Tuesday, April 28, 2009

with what to gift your bride!!!


What do I get my bride as a gift for our wedding? I can tell you that this is a very common question that comes up often and one that I struggled with as we prepared for our wedding. I have seen everything from a new car to a simple card and a note. With today's economy a new car might be out of the question but that's ok, in the end you want to give her something that she is going to remember the rest of her life and 20 years from now the car will be a distant memory. So........ here are some ideas to help you out.

dance 1. Surprise her with a dance - Since it is your wedding day you will be dancing with your new bride all evening perhaps you want to surprise her with a special dance. No I am not talking about your own dance version to "Bust a Move" but something a little more romantic. Take the time in the months leading up to your wedding to take dance lessons. One it will completely take her by surprise when you are doing your own rendition of Fred Astaire on the dance floor and when you tell her that you have spent your free time taking dance lessons for the big day it will move her to tears.

2. A personal book of memories. Now guys as corny as this sounds it's the thought that she will remember so bare with me on this one. This is going to take some work on your part and some coordination with her parents and relatives but something that you can pull off with ease.

You can purchase a very nice inexpensive or expensive keepsake book for you to start this. You can cover a period of your entire lives up to your wedding day or you can start with when you became a part of each others lives. Remember that first meal you shared, it's nothing to contact the restaurant or establishment to request a copy of the menu, extra bonus points if you can remember what you both had and highlight it, your first vacation together, all of the memories that you have made together and place them in a book to give her on your wedding day.

3. Coordinate a slide show during dinner. This is along the same lines with the book of memories just in a more modern format. Coordinating with your venue you are hosting your reception at is something your wedding planner can help you do. You just need someone to make a surprise announcement as dinner is getting started that there is a special gift from the groom to the bride.

These are just a few ideas to get you started on gift ideas for your bride, remember anything that you put thought into is what counts, anyone can get something engraved, but when she sees that you put thought and heart into your gift for her she will cherish that more than anything else........

Your ineligible bachelor,


Monday, April 27, 2009

with celebrity weddings: Christina and Jordan

Christina.001 Christina Aguilera & Jordan Bratman

When I think of unconventional formal weddings my mind quickly drifts to our favorite pint sized songstress Christina Aguilera. On November 19, 2005 this dirty girl married music producer, Jordan Bratman, in a traditional Jewish ceremony at a private estate in Napa Valley and trust me the wedding was anything, but traditional.

Christina.002 The Bride. The bride looked like a Spanish princess in her custom Christian Lacroix gown. True to Christina style the gown was curve hugging and flared into an amazing ruffled skirt. I found some fantastic gown options to match Aguilera’s sultry style. I love that her gown had straps, a wonderful options for those blessed with large bosoms. Aguilera’s wedding day makeup is classic diva, nothing natural here. For starters, you will need a super-duper liquid liner, Sephora Brand long lasting eye-liner in black is perfect for $10. Add a bright highlighter under the brow bone to really make the eye pop. I like to use Bare Escentuals eye shadow in blush, $13. Also important for her look is the perfect shade of red lipstick. I love CHANEL rouge in dazzling, but at 30 dollars a pop it’s a bit expensive. The Flirt! brand sold exclusively at Kohl’s has 3 wonderful shades of red and for only 10 dollars you can’t beat it. For Aguilera, one dress just wasn’t enough, so for the reception she changed into a satin mini-dress designed by her stylist. Christina.003STEAL THIS IDEA: Change!!!! You all should know by now that I love showing some leg at your wedding. Wedding dresses are great, but it’s so much more fun to dance in a sassy mini.Christina.004

The Reception. Wedding Planner, Michael Gapinski, used Aguilera’s favorite month, December, as inspiration for his wintry creation. I love all white weddings and I love the extreme that the couple take it to. The walls were lined with hundreds of birch trees and Manzanita branch chandeliers sparkled and set the mood for the room. The tables were elaborately dressed with silk, organdy, and trimmed with faux fur. The beautiful centerpieces, by Kevin Lee of Premier Flowers, sparkled, literally, adding yet another dimension to the reception decor.

