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Friends, it took me two and a half years to order a wedding album. Ugh! You, too? If you’re in the same stalling-and-searching boat, I’ve got great news for you!! Shutterfly has a beautiful wedding photo book offering, and I think it’s just what you’re looking for, you bargain-hunting but aesthetically-gifted gal :) Here are eight reasons I love their premium wedding photo books and think you will, too.

Isn’t this album a beauty? We teamed up with Sarah, a bride whose Texas wedding was featured in our last issue, to create it. She gave the Shutterfly process two thumbs up!

1. The quality is superb. Let’s start here. For lack of a better description, these books feel good: they’re substantial, they’re luxe, and they have all the bells and whistles you want and expect for your one and only wedding album. Starting with…

2. Layflat pages. Boom. That’s disruption, friends! Layflat pages used to only be available in albums ordered from a professional photographer, but no more. With this premium feature, your gorgeous photos can stretch across two pages without interruption from the binding – a hugely luxe feature. All books are printed on double-thick paper, too.

3. The customization options are impressive. Sizes range from 8×8 to 12×12 (we used the 12×12, with an impressive 24″ wingspan, for our wedding book, and the sweet 8×8″ size for our newlywed book). Cover options include two pretty colors of cloth, leather, a hard matte photo, and antique white linen, among others.

4. They’re not too precious. Yep, you heard that right! While the quality is great, you’re not paying so much for a Shutterfly album that you’ll feel like you need to keep it under lock and key, like a friend of mine who paid thousands for her album. Your wedding album is meant to be enjoyed, passed around, and kept out on your coffee table to be admired often!

5. They are ridiculously affordable. Especially compared to albums ordered from professional photographers, especially when you take into accountShutterfly’s ubiquitous coupon codes, and especially when you consider the quality you’re getting for the price.

6. The layout process is simple… Start with a professionally-styled template (which range from super minimal to fun and colorful), choose page layouts within the template, then add or subtract elements to suit your aesthetic. Two of our albums were based on Modern White, an elegant and simple option.

7. …but it can be as complex as you want it to be. The Shutterfly layout tool is extensive and flexible, with tons of page layouts, the ability to tweak those layouts, and great font and color options. Even if you go to town with customization, though, it’s still easy to use!

8. They’ll even design your book for you. What? Yes! Intimidated by the thought of sorting through all your photos and laying out a cohesive design? Try the new Make My Book Service, where a Shutterfly designer will curate your wedding photos and make a beautiful wedding book for you. You’ll pay a $9.99 fee, but only if you end up ordering the book.

Of course, Shutterfly’s premium photo books aren’t just for wedding albums – I had so much fun creating a newlywed life and honeymoon album, too! Think of your wedding photo book as the first volume in a personal library of amazing memories, beautifully captured :)

Now that you know how easy and affordable it is to make a quality wedding photo book, I hope you’ll have one in your home soon! Happy creating, friends!

This post is sponsored by Shutterfly, a site we’ve used and loved for years. Thank you for your support of the brands who make Southern Weddings possible!

emily Written with love by Emily
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One of the most exciting parts of wedding planning — shopping for your gown!! — can also be one of the most stressful. (This from the girl who broke down in tears after her second appointment… embarrassing but true! That’s a story for another day.) We’re all about helping you reduce the wedding planning stress and up the fun as much as possible, which is where smart planning ahead of time comes in.

As you decide which bridal salons to visit, of course you want to consider their reputation (are they known for being pushy? Intuitive? Kind?), but another thing to consider is whether they carry designers whose lines match your aesthetic. Most boutiques include a list of their designers on their websites, but if you aren’t familiar with the lines, you’re probably still stumped.

Today, the ladies of Twirl Boutique in Lexington, one of our favorite bridal boutiques in the South, are here to give us a brief glossary of bridal designers broken down by bridal aesthetic. Take note of the designers that most closely mirror your style, and get ready to try on some perfectly “you” dresses – hopefully with only happy tears along the way!

