Showing posts with label Pre-Wedding Care. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pre-Wedding Care. Show all posts

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Health and Wellness: pure barre


More like pure GENIUS!
pure barre technique

Newly engaged ladies and new brides alike, take heed: the latest in workout trends, pure barre is a ballet-based program that produces some serious results. Whether you have a couple of months or a whole year to prep your best wedding day bod, Pure Barre can most assuredly help you reach your fitness goals.
How does it work? 
According to the company website, “Pure Barre is a total body workout that lifts your seat, tones your thighs and burns fat in record-breaking time. Utilizing the ballet barre to perform small isometric movements set to fantastic music, Pure Barre is the fastest, most effective, yet safest way to change your body. Students see results in just 10 classes.”
How much does it cost? 
Cost {and schedule} varies based on location. However, I do know that our local Savannah, GA chapter has an amazing Bride-to-Be special that offers 3-months of unlimited classes for just $375. That may sound like a lot, but considering that you will see results in as few as ten classes and that the regular unlimited six-month price is $870 {yes, well over 2x the 3-month BTB special}, it’s a steal!
Where can I find a studio? 
If you are one of our lovely local brides, a Pure Barre studio recently opened up just off of Abercorn Street {near Gigi’s Cupcakes–how perfect} at 5521 Abercorn St., Suite #500. If you are not local, check out their website for listings.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Just Don’t Do It!!!!




I have been a bride before. I know that the days and weeks leading up to your wedding can become incredibly stressful. Even with the most amazing help and planners it’s only natural to get nervous about everything going as planned. I assure you chopping off all of your hair with a pair of scissors is NOT the way to deal with that stress!!! This is my list of things you never do right before your wedding!!!

Stay away from the Salon. Never under any circumstances decide that a last minute hair cut is in order. Even if done by a trusted professional, this is NEVER a good idea. You will regret chopping off a foot of hair 3 days before your wedding. I also think messing with your color right before the wedding is also an iffy choice. If you decide with your long-time stylist to add a few highlights or want to do a quick routine trim then fine, but if you are a long time blonde please DO NOT decide to become a brunette the day before your wedding. 

Say No to Facials. Unless you get a facial monthly and know 100% that your skin isn’t going to react funny or breakout, I never suggest getting a facial right before your wedding. You just never ever know what your face is going to do!! I would give yourself a minimum of 1 month before your wedding to get a facial. Honestly, I’d probably say 2 months for me personally. And even then, I would opt for a calming and hydrating facial with no extractions. No abrasive or hard core treatments which usually leave redness and can cause breakouts. Do those types of facials 3-4 months before the wedding!

Avoid Waxing . If you wax often and have a plan in place then disregard this paragraph. If you wanna be all smooth and whatnot start going to get waxed 6-7 months before the wedding so you know what works and what doesn’t. But if you’ve never waxed before and you decide to go for it and you are one of those people that just doesn’t wax well and you end up with ingrown hairs and icky red bumps on your underarms you are NOT going to be happy! 

Spray Tan with Care. This might seem obvious, but unfortunately it’s not. The truth is like all of the above if you spray tan every other week and you know what color you are going to turn out and you trust the technician then by all means spray away. But if you decide the day before the wedding to spray it up and you turn a terrifying shade of Snookie orange you are going to be wishing you had listened to me. If you don’t listen to me at least learn from Anne Hathaway’s character in Bride Wars, pictured above.

What we learned today... Unless you have a routine in place, don’t get haircuts, facials or spray tans days before your wedding. It makes sense right!!??! Nod your head yes!! If you need to release stress go get a massage ( I find scalp and shoulder massages are great relaxers), mani/pedi, reflexology, or by simply making some herbal tea and reading a magazine... Not by chopping your long locks off Britney Spears style in crazy bridezilla rage.

Lauren  

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wedding Day Skin Care Plans




It’s no secret that I am obsessed with skin care products... seriously, obsessed. I have tried just about every single product on the market... I spend many an hour on Sephora or Makeup Ally researching products for my next purchase. Here are my suggestions to get your skin glowing and beautiful for your big day, no matter your skin type!!

Oily/Acne Prone.  Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Face Wash, Sonya Dakar Irritation lotion, Sonya Dakar Irritation Aromasol Mist, Retinol Products (prescription or over the counter like Peter Thomas Roth’s Retinol Fusion PM,) Origins Super Spot Remover

I have used all of the listed products (with the exception of the PTR Retinol Fusion because I use prescription RetinA.) These products work. I swear when dealing with acne, harsh “acne” products never seem to make it better because I end up getting so dried up!! When your dry skin starts freaking out your sebaceous glands and they start pumping more oil equalling more acne. So I like to use gentle, moisturizing, oil free products like the ones I’ve suggested. 

Sensitive. Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, Mario Badescu Aloe MoisturizerMelvita Rose Water Spray, Mario Badescu Seaweed Night Cream.

Yes, I have also used all of these products too. I probably don’t need to keep saying that... You get it, I lalalalove products. These products are all gentle, moisturizing, and wonderful!! The rose water spray is the greatest thing in the entire world!! It’s cooling and refreshing. Mario Badescu is great at simple products that work, so ladies with sensitive skin are going to flipping love their stuff!!! 

Combo/Normal.  Purpose Gentle Cleansing Bar, Estee Lauder Idealist, Korres Quercetin & Oak Anti-Ageing & Anti-Wrinkle Night Cream.

Once again, great gentle, natural when possible products. The Purpose bar got me through much of high school and college. It’s ah-mazing AND it’s cheap!! Bonus. I am obsessed with Estee Lauder Serums and this Idealist Illuminating serum is just killer awesome. It’s oil free and light, but it really sinks in and gives you this wonderful glow like you are lit from within. 

Dry.  Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Milk, Dr. Hauschka Moisturizing Day Cream, Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream.

Moisture, Moisture, Moisture. I can’t stress that enough!!! And I don’t just mean on the outside, you should also up your H2O intake!!! Dehydration most definitely shows in your skin, so start drinking up!!!! I also would say to exfoliate once a week with a product like Kate Somerville’s ExfoliKate to help remove some of the dead skin buildup... Gross, but true. Make sure your products are as natural as possible because harsh detergents in your skin care can contribute to dry skin. Dr. Hauschka products are absolutely brilliant!!! 

I’m a huge advocate of using the Clarisonic to wash once a day or every other day for super sensitive skin. It removes makeup like a champ!!! They make varying brush heads to accommodate your skin type and your concerns. It’s a gentle exfoliation that helps slough off dead skin cells so your products can really seep into your skin and do their job!! 

**Side note. If you’ve never seen a dermatologist, I highly suggest you do!! Especially if you have problem skin! They know all of the latest and greatest in skin care and can sometimes offer you potent prescriptions for less than half the price of the far less powerful over-the-counter skin care. I adore my dermatologist!!**

Happy Skin, Happy Wedding... I think someone said that sometime... somewhere... No? 

