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Author: Jessica Eide - Forever Bride | Images: Poly Mendes Photography

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Do-it-yourself crafts and ideas have become quite popular when it comes to planning your wedding.  If you enjoy being creative and saving money, then looking into some DIY projects might be a great fit for you!  Below you will find some ideas and videos that will help you customize your wedding in ways you never thought possible!

 

DIY Tissue Paper Poms

This project is a great, inexpensive way to customize your wedding.  The possibilities are endless!  You can hang these poms from the tables at your reception, have the flower girls use them, or you can use them as napkin rings!  Have fun personalizing it!  Start by picking up tissue paper from any local store or order it online.  Then chose the colors and sizes of the tissue poms that you will create!  Watch the video to get clear directions on how to create the perfect masterpiece to personalize your big day!

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DIY Homemade Centerpieces

Have you always wanted to be crafty but thought it was too difficult to do?  Now is the perfect opportunity to get crafty and make homemade centerpieces for your wedding!  It will save you money and you will realize just how simple it can be!  By using dried out tree branches, flowers and spray paint, you will be on your way to creating an impressive piece that you can call your own!  Here is the step-by-step video that will help you create your very own centerpieces.

DIY Wine Bottle Table Numbers

This is a fun and creative way for you to personalize your wedding reception.  This DIY allows you to have your favorite bottle of wine or champagne at every table during your reception.  Simply pick out your favorite bottles, follow these easy steps by watching this video, and you will be on your way to creating stylish and functional table numbers for your reception!

Using a handful of simple items can be the glue that holds the creativity of your wedding together!  Check out numerous DIY videos on ForeverBride.com to help you create masterpieces that you never thought you could make!

 
 
 
 
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Author: Jenny Olson-Forever Bride

I have been with Forever Bride since March of 2014, which does not seem like a long time on paper. However, let me tell you, it feels like I have been here for 3 years. And do not take that the wrong way, I LOVE my job. I get to dabble in all of my favorite things on the daily. One day I will be a graphic designer, the next I will be wearing my producer hat, and two days later I am a wiz at composing emails...well lets be real, that is everyday. But at Forever Bride, in the past 8 months we have made leaps and bounds, HUGE strides for this company and we are not slowing.

I might be bias, okay, I am, but for those who know me, know that I am a blunt and truthful person. I do not lie when I say that Forever Bride is going places. And you best keep watch!

New Website! Coming November 1st, 2014!

We are thrilled to show you our mini sneak peek video! It contains our amazing new logo by the talented Laura of LMS Designs. Floral designing by Meghan of M Studio Flower Affair. And last, but certainly not least, the video was shot and edited {with much patience} by the skilled Gerick Engle!

Thank you to all our VIB vendors and our Very Important Brides for continued support and belief in Forever Bride and the ideas we have based our company on; community, teamwork, and a little Minnesota Nice! 

 
 
 
 
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Author: Jessica Eide - Forever Bride | Photography: Poly Mendes Photography

There are many aspects to a relationship.  When you first meet someone, you are overwhelmed with so many feelings.  Feelings of excitement, joy, exhilaration, and anticipation. But sometimes, you can't always trust your feelings because once those initial feelings of "hype" wear off, what are you left with?  That is why it's important to create a healthy marriage so that when tough times come, you will be confident that your marriage will whether any storm.

 

Dating is exciting for a reason!

 

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Some people may become "serial daters" because they are seeking the thrill of meeting someone new.  Sometimes, it does not paint a clear picture of who the person really is.  It's easy to put your best foot forward when you first meet someone.  What matters most is what the chemistry is like once you really get to know that person.  Lucky for you, the chemistry you have with your man was the real deal!  To keep your relationship exciting, remember what it was like when the two of you first met.  What was your conversation like?  What did you wear?  Do you remember what cologne he was wearing?  Have fun reenacting your first encounter with your man.  Do what you can to get those sparks flying again!

 

Don't be afraid of the routine of life!

 

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Let's face it, life can get a little boring at times.  Our daily schedules are filled with lots of routine!  But routine is what can help you get to your goals faster.  If you didn't have routine, it may be difficult to get specific things done.  Even if you lead a very different life from your husband/fiance, you can still find ways to create excitement amongst the routine of daily life.  Send him some funny snap chats or text messages.  Plan an exciting adventure for the weekend.  Having things to look forward to can help your relationship in many ways!

 

Take the time!

