- Slipping on your wedding dress: Your wedding dress is one of the biggest decisions you will make in preparation for your wedding (and will be one of the most memorable aspects of your wedding). Make sure you showcase your beautiful gown by getting a shot of your dress on a hanger somewhere pretty, and also the moment your mom and bridesmaids see you for the first time in your wedding dress!
- First look: Whether you are seeing your groom for the first time during a private moment before the wedding ceremony, or you opt for the more traditional option of waiting until you walk down the aisle, the first time you and your groom see each other is a must-have wedding shot as it really captures the raw emotions of the day. Tip: Having a second shooter comes in handy as one photographer will be able to focus on the bride and the other on the groom.
- Exchanging vows: Your promise and commitment to one another is really what the day is all about! Whether your vows are funny, sweet or traditional, whether you’re captured laughing or crying, you’ll want to remember this moment for a lifetime!
- The kiss: This one is a given! It is also a guest favorite to capture. Tip: Consider having an unplugged ceremony so that your photographer can get the perfect shot without dodging guests trying to capture the shot as well.
Groomsmen are typically the groom’s best buddies. Essentially, they are the male counterpart of the bridesmaids. While they don’t really have a ton of responsibilities for the wedding compared to the best man, they do offer their assistance whenever necessary. For example, they help the best man in planning the bachelor party, making sure that it would be both memorable and enjoyable, especially for the groom. They also attend wedding rehearsals, the wedding dinner, and are expected to get themselves prepared for the big day.
Photo: Happy Everything Co.
Groomsmen day-of the wedding duties:
- Arrive at the venue early. Remember, the bride comes in last, not the bridesmaids nor the groomsmen. Being there early means you have plenty of time to take in the venue so that you can provide valuable assistance to guests should they require some ushering. It’s also a show of support for the groom as you could provide some relief from the anxiety and wedding jitters that most grooms experience right before the wedding ceremony starts.
- Have their wedding attire neat and ready. Unless the groom offers, groomsmen are expected to shoulder the cost of the rental for the suit that they will be wearing for the wedding. They should arrive all neat and photo-ready.
- Participate in wedding party shots. Groomsmen are part of the wedding entourage, and as such should be present for the wedding day group photo session. This can be either completely formal, or wacky with the groomsmen sporting similar socks or shirts under their tux that might have been some pretty cool groomsmen gifts from the groom himself intended especially for this occasion.
- Do some ushering – and walk the bridesmaids down the aisle. Part of a groomsman’s duties is to usher guests to their seats prior to the ceremony. That is, unless the groom has appointed ushers to do that job, in which case, groomsmen would just stay by the groom before the ceremony starts and help him relax. During the processional, the groomsmen are paired with the bridesmaids and walk them down the aisle.
- Stay for the entire duration of the reception – and possibly give a speech. It’s a party celebrating a friend’s wedding, of course you’ll stay! The best man’s speech is a given, but sometimes, the groom may want to hear a few congratulatory words from the groomsmen so it’s always best to be prepared.
It’s not much, but any help that they can extend during the day of the wedding will be greatly appreciated by the wedded couple.
I am so incredibly blessed by my sweet husband and his desire to show me the world! When he surprised me with a vacation in Iceland for our first anniversary + birthdays, I was beyond excited to add this trip to our never-ending adventure and put my passport with my new last name to use! Whether for newlywed travels or a quick getaway, it’s not hard getting to Iceland (5 1/2 hour flight from Baltimore), which is why it would also make a great honeymoon destination! Flights are also reasonable, but you will have to plan wisely while you’re there if you’re looking for an affordable trip as it’s a rather expensive place to visit.
Newlywed Travels | Tips While Visiting Iceland
Favorite Foodie Finds
- Even if you only go down to the harbor once on your trip, it’s worth it for Valdís ice cream - no matter how cold it is! On a chilly day, you’ll still find the line out the door. Talk yourself into the double scoop so you can try two flavors (you’re on vacation after all) and walk around the harbor enjoying this delicious treat. The Biscoff cookie and salted caramel peanut flavors were our favorites!
- Bryggjan Brugghús! The hip and modern bistro and brewery - and one of the only places you’ll find craft beers like you would in the U.S. I tried their red, Josh had the wheat, and it was a pleasant change up from the light beers served elsewhere. We went for lunch and tried their fish and chips and also a smoked salmon, arctic shrimp, avocado and tomato sandwich with garlic sauce on sourdough bread. They also had awesome sweet potato fries!
- Sandwiches are always a good option because the bread in Iceland is amazing! We stumbled upon Bakari Sandholt on our first day - Josh got a sandwich to hold him over until lunch. We went back every single day after that, trying different sandwiches and pastries. This cozy bakery is definitely at the top of our list of favorites!
