The Fun Truth Behind Wedding Bouquets with Ranunculus

Did you know that each flower holds a special meaning? Today marks the start of a new series I'm calling "Wedding Flowers . . . defined" where I share with you a gorgeous wedding flower and it's meaning. Today, I'm starting this series with the breathtakingly gorgeous ranunculus flower. Did you know that ranunculus blooms symbolize radiant charm? These flowers are in season from early spring to early summer and feature layer upon layer of delicate petals. The bouquets featured below are available from The Bouqs and would be absolutely gorgeous as centerpieces for any wedding event or even as the bouquet itself. PS: The Bouqs offers free shipping ship direct from eco-friendly, sustainable farms on a Volcano or from sustainable farms to you. Each arrangement is $40, with the option to add more flowers for just $10 or $30 more.

The Truth Behind Wedding Bouquets with Ranunculus | These blooms symbolize radiant charm / see more on www.BrendasWeddingBlog.com

Want to surprise a newly engaged couple with flowers? You might like this Custom Heart & Initials Vase which was inspired by the romanticism of tree carvings.

Tree Carved inspired flower vase with the couples names and a heart / a great newlywed gift / as seen on www.BrendasWeddingBlog.com

How to Plan an Unforgettable Bahamas Destination Wedding or Honeymoon

Today we are joined by Jackie, my travel editor, with her Top 4 Ways to Plan an Unforgettable Destination Wedding or Honeymoon in the Bahamas.


Did you know that out of the 700 islands in the Bahamas, there are 16 that you can easily visit and explore? Most people are familiar with the big resorts and hotel chains of Nassau and Paradise Island, but there are so many other amazing places that will give you an incredible and authentic experience of the Bahamas. Whether you are looking for a truly unique and intimate destination wedding or a memorable honeymoon, you can find it all in the Bahamas!

I had the pleasure of visiting the Bahamas during their “16 Weddings, 16 Islands, One Priceless Day” promotion, a contest with a prize package for 16 lucky couples to have the wedding of their dreams on one of 16 beautiful islands.

If you are thinking of having a destination wedding, or even planning a romantic getaway, I am here to share with you a few great ways to make your experience unforgettable!

First let me share a little bit about these 16 islands, otherwise known as the Family Islands among Bahamians. Beyond Nassau and Grand Bahama, they include: the Exhumas, the Abacos, Acklins Island, Cat Island, Inagua, Ragged Island, Crooked Island, San Salvador, Andros, Eleuthera, Harbour Island, the Berry Islands, Long Island and Bimini. Each island boasts different kinds of wildlife, natural features, and many different ways to prepare a conch salad {a local favorite dish}. The best reason to get out of Nassau is truly to take advantage of all of there is to see and do that doesn’t involve unlimited pina coladas or a buffet. While I wasn’t able to visit all of the Bahamas Islands during my trip, I will share with you a few of my favorite highlights!

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Although Grand Bahama Island is one of the largest and most populous islands, you can still have a wonderful experience having an intimate honeymoon or fantastic wedding there. One of the best ways to get married in Grand Bahama is to say “I Do” in the company of some flippered friends. If you love dolphins, this is the place for you! At Enchanted Encounters at The Dolphin Experience, couples can arrange both a pre-/post- wedding encounter with these friendly dolphins as well as coordinating a dolphin kiss when you have yours on your big day. What a special and memorable way for you and your guests to commemorate your wedding!

If getting up close and personal with a different kind of water-loving mammal is more your thing, hop over to the Exhumas for a one-of-a-kind experience swimming with pigs. That’s right - these cute little piggies love to swim and will come out to your boat to greet you, provided of course there’s a treat in it for them. No one knows quite how these wild pigs ended up in the Exhumas, but splashing around with them will make for a one-of-a-kind honeymoon adventure. If you’re a couple that enjoys wildlife, bird-watching, and exploring, then be sure to visit the Exhumas for the getaway or honeymoon of a lifetime.

