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Modern Winter Wedding Inspiration

Modern Winter Wedding Inspiration

Its been over a year since this lovely winter wedding styled shoot was published on Artfully Wed and The Reverie Gallery, but I just couldn’t help myself… I had to share this lovely collaboration with you, again! Working on this shoot was just an amazing experience filled with wonderfully talented vendors and incredible details that will spark inspiration for any bride or groom planning a winter wedding.

This stunning and modern affair was planned by Details By Chelsea Ann and captured by For The Love Photography. The color palette includes bold rich colors with a pop of citrus which brings a whole new look to a winter theme. The beautiful wedding invitation suite and calligraphy was provided by Eliza Gwendalyn and brought extra originality to this shoot. The multi-tiered cake by Cake Heights was accented with a gorgeous edible flower and lace-like details, almost too good to eat!

I styled the beautiful bride in a handmade sheath wedding dress with a plunging neckline that had delicate lace detailing, a full open back, and a removable Swarovski crystal embellished cape. The dress was accented with crystal embellished illusion gloves, the bold Lux crystal earrings, the head-turning Starling Quartz tiara, a beautiful wire wrapped Cyrene quartz pendant, and the oh-so-lovely shoes by Emmy London. Her look was completed with hair by Erica Starr and flawless makeup by Kiki Takos!

The groom wore a tux by the Black Tux accented with a handmade tie and matching pocket square by Alyson Nicole, a boutonnière accented with a wire wrapped quartz pendant, and citrus colored alligator cuff links.

Drooling over the details already? But, wait! There’s more…

From For the Love PhotographyDetails by Chelsea Ann set out to create a glamorous, modern winter wedding inspiration shoot with a palette of soft winter whites, surprisingly paired with bold pops of citrus and deep winter tones. To create a dreamy, romantic setting, she mixed textures to transform a clean loft into an intimate space where guests would want to linger. Ice Chiavari chairs surround a rosette draped table, while a private oasis for the couple with a sheepskin rug, Lucite tables, and a tufted settee offer respite to indulge in a citrus and white sangria cocktail. An oversized garland comprised of pine, eucalyptus, kumquats, anemone and ranunculus created a focus point on the monochromatic table scape.

Guests find their seats by the hand calligraphed cards tacked on the custom designed marshmallow pin board. The custom fine art invitation suite by Eliza Gwendalyn set the tone, combining a modern typeface delicately letterpress printed on Crane Lettra paper with her signature calligraphy style in a vibrant orange ink. As guests exit through a crystal curtain with dangling hot chocolate favors, hand lettered notes remind them that “love is brewing.” This intimate, modern loft affair was captured by For the Love Photography. Proving that modern can still be romantic and dreamy, this lovely shoot brings winter wedding inspiration to life with a citrus twist.

We felt that wedding blogs and magazines are so focused on spring and summer weddings, and winter weddings tended to be kitschy or holiday focused. We were inspired by a modern day Elsa from Frozen, who we imagined would have eloped in an intimate loft affair in Manhattan but added a little brightness to the cold winter palette with accents of citrus. Of course, our Elsa glammed it up with deep berry lips and an elegant, hand sewn gown but kept her crystal tiara and Swarovski studded accessories and cape. It was so fun as a photographer to photograph such a dream inspiration shoot.

It was definitely a dream shoot to participate in and THANK YOU to everyone who helped make this happen. Now, take a look, pin some of the lovely details on Pinterest, and just get inspired!

MODERN WINTER WEDDING FEATURED VENDORS

For the love photography

For the love photography

Photographer

www.forthelovephotography.com
details by chelsea ann

details by chelsea ann

Planning & Floral Design

www.detailsbychelseaann.com

Alyson Nicole

Alyson Nicole

Bridal Gown & Bridal Accessories

www.alysonnicole.com

Eliza gwendalyn

Eliza gwendalyn

Invitation Suite/Calligraphy

www.elizagwendalyn.com

makeup with kiki

makeup with kiki

Makeup Artist

www.makeupwithkiki.com

Erica starr

Erica starr

Hair Stylist

emmy london

emmy london

Bridal Shoes

www.emmylondon.com
Cake heights

Cake heights

Cake Designer

www.cakeheights.com
the liq new york

the liq new york

Specialty Cocktails

www.theliqny.com
bryant park belts

bryant park belts

Custom Leather Accessories

www.bryantparkbelts.com

breather

breather

Venue

www.breather.com
Patina Rentals

Patina Rentals

Vintage Furniture Rentals

www.rentpatina.com
THE BLACK TUX

THE BLACK TUX

Tuxedo

www.theblacktux.com
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{Guest Blog Post} Eliminating Stress as You Plan Your Wedding

Eliminating Stress as You Plan Your Wedding
I recently wrapped up wedding plans with my new hubby, and I understand just how nuts things can get. Sometimes it’s the little things – they just accumulate without you realizing it until one day you have an explosion of emotions. That’s perfectly normal, I promise. Here are a few (fun!) ways that will aid in eliminating stress as you plan your wedding day!

Make sure you’re getting enough sleep!

It’s so easy to stay up late working on things (and then have to get up early for work!), or maybe you’re so stressed you just can’t sleep. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try treating yourself to a relaxing night for yourself: take a long hot bath, give yourself a facial mask, and then go to bed.

Drink enough water.

Fact: drinking water can result in a 14% increase in productivity.

There’s a noticeable difference when you’re hydrated. You think clearer, you’re more energized, and you’re in a better mood. It’s well worth it to get in those eight glasses of water a day.

Eat 3 meals a day!

I get it, I honestly do. You get so busy with planning and life that even eating can become a chore. Buy some granola bars to keep in your purse, and try prepping food one night of the week so you can have leftovers for meals. You won’t have to spend the extra time prepping food every day and it will help with your hangry levels.

Exercise is also a huge stress-reliever.