- Another restaurant we visited more than once was Svarta Kaffid, a quaint spot where soup was the star of the show. Among the best deals we scored on our trip, this was one of them! You get your choice of either a veggie or meat soup in a bread bowl (the menu changes daily) and soup refills are free!
- Noodle Station was a great find and perfect for warming up on a cold winter day with delicious pho. It was also super close to where we were staying and relatively cheap!
- I’m surprised to even put this on our favorites list as it’s an “American” restaurant, but Roadhouse was actually a pleasant surprise! It was fun to compare an Icelandic burger joint to what we’re used to in the U.S. We split a burger and amazing double fried fries!
Newlywed Travels Money-Saving Tips
- If you’re looking for a quick snack, don’t be afraid to check out the local grocery stores! Skyr was my go-to option, which is very similar to Greek yogurt. We even tried a frozen pizza as a late night bite! We also packed some protein bars from home to fill us up between meals or snack on during our flights.
- I was really excited to try the local coffee shops, but sadly wasn’t impressed. The bakery above, Sandholt, ended up being our breakfast spot as their breakfast sandwiches were so good and they had free coffee refills! Do this and skip the overpriced coffee shops that aren’t even that tasty and you don’t get a lot of coffee for the price. Pair your joe with a chocolate croissant and you’re good to go!
- Perhaps one of our top newlywed travels tips: We opted for Airbnb over a hotel and it was a great decision as it was cheaper and put us right in the heart of all the happenings! We also chose to rent a car and got our money’s worth driving the Golden Circle on our first day and to Blue Lagoon during the weekend.
Do the Golden Circle – some of the most beautiful views I’ve ever seen! And Blue Lagoon – especially if it’s a cold and rainy day. It might be a tourist trap, but it’s so beautiful and relaxing. Pay $20 more per person to get the premium experience so you don’t get stuck in line. With this, you will also get two different masks while you’re relaxing in the geothermic pool and each of you will get a free drink, flip flops, a towel and a robe.
- If you think you’ll want a glass of wine or cocktail at your place (or want to save money by not buying drinks out), purchase your alcohol at Duty Free before you leave the airport. The beer you can buy at the grocery store is limited and a watered down version of what you purchase at restaurants and bars, and you can’t buy wine or liquor at the grocery stores at all.
Our Favorite Newlywed Travels Souvenirs
- The flea market was a fun experience and good opportunity to get a feel for the culture! Out of all the many stores that sell lava rock jewelry, the vendors at the flea market have the best deals and can even customize the jewelry on site so it best fits you!
- We found really cute handmade in Iceland ornaments at The Little Christmas Shop that I was so excited about! This also inspired me to DIY my own ornament from a Blue Lagoon lava rock found on our adventure to the spa.
- When driving the Golden Circle, we picked up a couple maps as our GPS didn’t seem to be all that trustworthy. They highlight the route we took and some of our favorite scenic spots - the perfect souvenir and we didn’t even know it!
- While browsing the grocery store, I picked up a free Icelandic newspaper. I’ve been known to love Mod Podge and can’t wait to see what DIYs I can come up with for this souvenir!
- Pay attention while at your favorite restaurants and pubs - we ended up finding free cheeky postcards that ended up being fun little finds!
What to Pack for your Trip to Iceland
- Layer up! I’m so grateful I brought my base layers for under my jeans and tops. I didn’t need them during the day, but at night, it was so nice to have those extra layers as it got colder. A scarf, hat or ear warmers and mittens will also come in handy!
- Bring a lighter jacket to avoid getting too hot walking around and going in and out of shops and restaurants. A waterproof jacket or raincoat isn’t a bad idea either - I needed mine twice due to a little sleet and rain!
- I brought two pairs of boots - my winter boots and riding boots - but didn’t end up needing my winter boots. As long as you have a comfy pair of shoes that are warm and water resistant, you’re good to go! Pack some warm socks as well for those chilly days and nights.
- Don’t forget your swim suit if you’re visiting the Blue Lagoon!
- Sunglasses and chapstick (it was so windy)!
- Pack a refillable water bottle to stay hydrated – you’ll do lots of walking and their water is so pure, you can drink it right from the tap! This will also come in handy for on the plane as the airline we flew didn’t provide free water or drinks.
Other Newlywed Travels Tips for Visiting Iceland
- If you want to see what night life is like in Iceland, you’ll have to stay out late – music doesn’t even start most places until 11 pm.
- Consider attending a church service in English – beautiful, historic churches.
- Read up on the culture before you go so you can appreciate the quirky things you’ll see – like the rock statues/elf homes and why the horses are so small and fluffy.
- Find something the locals are into! We had a blast watching soccer and a UFC fight (Icelandic fighter) with the locals at a sports bar and the English Pub. It was fun to see everyone getting so into the fight!
