A Cheerful Citrus Bridal Brunch

For this beautiful citrus bridal brunch, a group of vendor pals got together to plan the perfect fresh and modern party—and take a turn in front of the cameras! A palette of light aqua mixed with lemon, lime and orange gave this party an almost tropical vibe, while beautiful greenery was the perfect contrast to the bright summery shades. The menu included lemon tarts, mini blackberry pancake stacks and a warm spinach and cheese quiche. The team took the time to tie the theme throughout the entire apartment, framing coordinating wall art, styling a bar cart and creating linens to match the color palette. Each guest took away a coordinating custom pouch.

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Photographer: Kelsey Nelson Photography | Event Planning: Magnolia Grove Weddings and Events | Staging: Minted Spaces | Invitations and Bar Sign: Raleigh Calligraphy | Design, Paper Goods, Pouches: Shelby Dillon Studios

The Best Bachelorette Party Tanks on Etsy

You know what really brings a group together? Adorable bachelorette party tanks, that’s what! Here are a few of our favorites from Etsy.

Champagne campaign bachelorette party tanks

My favorite thing about these Champagne Campaign tanks is that they’ll get plenty of use post-bachelorette. This is your new brunch uniform.

Bride and Bridesmaid may contain alcohol bachelorette party tanks

Warning: Bride May Contain Alcohol. These tanks are too funny!

Aloha bride and Aloha beaches bachelorette party tanks

Aloha Beaches! This is another tank that your bridesmaids can wear again. We love the ones that work after the bachelorette party!

Fiesta siesta tequila repeat bachelorette party tanks

For all your fiesta bachelorette party needs, these Fiesta Siesta Tequila Repeat tanks are too perfect.

Mermaid of honor bachelorette party tanks

Perfect for a beach bachelorette: these Bride’s Mermaid and Mermaid of Honor tanks! They’re also available in a huge range of colors to match any theme.

House Bride Harry Potter bachelorette party tanks

For the Harry Potter loving bride out there, these House Bride tanks are too cute. I should know—I actually bought one for my friend Jae’s bachelorette! So I can tell you first-hand these are really flattering and cute!

Our Honeymoon in Scotland

Andrew and I are actually going on two honeymoon trips. I know, I know, but are you really surprised? After all, travel has been very important to our relationship—we even included it in our wedding design by naming each table after a destination we had visited together. We were married in October and decided to wait until the next calendar year to go on our long honeymoon so we would have enough vacation time to spend a full two weeks away. I’ll keep that destination a surprise for now, but I want to share the shorter trip that we took right after the wedding.

During our wedding planning process, deciding where to go on our honeymoon was definitely something we were both excited about. We started throwing out all kinds of destinations—Thailand, Fiji, Costa Rica…it honestly became a little overwhelming. We just weren’t sure where to go! Finally, I suggested that we each choose the place we most wanted to check off our list. I think we were a little too hung up on the idea of picking somewhere grand and exotic for our honeymoon. When we sat down and really thought about the place we did not want to miss, it wasn’t Thailand or Costa Rica. We’ll be visiting my place for two weeks in May. Andrew’s place was Scotland.

The first step in any trip we take involves me going down a rabbit hole of research. Once I started researching Scotland I just got more and more excited by all the possibilities this beautiful country had to offer. I did a deep dive into the different regions, mapped out how long it would take to travel between each and narrowed it down to the most spectacular areas I thought we could do in our allotted time. In the seven years Andrew and I have been together, I’ve learned a little bit (OK, a lot) about the kind of traveling we like to do. Rule 1: We like to have a car. Andrew and I like to have the freedom to be on our own timetable and be able to get off the beaten path. Having your own car means you never have to worry about catching your train or skip a destination because there’s no easy way to get there. Of course, we knew that driving in Scotland would mean being on the wrong side of the road and the wrong driver’s side, but we decided we were up for the challenge.

Edinburgh

We started our trip with two days in Edinburgh. This city has medieval charm, a pub on every corner and a castle at its heart. My favorite dinner was at Whiski Rooms, where we also tried a flight of whiskeys that included samples from all four whiskey-producing regions. We quickly realized that Andrew and I have opposite tastes in whiskey. While I liked the smooth lowlands best, Andrew loves the peaty highland and islays. We also were introduced to the classic Scottish breakfast, which we would eat over and over again throughout our trip. It includes smoked back bacon, pork sausage, baked beans, eggs, haggis, black pudding, mushrooms, tomatoes and a potato scone. Amazingly, we both loved haggis! Definitely give it a try when you are there.

