Showing posts with label Brides Perspective. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Brides Perspective. Show all posts

Friday, November 19, 2010

How to mix and match your bridal party.

I was watching good ole TLC’s “Wedding Day Makeover,” one of my favorite shows and I saw a bride whose girls were all in different colors, patterns, etc. I was in HEAVEN!!! Wow, it was such a great look. It was sexy and sophisticated, the wedding party had the most beautiful look. Brilliant. So, today I decided to show you a few color palettes that you can do mixed and matched. All the brands are listed left to right, top to bottom.

mixandmatch.001    Pinks/Taupes. All J Crew.

mixandmatch.002Blacks/Purple. Thread Social, Tibi, Thread Social, JCrew, Obakki, Rachel Roy, Rebecca Taylor, & Parker.

mixandmatch.003Purples/Olives. Madison Marcus, Shoshanna, Chris Benz, Shoshanna, 12th Street by Cynthia Vincent, & Alice + Olivia.

mixandmatch.004Creams/Blues. Banana Republic, J.Crew, Thakoon, & Ann Taylor Loft.

My top three mix and match tips.

1. Don’t be afraid to go to multiple stores and to mix brands. You can always return if something doesn’t work out.

2. Don’t go for the obvious color choices. Use a patterned look to give you inspiration for the colors you could use. And put your maid of honor in the bold pattern, it shows she’s special.

3. Give the girls a unifying aspect. The same shoes, jewelry, or hair piece. That way it sets them apart from your guests.

Okay, I really hope that some of you decide to go this route. It is literally the most fabulous trend. I wish I could go back and do it with my girls. Please, if you have any questions and mixing and matching comment and ask away!?

Until we meet again, stay bridal and don’t be afraid to mix and match... just make sure it doesn’t look like you dressed your girls in the dark ;)

Lauren

Monday, July 12, 2010

Start to Finish planning with MG Events: Cake, Cake and More Cake

cakeI figured cake tasting would be one of the easier vendors for me to handle, after all I love cake and I have made a few. But as life should have it, it sure showed me how wrong I could be even from the start!

My first task was trying to figure out what kind of design would go with the vintage garden theme of our wedding, not to mention finding one Joey and I agreed on. This was definitely one place Joey was overenthusiastic about being a part of. It is cake we are talking about, and what man doesn’t like cake! Joey and I sat down for days looking online for cake ideas. The MG Events team was even emailing us ideas that they had come across that they felt would fit our theme and personalities. Between the three of us, we came up with two cakes. And let me say two VERY different cakes they were. One design came from the art deco period and the other was delicate and soft with lace, but Joey and I couldn’t decide.

So the day came, when Morgan set up our first appointment. Joey couldn’t make it up for the first tasting, but Morgan had arranged with Carrie of Two Cakes for me to take samples back for him to try when he got into town. He was very excited about this, and it allowed for us both to have input on our cake decision. Morgan took me to her studio meeting space where we began to look Carrie’s previous cakes, which allowed me to get an idea of what she could do and how well she could do it! Morgan had previously emailed her our two ideas, so she sat and talked to me and Morgan a bit about what I was looking for and the style of our wedding. Morgan even had pictures of my wedding dress and vases we were using to help give her the feel of the wedding. From there we narrowed it down to the cake with lace piping on it. Carrie made a sketch of it and any changes we wanted or talked about, such as the colors or the piping on certain layers. She even wanted to change the sugar flowers on the cake to flowers that were going to be in my bouquet and all over the reception. I followed Morgan’s advice and let the experts make suggestions, after all, it is what they do best and often their suggestions only make it better. They know what works and what doesn’t. For example, we had to discuss if the cake was going to have butter cream or fondant on the outside. This mattered because we are having our wedding during the summer, but it was going to be kept inside with air conditioning. I have to say that it was nice having three people there and having it inside of a private business rental. It allowed me to really get to know Carrie, bounce ideas off of each other, and talk freely. After the look of the cake had been set, Morgan and I dove into the cake and icing flavors. Wow, there were so many flavors and combinations. That’s what makes it difficult, Carrie makes the samples with what is most popular and sometimes you have to just try the icing or just try the cake, or make up your own combinations. Thankfully Morgan was there to offer her expertise, too! Carrie really added an extra touch, by giving us a huge sample plate for Joey and then drew a labeled guide to go with it, so he would know what he was eating. Sometimes it really is the little things that people do, that make the difference.

