Wedding Beauty Plan: 3 Months

Soooo, after having the longest engagement ever.  I'm officially under the 3-month mark and I sort of can't believe it!  I have been working really hard on getting my fitness right and my skin before the wedding but it's time to really kick it up a notch and make it a priority.  I'm going to have these photos forever and it's going to be such a special day that I don't want to feel meh.  I want to feel super confident! 

So here are a few things I am doing. 

  • Keeping up with working out 4 times a week and active on the other 3. Long walks or yoga. Trying to get 10,000 steps a day.

  • Eating a lot cleaner, more fruits, and veggies

  • Drinking water, I mean you've seen everywhere how great water is for everything

  • I have Keratosis pilaris, which is these red bumps on the back of my arms. My dermatologist told me to use this. But you really have to use it for a long time and consistently to see results.

  • I have some chest and back acne (keeping it real) and something that really helps is this spray. So I'm using that and this brush to help clear dead skin from working out and reach places I can't. This is what I use in the shower, recommended by my dermatologist. (THIS CAN BLEACH YOUR TOWELS!)

  • I'm going to keep up with my face wash and oil my dermatologist gave me because that really helps to keep my skin a lot clearer.

  • I have this face oil, I was hoping it would help with scars and acne. But I think I like this one better so I may switch and I got my facial roller to help that stuff soak in!

  • I also got this light mask, so who knows how that will go. Let me know if you want a review.

  • I'm going to keep up with masks to keep my skin clearer and hydrated.

  • Take my vitamins! This has to help something.

  • I may also get facials once a month just to really help my skin and everything it's going through.

  • Stop picking, this is really bad for me. I can't resist but I find if I leave my skin be for a few days it looks so much clearer!

These are things I should do all the time.  But they will be my priority for the next 3 months and hopefully, that will help it to become easier and more of a lifestyle change! 

If you have tips of things you do before your wedding or a major event, I want to hear! 

Wedding Designer Q&A

Hi guys, I hope you're having a good week! Being in the Tuesday Together - Cincinnati chapter has allowed me to meet some pretty amazing people.  One of them being Crystal from The Crystal Collection! She is an amazing event designer and event planner.  But I wanted to ask her a little bit more about wedding designing since it's new to me and hopefully help some other brides out there! So here's a fun Q&A we did.  Check it out and heart this post if you want some more wedding posts! 

  • When do you typically join in wedding planning as an event designer?

12-14 months for full service and design clients. For partial planning services and month of coordination, I can join in anywhere between 2-8 months - this just depends on when the couple decides they can't do it alone anymore!

  • What is the biggest misconception about an event designer?

The biggest misconception about an even designer is that we plan all of the logistics! As a designer, we focus solely on anything that represents the aesthetic of the day. These may include day of stationery, centerpieces, floral arrangements, and guest experience. In my world, when I design a wedding it's all about telling a story to the guest and capturing that through design. When I only plan a wedding, It's all about logistics and making sure the day is flowing accordingly, but with The Crystal Collection, we do both!

  • What's one thing you think people should pay attention to, day of and don't?

The biggest thing people don’t pay attention to is the flow. For example, if you have an escort card, display them alphabetically not by table number so people can find their names. Or having ushers to let people know to take their seats. It’s usually the small details that a couple may forget, but since I am involved in weddings quite a bit, it's high on my radar to remind them.

  • Is there something Brides can do that is small but makes a big difference design-wise?

As far as design, the biggest help is to figure out what you don’t like! Pinterest is a world of amazing photos and you can tend to like ALL THE THINGS, but knowing the colors you don’t like, or the venues that don’t appeal to you are extremely valuable.

  • What does your day look like on a Wedding?

Wedding days are long, usually about 12-14 hours, but I wouldn’t trade it! Besides managing timelines and vendors, I get to transform a room from start to completion and then also get to see the guests and couple enjoy each part.

At a minimum I have 1-2 assistants with me, who may take on few different roles:

Bridal Assistant:

She assists with the bride and bridesmaids in whatever they may need. It could be steaming dresses, helping manage hair and makeup timeline, and just hanging out!

Design Assistant:

She helps with setup and finalizing decor! This person can also help assist with vendor placement and making sure they have everything in need to get setup.

  • Do you help with colors or design before the wedding?

Design consultations typically happen about 10-12 months with edits and updates throughout the process! In the design consultations, we determine everything from colors, textures, wedding verbiage, floral, and more! These meetings typically take about 2 hours and give my couples some prep work beforehand just so we are all on the same page.

  • What is your opinion on DIY items for the wedding?

Coming from a design perspective, an entrepreneur, and having to save the day because the humidity would keep the glue sticky, I'm not a fan of DIY! I do love the DIY floral arranging hosted by The Flowerman, but that's it! Time can be spent on date nights with your soon to be husband or spoiling your bridesmaids, instead of trying to figure out all the decor needs. Letting professionals do it, will save you time for sure and in some cases, money!  

  • Is there such thing as too much decor?

There is most definitely such thing as too much decor! Having weddings in unique settings are becoming more and more popular. With this, venue styles and decor have their own tone. This is where design comes in! It will take the right eye to be able to complement what is already going on in the room instead of adding so much that it's overwhelming.  

