Top Five Friday :: Budget-Friendly Wedding Favors Your Guests Will Thank You For

:: Budget-Friendly Wedding Favors Your Guest Will Thank You For ::

The big day is fast approaching and you need to select wedding favors (small gifts you present to your guests). These little reminders of your wedding day can be precious to those who receive them. I still have the tiny angel decorated dish that had been filled with candied almonds that I received when I was the flower girl at my aunt’s wedding! It’s on display in my china cabinet. So, how do you choose favors that are meaningful?

You could consider incorporating your wedding theme in the favors, regarding your wedding colors or musical selections, or perhaps play up the season. Getting married in the winter? How about offering a hot cocoa kit? Are you off on an exotic honeymoon? Perhaps you can locate a favor that represents your destination. There are so many different ideas! Here are MRSter’s top 5 wedding favor ideas that your guests will thank you for:

1 :: Votive Candles. These are readily available by many manufacturers and can be personalized. They are both a practical and decorative gift and in many cases economical if you are on a tight budget.

2 :: Bottle stopper. Bottle stoppers shout celebration! They come in a myriad of styles and can be personalized.

3 :: Wine glasses. These can be decorated and personalized to represent the happy couple, and are a great keepsake for your guests.

4 :: Curio Boxes. These can be designed in ways to match your wedding theme, or simply inscribed with your names and the date of your marriage. Little curio boxes are ideal to store a variety of items that otherwise get lost and act as a reminder of your special day.

5 :: Tote Bag. Decorated however you like, these are especially practical and can be used over and over again.

There are many, many options available online. Just take a little time and do research to find the perfect favor for your wedding. Favors can be found to suit all budgets and tastes and can become a lifelong representation of your special day for your guests.

Have some awesome wedding favor ideas?! Share them with us in the comments!!

Top Five Friday :: Top 5 Cold Weather Cocktails!

:: Top 5 Cold Weather Cocktails ::

Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but

Here are 5 cold weather cocktails to help you stay warm (and stay happy); and they are just fabulous to serve at a winter engagement party or wedding reception (…or, you know, whenever!).

Photography :: {MRSter Approved} The R2 Studio

Photography :: {MRSter Approved} The R2 Studio

1 :: Irish Coffee

  • 1 ½ oz of Irish Whisky
  • ½ to ¾ cup hot and strong black coffee
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar or the equivalent sugar substitute
  • 2 tablespoons whipped cream

Pour coffee into mug; add whiskey and sugar and stir. Add whipped cream by gently sliding over a spoon to float over coffee. Caution: this drink may bring out the Irish in you.

2 :: Hot Toddy

  • 1 1/1 oz dark rum, brandy, bourbon, rye or scotch
  • Boiling water to nearly fill a 6 oz glass
  • 1 slice of lemon stuck with 3-4 cloves
  • 1/4 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or the equivalent sugar substitute

Pour liquor and seasonings into a heavy glass. (An old-fashioned glass works nicely.) Note:  I treat myself to a couple of these when I have a cold. It may not help heal me, but boy do I feel better!

Hot Toddy

Hot Toddy” by Dinah Pena is licensed under CC BY 2.0

3 :: Hot Buttered Rum

  • 2 oz dark rum
  • 1 teaspoon brandy
  • 1 teaspoon light or dark brown sugar or the equivalent sugar substitute
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 1 strip orange peel
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Boiling water to nearly fill an 8 oz mug

Pour liquor in the mug; add sugar, cloves and orange peel. Add butter and  boiling water. Stir with cinnamon stick. Yummm!

4 :: Grog

  • 2 oz dark rum or brandy
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Boiling water to nearly fill an 8 oz mug
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or the equivalent sugar substitute
  • 1 slice of lemon
  • 2-3 cloves

Pour rum or brandy into an 8 oz mug; add lemon juice and seasonings, fill with boiling water, stir and serve. Umm…this might be good for a cold too, (cough, cough).

5 :: Hot Apple Cider (For a Crowd)

Makes 2 quarts, or enough for around 8 servings

  • 1 apple
  • 10-12 cloves
  • 1 orange, thinly sliced
  • 2 quarts apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup dark rum
  • cinnamon sticks

Insert the cloves into the apple. In a medium pot, combine the apple with all the ingredients except the rum and cinnamon sticks. Bring to a simmer over low heat and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the rum, ladle into mugs and stir with the cinnamon sticks. Enjoy!


winter drink” by  aya padron is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Well, geeze, I think I’ll go make myself a cocktail. Salud!

