Saturday, November 22, 2014

10 Tips for a Successful Bridal Salon Appointment

Photo by: Yolande Marx via Southbound Bride | Dress by Pearl & Ivory

One of the things I hear brides stress over the most is shopping for the wedding dress. Is there enough time to find the perfect one? Will I find the one I want? How does a bridal salon work? No worries, darling! I've got some tips to help you get the most out of your wedding dress shopping experience.

1. Make an appointment.
When you make an appointment with a bridal salon, you get better one-on-one service and won't have to cull the racks yourself. If possible, try booking during the week or early morning on the weekend. Keep in mind that weekend hours are the busiest.

Also, don't overbook yourself. Each appointment lasts between 60 and 90 minutes and if you're hustling from one appointment to the next you'll get frazzled and might not even remember what you tried on.

2. Eat something before you go.
There's no sense in starving yourself so you can "fit" into the dresses. You definitely don't want to pass out and ruin the whole day. Bring a bottle of water, too. The lights can get hot and you'll be making quite a few changes, so stay hydrated.

3. Be on time.
Dress consultants will thank you. Plus, if you have a few appointments to go to in a day, you'll want to keep yourself on time. Feeling rushed will only lead to frustration.

4. Wear proper underthings.
A strapless bra and seamless, nude-colored undies are ideal. And remember that someone will be in the dressing room with you, so if you don't want to flash your helper, wear undies that cover your bum.

5. Wear your hair up.
It'll help you get a clearer view of the gown's neckline.

6. Wear the right size heel.
Wear shoes similar to the ones you'll wear on your wedding day so you can get a feel for where the dress will hit.

7. Have a vision.
Have an idea of what you want your dress to look like. This includes style, shape, attitude, and feel. Bring pictures and think of keywords to use like beachy, romantic, modern.

8. Bring someone whose opinion you respect and trust.
No more than three people. A large group will likely confuse you with too many opinions.

9. Try on different silhouettes.
Keep an open mind and try on each dress the consultant brings you. You never know what you'll fall in love with. And sometimes what looks drab on the hanger can actually look stunning on a bride.

10. Save choosing your dream dress for another day.
Have whoever's with you take photos of you with each dress on (make sure it's okay with the bridal salon first). Look over the photos at the end of the day and think about which dress you like most. If you give yourself time between dress appointments, you're less likely to have buyer's remorse.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Family-Friendly Outdoor Wedding: Amber + Nate

Family-Friendly Outdoor Wedding: Amber and Nate

I think we can all agree that one's wedding day is a special mix of fantasy and reality. On the one hand you have all the things you've been dreaming about for ages: the beautiful dress, the carefully crafted cake, the man of your dreams watching you walk down an aisle of rose petals. And on the other hand you have those things that don't quite go according to plan: a rainy day, a menu mishap, a baby who won't stop screaming at the back of the church.

But that's what makes weddings so special and why I love Amber and Nate's wedding captured by Maggie of Echo Photography at the High Star Ranch in Kamas, Utah. "Amber & Nate have a beautiful 2 year old daughter, Charlie, and she was involved in the whole wedding, including sitting on Amber's train during the wedding ceremony," Maggie said. 

"When I asked Amber if she had any advice for couples planning their wedding she said, 'If you have kids, involve them! I can't imagine how boring my wedding day would have been without her. Allow your actual life to be what people see. My day was chaotic but it was real and full of love and excitement for our new family. I think since we happily embraced it our guests loved it and felt it was us.'"

Photographer: Maggie Herbst, Echo Photography

Friday, November 7, 2014

Quick and Easy Recipes for a Healthy, Happy Bride

Quick and Easy Recipes for a Healthy, Happy Bride
Photo Source: Brides
I'm not huge on pushing bridal health and fitness because I think too many women get caught up in how they think they should look on their wedding day instead of how they want to feel. I'd like to see brides get healthy and fit because they actually want to, not because they think they'll look ugly in photos or don't want to be a "fat" bride. When a woman has that mindset, even if she gets slim and is the exact weight she wants to be on her wedding day, chances are the pounds will come back soon after. Health and fitness is a lifetime thing, even for healthy, fit people. Plus, if a bride has too many expectations about how she should look and what she should weigh come wedding day, those expectations are sure to explode.

With that being said, I want to share a few recipes that are not only delicious, but good for you. I promise they don't taste like cardboard or leave you feeling famished. That's another thing about getting healthy for your wedding - you don't have to starve yourself or eat bland foods. Eat the good stuff, move your body, and celebrate who you are every step of the way. (Click to Tweet!)

