Wonderful Wedding Vendors

flowers

It’s okay if you’re still missing a few vendors on your list for the big day. Here are a few photographers, videographers, wedding cake decorators and flowers shops, as well as what they can offer you and your fiance on or before your wedding day.

Photo credit: Airstream PhotoBooth

This creative and mobile photo booth uses Daisy, a 1967 vintage airstream, to travel to your wedding, fraternity/sorority party, or corporate event location and provide fun and entertaining photos for your memory book! Airstream PhotoBooth was created by Chris and Yvonne Johnson, who are also the owners of Austin Imagery Photography. Daisy is a fully-functioning photography studio on wheels including professional cameras, lighting and on-the-spot printers. You can rent Daisy and their services for a variety of prices, the Modern Package for $950 or the Vintage Package for $1,150. Both packages offer photo props, unlimited photos, digital images, online viewing, set up and take down, and up to 3 hours of service. They travel all over Austin and the Texas Hill Country areas as well as outside those areas, but extra travel fees may be applied to any outlying locations.

photoPhoto credit: New Road Productions

New Road Wedding Photography and Videography that serves the greater Austin area, including the Texas Hill Country. Most of the photography and videography is done by Wes Sheperd with the help of additional photographers depending on the package ordered. Wes offers a variety of photography packages: Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond, that can be requested for 6 or 8 hours ranging from $1700-$2750. His videography packages include Silver, Gold and Platinum that can be booked for 6 or 8 hours ranging from $900-$1800. Wes uses all professional equipment and has a resume that boasts work with HGTV, Discovery Channel, Travel Channel, DIY Network, as well as having won WeddingWire’s Bride’s Choice Award in 2012 and in 2013. We love working with Wes and his production company here at Lotus Ranch and hope you will too!

Simon Lee Bakery

SimonLee12-406x600Photo credit: Simon Lee Bakery

This is an excellent place to order your wedding treats from! Located just outside Austin in Pflugerville and with over 35 years in combined experience, their motto is “Simon Lee…when it has to be perfect.” They have an extensive menu to choose from including, but not limited to, white french vanilla, italian cream carrot cake, red velvet, marble cake, cheesecakes, fruit toppings, chocolate truffle and more! Simon Lee decorates their cakes beautifully and can make a cake for the bride and groom, as well! They have won the Austin Wedding Day Style Elegant Style Award, The Knot’s Best of Wedding Picks from 2007-2012, and the 2010 Bride’s Choice Award.

Whim Floral Design

prom dresses online shop 2016Photo credit: Whim Floral Design

Whim precisely caters your flowers to you: your personality, likes, dislikes, style, budget and the season (remember, not all flowers are available at all times of the year). They offer a “Signature Collection” which includes consultation, bouquets, boutonnieres, centerpieces, cocktail arrangements, aisle petals or chair flowers, and a custom proposal with one revision. The “Custom Floral Package” includes your favorite flowers (in season), custom proposal with two revisions, complimentary farmer’s market visit, and the option to rent or own vessels (candelabras, elegant vases, backdrops, unique antiques, etc.). You can also opt for their “DIY Floral Package” which includes seasonal fresh flowers for up to 150 guests, along with a link to a video tutorial on how to put bouquets and floral arrangements together. You have the option of picking up flowers that are fresh from the market two days before the wedding, or already prepped and cleaned flowers 1-2 days prior.

No matter which vendor you choose for your wedding, make sure you are comfortable with the arrangements you have made and that you have clearly stated to your vendor what you want from them. If you have a question, ask them, because it is much easier to negotiate in the beginning rather than a few days or weeks away from your wedding date.

-Nikki

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Homemade Spa Treatment

epsom-salt-detox-bath

So your big day is coming up and you used most of your budget already? No problem! You don’t have to go to a fancy spa to get pampered before your wedding, you can do it right at home with your bridesmaids. I would recommend gathering the materials and preparing the following concoctions prior to the day you wish to use them, just to save time, unless the directions specifically say to prepare and use while fresh.

exfoliating scrub

Homemade Exfoliating Sugar Scrub by Foxy Whole Foodie

To make about 1, 1/2 cups you will need the following: 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup salt, 1/2 cup slightly melted coconut oil, and your favorite essential oil.

