For stress-free vacation planning and a trip that's nothing short of perfect, follow this checklist.
Designate a Honeymoon Planner
Things will run more smoothly if one person is responsible for the majority of the travel details. Often, it's the partner who is handling fewer of the wedding-related tasks. So if you're booking caterers and finalizing your playlists, hand those resort brochures over to your hubby-to-be. This means that he'll do the majority of the research and act as the point person for travel agents, hotel and airline representatives, or tour operators.
Set a Budget
Once you know what you can reasonably afford to pay, you can home in on destinations, hotels, and activities. While that private helicopter tour over Kauai's Na Pali Coast might have to wait until after you've bought your first house, don't cut anything out without crunching the numbers first. Sometimes the locations that require an expensive flight (like Thailand) actually offer truly affordable
Blog Posts by Martha Stewart Weddings
For stress-free vacation planning and a trip that's nothing short of perfect, follow this checklist.Read More »from The Only Honeymoon Checklist You'll Ever Need
Read More »from 10 Amazing Honeymoon Stays Fit for Royalty
Photo: Courtesy of Mr. & Mrs. Smith Newly acquired surnames can't all come with a duchess-of-such-and-such title, but it's still possible to roam like royalty. Why not hold court in a storied palazzo or revel in a majestic mansion as if it were your own? After all, this isn't just any trip - it's your honeymoon. So, with this in mind boutique hotel experts, Mr & Mrs Smith, have shared some of the most romantic spots from their collection.
(Pictured here: Samode Palace, India)
Plus: Wedding Toast Dos and Don'ts
Photo: Courtesy of Mr. & Mrs. Smith Hacienda de San Antonio, Mexico
Aspiring aristocrats will feel right at home in the exclusive Hacienda de San Antonio, in Mexico's small highland state of Colima. This elegant, 120-year-old colonial-style estate with commanding colonnades and curved archways sits serenely in a jaw-dropping landscape of coffee plants and avenues of bamboo.
Room to book: El Sol is the largest of the hotel's suites, and boasts huge fireplaces in the bedroom and living area, as well as soft sofas, original artwork
- Martha Stewart Weddings | Love + Sex – Wed, May 29, 2013 2:56 PM EDT
Attending a rehearsal dinner like Robert Pattinson and Katy Perry? Take a look at our etiquette guide first.Read More »from Jennifer Aniston Receives Lingerie from Miranda Kerr as a Wedding Gift, and Other Weddings News
Victoria's Secret model Miranda Kerr surprised Jennifer Aniston with bespoke lingerie for her wedding night. [EntertainmentWise]
Despite rumors of a split from fiancé Liam Hemsworth, Miley Cyrus Instagrammed a photo of herself in a wedding dress this week. [Hollywood Life]
Did Robert Pattinson and Katy Perry crash a wedding rehearsal dinner? Onlookers at this Santa Barbara wedding say yes. [People]
Itching to know more about Keira Knightly's laid-back wedding? Her new husband James Righton just dished the details. [Daily Mail]
Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul and his bride tied the knot over Memorial Day at the Cottage Pavilion at Calamigos Ranch in Malibu. [The Hollywood Gossip]
More from Martha Stewart Weddings:
Gorgeous Gawk-Worthy Wedding Cakes
Dos and Don'ts of Wedding Registries
Gorgeous Engagement Rings of Real Brides
20 DIY Wedding Hairstyles with Step-by-Step Instructions
Looking to enhance your dessert table with something rich and indulgent? We've rounded up the most delicious chocolate treats around, from molten cakes to decadent signature drinks.
Read More »from Delicious Chocolate Wedding Ideas
Gooey Caramel Chocolate Cake
This chocolate wedding confection is so mouthwatering, it doesn't even need icing, just gooey ganache, salted caramel, and crushed peanuts sandwiched between spongy layers.
Get the Gooey Caramel Chocolate Cake Recipe
Molten Chocolate Cupcakes
This miniature riff on the sophisticated souffle combines a dense, molten chocolate-ganache center with light, airy chocolate cake. Served warm with a dollop of vanilla ice cream and an edible gold-leaf garnish, this cupcake will melt your guests' hearts -- one luscious bite at a time.
Get the Molten Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe
Punchy Chocolate Fruit Cake
This four-tiered marvel is full of surprises. Slice through the mocha fondant to find scrumptious brown layerspaired with pomegranate cream. To hint
- Martha Stewart Weddings | Love + Sex – Thu, May 16, 2013 9:48 AM EDT
Some vendors include gratuities in their fees, but many will leave the amount up to you -- and the level of service they provide can influence what you give them. Tips can add up quickly, costing you a few thousand dollars. Most tips should be handed out the day of the wedding, so it's wise to assign the job to a friend or family member. A follow-up thank-you note is often a valued tip in itself, as your word can be a recommendation for the vendor.
The OfficiantRead More »from Everything You Need to Know About Tipping Your Wedding Vendors
Consider handing your officiant $100, a thoughtful present, or, if you're having a religious service, making a donation to their house of worship in the celebrant's name.
