It’s the most wonderful time of the year! What’s better than Christmas in December? BRIDAL CHRISTMAS – and it’s starts in January! We know you’re getting excited to make some appointments and start looking for your dream dress and what better way to do just that than to get tons of bridal and bridesmaid inspiration from the 2nd annual Bridal Fashion Show!

On January 23rd, come out to the Brooklyn Arts Center on 4th Street to see the latest in bridal fashion from Camille’s of Wilmington, The Wedding Dress Shoppe, and Coastal Knot Bridal Boutique. Get a complete runway experience with hair and makeup from Kreashenz Salon, music from DJ Brian Hood, and food from ART Catering. Some of the best vendors in Wilmington are ready to put on an amazing show that will leave you ready to buy your dream dress!

Bridal Fashion Show Wilmington

Get an even better experience by purchasing a VIP ticket! VIP ticket holders get early admission to the show (which means no line at the door, and first dibs on food and drinks!), reserved front row seating, AND a VIP swag bag with tons of discounts and a copy of Focus on the Coast Weddings magazine!

You can get your tickets by clicking here. Grab your sweetheart, your besties, and even your mom, and make sure you don’t miss this event!!

Today our friends over at Wedding Prep Gals are here to help you figure out how to handle when one of your bridesmaids decides to drop out. It’s something we never hope happens but it’s best to be prepared if it does!

“You’re knee-deep in wedding plans. You’re figuring out dress fittings, bridesmaid gifts, jewelry, veil, and a million other details. Suddenly, out of the blue, one of your bridesmaids calls you and tells you she can no longer be part of your big day.

Emotions can run rampant, especially related to a wedding and relationships with the ones you love. Fortunately, there is a multitude of ways to cope with a bridesmaid drop out. Take a deep breath, let it go, and keep your face toward the sunshine.

There are a variety of reasons that someone has to drop out of a wedding; life happens. Cost, life events, date conflicts, added responsibility, and social factors are all causes for someone to re-evaluate their participation in a big event.

Try not to take it personally. People’s decisions are more a reflection of themselves than of anyone else. Know that your attitude determines your outcomes, and stand tall.

Stay Positive
The best thing to do when plans change is to assume there was a bigger reason for it and to keep moving forward. Your friend or relative probably feels terrible that she can no longer be a part of your wedding. Instead of being upset and starting a conflict, you might offer support and acknowledge that she needs to do what’s best for her.

Now What?
You’re down a bridesmaid. Do you replace her? Is that callous? Is it smart? The decision depends entirely on your particular set of circumstances. If you’re fairly close to your wedding and you’ve already ordered dresses, shoes, jewelry, bridesmaids kimono robes and that sort of thing, you might go without.

Having an odd pairing of groomsmen and bridesmaids is completely acceptable, and nobody will notice the little things like an extra name in the program. People are going to be focused on you, not on her absence.

Keep It Moving
Update anyone who needs to know about the change of plans, like a groom, groomsman who may now be stag, caterer, wedding planner, or other parties. Keep it graceful and let them know that due to unforeseen circumstances, there will be one less in the bridal party. No need to belabor the rationale with details.

Enjoy Your Day
Regardless of any changing plans, remember that the day is all about you, your love, and your person. Understand that this whole day will end up being a mere blip on the screen of life. Keep smiling and take care to radiate your love onto each person you interact with.

Losing a bridesmaid can be an upsetting experience. Take heart, and know that the show will go on. The day is bigger than just one person. Regardless of changes, your wedding will be the experience of a lifetime.”


Wedding Prep Gals offers robes for bridesmaids, Maid of Honor, Mother of the Bride, Mother of the Groom, Grandmother of the Bride (or Groom), and more. Their satin bridal robes are made in the USA using high quality fabrics that aren’t see-through and a flattering design with an attached belt and an inside tie — so they keep up with you through makeup sessions and bridal party photo shoots! These are bridal party gifts that are fun as well as luxurious. Besides offering their original satin bridal robe design in a wide variety of colors, they also offer floral brides robes in a kimono style and luxurious cotton velour robes.

Most couples have the tough decision of choosing a photographer for their wedding and around here there are some amazing ones to choose from! Honeyfund is here to help you with a few tips on how to get the best pictures for your big day.

