6 Simple & Healthy Tips For Fitting Into Your Wedding Dress

One of the most common concerns brides face is their weight and fitting in their wedding dress. It can be a source of stress especially if you are not your ideal weight. A better approach is to consider a healthier lifestyle and mentality that is sustainable for you long after you say "I do."

Finding your ideal weight and determining how you can reach your goal in a healthy and sustainable manner is important. No one wants to put in the work, then lose it all because it wasn't a plan built to last. 

Here's a tried and true approach:

1. Talk to your doctor about what a healthy weight for you is and how soon you can get there and maintain good health. 
2. Don't pick a dress size that's unrealistic hoping that you'll make it work. This is going to cause you stress (see no. 3) and could possibly result in tactics that are bad for you and you deserve the best! 
3. Find ways to manage stress. Stress can cause weight retention. "Even if you usually eat well and exercise, chronic high stress can prevent you from losing weight—or even add pounds," says Pamela Peeke, MD, author of Body for Life for Women.
4. Make sure you are drinking a healthy amount of water. How much is that? "It depends on your size and weight, and also on your activity level and where you live,” Nessler says. “In general, you should try to drink between half an ounce and an ounce of water for each pound you weigh, every day.” For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, that would be 75 to 150 ounces of water a day.
(source: https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/water-for-weight-loss-diet#1)
5. Don't try crazy diets. And, really all diets are crazy, no matter if they're called a cleanse, clean eating, etc.  Consider getting the help of a certified nutritionist. They can create a plan for you that is right for your goals, body type, and lifestyle. 
6. Incorporate exercise if you aren't already. If you can afford a personal trainer, find one who is reputable and they can also help you reach your goals and keep you motivated.

10422500_859428664124479_6434333474756876915_n-2.jpg

How I Workout

Me with my little reds watching me olympic lifting (not really in this picture). This was a Mother's Day photo for Lululemon. 

my tips for exercise

  1. Don't be afraid of using weights! Cardio is not the only exercise you need. I lift very heavy weights and I'm not bulky and you won't be either. 
  2. Do what you enjoy. Gardening, walking, etc. There's a class for every type of exercise imaginable. 
  3. Get there early. When it's done, you'll be happy about it and enjoy it more. 
  4. Bring a friend. Without my husband, my workouts are harder. But together we laugh, have fun, get it done! 
  5. Sounds silly, but sometimes I treat myself to a cute pair of workout shorts, top, or shoes. 

You've got this. 

5 Budget Tips For The Perfect Wedding Day

Probably one of the more difficult tasks for folks and one of the most important. People are often scared to see that number and reluctant to share it. But once you get comfortable with the idea of how much you feel comfortable spending, you'll feel a sense of relief.

1. Where to Start

First, get with everyone involved who is contributing to your wedding and see what you have to work with. Be realistic and really consider the fact that the more guests you invite, the larger your wedding party, the more your wedding will cost. For most people, it's not just about what they can afford but more about what they are comfortable with spending on their wedding. 

2. Building The Budget

The Knot is a great resource for building your budget with their budget tool. 

3. Setting The Right Expectations

Coming up with the right budget in the beginning is the key to sticking to your budget. You have to align your expectations with the dollars you've budgeted. Have vendors explain the costs of items you are interested in and see what pricing variations allow you to do. If your budget is limited, that doesn't mean you can't have a beautiful wedding, but you might not have the budget for a photographer from 6am until midnight or tables filled with lush blooms. 

Base your wedding budget on your needs, not what others have done. For some people, a 20-piece band is going to the priority, and for others, a plated, catered meal from one of the city's top chefs will be. 

4. Communicating With Vendors

Every single vendor you will work with will need to know what your budget is and it's best to be upfront about it with them all. It will save you time and you can get to the vendors who are more in line with your budget quicker. 

5. Sticking To Your Budget

Toward the end of your event, you might feel the urge to start splurging to just get things done. Try to stick to the budget and only make adjustments for items that will really make a difference on your big day. 

