Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Wishing You Good Luck

So, on a personal note, I am having a string of bad luck lately. Day after day it is one thing or another. Nothing major, but when all put together I really need for my luck to change. So I thought I would write about wedding luck. Take this with a grain of salt because if all of this is true, I have nothing but misfortune ahead!! Yikes!

The first worrisome fact is that Saturday (the most popular wedding day and the day I was married) is not the best day of the week to choose. The saying goes like this:

Monday for health,

Tuesday for wealth,

Wednesday best of all,

Thursday for losses,

Friday for crosses, and

Saturday no luck at all!

The next tidbit relates to what month you are married (note that my wedding month, May, is not so wonderful):

Married when the year is new and he'll be loving, kind and true.

When February birds do mate, you wed nor dread your fate.

If you wed when March winds blow, joy and sorrow both you'll know.

Marry in April when you can, joy for maiden and for man.

Marry in the month of May and your surely rue the day.
Marry while June roses grow, over land and sea you'll go.
Those who in July do wed, must labor for their daily bread.
Whoever wed in August be, many a change is sure to see.

Marry in September's shrine, you'll be living rich and fine.
If in October you do marry, love will come but riches will tarry.
If you wed in bleak November, only joys will come remember.
When December snows fall fast, marry and true love will last.

Then there is the issue of colors. Since the majority of the brides wear white or ivory, I will take this to include bridesmaid dresses (once again, my mocha bridesmaids are doing me in in the luck department as I love my hometown). Maybe we can extend it to flowers also if we are pushing it:

Married in white, you have chosen right.

Married in grey, you'll go far away.

Married in black, you'll wish yourself back.

Married in red, you'll wish yourself dead. (NOT a fan of this one)

Married in green, ashamed to be seen.

Married in blue, you'll always be true.

Married in pearl, you'll live in a whirl.

Married in yellow, ashamed of your fellow.

Married in brown, you'll live out of town.

Married in pink, your spirit will sink.

Here are some random things that denote good or bad luck on your wedding day:

Bad Luck:

  • For the groom to see the bride before the wedding.

  • If the groom drops the wedding band during the ceremony.

  • To practice writing your new married name before the wedding.

  • To wear your complete outfit before the ceremony. Many brides often leave one stitch out of their dress to ward off this superstition.

Good Luck:

  • To see a black cat on your wedding day.

  • For it to rain.

  • Seeing a raibow.

  • Meeting a chimney sweep (not likely in this day in age).

  • To see a police man.

Superstitions - Things we can do to help:

  • Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue and a sixpence in her shoe!

  • For good luck, the first gift the bride opens should be the first gift she uses.

  • The new bride must enter the home through the front door and must not trip or fall (why we get carried over the threshold).

  • It is said that looking in the mirror just before you leave your home for the ceremony is good luck. However, any peek in the mirror after that before the ceremony will bring bad luck.

And lastly, some random factoids to expand our mind for the day:

  • It is believed that at your shower the person who gave you the 3rd gift you opened will be the next to become pregnant.

  • If a girl sleeps with a piece of the wedding cake under her pillow she will dream of her future husband.

  • You always hear of ladies wanting to be a "June Bride". This actually dates back to the 1400's because May is when people took their annual bath. So then in June, everyone would smell fresh.

  • In Roman times, May was a bad month to get married because that is when the Feast of the Dead occurrs (once again, great news for me).

  • Brides used to wear silver. It was Queen Victoria who defied this tradition and wore white. All of her subjects wanted to be in fashion and copied the Queen resulting in a new tradition of white wedding gowns.

  • The veil now represents purity. But in the days of old it was to trick the evil spirits from seeing the bride.

  • Having bridesmaids all dressed alike was to trick the evil spirits into not knowing which one was the bride. When this tradition was in it's prime, the bridesmaids would wear white along with the bride to trick those pesky spirits.

  • Again with the evil spirits - tying cans to the back of the newlywed's car came from tying items on the back of horse carriages to make noise to scare away the evil spirits.

  • Superstition says that the first person to buy an item after the marriage will be the dominant one in the relationship. And as a result of this, many brides arrange to purchase something from one of their bridesmaids immediately following the ceremony.

I love this last fact! Shows how smart the brides can be since the groom didn't come up with it!

Well that is all I have for today. I hope this gives you some wedding conversation starters. Now when your husband to be complains that all you care about it flowers and dresses you can tell him that you care about your future very much and you need those colored flowers to ensure your future happiness :) Do you like how I can justify just about anything?

