The Wedding is Not the End of the Story!

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(Photo from Huffington Post)

If you’ve just survived the stress and madness of your big day, congratulations on being a newly-wed! But contrary to the popular belief that the wedding’s the end of the story, there are still a couple of things that need to be done before you throw the event to the back of your head.

The first one is also the most important one on our list — write your thank you notes! It is only polite that you express your gratitude to your loved ones who took time to join you and your spouse in sharing your joy on your big day. While handwritten notes can be considered a must previously, we think that a well-crafted email would be timely as well, depending on who you’re writing to. (For relatives, we suggest that you keep to the traditional thank you note. For friends, go ahead with the e-mail!) It would also be nice to get a preview photo (preferably a group shot with everybody inside) from your wedding photographer and send it together with your thank you note while memories of your wedding are still fresh.

The second set of thanks should go to your vendors who helped to pull off your big day. Write your vendors a review or testimonial to show your appreciation to the hard work and effort that they took to make sure everything went smoothly on your big day!

Next, if you’re dreaming about the day that you get to pass on your wedding dress to your daughter, do remember to send your dress for cleaning or to get it properly packed and preserved soon after your wedding! It doesn’t take anything more than common sense to figure out that a one-day stain will be easier to come off than a stain that has been sitting around for a week. Proper packing will also help to keep your dress in a good condition (and not yellowed) even after a long time.

When you’ve got more time to catch a breather, it’s time to figure out what to do with the wedding gifts you’ve received. If there are items that you do not wish to keep, make sure you return or exchange them within the allowed timespan. If you receive something that you like, but not in a complete set, do make time to hunt down the rest of the set as items may go out of stock if you wait for too long.

On a related note, couples who have taken the initiative to decorate their own venue might find themselves suddenly clueless on what to do with ten boxes of fairy lights, tens of glass vases and five vintage suitcases. Our secret tip is to try to sell these decorative items to wedding rental companies — chances are, they will be more than happy to take in these items into their existing inventory.

Last but not least, if you’re planning to take on your husband’s surname, find a day to put together the required legal documents (yes, we know this can be quite painful) and get it done. If you keep procrastinating, chances are it’ll never get done at all.

What other things did you have to follow up on after your wedding? Let us know!

Read the original story on Huffington Post.

China’s hottest wedding photography trend

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(Picture credit to BBC)

A new way of shooting wedding photos is trending in the mainland and that is to go underwater.

According to BBC, China’s marriage market has been booming along with its economy for the past few years.
According to state media, the money spent on ceremonies, catering, honeymoons and hospitality for one’s big day in China has grown from almost nothing a couple of decades ago to a whopping annual 800 billion yuan ($130 billion).

Couples are willing to fork out the money to commemorate their nuptials in a big and unique way. Other than flying to South Korea for a K-pop wedding photography, going underwater for a photoshoot – pioneered by a Shanghai-based wedding firm called Mr Wedding – is the next big thing.

“People can do a lot of almost impossible postures under water,” the founder and owner of Mr Wedding Tina Liu said, according to BBC. “The sense of losing gravity creates the beauty of floating.”

According to CNBC, Mr Wedding first came up with this concept 2 years ago. They proceeded to build a tank in their studio for the service, which started gaining traction a year later. Liu says the service attracts mostly younger couples who crave for adventure and uniqueness.

Read more about this at BBC.

Fashion: Vera Wang Spring 2015

It is no secret that we at Wedding & Travel are eternal fans of Vera Wang, but we still have to say that Vera Wang has outdone herself again. Based off the concept of ‘Lightness of Being’, Vera Wang’s Spring 2015 bridal collection is just breathtaking.

What really set this Spring 2015 collection apart from previous Vera Wang collections for us, was the daring and edgy approach to the styling. With smudged dark eyes and white eyelashes paired with pale (almost pallid) dewy skin, it is as if a layer of frost has descended on the bride. Definitely a point-of-view that is very different from other Spring collections that draw inspiration from soft colours and florals

From the absolutely minimalist and simple, to the romantic and dramatic, this collection is a play on extremes — delicate and disciplined; sensual and seductive. Vera Wang shows that the same emotion comes through on both sides of the spectrum. On the visual level, we absolutely love the generous use of sheer fabrics that lends an ethereal air to the dresses. However, at the same time, the use of plunging V-necklines, low backs, and interesting cut out details also bring forth a sense of wildness and adventure — an interesting collision of styles.

