How to Take Envy-Worthy Pictures of Your Engagement Ring for Social Media

If you just got engaged, chances are you’re bursting to share the good news. How can you take the best photo to show off your new gem? While you may not be into selfies or posting religiously to Instagram, the ring picture is a sacred rite all brides must follow. To get the perfect photo, follow the tips below.

1. Paint Your Nails

When you show off your ring, everyone is going to see your nails. Make sure everything looks picture-perfect before taking a snap. Treat yourself to a manicure where a professional can make sure your fingers look stunning, or, do it yourself with an exfoliator, cuticle clippers and your favorite color of nail polish. If you can’t wait, try holding hands with your fiancé when taking the photo to frame your nails out of the shot.

2. Clean Your Ring

Your nails aren’t the only thing that will be getting attention. The ring itself is the star, something everyone will look at and envy. Any ring, new or antique, can benefit from a quick cleaning. Learn to do it yourself at home with a jewelry cleaner or take it to a professional for a shine-up. Once finished, your ring will be sparkling and ready for a photo-op.

3. Remove Other Jewelry

Your engagement ring is the star — don’t make it compete with other jewelry. Additional pieces, especially those with large stones, can skew the size of your new ring, making it seem smaller. If you have any other rings, take them off before snapping a photo. If you have a watch, remove it so it’s not in the shot. When your engagement ring is the star, it will be all anyone will be able to look at.

4. Think About Lighting

To get professional-looking photos of your ring, consider the type of lighting you use. Natural light, either outside or near a window, will help you achieve that ethereal, wedding-like glow. The best times to get outside and take a photo are a few hours after sunrise and a few hours before sunset. The exception to this is the holidays, when you can get away with a darker scene lit by magical twinkle lights or flickering candles.

5. Choose Your Backdrop

Yes, your ring will be the center of attention — but you still don't want to take your picture in the laundry room, bathroom or other ordinary place. To bring your photos to the next level, consider a backdrop that will do your ring justice. Get outside and use the spring’s wildflowers or the crashing waves of summer. If you’re traveling, show off a local attraction, such as the Arc de Triomphe or the Golden Gate Bridge.

6. Create a Collage

Maybe you’ve taken photos of your engagement ring, but you can’t decide on your favorite. Luckily, there are plenty of apps you can use to create a unique collage design that will blow your followers out of the water. One popular app is Canva, where you can design anything from logos and business cards to resumes and fliers. You can also create share-worthy engagement collages, with photo elements like frames, graphics, embedded links and much more.

7. Take Multiple Shots

If you want to take the best photo possible, follow the advice of professional photographers everyone — take lots of pictures. The more options you have to choose from, the more likely you’ll find a shot you’re satisfied with. Play with angles, use different poses and get creative. Ditch the selfie stick and use more professional equipment, such as a tripod, which will prevent camera shake and blurriness. Remember, if you want to take a close-up shot, get closer instead of using the zoom function, as it can make your photo look more pixelated.


How to Take Envy-Worthy Photos

Your recent engagement probably has you riding high and feeling better than ever. Now that you’re armed with the knowledge to take gasp-worthy photos, it’s time to break out the camera and get a few shots of your new bling. The ultimate goal of the picture is to show off your happiness about the future. What’s your picture-perfect engagement story sparking your ring selfie?

Fashion Advice for Grooms Who Aren't Sure What to Wear When Tying the Knot

Our start guest blogger, Kacey Mya here with the latest for the fellas!

When you’re up at the altar reciting vows, all eyes will be on you. You’ll want to look your best, even if you know nothing about wedding fashion.

Need help figuring out what to wear? Follow the tips below to find the perfect attire for your big day.

1. Know Your Style

It’s possible to look effortlessly stylish and confident on your wedding day, but it starts with understanding your style and what works best for you.

What you wear will depend entirely on the season, venue, what your partner is wearing, your body type and more. Pay attention to the details by finding fabrics, colors and styles you like.

For example, for an outdoor summer wedding, you won’t be comfortable in a heavy suit designed to hold in body heat. Instead, look for light, breathable fabrics such as linen, cotton or khaki, which allow air to circulate better around your body.

2. Find a Suit

When it comes to how you look in front of your guests, you want to make a good impression. First impressions are so important that they persist despite any contradictory information introduced afterward.

