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Guest Post, Inspiration, Spice up your Site

How to Create a Honeymoon Registry with Wanderable

Today’s guest post is from another exciting wed-tech company to hit the scene. Wanderable is a honeymoon registry site that offers the added benefit of sending personalized email thank you notes straight from your phone – featuring photos taken on your trip!

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So you’re getting married, but already own your dream set of pots and pans, and don’t need a lot of new stuff from a traditional wedding registry. You also have dreams of eating croissants in Paris or lounging on a hammock in Hawaii, but are worried about budgeting your trip after you big day. Enter Wanderable.com, a honeymoon registry site that makes it easy for your friends and family to give you meaningful and memorable experiences.

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Setting up your honeymoon registry on Wanderable is simple. You can create a personalized design or use one of the site’s 28 themes, and the layouts are clean and well designed (think Pinterest) and ad-free. You can upload a photo of the two of you, add a personal note to your guests and include any wedding details you want to share.

Once you have your registry site setup, you can add any item or experience your heart desires: a snorkeling expedition off the coast of Bora Bora, a stay in a beach bungalow, a couples massage, or a new piece of luggage to take on your trip.

After you have added your registry items, you share your link to your wedding guests, and they give you the experiences you registered for as funds for your trip. You can receive gifts automatically into your bank account or have a check mailed to you whenever you want, and your guests can even choose to send you a handmade gift box with your gift description, or take one to the reception. Wanderable’s registries are free to create and have the lowest transaction fees in the industry.

As an added bonus, Wanderable’s iPhone app makes it easy to manage your registry on the go and a snap to send your guests personalized thank you postcards that feature your own photos uploaded straight from your phone. You can share the cards for free via Facebook or email, or have Wanderable address, stamp and mail them for you.

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Best of all, you can easily embed your Wanderable registry link right into your Glo site. Get started today at wanderable.com!

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GemmaAronToday’s guest post is written by Gemma Aron, Wanderable’s content and social media intern. A true wanderer, Gemma spent five years traveling the world before joining the Wanderable team.

Guest Post, Real Glö-bies

Wedding shoes and being flexible

A few months ago, I met Madeline at a book club meeting for A Practical Wedding groupies. She is one of those gals you fall in love with instantly – super energetic, upbeat and fun. Her story about planning a wedding to a US Marine totally touched me. I also loved that the very first thing Madeline bought for her wedding were her shoes! (My wedding shoes were an early purchase, and I’ve worn them to bits since my wedding day.) I asked her to write a guest post about her planning experience and feel lucky that she obliged. The result is below.

What I personally take away from Madeline’s experience thus far is how important it is to not sweat the small stuff. To know what is important to YOU (be it shoes, location, music, food, or none of the above.) To know what would truly make you sad to give up or compromise on – and then to be flexible on the rest.

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So much has changed since I bought my wedding shoes.  They were my first purchase for the wedding, besides books about weddings, and this order of operations makes sense for me.  I love books and I love shoes.  Of all the random and only somewhat useful collections I have (the least useful of which is my rubber duck collection), the largest two are books and shoes.  The perfect pair of wedding shoes has long been more important to me than the perfect wedding dress.  So when I found this beautiful pair of t-strap sandals on one of my favorite shopping websites, I was beyond excited.  They’re gorgeous.  Just the colors I had in mind, and under $100 to boot!  I didn’t know if I could wait till my September 2012 wedding in Texas to wear them.

Madeline's Wedding Shoes

Madeline’s gorgeous wedding shoes

Thus far, I have waited.  The only exception was when I wore them to try on wedding dresses.  I ended up with two dresses because I went during a sample sale, they were cheap, and I couldn’t decide between them.  The shoes look wonderful with both, but particularly with the rather retro, tea-length, tulle confection that is now definitely my wedding dress.

The 'other' wedding dress

The ‘other’ wedding dress

In just the last few days, I’ve started to look at the shoes as a reminder of the early stages of wedding planning, when it was barely touched by the Marine Corps, my fiancé’s employer.  The part of planning when the Marine Corps’ involvement in our wedding did not go beyond a sword detail and cutting the cake with a saber.  But the change I referred to above was brought on by complications with the Marines, and now my lovely summer wedding has become a cozy winter wedding.  I wasn’t sure the shoes would even work in the winter, but I refuse to give them up.  I’ll just wear tights.

