For the Bride

Don’t Get Tied in Knots

5 Self-Care Tips to Survive the Stress of Wedding Planning

To hire a wedding planner or not to hire a wedding planner- that is the question.

From venue locations to cake flavors (and everything between), many decisions go into wedding plans. You may have questions like, “How can I NOT stress about wedding planning?” or “How can I actually enjoy my wedding planning experience?”.

Some brides tackle planning as DIY brides-to-be, which can generate more stress that anticipated.  Other brides hire a wedding planner to help reduce stress. They offer experience in planning and advice along the way. While a planner is helpful, you will still need to make many decisions.

Whether you go it solo or hire a professional for help, planning a wedding is stressful – completely worth it, but stressful.  Don’t be a burned-out bride!  Take care of yourself during the planning process.

Here are five self-care strategies to help minimize stress.

  1. Start with Self-Awareness & Couple Compatibility

Before you take on any other parts of wedding planning, sit down for an honest assessment. What types of decisions do you love making and which details are not as important to you? Involve your soon-to-be spouse! What decisions can you share? Are there some you will make on your own? Are some based on personal preference or following traditional beliefs?

Knowing yourself and your dynamics as a couple are both important. It will improve your planning experience as you move forward into life together. Consider valued areas that are priorities and identify those that aren’t as critical. Defining the most important elements and establishing clear roles for decision-making prevents conflict and stress. It also opens opportunity for delegation of non-critical items if planning gets overwhelming.

  1.  Ensure you have Time to Exercise.

You may already have a pre-wedding or regular lifestyle workout in place. It is important to keep exercise on the top of your priority list, even during the business of wedding plans and preparations. Here’s why…

Exercise has proven psychological and positive emotional effects for your body. It’s known to reduce stress and improve mental attitudes. You can double up on the good-feel effects by adding an outdoor walk. According to UNC Health Talk, “different parts of our brain activate in nature.”  Physical reactions such as lower heart rate and blood pressure. A simple 15-minute stroll around the block can help calm your body and refresh your mind.

Staying active helps combat the effects of a demanding schedule and decision-making stress.

  1. Creatively Express your Feelings.

This is a once-in-lifetime experience. Take time to express your feelings throughout the process. Enjoy writing or sketching? Keep a journal of important moments throughout your wedding planning process. According to Very Well Mind, journaling counteracts many negative effects of stress, improves cognitive functioning, and strengthens the immune system.

Make note of the key details for the day. Receive the best advice or hear a story that was unforgettable? Jot it down, include doodles, photos or stickers. Process and express your feelings about the journey you’re on.  Celebrate the positive and acknowledge and clear the negative in a creative way.

Added plus?  You’ll have a keepsake you can look back on later.

  1. Get Good at Delegating.

Remember rule number one?

If friends and family offer help, give them something to do!  Allow them to contribute to your wedding in a meaningful way and reduce your stress levels.

Individual tasks such as vendor pickups can allow a loved one to contribute and reduce your to-do lists. Creating DIY décor can offer a personal way other share in the wedding experience. If done as a group, DIY décor can become a beautiful in-tandem wedding memory with its own stories to tell.

  1. Wedding Insurance is Worth Considering – especially for destination weddings and military couples.

What is wedding insurance, and do I need it? We’re glad you asked.

Wedding insurance is event insurance. It protects you if unforeseen circumstances occur and cause damages or injuries. Some insurances even cover some circumstances that preventing you from having your wedding when or where planned.

There are two common types:

  • Cancellation
  • Liability Coverage

Ask your venue if they offer any amount of coverage. If so, ask specifically about body and property damage coverage limits.  Learn more about wedding insurance in our related article: Your Wedding Life Preserver.

Military couple? Most wedding event insurance carriers do not offer coverage for military deployments, USAA has it specifically cited. In some instances, this could the extra padding you need to take the stress off events you cannot control.

Have a “Plan A” and “Plan B”

Some details and plans will be set in stone – like venue, colors, and theme. Some parts of planning include backup plans. For example, an outdoor garden wedding venue will need an indoor space in the event of rain. If an outdoor event is a must for you, consider wedding insurance that would cover costs in the event of rain. Mishaps and circumstances come up. You can choose to make those details (in the event it happens) part of your unique wedding story. Either way, having backup or contingency plans will help make stress levels manageable, even if the “unexpected” happens.