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Trash The Dress

Blue Nalu Photography

I finally put Trash the Dress (TTD) in my blogroll, so I thought it deserved a little spotlight. TTD is just what you would imagine it to be. "The Dress" being your beloved pristine wedding gown and then you trash it. Literally. The couple above took it to a new extreme level and I LOVE it - but a lot of times it just involves fun frolics in the ocean with your new husband, etc.

I will be the first to admit that I did not have the guts to trash my dress. First of all spending an absurd amount of money on a dress you wear for one day seemed bad enough, but now I was going to trash Ms. Herrera? Now that is just blasphemy! However, every time I see new photos displayed on this edgy website, I get a tinge of....not regret....but a little voice inside me wishes I was a bit more daring! I envy those who have the confidence enough in themselves to even book a photography session like this! I imagine it to be very liberating.

Simply put, hiring the right photographer and letting go of all inhibitions make for some truly inspiring photos...it is like the following brides stepped right out of a magazine.

If this even slightly appeals to you I urge you to look into it! There is only going to be one opportunity for you to wear your dress and so if you can drag out that moment any longer - good for you! You really will treasure the photographs for years upon years to come.

You can get more information on the TTD site. A popular thing to do is hold a "Trash Bash" in your local area. Find a bunch of recent brides that are wanting to do this and share the cost of the photographers time. I think it would be ridiculously fun to have 15 brides on a beach running around and playing. Again, check out TTD to find out more.

Below are some photos of some real brides/knottie friends of mine who trashed their dresses. They will tell you they had an amazing time and it shows on their faces!

So let loose and have fun getting "Trashed" :)

Our New Look!

So instead of writing thank you notes and doing laundry like I was supposed to today, I gave Wedding Pearls a new look! How do you like it? Leave a comment if you preferred the old layout and overall look better as I would love to hear from you!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Timothy and Katharine

Today's entry is on a personal note - I am back from my Houston weekend getaway. As you know, I went to a very near and dear friend's wedding with my husband last weekend.

First let me say that I LOVE TEXAS!! Specifically, Houston. I just loved it! Everyone was sooo nice, the weather was gorgeous (although humid), the town was hustling and bustling without being too overbearing, the crowd was young and seemingly up and coming, the shopping made me extremely happy - it was all just fabulous, definitely want to go back!

I think this was the *first* wedding (as a guest) where I had a LOT of emotion involved. I have been to friends' weddings before. Even my bridesmaid got married before me and I was at her wedding, but this was the most sentimental. As I said, my gorgeous and kind bridesmaid, Becky, got married a year before me and I was very invested in the wedding and loved the two of them so much, but since I knew her now husband so well, there was more of a sense of calm about my emotions.

Tim is a good friend of mine. You will never hear me speak more highly about an individual in my life. We went to high school together and even to college together and yet we never dated (a fete my husband does not believe and my mother wish she could have changed). Then he moved out to Houston to complete his post graduate work and got engaged to Kate.

I had never met her before and while I trusted in his judgment, I was still hesitant. I don't even consider myself good enough for this caring guy so WHO would be good enough for the person I hold on the highest pedestal of all? Well, as far as I can tell, she is! I was elated upon meeting her!

And I can tell you why she is special too - it isn't just a hunch, but more of the little things she did to make sure she became my friend and not just know me a bit through Tim. Many girls could have been bothered by the bond that Tim and I had, but instead, she emailed me directly (more than once) telling me how she can't wait to meet me, she became my friend on My Space, etc. It was GENUINE - a quality I don't think I ever fully felt from someone in that situation before. I truly felt that since I was important to Tim, I was important to her, and I felt the same way right back.

So here me and my husband are, sitting in the church - giving the eyes to Tim (I am giving the eyes, hubby is just sweating because we are in Texas) - hoping that he KNOWS how much I love and support him....here we are - can you picture it?

Okay, now the doors open and here comes this breath of fresh air - young and drop dead gorgeous bride!! I am kind of just standing there at this point wondering how Tim and I grew up in the blink of an eye and are old enough to be getting married (our weddings were a mere 2 months from each other). I almost wanted to press pause and ponder it for a while (preferably back at Florida State with some Pokey Sticks, but that is another story). Kate is with her dad, walking down the aisle, and she spots me....from pictures, she just spots me (granted I made sure I got the prime aisle seat, but whatever)....so she looks at me and seriously takes a moment (during her grand, look at me moment, only time she will walk down the aisle ever) and whispers "Hi Stacy" in the cheeriest whisper EVER! Well, needless to say I had verification right then and there that she IS special and I started crying for the remainder of the ceremony.