Once you have decided on a destination, you should decide how you want to remember this event. Below are a few tips about photography in unique places such as a tropical island or a destination beach location.

photography tipsImage: Erin L. Taylor Photography

1.Hire a Professional Photographer

While you may take a great picture in your backyard and your brother-in-law nailed it at your cousin’s wedding in the chapel, to get the best pictures for this “one-time event” you want a pro. A professional will have the correct equipment to get the best results. This includes (but is not limited to) special filters, lighting, different cameras, and tripods. Quality equipment makes the difference in a picture and a photograph. Remember, you often get what you pay for!

Image: Erin Costa Photography

2. Be Aware of Timing

Your photographer may request you be available at a particular time in order to get some great shots. For example, the best time to capture the beauty of a sunrise is ½ hour before sunrise.

A sunset is best photographed ½ hour before sunset. Taking a photograph in the harsh, tropical sun is not easy. You must know how to filter it and how to use shadows in your favor. There are specific ways to photograph the stars.

If you want a photograph of the Milky Way, it will take a professional to capture it!

Image: 1 of 13 Photography

3. Take Pictures Yourself

Of course, you and your guests will take pictures yourself while you are there. Here are a few tips to help you get the best shots.

  • Framing a picture is important. The frame needs to fit the subject. Photographing landscapes and natural sites should be framed horizontally. Photographing a person should be framed vertically.
  • Less is more. Avoid trying to get too much in the picture. Get closer to the item you are shooting and then get closer still. With photography, less is more.
  • Do not always have a centerpiece. Many people make the mistake of centering the picture around something or someone on every shot. Instead, look at your picture as 4 quadrants of the canvas. Try to get equal beauty in all four quadrants. This makes for a beautiful picture, regardless of the subject.


4. What to Photograph

What you photograph depends on where you travel to, of course. Staying with our theme of tropical islands, you would look for the unique beauty afforded to that location. You should photograph:

  • Waterfalls
  • Volcanos
  • Natural beaches
  • The sea
  • The stars
  • Activities such as luaus
  • Flower farms
  • Landmarks
  • Guests
  • Friends you meet on your journey


Image: Magnolia Photography

Photography is a big part of your special day. Take your time to get a professional and to allow him or her to do what they do best. Let them be in control and follow their lead. Your reward will be a lifetime of memories in vivid and beautiful color.

Author Bio

Wendy Dessler: Wendy is a super-connector with and who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.

When it comes to setting the tone and theme for your wedding, invitations are the first glimpse your guests will get to see into your wedding day. Save the Date and wedding invitation options are endless on what you can do, so we enlisted the help of invitation expert, Basic Invite, to update us on the latest trends and options.

“We are seeing a lot of brides going for watercolor washes and botanical designs as well as foil invites. Raised and flat foil invites are super trendy right now. All of our foil designs come in gold, silver, and rose gold. Our rose gold option is brand new and our brides are loving it so far!

A trend that has become more of a staple this year is the photo invitation. Couples love to use their favorite engagement photo as the backdrop to their invitation. This looks especially great on our double thick matte paper option.

Also, agate and marble designs are on the rise and we expect these looks to gain a ton of popularity as the year goes on and into the 2018 wedding season.”

Using a site like Basic Invite, gives you a great starting point for an invitation design but also allows you to customize it as much as you need. So it’s like getting a custom designed wedding invitation without the custom price!

Almost Unlimited Colors – Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers almost unlimited color options with instant previews online. Once you select a design you can change the color of each element on the card to over 180 different color options. So, you can make sure the card is exactly how you want it – down to the littlest detail. This is what we feel sets us apart from almost any other online stationery company and is what we feel is our biggest draw.

Custom Samples – Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers the ability to order a printed sample of their actual invitation so they can see exactly how it will print as well as the paper quality before they ever have to place their final order.

Over 40 Different Colors of Envelopes – Basic Invite is just as colorful with our envelopes as we are with our invitations. Customers can choose from over 40 different colors when it comes to their envelopes so that they can make their invitation stand out even before it is opened. All of our envelopes are peel and seal so the envelopes can be quickly and securely closed.

Over 200 Wedding Invitation Sets – Each of our wedding invitations is part of a set. You can find everything from save the dates to wedding invitations and enclosure cards, wedding menus, wedding programs and even matching thank you cards!

Free Address Collection Service – Use our free address collection service to request your addresses with just three simple steps. Share a link, collect addresses, and get free envelope printing.

Keepsake Guest Books – Perfectly personalized wedding guest books are the perfect addition to your wedding day stationery. These customizable guest books have a ring hidden inside which allows them to lay perfectly flat for a classy and convenient look. With sophisticated designed pages it’s the perfect opportunity for your weddings guest to leave sweet words and well wishes.