Do you prefer to have more of a party atmosphere for your wedding? Look no further than the island of Eleuthera. The Bahamas has a long-standing festival known as Junkanoo: think Bahamian Mardi Gras. The traditional celebration of costumes, music and parades typically happens around the Christmas holiday, when even businesses will shut down for several days prior to hand-build their costumes and instruments. There are strict rules for teams participating in the parade, but one of the most important ones is to have fun! Don’t worry though if your wedding plans are for a different time of year: you can hire a Junkanoo band to jumpstart the party at your wedding whenever you like. Not only will you and your guests have the opportunity to participate in a local, cultural tradition but you’ll also be talking about this day for years to come.

Tranquility and rustic charm are the highlight of Andros, a large but underdeveloped island just a short ferry ride east of Nassau. If you’re looking for a relaxing getaway or post-wedding wind-down, consider a jaunt to Andros. The pace of life is easy, the beaches are stunning and the vibe is calm and quiet. You can take a leisurely kayak trip and paddle out to some of the smaller cays around the island to explore on your own. If underwater exploration appeals, then spend an afternoon exploring a couple of Andros’ blue holes – a system of deep underwater caves. Snorkeling is also one of the best ways to observe the abundance of marine life around Andros’ extensive reef system. For a true experience of rest and relaxation surrounded by a mostly untouched landscape, Andros is the place to be.

The islands of the Bahamas are some of the best neighbors the US can ask for, and have so much to offer. If you are looking for a you-can-only-find-it-here kind of experience for your destination wedding or honeymoon, you should truly consider the Bahamas. From the food to the culture to the people to the array of natural settings, you will surely find a place to make lots of memories with the ones you love. Happy wedding and travel planning!

All photos provided by “The Islands of The Bahamas

An Elegant Fall Wedding {in Ohio} with Morgan Lindsay Photography

Today's gorgeous fall wedding, photographed by Morgan Lindsay Photography, took place right as the leaves were at their fall peak. Right after the ceremony, a secluded path was found to capture Greg and Meghan in the "newly married" raw moment. As Morgan writes, "there are many moments that we can look back on that hold so much value to our couples. In our experience, some of the most intimate moments can be captured directly after the ceremony. For this reason, if our couples itinerary permits, we always suggest to have their portrait session at this time." The style at Morgan Lindsay Photography is to capture raw moments and turn them into works of art. I absolutely LOVE this!

Wedding Vendors:
Photographer: Morgan Lindsay Photography
Hair and Makeup: Wedding Hair of Ohio
Decor/Floral: Durkens Florist
Cake Artist: Aunt of Bride {Deb}

Exciting Updates for Brides and Vendors on Brenda's Wedding Blog

Happy Monday! I wanted to start the week off with some fun updates for both brides and vendors. Over the past week, I've had some great vendors join the Hot Wedding Shops and the Local Vendor Guide, so I wanted to give them a shout-out here so you can go check out their listings . . .

You can click on any of the images above to see the vendor listings - and below is a little bit about each of these vendors. If you are a vendor, please click here if you would like to be seen in the spotlight or email Jackie for information at jackie.bestweddingsites@gmail.com

Christianne Brunelle Couture is Montreal’s top-rated bridal store with award-winning design and exceptional service

Morgan Lindsay Photography creates photo-journalistic and creative images for clients in throughout Ohio as well as world-wide destination weddings

Pro Lighting Rental is your source for wedding lighting that is available to rent including uplighting, custom gobo monograms, cake lights, dance/party lights and more. See the article here on Gobo Lights for Weddings with Your Monogram or Logo

Brett Birdsong Photography is a local and destination wedding photographer for the world's most awesome clients

Go Against the Grain is your place to find the perfect event accessories, maps and graphic design

Stained Glass Addie specializes in handmade wedding bouquet memorial photo charms, photo brooches, and other custom photo items

*** For Brides *** - I'm working on a few fun things behind the scenes . . . think discounts, wedding planning secrets, maybe a box of goodies and possibly a "club" of sorts to join. Do any of these things intrigue you more than another? Please do leave me a comment and let me know as I always want to be helping you in the wedding planning process. Oh, and don't forget to enter to win the current giveaway of the Owl Origami Bridal Bouquet Keepsake Locket.

