Trying to Decide on a Wedding Reception Venue? Here Are 4 Things to Consider

First of all, congratulations! You’re getting married! After you’ve celebrated with your closest friends and family, it’s time to sit down and start planning for your special day. There are so many details that go into the wedding planning process that it can often feel like there are endless decisions to be made. The time has come to order flowers, select your first dance song, and pick out a little something blue.

But, one of the most important steps in the planning process is to decide on the wedding reception venue that’s right for you. This is your first official party as newlyweds, and you’re celebrating with the people you care about the most. Be sure to make it a good one.

To help you jumpstart the planning process, here are four things to keep in mind when selecting your reception venue. Then take the quiz below to help you narrow down your choices!

1. What style of wedding are you envisioning?

Venues aren’t one-size- fits-all, so it’s important to make sure you have a clear idea of what style of wedding you want to have. Are you picturing a rustic barn wedding or an outdoor bohemian wedding? The feel of your wedding will also determine your location. For example, an urban NYC hotel won’t have the same feel as these Los Angeles wedding venues with oceanside views.

2. Is the venue full-service?

If you’re looking for a way to ease the stress of the planning process, it may be smart to consider booking a full-service reception venue. These locations will offer everything you need to have a successful event, from tables and chairs to catering essentials and linens. Venues that aren’t full-service, on the other hand, will require you to book all of your vendors separately before the big day.

3. What are the venue’s hours of operation?

Make sure you have a clear vision of the timeline of your wedding day before selecting your venue. Some locations have strict hours with no flexibility of extending that window of time while others charge a lofty fee if you’re looking to stay later into the night.

4. Is the venue within my price range?

Perhaps the most important thing to consider when choosing a venue is its price tag. If you have a limited budget but have your heart set on a specific location, you may want to prioritize your spending with other vendors. For example, if you or your future spouse have artistic talents, you could take the DIY route for details like centerpieces and decorations. Take a look at this couple’s wedding who chose to incorporate the groom’s graphic design skills into the decor elements at their chosen Chicago wedding venue.

These are just four aspects of choosing a venue that you should consider during your wedding planning process. To get you thinking about other elements that will come into play on the big day, take this quiz from WeddingWire that will help you select a venue type based on your preferred style elements.

All you have to know about weddings in the Dominican Republic

There is probably no need to remind you about how astonishing the Dominican Republic is, especially as a wedding destination. You`ve probably already seen gorgeous photos of happy couples enjoying the white-sand beaches, endless turquoise sea and luscious nature of the island. In addition, the Dominican Republic offers comfortable flight connections, affordable accommodation options, all-inclusive resorts, appealing wedding packages and much more. It is hard to find any reason why not to get married in the Dominican Republic.

Here we present some key information to help ensure your wedding in the Dominican Republic is a success. However perfect the wedding destination, it won`t plan itself!


Regarding the climate, you`ve chosen an ideal location for whenever you choose to plan your wedding. The weather in the Dominican Republic is nice and sunny all year round. The most popular time among tourists is summer, especially July and August. Therefore, the best time is probably from December to late February, when the temperature is optimal and there are more booking options. Also keep in mind that August to September is the hurricane season.


There are quite a few options to choose from. If your plan is a beach wedding in all its classical charm, maybe you should consider Punta Cana. It is known for its picture-perfect beaches. On the other hand, Santo Domingo is a vibrant colonial city for a more cultural experience. Puerto Plata will thrill active tourists with a wide range of activities from Damajagua waterfalls to the kite surfers` hot spot of Cabarete. In the region of Samana there is a beautiful national park, Los Haitians whilst in La Romana you can go snorkeling near Catalina island.

Wedding photographer

One of the key persons at your wedding will be your photographer. They are the one who will capture all those precious moments. As with any vendor, recommendations can help you choose the best one. Familiarize yourself with their style, see if you have similar ideas and talk with the person beforehand to make sure you will feel comfortable in their company throughout your big day. This Punta Cana wedding photographer knows the island like the back of their hand and their style is elegant and fresh.

Dominican Republic wedding traditions

It does not hurt to learn a little about the culture of the country. You may even like to incorporate some wedding traditions for an authentic touch. They have a fun ceremony which is called Cantada. Instead of a band, guests sing throughout the wedding. So, if your nearest and dearest are fans of karaoke go for it.

Another one is called Arras which demonstrates the couple`s willingness to provide for each other. A young boy passes a tray with 13 coins to the priest. The priest blesses the coins and passes it to the groom, for him to give it to the bride.

If it is all too complicated just prepare some merengue music and have fun dancing with your guests.

Legal requirements

In the Dominican Republic you have to have two witnesses with passport photocopies for you to get married officially. If you can`t decide on who will be your witnesses, many resorts provide this service.

Documents-wise you should prepare:

  • Valid passport as well as copies
  • Original birth certificate
  • Notarized Single Status Affidavit for each one
  • If previously married, copy of legalized/sealed Divorce Act or Death Certificate.
  • Please be advised that there is a 10 month waiting period for a woman after divorce
  • Certificate of adoption or parental authorization if applicable
  • There may be some translation fees involved as well as a fee for the marriage license. Consult the Dominican Republic embassy for more precise information.

