Like the Parisians…

I just returned from a week in Paris with my family. We had a getaway and saw (and ate) everything. It was an incredible experience. It was my third time there but I was much younger so I saw it through new eyes.

I really connected to the fashion and the way that it laid the foundation of a beautiful and historic city. I stood next to the Yves Saint Laurent red wedding dress and was told about a 1.5 million euro wedding dress that resembled a waterfall. In Paris, people take fashion seriously, and it continues to blaze the trail for style around the world.

When it comes to your engagement and wedding season, there are a few opportunities that you will have to wear an outfit and I encourage you to put some thought into these purchases. You will have (at least) five key items that you will need to wear for your bachelorette, bridal shower, rehearsal, and then the actual big day from getting ready to walking down the aisle. It seems overwhelming but take your time to decide what to wear. Here’s what I recommend:

Once you get engaged, start keeping an eye out for these key outfits. You will likely start to daydream about your wedding and if you make these decisions earlier, you will have more space in your mind to make other key decisions closer to the big day.

And don’t feel like you have to fit into a particular style-box shared in wedding magazines or on tv shows. Whatever you decide to wear, it should feel: special and like an elevated version of yourself. It shouldn’t be something that you would wear any other day because these outfits can make you feel like this is a once in a lifetime event, and I think that’s important.

If you’re able to purchase an outfit for a special event, like a bridal shower, it’s great if you can wear it again. All of your outfits don’t need to be this way but if you can wear a white dress from a shower to a date night with your husband in the future, that can bring back your wedding day butterflies.

Take your style seriously, like the Parisians do, because it’s all much more than just a garment. Not only will these photos last a lifetime, but more importantly, your memories will.

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

Follow Me on Instagram and Pinterest for More

Creative Wedding Gift Ideas

The holidays are quickly approaching and that will bring with it some beautiful winter weddings. It will be likely that you’re invited to multiple weddings or wedding showers in a short amount of time, which might make it difficult on your wallet since this can already be a financially-strapped season.

Here are a few recommendations for wedding gifts that don’t break the bank. And remember that you don’t have to be cheap about it, you can still do something classy or meaningful!

  • Take them out before the wedding to somewhere like a local wine bar or specialty dessert place. If you just make sure that it’s far enough in advance before their planning gets too hectic, some couples really appreciate having some down time and a night out together leading up to the big day!
  • Go in on a registry item (like a bedding set, for example) with another wedding guest and make it a shared gift so you can split the price.
  • Buy the “smaller” registry items that many others won’t. (Do watch out because these can add up quickly, but if you focus on one room like a bathroom then it likely won’t break the bank.)
  • Offer quality time to the couple and share a home cooked meal after they return from their honeymoon. This could be helpful for them if they’re still up to their elbows in moving boxes and they can reminisce on the fun memories. Make this night feel special for the ‘bride and groom’ and make them your guests of honor.
  • Give them a gift card to a place like the movie theater in their home town for them to go on a date night.
  • Purchase something meaningful that ties into their shared interests as a couple. It could be something like a cute picnic basket for the couple that likes to go to the park or nice matching water bottles (those that keep water cool for, like, ever) for the couple that enjoys hiking. Just add a sweet note with the gift so it’s clear that you put thought into it.
  • If you want to buy them something meaningful but don’t have the cash right then, let them know that you’ll go in on wedding prints for them (like a canvas shipped from Shutterfly) once their wedding photos have been edited. Just make sure they don’t forget, so reach back out if you see their photos hit social media and offer to make the purchase!

As long as you go into this with the right intentions, that will be made clear. No matter what? True friendship and support for the newlyweds post-wedding day is priceless.

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

Follow Me on Instagram and Pinterest for More

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

Follow Me on Instagram and Pinterest for More

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

Follow Me on Instagram and Pinterest for More