High Vibe Bridesmaid Gifts For The Conscious Bride

Bridesmaids gifts can be such a fun and sweet way to thank all of the most influential ladies in your life for standing by your side on your big day!  There are SO many generic gifts out there, so I wanted to share some fun gift ideas for the brides looking for something a little more high vibe.  If you and your besties are into sage, crystals, essential oils, and bath bombs...look no further than Chasin' Unicorns.  Check out some of my personal favorites below! 

And better yet, Chasin' Unicorns has agreed to give all of you 10% off ALL purchases with the code SIMPLYSWEET.  Cool stuff at a discount?  Yes, please!

ORGANIC, VEGAN, AURA CLEANSING BATH BOMBS

These cool skull bath bombs start at $11 each and come down in price as you buy bundles.  Each bomb has a different purpose including detoxing, increasing joy, connecting to your highest self, energizing your aura and more!  Shown below is The Great Unicorn Bundle (5 bombs for $50 and includes 5 different bombs to try)

CRYSTALS

Chasin Unicorns offers a TON of different healing crystals.  How fun would it be to pick out a crystal to match the personality of each of your girls?  Although, my personal favorite is their Chakra Crystal set that includes 7 raw crystals to be used for crystal grids, meditations, yoga, and more to align all 7 chakras 

SUBSCRIPTION BOX

These subscription boxes take all the leg work out of curating the perfect high vibe gift!  Every month is a fun new surprise.  You get to try new products, save money, and get exclusive iitems from Chasin Unicorns and other handpicked high vibin' companies!  Give your girls just 1 month, or maybe even a few month subscription!  It's the gift that keeps on giving!

In addition to above shown items, they are a TON more fun things to shop from including....

AND REMEMBER! USE CODE "SIMPLYSWEET" AT CHECK OUT

TO RECEIVE 10% OFF YOUR ORDER!

How Much to Tip Your Wedding Vendors

When to give and how much to give can be confusing and can even add stress to an already stressful event as a wedding.   Be sure to read vendor contracts, as gratuities may be included in their bill.  While tipping is often optional, it is expected and encouraged to tip bartenders, waiters, valet parking attendants and transportation.  To help you avoid any social faux pas, here are tipping suggestions for your wedding vendors.

EXPECTED

These vendors usually include gratuity in their contract but if not, here are the ways to tip them.

·       Catering Staff Catering companies often tack on a service fee which is 15%-20% of the entire cost of the wedding dinner. They may also include hand tips for each chef ($100), catering manager ($200 or personal gift) and servers ($20-$50), distributed by the catering manager).

·       Wedding Reception Staff If you have a maître d’, a coordinator and a banquet manager at your reception, expect a fee of 15%-20% of the food and drink to be tacked on your bill.

·       Transportation Tips for drivers often start at 15%. If they show up on time and don’t get the guests lost, consider offering more.

·       Officiant - Court-Provided civil celebrants are not allowed to accept tips. However, if the officiant is a member of a denomination, you’re expected to make a church donation of $100-$500 depending on whether you’re a member and how active a member you are.

·       Wedding Planner - It’s always a great idea to give your wedding planner a tip (15%) or a personal gift.

OPTIONAL

Some planners advise that tipping your vendors ahead would encourage them to do outstandingly well on the day of the event. Here are other wedding vendors you can tip for better service during your big day.

·       Hair and Makeup Artists Depending on how many people they prepped, you can give them 15%-25% on top of their usual fees.

·       Photographer and videographer Tips for photo/videographers range from $50 to $200. If they brought on a crew, offer $50-$100 per person instead. 

·       Wedding Reception Attendants - These include the parking attendants, bartenders, and coatroom attendants. Tip them 10%-20% of the bill to be divided among them or consider giving them $20-$50 each.

·       Wedding Musicians  A gratuity of 15% of fee for ceremony musicians and DJ, give each band member $20-$50.

·       Wedding party Don’t forget to thank your wedding party for helping you organize the wedding.  Giving your bridesmaids personalized bags and your groomsmen cool gifts is a great way to thank them for their time and effort.

 

While there is a developing trend of tipping all vendors, avoid being pressured by this and only offer tips when the service is exceptionally good. Instead of cash, you can also offer them thank-you notes or small gifts. A testimonial and photo for their portfolios is also another good alternative. 

