Brides Daily
Brides DailyBudgetFlowers

Fake Wedding Flowers That Aren't Cheesy!



  • Infuse instant artisanal charm into your day—and make guests do a few double takes—with faux flowers that are impeccably crafted, intriguingly offbeat, and even cool.

    PAPER
    1. Mulberry gardenia, starflower, cymbidium orchid, and buttercup place cards painted on color-customizable rice or mulberry paper, from $37.50 for 25, divinelionesss.etsy.com.

    2. Pink tissue-paper flower poms, $40 for nine strung on monofilament, partypoms.etsy.com.

    3. Pomander made of pages from a 1934 National Geographic, $120, whetherpaperworks.etsy.com.

    4. Green, brown, and cream paper-flower bouquet, $72 ($4 per flower), theonehappygirl.com.

    5. Mini paper-poppy bundles, $3 each, thegildedbee.etsy.com.

    6. Quilled paper flowers on table-number card, from $10 for 12, dizzeelizzee.etsy.com. Calligraphy, Nan DeLuca; scribenyc.com.

    7. Spiral flowers (on table and favor bag), $10 for 14, suzannebwebb.etsy.com. Bag, foryourparty.com.

    8. Crepe-paper flowers, $35 each, Livia Cetti for the Green Vase; thegreenvase.com. Embossed paintable wallpaper (all pages), brewsterhomefashions.com.



  • The Write Stuff: An intricate pomander holds sophisticated appeal for literary types—some of the paper is printed with type from vintage magazines. Order custom-colored bunches for your bouquet or the table decorations.



  • Diminutive Details: Add a 3-D twist to a summery gift bag with spiraled pastel paper flowers. You can also affix them to place cards and programs.



  • Scraps of fabric are transformed into fun floral keepsakes—bouquets, boutonnieres, and more. They're perfect for country-style weddings, or for those looking to bring some eco-friendly attitude to their day.

    FABRIC
    1. Ombré brooch made of folded grosgrain ribbon with an engraved shell button, $48, cocarde.etsy.com.

    2. Daisy bouquet of wool-felt flowers with vintage-button centers and embroidery thread, $216, theonehappygirl.com.

    3. Handmade organza blossoms, $9 for three, jujacrafts.etsy.com.

    4. Silk rosettes, $15.50 each, and loose ribbon, hanahsilk.com.

    5. Green fabric bouquet made with silk, linen, cotton, and upholstery fabric, $225, milkpodstudio.com.

    6. Mini linen rose pin, $68.50 for six, and five-inch linen poppy pin, $54, emersonmade.com. Scissors with golden handle, katespaperie.com.

    7. Felt chrysanthemum brooches, $20 each, digs.com.

    8. Fabric poms made of linen and cotton, $195 or three, oncewed.com.

    9. Boutonnieres made with silk, linen, cotton, and upholstery fabric, $25 each, milkpodstudio.com.



  • Felt Tips: Basic buttons add interest and define the daisy-like features of this funky bunch of topstitched felt flora. A sophisticated palette and a bright, streamlined vase (a spray-painted asparagus tin can!) help make this bouquet charming, not childish.



  • Natural Knockoff: With muted earth tones and nature-inspired details, this bouquet of fabric scraps is especially lifelike—each stem is one-of-a-kind. Green fabric bouquet made with silk, linen, cotton, and upholstery fabric, $225, milkpodstudio.com.



  • What could be more whimsical than flowers fashioned from baubles, buttons, and beads? Add sparkle to bridesmaids' locks with botanical bobby pins, set the table with a bundle of beaded blooms, or carry a breathtaking bouquet of vintage brooches.

    BITS & BAUBLES
    1. Beaded plumeria hairpins and lapel stickpin, $50 each, heartinhawaii.etsy.com.

    2. Bobby pins, $14.50 for three, miabeads.com.

    3. Brooch bouquet, from $350, fantasyfloraldesigns.com.

    4. Enameled anemone cake jewels with Swarovski-crystal centers, $1,050 for four, Debra Moreland Is Paris; parisstyles.com. Scissors, katespaperie.com.

    5. Beaded forget-me-nots, $35 for two, foreverflowers.etsy.com.

    6. Button bouquet, $120 for 60 stems, reallybadkitty.etsy.com.

    7. Beaded zinnias, $40 for two, and beaded lilies, $35 for two, foreverflowers.etsy.com.

    8. Enameled magnolia-stick cake decoration with Swarovski-crystal center, $780 for three, Debra Moreland Is Paris; peacockparkdesign.com. Table, parisstyles.com.



  • Buttoned Up: The crafty creator of this quirky bouquet stacked three to five buttons of different shapes and sizes to make each "flower," then wrapped the stems in ribbon. Holding it all together: the two-tone color scheme.



