Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Autumn Wedding Inspiration

There's something so magical about autumn: the mid-afternoon light, the rich colors, the way the wind carries that crisp coolness. And even though I live on a tropical island I can still feel the energy from all those autumns I spent in the U.S. When I took the dog for a walk in the cool, rainy air this morning, I was reminded of fall and inspired to create a little autumn wedding inspiration for you.

The Setting: A rustic backdrop of warm colors, natural elements, lanterns and candles, farm tables

The Menu: Turkish Delight, pumpkin pie, naked cake, seasonal produce (apples, figs, carrots, beets, rosemary, mushrooms, lemongrass, parsnips, pears, sweet potatoes), walnut loaves, spiced tea and hot chocolate

Farm table: Anthem Photography via One Fab Day | Vintage lace dress: Meghan Christine Photography via Rustic Wedding Chic | Autumn bouquet: Frenzel Studios via Wedding Chicks | Hot chocolate: The Natural Wedding Company | Autumn dessert table: Nakalan McKay Photography via Green Wedding Shoes

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

6 Things Happy Brides Don't Do

Photo Credit: MFer Photography via photopin cc

If you're in the process of planning your wedding you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed. So much to do, so little time! But I want you to stop for a moment, take a deep breath, and let it out sloooooowly. Relax your shoulders. Now that you've loosened up a bit, forget your to-do list for a little while and study up on how to be the happiest bride you can be. And how do you do that? By NOT doing these six things!

Starve Yourself
It's understandable that you want to look your absolute best on your wedding day, but remember this: your hubs-to-be already thinks you're beautiful, and his opinion is what counts. There's nothing wrong with getting in a few workout sessions and eating healthier, but do it for long-term results, not because you have to fit into a certain size come wedding day. And going on some crazy carrot and water diet that leaves you feeling hungry and angry will only lead you to bridezilla ville, and nobody has time for that. Just eat, sweet pea! A happy bride is a healthy bride.

Try to do Everything on Your Own
You have a bridal party for a reason. Not only are they there to support you as friends, they're there to help you with all those little and big to-dos on your list. Instead of trying to take on all the work, reach out to your friends and family for help. And don't forget about your partner. He may not care as much about color schemes and bouquet selections, but you're in this together. Have him make calls, set up appointments, lick envelopes, etc. I know you're superwoman, but even super women need a little help sometimes.

Have High Expectations
Things might go wrong. I repeat, things might go wrong, or at least not how you imagined, and that's okay. If you're obsessing about every little detail, you won't have time to enjoy the process, much less the actual wedding day. Have a vision for your wedding, but don't get caught up in the details. More importantly, focus on feeling happy and grateful and getting to experience a beautiful moment with your significant other and family and friends. A wedding is a celebration of love, not how perfect everything looks or how smoothly the ceremony goes. A wedding only lasts a day, but your love will last a lifetime, so in the grand scheme of things, if something does go wrong, you'll probably laugh about it a year down the road.

Speed Through the Engagement
On my journal cover is a pretty blue bicycle with a basket of flowers. Written above is "Enjoy the ride." Your engagement is that pretty bicycle. Hop on and enjoy a leisurely ride. Soak up the journey for all it's worth. If not, the whole experience will just be a whirlwind of planning and trying to "get to the destination." It's all a journey to be cherished, so walk (or ride) slowly and mindfully so you don't miss a thing.

Try to Please Everyone
Everyone's going to have an opinion, but a happy bride doesn't have to agree with them all. In the end, it's you and your partner's decision to create a wedding you'll both enjoy. Sure, you have to consider your guests to an extent, but when family and friends try to take over because "they know best" just smile and nod. Tell them you'll consider their advice, but don't in any way feel obligated to do something because you want to try and please everyone. It's not possible.

Imagine the Worst
What if it rains? What if I don't fit into my dress? What if no one shows up? What if, what if, what if? Need some reasons why you shouldn't worry about these things? I've got you covered.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Beach Babe Beauty for Seaside Weddings

Hello bride-to-be summer goddesses! Are you planning a beach wedding? Whether you'll be overlooking the ocean on your big day or actually walking down a sandy seaside aisle, you'll definitely want to keep these beauty tips in mind. Also good to know for ocean-bound honeymooners!

Let's talk dresses first. You'll want to wear something light, airy, reminiscent of a wave or ocean breeze. All of these fit the bill: a high-low number to beat the heat and show off those legs, a plunging neckline, pleats for easy movement, and floor-grazing gowns in case you want to go barefoot.

From top left: Halston Heritage Pleated Chiffon Gown | Bebe Crossover Dress | Nicole Miller Gown | Ivy & Aster | J. Crew Silk Chiffon Whitney Gown

When thinking about accessories keep in mind how you'll be wearing your hair (up-do, mermaid waves, long & straight, etc) so you can choose the perfect accent. Crocheted "sandals" are perfect for the barefoot goddess. And don't forget the groom! Pin a starfish on his lapel.

