A Vintage/Lingerie Bridal Shower + Surprise Announcement!

Hi bloggers! Happy August! I can’t believe the summer has just flown by. I’m so happy to be back on the blogging status. If you saw my last post which was quite a while ago, my dog had given birth to puppies and my blogging time just came to a halt. Now with one puppy gone to his new home and another that will be leaving us this weekend, I’m going to have my blogging time back. I will say it’s definitely bittersweet. I’m going to miss my “coffee” breath puppy kisses everyday, but I’m also super excited to get back to blogging.

I’m also super excited to announce that I will be opening my very own ETSY store in September!! Ahhhh! Nervous but thrilled to be adventuring out into the entrepreneur world. I will have items like handmade banners, wedding accessories and decorations, party stuff, cupcake toppers & wrappers plus much more. I look forward to all your feedback and if anyone has any etsy life advice for me…please share! 🙂

While I was off from blogging, I helped host a bridal shower, bachelorette party & a baby sprinkle, so I have much to share with you all. Today’s topic is showcasing my beautiful friend Joanna’s Vintage/Lingerie Bridal Shower which we held in June at the Son Cubanos Restaurant in West New York, New Jersey. It was a gorgeous day and everything came out awesome.


This was our room. It was already beautiful as is so we didn’t have much we needed to add to it.


My favorite part of our decorations was this chalkboard welcome sign that we made. I’ll be doing a separate post next week to show you how we turned this simple $25 ikea mirror into a chalkboard.


As guests arrived we invited them to share some advice for our lovely couple.

We opted out the traditional cake and created a sweets bar including some adorable and yummy cupcakes! How cute are our hand designed lingerie cookies?


Centerpieces were simple: small fish bowl vases you can get these at the dollar store with some dry baby’s breath and added some feathers to go with our vintage theme.



I personally loved creating these banners with doilies. These will be up on the etsy store (made to order)

Our games included the popular toilet paper game along with a he/said game by using these handmade lips & mustaches (also will be on etsy). I’ll also be doing a separate post on how to play this fun unique game at your shower; stay tuned.

Last but not least we thanked our guests with a box of nail polish and file for joining us and wishing our bride much love.

A lot of planning and creativity goes into throwing a bridal shower. I could not have been more excited working with our party of girls. Everyone had their own splash if creativity thrown into the mix. It was just amazing and fun!

Mike & Joanna’s wedding is only a week away!!!

Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to leave me some comments and etsy advice.
Xoxo

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Wedding Budget Websites!

Happy Friday bloggers! Budget websites like Groupon, Livingsocial and fashion sites like Asos and Hutelook are growing more and more popular these days. You can get discounts and discounts worth of goods and services for half the prices as regular stores.

Most recently, I received an email from Groupon indicating they now have a wedding section. If you follow our fan page on Facebook we shared this information a while ago, but today I’m going to give you a more intimate look. On groupon you can find tons of deals for photo booths, photographers, invitations, favors and more. Here is a screen shot of some of today’s deals…

The other day my best friend told me that ASOS also now has a wedding section. I think it’s pretty cool because we all know that bridesmaids dresses can cost a pretty penning and more likely than none you’ll never where them again. They also have reasonable wedding guest dresses and accessories for brides.

Since I’ll be going to quite a few weddings this year, I picked my favorite wedding guest dresses from The site:


I love that this dress is a midi and is not short. It bothers me when I see wedding guests dressed like they’re going clubbing.


This dress is perfect for a summer outside wedding, preferably a beach or destination wedding where you can show off your tan in this gorgeous color.


Florals are in! I love everything about this dress from the print to the cut and length.

What are your thoughts on these wedding budget sites?

Xoxo

Photo credit: groupon, Asos

Vendor Feature: Ily Grantham Photography!

Hello my friends! Today, I am sharing with you a very talented portrait and wedding photographer, Ily Grantham, from the beautiful sunsets of Phoenix, Arizona. Ily randomly emailed me with some very kind words about the blog. I’m so happy that she did because I’ve really enjoyed getting to know her through her words and gorgeous photos!

Ily has been shooting professionally in Phoenix for the last 3 years and has been doing weddings for the past 2 years. As a self-taught photographer, Ily, has dedicated hours of practice and sleepless nights of researching.


Ily describes herself as passionate. “I’m a passionate person and I love what I do, what I see, what I photograph… The words you would hear more often from me are I love this, I love that… I’m a “I love” person.”