Lauren 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Wedding Barre



photo via
Every bride wants to get in shape before the big day!! In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever known a bride who wasn’t trying to tone something or loose “X” amount of pounds. That’s were the barre comes in... no, no, no, not that kind of bar, you lush!! I’m talking about a ballet barre!!! And I swear to you it’s the most fun exercise that you will ever do and the brilliant part, results are quick!!! The principals of barre are simple, using short, repetitive motions you work your large muscle groups to burn calories, which is followed by stretching to lean the muscles out!! I swear, my butt has never been higher, my core has never been tighter. Not to mention how wonderful your back and arms will look after all of those push-ups... Oh yes, I said push-ups. Now, classes aren’t cheap, but I’ve found Bridal specials at just about all of the studios I’ve looked up!!! And even easier on the wallet, there are dvds that you can use at home!! Trust me it hurts just as bad in your living room!! I’m a big believer in this style of workout... I swear no one paid me to write this!! It’s just that awesome!!! 
Keep your eyes out for a studio near you! 
Lauren

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Find of the Week: Prtty Peaushun Skin Tight Body Lotion

PRT-005  Alrighty, who wants to look fabulous and skinny and pretty and fabulous?! I do, I do! I swear this lotion is life changing. I found this lotion through the wonderful celebrity trainer, Tracy Anderson. She swears by this lotion and I am just obsessed. This stuff was created by celebrity makeup artist Bethany Karlyn and it’s basically an illuminzing foundation for your body!!! Yes, please! It’s not so shimmery that you feel like you are going to the 8th grade dance, but the subtle light reflecting particles complete camouflage imperfections and also highlight your natural toning. So basically it’s a lotion that makes you look skinny and perfect. No wonder she charges so much for it! It is prtty pricey, but the 36 dollars is well spent! Put the lotion on your arms, neck, décolletage, and back. If you are wearing a short dress apply to your legs... heck even if you are wearing a long dress put it on your legs... we all know what you are doing afterwards ;) prtty-peaushon-brand-page(1)

Purchase at http://www.prttypeaushun.com

Friday, January 21, 2011

Find of the Week: SparkPeople

 

sparkpeople1  So this website is ah-mazing for a bride looking to shed some pounds before the wedding. My trainer turned me on to it and it’s brilliant. It helps you track all the calories you eat, lets you know how much fat, protein, and carbs you are taking in, AAANNNNDD creates specialized fitness regimes. And the kicker is, it’s completely free!!! spark-peopleI’m amazed at how much information I am getting at absolutely no cost to me. Granted, it can be time consuming to enter all of what you are eating, but after a few days you get the hang of it. When you hit your goals, it’s exciting and definitely motivates you to keep at it. Recording everything you eat really helps you stay conscious of portion size and helps you understand how many calories a certain meal contains. I think that is the key to losing weight. Try it out! You and your wedding dress will thank me!!!2854428527_de855c1367

Lauren

Friday, January 14, 2011

Find of the Week. Dr. Zweig Glycolic Treatment Pads

beautifulskin So, I am a product whore. It’s the truth. No polite way to say it. I also suffer from crazy adult acne. Sooooo annoying. I’ve finally got it mostly under control due to an insanely structured skin care regime, but a dear friend and fellow product hoochy told me about these brilliant Glycolic 20% Treatment pads. You swipe them over clean skin and they gently exfoliate and remove any excess oil on your skin. It’s great for acne prone skin. Also, great for prepping your skin for anti-aging products. Best of all, they are only 24 dollars for 60 pads!!!! Ah-mazing.

Simply go to their website, http://www.zweigcenter.com/procedures/skin_care_program.htm#prices, and call or email to place your order. Fabulous skin awaits!!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Guest Blog-Plan for a Flawless Face in Wedding Photos

Wedding pictures hold some of the happiest memories of a lifetime, so be sure you consider all the angles when preparing to be photographed on the big day.

In the weeks and months leading up to the wedding…

Plan your procedures ahead- it’s easy to get caught up in the craziness of tastings, fittings and appointments and forget to schedule facial treatments until the last minute. Don’t be tempted to get microdermabrasion or chemical peels within at least a month of the event, depending on the exact type of laser or peel. Laser resurfacing "heals within days and normal color returns within a few weeks- if that long" according to Dr. Edward Lack (Chicago Rhinoplasty). Even a simple facial shouldn't be considered in the last few days leading up. Call well ahead of time and discuss this with the technician.

Practice good skin health- stay hydrated and eat healthfully leading up to the event. Don’t try new skincare products, or anything that may irritate your skin. Anticipate your skin’s history, and treat it accordingly depending on changes your skin may experience in the climate or weather that’s expected at the venue.

20090523-004 For the big day…

Start with a good base- be sure that your foundation is the right color and formulation for your skin. You may feel like you should use a heavy cream or stick foundation since you’re being photographed, but heavier formulas will look caked on and are more likely leave a line of demarcation around the neck and hairline that’s tougher to blend away. Just stick with the liquid or powder that works for you, and be sure it’s properly matched to your color. No one wants to look washed out, but it can also age you a bit if your base is too dark for you. Color correcting concealers, like green or yellow for redness, and peach or yellow for undereye circles are a much better choice than simply layering on more makeup. Remember that redness will be easily picked up in photographs so take care to balance that out, and stay away from more pink based foundations.

Avoid the shiny look- glitter will reflect too much on camera, and shouldn’t be worn to a nice event like a wedding anyway. Radiance-enhancing or shimmery foundations make faces look too slick and shiny for photos, so if you must, only keep the sheen on cheekbones and the cupid’s bow for highlighting purposes. Always finish the t-zone with powder, which is especially important to balance any highlighting applied. If you know you’re more oily, pop pressed powder in your bag so that you stay shine free.

20090523-005 The eyes have it- keep in mind that darker eyeshadows and heavy liner make eyes look smaller. A matte or pearl shadow formula will be universally flattering and especially in warm, earthy tones. To keep eyes looking big and bright, highlight the inner corners and brow bone with an off-white, light pink or pale gold shadow or crayon. The older you are, the more important it is to stay fast to the no shimmer rule, as it tends to bring attention to fine lines. Black eyeliner can also look too harsh for older women (same goes for liquid liner) and fair blondes are more suited for eyeliner and mascara in the brown tones. Don’t forget to make sure brows are properly framing the face- everyone looks better and younger with defined brows. Fill the arches with powder or if using a pencil, blend with a brush. Brow color and size are important considerations here, so don’t forget to use a light hand and blend.

