The Best Places for Haunted Halloween Weddings

NIght glow at the Queen Mary

NIght glow at the Queen Mary

Ready to say “I do?” Are you the type of couple who enjoys a good ghost tale or loves Halloween? Then why not turn your “I do” into “I boo” with a haunted Halloween wedding?

Not only has Halloween become a favorite holiday for adults, it’s also become a day many couples decide to tie the knot. Some couples go for Halloween-themed weddings with skull and pumpkin decorations, and a masquerade reception. Some couples hire companies to come in and turn their weddings into “Murder Mystery” events. Many couples, though, take Halloween weddings one step further, having their weddings at spooky venues, or locations which are supposedly haunted. If you’d like to push the envelope for your Halloween wedding, here are a few venues you might consider:

The Queen Mary – Long Beach, California

The Queen Mary is an Art Deco wonder, once cruising the high seas, now permanently berthed in Long Beach, California as a tourist attraction and hotel. Some say it’s also haunted, with reports by employees, guests and visiting psychics of paranormal activity. The Queen Mary also offers wedding packages in the Queen Mary’s Chapel or on the deck, and, for over 12 years has hosted an annual “Halloween Terrorfest,” with “terrifying mazes” and dance parties from Oct. 5 through Halloween night.

Thayer’s B&B – Annandale, Minnesota

Thayer’s B&B is the perfect place for your haunted wedding or honeymoon. This B&B is an Old West Victorian mansion just minutes from the Twin Cities, offering weddings every day of the year, as well as a “Haunted Honeymoon Package” which includes a one-hour Couple’s Psychic Reading, a 1/2-hour of private ghost hunting instruction, and a disposable camera to photograph the many ghosts which inhabit Thayer’s B&B.

Salem, Massachusetts

Want the ultimate in Spooky Halloween Weddings? Head over to Salem, Massachusetts, just north of Boston, and site of the infamous Witch Trials in the early 1690s. During the trials many people were accused of being witches and executed, with many more being imprisoned. Today Salem is a tourist attraction, with such “scary” sites as the Witch Dungeon Museum, the Salem Wax Museum of Witches & Seafarers, the New England Pirate Museum and the House of Seven Gables. Salem is particularly popular during October, with month-long Halloween celebrations featuring tours of haunted houses, a narrated stroll through Salem’s oldest graveyard, séances, costume balls and street fairs.

You might want to consider having your wedding at The House of Seven Gables, the oldest surviving 17th century wooden mansion in New England, and which was the inspiration for Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The House of the Seven Gables.” The mansion’s Seaside Lawn can accommodate 200 guests seated for dinner, including a dance floor.

The Myrtles Plantation – St. Francisville, Louisiana

If you want your wedding in a haunted venue, then why not go for “One of America’s Most Haunted Homes?” Located on U.S. Highway 61, 30 miles north of Baton Rouge, the mansion was built in 1796, by General David Bradford, and is now a tourist attraction and Bed & Breakfast. Considered on of the most haunted houses in America, The Myrtles Plantation has been featured in the New York Times, the Oprah Show, The History Chanel and National Geographic Explorer. And, it can feature in your wedding plans, as it is also available for weddings and receptions.

Whichever spooky location you choose for your Halloween wedding, do be sure to make plans well in advance of the date, as venues at Halloween tend to fill up quickly.


Shari Hearn is a writer and creator of a destination wedding website, where you can learn about more unique wedding ideas.

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Wedding favors and gifts everyone can feel good about

Wedding favors and gifts everyone can feel good about(BPT) – You faithfully recycle at home, use a refillable BPA-free water bottle and charge your smartphone with a solar recharger. When it’s time to choose wedding favors for your own nuptials, or a gift for someone else’s wedding, do you find environmental awareness taking a backseat to style? It doesn’t have to.

It’s possible to give wedding favors and gifts that are natural, responsible and useful – items that everyone can feel good about giving and receiving. Kitchen-related products commonly appear on many wedding registry lists, and creative couples often distribute small pieces of kitchen ware as favors to their guests. For gifts that are sustainable, creative and practical, look beyond the pots, pans and dishes to the food itself.

Food-inspired wedding gifts

Many newly married couples will be setting up their homes together for the first time. They may already have the basics, but you can help them round out their kitchen with some useful utensils they may not have realized they need.