Wedding Wisdom Wednesday :: How To Politely Inform Your Guests Of Your Unplugged Wedding

:: How To Politely Inform Your Guests Of Your Unplugged Wedding ::

You’ve invested a good chunk of money on a professional photographer to memorialize your wedding day. There is nothing more frustrating to the photographer then to have a flawless shot ruined by the flash of guests cameras or a guest jumping in the way of what could have been a perfect shot. For you, this means spoiling the memories that otherwise could have been captured of your special day. Also, your guests can get so distracted by photo taking that truly they miss the wedding. There are other much less important occasions when people are asked to stow their phones, at the movies for example, so don’t feel bad about asking guests for the same consideration at your wedding.

Here are a few ways to gracefully ask your guests to stow their cameras and cell phones…

:: Include an announcement on your wedding website :: Be brief and to the point. Say something like,  ” Please refrain from using cell phones or cameras. At a time when memories are captured for the first time through technology, we ask that these memories  are captured rather through your eyes, heart and mind. Please live in the moment and let our awesome photographers document the magic…and you.”

:: Post a reminder sign at the entrance to the venue encouraging guests to enjoy the day and reminding them that you’ve hired a professional to take care of the photos.

:: Ask the officiant to make an announcement at the beginning of the ceremony. The officiant can do this kindly and/or with humor.

:: You can encourage compliance by offering to share wedding photos with your guests online, an easy thing to do with today’s technology.

:: You may indicate a time when guest picture taking is encouraged. Perhaps you’d like the guests to take candid shots of the reception which they can share with you later.

Just remember, it’s your wedding and you get to set the ground rules however you like!

Did you have an unplugged wedding? We would love to hear how you informed your guests!

Concord, NORTH CAROLINA :: Little Red Riding Hood & The Huntsman // Justin & Bridgit // Real Wedding

:: Little Red Riding Hood & The Huntsman ::

Submitted and Photographed by :: Ellen of Due West Photography

Both Justin and Bridgit are incredibly creative people, and I knew their wedding was going to be beautiful and unique to their personalities. I love weddings where you can see the love, excitement and effort that the couple have poured into it, and this was the most personalized wedding I’ve ever seen.

They went with a Little Red Riding Hood and the Huntsman theme, and it was beyond anything I could have imagined! The venue was perfect (cozy and in the middle of the woods) and the decorations were out of a fairy tale. This wedding was an accumulation of an absolutely giddy couple who were delighted about their wedding, two incredible families and some seriously amazing bridesmaids and groomsmen who really took the day to the next level.

Everything seemed to cooperate with this wedding, even the weather; the rain held off just long enough for the ceremony and couple shots, and the woods were vibrant green and smelled incredible from the storm the day before. It cooled the temperature down perfectly on what would have otherwise been a typical hot and muggy North Carolina September day. And most importantly, it could not have been more obvious how happy everyone was for Justin and Bridgit. This was one of those weddings that reminds me why I do this, and why this is one of the best jobs in the world.

If you’re thinking this beautiful couple look familiar, you may have spotted their ‘Roadtrip Romance’ engagement shoot on our blog before! Take a peek here.


Nature. Creativity. Fairytale.


Venue :: Farm at Brusharbor
Photography :: Due West Photography 
Apparel {Bride} :: Nordstrom 
Hair :: Jessica Nicole Myers with Ashleigh P Hair Studio 
Makeup :: Megan Deputy Cooper 
Apparel {Groom} :: Gentleman’s Emporium
DJ :: DJ Marty
Cake :: Ruthie Fernandez at SoDelish


Concord, North Carolina.



Top Five Friday :: 5 Things You Have To Do Now That You're Engaged!

:: 5 Things You Have To Do Now That You’re Engaged ::

Congratulations! You two decided to share your life together. Now that you’re engaged, your activity will be stepped up as you start thinking about what needs to be done to prepare for the big day. Here are some suggestions to help you get going:

1 :: Start A Wedding Activity Journal in which to jot down ideas. You may want to list your music selections as they occur to you, including your special dance. List ideas for your color scheme, flowers, attire, who you want in your wedding party, possible honeymoon destinations and the like. Keep your journal with you at all times either electronically or in notebook form so it will be handy when an idea occurs to you. You may also want to create a task timeline in your journal to make sure you are on top of all you need to do.


wedding planner‘ by Natasha Mileshina is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

2 :: Create A Budget and start saving immediately. Even if you’re lucky enough to have a parent who can foot the bill, you still need to know what money will be available, and for what purpose. List expenses for attire, photographer, caterer, gifts for the wedding party, invitations, venue, transportation, officiant, beverages and so forth. Your budget will be specific to what you want and what you can afford.


