Flowers on a Budget

We all know that flowers are one of the items that make wedding decor stand out! We found a website that has a list of flowers that are in season in Texas, this site made it nice and easy because the flowers are organized by month.

Happy Floral Shopping!

 

wedding flower hair crowns

 

http://www.bridalguide.com/planning/david-tuteras-weddings/seasonal-floral-chart

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Catering

Food is an essential part of a wedding, whether you’re having a four course meal or just offering a few snacks at the reception- catering will be something to keep in mind. A few things to keep in mind when booking a certain caterer can be found on the link below:

http://wedding.theknot.com/wedding-planning/wedding-reception-planning/articles/17-questions-to-ask-your-wedding-caterer.aspx

Here are some fantastic catering options found in the Texas hill country area:

Linda’s Fine Foods

Milagro’s Hill Country Tex Mex

Root Cellar Cafe

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**Raquel Yarovinsky

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DIY Wedding Floral Crowns

Floral crowns are such a lovely and romantic accessory for bridal shoots, bridesmaids and for the boho bride. With spring approaching who doesn’t want some lovely spring florals in their hair?

I’ve attached a few links to some pretty neat floral crown tutorials.

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http://rusticweddingchic.com/babys-breath-crown-diy-tutorial

wedding hair accessories for bridal flower crowns

http://www.everythingetsy.com/2014/05/easy-diy-floral-crown-wedding-guest-post-pretty-blog/

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https://steller.co/stories/316259258654000260

*Raquel Yarovinsky

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How To: Keep Cool During Summer Weddings

It is that time of the year again! Summer is upon us and we all know what summers in Texas are like, HOT.  You will be wearing a big dress and your groom will be in a tux, which means the chances of cooling down will be slim to none for you two.  Luckily, you can still find ways to keep yourself and your guests as cool and comfortable as possible in the Texas heat.

Pick a time of day that is least hot for the ceremony.  You might want to consider having the ceremony and reception indoors, but that puts a damper on your dream of having an outdoor wedding. What do you do?  Split the time of your wedding indoors and outdoors by having the ceremony outdoors and the reception indoors or vice versa.  If this still doesn’t meet your wedding requirements have your wedding ceremony and reception under some shade.  Pick an area that has shade for you and your groom to have a ceremony under.  A few large trees make for a great background for pictures during the ceremony and will help keep the sun off of you two.

Offer your guests some cute and fun ways to keep cool throughout your wedding.  All eyes on you is a bit difficult when the sun is beaming into your guests eyes, so lay out sunglasses to keep the sun out of your guests eyes during the ceremony.  Put out a bucket of cold water bottles for your guests to pick up as they arrive to your ceremony site.  This keeps them refreshed as they wait for you to walk down the aisle.  Most people receive a program before the ceremony, so why not give them  a program they can use throughout your wedding day by making your program into a fan.

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If you choose not to make your program into a fan, you might want to consider giving your guests a fan anyways.  You can have the fans personalized to fit your theme.  Hats and umbrellas also serve as a good form of shade for your guests during the ceremony.

If you are having cocktail hour pass out some cold treats to your guests, such as shrimp cocktail, popsicles, sherbet, ceviche, fruit, etc..  Your guests will appreciate the cold treats during the heat.  Don’t forget some delicious, fruity, cold beverages to go along with your cocktail hour hors d’oeuvres.  Even the simplest treats go a long way.

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At the end of the night you can have a cute stand or food truck that serves snow cones, ice cream, or other cold and sweet treats.  Instead of a candy bar you could even have a frozen yogurt bar, an ice cream bar, or even a sundae bar.  An ice cream cake is also a great alternative to a wedding cake.

If your venue does not have air-conditioning, fans, or if the whole wedding is outside; try to set up some fans around the reception area to help cool down your guests as the day goes on.  Summer is the time to incorporate these cute ideas into your wedding. Have fun with it and make it original.  Making your guests feel comfortable in the heat is important and these ideas will help you achieve it.

