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DIY Wedding Guest Favors

11 Mar

This was one of my favorite DIY projects that I worked on for our wedding besides the wedding cake and cupcakes! When I first started planning I had so my different guest favor ideas that I came up with! At first I wanted to create cake pops for everyone! I figured that’s easy I can handle this, but then I did the math: 4 cake pops x 50 guests = 200 cakes pops!!! I realized that it was something that I wasn’t going to be able to handle. I then thought about a cute sugar cookie that I would decorate, but once again I turned that project down! I have to be honest I turned both projects down mainly because of two reasons:

  1. Both of the projects required me to bake and prepare them 2-3 days before the wedding
  2. I didn’t want to be overwhelmed with so many projects so close to my wedding day

So for some weeks I went back and forth with some ideas but nothing that really called my attention. I was looking for something pretty, something that could be used for a guest favor but that would also double as a pretty table decoration. For some reason I always thought it would be nice to give the guests something sweet! Maybe it’s because I like sweets so much! One day when I was searching the web for guest favors and I came across this beautiful table with small gift boxes on top of each plate. I instantly new that was the look that I was going for! I just loved how the small boxes decorated the table and the idea of each guest arriving to a small gift once they sat down.


Well now I had to figure out what to put inside the boxes! At first I thought about purchasing cake pops, cookies or chocolate covered strawberries! They all seemed like great ideas but once again I had to assemble the boxes at last minute because all these items are perishable. Then my mom came up with a great idea! How about some Lindt Chocolates? I loved the idea! It was exactly what I wanted to give my guests: something sweet and delicious! It was also something that I could prep ahead of time and not have to worry about before the festivities! Now let me show you how to make these beautiful guest favors.


  • Custom Tags
  • Small Boxes (3″ x 3″ x 3″)
  • Satin Ribbon
  • Tissue Paper
  • Edging Scissors (Optional)
  • Chocolates


I started by assembling all my gift tags. I looped a small satin ribbon through the hole and left about 3″ of ribbon so I ccould tie it to the bow later. I found these beautiful tags online, I will tell you all about them in a future post.


Because my boxes were shipped flat to save on shipping charges, I then assembled all the boxes.


Next I cut all the tissue paper with a pair of edging scissors. You can use a regular pair of scissors I just wanted the edges to look prettier.


Once everything was assembled, I took a pre-cut piece of tissue paper and placed 4 pieces of Lindt chocolate at the center.


I then grabbed the four corners of the tissue paper together and dropped everything into the box.


I tied the bows on the boxes using the “Tiffany & Co” method. I really like this bow because when untied the bow comes completely undone it doesn’t have any knots. I plan to do a video of this technique in a future post, check back soon!


Another bonus is that the box lays flat against the surface.


And my final step was to add the tag!


This was a picture taken by our photographers. This is what all of our guests received when they arrived at their table!



I hope I have inspired you to make your own wedding guest favors!




Personalized Wedding Dress Hanger

30 Jul

To all Future Brides!

When you are planning a wedding there are so many little details that can be overlooked when you are thinking about the big picture. When Josh and I met with our wedding photographer we looked through their sample wedding albums and I noticed how they emphasized the wedding dress. I love the idea of having a picture of my wedding dress by itself for me to remember after all the hard work and dedication that I put into finding that perfect dress! Besides the beautiful wedding dresses there was one thing that stood out the most to me and that was the personalized wedding dress hanger. I knew it would give the picture such a cute and personal touch. You can tell that the brides didn’t overlook the little details. When I got home I jumped on Google and I searched for personalized wedding dress hangers and ladies let me tell you that the possibilities are endless… there is a wide range of styles and the price range is anywhere from $17-$40 plus shipping. Truth be told this wasn’t something that I wanted to spend a lot of money on, however, I knew I wanted to purchase one because it would look great in the pictures.

Box that came with the hanger

A Quick Picture From the Day I Received My Hanger and the Box That it Came In

I did some research and I came across this great Etsy seller haomaihanger that was selling the hangers for $5.99, yes ladies you read that right! $5.99 for a personalized single line hanger? You can’t beat that price anywhere! In total I paid $15.98 that included shipping. The shop has other options if you prefer you hanger with a flower, pearls or a double line hanger. I do have to warn you ladies that the hanger does take some time to arrive because it is being shipped from China, therefore order your hanger ahead of time. Mine took about three weeks but I contacted the seller directly and he shipped it immediately.  Also read the shop’s policies where they explain the the shipping time frame and their shipping rates.


