{SBB Bride of the Week} Amanda

A M A N D A + B R A D Y

{August 11th, 2018}

{Photos by: TGE Puzzle Pieces in Life Photography}

{Photos by: TGE Puzzle Pieces in Life Photography}

OK girl, get it!

Meet our beautiful bride, Amanda!

Amanda is so sweet and we loved working with her!

For her summer wedding she chose a fitted Stella York gown with a ruffle bottom and she was an absolute knockout!

Before walking down the aisle, Amanda got ready with her favorite girls {including one adorable flower girl}!

{Photos by: TGE Puzzle Pieces in Life Photography}

Before saying “I Do”, Amanda wanted to have some time with her future husband.

Here’s the moment Brady finally got to see his bride…

{Photos by: TGE Puzzle Pieces in Life Photography}

They are so darn cute!
Amanda and Brady were married at the Jasper County Fairgrounds.

The backdrop was nothing but wide open spaces. In other words, perfection..

{Photos by: TGE Puzzle Pieces in Life Photography}

After the ceremony guests stayed at the fairgrounds for the reception!

Beautiful flowers from Forget Me Not Floral, cake and other goodies decorated the space.

At the end of the night, Amanda and Brady left in style with their sparkler send off!

{Photos by: TGE Puzzle Pieces in Life Photography}

Beautiful!

Amanda and Brady met in elementary school..

“We met in the 5th grade. We dated for a little bit, broke up until senior year and have been together ever since. 7 1/2 years going strong.”

Just wait until you hear how Brady popped the question!

“I was proposed to at my sister’s wedding during the bouquet toss. My whole family had it planned out and it was amazing! I was in total shock!

I had no idea he was going to propose, I knew we would get married at some point I just never knew when!”

Her sister, another SBB bride, came up with that plan! How sweet is that?!

OK, let’s talk dresses…

“My dress buying experience was amazing! I took my mom, sister, brother and a friend from work! I had them all pick out dresses they wanted me to try on. The dress I ended up getting was a last moment from my sister "wait look at this one really fast" I saw it, tried it on first, and that’s the one I bought!

I knew it was the one because it was different when I put it on I instantly said i loved it! I was smiling from ear to ear!”

What did Amanda love about the wedding planning process?

“I have been in 5 weddings and it was just nice to take advice from friends and family and make my wedding my own. Simple and elegant.”

{Photo by: TGE Puzzle Pieces in Life Photography}

{Photo by: TGE Puzzle Pieces in Life Photography}

What was her favorite moment from the wedding?

“My favorite was our sparkler send off! It was just so great to be able to see everyone with the pretty lights celebrating mine and my new husbands lives together!”

Any advice for brides currently planning their own wedding?

“My mind set was "everything happens for a reason" I went in with such a stress free mind and everything went absolutely perfect! I honestly couldn't of asked for a better day!

The best advice is to NOT STRESS!!! Your day will end up just as amazing as you want it to be. The day is gone with a blink of an eye! A great friend told me, while you sit and eat your dinner you and your new life partner take a moment to look around the reception and just appreciate all the love and support you have around you! It's an amazing feeling!”

Congratulations, Amanda and Brady! Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful wedding with us! Check out more of their gorgeous pictures in the gallery below!

{SBB Bride of the Week} Stephanie

S T E P H A N I E + D A N

{May 5th, 2018}

{Photo by: Shane Cleminson Photography}

{Photo by: Shane Cleminson Photography}

Introducing our oh so beautiful bride, Stephanie!

Stephanie chose a super gorgeous Essense of Australia gown for her May wedding!

With it’s illusion bodice and gorgeous bead work, she looked absolutely stunning on her big day!

{Photos by: Shane Cleminson Photography}

For her flowers, Stephanie worked with Lake Effect Florals Design Studio, who never disappoints!

Her bouquets and arrangements were perfect for her spring wedding!

{Photo by: Shane Cleminson Photography}

{Photo by: Shane Cleminson Photography}

Stephanie and her new hubby Dan had their big day at the Allure in La Porte.

They were married in the venue’s beautiful ceremony room, which was decorated with lots of flowers for the occasion.

During the ceremony, Stephanie and Dan planted a flower and watered it to symbolize their love.

We think this idea is so cute!

{Photos by: Shane Cleminson Photography}

The wonderful thing about the Allure is that everything is in one building!

The reception space is already gorgeous, but throw in the newlywed’s beautiful decor and it was a knock out!

Stephanie and Dan made sure their guests satisfied their sweet tooth with wedding cake, a donut wall plus cupcakes!

{Photos by: Shane Cleminson Photography}

Ok, we’ve seen the wedding. Let’s get to know the couple!

