Are Bridal Shows Worth It? 

Happy Wednesday! 

For today’s post I’m speaking to all the brides who don’t know where to start when it comes to their wedding planning. Starting the process can get very overwhelming. I definitely felt the difference in helping my friends plan their weddings to when I started to plan my own. I kind of felt guilty in a way like, “why am I so confused when I’ve helped plan so many before?” I think that is pretty common and a natural feeling. I’m not your typical bride whose known what kind of flowers or centerpieces she was going to have since I was a little girl. I definitely dreamed of getting married and walking down that aisle but I never really envisioned what it would be like or had any idea how much time goes into the process.   In my last post I talked about some organizational tips and apps for the wedding planning which can also help you start. The other thing I think can really help you get a sense of where to begin are Bridal Shows and Expos. While you will speak with so many different vendors and may receive like 10 calls a day because of it, you can also see which vendors you don’t necessarily need or want. For instance, one bride may love the idea of hiring a wedding planner to help guide her every step of the way and another bride may be like “I GOT THIS!” Bridal Shows and Expos are a great way to pick out your style and pick out your needs. 

I recently went to a Bridal Expo with some of my fiancee’s family & friends. We are all getting married which is pretty awesome! Before the Expo I had booked most of my vendors already so I was specifically looking for information regarding the honeymoon and limo service. I probably filled out every entry possible for a free honeymoon or a free trip of any sort. If you haven’t booked specific vendors yet, it’s good to go to these shows and expos because they offer you free stuff, discounts or you can even win something. Men’s Warehouse was offering $40 off groomsmen suits and if you get a certain amount, you get one free rental. My fiancée’s cousin who is also engaged and came with us won a free photo booth just for visiting the vendor’s table and playing a little game. Plus, I’m happy to announce that my fiancée and I won a really awesome prize toward our honeymoon. We will be going this weekend to pick up our prize! How exciting! 

If you want to find an upcoming Bridal Show/Expo you can visit http://www.greatbridalexpo.com or you can look online for free shows! This is wedding season so check now! 

Below are some pictures below from our visit at the Meadowlands Expo Center in New Jersey!   

 
     

   

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

 

How do you all feel about these shows? Do you think they’re worth it? 

Xoxo

 

   
 

   
 

 
 

 

   
 

My 3 Wedding Organizational Tips! 

Hey dolls! 

For today’s blog post I wanted to share with you what I’m doing to stay organized for my wedding planning. It is literally so overwhelming when you think about everything that goes into your wedding day. I mean it is crazy how much time and money you spend in a small period of time. Depending on your bride personality, you may be over the top or low key. I’m somewhere in between. I’m very detail oriented so tasks pertaining to decor is super important to me. 

The first thing you can do to stay organized is hire a wedding planner, if it’s in your budget. They deal with every aspect of your wedding from day one of planning to the actual day. If you are very particular and want things a specific way, I’d say wedding planners are definitely worth it. I on the other hand, want to plan my own with the help of my awesome friends and bridesmaids. As long as everything looks nice and elegant is all I really care about. 

 If you’re doing this on your own like me, another way to stay organized is a planner book/binder. The first item I purchased after getting engaged was this “Knot Wedding Planner,” from Amazon for $20.    I actually like the planner better than their website. The online checklist timeline is a little off but the binder one is pretty much on target. I use Wedding Wire’s website too to keep track of my budget. I type in deposits that have been made with an alarm with dates of when my balances will be due. I also use the WedHappy App for iPhone on the go, it’s free and you can customize it to your liking.   

All these types of planners are helpful because they let you know each month what tasks need to be completed. Some tasks you may realize you have more time than they give you or may not even pertain to you. 

The last thing that I want to stress about staying organized is saving money. This is probably the hardest part of wedding planning if you are paying for your own wedding. Miguel and I have been blessed enough that my Dad is helping us with most of our venue. Nowadays many couples pay for their own weddings and are not given this opportunity. We still have a lot of saving to do but having help is such a blessing! We’ve committed to a certain amount each month and are dedicated to sticking with it. It also puts you in a habit of saving down the line (i.e.-a house, new car, babies, ect.) 