Even if you simply go on a walk; as long as you’re doing some kind of physical activity each day, you’ll think a little clearer and feel a whole lot better.

 

 

Go on a date.

You heard me – get your cute little butt’s out of the house and get some ice cream. Talk about things other than wedding planning. It might be a little difficult to go the entire conversation without something wedding-related coming up, but just do your best. You’ve got this.

It’s incredibly healthy to continue making time for yourselves during this transition together. So, keep going to movies and hanging out with your friends at the beach on weekends.

Those are times to be valued, and they’ll definitely help with eliminating stress as you plan your wedding.

eliminating stress - go on a date
eliminating stress - pillow fight

Write it out!

Journaling has been proven to be therapeutic. Whether you create a word doc or use pen & paper, just lay it all out. Be honest & raw. Don’t try to beat around the bush. This is just you & your thoughts, no one else. You’ll make some new discoveries while you break down your thought processes, and those will reduce your stress levels considerably

 

 

May the games begin!

Have a pillow fight or play with Nerf guns around the house. The catch? You can’t play until you’ve completed X, Y, and Z on your task list.

Assign tasks to friends & family to lighten your load.

They don’t have to be big things; they can be small! Tasks like: someone to pick up your wedding cake if it’s not being delivered, a friend who likes design can create your programs, or someone can pick up specified decorations from the store for you. Every little bit helps.

Try to space appointments out, if possible.

True story, we had every single weekend booked with something, leading up to our wedding day. It. Was. Exhausting. Try not to do that.

Focus on the positives.

If you find yourself going down a dark hole of negativity, grab a pen & paper and begin listing the things you’re thankful for. It’s a good way to turn your mood around and a good reminder that there are more important things in life than that one thing that’s getting to you right now.

Eat some dark chocolate.

I’m serious! Dark chocolate is proven to be a mood-booster and it’s good for your health. It contains the same chemical that your brain creates when you experience falling in love. It literally encourages your brain to release feel-good endorphins. Who knew eliminating stress as you plan your wedding could include something so sweet? Now, go have some dark chocolate!

 

Cuddle!

Another proven way to reduce stress and an action that releases feel-good hormones. It even helps you sleep better. Cuddle away, lovers!

eliminating stress - cuddle

Talk to God about it.

I’m a pretty big advocate for trusting God in all things, and that most definitely includes wedding planning. I’ve been there and I know first-hand how big that rollercoaster can be. One day you’re on cloud nine and ridiculously excited about the big steps you’re taking together, and that same night you’re in tears because someone was disappointed in your decisions. God can take care of all of it, I promise. He’ll soothe your worried mind and bring you peace – in your soul, relationships, decision-making, and everything in-between. Just knowing He’s cheering for you, that He’s ready to step in at a moment’s notice, and that He always has your back is reassuring. Talking to Him is the absolute best way for eliminating stress as you plan your wedding. Hands down.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

 

I may not know you personally (yet!), but what I do know is that you’re embarking on one of life’s greatest adventures with your best friend, and that is some kind of awesome. Whatever life throws you during this time, just remember that you’ve got each other and that’s all that matters. And, if you ever need to talk about what’s stressing you, my inbox is open anytime.

Eliminating Stress as You Plan Your Wedding Chart
about the author…
Joelle Elizabeth Photography

Joelle Elizabeth Photography

Joelle

Joelle is a wedding photographer from Chicago; she loves romance, a good cup of coffee, God-dates, and watching the sun set with people who mean the most.

 

CONTACT INFORMATION:

JoelleElizabeth.com

JoelleElizabethPhotography@gmail.com

Spread the love & follow Joelle Elizabeth ♥

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{Guest Blog Post} Top 25 Fun Wedding Video Songs

Top 25 Fun Wedding Video Songs
Let’s take a moment to talk wedding videos, shall we? Your wedding video should fill you up with joy and make you want to burst from a rush emotion and excitement.  After all, it’s created so you can re-live the day that will forever go down in history as the best day ever.
We’ve found that the most daunting task, when it comes to planning for your video, is choosing fun wedding video songs. It needs to represent the two of you as a couple and be something you won’t mind listening to together when you’re old and gray, replaying your video on your 50th anniversary for the grandkids. It’s kind of a big deal! At least we know it’s something our couples sometimes struggle with. But let’s face it, you’ve got a lot going on when it comes to wedding planning and could probably use a little inspiration! That’s why this blog post is here to the rescue.
In an ongoing mission to veer couples away from the ever-so-popular “Thousand Years” by Christina Perri (no hard feelings, Christina), we’ve come up with this playlist! It’s our top 25 fun wedding video songs for you to consider. And because we’ve filmed our fair share, we can basically promise yours is going to be absolutely full of fun and love-filled moments- and that calls for something upbeat with great vibes! Take a look and have a listen! We hope you find something you love.

25 Fun Wedding Video Songs & the lyrics we love:

Brand New, Ben Rector
I feel like windows rolled down, new city, streets and cabs/ I feel like anything can happen, laughing,/ You take me right back, when we were kids/ Never thought I’d feel like this
HAPPINESS, NEEDTOBREATHE
It’s all for you in my pursuit of happiness/Singing oh, happiness/ Singing oh, happiness
A Sky Full of Stars, Coldplay
‘Cause you’re a sky, ’cause you’re a sky full of stars/ I’m gonna give you my heart
Latch, Sam Smith
I’m so en-captured, got me wrapped up in your touch/ Feel so enamored, hold me tight within your clutch/ How do you do it, got me losing every breath/ Why did you kiss me to make my heart beat out my chest?
Good to be Alive, Andy Grammer
I think I finally found my hallelujah/ I’ve been waiting for this moment all my life/ Now all my dreams are coming true, yeah I’ve been waiting for this moment
I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles), The Proclaimers
When I come home (when I come home) well I know I’m gonna be/ I’m gonna be the man who comes back home to you/ And if I grow-old (when I grow-old) well I know I’m gonna be/ I’m gonna be the man who’s growing old with you
I Do, Colbie Caillat
You can trust I never felt it like I feel it now /Baby there’s nothing, there’s nothing we can’t get through/ So can we say I do?