For example, every cook can benefit from a well-stocked spice rack. Purchase an attractive spice rack and fill it with sustainably sourced, natural spices like those from Frontier Co-op. Choose basic spices like versatile organic basil, cinnamon and garlic, then add in some exotic options such as garam masala (an all-purpose Indian spice), Himalayan pink salt or black sesame seed.

Making pizza at home can be a fun, easy meal for busy newlyweds. Put together a pizza-making kit, complete with a quality pizza cutter, a pizza stone for baking, a wedge of Parmesan, some baking yeast, and pizza seasonings like oregano, basil and garlic powder. Place everything in a basket and complete the gift with a book of pizza recipes.

Gardening is a popular activity, and if your newlywed friends will be trying their hand at it, they may find themselves with lots of leftover produce. Giving canning supplies as a wedding gift can be a great way to encourage their love of growing their own produce, while helping ensure nothing goes to waste. Fill a canning pot with supplies like canning funnels and jars, and canning and pickling spices like bay leaves, peppercorns, celery seed, cumin, dill, mustard and salt, or even a Pickling Spice Blend.

Wedding favors they’ll savor

If you’re planning your own wedding, food favors can excite guests and fulfill your desire to be eco-friendly and creative.

Tea is a soothing and sophisticated beverage that can make a great wedding favor. Simply purchase heart-shaped tea infusers and fill them with a variety of loose teas, such as chamomile, peppermint, Darjeeling, Earl Grey, or black, green or white teas. Accent the favor with a ribbon in your wedding colors.

Pepper is a ubiquitous seasoning in numerous cuisines from around the world. For a useful, welcome wedding favor that will expand guest’s culinary knowledge, why not give different gourmet peppers of the world? Peppercorns come in a variety of shades and heat levels – and even shapes! Present guests with a small peppermill and a selection of gourmet peppercorns.

Grilling is a great American past-time. If your wedding will take place in spring or summer, grilling spices and seasoning blends can be a fun wedding favor that will turn into your guest’s go-to item when they grill. Look for a variety of seasonings that work with steaks, fish, fowl and even vegetables. Choose organic seasonings from purveyors like Frontier Co-Op, which practices sustainable sourcing, so that you know you’re giving guests quality, organic seasonings.

Organic, sustainably sourced food gifts can be creative, fun and useful wedding favors and gifts – and a great way to show Mother Nature some love while you’re celebrating your own love story. To learn more about sustainably sourced spices and seasonings, visit

Rustic Fall Wedding Decor Ideas to Bring Nature to Your Reception

Autumn Wedding 2Autumn brings the crisp weather we crave after a long hot summer along with the perfect weather for a wedding. There are no worries about guests sweltering in the heat, yet it is still warm enough to have your ceremony outdoors. Weddings in the fall also lend themselves to an array of rich colors for decorations and a variety of comforting, heart-warming food. By using nature as your inspiration, you can create elegant rustic fall wedding decor that brings in all the splendor of the season. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Rich Autumn Colors

Choose colors such as rust, burnt orange, wine and bronze to complement the season. Your wedding party will look beautiful when each attendant is wearing a different color found in fall leaves. Decorations for the wedding venue and the reception could include a mixture of all these colors or one dominant color. For example, you could use a rich bronze with splashes of orange, red and burgundy in your place settings, centerpieces and accessories.

Seasonal Fall Flowers

Flowers that are more easily found in the fall are mums, chrysanthemums, and daisies. Mums and chrysanthemums can be found in brilliant colors such as golden orange, crimson, and a soft golden brown. Adding wheat stalks, cornstalks and sunflowers are excellent ways to incorporate a harvest atmosphere into large displays for the end of the aisle and the entrances into the reception area. Instead of the flower girl basket being filled with rose petals, opt for silk leaves in the colors of fall. You can even get ones that are personalized with your names to use as part of your table décor.

Fall Wedding Venue Ideas

Depending on how late in the season you are having your wedding, it is wonderful to have it outdoors. Holding the wedding in a gazebo surrounded by trees will add a romantic touch to the ceremony as well as provide you with a fantastic backdrop for your photos. If the weather does not permit an outdoor event, bring as much of the outdoors into the wedding and reception as possible with the use of leaves, pumpkins, flowers and twigs. By arranging leaves on the tables and floor area, you can have the experience of being married outdoors without the cold weather.

