Bridesmaids, Breweries and Books!

We are almost half-way through November (wasn’t I just exclaiming that I couldn’t believe it was already November???). I’m succeeding with “No Shop November” although it was exceptionally hard for me to hit “Skip this Month” with Fabletics (Kate Hudson’s work out clothing line – and I have a total girl-crush on Kate) since I got my first outfit and am in love with it. I joined as a VIP because you get your first outfit for $25. Yes, OUTFIT for $25. Unbelievable, right? And of what “quality” is this outfit? Perfection. That’s how I would describe it. It’s uber comfortable, holding up to me wearing it multiple times (and washing it multiple times), and hello, it was ONLY $25. Now, the deal with VIP is that each month after your first $25 purchase, you are given outfits to choose from to purchase for $50. However, you have the option to skip if you don’t want to spend $50, or don’t need more work out clothes at that time. OR, you can even cancel after signing up for VIP and getting your first $25 outfit. I doubt you will after you get it though, you’ll be totally in love. Interested? Try it now.

I blogged about bridesmaid dresses and the easy choice of black dresses for your ‘maids for Carolina Bride. Seriously, you can’t go wrong with adding black into your palette. It will go with any array of flowers that you choose and your BMs will be able to wear most black dresses again (as we promise all bridesmaids they’ll be able to do with that $200 dress they’re buying for the wedding). You can see some of my choice black bridesmaid dresses here on Pinterest.

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We checked out Charlotte’s newest brewery “The Unknown Brewing Company” on Saturday. Quite the turnout for a grand opening. They seem to know how to do things – and understandably so, since their owner has previously worked with other large and successful brewing companies.

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In one day, I read Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman (after blowing through Season 1 on Netflix). The book is totally different than the TV show, but in a raw and honest way. The TV show is exciting, graphic and will totally suck you in. I can’t wait until 2014 for more episodes.

More things I’m reading?

The Good Men Project (Happy Couple, Happy Life)

A Practical Wedding

Smitten Kitchen (for December Book Club)

Skipping a Beat (Sarah Pekkanen)

Daring Greatly (Brene Brown)

Waiting List: 

Happier at Home (Gretchen Rubin) – I loved the Happiness Project so much (as did my husband) that I have pre-ordered Gretchin’s latest book *released 12/31

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Okay, enough recommendations from this self-proclaimed book worm. One more weekend wrap up piece of news: OUR WEDDING IS GOING TO BE PUBLISHED IN A WEDDING MAGAZINE!!! I found out on Friday while in a cab on my way to Logan Airport in Boston. So excited to see what photos they chose for publication! Stay tuned, I’ll announce the magazine once it’s available and you can all go snag your copies 😉

PS – there’s still time to enter the Inaugural Ornament Swap. It’s free, you get a brand-spankin’ new ornament for your tree and you get to connect with a new friend. What more can you ask for? Sign up today and share it with your friends!

The Bridesmaid Game

One of the most fun parts of planning your wedding is the time spent with your bridesmaids: showers, bachelorette party, and of course sharing all the fun details. So how do you pick who will stand by your side on the most special day of your life?

There are about a million web pages to give you guidance on your decision-making – here are the top 5 that came up when I Googled it:

1. Dessy

2. Bridal Guide

3. The Knot

4. Wedding Channel

5. Wise Geek

I gave my bridesmaids this book when I asked them to be a part of my wedding.
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First you (and your groom) need to decide how many members will be in your wedding party. Once the number has been agreed upon, you can begin deciding who to include. For most, there’s an obligatory thought to include family members – be it a sister, cousin, niece or even an in-law. There are probably a few girls that you’ve shared late nights with, lots of laughs, and even a few tears, and these are the people you will plan to include in your wedding party. And there are a few who will automatically assume they are going to be a part of your wedding.

Before sending out cute invitation asking your BFFs and family members to share in months of planning, parties and one very important weekend, consider a few things:

1. How much time will your choices be able to spend with you over a several month span?

This part is more for the bridesmaids than the bride: being a bridesmaid requires time (and money). Not only do you have to try on a dress (or five), you will be invited to numerous parties/showers, there will be a weekend or maybe even a week that you are asked to celebrate the last days of singledom with the bride, and of course, there is a weekend where almost every moment is dedicated to someone else. While most brides don’t expect their bridesmaids to be at every event, there is a certain level of participation that is desired. 

