Gifts for Everyone in Your Bridal Party

Thoughtful and Unique Bridesmaid and Groomsmen Gifts

What are you doing to thank your bridal party? It’s customary to offer a gift in appreciation to each of your bridesmaids and groomsmen, which can be given when you ask them to be a part of your bridal party, at a bachelorette/bachelor party, at the rehearsal dinner, or on the wedding day. I remember how hard it was to come up with something special to give to our own bridal party when I got married, and in my days as a wedding planner I’ve been asked countless times for gift ideas. I was thrilled to find out about a shop offering something for everyone. Groovy Groomsman Gifts and Bridesmaid Gifts Boutique have so many tasteful and unique gifts for everyone. This is also a great place to look for personalized gifts for parents, other VIPs in your life, and for occasions other than weddings too!

One of our adorable bridal parties, photographed by Kristen Weaver Photography

We received two gifts and are thrilled with how they came out. I personally loved the Sugar Set Gift Box which comes with a lightweight floral robe in an array of color options and a sparkly tumbler, both monogramed with a letter. Everything you need to give the perfect personalized gift is included, and even the gift box is personalized with the first letter of your girl friend’s names. Pretty packaging is important to me so I loved this special touch! Have you seen all the “getting ready” photos of brides with their bridesmaids on wedding day, wearing their pretty matching robes? This is the perfect wedding day gift for your girls that will be used well after your wedding.

Sugar Set Gift Box

For the gentlemen, we tested out the Hardy Oak Whiskey Barrel. This is one of the most unique groomsman gifts I’ve seen. It’s beautifully made, and holds up to two liters of liquid. You can personalize it with initials or your friend’s names, and while you’re at it, definitely order one for yourself! It’s a tasteful and interesting addition to your home bar. The barrel comes with instructions on how to clean and cure before use. Want bonus points? Cure your barrels before gifting, and give the whiskey to go along with them too!

Be sure to check out Groovy Groomsmen Gifts and Bridesmaid Gifts Boutique when it’s time to order gifts for your own bridal party. As you’ll see from their product reviews, customers are happy and we can also vouch for the quality, fast shipping, and excellent selection both sites have to offer. Happy shopping!

7 Must-Haves for Wedding Gown Emergencies

We were treated to an evening of education (and delicious apps and wine from The Alfond Inn!) at Solutions Bridal recently where their lead stylist and in-house seamstress shared a wealth of knowledge regarding wedding gowns. I started my bridal career in couture gown sales and even after another 10 years of wedding planning, I still walked away with some new tools up my sleeve! Whether you’re a bride or planner, here are the top must-haves for your toolkit when it comes to wedding gown emergencies and keeping that gorgeous gown intact! Are any of these news to you?

  1. Safety pins | This one seems obvious but safety pins can do the trick when it comes to repairing a torn bustle mid-reception, pinning up the hem of a dress when the bride changes into flats, or pinning a broken strap on a dress.
  2. White candles | This one I had never heard of! In the case of a stuck zipper going up or down, rub a white candle’s wax onto the zipper to keep it moving smoothly. 
  3. Hollywood Flash Tape | It’s been in our kits for years and is a must-have for wedding days and other dressy occasions. Keep straps in place and keep a neckline from exposing too much cleavage! 
  4. Organza ribbon | Another I have never used but will be now! Organza ribbon can take the place of a strap that breaks, or can be pinned/sewn inside a dress to make a “belt” around the waist for a strapless dress that keeps sliding down.
  5. Baby wipes | These are safer on your gown or other fine fabrics than Tide sticks (though we use those a lot too!) or bleach pens, and usually do the trick when dealing with smudged makeup or other mishaps on a dress.
  6. Baby powder | Who knew this was a good choice for soaking up spilled wine or other liquid on a dress?
  7. Stapler | When in a hurry or without a better repair kit, just staple the dress! This one cracked me up but why not use a stapler to re-bustle in a pinch, tack up a hem, or reattach a strap? 

Back where it all began at my first job in the wedding industry!

Our Resolutions and What We’re Letting Go of in 2019

New Year’s Goals and Resolutions for 2019

We know, January 1 is an arbitrary date and change in our lives can come at any time, not just the first of the year. Nevertheless, it feels like the perfect time to commit to moving in a positive direction personally and to share with others so they can hold us accountable. Here are our 2019 resolutions and what we’re letting go of. 

Brittany: “This year I’m committing to simplify, and that means clutter in all areas. I’m purging items all around my home and closet, as well as excess when it comes to shopping, food, and unnecessary spending on things that aren’t bringing real joy. I’m adding more yoga and mindfulness to declutter my brain as well. 

I’m also letting go of the need to know/plan out exactly what comes next all the time. I believe God has exciting plans for my life but I spend a lot of time telling Him I’m not moving until he shows me what they are. It’s time to give that up.”

Kristi: “In 2019 my resolution is to simply be physically and mentally healthy. I’m recommitting to my exercise routine and fostering a sense of calm. What I’m leaving behind is self-doubt. It’s a self-care kind of year.”


