How-To: Create a Hot Chocolate Bar For Your Event ✨

How-To's | Masterposts | Guides
A very snowy, good evening to you, my detailers!
Sending lots of warm wishes to everyone as I’m snowed-in during a winter weather advisory, & it got me thinking about designing a festive winter wedding, & what to incorporate in such a bash so that your guests remember & talk about more than just how miserably cold it was outside. Now I don’t know about you, but when I think of cozy comfort in the winter, I think about snuggling up by the fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate. Lucky for you, there’s a way to bring those warm & fuzzy feelings to your winter bash, & in the very convenient form of a bar, too! Here’s a little guide on how to make a hot chocolate bar to remember!
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  • Set aside a large, rectangular table, preferably near the dessert table &/or in a back corner of your venue, that is easily accessible for guests.
  • Decorum will be dependent on your overarching theme for your event, but some ideas you can incorporate on your hot chocolate bar table include, but are not limited to: string lighting, snowflakes & winter white hues/florals, pine tree garland, frosted pine cones, christmas tree ornaments.
  • Organize your hot chocolate bar with organized trays, mason jars, caddies, & the like! Have cups & napkins ready to grab first, the hot chocolate itself next, & then the mix-ins & lids (& more napkins) at the very end as a base set-up for your table. Have a variety of mix-ins, as well as the classic marshmallows & whipped cream as toppings for your guests to customize their hot chocolate to their warm little heart’s desire!
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  • Proper signage is a MUST (see above & below)! Take advantage of your wedding season by incorporating quotes from Christmas songs & themes like so:
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  • If you’re wanting a boozy option for your guests, I’ll share this this awesome homemade boozy peppermint hot chocolate I made one Friendsgiving that was SO GOOD, but also super simple! I used almond milk, Theo’s Sea Salt Dark Chocolate bars (vegan-friendly!), & peppermint liqueur & slow-cooked it in a Crockpot, letting it melt together. I saved the peppermint liqueur as a last addition until the chocolate completely melted with the almond milk, & my goodness it was the perfect hint of peppermint with the rich, dark chocolate flavor.
I’m definitely getting some hot chocolate cravings right now, & lucky for me Godiva makes this delicious Dark Chocolate Hot Chocolate mix that’s Chelsea-friendly, so I’m placing an order as we speak! Send warm thoughts my way, detailers! ✨
P.S. Shoutout to Little Spice Jar for writing this article (& providing some beautiful pictures!) including some great recipes & tidbits on making sure your hot chocolate bar is a total hit!

The A to Z of Veils: A Masterpost ✨

How-To's | Masterposts | Guides
Hello my detailers!
The bridal look is never complete without the veil! To help guide you in picking out the perfect length & style for you, I’ve put together a list of ALL the different veil options in the hopes of making your decision as easy as possible!
Birdcage
A forehead-grazing veil popularized in the 1920’s and throughout the 1950’s that exudes sophistication with a playful & vintage quirk, usually made out of a fine tulle or netting material.

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Blusher
A short, face-covering veil that extends below the chin, usually made out of a fine tulle. 

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Bouffant
A cloud of tulle rising above the bride’s head for a dramatic, modern look. Bouffant veils can be many lengths.

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Cathedral
A dramatic, regal veil made famous by Princess Diana that extends well past 9 feet long. Usually requires the assistance of members of the bridal party to assist in carrying while walking down the aisle.

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P.S. I felt it only appropriate to include a cathedral for the cathedral veil example.
Chapel
A veil that extends fully to the floor, approximately seven feet below the headpiece. 

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Elbow | Waist
An A-line veil that extends anywhere between the elbows and fingertips.

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Fingertip
The most traditional-length veil. Reaches the length of the bride’s fingertips when her arms are by her sides.

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Flyaway [Short]
A wispy, multi-layered veil that grazes the shoulders, perfect for those wedding gowns with open backs or fine detailing.

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Mantilla 
A short, Spanish-style veil that lays simply over the head instead of being held in place with a comb.

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Sweep [Walking]
Brushes the ground when walking. 

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Three-Tiered
A blusher, fingertip-length, and sweeping layer all in one veil.

