Cash Registry

wedding cash gifts (2)
wedding rose

Tasteful way to ask for cash

Creating a wedding registry is part of planning the perfect wedding, but modern couples often feel confused over what should go on a registry. There’s one gift that suits every newlywed couple: cash. While socially acceptable to include a gift registry on bridal shower invitations, many brides-to-be feel awkward sharing a cash gift registry with friends and family. The truth is that it feels strange not because it’s inappropriate but because the idea of a cash wedding registry is so new. Cash gift registries are absolutely acceptable (and in most cases preferable) and you should feel no shame in sharing your cash wedding registry, but if the thought still makes you cringe our helpful guide will explain how to tastefully request cash gifts.

The Rising Popularity of Cash Wedding Gift Registries
With many couples waiting until they’re more established to wed, traditional wedding gift registries have become less useful. Often couples already have everything they would need for a home. Sometimes, the couple already owns a house together, making popular house ware registry options obsolete. The rise in honeymoon registries inspired the growth of cash gift registries. In many cases, cash or check is the gift of choice for the happy couple, so the idea of gifting money is not outlandish. Over the years, it has become very common to see cash gift registries as part of a couple’s wedding website, taking tackiness out of the equation. Bottom line: fine china is out; cash is in. There’s no shame in requesting cash and you can find solidarity in the fact that many other couples are creating cash gift registries, too!

How Cash Wedding Gift Registries Work
Today’s cash gift registry websites are interactive. In short, you personalize your registry site. Family, friends, and guests can log on to your cash gift registry page and get details about your wedding and wish list. A wish list is very similar to a gift registry in that you’re showing how you would use their cash gift. Since the concept is so similar to traditional registries, guests feel very comfortable and confident in their choice to gift cash rather than something else. You can see examples of Bowl of Cherries cash gift registries here.

Sharing Your Cash Gift Registry
The best way to share your cash wedding gift registry with friends and family is through bridal shower invitations, your wedding website, and word of mouth. Make sure your maid of honor and other important members of the bridal party, like your mom and your partner’s mom, know the details of the cash gift registry. This way, when guests ask what they should get you, they’ll be directed to your Wedding gift registry. The simple rule of thumb is anywhere or way you would share a traditional wedding gift registry is how you should also share your cash gift registry.

Planning a wedding can be stressful and expensive, but you don’t need to worry about offending guests by providing a cash gift registry in lieu of or along side of a traditional wedding gift registry. Although it’s still taboo to expect gifts, most guests truly want to give the happy couple something that will be appreciated and enjoyed. Remember that the best gift of all is having friends and family who support you on your big wedding day and be gracious in receiving any gifts no matter how big, small, or unique. However, when registries are expected by guests, don’t feel any shame or hesitation in sharing a cash gift registry. When it comes to cash gift registries for weddings, the practice is Emily Post approved!



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California Wedding Photographer Top 10 

Finding a fabulous photographer is more than just portfolios and pricing. On your wedding day, you want everything to feel effortless and fun. Our top 10 list of photographers features the best in the business both professionally and personally. These photographers will help you preserve your wedding memories for posterity in a way that is unique to you and your partner while still being timelessly classic.

Jose Villa

With work featured in Martha Stewart Weddings, The Knot, Instyle Weddings and many more, Jose Villa is an accomplished fine art photographer who prides himself on producing vibrant, high quality images. Although Villa does some documentary photography, his main focus is producing fine art photography which involves composing and directing the perfect shoot. You can expect Villa to be very hands-on during the wedding, and you can also expect your images to be flawless.


bio_separator_1389050441Chris and Kristen Photography

Chris and Kristen have a photography philosophy: to capture love in a single frame. Their work has been showcased in Style Me Pretty, Magnolia Rouge, Ceremony Magazine and several other blog publications.  Chris and Kristen’s portfolio displays an impressive knowledge of photography.  Their portfolio emphasizes natural light, candid moments, and each shot exudes love.  Together, Chris and Kristen create warm, happy wedding photos that are sure to preserve the most cherished memories from your wedding day that will bring you back there year after year. Their style is editorial/fine art and documentary.