Christina.005STEAL THIS IDEA: This is one of my favorite idea’s, plus it is super easy to do. The happy couple spent thousands, if not millions, on sticks: the birch trees, the chandeliers, in the centerpieces. That’s not cool. Why not do it your self? Go to your local craft store and buy bunches of the prettiest shaped decorative sticks you can find. Invest in some white matte and glossy silver spray paint and you are practically finished. Spray the sticks in a well ventilated area, please, add a vase and bam! You have centerpieces. For a bit more sparkle and fun, hit the after Christmas sales and purchase white and silver ornaments in various sizes to use in the vases as filler. Now, if you get super creative and you have the dough, you could make your own Manzanita branch chandeliers. The branches are easily available online, using thick wire arrange the branches in the desired shape, add some large white Christmas lights and you are in business.

The Menu. The menu was all business. Well, if you are a crazy southerner like myself. Guests dined on roast chicken and short ribs, they did it right with family-style sides of mac n’ cheese, mashed potatoes, and onion rings. Aguilera wanted her guests to fill comfortable, so she opted not to have “fancy food.” The five-tier white-chocolate cake designed by Sam Godfrey of Perfect Endings was a vision in white and the hot pink roses added a crazy pop of color. STEAL THIS IDEA: Have yummy easy snacks handy for guests to grab and bring to the dance floor while shaking their tail feathers. Aguilera’s guests sipped pink champagne and had tons of munchies to choose from including waffles and chocolate chip cookies. Alcohol and sugar...the perfect fuel for dancing.

The Party. The party really got started when Aguilera busted out “Lady Marmalade.” Guests jammed on a 24-foot octagonal dance floor and for a real sense of fun the party moved from the snowy tent to wine cave discoed out with red velvet walls and sofas. Good ole’ DJ AM spun for the guests well into the early morn. STEAL THIS IDEA: Enjoy the party, you do this once, so enjoy every second of it. Have your own after party, head over to a local club, if it’s in your means rent the club for the night or morning, or for my low budget option, do what I did and have your very own party in the hotel. My sister-in-law’s room to be exact. We had music, drinks, bad Showtime, and most importantly more time with our friends. It was amazing to spend just that little bit of extra time with a smaller crowd.

This wedding is a toughie on a budget, but not impossible. You really need to identify your favorite details and find interesting and unique ways to execute them. Don’t be afraid to get crafty, let your inner Martha soar. The best thing to do is look everywhere for inspiration and get excited about creating your very own version. I love this wedding, everything about it screams fun, yet it doesn’t stray too far from a traditional wedding. So, get your diva on and borrow some  ideas from Christina and Jordan’s wintry wonderland wedding.


Saturday, April 25, 2009

with Vivien and Todd….


Vivien Kloppel and Todd Harkrader

Date Engaged:

April 12, 2008

Where did you meet?

We met at a military ball in Germany. My now bridesmaid, LeAnne invited me along with her, Kerri (maid of honor) and Crystan.

At the same time, Todd was trying to skip the ball to go to Prague, but luckily his boss asked him to “kindly” be there. When LeAnne and I arrived, we were invited to lunch and go swimming with Mihai and his 'friend'. At that moment, LeAnne turned to me to whisper, "He's ‘kinda’ cute. And he's tall," as if she were already predicting a match. Immediately, I could tell Todd was fun loving and free spirited. I'm sure you're wondering if I agreed with LeAnne. The answer is yes, he was very charming and cute.

From then on we just clicked. We had a great time dancing and getting to know one another that evening. However, I figured I'd only see him every now and then since I lived in Mannheim and he in Schweinfurt, a 2 1/2 hour drive. I was wrong; he came to see me every weekend and soon we were traveling all over Europe's greatest cities together.

How did he propose? (From Todd)

Vivien flew to Arizona to see me during her Spring Break from school in Germany. We heard about a great steakhouse called Donovan’s in Tempe, so I set up reservations for that Saturday night and let them know that I was planning on popping the question. Things got off to a bad start though because our reservation got messed up and we did not get seated for 45 minutes. We enjoyed a great meal but as I got ready to propose, I realized that the restaurant was almost empty. On top of that, all of the staff was just watching me waiting to see me propose. The moment just didn’t feel right so I decided to wait until we got back to the hotel. I definitely went through a “walk of shame” though, as I imagine most of the workers figured I had gotten cold feet.

After some confusion describing the name of our hotel to the Maitre D (great story but has to be told in person), Vivien and I got a cab back to the hotel. Vivien’s flight was in about nine hours so she was already starting to fall asleep on the way home, while I had an engagement ring burning a hole in my pocket. When we got back to the room, there was a very nice setup with champagne and two flutes. See, I had planned on having that in the room to celebrate the engagement, but now it was just kind of sitting there so I had to think fast.

