How to Pick Your Wedding Colors

So you’ve selected your life partner and the ring is on your finger. Then the questions start from other people. When is the big day? How big will the wedding be? Should it be before or after your sister’s wedding, since she got engaged first? The list goes on and on. And then you’ll find that once the planning begins, you will come up with your own endless list of details that need to be reviewed and decided upon by you and your future spouse. So once you start diving in, one of the key questions is “What are our wedding colors?”

Why is this so important? Most details, from invites to wedding flowers, will come with different color options. So where do you start? Here are some questions that could get you closer to your answer.

  • Do I have a theme that I’m already set on? The theme itself, from shabby chic to magical and romantic to Alice in Wonderland, could inform your colors or begin to rule some out. (Ruling out color hues can be just as helpful!)
  • Do I have a venue that is already planned? If you already know where you want to get married, like a local country club, garden or a ski resort, this could easily start you closer down the path of colors that may make sense. For example, I always dreamed of a peacock-wedding but once a beach destination was decided then I knew it didn’t make sense.
  • Is there a texture or pattern that draws you in? If you love feathers, stripes or polka dots and expect for these to be a part of your décor, choose colors that these naturally come in so that items don’t require a lot of customization.
  • When is the wedding? While seasons shouldn’t force you down a path of specific colors, it could give you some inspiration. Soft and light colors for spring. Bright and dynamic colors for summer. Deeper warm tones for fall. Or wintery whites, blues or silvers for the end of the year. If this feels too obvious to you, go OPPOSITE of what people expect that season….like maroon and gold in May!
  • Is there a color combination that represents a specific aspect of our relationship? Informed by a favorite flower during your season of dating, a college or sports team, or vacation spot that’s important to you.
  • Is there one color that you keep envisioning? You should plan to have 2-4 colors so they can complement one another for different décor details selected but even starting with one is a good place to start. If you keep envisioning one color then that you are probably leaning that way for a reason. Find a good neutral to pair it with (grey, beige, white, black.)
  • Am I selecting colors based on influence or feeling pressure from other factors? If you and your fiancé both love warm and neutral tones, then don’t feel the need to select an dark romantic hues just because a wedding planner said that’s what makes sense. Your guests should look at their surroundings and not be surprised that it’s your big day.

Once you’ve answered these questions, you may begin getting a clearer picture. As a next step, I suggest searching for wedding color palettes on Pinterest and Instagram. Deciding specific search terms could be easier to hone in on once you have more of an idea in mind…so things like ‘summer wedding colors’ or ‘unique wedding color palettes’ or ‘dark wedding color inspiration.’ Note that you may not like each color presented in a palette and you can always combine multiple options to make it what you like.  (Don’t be afraid to get creative and try different searches because you never know what you will find.) Prefer something more tactical and not online? Go to a paint store and see which color swatches you gravitate towards. This can also be helpful to see which specific shades make sense as a stand-alone color and paired with another.

Plain and simple: your wedding space should bring you joy. Have an open mind and have some fun with this!

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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Diabetes on My Wedding Day

In honor of World Diabetes Day (November 14) and Diabetes Awareness Month (every November), I wanted to throw it back to a blog post that I wrote for Medtronic Diabetes over at The Loop Blog. It was published just a month after my wedding in 2015 and I love hearing my ‘newlywed voice’ again. So here it is, a throwback to my blog post on what it was like to be a bride living with type 1 diabetes. I have lived with it now for 18 years and while it is a very big part of me, it didn’t take away from my big day, and that’s what I was hoping for!

One of my favorite types of blog posts to read is how women with diabetes manage their diabetes on a wedding day. How does it fit in with the dress, the menu, the event flow? I’ve come to realize the reason a wedding stands out from other couple-of-hour events, like prom or a birthday party, is because so much planning goes into it, and it is a day that puts you in the spotlight. In my case, I spent one year focusing on all of the details.

On March 8, I married the love of my life at an intimate destination wedding. To say it was the best day (and week) of my life is an understatement. Since it was a destination wedding, we had both the wedding and honeymoon in the same location during a week-long vacation. We chose Jamaica, and 50 of our closest loved ones were able to celebrate the big day with us! There was unlimited food and drinks at our resort, and a lot of variability that had the potential to impact my blood sugar, so I had to be cautious while still finding ways to relax. I was able to find this balance and was so glad I did because I was able to truly enjoy the day of the wedding.

