I’m not going to lie, as I write this new post I’m under a lot of covers!  I hate being cold in the winter.  I was just catching up on my daily wedding reading when this “real wedding” from Martha Stewart Weddings, really caught my eye. 


The bride and groom served hot chocolate and hot apple cider as the guests arrived for the ceremony.  Each cup was customized special for their wedding. 

I think these place cards are so cute and go perfectly with the winter, rustic theme.  Using large, sturdy branches to hold the place cards  is an easy and cost effective idea. 

These mini cupcakes look fantastic in this branch cupcake stand.  The bare branches really set the tone and fit in with the rest of the wedding decor. 

The bride and groom gave all the male guests antique flasks and all the female guests soft, warm, winter boots (found at Target).  If you can’t afford to give all the guests such items, these are great ideas for the bridal party gifts.  The girls would look so cute in their wedding dresses and boots! 

These centerpieces are certainly perfect for a winter wedding.  I really love the use of fresh floral and the deep blue linens. It helps to create a fresh and bright looking table, even on a cold, snowy day.

I have to admit, I do feel much warmer after talking about all these great ideas!  Now all I need is some cozy winter boots and a cup of hot chocolate and I’d  be good to go!

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Congratulations to Kim and Zach!!!  Not only for recently getting married but also for creating the perfect combination of traditional and modern style.  Their traditional wedding really had a lot of great modern features. 

To start, the couple chose a fantastic venue.  The Grand Ballroom at the Joliet Union Station is a National Historic building and perfect for your wedding or corporate event.  The Grand Ballroom can hold up to 350 guests and features amazing architecture, marble staircases and beautiful 45 foot ceilings with chandeliers. 

The couple chose a really refreshing color palate of black, white and light blue with accents of bright green.  It all pulled together beautifully.  My favorite aspect of this wedding is the use of the modern black and white pattern that was showcased within many of the details from invitations, ceremony programs, linens and the wedding cake display.  As you know, I LOVE patterns and texture.  Kim and Zach’s eye for style really helped create a modern look yet they were able to keep the wedding traditional. 

The bridal party looked sharp, sophisticated and perfect for summer.  I love how the bridesmaids stand out in their blue dresses and yet the reception decor really focuses more on the black, white and green.  Kim didn’t go overboard with the blue and it really worked well to incorporate more than just two colors. 

This picture of the bride with her sister/Matron of Honor and her mom is so beautiful.    Even the mother of the bride fits into the overall style of the wedding in her fantastic black and white dress (very chic). 

If you find that you have always wanted a traditional wedding but you are more of a modern girl, use some of Kim’s ideas to create the best of both worlds.  Have fun with your style and you’ll discover the perfect look for your big day!


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The holiday season is also high engagement season….if you’ve just gotten engaged and you haven’t finalized your bridal party yet you might want to consider having a smaller group stand up. 

It is a wonderful feeling to have a large bridal party (like the picture below) but it can also really add up financially too.  A lot of brides don’t realize the additional cost for having so many bridesmaids.  Each bridesmaid will need a bouquet which will range anywhere from $50.00 to $150.00 each.  Plus you’ll of course want to give each bridesmaid a nice gift to thank them for standing up on your special day.   It is up to the bride how much you would like to spend on bridal party gifts but typically they are about $50 – $150 each.  As you can see this is already starting to add up. 

It can be difficult to choose your attendants; especially if you have a large family.  However, it is a lot more cost-effective to have a smaller bridal party (as in the picture below).  It can also be extremely special  having an intimate group of just your family or your very best friends.   There is no right or wrong way to go about your bridal party – you’ll know exactly who must be in the party!  I would suggest really thinking about who to invite.  There are many other ways to honor special people in your life.  You can ask some to perform a reading during the ceremony or give a special toast. 

Don’t forget about all the groomsmen and ushers.  They will all need a boutonniere ($15.00 – $30.00) and bridal party gifts as well. 

Also, the more members of the bridal party you have the larger the mode of transportation needed.  It is a lot more cost-effective to have one limo instead of two limos or a trolley. 

Having a smaller group can really help you stay on budget.  If you really can’t get away with a small party – just be sure to include all the above costs within your budget so you aren’t thrown off with some additional expenses in the end.

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