Home / Ask the Expert

Ask the Expert

Wedding Cake Inspiration – Which Cake is Your Style?

wedding cake, Simply Desserts

By Amy Taylor Sponsored by Simply Desserts Wedding cakes come in so many beautiful styles, it might be hard to choose. Simply Desserts, an award-winning bakery based in Gainesville, Virginia, brings us some wedding cake inspiration to help you choose the perfect sweet touch to your big day! Wedding Cake Styles to Inspire You Floral – If you can’t get enough fresh flowers, you may want to have this style wedding cake. These cakes are usually tall, multi-tiered cakes with cascading flowers. If you’re having a romantic or whimsical-themed wedding, this cake would fit right in. Tall – If you’re having a classic or formal wedding with many guests, a tall cake might fit the bill. These cakes are usually four to six tiers with piping and floral elements. These cakes give a grand feeling to your reception. Naked – …

Read More »

Our Favorite Things

We love finding new gift ideas for our readers to showcase. Here are a few of our favorite things that are a little unique than what is the usual wedding party gift. Consider these items for your wedding party or just as an anytime gift for those you love. Tie the Knot: Grant Patton has a great selection of unique ties made in the USA. Matching socks also available. Starting at $65. grantpatton.com Ruff Mornings: Custom blended for Semper K9, this is a combination of two light to medium roasted coffees. Roasted by Veteran Owned Ricks Roasters in Northern Virginia, sales from this coffee benefit Semper K9’s Service Dogs for Veterans program. Starting at $4. semperk9.shop Whiskey Wedge: Creates an ice slope that chills spirits but minimizes dilution with this rocks glass’s fitted silicone mold. $18. uncommongoods.com Local Gin: Distilled …

Read More »

Floral Initials

By Amanda Baity Floral initials are beautiful, personal wedding decorations, especially when filled with the couple’s favorite plants. They are great to make for your own wedding or to give as a gift to a gardening friend who is tying the knot. Try the couple’s first initials, or just their last initial if you only have time to make one. Or go all out and spell their names if you have the time! Wire Outline: To make your personalized floral initials you’ll need to begin with a wire frame. You can make them yourself, but they can be found at many craft and garden stores. The time and trouble saved to make the small cost worth it. You’ll also need moss to line your letters, plants to fill them and dirt for your plants to grow. Try to choose plants …

Read More »

Venue Coordinator or Event Coordinator: What is the Difference?

By Lisa Beth Miller As you plan for your big day and search for your dream venue, it is important to pay attention to what assistance is offered at each venue. If the venue itself provides a coordinator, you may not need to hire a separate event coordinator. Confused about the differences between the two types of coordinators? Here are some tips regarding the roles of venue coordinators and event coordinators: Venue Coordinators: When you’re picking out your wedding venue, one of the first things you should ask is whether or not there is an on-site wedding coordinator at your disposal. If your venue offers a coordinator as part of its package, that means there’s no added cost for this added benefit. A venue coordinator works for the venue, not directly for you. They’ll act as a liaison between you …

Read More »

Changing Your Name After the Wedding

Changing your name after the wedding is a personal choice. If you do decide to make the traditional change, it is important to be organized and thorough in this endeavor. Where to start? STEP ONE: Get your marriage license. An original, or certified copy, of your marriage license will be required before you speak to other agencies. Call the clerk’s office where your license was filed to get copies. STEP TWO: Change your social security card. Fill out the Social Security Administration’s application for a new card. Take or mail your application and required documents to your local SSA office. STEP THREE: Update your driver’s license. In most states, this must be done in person, so prepare yourself for a trip to the DMV. Bring your original license, your marriage certificate and your new Social Security card. STEP FOUR: Update …

Read More »

How to Use Wedding Blogs to Plan Your Big Day

wedding blog, blogs, laptop

By Amanda Baity When you’re newly engaged (or anticipating getting engaged), it can be easy to fall down the rabbit hole of wedding blogs. After all, there are so many great blogs out there, and they’re full of gorgeous images! Many brides find themselves spending countless hours scrolling through these blogs and becoming overwhelmed by all of the weddings they see published and by the imagined pressure to recreate those images or to compete with them. Don’t worry – we’re not going to tell you to stop looking at wedding blogs! In fact, we are going to help you use them better! Here are some specific ways to use wedding blogs so that they inspire you rather than adding stress: 1. Learn to identify your wedding style. When you begin planning your wedding, you may not know what your wedding …