  • Treasure Trove: A dazzling mix of vintage floral brooches dripping with multicolored costume gems makes a luxe statement piece, sending out a rainbow of rays when it catches the light. Carry this hefty piece for the ceremony, then let it sit pretty on your table.

    —Marina Khidekel, BRIDES magazine


    PHOTOS: BURCU AVSAR

BRIDES magazineBrides DailyGuest BloggerWedding Style

10 Tips for a Vintage-y Wedding From Ruffled Blog

BRIDES_blog_star_250.jpg

Courtesy of Ash Imagery

Trends come and go, but vintage is always in style. Blogger Amanda Nistor (ruffledblog.com) shares her secrets on how to turn back the clock for your big day.

1. THINK OUTSIDE THE MASON JAR. Instead, arrange your flowers in Depression-era glass containers (goblets, cups, ice cream bowls). For best effect, select glass in a range of pastels or in different shades of the same color. Turn the sturdier containers into candles by pouring in melted beeswax and adding a wick!

2. STROLL FLEA MARKETS. Look for silver-plated flatware to add eclectic charm to table settings. (Bonus: You'll be prepared for big dinner parties after the wedding!)

3. ADD SOME SPARKLE TO THE CEILING. Antique chandeliers with dangling crystals are the way to go for an ultraglam feel. Can't afford to buy? Rent some from a prop house.

4. USE PEN AND INK (or hire a calligrapher) to handwrite invitations or place cards. Tip: Soaking paper in a tub of diluted tea gives it an antique look.

5. PLANT A GARDENIA IN YOUR HAIR. Fun fact: During World War II, money was so tight that some brides skipped big bouquets in lieu of a single gardenia pinned to their wedding garb.

6. SWIPE ON SOME FIERY RED LIPSTICK, and add finger curls in your hair. You'll look just like an old-Hollywood starlet!

7. OPT FOR PLUMES RATHER THAN BLOOMS. Ostrich or peacock feathers are a great alternative to flowers.

8. GO ALL-WHITE WITH YOUR BOUQUET. Calla lilies, stephanotises, lilies of the valley—whether you pick a cascading bouquet, à la the 1920s, or a small '50s-style posy, nothing says "retro romance" quite like white-on-white.

9. LET YOUR FAMILY HISTORY GUIDE YOU. Try incorporating heirlooms by setting out old family wedding albums, framing love letters your grandparents wrote each other during wartime, or even displaying your mom's wedding dress on a vintage dress form.

10. PLAY WITH DIFFERENT TEXTURES. Wear a lacy wedding gown for your walk down the aisle, or incorporate antique linens and silk ribbons in your decor. For rustic, outdoorsy weddings, use burlap or oilcloth for table coverings. (They're budget-friendly, to boot!)

—Amanda Nistor, Ruffled for BRIDES magazine

BRIDES magazineBrides Daily

Civil Wedding 101: How to Have a Nonreligious Ceremony

Not going to the chapel? Here's the scoop on nonreligious weddings.

WHY GO SECULAR?

Maybe you're not particularly religious and want a ceremony that avoids any mention of God. Perhaps the pomp and circumstance of a wedding in a house of worship don't suit you. Or it could be that you want to create an original ceremony with minimal restrictions.

WHO CAN OFFICIATE?

It varies from state to state. Log onto usmarriagelaws.com for specifics, then verify the info with your local city hall or county clerk's office. Ask recently married friends and wedding vendors for referrals, then meet face-to-face with candidates.

County Clerk
The upside: The ceremony is short and inexpensive, and requires no appointment. The downside: the no-frills vibe, office setting, and (often) long wait.

Judge
In most states, any judge—whether from district or supreme court—can solemnize a marriage.

Justice of the Peace
This officer can perform short ceremonies in her chambers during office hours but may be willing to travel to your venue.

Public Official
Some jurisdictions allow a current or former public official, such as a mayor or governor, to perform the duty.

Your Best Friend
A few states, like Vermont, California, and Massachusetts, will grant a one-day license allowing anyone to perform a wedding. This differs from having a pal go online and sign up to be, say, a Universal Life Church minister (ulc.net)—a union officiated by that person would be considered religious.

VALID VENUES

Many civil ceremonies take place in a city-hall office or judge's chambers, but if your officiant is willing to travel, you can exchange vows at your reception site, in your backyard, on a beach, or on top of a mountain—anything goes.

HAVE IT YOUR WAY

Part of the beauty of a civil ceremony is its flexibility. While it can be totally traditional, it can also include a circus theme, vows borrowed from Wedding Crashers, or waiters passing flavored vodka shots during the proceedings. To make it legal, all you must include is a line that says you are taking each other as spouses.

