As more people strive to reduce their carbon footprint so, too, are couples planning their weddings. Green or at least “pale green” weddings have been the “in thing for the last few years,” according to Richard Markel, of the Association of Wedding Professionals.

He advises couple to talk to their vendors about their desire to be kind to the earth on their wedding day. For instance, ask the electrician how to reduce electricity by 10 percent; or ask the chef for locally grown and organic foods.
Invitations

By Melinda Copp
Engaged? Congratulations! You have plenty to think about as you plan your wedding and new life with your partner. But in addition to choosing a dress and picking a honeymoon destination, getting married includes a few less romantic decisions. When you marry your sweetheart, you combine a lot more than love in a legal contract, including financial obligations, assets and property.

If a wedding is in your future, consider the following questions about how to marry your financial and legal obligations.
Do we need a prenuptial agreement?
Although thinking about divorce before you tie the knot is no fun, for many couples it makes sense to have a prenuptial agreement in place.

By Laura Jacobi

Does your dream wedding include the designer princess gown you dog-eared in a high-end magazine or a gaggle of doves being released when you kiss? These are questions the bride and groom should answer before planning and budgeting for a wedding.

Katy Baker, a wedding planner with the Association of Bridal Professionals, asks her brides and grooms to make specific lists before planning their wedding budget. Each has to describe their dream wedding and promise each other to make at least three of those elements become reality. They then list all the aspects of the big day—such as the dress, flowers and food—prioritized by what they feel is most important.

The next time you’re at a wedding, take a good look around.

Not at the ring bearer and flower girl jumping around with frosting all over their faces. And, no, not at the tipsy uncle haphazardly trying to dance.

Take a look at the gargantuan outdoor tent, comfy white chairs, silky table linens, shiny dishware and even the twinkling lights. Everything you see was carefully picked out, planned and prepared.

“Some people don’t know. They think it magically comes together,” said Barbara Yontz, outside sales consultant for Classic Party Rentals in Bluffton.

by Rob Kaufman

Selecting the right photographer for your wedding is undoubtedly one of the most important decisions you will make. After all, when the flowers, the dinner, the cake and the bridesmaids’ dresses are all just fond memories, the photography you commission will still be a tangible asset that you can share and enjoy.

The process of finding your photographer can be a little daunting; there are many shooters out there at all levels of skill with all sorts of different styles. Unlike shopping for most other things, there is no real consistency as far as pricing is concerned. And to top it off, nearly every photographer has their own assortment of products and services they offer. But with a little homework and a little legwork, hiring a photographer for your wedding day will be an experience you’ll enjoy.

Signe's Heaven Bound Bakery & CafeFor more than 37 years Signe Gardo has been creating custom wedding cakes for brides throughout the Lowcountry. From classic and traditional to trendy and whimsical, this creative confectioner has done it all. And to top it off, she manages to run a full time café and bakery which has grown to be a favorite among locals and a “must-see” for visitors. Always on the go, Signe takes a break to share with our readers about her popular cake business.

“Choosing a cake is probably one of the more fun aspects of wedding planning,” Signe says. “However when a bride is busy planning out every detail, anything can become overwhelming!”

Signe meets with each bride and/or couple for an initial private consultation and tasting. “It’s important to get to know the couple and understand their vision for their wedding. Your wedding cake should be a reflection of your wedding style as well as your personal story.”

By SARAH PETERMAN

Between the cake tasting, finding the perfect caterer and added stress of planning for your big day, it’s easy to pack on a few extra pounds. Here are a few tips to help you stay in shape for your wedding without depending on eating only grapefruit for the last few weeks of your single life:

by Sarah Peterman

The craziness of the wedding is over. You are now officially someone’s wife (or husband) and you deserve a break—hence, the honeymoon. However, without some advanced planning and preparation, the honeymoon could be even more stressful than the wedding. Here are a few tips to help you prepare:

by Sarah Peterman

There couldn’t be a more perfect location for a honeymoon than Hilton Head Island. With miles of beaches, beautiful sunsets and activities for every taste, happy couples will love beginning their life together on this beautiful island. Here are our top pics on what makes Hilton Head the perfect place to celebrate your honeymoon:

Green living doesn't have to mean forgoing the latest looks, especially when eco-conscious beauty is the hottest thing going. Formulations driven by nature, practices that are kind to the earth and minimal packaging are all cool ways to celebrate the warm weather.
Here are some of the hottest eco-conscious beauty trends going:

Fresh as a Rose

The classic and perfect rose inspires some of the hottest colors and scents of the season. Cheeks blush in pretty shades of pink for day and bold fuchsia for evening while glamorous pink lips perfectly accompany spring smiles. For an all-over ethereal glow, the Roseflower Radiance Stick from The Body Shop is a soft, natural and preservative-free way to achieve a dewy spring glow. Match spring's romantic mood and sweep the silky, sheer golden pink highlighter along the cheekbones for a subtle shimmer that enhances the complexion.

Style Highlight

Made with rose oil from the "valley of roses" near the Atlas Mountains, The Body Shop Moroccan Rose Body Butter melts on contact with the skin for superb hydration and releases the delectable fragrance of roses harvested at dawn, at their fragrance peak. It also features rich Community Trade ingredients from Ghana and Brazil.

The date is set, the dress is bought and the tuxes are rented -- now you get to plan your first vacation together as husband and wife. Whether your ideal honeymoon is traveling to the Swiss Alps for some mountain fun or relaxing on an exotic beach in the Caribbean, it's a special time you'll never forget. So what do you need to know to plan the perfect honeymoon that goes off without a hitch?

"Everyone wants the greatest honeymoon possible, but be sure to review the little details so they don't turn into big problems," says Michael Kelly, president of On Call International, a medical and travel assistance company. "The best thing you can do is research, plan and prepare together as a team."

When hosting a bridal shower or a bachelorette party, it can be easy to get carried away. Hosts, typically a close friend or relative of the bride, often feel obligated to give the bride the "perfect" party—a concept as elusive as it is expensive.

However, if you find yourself planning an upcoming bridal shower on a budget, have no fear: It's entirely possible to plan a tasteful, fun and sentimental gathering without breaking the bank. Here are five time-saving and cost-cutting ways to throw a beautiful bridal shower:

Invitations

It can be tempting to blow your entire budget for the party on the invitations, but consider saving money (and time) by sending them electronically. Web sites like Pingg.com make sending invitations and tracking responses electronically a breeze. And with an enormous online image database, it's almost guaranteed that even the pickiest planner will find the perfect invitation design.

(ARA)—With award season in full swing, all eyes are on celebrities and their red carpet style. For every A-lister, looking great at an awards show is almost as important as remembering an acceptance speech. While most celebrities have a team to get them picture perfect, there are some simple tricks you can do at home to make sure you're camera ready for your next big event whether it's a first date or family reunion.

Giuliana Rancic, host of E! News and a red carpet staple, shares some simple beauty tips that are sure to make you look and feel your best all night long—without a celebrity-sized budget.