- A long weekend was the perfect amount of time for our newlywed travels! As mentioned above, we started visiting the same places twice during our 4 day trip. If you stay any longer, it can get quite expensive dining out!
For those who have Iceland on their newlywed travels list or bucket list, we highly recommend visiting! WOW air also specializes in “stop overs” - allowing you to visit Iceland on your way to another destination for no additional fee. Another great resource we used while planning our trip was this Iceland travel guide from The Fox & She.
-Kristen + Josh Green
We’re welcoming Brathan Music to The White List Vendor team! We recently shared the importance of doing your research before booking your wedding entertainment to ensure a packed dance floor and a positive experience. And today, we’re sharing the benefits of securing your wedding entertainment through this talent booking agency!
Brathan Music provides the highest quality musical performers for public and private events. Having provided musical entertainers for all types of events including weddings, corporate gatherings, banquets, sorority, fraternity, anniversaries, galas and other extraordinary affairs and occasions, Brathan Music covers a multitude of genres such as Rock, Pop, R&B, Disco, Funk, Motown, Rock & Roll, Southern Rock and Blues. As their top priority is to provide quality and reliability to meet our couples’ needs and expectations, we’re excited to partner with them!
Photo: Horn Photography & Design
Benefits of Securing Your Wedding Entertainment With Brathan Music
- Couples can choose specific combinations of instrumentations for weddings! Whether you’re seeking an accomplished pianist, violinist, guitarist, a combination of the three or all three, Brathan Music can source the talent for your unique musical preferences.
- Get more band for your buck. Brathan Music has the ability to offer clients exceptional rates. Their most expensive band is $4,500. This includes an 8–10 piece band (with horns upon request) and complimentary DJ music during intermissions for all band performances.
- Wedding entertainment upgrades are easy! All bands play an extra 1/2 hour for only $200. All DJs play an extra 1/2 hour for only $50!
Brathan Music is offering The White List brides special pricing, complimentary stage/dance floor lighting, plus all bands play an extra half hour for a negotiated rate of $200 and DJs for $50!
Laurel Robinson, Owner of Vision Expressions, is sharing wedding design tips that won’t break the bank! Before you begin the wedding planning journey, talk to any parties who are helping fund your wedding and set a realistic budget. This will be your guide for knowing what venue you can afford, and when you have an overall budget in mind when searching for your venue, you’ll also be able to gauge how much it will cost to achieve your wedding vision at that particular venue. Enjoy Laurel’s wedding design tips below!
You’re marrying the love of your life and you want to style your wedding beautifully, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend a fortune - especially if you’d rather spend a good portion of the funds sinking your toes into white sand and clear blue waters. We get it! So here’s some helpful wedding design tips for a gorgeous wedding under 10k!
Wedding Design Tips For a Beautiful Wedding Under $10k
- Think of a theme or style that’s more of a fund-friendor than a budget-buster. For example, votives versus pillar candles are not only more cost effective, but illuminate spaces better because of their lower lighting. And smaller vessels for florals like mason jars can be styled elegantly and cost far less to purchase or rent than taller vessels with larger openings that would require a lot more. Can you feel the warmth on your toes yet?
- Something old, something new, something borrowed… you get the gist of it. That pearl earring from mom or ruby necklace from granny aren’t the only old treasures to incorporate into your wedding. The ever popular wedding signs have long made a big splash in the wedding scene. But before you run to your nearest home decor store to purchase that elegant, pricey mirror, how about that ornate one in your foyer that guests always compliment when they visit? I bet you’re beginning to hear the waves now!
- Save money and rent! Often times, brides with budgets under $10k think they’ll save a ton of money by purchasing items outright. This is so far from the truth! Spend some time doing a bit of research. There are many rental businesses who not only have what you need, but 9 times out of 10, it will cost you less! And if you’re not a crafty bride and don’t have a lot of time to spend on things like gluing and cutting… rentals are the perfect way to go and can save you money.
- And last, but not least, make sure to get get the skinny on any additional services - you never know what sweet deals you may find. Businesses like Vision Expressions not only offer a beautiful collection of vintage items, but they also provide cost-saving event design and styling packages included with their rentals and can handle the entire setup and breakdown. Can I get an all-in-one AMEN and please pass the swimwear?!
With these wedding design tips on how to style your wedding beautifully without breaking the bank, you can plan a gorgeous wedding day under $10k. Happy wedding planning!
Through The White List Vendors, Vision Expressions is offering the following wedding planning deal: Book Vision Expressions Sweetheart Table Package before March 15th and receive a $1.00 discount off your choice of gold, clear or silver glass beaded chargers for your wedding reception. Book both and receive waived delivery fees, a savings of $310.