The Catering Staff
If the gratuity isn't already included, plan on tipping all staff members, including the catering or banquet manager, waiters, bartenders, chefs, and other essential workers who help serve guests. You can calculate the tip as a percentage of the cost of your total catering bill. Figure on paying about 15 to 20 percent of the amount
If you've got a sweet tooth, you'll definitely be craving the no-bake desserts in Faith Durand's new book Bakeless Sweets. Durand, the executive editor of Apartment Therapy's The Kitchn blog, has created a collection of recipes that are just the thing for when you crave something sticky and sweet but don't dare turn on your oven. Temptation takes the form of cold ice box cake, chilly panna cotta, jiggly gelatins, and even a breakfast-appropriate yogurt parfait. Stacy Newgent's photos make the dishes look scandalously good but most are stealthily healthy-they're gluten-free, made with low sugar, or use whole grains such as quinoa and barley. Good-for-you desserts? Now, that's rich.
Read More »from No Oven Required: Delicious No-Bake Desserts
Photo: Stacy Newgent Root-Beer and Cream Soda Terrine
This Root Beer and Cream Soda Terrine is gluten-free. What a fun take on this classic flavor combo!
Plus: Wedding Toast Dos and Don'ts
Photo: Stacy Newgent Creme Brulee
You can make this no-bake creme brulee on the stovetop.
When are patterns permitted? How do I know what colors go well together? Does everyone have to match? Enlist these seven golden rules when choosing attire for your attendants.Read More »from 7 Tips for Dressing Your Bridesmaids
1. Don't Go Changing
Women are having more fun with fashion in general-they're aware of trends and open to taking risks-and they're bringing that spirit to their weddings. You don't have to become someone else (read: more traditional than you are) for that one day. You don't even have to wear white!
2. Please Yourself
It may be tempting to try to make your entire wedding party happy with their bridesmaid dress, but it's your day, and it's important to draw the line somewhere. If you want to take into account different body types, you can choose a gown color and fabric that you'd like your ladies to wear, but let them each choose the neckline they like most. Don't abandon a dress just because one of the girls doesn't like your color scheme. Also, beware of allowing bridesmaids to wear any dress they want as long
- With the upcoming release of Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby (it hits theaters May 10th, but who's counting?), we can't help but feel giddy over all things sparkly and metallic. From extravagant Champagne towers, to Old Hollywood-inspired dresses, and even cakes flecked with gold, we've rounded up our favorite wedding ideas that evoke the dramatic opulence of The Roaring Twenties.
From top left:
1. We're loving this 20s-inspired wedding invitation from Wedding Paper Divas' fall collection.
2. A palette of black, and white and gold is just right for a glamorous wedding celebration.
3. Nothing channels 1920s opulence quite like a bubbling tower of Champagne coupes at your celebration.
4. A mix of bold metallics with a few sparkly flashes will take your wedding details from understated to out-of-this-world.
5. A curve-hugging silhouette and glittering embellishments make this Lazaro gown shine with vintage glamour.
6. The only thing better than a Rolls-Royce getaway car is one Read More »from Wedding Inspiration: The Great Gatsby
- Martha Stewart Weddings | Love + Sex – Mon, May 6, 2013 3:47 PM EDT
Do Talk About ItRead More »from Wedding Budget Dos and Don'ts: How Not to Get in Debt Over Your Wedding
Talk about who will contribute and how much they will contribute before you come up with a budget. Make sure everyone involved is comfortable with their contribution before you start putting deposits down on anything.
Don't Assume Your Parents Will Pay for the Wedding
Don't assume that your parents and his parents will foot the entire bill. Today, many couples, especially if they have been living together for awhile, pay for their nuptials on their own.
Plus: Gorgeous Engagement Rings of Real Brides
Do Ask Vendors a Lot of Questions
When booking vendors, ask a lot of questions to find out if there are any hidden fees and to make sure you can afford the services they're offering. For example, don't agree to any upgrades (colored table linens, fancy chair covers) without first asking if they cost extra.
Plus: Wedding Toast Dos and Don'ts
Don't Overextend Yourself
If you can't afford to have a big reception right away, consider having an intimate gathering and
When it comes to incorporating wedding rituals into your big day, it's important to keep things personal. We've rounded up fresh takes on timeless traditions for you to adapt as you please.
CUTTING THE CAKE
The Tradition: Dessert is a high point of any party, but at a wedding, it literally takes the cake. This is the most iconic moment in the reception, and a guest favorite. The couple and the cake often take center stage after the dinner plates are cleared. The bride places her hand on the knife, and the groom places his hand over hers. They cut a slice and feed each other -- a gesture symbolic of their promise to always provide for one another -- with plenty of encouragement from guests. The Update: These days, many couples offer a dessert buffet instead of cake, with an array of pastries and bite-size sweets; or they may create a cake-like arrangement of frosted cupcakes on tiers. It can be hard to cut such small confections gracefully, so just offer your partner a