HOW TO JUDGE IF AN OFFICIANT IS RIGHT FOR YOU

1) Make appointments to meet a few officiants, to see whom you feel most comfortable with.

2) Ask each how long she's been officiating and whether she can provide a location (if relevant) or will travel.

3) Does she have a sample ceremony she likes to use? Talk to her about your ideas for customizing.

4) During the conversation, suss out if she's a good fit, personality- and viewpoint-wise.

5) Some officiants love to do weddings; others not so much. Take the time to find someone who cares.

—Barrie Gillies, BRIDES magazine

Brides DailyTravel

The 7 Sexiest Hotel Bathrooms


  • Courtesy of Peter Vitale for Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts

    Planning a quickie escape this Valentine's Day? Nothing says steamy quite like a souped-up hotel bathroom with all the sexy trimmings: Think tubs for two, outdoor showers, and blissful bath amenities. Here, seven sweet retreats where you two can get busy beyond the bedroom.

    Four Seasons Hualalai, Hawaii
    Skip sex on the beach: Most ground-floor rooms at this Big Island beauty, where Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green said "I do," come with super-private outdoor showers made of black lava rock. Pick up oils and lotions mixed with local materials (Kona coffee, macadamia nuts, Hawaiian sea salt) at the spa for an extra-sensual experience. From $625 (low season) and $795 (high season); fourseasons.com.


  • Courtesy of Sammy Todd Dyess for Bardessono

    Bardessono, Napa Valley, California
    You don't have to be a wine lover to fall for a Steam Spa Suite at this Napa newbie. Each palatial pad sports an outdoor shower, a champagne tub (complete with bubbles), and a massage table, should you want to de-stress in total seclusion. From $450 (low season) and $550 (high season); bardessono.com.


  • Courtesy of Hotel Valley Ho

    Hotel Valley Ho, Scottsdale, Arizona
    Get your tiki and cocktail on at Trader Vic's before heading up to your executive suite at this retro-cool midcentury-modern hotel. We flipped over the massive, round tubs—strategically placed next to the bed—and their overhead blue "mood lighting," designed to turn you on when all the other lights are off. From $259 (low season) and $439 (high season); hotelvalleyho.com.


  • Courtesy of Amanresorts

    Amangiri, Canyon Point, Utah
    Every inch of this sleek desert oasis oozes sexy, but we're particularly attracted to each suite's deep baths. Why not check out the dry (and, ahem, deserted) landscape of dunes, mesas, and plateaus while getting wet? Doubles from $850 (low season) and $1,000 (high season); amanresorts.com.


  • Courtesy of The Standard

    The Standard, New York City
    Nothing standard about these digs: Some rooms rock peekaboo showers—perfect for spying on your sweetie—while others flaunt freestanding tubs from which you can admire another hottie (the Big Apple!) from your floor-to-ceiling windows. Doubles from $265 (year-round); standardhotels.com.


  • Courtesy of Morgans Hotel Group

    Mondrian South Beach
    Only in SoBe would your sprawling shower come with a glittering chandelier and an electric blue Marcel Wanders–designed wall mural, worthy of any nightclub. Throw in deluxe Malin+Goetz shampoos and gels, and it's positively a party. Doubles from $195 (low season) and $495 (high season); mondrian-miami.com.


  • Courtesy of Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants

    Hotel Palomar Philadelphia, Philadelphia
    Couple-y love rules in the Palomar's spa rooms: Slip-on your tiger-print robes (meow!), then slip 'em off for a hot soak in your ginormous Fuji tub, which has more jets than a 747. Oh, and go ahead and sneak some of the luxe Etro amenities home with absolutely zero guilt. From $279 (low season) and $499 (high season); kimptonhotels.com.

    —Jacqui Gifford, BRIDES magazine

BRIDES magazineBridal MarketBrides DailyFashion

White by Vera Wang Debuts at David's Bridal


  • Courtesy of Vera Wang

    As of February 11, the long wait is over. Engaged girls and bridal-industry folks have been champing at the bit for a glimpse of White by Vera Wang, the haute designer's brand-new collaboration with mass retailer David's Bridal. The line of wedding dresses features Vera's signature mix of ethereal princess with a little edge, but all at down-to-earth prices ranging from $600 to $1,400. If you're done dress-shopping, the line also features veils, horsehair bows, crystal headbands, and embellished sashes, ranging from $38 to $248.

    Merchandise will be available at David's Bridal stores nationwide. And keep your eyes peeled—we hear a bridesmaid collection is in store for spring.

    Here are some of our favorites from the collection:

    This V-neck ball gown with a fully draped skirt and tulle swirls is quintessentially Vera—minus the extravagant price tag.


  • Courtesy of Vera Wang

    The draped bodice on this soft net gown gives it an instant slimming effect—no gym required. The illusion of straps and the sweetheart neckline are especially flattering for busty gals.