Without giving away the personals - their ceremony was in a quaint chapel with gorgeous gold metallic tiling on the walls and indoor columns. The preacher was very Texan and I loved listening to the drawl.

The reception was at Hungry's Bistro, one of their favorite hot spots. The owner, Ash (don't quote me on that one as I had a few glasses of vino at the point of introduction) was so very kind to all of the guests and was quite the storyteller too - great guy!

The couple are presently honeymooning somewhere wonderful in Napa.

I admit that I am a TERRIBLE person here for taking extremely limited photos - but my camera did not fit well into my pretty red clutch I was carrying, and we didn't know too many people, so the camera didn't come out much....but here is what I have.



(excuse the ciggy terrible habit of his!)


(me and the groom of the hour)

At the end of the night, I had to try to grab my friend and let him know how much he meant to me...it wasn't coming out well, but I hope he got it. I wish them a lifetime of happiness and I know they shall have it!


Friday, July 27, 2007

Going to the Chapel

The Rice University Chapel that is...

Hubby and I are out of town this weekend going to a dear friend's wedding in Houston!! Since he is probably one of the most charismatic, smart (seriously he is the smartest person I know and I would venture to say he is the smartest person most of his friends know) and sincere people I have ever met, I am thrilled to see him on the happiest day of his life! We have been great friends since the ripe old age of 16!

I was promised great music (a jazz band from New Orleans) so I hope to have some photos and reviews to report when I get back. (Although no promises since my clutch is a bit too small for my camera)


Sunday, July 15, 2007

Rain Is "In" - Sun is "Out"

I prayed to God (literally) that it wouldn't rain on my wedding day. I searched historical records for my local area to find out that there has only been a tenth of an inch of rain on May 19th in the last ten years! I pleaded with the clouds and sun gods when I felt a "rain like burst of wind" come through my backyard on my wedding day. I attempted to hide my neurotic rain issues from everyone around me so I wouldn't hear the "don't worries" or the even more dreaded "rain on your wedding day is good luck" bull @#$#.

Luckily for me, my day turned out sunny as can be. But I am here now to tell you NOT to worry about it. Seriously. It rained on my bridesmaid's wedding day and she was so upset that she wouldn't get the outdoor photos and I was so upset for her. If I had seen the following photos then as opposed to now, I would have told her to EMBRACE IT!

My favorite examples of why rain is "in" are these gorgeous photos of my friend Rachel's wedding to her adorable hubby Jack. She is the one that I feel green with envy about in terms of photography (another issue I will delve into later). More of her utterly outstanding photos can be seen on Mandi Marie's blog which is linked to the right of your screen.

See the (beautiful) storm clouds closing in? I wonder if at that moment Rachel was thinking "Crap this is really going to put a kink in my plans."

Here, her and Jack are thinking "Hurry up and smile honey, we better get inside."

And here the lovely newlyweds are doing the dance of joy saying "It may have drizzled, but our photos are going to AMAZING!!!" This is my absolute favorite of all! I seriously stare at these photos non-stop because they had such a beautiful location (Rockhouse Negril), are beautiful people, and had a gifted photog to boot.

I kid around by interjecting my comments, but I seriously doubt tornados would really upset any bride because once you are there, you don't care about anything other than marring your beloved. And since I know Rachel, I can say that only she could embrace the rain as good naturedly and laid back as she did because she is just that sort of bride that professionals would die to work with. So we should all learn something from her photos (since my obsession is apparent - I will probably spot light her more when she gets more of her photos in).

Some other rainy day brides that made the most of it are knotties: Drzwife and Minotosgirl (currently cannot find her bio).



If any of you have more great rainy day shots, leave a comment and let me know. I would love to add more to this post.

So to sum up the topic: Whatever natural disasters or other supposed catastrophes come your way on your wedding day, go with it, work it, embrace it. Make it the new "in" thing because as long as you smile big like these smart brides, no one will notice it but you. And the right photographer can make any situation beautiful!

Also, random side note: If you are inclined to stick to the whole "rain on your wedding day is the worst possible thing that could happen to me EVER" school of thought....don't be surprised if it rains in "rainy season" in Florida or the Caribbean. Seriously. We don't call it the rainy season for kicks.

