8 Ways Instagram Can Help You Plan Your Wedding

Pinterest has been the go-to app for wedding planning for almost a decade, but recently, Instagram has become an excellent tool to utilize when planning your big day, too. Here are 8 creative ways to utilize the app that you may not have thought of! 

  1. You can follow wedding magazines and blogs for inspiration.

If you’re someone who doesn’t quite know what you want your wedding to look like, figuring out where to start can be overwhelming. Following wedding planners, magazines, and bloggers on Instagram is a great way to get inspired! Even if you’ve had your color scheme and tablescape planned since the moment you got engaged, seeing firsthand what other people did for their weddings may give you ideas you never would’ve thought of otherwise. 

2.  The “bookmark” feature is your bff. 

Scrolling through your feed and found an idea you love from one of those wedding bloggers we mentioned above? Instead of flooding your camera roll with screenshots that’ll take forever to find, bookmark them and you’ll be able to pull them up at a moment’s notice. 

Photo: Courtney Dueppengiesser

3. Connect with vendors. 

Most vendors you’ll need are using Instagram to promote their businesses. If you see a wedding you love on your feed, chances are the vendors will be tagged. Follow them and look through their pictures to see if their work is something you’d truly be interested in, then you can shoot them a DM and let them know you’re looking to hire them for your special day!

4. Influencer discounts.

If you found the shoes you want to wear down the aisle or some makeup you want to include in your bridesmaids favors via Instagram, chances are the influencer that posted them has a discount or affiliate code to go with it. These codes usually get you anywhere from 10-20% off. Use this and save some cash! 

5. Pick up some pointers from the professionals. 

Not only will wedding bloggers and planners offer tips and tricks, but so will people in other areas of expertise. Skincare professionals, fitness influencers, hairstylists and makeup artists also offer information that may be valuable in preparation for your big day! 

6. Check out different hashtags. 

Looking for the perfect hairstyle, picture poses or makeup look? There’s a hashtag for everything on Instagram! Just use the ‘”tags” filter when typing into the search bar and thousands of photos under that tag will be at your fingertips. Not to mention, you may find the perfect hashtag for your wedding photos! 

7. Tag your friends and fiancé in posts to share your ideas. 

Found a photo on your feed you want to recreate or the cutest wedding favors? Tag your maid of honor or fiancé to share your thoughts with the tap of a button. 

8. Figure out what you don’t want.

While Instagram is an excellent way to get inspiration for things you want to incorporate in your own wedding, it’s also a great way to discover things you may not want. You can use the bookmarks feature to keep examples of these things to share with your vendors so they can bring your perfect vision to life! 


Planning A Budget-Friendly Wedding

We get it, planning a wedding is expensive. However, there are little things you can do along the way to save some dough. Here are our tips for planning a beautiful wedding on a budget! 

  1. Set a budget and stick to it.

If you know how much you have to spend right off the bat, you will be less tempted to spend more than that. 

2. Prioritize! 

Decide what you want to invest in and what you can be frugal about. Every bride has something they want to splurge on, like a designer gown or an incredible photographer. Decide where you want to cut costs, whether it be the cake or party favors. Your wallet will thank you later! 

3. DIY’s are your BFF. 

Put those Pinterest boards to use! Gather your bridesmaids and grab a bottle of wine and make a night out of it — centerpieces, table numbers, seating chart cards…the opportunities are endless! 

4. Utilize Amazon and Etsy. 

Both websites have incredible deals and the ability to buy in bulk. Perfect for wedding favors, flower girl dresses and décor!

5. Limit your guest list.

The bigger the wedding, the bigger the price tag. Shaving your guest list down to only include friends and family will cut costs. Less people in attendance will leave you with less mouths to feed and more space. You may even consider a Micro-Wedding, like the ones local vendor Sara Elizabeth Weddings plans. 

6. Make your own desserts.

You can still uphold tradition with a classic wedding cake, but having one large enough to feed every guest can get pricey. Opt for a smaller cake to share with your spouse and make your own cupcakes or cookies for your guests! 

Photo: McDonald Video & Photography

7. Have a limited bar.

Most couples want to treat their guests to an open bar, but the bill can rack up quickly. Offering a limited bar with beer, wine, and a couple of signature cocktails is a good way to keep your guests happy without breaking the bank. 

8. Be creative with your location.

Traditional settings can be rather pricey, so get creative! You can have a beautiful ceremony or reception in a venue you wouldn’t expect. 

9. Utilize connections. 

If you have a friend or family member who specializes in an area of wedding expertise, they may give you a discounted rate. If not, ask around to find out if any of your loved ones know a vendor who offers good deals. 