From top left: Sea Treasure Bobby Pins | Starfish Bobby Pins | Sugar Starfish Boutineers | Seashell Crown | Barefoot Sandals

Beauty Tips

Yes, you must slather on the sunscreen.
Okay, I can't make you, but think 10 years into the future. Your skin may look fresh as a daisy now, but at some point the sunspots will appear and the wrinkles will form. I've had my fair share of horrible sunburns, and now at nearly 32, starting to see those little brown spots on my face. Ugh. And I'll spare you the cancer talk because I know you know. An SPF of 30 should do it. 50 means nothing, by the way.

BB Cream.
If you don't want to sunscreen your face, consider a BB cream with sunscreen built in.

Faux tan.
For the golden glow, get a professional faux tan a few days before the wedding or use a bronzer with a slight shimmer. But remember to try any beauty products at least a week before the wedding in case something goes horribly wrong.

Photo by: Bryan N. Miller via Bride Club Me

Stick to lipstick.
Forget gloss. Just imagine a windy day and your hair strands sticking to your lips. Annoying!

Surfer girl waves.
Want those lovely beach babe waves in your hair? Spritz your locks with a sea salt spray like Not Your Mother's Texturizing Spray or concoct your own using Free People's DIY mermaid sea salt spray recipe.

Coconut Miracle.
Use coconut oil as a conditioner to keep your hair hydrated while you're soaking up the sun and salty air. You can also use it as a lip balm, facial scrub, and makeup remover.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Final Countdown: 6 Things To Do A Week Before The Wedding

photo credit: 華納婚紗&施華洛婚紗 via photopin cc

I know you're totally psyched about the big day, but stop for about 5 seconds, take a deep breath (don't forget to exhale!), and let's think about those last-minute things you need to handle before the wedding bells ring and the champagne flows.

1. Break in Your Shoes
Honey child, if you haven't slipped on those gorgeous pumps/wedge sandals/cowboy boots yet, please do yourself a favor and get walking. Even if they're cute little ballet flats, don't assume they'll be comfy (i.e.: major heel blisters and bunion pains). Just wear them for about an hour a day to break them in, not to mention, get to know whether you'll need extra cushion or filler. There's nothing worse than a pair of heels sliding off the back of your foot.

photo credit: T. Fernandes via photopin cc

2. Give Last-Minute Requests to Vendors
Contact your photographer, florist, officiant, etc. and hand over any last details you might have. Plus, they might have ideas you haven't thought of or could jar your memory about that super important song you wanted to play during the reception. It also helps if you give each vendor a wedding timeline so everyone has an idea of what's going on when. It's especially important for your photographer and beauty team.

3. Get Waxings/Facials/Tanning
Just like breaking in your shoes, it's best to "try on" all those beauty treatments before you walk down the aisle. This also goes for hair and makeup for you and your bridal party.

photo credit: visit~fingerlakes via photopin cc

4. Schedule Gown and Tux Fittings
Once the gowns and suits are picked up it's natural to think all is well, but schedule one last fitting for yourself and remind everyone else to do the same. Just because the pants were tried on at the store (and fit) doesn't mean the best man received the right size in the end. You'll also want to try on your wedding gown with any accessories and shape wear you plan on wearing. You never know how things will ultimately feel and look until it's all together.

5. Pack an Emergency Kit
Life happens, so be prepared with a kit full of things you might need before and during the ceremony/reception/after party. Must haves include scissors, tape, hairspray, hair pins, hair brush, pain reliever, bandages, and a sewing kit.

photo credit: This Modern Romance via Style Me Pretty

6. Stay Healthy
I know you want to look and feel your absolute best on the big day, but skipping meals or going on "cleanses" in the name of beauty won't do you a bit of good. Even if you're tempted to skip lunch because you're busy with wedding planning, there's no excuse not to nourish yourself. Eat well-balanced meals consisting of fruits and vegetables and drink plenty of water.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

What to Wear to a Summer Bridal Shower

If you're in search for the perfect summer bridal shower outfit, I've put together some ideas and inspiration for you. Check out the first look if you're the bride-to-be (an almost all-white outfit with a hint of color) and the second if you'll be attending a bridal shower as a guest (rosy hued garden elegance).

For the Bride-to-Be

An all-white dress with a flower pattern has summer bride written all over it. Silver sandals add a bit of sparkle and green moon flower earrings give the monochromatic palette some color. Add a flowery headpiece for a bohemian look and crimson rouge to really be a blushing bride.

Cheek Rouge $21.99 | Flower headpiece $42.99 | Whispered Wonder Dress $37.99 | Moon Flower Earrings $11.99 | Beneath the Moonlight Sandals $69.99

For the Guest

I love this dress because it's not over-the-top flowery and there's only a hint of white, so as not to "show up" the bride. All the pretty shades of pink in the accessories match the dress belt and give the look a rose garden feel. Perfect for early summer bridal showers.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Fun Activities for a Bohemian Bridal Shower or Bachelorette Party

via Emmaline Bride
Wildheart, carefree, whimsical wonder - the bohemian spirit is a shining light and one that's received loads of attention over the years. And it's easy to see why! From boho fashion to wedding themes, people are gathering inspiration like bundles of wildflowers. There are tons o' blog posts with suggestions on how to throw a soiree with bohemian flare, so I thought I'd put together one that focuses on activities. Whether you're the party planner or the bride-to-be looking for ideas to pass along, I'm sure you'll find something everyone will enjoy.