 When Miguel and I first talked about getting engaged in 2015, I decided to give up my apartment and move back home with my Mom so that I did not have to pay rent anymore. I have to say this was bittersweet for me because I absolutely loved my apartment and having my own space. My mom was gracious enough to agree to that, so we have been able to save a lot of money toward our vendor deposits. You can’t plan a wedding without initial deposits which can be anywhere from $1500 to $2,000 deposits for all, so planning ahead is the best way to go; I can’t stress that enough! 

Other than what I’ve mentioned, do you guys have any other organizing tips that you can share? I’m always curious to see other creative and fun ways to keep on track of things. Let me know in the comments below.

Talk to you all soon…

Xoxo

We’re Engaged! 

Happy New Year blogger friends!
I hope that you all are making the most of 2016 so far. Remember that every day is a gift and so we must create a life that we can be proud of. The one thing I like to do on my blog every January is just reflect on the year before. 2015 was a very hard year for my family and I as we lost two beloved women but also had so many wonderful new memories. Rather than focus on what made me sad, today I will celebrate what gave me joy: 

On September 26, 2015, my love of 8 years asked me to marry him! I cannot tell you the amazing feeling I had that day. Not only were we celebrating his grandmother’s 70th birthday, but now we were celebrating our forever commitment to one another. 

The moment I said I do….

 I have been waiting so long to start blogging our wedding planning process. We decided since we’ve been together for quite a while, we didn’t want to have a long engagement. We have chosen August of 2016! 

Since September, we have booked our Venue, Photo/Video, DJ and Hotel Accommodations, with lots more to do. I will tell you that we had planned for a while to get engaged so saving money had been on our agenda since the spring of 2015 which is why we have been able to start planning right away. If you take away anything from this blog post is SAVE SAVE SAVE right away, if you are planning to get engaged! 

Our save the dates went out last week, so now I can officially share all of our Save the Date/ Engagement Photos with everyone. Our friend, Mikey Rivera from M.A.R. Photography (FB) was our Photographer. He is actually a mentor to my fiancé who also does photography and Mikey, we are just in love with our photos!  Check out our favorite ones below.            

  We took our photos in November at a local park and just had fun with it! I wanted something effortless that showed the type of couple we are. It’s never too soon to plan your engagement photos. Do it while you’re still on cloud 9. Your photos will come out amazing and will set the tone for your whole wedding. 

 I can’t wait to share each week with you everything that I’ve been going through emotionally plus all the planning. I’ve been making notes from everything I’ve done so far so stay tuned! 

Xoxo 

GIVEAWAY and DIY FRIDAY: IKEA Mirror Turned Chalkboard Welcome Sign! 

 
Good morning bloggers! I hope you are all starting off your Friday in a great positive way! I have some fun news to share! Since we have been talking about engagements this month, I wanted to find a fun giveaway for all my followers to go with our theme! I did some research and I reached out to Etsy owner Bernadette from EVENTEES who has agreed to allow Okskinny Followers a chance to win this adorable “Future MRS 💖 or Wifey 💖 T-Shirt” of your choice. Bernadette is so sweet for doing this. Please go and check out her other adorable items like these group bachelorette party tanks! 

 

So are you excited to win? The rules are pretty simple:

Leave us a comment with your wedding date or possible date/year and make sure you either subscribe here to the blog page or like our Facebook page (link to the right of this page). I will announce the winner next Friday, June 26 , so please check back so that I can contact you and get your mailing information for our friends at Eventees so they can ship your t-shirt as soon as possible! 😀 Deadline- Thursday, June 25, 2015-11:59pm (ET). 

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In addition to our Giveaway today, check out our first DIY Friday: From Vintage Ikea Mirror to Chalkboard Welcome Sign!  About a year ago, my close friends and I threw one of our friend’s a Vintage/Lingerie Themed Bridal Shower. We had been on Pinterest for a long time getting some awesome ideas and I found a chalkboard welcome sign that I saw. I thought it would be perfect. So I did some research and I realized to actually buy one, was going to cost SO much money and I thought maybe I can just make one?