10. Come to QAB’s Wedding Expo! 

Many of the area’s best vendors attend our expo and are ready to book clients just like you! Many of these vendors offer special rates exclusive to our expo. This year’s expo will take place the weekend of January 10th-12th. Look out for more information on our website!






Bible Verses To Include In Your Wedding

More than anything, you want your wedding day to be a celebration of your love and a reflection of who you are. Many couples share a relationship that is centered around their faith. If your love of Christ plays an important role in your relationship, you might consider incorporating scripture into your big day. Here are 15 Bible verses about love to include in your wedding day. 

  1. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)
  2.  “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because he first loved us.” (1 John 4: 18-19)
  3. “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” (Ephesians 4:2)
  4.  “With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:2-3)
  5.  “I thank my God every time I think of you. Philippians 1:3” 
  6. “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.” (Proverbs 3:3-4)
  7. “I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.” (Song of Soloman 8:3)
  8. “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”(Corinthians 13:13)
  9. “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”(Romans 12:10)
  10. “Do everything in love.” (Corinthians 16:14) 
  11.  “We love because he first loved us.” (John 4:19)
  12. “Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy is fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the LORD. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, he would be utterly despised.” (Song of Solomon 8:6-7)
  13. “Love yesterday, today and forever.” (Jeremiah 31:3)
  14. “Above all things have intense and unfailing love for one another.” (Romans 12:10)
  15. “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” (Peter 4:8)

Top Songs to Play at Your Wedding Reception

The pictures have been taken, the ceremony is over…now it’s time to party! We’re confident you’ve chosen an incredible DJ, but are you having trouble deciding what songs should be played at the celebration of a lifetime? Don’t fret! We’re here with our list of 100 songs that are guaranteed to have your guests dancing the night away until the DJ shuts things down.

1. 24K Magic – Bruno Mars
2. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
3. All About That Bass – Megan Trainor
4. Always Be My Baby – Mariah Carey
5. Baby – Justin Bieber ft. Ludacris
6. Baby Got Back – Sir Mix-A-Lot
7. Believe – Cher
8. Best Day of My Life – American Authors
9. Blurred Lines – Robin Thicke
10. Body Like A Backroad – Sam Hunt
11. Bust A Move – Young MC
12. Can’t Hold Us – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis ft. Rav Dalton
13. Can’t Stop The Feeling – Justin Timberlake
14. The Cha Cha Slide – DJ Casper
15. Classic – MTKO
16. Country Girl (Shake It For Me) – Luke Bryan
17. Crazy In Love – Beyoncé
18. Crazy Little Thing Called Love – Queen
19. Cruise – Florida Georgia Line
20. Cupid Shuffle – Cupid
21. Dancing Queen – ABBA
22. Die A Happy Man – Thomas Rhett
23. DJ Got Us Fallin’ In Love – Usher
24. Don’t Stop Believin’ – Journey
25. Don’t Stop The Music – Rihanna
26. Dynamite – Taio Cruz
27. Everybody (Backstreet’s Back) – Backstreet Boys
28. Faithfully – Journey
29. Fine By Me – Andy Grammer
30. Finesse – Bruno Mars
31. Firework – Katy Perry
32. Forever – Chris Brown
33. From The Ground Up – Dan + Shay
34. Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – Cyndi Lauper
35. Give Me Everything – Pitbull ft. Ne-Yo, Afrojack & Naver
36. God’s Plan – Drake
37. Happy – Pharell
38. Havana – Camila Cabello
39. Hey Ya! – Outkast
40. Hotel Room Service – Pitbull
41. Ice Ice Baby – Vanilla Ice
42. I Gotta Feeling – The Black Eyed Peas
43. I Like It – Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Belvin
44. In The Name of Love – Bebe Rexha & Martin Garrix
45. Isn’t She Lovely – Stevie Wonder
46. I Wanna Dance With Somebody – Whitney Houston
47. I Want It That Way – Backstreet Boys
48. I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston
49. John Legend – All Of Me
50. Just Dance – Lady Gaga
51. Just The Way You Are – Bruno Mars
52. Love On The Brain – Rihanna
53. Love on Top – Beyoncé
54. Love Shack – B-52’s
55. Mambo No. 5 – Lou Bega
56. Marry You – Bruno Mars
57. Meant To Be – Bebe Rexha ft. Florida Georgia Line
58. Me Too – Megan Trainor
59. The Middle – Zedd, Marren Morris & Grey
60. Mr. Brightside – The Killers
61. My Girl – The Temptations
62. Nicki Minaj – Super Bass
63. OMG – Usher
64. One Dance – Drake
65. Party In The USA – Miley Cyrus
66. Party Rock Anthem – L.M.F.A.O.
67. Perfect – Ed Sheeran
68. Raise Your Glass – P!nk
69. Rascal Flatts – Bless The Broken Road
70. Rascal Flatts – Life Is A Highway
71. Rascal Flatts – My Wish
72. Replay – Iyaz
73. Respect – Aretha Franklin
74. Say Hey (I Love You) – Michael Franti
75. Say You Won’t Let Go – James Arthur
76. Sexy And I Know It – L.M.F.A.O.
77. Sexyback – Justin Timberlake
78. Shake It Off – Taylor Swift
79. Shut Up And Dance – Walk The Moon
80. Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours) – Stevie Wonder
81. Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It) – Beyoncé
82. Speechless – Dan + Shay
83. Sugar – Maroon 5
84. Sweet Caroline – Neil Diamond
85. Tennessee Whiskey – Chris Stapleton
86. Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
87. Thriller – Michael Jackson
88. Trumpets – Jason Derulo
89. Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars
90. Walking on Sunshine – Katrina & The Waves
91. Wannabe – The Spice Girls
92. Want To Want Me – Jason Derulo
93. The Way You Look Tonight – Frank Sinatra
94. The Way You Make Me Feel – Michael Jackson
95. We Are Family – Sister Sledge
96. We R Who We R – Ke$ha
97. Wobble – V.I.C
98. Y.M.C.A. – Village People
99. Yeah! – Usher ft. Lil Jon & Ludacris
100. Yeah 3x – Chris Brown

