Top Five Tips for Brides Needing ‘Me’ Time

Your wedding is going to be the biggest party you’ll ever throw, so it’s totally normal if it you start to feel overwhelmed. You’ll be coordinating with a ton of people both professionally (vendors, your wedding coordinator, etc.) and personally (friends, family, coworkers, etc.) and it’ll be harder and harder to take some time to yourself. You know you’ll need some ‘me’ time- everyone does and it’ll keep you balanced! Weddings can make it seem like you’ll never get ‘me’ time ever again, but you will- and we’re here to help you get some.

Send Out the Bridesmaids

You have a small army of girlfriends for this reason- to support you. You asked them to be bridesmaids because you love them, they said yes because they love you! If you’re feeling overwhelmed, ask them for help in tasks you can delegate out. Have them gather addresses by assigning a few to each bridesmaid. Have them help out by picking up vendor samples or do mail runs for you. Let your girls take care of things for you so you can sleep in that extra hour- you’ll thank them and yourself later!

Take a Day Off

The closer you get to the wedding date, the more each day will be eaten up with wedding tasks and errands. You’ll look down at your planner and see that it’s full of to-dos and meet and greets which can feel totally overwhelming. Our biggest tip for making some ‘me’ time in this scenario? Reschedule so you have a day off. Don’t schedule any wedding errands or meetings on Tuesdays for example so you can catch up on the rest of your life. We don’t suggest putting your day off on the weekend, since that’s when you’ll probably have enough time to knock out the most wedding action items.

No Phones at the Table

An easy way to enjoy some serious ‘me’ time? Enjoy a meal without any distractions (not even Instagram!). Nothing crazy will happen in the half hour you may take to enjoy a meal, plus you’ll actually be able to enjoy your food that much more. If eating alone isn’t your idea of fun, take along your fiance and agree to a no-wedding-talk meal so you can both destress from the craziness. Just be sure to turn your phone back on when you’re ready to be back on the grid.

Schedule Beauty Time

Your wedding is coming up so you will probably need to get a mani/pedi- you might as well take advantage of that! Splurge on yourself and get that extra pampering package and enjoy yourself. Put aside extra time to get pampered and while you’re at it, splurge for the extra few minutes of massage or even a facial. It may feel a little frivolous (especially if you’re on a budget), but it’ll make you feel fantastic and buy you some serious ‘me’ time.

Start With Yourself

When you wake up in the morning before you turn on your phone, start checking emails, or even get to showering and really waking up, watch an episode of something you’ve fallen behind in. Catch up with everything else after you’ve taken some time to yourself to de-stress and be ready for the day. You don’t always have to hit the ground running, you can lead up to it and then finish strong later in the day.


Top Five Ways to Get Help for your Wedding

If you’ve got a wedding coming up, chances are you’ve been knee deep in wedding craziness for what feels like forever. It’s totally fine to feel a little overwhelmed and want to get some help. That can be hard to ask of others, but we totally get where you’re coming from, and we want to help you!

Get Professional Help

If you have some time before the wedding, do the right thing and get someone who knows what they’re doing. Our very own Bridal Hot List Editor-in-Chief Niloufar Gibson is a serious rock star wedding planner (check out her work here!), and can make your big day a million times easier. If you’re not in the area, check yelp first to find wedding planners that are loved in your area. It can make a world of difference and make your whole experience that much smoother.

Recruit the Girls

You have a bridal party for a reason- to support you! Your maid of honor is your right-hand girl- she’s there to help with everything and anything. From there, your whole bridal party is also there for you, so go ahead and ask for help! Bridal parties are great for doing projects like decorating, putting together goodie bags, and stuffing envelopes. Think of projects you could use an extra set of hands for, invite your bridal party over, grab some snacks and make a night of it! Just keep it fun so it doesn’t feel like work and you’ve got yourself a whole troop of wedding assistants.

Aim for Free

You don’t have to already be friends with someone to get wedding help- you can cross your fingers and hope someone will help you out just because! If you’re renting anything like linens, chairs, anything at all, try to get package deals to keep costs down. If you’re ordering items to give away, ask if the company will send you samples for free. Take the extra time (or assign a savings-savvy bridesmaid) to reach out to vendors to work out package deals. Get help where you can get it!