Consider your venue and lighting- do take the time to stop and think about if the event/ photos will be taking place indoors or out, and at what time of day. Indoor photos will be taken with flash, so it’s important to use powder to combat shine and to also be sure foundation is matched well. If outdoors, soften makeup a bit as it can easily look too heavy or harsh. Also adjust your makeup look for more formal locations, and later times in the evening. When considering these factors, you will want to use more color and definition over simply adding more makeup.20090523-077

Keeping these ideas in mind, remember its always most important to look like yourself and feel comfortable on your wedding day. These techniques will help ensure you look flawless both in person and in photographs for years to come.

Content provided by Sarah Logan on behalf of ASI (skin care schools, NY). It offers specialized coursework in cosmetic laser training, as well as microdermabrasion training.

Photos by Allison Reisz Photography 

del.icio.us Tags: Wedding day makeup,wedding skin care,ASI,Wedding makeup looks,savannah wedding,savannah wedding planner,hilton head wedding,hilton head wedding planner

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

How to resist some wedding week temptations.

So this is a list I compiled over the last week that is here to help you remember not to be dumb. It’s all common sense, buuuuut as we know sometimes we all need to be reminded not to be idiots. 

image Bright Idea: To get a last minute tan.

Why Not? Well, first skin cancer sucks. Second, holy bananas what happens when you get sunburned? A lobster in a wedding dress is not sexy.

Alternative: If you have been spray tanned before, many times, you may have it done by a trusted technician with a formulation you have used before so you know you won’t react funny.

image Bright Idea: To stop eating before your wedding.

Why Not? Passing out on your wedding day is not funny... even though a bunch of people will, in fact, laugh. I would. Also, you have spent all of this time and money on altering your dress and guess what it’s not gonna fit.  So eat dummie!!!

Alternative: You don’t have to eat fried foods or sweets. But eat tons of fresh veggies and lean protein the week before, to stay strong and skinny. The best day of wedding food is a huge smoothie with tons of protein. It kept me going all day. Also, make sure you are hydrated.

image Bright Idea: To do anything drastic with your hair.

Why not? Cause’ that’s what crazy people do!!!! Seriously, you’ve seen the videos of bridezilla going crazy and shaving her head. Just keep your hair normal.

Alternative: Whatever you decide, you better make sure that a professional is working on your hair. A trim or color touchup is totally cool, but don’t turn your jet black hair blonde, you will regret it. Also, don’t hack any length off or do any drastic changes to cut. You should look like you at your wedding.

image Bright Idea: To get a facial days before.

Why not? Well, because you generally breakout and then that causes mad stress and then you breakout more and then if you are like me you cry a lot.

Alternative: If you are getting a treatment that you are very familiar with and know exactly how your skin will react then it should be fine. Moisturizing or Brightening masks generally give you a nice glow sans breakouts, buuuuuut I still wouldn’t do one that I wasn’t super familiar with. You never know how your face will react. So don’t.

 lanza 066Bright Idea: To get wasted at the rehearsal dinner.

Why not? Well, really!? You don’t know why? Because when’s the last time you got wasted and looked fresh and beautiful the next day... yeah... exactly.

Alternative: There are plenty of times to drink, the night before your wedding isn’t one of them. This doesn’t mean you can’t hang out and enjoy yourself, but stick to club soda with lime in a double old fashion, it will keep you hydrated and gives you something with zero calories to walk around with. In general I would ask that no one in the wedding drinks the night before, but I live in the real world, which brings us to the next bright idea...

hot pink bridesmaid dresses Bright Idea: To fill your bridesmaids life with rules.

Why not? Mostly, because you want these women to still be your friends afterwards. I know you think you are just organizing, but you sound like a tyrant. They must wear their hair like this or lose weight by this date... seriously, it happens. Maybe it’s not even that drastic, but remember just because you are getting married doesn’t give you license to be a hardcore raging witch.

Alternative: Suggest. Pick out the dress, tell them where to buy and leave it at that. If you want them to wear the same shoes or jewelry buy them yourself. If you want them to all wear there hair up, then say, “hey, what do you think of putting your hair up?” You know there is a way to suggest nicely that lets them know what you want.

image Bright Idea: To wear gloves.

Why not? Because it’s disastrous.

Alternative: Don’t be tacky.

So take those rules and run with them... Are there any that I forgot? or did you break one of my rules? Tell me about it!

 

 

Until we meet again, stay bridal and please dear lordy don’t. wear. gloves.

Lauren

43 Things Tags: pre wedding donts,savannah wedding,savannah wedding planner,dont do before your wedding

Pictures by Geoff Johnson and Nicole Williams

Friday, May 14, 2010

How to have a pre-wedding spa day at home!

Now, I think that we have long established my obsession with all things beauty... but I sometimes get the feeling from friends/family that they think it’s too difficult to do themselves, but trust me, it’s not!!! There are just a few simple steps to go from tired and dull to pre-wedding glow. Here are my go to steps and a few products that I love.

spaday.0011. Run a warm bath. The water shouldn’t be scolding hot, but you want it to be pretty warm. Add the bath salts of your choice.  I like lavender scented, it is totally relaxing!!!! Now while the bath is heating up. Light some candles. Pour some wine. Put on some soft music. You will totally be in a place to relax. Also while the bath fills up, fill a large bowl with the super hot water. Place a hand towel and a few drops of essential oil to the bowl and let sit. Choose whatever oil works with your skin. If you are acne prone, go for tea tree oil, there really is no need to be afraid of oil. It’s just making sure you are using the right one, along with the right balance. I know it can feel “clean” to have the tight feeling after to you cleanse, but trust me that is stripping your skin of super important moisture. HELLO WRINKLES!!! Okay, so right before you are ready to hop in the tub, cleanse your face so you are free of makeup or any other product residue. Using a Clarisonic brush is the best way to get a gentle clean that really gets deep into your pores. It is genius. I am seriously in love. It does cost a pretty penny, but my lord it is sooooooo worth it. All of your products will penetrate and work much better. After you have cleansed, get in and enjoy.

2. Now while in the tub, once the bowl of water with the towel is cool enough to touch and handle, wrap the towel around your face and chillax. The heat from the towel with help soften skin and open pores.

spaday.0023. Remove the towel and it’s time for exfoliation. There are many different ways to do it, whither it’s a chemical or abrasive exfoliant. I prefer chemical exfoliators. ExfoliKate by Kate Sommerville is ah-mazing. Absolutely worth the 85 bucks. With chemical exfoliators all you do is apply it in circler motions in a thin layer all over your face. Let set for 30 seconds or so and using your steam towel and bowl of water simply wipe it off, to reveal softer skin. If you are using an abrasive exfoliant like Sonya Dakar’s Triple Action Organic Scrub, put a small dollop in your hand and mix with a bit of water until it forms a paste then apply to your skin in circular motions starting from the forehead down, finishing with the nose. To remove you would use your towel to wipe off. Always using the clean water from the bowl.

spaday.0034. Now that you are nice exfoliated, I would finish off with a mask aimed at solving your biggest skin problem. It could be a brightening mask like Bliss Triple Action Oxygen mask, or a blemish fighting mask like DDF’s sulfur mask, or a hydrating mask like Fresh Rose Face Mask. Apply your mask per products instructions then once again remove with our handy dandy towel.