No matter how important this day is, you will want to be happy and healthy when you get there and for many years afterward. Planning for self-care and stress-reduction will prove to be energy well-spent.  A beautiful bride is beaming, not burned-out. Love yourself and it will show.

Bride-to-be’s and newly Mrs., share your story with us!  Get social on Instagramor facebook and share your favorite self-care tipor a best advice you received during your wedding planning journey.

Personalized Romantic Gestures

Each couple will define romance in their own relationship. While traditionally it may be roses, wine, or gifts, there are some romantic gestures that take the everyday to extraordinary. Let’s look at some of these unique and meaningful romantic gestures.

Listen to your partner’s DIY Dream.

Surprise them with favorite coffee or morning drink.

After a long week, do their laundry.

Write your favorite memories on post-it notes and fill your loved one’s space with these reminders.

Fill a jar with messages full of love.

Surprise your partner with a clean house or do some of their most-dreaded chores.

Get ingredients to make a meal that supports their diet goals and decisions.

Schedule time for just you two.

Hold hands.

 

Illusion Lace Feature

Lacy wedding gowns are not a new fashion trend, but it is one that’s taking the runway by storm. With an ultra-feminine appearance, illusion lace takes on new feels.

Tattoo Lace

The latest trend in lace is the illusion lace tattoo. Lace combined with sheer fabric give the appearance of a “lace tattoo.” Sleeves, a faux backless gown, or even a more risqué dress of the entire body can sport this unique wedding gown fashion. Sheer fabric and heavier lace give brides warmth for a cooler wedding season.  Wedding gown designers such as Ferretti, Dror, Lela Rose, and others feature the illusion lace trend. Lace patterns can range from flowers to vines.

A look for everyone

Illusion lace gives as much or as little coverage desired. Illusion lace is commonly seen in faux backless details.

Photo Credit: Martin Thornburg for Mon Cheri

 

This Martin Thornburg features illusion lace designs on the back and sleeves. A satin base with lace-appliqued tulle and illusion lace long sleeves completes an inspiring mermaid silhouette wedding gown.

Brides can also showcase this trend without exposing their back by choosing illusion lace sleeves.

Photo Credit: Stella York

This Stella York gown shows the beauty of laser cut lace combined with crepe to create a long-sleeved gown with tattoo lace sleeves.

Photo Credit: Martina Liana

This Martina Liana gown highlights similar long-sleeved lace details. This dress features a beautiful A-line tulle skirt and beaded floral lace appliques that further romanticize the gown.

Bridesmaids can wear it too

Illusion lace is not just for brides. Designers are creating more bridesmaid dresses with illusion lace too.

Image: morilee.com

Want more in boho styles?  Check out “Boho Themed Cake Trends” and “Favorite Boho Wedding Photos.”

Top 5 Filling Flavors to Love

A TASTEFUL WEDDING EXPERIENCE

Modern weddings focus on creating an experience for the entire guest list.

It’s important to remember the five senses when creating your wedding experience; sight, smell, touch, taste and sound. Your cake’s beautifiul design is a huge part of the visual experience.  The memorable flavors and decadent fillings you choose create a taste experience for your guests. Fillings help hold the tiers of your wedding cake together and add a range of flavors to your “tasteful” wedding experience!

WAYS TO CHOOSE YOUR FLAVOR

  • Choose cake flavors and fillings that you and your fiance both enjoy.
  • Consider the season of your wedding and the dinner menu. For example, a summer beach wedding may pair well with a citrus or tropical flavored wedding cake. Not only does it compliment the season, it unifies the wedding theme.
  • If you can’t decide on one, choose more! Each layer provides an opportunity to customize your wedding cake and express your love story.

ADC’S MOST POPULAR FILLINGS

We’ve been creating custom cakes for years and there are a few filling flavors that continue to be favorites. Here are some of our most popular filling choices:

  • Raspberry

Raspberries peak in June and are full of antioxidants and vitamin C. White almond or chocolate cake flavors are delicious pairing combonations.Try our Raspberry Dee-Light or Raspberry Chocolate-Fudge gourmet cupcakes for a taste of our rasberry filling.