The next cake appointment Morgan set up was at Gallery Espresso. The process was very similar, as the first, except this time I knew which cake we wanted and we brought a few more members of my family. Along with the MG Events team, my mom, dad, step mom, my fiancé Joey and I were all there. Since it was at a café it made it a little more difficult to exchange ideas or discuss details, especially when it was a busy weekend day and six were in our party. Sometimes when more people are there, more options and suggestions can go around, and although this can be a great thing (like two heads are better than one), occasionally it can make it overwhelming and difficult. I don’t think Joey and I were heard as much, or were able to connect the same way I did with first baker. This baker was so sweet to accommodate all of us, and her cake was absolutely delicious, especially her red velvet cake. It was the most popular, including mine!

Joey and I had a difficult choice ahead of us, and we knew it. We liked different things about each person and their cakes. But in the end we decided to go with Carrie of Two Cakes, with two separate flavors: Strawberry and a marble of Chocolate…but you will have to wait until the wedding to see what design we came up with!

Your fellow bride in planning,

xo Mandy

Photo by Tim Zielenbach

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Start to Finish-Planning with MG Events: Photography Meetings

Hi everyone, it's me again…Mandy! Sorry it took me so long to update ya'll with everything going on with my wedding. I've been quite busy moving into my new house lately, which is probably one of the biggest reasons I love having Morgan Gallo Events by my side. They have completely helped me through the wedding vendors and getting the details of the wedding nailed down. Now, if only this blog would have written itself, I wouldn't be so behind on getting it to you. Although I'm sure that is a service MG Events would offer to do, if I hadn't offered to do this for them first! ;) After all, I haven't found much they don't do. So, let's talk photography, since that were they guided me next!

Savannah Wedding I drove into town to meet Morgan at a cafe while she was planning and organizing an upcoming photo shoot. One of the photographers, Geoff Johnson, I was supposed to meeting with later on that weekend happened to be there planning with her. Morgan introduced us, and casually as the meeting dispersed we began to talk. Geoff was very down to earth, and easy to talk to. So we decided instead of waiting until our appointment, we would have the meeting right then and there. Everything was very laid back, and Geoff is very talented. I got to see a wide variety of his photographic collections, and not just of weddings. I appreciated that, especially because Joey and I aren't very traditional, more "go with the flow type of personalities" ( I hope people still say that, ha). Geoff asked a lot of questions about our personalities and styles to try and get to know us as a couple, and see what were looking. He seemed to have a different perspective on photography than most; his style was a bit avant-garde and I liked that. He enjoys the spontaneity of a photograph, loves the outdoors, and believes in using natural light. Joey and I love being outdoors and tend to be a little camera shy, so we needed someone who knew when to be in the background and when to step forward for the right moment.

image Shannon Christopher was the other photographer MG Events had set up for us to meet with. Our meeting was originally schedule for 9am, but thanks to Morgan's help and Shannon's flexibility we were able to push it back to 11, as I was not feeling great and had a late night. Morgan emailed him late the night before, and Shannon got back to her before the original meeting time. Morgan, again, took the stress out of a bad situation and took care of things for me when I wasn't able to myself. This also gave me some insight into Shannon's easy going personality. Both, Morgan and Kacie, met Joey and me at The Gallery Expresso. Although it was a bit loud and busy there, we managed to talk and get to know one another very well. Shannon shared with us a little bit about his style, personality, and even a little bit about himself, outside of photography. This was nice, because it was more about getting to know a person who wants to be a part of your wedding, rather than getting to know someone you were paying to be a part of your wedding. Shannon's personality seems to want to please whatever we wanted and needed from him on our wedding day. He photographs tend to be artistic and natural, but he can and will take those traditional photographs if you want them. I was surprised that this was Morgan's first time meeting him, and yet she did a great job, again, matching our personalities together. We all sat together and talked, like old friends it seemed, for almost an hour. Shannon even asked us to tell him how we met and how we got engaged, and I truly felt like we were talking to someone who cared about our wedding, it's purpose, and it's meaning.

At both appointments I felt important, but not pressured and found that when there were lapses in the conversation, it was wonderful to have Morgan around to guide us all back into a direction that would help us, as a couple, determine who was going to be our photographer. They both seemed like a perfect fit, in personality and artistic style. Even though, Morgan made the choice difficult for us,I was grateful that Morgan had narrowed down two photographers for me to choose from that mimicked our style and beliefs as a couple. Two artists that would take amazing photographs, while still being unobtrusive and laid back. That's what we wanted on our wedding day, for everyone to be celebrating and enjoying themselves. We knew it would only add to our special day, rather than making us feel like puppets with a lot of posing and one, two, three: smile! We knew that wasn't right for us, and Morgan did a phenomenal job matching us up to two photographers that would make our wedding day just a little more special, and make two camera shy people feel a little more comfortable when it matters the most! As for who we chose, I guess you'll just have to keep waiting and reading to find out. All I can tell you, is that we couldn't be happier!