Assign POCs

‘POC’ stands for ‘points of contact’, and it can save you the headache of your phone blowing up the week leading up to your wedding. Assign someone to help people with directions and identify that person in a piece of communication that you send out. Ask a local in the wedding party to be available to help with any out-of-town guests who may get lost, and put their phone number or email address in the invitation. Aim random dress code questions to a bridesmaid, and have someone gather information on food allergies and communicate that to the caterer. Spread the love by giving out jobs to those who can help. All you’ll have to do at the end is write thank you’s to all those people!

Take your Time

If you need help with something, sometimes the best thing you can do is slow down. Any task is harder when you’re stressed out or anxious or feeling pressured. If you don’t want to ask for a favor, you can always do yourself a favor and take some time to destress. Refocusing can make everything look a lot more doable. Take a step back and look at your problem and identify where you need help, what you need specifically, and who you can talk to to make it happen.


A Rustic Barn Wedding from DragonFly Photography

A rustic wedding with the sweetest details. We are in love with this Southern couple and their old barn wedding. It is times like this, where we love our jobs even more. To see how couples make weddings their own with the prettiest personal touches. It makes us happy and tickled pink when brides and her gals get personal with their wardrobe. Totally in love with the cowboy boots that they show off. Super cute! We also can not get over all the amazing greenery and rustic details of this wedding. The perfect location for this gorgeous couple. Enjoy the stunning images from Dragonfly Photography.






























From Dragonfly Photography...

These two wonderful souls have been best friends since high school.   When I asked Jill if she was getting excited about her wedding this was her response, “I just can’t believe that I’m really fixing to marry my best friend from high school, the guy I use to wish I could marry every time I blew out my birthday candle for 10+ years, and most importantly a guy who is like my pawpaw. Out of my grandparents 50 yrs of marriage my pawpaw never said one negative thing to my nanny nor did I ever see one single argument out of them. Johnny and June didn’t have a thing compared to them:)  I always dreamed of a marriage like theirs and I’m fixing to have that. Like for real.  I’m just so excited and can’t believe I’m this lucky.”

These two Southerners had a vision of having a rustic barn wedding.  What better place to have this wonderful affair than the old family barn.  After months of cleaning and moving everything out of the barn, everything was set and ready for these two to commit themselves to one another in front of their closest family and friends.  It was a perfect day.

Country Chic Wedding from Jessi Marri Photography

Excuse me while I gush over all the pretty details of this country chic wedding located in Anahuac, Texas. Oh my! This wedding is so gorgeous! I am in love with all the DIY details that the bride and her family created. You can tell that a lot of sweat, blood, and tears went into creating such a lovely wedding.  I would not consider myself a country girl, but this wedding has me thinking of buying some cowboy boots of my own! Thanks to Jessi Marri Photography for capturing all the beautiful photos and making this wedding even more special. I can stare at these images all day. Yes, all day! Go ahead and take a look for yourself and you will see why I am so obsessed.






































From the bride…

For months leading up to the wedding day we, or my mother and I, put in a lot of thought and work on cost saving ways to make the day the way we wanted it.  My husband would listen to my thoughts and always just said whatever you want sweetheart!  Through saving mason jars, wine bottles, and various things we were able to make all of the center pieces for the wedding.  We were blessed to have an amazing group of family and friends to help us with many different key pieces.  One of the bridesmaid’s mothers was an ex cake baker and made the wedding cake as a wedding gift.  The favors were from my dad’s candy store, Lindale Candy Company.  My mom did so much work on making different signs to display at the wedding, pictures to display, and other various things.  My dad cut logs for the cake bases and made the giant F for the wedding. 

Three days prior to the wedding, my best friend (maid of honor) and one of my bridesmaids showed up to help get last minute things into place.  My mother showed up two days prior.  We were lucky enough to be able to start setting up a couple of days prior because no one had rented out the lodge.  Now after all of the work put in to the decorations and all of the different pieces it was time to put them all together.  To save money we decided to do all of the decorating on our own.  We worked all day and all night for two days to get everything ready.  We also got a group of family and friends together to set up the chairs at the wedding location.  One of my bridesmaids made all of the bows and tin can displays for the wedding site the day before the wedding.  She also wrapped the burlap through the arch to make it fit to the décor.  Without the help of my friends and family, this day would not have been possible. 