 

Make sure that you are creating a safe environment for your man to open up and talk to you.  Make sure that your relationship has a good balance.  Set aside time everyday to communicate.  Turn off the tv shows for the night and play a game together.  Make a fun drink and sit outside and look at the stars.  Let the life that you live with your man be your form of entertainment for the night!

 

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There is a reason that so many people agree that one of the best ways to create a safe and healthy marriage is to continue to date one another.  Continue to put your best foot forward and get creative in finding ways to put the thrill and excitement back into your relationship!  With that being said, what are you doing to strengthen your relationship?

 
 
 
 
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Today we are very excited to share a blog written by one of Forever Bride's new VIB vendors, Joe Pollock of Joe Pollock Films.

Joe is a talented, Minneapolis based photographer and filmaker. His style is candid and cinematic. He likes to capture the little moments in life that brings a smile to your face and tears to your eyes. We are thrilled to have him as one of our own Forever Bride vendors!

Today we are sharing with you Joe's personal tips for choosing the right videographer for you and your wedding day! His blog offers important things to consider when choosing a videographer for your big day!

 

Author & Images: Joe Pollock- Joe Pollock Films

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Somewhere, at any given time, a recently engaged woman (let's call her Bri) and her girlfriends are drinking a bottle of red wine and watching wedding videos online. You know it's true. And like so many before her, the combination of wine and cinematic romance is too much. It's decided. She must have her own wedding video. And besides her father, who will be footing the bill, who could blame her? So the decicison to make a wedding film has been made. But now what?

If you're like Bri- excited about the idea of a wedding video but wondering where to start, this list is for you. It's a list that comes from four years of expereince filming weddings, lots of mistakes, a few bigs wins, and about 500 hours of testing what the recipe is for a great film.

1. Be sure that you jive with the videographer

When you bring a videographer on, you're going to have to tango with them from the moment you sign the contract until months after your wedding during their editing process. You're going to want to make sure that before you sign anything, you're tangoing to the same beat.

Being filmed all day when you're not used to it is an experience. Whether it's a good or bad one is entirely dependent on how well you jive with the person behing the lens. And more importanly, the quality of your film is directly related to the degree of rapport you and your fiancee share with your videographer.

If you're comfortable around each other, then your videographer will know the little nuances about you that will make your film uniquely yours.

So grab a coffee or drink with a few different people. Which one do you feel really gets you as a couple? Which one is asking you the right questions? Which one shares your sense of humor?

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2. Be sure you like the way their previous films tell stories

A bride once told me "There has yet to be a wedding video you've created that has not made me cry."

Whenever I get feedback like that, it feels awesome because it tells me I am doing my job. I am storytelling.

The truth is, most couples have a story that could bring grown men to tears, but it can only happen if their storyteller (the videographer) takes the time before the wedding to get to know them enough to find that story and tell it with purpose.

I'd urge you to compare as many videographers as you can and see which videos really stand out to you. Why do they stand out? Why did one film make you cry when another didn't?

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3. Make sure they have assistants to help split the tasks at your big day

I used to shoot weddings solo and I would not recommend it to my worst enemy. There is just too much gear, too many balls in the air, too little time, and too many places to be at once for it to go smoothly. Choose someone who will send at least two people out on your wedding day.

4. Don't be afraid to budget for a videographer- quality often depends upon what you pay

A lot of brides still consider video a luxury item to add to their wedding if budget allows. I would say that with that mind set, you may not want to get a video at all because you could end up paying for something you don’t love.

There are no discount stores, coupons, or black friday sales for quality wedding videos. Filmmaking is a craft, and a well-put-together film takes thought, preparation, physical demand, high quality gear, and editing time. I'm not going to suggest a price since prices vary so much, but I would budget at least the amount you plan on paying your photographer, and perhaps slightly more. No need to dismiss someone based on price, but be skeptical of someone who tries to sell you a highly discounted package.

See some of Joe Pollock Films work below!

 
 
 
 
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Author & Images: Hannah Lohmer-Johnsen - Romance Leaders

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When planning a honeymoon, it is best to use a professional; just as you would for catering, décor, and your wedding cake. Beyond the hours of time and energy you may spend on planning your own honeymoon, travel professionals are able to save you money, stress, and assist you until you are home should any issues arise. 

'You don't know what you don't know' is said often and is very applicable to honeymooners and travelers in general. How do you know that Mexico is the best option for you when a small, Caribbean island like St. Lucia or Barbados would actually be a better fit? Or, how would you even begin planning a trip to Paris or Italy if you have never been? Any idea what the differences are between the Tahiti & Fiji in the South Pacific and which is better for you specifically (not according to the internet)? 

