The Wedding Favor Conundrum

March 3, 2014  |  Wedding Tips  |  No Comments


When I saw this article pop up IG, it screamed to me that it needed to be blogged out. I get the “wedding favor” question almost weekly. My favorite way to answer is to ask:

What is the most memorable favor you’ve received from a wedding? How many wedding favors have you forgotten to pick up or thrown away once you get home?

And then … the lightbulb goes off. Brides either know at that very moment what they’ll “favor” or if they’ll forgo the individual favors.

As Southern gals, we know the value of a thank-you. We, of course, do not want to send our wedding guests home without that thank you. But, there’s a way to do favors well, and a way where you’re better off just saving your pennies.

Southern weddings aren’t usually small, so gifting custom luggage tags (and many of the other ideas included in the article) is near impossible. If you already plan to order personalized koozies (a Southern favorite) or stadium cups, remember that those can be considered your favors.

Regardless of the cost, gifting your guests with something meaningful and reflective of you as a couple is what’s most important.

When it’s all said and done, saying “Thank You” is what will be remembered and appreciated.


A Local Jewel :: Val Marie Paper

August 7, 2013  |  Paper Products, Wedding Tips  |  No Comments

Have you heard nightmare stories about picking out wedding invitations? Books and books of options that are usually not even in your price range.

I experienced it. But never had I considered having custom made invitations or using a local stationer.

Val, with Val Marie Paper, just launched eight new suites to live alongside another eight of her most popular from last year’s collection. You must look at them. Here’s my personal favorite.

val marie paper, custom wedding invitations, archer suite

While they’re pretty much perfect, you are able to customized the colors, fonts, and text to make it truly yours.

So, head on over to Val Marie Paper to see some local awesomeness and support a local vendor while you’re at it!



Gifting Thoughtfulness

July 15, 2013  |  Inspiration, Wedding Tips  |  No Comments

I don’t know about you but picking out hostess gifts proved to be challenging for me. I wanted to give each of my hostesses something that they would always remember me by but at the same time didn’t want to spend a small fortune doing so. I am often asked for ideas for hostess gifts, so I thought I’d pull together some of my favorite go-to’s.

The most important thing to remember when picking a hostess gift if that’s is less about how much it cost and more about the thought you put into it. Your hostesses are happy to be giving you the shower/event, and a thoughtful gift will be the icing on the cake. (Don’t forget to include a hand-written thank you card along with the gift!)

All of the ideas below can be found on Etsy and range from $12 to $37.50!

hostess gifts, host gifts, wedding shower gifts



1: Esty Seller thecarpentersshop57 2: Etsy Seller Primele 3: Etsy Seller MyHouseofDreams 4: Etsy Seller MagicMarkingsArt 5: Etsy seller No108BellaVista 6: Etsy Seller InkingDesignStudio

A Word to the Wise Bride: Digital Negatives

July 8, 2013  |  Wedding Tips  |  No Comments

It shouldn’t be a surprise we’re living in 2013 – even though I often write 2012, or 2010, on dated items. Today’s bride-to-bes are smart and generally budget conscious. We like to get the best value for the best vendors, so we compare vendors packages and offerings.

And, when we take photos, we expect to have them nicely delivered to us digitally. We’ve got to share them on Facebook and Instagram. We want to have them printed in various sizes and quantities. We want canvases. We want to use them on Christmas cards. And, if you’re like me, you’d like to just so you can look at them over and over and over and over again. Right?

To professional photographers, these are most often referred to as digital negatives – all or some (depending on the contract) of your photos with the photographer’s copyright waiver. This allows you to have your photos printed by whomever, share with anyone, and the ability to archive your images – making sure you never lose the digital files.

And, sometimes photographers may refer to the digital negatives as providing a Flash Drive or DVD to use, and some photographers use PASS gallery, which displays your photos in an online gallery.

So, the key when comparing photographers is to make sure it’s an apple to apple comparison.

Some photographers try to keep their packages as affordable as possible. So, digital negatives aren’t included in the package since they require additional time and effort on the photographer’s behalf. Other photographers include them in package prices, since most brides expect them. We often look at how many hours are included, if there’s a second shooter, and the other sessions included in a package but can easily overlook digital negatives.

Another thing to keep in mind is that your photographers can place a time limit on your photos since some gallery services expire. If you don’t have digital negatives, you have to be sure to make your purchase before your gallery expires. And as a past bride myself, I admit to still not having ordered prints of my wedding photos – 9 months later.