One component to that first impression is the color of your suit. Color — in clothes, advertisements, logos and more — creates long-term subconscious cues in how we regard others.

On your wedding day, it’s best to stick to the more traditional options of blue, black, brown or gray. These colors convey positive qualities and can even influence how people feel about you.

3. Choose Your Neckwear

Now that you have a suit, it’s time to choose your neckwear. The two most common options are the necktie and the bowtie — though you can always go with the classic western bolo.

The necktie is a traditional choice available in endless colors and patterns. If you need help learning how to tie one, there are plenty of resources available online. According to Swedish mathematicians, there are 177,147 ways to do so. Luckily, you only need to know one to get ready for your big day.

Bowties are also a fun option to complement your suit. Some grooms choose to wear a bowtie while allocating neckties to the groomsmen.

4. Pick Some Accents

Next, you’ll want to choose a couple of accessories to enhance your overall style. Just be sure to keep it to one or two, as you don’t want to overshadow your entire ensemble.

Some traditional accessories you may consider adding to your outfit include:

  • A belt or suspenders

  • A pocket square

  • A watch

  • A tie clip

If you want to spice up the traditional with something a little more modern, you can also consider accessories like sunglasses, a hat, scarf or lapel pin.

5. Buy New Shoes

Don’t skimp on your wedding day by wearing a pair of old, worn shoes. Choose something that works with the style and color of your new suit. If everything matches except your shoes, they'll stick out like a sore thumb. You'll also want something formal, such as Oxfords, which are known for their unique lacing.

When looking at shoes, keep in mind where your wedding is going to be held. If the venue is elegant, tiled and indoors, you can choose designer kicks that will steal the show. If you plan to have an outdoor ceremony, one where you might encounter grass, dirt or concrete, you’ll want something a little more practical.

No matter what type of shoes you choose, make sure you're comfortable. You don’t want aching feet distracting you on your wedding day.

6. Hire a Tailor

If you aren’t buying a custom-made suit — and most grooms aren’t — you’ll want to visit a tailor before the big day. This should be your last step, something you do once you have the entire outfit put together. Getting measured by a professional tailor will ensure your suit fits perfectly and complements your body type.

A tailor can also be an excellent resource for all suit-related questions, such as types of garments, materials, styles, sizes and accessories to include.

Choosing Your Wedding Attire

When it’s time to tie the knot, there’s no need to worry about what to wear, even if you’re clueless about wedding fashion. Follow the tips above to find the perfect outfit and look your best on your big day.

7 Honeymoon Ideas That Are Perfect for Couples Who Can't Agree on a Single Destination

They say opposites attract, but sometimes that means even the best couples can't agree on certain decisions. If you and your honey are having trouble choosing a honeymoon destination you both love, there's only one fair solution — going somewhere completely neutral that appeals equally to both of you.

Here are seven honeymoon destinations that have something to offer for everyone.

1. Japan

Smaller than the state of California, Japan is jam-packed with tons of culture, food, tech and adventure. Start in Tokyo, a city unlike any other, and work your way down the island. You'll be able to immerse yourself in the country's deep history and culture, then land at its beautiful beaches. No matter where you are in Japan, you’ll be enjoying some of the most delicious food in the world. 

Japan's highlights include:

  • Tokyo: This city is so high-tech you’ll feel like you stepped into the future. It also has tons of fun and unique museums, including the Robot Cafe, Ghibli Museum and Origami Museum.

  • Kyoto: Visit the many shrines and temples and speak to your ancestors in this culturally rich town. Be sure to see the Kiyomizu-Dera Temple, Fushimi Inari Shrine and Sagano Bamboo Forest to feel the strength of the earth.

  • Okinawa: You can eat the healthiest food in the world in Okinawa — it’s no wonder people living here have the longest longevity. Then, stay active by playing a round of golf with a picturesque island background.

2. Bali

Bali is an excellent destination for couples who are thrill-seekers, rest and relaxation-ers and culture buffs! Plus, Bali is safe and easy to get around. For such a small island, you can spend months here with new things to see and do every day:

  • For the adventurers: In Bali, you can rent a motorbike, surf and snorkel. It's known as a surfer's paradise for all experience levels, and snorkelers can watch the most beautiful underwater show swimming right below.