Chris and Kristen Photography

bio_separator_1389050441KT Merry

KT Merry’s photography career began in the fashion industry, but somewhere along the road she fell in love with wedding photography. Her style is a blend of art and editorial, and you can find her captivating photos in many national publications including Martha Stewart Weddings, Modern Luxury Bride, and Weddings Illustrated. Although she divides most of her time between Miami and California, KT Merry is willing to travel anywhere in the world for a wedding shoot. She’s a great option for couples planning a destination wedding.


bio_separator_1389050441Amy and Stuart

With 10 years of experience under their belt, Amy and Stuart have shot weddings all over the globe. They’ve worked with celebrities, been featured in Town & Country Weddings and People Magazine, and have worked on national advertising campaigns. Their accomplishments are extensive, but Amy and Stuart are still very down to earth. Their goal is to keep their clients comfortable and happy on the big day while also creating high quality editorial/fine art photos.


bio_separator_1389050441Erich McVey

Erich’s style marries fine art and documentary photography. His work has been showcased in the LA Times, Brides Magazine, Martha Stewart Weddings, and several other big name publications. Erich’s gallery illustrates a love for natural light and scenic backdrops. His photography has the unique ability to capture breathtaking views that accentuate rather than take away from the happy couple.

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bio_separator_1389050441Elizabeth Messina

In a word, Elizabeth Messina is a professional. Celebrities on Messina’s list of clients include Brooke Shields, Hillary Duff, Dean McDermott and Tori Spelling, and Lauren Conrad. Messina’s work is not “featured” in magazines; it’s on the cover. She’s authored three photography books, and her work has a dreamy, elegant feel. Messina’s deep level of skill can command any style of photography.



bio_separator_1389050441Jen Huang

Jen Huang’s style is illustrative, which combines photojournalism and traditional wedding photography styles. From Napa Valley to Tuscany, Huang has photographed weddings at some of the world’s most beautiful locations but what truly shines through is the way the bride and groom feel on their special day.



bio_separator_1389050441Caroline Tran

Caroline Tran is a visual storyteller. Her photography takes a lot of creative energy, therefore she only books a few weddings each year so that she can give each one the attention and passion it deserves. Her work graces the pages of many publications including Destination Weddings, Ceremony, and The Knot. Her wedding photos are full of personality. In fact, you’ll feel like you know the people in the pictures just from viewing her portfolio. This feeling of intimacy Tran brings to each wedding shoot is what keeps her clients happy and in love with their wedding albums.


bio_separator_1389050441Mike Larson

Mike Larson and his wife Rachel specialize in private estate weddings – they’ll even help you find the perfect venue for your wedding day. Their photography is a fine art style, but the couple is very personable. Client testimonials illustrate how comfortable and fun Mike & Rachel made their wedding day, and the beautiful photos truly speak for themselves. Mike & Rachel’s work has been published in fine art books and many international wedding magazines.

Mike_Larson_Wedding Photographer

bio_separator_1389050441Sarah Falugo

An internationally published photographer, UK born Sara Falugo’s work has been featured in Elle Magazine, The British Journal of Photography, National Geographic, Brides, and many, many more. Her degree in Design Photography has instilled an obsessive eye for detail in her work, but that’s not to say Falugo is a robot. Her wedding photography is very warm, charming, and so precise that you’ll feel like you’ve transported yourself back into the photo. Falugo takes a limited number of bookings each year, and her slots are already filling up for the 2015/2016 wedding season.


bio_separator_1389050441With so many different decisions to make for your wedding day, choosing a photographer is something you and your partner should place high on the priority list. From your first anniversary to your last, the photos taken on your wedding day will be some of your most cherished and lasting possessions. Choose a photographer (or photography team) who makes you and your partner feel comfortable both in the style of photography and in personal interactions. Your wedding photographer will see you at some of the most vulnerable and intimate moments of your life, and you need to feel safe with this person/team.

