Destination Wedding Store

Destination Wedding accessory shopping got you stressed?

Let’s face it, planning a wedding can be stressful.  There’s so many people, places, and things to research, buy, and track!  When Kelly and I were planning our southwest Florida (Sanibel Island) destination wedding, we found it hard to find accessories and decorations that fit with our location and theme.  If you’re planning a beach wedding or destination wedding as well, you are probably running into the same issue!  Fortunately for you, Kelly and I have done a lot of the work for you!!

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Beach Destination Wedding Card Box Ideas

Lobster Trab Card Box
The “Lobster Trap” Card Box at
our destination wedding!!

One of the problems Kelly and I struggled with when planning our own wedding was the Card Box.  To be honest, I had totally forgotten that we needed to plan one of these for our southwest Florida destination wedding!  I set to research what others had done, and didn’t come up with too many hits for “beach wedding” card box ideas.  I was shocked – with all the destination wedding-related stuff out there, I thought for sure this would be a slam dunk!  Nope!

In a more traditional wedding, it seemed like most folks created their own card box using hat boxes and/or boxes of various sizes covered with paint or paper to match their colors.  But let’s face it, beach weddings are more fun than that!  It seemed there *had* to be something less stuffy and square.  Many folks I asked suggested using a bird cage, but even this seemed too formal.  I set my mind to the task and here’s what I came up with…

Handcrafted Destination Wedding Card Boxes:

As I searched on the Internet, I managed to find the following handcrafted card boxes for sale and ready-to-go.  While we still did some customizing to our own purchased card box, it really wasn’t necessary (to each their own, right?).  However, don’t be afraid to turn a pre-made box into something uniquely yours.
  • Shell-Covered “Lobster Trap” – I was surfing the Internet and stumbled onto these lobster traps (undecorated and decorated).  Basically, you can add as much decorative flourish as you need, and choose shells/etc that coordinate with your wedding theme colors in order to have a cute, highly original, and “beachy” card box.  This is actually the type of box we chose to go with (shown above)!
  • Treasure Chest – I found a birch treasure chest on Etsy that seemed rather weathered and beachy.  A few shells or starfish and you’d have a card box that adds a little bit of quirky, pirate flair to your reception.  This could also be toned down to be more basic, with a simple seahorse or starfish attached to the top or side.  The possibilities are endless here, and kudos if you can find a box made of authentic driftwood!
  • Sand Castle – Turn that plain-old, boring square box into a card box sand castle.  This may require some creativity, but you can definitely come up with a winner in no time.  Just hunt Google for some ideas on sand castles until you find one you like!
  • Weathered Lantern – If you can find a weathered, old lantern at an antiques shop, you can turn this into your card box.  Just make sure one panel of the light opens and/or there is room to cut a card slot in the metal at the top of the lantern.  You can also make this one coordinate with your colors by affixing some shells, starfish, or seahorse shapes tastefully on the outside.  If you’re having trouble, you can find weathered lantern card boxes pre-made (although they’re generally pricey)!

DIY Card Box Ideas:

If you’re the crafty type (neither Kelly or I are too handy in the craft department), you may want to ponder on the following ideas for a DIY, unique card box:
  • Sea Turtle – Who doesn’t love sea turtles?  Use the main shell as the storage area.
  • Light House – Kudos if you can make the light work!
  • Sand Dollar – A round box topped with a “Sand Dollar”… get it?
  • Palm Trees – Talented with metal working?   What about making a “palm tree” where you could attach cards to the palm fronds?  Thinking something along the lines of those picture holders with the spirals on the end.  A “beach themed giving tree” if you will.
Can you think of beach-themed card box ideas that I’ve missed?  Did you have a unique card box at your destination wedding that you’d like to share with future destination brides?  Leave some comments below!

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Wedding Dress Shopping – Say Yes To The Dress!

Say “Yes” to the Dress(es)? 

Now that we’re fairly certain of the Destination Wedding, the bride-to-be has started the (what I as the groom would consider long and agonizing) process of selecting dresses and colors!  I definitely had no idea there was so much involved with choosing the dresses for the wedding.  It seems as if all the elements are interconnected (the dress, the color, the bridesmaids/groomsmen, etc) and it’s nearly impossible to find where to start.  I’m hoping that I can help save you the annoyances that plagued my fiance through the early stages of shopping for your destination wedding dress.

Where Do You Start?