Your fellow bride,

Mandy

xooxo

43 Things Tags: planning with MG Events,Morgan gallo Events,Savannah Wedding,Savannah wedding Planner,Savannah Photographers

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Your first wedding planning weekend-What to expect from Savannah and MG Events!

Welcome to the Hostess City of the South!  image Well you and your husband-to-be have descended on Savannah in order to do a bit of Wedding Planning. You’ve left the scheduling of appointments and confirmation of details to the experts of the MGE Team so I am going to give you a slightly different agenda on how to spend your time with us. And trust me I have spent many an hour combing through Savannah discovering these places.

Chances are it's a weekend and hopefully you were able to get into town on Friday to wind down a little bit before getting to work on Saturday. Keep in mind that vendors work on weekends and most of them take Sunday and Monday off. If you can make it in town on a Thursday night..all the better so you can spend Friday and Saturday attending appointments and leave Sunday to see Savannah! So first, here are a few simple rules of the road for Savannah that will make your visit with us as smooth as 15 year old scotch.

Festivities: Check out the Savannah CVB before you head into town to see what is going on in the area. Savannah is constantly hosting amazing events, shows and festivals and the opportunity to experience more of what Savannah is…the better!

image

Accommodations: Stay downtown! You can walk just about anywhere you need to go! When you and MG Events have decided on a good weekend or timeframe to come into town for meetings, make sure you let us help you book your room. Because of our long standing relationships in the community and the hotels, we can get corporate and discounted rates at some great downtown hotels! Maybe you would rather the Bed and Breakfast route…well Savannah has no lack of amazingly hospitable B&Bs.

Parking: Generally from Friday evening to Monday morning you are not required to pay for metered parking, just read it to make sure, but I am sure Savannah doubles its annual budget from people paying for parking when they don't have to. OR if you feel more comfortable parking in one of the garages it's fairly inexpensive compared to say Washington DC. If you flew in…just grab a taxi to downtown. Your feet will do the rest and save your wallet the added expense.

Drinking in Public: Yes this is allowed in our fair city. BUT you cannot take glass or bottles with you. Just simply ask the bar keep for a "to go" cup and they will gladly oblige you with a plastic cup for your travels. But PLEASE for the love of our Azaleas and given the fact you do not want to get arrested do not pee in public.

Tomorrow we will talk about some great places to dine, sites that you must see, and hear the planning experiences from Mandy, our August bride…on what she experienced with her first planning weekend in Savannah…

43 Things Tags: Savannah,GA,Savannah Wedding Planning,Savannah Wedding Planner,Savannah CVB,Savannah B&B,Savannah Hotel

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

From start to finish-Planning with MG Events-Buying the Dress

Buying your wedding dress may be one of the most important details of your wedding, and sometimes the most overwhelming. I did not know where to start, but Morgan Gallo Events had already taken care of that for me. Morgan personally set up two appointments for me: BleuBelle Bridal and David's Bridal. Not that we ever made it to the latter one, but that's just how this story goes.

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You could easily say I was a little bit nervous about trying on my first dress, let alone walking into a store full of wedding dresses and expecting to come out with just one! Although I may have been little intimidated at first walking into BleuBelle Bridal Salon in Savannah, it only took a few minutes for me to settle in. Morgan had not only set up the appointment, she and Kacie came with me and my family. To my surprise, my consultant was none other than Heather, the owner of the store. She really is the best! She immediately began putting me at ease by asking me all kinds of questions (what was I looking for, where was my wedding, was there a theme, did I like a particular style or designer, etc). From this we began pulling dresses from the gorgeous selection of designers like Vera Wang, Nicole Miller, Melissa Sweet, Priscilla of Boston, and Monique Lhuillier. Heather encouraged everyone that was there with me to pull something they thought I would like; and while we were pulling dresses, we were served chilled Champagne and Mimosas. How much more fun and relaxing can you get?