Also described as a “Nikon girl” Ily’s photographic style is romantic, modern, artistic and fun. Her inspirations come from her clients, brides, her children and families. Ily indicates that she loves getting to know her clients as much as possible which helps her really show their personalities within her photos.



One of my favorite things about weddings are the themes. Destination weddings will always be my number one which is why I was excited to see Ily’s dream wedding destination spot: “I would love to shoot a wedding in Ireland! But to be honest any part of Europe will be a dream, but Ireland is my #1.”

Ily’s favorite part about being a wedding photographer is after the ceremony. She explains “when is just me, the bride and the groom, I always say to my brides… we did it… now you can relax and enjoy! I like to let them know that I’m there for them.”

I’ve always admired wedding photographers and the tough job they have before them. You most definitely need the talent and patience to excel in this business. Ily tells me that being a wedding photographer is very changing. It makes her think faster forcing her to learn and know her camera. During a wedding, Ily has to work fast to capture moments, “I have to run from point A to point B in just seconds, I have to capture ceremony details and portraits all within a tight timeframe and with limited control. Wedding photography is making me a better photographer for sure.”

Lastly, I’ve asked Ily to give some advice for my bride and groom readers: “Hire the perfect photographer for you! Take the time to get to know her/him, there are so many photographers out there but not all of them are the perfect fit for you, so take your time and get someone you will click with, the one you will trust, your photographer will be the person you spend the most time with on your wedding day.”

Ily is currently setting goals for more weddings! She is looking to travel more and keep growing as a photographer. Her other goal is to shoot more weddings outside of Arizona so if you are interested in Ily Grantham Photography visit her at:


http://www.ilygrantham.com
http://www.facebook.com/ilygranthamphotography

We want to thank Ily for having her work on our blog today and we wish you a very successful and bright future!
Xoxo

Photo credit: Ily Grantham Photography

Non-Traditional Brunch Bridal Showers!

As some of you know, I’m currently involved in planning a bridal shower for my bestie Joanna. While we are planning a traditional shower, I wanted to share with you a more non-traditional shower idea: Brunch!

When I say brunch I don’t mean a brunch theme shower, I mean an actual brunch meal in a restaurant. When my friends have birthday parties, most of the time we gather together and go out to dinner. This is the same thing only scratch out the private room, shower games and heafty deposit and opt for a regular brunch meal with minimal decorations. Since brunch has become more popular over the years, this idea is perfect for your low key bride, older bride or even the bride with a small amount of friends and family.

If you are weary about it becoming too generic, there are ways to make your table more personal. You can put together 2 or 3 inexpensive vases with flowers depending on how long your table will be. Make sure it looks even. Even add some confetti to bring out the linens.

Make or buy a card box (this one is from Etsy: PineNSign, but you can definitely make your own) and grab some decorative plastic bags to put gifts in.

If you want to have at least one game to make your time more fun- grab a quick “How well do you know the bride” questionnaire. Have the guests fill it out and the bride can read off her answers during dessert time. This one is from Omaplapen on Etsy. Instant download $4.

For favors: Make little bags of candy, candles with tags or even cute chocolate covered pretzels. I blogged on how to make your own DIY chocolate covered pretzel favors- read it here: https://okskinnyjk.com/2013/10/16/diy-chocolate-covered-pretzel-favors/

I think this non-traditional idea is super cute! What do you all think? Yay! Or Nay!?

You can also follow me on Pinterest for more instant shower planning ideas. Just click the P symbol at the top right corner!

Xoxo

Photo credit: Pinterest, PineNSign, Omaplapen

Spring Wedding Inspirations via Pinterest!

Now that the weather on the east coast is emerging into spring “AMEN,” I cruised on over to Pinterest for some Spring Wedding Inspirations. I’ve gathered my favorite ones from simple table settings to a smart wedding favor for those chilly nights. As my favorite season of all time, especially wedding season, I am always blown away with how unique and original people are. When you’ve taken the time to really create something your guests will love, people will appreciate the meaning behind every detail. That’s what I’ve come to learn and love about weddings.

Table Settings & Centerpieces:
I’ve always been attracted to simple flowers or even something you can create yourself like a DIY centerpiece.



Bridesmaids dresses & wedding colors:
Every bride has their own vision of what their day will look like. You want to make sure your color scheme flows nicely! Short dresses are more in this time of year.



Wedding favors:
Thank your guests by giving them something they will make them remember your day. Stick with something useful that your guest won’t consider throwing out later on.


Bridesmaid gifts:
Always thank your bridal party by something that reflects thoughtfulness for having them share in your special day!