If you need a place to start, be sure to check out Basic Invite’s website! They offer everything from destination wedding invitations to bridal shower invitations. And be sure to check them out through their social media links for some beautiful inspiration: Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter.

Hosting an event, whether it be for birthdays, engagements, or (of course) a wedding, can be stressful! You start out with an amazing idea, then you decide when, where, and who to invite. And when you get down to crunch time you realize that you just don’t have enough hands or hours in the day to get it all done! Lucky for you, you can have it all! Set up, serving, bartending, and clean up, all while mixing and mingling with your family and friends, never missing a beat!


But how will you accomplish this lofty goal? By having the professional staff at The Butler Did It! take care of the tough stuff while you enjoy the event that you so carefully planned! The Butler Did It! provides professional event staff for all types of public and private events, from weddings, graduations, holiday parties, fundraisers and intimate dinners. They take care of setup, clean-up, food and bar service, day of event coordination, and more!


Whether you are a bride on a budget, a detail-oriented planner, or just looking for a little extra help so you can mingle with your guests, then The Butler Did It! is who you need to handle the details to help make your event a success!


“Mingle With Your Guests While We Do the Rest!”

Things can be quite stressful, especially for a bride planning her big day on top of everything else she has going on. Even when a talented woman is having to ensure that things are set up, ready and everyone is time conscious during and after the ceremony, she doesn’t want to look like she is having to worry about all of the details (even though anyone would be freaking out on the inside). This is where Ida Lou Weddings comes into the picture. With drinks ready in hand for you, this mobile bridal suite will ensure you are looking fabulous in an unconventional way for your specific ceremony location. So when you look into the mirror, you wont see an anxious or stressed woman, but a beautiful bride to be!

logo on trailer

This mobile bridal suite is able to get everyone ready so that you don’t have to travel to a hotel room, run around from the salon to your site, worry about cramming everyone into your car or having to make multiple trips, having to worry about the weather getting dreary, or hiring those expensive personal stylists that may not necessarily be able to accommodate you as much as you them! Not only do they love helping brides, but they can also assist with other important celebrations such as engagement sessions, proms, birthday parties or other photography events. With this mobile business, Ida Lou can travel to you and has everything they need provided already!



Be it rustic barn nuptials or wind swept beach weddings, the vogue of ever more unique ceremony settings present a bride with a dilemma: where to primp and prep at her wedding location. Engage Ida Lou as your mobile dressing suite! Their perfectly appointed vintage Airstream provides a glamorous and private location for hair, makeup, and dress prep.

The Ida Lou stylists greet the bride and her bridesmaids with a champagne toast. As the bridal party attends to their beauty regime, our stylists steam, press and prep the gown, veil, and bridesmaids dresses. Chase away jitters with a pre-selected menu of pre-ceremony nibbles and rest easy that Ida Lou is stocked with every emergency essential you might need from needle and thread to nail polish.


amy with dress

Ida Lou wants to give you something! They’re giving one lucky reader a fabulous set of prizes! The prizes include a custom-made bridal gown garment bag, along with an emergency kit, hand-painted hanger, a vintage hanky AND a 2 hour rental of the mobile bridal suite for a bridal session! To enter, just register here. Deadline to enter is this Sunday, April 10th at midnight and the winner will be announced here on Monday! So be sure to check back!

If you’re in need of a place to get ready on your big day or need a place to change for your engagement session, contact Ida Lou Weddings today!


Your wedding is one of the most special days of your life. Often brides choose a color and style theme for the wedding and bridesmaids dresses; while grooms and groomsmen rent something temporarily to match. Why wouldn’t grooms and groomsmen invest in custom suits or tuxes that can be worn for many other occasions? One option that is available to the groom and groomsmen is ordering J. Hilburn’s custom suits. They can get just as much customization as a tux rental company. J. Hilburn’s personal stylist will also come to you with swatch books and materials to help you make the best choice for your personal style. Once your suit arrives, your personal stylist will assist with fitting and any further tailoring. We asked one of Wilmington’s local J. Hilburn stylists, Xue Athernon, a few questions about the brand.


Tell us a little bit about your business…

“We specialize in custom shirts, made to measure, as well as personalized suits, and tuxes for every man in your wedding party. We also carry accessories from belts, to shoes, to ties to complete your wedding day look.”

J. Hilburn Grooms Groomsmen Wear

Why do people love your product?