  • Courtesy of Vera Wang

    This goddess-inspired Empire-waist halter dress is a little sweet and a little sexy, thanks to a delicate halter neckline and a floral corsage at the bust.


  • Courtesy of Vera Wang

    The contrast of this gown's sleek one-shoulder bodice and dramatic ruffled drop-waist skirt creates a completely irresistible combination.


  • Courtesy of Vera Wang

    This simple gown is all about the details—we love the textured, tucked bodice and the slightly gathered skirt, which just skims the hips. The unfussy slim silhouette makes it a perfect option for destination weddings.


  • Courtesy of Vera Wang

    If it's a hit of color you're after, this blush fit-and-flare gown with a bias-cut ruffle skirt is a standout without being shocking.


  • Courtesy of Vera Wang

    We love the mix of textures (lace appliqué and asymmetrical knife pleats) on this strapless fit-and-flare gown, which gives it a modern and unique look.


  • Courtesy of Vera Wang

    The chic V-neck bodice and the soft flutter sleeves make this fitted gown a sophisticated choice for brides looking for a fresh neckline.


  • Courtesy of Vera Wang

    This organza stunner is a classic ball-gown silhouette with a little something extra—the cutaway top layer of the tulle skirt reveals a cluster of floral corsages just peeking out from underneath.

    —Beth Swanson, BRIDES magazine

BRIDES magazineBeautyBrides DailyBudget

Wedding on a Budget: How to Save Money on Hair and Makeup

BRIDES_budget_hair_250.jpg

Photo by Bruce Soyez-Bernard/BRIDES

BRIDES magazine is here to help you get more bang for your hard-earned buck. Take a look at our list of five essential do's and don'ts for scheduling your hair and makeup for your wedding day.


DON'T shell out big bucks for a hair accessory you'll wear just once. If you've admired a headpiece or hair accent worn by a friend, ask if she'll lend it to you.

DO stop by a few different department-store makeup counters before the wedding. Schedule a time with a makeup artist whose style you like, and buy only what you love.

DON'T hire a stylist to make a house call—it costs a lot less to go to the salon yourself.

DO ask a talented friend to do your hair and/or makeup, especially if you're low-maintenance. Make sure she understands your wedding-day vision, and have a trial run a few weeks ahead.

DON'T feel obligated to pay to have your stylist take care of your attendants' hair and makeup. The exception: Mom.


BRIDES magazine

BRIDES magazineBrides Daily

4 Questions With Christian Louboutin

BRIDES_christian_louboutin_250.jpg

Courtesy of Fairchild Archive

The Parisian footwear designer talks haute heels and pop songs.

Q: What should a bride consider when shopping for shoes?
A: Comfort and dancing—the style she buys has to connect both. The ideal shoe will have ankle support and a heel she can manage, and look fashionable.

Q: Can women really dance in your shoes?
A: I've designed shoes for many professional dancers, so I always have comfort in mind. I want a bride to be able to dance all night at her wedding!

Q: Will the trend of nonwhite wedding shoes continue?
A: Perhaps. It comes from a Cinderella syndrome and the idea that the shoe should pop. Personally, I love a light palette—ivory, pale pink—for bridal shoes.

Q: Is Jennifer Lopez's "Louboutins" on your iPod?
A: Of course. I like that the song is about a woman taking back her liberty and my shoes are attached to her freedom. It's very flattering.

BRIDES magazine

BRIDES magazineBrides DailyBudgetFinance

All You Need to Know About Wedding Tipping

BRIDES_TippingGuide_Envelope_250.jpg

Andrew McCaul/BRIDES


What vendors are you supposed to tip? How much? And how, exactly, do you hand off the cash without feeling like a mobster? BRIDES magazine brings you a guide on whom to tip, how much, and when.

OFFICIANT: $75 to $100 for a clergy member. (It's a donation to the house of worship.) A civil employee, such as a judge or clerk, often can't accept a tip. The best man offers the tip after the ceremony.

CEREMONY MUSICIANS: $20 to $25 each, unless tips are included in a house of worship's rental fee. The best man offers the tips after the ceremony.

ALTAR BOYS AND GIRLS: $5 to $10 each. The best man offers the tips to the kids after the ceremony.

DELIVERY PEOPLE (flowers, rentals, cake): $5 to $25 each, depending on the time and toil. Whoever (Mom, planner) is supervising wedding-day deliveries offers the tips on the spot.

COAT-CHECK AND RESTROOM ATTENDANTS: $0.50 to $1 per guest. Post a sign that gratuities have been taken care of. The host (i.e., you or your parents) pays in advance, based on the number of guests.

VALETS OR PARKING ATTENDANT: $1 per car. Post a sign telling guests that gratuities have been taken care of. The host pays in advance, based on the number of guests.