Autumn Wedding Decorations

When designing the décor for your fall wedding, you can create an atmosphere reminiscent of the harvest season by using available items from nature. For a very casual and rustic wedding feel that would be great for an event on a farm, try covering hay bales with fabric for seating. Orange paper lanterns throughout the reception can give a nice glow in the evening whether the wedding is indoors or outdoors. For the actual ceremony decorations, you can also attach grapevines, wheat and dried corn to the chairs and bridal arch.

Food & Cake Inspired by the Season

Fall is associated with comfort food, the smell of hot apple cider, and pumpkin pies – all of which can be incorporated into the meal served at your reception. Have a hot drinks station where the guests can sip on a cup of cider or hot chocolate. Serve food buffet style and include traditional down-home cooking, such as casseroles, a hot potato station, or those foods typically found at a pot luck dinner. Another great idea is to have a barbecue by enlisting the help of a few friends to cook up ribs, burgers and sausages with a delicious barbecue sauce.

The cake is the show stopper for many weddings and a fall inspired wedding cake is no exception. Choose chocolate, spice, or carrot as the flavor of the cake and decorate it with edible leaves. Place silk leaves, gourds, apples or small pumpkins around the cake display table to add a delightful finishing touch.

Fall Inspired Wedding Favors

There are hundreds of options to choose from when deciding on the wedding favors. Purchase several varieties of seed packets and tie a piece of twine in a bow shape, attach to the seed packet and place one at each place setting. You can do this with forced bulbs as well by placing a few in a small burlap bag with a ribbon and tag attaché.

For fall inspired food favors, there are some great teas, cider and hot chocolate mixes that can be monogrammed or placed in colorful favor bags. Guests can then have a soothing hot drink the morning after your party while they rehash all the fun of the previous day.


For more ideas on wedding favors and decorations that would be perfect for creating a rustic fall theme, visit the Fall Wedding shop at Just There is a gorgeous selection of hand-picked accessories that can be mixed and matched to complement your fall inspired wedding.

Renee West writes for Just, where you can find all the little details you need – all selected with love from the best names in weddings.

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Unexpected ways to make your destination wedding unforgettable

destination wedding(BPT) – Wedding planning season is in full swing and trend forecasts show more brides selecting destination weddings than ever before. Not only are destination weddings an affordable alternative to massive traditional weddings of past generations, they also make it easy for couples to create a customizable wedding that perfectly suits their personalities.

If you think a destination wedding might be right for you, these ideas for creating an incredibly distinctive event are sure to inspire:

Unique ceremony locations
A beach is typically the top choice for destination weddings because it gives guests a vacation setting to enjoy before, during and after your big day. Keep in mind, just because you select a beach locale doesn’t mean you must have a seaside ceremony. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is a top location for destination weddings, but there are countless gardens, pergolas and fountains couples can choose as the backdrop for their vows.

Standout accommodations
Big weddings are becoming a thing of the past; consider intimate spaces that bring guests together in an incredible setting instead. For example, the Bridge at North Beach Plantation in Myrtle Beach is a luxury penthouse suspended within the bridge that connects the two towers at the 4-diamond resort. With seven bedrooms, seven and a half baths, a media room and sweeping views of the ocean, everyone is sure to enjoy their time together to the fullest.

Localized gift bags
Although the ceremony may be intimate, guests will likely be traveling from all over the country. Start the experience right by creating localized gift bags that can be placed in rooms to greet your guests upon their arrival. Instead of typical gift-bag goodies like mints and water, delight guests with locally sourced items like chocolates or lotion from the resident boutique.

Live artists
Want to make your reception one of a kind? Hire a local artist to capture the moment in a memorable keepsake. For example, some artists specialize in painting live events; you could hire one to capture the magic of the gathering. Guests will love watching the painting evolve throughout the night, and you’ll get a special piece of art you can display at home.

Hand-painted cakes
One of the hottest new wedding trends is hand-painted cakes where a master baker uses artistry to create beautiful patterns and floral designs on fondant and other types of frosting. Cake artist Heidi Vukov of Croissants, Myrtle Beach, works closely with brides planning destination weddings to ensure their hand-painted cake is perfect for their big day. It’s a refreshing approach to classic wedding cake styles, and it is sure to impress guests.

Reception surprises
Unexpected surprises tied to the couple’s personality can make a magical day that much more memorable. For example, if you met your beloved at a concert or your spouse has a special love for Adele, Bruce Springsteen or Elvis, hire a celebrity look-alike from a local theater to make a surprise appearance.