While Vivien went to the restroom, I took the champagne on the porch of our hotel room, which by the way, was surrounded by a beautiful mountain and waterfall. I waited for her to come outside and join me. Fortunately I had a backup plan from when I first bought the ring. When Vivien came outside, I had the champagne waiting but I had also put a fortune cookie into the champagne cooler. At first Vivien wanted me to open it, but I insisted that she open it. Her fortune said, “Will you marry me?” and as she read it, I went to a knee, apparently blacked out for about a minute while saying some very romantic stuff, and came to when she happily said, “Yes!!!”

When is your wedding date?

August 15, 2009

Why did you pick the area you are getting married in?

We absolutely fell in love with Wesley Monumental, their minister, and the beauty of the city!

Where do you reside now?


Anything interesting or out of the ordinary you are including in your wedding day?

We will be having a military wedding to include some traditions from our families.


Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your planning process and BIG DAY! You are so adorably cute together and we couldn't be more thrilled to share in such a special occasion in your lives. Here’s to a fabulous affair! We love our military couples!


Friday, April 24, 2009

with wedding attire for all from J. Crew!

How to wedding shop at J.Crew and actually get your money’s worth.

Pretty much everything at J.Crew is overpriced, seriously, a 75 dollar polo shirt is the craziest thing I have ever heard of and I own 400 dollar shoes. I really do have a hard time buying anything from them at full price because it just isn’t worth it, but when it comes to J.Crew Weddings they are quite a bargain. They have everything your wedding party needs for a stylish day.

J.Crew.001J.Crew.002 I am always amazed at what chic gowns J.Crew has for brides. They have wedding gowns ranging from as little as 295 dollars maxing out at 2,995 dollars, with most gowns chilling around 800 bucks. Um, hello? Why aren’t we all shopping there? I know it freaks people out a bit not being able to try on the gowns before ordering them, but the size chart on the website is the same for all dresses, so head over to your neighborhood J.Crew and try on a few dresses and order the size that fits you best in the store. If you still aren’t convinced you can contact one of their personal shoppers at 1.800.261.7422 for the best sizing advice. I just love how simple and refined these gowns are yet some are so interesting and slightly edgy, a really sexy combinations. I will say as with all things there is a slight catch, some of the really inexpensive gowns are made of a mid-weight silk tricotine which can be unforgiving to bumps and lumps we may have. What to do? Purchase a pair of killer good Spanxs and you should be good to go. I live in them!

 J.Crew.004 Bridesmaids, also have unbelievably fashionable and easy gowns to choose from. J.Crew is a great choice if you want your girls in the same fabric and color, but are letting them choose their own style. I love the breeziness of all of the gown choices. Nothing seems hard or overworked. The bridesmaids gowns are also a great deal ranging from 165 to 395. And these dresses are so cute that they will wear them again, trust me.

J.Crew.003J.Crew.005 The accessories at J.Crew are super cute and not so much of a bargain, but you are saving so much dough why not throw in a beautiful bracelet for 75 dollars. The shoes are also a bit much hovering around 200ish, but they have some fantastic color choices and I really don’t believe in skimping on your wedding day shoes or any shoes for that matter. You should know this by now.


Now, even the groom has fantastic options, obviously it is not cheaper to buy a suit or tux, but J.Crew has some fantastic options for around 400 dollars! That rocks. And those suede shoes are so freaking hot! Now, I know it’s hard to talk all of the groomsmen into spending four or five hundred dollars, but I was inspired after watching “I Love You, Man” to have the groom wear whatever he wants, even a blue tux. But if you aren’t into the whole not matching deal, for the same price as renting a tux your dudes can purchase a new white shirt and the pants that match the grooms tux, for a cohesive, yet comfortable look, that opens up the guys to spend more money on booze...no, was that just my husbands guys? perhaps.

J.Crew.006Now, I’m not one for little people, but J.Crew has some seriously cute children’s clothes. The deals really kind of stop there, but they are soooo cute and maybe if you tell their mothers how much they cost perhaps they will decide not to bring the little miscreants...that’s horrible...whatever :)

So, ladies when shopping for wedding day ensembles don’t forget about J.Crew because they really do have some amazing options that might free up some of the budget for more important things like food and booze. I used the word booze twice in this one blog, do I need a drink or what?

