What Really Matters On Your Wedding Day

What Really Matters On Your Wedding Day

10 Things No One Tells You About the Wedding Day

No matter how many weddings you’ve attended before, or how many times you’ve been a bridesmaid, there are some things you just don’t find out about until your wedding day.

Bride and Groom Outdoors

Talk to anyone who’s gone through it before and they’ll tell you that your wedding day absolutely flies by. You’ll be so busy going from one thing to the next that before you know it, you’ll be cutting the cake. You may already know that you need an emergency kit (just in case), that it can be difficult to use the bathroom in your ball gown, and to pack a stain remover. But aside from the logistics, there are tons of intangible, special moments that make up the wedding day itself. Here, 10 truths about the wedding day that no one ever talks about.


1. Ten minutes before the ceremony is the most nerve-racking part.

The time leading up to the walk down the aisle will be the most anxiety-ridden 10 minutes you’ll ever have. And it makes sense—you’re about to make a life-changing decision in front of all the people you love and care about the most. Just remember that your other half is waiting for you at the end of the journey and you’re going to have a huge party to celebrate (not to mention the reason why you said “yes” in the first place).

2. The ceremony is the best part.

There’s something truly amazing about the wedding ceremony. The traditions, the vows and all your emotional family members and friends make it one of the most special moments of your life. Our advice? Take it all in and drink it up. You’ll want these memories to last a lifetime.


3. You’ll definitely cry.

Okay, this one might not be such a secret—all we can say is that crying is basically inevitable. And since you already know the waterworks are coming, the best thing to do is just be prepared. Store some tissues nearby, and if you’re a bride, make sure to wear waterproof makeup (or even get eyelash extensions) and keep some mascara and lipstick readily available for quick touch-ups.



4. Your face will hurt from smiling so much.

Thousands of pictures aside, you’ll be smiling all day because it’s going to be the bestday ever. You’re marrying your best friend, after all! Between finally “making it official” with your partner and dancing like crazy with all of your close friends and family, there’s literally no reason to frown (even if it rains).


5. You’ll be amazed by the love and support of your family and friends.

They all showed up for one reason—you! You and your soon-to-be spouse will get all—and we really mean all—of the attention. You may not even be able to eat dinner, since you’ll have so many people to talk to and so many pictures to take. Between the pinches on the cheek from your grandma and the side-punches from your college pals, you’ll be overcome by the love and support of those around you.

6. You’ll want a little alone time.

In fact, you might be so overcome with emotion that you may want to take a few moments just for you, or the two of you. Some of the most special minutes of the day are the few you get to spend alone, preparing for what’s to come, or together with your new spouse, taking it all in.

7. You might be a little exhausted.

Let’s face it, you won’t get too much sleep the night before your wedding. Between stressing over the seating chart, a tiff with your mom or just overall excitement for the day to come, you’ll be seriously lacking in shut-eye. Pro tip: Under-eye concealer will be your best friend.

8. It won’t all go as planned.

Something might end up going wrong. It could be little, or it could be big, but our best advice is to soldier on and try to think of the big picture. Can you solve this problem easily? Does it make a huge difference in the long run? Are your guests still having fun? Are you having fun? If these questions are easily answered, then don’t sweat it—just keep enjoying your celebration, and feel free to delegate tasks to planners and relatives so you don’t have to deal with drama.


9. The most magical moment will be when you least expect it.

We promise that the most special time of the day, or weekend, is going to be something you never expected. A stolen minute or two with your soon-to-be spouse, a hug from your dad or an impromptu speech by your college roommate could end up meaning the world to you.


10. You’ll feel different.

Even if you and your other half have been cohabiting for years, once you’re legally wed, things will feel official. It might just be a slight shift or it could feel like a noticeable change, but it will definitely seem like the real deal—because it is!

See the top postwedding to-dos here.

Find out how to easily change your last name after the wedding here.

Picturesque Palace Wedding in Lisbon

Picturesque Palace Wedding in Lisbon

Picturesque Palace Wedding in Lisbon

Francesca and Daniele’s picturesque palace wedding in Lisbon perfectly embodies the magic of fairytales. The historic 17th-century Palácio Marquês da Fronteira is renowned for its dramatically landscaped gardens, baroque architecture, ornate fountains, beautiful statues, and spectacular azulejos—the famed hand-painted Portuguese blue tiles. With the help of their planner, Martina Morrea of Alchimia Studio, every single detail of their elegant affair was executed to perfection.