So the wedding day, we all wake up around 7 am to eat breakfast and go get our nails done.  I had spent the night at the lodge with all of my bridesmaids so that we could all be together.  My maid of honor slept in a twin bed next to my twin bed.  We spent hours talking that night and that morning about the day to come.  Once we woke up, we started doing some last minute touches (putting table cloths on, center pieces in place, etc.) before heading out to get our nails done.  After finishing up with our nails, we returned to the lodge where hair and makeup were so that we could get started on that.  While the first two girls started with hair and makeup, the remaining girls started putting flowers out in the vases.  The flowers were ordered bulk and we arranged them ourselves.  The day flew by because we were all busy finishing up the last few things.  After putting the flowers out at the reception we went to the wedding site to put flowers out there.  Once that was done it was time for me to start getting my hair and makeup done.  Before we knew it, it was time to head to the wedding ceremony location to meet the photographer and get everything going. 

While walking down the aisle it was amazing to see all of the hard work we put in come to life.  With everyone there smiling and all of the little touches looking amazing I knew that all of the hard work was totally worth it.  Even when we arrived to the reception I felt like it was all even better than it had been right before leaving for the ceremony.  It was like seeing everyone there enjoying the space made it more special and even more perfect.  This day would not have been possible without the help of my amazing mother, father, my new in-laws, and all of my bridesmaids.  We could not have had such a perfect day without all of their help.


Photographer: Jessi Marri Photography

Venue: Oak Island Lodge

Wedding Cake:  Made by a family friend 

Grooms Cake: Sweet Treats by Cynthia
Caterer: Ezer Catering

Five Simple Steps to Getting Into Your Wedding Heels

Are you one of the many women who suffer from high heel-phobia? Totally understandable, they can be pretty scary! From blisters to sore feet, scrunched up toes and rolled ankles, high heels can cause a whole lot of pain. We’ve been there, and we’re here to be your personal high heel coach. Say goodbye to fears of falling while you’re walking down that aisle! Soon enough you’ll be treating that aisle like your own personal runway.

Step One: Flats

Start slow! If you’re a sneakers kind of gal or do sandals year round, it’s time to get your feet into the habit of being in flats. A constructed flat is a great way to get those toes in check! We like comfy ballet flats. The great thing about flats is that you can wear them anywhere- dress them up with a pretty dress or dress them down with jeans.

Step Two: Wedges

Once your feet are more used to the feel of being in a constructed shoe, give them a little boost! Wedges give you a whole lot of surface to walk on which will help with your balance. Wedges are fantastic for summer and can be that casual boost you need to elevate an outfit.

Step Three: Heeled Boots

After you feel comfortable with the arch and angle, go for a boot with an actual heel. Aim for boots with a chunkier heel- it’ll give you more to balance on. We love boots for practicing in taller shoes because they are constructed to help you from toppling over. You’re not just in stilts with boots- you’ve got some support! Tuck jeans into tall boots for a fun weekend look and practice strutting your stuff.

Step Four: Chunky Heels

Now that you’re used to a thick heeled boot, take the plunge and try out a shoe with a thick heel. Stilettos are a more advanced move because you only have a tiny heel to support your stance, so save that one for later. If you can, do a strappier shoe it’ll give you more support and mold more to your feet. Pack an emergency pair of flats or sandals with you if you’re nervous about going out all day in chunky heels. Try this out on dinner dates just to start off with until you build up your confidence in heels.

Step Five: Sky High Heels

One you’re feeling good about thick heels, go for it and break in your wedding heels! Just remember, there’s no shame in stuffing them with insoles and wearing them around the house until you’re ready to wear them out.


Five Ways to Bond With Other Bridesmaids

Yay for wedding parties! Now that you’re officially a bridesmaid, it’s time to get excited for the big day. Just remember, there’s more people involved than just the bride- you’re part of a whole party of bridesmaids (they don’t call it a bridal party for nothing!). You all need to be able to work together to help throw the best party ever. If you aren’t close with the other bridesmaids, or if you don’t know they just yet, you’re in luck! We’ve got some awesome ideas on how to bond with the bridal party and make this wedding one of the best times of your life. Who knows, you might bond well enough to have them be bridesmaids at your wedding too!

Start Talking

Find the other bridesmaids on facebook and shoot them a message. Say something quick and friendly mentioning that you’ll both be bridesmaids. You can even do a group message with all the bridesmaids so the whole group can get to know each other. Start by talking about how excited you are for the wedding, or how happy you are for the bride. It’s common ground for everyone!

Start Slow

Starting new friendships is similar to starting a new relationship. Sometimes it’s good to just start with coffee before you dive in for dinner! Do a quick after-work happy hour or some Saturday morning coffee to chat and discuss the wedding. Have some sort of agenda so you don’t all get there and not say anything. You can use this day to start initial brainstorming for the bachelorette party.