HOTEL WEDDING COORDINATOR: $200 to $400. The host offers the tip at the reception's end.

WAITSTAFF: 15 to 20 percent of the total catering bill, to be split among the waiters, if a gratuity is not included in the contract. The host offers the tip at the reception's end.

BARTENDERS: 10 percent of the total liquor bill, to be split among the bar staff, if a gratuity is not included in the contract. The host offers the tip at the reception's end.

DJ OR BAND: $50 to $100 for a DJ, or $20 to $25 for each band member, if they work for an agency; no tip if they're self-employed. The host offers the tip at the reception's end.

PHOTOGRAPHER AND VIDEOGRAPHER: $50 to $100, if they're working for a studio; no tip if they're self-employed. The host offers the tip at the reception's end.

INDEPENDENT WEDDING PLANNER: None expected. But if your planner went out of her way, you can thank her with cash ($100 to $1,000, depending on your budget) or a gift, sent after the wedding.

LIMO OR BUS DRIVER:15 to 20 percent of the total bill, if a gratuity is not included in the contract. The host offers the tip after the final drop-off.

HAIRSTYLISTS AND MAKEUP ARTISTS: 15 to 20 percent of the total bill, if you go to a salon; at your discretion if they come to you.

—Barrie Gillies, BRIDES magazine

BRIDES magazineBrides DailyFitness

Get In Shape for Your Wedding

  • BRIDES_abs1_250.jpg
    Photograph by: Alex Beauchesne/BRIDES

    You've found the perfect gown—now get the body to rock it. Our wedding-dress workout, designed by New York trainer Shaun Zetlin, will help you target the parts your frock will be flaunting. Bring it on.

    FOR AMAZING ABS: SIDE PLANK Lie on your left side, with your legs and feet stacked; your knees, hips, and shoulders should be in alignment. Prop yourself up with your left arm while keeping your shoulders, neck, and spine relaxed. (Your abs should be tight.) Push upward with your hips and glutes. Hold for 30 seconds, then return to the start position. Do two repetitions on each side.

  • BRIDES_abs2_250.jpg
    Photograph by: Alex Beauchesne/BRIDES

    FOR AMAZING ABS: TABLE CRUNCH WITH BALL Lie with your back neutral (not arched). Your feet should be in the air, your legs bent, your hands holding a four-pound medicine ball above your head, your elbows slightly bent. Use your abs to come up into a crunch position; avoid relying on momentum from your arms. Return to the start position. Do two sets of 15 reps.

  • BRIDES_back1_250.jpg
    Photograph by: Alex Beauchesne/BRIDES

    FOR A BEAUTIFUL BACK: ZOTTMAN ROW Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees, and angle your torso forward from your waist. Holding five-pound weights (palms down), extend your arms forward. Rotate your palms up as you bring your hands to your hips. Tuck your elbows, and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Return to the start position. Do two sets of 15 reps.

  • BRIDES_back2_250.jpg
    Photograph by: Alex Beauchesne/BRIDES

    FOR A BEAUTIFUL BACK: SCAPTION Holding five-pound weights with your palms facing in and your hips aligned, bend one knee so the foot is three inches above the ground. Extend your arms forward into a V shape. (Don't raise them above the shoulder.) Return to the start position; repeat with the other knee. Do two sets of 12 reps.

  • BRIDES_arms1_250.jpg
    Photograph by: Alex Beauchesne/BRIDES

    FOR AWESOME ARMS: OVERHEAD TRICEP EXTENSION Stand with your knees slightly bent and your right foot on one end of a resistance band. Holding the other end with your right hand, bend your elbow, creating an angle. Keeping your shoulders down, straighten your right arm until it's almost fully locked. Return to the start position. Do four sets of 12 reps on each side.

  • BRIDES_arms2_250.jpg
    Photograph by: Alex Beauchesne/BRIDES

    FOR AWESOME ARMS: ARCHER PRESS With your feet shoulder-width apart, hold five-pound weights with your elbows bent and your palms in. Take a step forward with your right foot while slowly extending diagonally upward with your left hand. Alternate hands and feet. Do two sets of 12 reps.

  • BRIDES_hips1_250.jpg
    Photograph by: Alex Beauchesne/BRIDES

    FOR SMOKIN'-HOT HIPS: PRONE BACK KICKBACK Resting on your elbows in a plank position, round your back slightly and bring your right knee close to your chest. With your left leg completely straight, your butt down, and your shoulders relaxed, extend the tucked leg up, keeping your glutes tight and your back flat. Return to the start position. Do two sets of 15 reps on each side.