The couple set the tone with their sophisticated wedding attire. The groom donned a classic suit while the bride wore two beautiful wedding dresses starting with a vintage two-piece beaded fringe ensemble that belonged to her aunt. She later changed into a sparkly silver wedding dress with an open back from Millanova

Surrounded by family and friends, the couple exchanged their vows at the magnificent terrace of the palace. Understated white florals and cascading greenery added just the right romantic touch to the elaborate exterior. From the tablescape to the cake, the details from the reception that followed tied in the intricate design and color of the blue ceramic tiling. Scroll through these beautiful images captured by Junebug member Mémorelle Weddingsand be inspired to throw the palace wedding of your dreams!

The Couple:

Francesca and Daniele

The Wedding:

Palácio Marquês da Fronteira, Lisbon, Portugal

The Wedding Team:

Photography – Mémorelle
Event Planning – Alchimia Studio
Ceremony Venue – Palácio Marquês da Fronteira
Catering – FoodStory
Makeup Artist & Hair Styling – Vanessa Marinho
Wedding Dress – Millanova
Groom’s Apparel – Brunello Cucinelli
Rentals – Tudo é Festa


Congratulations to Francesca and Daniele on their picturesque palace wedding in Lisbon. And a special shoutout to Junebug member Mémorelle Weddings for capturing the magic of their big day.


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The Ultimate Beach Wedding Guide

The Ultimate Beach Wedding Guide

With summer just around the corner, we can’t help but dream of days on the beach. We can picture it now–basking in the sunshine, waves crashing in the background, toes in the sand. There’s something undeniably magical about the ocean, so it’s no wonder that the beach is an extremely popular wedding venue. Whether you’re planning a destination wedding on a faraway island or saying “I do” on a small private stretch of shore in your hometown, there’s nothing more exciting than tying the knot on the coast.

However, planning a beach wedding still requires work. From the weather to permits to etiquette, there are a few extra steps to be mindful of during the planning process. That’s why we’re here to help you make your beach wedding dreams come true and ensure that it goes off without a hitch!

Steps For Planning A Beach Wedding

Step 1. Create A Wedding Budget

As with any wedding, creating a budget that works for you and your partner is the first–and most important–step to take. It helps you decide where your spending is allocated and is a big determining factor in your location. Luckily, using the beach tends to be cheaper than traditional venues.

If you have the money to spend on an oceanfront property, that’s always an option—it’ll also give you an address to use on your invitations. Many of these properties plan most of the wedding for you, taking the guesswork out. But this means they come with a higher price tag. If you want to save money, tying the knot right on the beach may be a better fit. When getting married on a public beach, your spending will primarily go towards permits and decor. In the long run, it can save you thousands.

Image by Emma Quinn. See more of this real wedding here.

Step 2. Pick Your Location

Beaches exist all over the world. From Hawaii to The Bahamas to Fiji, your options are endless. And of course, they’re all absolutely beautiful in their own way. When choosing the beach that’s best for you, consider destinations special to you and your significant other. Or choose a spot that you’ve always wanted to visit but haven’t gotten the chance to.

If you’ve got an open mind when it comes to the destination itself, think about what kind of venue you’re looking for. Browse hotels, Airbnbs, public beaches, and our website to find options you love. There will be great options everywhere you look, but they may not all fit your vision.

Step 3. Research The Weather And Choose A Date

When you think of a beach wedding, you most likely think of summertime–and this is typically the case. However, it’s important to research the weather for your destination. The last thing you want to do is book a cheap place because you found good rates only to discover that it’s the middle of hurricane season. The minute the hurricane hits, the whole wedding is canceled, and your guests won’t be able to make it. The same goes for the rainy season. While a little rain never hurt anyone, it’s wise to have a backup plan if you know there’s a chance of a storm.

Junebug Tip:

If you’re being budget-conscious while you’re researching locations, try to look at the shoulder seasons. Shoulder seasons are the times just before and just after peak travel season in your destination. For example, if May through July are peak travel seasons for your destination, the shoulder seasons would be April and August. 

couple running in the sand for their beach wedding

Image by Heather K Purdy. See more of this real wedding here.

Step 4. Get Necessary Permits

Unless you’re getting married on private property, you’re most likely going to need a permit to get married on the beach. Check the local town ordinances to see what’s necessary for larger events. Sound like a hassle? It’s extra work! That’s why working with a wedding planner who will take care of all of these details for you is an awesome investment.

Step 5. Have A Backup Plan For Poor Weather

Unless you know that there’s not a single chance of rain–which is highly unlikely–having a backup plan is vital. This means making a little extra room in the budget for a tent or other inside ceremony and reception options.

Wedding Etiquette for Beaches

When should you send save-the-dates?

If the beach of your choice requires travel for your guests the sooner you can notify them, the better. This gives them time to book flights, hotels, take time off work, and budget for all that travel too. Ideally, you’ll want to send these save-the-dates out at least six months in advance. 

Do you need to book airfare and hotel for guests?