You can use all salt or all sugar but you may find that sugar dissolves more by itself. Add the sugar and salt to a container that you can seal, maybe an old exfoliating scrub container. Melt the coconut oil in a bowl for about 5-8 seconds and gently stir; it will melt at 75 degrees. Add the melted coconut oil to the sugar and salt mixture, and stir until it seems fully mixed. Finally, stir in about 15 drops of your favorite essential oil to give the scrub the desired scent.

deep-hair-conditioner

Natural Deep Hair Conditioner by Petit Elefant

You will need: 1 shower cap, 1 avocado, 2 tablespoons olive oil (or coconut oil), 2 tablespoons water, and 2 tablespoons whipped heavy cream.

The recipe calls for olive oil, but I much prefer to use coconut oil as a substitute whenever I see a recipe that calls for olive oil. Combine all of the ingredients and comb it through your hair. Put on the shower cap and wait for about 20 minutes before rinsing with lukewarm water. You may want to shampoo your hair afterwards as it will probably smell like avocado.

facial steam

Facial Steam by The Mountain Rose Blog

You will need: 1/8 cup organic Green Sencha Leaf Tea, 1/4 cup dried organic Lemon Balm, 1-2 tablespoons dried organic Peppermint

The ingredients may take a little longer to find because they are organic but this facial steam will moisturize, relax muscles, plump wrinkles, eliminate toxins and dirt, and increase circulation. Place the three ingredients into a large glass, or ceramic, bowl. Boil water, pour it into the bowl and immediately cover it with a towel. The hot water will cause oils to be released from the ingredients and you do not want them to escape into the air. Let that steep, or sit, for about 5 minutes. Place the bowl so that you can comfortably lean over it with your face over the bowl. Remove the towel, place your face over the bowl, and recover the bowl plus your head with a towel so that the steam doesn’t escape. Close your eyes and breathe deeply for about 10 minutes, and you should feel refreshed, relaxed and rejuvenated!

epsom-salt-detox-bath

Detoxifying Bath Soak

I mentioned to my grandmother one day that I had been looking for a good detoxifying bath recipe that didn’t have too many ingredients and she gave me this recipe. You will need: 1 cup Epsom Salt, 1 cup baking soda

Fill your bathtub with as much hot water as you can handle, remember it will seem extra hot when you first get in but your body will adjust. As the tub is filling, pour the Epsom salt and baking soda slowly near the faucet. I usually swirl the water around with my hand a little to make sure it spreads to the other side of the tub, too. Once the bath is full, get in and soak for 40 minutes. You will sweat! I repeat, you will sweat! It may feel a little uncomfortable depending on how hot the water is but try to last the full 40 minutes if you can (if you can’t, its ok; I got out after 30 minutes the first time I tried this). Drink plenty of water during and after this bath. I buy the Epsom Salt that has eucalyptus in it for added benefits and a pleasant smell. You can use ginger root shavings or an essential oil to create the aroma you prefer.

body butter

DIY Body Butter by Bes Skincare

You will need: 1 cup Coconut Oil, 1 tsp Vitamin E oil, your favorite essential oil

You can easily buy a body butter from stores like Bath and Body or Victoria’s Secret, but if you want a cheaper, more organic lotion then making your own is the way to go. Combine the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix on high for at least 5 minutes or until it is creamy and whipped. Put the mixture into a clean glass jar with a lid you can seal, and store it at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

-Nikki

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Summer Weddings are Near!

sunscreen

Summer is coming up quickly and it’s a beautiful time for weddings! Most flowers are in season and a lot of warm colors become popular, which makes it easier to decorate your theme. The bad thing about summer in Texas? It’s hot!! Here are some ideas to help you and your guests stay safe from the hot sun and enjoy your day instead.

sunscreen

Provide sunscreen packets for guests who forgot to bring their own. This is especially helpful if you are having an outdoor reception with limited shade available.

fan program

Program fans are perfect for an outdoor ceremony because they let your guests know what is going on and keeps them cool at the same time! They are also very easy to coordinate with your color scheme.

sunglasses

Put a table with sunglasses near the entrance for guests to grab before they sit down so everyone can enjoy the ceremony without squinting the whole time. You can find some cute and cheap, generic sunglasses online.

bug spray

If your ceremony or reception is in an area highly populated by bugs, provide your guests with bug protection. Skin So Soft is my personal favorite and it works best against mosquitoes because they don’t like the smell. (Added bonus! It makes your skin so soft and silky, hence the name)

water

Instead of plain water add lemons, limes, or cucumbers to add a little refreshing flavor.

lights lights

Lanterns and fairy lights are cute ways to light up the night in the summertime. Electric candles can be bought online or found at a dollar store and put in mason jars. Fill them with colored glass pebbles for a nice colorful glow!

