In Loving Memory

By Shelby Reininger

Remember and honor your loved ones who are no longer with you. When you want to share your big day with a loved one who can no longer celebrate it with you be sure to check out these ideas on how to integrate them into your wedding.

1.Candle with a personal message for your loved one

2.Reserve a chair for them at the ceremony with a bouquet of flowers with their photo or a sign on the chair.

3.A Memorial table with pictures, candles, and quotes from those loved ones. (Can be dedicated to one single person or several people).

4.Have charms, like tiny framed photos of your loved ones hanging from your wedding bouquet.

5.Include loved ones names together on the wedding program with a quote.


An Unexpected Signature Drink

Strawberry Wine Smoothie

By Marian Jacob

Stay cool in the summer heat! Wine smoothies are the perfect drink to serve at your summer party or wedding reception. A wine smoothie is blended with a fruity wine, ice and your choice of fruits. Margaritas and Sangrias are so last year! This refreshing smoothie “packs less of a punch” and is more healthy for you. Your guests will love this cool and delicious drink, especially in the Texas heat!

BOTW: Shi Barajas

Shi Barajas

On the day of our four and a half year anniversary my fiancé took me on a spontaneous trip to Austin. Being such a spontaneous trip we had no idea where we were going once we arrived. Then we read about this mountain, Mount. Bonnell, which is said to be a great place to watch the sunset or even gaze at the stars. So being a place that neither of us had ever seen before, we decided that we would see what it was like before coming back that evening. While walking around we came upon a beautiful rock ledge hanging off the side of the mountain overlooking the water below. At that moment we knew we had found the perfect spot to watch the sunset. Later that evening after a day full of site seeing and enjoying nature we headed back to the mountain. As we got closer to the mountain we began to notice the parking lot was nearly full with more cars pouring in by the second. As we made our way to our spot we had picked out earlier that day every rock, bench, and any other place that was available to sit was full. [Read more...]

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Add Puppy Cuteness to Your Wedding

by Yennie Handika


Do you want your pets to be there on your wedding day? Nowadays, people bring along their dogs and bunnies to join their parties, it adds a touch of cuteness for sure. Dogs are perhaps the most wedding-friendly pets, especially the trained ones. Some dogs actually carry out the duties of becoming ring bearers at weddings. Oh, but be careful with this though, don’t let them swallow the wedding rings! It will be horrible. Play it safe by letting your dog pose for those adorable pictures. Start training your dogs now so that when it’s the BIG day, you can bring your dog along to carry out those important duties! Imagine a well-dressed pup in a bow tie or in a cute pink tutu dress like in these pictures. Oh how beautiful your wedding pictures will be!

Photos by Yennie Handika

Non-traditional Wedding Ideas

By Marian Jacob

If you’re looking for something unique and non-traditional for your wedding, Check out these ideas:

Pop-up weddings

Make your wedding event a surprise! Invite everyone to a family dinner (make up another excuse) at the right location, date and time. Then announce that this is your wedding! Granted, this idea works for brave brides whose family and friends can handle it. Having a pop-up wedding will definitely break tradition and save a lot of money.


Themed Weddings

Themed weddings are a great opportunity for the couple to showcase their personalities and share what’s special to them. Inspiring themes include movie themes like Wizard of Oz and Harry potter, renaissance/historical, rock ‘n’ roll wedding, haunted/horror, cultural and religious/spiritual ceremonies.

Unique location

Don’t want to get married in a traditional church or ballroom? Have your wedding somewhere unexpected. Whether it’s in a tree house, at a museum, theatre, or in your backyard, your wedding location should be memorable! Don’t listen to what your guests want, tie the knot at the place that’s right for both you and your loved one.


People are starting to go away from seated dinners and buffets. From cheese wheel cakes to waffle bars and food trucks, there are so many choices to have at your wedding reception. Couples are choosing more simple styles such as a potluck reception, high tea or cake and punch/cocktails; it’s less to plan and more time to celebrate the happy couple.

Unplugged ceremony

Don’t you just hate when your guests pull out their phone/devices during your wedding ceremony? The special moment deserves the utmost attention. Allow guests to “unplug” for the ceremony, then afterwards they can take pictures and share the happy moment.

The White Dress

Over the years we have seen brides wearing blush, light pink and ivory wedding gowns. Now it’s all about brides making a statement on their big day. The bridesmaids wear white and the bride wears a colored wedding dress or even a white suit.

Mixed Bridal Party

Don’t know what role your friends should play in your bridal party, or where they should stand at the altar. If your best friend is the opposite sex, make him or her your mate of honor or best women. Have the freedom to mix it up; have bridesmen or groomsgals/groomswomen.

Grandma as flower girl

Yes little flower girls will always be cute, but why not call on your grandma(s) to carry out the petal tossing duties. It’s a really neat way to include your grandma(s) in the ceremony on your BIG day!