Cakes, Cupcakes & Desserts:
Most venues will provide this for you, but if you have the money to create something that reflects your wedding season-have fun with it.



Flowers:
Flowers are so beautiful! How about those sunflowers?! 🙂



Hope these spring inspirations brighten your day! Which photo is your favorite?
Xoxo

Photo credit: Pinterest

Real Wedding Feature: Amanda & Cal

It’s Monday and it’s time to get this week started. Hope you all had an awesome weekend. Today, we are featuring another “real” wedding. Thank you to all the positive feedback I received on our first real wedding feature. I really enjoy showcasing creativity, what better way than a wedding, right?

I recently reached out to Amanda when I visited her blog and read some great wedding planning tips she was sharing. She agreed to share her wedding day on the blog so without further ado, here is the real wedding of Amanda & Cal which took place on June 8, 2013 at the St. John’s Church at Bonanzaville, West Fargo ND.

We met in college in early 2005. My roommate’s boyfriend was on his floor and convinced us to meet based on things we had in common. Neither of us were “looking” at the time, so ignored him for awhile, then finally gave in … and the rest is history

We got engaged in March 2012. He proposed in our apartment shortly before a jewelry party I was hosting. He had initially planned to do it during the party and had this whole scheme, but earlier in the day he told my best friend his plans and she advised against that since I’m not much for a lot of attention or making a scene (she was right!). He later told me that made him panic, and he already had the ring and didn’t think he could wait any longer, so he did it on the spot when I got home from work that day. I was so happy when it happened, but then got anxious because I had guests coming over soon, so we both were crying and talking about it while we cut up veggies and cleaned up! Haha.

Favorite part of your wedding planning process: Making our special day unique and fun and reflective of our personalities.


Most stressful part of planning your wedding: So much, lol! I’m an overplanner and overanalyzer to begin with, so I had a lot of emotional breakdowns during the process, worrying and obsessing over every detail. I lost sight of the big picture frequently.

Wedding theme: Simple, classic and fun.


How did your wedding differ from other weddings you’ve been to?
For one, our music selection was very reflective of our personalities and styles rather than the “traditional” ceremony and reception music. I walked down the aisle to Beyoncé’s “Halo”, our recessional was “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” by Stevie Wonder, our grand entrance was to “Shot Through the Heart” by Bon Jovi, and our first dance was to the Disney version of “A Whole New World.” Oh, and we skipped down the aisle after the ceremony!

Best advice for future brides: Don’t worry, and don’t lose sight of the big picture. In the end, all that matters is that you marry the love of your life, so don’t get too caught up in the small details. Ask for lots of help and make sure to make time for you and your fiancée. Remember – invest in your marriage, not your wedding day.

Thank you Amanda and Cal for sharing your wedding day with us. You can visit Amanda on her blog at http://www.notesfromanewlywed.com where she shares amazing things about her life as a new wife.

Xoxo

Photo Credit: Lori Anne Photography

Real Wedding Feature: Roselyn & Sam!

Today, I’m very excited to add “REAL Wedding” features to the blog site! I thought it would be fun to showcase inspirations in helping future brides and grooms plan their weddings. I asked my best friend, Roselyn, to be our first feature. Helping Roselyn plan her wedding was awesome because she was such a creative bride and special for me as her MOH! 🙂

The look and feel of Roselyn and Sam’s late September wedding at the Bridgewater Manor in Bridgewater, New Jersey, was perfectly captured by her amazing photographer Timothy Glenn. Check out the wonderful photos below with our bride’s personal feelings about her special day!

We met at work, Dr. Leonard’s Healthcare, a call-center about 9 years ago. Honestly, it was supposed to be just a temporary job and actually, I remember applying for a job with Janeen! I ended up getting hired at $9/hr — which back then meant you were ballinnn compared to my $6.25/hr I was making at Mandee’s 🙂 Sam trained me from being a Order Entry rep to a Customer Service rep and we just started talking and hanging out. From there, the rest is history! 🙂


May 18, 2012 — He picked me up after a crazy, hectic Friday work day and I told him, “I need you to feed me, and I need a large beverage ASAP”. He let me choose the restaurant, so I chose the first thing that came to mind — Red Lobster. I mean who could pass up some shrimp and garlic-butter rolls?! After dinner we went back to our apartment and he suggested we watch a movie at home before picking up our daughter, who was at his mom’s. It was a mini “date night” to ourselves since we rarely get that nowadays! He puts on a movie and says to me, “See if you can guess what movie I chose for us to watch”. I’m thinking it’s “Rocky” or “The Garden State” or something… and as the credits start, it turns into a slideshow of pictures of us with the song “Have I Told You Lately” by Rod Stewart playing in the background. Towards the end of the slideshow, I hear a voice over that he did where he left a sweet loving message for me and then the slideshow ended. I looked at him and said that was the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen! And he said he wanted to give that to me for Mother’s Day, but it wasn’t ready.