Remember, when you find your perfect photographer, book your date immediately. The best wedding photographers fill up their slots quickly, and you’re just one consultation or phone call away from losing your wedding photographer. If you and your partner agree on a wedding photographer, sign the contract and consider it another task off the check list. Good luck!

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Remember Your Aisle
The aisle plays a very important role in weddings. For the bride will be walking down this runway when all eyes are on her and everyone gets their first chance to glimpse her beauty. Thus, more and more wedding planners and brides are placing a larger emphasis on aisle runners than ever before. This demand has allowed aisle runners from being a simple afterthought to a beautiful work of art in itself. It didn’t take us long to notice this trend so we decided to present a few of our favorite styles of aisle runners for our readers here. Enjoy!


Burlap Aisle Runner
Rustic weddings are one theme that has exploded in the recent years and we believe it is here to stay. Burlap is one of the trend’s most popular wedding accents which means that brides and grooms should have no problem finding aisle runners in this material. Many also pair the burlap runner with candles in mason jars. Burlap is a great choice for outdoor weddings as well because the material is sturdy and holds up well outside and looks right at home in a beautiful barn wedding.

Monogrammed Runner
It should come as no surprise that one of the biggest trends to hit the wedding scene has made a leap onto aisle runners. The look is elegant and is perfect for a wedding in any location. A word of advice however, it is best to go the minimalist route when having a monogram placed on your runner. Depending on the length of your aisle, it is best to include a monogram at the beginning of the aisle or right in front of where you will meet your groom. Aisles with some length to them (think cathedral weddings) can still look elegant with three placements; in the beginning, in the middle and the end of the aisle.

Lights in Lieu of a Runner
Aisle runners can be tricky and strike fear in the hearts of brides everywhere. All it takes is a bit of a heel caught in a runner and then disaster. Well, clumsy brides everywhere can rejoice because you can still have a fabulously decorated aisle without requiring a runner to make an appearance. Brides have started using lights to create beautiful designs on the aisle. This look does not necessarily come cheap, but the visual effect is stunning nonetheless.

Chalkboard Aisle
A photo of a very interesting aisle started popping up in our social media timelines everywhere and we couldn’t help but take notice. In the photo, an entire aisle is created out of a very thin chalkboard with beautiful words written on them. We thought it was such a beautiful idea that we had to tell our readers about this couple’s unique runner creation. Do you think you will try this one?

Don’t you believe that a gorgeous bride should have a stage befitting her beauty? Of course, you do which is why these runners are so beautiful and the look is catching on with brides everywhere. We are a bit curious however. We are unable to decide which runner is out favorite, so we will need your help deciding. Let us know which look you prefer in our comments below!

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wedding trends 2
Wedding Dress Silhoutte
Picking the perfect wedding dress is a delicate balance between budget, venue, and body shape. You want a wedding dress that suits your shape and personality, but price and formality are major considerations for every bride to be. Certain silhouettes like a, ball gown or a-line, are historically more formal, while tea-length or mini wedding dresses would be more appropriate for a casual event.

Ball Gown
A ball gown wedding dress is extremely form-fitting on top with an exaggerated poof from the hips to the floor. Ball gown wedding dresses are the most traditional, formal choice in wedding attire. If you plan to have an evening wedding in a classy, upscale venue, a ball gown wedding dress is an appropriate choice because of its princess feel.

Similar to the ball gown silhouette, an a-line wedding gown is fitted around the bodice. Unlike the ball gown, the bottom of the a-line style is not structured; it simply flows from the hips to the floor. The a-line wedding dress is very popular right now and is the ideal choice for a trendy, nighttime wedding in an upscale location. This style works well both indoors and outdoors and is flattering on a variety of body types.

Modified A-Line
If you’re on the slender side, you may prefer a modified a-line, which has a slimmer bottom, to a traditional flowing a-line.