With all the dresses pulled, it was time to try them on and decide. To my embarrassment and due to my cluelessness, I did not bring the right undergarments. Thankfully, and without judgment, Heather had corsets in all shapes and sizes. She even had shoes for me to wear while I was trying on dresses. Although all of this was a bit embarrassing for me, and I normally wouldn't share this with my friends, let along the blog reading world, I wanted people to know how accommodating, prepared, and fabulous BleuBelle is. I also wanted people to know that even though I was nervous and self-conscious, not once did Heather or any of her staff, make me feel that way. BleuBelle did everything within their power to make me feel special, relaxed, and comfortable; including, working on the price of the dress so I could afford my dream dress. To me, it didn't feel like it was about them making money, it was about loving their customers and wanting them to be happy. Sorry, I know I may have gotten off on a bit of a tangent, but now you can see why we never made it to the next appointment. You can also notice the kind of people MG Events associates themselves with!

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I felt very fortunate Morgan had brought me to BleuBelle. As I tried on my very first dress and walked out to my family, Kacie, and Morgan, I knew this was going to be an experience I wasn't prepared for, but will always remember and cherish! Good thing Kacie came with a camera to document all of it, because I didn't! And I wouldn't have pictures of me in the dress I chose, if it weren't for her. Shhh, just don't tell my fiancé I have them!

 P2200228P2200221 With each dress I tried on, I received personal touches for every one. A ribbon here, a vintage fastener there, or even some feathers to add some modesty and class at the same time. Whether it was a long cascading veil, a birdcage veil, or any kind in between, each decision was made to match each dress and its own personality. Everyone there, from family to wedding planner, added ideas, opinions, and most of all support. Thanks to everyone, I felt more and more special with every dress I tried on. And when I found "the one," everyone knew and supported me. Within two minutes of having it on, Morgan had taken off her own accessories to put on me (which just happen to match perfectly), while Heather fixed my hair with the perfect veil. What an amazing team, and I walked away feeling like a princess, and I'll be honest, I did not think there would ever come a day when I would feel that way!

To top it all off, within the time it took me to remove my dress, Morgan and Kacie had pulled bridesmaid dresses to match, that perfectly fit the theme and style of the wedding. From there, by looking at all the colors of the dresses, it only took 5 more minutes to find my colors for the wedding. As we put my dress and the other dresses next to each other, Heather walked over with a bouquet that couldn't have been more ideal. I may have walked into the store clueless, but I walked out with more than just a dress. I left with bridesmaid dresses, wedding colors and accent colors, a theme, some great friends, and one amazing experience!

Enjoy every experience, especially this one!

A Fellow Bride,

Mandy

del.icio.us Tags: wedding dress,bleubelle bridal salon savannah,nicole miller,melissa sweet brides,vera wang,wedding dress shopping,wedding gowns,wedding gowns savannah,morgan gallo events,savannah wedding,savannah wedding planner
43 Things Tags: wedding dress,bleubelle bridal salon savannah,nicole miller,melissa sweet brides,vera wang,wedding dress shopping,wedding gowns,wedding gowns savannah,morgan gallo events,savannah wedding,savannah wedding planner

Monday, March 1, 2010

From start to finish-planning with MG Events-A bride’s perspective

We decided to highlight something new on the blog four our readers. If you have ever wondered about the wedding planning process and how a wedding planner would help you plan your wedding, then this is the perfect weekly read for you! We picked a bride that hired us to help her with her destination wedding planning and asked her to write about her experiences planning with us. Here is her first blog about Step 1-venue searching!

 image Hi everyone! My name is Mandy, and I am one of MG Events newest clients. I guess you could also call me the clueless, atypical bride! I never planned ahead for a future wedding or even though about what mine would be like. So, when the day came when I got engaged and needed to start planning a wedding, you could imagine the panic that set in! I had no clue where to start or what needed to be done. I called MG Events, and instantly they began guiding me through the "wedding planning process."

Living in Gainesville, FL and wanting to get married in Savannah, GA made the decisions even more difficult and complicated. Although I had been there several times, I was oblivious as to what Savannah had to offer for a wedding. I just knew I loved the old fashioned charm and history! Morgan and her team were amazing! The day after we spoke, she sent me links and pictures from different wedding venues, with complete explanations and breakdowns of costs. With their help, we narrowed down the venues and set up a date to come to Savannah. Holly, one of Morgan’s coordinators, even found us an incredible downtown hotel, and took care of our reservations! Even though nothing had been concretely set for the wedding, I was already feeling a huge relief. Plans had been set in motion!

