Sunday, March 22, 2015

Wedding Shoes for Cool Brides

If it's one thing Sophia Webster does well, it's make awesome shoes. Magical even. Butterfly wing backs, watermelon prints, chunky heels, candy-coated crystals, neon tropical colors. And now she has a bridal collection that will instantly make you feel like the coolest bride ever. Each pair is made up of unique details and has "Wife For Lifey" on the soles. You'll definitely want to show these babies off.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Wildfox Honeymoon Forever

Have you seen the new Wildfox Honeymoon Forever campaign? It's an ever-so-dreamy collection of dressing robes, eye masks, sleep sets, rompers, and luxurious bralette pajama sets that will take you from wedding day to honeymoon to happily ever after.

Gorgeous, no? Visit the Honeymoon Forever campaign at Wildfox to see more of the collection.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

(Almost) Stress Free Wedding Planning

Photo by Ardent Photography via Wedding Wire
Your wedding is a big deal and there's tons to do: lists to check, bills to pay, cakes to taste. But don't let planning your wedding cause undue stress. Sure, there's lots to think about and accomplish before the big day, but there are also ways to curb the stress and move through wedding planning with ease and grace. Grab yourself a cocktail and take note.

1. Stay Organized
Melissa Andre, a wedding planner and creative director of Melissa Andre Events says, "It takes the average couple 12 months and over 250 hours to plan a wedding. There is a lot of information to manage, so organization is absolutely key if you want a stress-free planning process."

Hire a wedding planner or keep yourself organized with a planning binder and calendar. Write down your meetings and consultations, when you've made deposits and when payments are due. Sign and return your contracts on time and make copies of contracts, bills, and receipts.

Psst...there are loads of wedding planning printables and books on Etsy.

2. Communicate
Keep the lines of communication wide open - it will make things SO much clearer and easier. That means keeping in touch with the bridal party, vendors, and most importantly, your fiance. If you assume people know what you're thinking and what you want, you'll be horribly let down. There are plenty of ways to keep in touch these days. Here's a list of some of the tools you can use to communicate and stay organized.

3. Nix Expectations
Once you announce your wedding, everyone and their mothers will want to share their opinions. And I know, oh how I know how much you want to please everyone, especially moms! It's okay to listen and take note and it's definitely okay to ask for advice, but keep this forefront in your mind - this is your wedding and the only two people who should be 100% pleased is you and your fiance.

Parents will have expectations, friends will lovingly tell you how they really don't care for that bridesmaid dress, and potential guests will chime in on what the latest wedding trends are and how you should totally incorporate them. Tell them you appreciate their suggestions and feedback, but go with your instinct. Planning your dream wedding means listening to your partner and yourself over everyone else.

Photo by Mike Allebach via Offbeat Bride
4. Let it Go
Control, that is. I know it's tempting to wear every wedding hat (bride, caterer, florist, photographer, etc.), but that's what your vendors are for! Once you've hired your crew, let them take over. Check in, of course, and make sure you're communicating your needs and wants, but let them do their job. Reach out to family and friends, too. Your bridal party is a huge support system, so if you need help with some of the wedding details, ask them. And don't forget about your fiance. He's your biggest fan and it's okay to ask him to manage some of the details. You're in this together, after all.

5. Stay Positive
Yes there will be challenges and mistakes and family drama, but keep your head above water by remembering the most important thing about all this wedding You're marrying the love of your life - the dress, the cake, the entertainment is all details.

Don't take yourself too seriously and expect perfection from yourself, the wedding, or anyone else. You won't remember how the napkins looked or how some of the flowers drooped, but you will remember how you felt, so allow yourself to let things flow and enjoy the moment. It's a celebration, so party on!

6. Stay Balanced
It's easy to let wedding planning take over, but remember that you have a life outside of planning the big day. Keep your life, work, and wedding priorities balanced and take time out for self-care. Whether it's working out, reading, getting a massage, or going on a date with your groom-to-be, nurture the life you had before getting engaged and you'll be a much happier bride.

How about it, bride? What are you doing to keep the stress at bay?

Thursday, March 5, 2015

7 Sexy White Swimsuits for Your Beach Honeymoon

With wedding season around the bend, I know there are lots of brides out there dreaming about their big day, not to mention that long-awaited honeymoon that follows. Couples will flock to warm climates, palm-lined beaches, and coconut concoctions. If you're one of those beachy honeymoon brides, don't forget to pack that sexy, little wedding-white swimsuit. Here are a 7 that are sure to turn your hubby's head.

Mikoh Namotu Bikini

Victoria's Secret Fringe Top & Bottom
Jessica Simpson Swimdress
Victoria's Secret Cut-out One-piece
Chloe Halterneck
Marysia Scallop Bikini
Lisa Maree Lace One-piece

Friday, February 20, 2015

Honeymoon Spotlight: San Antonio, Texas

San Antonio is home to the Alamo, Riverwalk, and a really big pair of cowboy boots. Those things are great, but they're not all this south Texas city has to offer. If you're looking for a lively city with a hometown feel for your honeymoon, look no further.