Wear Your Heart on Your Wedding Shoes - heart themed bridal shoes

Since we are still in "love" month, I had to bring back this post from last year - but with a few new additions. Instead of wearing your heart on your sleeve, why not wear hearts on your wedding shoes? I LOVE so many of these heart themed shoes. Which of these heart shoes are your favorites?

1. Betsey Johnson Blue
2. Vivienne Westwood Lady Dragon (Red)
3. Alice + Olivia Gigi Heart-Printed Canvas Peep-Toe Pumps
4. Love Moschino Pump with a tiny heart on the heel
5. Kate Spade Collana Satin Heart Pump
6. French Sole Women's Gale Heart Haircalf Ballet Flat
7. Swedish Hasbeens Heart Sandal (shown in Bubble Gum Pink)
8. Sophia Webster Daria Heart-Print Slingback Pump
9. Mel by Melissa Pop Heart Jelly Flats
10. Shoezy Heart Detailed Strappy Mules with Rhinestones
11. Moschino Cheap and Chic heart detail pump
12. Betsey Johnson Blue by Favor (Ivory Satin)
13. Ipanema Neo Love Heart Detail Flip Flops
14. Marc Defang New York Women's Bridal Sapphire Heart Ab Crystal Flats

This post contains affiliate links and your support by clicking on them means the world to me. Please note: you will not incur any additional costs by using these links.

Giveaway : Enter to Win an Owl Origami Bridal Bouquet Keepsake Locket with Crystals and Charms

Your wedding day will be one of the most important and memorable days of your life, and Origami Owl’s Bridal Collection was created to help you celebrate this day in your own unique and special way. I am thrilled to welcome Gosell Charms to the blog for the latest giveaway. Gosell Charms is a mother and daughter team and they have a one stop shopping experience for everything that is Origami Owl and beyond. You can count on them to be your exclusive O2 bridal consultant. They will sit down with you {either in person or virtually} and go over all the details of your special day. They will then create a package that is customized to reflect your day and your story. You don’t have to worry about packaging or wrapping your gifts as Kimberly will take care of that for you, if you like, and coordinate the wrapping with your wedding colors. Starting today, you will have the chance win this shopping experience as Gosell Charms is awarding one lucky reader of Brenda's Wedding Blog the chance to win the Bridal Bouquet Keepsake Locket Ensemble which includes:
  • Pavé Bow-quet Locket Clasp
  • Silver Crystal Clasp
  • "I Do" Medium Plate
  • Silver Medium Living Locket™ with Crystals
  • Choice of two charms

Since it’s your special day, you need to have a special locket to carry down the aisle. The Bow-quet Clasp let's you add the Keepsake Living Locket on the ribbon of your bouquet, and by adding crystals and charms, you can carry your story down the aisle with you. Ready to Enter to Win? Simply complete any or all of the entry options below. Giveaway ends at 11:59pm est on Tuesday March 3rd.

Entry form above not appearing? Simply click here to enter to win your Owl Origami Bridal Bouquet Keepsake Locket.

PS: A little background on the Origami Owl’s Bridal Collection . . . which includes distinctive gifts and lockets for everyone in your wedding party, from the bridesmaid to the Moms and your Flower Girl. You can choose from a variety of plates to personalize each gift, with inscriptions like Maid of Honor, Mother of the Bride, Mother of the Groom and I Do. Add charms, crystal initials and Swarovski Crystals to make each gift as unique and special as each member of your bridal party. Let Gosell Charms turn your special moments into memories with unique and very personal gifts from Origami Owl’s Bridal Collection.

