5 Manicures for the Bride

When it comes to how you’ll look on your wedding day, you will realize that it’s more than “just” the dress; it’s also the veil, shoes, jewelry, and any additional accessories you might wear with your dress. Another minor but important detail is what your nails will look like. The right nails can add just the right touch to top off your look.

Here are 5 ways you can do your manicure for the big day:

1. Classic french tip: You can’t go wrong with a French tip on either real or acrylic nails. They won’t steal the spotlight in photos but will look really classy in the close up photos.

2. Neutral: Light beige tones can be really pretty and an easy color to continue to wear for your honeymoon. The spectrum of tones is varied so you can pick the right one for you.

3. The color of your theme: Red? Yellow? Blue? Don’t be afraid to match your theme with your nail polish color. Try not to be too matchy-matchy but if done right, it can add a pop of color to your outfit.

4. Light pink: A subtle and feminine touch that looks good on all skin tones. It doesn’t matter the color of your dress or your bridal party outfits, the pink will be a nice complement.

5. Glitter: It’s your day to shine so don’t be afraid to add some glitter! If all nails are too much for you, add glitter to your ring finger.

Whatever you choose, make sure it’s true to you and who you want to represent on your wedding day.

Having nice nails for the pre-wedding activities like the rehearsal dinner will make you feel special so make sure to get them done 1-3 days before the wedding. Plus, you won’t feel self conscious every time one someone grabs your hand to look at your ring!
With love,
Girl with a Diamond Ring

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From the Archives: Selecting Your Wedding Date

7-18-2017 5-30-31 PMWhen we started making wedding plans, one important question kept coming up. When will it be? It was confusing for us to figure it out and it took some time to select the perfect date. There are a few things to take into account when deciding this:
First, narrow down the calendar. Is there a season that feels best? One that means something to you as a couple? Maybe you met on a beach during spring break or while on a walk in the park with leaves falling around you. Or maybe you dreamed of a winter white wedding and that happens to be a less stressful work season when you can take off. This is a great place to start.

You could also select a special day if you already have one that you cherish. Either the date of when you met, or an anniversary, or the day that your parents or grandparents were married.
If you are still floundering…there’s another less romantic topic related to saving the date: price. A lot of venues decrease prices for weekday weddings, or wedding resort packages might be more appealing during the lull of travel season. Think about this, if it’s peak travel season and everyone is off doing fun things, it will likely be more expensive.

And last but not least…just look at a calendar and choose something! We chose a day with no prior significance…it just happened to fall on a weekend during the time of year that we wanted, and it sounded good. No matter what, this will be YOUR day of love forever! Don’t put too much pressure on it. Having a date is extremely helpful because it will allow you to plan and have a schedule to work against.

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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How to Protect Your Relationship During Wedding Planning 

One thing that catches many couples off-guard during the wedding planning process is the amount of strain that can be put on a relationship. 

Here are a few tips to keep in mind on the road to I Do:

  • After you take time to celebrate your engagement together, have an initial conversation about the wedding. Talk about role clarity and what’s more important to your partner. Once you have that clarity, then it’s time to plan!
  • There are A LOT of decisions that will need to be made and it will probably highlight some “personality quirks.” Like is she Type A and he a procrastinator? Or is she more private and he the life of the party? This will all come into light when you decide the type of wedding you will throw for your guests. So don’t be afraid to compromise and just make sure that you’re both happy in the end.
  • Involve your family, friends or bridal party in the wedding process. If you’re careful with who you select, the right individuals can add a lot of value by providing another perspective and helping you to stay sane. It’s also helpful to use one of those people for any vent sessions when things go wrong, don’t trail on and on to your mate. There’s more important things that you’ll need to spend time discussing.
  • Don’t forget to go on date nights that don’t revolve around wedding planning! And if you get really stressed, take a weekend getaway or do a special activity that will bring you closer together. Create a safe place in your relationship so you both don’t get too consumed by all of the details because it just won’t be enjoyable.
  • One tip I recently heard from a real bride was to also create one day a week where you DON’T think about or do any work created to wedding planning. This is a great tip because it can help you stay balanced mentally and allow you to focus on other areas of life (which will make you more pleasant for everyone to be around!) 
  • Most importantly, don’t lose sight of what you’re planning: the day that will unite you both together forever! Treat each other with respect during the planning process so can feel like you’re on the same team when you see each other at the end of the aisle. 

Don’t forget that the real work starts once you’re married, when all of the parties have come and gone and it’s time to live life with your mate. (This is also when it gets really good!)

