Groom's Wedding Blog from

See What Happened on the Day the Bachelor Died

February 21st, 2014

Did you know that one of the earliest recorded bachelor party traditions is the groom-to-be being forced to dig his own “bachelor grave?” His friends and family would gather around to mourn his passing and copious amounts of alcohol would be consumed. Morbidness aside, that’s pretty damn cool. This rite of passage has unfortunately faded over time, but it could be heading for a revival. Case in point: Bobby from Kansas City recently sent us this video of his younger brother Collin’s bachelor party. In addition to the mock funeral, the weekend party also included guns, trampolines and a mechanical bull. The best part? Everything was captured on GoPro for your entertainment.

Thanks to Bobby for submitting this gem.

6 Steps to Creating Killer Guest Welcome Gifts

February 19th, 2014
wedding welcome bag and accessories

Photo courtesy of Tie That Binds Weddings Etsy shop

Want to show your out-of-town guests some love for trekking across the state, country or ocean to attend your wedding? Although they aren’t mandatory (and can easily be skipped to trim a runaway budget), the hotel welcome gift is a great way to let your far-flung friends and family know that their efforts are truly appreciated. Here are six simple steps to get started.

1. It all begins with a container. While bags certainly aren’t required, they’re a go-to for a reason. They’re easy to find, come in a range of materials, sizes, colors and patterns to match your palette, and are often very economical. Bags can be dressed up with custom stamps, stickers, tags, ribbons and other extras. Prefer to think outside the bag? Consider tote bags for a beach setting, baskets in the spring, wine crates for a vineyard wedding, buckets or pails for a coastal location, Lucite boxes for a modern wedding, vases for a garden setting or Chinese takeout boxes for a whimsical theme.

2. Consider the setting. Having a beach wedding? Toss sunglasses, sunscreen, a straw hat or a beach towel in your welcome bag. If you’ll be getting married during the area’s rainy season, tuck in an umbrella or poncho, in case guests get caught in a downpour. Getting married in wine country? Include a map of local wineries or a bottle of regional wine.

refreshment welcome box

Photo courtesy of the favor box Etsy shop

3. Include some refreshments. We’ve all heard it: The way to someone’s heart is through their stomach. And it’s true! Consider including a bottle of sparkling water, juice or booze, as well as a few snacks, such as pretzels, nuts, fruit or candy for guests to nosh on while they’re relaxing in their hotel rooms.

4. Add a local touch. Out-of-towners and residents alike will appreciate a taste of what the local area, region or wedding venue has to offer. If your wedding locale is famous for barbeque, for example, include a bottle of your favorite area barbeque sauce. Getting married in a college town? Show your alma mater some love by including a team pennant, keychain, magnet or mini stuffed mascot.

hangover helper kit

Photo courtesy of decadent designs Etsy shop

5. Make it personal. If the bride and groom love craft beer, for example, include a pack of coasters from a favorite brewery, a personalized bottle opener, or a bottle or two of the couple’s favorite brew. Another fun touch: Include a personal note to guests, thanking them for their attendance and support. Extra credit: Offer a few recommendations on local sights to see, as well as can’t-miss eateries, bars and entertainment while they’re in town.

6. Get creative. Want your welcome gift to really stand out? Add something unexpected and creative. If you’re planning to party the night away, put together a hangover kit, complete with a sleep mask, earplugs, bottled water, ibuprofen or aspirin, and sunglasses for the drive home. Even non-drinkers will still appreciate these items while traveling. Another fun idea for both kids and adults: a s’mores kit. Wrap up graham crackers, marshmallows and chocolate bars for guests to take home or pop into the hotel room microwave for a late-night snack after the festivities are over.

wedding smores kits

Photo courtesy of the favor box Etsy shop

Which of these guest welcome gift ideas would be perfect for your friends and family? Let us know below. 

Connect with post author Kara Horner on Google+, Pinterest and Twitter.



Watch This Hawk Deliver Wedding Rings Like a Boss

February 13th, 2014

Hawk ring bearer > human ring bearer.

Expert Forum: 2014′s Top Groom Wedding Trends

February 11th, 2014

We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite bloggers for another expert forum. This time, we’re discussing the wedding trends that grooms will be most excited about in 2014.

a whiskey bar is set up for a wedding reception

Engagement season is over and wedding planning is beginning for countless newly engaged couples. What’s your favorite 2014 trend that grooms can get excited about?

Kara Horner (Editor, GroomsAdvice)
Twitter: @TMR_Kara

In 2014, I expect to see more grooms (and brides) bucking traditional, one-size-fits-all wedding ideas in favor of unique and personal details that make perfect sense for each individual couple. Grooms will continue to be more engaged in the planning process and make their mark on details beyond attire and transportation, incorporating more creative, guy-friendly aspects into their weddings and rehearsal dinners, such as cigar bars, whiskey tasting areas and specialty food stations.

