5 Great Beach Themed Wedding Favors You’ll Love

So you’re going to get married on a beach, huh? I’d like to say that I’m not jealous, but then I’d be lying. Of course, getting married back in good ol’ Indiana ended up being pretty awesome for Stephanie and I, but I’m sure that if you asked either of us we’d both agree that getting hitched ocean-side would also have been pretty sweet.

Now that you’ve decided to do a beach wedding (yes, I’m still jealous), there are a couple of things that you’re going to need to prepare that would be different from having a more traditional wedding inside of a church or an event space. First of all, you’re going to need to invest in some sweet beach gear for all of your groomsmen, bridesmaids and anyone else who is going to be involved in your beach-themed wedding awesomeness. Most people go with white and khaki over anything else, but feel free to go even more casual with the beach look if you’re feeling a little more adventurous. It’s your wedding, so why not?

Along with what your wedding party will be wearing there will be many other specific things that will need to take on a beach theme at your wedding. More specifically, something in particular that definitely needs to scream beach are the wedding favors that you give each of your guests at your reception. You know, these are the things that you have waiting on the table for each of them as they grab their seats and get ready for your soon-to-be-epic reception. Some of these can be fairly affordable wedding favors, but if you’re not careful you can end up spending a ton of money on them due to the fact that you’re going to be buying one for every, single person who shows up for your reception. I think it’s safe to say that you would like to go more on the cheaper side if you can get away with it, but no matter what you do you’re going to need to buy yourself  some awesome beach themed wedding favors for your big day. There’s no if, ands or buts about that.

To help you out with finding some sweet beach themed wedding favors I searched around a bit and came up with five of them that I think you’ll like. I can’t promise that you’ll like every, single one, but I can almost guarantee that one of them should do the trick. If for some reason you don’t find what you’re looking for feel free to either let me know in the comments below or over in the ‘Ask A Question’ form over in the sidebar and we’ll take care of you.

Super Cool (and very beach-themed) Shell Seat Placeholders
(6 for $9 / $0.65 each) >> click to view/buy
Nothing says beach like some shells, so why not incorporate them into your wedding reception by giving each one of your guests one to take home with them? Also, these shells aren’t just for looks — they are also table placeholders that you can use to help organize your seating chart. These also come with the matching paper place cards, too (just in case you were wondering).

Glass Beach Photo Coasters
($2.30 each) >> click to view/buy
Who doesn’t need a few more coasters around the house? Especially if they help remind people of your awesome beach-themed wedding? These wedding favors are super functional, will have a long shelf-life for your guests and can feature a photo of you and your soon-to-be-husband or wife. I’m not sure about you, but this sounds like a great option to me.

Sand Castle Wedding Favor / Tea Light / Table Placeholder
(4 for $12.44 / $3.11 each) >> click to view/buy
Set the mood for your reception and for help give your guests a beach state of mind with these cute sand castle tea lights. They’ll help give your reception tables some personality and will also help you sort out who’s sitting where by giving you a fun way to set up your table placeholders. When anyone thinks of having fun at the beach building a sand castle is always something that comes to mind, so why not get the fun started the same way at your reception?

Fun Flip Flop Beach Themed Photo Frame
(4 for $15 / $3.75 each) >> click to view/buy
If you’re looking for something more fun, these flip flop frames are a great way to create a laid back mood at your reception. Throw in a favorite photo of you and your husband/wife and these turn into an awesome way for your guests to remember your big day.

Super Classy Sand And Shell Filled Wine Stopper
($7 each) >> click to view/buy
At $7 bucks a piece these definitely aren’t the cheapest beach themed wedding favors that you can buy, but if you have it in the budget or if you have a smaller group of guests it could be a really addition to your reception. It’s a more classy wedding favor, but it’s also fun die to the fact that it’s filled with sane and shells. Not a bad combo if you ask me.


Thanks to
MyWeddingFavors.com for helping me with the research for finding these wedding favors.

Posted in gift ideas, wedding reception | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

5 Awesome and Affordable Wedding Favors Your Guests Will Love

When it comes to your wedding, there’s something that you’ll probably pick up on quick — there are lots of gifts involved. Of course, usually the best gifts are reserved for you since you’re the one who’s actually getting married, which is a good thing because being the soon-to-be-married couple also means that you are practically required to buy lots of gifts for others, too. Some of these gifts will include groomsmen gifts, bridesmaid gifts and believe it or not, even flower girl gifts. The funny thing is, these are all examples of gifts that you’ll give away before your wedding has even started. I know, it seems a little crazy, right?

One of the gifts that you’ll also need to pick up are the ones that you’ll be giving away to your guests after you finish up with your wedding. But, to ease the pain of buying something for every, single person who will be at your wedding reception these gifts are actually called wedding favors, which I guess means that you don’t have to spend as much on them…or something like that.