You are not financially responsible for your guests’ travel, accommodations, or meals during the trip. However, setting up a hotel room block beforehand will help them book their lodging will be greatly appreciated. This ensures that they’re near your venue and they’re getting the best deal possible. 

We also recommend outlining the best ways to get to and from the airport, some car rental companies in the area, and water ferry services if necessary. This is especially helpful in more remote locations.

How should you tell your guests to dress?

Although beach weddings tend to offer a more laidback and casual attire for guests, the dress code for your wedding is entirely up to you. No matter what dress code you choose you should state it clearly on the invitation. In fact, putting it on your wedding website for easy access will help avoid guests asking repeatedly. You don’t want to hear complaints from your guests who show up in high heels only to sink in the sand the entire time. 

If you plan to have the entire wedding–both ceremony and reception–outdoors, consider offering sunscreen, sunglasses, and flip-flops as favors. This way, they can be prepared should they forget.

Planning A Beach Wedding Tips


Much like your guests’ attire, your wedding day attire is your choice. However, if you know that it’s going to be warm with plenty of sunshine, consider wearing lighter fabrics such as chiffon, tulle, or organza. If you’re wearing a suit, consider one that’s linen and lighter in color–like beige. 

If you’re wearing makeup, opt for sunscreen under your foundation and waterproof mascara–although, if you’re hiring a makeup artist, they already know these tips and will ensure that you look wedding-ready throughout the day.


Beaches are truly blank slates when it comes to decor. Don’t feel pressured to go with the tropical decor if that’s not a part of your wedding vision. If you’ve always dreamed of a boho affair or a more sleek or traditional look, go for it.

The key is to be mindful of the elements. If there’s any chance of winds, forgo lightweight decor that can blow away easily. Weigh down programs before the ceremony or have an usher pass them out. Or if it’s a tropical beach with lots of scattered rain showers, be sure to use acrylic or wooden seating, as it can be wiped down after a rainstorm.

Lastly, don’t skip out on speakers. Unlike a ballroom or other indoor venue, you’re going to have a lot of background noise at a beach wedding. Use microphones during the ceremony so you don’t have to yell and keep your live music or DJ mic’d up the entire time.

Image by Henry Tieu. See more of this beach elopement here.

Beach Wedding Dining Options

If you’re looking to make your beach wedding more authentic to your destination, choose a menu that represents that. For example, if you’re tying the knot in Tulum, serve tacos, enchiladas, and margaritas. If the wedding takes place in Hawaii, you could serve pork, rice, and mai tais. Making the dining options authentic to your location will help your guests feel like they’re soaking up the culture as much as possible and get to enjoy the destination that much more.

Now that you’re ready to start planning your beach wedding, it’s time to think color palettes! We’re loving these bright and bold color palettes for the warmer months.


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Creative and Unique Safari Park Wedding

Creative and Unique Safari Park Wedding

Kimberly and David’s San Diego Safari Park wedding ticks all the right boxes of a magical and extraordinary celebration. Modeled after the African Serengeti and the vast expanse of the Asian plains, what’s more spectacular than saying “I do” surrounded by amazing wildlife, a tropical lagoon, and lush savanna? With panoramic views of the park and San Pasqual Valley, the couple exchanged emotional vows with the most idyllic backdrop. 

The reception that followed at the Kijami pavilion is reminiscent of a luxurious South African lodge with vaulted ceilings and exposed beams, a baobab tree bar, a cozy outdoor lounge, and gorgeous safari-inspired accents. Floral arrangements by Simply Put Designs that echoed the colors of the savanna, along with emerald and gold tablescape details, added the right touch of glamor. The same deep jewel tone from the groom’s suit and wedding party attire beautifully tied in with the natural surroundings. 

The couple truly made their wedding dreams come true by tying the knot at one of their favorite places and sharing the experience with their loved ones. Scroll down to see every unforgettable detail of this San Diego Safari Parkwedding as captured by Sara Whitaker.

The Couple:

Kimberly and David

The Wedding:

San Diego Zoo Safari Park, San Diego, California, United States

The Sweetest First Look

The most memorable part of our wedding was seeing my husband for the first time during our first look. It was great having that time just to calm both of our nerves and soak in the emotions.

A Personalized Ceremony

I loved how personal our vows were. Choosing our officiant to be one of our close friends was great because he knows how our love has grown.

Keeping A Loved One’s Memory Alive

My father passed away, and my Maid of Honor surprised me with a bridal locket with his photo to add to my bouquet. It was very nice having that. 

Why A San Diego Safari Park Wedding

We chose the San Diego Safari Park because it is one of our favorite places to go in our free time. My husband and I both love to travel. It just seemed like the perfect place. 