We hope you enjoyed our list of Top 100 Wedding Reception songs! Whether your guests love oldies, R&B, Country or Pop, we guarantee there’s something on this list that everyone will love. Click here for a printable version you can give to your DJ before the ceremony!

6 Reasons To Plan a Summer Wedding

Congratulations, you’re engaged! Now it’s time to choose the wedding date. Weddings are beautiful in every season, but we’re here to tell you some of the best things about having a summer wedding. 

You can take advantage of the gorgeous weather.

Photo: McDonald Video & Photography

Are you dreaming of sunset photos? Longing for an outdoor ceremony? Then summer is the perfect time for you to tie the knot. Of course weather varies based on geographical location, but across the board, summer has the most consistent weather of the four seasons. 

The venue options are endless.

Photo: Justine Wright

Because the weather is so nice, your venue options are abundant. You can opt for an outdoor ceremony and an indoor reception or vice versa, or have the entire celebration outdoors! The summer heat and sunshine almost guarantee a beautiful day. 

More friends and family will be able to attend.

Photo: Justine Wright Photo

With less conflicting school and work schedules, summer weddings tend to have the biggest turnout. Memorial Day, Labor Day and 4th of July can be turned into long weekends for out of town guests. Couples who want as many of their loved ones to be there as possible may opt for a summer wedding for this reason.

You’ll have a bigger flower selection.

Photo: Justine Wright, Florist: Lavish Floral

Summer offers a wide variety of flowers that wouldn’t be available otherwise. More flowers are in bloom between the months of June and August, so chances are, you’ll be able to get the flowers you want at a more reasonable price since they won’t have to be shipped in from somewhere else. Not to mention, the greenery will be gorgeous in your photos!

Bring on the bright colors! 

Photo: Justine Wright

 While muted tones like blush and powder blue are gorgeous year round, summer gives you the freedom to play with any color pallet your heart desires! What better season to bust out beautiful bright blues, corals and yellows? You’ll even have the freedom to play around with these colors in your bouquet. 

Never-ending honeymoon options 

Most resorts across the world plan for summer to be their busiest season, so you can guarantee excellent hotel and shuttle service. Plus, you can bank on the weather being fabulous no matter where you go. 

Longer daylight

Photo: Justine Wright

Since it stays light out longer, you’ll have ample opportunities to take photos outside. You’ll also be able to make the rounds at your reception and enjoy your dinner without having to worry about missing those gorgeous sunset shots. 

Summer weddings are always a hit, and we know that your special day will be no exception!







Pros and Cons of Having Kids At Your Wedding

Creating a guest list is one of the most stressful elements of planning your wedding. You’ll be making a lot of difficult decisions, but deciding whether or not you want to invite children is one of the first you’ll need to make. Little ones can add an element of fun to the celebration, but they also have early bedtimes, unpredictable temperaments, and have the potential to prevent friends and family from enjoying every moment. How do you decide whether to include guests of all ages versus an adults-only celebration? Here are some things to consider.