The Dress and Insulin Pump (Most Important Detail, Of Course)

I selected my dress a year prior. I did a lot of research ahead of time on the types of dress I liked and went in to my appointment with a few arranged on a Pinterest board. I mentioned my insulin pump to the person helping me select dresses, but let her know I didn’t want to plan the dress around the pump. I knew that if I found the right dress, there would be enough options to figure out how to include my diabetes device. I fell in love with a blush colored (!) multi-layered dress. It didn’t have pockets and wasn’t a good silhouette to have pockets tailored. I considered wearing my pump in a thigh pouch, but wanted it to be more accessible.

I decided the best place to wear it was clipping it on the front inside of my bra. There was enough material to cover it so you couldn’t even tell. The great thing about the placement was I could get to it when I needed it and allowed me to clip the pump on the outside of my dress for some pictures. It also worked out that my pump matched my dress, and since it’s a big part of who I am, it was important to capture it in some shots. I also found the PERFECT pump skin that captured the texture of my dress. This was a small detail, but something that was very special to me.

The Reception

The reception décor had a nod to my diabetes: the color blue. To most, it seemed to be a typical white-and-blue nautical theme, but the color blue was important to me for more reasons than that. A few of the toasts made by loved ones referenced my diabetes and how it has shaped me, a very special reminder for me.

 The Food

We had a lower carb dinner with Mahi Mahi as the main dish, so I was able to enjoy a piece of cake and our specialty drink. The resort we got married at didn’t have carbohydrate counts available, so I had to guesstimate when I bolused, but it turned out just fine.

The Blood Sugar

It’s really important to prepare ahead of time for what you think your blood sugar might do. How do you usually react during high stress or emotional moments? I typically run really high and then drop back to normal, but sometimes keep dropping until I go low. The morning of the wedding, with all of the hustle and bustle, I ran in the 300s. But once the rest of the activities went underway, my blood sugar started coming back down to normal because of all the adrenaline (and champagne). By the end of the night, I dropped back to 81 and was able to enjoy the rest of the dancing with the people closest to me.

The Biggest Take Away

Here’s what surprised me most the day of the wedding. As much as diabetes is engrained in who I am, diabetes was not at all on my mind. There was too much going on: people, music, the big dress, the scenery, the décor… and the roller coaster of emotions!

My biggest tip would be to designate at least one person who can help to think about your diabetes on your behalf. In my case, it was my amazing Matron of Honor, my sister. Think of someone who:

1) Already knows your diabetes basics

2) Will be around you for most of the day

3) Is responsible enough to make sure to prioritize your health over all of the wedding day tasks.

My sister carried my glucometer and fast-acting sugar with her, and had me check my blood sugar before the wedding, during the post-wedding photos, and a few times during the reception before the night was over. This was absolutely invaluable and helped me to stay on track with someone watching over me so that I didn’t have to worry about it.

It’s true, a wedding goes by in the blink of an eye. But it’s also true, that with diabetes, you can enjoy and savor life’s special moments and I am so blessed that I was able to do that.

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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New Seasons Bring New Wedding Inspiration

 

As we are heading into fall season- which will just as quickly become winter- there is a dose of new wedding inspiration that comes to life. No, you don’t have to have maroon bridesmaids dresses for fall, or a blue and white winter wonderland theme. There is so much more that you can do to incorporate the season into your wedding.

Think about these things:

CLOTHING can make your look feel relevant. Bridesmaids getting ready in flannel button ups or pjs? Yes, please. And for the bride, some of the classiest brides that I have seen are wearing a faux fur shrug or carrying a muff (instead of a bouquet.) Grooms can really step up their game with a maroon and black tux or navy separates. You could also both stay warm with matching monogrammed or customized leather/jean jackets.

FOOD is a great way to tie in seasonal details. For fall, you could serve pumpkin pie at the reception or have a candy bar with candy corn. For winter, have a hot chocolate bar or serve peppermint tea/liquor. And don’t forget about your cake flavor and design—incorporate the season into the color, style, and even your cake topper.

DECOR is a given, but don’t feel like it needs to be too literal. Think beyond colors. Use textures like soft velvet or glam feathers. Patterns like leaves or snowflakes can also bring the season to life. And if you’re showcasing photos of you two (like from an engagement shoot), make sure to plan ahead and take some seasonally-relevant photos together. For example, even if you’re doing a spring shoot, you could bring some scarves or blankets for a few extra shots to share while at the big day.

FLOWERS that grow successfully year-round or specifically in this part of the calendar year will be a lot easier to obtain. (Do this research before you dream up your flower details! Here’s a great link from The Knot. According to their guide, Chrysanthemums peak in fall and the Calla Lily can be a good flower choice for Winter, for example.)