5. Okay, so now your face is taken care of. Now that your body is all pruney and moisturized use a loofah or a pair of exfoliating gloves to slough off any dead skin cells. And TA-DA, you just gave yourself a spa experience.

Okay, so that’s it. I mean you will be fresh and ready for bed. You can always add your favorite moisturizer or serum afterwards. But don’t put just anything on your face! I mean I know some of this stuff can get crazy expensive, but sometimes it can be soooo worth it. There are also some drugstore products that are rated higher than luxury brands, so it’s all about what you know. So do your research and check our site like makeup alley or beauty blogs to see what over people have to say about the products you are interested in.

quick tips:

*don’t try products the day, week, hell, month before your wedding. it could end badly.

*don’t try to extract your own blemishes. leave that to a pro. with your skin so soft you will probably only make them more obvious or push the oil back down creating more breakouts. ew.

*do let your future hubby give you a neck/head/foot massage during your spa day fun.

*do have spa days often, while some of the products may be expensive you aren’t using the whole container in one sitting and your spa experience can take as much time as you have.

Until we meet again, stay bridal and my lordy, have I mentioned NOT trying new products right before your wedding!?!? geez, just don’t do it!!!

Lauren

del.icio.us Tags: pre wedding Skin Care,mud mask,spa,wedding spa,savannah wedding,savannah wedding planner

Friday, April 2, 2010

How to save money on the little things for your big day.

Now, I’m a spender, I always have been, like a ridiculous spender. I hate saving. I just don’t see the point, we only live once... enjoy and don’t go into debt. Right!? Well, as a sort of adult, I have realized that there are times when cutting back on things is a necessity, but I have also learned that you can save without sacrificing quality. So when it comes to makeup products you can save money, but trust me no one will know the difference. So, I am just going to do a side by side budget comparison to prove you can get the same look for much less.

I swear to you that with either choice you will look radiant and beautiful on your wedding day!

makeupbudget.001 Breaking the Bank:

Primer: Smashbox Photo Finish, $49

Powder Foundation: Smashbox Halo, $59

Blush: Nars in Orgasm, $26

Mascara: Lancome Definicils, $24

Eye Shadow: Dior, $58

Lipstick: Makeup Forever, $19

Total Cost: $235

makeupbudget.002Staying on Budget:

Primer: L’Oreal Studio Secrets Perfecting Base, $12.99

Powder Foundation: Almay Pure Blends, $12.99

Blush: Revlon Matte Powder Blush in Perfectly Peach, $9.79

Mascara: CoverGirl Lash Blast, $6.99

Eye Shadow: L’Oreal Eye Quad, $6.99

Lipstick: Neutrogena Moisture Shine Lipstick, $9.49

Total Cost: $59.24

Total Savings:  $175.76

Can you believe that!!! Nearly two hundred dollars!!!!!!! And I swear to you, these products are all amazing!!! The L’Oreal Studio Secrets Perfecting Base was created by super legend, supermodel Linda Evangelista and the brains over at L’Oreal and seriously this stuff takes down any of the pricey products you have tried and it is guaranteed to freshen up your face, fill lines and wrinkles, smooth over blemishes and just create the most perfect base for foundation. The Almay’s Pure Blends is great stuff, it creates an airbrushed look for a great price. And I swear to you the BEST mascara in the entire world is CoverGirl lash blast! And I should know, I have tried on every single mascara in existence... okay that’s a lie, but a lot... and a lot of expensive ones, this stuff is hands down the best!!! All of these products are amazing, it’s all about knowing what’s out there. Also, brushes, get a few cheap brushes at Target/Ulta/Sephora to apply your makeup. Please God don’t ever let me find you applying eyeshadow with that little spongey thing!!! No, no! That is a sure fire way to prove you are wearing the expensive stuff! Brushes help the makeup spread better and you look more natural.

So, if this is the only place where you save money on your wedding day then I have done my job! Seriously, you can look great without spending hundreds of dollars on makeup... hey, then you will have money for shoes ;)

Until we meet again, stay bridal and spend money like you got it... until you don’t... got it... hmm.

Lauren

BuzzNet Tags: wedding makeup,wedding day makeup,makeup,l'oreal,ulta,sephora,target,covergirl

Monday, March 15, 2010

How to feel long and lean at your wedding without a gym or trainer.

So, I don't know about you, but this winter has just been ick! And I hate going to the gym when it's cold...heck, I hate going to the gym when it's warm, but when it's raining/snowing/cold forget about it!!! I have found a new love... exercising at home!! And forget the weather, who really has the money for a trainer...that's money that could be going towards a fancier cake or a fancier dress!!!! So I am going to give you a few of my tips to feel wedding dress ready without leaving your house.

List of things you will need

1. Set of resistance bands

2. Set of 5-8 pound weights and a set of 10-15 pound weights

3. Yoga Mat

4. Balance Ball

5. Computer

6. Your choices of DVDs.

I truly believe that what is listed above is all you need for a mini at home gym! It's that easy!! Make sure that you can rearrange your space so that you can feel move around freely without running into furniture. Most of these exercises don't need much room, but still.

Legs: Now leg exercises are super easy to do at home and trust me they will hurt! My three go to moves:

image Sumo Squat holding Weight: Holding one heavy weight by the bell right in front of you, get into a grand pliet pointing toes pointed out. Simply squat down, butt going back and down, making sure your knees don't extend over your toes. Do 10-12 reps at least 3X's

Side Squat using Resistance Band: Slip resistance bands onto your ankles, begin with legs shoulder width apart. Step as widely as you can to the right, then return to center, then step as widely as you can to the left. That's one rep! Do 10-12 reps at least 3X's

image Ball Squat lifting Weights: So this sounds complicated, but I swear it's not. First position the balance ball in the small of your back against a blank wall. Place your feet, wide, about two feet in front of you. Hold the lighter weights at your side. To do the squat roll down as low as you can go and as you squat down lift your arms from your side to parallel to the ground and return to standing. That's one rep, just like the others do 10-12 reps at least 3X's

Arms: Who says you can't get beautiful toned arms at home! Here are my fave moves:

