Bouquets without flowers

Looking for a way to cut down on your floral expenses? Searching for something a little different for your wedding? Do you love DIY crafts? If you answered yes to all 3, then these non-floral bouquet ideas might be for you!

And if nothing out there quite catches your fancy, you can always make something entirely unique, like this bride did:

Posted by Kendall Arelleis, Event Coordinator with The 530 Bride

Your Name Doesn’t Have To Be Your Something Old

For many engaged couples, the prospect of sharing the same last name is joyous. However, for many women, changing their name is accompanied by a feeling of loss, of who they once were, and of their family heritage. Some women may even feel undervalued by the unequal treatment of only her changing her name. While the majority of brides still take the more traditional route and acquire their groom’s last name, more modern women keep their family surname, or hyphenate with their new hubby, a movement started during Women’s Lib. Some progressive husbands even change their name to hyphenate alongside their wife. But did you know that you have more options than your parents did?

CA’s name change law Laws change per state, but in California we have what’s called The Name Equality Act of 2007 (AB 102, Chapter 567, Statutes of 2007), and it’s opened up a world of name possibilities to those filing for marriage and domestic partnerships. Before it was passed, multiple couples had spoken out against the state for having archaic laws that promoted gender discrimination when it came to name changes, even if the man’s intention was as noble as wanting his wife’s family name to continue, despite having no brothers. Now a couple can change one or both of their middle and/or surnames, using any of their last names that are current, or from birth.

How it works You have the option of both taking his name *or* her name, hyphenating in either order, swapping names, or, for those looking for a truly unique moniker, combining your names in a sort of word scramble with segments of two or more letters, and arranging them in any way you find pleasing for your new last name. Middle names can stay untouched, be replaced by the old last name, or be hyphenated with the old last name. My husband and I opted for the “word scramble”, and after much time, effort, creativity, and names like Hartstetter, Lear, Ellis, and Muarette, our final choice was Arelleis.

Need a hand? If all these options give you too much of a headache, you can always turn to a Name Consultant. While many couples are turning to the opinions of friends and family, even creating online survey sites for them to visit, some hire a professional to layout all their options for them. The 530 Bride offers Name Change Consulting, along with other Wedding Planning services, for which we create a customized list of all possible names and initials for a couple.

Whatever reasons you have for choosing any direction with names for your new life together, just remember to do it in the name of love.

Posted by Kendall Arelleis, Event Coordinator with The 530 Bride


For further reading on Name Changing: More Men Taking Wives' Last Names To Be Safe, Call the Bride by Her First Name

To Elope or Not To Elope?

Weddings are about two people making the decision to commit to one another and spend the rest of their lives together.  However, weddings often become an event where you are aiming to please everyone which is impossible.  If things are getting too complicated, and you feel like you just want the wedding to be about the two of you; eloping might be the best option for you.  When couples elope they can have a romantic wedding ceremony, and also have a honeymoon all in the same trip!  No worries of favors, centerpieces, and rentals; just an intimate ceremony.  Some choose the city hall or locations like Tahoe, or Vegas to tie the knot but there are endless options.  Just make sure to plan on telling your friends and family either before or immediately following to avoid hurting anyones feelings. 

Some things to consider before you make your final decision:

Family If it's your first wedding, or your parents have been talking about the day they will get to see you walk down the aisle you might want to put some extra thought into your decision.  If you are worried that your family will not be receptive to the idea, consider sitting them down and telling them about your concerns with having a traditional wedding.  If you can come up with ideas on how to keep it low-key and more affordable, such as cutting the guest list or throwing a backyard bash you might find a happy medium.  Have you always thought of your grandparents being there on your big day, or having your darling nieces as your flower girls? Eloping might not be for you. 

Budget A wedding budget can take on a life of it's own if you don't stay organized, as the little things add up.  You will have to budget for things like cutlery, napkins & linens, security and transporation in some cases.  In order to lower your overall budget, you can keep your guest list in check or even make cuts if needed.  When you elope, you can choose affordable wedding packages that are designed to be budget friendly.  Packages often include an on-site coordinator, flowers, ceremony officiant, music, basic photography package, sweetheart cake and champagne.  Hotels offer honeymoon suites that are designed to celebrate your exciting occasion. 

Destination Envisioning somewhere tropical for your big day, but aren't sure that your guests can follow?  If you start your planning early, you can find packages that include a certain number of guests.  You can then send out invitations to close friends and family members that you would like to come if they can.  This lets them know that you would love to share your big day with them, if they can make it but you aren't pressuring them. 