FAVORS can help send your guests home with a small piece of the season. From s’more kits, mittens, to snow globes, you could do some really fun things with favors.

Lastly, know that you don’t have to incorporate any seasonal components if you don’t want to. If you’ve had a vision of what you want in your mind and it doesn’t completely match the time of year, do it anyways. Pastel in November, why not? Hot apple cider in spring? If you want. Don’t force yourself into a box that is bound by the calendar, but know that you can still use the time of year to your advantage.

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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Expectation Setting When Planning Your Wedding

Once you have the shiny ring on your finger is when you need to step back and realistically ask yourself and your future spouse about expectations for the big day. The reality is that your wedding day will not meet your expectations. In many, and likely unexpected ways, it will likely exceed your expectations. In other ways, it will not meet the details of the image that you have made up in your mind.

Leading up to the big day, here are a few times that wedding planning did NOT meet my expectations.

  • Once I got engaged, I knew that planning the wedding would become a priority in my life. But I got a quick and very harsh reality check when I realized that other life priorities would still be important, and unexpected hard challenges might still come my way. Life doesn’t stop or become more smooth just because you’re engaged. My ask to you: know that juggling these priorities is a dry run for what life will be after you are wed. When two become one (even from the engagement) means there will be double the joys and double the sorrows. Prepare for that earlier and try your best to welcome what comes your way.
  • After I selected my wedding gown, I came back 8 months later for my first fitting. I thought it would fit better than when I first picked it out and would only take a few alterations to make it right. Wrong. It felt like it almost got worse than the sample gown. It took two other fittings to make it right. It wasn’t a big issue, but it definitely deflated the emotions from my first fitting after dreaming about it all of those months. My ask to you: be patient with the vision that you have for the big day. Whether it be your dress fitting or trimming down before the wedding, it will all come together beautifully.
  • I had three women in my bridal party but only two attended the wedding. A longtime friend let me down leading up to the big day and on the day itself. My expectation was that having a small bridal party with my closest would be a smooth experience, but it blew up and brought a lot of unwanted drama. It ended up working out for the best because the people that genuinely wanted me happy were standing next to me, but it was something that I wish that I could do over. My ask to you: when you choose your ‘team bride’ ask yourself if it’s someone that will be by your side for life before you invite them to join you to be in all of your photos. If there’s someone that you’re on the fence with, trust your gut.

My hopes are that hearing about my experiences, you might benefit when you’re setting your own expectations. It doesn’t mean that you won’t be happy because you will be over the moon, but sometimes a mental reset of what you might expect can be helpful!

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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Sweating for the Wedding

Now that we’re more than half way through the year, you might want to dust off those New Years resolutions and begin to evaluate where you’re at. If one of those resolutions was to get fit, especially if for a wedding, then let’s take a look at that one together.

Every bride wants to look beautiful on her wedding day, and that will be true whether or not you’re a certain shape or size. A woman in love, in a gorgeous dress, is always stunning.

I had goals for my wedding day and the way I envisioned myself looking. I am proud to say that I was in the best shape of my life on the day I got married. I worked hard at it, and was thankful for my one year and two month engagement because it allowed me a reasonable window of time.

When it comes to your wedding, consider these things:

    Don’t go over board by setting unattainable goals. You are going to have new stressors that you have never handled before. Some will be task-oriented, but it could also be related to relationships or life events that are not directly related to planning.
    You have to be realistic. In many cases, work outs will naturally have to wind down before the big day. You are going to likely have things like a weekend away with the girls, dress fittings, hair and make up trials…and then guests come in along with the rehearsal dinner etc. Because of this, it’s likely more realistic to set your milestones to up to two weeks before the wedding, and then allow yourself some time to breathe before the big day.
    Quality time is going to continue to be important so consider a few active things that you can do with your spouse. Go for a walk together. Ride bikes down the beach. Or join a boot camp class that you can both take.
    While feeling and looking good will be important, you need to make sure you’re getting enough sleep and taking care of your mental health, too. Make sure you’re scheduling time to focus on some soul-nourishing activities that will keep you in the right headspace.
    Once your honeymoon is over and you’re settled into being a newlywed, pick back up where you left off! Your body might rebound quickly if you are too extreme with your lifestyle changes before and after the big day. Aim to continue to be healthy and strong so you can be the best spouse you can be for years to come.

With love,

Girl with a diamond ring

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