  • For the loungers: Enjoy a romantic candle-lit dinner on clean beaches, then get a fantastic massage that will take your stress away. Plus, Bali's beaches are perfect for honeymoon photos — the sunset is too beautiful to be real.

  • For the culturally inclined: Visit temples in Ubud and feel one with the earth. Then, watch a traditional Balinese dance show and feed and hang out with wild monkeys!

3. France

Honeymoon in France to get both the metropolitan action of Paris and the elegant charm of French Riviera. France is an easy country to visit two places in one trip. No matter where you go, you’ll feel those fabled romantic vibes:

  • Paris: Visit the Louvre, Musee d’Orsay or any other of the magnificent art museums in Paris. Unlimited cafes, shops, restaurants and bars are all within close proximity. And, don't be afraid to be a tourist — you can check out the Eiffel Tower, Montmartre, Arc De Triomphe and Notre-Dame Cathedral, to name a few!

  • French Riviera: If you're looking to get away from the hustle and bustle, take a short plane ride down to the French Riviera. Known for their high profile guests, Cote d’Azur is far more lavish than other regions in France. This is a great place to relax and enjoy the beautiful beaches and cascading mountains. Sip wine on a yacht, enjoy a hike with scenic views, then end the night partying in St. Tropez.

4. French Polynesia

French Polynesia has so many islands to choose from with so much to offer. Since you've already struggled for months to pick the perfect honeymoon destination, why not take a cruise to see it all? Start in Papeete with high-end shops, where you can find rare Tahitian pearls and work your way through paradise.

A cruise of French Polynesia will seem like an elegant dream come true. Snorkel or dive in Rangiroa’s lagoon filled with beautiful coral and fish. Watch stunning sunsets every night with your loved one. Plus, experience the vibrant local culture and learn unique Polynesian dances you won't find anywhere else.

5. Greece

You can’t go wrong with honeymooning in Greece. You can nerd out at all the history the country has to offer in the day, then live a life of luxury and romance at night:

  • History: Visit the historical ruins of Acropolis, then enjoy the surplus of unique Greek art and architecture.

  • Watersport and adventure: Go windsurfing, yacht-sailing, scuba diving, horseback riding, hiking and more in Greece's great outdoors.

  • Nightlife: Drink cocktails and dance with the coolest DJs in Mykonos, then chill out at a luxury bar until closing time.

  • Romance: Take a romantic walk on the beach and end the evening with some delicious Greek cuisine. The big blue Aegean Sea is your background!

6. Galapagos

Looking to really get away for your honeymoon? The Galapagos offers you peace and adventure all wrapped in one. With white sand beaches, unique wildlife and high-end hotels, this is the place to go to feel secluded with just you and your partner.

When you look at the Galapagos on the map, you'll see that these islands are literally in the middle of the ocean. You and your new husband or wife will enjoy the white sand beaches, tranquil feeling of isolation and tropical, beachy vibes of the Galapagos. This one-of-a-kind destination also offers unique wildlife, from penguins and flamingos to iguanas and giant tortoises. For dinner, dine on delicious fresh-caught cuisines, such as ceviche, lobster and fish tacos. 

7. Argentina

One of the greatest honeymoon destinations in South America is Argentina. It is great for those looking for romantic memories in the city and being captivated by the beauty of nature.

Recoleta, Buenos Aires, is full of romantic neighborhoods with alluring architecture, stunning hotels, high-end boutiques and chic eateries. Meanwhile, the nearby Iguazu Falls has a collection of 250 waterfalls. Take a moonlight tour of the national park and go behind the waterfalls in a boat. Now, that's a romantic trip!

Choose Somewhere New and Exciting

When you and your new spouse can't agree on a honeymoon destination, the best way to address the issue is by going somewhere that neither of you has suggested. Not only will you have a blast exploring a new and exciting exotic place together, but no one will feel like the other person got their way!


Kacey Mya

Bridal Guide: 7 Trunk Shows to Visit Throughout the U.S.

Our guest blogger Kacey Bradley shares the 7 Must Visit Trunk Shows throughout the U.S.!

