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How to Throw a Bonfire Themed Wedding

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Wedding themes can be fun and fit into any couple’s budget. You don’t have to put on a posh and pristine affair in order to wow guests and make your day memorable for one another. If you are planning on having a summer wedding, consider hosting a bonfire themed wedding! This works wonderfully if you are getting married on the beach, if you have access to an abundance of acreage, or are simply a country-loving, outdoorsman at heart. Be sure to exchange vows later in the evening, just as the sun sets, so as darkness falls; the emphasis is on the festive fire!

Step 1-Consider Your Seating

Whether you want guests to sit on large spread out blankets, or rustic Adirondack chairs or long wooden benches; seating is key to hosting a proper bonfire wedding. You can provide these festive seats, or encourage guests to bring their own; based on your budget. All seats should be arranged around your wood-burning fire pit.

Step 2-Light Up That Fire

If you are hosting a very intimate bonfire themed wedding, you can totally get away with using a medium sized, portable fire pit (which you may already own, or can borrow from a friend or family member). You can opt to use a gas powered pit for a zero maintenance evening, or have a pile of wood close by to keep the fire hot and blazing into evening hours. If you are having a large wedding, building a large fire pit is key. You also need plenty of wood to last throughout the night, and may want to consider hiring someone to maintain the fire (or simply ask a pal) so you can enjoy your evening and not have to worry about keeping the fire going (or getting super dirty).

Step 3-Must Have Music

One of the best things about a bonfire is enjoying acoustic tunes. Encourage your musically inclined guests to bring their guitar, or budget for a local musician to join in on the fun and entertain your guests for an hour or two!

Step 4-Pass the S’mores

No bonfire is complete without s’mores. In fact, this delectable dessert can be passed around in forego of your formal (and expensive) cake. Simply pre-bag marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate bars and have dozens of long, cleaned sticks in a large basket sitting out for your guests to grab and gobble when they are ready to!

Step 5-Set the Mood

Be sure to have plenty of mood lighting, in addition to your roaring fire. Line nearby trees and bushes with white string lights, set up lanterns, and light tea lights and place them in mason jars; setting them all around your venue. Be sure to have a basket full of extra blankets for your guests to utilize as the evening gets chilly, and have a wooden table set up nearby with buckets or coolers of beverages and other light refreshments!

One of the best things about hosting a bonfire themed wedding is that it is a totally laid back, carefree event which is big on charm and comfort; but is not a burden on your budget. All you need to do is tell your guests to arrive in comfortable, warm clothes and get ready to celebrate the burning hot love you have for one another!

Wedding Cake Vs. Wedding Cupcakes—Which Should You Choose?

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There is nothing sweeter than your wedding day, except maybe the dessert! Which little slice of heaven should you serve up? The top two dessert front runners at today’s weddings are the traditional wedding cake and the modern cupcake. Read on to learn which tasty treat will best complement the kind of celebration you are hosting.

Let Them Eat Cake

Cake is to be served if you are having a traditional wedding. A traditional wedding by definition means having a reception that is held during the late afternoon or early evening on a Saturday, in a formal venue. These traditional cakes are usually designed in a round or square shape and is arranged in layers. An average wedding cake serves 150 guests. If you are having a smaller wedding that is still deemed traditional, considering telling your baker to whip up a small sheet cake. Cakes also offer more space than cupcakes to add embellishments like flowers, berries, bows, and any other item that reflects your wedding theme if you choose one. Couples also like the traditional wedding cake because they are able to place a cake topper on top and freeze the entire top layer and enjoy it on their one year anniversary. A cake also allows a couple to slice the first piece together, hand over hand; in a cake cutting ceremony.

Cupcakes Take the Cake

Cupcakes are to be served if you are having a casual wedding. A casual wedding by definition means having a reception that is on a Saturday or Sunday around brunch time that is held in a non-formal venue. Beach weddings, garden parties, and barbecue receptions are fun but are a lot less formal than a traditional, sit down dinner. Cupcakes are fun and can capture a couple’s playful personality. Serving them shows that a couple is unafraid to conform to the “norm” and they can still be decorated and embellished to complement any wedding theme. Cupcakes are great to serve if the couple is on a budget and can even be made ahead of time by the bride to be (or another willing family member).

Whether you serve up a slice of cake or a cute cupcake; one thing’s for sure. Either will taste great to your guests. However, consider some of the facts above to help you decide which will best complement the wedding you are hosting and your wants and needs as a couple.

Compromise

And, if you still can’t decide, compromise is a beautiful way to begin a marriage.

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Affordable and Fun Gift Baskets to Give as a Wedding Gift

Affordable Wedding Basket Gift Ideas
Gift baskets are fun to put together and also fun to receive. Whether you are the giver or the recipient, read on to learn about some affordable and fun baskets you can put together and give as a wedding gift.

Lotsa Pasta

Who doesn’t love pasta? Put together an Italian themed basket. Include specialty noodles (which you can find in the pasta aisle of your local grocery store for a dollar or two extra than traditional ones), jar your own tomato sauce, toss in a few pertinent dried herb bottles (like basil, oregano, and garlic powder-many stores offer them at 3 for a dollar), add some olive oil, and even pick up some cooking tools like a slotted spoon, and mini strainer, and a cheese grater. You can also find some barely used cookbooks that are in excellent shape for a very low price on some online market places that you can place in it as well! Mangiare!

Wine a Little

Pick up several bottles of wine that are on sale at your local liquor store. Print out several labels on your computer that highlight the couple’s potential firsts-First House, First Baby, First Anniversary, First Fight, etc. Type up an explanation of the basket and place it in a dollar store frame. Explain to the couple that they are only to open each bottle of wine when a first moment has occurred! If you have some extra dollars to burn, place cork stoppers, a wine aerator, and even personalized wine glasses inside as well!

Movie Night

Write a little note that describes the intent of the basket-for cozy nights in on the couch. Add a blanket; some Oscar nominated flicks, bags of microwave popcorn, flavored popcorn mixes, milk duds, licorice, (or whatever candy is on sale at the store). It’s a sweet and thoughtful gesture, which is light on your budget and which the couple is sure to appreciate.

Picnic Basket

Picnic baskets can be very expensive. You can absolutely make your own, based on your budget. Pick up a basket that closely resembles one of these romantic, recreational baskets at your local dollar store or flea market. Add in some basic white plates, silverware, a thermos, a checkered cloth to sit on, and some wine glasses. All items can be purchased two for a dollar at most bargain stores, and you can even scan flea markets for cheap but beautiful lace napkins, placemats, etc.

Now that you have your basket all ready, deliver it with a lasting impression that counts. Starting at just $9.95, add a custom printed fun balloon as the center piece. Quality printers like Mimosa Digital can take any photo, from an old print to a digital photo, add words if requested, and print it on 11″ round or heart-shaped balloons. Best of all, you can order yours online.

Consider putting together one of these fun and affordable gift baskets for your next upcoming wedding!

Heart to Heart – Five Reasons Why You Should Host a Valentine’s Themed Engagement Party

engagement-ring-hear-590If you’re newly engaged, you’ve probably started to discuss how you are going to make your big news official, in front of your beloved friends and family members. One of the best things about getting engaged during the holidays and early winter months is that you can throw a Valentine’s themed engagement party! Perfect for couples who are pinching their pennies; here are five reasons why you should totally consider hosting this fabulous, fun, and festive affair.

Reason #1-Carnations are Cheap!

Carnations are a very popular Valentine’s Day flower that are ultra-affordable and are in season. They can fill vases on tables and a bar, or even be handed to each guest as they walk into your party (everyone loves getting flowers!). You can find them virtually anywhere. In fact, they are widely stocked in grocery store floral departments and cost a fraction of the price of what you’d pay at a florist’s shop.

Reason #2-Candy, Candy, and More Candy

Valentine’s candy can serve as part of your décor, can be used as dessert instead of a cake, and can serve as your party favor. Whether you buy heart shaped chocolate boxes in bulk, or set up a serve yourself dessert table; all candy put out at this time is designed in classic red and pink colors, is budget friendly (strips of heart-shaped pops cost only a dollar); and are just fun!

Reason #3-You Can Do Fondue

If you love fondue, you can totally get away with hosting a dipping party for your Valentine’s event! Fondue is relatively affordable to put together and super simple to cook up on your own. Plus, it can be extremely romantic if pots are placed intimately at each table, or a lot of candles are lit around your set-up. Opt to serve a cheese appetizer in place of an entrée; as bread cubes, crackers, and veggies will not break the bank!

Reason #4-Love is in the Air

If you wanted to have an engagement party around any holiday, Valentine’s Day makes the most sense. You can create a playlist filled with the most romantic love songs of all time, decorate your venue with heart decorations, and your happily married guests’ love for one another will contribute to the overall vibe and ambiance. An added bonus? Your single friends and family members will not be alone on this Hallmark holiday and can even be set up during your event!

Reason #5-Valentine Invitations

How cute would it be to send a Valentine as an invitation in lieu of a formal, printed one? Valentines are only a few dollars a box and will set the tone that your engagement party is clearly going to be held on or around this holiday, and is sure to be casual, creative, yet fun!

These five reasons alone will get you in the mood to celebrate your love with others who are in love around you!

Choosing a Special Wedding Gift for Your New Spouse

blog-gifts-for-spouseEveryone knows that a marriage itself is a gift; however, many couples still choose to exchange a present after exchanging vows. Read on to learn how you can choose a special wedding gift for your new spouse that they will cherish nearly as much as you!

First, consider signing up for a boudoir session with your local photographer. This has certainly become one hot trend with newly married couples! The pictures are provocative, romantic, but remain completely classy. Not only are they fun to shoot, but they will be fun to pull out and view for years to come. Plus, these pictures make a statement. They silently declare that you are full of passion and want your partner to remain full of passion as well! If a professional shoot is out of your budget, all you need are some tasteful undergarments and a faithful and fabulous friend to play photographer! With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, why not extend the preview the surprise with a teaser custom photo card and then present him with a beautifully designed flush mounted album with the collection of photos. Or, consider other photo gifts.

Next, many couples are huge fans of exchanging matching time pieces. These watches are worn every day and they are also symbolic of the commitment you both entered into for all “time.” Whether you want to pick up a designer pair or opt for something simple and standard; it is a gift that you will get years of use out of and will help make the hours pass by as you glance at it when you are away from one another.

Finally, consider what your spouse is into. No one knows you both best like one another. Sporting event or concert tickets are gifts that you can both utilize. You can also plan a weekend getaway or sign up for a couple’s massage to unwind after the big day. Many newly married couples are discouraging one another from purchasing separate gifts and are totally into gifting each other a shared experience.

Consider these three simple and totally doable ideas if you want to impress your mate with a meaningful, post-wedding “I do” gift.

Have a digital media question? Ask Mimosa Digital! Plus, it’s FREE (at least for now, so seize the opportunity). Click here to get a response via email.

Framing our wedding photo, wedding certificate or Ketubah – to mat or not to mat?

To mat or not to mat?Everyone loves preserving their perfect memories by framing their wedding photos, wedding certificate or Ketubah. Seeing your wedding photos around your house will be a constant reminder of the people you love and that wonderful day. Framing your wedding certificate or Ketubah can be just as beautiful.  The big day has passed. The pictures have been taken and the wedding certificate or Ketubah has been signed.  Now, along with what kind of frame and glass you will use, you must decide if you will mat your photographs and certificate.

So, how do you go about choosing whether to mat or not to mat?

Mat

Matting the photos and certificates can enhance the overall feel of the subject inside the frame. This means your photos and certificate will look even more special. Matting will keep the glass separate from the work so that it won’t stick to the glass. Know that there are multiple kinds of mat. A few typical types you can get are alpha mats, rag mats, or paper mats. Each of these has different qualities including acidity. So if you go with the matting option, be sure to pick the best one for preserving your memories.  Alpha mats, or Alpha-cellulose mats, is a wood blend chemically treated to remove the acids that can decay whatever is framed. Rag mats, are most often used by museums because they are a naturally acid-free mat that stay white, and keep the framed subject safe forever. Paper mats are the most inexpensive option; however they can contain a lot of acid that leaks onto your photos or certificates and brown the edges.  Once you chose the type of mat, be sure to consider the size that you want.  Wider mats look best when framing photographs. It is also suggested to you chose a white, or off-white color to the mat to keep things looking crisp and clean. Even if your wedding had a color theme, and you’re thinking of making that color be the mat, you might want to reconsider as the mat color could overwhelm the photos. Have some black-and-white photos? Consider using a layered mat with gray, white, or black options for an interesting look.  If you end up matting your work, know that you can’t really go that wrong and that you can always change the styles if you decide to do so.

 

Without Mat

If you chose to frame your photos, or certificate without a mat, know that you will have to mount the work to a back board so it doesn’t slip within the frame. Mounting options could be dry-mount tissue or folded hinges.  Dry-mounting is not known to be archival. After a while (several decades), the acids from the material can damage your photos. Use dry-mount tissue like Buffer Mount which is acid free and can be detached from the subject years later. This will allow your wedding photos or certificate to be preserved forever. Folded hinges can also be used to mount your memories; however, they are most often used when matting the pieces so that the hinges can be hidden from view.  If you crave the feel of a boarder before the frame much like a mat, consider using the backboard for the boarder. Going without a mat, can give the photos a much more candid vibe and is a much more inexpensive option when it comes to framing.

Photo Canvas or Brush Strokes Canvas: What’s the Difference?

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So perhaps you begged and pleaded or just got lucky enough to get the best wedding photographer you could afford. Now you have a wedding album that you will cherish forever. What else is there to do? I mean, how often do you look at your wedding album or if you are a bride-to-be, how often do you think you will? You could select your favorites and put them up all around your home, but if you live in a small apartment, this could end up looking like a wedding theme park.

It’s really a shame to keep these beautiful photos stashed away, but, after the first year, some couples feel awkward keeping them on the coffee table and they end up either in a drawer or under baby bottles and other items that begin to take precedence in this central location.

There are options which give these memories the place they deserve. Two that I can think of are photo canvas and brush strokes canvas. The really wonderful thing about that very expensive wedding photographer who took those breathtaking photos is that you can enlarge the pictures and make stunning, large pieces of art that can be hung on the wall or arranged in clusters to create a “moment” in the room instead of the aforementioned theme park.

So, What’s the Difference Between a Photo Canvas and a Brush Strokes Canvas?

Photo Canvas

A photo canvas is a photo printed on gallery quality canvas. This is also called a canvas print. The canvas is stretched, or gallery-wrapped, onto an internal wood frame (called stretcher bars) and displayed. The print is intended to look just like your original photo, only printed on stretched canvas rather than a less-than-creative poster print. An image that goes completely around the sides of the frame is called a gallery wrap which creates a three dimensional effect of the mounted print. The most obvious advantage of the photo canvas is affordability. This is often a less expensive alternative because the picture doesn’t require framing and the stretcher bars do not need to be varnished or treated. The result is a traditional art work that suits any modern home.

Brush Strokes Canvas

A brush strokes canvas  starts by using the same high resolution professional wedding photo but a graphic artist will go over the photo image by hand on the computer to give the photo the look of an oil painting with actual brush strokes. The image is then printed onto a canvas, and stretched for display. This detailed process is what makes your canvas look more like a painting than if you were to print the photo on canvas without the paint brush application. The considerable advantage here is the added texture that instantly gives your photo the appearance of a portrait painted in an artist’s studio. That said, choose your photo wisely. This may not be the best format for one of your more candid shots, but a captured intimate moment may be just right. Give it some thought. This is a piece of art, after all.

When investing in one of these master creations be sure your image editors know their way around composition, contrast, color management—and of course canvas fine art printing. Many shops will offer free retouching (if you choose) for color and exposure correction as well as red eye, date stamp and minor blemish removal.

Beautiful Brush Strokes CanvasIs it worth the cost? Definitely. It is a meaningful gift that that will remind your beloved of that most important moment that began your lives together. So go ahead, and hang one over the fireplace in the living room. Your new canvas will also go a long way to alleviate any guilt you may have for storing away your wedding album well out of reach of spilling bottles. It is also the perfect conversation starter that will also be a socially acceptable reason for bringing out the priceless wedding album, yet one more time for your visiting guests.

Wedding Photo Books vs. Wedding Albums

What’s the Difference and which is Right for You?

photo book or wedding albumNo two weddings are exactly alike. This is because we take our unique personalities and pour them into our special day. Your personality as a couple can also determine the way in which you wish to capture and cherish your big day’s special moments. Read on to decide if you should order a wedding album or a photo book from your photographer to show off your coveted pictures.

First, it is important to understand the difference between the two books. A wedding album is a large, bound book that is designed with slots and/or framed spaces to hold hundreds of pictures that get developed by your photography pro. They come available in a number of finishes and are the most traditional way to display your images. All images are housed safely underneath a rich and smooth leather cover, which can usually be embossed. A photo book on the other hand, can be large or small and has dozens of design layout options for photographers to digitally arrange your photographs without printing them out or mounting them. The book comes available in a hard, soft, or leather bound cover which can also be customized to the couple’s liking.

Couples who consider themselves classic, traditional, and who hosted a very formal ceremony and reception generally stick to tradition and order a wedding album. Its timeless design appeals to conservative couples who want to replicate their parents’ albums and who want to ensure a long lasting, high quality “house” for their cherished photos. While these albums are elegant, they can be rather expensive. Couples spend anywhere from $500-$1,000 (and up) on these bound keepsakes, so if you are on a tight budget, a photo album is not for you.

Couples who consider themselves modern, technology savvy, creative, and outgoing generally gravitate toward the new trend, photo books. They tend to love the design layout options and really let their creative juices flow during the design collaboration with their photographer. They also love the fact that they don’t have hundreds of loose photos floating around and have only their top 25 favorite (or so) in one place. Many photographers include a DVD with all the wedding images on it so couples can print out the ones they want or load them onto their computer for other purposes. Couples spend anywhere from $75-$200 on photo books, so if you are on a budget, this is perfect for your wallet!

Be sure to consider the pros and cons of each before you make your final wedding photo decision!

The “I do” Thank-You | 3 Etiquette Tips for Sending Wedding Thank-you Cards

 

Wedding Thank you Cards

It is very easy for couples to get caught up in the magic of the post wedding, newlywed couple moment. However, it is essential to keep in mind that many people made your special day possible and a lot of time, effort, and money has been given to you and your partner. Show how grateful you are by following these basic, after the “I do” thank-you card etiquette tips.

Tip #1-Be Prompt

If you live by the philosophy, “Better late than never;” rethink this motto-quickly! You don’t want your guests to think you are ungrateful or entitled, so the sooner you send out your thank-you cards, the better. If you think you are too busy moving into your new home, unpacking wedding gifts, packing for your honeymoon; think again. Many brides bring their thank-you cards with them on their honeymoon and fill them out as they wait in the airport or during their flight. Generally, thank-you cards are sent two weeks after you receive the gift; immediately is best, but no later than three weeks after big day. This also gives brides time if they are using a photo from the wedding day. Buy your thank-you cards early — you can often save money by ordering your thank-you cards at the same time as your matching save the date cards and wedding invitations. And, you will have them on hand. Work in small batches! The last thing you want to do is get so burned out from writing that your notes start to sound cliché and your handwriting less than beautiful.

Tip #2-Thank-you Before “I do”

If you receive a gift or card from guests who aren’t able to make your event, or who simply wish to celebrate early, it is best to thank them immediately. You will be less likely to forget to send out a card if you don’t wait until after your celebration. Your thank-yous serve as an acknowledgement to friends and family members that you received their generous gifts.

Tip #3-Skip the Generic Thank-you

Some couples have a generic thank you message that they have printed on their cards. This one size fits all approach doesn’t seem genuine and may offend guests. Be sure to hand write each card, thank the recipient for each specified item gifted, and include a warm, personalize message to add a special touch. Your guests will be honored that you put time and effort into their thank-you.

Custom thank-you cards are always appreciated and are the furthest thing from generic. Thank you cards range from a classic ecru 3 ½ by 5 with a top fold and embossing to a 4.25 x 5.5 customized photo card. Take your time to pick a style that reflects both of you. If you are in love with your monogram (who isn’t?), remember that it is not appropriate to use your married monogram until after the ceremony. A good wedding stationery designer can guide you with the myriad choices or browse through the many choices available online.

Be sure to stick to these three tips to ensure you are prompt and express your gratitude in a genuine and meaningful way.

Chow Down or Chuck It? What to do with the Top Layer of Your Wedding Cake

Wedding Cake TraditionsHave you been told by your mother, wedding planner, and friends that you simply must save the top layer of your wedding cake, store it in your freezer, and eat it one year later on your anniversary? This tradition has been around for decades-but how did it begin? And, what are modern brides really doing with their decadent dessert a year from their “I do” day? Read on to help you decide if you should chow down on the cake, or chuck it!

Saving the top layer of your wedding cake originated back in the 19th century. Long ago, the bottom layer of a three tier cake was for the reception, the middle layer was to give out to guests, and the top layer was used one year later at the christening of the couple’s first baby (“First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage!” Ring a bell?). These two traditions have long since parted ways and a modern wedding ceremony tradition has emerged. Couples now choose to share the cake with each other or with the ones they love to remind them of their first happy day as husband and wife. And, it doesn’t hurt to hope, wish or believe that this tradition will also bring you prosperity and a long future! The modern take on the old tradition is worth considering.

blog-cake-tradition2If you believe in the fate of the cake, you will also have a beautiful reminiscence on your first anniversary. There is something ultra-romantic about savoring a slice of something that was cut for you on that most significant day in your life. Ask your caterer or reception venue to properly wrap it up (they do it on a weekly basis) the right way to ensure your dessert tastes nothing less than a little slice of heaven.

Some couples don’t think twice about saving the top layer at all! They will chuck the wedding cake leftovers after the ceremony, stating it’s unimportant, they’re not superstitious or they just aren’t keen on the idea of snacking on a bite of freezer burn. If you aren’t superstitious or don’t like to conform to tradition, pass on saving the cake and don’t think twice. If the idea of eating a thawed piece of cake which may no longer resemble the stunning centerpiece it once was leaves you feeling a bit nauseous, there is another option. Many top quality bakeries will offer to take a picture of your completed wedding cake in all its original glory and will then recreate it exactly – one year later at no charge. Ask your bakery if they offer this service. Your last piece of wedding cake should taste as fresh and fabulous as you remembered it.

Whether you decide to chow down or chuck it, you probably won’t cast good luck or bad luck! But, one thing is for certain – your first year of marriage is certainly something to celebrate… so, eat your heart out!