Miss Behavin // Showered with love

We have all been guests to showers with games, questionnaires, delicious food and of course our loved ones. As a bride, showers are a time for you to realize how truly blessed you are to have such great friends and family. My aunts hosted a Pampered Chef shower in my parents’ home, Mr. Behavin’s family hosted an amazing shower in his hometown, and most recently, I had one by my lovely bridesmaids.

A few tips:
1. Instead of a guest book have your guests sign thank you note envelopes. This will save you a lot of time looking up and writing addresses!
2. This tip is if your guests are there while you open your gifts. As you open up your gifts, invite the gift giver to sit with you. Then have your Maid of Honor take a picture of you with the gift and the person who gave it to you. This helps when writing thank you notes and would make a super cute photo album.
3. Since I am not originally from the metro area, my good friends were not able to come to my hometown shower. So my sister (MOH) and the bridesmaids put together a shower for me and my ‘local’ friends. We chose to rent a room at Breezy Hill Vineyard outside of Neola, Iowa! Free wine tastings and they allowed us to bring in our own food. They even gave us suggestions of foods that go with their wines! Plus I was able to have my favorite wine: Misbehavin’! It was such a great time.
4. Thank your hosts. A thoughtful note or small gift would be lovely. I gave my bridesmaids each a bottle of my favorite wine, wine charms for the party, and some chocolate. You don’t realize how much time they put into these things! The deserve a BIG thank you!

As you can see, thank you notes are something, I feel, that are very important. A few weeks ago, I spoke with Mr. Behavin’s aunt about thank you notes. She was told they were not a part of modern weddings. So stick with me, my fellow brides… Get out your pens, stamps, and stack of pre-addressed thank you notes! Let’s keep this tradition of kindness alive!

You got my sunshine

It has been snowy and it has been rainy the past few weeks so I say it’s time for some sunshine. But since the sun has been struggling to come out, I thought I’d share some (along with a little inspiration).

Oh, and you could probably find something like this cake at Nothing Bundt Cakes!

Cakes // Tastefully Unique

Alright, so maybe we have a raging sweet tooth this week — cupcakes on Wednesday and cakes on Friday. But there are a lot of unique cake ideas out there that don’t have to end up looking tacky. We thought these might provide you with some ideas to get those cake wheels turning.

And even if you can’t decide on one cake design, you could just get several different smaller cakes each having a different design.

Flower Girls // Tulle & Tutus

Just in case our cupcake post yesterday didn’t quite brighten your day, take a look at these photos. What an adorable way to dress your flower girls!

Photos and ideas from Louisville Wedding Blog

Cute Cupcakes

Ready for a mid-week pick-me-up? Yeah, we know the feeling. So maybe now’s the perfect time to indulge your sweet senses with some cupcakes. Bridal shower day, wedding day or any day, these look (and taste) delicious. And if the tower of frosting has you thinking calorie suicide — no problem. Mini cupcakes are the perfect solution — half the size, half the calories, same sweet sensation.

We found some similar-looking ones you can find locally (Mockingbird Cupcakes) and that will probably save you a mess in the kitchen.

Almond Sweetie: Vanilla cupcake with almond buttercream, toasted sliced almonds that’s topped with a maraschino cherry.

Pink Pucker: Lemon cupcake with raspberry buttercream that’s topped with a fresh raspberry

The “other” Tart Baby: Vanilla cupcake with lime curd center, lime buttercream that’s topped with toasted graham cracker crumbs, vanilla whipped cream and a lime wedge.

The perfect tasty trio for a mid-week pick-me-up! Happy Wednesday, everyone!
Try some of our preferred vendors: Gigi’s Cupcakes & Nothing Bundt Cakes

Or find more Cakes & Sweets here on our Pinterest board!

Black in Bridal

Nowhere does it say you have to follow all the rules in bridal style. One of the trends we’re seeing is a greater amount of black in wedding attire. Black is no longer limited to the groom and groomsmen — or even the bridesmaids. If you want to have black in your wedding or if you want to go for something original, maybe this will give you a little bit of inspiration.

Bride Blogger // Finding a photographer

How do you find the right photographer for your wedding? There are so many out there, different styles, what they offer and of course they vary in price range. Your best bet to not get lost in the whirl wind of photography is to decide what you want style wise, what amenities they offer and what price you are willing to spend.

I began my search at the Wedding Essentials Bridal Fair and went from there. I met a few photographers there and got answers to all the questions I had. I think that customer service is an important part of business – especially at a bridal fair and you want brides to meet with you outside of that setting.

First, I wanted to know what pricing was before I set up an appointment. I didn’t want to waste my time or theirs if they weren’t in my price range so I took to Google. You can find almost every photographer on the internet and if they don’t have a website, they certainly have a Facebook page.

If I liked a photographer’s work online, I emailed them. I probably emailed 30 photographers over the course of a month. From the responses I received, I put them into two categories, either in my price range or not and then those that were in my price range got a second email to see about the availability of our wedding date and to set up an appointment to meet.

I made these appointments in February and I had three that I liked who were already booked for a late October wedding date. Even though a few were booked, I was able to set up appointments with six other photographers. Yes, six. I know it seems like a lot, but it was well worth it since photography is one of the most important pieces of a wedding. While the wedding only lasts one day, the photos last years.

Best advice: contact vendors you like early to guarantee their availability.

After meeting with all six photographers, Mr. Thirteen and I had a decision to make. All photographers were equally qualified and talented, but it came down to who we connected most with and who offered all the items we wanted (an engagement session, rights to all photos taken, a website to share with family and friends, the option to have prints made and albums created, and of course to stay within our budget).

I ended up going with Steve Kowalski at A Better Exposure. Steve has been in business for over 15 years and I felt more than comfortable when talking to him; it was like talking to a friend. I appreciated that he has a studio (some photographers do not) and when I was looking at his albums, there was one in particular that stood out to me. The album captured the emotion of this couples wedding so well that I was almost in tears flipping through the pages. I knew right then that I wanted Steve to photograph my wedding. I can’t wait for the weather to get nice so we can go outdoors to get our engagement pictures taken. Steve had some great ideas for photos and hopefully I can preview them here when they are done!