Until we meet again, stay bridal and don’t be afraid to buy online.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

with press……an article written for every 09’ wedding couple!

Savannah Something Blue MagazineThe latest issue of Something Blue Savannah asked me to write a piece for their magazine. I figured why not write about what every couple getting married this day in age, has on their mind…..a cost effective way to have the wedding of their dreams in this day’s economy. Click on the picture to open the article page for easier reading or pick up your copy today around Savannah, GA. For more information and budget friendly ideas, be sure to follow us on our blog or email me with questions about your wedding. We understand this is a difficult time for everyone and we want to make sure your wedding doesn't suffer! Happy reading and yeah for us!

Savannah Something Blue Magazine Savannah on a budgetSavannah Something Blue Magazine Savannah on a budget 2 Savannah Something Blue Magazine Savannah on a budget 3

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Ask Morgan…Wedding Planners vs. Onsite Planners

jesstableQ: I recently starting looking at venues for my 2010 wedding and found out that a few of them offer their wedding/event planner services for our use. Why would I need a wedding planner if my venue is offering the use of their onsite event planner? – Kate

A: Dear Kate, this is a good question and one I get quite frequently. Let me help you understand what your on-site wedding/event coordinator does and then you can make your decision about hiring a wedding planner or not. It is true that some venues have a specific person that is hired to deal with the venues events and weddings and they are there to help you….to an extent. Take a look at this table that compares both.

Tasks Wedding Planner On-Site Coordinator
Vendor Suggestions Yes Yes
Assist with etiquette and protocol for invitations, family matters, ceremony and reception Yes No
Establish Guest Block Will coordinate with the venue to get this taken care of Yes
Consult on menu and beverage selections, attend menu tasting Yes Yes, if you are having it at a hotel/CC
Creates estimate of charges and your banquet order outlining all events and food items Will coordinate with venue to get this for you Yes, if you are having it at a hotel/CC
Attends your vendor meetings and helps with design/decor Yes No, but will create a floor plan/layout for you
Coordinates and negotiates with your vendors Yes No
Be the liaison with your family, bridal party, band/DJ, florist, photographer and other vendors to create a seamless operation Yes No
Creates timeline for bridal party and vendors and confirms all times and details with vendors Yes No
Run the rehearsal or ceremony Yes No
Oversee Reception Setup Yes Yes
Runs the events of reception (toasts, dances, etc) Yes No
Set up personal items (place cards, menu cards, etc) Yes For the most part, yes
Stays through the entire night Yes No-after you are seated for dinner they will depart and leave the Banquet Captain to run things
Collect Personal items and make sure they are delivered to you Yes Maybe-Some might be willing to keep them their office for you to pick up at a later date

The long and short of it, is that your wedding planner is there with you giving you all the help and attention you need from day 1 until you are on your way to the airport for your honeymoon. Because of the time we share planning your special day, our relationship we establish is unlike any other and I always like to keep in touch with my past brides who in turn, turn into my friends. We are there on an emotional level to help with EVERY aspect of your wedding…and put in unlimited amounts of time planning with you..even if it is sitting down to help you assemble your favors, ironing out the wrinkles on your wedding dress that day, or being a sounding board when things don't go as planned…your on-site planner…will not go the lengths we go to!

Time is priceless, emotions run wild, and we keep it all together!


For more information or questions, don't hesitate to ask!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

with luxurious lashes!


I happen to turn on Martha Stewart last week and she was doing a wedding special. One of her guests was Ja'Maal Buster and he is known as the Eyelash Guru to the stars. So…I just had to share this with you!

I think eyelashes are one of those essential items you need to add to your wedding day makeup routine. His line features over 15 different kinds of lashes, each to suit your specific eye shape, color and look desired and the accessories. One of my favorites is this eyelash tool, which makes applying your lashes simple and mess-free. (If you have tried applying lashes before, you know that glue does EVERYWHERE) and placing them simple! Be sure to order an extra pair and do a trial run a few weeks before your wedding day to ensure you have the right style and can apply them correctly. Enjoy!

 I DO Eye lashes Ja'Maal Buster Lash Tool

Monday, April 20, 2009

with enjoying your bachelorhood with class.

So your last days of being "legally" single are coming to a close and your boys want to send you out in style, there are a couple of ways to tackle this whether you are doing it in the low country or in Des Moines Iowa. The most important advice I can give you is remember the following things:

(a) Don't do anything that will get you arrested.