When I received my hanger it was everything that I excepted and more! The hanger came in a white triangle box which was very well wrapped. The wood hanger itself was a great quality! The aluminum wire is not very sturdy but if you keep your hanger in the box until your wedding day you shouldn’t have any problems.


All in all I was extremely happy with my purchase and the hanger looked great in the pictures!

Good luck future brides!

Choosing a Wedding Venue

15 Jul

Hello future Brides & Grooms!

Today Josh and I want to talk about how we chose our wedding venue to hopefully give you some ideas in your own search. When Josh and I first got engaged we weren’t sure if we wanted to have a big wedding or not.  And when I say big I’m not referring to the number of guests, we already knew we wanted to keep it relatively small with family and close friends. What I mean is we didn’t know if we wanted to do the ceremony, the dinner and the party because truth be told a wedding is really hard work and also very expensive! Don’t let anyone else fool you otherwise!

A Preview of Our Final Choice!

But the more we talked about it the more we knew we wanted to celebrate our special day in a special way with the people we love! Once we made up our minds the next step was to decide when and where we would get married. Deciding what time of year was actually the easy part because we both wanted to get married outside and so we knew right off the bat that we would get married in December.

The main reason we choose December was because Josh is a teacher and the time off during winter break would be perfect! The second most important reason was due to the fact that we live in South Florida and the summers down here are painfully hot and humid! What bride and groom wants to look like they just stepped out of a pool? Also we wouldn’t want our guests to melt away either! December is definitely the high season in South Florida for weddings and almost anything else, so we knew the cost would be higher but we felt strongly that it would be worth it.  In hindsight we made the perfect choice, the weather was gorgeous and we both had some time off of work to handle all of the preparations and relax a little afterwards.  Once we figured out when we moved on to where???

Since we wanted to get married outside we knew we would not be getting married in a church.  So that left hotels, parks/historical sites, the beach, our backyard or even renting a mansion.  Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of each:

  • Hotels have a lot of advantages including the ability to handle everything on site, as well as providing rooms for out of town guests.  The down side is that for a nice hotel the packages can get very costly.  In the end we chose this option and I’ll tell you why in a bit.
  • Parks and historical sites are beautiful and provide a natural setting for gorgeous pictures and the cost is relatively low.  On the other hand most have lots of restrictions that can cause complications and you have to also choose a second location for the dinner and party.  There was a park in our final list of options but we decided against it.
  • The beach is a very popular choice and can be an amazing venue but there can be some complications with the sand (particularly for ladies wearing heals) and just as with parks you would have to also choose a second location for dinner.  Since I love shoes and definitely wanted to wear a beautiful pair of heels we decided against this option.
  • Getting married in a backyard has grown in popularity due to the low cost and ease it offers, but if you want to do it right you will probably want to make some upgrades to the yard so that it looks perfect and those can get costly and time consuming depending on your time frame.  We did the research on what we would want done in our backyard and decided it was going to be too costly so this option was eliminated.
  • Renting a mansion is sort of the backyard option on steroids and we found several places that were offering rental packages to host both the wedding and the honeymoon.  But there was only one that fit in our budget and I can’t wait to tell you how that turned out!

So those are the main possibilities that we found for outdoor weddings and we were able to narrow the list down to a park, a couple of hotels and a mansion.

We really liked the idea of renting a mansion because we felt it would enable us to also have a nice relaxing honeymoon hanging out at the pool of the mansion.  But the best mansions, including Vizcaya and the Zen House in Coral Gables, were all very expensive and over our budget.  We did find one that we fell in love with online while looking at the numerous pictures…so we decided to schedule a visit.

Unfortunately, as is often the case on the internet, the truth was far from what was in the pictures.  When we arrived the owner told us he currently had some guests in the house but we could walk around the outside and pool area while he spoke to them.  We thought this was a little strange, what if he did this while we were staying here?  But we decided to look around and it was a mess! The landscaping was out of control, there were leaves everywhere and in the pool and the beautiful pond we saw online was overgrown with weeds and lily pads to the point that you could not even see the water.

We had already decided it was a big NO but we wanted to be polite to the owner when he came out and told us we could go in, so we went in…and we were greeted by a very strong odor!  We both gave each other an OMG look!  It was quite the scene and to top it off my mother had come with us to see the place!  You should have seen her jaw drop!  So we quickly looked around and said thanks but no thanks!