[Photo credit:] :: ‘Budget‘ by Simon Cunningham is licensed under CC BY 2.0

3 :: Develop Your Guest List :: Be aware that this list can grow like crazy to the point when it becomes unmanageable and oftentimes hard choices have to be made. Start with the most important people in your lives and let it grow from there.


Guest cards‘ by Erkin is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

4 :: Select Your Date :: Whether the big day is 3 months from now or a year from now, get that date fixed firmly in your head! Everything from now on will be targeted to that magic number.


big-day‘ by Russell Harrison Photography is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

5 :: Secure Your Venue :: There are lots of options out there, so this research may take some time. Start by narrowing your search to places you can afford. Make sure the two of you visit the venue in person before handing over your deposit.


Get shit done! #checklist‘ by Cristian Borquez is licensed under CC BY 2.0

MRSter Tip :: Save yourself a good deal of stress and anxiety by hiring a wedding planner. We happen to know some really good ones that you can check out here. Just sayin…

Trend Tuesday :: Creative Wedding Confetti Alternatives // Wedding Trends

:: Creative Wedding Confetti Alternatives ::

It’s trend Tuesday, and this week we are talking… wedding confetti alternatives!

The tradition of throwing wedding confetti dates back to Roman times, whereby confetti being tossed over the newlyweds at a wedding was seen to symbolize fertility. Confetti throwing is still a tradition adopted by many, but couples are now looking outside the box for alternatives to the traditional paper or rice confetti.  And you know that at MRSter, we LOVE out of the box ideas!

There are so many creative alternatives around today, I’m sure you’ve seen MANY on Pinterest, so we are going to share a few of our favorites with you…

1 :: Glitter

This is a great, yet simple, twist on traditional confetti, that your guests are sure to love. Of course, you will be covered in sparkles for the rest of the day, but who doesn’t love a little bit of added glitter and sparkle?!

Michael James Glitter

Check out James & Michael’s wedding here.

2 :: Paper Planes

Technically this one is still paper confetti, but with a modern make-over! This is a great alternative to traditional confetti, and one that children and older guests alike are sure to love. Paper planes are easy to personalize with messages, as well as making for easy clean up, therefore this alternative is a win-win all around – and perfect for aviation themed weddings!

3 :: Bubbles

Blowing bubbles is a super fun and quirky idea, and can also make for some beautiful pictures! Not only that, but they are very inexpensive and can also double up as a cute little wedding favor for your guests. These days, bubbles have become a very popular alternative, and you are now able to find the bottles in a variety of shapes and colors, such as wedding cakes and champagne glasses – so cute!

4 :: Sparklers

This is definitely one of our favorite alternatives for evening or night time weddings, as sparklers make for some amazing exit photographs! They certainly add some fun and magic to the moment – beautiful!

5 :: Mini Flags

A great way to minimize all of the clean up that you get with paper or rice confetti, is to give your guests mini flags that they can wave around as you leave the ceremony! Not only is this a cute favor, but it also makes a great photo prop if you are having a photobooth! These are a great option if you wanted something that you can personalize, and they can even be a DIY project to help you keep costs down if you are feeling creative!


Flags” by Natalia Wilson is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

6 :: Balloons

Balloons are another great alternative to traditional confetti, and as they are available in a huge variety of colors, it would be easy to find some that match your wedding color palette! In addition to simply releasing the balloons after the ceremony, you could also have your guests personalize them with messages and well wishes for the new couple before they let them go!

7 :: Leaves

This is a very economical, very fun, and best of all FREE idea… One that is particularly perfect for a fall wedding! Simply gather up some leaves, and dry them in advance of the big day. Then place a couple of handfuls into some cute cones or little bags and hand them out to your guests to throw at you after tying the knot!

Sadie and Nora

Photography by Melissa Hesse of Rivets and Roses.

8 :: A Shred Of Decency

Last but certainly not least… this is personally our FAVORITE alternative! This awesome company from Ireland, called Daintree Paper came up with the most wonderful idea for wedding confetti, called ‘A Shred of Deceny’.

The company take papers, pamphlets, leaflets etc that are anti-gay, anti-marriage equality, and simply used to spread ugly lies and hate about marriage equality, and they recycle 100% of it into confetti, in support of marriage equality! All of the profits from sales of the confetti go to Yes Equality, and Daintree Paper has raised thousands of Euros for them since initiating this AMAZING idea! They then encourage you to take a photo of you celebrating with your confetti and post it on your social media platforms with the hashtag #shredofdecency to show your support for this amazing cause! Check it out here


Which of these traditional confetti alternatives is your favorite? We would love to hear some of your ideas if we haven’t listed them already!