To make life a little more interesting, my fiancé and I decide to buy our first house at the same time as planning the wedding. I mean, why not...it seemed as good as time as any. I figured out quite quickly to never buy your first home in a time crunch and plan a wedding in 6 months by yourself. Phew, good think I had the latter one covered! Thankfully, because of MG Events, I didn't have to worry about wedding details and it allowed me to focus on other things that were competing for my attention. Let me tell you just how they did this!

Even before we arrived in Savannah, Morgan had an itinerary for us based on the in depth questions and conversations we had on what we thought we wanted for our wedding venues.  She mapped out the day and ensured we got as much accomplished as we could without wearing us out. We met her, and another one of her coordinators, Kacie, at the first venue. Morgan was always professional, knowledgeable, understanding, and patient. She had a great relationship with every person in charge of the venue site and offered another perspective for each place we visited. She was honest; listing the pros and cons, letting us know the full potential of the space, by providing us with endless ideas for what each venue could offer us, and most importantly, they asked the vendors questions when we didn't know to ask or look for. There were so many details to inquire about, and Morgan and Kacie always knew when to interject further and give us as much information as possible to make our choice just a little bit easier. Harper FowlkesWho knew to ask about wedding insurance, bar and liquor minimums, tenting and setting up restrictions, parking, and transitioning capabilities???  We didn't, but they sure did, and they made sure questions we didn't come with, were even answered. Morgan even played  a little devil's advocate, when my fiancé and I were having a hard time coming together to decide on a venue. After all, we are the epitome of opposites attract! When my fiancé was still unsure, Morgan spontaneously took us to look at other venues that she thought might meet our needs. Instead, the more she showed us, the more we knew what we wanted. Morgan later told me, "sometimes people have to figure out what they don't like, to open their eyes to what they do want," and she was right! We found the perfect place for us, we just needed someone to show us how to pair together The Harper Fowlkes House with a little bit of our own wedding personality!

Nobel Fare surprise And as an added bonus, when they say that they add personal touches and luxury throughout the process, they aren't lying. As we sat down for a romantic dinner at Noble Fare, recommended by Morgan, when they made reservations for us, they also surprised us with a mini cake topper for our dessert! Talk about personal touches!  What a great end to a perfect starting point in our wedding planning process with the MG Events team!

My next blog will talk about my dress shopping experience with Kacie and Morgan.  I cannot wait for the remainder of this process with them!

A fellow bride,

Mandy

del.icio.us Tags: wedding planning,wedding planning experience,mg events,morgan gallo events,harper fowlkes house,noble fare savannah,savannah,savannah ga,bride,wedding planner,wedding coordinator,savannah wedding planner

Friday, February 5, 2010

How to Deal with the Difficult Bridesmaid

Green Bridesmaid Dresses 

So, I thought I would take a brief break from fashion. GASP. I know, but after speaking to one of my dear friends and bridesmaids, Erika, I was inspired to write about dealing with your friends around your happy/stressful time. First, let me say...I’m not an expert in dealing with stress, I am a true emotional spaz, but let me say I didn’t flip out or go all bridezilla for a single second after arriving in Savannah for my wedding. I let it all roll off of me, I was there to have the best weekend of my life and marry my best friend...so, when my brother gave me a piggyback ride and nearly threw me onto the cobblestone sidewalk...I just made sure I was unscathed and took a deep breath. When the hotel didn’t have my room ready on my wedding day, I ended up having a great time hiding in the lobby from my hubby as he tried to leave the hotel with his groomsmen. Hell, when the DJ announced us again after we had changed clothes and welcomed back “Joey and Lauren”...my husband’s name is Brian...I calmly looked at Morgan’s assistant and said, “Uh, who’s Joey...let’s do that again.” So, there are so many things that pop up and trust me I could list a few more, but I could also list how I just shrugged my shoulders and said, “c’est la vie.”

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I was  mostly inspired to write this because when I asked Erika what to blog about she said, “difficult bridesmaids who insist on wearing pants in your wedding.” I laughed and went with it. Erika did indeed refuse to wear a dress and you know what, at first I was pissed I was like...”this is my wedding sister, you do what I say,” but then I trusted her because she was incredibly stylish and always wonderfully dressed. So, I let it go and guess what she looked amazing!!!! She really rounded out my group of girls! So, when it comes to the little things I say trust your friends to make good decisions.