Get Moving

Another great activity for bridesmaids to do to bond is working out. It can be something like bikram yoga or even a crossfit bootcamp. Getting your blood flowing is a surefire way to get bonding. If you can find a groupon, or even a free class to crash invite the bridesmaids! Weddings tend to make people more aware of being fit, so it’s the perfect chance. Towards the beginning of the month, gyms and studios tend to do more free classes so do some research and start stretching.

Do Test Runs

As it gets closer to the wedding, arrange for a makeup test run. Call up a makeup counter and let them know you’re coming in ahead of time. The  bride will most likely have her own makeup artist reserved for the day, but you should all be covered too! Go out and ask for a makeup artist to give you tips and tricks and teach you how to do your wedding look. You’ll all be able to help each other and learn a few awesome makeup tips while you’re at it!

Plan Surprises

A long-standing tradition is for the bridal party to decorate the honeymoon suite, or whatever room the bride and groom will be sleeping in right after the wedding. Go all out and plan this in advance. Do balloons, rosepetals, silly pictures, maybe even some snacks or champagne. You’ll all get to be creative and work on a fun project together to surprise the bride.


Top Five Slimming Tricks for Brides

The wedding countdown has begun! Are you ready to walk down the aisle feeling your best? It’s totally normal to feel a little bit better about yourself if you’re feeling a little healthier or more fit. Slimming down before a wedding has always been a huge trend, and we’ve got some super easy tips to help you get to where you want to be.


Switch Out the Soda

That’s right, even diet sodas are off limits starting… now! All soda can do some serious damage to your teeth, and sugar substitutes aren’t necessarily great for you. The best thing you can be drinking is water with lemon. The lemon helps flush everything out and water is always hands down the best thing you can sip on. If you do need some variety, try an unsweetened iced tea. Unsweetened passion or fruit teas can tie over that taste for flavor while keeping you off sugar and sweeteners. Unsweetened tea and lemon water do wonders for a slim figure.

Get Bendy

When you wake up in the morning, start with some stretches. Stretch out your arms, legs, and neck for a few minutes before you do anything. Getting your blood flowing helps wake your body up, get you alert and ready for the day. A little step like this can get your body ready to take on the day and think lean. Just remember- a stretch doesn’t count as a work out. You still may need to sweat it out later in the day.

Figure Out New Favorites

If skittles or starburst were your vices, switch them out for actual fruit. If you love your ice cream, make your own popsicles with water and fresh fruit or freshly squeezed fruit. Whatever stress snack you love, figure out something similar that’s healthier for you. Grapes, hummus and pita chips, and popcorn with no sugar are some of our favorites.

Stay Full

Don’t let yourself go hungry. It’s not a healthy way to lose weight, and you won’t focus as well as you could. Your brain is just as important as your body, so you need to make it a priority as well. If you’re feeling hungry, know that it’s your body just saying it needs a little more energy. Give it healthy fuel, like fruit or unsalted nuts or yogurt.

Burn With the Bridesmaids

If working out isn’t your favorite thing, try going with the girls! Make it a bonding thing and find a fun exercise class. There’s amazing dance classes, ballet classes, and parkour classes that are trending right now in most major cities that are super fun to go to. It doesn’t feel like working out when you’re just playing around, which makes these kinds of classes great!


Five Must Haves for Spring Bridal Showers

March showers bring April flowers… and sometimes more April showers. The fun kind though- bridal showers! If you’re heading out to a bridal shower soon, here’s our five must haves for the season.

Loud and Proud

Loud prints are hot right now! Go as bold as you want to be, just balance it out so you don’t look like you’re doing too much. If you have a bold print dress, balance it out with a black or beige blazer. Mix basic solids with a loud print to keep it from overpowering an outfit.


Warm Tips

Trade out your neutrals and dark toned nail polishes for warm tones. Pastels are a staple of spring, but punchy spring break colors are trending. If you can find tones that compliment a bold pattern or color scheme you love, all the better! We love punchy pinks that scream “I’m on vacation!”.

Nude From the Ankle Down

What’s trending to balance out the punchy prints? A good nude heel. A structured nude heel is hot right now, and worth the investment. A good pair can become a staple in your wardrobe for years to come. If a basic structured heel isn’t fun enough for you, opt for one with some spiked or studded hardware.

Subtle Braids

Whether you’re doing an updo or letting your tresses run wild, thin braids create the ultimate festival free look. Keep them small so that they don’t overpower your look. You don’t even have to tie them up at the bottom, let them flow freely throughout your hair. A bridal shower, afterall, celebrates love. A romantic look is perfect for the occasion!