Well, enough of us talking — we’ll leave the judgment to you as you look through the lookbook! Do also remember to check out the beautiful video at the end of this blog post, which Vera Wang has produced to showcase this Spring 2015 collection. (All photos from Vera Wang)

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There is just something charming about these silk chiffon dresses that are cut in sleek simple silhouettes and paired with sexy wet hair.

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Ruched bodices paired with sheer skirts, a lovely interpretation of the mermaid silhouette in the form of a draped tulle skirt. Delicately beautiful.

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Beauty look up-close

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A daring Chantilly lace shirtwaist gown crafted with hand applique; loving the web lace long sleeved blouse that is paired with an ivory tulle ball gown — absolutely fashion-forward!

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Nude high-low ball gown with skirt accented by ruched tulle details and silk organza; Deep V-neck silk charmeuse halter ball gown with ruched tulle skirt. The low back and thin straps are all spot on for Spring 2015!

Chasing Alix | Vera Wang Bride Spring 2015 from Vera Wang on Vimeo.

 

Tips for Camera-Shy Brides

If you’re feeling nervous about all the cameras that are going to be aimed at your on your wedding day, we totally feel you. That’s why we’ve put together this list of tips to help you look all photo-ready on the biggest day of your life!

Check yourself in all angles

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A low textured bun is our favourite wedding hair look as it photographs well from every angle! (Photo from New Orleans Weddings Planner)

It’s not enough that you look good from the front on your wedding day — be sure to check out your back view too! Pick a hairstyle that will photograph well from all angles. For that, we recommend a low textured bun that rests at the base of your neck. If you’re getting braids or an up-do, do keep in mind that your hair usually turns out flatter in photographs. Consider using clip-on hair pieces to give your hair more volume. Alternatively, you could use big hair accessories to create a favourable contrast for a smaller face.

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Use large hair accessories to create contrast for a smaller face (Photo from Behind the Blowdryer’s blog)

Make sure the lighting works in your favour

You can look like a million dollars, but you need the lighting at your venue to help you out as well! Lights that are lit from the bottom are a big no-no since they cast unflattering shadows on your face. Also be mindful if there are spotlights right above your table for the same reasons. To mitigate that, consider adding more soft lights above to balance out the lighting. (Psst, fairy lights are great for this function and look romantic as well.)

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Fairylights are not only romantic, they are also absolutely photogenic as well! (Photo from Louisville Wedding Blog)

It’s all about the poses

We’re sure you know this by now — you’ll look wider if you get photographed head on. Always remember to angle your body slightly when you’re getting your photograph taken. Also, work your dress and bouquet! Hold your flowers in front of your stomach as this action will naturally cause your arms to curve away from your body, creating the illusion of a slimmer waist (it will also hide your tummy at the same time). If you’re taking some walking shots, hitch up your skirt as you are walking as this, again, naturally causes your arms to bend and make them look slimmer in photos.

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(Photo from Real Simple)

Smile and enjoy yourself!

This is the perhaps the most important piece of advice we can give any bride — just go with the flow and enjoy your happiest day! If you’re feeling stressed about things, trust us, it will show in your photos. And, if your smile is not genuine, it will show too! The best photos almost always happen when they are not posed for, but are captured in the moment. Be sure to communicate beforehand with your photographer on the type of shots you are looking for. If you have a preferred style, do bring along some reference photos to let your photographer know. With all the preparation work done, there will then be no need to worry too much about how you’re going to look in your wedding photos! Leave the worrying to the professional photographers — that’s what you hired them for! Enjoy yourself, and trust that the right moments will be captured.

Just married: George Clooney & Amal Alamuddin tie the knot in Venice

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(Picture credit to AFP)

It’s been billed as the wedding of the year, with a flurry of news over the internet all weekend.