Ho Hey, The Lumineers

I belong with you, you belong with me, you’re my sweetheart/ I belong with you, you belong with me, you’re my sweet (Ho!) (Hey!)
Mess Is Mine, Vance Joy
Hold on, darling/ This body is yours/ This body is yours and mine/ Well hold on, my darling/ This mess was yours/ Now your mess is mine
Mountain Sound, Of Monsters and Men
Hold your horses now (We sleep until the sun goes down)/ Through the woods we ran (Deep into the mountain sound)/ Hold your horses now (We sleep until the sun goes down)/ Through the woods we ran
You Are the Best Thing, Ray LaMontagne
We’ve come a long way/ And, baby/ You know I hope and I pray /That you believe me/ When I say this love will never fade away/ Oh, because/ You are the best thing
Love Someone, Jason Mraz
Oh, ain’t it nice tonight we’ve got each other/ And I am right beside you/ More than just a partner or a lover/ I’m your friend
All I Want, Kodaline
‘Cause you brought out the best of me/ A part of me I’d never seen/ You took my soul wiped it clean/ Our love was made for movie screens
Something I Need, OneRepublic
I know that we’re not the same/ But I’m so damn glad that we made it to this time/ This time now, around, yeah/ You got something I need
Feel Again, OneRepublic
But with you, I feel again/ Yeah with you, I can feel again, yeah/ I’m feeling better since you know me/ I was a lonely soul but that’s the old me
Ends of the Earth, Lord Huron
To the ends of the earth, would you follow me/ There’s a world that was meant for our eyes to see/ To the ends of the earth, would you follow me

Tonight, Secret Nation

Turn down the lights tonight/ The moon’s our guide/ We dance, we sing, we live/ We love tonight
No Love Like Yours, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
But in the morning light, spinning like a 45/ I’m in love with you/ I don’t know love/ No love, no love like yours, woman/ Show me love, show me love
Only Love, Tim Halperin
Say you’ll stay with me forever/ Say you’ll be my only love/ We can make it through whatever/ Say you’ll be my only love
Forever Starts Today, Tim Halperin
This adventure/ We were meant for/ Everyday is a chance to discover/ You give me reason/ Through every season/ Together we can do anything
Light Up, Tim Halperin
Eyes open wide and the world is before us/ We are the sound of a beautiful chorus/ Holding to the feeling, you and I/ When we are together, we are bright
With You, Tim Halperin
All I know, when I’m with you/ This life is better/ Everything as it should be/ When we’re together/ You and me, we’ll see it through/ Oh I know it’s true/ This life is better when I’m with you
On Top of the World, Imagine Dragons
‘Cause I’m on top of the world, ‘ey/ I’m on top of the world, ‘ey/ Waiting on this for a while now/ Paying my dues to the dirt/ I’ve been waiting to smile, ‘ey/ Been holding it in for a while, ‘ey/ Take it with me if I can/ Been dreaming of this since a child/ I’m on top of the world
I Choose You, Sara Bareilles
My whole heart/ Will be yours forever/ This is a beautiful start/ To a lifelong love letter/ Tell the world that we finally got it all right/ I choose you

Now that you read why we picked these fun wedding video songs, we hope you take a listen to our playlist (link below) we created especially for you!

Top 25 Fun Wedding Video Songs, Playlist by Harrison Films

about the author…

Harrison Films

Harrison Films

Deanna & Grant

Deanna is the co-founder of Harrison Wedding Films alongside her fiancé and best friend, Grant. When they’re not filming and editing weddings, they spend their time producing content for businesses and personal brands, dreaming about owning a puppy ranch, and trying out new craft beers.

 

CONTACT INFORMATION:

Harrisonweddingfilms.com

hello@harrisonweddingfilms.com

631-644-6358 | 267-614-4923

Spread the love & follow Harrison Films ♥

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{DIY} How to Make Bridesmaids Boxes

DIY-Bridesmaids Boxes

Have you figured out your bridal party yet and have you asked them? If you want to do something a little more than just asking them, the not-so-new trend is giving each lady (or man) a “Will you be my…” Box.

These boxes are usually catered to the theme of your wedding and are very DIY. Most boxes include gifts of either champagne or ring pops and they will have cutesy poems or cards with them. After looking at a fair share of them on Pinterest, I decided to do something small and simple.

Here’s how I created my bridesmaids’ boxes with very simple step-by-step instructions:

Supplies:

  • Wooden boxes for each girl (I got mine at Michaels for less than $2 each)
  • Sponge or regular brushes
  • Modge Podge (I used a matte finish for my boxes but use what you’d like)
  • Acrylic or all purpose paint(s)
  • Paint tray
  • Wooden Letter(s) or shape(s)
  • Fine sand paper
  • Scissors

 

  • Exacto blade
  • Double sided tape
  • Glue
  • Tulle
  • Card stock
  • Gifts for inside (The boxes I chose are pretty small so if you are thinking about gifting larger items, these won’t work. I used Essie nail polish and included a swatch for the dress color along with a paper with some important information about the big day!)
DIY-Bridesmaids Boxes
DIY-Bridesmaids Boxes

Directions:

1. Smooth rough edges with sand paper. Don’t go too crazy with this because the wood “hairs” are only going to pop right back out once they get wet from the Modge Podge and/or paint.

2. Start painting the interior. Don’t be afraid to lather on the paint either. These boxes will absorb some of it. I ended up doing two coats. At the same time, if you bought any wooden letters or fun shapes to put on top, paint these with the color you prefer.