Once again, if you are stuck with your date make it work. Bring a chic black umbrella or a bright festive one to match your BM dresses. Bring brightly colored cheerful galoshes, etc.

Friday, July 13, 2007

More Flower Clips

In my pursuit of the perfect flower clips, I found this site. These flowers look much more realistic that the site I posted a few weeks ago. Some even have pretty pearl accents.

Late Bloomer Boutique

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Extravagant Favor Packaging

I almost died when I stumbled onto Nonnie Wallers' website!! If only I had seen this prior to my wedding I might have gone seriously over budget in the favor department! This site offers mini cakes as gifts and truffles and petite fours as favors, but the most alluring aspect is the beautiful way they are packaged!

For a mere $118, you can receive 19 pieces of chocolate truffels packaged in an exquisite hat box. I really think this site is a treasure for hostess gifts, etc. But for wedding favors...hey, if you can afford it - I envy you. However all hope is not lost because some of these looks can EASILY be recreated with some pinking shears and a trip to the craft store.

Had I seen this site prior to my wedding, I would have definitely jazzed up my chocolate favors similar to the photo below. I love the different patterns and the tiny bejewled belly bands (for lack of a better term) around each piece. If anything, this site has taught me to think "inside the box" a bit more. Go check out her site and Happy Drooling because they are JUST gorgeous!

Bridal Replicas

OK - I'm not even kidding! For a small fortune, you can get a doll made to your likeness wearing a replica of your wedding dress! No folks I am not pulling your leg! And I hate to admit, that Barbara Cox pulls it off quite well! Tell me this real life bride and her mini-me don't look alike!

Alternatively (and much more affordable) you can get just a replica wedding gown made and you can run to Toys-R-Us and buy a Barbie that looks the most like you...maybe toss her hair up into chignon and you can be immortalized as a bride on your shelf forever!!

I joke around, but this could be a potentially cute gift. The replica dollars are 24" tall which is a bit scary to me, but the Barbie sized dresses could easily be a great shower gift/memento. I am sure the future daughter's out there would love to play with "mommy" one day - and in that respect, I think the concept is sweet.

The price for doll is $835 ::::choking on my latte:::

The price for the Barbie dress is $150, plus the price of your Barbie doll.

To find out more go to Dolls by Barbara.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Faux Flower Clips

Just a quick post today to include a website I just found online.
A lot of the destination wedding girls do similar things for their wedding day hair and at these prices, you might as well buy rather than DIY. In my opinion, based on this site, the Orchids look the most real.
How pretty would your bridesmaids look with matching flowers in their hair! Do it!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Too Cool For Pearls

OK ladies - I like would to introduce a new post activity that I hope to be able to continue. I am going to be asking married ladies a question...."If you could do it all over again....how would you change things?" We will then make that person's alternate ego wedding a board to represent it. We will also show you that person's TRUE wedding style by highlighting their real wedding.
I don't want typical sappy answers like, "Oh I would have done pink roses instead of white." You HAVE to pretend you are "too cool." Why? You may ask? Because it is my game and I get to make the rules. SO you must do something completely opposite of "you" and make it chic at the same time. We will start with my board.

My board is inspired by the notion of "IF I were a super skinny super tall model with super model bridesmaids and all the money in the world, this is what my wedding would look like."

Standard Disclaimer: We all obviously know that each participant loves her wedding AS IS and really wouldn't change a thing...but I am bored, so this is what we are doing.

My uber celeb filled wedding will take place at the One and Only in Palmilla, Mexico. My color palette be in the tones of a soft yellow, turquoise and a coral hue. It would include mini bridesmaid dresses from Shoshana, David Yurman and Judith Ripka jewels (which I obviously bought as presents for ALL of my guests), and minimal florals (since I am a posh super model, I don't need flowers to make my wedding special). We would be drinking lemon drops in martini glasses, but we would call them lemon de frouff (there is an accent above the "o" so we can use our accents and pronounce it lemoan...we change the name because we are trendy like that :)


BUT my real wedding wasn't quite like that. I am a traditional girl at heart no matter how much shopping I do on new fangled high heels and oversized purses that you can fit the kitchen sink in just because the Olsen twins say it is cool.