If you decide that eloping is the best option for you, consider allowing your family or friends put together a casual reception to celebrate your union.  This is a great time to share your photos or videography from your special ceremony.  If you would like to stay local, contact a wedding officiant to inquire of any nearby locations that are available for small ceremonies. 

Here are a few destination wedding links to help you get started: Eloping Etiquette

Top Destination Locations in the US

Best Destination Weddings

Let's Run Off 


It's almost here! Get your Chico Bridal Showcase tickets in advance!

This weekend is the Chico Bridal Showcase, only a day and a half left to get your advance tickets and save money! Advance tickets are $7.50, and tickets at the door will be $10.00. Visit the Chico Bridal Showcase website to purchase your tickets!


Be sure to look for The 530 Bride, we look forward to meeting all of you!!!

Wedding Traditions...where they came from?

Everyone has heard of  "Something old, something new...Something borrowed, and something blue" right? Have you ever wondered where that tradition started? We decided to look for the origins of a few popular wedding traditions. "Something old, something new...Something borrowed, and something blue"

 The "old" was usually a personal gift from mother to daughter, a symbolic piece of wisdom for married life. The "new" symbolized the new family being formed by the marriage. "Borrowing" is especially important since it is to come from a happily married woman, thereby lending the bride some of her own marital bliss. "Blue" has two traditions, ancient Roman maidens wore blue on the borders of their robes to denote love, fidelity and modesty, while Christians associate it with the purity of the Virgin Mary.


The Bridal Shower

The Bridal Shower tradition has its roots in the 1800's. The story is told of a poor miller who fell in love with a wealthy maiden. But, the father of the maiden was against the marriage. He refused to provide a dowry for her, and a bride could not marry without a dowry. The story goes that the bride had generous friends who "showered" her with so many gifts, they could forego the missing dowry.


The Bride and the Grooms "side"

In very early days, fathers would offer daughters as peace offerings to warring tribes. Because of the hostility, the families were placed on opposite sides of the church so the ceremony could proceed without bloodshed. The ceremony united the two warring factions into one family, and the danger was resolved. Today, family members still sit on opposite sides.


The Wedding Party

During the "marriage by capture" era, close friends of the groom-to-be assisted him when he kidnapped the bride from her family. The first ushers and best men were more like a small army, fighting off the brides angry relatives as the groom rode away with her.

Bridesmaids and maids of honor became more common when weddings were planned. For several days before the marriage, a senior maid attended to the bride-to-be. This maid or matron of honor, as we know her today, ensured that the bridal wreath was made and helped the bride get dressed. All bridesmaids helped the bride decorate for the wedding feast.

For a long time, bridesmaids wore dresses much like the bride's gown, while ushers dressed in clothing that was similar to the groom's attire. This tradition began for protection against evil rather than for uniformity; if evil spirits or jealous suitors attempted to harm the newlyweds, they would be confused as to which two people were the bride and groom.

The Honeymoon

In ancient times, the Teutonic people began the practice of the honeymoon. Teutonic weddings were only held under the full moon. After the wedding, the bride and groom would drink honey wine for one full moon cycle (thirty days). This "moon" (i.e., "month") became known as the "honey moon." While the name survived, the purpose of the honeymoon changed. After the wedding, newlyweds would leave their family and friends to go and do what newlyweds are supposed to do. Today that purpose survives, only now a vacation is incorporated, usually to a romantic get-away locale.

Wedding traditions have carried on from past centuries and will continue on, but you don't have to stick to what has been done by everyone else.  Traditions have to start somewhere, so there is no harm in starting your own family wedding tradition to be passed down to your future generations!

Planning a Small Wedding

It is easy to get lost in all of the wedding buzz and excitement after you announce you are getting married.  It is even easier to get persuaded by other people's ideas of how your wedding should be.  You know who you are, and what you like! Focus on what is going to make the two of you happy in the long run instead of trying to impress or please everyone else.  Having been in your shoes, I know that isn't easy. So let me help you clear your mind of everything wedding, and start from a clean slate. Read a few of the following statements and answer honestly, either in your head or say it out loud!

