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Hosting a Post Destination Wedding Reception

So you’ve chosen a destination wedding. But on the fence as to whether or not to host a party back home after the wedding? Is it too expensive? What’s expected? What’s proper etiquette for inviting guests? Bottom line, you want to know- is your post destination wedding reception worth having?

Post Destination Wedding Reception

There are different reasons for having a post destination wedding reception. But let’s first make sure you’re headed on the right path to your “after party.” Wedding receptions are a time to celebrate the newly married couple. A time to eat, drink, and party (whatever that looks like to you)! Read below for the three post wedding reception points- Affordability, Expectations,  and Etiquette to see if an “after party” is right for you. 


Before you commit to a home reception, make sure you have room for it in your budget. Depending on the size of your guest list, the amount will differ, but a fair price point is to expect to spend roughly $10/person. That price includes light food, drinks, simple decor, and cake. Of course, that number is loose and you can add or subtract according to your level of food & entertainment. If you’re looking a restaurant for your after party price will remain close to the $10/person mark. Any venue space will add thousands in rental fees to your budget(think not just the space but also tables, linens, caterer…). So it’s best to keep it simple at home or an affordable restaurant/private room. And while we’re talking money saving tips, you can read here about how to keep your overall destination wedding budget under control. 


The main purpose of a post destination wedding reception is to celebrate the bride and groom (NOT a gift donation scheme, see “Etiquette” for more on that).  That being said, here are ideas for food, entertainment, and decor for a home reception to get your guests in party mode:

  • Food– Guests should expect some sort of food, drink, and wedding cake. Some ideas:
    • Food-Finger foods(chicken tenders, party sandwiches), themed meals (tacos, spaghetti, etc.)  You can even get reasonable catering quotes from places like Chipotle, Tijuana Flats, or Chick Fil A
    • Drink- Booze or no booze? A few bottles of wine, cooler of beer, and/or a signature cocktail are perfect if you’re going with alcohol. No need for a fully stocked bar, but nice to offer a celebratory drink. Dry reception? Lemonade, tea, soda, and water are staple reception beverages. 
    • Dessert- Traditional wedding cake is always a winner. You can also check out these DIY “wedding” desserts 
  • Entertainment– No need for a DJ, games, and a bag of tricks. Keep it a simple, social event where you get to talk about your big day and enjoy the company of family and friends.
    •  Photo slideshow/album. Smilebox is a great resource for creating slideshows and is very user friendly (for both Mac and PC users). You don’t need a degree in graphic design or editing to make a quality slideshow. 
  • Decor- You can really find some simple decor at affordable prices to add a little wedded touch. No need to go full Pinterest wedding mode here. A nice touch here and there will set a perfectly wedded party mood. A beach/nautical themed “Just Married” or “Mr. & Mrs.” banner is a great touch. Fresh flowers are also festive and fun decor!


Who to invite: Give your guest list some thought. Are you inviting a large group? Only those who were invited to the wedding, including those who couldn’t make the wedding? Maybe you eloped and you want to have a family/close friends gathering. It’s up to you how big or small you make your home reception. But, as with any wedding, consider those closest to you and avoid making it just an opportunity to receive a bunch of gifts. Those closest to you will likely shower you with gifts, but that shouldn’t be the motive for hosting your party.

When to invite: If you’ve given this a lot of thought ahead of time, you can make mention of it on your invitations. Otherwise, a simple e-vite is cheap/free and simple. 

Thank you: Thank your guests for coming. An elaborate speech isn’t necessary but a formal announcement of gratitude is an appropriate gesture. And of course, thank you cards for any gifts received is standard practice. 

Are you having your dessert before dinner? Planning your post party BEFORE your destination wedding?? Click HERE to book your elopement, wedding, or vow renewal today!

How To Travel with a Wedding Dress

Lost, wrinkled, stained. All words you DON’T want to hear in the same sentence as the words “wedding dress.” So we’ve got just the ticket for keeping your dress safe and sounds throughout your beach wedding travels. From flight to hotel read on to learn how to travel with a wedding dress .

How to Travel with a Wedding Dress

travel with a wedding dress

Rule #1: Avoid packing your wedding dress in checked luggage. 

Don’t let the fate of your wedding dress lie in the hands of baggage handlers. Bags may unintentionally be damaged or lost so play it safe and use a carry on when you travel with a wedding dress .