       How did they meet?

“We both work for the City of Valparaiso but in different departments.  We can’t narrow down to when we exactly met, but our paths crossed through work, fundraising, and volunteer events.”

      How did Dan propose? 

“Both of us enjoy going to Chicago and had planned a fun-filled weekend up there around our crazy work schedules.  Since it was December (2016), we wanted to go to the Lincoln Park Zoo Lights, see the decorated windows at Macy’s, enjoy some nice meals downtown, go to a show at one of the comedy clubs, and see the tree in Millennium Park.  We got a heavy snow that day and it was absolutely freezing, but we bundled up extra warm and set out on our way.  The snowfall just added to everything feeling more magical for the season!  I definitely wasn’t expecting the proposal, even though I was hoping for it for months.  He proposed in front of the huge Christmas Tree at Millennium Park.  Thankfully there was a group of people switching off taking pictures, and he asked that I hold the spot for our turn; while I was a mere 10 feet away, he was secretly telling them his plan, with me completely oblivious.  The pictures were perfect; shocked face, the yes moment, and all!  Thanks friendly strangers!”

       Was it a surprise??

“The moment itself was a surprise, but we had talked marriage and looked at rings a while back.  We actually went looking at rings for a second time; it ends up that he already had one custom made because he knew my style and took my career into consideration.  So sneaky making me think it was much further out!” 

   Smart man!

What was Stephanie’s favorite part of planning her wedding?

“My favorite part was seeing everything coming together in the whole look and feel of the day; especially the day of the wedding.  So much planning goes into it, and there are options-galore (especially with Pinterest and many other online and magazine ideas).  It’s nice when you finally find a look that you BOTH like, find a vendor or other way to make it happen, and then see it come to fruition!” 

      What about her least favorite part?

“Planning is overwhelming sometimes.  Options are a great thing, but it can also get confusing.  Plus a lot of people feel the need to chime in their opinions as to how they THINK your day should go or what you should do. Ultimately, do what’s right for you as a couple and what will make you happy; after all, it should be about the couple’s expression and not reflect anyone else’s.”

Fast forward to the wedding day! What was Stephanie’s favorite moment?

“It was a phenomenal day, so it’s hard to choose one favorite.  I really enjoyed the ceremony.  We wrote our own vows and said them in front of God, our friends, and family.  The room was full, but it felt very intimate because we really just focused on each other.  The reception was a blast too, with a lot of funny moments, but one of the neatest was running through a tunnel of glow wands that we gave to each guest as one of the wedding favors.”

Now that it’s all said and done, what’s her biggest takeaway from the whole planning process? 

“Start planning and reserving every vendor that you’ve had your eye on ASAP!  Engagement periods seem to last much longer than they used to in order to accommodate saving up and paying for the big day.  Therefore, some of the vendors/locations were booked 2 years out already; and the great ones get scooped up quickly!  Disregard some of the generic timelines that you find online or in magazines; it’s simply a guide to help you organize, but if you know what you want, go ahead and book it with a deposit so they know you’re serious about getting on their calendar.”

     Any final advice for our brides??

“First, you can plan all you want, but there seems to always be a hiccup the day of.  Don’t let it ruin your day or get under your skin too much.  Many of the meticulous details wouldn’t even be known by your guests, just you.  The ultimate goal is to get married to your favorite person.  As long as that happens, don’t freak out about the minor stuff.  Second, you always hear people tell you that the day goes by so fast and to enjoy every minute…great, how do you do that other than to tell yourself?  Dan’s best man Corey had some great advice that was passed on to him on his wedding day; take a moment just the 2 of you to try and watch the reception from afar for a couple minutes (balcony, far door, etc).  Watch your families and friends laughing, dancing like wild people on the dance floor, having conversation with others at a table, kids chasing each other; soak in those memories when you’re not in the midst of the chaos, and smile…you made it!”

Congratulations, Stephanie and Dan!! We are so happy for you guys and can’t thank you enough for letting us share your special day!

Check out more pictures from their beautiful wedding in the gallery below!

{SBB Bride of the Week} Megan

M E G A N + M I C H A E L

{October 8th, 2018}

{Photo by: Quetzal Photo}

{Photo by: Quetzal Photo}

You guys, we can’t say enough good things about this beautiful bride!

Megan was so much fun to work with! She ROCKED her Wilderly by Allure gown for her October wedding in Mexico!

Gorgeous lace details with a deep illusion neckline and cut outs? Yes please!

After getting ready with her girls, Megan took a minute to show off her beautiful gown to her dad as well as give him a special gift…

{Photos by: Quetzal Photo}

Megan and her new hubby Michael surprised their guests with goody bags to welcome them to Mexico!