And it’s now official: Hollywood film star George Clooney has married his Lebanon-born British fiancee Amal Alamuddin in Venice on Saturday, the actor’s representative said.

The pair had swept into the floating city on Friday aboard a water taxi dubbed “Amore”, zipping up the Grand Canal to cheers from fans at the start of nuptials set to span the weekend. And tantalizing details of Clooney’s wedding dinner have emerged, according to AFP, with Hollywood stars reportedly to dine Saturday on lobster, wild mushrooms and figs at a banquet in Venice fit for the gods. The venue is reportedly an exclusive seven-star hotel in the 450-year-old Palazzo Papadopoli.

On Friday, former supermodel Cindy Crawford and Hollywood actor Matt Damon were among the first guests spotted in Venice. Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Sandra Bullock also checked in to the Cipriani before the gala meal rustled up by Italian chef Riccardo de Pra.

Clooney, 53, and Alamuddin, 36, who were engaged in April, have not publicly divulged details of the weekend-long celebrations — leaving plenty open to speculation. Media have speculated that the couple will have two ceremonies — one on Saturday followed by a civil ceremony Monday.

Venice city officials have announced the closure of a 50-meter (yard) length of pedestrian way along the Grand Canal near the 16th-century Cavalli Palace, used for civil marriage ceremonies, for two hours on Monday, citing the Clooney nuptials. The Cavalli Palace is just opposite the Aman hotel.

Deerly Beloved: A Wedding Surprise

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(Photo from Today News)

Erick Fix and Lauren Ruff, both 29, never expected that their wedding photos would go viral when they slipped out during their wedding dinner to snap some photographs around the estate where the wedding was held. The magic moment occurred when a small herd of about nine deers started to gather and graze right behind the spot where Erick and Lauren were having their photos taken.

While the couple work in the entertainment industry and are no stranger to buzz, they’ve been overwhelmed by the positive response around their photos nonetheless. “It’s so funny! I can’t even believe it,” Lauren told Today News. “It really is an incredible shot. When we saw it, we said, ‘we really have to frame that.”

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The couple held their wedding at a close friend’s estate in New Jersey, where deers are often spotted around the grounds. The estate is also home to a pond nearby, which houses domesticated ducks.

Reading Erick and Lauren’s story only serves to reinforce what we’ve always believed — the best moments on your wedding day almost always happens by accident! That’s why we always advise brides: Keep away the Bridezilla and don’t get too worked up or stressed out over your wedding! Chances are, your guests would not even have noticed what you thought was a glaring mistake.

Enjoy the moment; that’s when the magic happens.

Steal the look of… Valen Hsu

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If you’ve read about Mandopop songstress Valen Hsu’s wedding earlier this month (if you haven’t, check out our earlier blog post here), you would’ve noticed the stunning off-shoulder lace wedding dress that the singer wore for her wedding banquet at Aston House. For brides who are looking to emulate this elegant and sexy look in your own wedding, read on for more inspiration to help you along!

To start off, off-shoulder wedding gowns are one of the hottest trends from the Spring 2015 runways, and it’s not hard to see why! Depending on the cut of the dress, over-shoulder wedding gowns can take you easily from soft and romantic to elegant and regal. Valen’s look, we say, would belong to more of the latter!

The following piece from Pronovias’ Spring 2015 collection would be perfect for brides who are after Valen’s elegant wedding look! The lovely lace elbow-length sleeves are also great for brides who are not so comfortable with showing their arms.

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(Photo from Wedding Inspirasi)

This wedding dress from Lela Rose is not quite as luxurious as the one above, but is feminine and romantic nonetheless. We say, this is perfect for the modern and sophisticated bride who is into a more understated and subtle form of beauty. The simple and airy silhouette would also be great for an outdoor wedding!

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(Photo from Run Bride Run)

For cute and sweet brides, this piece from Kelly Faetanini will melt your hearts. Featuring a sweetheart neckline and tulle details on the sleeves, this structured lace sheath dress is the perfect combination of soft and hard, and is quite the fit for most body types.

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(Photo from Brides)

Finally, for bohemian brides, this piece for Marchesa is what you’ve been looking for. We love how the bodice is structured, while the skirt is draped — definitely a comfortable wedding dress to move around in. The styling is also one of our favourite in Spring 2015 — an untidy soft swept up look that is updated and romantic, without being too prim and proper.