    With love,

    Girl with a Diamond Ring

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    Wedding Theme Spotlight: Time for Brunch

    7-18-2017 5-30-31 PMI’ve been having a blast with my wedding-focused Pinterest account! One of my main categories focuses on wedding themes and I’ve found some great ones during my research. Today I wanted to share one of my new favorite themes: Time for Brunch!

    A brunch- themed wedding can be a more casual affair and comes with some really unique opportunities to make it a special day for your guests. Its the perfect theme for a couple who likes to challenge tradition and isn’t big on a nighttime club-type reception.

    A few things to think about with this theme:

    • This may be one of the first brunch weddings your guests have been to so it’ll definitely stand out in their minds. Make sure it isn’t too early, though, especially if people have to commute a distance. Since it is a unique wedding, make sure all of the details (like attire) are really clear.
    • You will need to make sure your venue has availability at the brunch time hour but it’s likely a lot cheaper than a night time affair. You can also choose to make it as formal as you’d like, but could get away with being more casual. There’s plenty of opportunities to tie in your theme throughout the entire event.
    • You can feed your guests some awesome food: custom omelettes, grits, pancakes and more.
    • Pancake, waffle, cinnamon roll or donut wedding cake…do I need to say more?!
    • Your alcohol bill will be so much cheaper. Focus on a signature drink like a wedding themed Mimosa but don’t forget that you can also do a chic coffee bar.
    • Wedding favors can be coffee or breakfast themed (and there are some super cute options to choose from!)
    • You’ll finish the wedding by early afternoon and won’t feel rushed to leave to have some alone time as a couple. This way, you’ll have time to decompress, eat dinner, and then spend your first night together as newlyweds. Keep in mind that you might be tired, though, especially the bride who will have an early call-time for hair and make up! (Because of this, consider a wedding rehearsal on Thursday night so you can both take it easy and go to bed early on Friday.)

    Hope you like these ideas! All of the photos were saved from my board “Time for Brunch” so check out my Pinterest for more!

    With love,
    Girl with a diamond ring

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    My Favorite Blogs (So Far)

    7-18-2017 5-30-31 PMWhen I started this blog on a whim at the beginning of this year, I wasn’t sure how I would like it. Would I enjoy wedding blogging? Is it something I could actually come up with every week? Is this a real passion of mine? Yes, yes, and yes!

    I am still growing my reader base but am excited to see what’s to come. So since I started my blog a while ago now, I’d like to highlight a few of my favorite posts (in case you missed them!)

    If you like my posts, don’t forget to subscribe and share with a friend!

    With love,

    Girl with a diamond ring

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    An Open Letter to My Single Self


    Dear me,

    I know that your hearts desire is to be a wife. This is something you have hoped for and prayed for over the years. Not to be a wife, just to be a wife. But to have a life partner and companion to walk through every day adventures with you.

    You’ve been single for a few years and I know that has felt lonely at times. While you had some special relationships in high school, the last one really broke your heart. You’re going to date one more guy before you find the one. He will make you more open for marriage and help you grow up.

    And when you’re ready, you’ll meet your “future” when and where you least expect it. It will actually be out in public, and you’ll meet him in a way that you never had met a past mate. This will make it special and really stand out.

    You’re going to fall in love quickly and date for a few years. He’ll propose later than you want him to, but it’s going to be when he’s ready. That’s most important. Give him time, because you will end up together and have a long and happy life. Marriage is going to be work but it will be the biggest blessing and a clear answer to your prayers.

    In the meantime, single self, be patient. Remember that there are a few things that need to happen during this time of waiting.

    1. Get your priorities straight. Learn to love God, love yourself, and then you’ll be able to love someone else.
    2. A concept someone recently shared with me that I LOVED is to “practice” being married, even when you’re single. This might sound weird, but it’s something that’s important. Is there something you would want to do differently when you’re married? Like not being so quick to anger or needing to improve at listening? Or…making your bed daily or getting your laundry done (because soon it will be x2). It’s crucial to get into these habits now so you have less of an adjustment when you are living with someone else.
    3. Enjoy all of the alone time you have today. You’ll still have it when you get married, but it will be different.
    4. Start to look at your budget. All of the money that you’re spending on pedicures and shopping might begin to change once you have a shared bank account with someone else. Get used to saving your money now, so you have more of a foundation to bring to your marriage. When you come together, you’ll both bring some bad spending habits to your relationship, so do what you can to get ahead of this.
    5. Lastly and most importantly, don’t underestimate this: timing is key. While you might be ready TODAY to meet the one, and ready to marry him TOMORROW, he might not be ready. He is still going through life experiences right now that will prepare him to be the husband that you will need. Allow him to have this time before he comes into your life.