  • Would you recommend getting a wedding planner and event designer?

I would definitely recommend 1 of 4 options:

  • If you want to tell a visual love story to your guest, and have more of an experience than just another wedding, get a wedding designer!

  • If you want someone to handle all the logistics, and execution so you can enjoy being engaged, get a planner.

  • If you like all the planning and have amazing ideas, but just need someone to help with the day of, get a day of coordinator.

  • If you want all of these things, hire a full service wedding planner and designer!

Thank you so much to Crystal for answering all of my questions.  Be sure to check her out @thecrystalcollectionevents

Wedding Update T-6 Months

I can not believe we are almost 6 months out to our wedding! If you're new here Henry and I got engaged and due to high demand for our venue, we had to book 18 months out.  Which has been great at time and terrible at other times. 

I wanted to give you an overall update on where we are and what I still have left! Along with some of the feelings that come with it, cause lets be honest we like to keep it real here. 

I feel like there is a lot of double-edged swords with a long engagement because you have time, but you have time. What I mean but that is there is time to make up your mind on certain things but that can be bad because it gives you a lot of time to second guess your choices.  

I have found also that some things regardless of how much time you think you have book quick! Since a lot of things have high demand my advice would be if you want something, book it! You could always lose a deposit but really if you want something book it as soon as you can.  Right away I had my eye on our venue, photographer and florist which we all booked within the first month.  Seems crazy but there were other people we were competing with for the same days! 

I feel like a downside to a long engagement is people for of forget about your wedding, while I'm constantly working on things and it's on my mind a lot, it's not on my friends.  There has been so much time in between it feels like people have forgotten about it.  Like I said keeping it real.  I'm sure my opinion will change once I have my shower and bachelorette! 

Currently, we have all the big ticket items booked; caterer, band, the day of planner and such.  So now it's onto the little things. Which in a way feels more overwhelming.  I was very decisive on a lot of things early on.  I did my research and went with my gut.  But now when I search signage, table numbers and other things it feels endless.  This is where it comes in that its good we have time because I can hem and haw and take time to mull things over.

Here's some advice I'd give if you're starting to plan:

  1. Always meet with 2 different people for the job - I think comparisons are awesome, even if you're leaning one way it can help confirm what your thinking. I also found that the more people I met with the more questions I had which helped me make a better decision.

  2. Go who with you feel comfortable with - This is one of the biggest days of your life, I just keep thinking there will be a lot going on that day so I want to invite people who make me feel calm and who I know I can talk to if I need help or want something different!

  3. Go to the knot before you have a meeting - the knot has a lot of blog posts on questions to ask different vendors. I found this really helpful because there were a lot of questions I didn't even think of!

  4. Pick 3 important things to splurge on - One that is important to you, one to your groom and one to the both of you! Let's be honest you are going to gove over budget with some of this stuff. Pick whats important and what you're willing to go over on. Then you won't feel cheated on other items you may skim on!

I hope you guys are enjoying these posts, be sure to give it a like if you want more wedding updates!

Wedding Tips & Tools!

Oh, the joys of wedding planning! Henry and I have had a longer engagement due to when our venue was available, which has been a blessing and a curse at the same time! All this waiting lets you second guess every decision but it also allows you to do your research.

With this whole wedding planning, I have found some tools or helpful hints that I wanted to share with you whether you're in the process, or it's your turn soon.

I'm sure other brides could help chime in on this post and help us all out! 

1 - The Knot: Of course this site has a lot of different things that you could need.  Help with guest list, so many advice blogs, websites and a budget.  My favorite thing I use them for is the budget.  First, you set your budget and it automatically fills in the rest.  You can add your vendors and the price.  I think this is the best tool for the budget.  There is also the wedding wire but I found The Knot to be more accurate. 
2 - Zola: When you go to register some of the stores will have to tell you based on your guest how many gifts you should have in different price breakouts.  For example 10 in $50 and under 20 in $100 range and 20 $100 +.  ( I totally made that up please don't listen to that!) But its really helpful to make sure that you have enough for showers and the wedding.  And since I'm cheap I keep putting way too much in the $50 and under so it helps to keep me in check.
3 - Crate & Barrel: Speaking of registry Crate & Barrel does this really awesome thing where they host events before the store even opens and its just for engaged couples creating their registry.  When we went the employees were so helpful.  They didn't bother you but they also help us with setting a table and really visualizing this.  I liked how hands-off they were because you didn't feel pressured but they were ready to jump in and were so informative. 
4 - Your Vendors: If you have any questions or are thinking about certain ideas, ask your vendors! They are the pros and can help you with making your vision come alive as seamlessly as possible! 
5 - Wedding planner 101: My friend and day of planner Heidi of 44th & Luxe Events has a great blog on her website that is filled with tips.  I love these Wednesday post because I save them and use the tips for when it applies to something I'm working on.
6. Tip Tuesday: A wedding photographer in my creative group Amanda Donaho Photography has a great Instagram story where on Tuesday she shares a tip and really explains it.  I feel like sometimes people give you tips but they don't explain why so sometimes the advice seems useless.  one of my favorite tips recently is about placing some tape at the altar so that you are centered for photos! I've made a mental note and will for sure use that! Here's her Instagram.
7. Addressing Save The Dates: So we used Minted for our save the dates and there are awesome calligraphers out there don't get me wrong.  But I liked the Minted for a more modern look and if you got a 5x7 save the date they addressed the envelopes for you!! This was such a time/money saver.  And it made the envelopes look so nice and professional!