Memorable thank-you gift
Forget the box of candy almonds! Your guests came from across the country, so thank them with a special gift. Look no further than the local culture for inspiration. For example, the Gullah people local to the Myrtle Beach area weave gorgeous sweet grass baskets in traditional designs, a perfect gift for wedding guests. Another fun option would be to gift locally made hammocks, such as those from Pawley’s Island Hammocks.

Remember, it’s your wedding and you should make it your own. A destination event is sure to leave a lasting impression on you and your guests for years to come.

5 trendy wedding registry gift ideas for casual lifestyles

wedding registry(BPT) – While your wedding should be the happiest day of your life, it can also be the happiest day for your kitchen. With a well-planned registry, you’ll be enjoying the fun, creativity and bonding of cooking together at home for years to come — from leisurely weekend breakfasts to romantic dinners and toasts to cap off the day.

A wedding registry should reflect how you really live. Not everyone focuses their social life on formal dinner parties with the kind of fine china, silverware and crystal found on traditional wedding gift lists. Today’s registries reflect current lifestyles with new twists and trends.

“Wedding registries are trending toward more casual, hip and high-tech kitchenware, such as nonstick woks instead of chafing dishes and iced tea makers instead of tea pots,” says Peter Giannetti, editor-in-chief of HomeWorld Business. “Also, registries are not as bride-centric as they used to be. With both brides and grooms involved, gifts such as high-tech coffee centers and growlers for craft beer are becoming more popular.”

Selecting gifts at a variety of price points is both good etiquette and good strategy. Big-ticket items give guests the opportunity for a grand gesture, and they also make great group gifts. Be sure to include moderately priced items that are appealing and distinctive, so that everyone can feel good about what they give. For many, it is more satisfying to give something that’s special and specific, rather than one small piece for a set.

On-trend wedding registry gift ideas

1. The growler is becoming a new must-have for those who love locally brewed craft beer, while also wanting to lead eco-friendly lifestyles that avoid the waste of excess disposable packaging. Created for filling with craft beer, the Reduce Vacuum Growler features double wall insulation that protects the beverage for full flavor enjoyment at just the right temperature.

2. Teatime is now cool, because 85 percent of the tea consumed in America is iced, according to The Tea Association of the USA. One to consider is an iced tea maker that offers a fully customizable iced tea brewing experience from either loose tea or tea bags. The Capresso Iced Tea Maker lets you adjust to taste from regular to extra strong, and it brews into a beautiful 80-ounce glass pitcher.

3. Pepper and salt mills are focal points on the counter or the table, in addition to being everyday essentials. A unique choice that ties into popular décor trends is the Collection Antique from Peugeot, which combines iconic shapes with rustic aged beech wood. Designed and produced in France, these are keepsake mills with a lifetime warranty on the mechanisms.

4. The wok has evolved into a versatile everyday pan for quickly prepared meals with delicious, fresh ingredients. You should look for a high quality nonstick wok engineered to professional grade standards. The Kyocera 12.5-inch Nonstick Wok with Lid features an exclusive ceramic nonstick coating and can be used for braising, pan-frying, roasting, searing and stir-frying.

5. Coffee lovers appreciate a true bean-to-cup experience and who wouldn’t want a professional-style coffee bar in their own home? The JURA IMPRESSA C60 produces specialty coffee beverages in a flash. A high-performance conical burr grinder and fine foam technology for feather-like milk foam help make this machine the choice for happy couples who would rather sip their java at home versus the coffee shop.

Soap Wedding Favors

Homemade soapsOne of the most delightful things about wedding favors is how easily they can combine the useful and the beautiful. Soap wedding favors are a perfect illustration.

Suppose you plan on a Spring wedding theme. Naturally, you’ll have flowers strewn all around, and incorporated into the designs for table cloths, and other elements. How easy it would be to extend that idea to include the wedding favors….

Perhaps you’re thinking of a Fall wedding. Extend your designs to include leaf-shaped soap wedding favors. Oranges, browns and brilliant golds can easily be found. Put one of each in a clear wedding favor box and you’ve got a gift that is decorative for your table and your guests’ bath countertop at home.

Winter weddings are full of snowflake designs. Nothing is easier than to use that idea for soap wedding favors. Carving them into the fascinating shapes of these delightful crystals is simplicity itself for the manufacturer. Clever designers also incorporate personalized ribbons and multiple colors to add a dash of excitement to the lovely white backgrounds.