Sian Clark // Social Media Manager

Trend Tuesday :: Wedding Hashtags // Wedding Trends

:: Wedding Hashtags // Wedding Trends ::

Last Tuesday, we discussed the trend of “Plugged-In” weddings, and told you all about the awesome resource, “If this, then that” (IFTTT). This is a great resource for being able to keep all of your wedding snaps that your guests take and hashtag on Instagram.

16079203480_453865fe30_zSharing is caring!!! #jakeandsylvia” by regan76 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Simply by coming up with a creative wedding hashtag, this will allow all of the pictures that your guests take, to go directly to your online photo storage site of your choice (such as Facebook , Dropbox or Flickr).

Now I say simply, but for many couples, like my husband and I, coming up with a creative wedding hashtag was a bit of a challenge. We wanted something a little different from the generic #ClarkWedding hashtag. If only we had known that there is such a thing as a wedding hashtag generator…

Yes, it’s true! Thanks to WeddingWire, you simply enter the information you see below, and it generates hashtags based on your information. If you don’t like the first suggestion, just keep clicking ‘Get Another Hashtag’ until it lands on the one you like!

wedding wire hashtag generatorVia WeddingWire

Check it out here, and be sure to share your favorite hashtags with us!!

Sian Clark // Social Media Manager

Trend Tuesday :: "Plugged-In" Weddings // Wedding Trends

:: “Plugged-In” Weddings // Wedding Trends ::

It’s trend Tuesday, and this week we are talking… “Plugged-In” weddings!

We all own smart phones that give us instant access to, arguably, too much information! But, technology is a wonderful thing, and has had such a huge impact on the way that we interact, and this includes how we interact at weddings.

16079203480_453865fe30_zwedding hashtag” by Sara B is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Many people opt for an “Unplugged” wedding, so that their guests aren’t stuck behind the camera all day, and getting in the way of every shot that the professional photographer is trying to take! However, we have also seen a huge trend in the number of couples opting for the alternative; a “Plugged-In” wedding, whereby, you actually encourage your guests to use technology to capture your wedding day.

This can be an awesome option, as it allows for so many more photo opportunities of your special day; including an abundance of amateur candid shots taken by friends and family, that often end up being your favorites from the day! This option allows you to leave your posed shots to the professionals, whilst allowing your guests to have some fun.

14093398521_8f0e84cd61_zSharing is caring!!! #jakeandsylvia” by regan76 is licensed under CC BY 2.0

There is even software that allows all of the pictures that everyone else takes and hashtags, to be sent directly to you … So you don’t have to worry about bugging your friends and family for weeks on end to send you those snaps!

All you need for this is; an Instagram account, a creative hashtag that you can tell your guests to use throughout the day, an online photo storage site (such as Facebook , Dropbox or Flickr), and to set up an account on! “If this, then that” (IFTTT) is a fantastic resource, it just takes a little getting used to! So, I advise giving it a few test tries before the big day! Once you get the hang of it, it’s very straightforward…

You simply create an account and then activate your choice of “channels”. For example, Instagram and then your photo storage option, such as Dropbox. This links your accounts to the site. You then create “recipes” which will create the chain reaction. For example…

IF THIS [A photo on Instagram in tagged with your hashtag, eg. #smithwedding].

THEN THAT [This photo will automatically upload to your Dropbox account that you activated under “channels”].

This might seem confusing… believe me, I was pretty lost at first when I did this for my wedding! Don’t worry, just give it a few tries and you’ll get the hang of it!

11736846286_fbaf356848_zTrying out” by Krissy Venosdale is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

So, tell us… Would you, or did you, have a “Plugged-In” wedding? Share your thoughts with MRSter!

Sian Clark // Social Media Manager

Sadie & Nora :: A Quaint Occasion // Real LGBT Wedding

:: A Quaint Occasion ::

Submitted by :: Melissa Hesse of Rivets and Roses

This fall wedding was small, and quaint. It was hosted on a farm with run down barns, and corn fields that you could see for miles.  The ceremony was intimate, and filled with laughter. Rustic breads, and meats filled the reception table while champagne filled the guest glasses at sunset. It was a short wedding day, and the couple was surrounded by their best friends, and family.


Quaint, Intimate, Farm

The Professionals

Photography :: Rivets and Roses


Minneapolis, Minnesota