The trumpet silhouette begins to flare at mid-thigh and is a great option for full figured brides who want to show off their waistline. Similar to the mermaid style, the trumpet silhouette creates drama with its curvy form. In regards to its formality, a trumpet wedding gown can be dressed up or down depending on material and detailing, but it’s still a style best used indoors.

A much more dramatic sister of the trumpet wedding dress, the mermaid silhouette is sure to make a bold statement. Mermaid dresses work best on smaller hourglass frames, as the exaggerated flare begins at the knees and hugs everything above. Since mermaid wedding dresses are considered glove-like and sexy, this silhouette is the perfect choice for a very glamorous reception.

Sheath wedding dresses have a “straight skirt” meaning these dresses are fitted from head to toe. The bottom provides minimal flow and may restrict movement, which could be a problem if you plan on dancing the night away. Sheath wedding dresses are a great choice for outdoor weddings or beach weddings as the style is slightly less formal than other choices and will not drag on the ground.

If a long wedding dress with a flowing train is not your style, tea-length and mini wedding dresses are a great choice. Although short wedding dresses used to be an unusual choice, the style has become much more popular. Brides who want something fancy and fun find tea-length and mini wedding dresses to be their happy medium. These dresses work well for afternoon and outdoor weddings, but the tea-length or mini wedding dress can also be worn for an evening wedding. Many brides are opting for a removable bustle or train that allows them to change from a traditional ball gown style for the ceremony to a mini or tea-length dress for the reception.

With so many versatile wedding dress choices, it can be difficult to determine which style works best for your wedding day. Although wedding dress silhouettes are very important, the material of the dress can make or break formality. Choose a wedding dress that makes you feel your best. This way, you’ll glow from the inside out.

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5 Fun Wedding Reception Ideas

Believe us when we say that next to getting away from the previous wedding hysteria thanks to a honeymoon, your reception will be the means by which you are able to blow off some of the stress that has no doubt been hounding you and your new spouse for the past few months. Therefore, we firmly believe that all couples should be able to get rid of wedding tension by having an insane amount of fun at their reception. What follows are five fun reception ideas that brides and grooms can incorporate into their wedding to have the most fun they will have for a long time!

Make an Entrance

Why just walk into your reception when you can run, do cartwheels, act out a scene from one of your favorite romantic movies or more? Entering your reception in an interesting and fun manner will only tell your guests that you are ready to have some fun and to have them let down their hair, unbutton their jackets and let loose with you!

Have a Dance Off

Due to the viral nature of fun reception videos, many of us have seen the bride and groom engaged in epic dance offs or the wedding party joining together to recreate a dance scene from a Broadway show or movie. Yet, why not get your guests in on the festivities and start a dance battle? You may be surprised at the moves Grandma Edna has up her sleeves

Fun & Games

What better way to release your inner child than by playing games at your wedding? For outdoor receptions, cornhole, croquet, bocce are all great options. However, even if you don’t have the room to spare at your reception, you can still play some games. A round of trivia, a scavenger hunt with prizes for the winner will get everyone in the spirit of enjoying themselves.

Hilarious Cake Topper

The rise of custom cake toppers should not be a surprise to anyone. Weddings have gotten more and more personalized over the years. Thus, it is only natural that cake toppers have evolved as well. We have seen a plethora of toppers showing couples doing all sorts of fun things. Our suggestion, find something you and your future spouse love to do together and have a topper made in that image.

Candy Bar

We once asked wedding guests what their favorite favors were and even though the answers varied, they all had one thing in common, food. Thus, we recommend eschewing favors which will more than likely end up on left behind on a table somewhere. We can assure you that a candy bar, complete with goody bags, will go far in boosting morale among guests. We warn you however, buy more candy than you think you will need. Candy bars and buffets are one of the most popular types of favors with guests.

Never forget that weddings are celebrations of love, of family and of friends. Thus, you should be encouraged to celebrate yourselves and celebrate fun. Receptions are meant to let you be around the ones you love, so you can relax and enjoy the new life you are about to begin.

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