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Travel expert Jetsetter.com gives us five key tips for planning a wedding abroad! (expert advice)
By Geraldine Campbell for our sponsor, Jetsetter.com
Wedding planning is an exciting, emotional (sometimes exasperating) endeavor – and plotting your nuptials in a far-off place is no different. The advantages of a destination wedding are many: For one (let’s be honest), saying “I do” abroad limits the guest list. It can also be easier (yes, easier) to plan, since the resort’s on-site coordinator can handle everything from photographers and table arrangements to goodie bags. Not to mention: exchanging vows on a sandy beach with your friends and family? Priceless. We tapped the travel experts at Jetsetter.com for their top tips on making your destination wedding go off without a hitch.
1. Do your homework
Different countries have different requirements when it comes to non-natives getting married on native soil. In France, for example, a proper wedding can be un nightmare: The 40-day residence requirement is just one of the (many) steps required. In Bali, a legal ceremony is considerably easier, although, you and your honey have to be the same religion. So, wherever you’re dreaming of tying the knot, know what you’re getting into.
2. Have a symbolic ceremony
If you don’t want to deal with overseas bureaucracy, get married stateside (pop over to City Hall for a quickie or, better yet, hop on a flight to Vegas) – and have a non-civil ceremony in your destination of choice. No one will be the wiser.
3. Make considerations
For your guests, a destination wedding can be significantly more expensive than a domestic affair. Do them a favor and give fair warning – six months at minimum (a year is even better). Also, consider ditching the registry. If you’re not willing to forego gifts completely, include inexpensive items on your wish list.
4. Stay in one place
Honeymooning where you get hitched means you can go from reception to relaxation mode without the hassle of planes, trains and automobiles. It can also be cost-effective. Resort wedding packages often include a free stay for the bride and groom. Everything is negotiable and if the hotel isn’t willing to put you up for a night or two (or longer), ask for an upgrade.
5. Get inspired at Jetsetter.com
Jetsetter has hotels in every corner of the world – and a perfect destination wedding spot for every personality type, whether you’re an adventurer, a foodie, or a romantic!
The engagement party is just the first of many more celebrations to come. Here are some unique ideas for your engagement party. (expert advice)
You've said 'yes' to that special man in your life and now it's time to celebrate your upcoming wedding with family and friends. This means you better start planning some sort of get-together or engagement party in order to spread the joyful news. Where do you start? First, you should come up with a suitable and available engagement party location, and possibly toss around a few ideas for an engagement party theme, which is perfect for couples who don’t want to trade traditional nuptials for a theme wedding.
Before You Get Started
Before you start brainstorming for the perfect location for your engagement party, you first need to iron out a few details, including:
• Budget: Your available budget will certainly dictate the location and other aspects of planning your engagement party. Remember – this is a party meant to announce your engagement and should in no way exceed the amount of money spent on your wedding ceremony or reception. Pinch pennies now so that you have more money to spend later.
• Guest List: The number of guests will also affect your engagement party plans, as you must find a space large enough to accommodate the people you invite.
• Party Theme: If you are centering this celebration on a particular theme, it's best to come to a final decision before browsing potential locations.