Natalie:In 2019 I’m going to stop second guessing my intuition and go for what I know I want! I pray to have courage and bravery and enough boldness to stand up for what I’m worth and stop apologizing as I ask for it.

One thing I want to start doing this year is to regularly remind myself that just because something is hard doesn’t mean I can’t do it. I can do incredibly hard things and am capable of more than I probably think, so I want to challenge myself to do more things that scare me.”

Books I Loved that You Might Too

My Favorite Books of 2018

I’ve always been a bookworm and 2018 was no different! Over the past few years I’ve gravitated toward non-fiction and just love learning about new things and people. You’ll see from this list of favorites how skewed my non-fiction vs. fiction reading was last year, because to be honest some fiction I started and didn’t even finish! I’d love to hear what books you were into and what books you think everyone should read! 

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Educated | This became a #1 Bestseller basically everywhere, for good reason. 

Barking to the Choir | After discovering Father Greg Boyle’s first book, Tattoos on the Heart, I quickly dove into this newer one. I have told so many people about my love for this book and we actually got to meet Fr. Boyle at an event in Winter Park this year! Definitely a high point for me!

The Ministry of Ordinary Places | I was obsessed with Shannan Martin’s first book, Falling Free. It seriously changed the way I think about my life and comfort and our mission right in our own family and neighborhood. Both of these books are like a warm cup of tea, and draw you in to the beauty and power in our everyday, ordinary lives. I’m telling you, this will change the way you think about your neighbors. 

A Wrinkle in Time | I know, I just now read this in 2018. Some of you read it in school but it took me this long. I can’t say it was my favorite book ever, but the concept of what we know vs. what is real but unseen captivated me and I was left thinking about it for weeks.

The Book of Polly | Funny, in the same vein as Ya Ya Sisterhood or Steel Magnolias. I am confident that Allison Janney and Ellen Page would be perfectly cast as the main characters.

Everybody, Always  | Bob Goff’s follow up to Love Does, it’s funny, engaging, and really makes you want to live a bigger, more outrageous life.

Getting Back to Happy | This one is written by our close friends Marc and Angel and made the New York Times Best Seller List, which was such an awesome achievement!

It’s What I Do  | This was published in 2015 but I didn’t read it until the beginning of 2018. MAJORLY eye opening memoir from Lynsey Addario about her life as a war/conflict photographer.

Leave some love and do tell, what were your favorites of 2018 and what are you going to read next?

Classically Elegant Wedding at Island Grove Winery

Ali and Preston | Classically Elegant Vineyard Wedding | Kissimmee, FL

Ali and Preston traveled all the way from Colorado and brought 30 of their closest friends and family with them for a destination wedding weekend culminating in their ceremony and reception at Island Grove Winery at Formosa Gardens. These Disney lovers worked over the months of planning to infuse plenty of family time into their wedding weekend, and the love and joy in the room were tangible as they braved the crazy Florida weather on their wedding day. After discussing backup plans for inclement weather, which in Florida we do with our planning clients all the time, we all agreed that in case of rain, their outdoor ceremony overlooking the vineyard would best be moved indoors to a room adjacent to their reception ballroom. Well, even our weather radars didn’t prepare us for the monsoon that fell just before we started the ceremony. The scene was set outside and we were ready to line bridal party up, encouraging the bride and groom to start a bit early to beat the rain. But the weather had different plans. Just before we lined up our group the skies opened to the biggest downpour ever! We took off running to save the chairs and start moving everything to our backup location. At this point, all anyone could do was laugh, and our bride and groom were so sweet and confident that this is what was meant to be, starting their cocktail hour before the ceremony so we had time to reset inside.  

After drying everything and moving their huge floral cross from Flowers by Lesley upstairs, we began again with their intimate, heartfelt Christian ceremony and plenty of portraits with Ailyn La Torre Photography on the huge balcony that Formosa Gardens offers. Ali handmade her brooch bouquet and so beautifully wore her mother’s wedding dress for a look that was exquisitely timeless.  

Ali and Preston served their guests the Island Grove Winery’s own varietals, and encouraged everyone to pass the mic around the room to share advice, memories and lots of laughs. What a heartfelt, joyous intimate wedding and I know both bride and groom were thrilled to share this special time in Florida with the people they love the most. 

Congrats, lovebirds, and we wish you all the joy and happiness now and always!

Photos by Ailyn La Torre Photography
Photos by Ailyn La Torre Photography
Photos by Ailyn La Torre Photography
Photos by Ailyn La Torre Photography
Photos by Ailyn La Torre Photography
Photos by Ailyn La Torre Photography
Photos by Ailyn La Torre Photography
Photos by Ailyn La Torre Photography
Photos by Ailyn La Torre Photography
Photos by Ailyn La Torre Photography
Photos by Ailyn La Torre Photography
Photos by Ailyn La Torre Photography