7 Bridesmaids Gifts that Give Back to Women around the World!

One of the many decisions bride's have to make is what gift to get their bridesmaids for helping make their wedding day (and the days leading up to it) so special. What better way to say thank you to the amazing women in your life, but by helping support other women all over the world! These 7 companies selling beautiful products to help create some good across the planet.

1) The Little Market – Lauren Conrad’s non-profit was founded by women to encourage women around the world. The website has everything from bags and accessories to kitchen and spa items. The products are fair trade and made by female artisans across the globe. https://www.thelittlemarket.com/

2) Prosperity Candle – Three friends got to together to start this business to support refugees and artisans around the world find their way out of poverty. Female artisans working to build themselves a better life hand pour each candle and no dyes or enhancers are ever used. https://www.prosperitycandle.com/

3) The Giving Keys – Is a pay it forward company that supports people transitioning out of homelessness. Selling their products helps provide jobs, hoping to help break the cycle of poverty. They have everything from necklaces to earrings. https://www.thegivingkeys.com/

4) OneHope – A wine company created by 8 friends who have donated more then $3 million to date to help provide people with health care, shelter animals, provide meals for children and more. They have fun gifts including a Froze’ gift box, a gift box with assorted sauces and a number of delicious wines to choose from. https://www.onehopewine.com/

5) The Starfish Project – This company helps women escaping human trafficking in Asia. They provide holistic care programs and teach women to become managers, graphic designers and photographers through the jewelry creation. Their jewelry includes earrings, rings, necklaces and beyond.   https://starfishproject.com/

6) Global Girlfriend – Helps women worldwide gain economic security with fair trade, women made products. They provide fair living wages, safe and healthy working environments and technical assistance. There are a number of fun things to choose from including jewelry, bags and bath products. https://www.globalgirlfriend.com/

7) Marie Mae – The Marie Mae business school teaches women around the world practical business training taught by female entrepreneurs. Each item purchased equals one hour of training at the school.  They sell notebooks, leather good and stationary items. http://www.mariemae.com/

2018 Wedding Trends!

Here's 10 wedding trends to look out for in 2018!

1. Silver and chrome will be the hot trend in 2018. Gold and rose gold are taking a back seat to more silver and chrome color pallets. Navy will also be a popular color choice in 2018, from the groom's suit to table linens and beyond. 

2. Last year was all about rustic details. This year is all about whimsical decor and attire. 2018 weddings will have more elegance and formality with hints of whimsy thrown in. 

3. Couple's are looking for more ways to keep guests entertained and engaged in 2018. Fun games like beer pong, ISpy and corn hole give the guests something do during the night. Creative photo and video booths are not just fun for the guests but a great keepsake for the couple. 

4. The overall enjoyment for the guests will be more important then ever to couple's in 2018. Fun linens, mix and match tables, unique dishware and hanging florals will all help to enhance the guest's experience. 

5. Unique food and food stations will play a big role in 2018 weddings. There are a lot of fun options that are creative and original. Raw bars, popcorn stations, farm-to-table catering, or even including a special family recipe in your menu. Guests will remember not just the yummy food but the amazing presentation and thought behind it. 

6. Deeper, richer colors and accents are making a splash this wedding season. No more pastels, but moody reds, dark blues and even black are taking over. 

7. Wedding cake is becoming more and more out of style. This year more imaginative desserts will be all the rage. Donuts, ice cream bars, s'mores stations and even pie. Couple's are also going to play around with more unconventional flavors like green tea and hibiscus. 

8. Big, cascading bouquets are making a comeback in 2018. These are not the outdated flowers from the 1980s, but rich, gorgeous masterpieces that look amazing both in person and in photos. They also pair nicely with the more boho/whimsical vibe weddings are adopting this season. 

9. Bridesmaids' dresses are taking on new life this year. Jewel toned and velvet dresses, lots of sparkle and even bridesmaids jumpsuits. Brides are letting their girls embrace their individuality by letting them choose the color and cut. No longer do bridesmaids attire need to match style and color. 

10. Greenery draping is replacing fabric this wedding season. Across farm tables, around arches and adorning general decor, greenery will add new dimensions to 2018 weddings. 

Unique Wedding Ideas Everyone Will Love!

Weddings can become a bit predictable at times, but there are some new and fun vendors and ideas popping up that can add a unique flair to any wedding! 

The Kraft Bar is a fun alternative to a traditional bar. It is a mobile bar and lounge set up in an airstream trailer. It gives you a number of drink packages from speciality cocktails to beer and wine supplied from local breweries and wineries around Santa Cruz. Your guests can hang out in the trailer while they wait for their drinks or order from the drink window outside. Check out their website for more information and to contact them about using this amazing service! http://kraftbarlounge.com

Photo booths are huge at weddings these days, but after a while they begin to all look and feel the same. Enter The Booth Bus! A totally original idea of putting a photo booth inside a VW Bus! Guests climb inside the bus, choose their photo props and then hit start on the photo screen. Beautiful on the inside and out with an extremely friendly and helpful staff. Your guests will be talking about it for years afterwards! Head over to their website for more information! http://www.theboothbus.com/#home

Wedding desserts are about so much more than wedding cakes these days. People are turning to new forms of desserts to satisfy their guest's sweet tooth and a popular choice now is donuts! Harvey's Donuts is a wonderful company that will come to your wedding and make your guests hot donuts made right to order. You can choose what flavors you would like your guests to pick from and they do the rest! Guests will line up to savor these sweet treats! http://harveysdonuts.com

Ice cream is another fun dessert option. You could set up a "make your own sundae" bar or have a company come out and serve fresh ice cream to your guests. You pick your favorite flavors to serve and your guests can choose their toppings! Both Marianne's Ice Cream and Polar Bear Ice Cream offer catering services in town. 