Graham Terhune, Cheyenne Schultz, Erin Wilson, Clark Brewer

Who you are: The bohemian bride
What’s your style: You have a whimsical aesthetic and are planning a wedding with market lights, a lush, green bouquet, and a view of the mountains.
Designers you should consider: Claire Pettibone, Watters, Ivy & Aster, Sarah Seven, Christos, and Hello Darling by Heidi Elnora
Take a look at: “Sunny Darling” by Heidi Elnora

Conrhod Zonio, Mustard Seed Photography, Abby Jiu, Bamber Photography

Who you are: The city chic bride
What’s your style: You love clean lines, minimalism, rooftop receptions, and pops of bold accents that make a statement.
Designers you should consider: Hayley Paige, Amsale, Christos, Lela Rose, Anne Barge, and Ines Di Santo
Take a look at: “Ryland” by Anne Barge Blue Willow

Kate Headley, Kristen Kilpatrick, Amy Arrington, Sawyer Baird

Who you are: The elegant bride
What’s your style: You’re planning a black tie wedding, of course, and you love your groom in a white dinner jacket. You feel most at home twirling under a ballroom chandelier or in the middle of a black and white dance floor.
Designers you should consider: Justin Alexander, Monique Lhuillier, Pronovias, Romona Keveza, Lazaro, Carolina Herrera, Anne Barge, Hayley Paige, and Ines Di Santo
Take a look at: “Londyn” by Hayley Paige

Eric Kelley, Melanie Gabrielle, Lexie Bush, Amy Arrington

Who you are: The classic Southern bride
What’s your style: You’ll carry your grandmother’s hanky wrapped around your magnolia bouquet down the aisle, with pearl studs in your ears and a glass full of sweet tea waiting for you at your reception.
Designers you should consider: Stella York, Heidi Elnora, Modern Trousseau, David’s Bridal, Anne Barge, Lela Rose, and Monique Lhuillier
Take a look at: “Lacey Williams” by Heidi Elnora

Landon Jacob, Natalie Watson, Rachel Red, Natalie Watson

Who you are: The beach bride
What’s your style: You only truly exhale when you’re beside the ocean with sand in your toes. You’re planning to celebrate with a small circle of your favorite people at a colorful rental property in August.
Designers you should consider: Watters, Sarah Seven, Stella York, David’s Bridal, Amsale, Christos, and Ivy & Aster
Take a look at: “Amanda” by Amsale Nouvelle

Chris Isham, Becca Lea, Sam Stroud, Landon Jacob

Who you are: The farmer’s daughter bride
What’s your style: You address a group of friends as “y’all,” love a vintage pick-up truck with a bed full of flowers, and will seat your guests on hay bales underneath a sweeping oak tree.
Designers you should consider: Stella York, Heidi Elnora, David’s Bridal, Modern Trousseau, and Anne Barge
Take a look at: “6124” by Stella York

Jennifer Stuart, Jodi Miller, Olivia Griffin, Greer Gattuso

Who you are: The Ava Gardner bride
What’s your style: Born in the wrong decade, you’ve mastered the sleek chignon, prefer champagne for all occasions, and can’t resist the dance floor if Ella Fitzgerald is playing. You’ll rock a swipe of red lipstick on your big day.
Designers you should consider: Claire Pettibone, Justin Alexander, Pronovias, Lazaro, and Ines Di Santo
Take a look at: “8726” by Justin Alexander

We couldn’t think of a better place to start your dress search than Twirl Boutique in Lexington, Kentucky. Ty, Liz, and the rest of their sweet staff are dedicated to finding you the perfect dress and delivering a fantastic experience right alongside it! Twirl carries Stella York, Justin Alexandar, Hayley Paige and Blush by Hayley Paige, Hello Darling and Build a Bride by Heidi Elnora, Nouvelle Amsale, and Blue Willow by Anne Barge. Find out more on their site!

This post is sponsored by Twirl Boutique, a Southern bridal salon we’ve loved for years. Thank you for your support of the brands who make Southern Weddings possible!

emily Written with love by Emily
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  1. avatar Formalshop reply

    This is helpful for the green hands who are looking for wedding gown, thanks

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You know those “Holy Grail” searches that seem to go on endlessly? (See: HG foundation and HG hairspray, for two…) For a lot of people, one of those searches is for the ultimate gift source – one place you can always turn for the perfect item, no matter the occasion, age, or style of the loved one. For my sister, that place has long been Uncommon Goods, and I’m starting to think she’s on to something!

