We love love. Sometimes it’s hard to find the perfect words to describe this magical feeling, so we thought we’d let pop culture have the honors of doing so. In honor of Valentine’s Day coming up this weekend, here’s a list of our favorite quotes about love:

Amanda and Dan 10

Megan Saul Photography

The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.
― Moulin Rouge

Michelle and Robyn 6Erin Hoyt Photography

I would rather share one lifetime with you than face all the ages of this world alone.
―  Lord of the Rings

Sally+Jesse

Maypole Studios

When I’m around you, I kind of feel like I’m on drugs. Not that I do drugs. Unless you do drugs, in which case I do them all the time.
―  Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

Ashley and Joe 6Ashley Biess Photography
Good mood, bad mood, ugly, pretty, handsome, what have you, the right person will still think the sun shines out of your ass.
―  Juno
Jessica and Chris 2Z+V Photography

“I love you because the entire universe conspired to help me find you.”
―  The Alchemist
Ashley and Justin 7

Matushek Photography

“Love is that can’t-eat, can’t-sleep, reach-for-the-stars, over-the-fence, World Series kinda stuff.”
―  It Takes Two

Davora and Roxy 2

Soda Fountain Photography

“There’s a lot of things you need to get across this universe. Warp drive… wormhole refractors… You know the thing you need most of all? You need a hand to hold.”
―  Doctor Who

Becky and Charles 5

Julia Franzosa Photography

“We’re all a little weird, and life’s a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.”
— Dr. Seuss

Daniella and Mark 10

Angela Renee Photography

“The best love is the kind that awakens the soul and makes us reach for more…”
— The Notebook

View More: http://amandameganmiller.pass.us/debbieandkeith

Amanda Megan Miller Photography

And lastly:

“Love is a serious mental disease.”

— Plato

Happy Valentine’s day from the team at Naturally Yours Events!

One of the best parts about being engaged is all of the parties surrounding the wedding! Leading up to the grand finale, some common celebrations surrounding a wedding are the engagement party, bridal shower, bachelor party, bachelorette party, bridal luncheon, and rehearsal dinner. With all the planning involved in a wedding, it is easy to get lost in all the details and expectations of these other gatherings. Here are some guidelines for the parties surrounding the biggest party- your wedding.

Anniversary Shoot

Shane Welch Photography

Engagement Party: Traditionally, the engagement party is hosted by the bride’s parents, but really anyone can host it- even the couple! To avoid ruined surprises or hurt feelings, let the bride’s family know if someone else is throwing the party. There is no specific time when an engagement party should be thrown, but it makes sense to have it around the time of announcement. The guest list should include family and close friends, and it is best to include those who will be invited to the wedding. Remember- the engagement party is not a place to shower the couple with gifts (there will be many other parties for that).

Shane Welch Photography | http://www.shanewelchweddings.com | http://www.shanewelchphotography.com |

Shane Welch Photography

Bridal Shower: The purpose of this party is to “shower” the couple with gifts to make a suitable home. Bridal showers are typically all-female, however feel free to break down gender barriers! Including the groom and other men in the bridal shower is becoming fairly common. Traditionally, showers are thrown by the bridal party within six weeks before the wedding. In the past, it was considered bad form for an immediate family member (sister/mother) to host the shower – but not anymore. Since gifts are required, you should never invite someone who isn’t invited to the wedding. The bride (or groom) is expected to open all gifts at the shower and it is highly encouraged that the couple write thank you notes to each guest afterward.

What if you don’t want a shower? Many couples today live together and have most of what they need to start their new life together. If a shower is still wanted, but without the “showering” of gifts, make it a way to give back. Host a day of volunteering (with a picnic in the park afterwards) or ask guests to donate to the couple’s favorite charity instead. Of course, if having a bridal shower at all just isn’t for you- don’t do it! You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do.

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Hitch & Sparrow

Bachelor/ Bachelorette Party: Both the bachelor and bachelorette parties (or bridesmaids’ luncheon) are traditionally held a few days before the wedding- especially if you have a lot of party guests that will be traveling in for the wedding. These parties are hosted and paid for by the groomsmen and bridesmaids, and the honored guests (bride and groom) just show up and enjoy themselves. However, if the idea of a party to celebrate “your last night of freedom” doesn’t sound right to you, make sure to express your reason for not wanting a bachelor/bachelorette party.  If you want one, but with limitations, let your hosts know. Nowhere does it say that you have to do things a certain way.

Sean and Sun 7

Ha! Photography

Rehearsal Dinner: Traditionally, the rehearsal dinner is for anyone who has a more complicated or intricate ceremony, more than the couple showing up and simply exchanging vows. The rehearsal is held the day before the wedding, at a convenient time for everyone involved- typically including the couple, the wedding party, ushers, readers or singers, and the officiant. Having the musician attend is also a good idea, especially if there are complicated cues. And don’t fret, the entire ceremony does not have to be rehearsed! Just figure out the order everyone should walk in, the timing, and get everyone comfortable (especially any children) with their roles.

After the rehearsal comes dinner. Traditionally, dinner is paid for by the groom’s side but now it can be hosted by anyone. The meal can be anything from grilling in someone’s back yard to a large, swanky affair at a five star restaurant. Just remember the golden rule: the guest list should include everyone at the rehearsal plus their significant others, the couple’s immediate family, and any/all out of town guests.  If you decide not to have out of town guests at the dinner, be consistent. You can’t invite your favorite Aunt and exclude all the others.

