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Photographer Mari Lezhava

By The Newport Bride

The wedding world is full of DIY tutorials and crafty suggestions for creative brave brides. The problem is, a suggestion by an impartial third source isn’t always helpful or realistic. The truth is, while making your own bridesmaid dresses might sound like a fun project when it’s 2am and you’re scouring Pinterest for cost cutting wedding ideas, but when it comes to actually having to make them, more often than not it’s just a hot mess. We’ve seen it all and we can tell you what is worth adding a personal touch to, and what you should just stay far far away from!

Lena Mirisola Photography

DO Favors – Personalizing your guest’s gift is a great way to add a fun touch (or flavor) to your wedding day. Whether you’re making homemade cookies, crafting christmas ornaments, or making a donation to the charity of your choice, wedding favors are the perfect item to DIY!

DO NOT Flowers – Wedding flowers are one of those things that couples are always trying to DIY and 95% of the time, it backfires big time. Creating a bouquet, centerpiece, or ceremony arch is more than just sticking flowers together. A knowledgeable florist knows exactly the environment each bloom needs to flourish, the support they need while being displayed, and most importantly, how to create designs that can last through a whole day of wedding fun. Hire a good florist and let them do the dirty work!

Joseph Laurin Photography

DO Programs – Ceremony orders are often something couples settle on just a few weeks before the wedding. With a Word document, creation, or even Powerpoint, you can create a program with your exact wording, a beautiful font, and custom colors. Plus, you can print at home or a local office supply store.

Kim lyn photography

DO NOT planner – Being a wedding planner requires an extreme attention to detail, the ability to remain positive and calm throughout any type of situation, and a lack of relation to the people getting married. Anyone who is close enough to be invited to your wedding is someone who should not be asked to help run your wedding day. Find someone who is unbiased, who can help coral wayward uncles and cousins, and most of all who is on your side and willing to do whatever you need to help make your day perfect.

Melissa Robotti Photography

DO Guest Book – Personalized guest books are all the rage right now. Few couples opt for the traditional blank book covered with guests signatures. If you are having a nautical wedding, have guests sign the sail of a table top boat or an oar. If you love baseball, get a monogrammed home plate you can someday hang on your wall. Get creative and find or make something you can display forever!

Molly Anne photogaphy

DO NOT DJ – We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, an iPod and dance playlist does not replace a trained professional. A DJ is about more than playing one song after the next. A DJ helps smooth transitions, avoid any awkward silence, and MC the night keeping guest well informed and comfortable. There’s nothing that ruins a night like a iPod with a dead battery or a broken skip button.

Rachel Girouard Photography – Stephanie Vegliante Photography

DO Table Decor Elements – Similar to creating your own guest book, table decor elements are a great way to add a personalized touch to your wedding decorations. Make a giant monkey’s fist knot ball, add pictures of you and your fiance, or include trinkets from your travels to each table for added interest that will keep your guests intrigued all night!

Sarah Pudlo Photography

DO NOT Wedding Dress – Surprisingly, the wedding dress is something many bride’s contemplate sewing themselves. Unless you are a master seamstress, we wouldn’t suggest tackling the challenge of crafting your bridal gown. Wedding dresses are extremely intricate, often delicate, and most of all, super stressful! Let your designer or seamstress worry about getting the exact fit and find a great local boutique that carries an array of styles.

Melissa Stimpson Photography

DO Officiant – Many couples don’t have a family religious figure who they want to conduct their ceremony. There are plenty of great officiants for hire out there, but we really love when couples ask a close friend or family member to marry them. This meaningful privilege is a wonderful way to include someone special. Plus, there’s a good chance their head will be in your first kiss picture so you might as well make it a face you want to see forever!

© 2016 Ryan DeVoll Photography

DO NOT Photography – Tops of the DO NOT DIY list is photography. You only get one wedding day, and you only get one shot to get the pictures that will last a lifetime. It doesn’t matter how much your cousin loves their camera, or how many of their friends they’ve shot. Weddings are long, stressful, and high-pressure events that should be handled with care by trained professionals. Do yourself a favor and hire someone with experience who is not related to you and who can provide you quality images you’ll want to show off.

Bio: The Newport Bride is a Rhode Island based bridal blog featuring tips, trends, and real wedding inspiration from the Ocean State. Started by a passionate bride-to-be, The Newport Bride blog is a resource anyone who love beautiful images, creative designs, and weddings! Their passion is highlighting local businesses and helping making wedding planning just a bit easier. Follow along with The Newport Bride on Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook @TheNewportBride and


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If you are a fan of history and semi-obsessed with the British monarchy this “everything royal” tourist list is perfect for you! We picked 4 top royal-related (more specifically royal-wedding related) tourist destinations that combine modern royal history with the past.