Homemade beer bars are an interactive option for your guests. Normally made out of wood, kegs fit underneath and then guests can help themselves throughout the night. These also help cut down on the line at the bar and add a personal touch to the day! Pinterest is full of ideas and how to instructions for these! 

There are a dozen other ways to make your wedding unique and different! The most important thing is to make it uniquely your own! 

Rochelle & Nick tie the knot!

Gorgeous bride, beautiful food, great party!  Can't ask for more than that in a wedding day, right?

This was an "all hands on deck" Persian wedding and every Auntie was involved in some way. The amazing flowers were arranged by the bride's mother. The Sofreh table, complete with fruit, nuts, spices, cookies, crystalized sugar, photos of grandparents, a mirror and so many more symbolic item were arranged by the aunts.  

Many Persian traditions were followed, the "sugaring" of the couple, gold coins on the dance floor for prosperity and some beautiful dancing by the bride and her father that began the party.

The catering was provided by the fabulous Feel Good Foods! Guests raved about the beautiful and delicious food all night!

The cigar and whiskey bar proved to be a massive hit with everyone and provided a great gathering area during the reception. 

One of the highlights was the Bride's amazing "convertible" dress. She could remove her beautiful, big skirt to reveal a stunning silk figure hugging dress beneath that made dancing so much easier. 

This was truly a wonderful day for all involved and you could feel the love and happiness pouring out of everyone as they celebrated this amazing couple!


Fun Dessert Alternatives to Wedding Cake!

A big trend at weddings the last few years is replacing wedding cakes with dessert bars. Wedding cakes are expensive and don't always taste great. Plus, most people won't stop to grab a slice to eat so you face the possibility of having tons of cake leftover. Here are some fun and easy alternatives to plain old wedding cake!

1. Mini Desserts: People love being able to just grab their desserts and head back to the dance floor. Mini (or bite size) goodies gives them this chance. This will also give you the option of having different varieties of desserts instead of just one thing. Some options include mini cupcakes, mini pies, mini cheesecakes and baby tarts.

2. Ice Cream: Ice cream is the best way to cool your guests down at a warm summer wedding. You can have your favorite ice cream shop cater or build your own ice cream bar. Pick out a a few of your favorite flavors, grab some fun toppings and let the guests build their perfect sundae! 

3. Chocolate Covered Strawberries/Rice Krispies/Macaroons: Some other fun and cute alternatives for your guests to munch on. The strawberries can be dressed up a bride and groom. Macaroons come in all sorts of fun colors that you can match to your color scheme! Still want a cake? You can turn all of these desserts into a fun and original cake! 

4. Smores: Who doesn't love roasting smores? Ask your caterer to help you set up a couple sternos and put together a smores bar with chocolate, marshmallows and graham crackers. Your guests will have a blast custom making their own treats!

5. Traditional: A great way to celebrate you or your significant other's heritage is by serving a traditional dessert from their native land. Italian cannolis, Greek desserts like baklava, honey pie and loukoumades and croquembouche (a popular French dessert) are all unique options. Look up what each country would traditionally serve at a wedding or special occasion and then talk to your local bakery (or better yet, find a traditional bakery near you). Your guests will love trying something new all while celebrating your heritage.  

6. Whoopie Pies/Ice Cream Sandwiches: Great grab and go desserts. They can be pre-made or the guests can choose their favorite cookies and pick the ice cream/cream filling and make their own!

7. Cake Pops/Pie Pops: Still want cake at the wedding but want something fun and different? Cake pops (or pie pops) are the perfect compromise. You can still have all your favorite flavors and give them cute designs, while your guests can enjoy a one bite dessert!

8. Bundt Cakes: Bundt cakes are the new, fun alternative to a traditional cake. They come in all shapes and sizes, including bite sized bundtinis. People go wild over these delicious desserts! Make sure to save some for yourself, because these will all be gone by the end of the night!

9. Pie: Cherry, strawberry, blueberry, lemon meringue, the possibilities are endless with pie! This dessert works great at a rustic location like a barn. They make mini pies also for easy eating. Make sure to calculate how many pies you will need with the amount of people coming (how many slices per pie) so you don't run into to many leftovers.  

10. Donuts/Cronuts: The newest dessert trend happening at weddings and people are loving it! Make donut towers, donut cakes, pick your favorite flavors and toppings. There are tons of fun options for your guests to enjoy!