  • Strawberry

Strawberries’ natural season is April though June. Antioxidants found in strawberries support heart health, and make an easy cake flavor duet. Yellow sponge, vanilla butter, strawberry sponge, and chocolate cake flavors pair well with a strawberry filling. Taste test our Strawberry Meringue, Strawberry on a Cloud, or Chocolate Covered Strawberry gourmet cupcakes to find your favorite.

  • Lemon

Lemon, full of cheer and Vitamin C, is a fitting citrus flavor for the summer wedding season. Pair it with cake flavors such as lemon chiffon, lemon sponge, or white sponge cake for a fresh, light flavor. Try our Fresh Coconut w/ Lemon, Limon, or Zesty Lemon Chiffon gourmet cupcakes.

  • Chocolate Fudge

Combine chocolate fudge filling and rich cake flavors to create a decadent dessert. Pair with cake flavors such as chocolate or strawberry for a romantic vibe.Try our Death by Chocolate, Cookies ‘n’ Cream, or Hurricane gourmet cupcakes.

  • Buttercream

Highlight your cake flavor and accent with buttercream filling. Take your flavors to the next level with the variety of infused buttercream filling options available.

Try our Butter Pecan (seasonal), Chocolate Twigg, or Island Rum gourmet cupcakes.

For more inspiration and ideas, view our gourmet cupcake combinations to explore the various filling combinations we offer.  You can also order a wedding cake and filling tasting kit to sample various combinations you favor.

Four Romantic Destination Ideas in Onslow County

Long-term love or just budding, a romantic destination without distractions is the cure for the cold weather blues. From an ocean front weekend getaway, delicious dinner, or an exploring adventure, Onslow County offers some unique romantic destinations.

Beachfront Getaway

Coastal areas tailored for tourists is an ideal area for a local getaway. During colder months, you can rent a beachfront room at reduced, off-season rates. Take advantage of cold weather discounts in sought after beach communities, such as Emerald Isle and Topsail Island. Pack your bags for an overnight or two-night stay.

Pack warm layers including headgear and gloves. This will keep you warm enough to enjoy an ocean front walk with your sweetheart.  Or you can stay indoors and snuggle.

Romantic Tip: Pack your favorite mugs and gourmet hot chocolate or your favorite adult beverage. Bundle up and get cozy while you sip on a toasty drink together.

Romantic Dinners

For your overnight stay or even just a night out, there are a few romantic dinner locations to visit within the area.

According to local Yelp reviews here are top-rated dinner locations in Jacksonville, NC :

  • Duck’s Grille and Bar
    Featuring traditional American and seafood selections along with a sports bar type environment, this restaurant may be ideal for a low-key romantic couple.
  • The Osprey Grill
    As one review describes, there is soft music with a clean, inviting atmosphere ideal for a date. Food selections include steak and seafood along with desserts.
  • Inlet 790
    Located inside the Villa Capriani, Inlet 790’s menu is full of North Carolina’s best seafood dishes. Indoor and outdoor dining options with views of the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Ocean’s Edge Restaurant and Event Center
    Year-round dinner service with panoramic ocean views. Four event spaces are available with a menu offering something for everyone. Special event planning is also available here.
  • White Oak River Bistro
    Located in Swansboro on the waterfront, this 144-seat restaurant t specializes in Italian cuisine.

For a romantic lunch date, try:

  • Barley Wine Café
    Featuring fresh dishes prepared and served with passion and care.  They’re open 8am-2pm M-F and for brunch on Sundays from 9am-2pm.

Things to Do Together

Not enough time for a weekend away, but you are seeking something outside of a romantic dinner date? Here are some creative suggestions for you.

  • Couple’s Massage
    There is very little else that says I love you like a relaxing hour spent getting massages together. Massages help you release past and future concerns. It connects you with the present moment. This allows you both to be in the present moment. Massages help release many feel-good hormones that build feelings of intimacy and affection for you and your significant other.
  • Visit Historic Sites
    Romance can be spending quality time with someone you care about and sharing an interest. Surrounded by rich military and cultural history, there are several historical sites and museums in this area to explore and learn. For example, Swansboro offers a Civil War History walking tour or walk through Lejeune Memorial Gardens.