 

 

*Betsy Villanueva

 

 

 

 

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My Life as a Bride Finale

Our Ceremony

It finally happened, I am a married woman.  The wedding was absolutely perfect.  We didn’t have any problems and my husband (yes, it is strange to call him husband instead of fiancé) and I enjoyed our wonderful wedding.  Today, I will reveal the rest of my wedding details.

The wedding venue I picked in the Hill Country was Rancho Mirando.  The reason I chose this venue is that it offered everything that I was looking for.  Rancho Mirando is owned and operated by two wonderful ladies that go out of their way to make sure every step of your wedding is  perfected.  Leslie and Donna are kind an pleasant to work with.  Every meeting with them was easy and they always stayed up to date on any changes or ideas they thought would help me during my wedding planning process.  Let’s be honest, even if you have the most amazing venue imaginable, if you don’t get along with the people in charge, if they are difficult to deal with, or if there are an excessive amount of rules and limitations then there is a good chance you won’t be enjoying your wedding planning as much as you had hoped for.  I had none of those issues because going into it I made sure I picked a venue that made me feel comfortable.  Rancho Mirando was the most beautiful venue that I had visited in the Hill Country.  The drive out to Rancho Mirando is breathtaking and once you arrive on site the view is just as beautiful.  I wanted my guest to be able to see what I experience on a daily basis living in the hill country, the beautiful greenery and hills.  The view from the venue is green as far as the eye can see.  At other venues I had visited the views weren’t as pretty or there were houses that would take away from the view.  Rancho Mirando has three levels to it.  I liked this because my guests could see parts of my wedding without seeing the whole thing altogether and I could play up each area to be different.  I loved every bit of the venue, especially the main house that we stayed in.  Rancho Mirando met my expectations on every level and went above and beyond for Adam and myself.

Rancho Mirando

My wedding planner was Kayleigh Ziegenbein.  Kayleigh is great at what she does and there was no doubt in my mind that she would get things done for my wedding.  She dealt with all of the things a bride doesn’t care to do or worry about and also helped me with all of the fun planning.  I tried to do as much of the planning on my own, but she always stepped up whenever I needed her.  She coined the theme that my choices were heading in to be Marie Antoinette and it was exactly as I envisioned it.  The day of my wedding I was overwhelmed, mostly because I was about to get married, but not once was I concerned that things weren’t getting done while I was getting ready.  I always thought I would have wanted to go around the venue before guest arrive to make sure everything was as I imagined it, but when it came own to the day of I wasn’t worried and walking around the venue was not even on my mind.  Picking someone that you trust to make your vision come to life is very important to have on your wedding day.  She made everything run smoothly on the day of and even though I wanted her to have fun with me at the wedding she still did her job and continued to make sure we were sticking to a timeline and getting things done.

The wedding vendors that I chose were also part of why I wasn’t worried about what was happening outside the main house on my wedding day.  All of the vendors I picked have great reviews and were suggested to me by Kayleigh.

Wes Shephard with New Road Productions is absolutely fantastic.  He is great to work with and his photography skills are awesome.  As soon as Kayleigh suggested Wes I looked him up and I knew I wanted him to be our photographer (I booked him as quickly as possible).  Venue and photography were the two most important parts of the wedding to me.  He is fun to work with and made us feel comfortable.  We used him for our engagement session, our wedding, and I will be using him for my bridal session.  We also used New Road Productions to do our wedding video.  On our wedding day there was a lot going on, but Wes and his guys didn’t make me feel overwhelmed like I needed to be taking certain pictures or doing this or that for pictures.  Instead they worked around us and made me feel like the pictures that were being taken were great.  They were all very nice and I am so happy that Wes and his crew captured our day.

Catering is a big part of any wedding, but it wasn’t a big concern for me until I had my first tasting with Suzanne Court.  She is nice and professional and her food is amazing.  Once Adam and I had our first tasting we knew we didn’t need to look for another caterer and we could no longer lower our standards for food.  Suzanne has a very professional staff.  On the wedding day I had several compliments about the food, but I had the same amount of compliments about the staff and I did not realize that guests would pay attention to that.  It was a win, win for me.

