Glacier wedding photos

Planning An Alaska Destination Wedding

From holding your ceremony at the quaint Chapel by the Lake overlooking a range of mountains and a glacier, to booking a tour ship and allowing wedding guests to have a wildlife-viewing experience during your vows, Alaska destination weddings can be simple and rustic or breathtakingly elegant!

Where else in the world can you capture your wedding excitement in full daylight…at midnight? Craving a bigger entrance than the traditional walk down the aisle? Have your Alaska destination wedding in Sitka or Juneau and surround yourself by sea otters, bald eagles, and whales as you arrive by seaplane or kayak!

The Seward Windsong Lodge, located at the head of the Resurrection River Valley, captures the splendor and serenity of south-central Alaska, or enjoy Denali and the Alaska Range as your backdrop, both of which are the beautiful architecture of the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge!

Not sure what to do with your guests pre- or post- wedding? Take a full-day fishing charter,  or hike to Kachemak Bay State Park, adventuring through secluded wilderness on a moderate (and enjoyable!) hike with a gradual elevation up to Grewingk Glacier Lake. Feeling a little more adventurous? Hop in for a wild ride of whitewater rafting or ziplining through the mountains!

Wedding of Krista Holman and Caleb Slemmons, Homer, Alaska, 6-21-07

Are you in the middle of planning an Alaska destination wedding, bride-to-be? Share your wedding venue thoughts in the comments below! Looking for further wedding inspiration?Follow my Pinterest and WedAlert’s Pinterest for wedding ideas ranging from wedding timelines and to rustic chic photos!

Photo credit / as seen on, from top to bottom: Destination Weddings Alaska, Don Pitcher, Heather Lynn Photographie, Jolie Connor Photography, Alaska Weddings, Studio 1250, Studio LB, Bluebend Photography, Blogs.TopWedding, TBDress-Blog, Mountainside Bride, feature photo as seen on Viral Spell

Portland and Destination Wedding Photography (MoscaPhoto)

Fall Wedding Cakes

The natural beauty of the fall season draws brides all over the U.S to host their wedding in this breathtaking three-month period! The leaves are turning color, the days are cooler, and there’s a sense of renewal in the air that makes it feel like the perfect time to share your wedding vows!

The main issue fall brides have noted to me in the past is that they love the season – but don’t love the fall-themed options that come with getting married at that time.

Maybe you love the rich colors of the season, but don’t want to see actual leaf shapes on everything from your reception decor to wedding favors, but what’s a bride to do? Ignore the beauty of the season?

Fall Wedding Cakes credit to Kelly Is Nice Photography

It seems the only answer is to create a new variation on an old theme, so read on for fall wedding cake inspiration!

Hand-Painted Elements & Appliques

Tasteful appliques are an excellent way to add the season’s theme to your fall wedding cake! Appliques can be abstract shapes or in leaf motifs, but this non-traditional use of fondant will make your cake stand out from the crowd. Re-imagine the fall theme and put this gorgeous decorating technique with your own painted fall wedding cake.

Wedding Cake Applique


Real or sugar-crafted, flowers are a wonderful way to add fall coloring to your wedding without having to use leaves or other traditional fall motifs! Adding them artfully to your cake can be the perfect way to incorporate this theme.

Sunflower Wedding Cake

Sculpted Elements

One of the most wonderful things about wedding cakes is the versatility of icing and fondant! Bakers are artists of the highest degree and between this incredible skill and a host of three dimensional decorating options, adding fall colors, themes, and elements to your cake can create a gorgeous result!

Fondant Wedding Cake


Ribbon on Wedding Cake

Orange Wedding Cake

Damask Wedding Cake

Real Flowers on Wedding Cake


Looking for further wedding inspiration, soon-to-be Mrs.? Follow my Pinterest and WedAlert’s Pinterest for wedding ideas ranging from DIY tutorials to seasonal wedding flowers!

Wedding Invitation Addressing Etiquette credit to finafani

Wedding Invitations Addressing Etiquette, Part 2

As promised last week in Part 1 of wedding invitation addressing etiquette, read on as we discuss further formatting issues; from noting to your guests that you would prefer they donate to a charity instead of buying gifts to how to properly notate that one of your parent is a doctor!

wedding invitation wording

If you or one of your parents is a doctor, it is perfectly acceptable for medical doctors to use their titles on wedding invitations – but academic doctors should not use theirs. If your mother is a doctor but your father is not, place her name, preceded by “Doctor,” on the invitation above your father’s. If your father is a doctor, it should read “Doctor and Mrs. John Smith” on the same line. Note that using the word “and” in between the names indicates that they are still married.