Rose Colored Glasses

If you’re heading outside for a bridal shower brunch, ditch the black on black shades for turtleshell or another warmer brown tone. These are perfect for your spring bridal shower, or even to tote around at Coachella. It may be hard to find, but if you can find a warm rosy toned lense you’ll be owning the festival trend.


Five Beauty Tips for Bridesmaids

Your friend asked you to be one of the girls at her side for the most important day of her life- congratulations! This is her big day, but you want to be sure that you look good too. We’ve got five beauty tips that’ll keep you looking good on the big day.


Plan for Pictures

You may love the dewy look, but it doesn’t photograph well. Ever. Plan for a matte skin texture to keep you from looking greasy or sweaty. If you’re new to mattes, try out a matte setting powder or spray and use it over your whole face once you’re done up.

Get Blessings From The Bride

If you want to do something big or out of the ordinary, mention it to the bride. She may have a look she wants all her bridesmaids to have (like red lips all around or no smokey eyes). It’s her party, her night, and you should be respectful of whatever she wants. Trust us, it’ll come back around on your big day.

Stick to Long Lasting

It’s going to be a long day- plan for it. You’ll need your face to last through a ceremony, a reception, and a whole lot of love. That’s a lot. Go all out with primer, long lasting foundation and concealer, waterproof eye products and long lasting lip products. We suggest sealing your whole look with a finishing spray and keeping your lip color on hand. We also suggest committing to false lashes for the night to ensure you look doe eyed and adorable all night.

Gel Ahead

Unless you’re planning a mani pedi day with the rest of the bridal party, get your nails done a few days before the wedding. The best way to keep your nails looking good is to opt for a gel mani. Gel manicures can be good for up to two weeks and are smudge-proof. It’s going to be a slightly smaller splurge than a regular manicure, but it’s totally worth it (author’s note: I’m hooked!). As it gets closer and closer to the big day, your schedule is going to be more and more hectic. Take care of your nails while you can ahead of time so you don’t have to worry about them later.

Start Light

The week leading up to the wedding, let your skin breathe! Be sure to go a little lighter (swear off the falsies for a few days- it’ll be ok!) so you don’t risk breaking out or building up product. Stick to moisturizers with SPF if you can. When you do wear makeup, be sure to get all your makeup off and a daily wash. Keep your skin as fresh as possible, and your skin will look as fresh as possible.


Five Guilt-Free Bridal Shower Snacks

Bridal beauties and maids of honors- it’s time to start planning your bachelorette party events! If it’s time for you to start gathering your girls together, plan for some serious snacking. Since you all have this big event in common coming up, you may be looking for leaner options. Don’t worry, we have a bunch of tasty snacks in mind for your next bridal gathering that won’t leave you hungry.Hummus.jpg.jpg

Hummus & Pita

It’s the healthy version of chips and dip, if that’s your snacking style. You can pick up a few different tubs at any grocery store, but more specialty stores like Trader Joe’s may have more diverse flavors. We love sea salt pita chips and organic hummus any time- and so will your bridesmaids!

Dark Chocolate & Fruit

Dark chocolate has been proven to have antioxidants that are great for you- plus it’s chocolate! Who can resist? If you don’t have a taste for the bitter stuff, opt for a lower percentage (65%-72%) and pair it with fruit. We love orange rinds with dark chocolate or strawberries dipped in dark chocolate. It’s decadent and rich without weighing you down. Yogurt.jpg.jpg

Yogurt Bar

For something more fun, get a few tubs of a low fat plain yogurt and put them into a big bowl. Put out fresh chopped fruit like blueberries and strawberries for your girls to mix into their yogurt. To make it a heavier snack, put out granola or opt for a greek yogurt. It’s a great snack for a morning wedding meeting.

Fresh Sushi

You can get crafty and make your own sushi rolls with your girls, or you can go to a nearby sushi bar. Sushi is a great food that is light and offers a lot of necessary vitamins and healthy fishy fats for your body. Plus, sushi is an easier food to get made fresh without any deep-fried, over sugared, unnecessary fats.

Smoothie Stations

Bust out the ice tray and start making some smoothies with your girls! Dust off the blender and get yourself some fresh fruit, yogurts, ice, milk, and anything else you’d want in a smoothie. Instead of making one big batch for everyone, let people pick what they’d like. You can make it a game and vote on your favorite smoothie and have an official bachelorette party smoothie recipe!