DIY-Bridesmaids Boxes
DIY-Bridesmaids Boxes

3. Seal the interior with a nice thick layer of Modge Podge. Don’t be alarmed when you use this. It will look white but it dries clear. At this time I also painted the interior rim. If you decide to do that- do NOT close the box. Modge Podge is also a glue and it will glue it shut!

DIY-Bridesmaids Boxes

4. While its drying, I cut out my signs for the interior. I used an exacto blade to do this. You can also use scissors OR if you’re really crafty and have an electronic cutter (silhouette or cricut) use that. My work space was pretty full at this time so I cut mine by hand. I designed the signs previously on Adobe Illustrator. If you prefer to use Photoshop- go ahead. If you don’t have access to either, Microsoft Word works perfectly fine.

DIY-Bridesmaids Boxes

5. If you want to paint the exterior an alternate color, now is the time. I personally wanted to keep the wood color, so I just started to add the Modge Podge to the exterior. Again, slather it on. I did two coats but don’t forget to sand the rough edges in between coats. HOWEVER, make sure the paint or Modge Podge is dry first or you will ruin your sand paper.

DIY-Bridesmaids Boxes

6. While the exterior is drying, work on what you want to put in the interior. I used tulle ribbon to “stuff” the boxes and hold the items in place. For the round boxes I cut the tulle in 40″ pieces. For the square- I did 60″. I also used this time to fold up the “important information” paper (again, I did these on Illustrator) and cut the heart swatches. You do not have to do this. Feel free to do what you want and get creative. They are your boxes to give!

DIY-Bridesmaids Boxes

7. If you bought wooden letters or shapes to add to the box, you can add them now! I used a craft glue called Tacky Glue but you can also use Modge Podge or another strong adhesive. I would stay away from using hot glue only because in my experience a majority of items I have hot glued together, fallen apart.

DIY-Bridesmaids Boxes
DIY-Bridesmaids Boxes

8. Now that you’ve spent some time watching paint and glue dry, it’s time to add the gifts and interior decor. To attach the interior message, I used double sided craft tape and pressed it onto the top side of the lid firmly. I didn’t want this message to be permanent incase my girls wanted to reuse the box for something else. Next I stuffed the bottom with the tulle and arranged my little gifts, swatches, and information sheet.

DIY-Bridesmaids Boxes
DIY-Bridesmaids Boxes

Voila, bridal party gift boxes!

DIY-Bridesmaids Boxes
DIY-Bridesmaids Boxes

 

As I mentioned previously, I kept my boxes small. Not because I didn’t want to give them more but mostly because I will be spoiling them later with thank you gifts.

xo

Alyson

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New York Bridal Week- Fall 2017 Trends

Twice a year, a magical thing happens… New York Bridal Week. 

::sigh::  Let me tell you, it truly is filled with gorgeous mouth dropping dresses that will make you wish you could have numerous weddings with unlimited budgets (well that’s how it is for me at least).

This past season, designers were debuting their Autumn/Winter 2017 collection. These beautiful lines were full of wonderful trends (some cross covered from last season) and unique details. Here are the top 6 trends that I noticed the most:
1. Sleeves. Everywhere you look, gorgeous sleeves. Sure there was a fair share of strapless gowns but I have never seen a season with so many different sleeve styles. There were numerous gowns with full-length sleeves:
new york bridal week- long sleeves
FROM THE LEFT:  Watters , Mark Zunino, Maggie Sottero, Rivini
Some designers used bell sleeves, which shows some influence from the ready-to-wear market:
new york bridal week- bell sleeves
FROM THE LEFT:   Rivini, Costarellos, Galia Lahav, Odylyne The Ceremony
The bishop sleeve was also very popular:
FROM THE LEFT:  Rivini, Isabelle Armstrong, Theia, Claire Pettibone
Designers added a little whimsicle touch to gowns by using flutter sleeves:
FROM THE LEFT:   Sachin & Babi, Rivini, Inbal Dror, Theia
All different lengths of “short” sleeves were used, here are just a few examples:
new york bridal week- short sleeves
FROM THE LEFT:   Marchesa, Rime Arodaky, Reem Acra, Rivini
But most of all, off-the-shoulder sleeves were EVERYWHERE and in every style.
new york bridal week- off the shoulders

FROM THE LEFT:   Alon Livne White, Lela Rose, Vera Wang, Rivini

2. Cascading ruffles were another huge trend this season. Now I’m not talking about just the skirt having this detail (as per usual), I’m talking all over and with different materials such as fringe, tulle, lace, and even feathers.

new york bridal week- cascading ruffles
FROM THE LEFT:   Naeem Khan, Monique Lhuillier, Persy, Odylyne The Ceremony, Yolan Cris
3. Colour was another big trend that was full of blush and blue hues along with deep rich golds. Some designers went all out- head to toe.
new york bridal week- FULL COLOUR
FROM THE LEFT:   Rivini, Monique Lhuillier, Ines Di Santo, Haley Paige
While some used colour as details, either subtle or bold:
new york bridal week- COLOURED DETAILS
FROM THE LEFT:   Yolan Cris, Carol Hannah, Morilee By Madeline Gardner, Ines Di Santo
Then there were a few that introduced colour with beautiful prints.
new york bridal week- COLOURED PRINTS
FROM THE LEFT:   Galia Lahav, Yolan Kris, Malan Brenton
4. One of the more provocative trends was the boudoir inspired theme that popped up in quite a few collections. A few designers kept these dresses somewhat modest, where others went all out with super sheer fabrics and wispy lingerie-like details.
new york bridal week- boudoir
FROM THE LEFT:  Sanchin & Babi, Berta, Naeem Khan, Inbal Dror, Monique Lhuillier, Vera Wang
5. Pant and jumpsuits are continuing to pick up speed among the bridal world. (To be honest, I love it!) Designers showcased a variety of different options which proved a bride in pants is beautifully chic.
new york bridal week- PANTS
FROM THE LEFT:   Mark Zunino, Galia Lahav, Lela Rose, Rime Arodaky, Randi Rahm
6. Last but not least are those beautiful embellishments that we all love. The most prominent across the board was floral and foliage inspired designs that were seen as 3D appliqués, rich embroidery, and beaded patterns… just to name a few:
new york bridal week- FLORALS & FOLIAGE

FROM THE LEFT:   Inbal Dror,Naeem Khahn, Claire Pettibone, Ines Di Santo, Oscar de la Renta

Photo credits: The Knot & WGSN

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Wedding Budget Breakdown Guide

The Knots Ultimate Wedding Planner- Charts & diagrams

Congratulations you’re engaged! Now what?