Where To Stay

Arbor House Suites - An historic bed & breakfast with Victorian charm. Offers a honeymoon suite (Jacuzzi suite), private balconies, and a garden space to enjoy each morning's continental breakfast. Conveniently located near restaurants and San Antonio's most popular sites: Alamo, Majestic Theatre (sitting in a private box is a real treat!), riverboat tours, and the King William District (gorgeous historic mansions, some available for viewing).

Menger Hotel

Menger Hotel - If you want to stay in style, consider the Menger Hotel, the "oldest continuously operating hotel west of the Mississippi." Historic icons like Teddy Roosevelt and Babe Ruth hung their boots at the Menger, and it served as a meeting place for Texas titans in oil and politics. At the Menger you'll find luxurious and exquisitely designed rooms, a heated pool, hot tub, fitness center, an in-house restaurant and bar, and a spa offering couples' massage.

P.S. the hotel is considered haunted. You can learn more about its history and ghost stories over dinner when you reserve a space with The Sister's Grimm Ghost Tour.

What To Do

Market Square Dancers via CNN

I could on for days about all the things to do and explore in San Antonio. There are the major attractions like the Alamo Mission, Hemisfair Park (which houses the Tower of the Americas), and the Riverwalk (a downtown mecca of restaurants, bars, arts & crafts, and shopping).

But if you're looking for something a little more off the beaten path consider:

Market Square - Okay, so it's not completely off the beaten path, but it's worth mentioning. Immerse yourself in San Antonio's rich culture throughout the plazas of Market Square. It's the oldest Mexican market in the U.S. and features working artists, musicians, dancers, and shops selling artisan goods. You might even catch an Hispanic festival and dance to the music of a mariachi band.

Japanese Tea Garden - Take a stroll through exotic flowers, watch colorful koi, and marvel under the waterfall. Afterward, enjoy a delicious Asian dish at the Jingu House Cafe.

Helicopter Tour - see the Alamo city from the sky.

Arts & Culture - Explore the city's art scene at one of the many museums and galleries. Even the library is a work of art!

Where to Eat

The Guenther House by Kupdegra via Trip Advisor

The Cove - I have to mention The Cove because it's so unique and the food is amazing. Everything they serve, from the fish tacos to the beef burgers, is sustainable, organic, and local. What makes The Cove unique is that it's not only a restaurant, but a beer garden (with over 50 Texas beers), live music venue, laundromat, and car wash. They offer 3rd Thursday wine tastings and 4th Thursday beer tastings.

Candlelight Coffee House - If you're looking for a romantic setting, Candlelight has it. Plush seats, low lighting, and candles set the scene. Sip wine over dinner (over 60 to choose from) or enjoy a specialty coffee with brunch.

The Guenther House - Wake up early and head to The Guenther House for sweet cream waffles and seasonal fruits. Then stroll through the Guenther museum, Victorian parlor, roof garden, and arbor & grounds.

Rio San Antonio Cruises - If you prefer your meal on water, sign up for a dinner cruise and float by boat down the Riverwalk.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Bridal Party Dilemma: How to Handle a Difficult Bridesmaid

Photo Source: Wedding Dash

From jealousy to dress disgust to micro managing, it's not always the bride who goes a little crazy during wedding planning. Bridesmaids have their shadow side too, and if you find yourself dealing with a difficult bridesmaid or maid of honor, don't fire her just yet. Keep these pointers in mind.

First and foremost, keep the lines of communication open at all times. Whether it's between you and an individual or you and the whole group, communication is key. Encourage the bridal party to communicate with each other as well. Wedding planning is a team effort.

Let your bridesmaids know that if they have a problem or concern, they're welcome to come to you and discuss the issue. The worst thing you or any of the bridal party members can do is keep quiet and brush concerns under the rug. It's bound to build up and explode in a dusty mess.

Be Honest
Get your bridesmaids together and let them know what you expect from them and what your vision is for the wedding. Be honest with them about their duties, what kind of dresses you envision them in, the amount of money you think they'll need for dress/accessories, etc. Knowing up front what you want leaves less room for unwanted surprises later on. Plus, if a 'maid doesn't think she'll be able to take on certain responsibilities or afford to actually be a bridesmaid, she can kindly bow out or talk to you about her concerns.

Abby Grace Photography via Green Wedding Shoes

Stay Flexible
Even though you have a vision for your wedding that you'll share with your bridesmaids, you must also remain flexible if every little detail doesn't manifest in the way you had hoped. If a bridesmaid is late getting a particular task done or is falling behind on her duties, don't assume that she's just being lazy or doesn't care about you enough to help out. Try to understand what her situation is and where she's coming from. Talk it out. Remain flexible and open to new ways of getting things done.

Respect & Appreciation
It's easy to get caught up in wedding planning and keeping the spotlight on you. It's your wedding, after all. But many times people act out because they don't feel appreciated or respected. If your bridesmaid busted her butt putting together your paper lanterns and didn't get so much as a thank you from you, she might get upset, and rightly so.

Your bridesmaids have their own lives and you must remember that they can't always drop everything to help you with your wedding. Respect their situations and their feelings, and always, always let them know how much you appreciate their help, support, and friendship.