Carry On/Garmet Bag:

You may choose a carry on garment bag or hard shelled overhead luggage. Check with your airline requirements for sizes and carry on regulations. Don’t assume anything. If you have an oversized bag or too many bags, you may be forced to gate check. And that goes against Rule #1: avoid packing your wedding dress in checked luggage. You can also call your airline ahead of time to see if they would potentially offer closet space (often at the discretion of the flight attendants on duty). Check out this short YouTube video to get wedding dress carry on packing tips. 

*Check with a professional (dress sales people or alteration specialist) to see if your dress will require steaming. You can pick up a travel steamer for around $30. 

Professional Fold & Pack:

So the same laundry services that offer bridal gown preservation/storage often also offers professional bridal gown packing. 


Check with flight attendants to see if there is available closet space to hang your dress. If not, you can place your hard shelled luggage in the overhead bin. If you have a garment bag, kindly ask your seat mates if you could lie your dress on top of the luggage bags in the overheard bins. 

Arriving early to your gate will allow for a little more flexibility with storage options. 

Arriving/Hotel :

Car Travel: Upon arriving to your destination city. You’ll want to practice the same travel tips in the car as you did on the plane. 

Hotel: Hang your dress immediately. Remove garment bag and hang dress in a safe, dry place. Often hotels offer on steaming/pressing services so check with front desk. The night before you wedding give your dress one last steam if required. And now you’re good to go!


Ready to pack your bags and head to the beach? Click HERE to book your Destin Beach Wedding today!





Beach Wedding Photo Shoot Quick Tips

Your wedding photos will serve as a permanent memory from one of the biggest days of your life. So just how do you end up with an album full (or at least a few prints) of timeless, cherished photos? This quick tip guide will provide the basics for your best beach wedding photo shoot.

Tips for Beach Wedding Photo Shoot

beach wedding photo shoot

Pre- Wedding Day

Before we get to the tips and tricks for the actual beach wedding photo shoot, let’s talk pre-wedding. A little pre-game, if you will. Make sure both bride and groom have properly fitted/altered clothing and undergarments. Nothing says photo buzz kill more than an unsightly bra strap or see through dress. So put on the full get up, and get outside. Because sunlight has a way of, well, bringing a whole new light to sheer/white. You can even have a friend/self timer snap a couple photos to make sure everything is in  it’s proper place. Also, if you have a large guest list and have paid for extra photography, pre wedding day is the time to think over your family photo must haves. You can make a list, but at least give it some thought ahead of time.

Pre-Aisle Walk

Once you’ve established everything pre-wedding day, let’s talk about what to do right before the walk down the aisle. Once you’re fully dressed (brides and grooms) have a friend give you an 360 degree inspection. Pin, shimmy, fluff, straighten, whatever needs to be done, do it now. Check accessory clasps and reinforce any backings or buttons. Boutonnières can be pinned and perfected now. We aren’t expecting absolute perfection, but shoot for pretty darn close. 😉  That beautiful close up of you sharing your vows will have you saying, “GRRRRR” when your necklace clasp is upside down, glaring at you. One last powder & lip gloss is a great idea pre-aisle walk, but BE SURE to place a paper towel/t-shirt/barrier over the wedding dress before applying. Also, give the cell phone and sunglasses to a friend. Even a silenced phone provides an unsightly bulk in your pocket.


There’s really nothing much for you to remember here. Just prepare to follow the lead of your photographer/officiant/coordinator. And if you’re extra nervous, remember to smile and take some nice, deep breaths. Don’t let your resting face look like you are awaiting a life sentence instead of a joyful wedding union! 🙂

Post Ceremony Beach Wedding Photo Shoot

If you’ve hired Your Daytona Beach Wedding or Forever in Love Photography, rest assured, you are in good photography hands. Your photographer will be doing the posing and directing, but communicate if you have any specific ideas in mind. This is the time to remember any specific family members or friends you want to include in your photos. Our photographers will do the organizing, but just be sure to communicate with them so no one is left out. A few go-to wedding photography tips:

  • Flowers– When holding flowers, your hands should be grasping the stem(s) and hands should be just directly below the belly button. It will feel a little awkward, but will look totally natural and appropriate in the photos. The natural resting place to hold flowers for most people is too high for photographs and ends up swallowing up the bride in photos.
  • Natural- Don’t force unnatural poses. Take a moment to really savor the moments of your wedding day and the beauty of your spouse. Your excitement, love, and confidence will be evident and reflect in your pictures.
  • Wind & Sun- Find out more on beach wedding hair tips HERE but to keep it simple, consider the elements. There is usually at least a slight breeze at the beach, if not full on wind. So make sure your hair is pinned and out of your face for your photos. And you may be tempted to wear sunglasses, but hold off until after the beach wedding photo shoot. If you have extremely sensitive eyes, just communicate with your photographer and the old, “1,2,3, open your eyes and cheese” trick will work (for kids and adults alike)!
  • Your Personality– A classic, embraced, happy couple is a timeless photo look. But if you and your spouse have a whacky, silly side, capture that. It could make for a fun Christmas card or thank you image!