Well first things first, you have to have the money talk with your fiancé and BOTH of your families. Ugh, I know. Soooo awkward but believe me, it’s necessary.

Nowadays the financial burden is no longer shoved on the bride’s family. However that doesn’t mean it no longer happens but help from both families is even better. Weddings are expensive. Another strong possibility is that the bride and groom-to-be are handling the bills, either partial or in full. This has become somewhat of the “norm”, my fiancé and myself fall into this category.

 Whatever your financial situation is, find out who is contributing what amount. If you two love birds are putting money in, look at your financials and figure out how much you are able to save and can afford. The absolute worst thing you could do is plan a wedding that puts you in debt at the beginning of your marriage. Yes, it’s fun to dream of all the things you could do for your special day but come back down to reality. You do not want to put financial stress on the beginning of your life together. So, make sure you two sit down together and discuss what you BOTH want the most and what you BOTH could live without. ::Emphasis on ‘both’::

Once that’s all figured out… How much money should be allocated to what part of the wedding? Well, don’t worry. I put together a handy Wedding Budget Guide just for you! This guide is based off of a few sources; Pinterest has a lot of these and my handy-dandy  Knot Wedding Planner has oodles of information on this topic. Each chart varies slightly but looks very similar to my pie chart to the right.

Wedding Budget Breakdown

Now, don’t feel like you HAVE to follow this 100%. It’s a guideline that is meant to help but can definitely be altered to fit your wedding needs. For instance, my fiancé and I are lucky enough to not have a ceremony rental or an officiant charge (thank you MOG ?). Plus, I’ll be saving money (but not time) by making my own wedding dress, AHH (Read about my Kleinfeld experience here)! The money saved will be allocated into the reception budget to accommodate our ever-growing guest list ?.

Here are some other tips to save and or allocate your wedding budget:
  1. Shop around smartly for vendors. There are tons of wedding professionals out there that are high quality AND affordable. Usually these are the vendors that will be new-er to the industry or they are small local businesses. Don’t discredit these vendors, just make sure to do your research! Wedding Wire and The Knot are great places to start looking, not to mention references from previous brides and grooms. I suggest you do this for all of your vendors, big and small.
  2. Discuss all the possibilities with your vendors. Vendors should be able to give you different price point options and explain exactly what that entails. They also should be able to show you ways to save with substitutions; IE. a florist will know different flowers that may look like what you want but are way less expensive.
  3. Be OPEN and flexible to what is available for use. When you won’t budge on the table setting color or shape, then you’ll have to special order/rent them which adds up quickly.

There are a few things that you MUST remember to include: taxes and gratuities. Taxes are usually included in the bill and some vendors (like caterers) will include a set gratuity in their bill. However, if they don’t that means it’s up to you to include it in your final payment. Even though it’s your wedding, these people are busting their butts to make this day everything you want. So make sure to thank them verbally and tip them, well. Here’s a breakdown of who to tip, how much, and when you should.

Also, don’t forget to factor in potential overage charges and miscellaneous expenses. Some vendors will specify these charges in their contracts but if they don’t it’s safer to leave some room for overages. Better to be safe than sorry!

If you’re interested in finding out more information on wedding budgets and planning please follow me on Pinterest, especially my board “Pretty Little Wedding Planning“!

Happy planning! xoxo

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Say Yes To The RIGHT Dress- A Guide For Wedding Dress Shopping

Recently, I had an exciting and extremely emotional day shopping for a wedding dress. Not only did I try on wedding dresses but I got to be the bride. I’m so used to creating bridal accessories and apparel that it was such a great change of pace to be on the other side.

From the moment I saw the big window displays, I knew that the experience I was about to have made getting married a reality. Even though I’ve planned our whole wedding and secured almost 80% of the details, going wedding dress shopping made it real. Like really real.

I went into Kleinfeld’s with hopes of figuring out what dress style would look best on my figure. I already knew what I wanted but needed to be sure. (I had sketched the design immediately after he proposed to me, couldn’t help myself.) Needless to say, I didn’t expect it to be as hard as it was to say “No”. Especially when they had almost exactly what I sketched up. What are the chances??

Trying to make a decision on whether to buy or to make was unbearably difficult. I had the bridal moment in the store. They took me to the main room, “jacked” me up, and even gave me a bouquet. I said “Yes” when they asked me. I was surrounded by tears from my family, myself, and from people I didn’t even know. It was totally my dress and as soon as I said “Yes” out loud, I thought “What the f@$! did I just say?”. Everything was pointing to yes, even the freaken price tag. It was a $4,000 dress marked down to $999 because it was the last dress available. The dress was in my size. I would have to take it in only slightly and repair a little bit of the illusion on the back, but no big alterations.

Everything and everyone wanted me to buy that wedding dress.

Within the twenty-some feet back to the dressing room, I realized that if I were to buy this beautiful wedding dress, it wouldn’t actually be MY dress. I wouldn’t have designed it. I wouldn’t have carefully picked out the fabric. I wouldn’t have spent hours drafting the pattern. I wouldn’t have had the late nights sewing and cursing at my machine. It would just be a dress that I bought and I would regret the fact that I didn’t make it.