(b) Don't do anything that will cause your bride to be to re-think her options.

(c) Don't do anything that will embarrass you or your brides family

This is something that you should discuss not only with your best man but your bride as well. When most guys think of bachelor parties the first thoughts that come to mind 99.9% of the time is strippers and strip clubs, save yourself the money and invest into something that you and your groomsmen are going to remember, not something that is only a hazy smoke filled memory. If you are able to have a few days leading up to the wedding that you can set aside for you and your groomsmen there are endless possibilities for you.

Golf is always an option for you and your wedding party. There are countless golf courses in the area that can accommodate you and even set up a tournament for you. Maybe you want to make a weekend out of it and do a golf weekend playing a few different courses. Savannah, GA has this option but if you want to travel a bit farther, try Myrtle Beach, SC, Orlando, FL, Pinehurst, NC or Charleston, SC. They all have amazing courses that will leave you coming back for more! Not to mention some great restaurants to end the day with! I would recommend, from experience that you not do this on your wedding day. You are going to be exhausted by the end of the night regardless and this will only make you that much more tired.

The southeast offers some of the finest bird hunting and sport shooting facilities available so if shotguns and hunting dogs are your thing that is a fantastic way to fill a couple of days of fun with the guys and tell some war stories together. Check out Adventure Bachelor Parties for more ideas.

It could be something as informal as a dinner for you and the boys together in a private dining room enjoying some steaks, good wine followed by cigars and maybe some poker, think of it as a roast of sorts for you.

Remember you want to include not only you and your groomsmen but don't forget a few others, your father, any brothers you may have as well as remembering the brides father (remember stock up all the points you can especially if you are on shaky ground) and any brothers she has. You want to make this a fun event filled with great memories not something you are going to have to spend the next three months explaining to your new bride.

As I wrote in my prior blog I have to warn you off about going out in style the night before your wedding. Remember in the southeast the humidity is a beast, so while I won't tell you that you shouldn't enjoy a few drinks on your last night of freedom but you don't want to be the groom who is 15 minutes from his wedding searching for a miracle hangover cure, trust me it's not going to happen. Just remember to drink more water than libations as you go through the night, and this goes for your groomsmen as well you don't want to have to explain to your new bride why your best man either isn't there or has to take a break during the ceremony to lose his lunch, trust me this will not go over well. Just a few tips for enjoying your time in Savannah, don't harass the cops, that's the quickest way to end up in the pokey for the night, open containers "to-go" cups are allowed but it has to be a plastic cup, no glass or bottles, don't pee in the street, again another way to find yourself staring through bars for the evening. Designate one responsible person to be in charge and keep the group out of trouble.

Relax and enjoy yourselves,  just do it in style and without having to call your future wife asking for bail money or start your marriage off on the wrong foot. A simple rule of thumb, as yourself, “Would I want my wife doing what I am doing?”

My next post will cover gifts for your groomsmen (because beer mugs don't cover it anymore).

Your ineligible bachelor,


Sunday, April 19, 2009

with celebrity wedding-Mariska and Peter

mh photo Mariska Hargitay & Peter Hermann

Perhaps it’s because I have a huge girl crush on her, but I think that Mariska Hargitay is the most beautiful and talented woman on television. She is stunning and she was nothing short of radiant at her wedding to fellow actor Peter Hermann, the two met on the set of Law & Order: SVU. Their wedding was formal without any of the stiffness, so if that sounds up your ally read on for some budget saving ways to still have a crazy beautiful wedding.