Tip From Your Floral Designer

As a floral designer, I can't even work with you until I know what your budget is. Not that I only work with certain budgets, but more that flowers vary in price so much, it's impossible to give you pricing if I have no idea where to start. For flowers, most people will spend around 5-20% of their budget. See how wide that number ranges. Why is that? It's because some people love tables filled with Peonies, and others love a little greenery or just some candles and sweet and simple bud vases. 

Here's an article by Bride that is helpful: https://www.brides.com/story/how-much-do-wedding-flowers-cost-carmel-valley

9 Great Wedding Design Resources for Your 2018 Wedding

If you are a DIY bride, you already have a lot on your plate. Spending hours searching through Pinterest and blogs for items you need will leave you little time to enjoy your engagement. Of course, we'd love to be your number one resource and be a part of your wedding. But if you are heading down the path of DIY, here's a list of a few of my favorite items to make your wedding day beautiful! 

The List

For help with your wedding, please contact us. 

4 Tips For Choosing The Right Wedding Photographer

To me, there couldn't be a more stressful job than trying to capture the wedding day images. The images are ones you'll have for a lifetime, but there's so much that can go wrong. Choosing a photographer to capture your wedding day or any special occasion is an important decision and not one to make based simply on a price tag. There are more considerations to make.

A good photographer will be able to avoid those things, however, and provide you with images that you will revisit over and over! Thank goodness for these pros that capture these moments that evoke such powerful emotions! 

1. Aesthetics Matter

Browse their Instagram and website and review their work. Do you like the overall style of their shots? Are the images light and airy or dark and vintage looking? Whatever it is, that's how your images are likely going to look. Are they good at styling their shots? Below is an example of two photographers and their interpretation of the same wedding.

 EmVision

EmVision

 Details Nashville

Details Nashville

 

2. Asking The Right Questions

Here are a few: 

  1. Do they shoot film or digital or both? Many do both. Some do only film. 
  2. If they shoot digital what type of backups do they use? 
  3. How many weddings do they shoot each year?
  4. Will they be on site on your wedding day or have another shooter there in their place? 
  5. How many shooters will be there. Some may have two or more to capture multiple scenes at once and some may go solo. 
  6. What is their turnaround time for a preview and for the full set?
  7. What their pricing covers exactly? Hours, shooters, extras. 
  8. How many hours will they be on site for your wedding day? For example, if they are there for 8 hours and your wedding starts at 6 and reception is over at 11, you'll need to account for the fact they will be there for roughly three hours before the wedding to capture some behind the scenes and your sendoff when it's all over.
  9. Are any extras included? Engagement session, prints, etc. 
  10. Do they provide a contract? 
  11. Their payment terms? Most require a deposit to reserve your date and payment due before the wedding date. 

3. What you might expect them to capture

  1. Someone to capture you getting ready
  2. Some behind the scenes shots of setup, family interacting
  3. Your ceremony and reception details
  4. Portraits
  5. The ceremony
  6. Reception
  7. Traditional moments: first dance, cake cutting, send-off

4. Final Thoughts

  • They should provide you with a day of itinerary outlining a general overview of how the day will go and what shots they plan to capture and when. You can expect to receive this anywhere from one to two months out from your wedding date depending on your own itinerary that your trusty planner has created for you.
  • Be sure to let them know any specific shots you'd like or shots that are most important to you. 
  • Be sure you schedule enough time to capture all of the moments you feel are important. If the package you've selected doesn't have enough time, select another or add on an hour or two to cover the extra time. 
  • Don't expect them to work for free. They have families to feed too! 

We work with some amazing photographers and will gladly provide some referrals. 

In the end, you'll be happy with lasting memories and relive the day!


Flower Varieties In Cover Image

Ranunculus, Hellebore, Astilbe, Scabiosa Pods, Heucheras House Plant

5 Tips For Choosing A Florist That Gets Your Style & Your Budget

 

If you use your heart and eyes to choose your wedding day florist over a price tag, you'll be far happier with the outcome.

1. Budget Matters

It can be difficult to compare apples to apples when it comes to one-of-a-kind floral designs. The right florist for you will be able to create a plan that fits your budget and one you will love. But you really need to know your budget and get comfortable communicating that to your vendors. This will quickly get the unknowns out of the way and give you the freedom and confidence to choose based on trust and how well you mesh. The worst route to take is choosing the lowest bidder or to get in some pricing war.  