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Glencoe and Loch Lomond

After our days in Edinburgh, we drove north into the highlands. We decided to stay in Glencoe, but I wanted to make a stop in the Loch Lomond region to hike. This region is known for its spectacular lochs (or lakes, as we say) and beautiful green rolling hills. We parked at a trailhead in the village of Balmaha and did a short hike to the top of Conic Hill.

P.S. This is the best website I found for hiking in Scotland. So many helpful guides, plus pictures of each trail to give you an idea of what to expect.

Conic Hill hike near Balmaha. Our Honeymoon in Scotland | Ultimate Bridesmaid Conic Hill hike near Balmaha. Our Honeymoon in Scotland | Ultimate Bridesmaid Conic Hill hike near Balmaha. Our Honeymoon in Scotland | Ultimate Bridesmaid Conic Hill hike near Balmaha. Our Honeymoon in Scotland | Ultimate Bridesmaid

After our hike, we continued our drive to Glencoe. This was Andrew’s least favorite part of our journey, as he described the drive as “hurtling along a cliffside on the wrong side of the road.” That being said, Glencoe turned out to be his favorite location on the trip, so I think he’s glad we did the hurtling in the long run! He just made me promise we didn’t have to drive back that way.

In Glencoe, we stayed at the Clachaig Inn, which is a popular stop for backpackers and hikers. Scotland is famous for its hiking (they just call it “walking”) and many people walk the length of the whole country, stopping at small inns like this along the way. The quaint inn included two restaurants/bars, as well as rooms above. We were impressed with how cozy and clean the rooms were and enjoyed the hearty fare in the pub, like venison stew and chicken tikka curry. We spent each night relaxing in front of the roaring fire and sampling a few glasses of their house whiskey blends.

During the day, we hiked. The area is so gorgeous, we literally just had to walk out the front door of the inn and start walking to see amazing vistas in all directions. We ended up unknowingly hiking up a portion of The Three Sisters that day.

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Isle of Skye

Our last stop was two days in the Isle of Skye. This island has an otherworldly charm and so many natural wonders to explore. On our way there, we stopped at Eilean Donan castle.

Eilean Donan Castle. Our Honeymoon in Scotland | Ultimate Bridesmaid

We splurged a bit and decided to stay at the Kinloch Lodge on Skye. The hotel reminded me of a classic English hunting lodge and they maintain some traditions that might seem straight out of Downton Abbey. For example, before dinner at their Michelin-starred restaurant each night, we would gather in the parlor for pre-dinner drinks and canapés (how civilized) and then proceed into the dining room for a five-course tasting menu. This is honestly so out of the norm for Andrew and I—our usual dining preference is two seats at the bar or small plates at a tiny hole-in-the-wall. But through the generous wedding gifts of our family and friends, we were able to try out a little bit of elegance. My favorite part of our meals at Kinloch were the soups! I’m still dreaming about the soup from the first night, a creamy, frothy blend of parsnip and pernod.

Kinloch sits right on the water, so we took a little walk along the rocky shoreline. The next day, we drove to the Talisker Distillery for some whiskey tasting and got to see a bit more of Skye.

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The Ultimate Bachelorette Party Packing List

This bachelorette packing list isn’t just about what to bring—it’s about how to pack smart so you have everything you need, but aren’t weighed down by tons of luggage. I just took a five-day trip to Belize for a wedding and carried on my luggage (including four pairs of shoes), so let’s just say I know what I’m doing. Carrying on your bag has so many pluses! There’s no risk of losing your luggage and no time spent waiting at the bag carousel. Plus, you’re going to be sharing a hotel room or house with a lot of ladies, so keeping the amount of stuff you are lugging in there to a minimum will be greatly appreciated by all. You’ll stay more organized and keep your temporary roommates happy too.

You can also download a printable PDF of the Ultimate Bridesmaid bachelorette party packing list.