If you’re in the midst of planning your wedding, then chances are you have a packed to-do list. However, none of the items on the list matter quite as much as the first one: finding the perfect dress. If you don’t feel like a stunner when you put on your wedding gown, then none of the other details of your day will really matter.

If you want to have access to a huge array of dresses at your fingertips, more than you typically would in any given bridal shop, consider attending a trunk show. Trunk shows are special events in which designers come to the store and showcase their entire new line of gowns. Occasionally, they’ll also offer a discount, but trunk shows are more about getting early access to new looks and having a larger variety of options. Here are seven upcoming trunk shows worth traveling for.

  1. Berta Trunk Shows, Philadelphia — Oct. 26-28

If you’d describe your style as chic, contemporary and just a little bit sexy, then you’ll love the streamlined ball gowns and curve-hugging bridal dresses from Berta. You can try on all of them when Berta comes to Philadelphia for a trunk show this October. While you’re in the city, visit Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell for a dose of national history.

  1. BrideCon, Anaheim, CA — Sept. 23

BrideCon isn’t your average trunk show because it features more than one designer — in fact, hundreds of them. Instead of trying on the dresses yourself, BrideCon showcases the latest trends in a fashion show. This allows you to get a glimpse of what’s popular and then snatch up dresses online or in stores before anyone else knows they even exist. It’ll be in Anaheim in a few weeks, so after the show, hit up Disneyland for some rides and memory-making.

  1. Allure Bridals, Thousand Oaks, CA — Sept. 28-30

Allure Bridals offers lines that run the gamut from simple and traditional to lavish and modern, so anyone should be able to find a gown from the collection that suits their tastes. It hosts trunk shows all over the country, but it’s holding one in Thousand Oaks at Bella Bridal Couture this autumn you don’t want to miss. After all, once you find your dress, you can work on your wedding body by hiking the nearby trails that celebrities often frequent.

  1. Ashley & Justin Bride, New York City — Various Dates

New York City plays host to some of the most iconic bridal salons in the nation — think Kleinfeld Bridal, which boasts its own TV show. So it only makes sense that you would travel here for a trunk show. After you check out the sleek and stunning bridal gowns from Ashley & Justin Bride, head to Central Park, see a Broadway show, or check out Times Square. Upcoming trunk show dates fall in November, December and January.

  1. Dallas Bridal Show, Dallas — Jan. 26-27

The Dallas Bridal Show is another unconventional trunk show that takes an expo-style approach to wedding planning. Its featured designers will host fashion shows both days of the expo, giving you ample opportunities to figure out the style you like, and you can also chat with other vendors, like photographers and DJs. Afterward, enjoy a taste of Texan life by heading to Klyde Warren Park or the Dallas Museum of Art.

  1. Long Island Bridal Expo, Long Island, NY — Various Dates

The Long Island Bridal Expo plays host to wedding dress designers from David’s Bridal and Village Bridal & Boutique, and their bridal experts will be on-hand at the expo to help you track down your dream dress. Then you can enjoy the food and culture of Long Island or hop a boat and explore Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.

  1. 12th Wedding Show for the Modern Bride, Los Angeles — Nov. 18

If you love all things luxe, don’t deprive yourself of the chance to visit a city known for its decadence and check out an over-the-top trunk show at the same time. The 12th Wedding Show for the Modern Bride unfolds at the illustrious Beverly Hills Hilton this November with a roundup of dresses and designers that embrace all ethnicities and cultures with their couture designs. After the show, check out the Hollywood Walk of Fame or tour a movie studio.

As a soon-to-be bride, you already know wedding planning can be stressful. When you scour trunk shows and bridal expos for the perfect gown, you can rest easy knowing you won’t see another bride wearing the same dress — after all, the designer has only made it available to a select few. If you fold a vacation into the trunk show experience, you can also decompress before the big day. So choose one of these trunk shows, find your dream dress and enjoy some down time before tying the knot.

How to Prepare for Your First Bridal Portrait Session

We have guest blogger, Kacey Bradley, sharing with us some tips on how to prepare for your first bridal session.

How to Prepare for Your First Bridal Portrait Session

Everything about getting ready for your wedding is exciting and special! You get to personalize every detail of your ceremony and reception, so when the day finally arrives, you can celebrate the start of your marriage in the best ways possible with your family and friends.