Once you’ve checked off all of these parties from your list, it’s time for the grand finale – your wedding!

Typically, a guest list is shaped by the intended size of a wedding, which is ultimately up to those who are writing the checks. If you’ve always envisioned a smaller affair, surrounded by people you know and love, make sure to set these limits early on – it’s easy to get carried away in the excitement of wedding planning. When creating a wedding guest list, there are a couple rules of thumb. First, guests who are married or committed must be invited to the wedding together (not one without the other). Next, everyone actually in the wedding (the officiant, parents, and their significant others) make it on the guest list. But what if your initial list is way longer than you need it to be? We’ve got a few handy tips to help you narrow down your guest list.

Daniella and Mark 2

Photo by Angela Renee Photo

Kid limits: If you would like to have a completely child-free wedding, the first step is to encourage parents to find sitters. Never include “no children allowed” on the invitations. Simply list invited individuals on the outer envelope (do not add the child’s name on the envelope, or say “and family”). You could also call parents to notify them of your preference. Be diplomatic in explaining why you would not like children to attend and how this isn’t exclusive to just their children; it is a request that applies to everyone.

It is almost guaranteed that there will be some invited guests who do not agree with your request and might even try to boycott your wedding. Hold your ground! If you cave to one parent, it is likely that other parents will expect you to “make the exception” for their children as well. Now, if you do want some kids to attend and not others, there are ways to do this diplomatically. First, you could exclusively invite the children of immediate family (your kids, siblings, nieces and nephews). Otherwise, you could choose to include a few children in the wedding as a flower girl/ring bearer or junior bridesmaids/groomsmen.

Sean and Sun 3 (1)

Photo by Ha! Photography

Office limits: You definitely spend a lot of time with your coworkers and tend to get to know them personally. So, it can be hard to determine whether or not to invite them to the wedding. However, if mixing your personal and professional life together makes you uncomfortable, you do have options!

The easiest and most inoffensive way to go about it is an “everyone or no one” policy. That way, no one is insulted or feels left out. If your company is small, inviting everyone may be feasible. If your company is larger, inviting only your immediate team and supervisors may be more manageable.  Should you choose to only invite a few colleagues, make sure to be discrete. All invitations should be delivered by mail and should never be left open on desks. Make sure your office guests know that you are excluding the bulk of the office and that they should be discrete as well.

Amanda and Dan 5

Photo by Megan Saul Photography

Should you have a “B-List”? The way a B-list works is to first send invitations to the people you know you definitely want to invite. Then, if your RSVP’d guest count is low enough, you send additional invitations to those on your B-list. The challenge with this strategy is that the people who are on the B-list will most likely realize they are on the B-list (they may know someone on the A-list who received their invitation a while ago, or because they received their invitation a mere few weeks before the wedding). This may offend some people and could potentially cause a strain on your friendship. We feel that it is better to simply tell those who would be on the B-list that it is an intimate wedding and therefore you cannot invite everyone, rather than to invite them as an after thought.

Other ideas: A great rule of thumb is to ask yourself, “has this person ever met my significant other and has he/she impacted our relationship in some way?” If the answer is no, maybe he/she is a good person to remove from the list. You could also ask yourself if you’ve talked to him/her in the past year or two (and no, liking a photo on Facebook doesn’t count); if the answer is no, you should consider removing them from the list as well.

Just remember, don’t stress! Your wedding will be special no matter who is or isn’t there. If you liked this tip and are looking for some additional guidance on how to plan your wedding, shoot us an email (info@naturallyyoursevents.com)! We’ve got golden pointers that will help your wedding planning process become a breeze.

Some people love their pets even more than they love their own siblings, so it’s no wonder why brides and grooms like to include their pet in their wedding day. As wedding planners, we’ve seen many different ways that furry friends are included in the wedding celebrations. There are a number of ways to go about it, but here are just a few examples of how to include your pet in your wedding day:

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Photo by Matushek Photography

1. Have your pet be the “flower girl”or “ring bearer”. Your pet can be adorned with a flower leash, nice ribbons, a suit, bowtie, or an adorable bandana, and have them walked down the aisle before you. Please note that pets should never be actually entrusted with the rings themselves! The problem with this is that not every venue will allow pets in the wedding. In addition, some pets can’t handle the excitement of walking down the aisle (we have seen a near-toppling of the bride, and we’ve seen a dog dragging the ring bearer down the aisle). So in order to pull this off effectively, you must get the permission of the venue first, and think if your pet can handle the excitement of being in the actual wedding. 

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Photo by This is Feeling

2. Take pre or post-wedding photos with your pet. This way, you can still capture precious moments with him/her without having to worry about them actually playing a part in the wedding.

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Photo by Matushek Photography

3. Simply incorporate your pets photos into the decor of your wedding/reception. Sometimes, this may just be the easiest option. Despite the vast amount of love you have for your pet, you may decide that some photos will do the trick.

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Photo by Husar Photography

If your pet is indeed invited to partake in wedding festivities, we highly recommend having a family member or guest (not part of your wedding) be in charge of handling your pet. This person should be in charge of picking them up, getting them to said location, taking them for bathroom breaks throughout, and bringing them back home when it is time. Any way you choose will be a great way to honor the furry loved one in your family. Happy planning!