Guest Post

Bridal Beauty Essentials

Real Wedding Week
The Day Before the Wedding

Guest Post from the Bride's Professional Makeup Artist Blush, By Jamie Rose

Jamie, from Blush co.

As you can imagine we are quite busy! It's the day before our first big wedding of the season and it couldn't start with a sweeter and more deserving bride. Sammie's wedding is going to be full of black, white, and hues of purples and a pop of blush for a romantic boho wedding. One of the special moments planned is Sammie's soon-to-be-sister-in-law, Jamie, will be doing her bridal makeup look. Jamie is a phenomenal makeup artist and has thee most adorable french styled boutique in Boise, Blush Luxury Beauty Boutique. Jamie was a doll and sent over some of her professional Bridal Beauty Essentials! 

Here are some key beauty items every bride should be carrying in their clutch for the big day, and a couple other products that will keep your skin radiant for the big day!  

1. Lollia Little Luxe Perfume: Just the right size for your bridal clutch, super delicate and soft scent is the perfect accessory to have on hand throughout your big day!  

2. Blotterazzi: The ultimate bride essential! A chic mirrored compact with two blotting sponges, made of beautyblender® material, for beauty touch ups on the go. Takes away unwanted shine and leaves your wedding makeup perfectly in place! 

3. Lip Gloss: We love all lippies especially Jouer Moisturizing Lip Gloss.  It’s important for a bride to always carry a lip product with them for touch-ups throughout the day.  Lots of kissing that day and your lips need to be on point for your photos! 

4. MIYU Hydrate Me Tea: It is crucial weeks leading up to the wedding to get lots of sleep and hydration so your skin can have the perfect glow on the day of the wedding!  One of our favorite ways to hydrate is this amazing beauty tea infused with green rooibos, goji berries, rose petals and snow pear essence.  An irresistible way to hydrate parched complexions! 

5. Aurelia Revitalize & Glow Serum: This miracle serum will leave your skin luminous, dewy and smooth... The perfect product to use everyday but especially the week of the wedding for that extra glow! 

All items are available at Blush! Be sure to go visit her and let her know Ira + Lucy sent you! I think it's time I make a stop in as well for some of my must-have items! xoxo

Be sure to follow us on Snapchat @IraAndLucy and Instagram for sneak peeks of tomorrow' wedding! 

Banner image by Ampersand Studios

Guest Post - Wedding Welcome Gifts

I am so happy to introduce you to Jamie, the gifted gal of custom gift packaging! I found Jamie on Instagram and immediately reached out to her! As a wedding and special event planner and designer it's important to me to offer our client's new and fresh designs and concepts. When it comes to those of our clients planning destination weddings, wedding welcome gifts are even more of a must-have. Jamie has some awesome tips to share with you today!

How to Create Wedding Welcome Gifts on a Budget
Marigold + Grey

I work with a lot of clients who have large budgets that allow for them to do custom welcome booklets to go inside the welcome gifts. However, I also work with clients on a tighter budget where we have to get creative. In these situations, a small insert card with a simple welcome message does the trick.Sure, we all wish budget didn’t play a role in planning a wedding. But of course, that isn’t reality. Today’s post is all about how to create wedding welcome gifts on a budget. It can be done! And yes, they’ll still be well-balanced, thoughtful, and will undoubtedly set the tone for an amazing wedding weekend.


Opting for a custom tote bag or high-quality box or basket is a way to quickly use up your entire budget without even taking into consideration the contents that go inside. Instead, opt for simple packaging so you can allocate the majority of your budget to the gift contents. Sturdy kraft gift bags with handles, gable boxes, two-piece gifts boxes, and even small-sized jute totes are great budget-friendly options!

Image via  The Knot

Color Scheme

You may not have a huge budget but the gift can still look well put-together. Consider adding a splash of color, especially one from your wedding color palette. Guests will appreciate a little sneak peek of what color your bridesmaids are likely walking down the aisle in or a hint about what your bouquet may look like!


Mainstream Snacks

Instead of opting for ALL locally-sourced, artisan, small batch goodies for the gifts, go a little more mainstream with your choices and you’ll save some money. Sure, it isn’t QUITE as personal as choosing items that are made locally but in the end, your guests will still get their “something sweet” and “something salty” and will love you for it.

Personalized Items

Typically when I’m designing custom welcome gifts for my clients, they always want personalized items. This can still be done on a budget. They key here is not to go overboard. Rather than high-priced personalized totes, buy inexpensive water bottles and pay for a batch of customizable labels to wrap around the water bottles. Or, print your names and wedding date on the gift tag. Either way, stick to one portion of the gift rather than personalizing everything.