  • BRIDES_hips2_250.jpg
    Photograph by: Alex Beauchesne/BRIDES

    FOR SMOKIN'-HOT HIPS: ONE-LEGGED BRIDGE WITH OVERHEAD PRESS Lie with your back slightly arched, holding a four-pound medicine ball an inch above your chest. Bend your right leg, and lift your left leg three inches. Raise your lower body three inches, using your glutes, as you extend your arms up. Return to the start position. Do two sets of 12 reps.


    —Marina Khidekel, BRIDES magazine

BRIDES magazineBrides DailyBridesmaid

The Guilty Girl's Guide to Choosing Bridesmaids

BRIDES_ChoosingBridesmaids_399.jpg

Illustration by Edwin Fotheringham/BRIDES



Picking your bridal party can stir up more emotion than picking a groom. But don't worry—BRIDES magazine has got your back. Here are six common guilt-inducing scenarios and what to do about them:


DO YOU HAVE TO ASK... a friend whose wedding you were in two years ago, even though you don't hang out anymore? You can't shake feeling like you "owe her."

WHAT'S A GIRL TO DO? No need to sweat it—there's no quid-pro-quo contract you have to fulfill. Relationships change, and chances are she'd feel uncomfortable anyway.


DO YOU HAVE TO ASK... your superclose bud who's due to give birth two weeks before your wedding?

WHAT'S A GIRL TO DO? You should ask her, but also reassure her that you'll understand if she can't come to all or part of the wedding. You don't want to make her feel guilty if she's got to leave early or bow out of walking down the aisle.


DO YOU HAVE TO ASK... your fiance's sister, whom you've only met a couple of times?

WHAT'S A GIRL TO DO? If your man had three sisters, you could probably skip asking them, but since there's only one, you really should include her. After all, this is one relationship that isn't going anywhere—call the move an investment in holiday harmony for decades to come.


DO YOU HAVE TO ASK... all four of your Thursday-girls'-night buddies, when you're tight with only two of them?

WHAT'S A GIRL TO DO? You don't need to ask all of them, but use tact and make a point of limiting any bridesmaid-related chitchat when you're all out together.


DO YOU HAVE TO ASK... your best guy friend? You're afraid he's going to look like an idiot holding your bouquet.

WHAT'S A GIRL TO DO? Go for it! Nowadays it's perfectly okay to have girls on the groom's side and guys on the bride's. Call him an "honor attendant," have him dress like the groomsmen, and let him participate in as much of the pre-wedding stuff as he's comfortable with. Unless he's the GOH (guy of honor), he doesn't have to go anywhere near your bouquet. And if the girls decide on a group gift from Thongs R Us, all he has to contribute is his share of cash.


DO YOU HAVE TO ASK... your best bud from high school, who's turned into a crazy party girl? You're worried she'll jump the bartender and turn into a walking bridesmaid cliche.

WHAT'S A GIRL TO DO? As long as she doesn't spend most Friday nights in county lockup, go ahead and include her. Just give the bar staff a heads-up.


—Lexi Dwyer, BRIDES magazine

BRIDES magazineBrides DailyCelebrity GossipTravel

5 Royal Honeymoons

One thing's for certain: We know where Prince William and Kate Middleton will be on April 29, 2011. (London's Westminster Abbey, saying "I do," for anyone living under a rug.) But what about their whereabouts on April 30? Ah, honeymoon time: The pair's past vacations have been a mix of glamour and adventure (the Seychelles, Kenya), beach and mountain (Mustique, the French Alps)—so where will they jet for their first married getaway? We've picked five romantic retreats where they're bound to get the royal treatment.


BRIDES_laucala_250.jpg

Photo by Klaus Lorke/Courtesy of Laucala

Laucala Island, Fiji
The newlyweds will have their pick of 25 palatial villas on this uber-exclusive South Pacific isle that was once owned by the Forbes family. Sure, the price tag's hefty at $3,800 per night, but guess what? Everything—and that means spa treatments, unlimited golf if you're feeling game, and a bottle of champagne every hour on the hour by a blue lagoon--is included. And the privacy? Priceless. Doubles from $3,800 (year-round), all-inclusive; laucala.com.


BRIDES_necker_island_250.jpg

Courtesy of Virgin Limited Edition

Necker Island, the British Virgin Islands
Will and Kate heart celeb-studded Mustique, but Necker should be their next choice for a Caribbean getaway. This 74-acre slice of paradise belongs to fellow Brit Sir Richard Branson, who rents it out for exclusive use to the rich and famous at $53,000 a day. So what comes with it? A main house, six Balinese-inspired villas, a spa, a staff at the ready, boats aplenty, and golf carts to get around in. And if that's not enough, you can rent out Necker's submarine; neckerisland.virgin.com.