Hey, all I’m saying is that when you have to buy 100+ of these things, the cheaper these things are, the better. When choosing what wedding favors you’re going to give out you don’t ever want to be seen as a cheapskate and giving away cool wedding favors will always leave a good impression on your guests, so be sure not to get too ghetto with it. Personally, I would rather not give out anything at all then give away something that is seen as a cheap piece of you-know-what, so just be careful when choosing. Bottom line: don’t let a few bucks get in the way of giving your guests something cool that will always help them remember your big day.

To help you out I went out and scoured the Internet for five really cool, yet affordable wedding favors that you can buy for your wedding guests. Each of these will definitely do the trick all while leaving you with not only a clear conscience, but also a budget that’s in check.

Elegant, Yet Simple Silver Picture Frame/Placeholder
50 for $60 / $1.20 each >> click to view/buy
When looking through some of the many, many wedding favors that are available to choose from, a nice, classy frame seemed to be one of the hottest. One of the cool things about this frame is that you can either fill it with a photo of you and your soon-to-be husband or wife or you can also use it as a way to display the seating placeholders at each table.

Cute “Mint To Be” Bride And Groom Mints
72 for $112 / $1.55 each >> click to view/buy
If you going for more of a cute than classy feel at your wedding reception, then these bride and groom “Mint To Be” mint cases are definitely for you. They’re fun, creative and can be used by your guests to help them fight off the garlic from the buffet food they just ate at your reception.

Forever Photo Frosted Glass Coaster Frames
50 for $84 / $1.68 each >> click to view/buy
You can go ahead and file this into the classy, yet still very useful category seeing as people can never have too many coasters in their lives. Once again you can fill the coaster frames with a photo of you (the happy couple), a name placeholder for the table or you can also leave the elegant looking “For You” filler that they come packaged with.

Lucky Elephant Tea Light And Name Card Holder
50 for $127 / $2.54 each
>> click to view/buy
I really like the eclectic feel of these elephants and even though they’re getting a little up there in price, I still think that they’re affordable considering what you get out of the deal. Cool looking elephant? Check. Candle holder that will set the mood? Check. Name tag holder? Check. Yep, it’s not only cool, but very handy and useful at the same time. What else could you ask for?

“It’s About Time! Let’s Celebrate” Champagne Bucket Cooking Timer

24 for $95 / $3.95 each >> click to view/buy
I saved the most expensive (aka ‘least affordable’) wedding favor for last, but I really, really like this one so I had to throw it on the list. One other thing that you should think about when looking at wedding favors is the potential longevity of the gift. Meaning, how long will the person who receives the gift actually be able to use it? I feel like with this wedding favor’s potential for longevity is off the chart due to the fact that nearly everyone needs a cooking timer — especially a timer that they get to take home from your wedding! Anyways, this gift will cost you some more cash, but I think that the extra money will pay off in the end since your guests will actually be able to use it for years to come.

A huge thanks to myweddingfavors.com for helping with the research!

Posted in gift ideas, wedding budget, wedding reception | Tagged , | 1 Response

What Can A Bridal Consultant Do For You?

Dresses, veils, flowers, place settings…as if there aren’t enough choices in planning a wedding, right? One choice that can be crucial to the success of your wedding day is which wedding professional to choose to help you get from point A to Z. Almost everyone has heard of wedding planners, those dedicated assistants who help brides and grooms make choices for every aspect of their big day, helping with appointments, bookings, etc. However, while a planner can really streamline the process for a busy and/or indecisive bride, before going that route, you may want to consider a full-fledged bridal consultant. Not sure of the difference? Let’s go through what makes a bridal consultant indispensable for planning your big day.

Budgeting
Basic planners can work with the outline you give them, but most won’t be able to help you hash out the financial details of your planning. A qualified bridal consultant will be able to talk with you through what your budget can handle, where you need to focus the lion’s share of the funds and what you can sacrifice if financial constraints arise. A consultant isn’t emotionally involved, and so can help as an impartial voice of reason when it comes to finances. She will be able to guide the couple towards smart choices and help remember every little detail to include in the budget, details that many would forget (who actually remembers to budget for wedding announcements and garters at the onset?)

Planning
While your basic planner will help guide you through the various stages of planning your wedding, a full bridal consultant will do that and a whole lot more. Bridal consultants will discuss each and every aspect of your planning, make contacts with vendors, and negotiate the contracts for goods and services provided. The final bit is where having a consultant can really help; too often brides are starry-eyed when it comes to their wedding, or too unsure to challenge anything that doesn’t sound quite right or overpriced. Your consultant already knows the ins and outs of the process and can ensure you aren’t taken advantage of and are getting the very best deal.