Goddess Green Juice
Toss the ingredients through a juicer and drink up!
Photo Source: Weelicious
What you'll need (2 servings):
  1. 1 cup dark, leafy greens (like kale or spinach)
  2. 1/2 large cucumber
  3. 2 green apples
  4. 1 slice of fresh ginger or 1 tsp. cinnamon 
  5. 8 oz. coconut water
Peanut Butter Bliss Smoothie
Perfect for a protein boost.
Photo Source: Two Healthy Kitchens
What you'll need (1 serving):
  1. 1/2 tbs. peanut butter
  2. 1 cup vanilla almond milk
  3. 1/2 frozen banana
  4. 1 scoop protein powder (for extra protein punch)
Chocolate Spiced Pancakes
Photo Source: Popsugar
What you'll need (makes 10-12):
  1. 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  2. 1/4 cup ground flaxmeal
  3. 2 tsp. baking powder
  4. 1 egg
  5. 1 cup skim or almond milk
  6. 1/2 tsp. salt
  7. 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
  8. 1 tsp. cinnamon
  9. dash of nutmeg
  1. Mix together the flour, flaxmeal, and baking soda in a bowl and set aside.
  2. In another bowl, beat together the egg, milk, salt, protein powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg until mixed well. Add in the dry ingredients and stir.
  3. Place a skillet over medium heat and spray lightly with cooking spray.
  4. Drop 1/4 cup of the batter on the pan per pancake. Cook about 1 1/2 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
Chicken Salad with a Twist
Perfect as a midday snack or bridal shower finger food.
Photo Source: Bite of Life Blog
What you'll need: 
  1. 1 lb. chicken breast, cooked and cubed
  2. 1/3 cup red onion, chopped
  3. 1/2 cup apple, chopped
  4. 1/3 cup cranberries
  5. 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  6. 1 carrot, chopped
  7. 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  8. 1 1/2 tbs. lemon juice
  9. 2 tbs. parsley, chopped
  10. 1 tsp. garlic powder
  11. salt and pepper to taste
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix. 
  2. Serve on endive leaves, crackers, or toast.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Bridal Party Thank You Brunch

Bridal Party Brunch Ideas
via Marquise Style
Brunches seem to be all the rage in the wedding world, whether it's a pre-wedding brunch get together or a bridal shower brunch. But I've come across another kind of brunch party that I think is pretty sweet - a bridal party brunch. The difference between a bridal shower and a bridal party is that the focus turns to celebrating the bridesmaids. And what's a more perfect way to say "thank you" to the girls than a lovely, relaxed brunch the day after the wedding? Here are some ideas on how to throw a sweet soiree in honor of your bridal party.


Whether you want to send out invitations before the wedding or do a casual invite through email and phone calls is entirely up to you. It may be harder to find an invitation specifically stating that the brunch is in honor of the bridesmaids, but you can always customize to fit your needs. 

1. Bridal Brunch: Wedding Paper Divas | 2. Mimosas & Brunch: Give With Joy | 3. Bridesmaids' Brunch: Sunnyside Print and Party Shop


The bridal party decor can be as simple or extravagant as you want. Generally, you'll want to keep it casual so guests don't feel like they're attending another wedding extravaganza, but of course, it's entirely up to you and what you think they'll enjoy. A backyard setting with a few tables and brunch bars works nicely and you can include little handmade details for an extra special feel. Not into crafting? That's what Etsy's for! Another idea: put all those beautiful gifts you received from friends and family (dinnerware/trinkets/champagne glasses) to good use. 

1. Garden Party: Joss & Main | 2. Heart Garland: Jamie D. Photography via Wedding Chicks | 3. Backyard Bridal Shower: Oz Visuals via Wedding Chicks | 4. Patio Party: The Sweetest Occasion


Of course the food is the most important part (aside from the guests!) and when it comes to brunch, the sky's the limit. Pancakes, bacon, waffles, quiche, cereal, biscuits, bagels, fruit, ham, omelettes, sandwiches, donuts, salad, oatmeal, yogurt, french toast, coffee, juice, mimosas...

1. Mini quiche & raspberry pancakes: Courtney Jade Photography via Hostess with the Mostess | 2. Mini pancakes: The Sweetest Occasion | 3. Pumpkin pancake: Carly Taylor via Hostess with the Mostess | 4. Milk and french toast: Lauren Blair Photography via Hostess with the Mostess

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Hot Tips for a Bridal Boudoir Session You (and groom!) Will Love

If you've been dreaming of starring in your own sexy bridal boudoir photo session, but just haven't taken the leap, I've got some hot tips to help you bust through your fears and let your inner bombshell shine.

I know it can be a bit scary stripping down to your skivvies in front of a stranger and trying to look sexy. Doing it in front of the mirror is one thing, ya know? But there are so many awesome things about participating in a boudoir session.

These types of photo shoots are meant to showcase your beauty, confidence, and strength as a woman. Not only will your groom love getting the photos as a wedding gift, but you'll love looking at them too! And don't think you have to be a bride to get in on the fun. Do it to celebrate your birthday or because you've healed from a tragic time in your life or just because you wanna get pampered and show yourself some love.

