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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wedding Wed-Day: the Honeymoon

Ah yes the Honeymoon, the most relaxing part of the wedding experience. A time to travel and do something completely new with your newly official, partner for life. Of all of the wedding traditions out there, the honeymoon is one of the most important. This is not solely based on the fact that I love vacation, and travel, (this doesn't hurt), but it is more based on the deeper bonds that are created when sharing moments out of the normal, everyday routine. Because yes, after the wedding and living together and working day to day, married life can get to be very routine (I suspect) so having a kick ass honeymoon will not only bring you closer, but will also create an expectation and reminder of how adventurous and fun you can be! 
So that leads me to where I am right now in my personal honeymoon planning: Location. Location. Location. How to decide where to go? It truly amazes me how many options we have in this great big world of ours, but also, how accessible those options are! 
Here are some tips to help decide: Where in the world?
  1. Do some causal reading. There are tons of magazines and blogs that share real honeymoon stories as well as offer information about booking and getting ideas for budgeting and cost of a honeymoon. There are also some pretty fun honeymoon quizzes to take online! This is the step where you just get yourself in the honeymoon mindset and get the juices flowing. 
  2. Talk it out. Find some quiet time with your partner and bounce ideas off of each other of places and types of honeymoon that each of you would like. Do you want a beach? City life? Adventure? Out of the country? Do you want to be relaxed and do very little, or do you want a jam packed itinerary? Remember this is a trip for the two of you and as marriage and relationships require compromise, so does honeymoon planning!
  3. Narrow it down to at least 2 locations each, so that you have 4 to chose from, and write them down. Too many choices may leave you overwhelmed, too little may leave you with less options. 
  4. Research. Here’s the fun part, now that you have some places and ideas of what activities each of you are interested in, take your list of 4 and see what is out there for you. Are there vacation packages that suit your needs? Would you need a travel agent? Would you be able to put it all together on your own? What are the costs looking like for each of the locations? Are there some that better fit you budget wise? This will probably take the most effort, but is essential in determining where you want to go and how much you want to spend to get there.
  5. Repeat step 2 and talk it out. Get together with your partner and go through each place on your list. Discuss budget, discuss what a sample itinerary might look like at each place. 
  6. Make a decision. Easier said than done right? If after you research and discuss, and you have still not come to an agreement, try the old pros and cons trick. With your partner compose a list of pros and cons for each place. Look to see which place has the most pros and viola! This is your honeymoon destination! 
With destination ready, now you can really get planning! Make the calls, find the costs, decide on a budget. Don’t forget: have fun! Planning can be stressful, but just imagine the outcome! 
What about my honeymoon you ask? My fiancé and I are ready to take our love Down Under! 
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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

HarpersLove Real Weddings

Today I am writing to share with you about a real wedding that I recently attended in Riverdale North Dakota!
First of all let me give you a little info about the bride. I have know this girl since 2nd grade! Crazy right, but that is why I was able to drive myself for 9 straight hours, yeah you read that right 9 hours, to be by her side on the most special day of her life and it was totally worth it! This girl is the definition of glamorous! From her Victoria’s Secret runway hair, to her blinged out bouquet! Not only is she a total babe, but she is also one of the sweetest, most loyal women I have the pleasure of knowing and calling my friend! 
Okay let me give you the rundown. The morning of the wedding, the bride was very calm and in a slightly silly mood (love will do that to you). She somehow picked up an accent that made her sound like a Southern Belle, saying, “I do declare,”  and “well I never,” Then she realized she had better lose the accent before the ceremony! With hair and makeup perfectly in their places, it was time for the dress. What a dress it was, seeing the dress hanging up was breath taking, seeing it on, was another story. She was absolutely gorgeous.  


This girl brought her glitter and shine to Riverdale North Dakota and everything was sparkling. She made a risky move by asking her guests to wear formal white attire, which was slightly controversial, but ended up looking great! Plus it made it easy to figure out what to wear! The ceremony was beautiful and brought a tear to everyone’s eye. Her and her husband’s love was so apparent in that moment, and it was an honor to witness them commit to each other for life! They kissed, then they danced down the aisle, and then it was official, they were husband and wife, and it was officially PARTY TIME!
The reception. Now let me tell you, the venue for the reception was completely unique and original! It was an old high school that had been renovated into a lodge, with beautiful guest accommodations. The decor remained as if you were walking down the hall of a high school. Trophy cases, sports memorabilia, yearbooks and even a gym. The day before the wedding the gym was your ordinary high school gym. With the magic of the decorators, the gym was transformed into a glamours, glittery, cream, and gold ballroom. Everyone was taken aback by how perfect the space turned out!  
This bride thought of everything and she didn't even need a list! Dessert table deliciousness, kids table fun, dance floor, bar, and photobooth! I hope some of her calm, planning skills, rubbed off on me…The entire event was a great time and I had so much fun. I know that I wasn’t the only one! I love these two and wish them all the happiness in the world. 
The 9 hour drive home though…. I wouldn't wish that on anyone! 


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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Dos and Don’ts from Real Brides

So according to The Knot app, there are 289 days until our wedding! That seems like a lot of time right? Right!? I have the magazines, the apps, the books. I’ve been reading blogs and getting inspired by so many many things, but the one thing that has been the most helpful for me, is talking to friends and others who have been here and done this. Their suggestions, thoughts, and tips have helped me to feel more confident in making decisions and understanding what is important for my Fiancé and I.  
Exhibit A:
“Do remember this day is all about you and your groom”
“Don't forget that it's a big day for your families as well and they have probably been dreaming about it as much as you, so make them feel just as special as you want to feel.” 
Finding the balance between my wants, and trying to make sure everyone else is happy as well, has been the biggest struggle for me so far. One bit of advice that I received from my fiancé’s Mother, was to remember that our wedding will be a memory that we hold on to forever, and to make sure we are ultimately happy with it. She said that our family and friends will all be happy as long as we are! That helps! 
Another do, that I have read a lot about and was reassured about from talking with my real brides was to spend a little more to have great photography and videography. 
“Think about what's important to you! I'm big on photography, so I was willing to spend money on a good photographer.” 
“I regret not hiring a videographer, looking back I would have hired one just starting out that needed experience. I have always loved the bride and grooms entrance to their reception, well I heard all of our wedding party was hilarious but of course I didn't get to see it myself. I was also big on the photographer.” 
“I would recommend a great video of the rehearsal, wedding & reception because it is a magical day and the excitement is so great, it's like a blur when it is over. I would also get someone who is great at fun, un-staged photos and candid shots.” 
Thanks ladies! 
My justification for making a little more room in the budget for video and photos was that in a bagillion years when aliens are excavating the ruins of Earth, they will find our photos and think (in their alien language of course) “Wow, these humans had a beautiful wedding!” That could happen right? 
When it gets down to it, the decorations will go away, and in some cases will be thrown away, the food will be digested, the dress will go to storage. When the day is over what will there be to look back on? The beautiful memory of the best day of our lives. We want to capture the happiness of friends and loved ones and have evidence of our great, crazy, unconditional love for each other!
Check in on Wed-day Wednesday for more dos and don’t from real brides!
Follow us here: 
Have a do or don’t? Share it here: 
with #harperslovewed or email me natasha@harperslove.com
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