Step 1: Know your itinerary
Before you start packing, it helps to have an idea of what’s planned for the weekend. For example, you may be spending Friday night at your rental house making dinner and playing drinking games, while Saturday will be party night on the town. That makes a difference in what outfits you’ll want to pack. Is there beach time involved? Hiking planned? Yoga class in the mix? Have a basic idea of your itinerary so you can pack smart.

Step 2: Pack neutrals with one accent color
Next, and this tip works for any trip, try to pack neutral colors with one accent color. That way, everything you pack will go together and you’ll have a lot more outfit options. Blue counts as a neutral in this equation because, hi, jeans, so your colors would include blue, black, grey, white, navy, brown and tan. You can safely throw both gold and silver in there too. Then pick your accent color based on what’s in your closet, the season and what you’re loving right now.

Step 3: Pick your travel outfit
Remember to set aside the outfit you’ll be wearing during travel! I always wear my bulkiest shoes on the plane so that I don’t have to waste packing space on them. Wear any jacket you may need to save space as well.

Step 4: Lay out your outfits
Lay out all your clothes on your bed and count through each day. Envision two outfits for each day—it helps to even line them up—one daytime look and one evening look. Remember that might just mean changing your top and shoes, but still wearing your jeans. Factor in bathing suits or special activities. Once you have those outfits laid out, if you still have space, you can add two extra tops and one extra bottom to give yourself a few more options. Be brutal with your choices though. I often end up eliminating a dress or top rather than adding. Packing light is only hard if you aren’t willing to make cuts in your clothing options. Commit to your favorite pieces and be OK with leaving things behind.

Step 5: Roll it up
Make sure to roll your clothing—it both saves space and keeps your clothes from wrinkling.

Wear during travel:

  • 1 pair of dark blue jeans
  • 1 T-shirt
  • The bulkiest shoes you want to bring (tennis shoes, boots)
  • A jacket

In your carry-on:

  • 1 pair of dark blue or black jeans (if you aren’t wearing them during travel)
  • Your favorite pair of shorts or a skirt (2 pairs if you aren’t packing any other bottoms)
  • 1–2 going-out dress (I recommend an LBD)
  • 1 sundress (especially if there is a shower planned)
  • 3 T-shirts or tops you love (2 casual, 1 fancy)
  • 1 pair of heels or wedges (choose a pair that can go with both your fancy dress and fancy top + jeans)
  • 1 pair sandals or flats
  • 1 pair pajamas
  • Underwear for each day, and a few extras, just in case
  • Bras: Think about your outfits when choosing which bras to bring. Do you need a nude one to go under a semi-sheer shirt? A strapless one for your dress? Wear one of the bras you’ll need and pack one extra in your suitcase.
  • Socks and/or tights

Pro tip: Pack your underwear, bras, bathing suits and socks in the top mesh portion of your suitcase. This makes it easy to find these small items during travel.

  • Small clutch/purse for going out
  • Flight001 travel bags: I love these and always carry one with me when I travel. They are great for wet and sandy beach things. I also put sandy/dirty shoes in them, or fill them with my dirty laundry to keep the other clothes in my suitcase smelling fresh.
  • Hair dryer, curling iron and/or straightener: Try to be selective about how many of these you need. I can get by with just a hair dryer. You can also buddy up with a friend. Tell her to bring her curling iron and she can use your straightener.
  • Makeup bag + makeup removal wipes or face wash
  • Liquid toiletries. You’ll need: Shampoo, conditioner, hair spray, lotion, sunscreen, body wash, face wash, bug spray. If you use a loofah in the shower, put it in the same bag as your liquid toiletries. Now you have all your shower things in one place.

Pro tip: Add all your liquid toiletries to a Ziplock bag, seal it well and place it in the OUTSIDE zip pocket of your suitcase. This way, if something explodes and leaks, it will not get all over your clothes. Make sure to get 3 oz. travel-size items of everything (samples are great for this too—great way to try out those Birchbox items you have lying around).