My real wedding to my husband was more like this...and I wouldn't change it in any way : )

To find out more about my Florida wedding, please go to my bio on the knot: StacyH&BrianC

Monday, June 4, 2007


I admit, I am procrastinating in doing a summary of my wedding. It seems too daunting a task to summarize something I have been waiting my entire life for! I get writer's block any time I imagine condensing such a magical evening. So, I fast forward on to my mini-moon.
DH and I decided to postpone our honeymoon and stay at the resort where we were married for a few days for a mini-moon. We hope to go on our real honeymoon in September (more on that another time). So we stayed at Sanibel Harbour Resort & Spa for a few days after the wedding to relax and enjoy our first week as husband and wife. It was a little unusual since the resort was in our home town; however, hundreds of thousands of people flock to our beaches for their honeymoons or vacations each year, so why not try to view the place we grew up in the eyes of a tourist? I highly recommend doing this if you live in a tourist oriented area. It really allowed us to appreciate restaurants and little spots on the beach more as a visitor than we ever had being a resident.

Here is our favorite spot on San-Cap Beach. Poor DH got so sun burnt that he was out of commission for all sun-based activities for the remainder of the trip. Bless his heart though! He stuck it out like a champ because he knew I was having fun. We brought along a little picnic with us and it made for a wonderful day! You can see hubby-poo in the background wanting nothing to do with my picture taking shenanigans.

My main purpose in this post though is to share with you the spirit of Captiva Island! The second you set foot on the island you get a perma-smile. Everyone is strolling around with a beer in their hand and a smile on their faces. One evening, we went to my favorite restaurant of all time! The Mucky Duck! The main lure of this restaurant is that it is on the beach. It is, hands down, the BEST place to watch the sunset. On any given evening, The Mucky Duck is packed during sunset. Don't get discouraged by the long wait or the huge crowds. It really thins out after sunset.

It feels as though the entire island gathers there to watch the sun set every evening. They wait and wait and watch and take pictures. And when the sun finally goes down, everyone claps with such joy as though they were afraid the sun wouldn't make it! Every time I go, I feel like it is the first time witnessing the togetherness of everyone and the happiness surrounding the event. I even got all teary, because it is such a silly thing...to applaud the sun for setting. But it really is beautiful and you can't help but beam with happiness at witnessing the beauty of a Captiva sunset.




See how happy we are?

Just because my husband's hot!

(See the ring on his finger? Isn't it sexy?)

And just because I can, and because I have another cute dress on.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Rehearsal Dinner

Our Rehearsal Dinner (RD) was held at The Light House in Ft. Myers, Florida. I chose this venue because it has the most perfect outdoor patio overlooking the water and had great sunsets! It was also screened in (no bugs) and has a few overhead fans (for the sweltering northerners). I was so excited about this because they typically have an acoustic guitarist at the bar, so free entertainment!

When we got there, I was overly distraught to see our tables and buffet all set up INSIDE! I panicked in true bridezilla style. It was the day before the wedding and I was having the official melt down. We all knew it would happen, just didn't know when. I got all snippy with the manager who claimed our contract says "inside." She then said, "Do you want me to get it and show it to you?" I flipped and said, "No, I don't want to see your doctored document." So I am still officially mad at them because they refused to seat us outside when there was no one out there. So they would not have had to inconvenience any other patron to accommodate us at all.

Finally, our best man, Austin (who had just had his own wedding the month before us) took me aside and ever so calmly said, "Stacy, look around (then forced me to look around). You are with your family and friends so who cares where we are as long as we are together?" Ugh, how right is he?! This made me cry, partially because he was right, partially because I was stressed and partially because I was giving in to the meanie manager. But after Austin got me a glass of wine and embraced the inside-ness of it all, I had the best night of my life! All my family and friends were in one place to celebrate me and my fiance! Who could ask for more than that at that moment?

This was the first night I had relaxed in weeks! I never wanted it to end. All of our favorite people in one spot and we were the life of the party. Here are my favorite photos from the evening.

First of all, it always makes for a better night when you are wearing a great dress! I loved mine! Fun and flirty and from Banana Republic. You can't have a bad time in this dress! I swear!

Here Comes the Bride! And her 4 beautiful bridesmaids! At my wedding, I kept looking at them and thinking how pretty they all were! More to come on their dresses and hair later. These ladies are all sorority sisters of mine and I hope to have them in my lives for years upon years to come.

The best ring bearer EVER! This is my 1.5 year old nephew. He is adorable! And the apple of my eye!

Last, but not least, my oldest friend that I have. We have been friends since we were little girls (think NKOTB, the 80s, splatter pain, Debbie Gibson Electric Youth and crimping irons) and she came all the way from NYC to be with me! I can't wait for the day I get to return the favor!