A large chunk of what we’re planning has been determined by the Marine Corps thrusting change upon us.  Having a winter wedding (only five months from now instead of fifteen!) is just the beginning.  The flowers will have to be different, although this means I can have my absolute favorites.  The second dress I had chosen is far too lightweight for winter, even in Texas, so my dress decision was made for me.  Our venue may change, if the one I love so much cannot accommodate our change in date.

But there are and always will be things the Marine Corps’ plans for my fiancé cannot touch: my knack for planning, my excitement over the coming gathering of all our loved ones, my love for this incredible man, and my shoes.

Guest Post, Twists on Tradition

Register Your Way: A Great Alternative to Traditional Wedding Registries

When it comes to asking for money as a wedding gift, I’m betting even Dear Abby finds herself scratching her head and wondering what the most polite approach is. Of course, it’s something that every couple dreams of asking for; afterall, what could be better than the hassle-free reality that is cold, hard cash? But, why then, do so many newlyweds instead find themselves knee deep in wedding gifts that they’ll spend the first year of their married life returning?

The answer is obvious: asking for anything out-of-the-ordinary (especially money!) is a sensitive thing. When my husband and I were planning our wedding, we really truly didn’t need anything….except help with our home renovation.

We dreamed about creating a registry asking for money to pay for items like, “landscape lights” and “a kitchen sink.” But, we couldn’t figure out how to create that type of a registry in a tactful way and instead ended up registering for a handful of things at the usual places just for the sake of having a registry. And, of course, we were lavished with some really bizarre gifts that are now collecting dust in the “regift” pile in our basement.

Oh, if only we had known about Deposit a Gift. An easy and classy way to ask your friends and family to help you pay for things you really want or need. The approach is to be specific in what you’re going to do with the money people are gifting instead of just asking for it. On the Deposit a Gift website, you’re able to insert customized items – ranging from honeymoon extravagances to charity donations to (would have been helpful in my case) home renovation items. For example:

The gifter feels good about donating to the causes because they know exactly where their money is going, and that it’s what you truly want/need.

Here’s founder Dana Ostomel’s two-cents:

Everyone is asking what you want for your wedding and where you’re registered. If you prefer money towards specific goals and dreams, how do you communicate this in a polite and tactful way? You certainly don’t want to offend your guests, but you also don’t want them wasting their money on gifts you can’t use or will return.

A cash wedding registry is the perfect solution to create a gift list of exactly what you need! It’s attractive to you, but will it be appealing to guests? I say, it’s all in the positioning. As with any gift, givers want to feel good about it and connected to their choice. Here are a few tips for smooth sailing…

How To Create a Cash Wedding Registry Guests Will Love:

Choose a Narrative: This type of registry is an awesome opportunity to share with your guests what is important to you at this time in your life. What’s your story?

  • Got grandiose travel plans? Create a Honeymoon Registry.
  • Is your eye on the prize of home-ownership? A Home Down payment Registry is perfect for you.
  • Want your honeymoon to last a year? Register for a year’s worth of Newlywed Activities.
  • Feeling generous? Donations to your favorite Charities are perfect.

Everyone Likes Options: Admit it. When you give a gift, you want to give something that you like and feel connected to. The same is true for your guests. So create a registry with choices that will appeal to all kinds of people:

  • A range of price points
  • Various gifts from the practical to the whimsical

Gifts That Feel Like Gifts: If I’ve learned anything at all, it’s about the psychology of gift-giving. People want to give you something special that you’ll cherish and always remember them for.

  • Dinner at a swanky restaurant or contributions to your new flat screen TV are swell, paying back your credit card debt or supplementing your electric bill for a year, not so much. Think like a gift-giver!

Be Authentic: Don’t be afraid to really put your personality into it. The more your registry feels like a reflection of you, the more fun it will be for guests and the more likely they are to use this registry. So pop your favorite wine one night, curl up together and have some fun!

  • If you two love ice cream, then create a gift of 7 days worth of ice cream on your honeymoon – a new flavor every day!
  • If your fiancé is a beer fanatic, but you’re clueless, how about a membership to the beer of the month club and home-brewing classes for the two of you?

Be Gracious: Set the stage for your registry with a personal and gracious note at the top (something you can’t do with a department store gift list) to give context to your registry and why it will be so meaningful and memorable to you. Though gifts are not expected, they are common, and it never hurts to show a little advanced appreciation.