A long-stemmed rose suggests love and devotion. A long-stemmed rose soap wedding favor can, too. Select a range of natural colors, such as passion red, delicate pink and pure white. Decorate them with personalized ribbons. These can be printed with the names of the bride and groom and the wedding date, or could display a line from a favorite poem.

Beach-themed weddings can also just as easily take advantage of the forms soap wedding favors come in. Starfish-shaped favors of a delicate almond scent make for the perfect gift for guests. They decorate the tables and will decorate the bath of the recipients for years to come. They, too, can be easily personalized by adhering a small sticker to the back.

Since soap is so flexible, a heart-shaped mold is a natural. These small hand soaps are practical as well. Give two and one can be used as a decorative item while the other provides a lovely aroma for the guests in their baths. Enclose them in a wedding favor box that follows your design theme and you’ve got a winning gift.

But soap is more than just flexible, making it easy to mold. It can be formed from many different materials. Opaque soaps are the most common, but translucent bars are still a favorite among many. That opens up new vistas for wedding favors. You can have a range of colors that take advantage of available light to cast delightful shadows. This way it’s easy to add to the stained-glass effect of the windows where you get married.

If you select soap wedding favors you’ll find these lovely and useful items completely gone from the tables after the reception. But, then, that’s the whole idea, isn’t it? You’ll know you chose well.

Tax tips for newly married couples

Tax tips(BPT) – In most parts of the country, the months of June, August, September and October are the most popular for weddings. Whether recently married or anxiously counting the days until you tie the knot, there are some important tax implications that you and your spouse can’t afford to overlook.

“In between the flurry of wedding planning, dress shopping and bridal showers, few engaged couples stop to think about how getting married will affect their income taxes,” explained TaxAct spokesperson, Shaunna Morgan. “While it’s important to understand the tax consequences, keep in mind that you can still do your own taxes. TaxAct, a leading DIY tax solution, asks simple questions about life events like marriage to guide you through the tax implications and help you get all of your deductions to maximize your refund.”

Name changes

Your name(s) and Social Security number(s) are critical elements of your tax return. Both identifiers must exactly match the information the Social Security Administration (SSA) has on file. That means if you legally change your name after you get married, the SSA needs to know about it.

To get a Social Security card with your new name, you’ll need to provide proof of identity, such as a marriage certificate, fill out an application and either mail it or deliver it in person to your local SSA office.

You’ll want to do this long before you file your income tax return.

New address

If you’re moving, remember to report your new address to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The fastest way to make the change is to complete Form 8822 available on the agency website at

New filing status

Once you’ve said, “I do,” you’ll have the option to claim one of two filing statuses on your tax return: married filing jointly or married filing separately. If you and your spouse each earn an income, you might consider running the numbers to determine if you have a lower combined tax by filing one way versus the other. Some tax software packages do the calculations for you so it’s easier to make an informed decision when selecting a filing status. TaxAct Deluxe, for example, gives users a Joint vs. Separate Analysis report that does all the calculations so you can see your estimated refund amounts for each filing status. For many couples, married filing jointly results in lower income tax liability.

Keep in mind that no matter when in the year you get married, you are considered married for the full year. Even if your big day is December 31, you will have a married status in the eyes of the IRS for the entirety of that tax year.

Changing your tax withholding

Any time you have a life change you should revisit your Form W-4. Getting married is definitely one of those times. If both you and your spouse work, you’ll likely have a higher combined income, which may put you into a higher tax bracket. In order to ensure the right amount of tax is withheld from your paycheck, you’ll want to update your Form W-4 to ensure you aren’t having too much or too little tax withheld.

Affordable Care Act premium tax credit

If you or your spouse receive health insurance through a government-sponsored marketplace and receive advance payments of the premium tax credit to help offset the cost of your premiums, you’ll want to review your coverage after the wedding, and notify the marketplace of your newly married status. Reporting this change will help you avoid having too much or too little premium assistance paid and ultimately, help you steer clear of owing additional money or getting a small refund when you file your taxes. If you elect to keep your coverage “as is,” separate from your spouse, or wish to add your spouse to your coverage, you should notify the marketplace of your special changes in coverage. If you elect to go under your spouse’s health plan, be sure to cancel your marketplace coverage.