So… after at least 40 minutes sitting on the dressing room floor discussing what to do with my mother, sister, and 3 phone calls to my fiancé, I decided that the dress was not for me. It was a hard choice, but the right decision… For me anyway.

Each one of us is unique and we all have our own tastes but when choosing your wedding gown, its extremely important that you pick a silhouette that properly accentuates your figure. Some silhouettes are extremely versatile, while others are less forgiving when it comes to hiding problem areas. Let’s be real, we all have those areas we want hidden on this special day.

So, before you make your appointments at Kleinfeld’s or at a cute bridal shop in town OR ask Alyson Nicole to make you a very unique bespoke wedding gown… do your research to figure out the silhouettes and styles you want to try. Keep in mind that its very possible that the dress you think you want is not the dress for you. Take a deep breath because its just not the one. Don’t force yourself into loving a wedding dress either. If you don’t have that moment or you have any hint of doubt, move on.

Below are some of the many options out there.

A-LINE DRESSES are slim on top, fitted at the natural waist, and softly flares away from the body. Flatters most body types by creating a slimming effect while accentuating your waist.

BALL GOWNS have a fitted bodice and a full skirt that can range in volume and length. These classic gowns work with most body types for average height to tall women. It is a very forgiving style due to the skirt hiding everything below your mid-section. If you are a shorter bride, this may not be the dress for you since the bottom might overwhelm your small frame.

MERMAID DRESSES are fitted from the torso down to the knees and then flares out to the floor. The mermaid silhouette is ideal for tall, slender brides and voluptuous brides who want to show off every curve.

 

FIT-AND-FLARE or TRUMPET DRESSES are fitted from chest to mid thigh and then flares out to the bottom. This silhouette is another style that will flaunt your curves in a very flattering way.

EMPIRE DRESSES are fitted at the bust and flare out to the ground. This wedding dress silhouette is an extremely versatile style for most body shapes due to the forgiving high waist line.

SHEATH, SHIFT, OR COLUMN DRESSES have a narrow shape that flows straight down from the neckline to the hem. Depending on the designer, this silhouette can be either be slightly fitted or not at all. This silhouette style is a timeless classic that looks best on brides that have lean frames and soft curves.

Below are some options of necklines, sleeves, and train lengths to consider when wedding dress shopping!

Wedding Dress Silhouette Glossary
Wedding Dress Neckline Glossary
Wedding Dress Sleeve Glossary
Wedding Dress Train Glossary

As mentioned before, the above options are extremely helpful to know when you are wedding dress shopping. There are also a few more things to keep in mind:

  1. BUDGET… Its extremely important to have a set budget that you can afford. It is also very important to let the attendant know your budget!  One of the worst things you could do is fall in love with a dress that is over your budget. Also, keep in mind that alterations (always needed) and taxes should be kept in mind. Alterations are never included.
  2. THE WEDDING DRESS YOU THINK YOU WANT, MAY NOT LOOK GOOD ON YOU and that is OK. That style wasn’t meant for you but there is a wedding dress out there that is. Even if it has to be custom made, cough cough.
  3. HEMLINES DON’T HAVE TO TOUCH THE GROUND you have more options. Tea-length hems stops below the knee but above the ankle, while the mini is usually above the knee and a bolder choice. There are also high-low hemlines that add a little bit of drama to the hemline and can go as high as you want.
  4. DON’T FORGET ABOUT ACCESSORIES they help tie together your look on the big day. Try on different options and see which one(s) you like best. Its possible that you might go for a veil instead of a flower crown but its best to try on options with the dress you are buying. If you can’t find any accessory that strikes your fancy, remember that bespoke accessories, made by yours truly, is another great option.
  5. HAVE FUN! This is the MOST important part of it! This should be an enjoyable experience and no one should stop that. Drink some champagne (if they offer it) or go out to lunch before/after and celebrate the experience. Whatever you do, just enjoy it!

 

I hope this was helpful for your future dress shopping! If you have any questions or would like to start your bespoke wedding dress OR accessories please email me at designs@alysonnicole.com.

Alyson xoxo signature

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The PROs and CONs of The Knot’s Wedding Planner book

Wedding Planning

The weekend I got engaged, I was so full of excitement that I was flying high in the clouds. (To be honest, I’m still floating and it’s fantastic.) We met up with our friends the Saturday after for plans we made weeks prior and I could not wait to ask questions about their wedding. That’s all us girls talked about. Where did you find your vendors? Where did you get your rings? What cost the most? Was there anything you wish you did differently? etc. and so forth. The one piece of advice she gave, which I took immediately, was to get a wedding planner binder or notebook.

If I’m 100% honest, I already had a wedding planned (without the vendors) but I needed something to keep it organized and make sure I didn’t miss anything. That coming Monday, I ordered The Knot’s Ultimate Wedding Planner and received same day delivery (yay Amazon Prime!). Monday night, I was in business.

I glanced through the whole book and immediately noticed helpful pages, important pages, and pages that weren’t needed for our wedding. I took out the pages that I didn’t need and started reading thoroughly section by section every chance I could. (I took it on vacation with me and I even took it on a few business trips.) It was extremely overwhelming at first but all I had to do was tell myself to relax and take a deep breath. Planning a wedding shouldn’t be stressful (even though it is), it should be as easy as possible and I believe this book really helps.

It also helps to read bridal magazines. There are tons of helpful articles that can help you make your final decisions or just give you some good advice. Yes, they can be expensive if you keep buying them, but I do suggest picking a few magazines up whenever you can.

MY FAVORITE THINGS/”THE PROS” TO THE KNOT’S WEDDING PLANNER

1. THE WEDDING TIMELINE.
The Knot's Wedding Planner- timeline

There are two options; “normal” 12 month engagement and an expedited 6 month engagement. This handy timeline tells you when to look, when to book, when to send, and basically everything you should do at different times during your engagement.