After a few awkard moments, he stands us up and asks me if I’m ready for that next step. My heart immediately fell out of my butt and I knew instantly what was going to happen. He dropped down to one knee, pulled out a ring, and asked if I would marry him. And of course, I said yes 🙂

I would say our wedding was a sophisticated chic themed wedding. It was a mix of vintage with modern touches. Soft pinks and peaches with cool navy blues and silvers and warm golds. My problem is that I like everything — so selecting a theme and a color scheme was extremely difficult for me. But I picked a few things from here and there that I liked the most, and I thought that everything flowed nicely together!


My favorite part of wedding planning is doing all the DIY projects that I had planned to do. There’s something about creating something, and making something your own that your family and friends will just be “wowed” with that would just get me excited. Pinterest and google played big factors in a lot of my projects!



The most stressful part of planning our wedding was the financial portion of everything. Luckily for us, my parents were willing to pay for the venue, while Sam and I paid for all our vendors, and everything else. Putting deposits down while still making our monthly bills was extremely stressful and sometimes it would eat at me at night. Worrying that we’d be okay financially was my biggest fear, which is why I was so adamant in doing a lot of DIY projects to save us some money.


Wedding Differences- I think the only difference between some of the weddings I’ve been to and mine would be having our wedding ceremony right before our reception. Usually people have their ceremonies in the morning at a church and then there’s that break of time in between before the wedding reception.

Sam and I decided to get married outside, at our wedding venue and we were blessed with AMAZING weather. The sun was out, and as our ceremony went on, the sun started to set. We really could not ask for a better picturesque view. In fact one of the deal breakers when selecting our wedding venue was the outdoor space for the ceremony.


Bridgewater Manor was the first place we visited, and after numerous appointments with different venues, we ended up going with Bridgewater Manor because we ultimately were comparing all the other places to them. We fell in love! We liked that there was also no break in time from the ceremony to cocktail hour to reception. It was a quick ceremony, an hour to get your drinking started at cocktail with LOADS of food and then right into a night of fun and dancing!


My best advice for future brides would be to know your budget and always keep it in mind. Know what you like, but keep it realistic. There are many alternatives to things that can give you the same outcome without dishing out loads of money. For example, I am in love with peonies and I wanted my flowers to have peonies incorporated in them. In September, peonies aren’t in season, but my florist suggested David Austen roses which have the same look, are available in season, and cheaper!

Another suggestion would be bridal registry — if you already live with your significant other, try something like http://www.honeymoonwishes.com. Do you really need another coffee maker? Or another toaster oven? Wouldn’t you rather have your friends and family contribute to an unforgettable honeymoon? Honeymoonwishes.com gives your guests the opportunity to do so! Their money would be much better spent with you having dinner on the beach, than sitting in your closet collecting dust! 🙂

And also, you don’t always have to go to a private bridal boutique for a bridal gown or bridesmaids dresses. David’s Bridal has had a number of affordable bridal gowns (especially from Vera Wang) and try places like NYC (if you are in the tri-state area) for bridal stores that sell a plethora of bridal gown/bridesmaid dress brands. Also — shop for dresses during a Holiday! Sounds crazy, but it’s true — my maids and I went to Macy’s Herald Square and they each got 20% off their bridesmaid dress because of a Mother’s Day sale that they were having. My Maid of Honor had a Macy’s card and I believe she was even able to get an additional discount on top of the 20% Mother’s Day sale! So there are lots of ways to cut costs on a lot of things, it just has to be the right things.


Thank you so much Roselyn and Sam for sharing your special day on the blog! Head over to Roselyn’s blog http://www.msrizzy.wordpress.com where she shares some of her DIY wedding projects! Below is a link to their wedding video! Don’t forget the tissues!! http://vimeo.com/87586776

Xoxo

CREDITS:
Venue: Bridgewater Manor
Photographer: Timothy Glenn http://www.timothyglennphoto.com
Videographer: Iris Cinematics http://vimeo.com/87586776
DJ/Candid Photographer: Blancinoir Event Group http://www.bneventgroup.com