We begin each honeymoon planning process as a fresh start. While there are resorts that excel in romantic experiences located in the most popular destinations, they all have nuances that make them different. We find it can take years of research to truly know which resort is the best fit for each couple. Therefore, we begin with the most important pieces:

  • When do you want to go? Why? 
  • Where do you want to go? Why?
  • What do you want to spend? Why?
  • What do you want to do on your honeymoon? Why? 
  • What do you NOT want to experience on your honeymoon, and of course, why? 

The why becomes the most important part of the equation. Why you chose your top destination says a lot about what you're looking for. Sometimes, what you've selected may not actually be the best option! How much do you want to spend? If finances are the most important factor to you, we can tell you how and where to find the best values. After all: You only get one honeymoon; everything else is just a vacation.

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Author: Jessica Dennison - Forever Bride

I am sure that we are all aware of the importance of continuing to date our fiancé or husband.  Going on dates keeps your relationship exciting and fresh.  When the routine of life sets in, having a date with your man can be the motivation that gets you through the day!  But how do you go about fulfilling your desire to have a healthy dating life with your man without breaking the bank?  Here are some inexpensive date ideas that will keep you and your wallet happy!

1. Hit up Happy Hour!

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Everyone loves being wined and dined!  Utilize the deals and specials that many restaurants offer.  Do a little google research and soon enough you will find a ton of amazing restaurants that offer great drink and appetizer deals!  Take it a step further in your deal savings by signing up for a loyalty dining card.  I love the Parasole Dining Club Card.  This card allows you to receive rewards each time you dine at any one of Parasole Dining Club's ten restaurants in the Twin Cities, including Mozzaa Mia, Chino Latino and Muffuletta!

2. Minnesota Landscape Arboretum 

It can be easy to forget the beautiful landscape this state called Minnesota has to offer!  Remind yourself of the beauty around us by visiting the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.  This is one of my favorite dates to go on because it is more unique than the usual dinner and a movie date.  There is a peace and calm that comes over you when you are surrounded by beautiful landscapes.  This date is sure to make your relationship feel fresh and new!

3. Cozy Cafes 

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Caffeine makes me feel good!  It instantly "perks" me up and puts me in a good mood!  So why not get wired with your man!  Signing up for Caribou Coffee's perks program will help you stay informed on any deals that may be happening and give you discounts on drinks!  Or, check out a coffee shop that you have never been to before.  Finding a relaxed atmosphere that you and your man can hang out at will have you becoming addicted to more than just the coffee!

4. Explore Exploring

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Exploring new territory can make you feel like a kid at heart!  Climb a tree, or go on a hike!  It is easy to get caught up in doing the same thing day after day.  Unleash your inner explorer with your guy!

5. Visit the Animal Humane Society

Taking a visit to the animal humane society is a fun outing to take together.  Visiting adorable puppies and kitties who love attention always makes for a good mood! Maybe you have considered getting a pet.  This is a great place to purchase a new member of the family!  But be warned, if you do so, this date will likely cost you more than $20.

6. The Stone Arch Bridge

Take a stroll down to Minneapolis and check out this beautiful historical bridge. Learning a little bit of history is always an enriching experience!

7. Local Events

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Do some research or ask around to find out if there are any local events that are going on around town. You will be surprised when you find lots of fun dates you can create by doing some internet browsing!

8. Get Ideas

I love checking out Groupon to get inspired for my next date adventure I usually find inexpensive and creative dates that we both enjoy doing! Plus, who doesn't love getting a deal?

9. Paint

So what if you are not an artist, you can sure give it a shot! Purchase a few basic paint supplies and have a fun date night painting with your man. Chose something that the two of you would like to paint and get started on your masterpieces. 

10. Play a game of basketball

A little competition never hurt anyone! Play a game of basketball with your man. Whoever wins gets a massage from the loser! That is incentive enough to help you bring your "A" game!

11. Have a Photo Shoot

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It seems like women are really into either being in pictures or taking them. So be the muse for your man or vis versa. Get all dolled up and chose a theme for your one on one photo shoot! You don't need to have a professional camera to feel like a model for a day!

12. Lake Calhoun

There are plenty of ideas for dates that you can make out of hanging out at Lake Calhoun. Get your rollerblades, bike, or just walk around the lake. I love looking at all of the unique houses around that area.