2. How organized are they and do they pay attention to detail?

Having an organized bridesmaid is essential. This should be the maid or matron of honor, since the responsibility of planning a bridal shower and bachelorette party, and helping you stay stress-free on the day of the wedding. You need someone who can command the attention of the other bridesmaids, pull together common dates for events, gather money for things like deposits on your bachelorette trip, and someone who can make sure everyone else stays in the loop on what’s going on. It’s a good thing to confirm all of your bridesmaid’s email addresses, phone numbers and mailing addresses in the beginning and get those to the MOH. Also important to make sure your bridesmaids actually check their email. You don’t want someone showing up on the day of wondering “were we supposed to wear pearls?” 

3. Do they want to be a part of it?

It actually matters how much your choices want to be a part of your day. If you chose someone because you felt like you had to (and they felt like they had to be in your wedding because you asked), it might not work out the best for you. It’s possible that you’ll end up having someone who is lacksadasical about participating in your wedding. You might have asked someone who doesn’t have enough money to go to Vegas for a 4-day weekend, or to the Keys for a week. If you look, and you care to, you will see who really wants to be a part of your wedding. You will see the ones who ask you how things are going, go shopping for dresses with you, and tag you in pins on Pinterest of wedding ideas in your style. While you obviously want to pick who YOU want to be in your wedding, it’s worth considering if your first picks have the same desire. 

I have a few friends who have recently gotten engaged, and I have listened to these questions on several occasions. The only advice I could give came from the three questions I posed above. Question three was especially applicable to my decision making process. You want to pick fun bridesmaids, genuine people, good friends. You want to pick those that will be honest with you when you put on a dress that’s too poofy, that will encourage you to keep working out if you’re complaining you haven’t seen results just yet, and that will offer to come write on 10 chalkboards and put guest bags together with you. And once you decide on WHO you’re asking, you can browse through Pinterest and Etsy looking for ways to ask!

 

 

OH EM GEEEE!

I discovered that Anthropologie now has a wedding line – BHLDN – and not just for brides, but bridesmaids, gifts, mother of the bride, lingerie, and decor! I was totally entranced upon making this amazing discovery and spent hours flipping through internet pages of awesomesauce. Seriously, if my wedding wasn’t 17 days away, I’d be searching here for the perfect pieces!

One of my FAVORITE dresses is the Luella, but I also love the Swan (which happens to be on major sale)! That bow! I die! Check out all the dresses for the bride from BHLDN.

Luella
Luella
Swan (back)
Swan (back)
Swan (front)
Swan (front)

They also have insanely cute bridesmaid dresses starting at just $200! Think: WEAR AGAIN.

I spent the majority of my time on the gifts page, digging through gorgeousness and swooning over all the options. I am in love with this vintage monogram kerchief! What a great gift for mom(s), grandmothers, or even your bridesmaids!
kerchiefI couldn’t decide what I loved most on the decor page, so I’m including a sample of some of the items. Everything is adorable and fairly reasonably priced. Anthropologie always has the neatest stuff, so I was pleased to see that BHLDN carried that over into their wedding line.
cakeaccSo, set aside an hour or two and go dig around on this completely adorable website. If you’re planning a wedding in the near future and don’t want to be super traditional, this is a great place to find your goods.

Happy Wednesday! Oh, and did I mention, only 17 itsy, bitsy days until THE BIG ONE? eeeep!

 

Under the 50 day mark

We are under 50 days, folks! Time continues to fly by as we inch closer and closer to our wedding day. We were showered with love again last weekend by LW’s Aunt Jill (and other amazing family & friends). shower3shower 7shower1shopwer 8We got big news on Tuesday that our bands have arrived and are waiting to be picked up! Very exciting (unfortunately, our schedules have been crazy and we haven’t gone yet) – but I’m sure they are just as beautiful as the day we picked them out and I know for certain that I can’t wait to put a ring on it!
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We now have our transportation booked for the wedding, shuttle for the guests, car for us. One more thing to check off the list! We are finishing up our invitations and writing lots of thank you notes these days. I had my Bachelorette party this past weekend in Charleston & Folly Beach.
BP1 BP2 BP3 BP4 BP5 BP6 BP7BP10I had an incredible time with my most incredible friends. LW had his bachelor party several weeks ago, so no more bachelor time for us, we’re ready to run down the aisle now! 46 days and counting…

Happy Monday!

The Day I Got Called “Bridezilla”

Last week, I was called “Bridezilla” for the first time in my wedding planning. I might have expected this early on when I made changes to our wedding party (and subsequently lost 3 “best friends” in the process), but not now. I’ve been told by other bridesmaids that I was being too nice and shouldn’t allow for so many opinions and options. When I think “Bridezilla”, I think of this email from a bride to her bridesmaids. This is extreme, and I can assure you, far from any emails that I have sent.