Rentals are an absolute necessity at any wedding, unless you plan on purchasing everything you need for your wedding.  Rancho Mirando has its own rental company and we used them for most of our rentals.  We had to increase our numbers several times and they were able to accommodate us.  We also used Whim rentals and they were able to get us other last minute necessities that we needed.  Whim is always a pleasure to work with.  I have used rentals from them before and I have never had any problems.

Whim Florals

I used Whim Floral for our wedding flowers.  Kari is absolutely fabulous.  I cannot say enough good things about Kari.  She is so sweet and cares about making your vision come to life.  The flowers for my wedding were exactly as I had pictured and I received several compliments on them.   You could tell she spent time on each arrangement.  She is also very creative and finds ways to incorporate flowers in area you wouldn’t even expect.  She also surprised me by making me a peony bouquet.  She wasn’t sure if she was going to be able to get the peony in and she did! She exceeded all my expectations on the flowers and I will continue to use her for any of my future events.

Simon Lee Bakery

Simon Lee Bakery created our wedding cake and grooms cake for the wedding.  We picked Simon Lee Bakery because the flavors they offered are delicious.  The wedding cake was classic yet simple, but our grooms cake was a 3D horned frog.  We both graduated from Texas Christian University and wanted to incorporate a bit of that in our wedding since that is where we met.

We had all kinds of music at our wedding. During the ceremony, Musical Discovery Chamber Players played lovely wedding music as guests arrived.  During cocktail hour we had mariachis playing for the guests as they mingled.  During the reception we hired Altared Weddings.  Christian was a great DJ and was very nice and friendly.  Altared Weddings also did our lighting and gobo.

There aren’t many things that I was very picky about during my wedding planning, but makeup was definitely one of them.  I went to about five different makeup artists for trials and was not happy with them.  I finally found Makenzi Laine and absolutely loved my makeup.  On the wedding day my girls liked the makeup they were seeing so much that they decided to get their makeup done as well.  My makeup was flawless and that is exactly what I was going for.  I will definitely be using her for future events.  My wedding hair was done by my usual stylist, Bobbie Kleman.  She is not only great at color, but also styling.  I wanted my hair to be down for the ceremony and up for the reception; she was able to create both looks for me.  She is one to go to for your wedding hair needs.

The wedding was a fairytale come true.  It is everything I had imagined it would be and I couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome.  Thank you to my parents, Adam, Kayleigh, our venue and the vendors that made this day flawless.  Adam and I loved our wedding and we are excited to see where this journey as husband and wife takes us.

 

*Betsy Villanueva

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Destination Wedding: Hawaii

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I know what you’re thinking, Hawaii as a destination wedding is nothing new; but I’m not talking about your average beach ceremony! On a recent vacation, I attended a luau at Smith’s Tropical Paradise and their venue is absolutely gorgeous! They have 30 acres of botanical and cultural gardens located near the Wailua River on Kuaui, where they also provide river boat tours. In the garden, you’ll find an Easter Island head, Japanese garden island, tropical orchard, peacocks, and a small lagoon with a floating platform in the center.

smith-s-tropical-paradisePhoto credit: Trip Advisor

Or! You could choose to have your ceremony at the Fern Grotto, which is just a short boat ride up the Wailua River and a short walk through lush trees and ferns. Many tourists visit this spot, but you can have a private wedding complete with romantic Hawaiian music along the way, and the Hawaiian wedding song performed at the Fern Grotto by local musicians.

ferngrottoPhoto credit: Smith’s Tropical Paradise

After the ceremony, you can return (or stay if you choose the lagoon) to the Smith family property for a wonderful luau! They have several imu ovens (underground) where they roast the Kalua pig. You will also be served a variety of side dishes, teriyaki beef, chicken, fish, and traditional Hawaiian poi! The luau is followed by songs and dances from Polynesian culture and other cultures that influenced Hawaiian traditions.