Contributing content by featured vendor:   Tara of Groovy.groomsmengifts.com

 

 

Real Wedding Miriam and Joey

Vendors: {Coordinator: Simply Sweet Weddings} - {Locations: Archangel Michael Church & The Waterfront Beach Resort} - {Photography: Sue Wheelock Photography} - {Videography: Vantage Point Productions} - {Florist: Little Hill Floral Design} - {Entertainment: Dj Tempoe and West Coast Music} - {Bakery: Simply Sweet Cakery} - {Hair and Make-up: Design Visage} - {Rentals: La Tavola & Found Vintage Rentals} - {Transportation: Big Red Bus}

Real Wedding: Carissa and Ray

Vendors: {Coordination: Simply Sweet Weddings} - {Locations: Pilgrim Lutheran Church & Bel-Air Bay Club} - {Photography: Christine Bentley Photography} - {Florist: Lavenders Flowers} - {Entertainment: Vox Dj's & Da Capo Players} - {Bakery: Vanilla Bake Shop} - {Hair and Makeup: Flawless Faces} - {Transportation: Love Boat Limousine} - {Rentals: La Tavola Fine Linen}

Wedding Day Gifts for Parents

Looking for something special to give to your parents on your special day? We have compiled a list of some of our favorite gifting ideas for mom and dad! 

  • Custom made anything is a perfect and easy way to make a gift more unique! Some of our favorites include:
    • Handkerchiefs
    • Bracelets
    • Pillows
    • Throw blankets

Etsy is where you can find these items!

  • Here is a hanger that is perfect for a mom on the day of the wedding, and for many more years to come!
  • A classy, more unisex gift could be involving your parents favorite wine in a special way, such as custom made wine labels or an engraved wooden wine box.
  • Engraved beer mugs for the father of the bride and groom are a popular choice as well and are something they can use on the day of the wedding. Great photo opportunity! 
  • Romantic getaways, spa packages, and other relaxation themed gifts are an especially good way to thank your parents on your wedding day!

REAL WEDDING: Angela and Richard

Vendors: {Coordination: Simply Sweet Weddings} - {Location: Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach } - {Photography: Mike Arick Photography} - {Florist: Lavenders Flowers}  - {Entertainment: Scratch Parties} - {Bakery: Rossmoor Pastries}


Real Wedding: Cary and Wes, The Waterfront Beach Resort

Vendors: {Coordination: Simply Sweet Weddings} - {Location: Waterfront Beach Resort, A Hilton Hotel } - {Photography: Lucero Photography} - {Videography: Parallel Media Productions} - {Florist: Flowers by Cina}  - {Make-up: Design Visage} - {Entertainment: Visions Entertainment} - {Bakery: Simply Sweet Cakery}

Real Wedding: Kimberly and Alan, Rancho Las Lomas

Vendors: {Coordination & Stationery: Simply Sweet Weddings} - {Location: Rancho Las Lomas} - {Catering: 24 Carrots} - {Photography: Barnet Photography} - {Videography: Parallel Media Productions} - {Florist: Flowers by Cina} - {Entertainment: Elevated Pulse Productions} - {Hair & Make-Up: Design Visage} - {Bakery: Simply Sweet Cakery}

The Tanning Van

INTRODUCING….(drum roll please) a NEW and FUN way to spray tan!!! The Tanning Van is the way to go!! Staci & Michelle, the owners of the The Tanning Van, drive to your doorstep with their fully converted van to tan you in a matter of minutes! The Tanning Van boasts 2 private rooms that are fully equipped, well lit and temperature controlled. Perfect for just one tan or for large parties! If you need an instant glow for your special occasion, or JUST BECAUSE you wanna show off a beautifully tanned bod, call the girls at The Tanning Van at 714.460.8640 to schedule an appointment or to book a spray tan party! You can learn more about them and their services on their website at www.thetanningvan.com

Tools For Aspiring Planners

We are so excited to have a new tab for aspiring planners! The wedding industry has been so rewarding, and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to give back by guiding planners in the right direction. We have created three fantastic PDF files that will allow planners to get started:

  • How to Get Started as a Wedding Planner - Inside you will find answers to aspiring planners' most frequently asked questions. This is a great way to uncover quick advice when getting started!
  • How to Run a Wedding Rehearsal - Here we provide step by step instructions to efficiently and effortlessly orchestrate a wedding rehearsal like a pro. Having the perfect wedding rehearsal will allow for less stress and more fun on the wedding day!
  • How to Confirm Vendors for a Wedding - This will provide you with step by step instructions to accurately and efficiently gather and confirm pre-wedding details for a wedding or event. Confirming logistics will make a wedding or event run that much more smoothly!