Hargitay & Hermann.001 The Bride. Hargitay wore Carolina Herrara and to keep her honey close Hargitay had Hermann’s initials, as well as the date, sewn in blue into the lining of her gown. Something blue, check. Hargitay’s rich duchess satin gown was grand without being fussy. To find a similar gown look for gathered sweetheart necklines, dropped waists, and A-line skirts. Satin is a must to pull off the intended drama. Now, this waistline doesn’t look good on everyone, so if you are extremely short waisted or very petite you might want to forgo the dropped waist. STEAL THIS IDEA: The bride carried a locket with photos of her grandmother and mother, Jayne Mansfield, keeping their memory close to her. Hargitay & Hermann.002 Check out Etsy for beautiful affordable lockets. Hargitay’s hair and makeup were flawless, as always, here are a few tips to get the same look. Her skin looked perfectly airbrushed, which it probably was, my favorite spray foundation is DiorSkin AirFlash, $60. Trust me, I know this is supposed to be celebrity weddings on a budget and I know this stuff is freaking expensive, but my goodness it works giving you a truly flawless look. Follow with any natural looking bronzer, starting at your forehead trace a 3 along both sides of your face, and finish by dusting the bridge of your nose. Physician's Formula has a variety of shades at drugstores, all under 10 dollars. For the perfect neutral lip, start with a nude lip liner, I like Bobbi Brown’s naked pencil, $20. Follow with Bobbi Brown’s lip color in brown, $22, I know the color sounds very blah and 80’s, but it is the perfect lip color. Brown says it is her attempt to make recreate our natural lip color, only better. Finish with a golden gloss, my favorite glosses are made by NARS, they are perfectly pigmented and never sticky. Try Greek Holiday or Orgasm, $24. Hargitay’s hair was swept into a beautiful loose bum accented by flowers, I love the laid back vibe the florals give off, plus when the veil comes off you still have hair adornment. Delicate and fluffy flowers like orchids, roses, and gardenias are perfect as hair decor.

Hargitay & Hermann.004The Attendants. I have never been bashful about my dislike for all things toddler, or baby, or tween, but I have to admit I love the whimsy of having only children as your attendants. Hargitay and friends loving named their little ones “the parade of sweeties.” I don’t really have that gene that makes me swoon over the cuteness of children, but Us Angels and Sweet Beginnings both make adorable and simple white gowns with tons of color options for the sash. They are also both extremely well priced, but remember these gowns do take time to order much like bridesmaids gowns would, so get orders in early. S TEAL THIS IDEA: Who doesn’t love fairies? The young ladies either carried flower pomanders or wands, which I absolutely love. I found some super cute ones online for around 45 dollars which is more than I would like to spend on a wand. The cheapo plastic ones just don’t work and to get the right effect they should look fancy and well, expensive. So, embrace your inner Martha Stewart and purchase wire, glass beads, and ribbon and make your own to save some major money. Hargitay & Hermann.003 The Ceremony. The bride and her father arrived to the ceremony in an antique Jaguar. STEAL THIS IDEA: During the ceremony, Hargitay’s father read a poem by E.E. Cummings. I love non-traditional readings and a favorite poem or story can add a fun and personal touch to your ceremony. I also really like the idea of involving family and friends in the service.

Hargitay & Hermann.005The Food. Their guests dined on seared Alaskan halibut with tomato-basil relish. To mimic their menu, keep food fresh and light, no frying here. Look for foods grown by local farmers for affordable fresh produce. For dessert, they feasted on a beautiful 5 tiered wedding cake, chocolate and vanilla to please all palates. The cake was an explosion of color and surrounded by a sea of neutrals it really created a dynamic focal point. This makes me like them even more, I totally admire such a spunky choice.

  The Reception. Everything about the reception was understated, from the chocolate chivari chairs and ivory linens, to the seating cards which were mounted on raw silk, and accented with tiny crystals. STEAL THIS Hargitay & Hermann.006IDEA: To spruce up your place cards, head over to your local fabric store and buy a few yards of ivory Dupioni silk. Cut the fabric into squares about an inch larger than your place cards. Then either print the cards yourself or outsource to whomever and with a dab of fabric glue attach your cards for an interesting and inexpensive place card. The practical couple also accented the reception space with heaters to keep their guests warm well into the night. The choice to have a reception outside sans tent is a gutsy move, you must be super sure of your weather, but if it works it is such a stunning look, it reminds me of something out of a Jane Austen novel, natural and romantic.

Hopefully, you can take something from this amazing affair and add distinctive little touches to your very own special day.


Friday, April 17, 2009

with honeymoon attire-the easy way!

How to shop for your honeymoon without stepping a foot into the mall.

This week is a slight departure from the usual Fashion Friday post. I thought it would be fun to show you how to purchase everything you need for a stylish and comfy honeymoon from one online store. I am a champion at internet shopping, seriously, I search for coupons and sales like it’s my job. Don’t be afraid to shop online and never let shipping charges stand in your way, there is always a way around them, trust me. Plus, most sites offer a low standard shipping rate and generally, if you spend enough cash the shipping is waived. So come on, let’s spend some money...        