Non-floral bridal bouquet

You may think, how can I not have a floral bouquet for my wedding? Although flowers are classy and beautiful, but with so many new ideas and themes, you can now customize your own bouquet. Some statement bouquets include, seashells, paper flowers, beaded, palm leaves or even lanterns.

Ditch the Heels   

Don’t want to be sore from wearing heels on your wedding day? Wear something different; the trendy converse (personalize), boots for that country style wedding, or flip flops for a summer wedding. You and your groom can even wear matching shoes!

The Guestbook

Today we are seeing a lot more couples move away from the traditional guestbook. From the polaroid guestbook, to guestbook trees, jenga/puzzle pieces or message in a bottle, there are more and more new ways for guests to sign. So instead of having your guestbook get dusty in the attic, you can have a wonderful keepsake to display in your home!

The Toast

If you’re not into a champagne toast, toast with a signature cocktail, taking a shot, your favorite wine or beer, even a non-alcoholic drink. Let the guests toast with whatever they are drinking or skip it all together and celebrate with your guests on the dance floor.

Hire a sketch artist/caricaturist

Want something fun and unique at your reception? Hire a caricaturist! This is an adorable way to capture the couples wedding moment and fun portrait to display at home. These also double as favors for guests to take home and remember the special day.

A Bouncy House

It’s not just for kids, adults can jump in too! Inflatable rentals are a fun addition for your guests to have an unforgettable time. Guests may be hesitant, but when they the happy couple jump right in, your guests will want to join too. A bouncy house will be something everyone will talk about for years to come!


A Fragrance of Love


By Jasmine Chen

In ancient Europe, verbena is the magic herb to avoid snakes and awaken true love. “Fresh, sparkling, and fruity, the Citrus Verbena Eau de Toilette lights up summer with its radiant energy.” It perfumes the skin with the natural scent of organic verbena from Provence, France with sunny citrus fruits aromas. Kraft paper is applied in package thanks to its rough and natural texture, reminding you of the botanic garden in childhood midsummer, where you were chasing butterflies.

This memorable scent is the perfect wedding gift!

BOTW: Sonya Noruwa

Sonya Noruwa

Proposal Story: my fiancé Bryan told me we would be going on a road trip so pack lightly. I didn’t know what he meant so as usual I overpacked. I initially assumed it would be a trip to Austin until he began driving us straight to Bush Intercontinental Airport for a flight to Vegas! I was super excited since Vegas was our first trip together so he decided to make it special not to mention it was my birthday! So the whole day on February 26th was perfect! We had a great time and we got dressed for a very elegant dinner at Nobu. I’m allergic to nuts so he called ahead and they made me a special menu! I was shocked that he went through such lengths to make my birthday awesome. Dinner was nearly over when he told me to pick out a dessert. I didn’t want one but he insisted. So the waiter brings it out and I close my eyes to make a wish for the candle. Once I opened my eyes he asked me what Did I wish for and I told him “health and prosperity” lol. Then he began talking and before I knew t he was one his knee!!! I was at a loss for worried but my reaction said it all: I started clapping for myself! And there you have it, my birthday-engagement!

Wedding Cost Saving Tips

Studio shot of piggy banks dressed up as bride and groom
By Marian Jacob

1. The Wedding Date

  • Choose your wedding date on off peak times, you can save 20%-30% off.
  • Avoid a Saturday wedding date; Fridays and Sundays are cheaper and becoming more popular.

2. Venue

  • Hold your ceremony and reception at the same place; it’s easier for your guests, no need for extra transportation and will save time and money for vendors you pay by the hour.
  • Choose a venue that doesn’t require you to use their vendors; it allows you the freedom to choose vendors you like and save money.

3. Food

  •  Instead of the traditional seated dinner or buffet try something different; brunch, action stations, or a cocktail reception with appetizers, cake/desserts.
  •  A daytime reception; it is a known fact that serving lunch/brunch is cheaper than dinner.

4. Alcohol; A.K.A the one that burns a hole in your budget

  • Avoid having a full open bar, stick with a few signature drinks, beer, wine and champagne

5. Cake

  • Have a display cake or a smaller cake for cake cutting and supplement it with serving a sheet cake (keep in the kitchen).
  • You don’t HAVE to have cake or if need be, have other options; mini dessert bar, ice cream, cupcakes, etc.

6. Photographer

  • Choose a more inexpensive package.
  • Plan cake-cutting and the bouquet toss earlier; to cut down cost for your photographer/videographer.

7. Flowers

  • Use flowers for your bridal party and save money by going with non-floral table centerpieces for your reception.
  • It’s always nice to have someone you know do your flowers instead of a florist, but DIY is possible too. Be Creative!

8. Favors

  •  Order online or find favors that you can assemble yourself
  •  Use favors as place cards; mini champagne bottles with guest name, mint to be favors, chocolate, etc.



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