The Wedding Team:

Photography – Desert Born Studios
Ceremony Venue – San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Floral Design – Simply Put Designs
Cake – Flour Power
DJ – Electric Entertainment DJs
Videography – Pause Creative Collective
Invitation Design – Magnet Street
Makeup Artist – Makeup By Rachel Xoxo
Groom’s & Groomsmen’s Apparel – Friar Tux


Congratulations to Kimberly and David on their creative and unique San Diego Safari Park wedding. And big thanks to Sara Whitaker for capturing and sharing these breathtaking photos with us. 

Choosing a venue will be one of the first wedding planning decisions you will make. Explore our list of unique venues and just like Kimberly and David, feel free to get creative when finding the one that’s right for you and your partner.


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Fun and Intimate Winery SF Wedding

Fun and Intimate Winery SF Wedding

It’s been quite the wild ride since the pandemic started, especially for those planning a wedding. After postponing their date three times, Jen and Ihab decided to quickly tie the knot shortly after finding a venue they loved. With a postcard view of San Francisco in the background and 60 of their closest friends and family, their fun and intimate Winery SF wedding was one for the books.

The couple had their ceremony right outside the winery, with the Bay Bridge as the picture-perfect backdrop. The groom rocked a navy suit while the bride looked radiant in her crystal-embellished long sleeve blush dress. In a touching tribute, she carried the memory of her dad with a photo locket pinned to her bouquet. Not to mention their kids played a significant role in their celebration as they each walked with them down the aisle. 

The good time didn’t stop there. After the ceremony, they all headed into the barrel room for their reception. Their guests enjoyed freshly made wood-fired pizza, and the ice cream truck was a delicious surprise! From the vintage furniture and decor to the barrel wall and string lights, it was a unique urban setting with a relaxed, cozy vibe. Scroll down to be entirely inspired by these incredible photos of their big day, all beautifully captured by Junebug member Apollo Fotografie.

The Couple:

Jen and Ihab

The Wedding:

Winery SF, San Francisco, California

Recommended Reading: Dazzling Bridal and Wedding Lockets for Bouquets

Putting Together An intimate Winery SF Wedding Quickly

We wanted something different, and a friend told me about Winery SF on Treasure Island. As soon as we saw it, we knew it was the right place. Plus, they had dates available, which was an added plus since we were putting the wedding together quickly.

Keeping Their Guest List Small

We wanted a more intimate wedding, so we kept it under 60 people. We wanted to spend time with everyone who came, and this was possible because of the number of people present. We are proud of how nicely everything flowed and that everything went as planned. It was a great night celebrating with our family and friends, especially after not seeing so many people for so long.

Memorable Moments With Their Kids

The most memorable part of the day was having our two kids be part of the ceremony and celebration. Our three-year-old walked her dad down the aisle, and our six-year-old walked me down the aisle because my dad passed years prior to the wedding. Our kids kept coming up to us, and we were holding our daughter during the vows because she wanted to be with us. During our first dance, both kids came and joined us on their own (not planned), making for a really special and memorable moment. The kids might have stolen the show!

Be Flexible: Advice From The Newlyweds

We had to be very flexible since the date got moved three times due to the pandemic. The dessert option had to be because of this, and Ihab’s suit didn’t arrive until the day before the wedding, which made for some nice scrambling, and a potential backup suit needed to be found. Try to be as flexible as possible, knowing that it will all fall into place.

Unexpected Wedding Menu: Pizza And Ice Cream

We had a variety of salads and pizzas, and they kept coming out fresh from the oven. Everyone found something they liked, and it was very easy but delicious! We didn’t want a traditional cake for dessert, so we went with an ice cream truck. The truck was adorable, and the ice cream was delicious. We both love ice cream, so it was special to us.

Working With Junebug Member Apollo Fotografie

Our photographer Apollo Fotografie was flexible, funny, easy-going, and made the whole process really easy. She did a great job capturing our personality and the mood and helped make things feel not too posed.

The Wedding Team:

Photography – Apollo Fotografie
Venue – Winery SF
Floral Design – Wild Flower and Fern
Catering – Soleil Wood Fired Pizza
Dessert – Hometown Creamery
Live Music – John Paul Hodge
Invitation Design – Paperless Post
Makeup Artist – Lash Out Loud Beauty Bar
Hair Styling – Heather Dean
Groom’s Apparel – Suit Supply
Rings – Crown Nine Jewelry 


Congratulations to Jen and Ihab on their fun and intimate Winery SF wedding. And big thanks to Junebug member Apollo Fotografie for capturing all the love and happiness on their beautiful day surrounded by their family, friends, and adorable children. To see more of their incredible photography, check out their profile in our directory of wedding photographers from around the world!


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