Real Wedding: Danielle & Samer - Franciscan Gardens

Vendors: {Coordinator: Simply Sweet Weddings} - {Location: Franciscan Gardens} - {Catering: 24 Carrots} - {Photography: Sue Wheelock Photography} - {Videography: Element Wedding Films} - {Florist: Lavenders Flowers} - {Entertainment: Elevated Pulse} - {Hair: JenniferHair} -{Makeup: Ashley Gannon Makeup & Hair} - {Desserts: Simply Sweet Cakery}              

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7 Bridesmaids Gift Ideas

Every bride knows that who she has by her side is almost as important as the man she is meeting down the aisle on her big day. Your bridesmaids are there for you during your nervous breakdowns, your bridezilla moments, and when you are stressed and just need some emotional support. Here are some great bridesmaid gift ideas to thank them for all of their help leading up to the wedding!

 Brian Leahy Photography

Brian Leahy Photography

  • Spa Gift Bag, lush has amazing, unique products. 

What are you giving your bridesmaids as gifts on your wedding day?  Anything good that we missed here?!

 

 

Wedding Tip Tuesday: How to Tie a Bow Tie

It seems like a simple task until the oddly shaped piece of fabric is lying limp and hopeless in your hands. These step by step instructions will make you a pro when the time comes.

1. Place the bow tie around your neck situating it so End A is two inches longer than End B

2. Cross End A over End B.

3. Bring End A up and under the loop. 

4. Now double End B over itself to form the front base loop of the bow tie. 

5. Loop End A over the center of the loop you just formed.

6. Holding everything in place, double End A back on itself and poke it through the loop behind the bow tie. 

7. Adjust the bow tie by tugging at the ends straightening the center knot.

Need more visuals? Charles French has a quick and easy video here. 

Like anything else, keep practicing!

Bridal Fashion Week Recap

That's right-- while we are still riding out the summer breeze here in Orange County, our favorite designers are showcasing their Fall 2015 designs. Capturing the essence of a bride is possible. Making it new, fresh and couture is a different story.  Creating a successful line requires updating traditional shapes with current trends and appealing to the ever-evolving taste of the modern bride . Take Nicole Miller's modified halter/tank neckline paired with a crowd-pleasing mermaid. The gown is refreshing and modern but still maintains a bridal essence. Theia went with a more romantic take and ornate beading. 

 Nicole Miller, Fall 2015. Photo courtesy Brides.com 

Nicole Miller, Fall 2015. Photo courtesy Brides.com 

 Theia, Fall 2015. Photo courtesy of Brides.com

Theia, Fall 2015. Photo courtesy of Brides.com

Hayley Paige made hearts swoon over her Spring 2012 collection taking back detail to a different level. How did she make Fall 2015 any different? Oh, just a sparkle harness. Who needs a bolero when you can alter any gown with tasteful jewels? Take a look at some of our favorites from this past week. Some dresses have taken a serious 'evening wear' vibe, a la Theia's crystal encrusted halter column dress. Meanwhile, Claire Pettibone maintains her bohemian taste offering the sweetest sleeves and cascading flower crowns. Toying with current trends while keeping lace, satin and chiffon in the mix masterfully updates bridal fashion. Other notes? Cut outs and crop tops. In bridal, you ask? It works! 

What calls to you this year? Did any of your bridal visions change with the times? Or is your heart still set on that first daydream? 

 Hayley Paige Spring 2012. Photo courtesy of pinterest.com 

Hayley Paige Spring 2012. Photo courtesy of pinterest.com 

 Hayley Paige, Fall 2015. Photo courtesy of facebook.com/hayleypaigebridal 

Hayley Paige, Fall 2015. Photo courtesy of facebook.com/hayleypaigebridal 

 Theia. Fall 2015. Photo courtesy of Brides.com

Theia. Fall 2015. Photo courtesy of Brides.com

 Claire Pettibone, Fall 2015. Photo courtesy of clairepettibone.com/blog

Claire Pettibone, Fall 2015. Photo courtesy of clairepettibone.com/blog

 Angel Sanchez, Fall 2015. Photo courtesy of blog.theknot.com

Angel Sanchez, Fall 2015. Photo courtesy of blog.theknot.com

 Badgley Mischka, Fall 2015. Photo courtesy of brides.com

Badgley Mischka, Fall 2015. Photo courtesy of brides.com

 Reem Acra, Fall 2015. Photo courtesy of brides.com

Reem Acra, Fall 2015. Photo courtesy of brides.com

Real Wedding: Kelly Wilson and Nick North

The quintessential autumn wedding! Kelly and Nick executed fall perfectly with pumpkins and burlap galore. The decor was sweet and refined with rustic touches like escort cards strung with clothespins and a wine box ceremony. That fabulous dresser photos are featured on? Kelly's own. Her individualistic touches remind us to interject our own style into standard features. Such a simple and bold way to personalize your day! 