luau_1Photo credit: Smith’s Tropical Paradise

The Smith family offers several different wedding packages for each location, Fern Grotto and the garden’s lagoon. Fern Grotto packages range from $850 – $2,250 and all include a variety of wedding boat departure times, boat ride for 18 passengers, souvenir wedding certificate, wedding license, and different photo and video packages. Each package increases in benefits starting with the simple ceremony, leis, minister and solo musician for the Basic Package, then the Superior and Deluxe packages, and finally the Evening Candle and Torchlight Package includes musician and hula dancer, wedding cake, non-alcoholic champagne and glasses, and edited photos and DVD of the ceremony. The Tropical Paradise location provides the Plumeria or Hibiscus Wedding Package. The Plumeria includes a minister and two leis while the Hibiscus adds a bouquet and professional photographs. Both packages include up to 10 guests, wedding certificate, wedding license, and additional photos or DVD for an extra cost.

Smith’s Tropical Paradise is a wonderful place for not only a destination wedding, but a unique and cultural ceremony with traditional Hawaiian entertainment!

-Nikki

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Wedding Superstitions

There are so many wedding superstitions out there, but which are the most popular? Do you believe in superstitions? As a bride it can be fun and cute to follow some of these superstitions or incorporate them into your wedding.  I think it’s time we bring some of these superstitions into the light.

1.  The bride should have something new, borrowed, old, and blue.

2.  To bring good luck, save the ribbons from the shower gifts to create a bouquet that should be use during your rehearsal.

3.  If you tear any of the ribbons when you are opening gifts that is the number of kids you will have.

4.  If you see a rainbow on your wedding day it is a good omen.

Taylor Swift be the bridesmaid of her best friend's wedding

5.  The first gift the bride opens should be the first used in her marital home.

6.  The groom should not see the bride until she walks down the aisle.

7.  As newlyweds, groom should carry the bride across the threshold.  If the bride were to stumble entering their home, it is a bad omen.

8.  There should be ten cans tied to the back of the newlyweds car to scare off bad spirits as they drive away.

9.  It is bad luck for the bride to practice walking down the aisle for her rehearsal.  Typically you ask a friend to do it for you.

10.  The bride’s veil is used to hide her from evil spirits.

11.  The girl that catches the bouquet is next to be married.

 

Remember, even if you don’t believe in these things, they can be fun for you and your groom to follow.  Some of these would even make cute wedding pictures.

 

*Betsy Villanueva

 

 

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Spring Weddings

Spring Bouquet

Spring is a popular time for a wedding and one of my favorites for Texas weddings. It’s not too cold, not too hot and usually, most of the wildflowers are in full bloom. Consider this if you’re looking for an outdoor venue, but also be prepared for any unexpected rain showers as the weather can’t be predicted that far in advance.

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You have so many color options to play with when planning a spring wedding! Pastels and brighter shades in almost every color, but I would stay away from using too many shades of green; especially if you are getting married outdoors. There should be plenty of natural green around you in the springtime. When using pastel colors, you can even choose a bolder, darker color for an accent. When using bright colors, stick to one or two bright colors with a light contrast (white, unless you prefer something more non-traditional).

centerpieces

For your centerpieces: flowers, flowers and more flowers! It’s okay to use a lot of flowers but try to break it up visually with props. You can use vases, rustic wood decorations, umbrellas, baskets, perfume bottles (filled with water) or even bird cages.

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You can match your groomsmen to your bridesmaids by ordering bowties of the same color as the bridesmaid dresses, or pastel pants that complement the bridesmaid colors. Feel free to go fun and crazy with prints and patterns! If you choose the pastel route then try to stick to nude or white shoes, and if you choose the bright colors then wear nude or black shoes. Also, try to find shoes in the same color as the bridesmaid dresses so you can match your girls! For your wedding dress, ruffles and lace designs are very in fashion for the springtime.

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Floral decorated cakes are almost a must for a spring wedding or you can add a subtle touch with lace detailing. Wine, tea, lemonade, popcorn, fruit pie pops, macaroons, fruit and cheese are all great snacks for a spring wedding. Depending on how early or late in the spring your wedding is, an ice cream cone/sundae bar might be a welcome refreshment for your guests!