If your parents are still married, but your mom uses her maiden name, list your parents on separate lines – mom first, separated by the word “and” (to indicate that they are still married).

If the groom’s parents are issuing the invitation, list your fiancé’s parents on the invitation as you would your parents (see Part 1), and include your last name:

Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Lee Johnson
request the honor of your
 presence at the marriage of
Miss Elizabeth Marie Smith and Mr. Gerald Joseph Johnson

It was noted briefly in Part 1, but it’s a common issue, so – if you, as the bride, are paying for your own wedding, and have a good relationship with your parents, honor them by mentioning them in your invitation, especially if this is your first marriage and you are holding a traditional ceremony. If you prefer, or if the wedding is informal, list your name alone – as shown in Part 1.

Together with their parents
Miss Elizabeth Marie Smith and Mr. Gerald Joseph Johnson…

If you don’t want your guests to bring their children, you first need to realize that not everyone knows that the only people invited to an event are the ones to whom the invitation is addressed. While you can print “No children, please” on your wedding invitation or response card, I suggest making a personal phone call to let them know that your reception isn’t set up for children.

If you are looking for guests to contribute to a charity rather than give gifts, remember that it isn’t considered appropriate to place a reference to gifts on a wedding invitation – even if it’s just asking for charity contributions. Instead, let your wedding party help get the word out.

Wedding Invitation Addressing Etiquette credit to SweetSights via Etsy

Looking for further wedding inspiration, soon-to-be Mrs.? Follow my Pinterest and WedAlert’s Pinterest for wedding ideas ranging from seasonal wedding flowers to what dress designer can help you refurbish an old wedding gown!

Wedding Invitations Addressing Etiquette credit to The Blissful Blog

Wedding Invitations Addressing Etiquette, Part 1

As promised earlier in the week while discussing wedding invitation wording, read on as we discuss how to list names and address your wedding invitations! From inviting a Colonel in the military to noting that a set of divorced parents are hosting the ceremony together, some seemingly sticky predicaments have easy solutions by simply finding the format that best fits your situation.

To begin, start with the names of those issuing the invitation – traditionally the bride’s parents. Evolving family structures and financial dynamics often make this the trickiest part of the process.

silver wedding invitation

Most married couples follow the standard format of:

Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Michael Johnson

If the couple issuing the invitation has different surnames, however, an “and” is to join them:

Ms. Jessica Leann Smith and Mr. Anthony Michael Johnson

If the bride and groom are hosting on their own, omit the first line, and jump to:

Together with their families
Miss Elizabeth Marie Smith and Mr. Gerald Joseph Johnson…

wedding invitation etiquette

If the bride’s parents are divorced but hosting the wedding together, list the names of the bride’s parents at the top of the invitation. The bride’s mother’s name should be on the first line and her father’s on the line beneath it – do not separate the lines with “and.” If the bride’s mother has not remarried, use “Mrs.” followed by her first name, maiden name, and married name.

Mrs. Jessica Johnson Smith
Mr. and Mrs. Joshua Allen Smith
request the honor of your presence at the marriage of their daughter
Elizabeth Marie Smith

If a set of divorced parents have remarried, you must first note that, traditionally, only the parents’ names appear on the invitation. That said, if you would like to include your step-parents, it’s perfectly acceptable to list them. Place your mother’s (and her husband, if she’s remarried) first name and include your last name.

Mr. and Mrs. Joshua Allen Smith Mr. and Mrs. Nolan Andrew Peters
request the honor of your presence at the marriage of their daughter
Elizabeth Marie Smith

While it is not traditional to include a deceased parent, many brides and grooms feel strongly about doing so. This wording should make it clear that the deceased parent is not issuing the invitation, and it should be noted that courtesy titles may be awkward and are to be omitted. If one parent is still living, that parent should issue the invitation. If your mother has not remarried, place “Mrs.” before her name.