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I was lucky because I had the greatest group of girls around me, but we all know someone who has had the dreaded absentee Maid of Honor/Bridesmaid. Well, here’s the thing, when you are bride...you are tempted by family/friends to do your best not to offend anyone...I’m not saying that you can just loose your mind every time that something doesn’t go your way, but if a MOH or BM is constantly backing out of scheduled events, not taking the little things seriously then a conversation becomes necessary.  You should sit down with this friend and let them know that you are hurt. That the last thing you want is to sound pushy or overbearing, but you don’t feel like they are taking this seriously. Now, if they get defensive let them talk it out, but just calmly insist that you are just expressing your feelings and just want them to be aware. Now if you don’t see a drastic change in their behavior, you have my permission to replace...that’s right replace. There is no need to have that kind of bollocks in your life. I’m serious!!!

Now, I’m not sure what’s worse the non-existent girl or the know-it-all, snotty, opinionated girl. While working at the bridal salon, this was my biggest pet peeve, I just wanted to slap these brides and say, “why are you friends with this girl?” Here’s the thing, you know your friends, you know the ones who borderlines snarky, let them skip out on the dress search or any planning. It doesn’t have to be a big deal, it’s not that you are leaving them out, make shopping a family thing or just invite your one fashionista friend. Have snotty bridesmaid come to a fitting after you purchase the dress, what is she gonna say then? She’s going to smile and tell you how beautiful you are. Let her plan a shower, so that she can’t have anything negative to say because if it’s bad it’s her fault ;) And once again, if this person becomes too difficult to deal with let them go. Anyone that causes you stress during your already stressful time is just toxic.

So, I’m not sure if this is even helpful, but I just want you to know that surrounding yourself with difficult people is a just a bad way to start planning your wedding. I feel like brides choose every person they have ever known to be in their wedding, you should never regret having someone in your wedding! Pick the people that you love and that you know will do anything for you. And remember to breathe and let the day soak in!!! Don’t stress!!!!

Until we meet again, stay bridal and keep the crazies out of bridal party.

Lauren

Photos by Geoff L Johnson

del.icio.us Tags: Bridesmaid Etiquette,Difficult Bridesmaid,Bridal party,How to pick your bridal party,Savannah Wedding,Savannah Wedding Planner,Replace bridesmaid
43 Things Tags: Bridesmaid Etiquette,Difficult Bridesmaid,Bridal party,How to pick your bridal party,Savannah Wedding,Savannah Wedding Planner,Replace bridesmaid

Saturday, December 5, 2009

How to fit into your perfectly altered wedding gown after the holidays.

So be honest, how many slices of pie did you have for Thanksgiving? Two? Three? Have you totally had to bust out the stretchy pants? I live in leggings during the holidays, but some of us aren’t so lucky for those who have to be fabulous brides during or after the holiday months here are a few pieces of advice to keep you happy and fabulous.

I am by no means fitness or dietary specialist, but I do exercise and diet A LOT, so please consult your doctor before experimenting with any diet or exercise regime. I love reading about the new fad in dieting or trying a new workout. If you read fitness magazines, like me, they can sometimes seem repetitive and I think that for the most part that is because the basics of being healthy don’t change, eat right, sleep right, drink water, and exercise. And why should this change at the holidays? So here is just a few things I have learned through reading and practice to help you stay trim even when there are freaking delicious baked goods everywhere you turn!

What the heck do I eat at a party?

First, If you know that there is going to be food at a function, do yourself a favor and eat beforehand. That will make it much less likely that you will stray. If you do decide to snack, stick with veggies and hummus, olives, any kind of non-fried lean protein, like chicken satay or shrimp cocktail sans cocktail sauce. If the guests are bringing snacks do yourself a favor and be the one to bring a “healthy” dish, then you will know for sure there is something that you can eat. Stay away from cheese, chips, diary based dips, the bread basket, fried foods, sad, I know, but you will totally be thanking me.

holiday rut.001Now if it’s a sit down dinner, don’t be rude, but stick to the protein and veggies, and you can always very politely ask your host when you RSVP that if possible your food be cooked without butter or copious amounts of oil. Also, dress your own salad with a dash of olive oil and some lemon juice. 

So another waistline destroyer is a party fave. Alcohol. I mean I’m not a drinker so it’s really easy for me to just say, don’t, but I understand enjoying a cocktail or glass of whatever, so the best advice I can offer is have one and make it really, really good. A glass of a great wine, or a superbly mixed cocktail without any sugary mixes, or a great top shelf liquor on ice. I get a club soda, which has 0 calories with lime, I feel included and stay skinny. BAR ALERT: Club soda and tonic water are not the same!!! Tonic has 83 calories in one 8 oz serving!!!!! It’s the same as food really you just have to have self control. Sucks, I know.