    Marriage is a forever thing and if it is meant to be then trust that it will be. So while you dream of one day having a ring on that finger, you will get it in a few years and never ever ever have to take it off. So enjoy this time and stop freaking out over who, when, and where. You’ll end up being the happiest you’ve ever been, so get excited!

    Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow – that is patience. – Unknown

    With love,

    Girl with a diamond ring

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    5 Things I Would’ve Changed About My Wedding

    Last week I shared about all of the decisions that one has to make when planning a wedding and the things that you might find yourself second guessing. Of course I found myself in the same boat. Now, a few years later, I can look back and say everything turned out exactly the way it was supposed to. Was it perfect? Nope! Would I have changed anything? Not really…but if I really think about it…there are, of course, a few things I would’ve done differently if given the opportunity. The great thing is that these are SO simple and things that honestly seem silly, but were important to me.

    1. I would not have made so many custom alternations to my dress. The alterations price knocked my socks off. What I didn’t realize was that the alterations team at the bridal gown store is in a business, too. They sold me on quite a few additional alterations that I really didn’t need. Like:
      • Sewing my (expensive) bra into my dress so it wouldn’t move, but it wouldn’t have anyways because the dress was so tight. And then I didn’t get to ever use that bra again.
      • Sewing the bustle on since I wasn’t interested in ever leaving the train out; but the bustle was made with little buttons so it wouldn’t have come undone!
      • Sewing my belt accessory onto my dress. It would have been just fine without it!
    2. I wouldn’t have bought Spanx for my wedding dress. I literally bought a really expensive pair of undergarments right before dress shopping, thinking I would also wear them on my big day. (I also thought it might make me feel “prettier” while trying things on…lame…) What I didn’t realize was MOST wedding dresses (unless super slinky) have many material layers and are built with so much structure that it honestly doesn’t matter. Even the flowiest dresses I tried on had more structure than I’d realized.
    3. I would have added more bobby pins to my veil. It ended up being a windy day outside (and actually rained during the ceremony!) When I watch my wedding video bacj, I see how crazy my veil was flying. You could also tell that I was slightly titling my head back to try and keep it in place. I got my hair professionally done and wore a small bird cage veil but should have added a lot more bobby pins. I thought I had plenty and that the hairspray would hold it, but it just wasn’t enough. An alternate to adding more pins ahead of time would have been to just have my sister/MOH carry them with her, just in case. In pictures, we solved this by having a loved one put their hand behind my back and gently holding it down…you can’t even tell!
    4. I would have clarified my vision for the cake before the big day. What’s funny is that my husband literally has ONE complaint from our big day… “The cake was too small.” It was. We only had a one-tier cake to cut into. Keep in mind that it was a destination wedding with 50 people, but it felt small. What you can’t see in the pictures is that we actually served delicious and beautiful cupcakes to our guests. I told my wedding planned early on in the process that I had a vision of a top tier cake, with cupcakes building multiple tiers underneath. I didn’t repeat it a second time in the process and I should have.
    5. I would have made sure the wedding planner spoke more to the DJ. I sent a recommended playlist ahead of time to the DJ and wedding planner (that was way too long.) On the list, I had a few key things, including notes like “No country music.” What was one of the party dance songs the DJ selected? Cotton-eyed-joe! How much more country can you get?! It was a fun dancing song, but with limited dancing time, I am sorry that they played some songs that really didn’t represent us as a couple. I should have reiterated a few key things about the music to the wedding planner so she could keep the DJ on track.

    Things could always be improved but it’s important not to overthink every single detail and to just go with the flow! Hoping these tips can help you beforehand, though!

    With love,

    Girl with a diamond ring

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    The Second Guessing Bride

    One of the most complex things about wedding planning are the amount of decisions that need to be made, both big and small. From the favors to the reception food, there are a ton of decisions that need to be made. And whether you have a long or a short engagement period, it’s always going to feel like there isn’t enough time to get everything done. Once your to-do list is checked off, you’ll likely think of more things to add to it!