We also got this stamp made for our return address, which also helped but I will say I had trouble with the ink drying. 

For the timeline, I used The Knot but I really found it not helpful.  for example, we got engaged in April and our wedding is in this coming November.  The Knot told us to get engaged in August, umm well that already happened that why I'm here! Some of the vendors I wanted I booked right away because I knew I wanted them.  If I follow The Knot I wouldn't have booked them for months and they could have been taken.

So I believe if you have something in mind GO FOR IT! And The Knot can help with other things.

THE HONEYMOON - YAY! So Henry and I haven't had much practice planning vacations we have always done really quick trips so planning a vacation from scratch is a little overwhelming for us and one thing that really helped was going to AAA and talking to a travel agent.  They had a lot of helpful information and helped steer us in the right direction.  Also if we book with them they will help save us a lot of money! 

I hope some of these were helpful, I of course browser on Pinterest a lot and read a lot of blogs.  The closer I get to the date the more information Im sure I will have to share! 

Wedding Dress Experience

Hi, Friends if you are new to the site or don't follow me on Instagram you may not know that I am currently wedding planning and getting married November 2018! I wanted to share my story with you about getting my wedding dress and some advice I think I have to share because the process wasn't easy by any means to me but it was worth it I will say that! 

To give a little bit of background, my family is scattered throughout the country and its just Henry and me in Cincinnati (which has a very well known bridal district).  So in order to have my mom with me, my sisters and some bridesmaids while I go dress shopping I had to plan far in advance so that plane tickets could be purchased.  My mom and I picked two weekends in January just in case I didn't find something the first so that way we could keep shopping.  

Also, I've heard of 3 friends now that have purchased dresses and then a few months later changed their mind, so I thought even if I did find MY dress the first weekend I still wanted time to think about it. 

My mom made SEVEN appointments the first weekend since we were short on time.  It was A LOT but its sort of the cards we were dealt with, and I didn't find the dress in all those shops.  I did however very much narrow down what I was looking for there just wasn't a lot of it. 

I was extremely discouraged, I felt like I kept saying I liked things I didn't to make everyone happy, I had rude sales ladies that made comments, ultimately making me tear up at one point.  Guys, dress shopping is exhausting.  I felt so discouraged and so I went to Instagram to share my story.  I was met with great response and a follower gave me the advice to take my time, maybe even go by myself so I didn't have outside pressure. She told me she didn't cry when she tried on her dress but she didn't want to take it off. 

I felt so much better, and there was one dress I had in mind I wanted to try on that I didn't and because my mom was coming back, I tried it on without her.  Because if I didn't like that one we were going to head to a different city.  I took a good friend with me, one that would be honest, but listen and respect my opinion.  And I feel so lucky that I tried it on and loved it!  It was different than what I went in thinking I wanted, but yet very me.  I looked at myself and heard the words "I don't want to take this off" and I teared up.  Seriously if I hadn't gotten this advice from Rosemary, I may have never found my dress because I felt confident in my choice.  Even though dress shopping wasn't how I imagined, my mom and sisters weren't there, it was really the only dress I wanted to try on but her words made me feel so relieved. 

The second weekend my mom came out, unfortunately, the others couldn't join but I got my mom's approval and some happy tears. The weekends weren't what I expected AT ALL, I think Say Yes to the Dress tricks us.  You think you are supposed to have 10 people go with you fall in love with the first dress because it is just perfect and cry immediately.  That's not everyone story and that's okay, as long as you look at the dress, feel beautiful and don't want to take it off,  I think you're golden! 

So here are some of my words of wisdom:

1. Go in with an Idea - I think this helps to narrow things down and not be too overwhelming.  With that said try on different shapes, sometimes you never know whats going to look amazing on you!

2. Stop trying on a dress you don't like - The sales people just wanted to put me on anything, even if I said I didn't like.  They just wanted to make a sale and I feel like I left frustrated and wasted time.

3. Pick the right people to come - I brought my mom, her friend, and one of my friends.  They got my vision, and knew me and what not only fit me best in my body but in personality.  And they were happy for me when I was happy.

4. There's a lot of emotion that surrounds your dress - I didn't get how much emotion, good and bad, would be surrounding this weekend, its okay to take breaks and think about things. Don't let people push you into something either.

5. Take your time - Like I said a lot of people I know picked a second dress, so even if you find the one there's no harm in waiting a few days before making the decision.

6. HAVE FUN! This is supposed to one of the most magical times ever, don't let anyone get you down and have hope you will find the one.  When in doubt always accept the free champagne! 

I hope this helps you and you keep this in mind when it's your special day!