Oh, the sweets!!!

I have a sweet tooth, well hell, I have an everything tooth, but when it comes to sweets I rarely can tell the difference between the real deal and healthy option! So make the healthy option. Women’s Health December Issue has a great article about how to cook sweets with smarter more health and weight conscious ingredients. And when you can’t be the one making the cookies, be smart and avoid the hub cap sized double fudge, double nut chocolate cookie...I know it looks good, but 1 of those babies can pack as much as 500 calories!!! That’s a meal! Go for a gingerbread man, or a pizzelle...and have only one. If you have never had homemade pizzelles I want you to try them, so good. They are large, very thin Italian cookies. My Lord, I am like 6 years old again, just thinking about them. They are huge so you feel like you are getting way more cookie and bonus they average about 80 calories a cookie. Pour a cup of joe and you are in business with an 85 calorie snack. awesome. 

http://www.womenshealthmag.com/nutrition/low-calorie-dessert-recipes?page=2

it’s cold, I don’t want to work out!!

holiday rut.002I’m with you! I hate working out in less than perfect weather conditions, even when I’m in the gym! But it’s worth it. I need to be listening to my own advice. The most important thing is to get moving, even if it’s just walking everywhere possible. I read somewhere a chick slept in her workout clothes and all she had to do was roll out of bed and was ready to go. Just don’t let yourself be talked out of going. Jump start your workout with a bit of cardio, 5 minutes is enough to get your blood pumping, and then head to the weights. I don’t know why so many women are scared of lifting, trust me, you will not get scary buff. Your body just doesn’t work that way, but you will get toned and skinny. Plus, the more muscle you have the more calories your body burns simply by being a couch potato. I like to work upper and lower body on separate/alternating days, but if I can mix a few, then that’s always helpful. Abs are the one muscle group that can be worked daily, so if your up for it, throw in a circuit of 3 abdominal exercises and do 3 reps of each. Utilize the internet when looking for new and effective workouts, Shape.com, Self.com, Womenshealthmag.com, Oxygen.com, etc.  Also, at most gyms you are usually given one free work out with a trainer, use it, pay attention and “borrow” their exercises. WARNING: DO NOT sign up for a gym trainer!!! It is a mistake. If you want to go the route of a personal trainer, hire an independent, trust me, you will thank me. It’s like the difference between mass production and handmade, my trainer could barely remember my name and was constantly complaining about being underpaid by the man, all of the other trainers were equally downtrodden. Trust me, the smaller independents will give you better deals with no sneaky contracts to sign.

but I don’t want to go to bed.

Tough, you need to!!! Sleep is sooo important when trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I don’t have much to say about that, other than try and get the best sleep possible by taking computers and televisions out of the bedroom. In studies, it’s been proven that those who slept without electronics on had better more effective sleep. I have read that we need 6, 7, 8, or as much as 9 hours of sleep, so I’m not sure who’s right, but I like a good solid 8 hours with 6 being the minimum, anything less and I look like a swamp monster.

So this was just a little fun, I love talking about this stuff and it feels good to feel good. I never feel better than when I am eating right, sleeping right, and staying active. Major bonus you will still fit in your wedding dress after the holidays. Now remember, this is for maintaining your weight before the wedding...don’t lose too much, your dress will be too big and your bra will show in 75% of the pictures...I’m speaking from experience ladies. Trust me. Please ask questions or share your favorite stay fit tip below.

Until we meet again, stay bridal and break a sweat, it feels soooo good.

Lauren

Thanks to Shape, Oxygen, Women’s Health for photos and info.

Friday, November 20, 2009

How to walk the line of alternative wedding fashion without scaring any of your guests.

A few weeks ago I posted on gothic weddings and let me tell you, it was my favorite blog to research for so many reasons...for one, I kind of wish I had one, but there’s always a 10 year renewal, yay Morgan! and two, I find “alternative” weddings to be amazingly interesting and beautiful. Plus, they always look good in pictures. Now I am not talking about tacky vampire fangs and severed heads. I am talking about romantic gothic weddings with a bit of spunk to keep everyone on their toes.