Body Crossover Bicep Curls: There are as easy as they ever were! Using whichever weights you are comfortable lifting. Holding weights down by your side palms facing outwards, in one very controlled motion, lift one at a time up and to the opposite shoulder. Then repeat with the other arm. That's one rep. Do 10 reps at least 3X's

image Tricep Kick Backs: Another simple classic move. Once again holding whichever weight is comfortable, down by your sides palms facing toward your body. Lean your body forward almost over your toes and slowly bring your arms back behind you as far as you can bring them, than slowly bring your arms up to your chest, never changing the position of your wrists. That's one rep. Do 10 reps at least 3X's

image Push-Ups: Yep, push ups. I know they suck, but man do they work!!!! And there are so many different variations to help you tone up all over, but today lets just work on the basic. Now, don't be upset if you can't do the real deal at first, I couldn't, but after as little as one week doing "girl" push ups I could do a handful of "real" push ups...after another week I had doubled my number... so on and so forth! So, Place your hands on the ground palms facing forward or holding on to weights if you have crappy wrists like me, with arms right under your shoulders, your feet can be together or shoulder width apart depending on what you like. Then go press down. Yay, a push up! Do as many as you can, rest and try again. The goal should be 10 reps at least 3x's...have I said that before? ;)

Abs: Another super easy muscle group to work at home. Here are my go to moves:

image

 Crunches on Ball: The added Resistance from the balance ball will work your muscles even harder. So lay on the ball with legs at a 90 degree angle. Place your hands on your head, but don't look fingers. Then it's just doing what you know, contract your ab muscles and lift up. I would aim to do 20 reps at least 3X's...and once that becomes easy try doing 30, then 40, then 50...the sky is the limit. And to make this harder lift up one leg with each crunch...it's hard!!! Or Use a weight ball and take the ball from behind your head and bring it forward over your opposite leg that you are lifting to your chest. OUCHH

Oblique dead drop: Holding the heaviest weight you have in one hand down by your side. In a very slow and controlled motion let weight go slowly as close to the ground as you can get, then back up to standing. Do 30 reps on one side, then switch to the other for 30. Do this at least 3x's.

image Bicycle Crunch: So you have done this before, you lift your upper body in a crunch while you move your legs like you are riding a bicycle. My way is a bit more painful... You do this similar, just slower... So what you do is lift up and crunches/bicycle movements 10X's quickly, then hold one leg and the crunch position for 25 seconds...then switch to the other leg for 25 seconds. Then to the 10 quick movements, then hold on both legs for 25 seconds. Do this for as long as your body can handle...and when you think you can't take anymore...do it one more time...

Okay, so those are a few of my favorite at home moves, but let me remind you to use the resources that you have, youtube is full of helpful tutorials to motivate you and teach you new moves. Also, invest in DVD's...my parents swear by P90X and trust me, my mom's abs are proof that it does. I am a currently obsessed with The Tracy Anderson Method. Anderson is the genius behind Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow's hot bodies!!! Her method uses very little outside materials. She basically believes that all weightlifting creates bulk(as questionable belief), so her method uses your own resistance and tooooons of repetition to make your body long and lean like dancers. Yes, you do have to dance around your house, but I put Rihanna and Britney on and dance myself skinny. It's more painful than any treadmill,trust me. I am obsessed, you can check her out at

http://action.tracyandersonmethod.com/ you can also try her method for free by checking out her website or www.goop.com for some sample exercises. Also, don't forget about fitness tv or fitness on demand, you may already have a ton of options right from your cable provider that you don't even know about.

Until we meet again, stay bridal and have a fabulously thin and buff wedding day.

Lauren

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Vendor Highlight-Meet an incredibly talented Savannah hairstylist

 11155_170918812026_500627026_3299412_1561941_n

Name:

Tiffony Simpson

Business name:

Ony Salon- Ony (adj)- \ō-nee\-unique; distinctive; adding contemporary style to all of the moments in your life.

Years in Business:

12 years as a licensed cosmetologist/3 years in business

Website:

 www.onysalon.com

Short Description of our Services:

Ony Salon is Savannah’s premier bridal & special occasion hairstyling salon. Our bridal services are provided at our brides preferred location. Our salon has an upscale, chic, boutique style setting so brides are welcome to come to our salon. We also love working on location! It takes so much of the wedding day stress away when you know all that you have to do is get up and relax in comfy clothes surrounded by the people you love most in a FUN calm atmosphere. I cap fun there because that’s what we want for our clients…we want you to have good time while you get beautiful! So, what better way to do that than to let us bring beauty to you?

Pre-wedding Hair Care

I ask most brides to wash their hair the night before the wedding. In general hair that is not freshly washed gives a much better finished product. Washing the hair the day of can make the hair to slippery to work with. Every bride is different and hair texture varies also, so always ask your stylist what would be best.

Be sure to get color touch ups and a trim 2 weeks before the wedding. Never make any big changes to hair color or hair length in the weeks prior to your wedding. You want to look and feel your best, so you don’t want any “mishaps” or drastic changes that will cause you not to recognize yourself in your wedding photos.

Don’t forget to wear a button down shirt for your wedding day hairstyling session. The last thing you/I will want is to have to take a shirt over your head and possibly mess up anything.

Should you do a trial run? If so how far out from your wedding date?

I suggest that every bride have at least one trial run prior to your wedding day. When possible it is recommended that you start 3 to 6 months or so before the wedding. This allows us to play with a few styles before finalizing your wedding day look. The trial run is the perfect time to talk about your pre-wedding hair care regimen.

Destination Brides: Although, 3-6 months is desired, with a destination wedding or an elopement, this is not always possible. 95% of my brides are destination brides, so sometimes I am actually meeting them in person only days before the wedding. I always ask them to email me pictures of their hair and pictures of hairstyles that they like. My goal is to give my bride the exact hairstyle she wants, but one that will also compliment her wedding style.

No_0003_MattMcGrawPhoto_LeonardWeddingHow to choose the perfect hair style for your wedding?

For most brides, their hair style for their wedding is a dilemma.  They are not sure whether to wear their hair all up, half down, or all down.  I have 3 rules for determining the best hairstyle for you for your wedding day.

1. Rule #1 Choose a hairstyle that is appropriate for the wedding formality and location.

Where will you be getting married?  On the beach/outside or church/inside, etc. Keep in mind if you are getting married on the beach, for example, there will be the wind factor.  If it is in a hot or humid climate, can your hair withstand and remain in your desired style or will it have a tendency to revert back to what it does naturally? Will your wedding be a formal, semi-formal or casual affair? You will want to choose a hairstyle that reflects that formality.

2. Rule #2 Try different hairstyle choices before making the final decision.

Most brides have picked out at least one hairstyle that they like, but are not quite sure about.  Try it!  That might just be the one you love.  It is sort of like your wedding dress, when you tried on that gown and looked in the mirror…You knew that was THE ONE…it is the same way with your hairstyle…you will know!