BRIDES_ngorogoro_250.jpg

Courtesy of andBeyond

&Beyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, Tanzania
William's proposal spot, Mount Kenya, is pretty tough to top, but we think Kate would also fall for another stunning African setting: Ngorongoro Crater, home to one of the world's highest concentrations of game (think lions, elephants, black rhinos). By day they'd safari; by night they'd retreat to their posh suite at the &Beyond Lodge, with its mix of Victorian and African furnishings (claw-foot tubs, beaded chandeliers). Better yet for the charity-minded couple, proceeds from their stay would help support a local school and wildlife research. Doubles from $1,370 (low season) and $3,000 (high seasons), all-inclusive; andbeyondafrica.com.


BRIDES_machu_picchu_250.jpg

Photo by Genivs Loci/Courtesy of Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge

Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, Peru
William and Kate love a good romp in the great outdoors (skiing in France, pheasant hunting in the English countryside), so why not get adventurous by hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu? The couple can then bunk up at the luxe Sanctuary Lodge; it's adjacent to the ancient citadel—which means more time in bed before that early-a.m. tour. Doubles from $1,022 (year-round), all-inclusive; sanctuarylodgehotel.com.


BRIDES_amanjena_250.jpg

Courtesy of Amanresorts

Amanjena, Marrakech, Morocco
Fashion plate Kate would just say yes to Marrakech, a veritable treasure trove of boutiques offering richly colored sandals, scarves, jewelry—you name it. And naturally, the two would stay at Amanjena, where the SATC2 ladies filmed their flick. Top shops could even cart their wares to Kate at the resort--souvenir-shopping by the pool sounds absolutely fabulous to us. Doubles from $1,050 (year-round); amanresorts.com.


—Jacqui Gifford/BRIDES magazine

BRIDES magazineBeautyBrides DailyFashionFoodPhotography

10 Wedding-Day Secrets From Industry Experts

BRIDES_IndustrySecrets_250.jpg

Bruce Soyez-Bernard/BRIDES


BRIDES magazine has rounded up some of our favorite wedding pros and asked them to give our readers their best pointers for the party of a lifetime.

1. To diffuse any makeup stains, blot your dress with white talcum.
Francesca Pitera, Jim Hjelm

2. Bring two pairs of shoes: one for the ceremony, the other to put in the reception site's freezer. When your feet start hurting, slip on the second pair to feel instantly refreshed--trust me!
Nancy Williams, Carolina Herrera

3. On the day of the wedding, apply a skin primer to make sure your makeup stays on all day long.
Trish McEvoy

4. To look instantly refreshed, use an eye cream with caffeine to minimize dark circles.
Dr. Fredric Brandt, Dr. Brandt Skincare

5. To make the most of your cake budget, order a small, custom tiered cake and supplement it with decorated sheet cakes that can be plated behind closed doors.
Ellen Baumwoll, Bijoux Doux Specialty Cakes

6. Make a list of guests' names, assign each a number, then write the corresponding number on the back of each reply card. Guests often forget to put their names on their cards.
Melinda Morris, Lion in the Sun

7. Try to have at least a few photographs shot at sunset, when the light is perfect. That is often the time when I take the most beautiful and intimate images of the day.
Lisa Lefkowitz, Lisa Lefkowitz Fine Arts Photography

8. Wear diamond bracelets or statement cuffs to bring attention to your left hand, which is where everyone is looking.
Paul Tacorian, Tacori

9. Ask one of your bridesmaids to carry travel-size hairspray for you. It will come in handy for touch-ups (even for the groom), especially if you're taking outdoor photographs on a windy day.
Frederic Fekkai

10. If things don't go exactly as planned, go with the flow—if you relax, your guests will, too.
Alison Hotchkiss, Alison Events

BRIDES magazine

BRIDES magazineBrides DailyMan on the Street

Man on the Street: Plastic Surgery

Q: What would you think if your fiancée wanted to have plastic surgery for your wedding?

BRIDES_ManOnTheStreet2_250.jpg

Photo by Luigi Menduni/BRIDES

"I wouldn't like it. God made your body the way it is, and it shouldn't be changed!"
—AARON M., 20

BRIDES_ManOntheStreet_4_250.jpg

Photo by Luigi Menduni/BRIDES

"If she was that uncomfortable and we had the money, I wouldn't mind."
—MATTHEW B., 30

BRIDES_ManOnTheStreet1_250.jpg

Photo by Luigi Menduni/BRIDES

"I'd tell her no. I asked her to marry me as she is. I don't want to marry another person."
—GILL F., 20

BRIDES_ManOntheStreet3_250.jpg

Photo by Luigi Menduni/BRIDES

"I would not be okay with it. Thirty years down the road, it's going to look gross."
—TYLER C., 23

BRIDES_ManOntheStreet5_250.jpg

Photo by Luigi Menduni/BRIDES

"I'd hope she wouldn't, but ultimately it's her decision."
—MEL B., 21

BRIDES magazine

BRIDES magazineBrides DailyGuest Blogger

10 Secrets He'll Never Tell You


BRIDES_grooms_250.jpg


Illustration by Greg Clarke/BRIDES


One groom tells BRIDES the top 10 secrets he'll never tell—at least not until after the wedding.