For more information about the tax impact of marriage, visit and

What a bride wants: Relaxation and sophistication favored choices for bachelorette parties

bachelorette parties(BPT) – As a rite of passage, the bachelorette party has long gotten a bum rap. Stereotypes persist of the bride’s night-before-the-wedding gathering as a ladies-only version of the raucous bachelor party. Yet the truth is, a growing number of brides crave a tasteful, relaxing and deeply personal send-off for their single days.

In fact, a relaxing getaway ranked high as an ideal bachelorette party for 59 percent of brides-to-be in the Ultimate Bridesmaids Census. Sixty-seven percent wanted dinner, dancing and time spent with their closest friends, and 23 percent wanted something non-traditional that really reflected their personal interests.

“Bachelorette parties are as unique as the women they celebrate,” says Michael Belot, general manager of Destination Kohler – home to AAA five-diamond and Forbes five-star hotel that hosts scores of brides, bridesmaids and weddings each year. “We’re seeing an emphasis on relaxation for the bride and companionship with her friends in today’s bachelorette parties. Brides want to spend their special night – and often an entire weekend – in a soothing, stress-free atmosphere before the hectic pace of their wedding day.”

So what are the things that brides and bridesmaids tell the Destination Kohler team they must have for their bachelorette soirees? Belot points to five in-demand elements:

1. Spa time

Whether it’s a group mani-pedi, a yoga class or a lunch of delicious, healthful spa cuisine, bachelorette groups crave spa time. Parties are looking for spas that offer a comprehensive list of salon services, familiar and new massages and body treatments, and easy access to luxury accommodations. For example, at Destination Kohler, bachelorette groups often book rooms in the Carriage House, which is located above the Forbes five-star Kohler Waters Spa. Participants can spend the day in their spa robes if they choose. “Kohler Waters Spa is by far the most popular request and activity among bachelorette parties, and is often the center of the trip,” says Garrett Mersberger, manager of Kohler Waters Spas. Playing to this trend, many resorts have created female-centric spa packages like the Girls Getaway.

2. Great food

Forget the pigs in a blanket, deviled eggs and other de rigeur finger foods long associated with bridal showers. Modern bachelorette groups are looking for dining options that are luxurious and delicious, or that accommodate lifestyle needs such as gluten-free or low-calorie diets. Spa fare often fits well with this preference. Resorts with multiple dining options afford bachelorette guests the opportunity to dine lightly for lunch and then enjoy a more indulgent dinner.

3. Bonding activities

Hitting the bar and dancing the night away are no longer the only bonding activities for bachelorette groups. From yoga classes and golf outings to wine and chocolate pairings, brides-to-be are looking for more diverse, sophisticated activities they can do with their girlfriends.

4. A location “away from it all”

Nearly a third of respondents in the Bridesmaid Census said they didn’t want to go crazy for a bachelorette party, they just wanted to enjoy time with their friends. Perhaps it’s because their lives are about to change dramatically. Maybe it’s a need to reaffirm the girlfriend bond that has seen them through life’s ups and downs to reach this happy point in their lives. Whatever their reasons, a growing number of brides are looking for a bachelorette experience that transports them and their closest friends far away from their daily routines. Some fulfill this wish by choosing a resort location far from home. Others may choose accommodations that are more intimate. At Destination Kohler, bachelorette parties can also opt to stay at Sandhill, the resort’s luxury private cabin that sits on 350 natural acres just a 10-minute drive from the resort.

5. Personalization

Twenty-three percent of surveyed brides said they wanted a bachelorette party that was deeply personal and tailored to their individual tastes and interests. For some, that’s a spa experience. For others, a golf getaway. Even when they’ve booked a bachelorette package, brides and their bridesmaids are looking for ways the resort can customize their experience. Add-ons are popular, from spa treatments to wine tastings.

Bachelorette party experiences are becoming as individual as the brides they celebrate, Belot notes. “Brides are not cookie cutter, so their bachelorette parties shouldn’t be either.”

Summer Wedding Favors

party preparationYou are getting married this Summer. Maybe you’re traditional. Maybe you just enjoy the greater convenience of a summer wedding. Or, perhaps you chose the date because it represents something personal. Whatever the reason, planning a summer wedding gives you thousands of choices. That extends to summer wedding favors that will delight your guests.

The variety of activities enjoyed during Summer opens up an array of themes to incorporate into a summer wedding favor.

Summer flowers are a delight at any wedding. Continuing that look to decorate the table and provide a small gift for guests is a great idea. Small flower holders, perhaps personalized with the bride and groom’s names and the date is one way to do so. Fill the little vase with silk summer roses and you’ve got a hit.