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Mr. & Mrs. Memorabilia

Balloons

A great way to decorate your new home together with your hubby is with Mr. & Mrs. themed memorabilia that you either received as a gift or used during your wedding. You won’t get tired of seeing everyday when you’re in the “honeymoon stage,” and it gives you time to decide together how you would like to decorate when, or if, you don’t want to use them anymore.

Wine Glasses

Wine glasses are usually always on everyone’s wedding registry so ask your guests to customize yours. You can even add designs like silhouettes, bowties, bouqets, or customized colors.

Bathroom Pictures

Baby photos are cute and slightly embarrassing but putting your baby bath photos in the bathroom is cuter and isn’t prominently displayed.

Wine Stoppers

Mr. & Mrs. wine stoppers are adorable and the perfect bridal shower gifts! You can never have too many, especially when you need to try all the wines you received from guests so that you can truthfully tell them in their thank you note that you have tasted it.

Coasters

Coasters are the best way to protect your furniture and are one of the easiest DIY projects on Pinterest. For more sentimentality use some marble or stone from your first house together, and then simply paint or use stickers to decorate them.

Luggage Tags

Luggage tags for the honeymoon, of course! These are especially cute because it gives the bride two tags, which if we’re being honest, is definitely needed.

T-shirts

You and your hubby can have matching shirts at the airport on your way to the honeymoon to let everyone know you’re newlyweds.

Pillows

Decorate your first bed together with cute personalized pillows that have your wedding date on them. (You can also use them to label your side and his side)

Chair Signs

This sign is adorable for the reception and you can order one for the groom, as well!

Balloons

If you’re having a simple reception or after wedding tea party, balloons are a great way to mark the entrance to the venue or above the bride and groom’s chair.

Ornaments

These ornaments are perfect for the bride and groom’s first Christmas tree together.

Most of these can be DIY, my favorite, or custom ordered on a variety of websites. If you go the DIY route, you can have a craft making activity at your bridal shower.

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Gift Ideas for the Bride and Groom

cute coffee mugs

Looking for new and fresh ideas for gifts to bring the bride and groom? We have gathered some fabulous ideas below!

Experiential Gifts

The newest trend for wedding guests is to buy the bride and groom an “experience” gift. This is defined as an adventurous outing for the newly weds to “experience” together. Some grander ideas include spelunking, cave touring, kayaking, zip lining, etc. With a bit of research, wedding guests can find these tourist attraction places, and buy the couple a gift certificate as a wedding gift!

For wedding guests attending on a budget, a cute experiential gift would be to get a few gift cards for the couple to dine out on. Think restaurants local to the couple’s residence, or major chain restaurants like BJ’s or Olive Garden. This is a quick and easy idea, especially since super stores like Wal-Mart and Target have sections of gift cards by the check out aisle with an assortment of restaurant gift cards for purchase! To bundle the assortment of gift cards, get a cute box that the couple can keep the gift cards that they can just grab and go!

Another great idea for an experiential gift is to buy the couple a photography session to commemorate their one year wedding anniversary. Contact a local photographer and buy the couple a gift certificate for the couple to use one year out!

Personalized Gifts

An easy way to add a personal touch to any wedding gift is to monogram it! This is ideal for home goods. The bride will be sure to love any monogrammed gift with her newly obtained initials on it! Some ideas include, hand towels, comfy robes, or even blankets! For the outgoing couple, wine, champagne, or even scotch glasses are a perfect fit. These personalized gifts are great as presents or additions to larger registry items!

Quirky Gifts

Want your gift to stand out amongst the sea of registry flatware or linens? Get these practical items but with an added twist! Brookstone, Urban Outfitters, Etsy, and Anthropologie are great stores to find obscure little knick knacks. For example get coffee mugs with funny sayings or pictures. Add these items with a registered gift for a well-rounded thoughtful gift!

Lea Cabezas

 

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Throwback Decor

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One of my favorite aspects of a wedding is when the bride and groom display old photos of themselves. I don’t think there’s a better way to personalize your wedding than showcasing your lives up until your wedding day. Here are some creative ways to incorporate those precious and nostalgic photos into your wedding.