Hot Tips for a Bridal Boudoir Session You (and groom!) Will Love
Photographer: Teneil Kable Photography via Grey Likes Weddings

If you've been putting a boudoir session off because you're "not ready" just know that you'll never feel ready. Whether it's because you want to lose more weight or you're waiting for the right event to celebrate, the longer you put it off the more excuses will build up. Before you know it, life will have passed you by and you'll wonder, why didn't I do it sooner? Just do it already, lady! You're sexy enough, young enough, worthy enough. Your groom will adore them (he adores you!) and you'll get a new perspective on your beauty.

Photographer: Jabez Photography

Once you've decided to take the plunge, find a boudoir photographer you feel comfortable with. Have a face-to-face consultation and let her know what you hope for the shoot, your ideas, concerns, fears, whatever. Basically, cultivate a relationship before the actual photo session so your photographer isn't a "stranger" once you get in front of the camera.

via Crazy for Us

Before the photo shoot, pamper yourself silly. Get your hair done or a mani/pedi, spritz yourself with your favorite perfume, and pick out which lingerie you want to wear during the shoot. Most photographers will tell you to bring a few options to work with. And don't forget the little details like stockings, jewelry, hair accessories, etc. You can also put together a mix of songs to listen to during the session to get you pumped up and feeling your best.

Photographer: Own Boudoir via Modernly Wed

Eat breakfast the day of the shoot to avoid that I'm-about-to-pass-out feeling. Arrive early so you don't feel rushed - that flushed look will show up in the photos. Better to be early and relaxed. Most of all, remember to have fun, be in the moment, enjoy the experience. Take a few risks, go outside your comfort zone, even if just a little. This is all about you, babe, so make it count!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Jenny Packham 2015 Bridal Collection

I just saw these gorgeous wedding dresses from the 2015 Jenny Packham collection and had to share. 

From the company:

"The Jenny Packham 2015 Bridal Collection is inspired by the photographs of British society photographer, Madame Yevonde. 

In the 1930's, the dawn of colour photography, Yevonde created a series of portraits of society ladies dressed in classical costumes, known as 'The Goddesses'. Her stylised images of mythological heroines – Helen of Troy, Persephone, Venus - captured an ancient world of antiquity, within a modern and hauntingly beautiful treatment. 

The colours Madame Yevonde used; soft, tonal, always romantic, and the feminine way she played with light and colour to create a hazy, neoclassical ambiance, directly influence the design and palette of this season's collection. Soft buttermilks, champagnes and warm blush caramel tones in sumptuous silk chiffon and ethereal tulle compliment traditional classic ivory.

Celestial capes, whimsical tiered hemlines and exquisite veils add a romantic, mythical affection to the collection whilst delicate French lace is adorned with signature beading and twinkling crystals in an array of molten golds, antique metallic silvers and rich alabasters."

Saturday, September 27, 2014

7 Reasons to Have a Winter Wedding

Photo by: Vail Studio Photography via On the Go Bride

The winter season may only be known for Christmas, colds, and terrible snow storms, but I think there's a lot more to it than meets the eye. Weddings, for instance, are mostly held during the spring and summer months, and for good reason, but I think winter has its own treasures to give a happy couple. The weather's frosty, which makes inside so much cozier, and there are so many beautiful options when it comes to decorations, themes, and winter wedding wear. Plus, if you want to build your theme around a holiday, you have three major ones to choose from: Christmas, New Year's, and Valentine's. Here are some more reasons to get hitched in the winter.

1. Venue Selection
Normally, you might have to reserve your spot at your ideal venue a year in advance, but booking a winter wedding almost guarantees you'll get the date you want since most couples don't consider the season of snow.

2. Don't Sweat It
During the cooler months you won't have to worry about a makeup meltdown, hair gone flat, or sweat dripping down your back.

3. Guest Availability
Winter is a notoriously slow time for most people, unlike spring and summer when vacations reign supreme. So the possibility of more guests being able to make it to your wedding is quite high.

4. Deals and Discounts
Vendors are more willing to give discounts during the slow, winter season. Talk with your top picks to see what kind of deals they're offering.

5. Great Photo Ops
Winter provides nice lighting for photographs, especially earlier in the day. And if it happens to snow, all the better. A winter wonderland wedding sounds so dreamy, doesn't it?

6. Be Different
People expect a spring or summer wedding, but getting an invite to a winter wedding will stand out. They won't be able to forget the beautiful decor, winter atmosphere, and glamorous details simply because it's different from the norm.

7. Anticipation
Winter can be a real drag, especially the months after Christmas when all the cheer and merriment has subsided. Having a winter wedding gives you something else to plan and look forward to, extending the seasonal spirit and magic.