Some flowers that are available in spring include: tulips, daisies, peonies, lilacs, anemones, daffodils, orchids, forgetmenots, pansies and sweet peas. Baby’s breath is always available and even if you don’t think you want them in your wedding, I would recommend ordering some anyway, just in case. They’re great for filling spaces in bouquets, table centerpieces and along the aisles.

-Nikki

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A Gift for your Groom

On the day of your wedding you and your groom choose to exchange gifts before the wedding.  What should you get him?  You can give him something he can use for the wedding or something he has wanted for a while.  Make his gift something meaningful and personal.  It doesn’t need to be extravagant to be  a great gift.  Put thought into the gift.

Start with what your groom could use for the big day.  You can also go one step further and surprise him by engraving a special message into any of the items he can use for the day of.  Use a phrase he likes or that you both use often that is special to you or simply tell him that you love him forever and always.  Make sure to personalize any gift that you get him, add your special touch.

Engrave his wedding band
Engrave his wedding band
Groom shirt
Groom shirt
An engraved watch
An engraved watch
Cuff links
Cuff links
Kit for your groom
Kit for your groom

Get him a gift that he can use in the future or look at any time he wants.  Think of his hobbies and interests, even if they are not your favorite, show him that you care about the things he cares about.

Personalized golf balls
Personalized golf balls
Picture with the groom showing his hunting interests
Surprise him by taking a picture that he would like to have on your wedding day
Surprise him by getting a grooms cake he wants that you may not have liked as much
Surprise him by getting a grooms cake he wants that you may not have liked as much

Make him a book with your love story in it
Make him a book with your love story in it.
You are in the Hill Country.  Set up skeet shooting for your groom and his groomsmen for the morning of the wedding.
Skeet shooting with the groomsmen

You are in the Hill Country. Set up some activity for your groom to do with his groomsmen.  You can even get help from his groomsmen to get an activity set up and keep it a surprise.  Whatever gift you pick for your man, do it with flare.  Make it something memorable.

 

*Betsy Villanueva

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How To: Include Your Pet

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You have a pet that you adore and want to include on your wedding day? No problem!  Here are a few ways to include your pet on the big day and things to take into consideration while trying to decide whether to include your pet or not.  You must first decide if it is appropriate to have your pet at your wedding depending on the type of wedding you are having or the location of the wedding.  If you are having your wedding on a ranch or out in the country having your pet at or in your wedding would be no problem.  If your wedding is at a hotel, in a church, or is very formal it is best to keep your pet at home.  Ask your venue what their pet policy is.  The temperament of your animal must also be taken into consideration.  Is your pet aggressive, hyper or loud?  If that is the case then many things could go wrong at your wedding and having your pet present would be a problem that you don’t need to be worried about on your big day.  Even if you have a good tempered pet, remember other small issues may arise.  For example, if your dog sees a squirrel will he/she want to bark or chase after it?  Does your dog need to be watched throughout the day?  If so, someone needs to be in charge of your pet because you will be busy on your wedding day.

 

Wedding-DogsYou can have your pet wear some shade of the color scheme you have picked out for your wedding.  Your pet can also wear an outfit to match either the groom or bride or even just a cute collar to spruce up your pet.

If your dog or cat can manage walking down the aisle without being too distracted by your guests, he/she can walk or be walked down the aisle to stand by your side during the ceremony.  Your pet can be the ring bearer if you secure the rings on the pillow or simply attach the pillow to your pet and keep the rings with your best man, either way it is a cute picture to have.

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Bellingham Washington Wedding Photography

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Let’s talk pictures.  If having your pet throughout your whole wedding day is not possible, but you really want him/her involved take a few pictures with them on your wedding day.  Make sure that your pet is clean and groomed and won’t get you or your groom dirty.  Also, do not allow them to climb or jump on you because it could tear your dress or ruin the tux in some way.  Have someone there to help you control them during pictures.

If you include your pets on your big day do a run through with them so they get an idea of what it will be like and so you can feel comfortable on the day of your wedding knowing that they will be well behaved.

 

 

*Betsy Villanueva

 

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