The pleasure of your company is requested at the marriage of  Elizabeth Marie Smith
daughter of Anthony Johnson and the late Jessica Smith to
Gerald Joseph Johnson…

If neither of parents are alive, the invitation may be issued by the bride and groom or other relatives, such as grandparents – in which case, you should handle it as you would divorced parents who have remarried:

Miss Elizabeth Marie Smith and Mr. Gerald Joseph Johnson request the honor
of your presence at their marriage…

If the bride has been married before, and her parents are issuing the invitation, they should include your married name:

Mr. and Mrs. Joshua Allen Smith request the honor of your presence at
the marriage of their daughter Elizabeth Marie Robertson

Or, in the same situation, if the bride and groom are issuing the the invitation themselves, it is to read as:

Elizabeth Marie Robertson and Gerald Joseph Johnson request the honor of
your presence at their marriage

What’s a bride to do if her parents are hosting – but your groom wants to include his parents on the invitation? Or, what if you would like guests to contribute to a charity rather than give gifts? There are too many scenarios for one post alone, bride-to-be! Read on next week as we answer the above questions…and more!

Looking for further wedding inspiration, soon-to-be Mrs.? Follow my Pinterest and WedAlert’s Pinterest for wedding ideas ranging from DIY tutorials to seasonal wedding flowers!

Let Your Personality Shine Through Your Wedding Cake Flavor credit to become gorgeous

Let Your Personality Shine Through Your Wedding Cake Flavor!

Wedding cakes are composed of the base cake, filling, and frosting – but there are many wedding cake flavor profiles available to add a dash of personality to your big day! Request a cake lining, a thin layer of citrus curd or fruit preserve spread on the cake base, or an addition of fresh fruits, nuts, or candies for a bite of texture!

Looking for something special, but aren’t in love with either of those ideas? Request a different taste for each separate cake tier; while chocolate, vanilla, lemon, and red velvet still hold the top spots, the latest trend is for mouth-watering cake flavors like passionfruit and mango! Separate your tiers with pillars or by placing them at cascading heights on your dessert table.

Can’t decide what flavor – or flavors – to offer your wedding guests? The New York Magazine prepared a list of the Top Ten Most Requested Cake Combos, to include:

1. Chocolate devil’s food cake and vanilla buttercream
2. Chocolate devil’s food cake, vanilla buttercream, and raspberries
 Yellow butter cake and chocolate buttercream and/or chocolate ganache
 Lemon cake, lemon curd, and vanilla buttercream
 Chocolate devil’s food cake, chocolate ganache, and praline buttercream
6. White cake, lemon buttercream, and raspberries
 Hazelnut-almond cake, chocolate ganache, and raspberries
 Coconut cake and lime buttercream
 Banana cake and chocolate buttercream
Chocolate-almond cake, chocolate ganache, and mocha buttercream

Looking for more creative flavor ideas? Sweet Art Wedding Cakes and Weddings by Lilly both offer lists of interesting wedding cake flavors! Then, after you have your dream cake in mind, look into WedAlert’s list of wedding bakeries in your area…many WedAlert bakers offer specials just for WA readers!

Find further wedding inspiration by following my Pinterest and WedAlert’s Pinterest! You’ll find boards with wedding ideas ranging from seating arrangements to knowing the questions to ask each vendor!

How To Take The Perfect First Kiss Photo credit to Andrea Eppolito Events

Top 4 Tips For A Perfect First Kiss Photo

Some say the best part of a wedding is the groom’s face when he sees his bride for the first time, others say it’s the smiling-through-tears father giving away his little girl; truth is, soon-to-be Mrs., there isn’t a single part of a wedding ceremony that is more beautiful than the next!

Be it a sandy beach or a traditional chapel, from your first step down that aisle to the final smile as you say “I do”, weddings stand tall as an inspiration for all who have begun to doubt love’s presence in the world, and it’s only suiting that such a day be capped off with a “awww”-worthy first kiss!

Question of the hour, bride-to-be: How does one pull off a first kiss without seeing this face?

Your first kiss as husband and wife confirms your vows and seals the deal…here’s a couple of hints to take the perfect photo during that beautiful moment!

  • -  When the minister says, “You may now kiss the bride”, don’t look at anyone but your groom
  • -  Smile and lean in for the initial contact
  • -  Give your photographer (and guests!) more than just a split-second peck to swoon over (studies show that roughly 4 seconds is average and just right)
  • -  Smile while slowly pulling away and keep your eyes fixed on your groom while you’re announced to your guests as man and wife

Of course, though I doubt it needs said, try not to be too obvious with any amount of tongue involved…Grandma doesn’t need to see that!