So next we moved on to parks and historical sites. The best one we found was the Deering Estate at Cutler but the Ancient Spanish Monastery in North Miami was a close second.  Unfortunately, we had to rule out Fairchild Tropical Gardens because of the high cost.  The Deering Estate has the added benefit of giving you access to the first floor of the main house, so you could also host the dinner there.  But because it is a historical site there are many rules and regulations.  Also, we were a little worried about the main parking lot being so far from the ceremony location, we had a few guests that have trouble walking and we did not want to inconvenience them.  In the end this one almost made the cut but we felt we had a much better option for a very similar price at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne!


The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne Entrance and Fountain


We Fell in Love with Everything!

The Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne is not what you would think of when you are doing a wedding on a budget but for what we wanted it turned out to be perfect.  Josh first took me there for my birthday a few years ago and we loved the experience.  We enjoyed it so much that when Josh was deciding where he wanted to pop the question he felt this was the perfect spot. There is a section of the property where there was a gazebo and he proposed to me in front of it near the ocean, it was so gorgeous and perfect. But then we found out that they were going to tear down the gazebo!  Nobody could tell us why but we felt special that we were possibly the last people ever to get engaged there.


What Was Our Beloved Gazebo 😦

But we were so impressed by the way the staff handled the evening of our engagement we felt that we could really rely on them to make our wedding perfect.  We really thought we had no chance though because the main list of fees for their wedding services are very very high because they include the use of the main lawn as well as a ballroom for the dinner.  But we decided to ask anyways and sure enough they offer a package for small wedding parties that includes a ceremony in front of the ocean and a sit down dinner!  We were so excited because the price for the ceremony area was under $3,000 and the dinner was reasonably priced under $100 per plate.  We also knew from our engagement experience and other dinners at the Ritz-Carlton’s Cioppino Restaurant that the dinner would be exceptional.  And to top it off we knew that we could stay at the hotel for another couple days after the wedding for a mini-honeymoon.  When we did the math and discussed everything we knew that this was going to give us the wedding of our dreams and stay within our budget!


The Ocean Front Lawn on The Day We Decided it Was The Place


These Flowers Had Us At Hello


Looking Out From Our Ocean View Wedding Suite


Our Customized Menus at Cioppino


Our Private Dining Room Tables with DIY Centerpieces By Jany (post coming soon!)

In the end everything turned out 98% perfect, there were a couple of little issues that we will discuss in a later post about Planning the Day of Your Wedding that will give you some great tips but overall we couldn’t have been happier with our decision.  Our advice to you is to do a lot of research and go with your heart because this will be a day you will remember forever.  Don’t be afraid to ask about something that you are afraid may be out of your price range, you never know what they might do for you!  We wish you all the luck in the world in your search and if you have any questions please feel free to leave a comment below and we will do our best to help.

Best wishes,

Mr. and Mrs. Reich


Our Engagement Photo Session

10 Apr

Hi everyone! I am so sorry for being away from the blog for so long! So much has happened since but the most important one has been that Josh and I tied the knot on December 21, 2013! Planning the wedding was a full time job, it was so much fun and stressful at the same time! It’s not only the big stuff that is important but all the little details that you have to focus on. So keep on checking back because we have so many new blog posts coming soon for all you DIY brides!

I know many of you have waited for this blog post for a long time. Before I show you some of our favorite photo shots from our engagement session, let me stress how important it is to research your photo shoot location. We had originally planned to do our engagement photo session at the gorgeous Del Prado Fountain in Coral Gables, FL.  Unfortunately, when we went there the weekend before our session the City of Coral Gables had begun renovations and the whole area was a construction site; we were so disappointed! We immediately started doing some research and called our photographers. They gave us many great ideas but Josh and I decided that the best place to do the engagement session would be at Vizcaya Gardens. This place was just perfect, it has such amazing history and the gardens are so beautiful plus it’s right on the ocean! It was a lot of work (now we know how hard it is to be a model!) but we couldn’t have been happier with the location and the results!

Here are a few of our favorite pictures!

Jany Josh E-001

Jany Josh E-007

Jany Josh E-016


Jany Josh E-017


Jany Josh E-023


Jany Josh E-029


Jany Josh E-037


Jany Josh E-040


Jany Josh E-058


Jany Josh E-078


Jany Josh E-083


Jany Josh E-088


Jany Josh E-095


Jany Josh E-101


Jany Josh E-122


Jany Josh E-132


Jany Josh E-150


Jany Josh E-154


Jany Josh E-156


Jany Josh E-158



Thanks for stopping by!