“Our suits are custom, made to measure, and personalized. This means a perfect fit and tailored to my client’s preferences. They are high quality with a wide range of fabric selection and customization – this is not just a suit/tuxe for the big day; they can be worn for many other occasions. Convenience – I go to the client to take measurements and I deliver the garments when they are ready. We guarantee the quality and fit and provide a risk free guarantee or your money back.”


Who is your product meant for?

“It’s for men at any stage in life. In this case, grooms and groomsmen.”

What is the price range for a custom a J.Hilburn custom suit?

“For personalized and made to measure suits it is $700 & up… for more information you can see exact price from the website.”

If you are interested in a personalized suit, you can contact Xue Atherton personally.

910 616 5756  + On the Website you can click contact to send Xue an email + Facebook

If you have a vision for a wedding adorned with second hand and vintage pieces, or maybe you’re trying to stay budget-conscious, you’re certainly not alone. The husband and wife duo behind Martha My Dear began their business after navigating the wedding waters on their own.


“My husband and I have always loved all things second hand and are fascinated with the stories we learn about the item when buying something that has been ‘pre-loved.’ It was only natural for us to do the same when it came time to plan our wedding in 2013. Decorating our wedding was actually a lot of fun and we told ourselves that if we still thought it to be fun after we got married, we would start our own vintage rental company and share all of our treasures with other like-minded couples and families.”

Martha and Brian found most of their wedding décor by hitting up shops, yard sales, and thrift stores around town. In fact, most of their home is furnished from items found in consignment shops and even Craigslist. Now their rental business can help you along with your rustic-chic wedding vision. From drink dispensers and chalkboards, to love seats and handcrafted wooden benches, they’ve got you covered.


“We consider ourselves to be a boutique company. We are small and family operated, allowing us to be a part of every process of the rental; from meeting the bride to staging the item. We have converted our detached 3 car garage into a showroom where we have displayed our items so that we can meet with potential clients and they can see our collection in person.”

love wedding sign martha my dear

So once you’ve chosen the perfect venue, and it’s time to start thinking about how to perfectly style your event, look no further than Martha My Dear Rentals. Their unique collections, with affordably priced individual items, will help give your event the styled look you’ve been dreaming of. Martha and Brian loved the aesthetic vibe of their own wedding, and couldn’t be more thrilled to share that opportunity with Wilmington couples.

“We truly want to help create beautiful weddings and events with every handpicked piece from our collection. Seeing our pieces shared with others brings us joy.”

wedding decor furniture martha my dear

Martha My Dear is hosting a giveaway on our Facebook page today and offering $100 toward rentals to be used however the winner wishes! Head on over to our Facebook page to enter! Winner will be announced on Friday at 3pm! You can contact Martha by e-mail at or by phone at (910) 833-7445. Also, be sure to check them out on Instagram @martha_my_dear to get a sneak peek of styled events and available collections.

We all struggle with finding the perfect gift for that friend or family member who is getting married. Couples often want something special to showcase in their home to remember their wedding by. A drawing of the couple’s wedding site could be the perfect gift. Something they will cherish forever.


Denah is the artist behind Denah Designs who specializes in commissioned architectural pencil renderings. Many of her renderings have been given as wedding gifts. She specializes in drawings of churches and chapels where a couple is getting married or of the childhood home of either the bride or the groom.


“When my children were in preschool, a friend was moving out of the first home that she and her husband had purchased together. It was an emotional time for her and I decided to draw her home as a gift. She loved it and encouraged me to begin selling them. Now 15 years later, I have drawn more than 60 homes and churches. Most have been in the Raleigh, NC area, however I have drawn homes across the county and two in Europe. My family relocated to Wilmington in the spring of last year. I am looking forward to drawing some of the many beautiful homes and churches in this area.

My renderings are very personal and unique. In my drawings I am often asked to include pets, cars, memorial statues or trees that were planted to honor a birth or death.”

Each job is quoted individually, based on the size of the building and the time it takes to complete it. Renderings take about 4-6 weeks to complete. The average rendering is $500 and comes framed and matted. This would be a great gift for several family members to go in together to purchase.


If you’re looking for a unique gift for a bride and groom, or anyone really, then this is certainly one of the most meaningful gifts they’ll receive.

Denah is offering our readers $50 off of any rendering that is ordered by April 15th and mentions Wilmington Weddings and Events! You can contact Denah by email or by phone at 919.210.7684.