Ready to smile your way down the aisle? Click HERE to book Your Daytona Beach Wedding!


Beach Wedding Spray Tan Tips

So you’ve chosen a destination beach wedding. And now the question is do you want to show up to your wedding looking like a bronzed, sun-kissed local or don your fair skin? The choice is yours whether or not to “pre-tan.” And the best advice is to choose whatever will have you feeling like singing, “I feel pretty, oh so pretty!” 😉 So let’s assume for the sake of this post, that you decide to get your tan on. Here’s a list of the do’s and don’t’s for your beach wedding spray tan preparations:

Do’s and Don’t’s for a Beach Wedding Spray Tan :

beach wedding spray tan

DO :Try out your spray tan BEFORE your wedding day.

This allows you to make sure you like the idea AND make sure your make up matches your spray tan skin (picture “Snow White” face make up & “Pocahontas” tan body- yikes)! If this is not an option for you, consider nixing the idea. Mystic Tan is a spray tanning company with services across the country. The product is consistent from salon to salon. This means you can have a trial spray tan in your home town. Loving your beach-y glow? Check out these tanning salons in Destin and Panama City Beach , Florida to plan your tan. Most people look great with a spray tan, but give it try before your big day. AND go for the trial at least 3 weeks before your wedding. The spray tan can last up to 14 days and you won’t want a double spray tan. Can you say Oompa Loompa?


DON’T: Let the day(s) before your wedding be the first time you ever try a spray tan.

Bad idea. Like we just said, most people look great with a spray tan. But don’t take a chance on “most.”


DO : Tan 2-3 days BEFORE your wedding day.

The first day of spray tan leaves a distinct scent (along the same lines as hair salon after color treatment or nail salons and strong chemicals). Days 2 & 3 are ideal tan days. The tan is still fresh but after a shower or two is most natural looking. 

DON’T: Get a spray tan the day of your wedding.

The spray tan may wear off on your beautiful white dress within the first few hours/day of tanning. And the first day is just a little smelly and unnatural. A shower will take care of that though!


DO: Plan your tan ahead of time. Tips for the day of your tan:

  • The best time to tan is night time (read on and you’ll see why)
  • You will want to take a shower, exfoliate, and be sure to NOT wear any lotions, deodorant, perfumes, cremes, make up.. you get the point. Bare skin. 
  • Stay dry- You MUST NOT get any part of your body wet within approximately 8 hours of tanning. This includes rain, little splashes from the hand washing sink, spilled drinks… again, you get the point. The water stops the tanning process. So unless you want to look like a polka dot princess, be sure to check the weather for rain and stay dry (easiest to do close to bed time and sleep for the “dry” time).
  • Getting a manicure or pedicure? Do so BEFORE tanning. The scrubs and exfoliants used for your mani/pedi may wear away your foot/leg tan.
  • Prepare what you’ll wear. You can wear a bikini, just panties, or sans clothing during the spray tan. Just consider your dress lines and straps.

DON’T: “Wing it.”

A spray tan isn’t really complicated, but to get the results you want, you need to follow the directions. 



All this talk of tanning have you ready to get to the beach? Book your Destin Beach Wedding today!



Beach Wedding Groom Attire

We all know the excitement that comes with choosing the perfect wedding gown. A bridal right of passage. But let’s not neglect Mr. Groom. While his style attention may not be in the driver’s seat, so to speak. Let’s at least let him ride shotgun. 😉 There are extra considerations to be made for a beach wedding. Find out more about the future Mrs. attire HERE. But for now let’s talk beach wedding groom attire!