Unique Engagement Party Locations
When planning an engagement party, keep in mind that you don’t have to fall victim to the space restrictions and rules that apply to wedding locations. This means you can select sites that you'd love to have your wedding at, but just can't pull off in time or with your budget. So, this is the time to explore partying at a sports park, old movie theater, amusement park, or historic garden. Those who wish to splurge on their engagement party location may select sites that are typically reserved for weddings, which include country clubs, reception halls, and wineries. Other engagement party locations to consider, includes:
• Your favorite restaurant
• Parent's home
Unique Engagement Party Themes
Looking to celebrate your engagement in style, with a touch of humor, or absolutely off-the-wall? Consider planning an engagement party centered on a particular theme. Food, decorations, and fun activities usually mimic the theme of the evening, which may include:
• A hula bash with grass skirts and Pina Coladas by the beach
• A romantic affair with dreams of the Eiffel Tower
• Recreating important milestones in your life with your fiancé
• Ball and chain humor
• Costume ball focused on famous lovers
Photos by Perez Photography
By: Jenny BattFringe is still everywhere and I don’t think it's going out of style anytime soon. Traditionally, you take tiny pieces of fringe and cover shapes and large paper mache objects. For this DIY, I will show you a new technique to breeze through fringing anything. Materials: Tissue Paper Cutting Mat and Rotary Cutter Scissors (or fringing scissors – easier) Elmer’s Glue Poster Board Step One Lay several sheets of tissue paper flat and fold in half lengthwise. Use your cutting mat, a straight edge and your rotary cutter, to cut strips 2.5” wide across the fold. Step Two Take each set of strips and unfold. Refold lengthwise. Step Three Fold in half widthwise and cut fringe on the bottom (not the folded) edge. Step Four Separate each fringed strip and refold lengthwise. Take your poster board and across the short edge, run a thin bead of glue across the length. Lay a fringed piece across the glue and press lightly to adhere. If the strip isn’t quite long enough to reach, just add pieces as needed. For the next layer add another bead of glue above the first strip and add another strip. Step Five Repeat until the entire poster board is covered. Let dry. Step Six Print out letters from your computer. Cut out the letters from the paper. Place each letter on the fringed board, adjusting it so the fringe goes left to right across the letter, and cut loosely around the edge. Once you have the smaller piece, use the template to cut out the shape perfectly. Step Seven Repeat with remaining letters. Sometimes after cutting, the tops of the letters are missing fringe. Simply add touch up pieces of tissue paper fringe and glue down. Let dry and trim. Step Eight Use a bunting template to make a fun garland. You can use the fringed poster board to make any shapes you like or keep as is for a fun backdrop or to use as a tray liner. The fringing goes quickly using this method and is less tedious than fringing each shape individually. Step Nine To make a garland from the letters, simply flip over the pieces and tape down to twine. Here I used washi tape so I can remove and adjust the letters easily after hanging. photos by hankandhunt.com
By: Chelsea FussThis bouquet is so simple and effortless. Pair it with a lace dress or a simple sheath. The burlap adds a rustic touch that keeps it from being too sweet. The best part? This bouquet only costs around $15! Materials: 10 double-petaled tulips 1-2 stems of "cheerful" narcissus Twine A piece of burlap A vase Scissors Directions: 1. Trim the very ends of the flowers. 2. Start with a few of the larger tulips at the bottom of the bouquet; add the smaller tulips towards the top. 3. Add the narcissus blossoms towards the bottom of the bouquet and off-center. 4. Wrap in twine, then wrap the burlap over that. Your bouquet will be bright and fragrant.. enjoy the springtime blooms! By: Chelsea Fuss
Photos By: Mary SwensonCandles are that one favor you know your guests will use, and they're easier to make than you may think! Forget special candle-making equipment -- microwaveable soy wax is easy to use, and add a package of candle wicking (both available at craft stores) and you're ready to get started! Begin by choosing an interesting container for your candle: vintage tins, miniature clay pots, and teacups all make lovely and unique statements, and are easy to coordinate with your event. For our project, we used inexpensive cobalt blue jars found on eBay. First, we cut the wicking to fit the depth of our container. To keep the wick straight, we tied the top loosely around a wooden stick long enough so that it was able to rest on top of the jar, and then centered the wick over the jar. We put the soy wax flakes in a microwave-safe container with a spout (which makes it easier to control the wax when we're ready to pour it into our jars) and melted the wax according to the package instructions. You can personalize your candle's fragrance with a huge variety of fragrance oils, or leave them unscented. We added a few drops of lavender oil to our hot, melted wax, carefully poured it into the jars, and let them sit undisturbed until completely cooled and solid. While the candles cooled, we prepped the packaging for our candles. We made simple gift tags and cut sprigs of dried lavender to tie around each jar. The finished product: fragrant soy candles, personalized for each guest! Use each candle as a place setting, or display them all together on a favor table. Your guests will love them! Photos By: Mary Swenson
Photos By: Chelsea Fuss
Inspired by the sweet strawberry cakes that Swedes make during their Midsummer holiday each year, we came up with this festive wedding cake! It's perfect for an outdoor, rustic wedding. You can make the cake yourself, or simply embellish a store bought cake using our styling inspiration. It's easy and such a unique idea!
First you'll need a white dome cake. We used a citrus flavor dome cake filled with whip cream, from a small family bakery, and it was delicious. We just took off the doily and cardboard it came on and slid it onto a rustic wooden board. You could also make your own. Here are instructions on how to make a dome cake.