I think all but one of her gifts for our family this Christmas came from their site, and all were big hits at unwrapping time. Uncommon Goods is her go-to for wedding and shower gifts, too!

I’m not sure if anyone else has noticed this, but it seems like many of the couples whose weddings I’ve been invited to recently have either not registered for anything, or asked for cash. If you (like me) prefer to give something tangible as a gift (perhaps in addition to cash!), then a site like Uncommon Goods comes in super handy.

Today, I’m sharing my picks for unique gifts for groomsmen, gifts for the bride (perfect for a shower), and creative wedding gift ideas, and a bit about why I included each below. But, I think the best gifts are always uniquely fitted to the recipient, so if none of my picks are doing it for you, definitely go browse Uncommon Goods’ site yourself – I guarantee you’ll find something to love!

1. Make Your Own Hot Sauce Kit. For the gourmet chef in training (or, just your resident taco lover friend!). My brother-in-law would love this.
2. A Wooden Tic Tac Toe Set. Slightly random? Perhaps :) But this would make a classy coffee table addition in any bachelor pad, and win your groomsmen uncle of the year awards for sure!
3. All Natural Shoe Care Kit. File this under things your groomsmen wouldn’t necessarily buy themselves, but that they’ll be happy to have. I feel like millenials are bringing back some of the “old school” things we associate with our parents but that never should have fallen out of fashion, and a lovingly-cared-for pair of shoes is one of them!
4. Multi-Tool Box of Wonders. Clever gadgets are a slam-dunk gift for guys in my experience. The Pocket Monkey (which fits in a wallet!) is especially cool!

1. Adventure Blanket. I love bridal shower gifts that get the couple excited for their marriage, so that’s how I themed these gift picks! A waterproof, foldable blanket is perfect for encouraging picnics, hikes, and beach days for the newlyweds.
2. Date Night Bucket List. No more boring date nights! Your couple won’t skip a beat after the excitement of the wedding dies down with these 25 ideas.
3. Table Topics. I want a set of these for myself! Even approaching my five year anniversary (and 13 years with my husband!), there are things we don’t know about each other, and I think these cubes of conversation starters would be such a fun way to keep our dinners or road trips surprising.
4. Woven Straw Placemats. These are just fun and cute :) But again, I love that they’d encourage your couple to make even a simple weeknight dinner a special occasion!

1. Hand Embroidered State Pillows. I know these beauties have been around for a few years, but I still get all the heart eyes over them! Especially for couples who have moved away from their beloved South, these pillows are a sweet reminder of home sweet home.
2. Timbrephone Acoustic Phone Amp. So they can pump up their Spotify playlist for impromptu after-dinner dancing in the kitchen.
3. Smartphone Instant Photo Lab. This cool gadget lets couples create analog Polaroid-style photo prints from their smartphone or tablet. Encourage them to take snaps throughout the night at their next dinner party, then give them to guests as favors!
4. My Cinema Lightbox. So they can leave sweet messages to greet each other when they arrive home.
5. Do Good Cotton Hammock. So they can feel like they’re still on their honeymoon, even in the backyard.
6. Scratch Map Deluxe. For a couple with a serious case of wanderlust, this map will let them track which countries they’ve traveled to together. Imagine how sweet it will be to look back on their 25th or 40th anniversary and reminisce over all that they’ve done!

Uncommon Goods is working to change the way business is done by making sustainability a part of every decision they make, something that is near and dear to our company’s heart. In addition to making great gifts, they’re steadily working to make themselves more environmentally friendly, socially responsible, and a rewarding place to work. Head to their site for all of your gifting needs!

This post is sponsored by Uncommon Goods, a company we’ve used and loved for years. Thank you for your support of the brands who make Southern Weddings possible!

emily Written with love by Emily
2 Comments
  1. avatar Molly Dansby reply

    love how pretty the site looks today! i’ve been checking in here on and off for nearly 10 (!!!) years. this is my favorite iteration yet! so fresh + clean.

    • avatar Emily reply

      Thank you, Molly!! This is just a little intermediate facelift, with hopes for a bigger remodel in the future, but we’re super happy with it, too! :)

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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