Grooming the Groom: Beach Wedding Groom Attire

  • Beach Factor:

  • So the most important thing to remember is that you will be getting married on the beach. Duh, right? Consider your weather season and dress accordingly. No one’s going to turn on the A/C or dim the lights for you outside. The Florida weather is warm/hot most of the year. You can still achieve a traditional groom/groomsmen look with a combination of the right fabrics and colors. More tips:
    • Avoid heavy fabrics and try to steer clear from black, which just absorbs the heat.
    • Shorts can look great too, when styled creatively.
    • A vest can replace a coat to keep things a little cooler.
    • Into the hipster look? Try a nice white shirt paired with a bow tie or suspenders.

beach wedding groom attire

beach wedding groom attire

beach wedding groom attire


  • Head to Toe:

    • Shoes are optional when it comes to beach weddings. Bulky dress shoes are OUT. Casual boat shoes or a new pair of sandals are both great options. And there’s always ya know- sans shoes, barefoot, toes in the sand. No shoes, no problem.
    • Hats and Glasses: A bright sunny day may leave you reaching for you sunglasses. However, try to keep the shades off until after the first kiss. It’s much more intimate (not to mention photo friendly) to keep the sunglasses off. And a fedora can be a fun style option if hats are your thing!
    • Accessories: Fun cufflinks or a creative beach boutonniere can add the perfect beach groom touch!

beach wedding groom attire

beach wedding groom attire

beach wedding groom attire

beach wedding groom attire

beach wedding groom attire


  • Size:

  • Make sure to try on the entire ensemble before the big day. From boxers to belts and everything else, make sure it all fits and gets packed. Your wedding day is the time to spend a few extra dollars to get that tailored/polished look. And a mock photo shoot isn’t a bad idea just to make sure everything is A-ok (especially if you’re wearing linen, ahem, for transparent reasons).

beach wedding groom attire

  • Destination: Beach.

  • Once you’ve decided your style, color, and final look, make sure everything gets packed. Also consider bringing a steamer or visiting a local dry cleaner pre-wedding. Leave the ripples to the ocean and sand, not your shirt and pants.

beach wedding groom attire


Maybe all this suiting up has you ready to say, “I DO!” Click HERE to book your Daytona Beach Wedding today!



Trending Wedding Hair – Beach Edition

There are the color swatches. And the dress shopping. The vow choices. And the perfect location. Then there’s the icing on the (wedding) cake- hair and make up. Stay tuned for make up tips, but for now, let’s talk about trending wedding hair. Beach wedding hair to be exact. So here’s a break down of some hair style options by length. And some crucial generic beach wedding hair tips. 

 Trending Wedding Hair – Beach Edition

Tips for ALL hair colors, lengths, and fullness:

  • MPH– I’m talking wind here. Consider the unpredictability of the wind conditions. You could have a bright sunny day, but a normal day’s sea breeze gets things moving. And by things, I’m talking your hair. So whether your hair’s up, down, or somewhere in between, keep your face clear. A simple pin back with a cute, beachy accessory or a headband could do the trick. 
  • D.I.Y. or call in the professional: Do you have some wiggle room in your budget for hair and make up? If so, this is a good place to go for it. There’s just something about the magic touch of a stylist that keeps things in all the right places for the long haul. Especially for beach weddings when you’re considering sand, salt, heat, wind, etc. Maxed out budget? Don’t sweat it. Seek help from a fashion savvy friend, or a YouTube style channel, and do a few practice runs. Oh, and LOTS of hairspray!! 🙂 
  • Be realistic: In the world of internet stock images and photoshop, don’t be fooled. Finding an image or style that “inspires” you is a GREAT place to start. But be willing to modify the look to fit your beach wedding and personal hair type. Consider thickness, length, and curl/straight and be aware of how that affects your style options. If you have heavy, thick, straight hair, springing curls may not work for you. However, you can still achieve a beachy wave or similar look. Just cater to your natural beauty.


On the lookout for some inspirational trending wedding hair styles? Check out our photo gallery of previous weddings. And see below for a variety of potential beach wedding hair styles. 

Long/Medium Hair:

  trending wedding hair beach wedding  

trending wedding hair beach wedding

trending wedding hair beach wedding

trending wedding hair beach wedding

trending wedding hair beach wedding

trending wedding hair beach wedding




Short Hair:

trending wedding hair beach wedding

trending wedding hair beach wedding

trending wedding hair beach wedding

trending wedding hair beach wedding


trending wedding hair beach wedding


trending wedding hair beach wedding


Happy Hair Styling! And if all these dreamy hair photos have you ready to get things going, click here to book your Destin Beach Wedding today!