When hiring a full-service bridal consultant, it’s best to be prepared to let go of the little details. You’re hiring a professional, and their time is usually better spent consulting with the couple on the larger, more important aspects, than being required to call the couple before making a decision on trivialities such as which cocktail napkins to select. This is not to say you are not to be involved on an intimate level with the planning, it is YOUR wedding after all, but you’ve hired someone who is more than qualified to take your vision and create it for you.

Coordination
As a former bride myself, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of a good, solid game plan for the day of the wedding. This is both the happiest and most stressful day of your life, and the last thing a bride and groom need is to be worried about whether the cake was delivered on time or if the parking attendants know where they should be. In addition to helping you through every step of the planning process, your consultant will also be there on your big day to coordinate all aspects of the wedding and reception. Your consultant should work with you ahead of time to create a timeline of events, lists of names and phone numbers of any and all helpers and vendors, and layouts of how things should be set up. She will then oversee all the details, making sure everyone and everything is in place, freeing you, the bride, to actually enjoy your wedding day.

When NOT to Hire A Bridal Consultant

I know, after hearing all of these awesome things a bridal consultant can do for you, why WOULDN’T you hire one? Well, like just about anything that can be included in a wedding, even a wedding coordinator isn’t for everyone. If you’re the type who just can’t bear the idea of letting go of even the small details, it will only be a waste of your money and the coordinator’s time to hire one. And speaking of funds, another reason to forgo a wedding consultant would be that a full-service consultant can be pricey. A less-expensive, but still helpful option might be to opt for a wedding coordinator. You can often hire their services for a small fraction of the price of a full consultant, but she will still coordinate the actual day of the ceremony and all reception events. However, if you have the funds and can let go of the small stuff, hiring a wedding consultant is a great way to ensure a stress-free day for your wedding.

Posted in wedding planning | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Relationships change. They’re supposed to.

The scene: It’s a Thursday night and three couples are going out for dinner.

Deciding where to go…

A young engaged couple goes back and forth with “you decide” “no, you decide” “you’re so cute when you can’t make up your mind” “you are too!”…and it goes on like this for 20 more minutes. They decide on Applebee’s for the drink specials.

A young family is going out to eat, because mom said so. Dad doesn’t say a word. He knows better. They change a diaper, take the toddler potty, pack the sippie cups and head out to the door. They’re going to Applebee’s because they have crayons on the table.

An older couple, “empty-nesters”, is getting ready to go to Applebee’s for dinner because it’s Thursday, and that’s just what they do on Thursdays.

At the restaurant…

The young couple’s enjoying their dinner. They are in deep conversation, sometimes giggle, whisper to each other, maybe catching a kiss here and there. Every now and then they give a dirty look at the noisy table with the obnoxious kids.

In a nearby booth is the young family. Mom looks frazzled, dad looks a little spaced out, but they both try to enjoy being together while someone else cooks dinner for a change. Both of them notice the kissing couple and remember not too long ago when they had that freedom. The only conversation taking place at their booth is “quiet down” and “eat your food”. No deep conversations and definitely no whispers, but this little family loves each other.

The older couple order their favorite dishes. Like the young couple they sometimes giggle, but their laughter is due to the  family in the booth. They remember those days with love and joy, and they laugh at their own memories. They remembering how hard it was, but also how those years helped their relationship grow, change, and strengthen.

This story illustrates one activity, but three very different processes. Clearly these couples are at different stages in their relationships. They love each other, but the love doesn’t stagnate. It changes as they change, as their lives changes.

Like most couples at the beginning, Jon and I were crazy in love. We didn’t care about anything else except being together. Adventure and discovery happened daily. It was fun! And that’s how it was supposed to be.

Ten years into our marriage and “fun” isn’t exactly the term I’d use for us anymore. I guess some people might consider potty training, picking Play-Doh out of the carpet, and watching Dora the Explorer 24/7 fun, but not me. At this stage in our relationship, I think “surviving” is a better word to describe us. But that’s how it is supposed to be right now.

My parents, married for over 45 years, are at a much different stage in their marriage. A couple years ago my dad had a stroke and had to move out of the house for full time care. Six days a week my mom spends all afternoon with him. She brings him food, they play gin, they reminisce. They’ve been proud of their love and their relationship from day one. Theirs is a love story of epic proportions and a treasure for us kids. At this stage, that’s how it’s supposed to be.

Maybe you’re blinded by love, or frazzled by the kids, or living as an example to others…whatever stage your relationship is in, enjoy it and recognize that it will take you to the next level. Just as people change over time, so do relationships. They’re supposed to.

“Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest human beings infinite distances continue, a wonderful living side by side can grow, if they succeed in loving the distance between them which makes it possible for each to see the other whole against the sky.” Rainer Maria Rilke

Posted in relationship advice | Leave a comment