Friday, May 31, 2013

Getting a Natural Glow for your Wedding Day

Over Memorial Day weekend I traveled to North Carolina to visit my sister. After spending some quality time on the beach, I came back feeling relaxed and looking golden and freckly. Keep in mind, golden for this fair skinned and blonde haired girl, is pale for most people with normal skin color! My range of skin color usually goes from pale to lobster red. Tan just doesn't happen for me. But all of the sun exposure got me thinking about how I'm going to get color for the wedding day. I'm not trying to look like the cast of the Jersey Shore, I just really don't want to blend into my wedding dress! I'm an advocate for girls staying away from tanning beds...the health risks just aren't worth it, so I'm looking for the best alternative for all the pale girls out there!

I've tried a lot of different products to achieve the perfect fake tan, and there have been a couple products that have worked well for me, and a couple that I would never use again. I have tried several different brands of the gradual self tanning lotions and moisturizers, and I haven't found one that I'm impressed with. The ones I have tried have either been too subtle, too stinky, or have turned my skin a shade of carrot. I recently saw a commercial for a new lotion that supposedly doesn't smell like fake tanner, so that might be something to look into.

A lot of people warn against the Versa and Mystic spray tans, but I've always been satisfied with my experiences with these spray tans. If you choose the right color and amount of time you spend in the booth, you won't come out looking like you escaped Charlie's chocolate factory. I usually select whatever the middle setting for color is, and I like to get the formula that prevents aging. Assuming you're not jumping into any pools and wait the suggested amount of time before you shower, the tan should last you around five days. The more you moisturize, the longer the tan will stay. There are a couple downsides to the Versa and Mystic tans: They smell like fake tanner and when they start to fade away, they may make your skin look a little speckly. Also, if you plan on getting one of these spray tans for your wedding day, I'd recommend doing it 48 hours before you put on your dress, that way you don't get any streaks on your white dress.

Friday, May 17, 2013

I Said "It Costs How Much?!" to the Dress

Before I got engaged, the aspect of a wedding that I looked forward to most (besides marrying the man of my dreams!) was finding the dress. I planned on looking for dresses in the summer because that would give me plenty of time to have it for the wedding day, and plenty of time to get toned up and a nice summer glow to feel confident. As luck would have it, my dress would find me long before I planned on finding it.

In February, my mom, my grandma and I decided to walk into a bridal store, just for fun. We looked at all different styles of dresses so I could see all of the options out there. There were a couple of dresses that stood out to me, but one in particular that I wanted to schedule an appointment to try on when I was ready to seriously look for dresses.

After going home and doing more research (Thank you Say Yes to the Dress and Pinterest), I found a designer that I really liked, who happened to be having a trunk show at the bridal store I had been in. I figured it couldn't hurt to try on dresses, so I made an appointment. I had heard the warnings that if you bought a dress too quickly, you would end up regretting what you chose later, so I wasn't going to buy anything unless it fit me perfectly; then I would take that as a sign of divine intervention.

My experience trying on dresses wasn't like what I had seen on tv. I didn't give my consultant a certain set of criteria and wait while she selected gowns she thought I would like. I searched through the racks of the trunk show designer, and I selected a variety of styles to see what would look good on me. I then scoured the racks of their normal merchandise, so I could try on a couple of the dresses that I had noticed on my first visit to the store. I searched through every single dress and couldn't find the dress that stood out to me on my previous visit. I took that as a sign that it wasn't meant to be.

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Theme of My Wedding is a Wedding...

Throughout my engagement, many of my friends and family members have asked me what the theme of my wedding will be, and I'm never quite sure how to answer the question. My initial thought was, "The theme of my wedding is a wedding...," but I've learned that their are many different directions that you can take your wedding. Choosing a theme can be daunting because there are so many different options, but sites like Pinterest make finding a specific theme a lot easier.

If you're inspired by the past or a certain time period, a vintage wedding may be the best choice for you. Elements you may want to include in your vintage wedding are family heirloom dishes, an old suitcase for your guest to drop their cards in and a typewriter on the table with your guest book. If you're going for a 20's theme, a flapper inspired wedding dress or bridesmaid dresses would be fitting. Many bridal dress shops have vintage-inspired dresses, or you may want to wear your mother or grandmother's wedding dress to keep inline with the vintage theme. You can ask your hairdresser for a retro hairstyle, and can wear long strands of pearls. A great touch would be to have a table with pictures of your parents, grandparents and great-grandparents on their wedding day.

Rustic and country weddings are very popular right now. For a rustic wedding, you can find everything from invitations, wedding cakes and table numbers in burlap. (I found great prices for burlap on this website, Mason jars are great for drinking glasses, favors or candle holders at a rustic or country wedding. Instead of traditional seating, guests can sit on covered hay bales. Country brides can ditch the high heels and opt for cowboy boots. There are a lot of great country-inspired engagement photo ideas on Pinterest.

Sometimes your ceremony or reception venue may help you decide your theme. If you're getting married on the beach, beach-themed decor is an obvious choice. Sand, seashells, sand dollars and starfish make great seating cards and centerpiece fillers. There are some really intricate beach wedding cakes that include edible sand and seashells. Florists can use shells to accent flowers in the bride's bouquet. Brides getting married on the beach can wear flip flops or ditch shoes altogether.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Avoiding the Big Day Stress

Your wedding day is supposed to be the happiest day of your life, but anyone who has planned a wedding knows, it's not all roses and butterflies! Whether you're trying to downsize your guest list, searching for a florist who understands your centerpiece vision or dealing with an unruly bridesmaid, planning the best wedding in the history of weddings can be stressful. Based off of what I've learned thus far, and what other people have told me, I've created a list of six tips to help brides deal with the stresses of planning the day.

1. Plan Early
If you're getting married in a year, don't wait until three months out to try and find a photographer or a dj. I have a friend who took this laid-back approach to wedding planning, and in the end, it was much more stressful for her. I'm not implying that the first person you should call right after your fiance gets up from bended knee is a florist, but the sooner you find your vendors and sign contracts, the less you have to worry about come crunch time. There are several wedding planning trackers online that offer guidelines about what you should have accomplished from 12 months out, up to the day of the wedding. 

2. Make a List
Most couples know to create a budget for the wedding, but many don't create lists of specific things they have to have for the day. It can be helpful if you and your fiance comprise a list of what is important to you about the wedding day, followed by a list of what you're willing to compromise on. Carry the list with you (mentally or physically) when you're meeting with vendors, that way there is something set in stone and you won't have to stress out about whether or not you should splurge on designer table linens.