Darren Young (Owner, Well-Groomed)
Twitter: @wellgrmd

Of course, I’m looking at the new year from a style standpoint, and 2014 will be all about mixing casual and semi-formal duds. Grooms should feel free to swap a suit jacket for a leather jacket or wear boots with the suit to break up a traditional look. Another bonus? Along with injecting a little of the groom’s personality, the casual/semi-formal combo can also inject a little comfort into the all-day festivities.

Anne Chertoff (Wedding Media Expert,
Twitter: @AnneChertoff

For 2014, I think grooms can get excited about all the fun activities and entertainment we’re now seeing at weddings.  We’re well beyond the entertainment being the bride and groom’s surprise choreographed dance – and I’m sure a lot of guys will be relieved about that. Photo booths are now slow motion and video booths offer fun and animated props, such as confetti and mini-poppers.

The wedding no longer stops at the band’s last dance, but will continue well into the night and following morning with a wild after-party filled with new entertainment options, menus and party favors. Today’s couples are also getting nostalgic for their youth by hiring bands and dancers that sound, look and move like their favorite ‘90s bands, such as boy bands and hip-hop groups.

Lauren Grove (Owner, Every Last Detail)
Twitter: @ELD_Lauren

Grooms, start making that craft beer and tasting whiskey, because 2014 is all about personal, custom drink options! Say goodbye to girly signature drinks, and serve up your own home-brewed beer and/or wine, complete with a custom nuptial-inspired name and label. Or if you’re a whiskey or scotch fan, offer up a selection of your favorites for everyone to taste. It’s all about the experience and the personalization in 2014!

Marta Segal Block (Blogger, GigMasters Wedding Blog)
Twitter: @MartasAdvice

Whether you’re a guy who confuses hashtags and hashbrowns or a guy who can’t watch TV without tweeting about it, 2014 has a tech trend for you. Couples are moving both toward and away from social media and tech in equal numbers. Some couples are setting up charging stations and announcing hashtags on save the dates. Others are requesting that guests check their phones at the door and even refrain from taking photos during the reception. Choose the option that makes the most sense to you.

Now that our experts have weighed in, what are your favorite 2014 wedding trends for the guys?

Michael O’Connor on What a Girl Wants

February 10th, 2014

 a young couple tries on rings in a jewelry store

Whether you’re dating, engaged or married, every guy asks himself the same question: “What does she want?” Even after the holiday season, this question continues throughout the year on Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, birthdays and anniversaries. So, what does a girl really want?

When it comes to diamonds and fashion jewelry, recent research has shown that most women feel it’s important not only know the origin of their diamonds, but that they were mined in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. Today, women also have a front-row seat to the intense impact that color is having in the style world. They see it first-hand on the pages of global fashion magazines and in celebrity red-carpet coverage. They understand that color is an important trend and expression of lifestyle. But from a fashion perspective, research shows that women find much of the diamond jewelry they see in stores to be similar and boring. They want to see more fashion-forward designs and innovative materials, such as jewelry incorporating natural color diamonds.

L – Rio Tinto 7/8cttw with a ½ ct round mocha center. R – Rio Tinto 3/4cttw with a 3/8ct mocha round center

For most men, giving your girlfriend, fiancée or wife diamond jewelry to mark a special occasion will always be a gifting home-run. Diamonds have become synonymous with beauty, rarity and “forever”. But incorporating everything women want into that gift doesn’t have to be as expensive as you’d think.

In fact, jewelry stores across the country are currently offering many affordable diamond jewelry options, such as the Fred Meyer Cocoa Diamonds collection, which starts as low as $255. This collection showcases the fashion-forward beauty of natural color diamonds in a variety of champagne hues, ranging from sand to the deepest umber to complement nearly every piece in her wardrobe. Talented designers blend their unique hues to create these innovative diamond jewelry pieces. Hailing from the Argyle Diamond Mine in Western Australia, these diamonds also offer piece of mind because they’re sustainable and ethically mined in cooperation with the original land owners.

L – Rio Tinto 1cttw with a ½ ct mocha cushion center. R – 1cttw mocha and white diamonds

Regardless of the occasion, every guy wants to give his girl the perfect present. Now with a little knowledge and research, you can give her exactly what she wants. For more information on these unique diamonds and to find similar collections at a jewelry store near you, visit Diamonds with a Story.

Michael O’Connor is one of America’s leading voices on jewelry, style and accessories and has become the “go-to” resource for editors and producers seeking information on current trends and celebrity information. O’Connor as been involved in the luxury, jewelry and fashion industries in a career that spans over 25 years. Connect with Michael on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.

Which of the pieces shown above would your bride like the most? Tell us why in the comment section below.

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