If digital negatives are something that you and your fiance want, or are expecting, make sure to have a conversation with your photographer. Even if your photographer doesn’t include the digital negatives in the price of your package, but it’s something you are wanting, be sure to ask them if they are available as an add-on. And, if you aren’t sure about the delivery method of the digital negatives, talk with your photographer. Make sure that you’re receiving both the digital negatives and the copyright waiver. This will help to ensure you are both on the same page.

No one wants to take photos and wait for the digital negatives only to realize it wasn’t part of the package you bought!

As with all of your vendors – communication is key!


Lacey Rabalais, digital negatives, brand packaging,

Lacey Rabalais Photography delivers digital negatives to clients using these “Hello Gorgeous” jump drives.



May 1, 2013  |  Wedding Tips  |  No Comments

It seems like forever since I’ve posted! I am so excited to introduce you to Christy Mims, owner of LaaLee, who makes beautiful custom jewelry – and just so happens that we’re related.

As my wheels were turning with Mother’s day around the corner and some brides asking me for unique ideas for bridal party or mother/mother-in-law gifts, I immediately thought of Christy’s jewelry. It was the perfect opportunity for me to reach out to her and learn more about her business and jewelry.

 How did you come to name your business “laalee” and what does it mean?

My husband and I were brainstorming on a name for my business and we thought it would be fun to use a word in a different language. I’m half Lebanese, so we started googling arabic words that related to the business. Laalee means “pearl” in arabic – since I use pearls in a lot of my designs and since my business is “my pearl” – it was very appropriate. I loved how catchy of a word laalee was and I knew once we found it that it was the one!

How long have you been making jewelry?

I’ve been making jewelry for several years and have been inspired by my mom, Connie Boustany, who has been making jewelry since she was very young. My mom is very talented, and I decided to follow in her footsteps of making jewelry.

How/Where do you get inspiration for your pieces?

I stay current on fashion trends and styles. In addition, I knew these pieces would be staple items to have your jewelry organizer. They go with so many styles and they are timeless. I love vintage inspired pieces which is why I also use lots of vintage plates for display. The white/gold plate that I use to photograph a lot of my pieces was actually a wedding gift for my grandparents when they got married. It is true 24k gold china and is extremely rare/vintage. My grandmother gave them to me a few years ago.

What are some pieces that you’ve made for brides, bridal parties, etc.?

I’ve worked with hundreds of brides over the years and some of the most popular items I make for them are jewelry sets for them, their bridesmaids, flower girls, and mothers of the bride/groom. I also have a beautiful clip on option which works really well for women/girls without pierced ears.

My most popular colors are blush champagne like these: 


and mint aqua like these:


In addition, many brides request custom looks, which I do all of the time. One of the items that I now carry in my shop that was originally requested for by a bride is this bracelet


What is your favorite piece you’ve made so far?

I have many favorites, but just a few in particular are:

My citrine glass collection 


My pink opal/charcoal gray collection 


And now my wedding/prom hair combs 


Don’t you just LOVE it all? I hope you’ll stop by Christy’s Etsy Shop and take a look around. xoxo

Southern Engagements

April 23, 2013  |  In Her Shoes, Wedding Tips  |  No Comments

I can’t believe May will mark one year since we took engagements pictures. The first date we had chosen in late April was a complete wash out. While I was completely bummed, I hoped that it meant there would be no rain on our wedding day. And, there wasn’t!

We knew we wanted our photos to look “Southern,” so we decided on Grand Coteau and Oakbourne Country Club. It was a beautiful day — even though it was HOT.

Regardless of what time of year you take your photos, here are a few tips:

  • If you can’t decide on what to wear, bring a few different options and have your photographer help you pick what will  photograph best.
  • Pick a variety of outfits that fit your personality as a couple and that you’ll be comfortable in.
  • Prepare an emergency kit – hairspray, touch-up makeup, wash towel, bobby pins, static guard, bug spray, bottled water, etc.
  • Have your hair and makeup professionally done. It’s a great “trial” run for your bridals, and if you’re using someone for the first time, it gives you an opportunity to get to know them better. For those of us who don’t normally wear a lot of makeup, having it professionally done ensures you’re wearing “enough” in front of the camera. It’s worth it – trust me!
  • Have fun!

Here are a few of our favorites!









Catherine Guidry