-tips: Bulk nail polish options:,, Nail polish remover pads (bulk): Nail clippers (bulk): Hershey’s Kisses:

Similar Chalkboard Sign: Similar Gifts & Cards:

Kim also gave me some really cool ideas for other brides’ bridal showers! She said they played the newlywed game. She had to answer questions about herself to try and match her fiancé’s answers. For every answer she got wrong, she had to stick a piece of bubblegum in her mouth! She says, “It was SO hilarious, I could barely even talk by the time the game was over. Not sure if that’s a good or bad thing because my fiancé said a lot of different answers than I did, but everyone sure got a kick out of it.” 

Kim’s gorgeous dress (it even has pockets!): 

One of her favorite moments of the shower was during gift opening. She says, “my aunt gave me the most emotional gift I’ve ever received in my life. My mom passed away over 9 years ago and she knows how hard it has been on me knowing that my mom isn’t able to be here for any of the most important times in my life. She had made me a pillow with my moms picture on it, and around her photo is lace that is made from her wedding dress. When I opened that gift the entire room, including me, was in tears. It was such an emotional, and sad, but beautiful moment.” How gorgeous is that?! Bridal showers are a great time to give personal and thoughtful gifts <3

I love that Kim’s shower included DIY projects, her family, funny games, and sweet moments like the one above. It sounds like the perfect bridal shower! The women who put together this event should be really proud of themselves. Congratulations to our bride-to-be, Kim! Thank you so much for allowing me to share about your beautiful and heartwarming bridal shower!

Want to be featured too? Let’s chat! Message me on Facebook or email me at Mary[email protected]

Want to see more blogs like this? Like me on Facebook.

Want to see more “how to create this look” and find more wedding deals? Join my Facebook group: Mary Taylor’s Wedding Deals

Stay up to date with deals, ideas, inspiration, and blogs on Mary Taylor Wedding’s Pinterest. You can even re-pin some of Kimmi’s amazing DIY projects!

Bridal shower games and signs – DIY printable templates on Etsy

**Please note as an Amazon Associate, I may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases. However, it doesn’t cost you anything extra to use them! This helps to keep my blog and groups going!  Thank you for your support and understanding. 

La Bella Blooms

How To Create This Look: Alter Curtains & Greenery

You know those amazing Pinterest pictures that you see and think, “I want to create that too! It can’t be that difficult!” And then, you have to spend time not only figuring out how the heck you’ll do it but then need to find the best deals on those items to make it worth it? Let me help with that.

First, don’t forget to go like Mary Taylor Weddings on Facebook and join our deals group here. If you’re after more Pinterest ideas, you can follow me here.

For our first “create this look” I am starting with something that an actual bride reached out to me to help her create. I’d probably get regular curtains like the ones below and then just make sure you measure how long they need to be based on your gazebo/alter. Then, buy rope and greenery. Add flowers for an extra touch!

© Brooke Images |


Curtains: or




eFavormart: Remember to use code MaryTaylorWeddings at checkout for 15% off









how to create this look, diy wedding, alter garland, diy bride

I hope this helped you learn how to make a new decoration for your alter or maybe even just fine some new floral arrangements! If you have more ideas of what you want to see as a “create this look” head on over to my Facebook page and leave me a comment on this post! If you have created something else that you want featured, let’s chat! I would love to see what my readers have made!

Signing off,

Mary Taylor <3

© Bourdon & Lace Studios |

Bouquet & Garter Toss: Pros, Cons, & Alternatives

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!

© Marie Diane Photography |


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.

© Stefanie Irene Photography, LLC |

Now that you know the history, here’s some pros, cons, and other ideas!

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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?

  1. An anniversary dance for your parents and grandparents
  2. Shoe game
  3. 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).
  4. Girls only and guys only choreographed dances with your bridesmaids and groomsmen
  5. 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.
  6. Dance with your grandparents
  7. The kissing game
  8. 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!

Signing off,

Mary Taylor <3


Cover/first image by: © Bourbon & Lace Studios |

© Bourdon & Lace Studios |

My Amazon Wedding Purchases

Hi savvy brides and grooms!

I’ve already written a blog about some of our wedding AliExpress finds (if you haven’t read it, find it here) but I wanted to share some of the things we bought off of Amazon as well. I love giving brides recommendations based on real weddings (like our own)!

In the States, Amazon is HUGE. I even have an Amazon credit card and had Prime for years. Since I have moved to New Zealand, I haven’t done as much shopping on Amazon since we don’t have it here. But since our wedding is in the States, I have been able to buy things and have them shipped to my mom’s house. 

© Bourdon & Lace Studios |

Here’s a list of the things we have purchased so far:



Diesel Men’s Spray:

Akner powercore:

White floral short dress:

My silicone rings:

His silicone rings:

My Engagement Party dress:

Silk flowers (we got them in pink and white):,

Candle holders:

© Bourdon & Lace Studios |

Here’s a few things in our cart at the moment:

BM getting ready rompers:

BM hair tie & bracelet gift:

Floral bouquets:,

Wood rounds:


Burlap & lace:


© Bourdon & Lace Studios |

Here are some recommendations from other brides:

Wedding gowns:,,,,,

Guest book ideas:,


Cake toppers:,,


Flower girl:,,,, 

Dresses for events (bridal shower, bachelorette party, engagement party, etc):,,,,,,,,,,,,

Bridal Accessories:,,,

Honeymoon swimsuits:,

Bridesmaid gifts:,




I hope this helps you to find some amazing wedding items on Amazon! Did you purchase something else for your wedding and would like to share it with more brides? Comment below or head to my Facebook page to leave a comment on this shared blog! I cannot wait to see what you all purchased! Come back for even more purchases along the way.

Signing off,

Mary Taylor <3


* I cannot guarantee the quality, speed of delivery, or anything about the items that you purchase. These are simply recommendations from brides including myself. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases