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What to save and splurge on when planning your wedding

If you are in the initial stages of wedding planning one of the most important items to focus on is your budget. Yes -- it isn’t the most exciting element of planning your nuptials, however since 74% of couples end up going over budget, it is definitely an important item to consider from the start. According to experts, one of the best ways to stick to a budget is to decide what to save and splurge on when planning your wedding. By deciding what is most important to you and spending on those elements, while cutting back on the areas that are less important to you, you can still have a wedding to remember without breaking the bank. Not sure what items to splurge on and what items to save on? Read on to learn what wedding experts suggest. Save on paper products Beautifully printed programs, monogrammed napkins, and other customized paper products can add a lovely touch to a wedding, however, when it comes down to it, your guests are just going to throw them away by the end of the event, making this one of the top items that experts suggest you save on. Instead, focus your budget on something that won’t end up in the wastebasket by midnight, like elegant flatware and glassware to adorn your tables. Splurge on your dress When it comes to your wedding you want to feel your best and absolutely love your wedding dress. Experts agree that this is an item worth...

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Best locations for a warm-weather destination wedding

If you are planning a winter wedding, but don’t want to say “I Do” in the middle of a blizzard, a warm-weather destination wedding may be the right choice for you. No matter what your budget there are tons of amazing warm wedding locations out there, and one is certain to be right for you. Read on to learn more about some of the most popular locations for couples that want to tie the knot in a sunny paradise. Martinique Looking for a budget-friendly location for your destination wedding? U.S. News & World Report ranked this dreamy Caribbean island as their number one affordable location to host a destination wedding. Some of the highlights of this ultra-affordable island include extensive beaches, tropical rainforests, and busy streets filled with gourmet restaurants. The Florida Keys If you are planning a warm-weather destination wedding, but don’t want to hassle guests with international travel, the Florida Keys are an excellent choice. Located in the Continental United States, this string of exotic islands offers the comforts of home and ease of domestic travel set against the backdrop of white sandy beaches, palm trees, and endless sunshine. Fiji For couples seeking a one-of-a-kind wedding far from home, this chain of beautiful islands in the South Pacific is ideal. In addition to tranquil beaches with white sand and crystal clear water, Fiji also offers a wide variety of outdoor sporting activities for you (and your guests) to participate in, including feeding sharks, hiking, rafting, and even golfing!...

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Tips for planning a New Year’s Eve party

Believe it or not, the year is quickly drawing to a close, and it is time to prepare to ring in 2018! If you are planning a New Year’s Eve party this year, here are a few easy and fun ideas to take your event to the next level as you welcome 2018 and all it has to offer. Decor is everything when planning a New Year’s Eve party New Year’s Eve is all about glitz and glitter, and over-the-top decor is crucial to throwing an epic bash. Looking for creative ideas that won’t break the bank? Some fun options that will take your New Year’s Eve party to the next level include a sparkly tassel garland, a giant confetti wall (which also doubles as the ideal backdrop for party photo ops!), DIY pom poms, and tinsel wrapped numbers. You can’t go wrong with a well-thought-out menu When choosing what type of food you will serve at your party, the first step is deciding what kind of event it will be. Is it a sit down dinner? If so, focus on decadent and festive main courses like this classic pot roast or this lobster mac and cheese. Keeping it casual? For a more casual party, plan on serving up crowd-pleasing finger foods and appetizers like these French dip roll ups, these gourmet tater tots with a spicy mayo dip, or these spinach artichoke cheese ball bites. A high energy playlist will keep the party going ‘til the ball drops Once...

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Hosting a Christmas Wedding

[caption id="attachment_1265" align="alignright" width="300"] Photo credit: Lisa Schiller[/caption] With beautiful decorations adorning homes, offices, and stores, magical twinkle lights brightening the longer nights, Christmas carols playing on pretty much every radio station, and an overall sense of holiday cheer in the air -- December really is the most wonderful time of the year. If you are hosting a Christmas wedding this season, it’s time to harness the magic of the season to create an affair that your friends and family will not soon forget. Below we discuss some ideas for infusing holiday cheer into your December nuptials. Make your invitations extra special with a holiday theme Hosting a Christmas wedding gives you the chance to think outside of the box when it comes to your save the date cards and invitations. Instead of opting for traditional invitations, we suggest going all in on the holiday theme. This could mean adding some extra sparkle to your invitations, incorporating Christmas colors and patterns, or even adding a beautiful red wax seal to each invite. We also love the idea of displaying your invites on a mantle covered in seasonal greenery during your reception. Greet guests with warm, holiday beverages If you are hosting a Christmas wedding, chances are it is going to be chilly outside! Keep guests warm and toasty by welcoming them to your ceremony or reception with the season's most beloved warm beverages. Some delicious warm drinks that are certain to keep your friends in good spirits no matter how...

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Festive Ideas for Planning a Holiday Party

As of today, December is officially here -- which means it is time to focus on all things Christmas! Are you planning a holiday party this season? Whether you are gathering friends for an epic bash at your home, heading up your office’s holiday potluck, or hosting your family for a traditional Christmas dinner, here are some festive ideas for entertaining this holiday season. Set the mood for holiday cheer with the perfect playlist Nothing says Christmas quite like a festive playlist filled with classic holiday songs. If you are feeling ambitious, why not put together a mix of your personal favorite Christmas tunes? Running short on time? Fear not! The HuffPost has you covered with their definitive guide to the best Christmas playlists out there. Make your party a winter wonderland with DIY decorations Thoughtful DIY decorations are one of the easiest (and most affordable) ways to take your Christmas party to the next level. Planning a holiday party in your office or simply don’t have space in your home for a tree? We suggest creating a makeshift tree out of leftover wrapping paper or gathering extra greenery and placing them in a vase with ornaments to serve as a tree. Some other cute ideas that will add some Christmas cheer to your party include creating these DIY reindeer garlands, lining your walkway with these easy-to-make mason jar candles, or making a giant holiday wreath for your mantle. Serve up snacks with a holiday twist When planning a holiday party...

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Planning a winter destination wedding

[caption id="attachment_1254" align="alignleft" width="300"] Photo credit: Nicole Gatto[/caption] When most people picture a destination wedding, they imagine friends and family gathering in a warm, exotic location to celebrate together under clear and sunny skies. However, for the couple that loves all things winter -- be it the beauty of the snow, a love of winter sports, or fun memories from a cold-weather family vacation -- a winter destination wedding is an option worth considering. In this post, we will share some cold-weather destination wedding locations that will set the perfect backdrop for your very own winter wonderland. Create a Winter Fairytale in Finland The beautiful Lapland region of Finland will provide a magical, snow-filled backdrop for your winter nuptials that cannot be rivaled. Some recommendations from the experts at the Travel Channel include booking a reindeer-drawn sled to carry you to your wedding chapel and reserving an igloo (yes, you heard us right!) for your wedding night. Add a Touch of the Wild West to Your Wedding in Jackson Hole, Wyoming If you want to enjoy your winter destination wedding surrounded by beautiful snow covered mountains, in a bustling western town, Jackson Hole, Wyoming is the spot for you! Nestled between the majestic Teton Mountains and the Gros Ventre Mountain Range, this charming town has it all. Martha Stewart Weddings suggests booking a stay for you and your guests at the Alpine House -- a cozy inn that includes locally sourced breakfasts and an honor bar. Love to Ski? Think...

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Hosting a Winter Wedding

Due to shorter days, freezing temperatures, and snowstorms, winter is typically known as the “off-season” when it comes to wedding planning. However, although the colder months certainly don’t win the wedding season popularity contest, we think there is something magical about hosting a winter wedding. Below we share some ideas for turning your December, January or February wedding into a winter wonderland that will rival a warm-weather soiree any day! Keep Spirits High with Warm Drink Stations Winter is about indulging in all things warm and cozy, so why not offer guests seasonal beverages in place of traditional refreshments? Setting up DIY stations for friends and family to mix up hot toddies or gourmet hot cocoa will keep spirits high -- even on the chilliest nights of the year. Incorporate Seasonal Greens into your Decor Along with winter comes beautiful greenery -- be it a traditional Christmas tree, a pine wreath, or a simple sprig of holly. Instead of focusing on traditional flowers in your decor, why not embrace the season by opting for fresh greenery. This could mean using mistletoe as a fun photo prop, adding a sprig of evergreen to your escort cards, or adorning each place setting with a festive holly cutting.   Adjust your Attire Accordingly If you are hosting a winter wedding, it is important to make sure that you and your wedding party are comfortable and warm no matter how low the temperatures may dip. In lieu of sleeveless styles, you may want to...

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Thanksgiving ideas to make your celebration extra special

Can you believe that Thanksgiving Day is less than two weeks away? As you prepare to gather friends and family for a delicious feast, consider incorporating some of these fun ideas that will make this year’s Thanksgiving celebration extra special! 1. Mix things up with some new recipes When it comes to the Thanksgiving menu, it can be easy to get stuck in a rut. We suggest mixing things up and refreshing your annual celebration by testing out some new seasonal recipes. Who knows? You may even end up stumbling upon a new family favorite. If you are in search of fresh Thanksgiving ideas, check out this list of 25 Unique Thanksgiving Recipes. 2. Keep kids (and adults) entertained with coloring placemats Getting your kids to stay seated throughout the entire Thanksgiving meal can be a challenge for even the most seasoned parent! That is why we love the idea of incorporating Thanksgiving-themed coloring placemats into your table settings. This is a fun and easy way to keep your kids entertained, and can even result in some pretty memorable artwork for your refrigerator door after the big day is over! 3. Spice things up with seasonal beverages Instead of sticking to the classic tea, water, beer and wine drink menu, why not mix things up this year with some seasonal cocktails (and mocktails for guests that don’t drink alcohol)? If it is going to be a chilly day, we love the idea of serving guests this warm mulled cider (bonus:...

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Festive ideas for your Thanksgiving wedding

[caption id="attachment_1237" align="alignright" width="300"] Photo credit: Christina Kenny[/caption] November is here, which means Halloween is over and it is officially Thanksgiving season. Focused on gratitude and gathering friends and family, what could be better than incorporating a little bit of this classic American holiday into your Thanksgiving wedding celebration? Below we share a few fun ways to add a touch of Thanksgiving to your November nuptials. Serve up pie instead of a traditional wedding cake When you think about Thanksgiving, chances are that pie is one of the first things to come to mind. Whether you prefer pumpkin, pecan, apple, or chocolate, it wouldn’t be a Thanksgiving wedding celebration without pie! So why not ditch the traditional wedding cake in favor of this beloved Thanksgiving tradition? If you aren’t sure how to pull it off, we love the idea of setting up a pie bar featuring a variety of popular pie flavors. You could even ask friends and family to contribute their favorite family recipes to the spread. Incorporate gratitude A Thanksgiving wedding is a wonderful opportunity to let those you love most know how grateful you are to have them in your lives as they are gather together to celebrate your love. Show guests how thankful you are by preparing thank you notes to add to their place settings or creating a thank you map that expresses your gratitude for the the time and money guests spent to be there on your special day. Mix up seasonal cocktails Cranberry...

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How to Plan a Spooktacular Halloween Bash

[caption id="attachment_1232" align="alignright" width="300"] Photo credit: Julia Dennebaum[/caption] Halloween is only a few days away, which means it is time to embrace your inner child and prepare to celebrate the spookiest holiday of them all. Whether this means having friends over to carve pumpkins, hosting a neighborhood block party, having family over to hand out candy, or boosting office morale with a post-work costume extravaganza, here are some fun ideas for hosting your very own spooktacular Halloween bash. Serve Guests Savory and Sweet Halloween Treats Hosting a Halloween party gives you the chance to get playful with your menu by incorporating all things creepy. Instead of serving a traditional cheese plate, why not opt for these cheesy eyeballs or a platter of goat cheese fingers? Looking for dessert ideas that go beyond candy corn and the candy you purchased for your trick-or-treaters? Delight your guests with these adorable white chocolate ghosts or these easy-to-make mummy cake pops. Add a Touch of Haunted House Style to your Home with DIY Decor One thing we love about decorating for Halloween is that it doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Some fun and easy DIY ideas to set the mood for your Halloween bash include making these no-carve fanged pumpkins, creating a haunted front porch with this easy guide from HGTV, turning egg cartons into hangable bats decorations, or crafting these creepy drip candles. Plan Halloween Party Games No party is complete without entertainment, and Halloween-themed games are certain to delight both...

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