Key considerations for destination weddings

Setting the date
As we discussed earlier you have the luxury of choosing any season for your wedding in the Dominican Republic. Also, the day does not necessarily have to be on a weekend as long as you and your guests need to take some days off anyway. So, you can use the opportunity and choose the low season and get good deals on flights.

When to inform the guests
Whenever you have set the date you can start preparing your invitations. The earlier the better to guarantee that more guests will be able to make it. Anytime between 12-6 months in advance is typical.

Thanking the guests for coming
A nice touch would be to organize a brunch after the wedding. It will help your guests to feel that you appreciated their efforts to attend your wedding and you can relive the best moments with your closest people.

Dress transportation
The only suggestion would be not putting it in your check in bags, but rather taking it with you on the plane. Ask a flight attendant to hang it up for you.

The vendors
It is not easy to choose your vendors from a distance. Research can help so, read all the comments and recommendations you can to find those that are the best fit.

The whole point of getting married in the Dominican Republic is to be able to stay there for your honeymoon and avoid additional travel and stress. There are tons of things to explore and the beaches are some of the best in the world. Ask your resort if they offer special rates for honeymooning couples.


Megan Wilson is a Content Manager at She has been working to combine her skills and professional background to bring higher-level perspective into her work. Currently she is sharing her experience and vision on the hot topics from the world of photography.

Why Jewelry is the Ultimate Gift for Your Bridesmaids

Trisha Okubo, Designer at Maison Miru

Your wedding day may be your big day, but let’s be real: it takes a village to make your dreams a reality. And more likely than not, your bridesmaids did more than their fair share to make it happen. Your bridesmaids planned your bridal shower (hello, all of the finger sandwiches and little cakes you can eat). They tried on armloads of potentially unflattering dresses under equally unflattering fluorescent dressing room lighting – all without a whiff of complaint. And they signed up to stand by you and attend to your every need on your big day (including, perhaps, holding your dress as you went to the bathroom). How do you thank your best girls for everything they do for you? Give them the gift of jewelry: something that they’ll be able to treasure long after you say “I Do.”

When I was searching for the perfect gift for my bridesmaids, I considered just about everything that I thought they’d love. A luxury spa day? Relaxing and certainly a treat, but it’d have been a repeat of one of our pre-wedding activities, and it’s only ephemerally enjoyable. Dinner at a fancy restaurant? Likewise, it’s fun in the moment, but it’d only last a single evening. A box of chocolate truffles? Delicious, but ultimately not long lasting. A luxurious robe? This fit the bill as a treat that they probably wouldn’t splurge on for themselves, but it’s so hard to get sizing right, and any wearable gift is wrought with potential figure flattery issues. Nobody wants to be the girl who accidentally bought her friend a robe a size too big. Tickets to an event? It’d need to be customized by bridesmaid to match her interests, and it’d be difficult to keep the gift equitable price-wise between bridesmaids. Way too complicated.

But when I hit upon jewelry, I knew I had a winner. Jewelry is the perfect accessory, as it works for everybody without worries about offending people with the wrong size! Jewelry never met a body type it didn’t like, and it doesn’t discriminate. Plus, it’s timeless. Clothing fades and goes in and out of style, but a beautiful piece of jewelry can be treasured for years to come.

Most importantly, jewelry carries the weight of meaning. Jewelry can say things for you that you may find hard to say. Hearts say “I love you,” an eye symbolizes protection, and a moon symbol recalls intuition and clarity. The gift of jewelry is a tangible symbol of your friendship, a piece of love that you can hold in your hand. When you wear it, you’re reminded of all of the things you’ve been through together: staying up until dawn talking about life, that road trip you took right after college with more than a few mishaps (and manhaps!), and how you were lucky enough to share your big day with your best girls in the world.

I got married before I became a jeweler myself, and I ended up commissioning a designer friend to make bespoke friendship necklaces for each of my best girls, as I couldn’t find anything out there that was just right. After I became a jeweler, I set out to design a series of earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and rings imbued with meaning, so that you could choose the right symbol and message for each of your friends. At Maison Miru, I wanted to create a luxurious, adult version of the friendship jewelry that we all exchanged on the playground with our friends – those lanyard style bracelets that we tied on each other, promising each other that we’d always be there for each other. I wanted to create jewelry that could truly be Love Made Visible.

When shopping for your bridesmaids, your budget will help dictate the kind of jewelry you can afford to buy. When looking at jewelry, you’ll want to be aware of metal composition. Be aware of metal allergies – many ladies have allergies to nickel, so you’ll want to look for jewelry that doesn’t contain any nickel. Solid gold (or sterling silver) is the most long lasting, but also by far the most expensive. For brides on a tighter budget, look for gold plated pieces with a thick plating that will extend the life of the jewelry. My goal at Maison Miru was to keep the pieces affordable (weddings can be SO expensive!) – so our series of bridal jewelry features a thick plating of 14k gold over solid brass, all nickel-free. But if you can afford to spend a little more, gold filled pieces (which are similarly gold over a base metal, but must be at least 5% gold) can be a good compromise as well.