1) He wants to register for one item on his own, even if he never uses it.
2) He cares about the music so much, he'll pay the DJ a bonus to not play "Celebration."
3) He has inexplicably developed a sixth sense: When the phone rings, he knows it's your mom. He'll start answering the phone again after the wedding.
4) He worries he won't look half as good in his tux as the little man on the cake does.
5) He liked taking dance lessons but wishes they'd included the funky chicken.
6) He will be nervous about his hair and may reach for the mousse. Don't let him.
7) He wants you to take his name, no matter what he says. Unless your name is Springsteen, in which case he'll take yours.
8) He never wants to know which friend gave which gift at your lingerie shower.
9) He doesn't want to write his own vows. He really likes the ones in the book.
10) He's as excited about the wedding as you are. Seriously.

—Mark Bazer, BRIDES magazine

Brides DailyBudgetTravel

10 Best Wallet-Friendly Resorts


  • Courtesy of Anacaona Boutique Hotel

    Escape the cold winter weather on a Caribbean vacation that won't break the bank.

    ANACAONA, ANGUILLA
    You'll be pampered with luxe touches like cocktails and refreshing towels (nice!), brought to you on one of the isle's finest sugar-white stretches. Doubles from $150 (low season) and $250 (high season); anacaonahotel.com.


  • Courtesy of Nonsuch Bay

    NONSUCH BAY, ANTIGUA
    We fell for the one-bedroom apartments, which have bushels of tropical chic (white-on-wood decor) and to-die-for ocean views. Doubles from $195 (low season) and $300 (high season); nonsuchbayresort.com.


  • Courtesy of Amsterdam Manor Beach Resort

    AMSTERDAM MANOR, ARUBA
    There's a lot to love about this couple-centric resort, like its prime location near Eagle Beach, the kitchenette-equipped studios (grab groceries at the on-site minimart), and the super-friendly service. Doubles from $189 (low season) and $295 (high season); amsterdammanor.com.


  • Photo by John Runnin/Courtesy of A Stone's Throw Away

    A STONE'S THROW AWAY, THE BAHAMAS
    Nassau's homey B&B is—surprise!—a stone's throw from the sea. After sun time, siesta in one of the porch hammocks. Doubles from $175 (low season) and $200 (high season), including breakfast; astonesthrowaway.com.


  • Courtesy of Little Arches Barbados

    LITTLE ARCHES, BARBADOS
    Feast on fresh fish at Café Luna, the hotel's terrace restaurant, before heading to St. Lawrence Gap, a saloon-y strip where locals get their groove on. Doubles from $205 (low season) and $295 (high season); littlearches.com.


  • Courtesy of Natura Cabanas Boutique Hotel & Spa

    NATURA CABANA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
    This eco-friendly stay near laid-back Cabarete scores points for its spa and thatched-roof bungalows, built sustainably mere steps from swell surf. Doubles from $180 (year-round), including breakfast; naturacabana.com.


  • Courtesy of Rockhouse

    ROCKHOUSE, JAMAICA
    Even at double the rates, Negril's cliff-top hideaway would simply, well, rock. Perfect your tans by the pool, then ladder down to Pristine Cove for snorkeling. Doubles from $125 (low season) and $160 (high season); rockhousehotel.com.


  • Courtesy of Errol Pemberton

    GOLDEN ROCK INN, NEVIS
    You'll discover cozy stone cottages, delish rum punches, and monkeys frolicking in the rainforest at this newly renovated sugar-plantation-turned-inn. Doubles from $200 (low season) and $260 (high season); golden-rock.com.


  • Courtesy of Mago Estate Hotel

    MAGO ESTATE, ST. LUCIA
    Fruit trees cocoon this hillside gem, where you trade direct beach access (it's only a 15-minute walk) for views of the Petit Piton mountain. Doubles from $200 (low season) and $250 (high season), including breakfast; magohotel.com.


  • Courtesy of Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts

    EL CONQUISTADOR, PUERTO RICO
    Quiet isn't for everyone—which is why we're fans of El Con's casino, golf course, and water park. And there are still plenty of intimate spots for two, like the plush booths at the Strip House steak joint. Doubles from $149 (low season) and $259 (high season); waldorfastoria.com.


    —Peter Michaels, Chanize Thorpe, and Elizabeth Woodson, BRIDES magazine

Give a Subscription to Brides Magazine as a Gift
Subscribe to Brides magazine