3. Rule #3 Do not panic or stress about your hair.

Usually going with your gut instinct will not lead you wrong.  If you are feeling stressed about your hair or what it will do on your wedding day…stop!  Your wedding day should be a reflection of you and your personal style.  Do not allow trends and sudden whims to cause you to make a decision that goes against your better judgment.  Be realistic about your hair and what it will do.  That is the best way to look PERFECT on your wedding day!

Photo by www.beaconphotoonline.com

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

How to rock a bridal show and get the most for your money!

Bridal Show season is here and Savannah is full of them. There's nothing worse than showing up unprepared or leaving without getting anything out of it. Wedding shows are your chance to meet the most vendors in one place at one time.

So here are some tips on how to get the most out of a bridal show:

no-purse-for-you1. Don't carry a purse: 99% of the time you are provided with a bag to carry around. You are going to be collecting so many giveaways, signing up for so much information or contests, and trying to get your hands on lots of goodies that extra baggage can become frustrating. Try to fit whatever you need in your pockets or ask your mom/friend/groom or who ever is with you to carry your wallet. Once you get your bag, you can always put it in there just make sure not to loose it!

 

2. Either get there early or just after registration. If you arrive right at the start time, chances are you're going to have to wait in a long line to sign in. If you get there early, you'll be one of the first in line. If you get there a little after the start time, the line will have had time to die down.

3. Go early in the wedding planning process. There are going to be a LOT of vendors there, including coordinators, florists, venues, bakers, caterers, and more. It's a great chance to see and compare multiple vendors at once without making multiple appointments and then you can narrow it down to your favorites.

wrap dress from Jcrew 4. Dress to change! Bridal shows are a great place to find bridal gowns on sale. If you are there to try on dresses, make sure you wear clothes that are easy to get in and out of. Most of the time the dressing rooms are portable. There can be long lines of brides that all want to try on gowns so they want to get you in and out as fast as possible. Being able to dress and undress fast allows you less time in the dressing room and more time in the dress! (A wrap dress is a great option for this, such as this one from J Crew.)

 

5. Speak to as many vendors as possible. You never know when you could change your mind on something. You may have thought you NEVER wanted a photobooth at your wedding, but once you stop and talk to them, it may open your eyes to new ideas.

wedding cheese spread 6. Go hungry! Caterers will have samples for you to try and don't forget the wedding cake tastings! There will be so many samples to try, even from non-food vendors that you can almost eat a full meal while there!

7. Bring your checkbook! Vendors usually offer GREAT discounts for on the spot booking. What a great way to save money and book several vendors in one day.

Bonus:  If you are in the Savannah area and looking to try out these tips, stop by Savannah Magazine's Bridal Show:

Behind the Veil

Sunday, February 21, 2010

1-5pm at The Jepson Center for the Arts.

Stop by our booth, and let us know if this blog helped! We are giving away amazing prizes and offering discounts to clients that book with us there. Mention this blog post and we will give you two entries to each one of our contests!

Enjoy it! This is your time as a bride and no one can take that away from you. Relax, smile, have fun and meet new people.

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Friday, January 29, 2010

How to be one of the pretty people on your wedding day.

So with all of these award shows that have been on, there have been a ton of stunning actresses and a ton of beautiful makeup! Now, this is something that I have always loved, makeup that is. When I was younger, I knew I couldn’t afford a Chanel purse, but I could afford Chanel eyeshadow. Dior dress? Probably not, Dior mascara? heck yeah!!! On a side note, I sometimes think about if I would have saved all of that money spent on makeup...I probably could’ve eventually bought a Chanel bag...Save, Schmave. Any who, I love makeup...very, very much and at last weeks SAG awards there was some beautiful hair and makeup, so here are some of my favorite looks and the top three products you need to get the same look.

SAG beauty.001 1.Retro Glamour: Dianna Agron, from Glee, looks amazing! I love the modern take on finger waves! This look is all about the lips and lashes. The red needs to be very blue based, like you just finished drinking red wine! The color should be matte, no super shine here. Also, lashes, lashes everywhere! I would do a whole top center lashes! Definitely takes some practice, but I promise once you get the hang of it, so easy. Finish, with a ton of easy, light mascara in black and perfection. Your skin should just be lightly covered and powdered for a matte finish.

Must have products: Sephora rouge ream lipstick passion red 3, $12; Laura Mercier center lashes, $18; shu uemura basic mascara in black, $27.50.

SAG beauty.002 2.Modern Traditional: Diane Kruger, my favorite person ever!! I love this look because it isn’t crazy, it’s just the perfect modern mixture of your favorite traditional colors. The big money maker with this look is the matte orange red lipstick, love it. The eye is the other essential here is the brow and while this kit I’m suggesting is pricey it is wonderful!!!! You really need the most perfect dynamic brow! It opens up your face more than you will ever know, seriously, just filling in your brows can really change your whole face, in a good way. The actual eye shadow is very simple and almost 80’s which is rarely good, but it works here. It combines a very yellowish tan over the whole lid and bronzy reddish brown in the crease. This looks doesn’t require much more than a cream foundation that leaves you dewy and even. Lots of black mascara and you are all set.

Must have products: YSL Eye Quad in Sahara, $56; Anastasia Brow Kit, $75; Nars lipstick in heat wave, $22.

SAG beauty.003 3.Sexy and Smokey: Christina Hendricks is rocking the smokey eye and the reason this can work for a wedding is because it’s not done in shades of grey or black, but soft browns and creams. The lighter color goes all over the eye, lid to eyebrow bone, then take the darker brown and apply to the lid and be gutsy and make a very definite cat eye. Using a blending brush you can blend the taupe pink tone into the dark brown to soften it up. The you go freaking crazy with that liner!!! Follow the lash line closely on the top and then hit up the inner eye rim on the bottom. That’s why the eyeliner must be waterproof. The lip just needs to be lightly glazed with a peachy pink gloss. The face is very naked, choose a very dewy finish foundation and a soft pink blush.

Must have products: Smashbox eyeshadow trio in headshot, $28;Smashbox jet set liner in midnight black, $22, Stila lip glaze in apricot, $22.

SAG beauty.004 4.Clean and Simple : Sandra Bullock is having the best year of her life. Good for her, she still looks as good as the “While you Were Sleeping” days...hell, she looks even better! I love this makeup because it isn’t basic, but it is. Just by switching up the normal black liner with a slate blue, she completely changes it up. The eyeshadow just needs to be champagne-y colored eyeshadow all over maybe a slightly darker color for the crease, but completely line the eye with the blue. Now, I love this lip and it is definitely a layered lip. I would go for a nice peach/brown/pink colored lipstick, very close to your lip color, but with some sparkle, then add a wonderful sheer peach/pink/nude color over it to give you a full and shiny lip. love! The rest of the face is just evened out with a dewy foundation.