Honeymoon Attire.004Exotic Beach Getaway. For a beach honeymoon, not much is required in the way of clothing which is why Victoria’s Secret is a perfect match. Vickie’s online is always having some kind of sale and often offers discounts based on how much you spend. The bathing suits can be a seriously great deal, with mix and match suits starting at 14 dollars a piece. That is killer, a lined well-made bikini for 30 dollars, gasp. Now this is your Honeymoon Attire.005honeymoon, you need variety and one pricey suit won’t hurt. Vickie has tons of designers to choose from, but I’m partial to the patterned Trina Turk suits. I also think a retro one-piece is a must and at 58 dollars I totally love VS’s yellow suit, also available in black. A cute tunic or cover-up is a must for your beach honeymoon. Victoria’s Secret’s clothes actually fit very well, especially the dresses.

For tropical climates, your arsenal should be mostly casual dresses with one or two a bit dressier for nights out. If you plan on doing any sightseeing a great pair of linen pants are perfect. Vickie has a huge selection of shoes at great prices, just be sure to break them in before the honeymoon, blisters are not sexy. To make sure you are getting the right sizes you can call up and speak to a representative, who are always super helpful and lovingly remind you that Tyra Banks is a size 12. Returns and exchanges are also very easy to do, but must be done through the mail. And don’t forget some cute lingerie while you are at it.Honeymoon Attire.006

Honeymoon Attire.007

Breezy Napa Retreat. Now, I sometimes forget about American Eagle, but they are one of the few Honeymoon Attire.001preppy stores out there that aren’t out of control expensive. The clothes are a fantastic quality and you only need to beware of looking like at 17 year old, so just say no to denim miniskirts. The clearance selection is always banging and they are constantly having sales on new season items. You can get everything that you need to have a relaxed visit to wine country. A polo shirt and seersucker shorts are perfect for a walk through the vineyards. They also offer a variety of breezy tops and an adorable pair of linen trousers. They also have a great selection of day dresses at fantastic prices. For a night out, I love the sexy silky tank with a pair of white skinny jeans and some rocking high heels. The accessories also rock, bags, scarves, and sunglasses all at reasonable prices. AE offers free shipping on all orders over 100 dollars and all returns can be done online or at any American Eagle store with your receipt and packing information. AE’s customer service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1.888.232.4535.

Honeymoon Attire.003Honeymoon Attire.002

Chic European Adventure. One of my favorite stores to shop online is Urban Outfitters, they are fantastic to order from. Shipments are always super quick and they really do guarantee happiness. They also have everything Honeymoon Attire.008that you could possibly need to look super cool on a European holiday. I will never forget the feeling of pure joy while honeymooning in Prague, when an unbelievably fashionable Spanish women commented on my beautiful sandals. This is  a feeling I would love to recreate for any fashionista honeymooning in Europe. Now, I am assuming you are going in a warmer month, so you will need a pair of fantastic gladiators to tour your chosen city and Urban is chocka-block full of affordable pairs. The soles are all a bit flat so I suggest adding some shoe inserts for the ball and the heel. Also, a great side slung messenger bag Honeymoon Attire.009is a must have to fit your camera, wallet, and travel books. Europe is a great place to experiment with fashion and rompers are so “in” right now, so there is no better place to wear one then on your European vacation. Keep dressing for day light and airy. Urban is stocked full of cute and comfy dresses suitable for viewing a church or people watching at a cafe. The selection of skirts is also fantastic, add a solid tank or tee and you are set. Buy a sassy black blazer and a stylish little wedge and turn any of your day dresses or skirts into perfect evening attire. Now, I say little wedge because have you ever tried to walk on cobblestone in stilettos? It is seriously dangerous and should only be done by crazy folk and Italian women. If you sign up for emails, Honeymoon Attire.010Urban often sends coupons and alerts you to sales and free shipping. All returns by mail are free and you can also return items to the store within 30 days of purchase as long as you have your packing slip. Customer service is available from 8am-8pm Monday through Friday, they are also super quick at replying to emails.



Until we meet again, stay bridal and look fabulous on your honeymoon, clothed or not.


Thursday, April 16, 2009

with Jessica and Brian…..


DSC_0426 Jessica Keefe & Brian Ryckman

Date Engaged:

November 29, 2008

Where did you meet? 

We met soon after starting law school together.  It was only later that we discovered we had gone to the same undergrad, graduated the same year, and even had friends in common from college!