2. THE AMAZING GLOSSARY PAGES.
The Knot's Wedding Planner- glossary

Almost each topic has one and it is a great help when you want to know the difference between two things or just to know the proper lingo when talking to vendors. Each glossary page has pictures correlating to the term which eliminates the need to Google.

3. THE LOVELY CHARTS & DIAGRAMS.
The Knot's Wedding Planner- charts and diagrams

This wedding planner is loaded with charts and diagrams. There’s one for who to invite, how your wedding budget should be allocated, and more. These pages really help to put everything into perspective. Especially when you’re debating if you should invite your old coworkers that you haven’t seen or talked to in over a year.

4. SUGGESTED QUESTIONS.
The Knot's Wedding Planner- suggested questions

When your looking at a venue or talking to a florist there are certain things you should know. However, when you’re there speaking with them that’s when those questions are forgotten. Of course you can ask more than what’s provided in this wedding planner but for the most part all the important questions are listed.

5. THE LIFESAVING CHECKLISTS.

This wedding planner has a checklist for each section and helps make sure everything gets done. Extremely helpful when there is just so much to do when planning a wedding!

6. QUICK AND EASY CONTACT PAGES.

Besides the contact pages that are inside the sections, the wedding planner starts out with a master contact sheet. Why is this so helpful? Let’s say you don’t have a wedding planner (like me, because I’m basically doing it) and on the big day your phone gets misplaced in the mayhem but you need to contact the bakery and remind them about the fresh flowers you want on top. Well, these pages will make it easy for anyone in your bridal party (put them to work!) to contact any vendor you hired. Plus its always a good idea to have important information in print, no matter how tech savvy you may be.

NOW, FOR THE CONS…

INSPIRATION PAGES

My biggest pet peeve for this book is the pre-made inspiration pages. Maybe its because I have a design background but the layout for these pages are such an eyesore! Not to mention the fact that they limit the amount of inspiration you can put on the page. I don’t know about you but I’ve been “pinning” like a madwoman for this wedding and I have WAY more than 3-4 inspiration photos for every category. These pages also have valuable information on the backside making it hard to simply remove them from the book.

QUICK FIX: 

OPTION 1: Create your own inspiration page(s) with cardstock/regular paper, use a 3 hole-punch, and add it to the binder! I used cardstock for my inspo-pages, printed the photos, cut/pasted them onto the paper, and added some call-outs.

OPTION 2: If your not a crafty person or you don’t like to cut and paste, you can always create the pages digitally. For those of you who like Photoshop, go at it. For those who don’t have access to the Adobe suite, you can use Microsoft Word or Excel.

COLOR CHIP CARD

 

I love that this book gives you color options along with listing on the backside which colors compliment them best. However, the color chips are part of the tab divider for the whole section. Meaning, if you remove any of the colors for your theme/color inspo, you basically ruined the divider. Why would they do that? My guess is to save money. Another con to this is that the colors given are very limited and they don’t include any metallics. Again, they probably did this to save some money in printing but to be honest it would be so much better it if was a separate page or two with more color options.

 

QUICK FIX: 

If you want to use the chip cars but you don’t want to lose the divider, use a binder tab insert that’s also a sheet protector. That way it doesn’t get hidden and you can store the remaining chips inside the sheet protector.

If you’re like me and your colors are not on the chip page, there’s a few options.

OPTION 1: Use Pantone swatches. You can search for the actual pantone colors here, purchase the fabric swatches here. If you want to use paper chips, they can be bought by the book or by the page here. If you have access to a Pantone book, even better!

OPTION 2: Make your own color swatches digitally using Photoshop, Illustrator or even paint! Whatever you use, make sure you have a a decent printer in order to keep the printed swatches as close as possible to the digital ones created.

OPTION 3: Make swatches from photos you find online or in magazines. Pinterest is great for this. There are tons of wedding and color themes floating around. I’ve pinned quite a few on my ‘Pretty Little Wedding Themes‘ board. Feel free to check it out, along with my other helpful boards here! Happy pinning!

OPTION 4: Visit a local craft/fabric store and shop around for ribbon, fabric, paint, or any other materials in the correct colors you want to use. Get creative! Michaels and Jo-Ann Fabrics are filled with products that are perfect for this. OR go to your closest pharmacy and find nail polish in the correct colors. 😉

LIMITED GUEST LIST

When I first sat down to put together a tentative guest list, I thought there was absolutely no way I would have more that 125 people to invite. Well, I was totally wrong. We had close to 200 people and it was shocking. However, the guest list included only allows 150. If you’re having a small wedding it’s perfect, but if not it’s pretty useless. Another thing about the guest list is that it is only for the names. There’s no space to put RSVPs or even addresses.

 

QUICK FIX: 

Create a guest list by using Microsoft Excel or google docs. This way you can keep your guest list organized and add all the information you need, including RSVPs for all the pre/post wedding parties (engagement, bridal, rehearsal dinners), meal choices, gifts received, etc. You can even keep each event on separate tabs to keep better records.

All-in-all…

 

The Knot’s Ultimate Wedding Planner & Organizer is extremely helpful and I would recommend it to anyone planning a wedding. As I go through planning my own wedding (YAY!) I will reference some of the helpful information and pages from this book to give more feedback.

Be sure to sign up for my mailing list (below) to get notifications of when a blog post is up. PLUS, you’ll receive notification of any new products, sales, and discounts for custom accessories to help make your wedding day extra special! I promise not to spam your email either 😉

Happy wedding planning!

 

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I’m engaged!

Friday April 8th is a day that I will never forget.

It just so happens that my whole week was atrocious. My 9-5 was a real pain-in-the-@$$ and I was just running on empty. 5:00pm Friday could not come soon enough.