 

Greet guests as they arrive by attaching photos to the welcome sign. They can easily be hung from a typical picket sign or use this idea and hang them around a tree trunk. All that is needed are the photos, some wire or twine, and clothes pins. And viola, a unique welcome sign!

 

Another similar idea as the welcome sign is to hang photos around the sign-in or gift table. Just use the same tools and string the photos around the area; for example, hanging above or off the table.

 

Photos lining the chairs is a fabulous alternative for ceremony aisle decor. They can easily be an addition to flowers or omit the flowers all together and let the photos speak for themselves. Carry the theme of the wedding by using frames that match the colors.

 

I think this is my favorite idea for old photos. Assign pictures to each reception table based on the corresponding age and table number! This is a great way to share photos and make simple table numbers at the same time. For example, a picture of the bride and groom when they were 4 years old would go on table number 4. As shown below, photos can numbered by the year or just number them as 4. I recommend making it clear by using the second option.

Last but not least, mark the bride and groom’s chairs with their photos. This is an adorable way to decorate the chairs and also infuse just a bit of personal touch into the wedding. For this idea each photo should be enlarged so they aren’t so small that they aren’t noticeable. And again, be sure to put them in a frame that goes well with the wedding theme so they’re a part of the decor.

By: Sabrina Read

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Repurpose Your Dress

dress

You’ve said your vows, you’ve celebrated, and you’ve worn your dress. Now what to do with that expensive and gorgeous wedding gown that you fell in love with? You could store it away in the depths of a closet never to be seen again, or you could repurpose it!

Before you write off the idea, really consider what good your gown will do stored away for countless years. In all honesty, by the time your daughter gets married fashion and her tastes will more than likely be much different. It also may be difficult to grasp the idea of “destroying” your beloved wedding dress that cost an arm and a leg, but in reality you would be using it to it’s full potential instead of once in your life.

Here are some ideas if you decide to take the plunge:

  • Dining room table runner
  • Child’s baptism gown
  • Sundress
  • Cocktail dress
  • Special anniversary dress
  • Pillow covers
  • Halloween costume
  • Family quilt
  • Clutch purse
  • The ideas are endless- use your imagination!

By: Sabrina Read

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Customized Beer

beer2

For the bride who likes to go the extra mile, consider customizing the beer that will be served at your wedding. You can add an even more personal touch to your wedding by having custom beer labels!

If you’re really wanting to pull out all the stops, you can concoct your own brew at home then create personalized labels to place on your bottles. There are online companies that give you templates and then you finish it off with your chosen words or picture. Two websites that I think have a wide selection of attractive designs are My Own Labels and Labels on the Fly.

There are also companies like Gift Specialists where you can buy the labels as well as the beer. This will allow you to still provide custom beer to your guests without the hassle of making homemade beer.

This idea can also be applied to those of you who will have guests who are wine, champagne, or just soda drinkers!

 

By: Sabrina Read

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Cute and Fun Glass!

Rubber bands

Cute, fun, and fresh decorations are always a must-have at weddings, try spicing up some plain glass vases or drinking glasses! These affordable and easy projects will add fun to your wedding without adding on more big expenses!

Simply wrap different size rubber bands around any chosen glass vase then cover with white or opaque spray paint. Once the paint has thoroughly dried, remove the rubber bands. Classy and elegant vases in a snap!

Write a cute phrase, name, or design on a vase with a hot glue gun. After the glue has hardened, use any color of spray paint to completely cover the vase. Now, you have personalized vases to decorate your wedding!

A fun way for your guests to personalize and keep track of their drinking glass is with chalk! First wrap the stem of the glass with painter’s masking tape then use chalk board spray paint to create the writing area. Once the paint has dried, remove the tape and you now have cute and functional chalk board glasses for your guests!

By: Sabrina Read

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Ottomans!!!

ottomans

Nothing is more perfect to me when you are having an outdoor Hill Country Wedding then having a seating area around the dance floor. An amazing way to have a sleek fun seating area is to get ottomans. Ottomans allow places for people to sit but it also can bring in pops of your wedding colors aroun the dance floor. Always remember to get fun pillows to place on the ottomans this not only looks amazing in pictures but it also makes for a super comfy seating area!!! Happy Planning!!!!

Kayleigh Ziegenbein

Certified Wedding Planner

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