 I went on Youtube and I found a video and fell in love with this Ikea Mirror. I put a little spin on it just so it would be different and go with the theme we were looking for. The overall cost of the sign was under $50. The mirror itself was $25, the chalkboard spray paint was $10 at Walmart. The roses and the pearls were samples that we received from Etsy stores and Craft stores I believe; so they were either free or under $10 total and the chalk I found also at Walmart for about $5.

 At the time of my friend’s shower I lived in an apartment building so I wasn’t able to do this outside and then leave it there, so what I did was ➡️ I put some newspapers on the floor and placed the box that the mirror came in on top. ➡️ I removed the mirror from the plastic vintage covering and I prayed the mirror part with the chalkboard spray paint one full coat. ➡️I let it dry overnight and the next day I did a second coat just to be sure it was thick enough to write on.➡️ The cleanup was fast and easy with no mess and paint did not seep through whatsoever onto my hardwood floors. ➡️ I then waited for the second coat to dry and a few days later, found my awesome friend who has amazing hand writing to write our welcome sign message.  The end result was absolutely beautiful and inexpensive! Everyone loved it including the bride and groom to be. This chalkboard is great for any type of party and can be reused over and over!

Have any of you done any DIY Wedding Projects? Let me know in the comments below and don’t forget to enter the TShirt GIVEAWAY! Deadline- Thursday, June 25, 2015-11:59pm (ET). 

xoxo

Pinterest Tuesday: My Secret Board

Whether you are newly engaged and/or ready to start the wedding planning, the process can become overwhelming. Thank god for PINTEREST. I seriously don’t know how anyone got married without it! Haha- just kidding! Those brides were truly original; however, I also feel that Pinterest is such a great tool to not just “copy” someone else’s idea but to enhance your own. It can be stepping stone to help you put your own creative ideas to the test! 

Does anyone else have “secret” boards on their Pinterest page? LOL. I have a secret wedding board and even though I made it private it’s only because I’m not engaged yet, therefore, I don’t want people thinking I’m a crazy wedding person who is dying to get married. Maybe a little part of me has some truth to that, nonetheless, it’s no secret I LOVE WEDDINGS.  For today’s post and my first Pinterest Tuesday, I’m sharing with you some of my favorite pins on my secret wedding board. Check them out and let me know what you think!

I am oddly obsessed with Macaroons. I could probably eat them all day every. single. day. of. my. life.This is a great idea for favors for the actual wedding or bridal shower if you are looking for an inexpensive way. Macaroons are kind of hard to get the texture perfectly, so I suggested shopping around at different bakeries and go with the place that suits your budget. Source: http://www.modwedding.com

 Photo booths are the newest trend at weddings now…BUT…have you ever seen a caricaturist at a wedding? O.M.G. Seriously? When I saw this pin I almost fell out my chair only because I thought it was the most creative activity at a wedding and I’ve never seen it before. Guests love taking pictures right, so why wouldn’t your guests love getting themselves drawn? The Source: http://www.thebridaldetective.com  

 Pineapples Décor? YES PLEASE! They are everywhere lately. In the past month I’ve seen about 4 different stores carrying Pineapple shirts, tshirts and sweaters. Who knew they make such elegant and “sweet” centerpieces (no pun intended). SUMMER WEDDING=PERFECTION! Source: http://www.brides.com 

I pinned this gold, white and pink cake because I absolutely love these colors together. Throw in some red and you’d have my ultimate wedding pallet.  The source: http://www.ruffled.com {Wuthering Heights Inspo Cake}  As Mean Girls said it “On Wednesdays, we wear PINK!” Book my wedding on a Wednesday, because I’m so in love with the non-traditional colorful wedding gowns, including this gorgeous pink tulle! Source: http://www.weddingsparrow.co.uk Go back to the cake photo where I said my ultimate wedding pallet was gold, white, pink and red…guess this is why this bouquet is everything to me! Source: http://www.calierose.com  My last pin is my absolute favorite. If you know me, you know I am a dog lover. I spoil rotten my two little pups and I would give anything to have them in my wedding if I could. This sign being one of the first purchases on my Etsy list! Source: Etsy store: MichelesCottage  There you have it friends. Do you guys have any secrets boards on Pinterest? Also, let me know what you all are looking for more of on Pinterest Tuesdays…I’d love to hear. Happy Wedding Planning!

xoxo

Weddings 101: THE ENGAGEMENT!