1. I love to be the center of attention, the bigger the crowd the better. (yes or no) 2. My wedding is going to be the event that people rave about for years (yes or no) 3. Having my close friends and family members present as we say our vows, is the most important part. (yes or no) 4. You only get married once so why not splurge and go big! (yes or no) 5. Napkins, centerpieces, and table numbers need to correspond with the linens perfectly, or my day would be ruined! (yes or no) 6. We need a DJ to get people dancing because our wedding is going to be a party! (yes or no) 7. Our wedding party will be over 10 people (yes or no) 8. I will need a wedding coordinator to help me with the planning details (yes or no) 9.  I want to have a "Platinum Wedding." (yes or no) 10. I am comfortable spending at least $10,000.00 on our wedding. (yes or no)

If you answered no to more than half of these questions, you may be leaning towards having a small and intimate wedding rather than a large event.  We are here to tell you to go for it, and have fun with it while you are planning.  Small and more personal weddings are becoming very popular not only due to finances, but it helps you connect with your guests. There is a misconception that you only get to have an informal out of the box wedding if it is your second or third marriage..that is so not the case!

Find a location that speaks to you, whether it is a cabin in the forest, a beach-house, bed & breakfast, a friends backyard or Paris, at the end of the day you will have the rest of your lives to think back to this wonderful time in your life so make it special. Checkout some of these photos of real weddings on

Some of the challenges you may face are: - Deciding if you should elope, or have a very small intimate event with friends and family - Finding a venue or location that is appropriate for just the two of you, or for a smaller group - Choosing your wedding party members, or not to have them at all! - Paring down the guest list

Some unique touches & benefits for small weddings - Having a friend or family member be the officiant for your ceremony - Maid of Honor & Best Man instead of a large wedding party - Guests bring a dessert or favorite dish for the reception - Including your pets in the ceremony - Displaying old photos at each of the tables - Make your own wedding cake - The bride and groom serving the guests their cake or champagne - Personalized notes to your guests in the ceremony programs - If you have children, having them walk you down the aisle - With less guests you can afford higher quality items such as better wine or champagne, or possibly plated dinner instead of buffet.

Advice from Real Brides:

".... To make the final decision we created our golden rule: If we haven’t seen or spoken to them on a regular basis in the past year, they’re not invited." (Melody, Real Bride/Intimate

"You know, weddings with hundreds of guests are merely big productions, and distractions. All big weddings have at the core, moms and sisters, grooms and dads, kids, (yours or your relatives) and a couple friends. Everything else is background noise, even the other bridesmaids.  So with a small wedding, you have most everything a big wedding has, only more time to spend with the ones that matter most."(

Look for restaurants in your area with a banquet room or private patio, wineries, bed & breakfasts, hotel banquet rooms, community centers & memorial halls, parks & other city owned locations that allow events.




Style Trend: Purely Purple!

We are excited to say that purple has been a leading trend this wedding season, and we would like to share some ideas we found on how to use purple to add a pop of color to your big day.  Add a touch of color to your event by using purple elements such as purple heels, sashes, jewelry, or even accenting purple with some peacock feathers.  If you really want to add some shock and awe, dare to wear a purple wedding dress!  In the past we have featured some colored wedding dresses, but a newer trend is not wearing a "traditional" wedding dress but instead wear a formal gown. We couldn't get enough of this beautiful bride and her unique wedding vision!

To see more photos from this lovely wedding, check out Simply Bloom Photography.

Vintage, formal, beach & backyard weddings can all be accented with purple in many creative ways.   If you have your dream dress already but want to add some drama, check out these lovely photos of purple wedding accents.  We have compiled an inspiration board full of creative ways to incorporate purple into your wedding decor.


If you are a bride using purple in your wedding, or have photos of your wedding you would like to share just click here!

Bridal Party Fashion

As a bride you get to choose a few of your closest friends or family members to join your bridal party, and share a special part of your day with you. Part of the fun for both the bride and the bridesmaids, is choosing the bridesmaid dresses.  How can you not have a blast while trying on dresses 3 sizes to small for you in some very unflattering colors! Traditionally all of the bridesmaids will wear the same dress in the same color, and wear matching accessories.  More and More, we are seeing brides choose an alternate route.  Brides are opting for the bridesmaids to either wear varying styles of dresses in the same color, or have them wear any style of dress in a range of similar hues.  These options not only allow each bridesmaid to choose a style that best suits her body style, but it also shows a lot of personality and spunk.  Throw some flashy and colorful heels into the mix for some extra flare. It is never too early to start thinking details such as your bridal party's attire. In most cases it takes up to 3 months if not longer, to get your dresses after they have been ordered.  If your wedding falls in the prime wedding months such as April through June, or September through November, there may even be a bit of a delay because the manufacturers may get backed up. Think of colors, and styles that will compliment you and your dress, as well as your overall theme.

Chic One Shoulder dresses are in style right now, as well as gray, metallic, and purple tones.