No matter what, there’s nothing worse than checking into your hotel as a guest and finding that bottled water isn’t included. This is why it’s crucial to provide your guests with water upon check-in. Standard bottled water is fine but if you want to up your game, consider sparkling water. Sure, the glass Pellegrino bottles can be pricey but Perrier now makes sparkling water in a smaller-sized can and the pricing is very reasonable.

Image via Style Me Pretty

At the end of the day, it’s the thought that counts. Decide on your budget and figure out a way to work within your budget. Don’t let the budget cause you to procrastinate. Or worse, cause you to cut the welcome gifts altogether. Treat the gifts like any other portion of the wedding planning. Decide what you want to spend and then get creative within those parameters. When your guests thank you for taking good care of them, you’ll be so glad you did!

Jamie Kutchman

Founder, Marigold & Grey






Tips On Designing Your Wedding Invitations

We welcome Guest Blogger, Bryan Passanisi, with Shutterfly, today for some great tips on wedding invitation design! Shutterfly has some great budget-friendly resources for those of you on the hunt for wedding invitations! I first became familiar with Shutterfly from my sister who has been using this company for creating photo books of her children each year. I'm so jealous because I have yet to finish mine and Jagger is almost 4! I have a lot of catching up to do! Be sure to check them out! They have a lot of really awesome and creative ways to add details to your wedding OR make great gifts for your family.


Things to Think About When Designing Wedding Invitations

Invitations are one of the most important parts of preparing for a wedding. Not only do they notify your guests of the marriage and convey important information like time and place, they also set the tone for the rest of the wedding. It’s important to have a good first impression, but there are so many options out there for wedding invitation design that choosing the right style can be difficult. Here are a few tips that can help guide you as you create the perfect invitation.

Consider the Ceremony

First of all, make sure that the tone you pick for your invitation reflects the rest of the wedding. Are you hoping to have a fun, casual celebration? Or do you want a formal tuxedo and ballgown affair? More formal invitations look very different from more casual ones. The difference can extend from wording choices to the paper used—formal invitations tend to be on thicker, more expensive paper than informal ones.


Color Choices

Consider choices such as the colors and design of your invitation. Formal invitations are typically more limited in their palette; you may wish to stick with traditional neutrals such as cream, black, or gold. One color might be used as an accent or highlight. Less formal invitations, though, have a lot more latitude when it comes to the use of color—you can choose vibrant blues, bright yellows, or whatever combinations will match with your wedding theme. Try not to include too many shades, though, or else the invitation can come across as too loud; stick with a set of related hues or go for two or three contrasting shades.

Creative Shapes

If you really want to get creative, then experiment with the shape of your invites. Traditional invitations are rectangular, although elegant quatrefoils may be acceptable. If you’re having a less formal wedding, though, feel free to experiment with rounded corners, scalloped edge, or even circular or square invitations that reflect your personality.

Font Options

The font is important too. You’ll probably want some sort of script for a formal invitation, whereas nontraditional fun fonts such as Comic Sans or Informal Roman are a great choice for casual invites. If you’re having trouble choosing, a basic font like Times New Roman, Garamond, or Verdana can work well, although serif fonts usually have a bit more formality (and in some cases personality) than sans-serif ones do. You might even consider doing an invitation with mixed fonts, using script for the couple’s names and plainer fonts for the time and place, although it’s important not to make these two fonts drastically different or the invitation will look sloppy. Whatever font you choose, be absolutely certain that it’s legible at every size; some of the fancier and les traditional choices can be hard to read when they’re small and the last thing you want is an invitation that nobody understands.


Picture Perfect

Do you want to include a photo? Not all wedding invitations include pictures, but adding a picture of the happy couple gives you more opportunity to let your personality shine through. Black and white pictures tend to be more elegant and classic, while colorful photographs look more approachable and realistic. Make sure that you have a number of pictures of the two of you to choose from; this will help you find a picture where you both look your best. Try to find photographs that match the colors of the invitation so that the colors don’t clash.



Also, determine how much the setting of the photograph matters to you; if all you’re looking for is a shot of the couple’s faces then the background won’t be very important. For other pictures, though, the background is an important component in the design of the invitation. You can choose a traditional setting like a garden, mountain, or beach, or you can go for modern city shots. If you really want to get creative, take your photos in unorthodox locations like art museums, graffiti-covered walls, or amusement parks. You can even choose to include night or evening photos rather than typical daytime ones.