Imagine sailing over the lake near your honeymoon cottage. Use that image in your summer wedding favors. A small glass sailboat with a logo that evokes a wedding can be the perfect choice. Add to the scene with some small, colorful beach balls and you’ve got a ‘mini movie’ worthy of your wedding.

Keep that ball rolling by pairing it with some delightful handcrafted starfish and clams. Decorate the table with a tiny marble sand crab and you’ll give your guests a gift they’ll remember long after the special day.

Maybe you’re heading out to a tropical island for your honeymoon vacation. Perfect. Sea breezes, water sports, lazing in the sun. Provide your guests with miniature reminders of the joy to come. A tiny golf bag and clubs will amuse many. Or, select some pineapple-themed name card holders. Toss into the little sandbox some flip flop leather keychains in Hawaiian colors.

Everyone likes photo frames. Fill them with a picture of the bride and groom the day they got engaged. Complete the setting with a sea shell lining around the rim.  Add a miniature surfboard of the type the happy couple shared on that happy day. Or, opt for a miniature copy of the bucket they used to build a sandcastle. Here, those could be in the form of a candle holder.

Maybe the forest is more your style of outdoor atmosphere. You may be planning to stay in a Bed and Breakfast in the Black Forest of Germany or the mountains of Montana. Reflect that in your summer wedding favors.

Mini-lanterns that hold a bulb or candle can light your guests’ way to the table. Provide miniature pine trees or redwoods with little cabins at the base for your guests’ wedding favors. Or, give tiny ceramic horses of the type you and your future spouse will ride during that dream vacation trip. They’ll delight in taking them home as a memento of your wedding day.

The possibilities are endless. But no matter which summer wedding favors you choose you can’t go wrong. Every guest will be happy with the summer wedding favor you select because it will remind them of the joy they shared with you that special day.

Candle Wedding Favors

Candle Wedding Favors

Candle Wedding Favors

What is a wedding without candles? How much more true that sentiment is when it comes to the wedding reception tables, where they can be used as wedding favors.

Light is elemental. It literally lights our way. But it is so much more. A candle is a practical device and has been for centuries. Yet, even in this modern age when electricity is completely taken for granted, we continue to use them by the billions. Why? Because they’re not just practical but decorative, lovely, and symbolic.

A candle is a symbol of romanticism, hope, and purity. In the clean burning center we see a representation of the hopes that every marriage starts with. They’re also an elegant decoration. Its gentle flame draws the eye effortlessly. And they’re simply lovely, offering a delicate swatch of color with a tiny wisp of swirling smoke above.

Fortunately for those looking for wedding favors, there are dozens of designs that incorporate all those elements.

Picture a frosted glass votive wrapped with an elegant silk tassel. Tying the knot comes immediately to mind, presented in the most stylish fashion possible. The gentle glow provides just the right look to the table. The guests enjoy the lovely scent while they share your joy.

Candle wedding favors can also offer a bit of fun. Your Prince Charming may have begun as a frog and evolved to the man of your dreams. Your tea light wedding favors can reflect that in the shape of a frog candle topped by his little gold crown. Set inside a wedding favor box decorated to look like a small castle tower, it makes for an excellent gift for the guests.

Miniature mugs make for ideal candle holders. Smooth ivory-colored ceramic has an elegance and warmth all its own. Add a candle and it becomes a center of gentle illumination for the table. Fit them inside a box with a pink ribbon and they’ll be used in the guests’ homes long after that special day.

Candles and cakes are natural partners. Why not combine them and get a set of miniature porcelain cake candles? Decorated in lively colors, these tiny objects lend a touch of beauty while they deliver a load of fun. Enclosed in a box topped with a satin bow, they’re the perfect wedding favor.

Butterfly tea lights make for another great option. Providing hints of a serene summer garden they fit well with a garden theme or a fairy tale setting or one that honors Spring. But independently of any theme, they’re simply lovely. In frosted glass style, the wings glow with a hopeful light. In solid colors, they provide a beautiful pastel accent.

Add a scent of coffee to the table by choosing the Caffe Espresso tea light. Get the delicate scent of orchids by going with the Orchid Gel candle set. Enjoy the fragrance of the East with the Chinese Tapestry votive. So many aromas, so few tables!

Pick a set of candle favors for your wedding reception tables and illuminate your delight.