Happy Tuesday! Today, we are officially starting off our summer series of Wedding Planning 101: including the Engagement, Bridal Shower and Bachelortte Party Planning! We are going to be your one stop shop with tips and cool pictures, links to great websites/articles and fun gifts for followers! So let’s get started….

   

Congratulations! You are probably saying “OMG I’m totally on cloud 9 right now!” Isn’t that a great feeling? It’s now time to celebrate and embrace the love you have between you and your partner. I always see a lot of individuals who get engaged and then have no idea what comes next. So here is just a little guide to help you figure out what steps you should take toward the wedding day and what can wait so you can enjoy that “cloud 9” period-

❤️ In a time where social media is our first priority- I suggest waiting before putting that gorgeous ring on Facebook/Instagram and taking the time to actually appreciate the fact that there is a person in this world who loves you so much, that they want to marry YOU! J Indulge in the moment and just be present with that special someone.

❤️ Tell your closest family and friends (if it happened alone) and let them bask in complete “Awwwness!”

❤️ If you are a fan of social media- GO CRAZY and BRAG ABOUT THAT RING GIRLFRIEND!!!! You deserve it!

❤️ Engagement parties are designed to celebrate with your closest friends and family members. It’s totally optional and can be done elegantly and tasteful. If this is something that you think you would like to do, organize a small dinner in a restaurant or a get together at your home. If you are trying to do a one year engagement- I would opt for a celebration within 2 to 3 months of being engaged. That will give you time afterwards to focus on more wedding planning.

❤️ If you are like me and practically know what type of wedding you want (event the date LOL), I wouldn’t waste time looking at venues and locking in your date. If you are more laid back: you can wait a few months (3-4) until you officially start looking at places. Enjoy your time engaged, bask in your glow! 

❤️ First, talk to your partner about dates and do a rough draft of a guest list so that you will be prepared when speaking with Venues. They will always ask you two questions first: your potential date and how many people you plan on inviting. Some venues could be booked the day you want, so make sure you have alternate dates. Also, some venues only hold a certain amount of people so that rough draft will come in handy. Most venues suggest that you book one year in advance, but you could always be that lucky person who’s date is available! :) 

Once all these items are check off on your list… now go and enjoy being engaged, before the crazy wedding planning process begins.

Do any of you previous brides have some tips to share for our newly engaged ladies? If so, please share in the comments below. 

Check back soon for our Weddings 101: THE WEDDING PROCESS- 9 MONTHS TO GO… subscribed by email or follow us on Facebook to be first to know! 

Xoxo

 Photo credit: Google 

Summer Blog Updates 

Hi bloggers. My vacation off from blogging has come to an end as I was focusing on the Etsy store, which has been doing amazing. Thank you to all that have been wonderfully supportive. I’m now back to my number one love: Writing and Weddings. ❤️ …

 
Summer is right around the corner with all  new adventures coming. To my surprise, Okskinny, had not ONE wedding this year to share with you all. Shocking! Nonetheless, next year we are already on the calendar with a few in the works, even a Destination Wedding, which is a first for me. I’ve been making a list of all new posts to share this summer with some interesting changes. For one, I’d love to make the Okskinny blog a little more personal than I have in the past. More bridal beauty posts and summer parties. I intend to keep up with the monthly cupcake recipes and are introducing Pinterest Tuesdays and bi-weekly DIY Fridays. Pinterest is such a great way to keep track of your favorite items and sometimes if you’re brave enough, attempt to recreate them. I would really like to become a one stop shop for Wedding planning in helping brides and even bridesmaids with wedding planning. In addition to all the blog changes, I’ve recently made some personal changes including eating healthier and exercising and will be sharing those with you all as well. 

 The new summer blog will start next Tuesday so subscribe with your email or follow on Facebook to be notified of the posts and Thanks in advance for reading with me.

 Xoxo

Photo credits: Google images