Must have products: Clinique colour surge lip stick in adore u, $14; Nars lip gloss in Roman Holiday, $24; Makeup Forever cream liner in matte turquoise, $20.

SAG beauty.005 5.Bronzed Bombshell: Lea Michelle looked the best I have ever seen her on the red carpet. This look is all about the bronzer! It’s everywhere with even more dusted on the cheek bone. You want to look sunkissed...not orange or splotchy, so with a fluffy blush brush, trace a three on your face starting just above the eyebrow, down to the cheek bone, then down to the chin. Finish with a light dusting on your nose. Basically, the places you would get sunburned. (**subliminal message: wear sunscreen always! even on a cloudy day**) The eyebrow must be filled in! A thick strong brow really makes this. The eye is just full of lashes and black mascara. The lip is also a strong feature in this look, not because it’s a crazy color, but because she has beautiful full lips...so rock a nearly sheer lip plumping gloss to get her delightful nude pout.

Must have products: Too Face bronzer in sun bunny, $27; Dior lip maximizer, $29.50; Anastasia perfect brow pencil, $22.

SAG beauty.006 6.Ice Princess: Kate Hudson is pretty awesome. I would totally believe her if she told me she never used botox. You can see the wrinkles around her eyes, mouth, and forehead. They aren’t gross and if anything they make her look sexier...like she’s lived! The alien injectables queen herself, Nicole Kidman, should take note! Okay, back to the subject. The ice princess look can be tricky because it can very quickly go from pretty and ethereal to junior prom in the 80’s mixed with the actual ice capades. Not to much sparkle. The eyeshadow needs to be a pretty palette of icy peaches, purples, and pinks. Avoid straight up white. The eye is a light pinky tone all over, with a darker shade worked into the crease blended with a medium shade. To make your eyes look wide and bright, add a dot of the lightest color to the inner corner of your eye, trust me it works. A slick of black liner and mascara and you are done. Your foundation needs to be dewy, but completely without sparkle or luminizers, just to even out your skintone. Then swipe the cheeks with a luminescent blush/bronzer so your cheeks to give yourself a fairy princess glow. Finish with a nice light pink gloss and voila.

Must have products: Dior 5 colour eyeshadow in petal shine, $58; Clinique fresh bloom all over colour in almond blossom, $29.50; Fresh lip gloss in sugar charm, $18.

All products can be found at Sephora because I think that is the easiest makeup store to shop from. No pushy sales people, they let you take home samples of everything, and they are great to shop from online. No, Sephora didn’t pay me to say that!

Until we meet again, stay bridal and don’t worry makeup doesn’t count toward the total budget...or at least mine didn’t!!!

Lauren

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Friday, January 15, 2010

How to find your signature scent.

We all like to smell good...right? Of course we do, but sometimes finding a perfume that fits your style and personality can be difficult and downright stinky. Don’t you hate the spritzer folks in department stores chasing you around spraying nastiness in your face?! I do. So I am going to tell you the best ways to find your perfect scent.

I happened upon mine by accident. I was walking through an Ulta beauty store with my sister and I stopped at Chanel no 5, I had to try it! So I sprayed some on and was unimpressed, we kept shopping and then went home. I kept smelling something really tasty...I had no idea. I kept asking my mom, “what smells so good?” and then, holy crow, I sniffed my wrists and realized it was me! After working with my body chemistry it turned out that Chanel no 5 was my scent. It really is a testament to not judging the smell on a tester strip, you have to try it on. And remember just because it smells good on a friend doesn’t mean it will smell the same on you. I will never forget shopping with my Aunt Char, we walked by and sprayed on some Calvin Klein Euphoria, gag! It was repulsive, but on my Aunt it smelled perfect, fresh and exotic...on me it smelled toxic and medicinal. So, first rule, don’t judge by first sniff.

scent.001 When trying on perfumes, make sure you are fresh and clean. And just in case it isn’t obvious, don’t wear perfume to the smelling. I suggest going to places like Ulta or Sephora where the sales people tend to leave you alone if you say no thanks. I think it’s a good idea to do research ahead of time, so you can have 4 scents in mind that you must try. By doing some reading before you shop you can also avoid spraying on a scent with notes of smells you hate. If you hate floral smells then you should avoid Britney Spears’ Believe or if you hate amber it’s probably best you don’t use Narciso Rodriguez for her, so on and so forth. So once you know your 4 testers spray one on your left wrist, another on your right wrist and the remaining two on your left and right elbow bit. Make sure you get a direct spray, no cross contamination. Smell each one moments after applying. Make use the coffee beans which should be out on display, they help clear out the previous scent and neutralize your sense of smell before inhaling the next. Genius right!?scent.002 

Now, it’s easy. Wait. Yes, that’s right wait. Give it at least 10-20 minutes before taking your next smell test. And that’s it. Which one smells the best? Purchase and continue to smell delicious. I suggest avoiding any kind of “boxed set” as the lotion and body washes are generally a waste of money because while the smell good in the bottle and while you are lathering them on, but the smell generally doesn’t last. I would rather spend that extra money to buy the good stuff.

scent.003Speaking of “the good stuff” let’s talk about the three different types of perfume and why some cost a lot more. The difference between the three really has to do with the ratio of ethanol or a mixture of water and ethanol to the percentage of actually perfume oil.

The mac daddy is parfum, it has a much higher percentage of aromatic compounds typically 20%. This formula is the most concentrated and long-lasting fragrance. It’s the most pure form of the scent and man is it expensive. You only need a small amount, so this stuff can last a really long time. I think that a fancy bottle of parfum can be a delightful treat for special events, like your wedding!!!

The next step down is eau de parfum, which has a lower percentage of aromatic compounds around 15%. This is what I consider the most used type of parfum. The price is much easier to digest and I think the most reasonable of the three and what the average women buys. It is very close in smell to the higher concentrated parfum, but still not as strong.

The step below is eau de toilette spray, which is lighter and is used more like an all over body spray. The percentage of aromatic compounds is only around 5%. You still get the aroma, but it’s more appropriate for a spritz before you head to the grocery store or when you need a quick pick me up.

So, I hope that this has demystified the world of perfume and made you a little bit more comfortable with shopping for your perfect scent.

Until we meet again, stay bridal and don’t be the stinky kid in class...no one likes the stinky kid.

Lauren

 

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

So you just got engaged?!?!? This is what do you need to do now!

Congratulations first and foremost! Try to sit back for a few weeks and truly enjoy the experience of being engaged! Then when you are ready to start your planning, here is a great “get you started” guide to being newly engaged!

A majority of the years engagements take place during these holidays and the average engagement time is 12 months. This is a good amount of time to allow for all planning and decisions without the added stresses of rushing or loosing the vendors you want to hire. With that said, here are the things that need to happen within the first month or so of being engaged to ensure you are going to have everything you envisioned your wedding to be and more!