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Best of luck to my blushing brides-to-be in their veil selection 

5 Things Brides Must Do After the Wedding ✨

How-To's | Masterposts | Guides

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The bells have rung, there’s sparkles that will forever be stuck in the carpets of your venue, & you’re donning a brand new piece of jewelry on that left hand. My congratulations to you & your very lucky spouse! To shake things up a bit on AITD, instead of focusing on the pre-wedding planning process I want to share with you a great to-do guide of the 5 most important things you need to take care of ASAP post-wedding!
1. Changing Your Name & Declaring Marital Status on Sensitive 
Information
If you wish to change your name &/or your spouse is planning on changing their name, it is not as daunting or trying a process as most make it out to be! The Knot wrote an amazing-per-usual article detailing an easy step-by-step guide on how to change your name on your documentation & in what order, & covers all the bases & minor details in between, so check it out here! The key with facilitating the name-changing & marital status-changing process is to do it as soon as possible, & all at once. Once you’ve got your name & status changed on all sensitive documentation, bank accounts, tax forms, etc., take the time to discuss joint bank accounts & look into health/life insurance plans with your spouse, if you haven’t already.
2. Send Out Thank-You's & Leave Reviews For Your Vendors
Within 3 weeks after your event, send out thank you’s per your choice of medium (whether you do it electronically or via snail mail is up to you!) to everyone who attended &/or sent a gift to your wedding, & to those that played some part in the success of your big day! I’m personally a big advocate for personalized, mailed-out thank you cards, & you can find an awesome assortment & inspiration here!

Printable thank you cards that are perfect for weddings |  Styling: AnnaH | Photography: Christine Meintjies |

Another courtesy is to take care of those who took care of you on your big day – your vendors! Send out thank you’s to your caterer(s), venue(s), bar | serving | hosting staff (if hired externally), DJ | band, photographer | videographer, wedding planning team, anyone who had a part in making your day the success it was. Leave reviews & be sure to follow on all social media platforms if you haven’t already, & take the time to personally reach out to them with any critique or suggestions you may have that will help make the next event they participate in a success, as well!
3. Enjoy Your Honeymoon | Save-Up-For & Plan Your Next Adventure
You two just celebrated a HUGE milestone, & while partying it up with every single person you love in honor of that milestone was great fun, it’s time you two celebrated alone, & what better way to do that than with a honeymoon! Whether it’s something you planned during your engagement prior to your wedding day, or a sometime-in-the-near future getaway, solidify your plans for it. If your honeymoon is ready-for-takeoff, research the place you’re visiting & maybe plan out some extra excursions & local favorites to experience! For those still in the planning mode, take the time to map out the most realistic locations for the two of you to visit, & set a time frame & hard deadline for motivation. This is the most important step to take: set a goal for when you plan on taking your trip, especially in the midst of your soon-to-be &/or already-busy lives. 
4. Preserve Your Bouquet & Clean Your Wedding Dress
If you’re not one for the trash-the-dress trend (I’m planning on doing a future post on it for those of you who don’t know what that is, so stay tuned!) & want to preserve your wedding dress, my first tip would be to check with the boutique or store that you bought your dress from to see if they have any preservation kits or services they offer! (David’s Bridal is one of those retailers that does, ladies!) If that is not a viable option, look no further than The Knot to provide the most perfect & easy-to-use, online wedding gown preservation service.
Real or fake, plant, paper, or fabric, whatever material you chose to have your bouquet made out of (if you had a bouquet at all!), take the time to preserve it! Visit your local florists & pick their brains for insight & tips on preserving a bouquet made out of real flowers and foliage, & look into framed shadow boxes for putting your bouquet on display as a perfect memento from your wedding day.

 

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5. Print-Out & Frame Wedding Pictures
If you haven’t already thanked your photographer(s) | videographer(s) (see #2!), do so now! While you’re reaching out to them, have them send you the digitals for your wedding pictures (usually they’ll give you a disc | USB drive | Dropbox or Google Drive file), or ask them about a realistic time frame for you to expect them if they’re not done editing just yet, and then take the time to pick & choose with your spouse the ones that you want to put in an album, as well as ones that you want to blow up on canvases or frames in your home! Check out the ever-reliable Pinterest for great ideas on frame & canvas arrangements.

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For more insider tips, tidbits, & tools of the trade, be sure to subscribe to AITD 

How-To: Say Yes To Your Dress, A Wedding Dress Fit Guide ✨

How-To's | Masterposts | Guides
It’s time for arguably the most important shopping trip of your life, and in order to make the dreaded fitting room as stress-free as possible, I’m here to educate you all on understanding the shapes and styles of wedding dresses and how to shop for your body type!
P.S. Keep in mind, your size in your wedding dress is going to differ greatly from your everyday-clothing sizes. Depending on the designer, most wedding gowns will be anywhere from 2-4 sizes larger than your normal. A good rule of thumb is to go off of your largest measurement, size up from there, and tailor to fit the rest of your body.

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Hourglass: Bust & hips are proportional and near-equal in measurements with waist definition
Round | Apple | Full-Figured: Full bust & hips with little-to-no waist definition/waist measurements near-equal to bust and hip measurements
Tall & Thin | Straight | Athletic: Straight, up-and-down proportions with little-to-no waist definition
Triangular | Pear-Shaped: Broader hip measurements than shoulders
Inverted Triangular: Shoulder measurements broader than hips

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I wish all of my blushing brides-to-be the best of luck on their wedding dress shopping endeavors