Find further wedding inspiration by following my Pinterest and WedAlert’s Pinterest! You’ll find boards with wedding ideas ranging from must-take photos to questions to ask your photographer before hiring!

Caring for Fresh Wedding Flowers Anemones credit to Sweet Pea Flowers of Colorado

Caring For Fresh Wedding Flowers: Anemones

White anemones are the prize in many wedding flower arrangements, bridal bouquets, and table centerpieces! While purchasing fresh anemones to create your own DIY wedding flower arrangements is a perfect way to both maximize your wedding flower budget and bring a personal touch to your wedding decor, you want to be sure to give your anemones the proper care and attention so that they will be fresh and beautiful throughout your ceremony and reception.

white wedding bouquet

Christie O. at MountainSide Bride (previously known as Hindsight Bride) brings us tips from Nicole Morgan at Whole Blossoms to help you care for your fresh wedding flowers!

  • -  Anemones are well known for appearing dehydrated soon after harvest; if you purchase your flowers from a wholesaler, trim at the bottom as soon as possible to help unclog any blocked stems. Cut stems under a running faucet and at an angle to draw water up through the stem and provide for a greater drinking area.
  • -  Add a few packets of floral preservative to your water to help your flowers bloom if closed (table sugar can also be used as a substitute if flower food is unavailable); the general rule is to use 1 tablespoon for floral preservative or sugar for every quart of water. A few drops of lemon juice can also be added to your water to act as a natural disinfectant to help ward off bacteria.
  • -  Store blooms in a cool room. 48 hours before your wedding, consider leaving your anemones in a warm room or sunlight for a few hours to help open any closed blooms. Any blooms that are already left open can be left in a cool room away from sunlight. Your water should be changed out every other day to help promote vase life.
  • -  On the day prior to your wedding, choose your best looking anemones to create your bouquet. As a tip, order extra stems up-front to afford you the luxury of picking your most flawless looking flowers. With bouquet created, use a tall glass or vase to keep your bouquet hydrated until the day of your wedding. A cooler can also be used at this stage to help preserve your bouquet until the following day.

pink anemones

anemone wedding flowers

DIY flowers

Find further wedding inspiration by follow my Pinterest and WedAlert’s Pinterest for boards with wedding ideas ranging from bridesmaid dress choices to questions to ask your wedding band before hiring!


Wedding Invitations Wording

While preparing to invite family and friends to your big day, proper etiquette notes that the correct wedding invitation wording must be used. There are customary elements to the typical wedding invitation: the host line, request line, bride and groom line, date and time line, reception line, and RSVP line.

That said, Jerome Brownstein, engraving consultant at Ross-Cook Engraving in NYC notes, “The trend is that you do whatever makes good etiquette sense and makes you feel good.” So, even though every wedding invitation should have the above listed lines, they can be worded and arranged in countless ways to reflect the style of your occasion!

informal wedding invitation

If looking to stay traditional and formal, use both courtesy lines (Mr., Mrs., etc.) and middle names; when using titles other than Mr. and Mrs., spell them out completely, such as: Doctor and Mrs. Johnson or Doctor Anna Marie Smith and Mr. Joseph Timothy Smith.

For wedding invitations a little less formal, omit courtesy titles and middles names and list the first names of all married women. This format can help avoid potential awkwardness, as in the case of a deceased parent.

formal wedding invitation

Two of the more traditional phrases help to indicate if your wedding ceremony will be held in a house of worship or not. At a place of worship, use the invitation wording: ‘Request the honor of your presence,’ where informal ceremonies use the wording: ‘Would be delighted by your presence at the marriage of their children’.

It’s traditional not to include street addresses for houses of worship or well-known locations, but this is becoming more and more less common. If you do plan to include a street address, zip codes are not needed.

celebrate with us wording for wedding invitation

As the bride and groom are the stars of the wedding invitation, their names are to be set apart on separate lines. The preposition linking them goes on its own line: traditional American formatting uses the word ‘to’ while some Jewish formats use the word ‘and’.