In the end, romance is simply sharing the love you have for each other and spending quality time together.

Here’s an article about personalizing your romantic evening that can help you add a special touch to your plans.

2019 Wedding Style

2019 wedding styles are sure to inspire you and elevate your wedding plans.  One of the most dominant themes for the year is a move to include the wedding party, family members and guests in the wedding experience. This isn’t just a few new trends, but a completely new view of the dream wedding experience including elements that are evolving the wedding scene.

Focal Floral Centerpieces

Floral pieces have visited tabletops before. They’ve even been hung from the ceiling, but 2018 weddings saw floral tabletop center pieces emerging and rising to new heights. The floral tabletop trend will continue into 2019. It will be exciting to see the creative approaches florists use to expand and personalize this growing design theme.

Weekend Weddings

Weekend weddings are an extended friends and family experience. Capitalizing on a central location, weekend weddings keep guests engaged for more than the ceremony. Guided tours or a list of suggested places to visit inspire local area exploration.  2019’s unique twist has the weekend experience culminating at the wedding on Sunday.

Purple is the New Pink

This year purple is pushing out the blush pinks of the last seasons.  Dominating wedding scene for the past few years, blush is on the way out. Shades of purple from light lavender to bold and dramatic violet hues are in.

Interactive Drink Bars

Fairly fresh on the scene, interactive drink bars continue to develop the truly shared wedding experience for 2019 bridal parties and guests. These stations give an opportunity to customize drinks and strike up conversations.  Guests are not expected to be seated and stationary, but are welcomed to move about, talk to each other and engage socially with food, drink and dancing.

Explore these new and expanding trends as you seek inspiration and plan your wedding.  Have some fun creating an unforgettable wedding experience for you, your fiancé and your guests.

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New Year, New Engagement

With endless lights and decorations, holidays provide a romantic backdrop to inspire wedding proposals. He popped the question, and you said yes!

You are bubbling over with excitement, and ready to start planning your dream wedding. Here are a few helpful suggestions for next steps now that you’re newly engaged.

Initial Family and Friends Announcement

After saying yes, the first “next step” is telling family and friends. Tempting as it is to update your social media status, call family and close friends first. Personal phone calls keep the sense of romance alive.

Establish a General Time Frame for the Wedding

After your initial announcement, the most common question will be, “When is the wedding?”

If you don’t have a date set yet, you can have a general time-frame answer ready. For example, “We’re planning for Spring 2020.”

Protect Your Ring

Your ring is a symbol your love.  And it represents the soon-to-be forever bond between you and your fiancé. Take some practical steps to ensure your ring is well taken care of and protected. Professional ring sizing and insurance are essential practical first steps. Homeowner’s and renter’s insurance policies both should offer ring protection.

Wedding Website

A wedding is one of life’s most meaningful events. So many wonderful updates to share a long the way, it is common for new brides to create a wedding website. The first things to post include: a couple photo, your meeting story, engagement news and a guestbook.

Once you have the essentials up, you share wedding information all along the way, too. Bridal registry information and engaging components like interactive quizzes are fun options for your friends and guests. There are several great wedding website template options to help guide you.

Wedding Planning: Gather Inspiration

Do you have a wedding Pinterest board? If you have been planning for the last 3 years or not, now is the time to dive into your dream wedding details.

Wedding Tip: Choose your décor to support the experience and feel you want your dream wedding to create.

Wedding Budget

Think about your wedding budget.  Will you have help from family or are you and your fiancé taking this on together?  Once you have a figure in mind, create a bank account just for this event.  Track your expenses through the separate account to maintain control of the budget and gauge your progress toward the wedding day.  Written budget sheets and estimates will also help outline each part of the wedding expenses and help you keep your budget focused.

Guest List Request

The size of your wedding guest list and party impacts every element of the wedding itself.  To build your list of potential attendees, ask parents and immediate family for guest list suggestions.  Pull your lists together and estimate the number of attendees you could have.  You can consider your budget and prospective venue sizes to determine the maximum number of guests who will be able to attend.  Remember, not everyone you invite will come, so plan on a decline count, too.   Approximate guest numbers are important for your budget and venue selection.

Wedding Party

Once you have an idea of the budget, guest list, venue, etc., it is time to consider who you will ask to be in the wedding party. Plan a special way to ask your bridesmaids and coordinate a similar plan for asking groomsmen.