    With all of the decision-making, will likely come second guessing. Here are a few of my tips on key areas:

    • Wedding Dress This one catches a lot of brides by surprise. You’re in the store and you say “yes to the dress” and walk out on cloud 9. And then you start to question…is it the right style? Too formal? Right color? Too trendy? Will it be comfortable enough? Will it complement the venue? Don’t be caught off guard…this is NORMAL. I literally questioned my dress leading all of the way up to the big day. Some days I was positive that I had the most perfect dream dress, and then other times I found myself daydreaming about my “second choice.” The one thing that helped me was I actually didn’t “say yes” on the day I went dress shopping. I walked out with two top selections and was leaning towards one. When I woke up the next morning, I reviewed all of the photos that I took and thought long and hard, and ended up choosing the first dress that popped into my mind. My husband LOVED the dress and I wouldn’t have changed my mind, even if I had the opportunity.
      More reading: “What To Do If You Second Guess Your Wedding Dress” from Brides.
    • Wedding Registry This can be a really fun activity to focus on but the reality is that you will likely go back to your list and add/take away after you’ve already created it. Be smart with your choices and make sure you find the right compromise with your partner when selecting items that represent the both of you. Do select the”boring”/traditional things that you will need (and use every day), but don’t be afraid to add stand-out pieces like a piece of art that will mean a lot to you in your future home. And lastly, remember that you will likely receive quite a few gift cards (both to where you registered as well as other big-box stores.) The best thing about that is that you’ll have some left-over money to spend on things that you hadn’t already thought of before.
      More reading: “Wedding Bells: 10 Wedding Registry Tips From a Real Newlywed” from  guest blogger at Lauren Conrad.
    • Wedding Theme When you first select your theme, make sure it’s broad enough to have enough room to play around with. I recommend selecting both a theme, as well as a color scheme or decor…examples could be “Heaven on Earth, elegant glamour” or “Nautical Travel, blue and white” or “Classy Country, chic barnyard.” If you put it in too small of a box, it can be hard to add additional details when things come up. Allow the theme to evolve over time, too, since you’ll likely add to your decor along the way. No matter what, if you select a theme that represents you and your partner at time point in time, there’s no reason to feel like you wish you had a “do-over.”
      More reading: “How To Select Your Wedding Theme“, my blog from last week.
    • Party Guest List Face it, there are a lot of people in both of your lives, but the guest list can’t be limitless. Start with the most important people and then add to it. Have a discussion with the parents on both sides to find out what their top 1 and top 2 tier requests are, and then see if you can fit them in. It is important to ‘throw them a bone’ and invite Mom’s best friend or Dad’s pastor friend, because this is a family affair. Most importantly, ask yourself these three questions to help narrow it down, “Have ________ played an important role in mine/his life?” “Is this someone who will continue to be in our lives, after the wedding day?” “Will I regret if I don’t share this day with ___________ or have them in pictures?”
      More reading: “Tips for Making Your Wedding Guest List” from The Knot.

    What’s most important? Trust your gut. And know that there are so many decisions that will need to be made, so it’s not going to benefit you to redo (and redo again) plans that are already put in place. It doesn’t matter HOW PERFECT your big day ends up being, you will likely still have things that you wish you did or didn’t do. And you know what? That’s normal. But, you then have a life as a wife to focus on so just keep moving forward!

    With love,

    Girl with a diamond ring

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    How to Select Your Wedding Theme

    One thing I’ve been thinking about lately is how a couple decides upon their wedding theme. Some can range from so generic and right out of a wedding magazine to really eccentric and off-the-wall. The tips that I have for you are the following:

    1. First consider your location. Is there something about your wedding venue that makes it easier to either apply a theme or discard a theme? For example, I had always envisioned a peacock themed wedding. I love the colors and think it could be a really vibrant and pretty experience. However, when we would be getting married at the beach, this made absolutely no sense!
    2. If you do get married somewhere like the beach, for example, don’t feel forced to do something so straightforward as a beach theme. We ended up doing more of a nautical-travel theme and tied in some really personal elements. There’s no reason why you can’t slant a certain idea to make it more meaningful and true to who both of you are.
    3. Is there something unique that both you and your fiancé do, are passionate about, or equally love? This could be a variety of things. Baseball? New York City? Travel? Donuts? Coffee? Reading? Of course you need to widen some of these ideas to work as an actual theme but it could give you a great starting point.
    4. Think about your relationship and the story of how you came to be you and he. Some of the best weddings are ones were guest walk away feeling like they know the couple even better than when they walked in. If there is something about your love story that makes it really truly unique, think about how to tie this into the theme. Maybe each of you have different cultural backgrounds and family traditions or met in a unique place. This can be a great place to start.
    5. Don’t forget the weddings that you’ve gone to or have seen on TV/online. Would have been some of your favorite themes? What would you have changed about them to make them more personal? Or is there a theme that you really hated? You’ve got to start somewhere! Use this as fuel for your brainstorming.

    Hope this helps! Happy planning. 

    With love, 

    Girl with a diamond ring

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