Don’t worry about marking the time as a.m. or p.m. unless the wedding will be held between the hours of 8-10 in the morning or evening. The year is traditionally omitted as well, but is sometimes included for the keepsake value alone.

wedding invitation rsvp

More contemporary wedding invitations can showcase the RSVP line on the in the lower left-hand corner and can include the wedding website, or mailing address, phone number, or email address to respond to. Traditionally, however, RSVP cards are sent out with a fill-in-the-blank version providing the first letter of Mr. or Mrs. for guests to complete and mail in.

Not planning to include a full meal? Use phrasing like “afterwards for cocktails” instead of the classic “at the reception” as a courtesy to your guests. To stress the importance of the style of dress your family and friends choose for your big day – black tie or casual attire, for instance – place that information in the lower right corner or on a separate reception card.

formal wedding invitation

As always, the only true “firm” wedding invitation rule is to never list your registry information anywhere – even on a separate insert! Come back later this week for our discussion about how to list names on your wedding invitations; from inviting a Colonel in the military to a noting that a set of divorced parents are hosting the ceremony together.

fall wedding invitation

asian inspired wedding invitation

yellow wedding color palette

wedding invitation unique

southern wedding invitation

Looking for further wedding inspiration, soon-to-be Mrs.? Follow my Pinterest and WedAlert’s Pinterest for boards with wedding ideas ranging from must-take wedding photos to country chic receptions!

Tips for hosting an intimate wedding as seen on galleryhip

Tips For Hosting An Intimate Wedding

Even with home values going up and unemployment rates going down, for many brides, the recent economic chaos has made money a touch tighter than usual…this doesn’t mean, however, that your wedding ceremony needs to be put on hold – instead, look into hosting an intimate wedding! Tough economy or not, people still fall in love, men still propose, and women still dream about their day!

Limited budgets may make your ceremony smaller than your wild 500-guests-in-a-cathedral-chapel dreams, but take it as an opportunity to be more creative with your planning! Instead of inviting 200 people, talk with your groom and invite twenty cherished guests; a smaller number of wedding guests who are truly important to you makes intimate weddings feel that much more special.

Beach Wedding

Where to get married is always a big question in your wedding planning, and for smaller, intimate weddings – it can be an even greater challenge. If the space is too large – your small wedding party may look overwhelmed by their grandiose surroundings…but if it’s too small, you and your guests may feel cramped. How’s a soon-to-be Mrs. to solve this problem?

Luckily, there is an incredible online resource via Intimate Weddings. At Intimate Weddings you’ll find listings for intimate venues thorough out the United States and beautiful wedding inspiration specific to intimate weddings.

Check out the below inspiration showcasing a few of the featured venues on Intimate Weddings!

Intimate Weddings credit to intimate weddings

Intimate Weddings credit to prettymyparty

Lakeside Wedding

Intimate Weddings credit to vi.sualize

Just Married Sign

Night Wedding Photos

As always, be sure to follow my Pinterest and WedAlert’s Pinterest for boards with wedding ideas ranging from reception budgeting to bridesmaid dresses!

Wedding Cake Cutting Songs credit todaniel krieger

Wedding Cake Cutting Songs

There will be many sweet moments during your wedding ceremony and reception, darling bride-to-be, from seeing your groom smile as you walk down the altar to sharing your heartfelt vows, but we all know that the sweetest moment in every wedding is the cake cutting…and tasting!

Play up the sweet theme with ‘Ice Cream’ by Sarah McLachlan, have a little fun with any song by Cake (har har), or opt for a more traditional feel with ‘Everlasting Love’ by Natalie Cole!

Wedding Cake Cutting Songs credit to pattys cakes

Chat with your handsome fella and decide whether your cake cutting will be properly (read: cleanly) sliced – or if he has plans to swipe your face with a dab of icing! The music chosen to play during your cake cutting tells as much about the your personality as the wedding cake flavor!

Worried about your groom smooshing that delicious slice of wedding cake into your perfectly-made face? This topic is definitely a controversial one…some brides find it to be completely disrespectful, other brides think the first set of brides need to loosen up, and a third contingent are simply concerned about the stains that could be left on a very expensive dress…join in the conversation here!

Looking for more cake cutting wedding songs? Head over to WedAlert’s wedding song directory! Follow my Pinterest and WedAlert’s Pinterest for wedding ideas ranging from wedding timelines to planning a destination ceremony!