Finally, determine how many photos you want to include and where you’d like to put them. If you have a lot of pictures that you like, you can choose to create a collage or have a single large photos with smaller insets. You can also pick a single classic photo and put it in a frame on your invitation. Another great idea is to take a single photo, blow it up to fill the whole page, and then use it as a background for the text.


Making it Great

Other considerations you should take into account while designing an invitation include the wedding theme (if you’re having a themed wedding), the wording of the invitation (formal or casual) and whether you want to include extras such as foil stamping, ribbons, or rhinestones. Whatever you end up choosing, make sure that the wedding invitation reflects the style of the ceremony, the personalities of the bride and groom, and—above all else—the love that you have for each other.

Bryan Passanisi is online marketer and writer living in Redwood City, CA. He graduated from The University of San Francisco with his Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing. Bryan has managed a popular wedding blog and has created viral content. He currently is a blogger for Shutterfly.

All images provided by Bryan Passanisi, Shutterfly

Hot Topic! DJ vs. iPod


Guest Post Feature Hot TopicDJ vs. iPod

"Who Needs a DJ? I Have My Own Sound System!" Guest Post by Sound Wave Music + Lighting Design

soundwave dj When it comes to planning a wedding we know there are MANY options, choices to make, and the possibilities are endless.  We also know that your budget is not endless (if only, right?!).  We have heard time and again that there are many ways to “DJ” your own wedding and why not, if you can save $800-$1200 in your wedding budget?  Now, we aren’t saying this is wrong in every case, as every wedding is different. But, we do know that DJ'ing your own wedding can come at a price - and maybe a price you don’t want to pay.  Here are some things to consider as you make this big decision for your special day:

  1. A DJ is Not an Ipod.  If you just need a quiet playlist playing for the duration of your wedding, an ipod playlist may be a great choice.  If you are looking for a customized playlist, someone who can read the crowd, interact with your guests, change the tone at a moment’s notice, and make a great celebration for you and your guests, a DJ will be worth looking into…and worth the investment.  A professional and talented DJ can set the mood for your whole wedding and give you the type of experience you will cherish for years to come. These are things an ipod can never do for you.
  2. Your Mom Isn’t An MC…Neither is Your Coordinator.  One of the important jobs of your DJ is to make the announcements and MC your wedding.  Not a big deal, right?  Anyone can do it?  Not the case.  Our DJs are trained MCs.  They have mastered the art of voice, tone, inflection, volume, and more.  On the day of your wedding, someone WILL need to make announcements so your guests will feel at ease knowing what to expect throughout the evening.  More often than not your mother or coordinator will be the one who ends up on the mic if you don’t have a DJ, and trust me, this is not what they want to be doing on your wedding day!
  3. A DJ Is More Than a “DJ”.  A DJ will never replace a day of coordinator (a discussion for another day), but a professional DJ will make sure the flow of your reception events goes smoothly. He will work closely with your coordinator to ensure that everyone is in the right place at the right time before he makes an announcement of what is coming next.  This will go a long way in putting you at ease during your wedding - knowing you can enjoy your wedding and not stress about the little details behind the scenes.
  4. Renting Equipment Can Be More Headache Than It’s Worth. There are plenty of places in Boise and the surrounding area where you can rent sound equipment.  Again, this could be a feasible option if you just intend to have a quiet playlist in the background with no dancing, no announcements.  Then again, do you know how to operate the equipment?  What if something goes wrong? How do you troubleshoot it?  Is there back up?  What is an amplifier?  A Subwoofer? Mic Input? AHHHHH!  These are all questions we would rather you not have to answer as you are in the middle of walking down the aisle and the music cuts out for what seems like an eternity.  Can we go for a round 2?  Unfortunately there are no retakes for your wedding day.  Having a professional DJ means these potential problems are not your problems.  The professionals are there who know how to operate, troubleshoot and optimize the equipment.  And with Sound Wave, backups are always available.

So, is hiring a professional DJ the right fit for your wedding? We would recommend exploring your options. Feel free to take a look at our website, where you can watch videos about our services and about our fun, experienced DJs and also learn more about how having a professional DJ can make your day the one you are envisioning.

boise dj

Let us know if we can help by answering questions or brainstorming ideas for your wedding!  Happy planning!

Kristin Cole Sound Wave Music & Lighting Design, LLC 208-891-0094

Photos courtesy of Let It Shine Photography