Con: Added stress on the bride and wedding planner
Having kids at your wedding can be really fun, but also add on stress both mentally and financially. You’ll more than likely have to include things like entertainment for them, a kids menu, extra seating, etc. Not to mention the fact that kids can be unpredictable, so you might be stressed about outbursts or temper tantrums during your romantic ceremony. Limiting the festivities to adults only would alleviate some of these worries.

Pro: You’ll be able to include all family members.

Inviting kids allows all members of the family to be present. It’s also the norm, so you may avoid ruffling some feathers by allowing guests to bring their littles. Years down the road, it’ll feel good to know that your favorite little cousin or nieces and nephews were present for such a special day in your life. 

Con: Parents may not be able to fully let loose.
If parents are worried about making sure their kiddos get enough to eat, aren’t stirring up trouble, or have to step out due to an unexpected tantrum, they may not be able to fully enjoy the celebration. Some may also feel the need to forego alcoholic beverages in front of their kids or end the night early to get them to bed.

Pro: Guests won’t have to stress about finding childcare. 

Being a parent is hard work, and sometimes leaving your child even for the night comes with mommy guilt or non-stop worrying about whether they’ll be okay with the babysitter. Finding reliable childcare can be hard, and allowing guests to bring their kids will prevent the stress that comes with it. They’ll be able to take a deep breath and enjoy the night knowing that their kiddo is safe with them!

Cons: You may have to sensor your celebration.

While kids can be a load of fun, they’re also easily impressionable. You may have a little extra work cut out for you…like encouraging guests to watch their mouths, asking the DJ to sensor music and only play songs with kid-appropriate messages, and making sure your guests don’t get too crazy in front of the munchkins. Plus, their parents will have to be on high-alert to ensure that they don’t accidentally sip on any adult beverages. 

Pro: Kids are FUN! 

There may be a few stressful aspects of allowing kids at your wedding, but above all, they’re a blast to be around. They add something special that other guests can’t. They’ll never fail to lighten things up. Plus, they have some killer dance moves and some of your favorite photos and most cherished memories might stem from their presence.

Whatever you decide, keep in mind that it should be whatever is most sensible for you and your partner. As stated in the introduction, this is your day! Whether you decide to include the kiddos or not, your guests will respect whatever decision is made and we are certain your night will be magical and enjoyable.







15 Things To Do The Week Before Your Wedding

So, it’s the week before your wedding. Your dress is ready, logistics are finalized, all that’s left to do is say “I do!”…right? Wrong! All the last minute tasks you need to complete can add up and seem like a daunting list. However, we’re here to help you get organized and ensure you don’t miss a beat!

1. Clear your work to-do list.

Nothing kills the excitement more than stressing about everything you have to do that isn’t for your special day. Wouldn’t you rather this week be no work and all play?! Get these tasks out of the way so you can focus on enjoying the last minute wedding planning, instead.

2. Meet with your planner or day-of coordinator.

Photo: Courtney Dueppengiesser. Wedding Planner: Sara Elizabeth Weddings

Going over any last-minute details and ironing out all the kinks will make your weekend much more enjoyable.

3. Break in your shoes!

Photo: Amber Rhea

Let’s face it…nobody wants to have achy feet or blistering heels while exchanging vows with their sweetheart. Do yourself a favor and take a few laps around the house in your wedding shoes.

4. Have a trial run of the full look.

Photo: Laken McDonald

Put on your dress, veil, shoes, and jewelry and practice your walk down the aisle to ensure you’re comfortable and confident in your ensemble. You may even want to practice using the restroom in your dress so you know what to expect.

5. Double-check on your marriage license.

Photo: Courtney Dueppengiesser

Make sure everything looks correct and hand it off to your officiant.


6. Confirm with vendors.

Florist: Lavish Floral Design Photo: Jennifer Birkenmeyer Photography

Shoot them all an e-mail at the beginning of the week to confirm their arrival times to ensure everything runs smoothly.


7. Get payments ready.

Finalize logistics and write checks in advance. Double check your contracts to be sure you meet all payment deadlines!


8. Pack your bags for the honeymoon.

Especially if you’re leaving right after the wedding or the following morning! It’ll be one less thing you have to do when all you’ll want is to spend time with your new spouse.


9. Check in with your bridal party.

Photo: Amanda Genenbacher

Shoot the group a text and make sure they all know when they have to be at the venue and what their roles are for the day.


10. Call guests who missed the RSVP deadline.

You’ll need a final number for your venue and caterer. Plus, it would be pretty awkward if someone showed up and had no seat!


11. Finalize anything speech related.

Put the finishing touches on your vows, prepare a “thank you” speech and decide who will be making the toast and make sure they know.