Did you know that I was an art history major? Go figure right? Well, I stuck to mostly classes involving architecture and church art and gothic buildings were among some of my favorites. Genius, stunning buildings that are so massive and impressive that when you actually see them you may forget to breathe. I think it’s fun to see some of these buildings to help give a bit of inspiration. There is something just magical about French Gothic architecture and I think it’s pretty easy to see how this inspires the “gothic” fashion trend...it’s romantic, but kinda creepy at the same time!

goth wedding.001Finding the perfect gown isn’t just about find a dress with some black embellishments, it’s about finding a gown full of romance and mystery. Doesn’t that sound fun???? Of course it sounds fun!!!! I love romance and drama combined in a wedding dress, it becomes the kind of gown that literally takes your breath away. I’m affected by everything, so maybe it’s just me. There isn’t one specific thing I can say to help identify these gowns other than that no matter the shape they always seem light and delicate. They can be full or slim skirts, full sleeve or strapless... that’s not very good guidance, huh?  I guess, regardless of the modern aspects of the gown, some part of the gown needs to make you feel like you are looking back in time. We don’t want you to look like a bar wench complete with corset and turkey leg, so don’t go overboard.

goth wedding.002I’ve found that some designers have a flare for this style and those include the incomparable Vera Wang, but also Elizabeth Fillmore, and Melissa Sweet. I also like to check up on Reem Acra, Marchesa, Marc Jacobs, and Temperly London. These are all designers who know how to make women look beautiful and strive for innovative yet romantic looks.

goth wedding.003As far as wedding day beauty, keep things relatively simple. I would keep skin fresh and matte, no bronzers. To avoid looking washed out you can use a pretty peachy pink blush, like NARS orgasm, best color ever. I would use a product like Revlon’s HIP high intensity pigment kohl eyeliner, I would choose between the black, navy, or burgundy...all depending on your eye color or preference. Navy enhances all eye colors so keep that in mind. And false lashes on the corner of your eyes are a must, plus a healthy the dose of volumizing mascara. You don’t need any eyeshadow, but if you really want to wear it, go for highlight shadow along the arch and in the inner corner. The lips should be practically naked, either a nude gloss or a berry stain with a bit of clear gloss over it. For a bit more funk, wear dark nails, nails should be cut very short. I love Chanel’s black satin and OPI’s Lincoln Park after Dark or Lincoln Park after Midnight.

As always if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask! Have a good story about a similar style wedding? Send it!

Until we meet again, stay bridal and don’t be afraid to take a walk on the dark side.

Lauren

Saturday, May 16, 2009

with a recent bride’s perspective!

 

252 Kristin Nabers and Payson Schwin married on  April 4, 2009

Location Married

 Orleans Square, with reception at Harper Fowlkes House

Tell me about how he proposed

 Payson surprised me with a 'Labor Day Staycation' in DC - dinner, drinks, and a night in a really cute bed and breakfast. When we arrived at the B&B, they had left champagne for us in our room, and we took it into the backyard where Payson proposed!

What was the most challenging part about planning your wedding?

The number of decisions you have to make and details you have to manage! It can be really overwhelming, which surprised me since I consider myself pretty organized.

What advice would you give to a couple planning their wedding?

Break the to-do list up into manageable pieces, and split the tasks between you...and hire a planner if at all possible! And try to videotape at least part of your wedding day, because it zooms by so fast that you'll have trouble remembering the details. A group photo of all the guests is a great memento as well.

Would you change anything?

Actually, I can't think of a thing. The weather was perfect and everyone looked beautiful and had a fabulous time! No major disasters at all.

What is your favorite memory about your planning or wedding day?

The Harper Fowlkes House has windows that overlook Orleans Square, so I was able to watch all the guests assembling before the ceremony while I got dressed. Very fun and kind of surreal.

What was your favorite detail of the wedding?

Wedding photos 147We loved that so much of our ceremony was done by our friends. One played the guitar for the processional, and another actually got ordained online and married us! And in lieu of readings, we had friends and family members write their own short blessings that they read. It made the whole ceremony so much more personal.

 

An unexpected moment? Wedding photos 439

Payson loves karaoke - in fact, we first got together at a karaoke outing with friends where he sang "Let's Get It On"! We had talked about him singing at the reception, but he had decided against it - or so I thought. At the end of the night, I was talking to our guests when I heard the opening notes of Marvin Gaye's classic...and up in the front of the tent is my new husband, belting it out! It was a huge hit and probably the most talked-about moment of the reception.


 

What was your design inspiration?

 We were thinking along the lines of 'vintage Southern' - classic looks that would compliment both Harper Fowlkes and the city of Savannah.

Anything else you would like to add?

We really want to thank Morgan and Holly for making our day so special! We had a GREAT time and all of our friends did too.