Choosing a Wedding Photographer

6 Nov

Choosing a Wedding Photographer

Josh proposed to me on August 31, 2012.  I had no idea that he was going to pop the question, he actually planned it perfectly.  The weekend before it was my birthday and my mom always has a little birthday dinner prepared for us.  So he told me that the following weekend for my birthday he had reserved a weekend long hotel stay at the Ritz-Carlton in Key Biscayne!

When that Friday came along although I was excited to spend a nice relaxing long weekend at the Ritz, I was also a little sad.  I know many of you may be asking your self “sad!?!, why sad?”.  Well we love our four legged family and due to our busy life we only get to spend lots of time with them on the weekend.  I was just sad that we were not going to spend the long weekend with them!

That day Josh was so on point!  He kept on reminding me of things I needed to pack and asking me if I had forgotten anything.  I was really impressed!  At the same time he kept on telling me how he had made dinner reservations for 7PM.  I found it strange how he was in such a rush to get there…

We left the house and when we got to the hotel we checked in, went up to the room to settle in and freshen up.  After that we headed downstairs to have dinner.  When we got there I remembered him being really nervous when he was confirming our dinner reservation.  Out of nowhere a waiter appeared and asked us to follow him.  As we made our way through the beautiful dining room area we kept going and continued out the back door.  I found that a bit strange once again!  But I figured we were going to have dinner outside.

But then we started to walk out towards the side of the building and onto the grass area.  When we turned the corner I saw a candlelit gazebo, a table covered with beautiful linen, candles and rose petals scattered over the table and onto the floor!  We had a view of the beach and it was a full moon; not your regular full moon though it was a Blue Moon! I was surprised, breathless and stunned all at the same time!

When we got to the gazebo the nice man from the Ritz left us and Josh asked me to walk out and in front of the gazebo near the beach.  Now I was getting really confused but as we got near the beach he stopped me and said he had “something important to say”.  Then he started trying to recite a poem he had written for me, he was so nervous he only got a few lines out before he dropped to one knee and asked me to marry him!!!  Of course I said “YES”!!!

Now let the planning begin!

Josh and I knew that we wanted amazing photos to remember that special night!  We started researching types of photographers, photography styles and pricing and here is what we found!

Types of Photographers:

  • Wedding Photographer (Full-Time):  Only shoots weddings and engagements.
  • High-End Photographer:  Very artistic shoots with gorgeous pictures but very pricy!
  • Professional Photographer (non-wedding):  Their main focus can be architecture, fashion or travel but they will shoot weddings from time to time.
  • Old School Photographer:  Has a small studio with back drops like from your senior pictures and most of his shots are posed.
  • Aspiring Amateur:  Someone who is just starting out.  This can be tricky, you might be able to find a diamond in the rough but it can be hit or miss.

Photography styles:

  • Traditional:  Posed pictures where the photographer is telling you or your guests where to stand, how to stand and where to look.  Lots of interaction between you and your photographer.
  • Photojournalist:  Tells a story about your special day.  You will see lots of candid and non-posed pictures.  Sometimes they will leave you wondering how they got that shot!
  • Artistic:  Photography may be posed or may not.  The photographer may use props that are available around him/her.  Keep in mind these are not your regular shots, expect some amazing pictures!


  • Wedding Photographer (Full-Time):  $2500 and up
  • High-End Photographer:  $6,000 up to $20,000
  • Professional Photographer (non-wedding):  $2000 and up
  • Old School Photographer:  $1,900 and up
  • Aspiring Amateur:  $1000 and up

After Josh and I considered all of the options above and looked at over 80 + photographers websites (yes, I know we got a little bit obsessive about this).  We narrowed down our search to our top five picks.  We called them and met with each of them in person to get a better feel for their style and what they had to offer. It was a very hectic weekend but at our fourth meeting we knew we had found out photographer!

Acromatico is a up and coming husband and wife duo that impressed us right off the bat with their gorgeous photos, incredible albums and professionalism.  They are upbeat, fun, easy to get along with and they have an artistic eye.  One of the things that we loved was that not only were we getting a combination of artistry and attention to detail but that we were also getting two incredible photographers for our wedding!  After researching over 80 photographers and meeting with 3 others we realized that although we had to go a little over budget we were getting high end photographers for a reasonable price.

Stay tuned for our engagement session with Acromatico.  I would highly recommend to every engaged couple that they do an engagement photo session with their wedding photographer.  It will give you an opportunity to get to know your photographer and feel comfortable the day of your wedding.  After our engagement shoot with Acromatico we feel even more confident that our wedding pictures are going to be perfect!

Thanks for stopping by!


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