1. Windsor Castle

Photo Credit: photographer John Freeman, Royal Collection Trust

Located just 25 miles outside of London sits Windsor Castle. It is the oldest occupied castle in the world with its royal history dating back 900 years and will play a big role in the upcoming royal wedding of Prince Harry & Ms. Markle.

Originally founded by William the Conqueror in the 11th century, the gothic style castle has since been home to 39 monarchs and is currently where the queen spends most of her weekends. Not only does it play host to living monarchs, it is also the final resting place for some of Britain’s most well-known reigning monarchs including Henry VIII and Charles I.

The castle is also home to St. George’s Chapel, the ceremony location where Prince Harry & Ms. Markle will say “I Do.” After their ceremony the newlyweds will depart on a 2-mile carriage ride to their first reception location at St. George’s Hall, hosted by the queen, in the castle. The chapel will also play host for Princess Eugenie’s wedding, autumn of 2018.

With its rich history and current role in modern royal weddings, Windsor Castle is a top spot for every royal wedding superfan.

2. Kensington Palace

Since the late 1600’s Kensington Palace has been home to some of Britain’s most famous royals and continues to be home to members of the royal family to this day. Some of the estates most famous occupants have been Queen Victoria before she was queen, Princess Margaret (HRH’s sister) and Princess Diana. Today TRH Duke & Duchess of Cambridge and their children call the palace home and soon to will Prince Harry & Ms. Markle.

Exhibits & Tours
Apart from housing members of the royal family, Kensington Palace is also home to the Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection which includes iconic outfits worn by the late Princess Diana that are currently on display. This collection is not one to be missed. From her “John Travolta” dress worn to during her 1985 trip to the White House to the outfit she made history in walking active minefields in Angola, practically every outfit the princess was known for can be viewed in person.

Afternoon Tea at The Orangery
Located apart from the main structure, in the lush surrounding historical gardens, sits The Orangery in The Pavilion. Enjoy a traditional English tea complete with scones made with Welsh butter, fine tea cakes, and adorable tea sandwiches, in a setting that is sure to have you feeling like part of the royal family. (Note: If you really want to feel like a princess you can even plan your wedding at The Orangery.)

The Orangery in The Pavilion is a popular afternoon tea destination. We recommend making a reservation to avoid “queues.” No one likes a queue while on vacation.  


3. Frogmore House

Not as famous as it’s sister royal properties, Frogmore House has still played an important part in royal history. Originally purchased for Queen Charlotte by King George III, the botanical painted home has been a royal family retreat for over 300 years.

Queen Charlotte’s love for botany is visible from the hand-painted floral walls to the vibrant grounds surrounding the more modest house. The home even features a selection of items from the Royal Yacht Britannia after the vessel was decommissioned in 1997.

Frogmore House will also play host to one of the two receptions for the upcoming wedding of Prince Harry & Ms. Markle, and played host as the location where the couple took their engagement photos.

To see the house is a bit tricky. Frogmore House is only open for pre-booked group tours for a limited time in August of each year.


4. Buckingham Palace

Most famously known as the permanent home to Queen Elizabeth II, Buckingham Palace is by far a staple on any London tourist stop. Simply standing at the grand gates and peering through, trying to catch a glimpse of The Queen is enough of a trill, but there are several other things to see and do while visiting the palace.

Changing The Guard
A long-standing tradition of the crown, this true spectacle of British pageantry is when one regiment takes over for another officially becoming The Queen’s Guard. The change takes place Mondays, Wednesdays & Friday at 11 AM during spring, fall and winter months and daily during the summer.

The Royal Mews
Home to the opulent carriages that have carried monarchs for hundreds of years too and from crownings, weddings, and everyday purposes, The Royal Mews is an impressive working stable that will provide the carriage and horses that will carry  Ms. Markle & HRH on a 2-mile tour to Windsor Castle through Windsor Town. Not only can you see royal horses and historical carriages, but the queen’s personal Rolls Royce Phantom collection is also on display.

The Queen’s Gallery
Perfect for any art enthusiast, The Queen’s Gallery offers seasonal exhibits featuring ancient art, furniture and select masterpieces owned by the royal family.

The State Rooms
Get a glimpse inside the royal family’s exclusive State Rooms available to the public only on select dates in the winter, spring, and for a 10-week period during the summer. Highlights of the tour include the Throne Room, The State Rooms, where the Royal Family receives and entertains guests on select occasions and the Grand Ballroom.  


When is the best time to visit? We recommend the summer months, as that is when the majority of the destinations are open to public access, providing an exclusive window to see special insights into the royal family. Cheerio!

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