Interview Planners/ Vendors

If you will do the planning yourself, schedule potential vendor appointments. Ask friends for references and research reviews to choose initial vendor visits. Arrange interviews and tasting sessions  for caterers and bakeries.  If hiring a planner, the process will be simpler, but you must select a planner you trust and who gets your vision for your wedding day.  Referrals and reviews are helpful.  Meet with top prospects and have a face-to-face conversation.  Trust your intuition.  You’ll know the right planner when you meet them.

Check Dates for Local Area Bridal Expos or Trunk Shows

A great experience for local brides-to-be is to connect with vendors at local bridal expos and events. You’ll enjoy the inspiration offered by many professionals in one location providing you with helpful information for planning your dream wedding.

Enjoy the Moment

Our modern lives are filled to the brim with demands and to-do-lists. Your engagement is important and can be magical.  Take a moment (or more) to allow yourselves to be fully present and savor the experience.

Plan a special time away for you and your fiancé. Turn off your phones, TVs, and screens. Enjoy a quiet, romantic evening together. Talk about the wonderful journey that brought you to the place you are enjoying now.  Stay connected to each other and don’t get lost in wedding details.

Wedding Trends 2019

In 2019, the wedding experience includes more than colors, theme or style. A sincere focus is put on small meaningful experiences that include all in attendance.  This is the era of the “experience” and these trends encourage visual and other forms of engagement for wedding parties and wedding guests.

BOLDER COLORS

Brighter, deeper color palettes are on the rise. Specifically shades of purple are trending for not only floral decorations, but event space lighting. While previous years held on to pastel, rustic and shabby-chic vibes, 2019 is bringing forward a more modern and refined elegance.

GROOMSMEN’S ATTIRE

2019 weddings encourage everyone to express a bit of their own, unique style. As with bridesmaids’ dresses that no longer match, groomsmen’s attire is taking personal expression into account.  Expect to see more men in coordinated mix and match pieces.  Look for checkered, dot and floral patterns to flank the groom instead of matching suits or tuxedos.

CEREMONY VENUES

Rustic scenes are taking a back seat to modern industrial.  Green foliage against industrial metallic and architectural backgrounds softens and adds sophistication.  Tailored greenery centerpieces bring coveted green and emerald colors inside for organic beauty.

GO UNPLUGGED

Another trend during ceremony encourages guests to go unplugged. Attendees are asked to power-off or put phones away to engage in the wedding ceremony. Guests share their perspectives, during the reception in real time.  This new “I do” trend is gaining steam as couples, family and friends look for meaningful ways to be “present” during the celebration.

RECEPTIONS

In addition to the bridesmaid and groomsmen mix and match wedding attire philosophy, table settings are being varied as well as wedding registries and more.

Menus in 2019 are offering more individual choice. Smaller plates are paired with more courses to offer each guest low-risk but plentiful food options.  Buffets, food bars, and “build-your-own” options abound – as do mingling and interaction opportunities.  DIY food stations are becoming more popular and creative.  They are tied into wedding themes and increase guests’ interaction, mingling, and experience.

Personal touches like unique, statement place cards create a WOW experience for guests. This is an element that couples can customize to really share a special moment with each guest and recognize them as a part of their wedding.  Creating an interactive, engaging experience for wedding guests allows everyone to enjoy celebrating the couple and their big day.

Favorite Boho Wedding Pictures

Boho wedding table setting with Bohemian flower arrangements and succulent plants

If you love earthy color palettes, organic decor, and free-spirited charm, a boho wedding may be your dream come true.

Earthy, outdoor settings like a park, waterfront, or garden allow nature to take care of your wedding backdrop for you. Add a few DIY personal touches to make your story shine through, and you’ve harnessed a staple of beautiful boho weddings.

Read more

Boho Wedding Dress Trends

The boho wedding trend rooted in whimsical romance, seems here to stay. From rustic to beach boho, this trend is evolving across venues and styles. Each element of a wedding symbolizes the love story you visually tell your guests. One of the most personal details from the bride’s perspective is the bridal gown. If you are a boho bride, here are some upcoming boho wedding gown trends curated just for you and your love story. Read more