If others are involved in paying for the wedding, talk with all of the people involved. Couples spend anywhere from 8-20% of their overall wedding budget on flowers. This, of course, depends on how many flowers are used a what varieties. If you love the look of garden roses but aren't in the position to pay for them, a good florist will show you a reasonable substitution that will create a look you'll be happy with a fits your budget. Be open and frank about your budget.  and how the breakdown looks. 

2. Style

Do you love the aesthetic of the florist? Search through their Instagram feed, blog, website portfolio and published work. Trust is the name of the game here. 

3. Working With the Florist

Ask if they have a minimum requirement? Some do and others don't but sharing your budget is important so you don't waste time. Some florist might decline to work with you if you don't meet their minimum. Ask for a recommendation for another florist and don't be offended. They are just trying to run a business and have to earn a living too. 

4. Research Their Reputation

Read reviews. What did clients say about how they were to work with and how they understood their vision. These statements show how trust was built. Ask around to friends. Look for quality over volume of work. Florists may only publish certain weddings on their websites that represent the work they most admire.  

5. Work With Someone You Like

Personality will matter too. Can you connect with them from your first impression? Trust your instincts. Working with someone you like will bring greater success to your event. 

Most florists truly love their work and will put their heart and soul into making your vision come true. Once you've narrowed your choice reach out to them. They should provide a final pricing proposal and most will provide a visual proposal at some point during the process. 

Enjoy the journey! 


Flower Varieties In Cover Image

Iceland Poppy, Ponpon Ranunculus, Hellebore, Silver Brunia, Clooney Ranunculus

Bouquets That Do Double Duty

 
BridalBouquet-01.png
 

Making more use of your bridal suite flowers just makes sense. If you have vases setup and ready to go on your head table, pop the bridal suite flowers in and you have instant arrangements to fill your table. Use any extras throughout the ceremony for bars, buffets, bathroom, etc. Add in a few candles and bud vases for a rich, full look. 

 Photo: Jordan & Alaina

Photo: Jordan & Alaina


Flower Varieties In Cover Image

Ranunculus, Geranium, Maidenhair Fern, Cotton Candy Scabiosa, Piaget Rose, Champagne Rose, Hellebore, Astilbe, Chocolate Cosmos

The Design Proposal

One of the things we love doing is creating a design board for our clients. Whether we are providing a full-scale design, or just designing your flowers and table scapes we love getting to know you and creating this visual tool that will help you see how our style and your vision make the perfect pairing. 

When do we do this? 

Usually about a two months before you wedding date. This has given us time, hopefully if we've been brought on board soon enough, to get to know you. When we first meet and you've hired us, we've discussed what you like, but we like to dig in a little more. As we work together we get to the real authentic nuts and bolts of what you like. 

Why we do this

I've often worked with clients who will initially share with me that they love a vintage style, but after getting to know them it just doesn't seem to fit their style. So my job is to uncover those hidden signals so that on the wedding day they are really happy with the design. The visual tool of the design proposal works great because it shows ideas and how those ideas mesh with color palettes, the venue, decor details and florals. 

What we include in the proposal

We include inspirational images mixed with our own images, venue photos, your engagement photos, and a color palette. We talk through our ideas and show you visuals that we intend to convey a mood rather than copy the exact design. We want to create a unique design for you, not copy someone else's Pinterest page. 

The design proposal provides a clear idea of our design plans for your wedding day, relieving the stress of wondering what you can expect and creating excitement about your design. 

Our design plans are included in our services, and you can also purchase a design plan for your DIY wedding. We just need an interview with you and we'll create a plan you can follow for your own design. 

Below is what one of our design proposals looks like. We created this for the wedding of Taylor & Diandian. 

 

Reception Tables On A Budget

 

Using Florals On Every Other Table

We love this idea because it will still give you great coverage with flowers, but at around half the cost of putting a lush centerpiece on every table. For example, a 200 guest wedding would require around 20-25 tables. If you alternate lush plants on every other table, this will cut your budget in half. 

Consider using long rows of tables for your reception. This setup will allow you more flexibility in creating an overall design with lots of impact. Adding in just a few full, lush arrangements paired with lots of plants, bud vases and candle light creates an intimate gathering space. 