How did he propose? 

A surprise weekend trip to St. Micheal's, a delicious dinner, a room full of flowers and candles... it was all very romantic, and then a lampshade caught on fire.  Despite the fire, we did manage to get engaged and save the hotel room, all in a matter of minutes. 

When is your wedding date?

April 17, 2010

Why a Savannah Wedding? 

We have always loved Savannah, and wanted the chance to spend more time in the city!

Where do you reside now?

Washington, DC


We love you guys! I am so excited to be planning your wedding with you…it has been a dream thus far! Jessica and Brian have amazing taste and the wedding will be a true reflection of them….breath taking, unique, and tons of incredible details to enjoy! I look forward to the next year with the two of you, and making it all come together flawlessly!


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

with a clear complexion on your big day!

Copy of Bechicpic Acne and Weddings don't mix...

Technically, I don't think acne mixes with anything. I seriously get angry just thinking about acne, which in turn makes a nice juicy one pop up out of the blue. I am an acne hall of famer, I have been dealing with it for almost a decade. I have tried everything known to man to cure my acne and my senior year of college I began taking Accutane which got rid of my acne...as well as my will to live. It is a horrid medication that I would never recommend to anyone, but my acne did lay low for almost a year, until the damn Marines started moving me and the mister around. When I arrived in Virginia, my acne arrived with it. That began the product purchasing frenzy. I tried everything: ProActive, Dr. Haushka, Murad, Sonya Dakar, and so many more. Nothing worked. We recently moved to Florida and what do you know? Even more breakouts. I don't know about you, but when I get a breakout even with makeup I lose the will to communicate, I just get sad. I don't want people to see me and that is definitely not the way to spend one of the most important days of your life. Over the Past month I have experienced something new for me, practically clear skin...gasp! With only a dap of concealer to cover past breakout red spots and I am good to go. I'm not saying they have disappeared completely, but it makes me feel sooooo good and I wanted to share what has been working for me so hopefully you too can have clear skin on your wedding day.

For my birthday I went to get a facial and was introduced to the Isolaz laser treatment. Now this is not a cheap treatment, but rather an investment in your skin. The sessions run anywhere from 250-500 dollars per treatment, and some places will discount if you buy a grouping of treatments. You need anywhere from 3-8 sessions to initially clear up skin, with return visits every 2-3 months. The laser is FDA certified and virtually painless. The treatment works by using suction and a laser pulse to temporarily dry out your sebaceous glands. Of course, I am not a Dr. or licensed professional so make sure to talk to someone and as with any laser treatment make sure whoever is touching your face is certified to do so. There aren't many side-effects to the laser but the sucking can cause small "hickeys" on your forehead, so don't wait until the last minute to start this. I would go aggressively at least two months before your wedding. This is also helpful if you have a last minute spoiler pop up, it can be used much like a cortisone shot to dry up a zit fast. To learn more checkout www.isolaz.com

Now, I can't credit the Isolaz laser alone with my skin success, I have been using Obagi CLENZIderm dry system. Which is the first acne treatment I have used that doesn't dry my face out horribly. I cleanse with the soap free cleanser morning and night. In the morning I apply the 5%Benzoyl Peroxide treatment followed by the moisturizer and an oil-free sunscreen, which is an essential. At night I use a low dose of Rentin-A which makes your face peel a bit at first, which is why you need to start this well before the wedding day. Along with everything listed, I also changed my birth control to YAZ which helps some people with mild acne. Holy jeez, right? Well, it has been working so I am sticking to it. Other small things to do: Wash your pillowcases often, try eating anti-inflammatory foods, drink tons of water, never go to bed with makeup on, take your vitamins, and try and chill out. Relaxing really can be the best cure for horrid acne. So go and be beautiful and have a stunning clear wedding day.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Real Wedding –Low Country Charm Savannah, Georgia

Megan and James were married on September 27. 2008 in Savannah, GA. It was a year and a half of planning that resulted in an amazing and stress-free day for all! I have to say that the details of this wedding were a main focus for the bride…and it paid off! Tables named after Savannah Squares with the history of each square folded into the napkin along with the menu card. CD’s of the couples favorite music doubled as place cards,  a watermelon martini that complimented the pink color focus, and amazing flowers to show off the garden venue! But the show stopper….a Minette Rushing cake from Custom Cakes.  For more pictures, go to our gallery.

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