Simple Engagement Gifts for the Bride-to-Be! 

When my fiancé proposed to me at a family party a lot of my close friends knew ahead of time and brought me absolutely beautiful gifts. Each gift we received was so thoughtful. And I have made and will make great use to each of them! If you are interested in some ideas Check out the list below:

A ring dish! This is one of my absolute favorite gifts that I received. I loose things, especially my jewelry (my expensive jewelry) so this was probably the best gift anyone could have given me! I always take my ring off when I wash dishes, take a shower and go to bed and place it right on my little umbrella!  My best friend and matron of honor got me this one from Anthropologie. I loved it so much that I got my two future sister-in-laws similar ones when they too got engaged the same year! 🙂 They are so super convienant and inexpensive.

Engraved Frame! One of my other favorite gifts was this customized enagraved frame I received from one of my bridesmaids. It has the date we got engaged on the bottom of it. I recently went out and printed some pictures from our actual engagement and some professional engagement photos and placed it in our foyer.

Kate Spade Mrs Passport Holder! How adorable is this passport holder?  One of my closest friends gave me this and I think it is so cute and SOOO me! I love little things like this (Frencesca’s has perfect little items similar to this). I remember in her card she encouraged me to use this as motivation to go somewhere amazing for our honeymoon and it literally has done just that!!!

 “I DO” Mugs! My other amazing friend got us matching “I DO” mugs! I loved the personal “what she says” touch to it for my fiancé’s matching mug lol! 😉

If you’re looking for a more simple gift and something really cute then I hope one of these options spoke to you! Which one was your favorite? Let me know in the comments below.



Vendor Feature: Makeup Artist & Beauty Blogger, Kelly M.

Our first Makeup Artist to add to our vendor list is Kelly M!!! Kelly & I met at a photo shoot with my partner Lenz Life Photography. I watched her create a mermaid look for the model. I remember Kelly saying it was her first time creating a look like that and she was just freelancing it! The final result is absolutely stunning. Kelly is super talented and we are really excited to showcase her work here on the blog.

Kelly is a self taught makeup artist, with the exception of a few courses in color theory and bridal makeup, and has been professionally doing makeup for about 3 years. She is located in Glen Clove, New York and will travel to her client anywhere from Long Island to New Jersey.

I asked Kelly what made her want to be a makeup artist and she stated that she has always been an artistic person. Her passion for makeup began as just another artistic outlet, “eventually, I realized I wanted to make it a second career.”

Every makeup artist has their favorite makeup look; Kelly’s is a neutral smokey eye with a winged liner. She indicates “it can be rocked from day to night with just a lipstick change!” Her specialty; however, is bridal makeup, airbrushing and false lashes which you all know here on Okskinny we absolutely love! 🙂

For all you beauty fanatics, Kelly’s go to beauty tip: “Skincare! Beautiful makeup application begins with radiant skin. You should be cleansing and moisturizing day and night!”

Thank you Kelly M. for sharing your artistry and beauty tips here on the blog. Kelly also has a beauty blog and Youtube channel of her own, so don’t forget to check her out and follow her for more tips and tutorials! If you have any questions or inquiries you can email her at

Instagram & Twitter @kellicakke


Photo Credit: Kelly M. & Lenz Life 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 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? 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 where she shares some of her DIY wedding projects! Below is a link to their wedding video! Don’t forget the tissues!!


Venue: Bridgewater Manor
Photographer: Timothy Glenn
Videographer: Iris Cinematics
DJ/Candid Photographer: Blancinoir Event Group

Wedding Color of the Year: MINT!

One of the biggest wedding trends of 2014, is the color mint that seems to keep popping up on my computer screen! Mint is actually such a pretty and unique color that most people don’t think of until they’ve seen it done. Check out some of my favorite photos I’ve found using the mint color scheme paired up with other amazing colors to make it stand out. If you’re a newly bride and are having trouble picking your colors- you may just have found your answer!

First thing to think of when picking colors is you need your main color contrasted by a side color that will make your main color POP!

Flower Choices

Cake and Dessert Ideas

Are you feeling the mint? I think it’s beautiful!

Pink Wedding Gown Trends

While shopping for bridesmaid dresses for my friend’s wedding I have noticed that pink wedding gowns are in full swing! How amazing! I think they are beautiful and so elegant looking. These color gowns are perfect for the bride who wants to go against the grain! I would totally be that bride.

This gown I found in a bridal store in Manalapan, NJ. I think it’s stunning. I’m not sure the name or price but it was listed as ivory/pink. It’s very subtle keeping the tradition alive while casting a hint of being different. I hope when I get married I can find something just like this 🙂

Our favorite celebs have broken the ice for the trend. Now they are everywhere!!!

Jessica Biel’s wedding gown was full on Pink while Reese Witherspoon rocks the more subtle Ivory/Pink that I adore so much!

Do YOU dare to go PINK?

Roselyn & Sam Forever!

This past weekend I had the honor of being part of my best friend’s wedding. The venue took place at the Bridgewater Manor, Bridgewater, New Jersey!

It was such a beautiful day for an outside ceremony as well as the gorgeous venue inside. The wedding coordinator was excellent even with the list long of instructions the bride left him. The room was executed to the “T!” I was so impressed & enjoyed myself so much!

Congrats to my beautiful friend Roselyn & her new hubby Sam! Xoxo

Question Of The Day!

What’s the purpose of an engagement party?

While some may think its an unnecessary way of gaining monetary gifts for your wedding day, others may see it as a way to celebrate two people and two families coming together. If you make it your own, why can’t it be just a fun party? If an engagement party sounds like a wedding- opt for a smaller just family & friends gathering at a relative home rather than a restaurant or hall.

Guests and Gifts:

Your guests may think they need to give you money at your engagement party but that is just an option. They can also give smaller gifts as a way to say their congratulations, For example: Wine, Champagne, or picture frames. Guests can also give gifts toward your wedding day such as, a unity candle for the ceremony, a photo album to keep the memories of the engagement party alive and wedding planning books to help you plan your dream wedding.

Now its your turn to decide what kind of couple you both are and how you want to celebrate each other as one!