  • Non-liquid toiletries: These go in a separate bag from your liquid toiletries. They include deodorant, toothpaste, floss, nail file, nail scissors/clippers, tweezers, etc.
  • Medicine: I always carry a separate ziplock bag filled with medicines I might need while traveling. Mine includes stomach medicine like Tums, a painkiller like Advil, an allergy medication like Claratin and band-aids. If you have prescriptions, be sure you include them as well.
  • Jewelry: Accessories are an easy way to jazz up a simple outfit without adding bulk to your suitcase, so you get a little more leeway with this. Find a small jewelry tote (I like this one) and fill it up with your favorites.
  • A lint roller and Tide pen
  • Any gifts or party favors you need for the weekend

If you’re going to the beach, add:

  • 2 bathing suits (they’re small, so you get 2)
  • 1 pair flip-flops
  • Foldable beach tote
  • 1 beach cover-up
  • Foldable beach hat (like this one)

In your purse:

Your purse is your second carry-on. Choose a big one for your trip. You’ll need:

  • Cell phone
  • Cell phone charger, including power cord and TK.
  • Portable solar charger: I love these. We use them all the time on trips. When your battery is dying and you’re moving from place to place, these are a life saver.
  • Small umbrella
  • iPad or Kindle
  • Lip gloss or lip balm
  • Cash!: I know a lot of people don’t carry cash. But a bachelorette weekend is one time you should make a special trip to the ATM. Cash will come in handy so often when you are trying to split bills, pay some one back for a drink or pay for a taxi. It can’t hurt to have it! I recommend taking out $100. You can always redeposit it after the weekend if you don’t spend it!
  • Checkbook: Likewise, if you owe the host a good bit of money for lodging or bachelorette activities, writing a check may be the simplest option. That, or see if the host has Venmo (more about that below).
  • Passport or ID: Whichever you need for your destination.
  • Tissues
  • Small mirror
  • Snack: I love Larabars and always have one in my bag. Way better for you than airport food!
  • Printouts of your boarding passes and itinerary

Download:

Venmo: If you’re not a cash person, Venmo is a great way to pay for things as a group.

Lyft, Uber or another ride-share app: Super handy for getting rides in a city you’re not familiar with.

Enable iCloud Photo Sharing and create a shared album: The best and easiest way to share photos from the weekend with the group instantly.

The Ultimate Bachelorette Party Packing List

A Destination Wedding Bridesmaid Dinner in Austria

When Catherine of Wild Connections Photography was planning her destination wedding, she felt that she needed to entertain her guests the night before the wedding. But when guests showed no sign of heading home as the night went on, she began to regret her decision. “I so desperately wanted to take care of the guests who had traveled thousands of miles to celebrate with us, so I organized a meet and greet at our apartment. But the nice, relaxing evening I had wanted turned into me playing hostess and almost losing my nerve when nobody would leave and all I wanted to do was clean up, have a bath and get a good night’s sleep.”After that experience, Catherine decided to partner with destination wedding planner Kajsa Reisenbauer to create an inspiration shoot for the perfect night before the wedding, this time spent with your bridesmaids relaxing, enjoying dinner and a glass of wine and pampering yourself before getting a good night’s rest. A beautiful holiday apartment in the Austrian province of Tirol made the perfect setting for this luxurious getaway.

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Photography: Wild Connections Photography | Paper Goods: Emily Kate Hamnett | Florals: Innenleben | Hair Stylist: Intercoiffure POCK | Event Planning: Weddings By Kajsa | Venue: Wilder Kaeser

10 Movie Bridal Shower Themes Better Than Breakfast at Tiffany’s

I’ve tried for years to find a Breakfast at Tiffany’s bridal shower to feature on this blog and I have never seen one that I like. If you have a good one, send it to me, please. I think the problem I have with this theme is that as much as I love Audrey Hepburn, when you turn Breakfast at TIffany’s into a party theme, it’s way more about the Tiffany boxes than any other element of the movie. Holly was a party girl! She had a bathtub couch for god’s sake! I’ve also yet to see Cat make an appearance. And a shower theme that is basically “expensive jewelry” just really isn’t that fun. You know what would make really fun bridal shower themes? These movies.

Marie Antoinette

Marie Antionette: 10 Movie Bridal Shower Themes Better Than Breakfast at Tiffany's

Soooo many possibilities. For wardrobe and food. And wigs. Please let there be wigs. Key to this theme is adopting Kristen Dunst’s absolute “don’t give a shit” attitude. You want elegance, but you also want ease, so bring the dining table outside, keep it relaxed but luxurious, go shoeless in your corseted gown…you get the idea.