To keep the memories coming and make them last, it’s a common practice for brides to have bridal sessions before their weddings. It’s an extra opportunity to dress up in your gown and experience the thrill that comes with walking around in your dream dress and veil.

Having a bridal portrait session is fun, but you should still be prepared before you meet with your photographer. Here are eight things you can do so you’re ready when the camera starts snapping away. 

  1. Schedule as Early as Possible

Even if you have the world’s best wedding planner, your life will still get pretty hectic during the last few weeks before your big day. Last-minute problems always arise, so you’ll find yourself busy with things you didn’t think about before.

That’s why it’s a great idea to schedule your bridal portrait session as early as possible. You’ll have more time to work with the details like where it’s going to take place and how long you want to spend there. Plus, you’ll get your pictures back sooner — and possibly even have time to frame them to show at your reception.

  1. Have a Backup Plan Ready

It’s always good to have a backup plan for big events, and that includes portrait sessions. Outdoor pictures can be gorgeous with the right lighting and venue, but what happens if the weather gets rainy or cold?

Talk to your photographer about a suitable secondary location in case something goes wrong. Think about how you could take pictures indoors, or another outdoor venue that wouldn’t require scheduling. Not all outdoor photoshoots are at reserved locations, so look around your town to see what inspires you.

  1. Consider Using Props

Professional photographers use props all the time to make every picture look perfect. Antique chairs or tables give you something to interact with, but the most common accessory is flowers. 

Real bouquets cost brides 7 to 8 percent of their overall wedding budgets, so you may consider getting silk flowers for your photos. Silk flowers are cheaper than real ones because they are artificial and simple to make. They’ll look just as fresh as real flowers, but without the hefty price tag.

  1. Get Your Dress Fitted

Dress fittings are different for every bride since it's unlikely your dress is going to perfectly fit you when you try it on the first time. Talk to your seamstress to make sure you can get your dress fitted and sent back as soon as possible. This way, you can have your portrait session done early.

  1. Let the Professionals Handle Hair and Makeup

You do your hair and makeup on a daily basis, so it might seem silly to spend money at a salon when you can do it on your own. When your portrait session happens, you’ll want to look your best. Professional cosmetologists will ensure your look is up to date and able to withstand an extended photo session.

You can attempt a few hair and makeup trials on your own, but they’re harder than they look. Don’t let yourself stress about perfecting your appearance on the day of your portrait session. A professional team will let you kick back and relax, so you can truly enjoy the moment.

  1. Bring Along Comfort Items

It sounds like fun to do a photo session — and it definitely is — but they can take a lot longer than you may think. With a bridal portrait session, your photographer will want to capture the best angles and poses to flatter you. Since that could lead to more time in front of the camera, it’s smart to bring along a few supplies.

Come prepared to your session with any items you may need if the photos run long. If you’ll be outside, bring a coat or blanket to stay warm between takes. Keep a cooler in your car with snacks and drinks. Whatever would make you comfortable, think about bringing it with you to make the process that much more enjoyable.

  1. Research Other Bridal Sessions

The best way to know what to expect from your bridal portrait session is to see what other brides have done. Social media and Pinterest are wonderful places to start! You can see different poses, props, locations and lighting options you might not have thought about. Researching could be a game changer for how you and your photographer plan your shoot, so have fun looking around online to get inspired.

  1. Bring Along Family and Friends

Showing up to your session alone could make things a bit awkward. It’s always more fun to have your family and friends by your side, so invite them to come with you and cheer you on. Depending on the time you have and your preferences, they could even join in on the fun for some cute behind-the-scenes candid shots you’ll cherish forever.

Preparing for your first bridal portrait sessions is essential to making it work. You'll walk into the shoot knowing what you're going to look like and what kind of photos you want to end up with. Spending some time researching will also prevent you from scheduling a second portrait session if the pictures don’t end up quite right. 

Try some or all of these eight tips to ensure you arrive prepared and ready to have fun during your bridal portrait session.

 

Kacey Bradley is the blogger behind The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. Along with writing for her blog, she has written for sites like U.S. News, SUCCESS, Ruffled, and more! 

Follow Kacey on Twitter and subscribe to her blog to keep up with her travels and inspiring posts!