13. DIY Dinner and a Movie

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The classic date seems to be going to dinner and then seeing a movie. Try doing dinner and a movie on a budget! You can have a romantic evening cooking together and then suggling up to watch a rented movie or something you find on Netflix. Noting beats the comfort of your own home!

14. Discount Movie

Once in awhile you are just in the mood to go out and see a movie! Find a local discount movie theatre for cheap movie tickets! Be sure to pack your own inexpensive movie snacks to stay on your budget.

15. Mall of America

I think its pretty cool to live in a state that has one of the top tourist attractions in the country! You will find yourself being quite entertained taking a visit to the Mall of America while staying on your budget. If you are a shopaholic, I would advice against going here!

16. Play Games

Chose a board game to play together. This is a good alternative to watching television. Now the two of you can engage with each other while having fun playing a board game!

17. Pack a Picnic

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The more you eat out, the more you will realize how quickly your bank account balance can shrink! So plan ahead and pack a picnic yourself! Pick one of the many scenic parks around the Twin Cities to get some new scenery as well.

18. Late Night Date

Do some stargazing together. Bring a bottle of wine and a blanket and enjoy snuggling up under the stars with the man of your dreams! For some reason, the best conversations seem to happen while stargazing.

19. Be the Bartender

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Drinking at a restaurant can get pricey.  Look up your favorite drinks or some new ones you’d like to try and have a DIY night playing bartender at home!

20. Grab Dessert

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Instead of going out to dinner, just go out for dessert at your favorite restaurant. Or find a new ice cream shop that you have never been to before. Better yet, make your own ice cream sundaes! Pick out all of your favorite toppings and craft the perfect creation.

So, there you have it! Twenty inexpensive date ideas that are sure to keep both of you looking forward to the next date night! Just remember that the most important thing is to make time for each other. You have forever with this man, having creative dates will be useful when you feel like you are running out of things to do! Have fun dating!

 
 
 
 
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Author: Lauren Schwabe- Forever Bride | Images: Carlos Creek Winery

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Over the years, Carlos Creek Winery in Alexandria, MN has been given many awards, including ‘Best Winery in Minnesota’ by WCCO.

 

Most recently, the family-run winery was awarded ‘Rosé Wine of the Year’ for their 2013 Frontenac Rosé Wine, also known as “You Betcha Blush.” The award was given by a panel of 45 international judges at the Indy International Wine Competition, held July 30 through August 1 at Purdue University, where wines were judged on appearance, aroma, taste, and aftertaste.

 

“[Winning this award] was an especially impressive accomplishment given that our Frontenac Rosé was selected over wines submitted from more traditional varieties, such as Zinfandel & Merlot, and from more renowned wineries such as Klinker Brick in California and Trump Winery in Virginia,” say Tami Bredeson, Carlos Creek Winery’s president. “This wine has done really well at competitions all year previously winning Best in Class at Riverside, CA and Gold at Fingerlakes, NY.”

 

Other categories judged at the Indy International Wine Competition include Best Red, Best White, Best Sparkling, Best Dessert and Best Overall with each category featuring wines from all around the world.

 

In addition to the award for the Frontenac Rosé, Carlos Creek was also given a Double Gold Medal and Best in class for ‘You Betcha Blush’; Gold Medals for ‘Vintner’s Blend’, ‘Trinity’ and ‘Peach Street’; and Silver Medals for ‘Cabernet’, ‘Hot Dish Red’, ‘Wobegon White’, ‘Raspberry Road’ and ‘Prairie Star’.

 

Bredeson sees these awards as positive affirmation not only for Carlos Creek, but for all Minnesota wineries. “This type of recognition helps to establish that Minnesota grapes and wineries can and do produce world-class wines.”

 

Located in Alexandria, MN, Carlos Creek is one of the oldest wineries in the state. A family-run business established in 1999, the winery produces 18 varieties of wine, specializing in Minnesota wines. The winery also hosts events such as “Grape Stomp Sundays”, “Applefest”, and seasonal murder mystery dinners in addition to offering rentals for private events including weddings!

 

You can find Carlos Creek Winery listed under our Local Vendors page in the category Wedding Ceremony & Reception Venues or click here!

 
 
 
 
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Author: Alexandra Olson- Xandy's Bridal House | Images: Carissa Christine Photography

Alexandra Olson, owner of Xandy's Bridal House and a VIB vendor, recently married the love of her life in a gorgeous celebration at the Depot Minneapolis. This is their story.

