A Guide to Writing Your Perfect Wedding Vows

The truth is, when a bride first begins envisioning her wedding, her attention naturally shifts to thinking about how beautiful the tablescape will be, whether or not she will fall going down the aisle (which NEVER happens by the way!), and how amazing it will be to finally marry her sweetie.  It’s usually a bit further down the road that they begin contemplating their vows, which is ironic, since it’s the moment they truly become husband and wife.   Not unlike the décor or the food, the vows are an opportunity to truly represent the couple is at their core.  There are two ways to go about your vows; the first is to simply go the traditional, pre-written route.  While some people might be hesitant about this, if you’re really nervous about writing or reading your vows, these vows are classics for a reason.  From now until eternity, their beauty will always ring true.  And in some situations, like a church ceremony, the traditional route is by far the most appropriate.  And for those who want to write their own, it’s a beautiful way to cap off your ceremony.  Keep a couple of things in mind if you do decide to write your vows on your own:

First, vows are meant to be vows; they are the promises you’re making to one another, the rules that will guide your marriage, no matter where life takes you.  Make sure you touch upon the love, support and respect you will always have for the other and the dedication you’ll have to your marriage.

Second, if you are taking the time to write your own vows, make them personal!  For example, does your husband tend to compromise to make you happy? Promise to try to meet him in the middle as best you can and when you can’t, let him know you’ll always love him for being the one who can.

Third, keep in mind that you’ll be thinking back on these words thirty years down the road.  Although you want them to be personal, and maybe even a bit playful, you might look back and regret if all you spoke about was your promise to support their favorite football team and share the remote when you want to watch American Idol and he wants to watch Sports Center.

Most importantly, whether you’re creating new vows or using the classics, remember that the moment you read them, no matter how nervous you are, or what you’re saying, you’re promising to love someone for the rest of your life, and in the end, that’s all that matters.

Article written by: Sarah Tolboe & Marla Weintraub of Park & Grove Event Studio | Graphic: Stephanie Shertz | Photograph for Graphic: Tec Petaja

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04.24.14 / Featured, Wedding Ideas Blog

Tips for Cleaning Your Ring from Jewelers Mutual

Your jewelry, especially your engagement ring, deserves special attention. You should insure, guard, and take care of your engagement ring- part of taking care of your ring involves cleaning it properly. We have a few tips from our favorite jewelry insurers, Jewelers Mutual, on how to properly clean your jewelry for this spring!

Skip the toothpaste: It’s a bit of a misconception that you should clean your jewelry with toothpaste. Yes, it does give your diamonds some sparkle, but the abrasives that clean our teeth can cause damage to the metal and stones of your ring. Instead of using toothpaste, try taking an ammonia-based cleaner or rubbing alcohol and a soft toothpaste to clean your diamonds.

Watch out for the sink: It’s your worst nightmare- you’re cleaning your engagement ring, it slips, and down it goes… Avoid washing your jewelry in the sink because they can easily slip out of your hands and get lost down the drain.

Keep an eye out for labels: If you’re using cleaning supplies created specifically for cleaning jewelry, make sure you’re mindful of which stone it is meant for. There are some cleaners made specifically for cleaning diamonds, opals, emeralds, etc.

Other helpful hints from Jewelers Mutual on how to keep your jewelry in the best shape- have it professionally checked and cleaned a couple of times a year to ensure the stones are secure and everything is still in place. Visit the jeweler for a check when you bump your ring or if you feel like anything is off. And remember, during your yearly jewelry check-up, have them check the current value of your jewelry to ensure you have adequate insurance coverage.

Thanks so much to Jewelers Mutual for sharing these tips with us. Your engagement ring won’t mean anything if it’s ruined or lost, so take care!

Photography:  Mandy Busby | Graphic: Hannah Lee

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04.24.14 / Featured, New Sponsor Blog

Natural Outdoor Anniversary Session

Sometimes simplicity is best, and this sweet one year anniversary shoot from Christine Doneé proves that. We are enamored with the natural details of Megan and Stephen’s little anniversary session with Christine, and we think it’s the perfect way to celebrate your first year of marriage if you’re looking for something special to do.

Megan, the bride, shared a little about their wedding day and their inspiration behind this shoot:

After months of planning a large wedding to be held in my husbands hometown in Northern Ireland, we decided to go a different route and instead had a tiny courthouse wedding in Scotland (where we were living at the time) surrounded by 9 of our close friends. A few months later we moved to my hometown in Los Angeles and had a slightly larger backyard wedding reception. I never got to wear the long flowing dress like I had wanted, so when Christine approached us coming up to our one year wedding anniversary, with a picture of a dress I would have loved to wear on our actual wedding day, I knew we had to make an anniversary shoot happen.

Photography: Christine Doneé | Dress: Chloé | Earrings: STRANDS

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04.23.14 / Featured, Wedding Ideas Blog

Win 8 Hours of Wedding Photography from Captured by Keryn

Captured By Keryn is a boutique photography business, based around celebrating the beauty, history and personality of each person that comes before Keryn Sweeney’s lens – whether a bride bursting with excitement, or the family sharing in the joy of the moment.  Captured by Keryn specializes in subtle documentary, fine art style wedding photography, with a passion for the use of natural light. Residing on the north shore of Auckland, New Zealand has given Keryn a lot of opportunity to refine her use of that natural light!

When Keryn is not busy with weddings, she loves to travel. Her images portray the essence of her surroundings and evoke a sense of emotion and adventure.

Keryn’s experience allows her to approach each environment in a relaxed and informal manner encouraging spontaneous moments that often result in beautiful caught-off-guard images. Nothing gives her more satisfaction than capturing the raw beauty that is in each person, allowing her to share this with the people that care about them the most.

Once Wed is happy to announce that Captured By Keryn is offering a wonderful photography package valued at $3,890 to one lucky reader living in New Zealand or elsewhere!  The winner will receive 8 hours of wedding photography, five 8”x10” prints, and their images on a USB.  Keryn’s love of travel means that she is happy to come to you wherever you are. *

To enter, please comment below, telling Keryn a little about you as a couple, give her your name, email, wedding date, wedding location and venue. Share with her what you love about Captured by Keryn’s photographic style.  If you would like to show us your wedding style inspiration, please include a Pinterest board link.  The giveaway will end on May 14th, and the winner will be announced that week.

*Travel fees must be paid by the winner and will be arranged by Keryn (as a guideline, current airfare for a September flight from Auckland to LA  is $1200; from Auckland to London it is $1800).  Albums, prints and other products can be ordered through Captured By Keryn. A standard wedding photography contract applies and must be signed within two weeks after the winner is chosen.

This contest has now ended. Thank you for your entries!

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04.23.14 / Contests, Featured, New Sponsor Blog