Holmes_W_Preview-030.jpg

Hiring A Stylist or Designer

Should you hire a wedding designer and a wedding planner for your big day? You're probably thinking, "what's the difference?" Well, think of a wedding planner as a contractor...they take care of the logistics for your day in regards to timelines, organizing vendors, assisting you with choosing vendors, etc. Now think of a wedding designer as the interior decorator...they create cohesive, unique, and beautiful designs for all aspects of your day. They help you bring your visions and the overall aesthetic of your day to life...from creating invitations, to floral design, to deciding on the best reception layout, to making linen + dish ware choices, they can even help with deciding what your bridal party should wear! If you're like most people, you're probably thinking, "how could all of the hundreds of little details possibly come together to create my perfect day?!" We say, don't stress yourself out...hire a designer to do all the "heavy lifting!" We definitely notice a difference throughout the day when our brides hire a designer as well as a planner...so is it worth it? Yes! Luckily for you, Deanna specializes in both planning and design! She's amazing at what she does and is easily worth the investment.  — Jordan & Alaina Photography

Should I Hire A Makeup Artist

 

When it comes to your wedding day, the best way to handle your hair and/or makeup is have a professional take care of this for you. You'll benefit from the experience in more ways than you might realize. It's also a great idea to have the entire bridal party have their makeup and hair professionally done. 

Some Of The Benefits

  • You'll have makeup that lasts the day
  • You won't have to worry about taking the time to do this yourself
  • You'll be pampered
  • Your photos will look great
  • Paying for your bridesmaids' makeup makes a great gift
  • Everyone will look great together in pictures

Here's how to choose the right one. 

  1. Ask around for recommendations. Ask your photographer, planner, friends who they recommend. Planners often see how the makeup artist handles client relationships. They know whether they are responsive and listen. Photographers see their work through the lens - the lasting impression of your wedding day. Friends have experienced their work first hand. 
  2. Do a trial run. Yes, you'll have to pay for it but better to try the artist out on your own skin rather than be comfortable on your wedding day. 
  3. Review their work online. If you like what you see there and their style resonates with you, you'll likely love your results too. 
  4. Pick someone you can connect with. You'll be working close up with this person and you'll want to feel comfortable with them. 

Personal Tip

One thing I've always taken note of over the years is the type of client the artist attracts and their personal style. Just like all artists, including photographers, and designers, you will be drawn to them because of their style. I personally have never loved wearing lots of makeup. If a makeup artist doesn't do a natural look well, I'm not likely to hire them because I know their style is not natural. 


 

What You Can Expect To Pay

Many makeup artists I've worked with charge around $200-500 per person. Additional services like lashes, airbrushing and touchups might be an extra charge. Ask the artist to spell it all out in a contract or invoice for you.

Questions To Ask

  1. How many artists will be there on your wedding day?
  2. Will they work at your wedding location?
  3. What exactly is included - touchups, lashes, etc?
  4. What is the price per person?
  5. Is a package deal available for more girls? For example, if you hire them for your makeup, your mother and mother-in-law, and your six bridesmaids. 
  6. How long will they stay for touchups? 
  7. Will the owner/representative of the company be the one doing the makeup or will they send someone else? If so they should be the one to do the trial run. 

Lastly, they should provide you with a Day-Of schedule of when they plan to arrive and finish. This is important because the photographer will need to know when you will be ready. 

 


For a list of artists I recommend, let's chat. 

 


Garlands & Greenery

 
eucalyptus.png
 

Using greenery instead of large arrangements on your table is a great way to stay within your floral budget. It provides something "living" and all people connect with this on a deeper level. Whether you go garland, springs, or potted greenery, it will bring your tablescapes to life! This setup is not short on wow factor with lots of romantic and moody twinkling light surrounding your lush greenery. Add in some bud vases and you will have a reception with lots of impact!

Thomas_W_Preview_029.jpg

Bride Packing Checklist

 
 

Don't forget a thing! Here's our little checklist to keep you on track when packing for the day of. 

 Photo: Julie Paisley Photography

Photo: Julie Paisley Photography