When my fiance started her dress shopping, she hadn’t really decided on the theme and/or color-scheme to her wedding.  It seemed as though she was looking at everything all at once.  This quickly got overwhelming and made her start second-guessing just about every choice she was making.  From an outside perspective watching the whole thing transpire, I would have recommended she start by looking at the following process:

  1. Decide on your wedding location and season (or date).  This will dictate many of your “style” options.  For example, a heavy dress with a long train may not be appropriate for a summer, beach wedding.
  2. Know the colors appropriate for the season of your wedding date.  Yes, it’s your wedding and you can do what you want to.  However, if you really want your wedding to have a tied-together look, you should make sure all the outfits are coordinating with colors appropriate to the season.  Do you really want your bridesmaids in a warm winter holiday color in the middle of summer?  Check out the wedding themes and colors article at FavorIdeas.
  3. Choose the color scheme for your wedding.   If you don’t necessarily abide by the “I have to have a white wedding dress” philosophy, you may find that an ivory colored dress looks incredible compared to the traditional white dress depending on the color scheme of your wedding.  Also, choosing the color scheme now will help you when you start looking for ideas for other aspects of your wedding, such as cakes and flowers.
  4. Find your perfect dress.  Start shopping for YOUR dress.  What looks best and flattering for your figure?  What fits within your budget?
  5. Find your bridesmaids dresses.  Now that you’ve found YOUR perfect bridal dress, start shopping for the bridesmaids dresses.  Some folks choose a “mix-and-match” of styles while others want all their bridesmaids coordinating in the same style dress.  Personally, my fiance and I found the coordinating (same) style looked the best for the theme we were trying to create.
  6. Choose the Groom and Groomsmen outfits.  Again, make sure you take into account the season of your wedding.  If your wedding is in the middle of summer at a beach, the full-blown black tuxedo may have your wedding party passing out from the heat!
  7. Choose the Mother-of-the-Bride outfit.
  8. Choose the Mother-of-the-Groom outfit.
  9. Choose the Fathers’ outfits.
  10. Choose the Flower Girl and Ring Bearer outfits.  As these generally tend to be young kids, you should choose these outfits as close to the wedding as possible.  Young kids grow fast, and if you buy the outfit too early they may outgrow it!
  11. Choose the Usher outfits.

The Choices We Made:

The End Result!
Our wedding party final outfit choices!

As you know from our previous post, we want to do a beachside ceremony.  While my fiance took the “long road” getting to her dress/color decisions, we eventually made it and found everything we wanted.  As such, I wanted to share with you our choices, as well as some after-thoughts that may help in your search.

  • Bridal Dress:  My fiance ended up with TWO wedding dresses.  Before you faint, pick your jaw off the floor while I explain why.  First, she was torn between two vastly different dress designs, both of which happened to be on SUPER sale.  Additionally, she had stumbled upon the idea of doing a “trash-the-dress” photo shoot, and due to timing we’re planning to do our “trash-the-dress” shoot immediately following the ceremony and prior to the reception.  She chose a longer, traditional dress for the wedding (white at my request), but chose a shorter, ivory dress for the reception (better for dancing and dim lighting).  The point is, she knew what she wanted and found a way to get the best of all worlds.  Don’t be afraid to find bargains and use them to your advantage!!
  • Bridesmaids:  My fiance went round-and-round about colors, but finally landed on the Dessy “Firecracker” color.  She thought it would stand out best in the sunlight and evening lights, look great against the blue sea backdrop, and also be a fun bright color for flowers and decor.  She ended up choosing an A-line bridesmaid dress, as it was the best fit for all of her bridesmaids.
  • Groom and Groomsmen:  My fiance was nice enough to let us go the khaki route versus tuxedos.  (Personally, I think this helps keep the beach wedding feeling more relaxed and fun, versus stuffy and traditional.)  We found a great vertical stripe shirt that closely approximates the firecracker color and a nice blue complementary color.  We also found fun ties that coordinate with the two colors.  My groomsmen will be wearing blue ties with a small firecracker-colored crab print.  My outfit was a contrast to the groomsmen – a light blue gingham shirt with a firecracker-base tie (and light blue dolphin print).  We thought the small print on the ties was a fun way to bring the “island” into our wedding without being tacky.

Side Note:  We actually color coordinated the dads into the wedding party, by getting them the same khaki/shoe combo, and then having them wear a shirt matching me and a tie matching the groomsmen (blue on blue).  Our mothers chose outfits that coordinated our secondary color (blue).  It looked awesome and definitely helped them coordinate and show their importance with with wedding party without being overly formal.

What’s Been Your Experience?

As I mentioned, this is mostly just my thoughts as an outside observer.  For any of you brides that have already gone through the process, what was YOUR experience?  Would you change the order around if you could do it all over again?  We welcome your stories and tips in the comments below!

Share us with the World!
If this post has been helpful to you, please use the buttons below (Email, Facebook, “+1,” etc) to share this information with the world.  You’ll be doing other destination wedding brides a huge favor by making sure our little tidbit of information shows up in their search!