12. Write thank-you cards.

When you get back from your honeymoon, chances are you’ll want to spend every moment you can with your new spouse. Write these ahead of time so you can get them delivered as soon as possible!


13. Get your ring cleaned.

Photo: Courtney Dueppengiesser

Since a million photos will be taken of this beauty, make sure the sparkler is squeaky clean! You’ll be glad you did.


14. Submit a shot list to your photographer.

Photo: Courtney Dueppengiesser

You don’t want to miss any precious moments, so be sure that this is at the top of your list.


15. Schedule some “me time.”

Let’s face it, getting ready for a wedding is stressful. Schedule a mani-pedi, massage, facial, or whatever makes you feel like a million bucks. You deserve to relax before the weekend of a lifetime!


8 Tips To Planning The Bachelorette Party of Her Dreams

So she’s got the ring…now it’s time for the last fling! Planning a Bachelorette party can be stressful, but think about it this way…the bride enlisted YOU as her most-trusted pal to plan the night of her dreams. We’re here to help you make the process as enjoyable as possible. We’re giving you our 8 tips to planning the perfect party! 

1. Get Organized! 

As we all know, planning a Bachelorette party seems like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be! There are many small details you’ll need to keep track of, and the best way to keep yourself sane is by staying organized. Break out your colored pens and highlighters, buy yourself a new notebook or planner, and print out this Bachelorette Party Template we’ve created for you! Apps such as PartyPlanner or My Party Planner are excellent tools to utilize as well. 

2. It’s all about the Bride

Photo: Courtney Dueppengiesser

Yes, there are other people attending. Yes, it would be super cool to celebrate at the new escape room you’ve been dying to try. But remember — this celebration is about the bride! Do your best to envision the event how she would. Make sure to ask specific questions to clarify what she wants and what she doesn’t want. Whether it be a country concert, a weekend getaway or a night out on the town, make sure to tailor the experience around her.

3. Have the “money talk”

Ah, yes, the dreaded conversation. Let’s face it, nobody loves to talk about money, but establishing how much each person is willing to spend right off the bat will save you ions of time. Talk with each attendee one-on-one about their budget to make everyone as comfortable as possible. You can try your best to accommodate, but know that it’s near impossible to please everyone. If someone is unable to pay the price you’ve decided is most reasonable, advise them to plan a date with the bride or take her out to dinner instead! 

4. Decide what vibe you’re going for 

A night out or a weekend celebration? Let this be the first decision you make. (With the bride’s preferences spearheading your decision, of course!) Once you have this figured out, it’ll make it easier to narrow down your options for the festivities. Think about it…you’d obviously be able to rule out the idea of a weekend in Vegas if you’ll only be spending the day celebrating. Aside from setting the date, this is one of the most important components of planning a successful Bachelorette party. 

5. Set the date 3-5 months in advance

Photo: Courtney Dueppengiesser

If your bride wants to lock down the hottest spot in town for her special weekend, you’re going to need to set a date months in advance. Don’t forget about your guests, either — calendars fill up quickly, especially during the spring and summer months. Choosing a date early will not only make it easier on your guests, but will save you tons of stress. Send out a “save the date” text immediately after choosing, then send out an e-vite or mail out invitations designed with a local vendor 4-6 weeks prior to the big celebration if you’re feeling fancy! 

6. Don’t overbook 

Let’s face it — it’s easy to get carried away and create a mile-long itinerary for your girls. You might be worried that you won’t have enough to do, but chances are you’ve planned more than enough! Keep in mind that enjoying eachother’s company is the most important thing on the agenda. There are people who have traveled near and far to attend, and the bride will want to spend time relishing in the little moments with every person attending. Oh, and don’t forget — photo-ops take up time, too!

7. Show up on Social Media 

Let’s face it, Social Media plays a pretty big role in our lives today. Most people attending the party will want to post something about it, so consider creating a hashtag for the event such as #LastFlingBeforeTheRing or #ByeByeBachelorette so the photos end up in one place. Setting up photo booths/props at the first location of your event could also be a fun way to document the celebration. Coordinate outfits, too, if that’s something the bride would want! 

8. Don’t forget to have fun 

Congratulations! You’ve finished all the planning. All that’s left to do is…oh, wait…put on the whole event. The good news is, the toughest part is over! Finances have been collected, bookings made and logistics sorted out. Though you will be the one making sure everything runs smoothly at the party, don’t forget you’re allowed to enjoy it, too! Don’t worry too much about making everything perfect, because nothing ever really goes exactly as planned. Step back, pour yourself a glass of champagne and remind yourself that none of this would be possible without you!