Henna Tattoos
via Wise Geek
In Indian tradition, henna is associated with Sri Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of beauty and prosperity. What better way to celebrate the bride-to-be's beauty and future prosperity with a custom henna tattoo? Search for local henna tattoo artists to see what they offer. Most will come to your home or venue of choice, or you can set up the party at their location. In the invitation, ask that guests find henna designs they like to bring to the party. Want to DIY? Order a henna tattoo kit and scour the web for tutorials. 

Dreamcatcher Crafting
Balee Images via HWTM

Set the table with everything a crafty goddess might need to create a dreamcatcher: buttons, thread, glue, feathers, leather, ribbon, beads, crystals, sequins...

Here's a nice little tutorial to get you started, and of course Youtube has lots of follow-along videos. 

Flower Crown Station
Abbey Taylor Photography
What's more bridal bohemian than a flower crown? Set up a crown making station complete with wire, flowers, stems, tape, leaves, branches, and anything else you think would make a gorgeous flower crown. A Beautiful Mess has a tutorial using fresh flowers. A flower crown station can also be expanded into a flower-arranging station where everyone can create their own bouquet.

Photo Booth
via wondermilk on Websta
Create your own photo booth with a hippy twist by hanging patterned-sheet backdrops, dreamcatchers, lace, rustic furniture, ribbons, streamers, fringe, tie-dye, etc. You can also use props like balloons, flowers, colorful scarves, and candles. 

Whatever you choose to do, have fun! Much peace, love & happiness :)

Thursday, May 29, 2014

6 Common Wedding Day Worries and How to Beat Them

via The Noviamor Blog
Perusing through wedding forums reveals that many brides-to-be have some pretty hefty concerns revolving around the wedding day. And why shouldn't they? It's a big deal! But there are also those pesky worries that buzz around the brain and cause you to lose sleep. You know you shouldn't be worried about such small things, but the longer you think about them, the bigger they get. Here, six of the most common wedding-day fears and why you shouldn't sweat them.

What if it rains?
Have you seen photographs of rainy-day weddings? They have that sort of dramatic, swoon-worthy romantic feel. So you'll have that going for you. But what if it's a downpour and everyone gets drenched and the whole thing is ruined? In that case, you'll have a nice laugh about it in a few years. There are just some things you can't control, one being the weather. But you can take precautions. 
  • Research your location and its weather patterns. 
  • Consider having a covered walkway from the parking lot to the venue. 
  • Stock umbrellas to pass out. 
  • Book an inside space large enough to contain everyone in case the ceremony needs to be moved inside.

What if I don't fit into my dress?
Think about it. Are you really going to gain so much weight that the dress you tried on won't fit anymore? Highly doubtful. And even if you do gain a pound or two, it's not going to make such a difference that you won't be able to lace up the corset. People's weight fluctuates all the time, so you might even lose a few inches. Just make sure to drink plenty of water before the big day and eat as healthy as possible. Not so you can be skinnier, but because it's just plain good for you. Besides, picking out a dress that flatters your shape is better than trying to shed a few pounds with a miracle diet. 

What if there's family drama?
Mixing families and alcohol and the uninvited old flame is rarely a recipe for something good, so it's understandable that you might be worried about this one. Fortunately, you can set up a little pre-wedding communication to make sure nothing goes down. Sit down with anyone you think might cause problems and have a heart-to-heart. Let them know your concerns and ask kindly that they put away any differences or grudges they may have. As for alcohol, let the bartender and servers know about any guests they may need to keep an eye on and if need be, pour lighter drinks. Uninvited guests? Pick your battles on this one. Sometimes it's better to grin and bear it. If you need to have someone escorted out, do so in a subtle manner so as not to create your own dramatic scene.

What if I look horrible in the photos?
Please don't try and live up to some unrealistic, Photoshopped idea of beauty. Do what you can to ensure you look naturally beautiful, like drink water and try out makeup products beforehand so you don't break out in a rash. Have a pimple the day of? Put some makeup on it and forget about it. Chances are people won't notice - they're too busy thinking about what they look like. Trust me.

What if I fall while walking down the aisle?
Get in some dress/shoe rehearsal time so you feel comfortable walking in them. Worst case scenario: you do fall, people gasp and help you back up. You keep walking. No one's going to think you're an idiot or look down on you because you fell. If it helps, each night before drifting off to sleep, envision yourself walking down the aisle in confidence and grace. It's kind of like subconscious practice and will actually improve your walk on the big day.

What if no one shows up?
Seriously? Out of all the family and friends you invited no one or only a handful show up? This is the most unlikely of them all, but let's just say it actually happens. a) You'll get married anyway and celebrate with your soul mate and b) you'll know who your true friends are. If no one shows up, it might be time to find some new buddies.