Brides, if you are racking your brain on what to get your bridesmaids consider picking out matching necklaces or accessories for them to wear.  If you do decide to buy jewelry for your bridesmaids, consider buying jewelry that will stand out from far away and in pictures.

Here are some of the popular designers for Bridesmaid dresses that you should be able to find in your local Wedding Dress Shops.

Alfred Angelo Davids Bridal The Dessy Group (After Six, Alfred Sung, Lela Rose, & Cynthia Rowley) Jessica McClintock Mori Lee

For help finding local dress shops, check out our Directory!


Creating Your Wedding Playlist

Have you hired a DJ, live band, string quartet, or orchestra for your wedding? Or maybe are you going to take charge of your own music for your event by using CD's or your Ipod.  Either way, you should still try to get a play-list together to make sure you have songs picked out for some of the highlights of your wedding.  What kind of music have you always dreamed of hearing as you walk down the aisle? Are you looking for a DJ who will also serve as an MC for your wedding? This person will essentially be the voice of your wedding, as he or she will be keeping the event flowing and announcing your entrance, first dance, cake cutting etc. A good DJ has finesse, and can get all of your guests onto the dance floor, and keep the party going.  Take the opportunity to meet potential DJ companies to ensure that you feel comfortable with their level of professionalism. Don't be shy about what your expectations are, and determine what equipment is included such as a cordless microphone, lighting effects etc.  Last, make sure your wedding venue has accessible power outlets for the DJ to set up their equipment.

Next, take the opportunity to define your personalities, and set a tone for your event  by choosing great music.  First, make sure you know the basics of wedding ceremony music. has a great article about wedding music, so we have provided an excerpt here for you. "The most basic wedding ceremony music setup involves a minimum of three types of songs: preludes, processionals, and recessionals. Prelude music is light, ambient music that sets the mood while guests are being seated and waiting for the ceremony to begin. It usually begins when the doors open, or as early as 45 minutes prior to but no later than 20 minutes before the beginning of the ceremony.

Next is the processional, which accompanies the entry of the extended wedding party-- family, bridal party, and bride. The same song can be used for each, but we love the idea of changing to another song when the bride enters to add drama and highlight her entrance. At the conclusion of the ceremony, the recessional plays. As the name implies, this music accompanies you as you recess (that is, make your exit) and is traditionally bright and lively -- a reflection of your joy. " (

There are tons of resources for lists of traditional, contemporary and modern wedding music, and these are a few we found to be really helpful.

If you plan on using some of the more traditional wedding processional songs such as (Wedding Day at Troldhaugen by Edvard Grieg, or one of the many versions of "The Wedding March,") a piece of advice is to listen to the song using YouTube, so that you can hear the song first.

A handful of great classical/traditional songs:

Romance ( Op. 44, No. 1) Anton Rubenstein Vocalise - Sergei Rachmaninoff The Maestro -  Composed by Hans Zimmer Bridal Procession - Edvard Grieg All I Ask Of You - Phantom of the Opera, (Piano) Canon in D - J Pachelbel Ave Maria - (There are several beautiful instrumental versions)

Here is a list of some recommended songs, from many different genres.

Marry Me - Train Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Israel Kamakawiwo'Ole This Year's Love - David Gray I Do - Colbie Caillat Rhythm of Love - Plain White T's All You Need Is Love - The Beatles Your Guardian Angel - Red Jumpsuit Apparatus Time of My Life - David Cook Lucky - Jason Mraz & Colbie Caillat I'm Yours - Jason Mraz Better Together - Jack Johnson She's Everything - Brad Paisley Why Wait - Rascal Flatts Are you Gonna Kiss Me or Not - Thompson Square Mama's Song - Carrie Underwood Only You Can Love Me This Way - Keith Urban Wishn and Hopin - Dusty Springfield Fly Me To The Moon - Frank Sinatra I loved Her First - Heartland (Great Father Daughter Dance Song) The Way You Look Tonight - Frank Sinatra Spend My Life With You - Eric Benet I Do - Boys II Men L-O-V-E - Nat Cole King I Cant Help Falling In Love – Elvis That’s what makes it a love song – Miranda Lambert Better Half – Keith Urban Oh Love - Brad Paisley & Carrie Underwood Our Love is Here To Stay - Frank Sinatra or Ella Fitzgerald Versions I Could Not Ask For More - Edward McCain Sail Away - David Gray The Only Exception - Paramore Forever - Chris Brown Wedding Bells - Coldplay (This song is not yet released, but has an anticipated release date of late 2011)

Don't forget to check out our Vendor Directory, to find great DJ's and other Entertainment.