A Guide to the Perfect Wedding Toast

So you’ve been selected to be a maid of honor or a bridesmaid in a wedding –congratulations! You’ve made it through the wedding planning process, the dress fittings, the bachelorette planning, the bridal showers… you even made it down the aisle without a hitch. The final task is the wedding toast, which for some is the most nerve-wracking part. The truth is, it’s an incredible honor to be asked to stand up and toast at someone’s wedding, so don’t worry, you were invited to speak for a reason! Here are our tried and true tips for a perfect wedding speech, we promise, they never fail!

Step 1: Introduce yourself. While you might have known the bride since she was in diapers, don’t expect every other guest at the party does, so start by saying your name and how you know the couple.

Step 2: Make it personal. You’re obviously of incredible importance to at least one half of the couple, so talk about your relationship and what they mean to you. Be it a special story, a few of your favorite memories, or just some good old fashioned compliments, let them know you’re honored to be a part of their lives and a part of this very important day.

Step 3: Talk about the couple. Remember, you’re at a wedding, so make sure to dedicate a good part of your speech to the bride and groom! Say a few things you love about their relationship and some positive things they bring out in one another. Wish them a bright future and a beautiful life ahead.

Step 4: Be yourself. Some people think you should memorize your speech, while others swear by notecards. The truth is, do whatever makes you feel comfortable and at ease. If you don’t think you’re a particularly good storyteller, don’t feel pressure to tell a story! If you don’t like telling jokes, there is no need to try to make everyone laugh. The best speeches are the ones from the heart, so as long as you stay true to yourself and the love you have for the couple, your toast will be a huge and memorable success.

Step 5: Toast. Always remember to end by asking guests to raise their glasses and toast to the newlyweds. And then cheers, you’re done!

Article: Sarah Tolboe of Park & Grove | Photography: Heather Payne | Graphic: Hannah Lee

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07.24.14 / Featured, Wedding Ideas Blog

Serene Bridal Styling Session

There is a true art in styling a moving and emotional photograph, and Ginny Au has a natural gift for creating touching images alongside some of the world’s most talented photographers. In order to share her gift, Ginny has started offering one-on-one sessions and recently helped Lesley Lau bring a vision to life in the romantic and lush woods of Birmingham, Alabama.

More from Lesley Lau on her inspiration for her session with Ginny:

The inspiration for this shoot was born out of the serenity of the creek and the warmth of the late afternoon light as it disperses through the lush canopy of trees.  The girl is searching for something in the elements, unknown to her and the observer – tracing the aged patterns of the tree bark and exploring the cool flow of the creek’s waters.

Details were kept to a minimum to convey the purity of her search, with the surrounding foliage used as her mask to provide a sense of protection.

One-on-one Session with Ginny Au | Photography: Brushfire Photography | Design and Styling: Lesley Lau | Gown: Gossamer Vintage | Hair and Makeup: Emily Summerville | Photo Lab: PhotoVision

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07.23.14 / Featured, Wedding Ideas Blog

DIY Interwoven 3-Strand Braid

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Yesterday we shared a short editorial featuring Alexandra Grecco’s new Thalia gown, and we used this opportunity to put together, with Mimi and Taylor, a quick, easy, yet super elegant interwoven braid tutorial. These talented ladies make it so easy to achieve a casual and chic look that pairs really well with an ethereal gown if you’re looking for a relaxed aesthetic for your wedding day.

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Interwoven 3-Strand Braid

1. Divide hair into 3 sections.

2. French braid center section to the bottom of the neckline, and then clip hair to keep from falling.

3. Repeat same steps with side sections.

4. Once all three sections are braided, remove all 3 clips and use the 3 sections to do one full braid.

5. Secure final braid with a hair band.

Photography: Erich McVey | Creative Direction and Styling: Emily Newman for Once Wed | Hair and Makeup: Mimi and Taylor 

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07.22.14 / DIY Wedding Blog, DIY Weddings, Featured

Alexandra Grecco Thalia Gown

We are so honored that Alexandra Grecco allowed us to be the first to debut her new bridal line at the Erich McVey workshop, and we loved featuring her breathtaking, ethereal designs alongside some of our new DIY hair tutorials. We can’t wait to share a lovely twisted braid tutorial tomorrow from Mimi and Taylor that will show you how to re-create this loose, organic braid.

Don’t you just adore the laid-back feeling that you get when this light grey wedding dress is paired with a more casual, yet elegant, hairstyle? Would you be willing to go non-traditional for your wedding?

Photography Erich McVey: Erich McVey | Styling: Emily Newman for Once Wed | Hair & Makeup: Mimi and Taylor  | Photo lab: PhotoVision | Gown: Alexandra Grecco

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07.21.14 / Featured, Wedding Ideas Blog