Savannah Wedding Rings 1. Announce your engagement: Let everyone know that you gotten engaged! Etiquette wise, believe it or not, there is an order to do this.

First: Let your parents, siblings and grandparents know. DO NOT SEND A TEXT MESSAGE! Give them a call! This is a very special occasion and they probably want to ask you all the fun details! Then you can send an email or an engagement announcement  to extended friends and family.

TIP: Keep in mind, when you send engagement announcements, those that you send them to, will likely expect an invite to the wedding. Be sure they do not mistake that for an invitation though! 

Then: Publish an Announcement in Your Local Newspaper. Their requirements are usually listed online. It should tell you if they accept pictures, have any specific guidelines, deadlines, fees, or regulations about the announcement.  Typically, announcements include information on the two of you, including career and education credentials, and your parents names. If your parents live in a different town, you should also include their hometowns.

save the date 2. Pick a date: Pick Carefully!

There are a number of things you need to consider when picking a date:

  • In Season vs. Off Season: These months will vary depending on which area of the world you pick. For Savannah weddings, Hilton Head weddings, Jekyll Island weddings, and Charleston weddings the in season months are: April, May, June, September, October and lately November is becoming quite popular. But if you go to DC and your in season months would be different due to weather and tourism peak times. But the biggest thing to note is that your wedding costs will be less during the off season.
  • Location: What kind of atmosphere do you want for your wedding and guests? Do you want historic homes, museums, water access, mountains, etc? You should research the locations you are debating to the fullest. If you want to get married at a winery, unfortunately Savannah wouldn't be the area for you! However, if you want ocean, history, charm and beautiful weather…then Savannah or the Low Country is for you!
  • Weather: If you want the festivities to take place mainly outside, then I wouldn't recommend humid , rain prone, or cold months! Every city and location is different, so do a little research on what the average weather report is for each month.
  • Holidays: Will it be easy for your guests to travel? This can go both ways. On the up side, they would have more time to travel and make a mini-vacation out of it. but on the downside they can incur more costs due to high travel times.

3. Hire a wedding planner: A No Brainer!

The average wedding takes 250+ hours toMorgan, kelly and robby plan and this day in age with the hectic schedules we keep, who has the time to do a thorough job? Think about how much you get paid for an hour of work, now think about how much you get paid per hour. By the time you add up all the time you spent researching vendors, sending emails, making phone calls, and tracking details you could have paid for 4 planners! As a wedding planner,   I not only offer my expertise and share priceless information and knowledge with you, I am a sounding board, friend and liaison when it comes to vendor details and negotiations. It is very hard planning a wedding from another city in which you are not familiar. How are you supposed to know, of the hundreds of vendors listed, which ones will provide you with the quality service you deserve?  Wedding planners are also privy to discounts, that you as a private party wouldn’t normally be entitled to, based on the strong and constant working relationships they share with vendors. Thus, saving you even more money!  At the very least you should have a wedding planner for your day of. The last thing you want to think about when you are getting ready in your room, is whether or not the cake was delivered and having to get up extra early to lay linens and set your place settings. Just as you want to enjoy your wedding day, as do your friends and family. You want a professional who has experience with all the things that can and will go wrong, handle the most important day in your life.

4. Establish your Budget: Know your limits!

Before you can really start any type of planning, you really need to discuss this touchy subject with prospective contributors to your wedding budget. Your wedding planner can help you establish what you spend and which vendors will fit in your budget, based on what you have envisioned for your big day.

This will help determine decisions like:

  • Reception space options (Hall, Ballroom, Museum, Historic Home, etc)
  • What type of chairs you can rent (plastic, wood, chivari, etc)
  • Band vs. DJ
  • Passed Hors d’oeuvres vs. a Sit down Dinner
  • Bar options
  • Linen options
  • and much more!

You really need a number in your head before you begin to book vendors. You do not want to be stuck looking and falling in love with venue spots that do not fit in your budget!

TIP: Depending on which location you pick for your wedding (beach, mountains, east coast, west coast, etc) will fluctuate in the price per person (PPP) number. On average you should plan to spend

5. Start compiling your guest list: Be reasonable!

Knowing how many guests might attend will help determine what venues you can consider and how much you can plan to spend per person.

I don't have to tell you that the less guests you have, the farther your budget will go. You know that! Wouldn’t you rather the fun details like beautiful chargers, luxurious linens, lush floral decor, dramatic draping, amazing lighting and one more course to your meal, rather than 50 more guests? I know I WOULD! But, I can tell you that having a large number of guests is exhausting for you and your fiancé. You will spend most of the night making sure you talk to each guest and less time dancing and enjoying the festivities! It is no fun talking to people you have met once in your life when you were 10 not to mention you are paying a pretty penny for them to be there.

TIP: Keep in mind this general rule of thumb--If your wedding is an out of town wedding 60-70% of guests will attend. If your wedding is an in town wedding, 70-80% of guests will attend. This number with the economy with the way it is now tends to lean more to the lower end of these numbers and holiday weekends will also affect your attendance.

6. Start your wedding website:The ultimate information source for guests.

The best way to keep your guests informed and actively involved in your wedding is to create a wedding website. This day in age, with technology at everyone’s fingertips, it is easy to make a one-stop-shop for your family and friends. There are a number of free wedding website options and ones that have a month to month or yearly fee. Depending on the features you are looking for out of your website, will determine  the price you will end up paying. I suggest you find one that has an online RSVP option, external links to your registries, enough pages to add for hotel, travel, timing, things to do, and gallery information. My favorites are Wedding Window, Wedding Wire, and MyWedding. Check back next week for a more in depth overview and comparison of the most popular wedding website options to help you make an informed decision!

Save the Date 2

Photo by Thistleberry Press

7. Send out Save the Dates: A smart move.

I recommend, if you are planning a type of destination wedding where most of your guests will be attending from out of town, sending out a “Save the Date”.  Sending this card will allow your guests to make travel plans, hotel arrangements and make sure they mark their calendar to ensure no other future plans coincide with your wedding day! The more time they have to plan, the better the chance they will be able to come.

TIP: If you have a wedding website, be sure to add that to the card. Providing information on hotels, important times, travel options, and giving them access to wedding registries, will help you in the long run as well!

TIP: You might want to include some travel brochures and visitor’s packets of the city you will be getting married in. This might entice your guests to make a mini vacation out of your wedding weekend and will prompt more guests to attend. Your wedding planner can help you gather these from a the local CVB.

I know it seems overwhelming, but it never hurts to get started early and ask for help! planning your wedding is supposed to be fun and stress free and I assure you, having a wedding planner will guarantee this!  So ask me how I can help you love every minute of your planning in a luxurious fashion!

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