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(Photo from Snapknot)

Which off-shoulder style do you like best? Let us know!

How much do celebs splurge on their engagement rings?

Celebrity engagement rings are getting bigger and bigger, both in size and the price tag. In this post, W&T makes a list of the most expensive celeb engagement rings.

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Ranked in 5th position by Brides.com, the Duchess of Cambridge‘s ring – an heirloom from Princess Diana – is not only iconic, but also crazy expensive. The 12-carat sapphire, surrounded by 14 solitaire diamonds, has appreciated tenfold and now sits at $505,000.

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Media continues to speculate about Hollywood film star Jennifer Aniston‘s wedding date, but one thing’s for sure: Her 8-carat sparkler now costs around $1,389,135.

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Another Hollywood big hitter, Angelina Jolie‘s blinding engagement ring featuring a handful emerald-cut diamonds, values at around a hefty $1,599,610.

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This list would be nothing without Kim Kardashian‘s rock from Kanye, which clocked in at around a cool $8 million when he presented it to her at his stadium proposal this October.

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And when it comes to one of the world’s highest valued diamonds, Beyonce has it. Weighing in at 24 carats, Jay reportedly paid $4.7 million for the flashy emerald-cut ring back in 2008, and it’s now valued at a whopping $9.77 million.

Fashion: Spring 2015 Bridal Trends

For brides who are tying the knot next year, here are three of the hottest Spring 2015 trends you would want to keep your eye on!

Illusion Backs

Baring skin is out, but showing skin is in — illusion backs are all the rage on Spring 2015 runways! This bodes well for brides as well, as you can show off your beautiful back without having to worry about nu-bra problems anymore. Be it chic, clean sheer panels spotted at Amsale, modern motifs embellished on sleek sheer panels at Kenneth Pool, or elaborate handiwork over at Pronovias, there is a style for every bride.

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(From top: Pronovias (Photo from The Beauty Bridal), Kenneth Pool (Photo from Huffington Post) and Amsale (Photo from Pinterest))

Oversized Bows

One of the refreshing trends we love on the Spring 2015 runways is that of the oversized bows. While intricate detailing or embellished looks are often spotted in bridal designs, we love how the idea of an oversized bow instantly adds a touch of playfulness to an otherwise elegant dress. Dresses by Modern Trousseau and Monique Lhuillier take a somewhat more conventional approach by playing up the femininity that the bow brings, but what really awed us was Anna Maier Couture’s lopsided bow — it exudes an effortless throw together vibe but pulls the modern and sleek look together nonetheless.

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(From top: Anna Maier Couture (Photo from Pinterest), Modern Trousseau (Photo from On the Go Bride) and Monique Lhuillier (Photo from Huffington Post))

Unconventional Colours

Let’s face it — there are just that many white, off-white and champagne wedding dresses that we can take. For brides who are looking for something that is more unusual, the Spring 2015 runways have tons to offer in terms of unconventional colours for your wedding gown. The standout collection for us, no doubt, was Monique Lhuillier’s bold play of colours. Apart from the dusty mint piece that perfectly articulates an old world and romantic aesthetic, our favourite was the collection’s show-stopper piece — a dress in a gorgeous shade of hydrangea — that is bound to wow your guests.

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(From top: Monique Lhuillier (Photo from Huffington Post), Monique Lhuillier (Photo from Junebug Weddings))

You won’t believe this dress was handmade with just $30!

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(Photo from Huffington Post)

This beautiful handmade wedding dress by Redditor alkikat just took DIY weddings to a whole new level.

The crafty bride crocheted her entire wedding dress over five months during her daily morning commutes to work. The results? A fantastic vintage inspired dress that is simple but oh-so-elegant. We especially love the way the train falls around the bride’s feet in a natural cascade of fabric!

The dress only cost $30 to make, which includes the material cost of the cotton thread and fabric for the lining. To take a look at the entire process through which the dress came together, check out the bride’s cool time lapse video below!

(Original article from Huffington Post)