How to Plan Your Dream Bahamas Destination Wedding or Honeymoon

Today's post from Jackie, my travel editor, could not of come at a better time. The temperature here dipped down to 12 below early this morning and that was before the windchill was factored in. That would make it feel like 25-50 below zero. Brrrrr. I'm completely going to spend today daydreaming of being somewhere tropical with the ocean at my feet . . . The Bahamas sounds like a perfect place :) Now, here's Jackie . . .


Greetings! Today, I'm sharing some fun travel tips and ideas for planning a dream destination wedding or an intimate, romantic honeymoon in The Bahamas. Most people think of the Bahamas as a chain of a few islands with big resorts and hotel chains, but I'm here to tell you that you can find so many unique experiences on any one of the 700 (yes, 700) islands that are part of the country's chain. While not all of them are accessible, those that are have so much to offer.

I recently had the pleasure and honor of visiting the island of Bimini, made up of three smaller islands just over 50 miles off the coast of southern Florida - the closest of the Bahama islands to the US. It is rich in both history and marine life, and is one of the most popular destinations for big game fishing in the Caribbean. Earnest Hemmingway was a Bimini resident from 1935-1937 where he was inspired to write The Old Man and the Sea and Island in the Stream. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. visited the island twice to write two of his most famous speeches. Today, Bimini remains a quiet but vibrant island full of wonderful, kind people, pristine turquoise water and lush surroundings.

So, what makes Bimini an ideal location
for a destination wedding or honeymoon?

Even though the island is small, you can enjoy the amenities of a resort but have more intimate experiences should you choose. My host lodging for this trip - Resorts World Bimini - makes it super convenient and affordable to get to the island from Miami. It's just a quick 2-hour trip by cruise ship, and visitors can book affordable packages to cruise and stay at Resorts World Bimini starting at under $100 per person for a 2-night stay! If you prefer to fly directly to Bimini, a few smaller airlines offer flights out of both Miami and Ft. Lauderdale and will have you beach-side in just 35-45 minutes!

Should you be looking for destination wedding venue for a larger group, Resorts World can accommodate groups up to 200 very easily. However, if you are looking for an intimate experience, there are many options for you as well. Resorts World offers several different ceremony locations from beach front to poolside to the Casino, as well as options for a romantic, private post-ceremony dinner for two, or a fun reception and party for all of your friends and family. If you’re looking for a completely secluded spot for your ceremony, the resort can also arrange a private boat charter to take to you an isolated beach for a one-of-a-kind wedding experience, complete with setup for dining after the ceremony! Doesn’t that sound like the perfect wedding escape?

If you’re looking to spend some time on Bimini either before or after your wedding, there is plenty to do!
1. Rent a golf cart and take a spin around the island.
2. Must-visit places include Stuart’s or Joe’s Conch Shack for the favorite local (and oh so delicious) dish of conch salad and the Dolphin House, a mini-museum with artifacts documenting the island’s history.
3. The public beaches are also worth checking out, as the water is crystal clear and relatively shallow.
4. Another highlight is exploring the incredible marine life around Bimini: charter a boat and go snorkeling or diving, where you’ll discover sting rays, bottle-nose dolphins, beautiful tropical fish and shipwrecks.

Want to have an extended stay in the Bahamas?

There are so many places to explore, particularly on Nassau, the most populous island of the Bahamas. Learn about the history and culture of the island chain or relax on one of the many beaches. Or head right next door to Paradise Island for a more luxurious visit, complete with world-class dining and entertainment, aquariums, and water activities (including The Atlantis’ lazy river and Mayan Tower Waterslide). Visitors can even purchase day passes to access many of Nassau’s or Paradise Island’s hotels and resorts – it’s a great way to sample everything these islands have to offer! If you’re considering a romantic getaway, an adventurous honeymoon or an intimate destination wedding, I can’t recommend the Bahamas enough! It’s a beautiful place that is fairly easy to get to by boat or plane, and has such a welcoming atmosphere.

Whether you want to spend every day by the beach, swim with dolphins or tour historic sites, the Bahamas has it all. So plan your trip and pack your bags already!

PS: all featured images were taken by Jackie