If you choose a piece of jewelry that has shared meaning for you and your friend, something that makes you both smile, it’s hard to go wrong. And if you’re very very lucky (as you were, when you found your husband-to-be), you’ll pick a piece that she’ll treasure forever.

10 Tips on How to Find Affordable Wedding Vendors

Not all of us can afford the luxury of spending a ridiculous amount of money on our wedding or even if you can sometimes it just does not make sense to. You can turn your destination wedding from an extravagant cost to a money saving deal.

The goal is to plan your wedding so that everything goes smoothly and you can relax and enjoy the day. This will largely depend on the wedding vendors that you choose. So, let’s go through some tips on how to choose the perfect wedding vendors with affordable prices.

1. A wedding planner

When you start to search for the perfect wedding vendors first question that comes to mind is whether or not you should hire a wedding planner. If you are someone who loves organizing events even if they are just parties at home, you won`t freak out if something goes wrong (e.g. the flowers don`t match tablecloths) and you are not short on time why not take the responsibility on yourself. Otherwise, hire a planner and that will save you a lot of stress. Also, your wedding planner in The Dominican Republic can help you find other great vendors like photographers and florists etc. because they know everybody and can offer special deals and packages to meet your budget needs.

2. A Photographer

You might be able to save on a wedding planner, flowers and invites, but saving on a photographer is not recommended. Everybody will forget about the flowers, flaws in organization and someone’s drunk antics, but the photos will capture your precious memories for generations to come. Hire a local photographer in the Dominican Republic to save on travel expenses and be confident that they know magical hidden places for spectacular photo shoots. An experienced photographer will know many wedding vendors and you won`t puzzle over the question of where to find them?

3. Hair and make up

If you know your way around a make-up brush you can probably save on a make-up artist. Apply natural make up, add some highlights and the sun will make you shine. Similar to the make-up a natural approach can be taken with your hair. Use the Dominican Republic`s laid-back atmosphere to your favor, curl your hair into nice waves and fix them in place with a spray. These tips are all that you need to look gorgeous at the seaside.

4. Venue

One option is to find an all-inclusive hotel that offers reasonably priced wedding packages. Fortunately, this is a common practice in The Dominican Republic. The other option is to be creative and get married in an unexpected place – like a deserted beach or natural park etc. In order to save on catering, find a local family restaurant and ask them to prepare a cocktail party for you.

5. Invites

Go green and use digital invites – it will save you money and trees. The same tactic can be applied to the maps and thank you notes.

Bonus: You will give your guests the chance to write back to you. Also, you can make the invites more personal and original by attaching a nice video of yourselves.

6. Flowers

If you were at home you could ask your relatives and friends to help you decorate the venue with flowers, however it may not be so easy at a destination wedding. You can always find ways to save money – choose bigger tables which means fewer center pieces. Remember that less is more. With the lavish nature of the island you don’t need a lot of decoration.

7. Promote your vendors

Every business needs more clients. Negotiate reduced rates with the vendors in exchange for promoting them. You can leave their card at every table or send their contact by email to every guest.

8. The wedding Cake

Who needs a huge cake at a beach wedding when you can offer fresh fruit to your guests? Choose local fruits in season and you will not only make your guests happy, but will save a great deal.

There are many small sweets shops on the island where you can purchase local sweets and give them to your guests as presents. This is a nice traditional Dominican wedding touch that will cost you close to nothing.

9. Music

If one of your guests (friends, colleagues) sings or plays an instrument don’t be shy about asking them to help out. They may even feel flattered. Otherwise, there is a delightful Dominican ¨Cantada ceremony¨. Instead of background music or a band guests sing throughout the wedding. It is an easy way to make your wedding more intimate and fun.

10. Follow up on your leads

Do your homework, select the vendors that you want to hire and start following them on social media and sign up for their newsletters. In short, don’t let them fall off your radar. Whenever they offer deals and discounts you will be ready to take advantage of them.

Planning a wonderful wedding on budget is all about compromise. Define your priorities and be ready to let go of less important elements. A wonderful wedding also involves a lot of research – if you put in a bit more effort it will pay off.

Spring 2017 – Kennedy Blue Bridesmaid Dressline

We are excited to announce the launch of ​Kennedy Blue​’s Spring 2017 bridesmaid line. Kennedy Blue was founded to change the wedding industry; offering high-quality designer dresses, a better shopping experience, and affordable prices.

With their new Spring bridesmaid line out now, Kennedy Blue is stepping away from the traditional and extending their brand to be more fashion-forward and trend-setting for the modern bride and bridesmaid.

With a color palette of soft and sultry but textures that catch the eye, Kennedy Blue is staying on top of the trends at an affordable price.

Along with the many attributes that set Kennedy Blue apart, Kennedy Blue realizes convenience is a huge deciding factor for soon-to-be brides. With the At Home Try-On process Kennedy Blue offers, shopping for wedding gowns and bridesmaid dresses has never been so accommodating and enjoyable! There have been countless Kennedy Blue Brides throwing “At Home Try-On” parties with their maids and having a blast. Will you be next? Click​ here​ to see the full collection. More dress ​styles​, ​fabrics and colors here​.

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