Read More »

Wedding Guest Etiquette 101: How To Be Perfectly Polite

by Lisa Beth Miller It is so much fun to be invited to a wedding! From the time the elegant invitation arrives in the mail, guests feel flattered and honored to be included in such a momentous occasion. It is important, however, to show your appreciation by following proper guest etiquette! Here are a few critical rules to keep in mind: 1. The first rule should be obvious, but many guests ignore it. Be sure to send in your RSVP for the wedding by the date specified on the invitation, whether or not you plan attending. Failure to do so can be considered rude since the bride and groom must provide a head count to the caterer a week or two before the wedding. The bride and groom have plenty to do in the days before their big day; they should …

Read More »

Shopping For Your Wedding Gown: Say No The Chaos Of A Crowd

by Lisa Beth Miller If you are addicted to the show Say Yes To The Dress like I am, you may have noticed a shopping trend. Many brides seem to find it necessary to gather a large posse of friends and family members to join in the fun of wedding gown shopping. But is it really wise to bring so many different people along for this momentous shopping occasion? My answer is no. Here is why: Save the surprise! Your wedding gown is special and unique. It will have much more of an impact on your guests if they see it for the first time as you walk down the aisle. Isn’t this fashion moment the real reason why the bride walks slowly and deliberately down the aisle? Not everyone knows fashion. Let’s be realistic here. Uncle Phil and cousin Carlton are …

Read More »

What You Should Really Ask Your Photographer

Rob Jinks Photography

By Rob Jinks Finding the right photographer isn’t always the easiest part of your wedding planning. Having photographed over 100+ weddings over the past six years, I can confidently say that I have been asked every question in the book. Today I want to share with you questions to ask your photographer to help you find out if they are the perfect choice to capture your day. Questions Before You Start #1: Find out what photo style you like best before you contact a photographer Take a few minutes to Google photographers in your area, or use wedding repositories like Wedding Wire or The Knot to get a quick view of the different types of photo styles that exist. Some photographers edit their photos to be very warm, others very bright, and others colorful and contrasty. Some photographers shoot in a very posed manner, others in a …

Read More »

Wedding Day First Look

Provided by Rob Jinks It used to be that the first time a couple would see each other was at the start of their wedding ceremony, as the bride walked down the aisle with her father. However, today many couples are opting to see each other before the ceremony, taking advantage of what is called a “first look.” As a wedding photographer, I encourage my couples to consider doing a first look, as there can be some advantages, but how should you choose which is right for you? Here are a few reasons to say yes to a first look and a few reasons to stick with tradition. Reasons to say yes to a first look: 1. Get out the jitters. Enjoy a private moment together before being in front of your family and friends. If you feel that seeing each other for the first …

Read More »

Should I Buy a Wedding Album?

By Rob Jinks A few years ago around Christmastime, my grandmother brought out the album of photos from her wedding in 1958. This album had rounded corners, gold page decoration, and thick pages inlaid with photos. It wasn’t your typical modern wedding album. Today’s albums offer a huge range of options, namely full page printing without a gutter between pages, and clean flat spreads no matter where you open the book. I love being able to see a crisp client album, sometimes up to 24 inches wide, and see a beautiful image in a way that no computer monitor or tiny phone screen can display. But what I loved about my grandmother’s wedding album and what I love about the albums I am able to provide to my clients are the stories. My grandmother didn’t just show me photos – she used them as an opportunity …

Read More »

Plus-One Wedding Etiquette

by Lisa Beth Miller As if brides do not have enough to worry about…along comes the task of actually compiling the guest list for the big event. Seems simple enough, right? Wrong. Remember all of those people that you want to invite who are unmarried? You are going to have to figure out if it is acceptable for them to bring dates to the wedding. This is a tricky situation for a few reasons. 1. Nobody likes to go to weddings alone (OK maybe those guys in the Wedding Crashers movie, but not most people). 2. If you have a lot of single friends, giving them ALL the green light to bring dates could substantially impact your wedding costs and pack your special day with strangers. So…what to do? The trick here is to come up with rules and actually stick to …

Read More »