You will need around two pints of strawberries per cake.
Cut the stems off and slice the strawberries in half.
Lay the strawberries flat side down, all over the cake.
Keep the cake in the fridge until just before the reception.
Photos by Jordan FerneySupplies: 1. Metal Zinc Tray 14"x14"($10) 2. Wheat Grass Seeds($4) 3. Potting Soil ($8) 4. Gravel for Drainage Step One: Put a layer of gravel to help with drainage. The metal tray we used did not have built in drainage so the gravel helps with that. Step Two: Put a layer of soil on top of the gravel, make sure you leave 1/2" of the metal vessel showing. Step Three: Put a generous layer of seeds down, make sure it is even up to the edges. Step Four: Cover the seeds with a .25" layer of soil. Pat down. Step Five: Water the seeds with a gentle flow of water (either a watering can or a paper cup with holes punched in the bottom)so the seeds aren't washed around. Keep in a sunny area and water daily, keeping the soil moist. Grass should be ready 7-10 days after planting. This gorgeous wheat grass is 14 days old. The grass will eventually look overgrown so you'll want to test it in advance of the big day so you'll know what works best for you. Wheat grass is an easy way to liven up a spring or summer event. You can use it for seating cards or even incorporate it into centerpieces. For the seating cards, you will need the cards and popsicle sticks ( $2 from a craft store). Wheat grass seeds can be bought at a health food store like Whole Foods. If after a week of growth you notice bare spots you can move the grass that is full around to cover it and give it a few days to grow in. Voila! Your gorgeous DIY project is done! This seating card display costs under $25. Happy DIYing!
Project and Photos By: Jordan Ferney
The creative force that is Jordan Ferney came up with this vintage soda bar for us - and we have been loving it ever since!There are so many to reasons to love a soda bar: they are in pretty glass bottles, lots of times with original vintage-y logos on the packaging, and they are made with pure sugar cane, delicious! We had to bring back this popular feature and share the photographic inspiration from Jordan! Old fashioned sodas add a fun and playful element to an event and can even be used as part of your decor. We love them all set up arranged according to color or you can even just buy the color of flavors that go with your wedding. Instead of keeping them on ice, refrigerate them up until right before and line them up on a table or bar for maximum effect. You'll hear your grandpa excited when he finds his favorite soda from when he was nine! The hardest part of having old fashioned sodas is sourcing them. They can be difficult to come by. If you live in California BevMo has a very large selection of specialty sodas (and even ships them online if you can't find something local). Gourmet delicatessens and stores can also have good selections and we've even got lucky before at warehouse stores like Costco. Add some fizz to your wedding day with gourmet sodas! Project and Photos By: Jordan Ferney
Photos By: Chelsea FussFirst, make sure you use a scoring board so folds and lines are straight and precise. Origami patterns are really gorgeous and add interest to tables, invitations, programs and more. They are also inexpensive! For place cards, we measured and cut the Origami paper into 2" by 4" strips and folded in half using the scoring board. We cut 1" strips and created a "ribbon" v at the end using an x-acto knife. Use a dab of glue on either side to secure. We love the minimalist combination of the Japanese patters with sweet handwriting. Consider practicing your best (or quirkiest!) handwriting and then color copying your favorite draft. Origami paper makes a beautiful envelope liner! Simply trim the sides to fit the envelope, slide into envelope and secure with a glue stick. For save-the-dates, color copy handwritten invitations onto postcards. Trim the patterned paper to size (using a rotary cutter) and then using an adhesive glue (a glue stick works too) we secured origami paper to the back of the card. It's makes for a gorgeous pattern-play! Here are a few tips for working with origami paper: 1. Pair the origami paper with a heavy white card stock for areas that need text. 2. Origami paper is very easy to work with and is a perfect weight (not too heavy, not too flimsy!) 3. Even if you don't consider yourself crafty, give it a try! 4. X-acto knives and rotary cutters used with a straight edge help to get those perfect lines! 5. Consider your color scheme and try to keep the papers to a one, two or three color story. For programs, simply fold the paper in half (using the scoring board if you want them extra neat). Color copy a handwritten program (this works great for menus too!) and then cut to size. Fold card stock in half. Tie together using waxed twine. Have fun creating your colorful, patterned paper goods!