This is us saying goodbye to one another. We both started tearing up and one of our groomsmen, who refused to give us a moment alone, snapped a picture. The next time we will lay eyes on each other will be when I am walking down the aisle!! I am soon to be Mrs. C!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Bridal Party Gifts

There are many ways to appreciate your bridal party. Some people choose to pay for the party's wardrobe and accommodations, some choose to get them something to remember the day, some choose to treat your party to a day of pampering, and some choose to write the individuals in their party a letter explaining the magnitude of their friendship. Big or small it doesn't really matter, the point is to celebrate your friendship.
Also consider getting each of your wedding party something different. If they are all very different personalities, there is no reason not to honor that and get them all something unique. Luckily all my girls are close friends and are very similar in taste.

Many girls are stumped on what to give their bridesmaids. I think I went a bit overboard with mine, but here is what I put in there and hopefully one aspect of it will inspire you.

- A pearl pendant necklace from http://www.overstock.com to wear on the day of the wedding that complimented their dresses. (NOTE: I am the queen of returns and bought 2 necklaces and figured I would just pick which one I liked best, and return the other. Overstock has a pretty strict return policy that I did NOT research with hefty "restocking fees.")

- A DIY photo album with pictures from the bachelorette party, shower, etc.

- A silver bracelet from http://www.tiffanyandco.com. Luckily I bought these a week before their prices went up!

- A home candle and body creme from Jo Malone found at http://www.jomalone.com. They gift wrap everything that they sell, so this cut down on some things for me to do. (Madonna gave these as favors at a party once :)
- And then for the pampering, a makeup team came to the house before the wedding and did their eye makeup.


Our groomsmen didn't do much or participate much in preparation for the wedding and this group of men are much pickier than any girl on the planet! So we didn't mull this one over too much. Anything they want they go out and buy that second anyway because they are so impulsive.

We got them valets (a man's jewelry box) from http://www.potterybarn.com (see: accessories, storage, and then jewelry boxes). They were black leather and had their initials imprinted in the leather.

I was really proud of how I wrapped the guys' gifts by keeping with my color palette and still keeping them "manly." Feel free to steal this idea - the guys actually gave me hugs for putting so much time into wrapping their gifts! Wrap the gift in brown kraft paper, and just print out the names on your computer in your chosen font and color. Slice a slit into each side and feed your chosen ribbon through. Ta da! Manly and pretty to the eye : )

The Art of the Out of Towner's Gift Bag

I got a lot of compliments on my OOT bags, so I wanted to give them a little spotlight today. Many people do them for guests who are traveling to your wedding from out of town and are staying in a hotel. These guests many times do not have the luxury of getting online and mapquesting directions they forgot, nor did they remember to get water and Advil for the killer hangover they are going to have the day after your wedding. A gift bag is an attempt to make these guests feel thought of and make their stay a bit easier on them.

First of all, I urge you to be creative and keep your eye out well in advance. Gift bags will always do, but I found these straw beach style totes at the Bealls Outlet (found in most Florida cities) on sale from $20.00 down to $3.00 a piece! So now they have a beach bag or purse along with all the goodies inside!

Information: I went to Staples and bought white folders and put labels on them. Inside was a post card that I made with our welcome letter, directions to and from all wedding related events, important phone numbers, coupons, general city maps, and a great book from the visitors and tourism office (for free) on the history of the area.

Medicine: Go to Sam's and get your guests some Advil/Tylenol and Imodium! These cure the things you didn't quite plan on.

Water: To get those pills down! I made DIY water bottle labels with our monogram on it.

Something local: Treat your out of town guests to something local. In my case, I got them some Florida oranges and packaged them up. I admit my "slogan" is cheesy, but it went over really well! I got more comments on this one aspect of the OOT bag than anything else!

Goodies: I wanted to do something fun, so I got personalized margarita mixes, margarita glasses from JoAnn's for $.99 each, umbrella straws and travel sized tequila bottles. I tried to mainly put these in the younger crowd's bags. For guests that wouldn't appreciate this, I got personalized coffee pouches for the hotel in room coffee maker. Even if they don't use it, they will bring it home and think of you next time they want to make a pot of coffee. And lastly, buy some munchies in bulk. Everyone got chips from the variety packs they sell at Sam's Club.

Something this big isn't always needed, but it is a nice touch and let's guests know you are thinking about them. It also kind of kick starts the weekend's festivities because the moment they check in, they are being reminded of what a good time they are about to have celebrating your love!