When I got off the subway to walk back to my apartment I was so excited it was 5:50pm. (I usually don’t get home before 6.) Figured I’d go to the gym and get home at 6:45, order some take-out, and finish up a couple custom orders. Yay! As soon as I got service, I immediately called my mom to discuss her coming up on Sunday for a hockey game and a few other things.
After the four flights of stairs (still taking with my mother) I opened my door expecting to see my cat trying to make his escape but instead I was overwhelmingly shocked at the rose petals lining my hallway directing my gaze to a handsome man on his knee.

Immediate tears.

“Mom, I have to get off the phone.” In true mother form, she did not. She thought something was terribly wrong even when I told her he was on one knee. I tried to be polite but DAMN! I have to go!!!

 

My handsome, caring, selfless man was patiently waiting to ask me to be his wife. I couldn’t have been more surprised or happy in that very moment. We have talked about getting married but when that moment actually happens, it’s an superb feeling.

I was still so in shock after the proposal I actually said “I have to go to the gym.” He just looked at me, laughed, and said “Silly girl, you’re not going to the gym. We are going out!”

I got all dolled up and we headed to our favorite restaurant, The Pearl Room. Naturally I had to wear blue to match my ring 😉

I couldn’t stop telling everyone we just got engaged and I was even too excited to read the menu! Somehow I managed to pick something and we had an outstanding dinner filled with delicious food and a lot of celebrating. Throughout dinner, he kept looking at the time and saying “I really want to get to Windy by 9, because thats around the time we met.” [Windy= Windy City Ale House in Bay Ridge- a craft beer sports bar that is very fun and has really scrumptious bar food, especially their ta-chos (tater-tot nachos). Yes, thats right.] Anyways, I didn’t think anything of it other than it was sweet and that it was probably the time we met there.

Well, we were definitely overdressed and as I was saying that to him, I turn around to see a group of family and friends there cheering. It was another wonderful surprise to the evening. Drinks were drunk, champagne was popped, and the night was celebrated. It was perfect.

AHH! Just blogging about this is making me so EXCITED! I’M ENGAGED!

 

Since bridal is my life, I decided to share my wedding experience with the world to help all future brides!

 

By Monday night I already had The Knot’s wedding planning book and dove right in! You can get this lovely book on Amazon at an amazing price and if you are lucky (and a Prime member) you can receive same day shipping. Heres the link- The Knot Ultimate Wedding Planner & Organizer.  They also have a more recent one that you can buy here, but I went with the original. The revised version is an actual book, smaller in size, and it has a few more extra pages of info that the first doesn’t have. However, the extra pages do not take away from the binder.  It is a great tool and even though I’ve been using it for a week, it has helped tremendously. I’ll talk more about that in another post! 

 

Until then, I’ll be over here… daydreaming about my wedding. <3

 

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{GUEST BLOG POST} Chasing Fashion: New Year’s Eve Wedding Glam!

Written by Sage Beauty Blog

“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”

Maya Angelou

 

Hi Lovelies,

Tis’ the season for engagements and magical winter weddings.  Having a New Year’s Eve wedding is a festive and glamorous way to tie the knot. What better way to start the new year than starting a new life with your true love.  What can I say….I’m a hopeful romantic!

I had the pleasure of creating a New Year’s Eve winter bridal look with the help of the brilliant designer Alyson Nicole.  Her pieces are 100% handmade right here in New York, and are the perfect finishing touch to your wedding day look. She creates bags, belts, custom-made veils and jewelry. Each piece is a work of art with a feminine, elegant, and timeless aesthetic.

Let’s start with something new:

Finding the perfect dress is the first step in creating the look and feel of your wedding. The dress I’m wearing is an ivory empire waist dress with pearl embellishment.  It matched my accessories perfectly, and I loved the flowy and romantic feel of the dress. This dress is very versatile and could also be worn for engagement pictures, a rehearsal dinner, or a bridal shower.

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Now we need something borrowed:

The moment I put the Pearl Veil on I felt Princess Grace of Monaco. The Pearl Veil is a birdcage veil made with french tulle and glass pearl details, and stays firmly in place with a metal comb.  This is a good choice if you plan on wearing your hair up for your ceremony.  It matched the vintage-inspired look of my dress as well.   I chose the The Madelyn Earrings because they were a perfect compliment to the veil and can be worn with many other looks after the wedding festivities are done. These chandelier earrings can also be worn with a little black dress for a night out or during the day for a touch of art-deco glamour.  The Pearl Rhinestone Headband was also my ‘something blue’.  It is a fun alternative to a veil or after the ceremony and formal pictures are done, simply switch out your veil for the headband and dance the night away at your reception after midnight.

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Don’t forget something old:
I was able to incorporate two pieces from my own closet with my dress. A winter wedding calls for a luxurious fur to keep you warm. Whether you have a soft faux fur coat like me or perhaps a vintage fur from your mother or grandmother, it pulls the look together on the most glamorous night of the year. Or rather, your most glamorous night! And New Year’s Eve is not complete without some sparkles.  I opted for my favorite sparkly gold platforms.
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Love It, Buy It, Wear It:
Dress: Forever 21
Shoes: Chinese Laundry
Coat: I.N.C  International Concepts
Accessories: Alyson Nicole
Photo Credit: TRVphoto/Todd Vorenkamp
XOXOX
Lily

a b o u t    t h e    a u t h o r

 

Lily Sage

Lily Sage

Beauty & Lifestyle blogger

Lily Sage is a makeup artist, beauty educator, stylist, and blogger based in New York City. After working in the industry for ten years she decided to create a digital platform to share her knowledge and empower women to look and feel beautiful  everyday. She also loves baking, traveling, knitting, and home decor. You can visit her on her site,  sagebeautyblog.com and find her on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook(@sagebeautyblog).

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