My emails have consisted of dress options, shoe options, hair/make-up options and asking who will be available during the day of the rehearsal for getting our nails done (my treat). I have also mentioned in them how excited I am to see each of these girls at the end of the month and how thankful I am for their relentless bachelorette party planning and shower planning. I consider myself lucky to be surrounded by these girls (and my incredible friend, Gean!).

Follow up emails/texts were sent regarding payment of dresses, shoes, etc, but not because I’m some crazy, controlling “bridezilla” – but instead because the payments were late or simply ignored. I would like to think that I’ve covered most of this list of things a cool bride would do. I let my bridesmaids choose their style of dress, I just chose the color and fabric. Find a deal on it? I say go for it! Shoes? I let them send options and offer opinions on the ones I found. We ended up with darling sandals for $25! I provided the option for having their hair and make up done, or doing it on their own. With 6 girls getting ready together, I think we’ll have plenty of hands to help with curls, do’s and make-up!

I’ve tried to limit my communication since I realize that everyone has their own things going on in life and I’ve made it clear that I don’t expect everyone to be at everything. I thought this list was pretty comprehensive of what a bride wants from her bridesmaids, the most important being communication. Again, I think I am lucky with the girls I have chosen to be a part of my wedding and I sincerely hope they don’t feel like I’m a “bridezilla.” At least I’m not requesting everyone do a cleanse before the bachelorette party!

What’s the craziest thing you have experienced a bride or bridesmaid doing during wedding planning? Would love to hear these stories in the comments!

Hair, Skin and Nails

In January, I started taking Biotin (for hair, skin & nails). At first, I was doubling up on a 1000 mcg dose (hoping there were no lasting side-effects from that!)… and it was working, my hair was growing at an alarming rate. Then I found a 5000 mcg bottle, so I knew my previous 2000 mcg wasn’t too much. My hair is continuing to grow… and will hopefully be long enough for an elegant up-do by August.

I asked my bridesmaids their thoughts on hair for the wedding, and most agreed they would prefer simple do’s… some even offering to do their own. I am still at a loss for what to do with my own hair, but will have a trial later this month in hopes of figuring it out… and I purchased this awesomeness today to help me with my decision.IMG_5160

I also got a manicure today, which got me thinking about my wedding nails. Do I want a french manicure? Do I want gel nails? Do I want my BMs to have their fingers & toenails all matching? Right now, I don’t know. I’m kind of ambivalent about it – but open to suggestions/opinions. I do know this, I am loving this simple color that I chose today (“Creme Glaze” by Essie). IMG_5159
And now… I’m off to my last class before our mini-vacay in Florida. St. Augustine, here we come!

Knot what I wanted

Yesterday, I got an email from The Knot Wedding Shop that they were having a big sale. And anyone who knows me knows that I love a good sale. I finally found time to check it out as I was laying down for bed last night and I personalized the cutest beverage napkins (eco-friendly!) for our wedding. I kept getting rejected when I was placing the order – they weren’t accepting PayPal, Credit Card payment resulted in a “null” message taking me back to the checkout screen (twice)… so I gave up on the adorable napkins. And my phone buzzed with an email. “You have authorized payment from PayPal to The Knot.”

The Knot Wedding Shop
The Knot Wedding Shop

Did you just say “uh-oh?” Because I did. I checked my bank account and sure enough, there were also 2 charges there. Totalling 900 napkins and $90 dollars. Good news, we’ll have lots of left over napkins for our scrapbook? I’ve been emailing and filling out forms all day – hopefully they will cancel 2 of the orders. Their website does say they’ll do whatever it takes to make you 100% satisfied. Either way, we’re going to have adorable napkins at our wedding and they were on sale for a great price.

In other news:

  • We have ALL of the bridesmaid dresses and they are so amazing. I am tickled pink with how this turned out! They are all the same color but all different styles. Can’t wait to see these gals in them!
  • Both moms have purchased potential outfits for the wedding. I say potential because if they’re anything like me, they’ll find something else in the next 6 months that they like better. (Yes, I need to not look at any more wedding gowns).
  • I purchased shoes for the wedding – eeek! MY wedding shoes! (ps – they are Lilly Pultizer and to-die-for!)
  • I have a hair appointment for April 18th for a test run for the wedding-do.

So we are still truckin’ along, but also still don’t have a florist. But we will… we will have flowers!