Vendors: {Coordinator: Simply Sweet Weddings} - {Location: Highland Springs Resort} - {Photography: Whismie Photographie} - {Videography: Boffo Video} - {Florist: The Bloom of Time} - {Entertainment: Scratch Weddings} - {Hair & Makeup: Tessa Stull} - {Linens: La TavolaGBS Linens } - {Photobooth: Night Owl Productions}


Real Wedding: Jenna Nelson and Ali Mortazavi

Jenna and Ali met at Loyola Marymount University both as active members of Alpha Phi and Sigma Chi, respectively. The couple displayed impeccable taste and a clear goal for the evening: have fun. Unique touches, like the creation of a painting of the ceremony, added a special sentiment and keepsake.  The Resort at Pelican Hill was the perfect venue because it was the half way point for Jenna's past in Carlsbad and present in Los Angeles.

A gelato bar, great food, cigars and a live band-- it was certainly an entertaining event that guests still reminisce about. The Mortazavi wedding was featured on Style Me Pretty with insightful tips from Jenna.

Vendors: {Coordinator: Simply Sweet Weddings} - {Location: The Resort at Pelican Hill} - {Photography: One Love Photography} - {Videography: Cloudless Weddings Video} - {Florist: Oak and the Owl} - {Painter: Chris Potter Painting} - {Entertainment: Bonnie Foster Productions} - {Hair: Jonathan Moss Hair} - {Makeup: Ashley Fiero - My Girls On Film Studios} - {Late Night Snacks: The Fry Girl, Inc.}


We both love trends, but overall, I tried to keep our wedding design fairly timeless... My one major piece of advice to brides is to choose your vendors wisely... I will forever be thankful to those who worked so hard to give me my perfect day!
— Jenna, Little Black Book Blog

Vendor Spotlight: fitlosophy, inc.

fitbook_12Wkplan-600x298

Wedding season is officially here, so whether you're getting ready for your wedding dress or bikini, our friends at fitlosophy, inc. has a great product to help you get reach your fitness goals!  The perfect addition to your bridal workouts!  The “fitbook" helps you create a plan, track your progress, and attain your goals.  Research shows that by jotting it down and physically writing your activities and dietary intake, you are more likely to stick with a program and achieve your goals.  See the right hand column of the blog to see where you can purchase your own fitbook, or scroll down to the bottom to see how you can win one! The Plan: 12 weeks is a great time frame to get in shape!  With the fitbook, you can set weekly goals making your long term goal of three months more realistic! The fitbook is a great size too! It is 5.5 inches so you can bring it in your purse when you're on the go!

Progress: The first week of any diet or lifestyle change is always the toughest. You learn to give up the bad choices you've been making and learn to love new ones you make! The fitbook also has space for you to record all workouts and food intake. This is great because having it on paper makes you feel more accountable.  As the saying goes, "It takes four weeks for you to see changes, eight weeks for your friends and family, and 12 weeks for the world." The fitbook is great for keeping you on track an measuring your progress, and keeping you motivated.  You'll begin to find yourself being held accountable for your workouts and for what you eat!

Goals: After 12 weeks you'll be in better shape and feel great! For brides, you can add the fitbook to your wedding keepsakes and reflect on the journey and progress you made.  Aside from before and after pictures that give you a visual of your transformation, the fitbook will show you changes through measurements and the food choices you've made!

Contest: fitlosophy, inc. was nice enough to give us a free fitbook to give to one of our readers looking to improve their health and fitness in preparation for their wedding!  To enter, leave a comment of your favorite workout to outside of the gym!  Do you like hike or go bike riding by the beach? Tell us your favorite "fun" workout for a chance to win a free fitbook.  All comments must be made by Friday, June 14th and the winner will be announced on Monday, June 17th.