The Notebook

The Notebook: 10 Movie Bridal Shower Themes Better Than Breakfast at Tiffany's

This is like the romantic movie of the last decade. This party absolutely must occur by a lake. It should include headscarves and high-waisted bikinis. Maybe a canoe and some ducks. Obviously you gift all your guests a notebook. And since the movie is really about memory, ask each guest to share their favorite memory with the bride. Then dig in to a Southern crab boil on a picnic table by the shore.

Romeo + Juliet

Romeo + Juliet: 10 Movie Bridal Shower Themes Better Than Breakfast at Tiffany's

Baz Luhrmann’s take on Romeo and Juliet is just begging to be transformed into a party theme. Juliet’s look for the costume ball is basically your bride’s attire right there.

Dirty Dancing

Dirty Dancing: 10 Movie Bridal Shower Themes Better Than Breakfast at Tiffany's

Reportedly, this was the theme of Kate Middleton’s bachelorette—woman has good taste. If you can host the party at place that resembles the Catskills lakeside resort, great! Consider dividing the guests into the country club crowd (pastels, polos, visors) and the hip young staff (cutoffs, crop tops, frayed jeans) for a fun mix of outfits. Dance lessons might be a fun addition to this party. On just blast the amazing movie soundtrack the whole time. Non-negotiable: Have the time of your life.

Clueless

Clueless: 10 Movie Bridal Shower Themes Better Than Breakfast at Tiffany's

I went back and forth on whether I should recommend Clueless or Heathers. Heathers has so many wardrobe possibilities—you could assign each guest a color! But ultimately Clueless is just more fun. Make sure to take lots of Polaroids.

Mean Girls

Mean Girls: 10 Movie Bridal Shower Themes Better Than Breakfast at Tiffany's

What Clueless was to the 90s, Mean Girls is to the 2000s. Obviously you will wear pink, even if it is not a Wednesday. Unless you come as a mouse. Also acceptable. Get yourself a “That’s So Fetch” banner and gift these Mean Girls party favors. Just don’t sever Kalteen bars…

Roman Holiday

Roman Holiday: 10 Movie Bridal Shower Themes Better Than Breakfast at Tiffany's

If Audrey Hepburn is a non-negotiable, why not choose one of her other movies for inspiration? We love Roman Holiday for a fun twist. Serve gelato and Italian food al fresco. If there is a Vespa to be had, all the better. Make sure to tie a scarf around your neck.

Pride & Prejudice

Pride & Prejudice: 10 Movie Bridal Shower Themes Better Than Breakfast at Tiffany's

Whether you prefer your Darcy in Colin Firth or Matthew Macfadyen form (I’m sorry, but is there really a contest), Price & Prejudice makes for a fun shower theme. Break out the croquet set and throw a garden party. There are many great quotes to choose from, but we love “Completely & Perfectly & Incandescently Happy”.

27 Dresses

27 Dresses: 10 Movie Bridal Shower Themes Better Than Breakfast at Tiffany's

You know how you’re always complaining that you’ll never wear your bridesmaid dresses again? Solve that problem for your guests. Ask everyone to wear an old bridesmaid dress, prom dress or just the most out-of-style dress in their closet. Then play this bridal shower mad lib game as a nod to James Marsden’s wedding announcement gig.

Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey: 10 Movie Bridal Shower Themes Better Than Breakfast at Tiffany's

OK, yes, this is a television show. But how fun! All the bridesmaids at this shower dressed up as the “downstairs” staff to wait on the bride, or you can throw one of Lady Mary’s swanky 20s soirees complete with beaded gowns and headpieces.

A Woodsy Winery Bridal Shower

If you are a person who thinks you don’t like bridal showers, try adding wine. Ta-da! Now you love bridal showers! But seriously, Running Hare Vineyard in Prince Frederick, Maryland, was the perfect setting for this gorgeous bridal shower picnic for bride Andie’s family and friends. Matron of honor Caroline gifted each guest with mini pies from Andie’s favorite bakery and the ladies enjoyed cabernet and conversation in the sunshine. Costola Photography was on hand to capture the special moments from the winery bridal shower, including a mini photo session with Andie’s fiancé.

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Photography: Costola Photography | Venue: Running Hare Vineyard | Mini pies: Charles Street Bakery