Here’s an example of what you could say:

Thank you so much for joining us and being a part of all the joy, love and festivities! Many of you have generously asked if there’s anything we’d like as we brave new worlds, and the truth is, we’ve got most everything we need when it comes to traditional household things. What would be most memorable for us you actually can’t register for at a regular store, so we’ve created this registry that is designed to let others make partial purchases to contribute towards those very adventures we’re embarking on: a honeymoon wine country road trip, some classes to continue learning about our love of wine and food and some weekend getaways to rejuvenate from our crazy work schedules!

If you feel so inclined to help make it happen, we would be most appreciative and look forward to sharing the memories and pictures with you. Of course, the best present is having you along to share our excitement. We can’t wait to celebrate with you and are so grateful to have you in our lives!

Much love, Jennifer and Tom

So there you have it, folks; a tactful way to ask for what you really want. Thanks for sharing, Dana!

I’d love to hear fun things you’ve asked for you in your registry or hope to ask for.

Dana Ostomel is the founder and Chief Gifting Officer of Deposit a Gift, a cash gift registry service. Years before Dana got married, she wondered how anyone could store so many presents – and even if they could, how they had time to unwrap, return (often), track and use them all. Her marketing background led her to believe she could simplify the registry process – and not just for weddings, but for any big gifting event. And so Deposit a Gift, the next generation gift registry, was born. Read more about Dana. Follow Deposit a Gift on Facebook and Twitter.

Cool finds, Guest Post, Vendors

Wear-me-forever wedding jewelry

How many of us go crazy when we find the perfect pair of shoes / skinny jeans / sexy + comfy sweater that we know we’ll wear until the end of time (or at least until it completely falls apart.) For me, my wedding shoes definitely fell into that category. Yes, I fell in lust the moment I saw those perfect, strappy, gold, comfortable, goes with everything shoes. I even wore them twice before my wedding day, I couldn’t wait to get them on my feet. Three years on and those shoes have almost disintegrated but still sit lovingly on my shoe rack. Sigh – I should have bought two pairs!

Wedding Shoes

My love-em-til-they-fall-apart wedding shoes

The super talented Neallie Walvatne knows exactly how this feels. Neallie’s euphoric discovery of her wedding earrings actually inspired her to start an entire line of knock-me-down-gorgeous pieces of wear-me-forever jewelry. It’s so beautiful that I want it all. I asked Neallie to share a bit of wisdom about choosing the right accessories for you wedding celebration – and here’s what she had to say:

I bought the beautiful earrings I wore on my wedding day in a little shop in Paris.  I found them while roaming the boutique filled streets; the details of which little rue I was on have left me completely.  The precious earrings however, I remember quite well:  vintage-inspired sterling silver rounds with tiny ivory pearls and AB rhinestones.  I knew the moment I saw them that I would wear them again and again, and I did – until I wore them out entirely.

This is the main question I would consider when shopping for your bridal jewelry is  “Will I wear it again?” Ultimately the jewelry you choose for your big day will make you look and feel amazing, and they will continually do this for you on any ordinary day in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt.  It may become your go-to accessory when you’re in a hurry because it never fails.  It may be the extra sparkle you need to brighten your day, or the fun and funky piece that makes every outfit complete.

Of course, you may also consider the look and feel of your wedding, the style of your gown, how you will wear your hair or whether your wedding is going to be traditional, vintage, modern or bohemian chic.  With all the many options to choose from, I still say “choose jewelry that feels like you” and it will remain your favorite for years to come.  I am sure of this because for years later, I smiled every time I looked in the mirror and saw my little Parisian finds dangling from my ears.

Amazing, huh? It’s no wonder that Neallie’s entire line at Vatne Designs captures this same feeling. Loooook at these!:

Vatne designs

And (total bonus for us all!) she’s offering a 25% discount and free shipping especially for Glö-bies – just enter promo code GLOBRIDE at checkout.

About Neallie and Vatne Designs

NeallieI create and handcraft each unique piece with this same inspiration, knowing my brides and all customers want the memory of the Big Day to be accessible everyday. The casual elegance in my collection easily takes you from day to night, completely wearable everyday out and about or to a special event.  I love to customize my collection, and design according to my customer’s vision and make each piece the perfect one for you.

Visit my online shop at www.vatnedesignsshop.com and you can now find me on wedzu.

You can also find Vatne Designs on Facebook