Josh proposed last year in March. We had been dating for 7 years- since senior year of high school! We had made it through college and were just starting to work full time. When we moved to Eden Prairie together, which was close to our jobs, the thought of marriage was only beginning to enter our minds.

On Christmas Day of 2012, my mom was diagnosed with Colon cancer and the cancer had spread rapidly to her liver and other organs. It was a devastating time. It was a time in our lives where we realized what was important. So Josh decided it was time to put a ring on it!! One night when my mom was home in her bed that we placed out in our living room, Josh got down on one knee and proposed to me, telling my mom he would take care of me the rest of my life. It was the most special night ever because I got to share the experience with my mom. She passed away 2 weeks later.

I wanted to share this part of my story because it is a big reason why I started my business. My mom wouldn’t have been able to go to the store with me to find my wedding dress. I wanted to create a day where everyone can be a part of the wedding dress shopping experience, even if they are stuck at home, no matter the circumstances.

To keep my mind and my life going after my mom’s death, I dove into planning. I checked out all the different planning books and websites- there was so much to choose from! It’s fun when you can start checking things off the list and everything starts falling into place. I enjoyed the planning process very much!

Josh and I chose The Depot Minneapolis in downtown Minneapolis for our wedding day venue. I am so happy we ended up having the wedding here! Because we were so close to the wedding date, we had to go with a Friday night at 5:30 p.m. The entire night was at the Depot, ceremony and reception. This venue has a lot of history and the ballroom is spectacular. The hotel is also attached so your guests don’t need to go far!

The ballroom was so beautiful that we didn’t need to do much for decorating. For the tables we brought table cloths that went with the theme, placed cakes as centerpieces and gold votives to give a romantic feel. It was a very simple arrangement but made a great impression.

For the girls I got matching robes to get ready in. It was so fun for pictures and they also made a great gift. They were simple to change out of and didn’t ruin hair or makeup. I also bought matching belts for the dresses- two different styles. My wonderful personal attendant also got matchy with us by wearing one of the belts. For the shoes, we chose sparkly gold shoes, all different styles. In memory of my Mom, our flowers had little charms with my Mom’s picture, and I also wore her veil. And because I LOVE dresses so much, I wore two for the big day!

What they say is true- the day goes by so fast! Enjoy every minute and try not to get overwhelmed. Planning can be so much fun and to see it all come together is magical!

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Thank you to Alexandra & Josh for sharing your beautiful wedding day story with Forever Bride!

Venue: The Depot Minneapolis

Photographer: Carissa Christine Photography

Bakery: Hermann's Bakery of Cambridge

Flowers: Rebecca's Flowers

 
 
 
 
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Author & Images: Samantha Maroney- White Room Event

Samantha Maroney, the founder of White Room Event, one of our very own VIB vendors got engaged this past spring! Here is the story of Wedding Planner, Samatha Maroney's engagement:

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My fiancé, Peter Blankenship's family has spent one month every year in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina for the last 32 years. As you can imagine, this is a very special place to him and his family. Peter invited me on my very first Hilton Head trip two years ago in April of 2013. Needless to say, I fell in love with the community, beaches, and way of life down south. There is something unique about the island; it has a way of "slowing you down". As a planner, my life is very fast paced, so our time spent in Hilton Head is enjoyed and cherished each time we visit.

This past April, I visited Hilton Head for a second time. Little did I know it would be the most memorable trip of all! Peter got down on one knee in the midst of the sandy dunes on the beach out in front of their place. As if I thought things couldn't get better in that moment I said "YES!"...they did!  Turns out, he flew my parents out to the island to celebrate with us for the remaining four days of our stay. It was magical and special- everything I could have dreamed of and more for a proposal.

Of course, the planner in me began to start planning out our vision and wedding day details. We originally thought of getting married at a mansion on Hilton Head Island with close friends of family. Part of me wishes we went through with this plan, but the dancer in me decided to have the big wedding with ALL friends and family here in Minnesota.

Minnesota is filled with lovely venues, and with many of my favorites being venues that I have worked with in the past, my decision was quite difficult. Combining my love for "Southern Charm" mixed with "Undercover Preppy/Nautical", I landed at a local venue in my hometown, the Lafayette Club.

I couldn't be more thrilled to have chosen this venue and look forward to all of the planning that's in store! Not to mention, I am thrilled to be marrying the most wonderful man in the world, Peter.

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Congratulations to Samanthat & Petter and thank you for sharing your story with Forever Bride!

 
 
 
 
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