Included were drink tumblers, koozies, sun block and an itinerary for the trip!

{Photo by: Quetzal Photo}

{Photo by: Quetzal Photo}

Megan and Michael were married at The Royalton Riviera Cancun.

The backdrop could not have been more beautiful or perfect!

We can’t get enough of the way these two look at each other throughout the ceremony.

You can really see just how much they love and adore one another!

{Photos by: Quetzal Photo}

After the ceremony, everyone headed to the Agave restaurant at the resort.

There they enjoyed dinner, drinks and lots of dancing!

They kept decor simple but beautiful. We love the restaurant’s hanging lanterns!

{Photos by: Quetzal Photo}

Before we can move on we have to share with you some of the best groomsmen pics we have ever seen.

Seriously, someone call GQ immediately!

{Photos by: Quetzal Photo}

I can’t get enough of them.

Before we go, let’s get to know Megan and Michael better!

How’d they meet, anyway?

“We met at The Lighthouse Restaurant where we both worked.”

How did Michael pop the question?

“It was super low key in our kitchen but it was perfect. I have never been a big production kind of girl. We had just bought our first home together, and I was actually quite “hangry” because I had been on the road all day from work and starving, I was making a quick dinner on the stove, and he began talking about when we should celebrate our anniversary (we’ve never really had one), the next thing I know he has a ring in his hand and he says we should celebrate it when we get engaged.”

Stop it! Sometimes the best proposals are at home and simple. Was it a surprise?

“I was totally shocked and had no clue. Apparently, our entire family knew it was coming. The ring he picked out entirely on his own and it’s perfect!”

Let’s talk dresses! How did Megan know her gorgeous gown was the one?

“I had tried on a bunch of styles that I thought I would love because they looked great on the pinterest boards. But once I got them on, a lot of them were just really heavy or I just wasn’t loving them like I thought. I was trying to keep in mind that I was going to be in Mexico on the beach. Shannon picked this Wilderly line by Allure and I loved how comfortable and yet stunning they were. I kept coming back to “The One” based on how good I felt in it. It felt beachy but still formal.”

What was their favorite {and not so favorite} part of the planning process?

“Deciding which venue was definitely my favorite. We flew down to Mexico with my best friend (and travel agent), Jessica, and she lined up a day of site tours of different resorts. We stayed at the Royalton which ended up being our favorite, but it was really fun to travel to different resorts. They all had a different vibe that you just can’t feel from looking at them online.

The most stressful part was probably just navigating the etiquette of destinations weddings. We had never attended a destination wedding let alone planned one, so creating the guest list and managing RSVPs was a little difficult for us. We definitely couldn’t have pulled it off without our travel agent.”

Let’s move on to the big day! What was Megan’s favorite moment??

“This is tough, there were SO many. But walking down the aisle with my dad and seeing Michael at the end was so emotional for me. (We didn’t do a first look) My dad and I are so close, and he kept telling me to “slow down.” Apparently, I was in a rush. But I am glad he helped slow me down and take it all in. Seeing everyone’s faces that were there, (unplugged ceremony, highly recommend) it was so incredible to feel that love and support from everyone.”

Now that the newlyweds are back in the states and the tequila has worn off, Megan has great advice for current brides-to-be…

“Be considerate of other’s feelings but also remember the day is about you and your partner. If you focus on trying to please everyone, you will exhaust yourself.

My best advice is just to determine what is important to you. For us, it was great music so everyone would dance and great pictures because when the party is over, that’s what you have left to remember it by. We didn’t really stress about the small details. Just determine what is most important to you, and know whatever what you decide, it’s going to be the BEST day.”

Thank you SO much Megan and Michael for sharing your beautiful day with us! We are so happy for you guys and wish you nothing but love as you start your new adventure as a married couple!

Want even more? Check out pictures from their big day in the gallery below!

{SBB Bride of the Week} Elizabeth

E L I Z A B E T H + B R I A N

{October 5th, 2018}

{Photos by: B. Adams Photography}

{Photos by: B. Adams Photography}

We are so happy to introduce you to Elizabeth!

She chose a beautiful satin Essense of Australia gown for her October wedding!

With it’s keyhole back and embellished details, it’s easy to see why she said yes to this dress!

{Photos by: B. Adams Photography}

With the help of her mom and sisters, Elizabeth arranged all of her own flowers for her big day!

They turned out so gorgeous!

{Photos by: B. Adams Photography}

{Photos by: B. Adams Photography}

Elizabeth married her husband, Brian, at Cog Hill Golf and Country Club in Lemont, IL.

During the ceremony the couple filled a wine box with letters to each other and a bottle of wine. On their 1st anniversary they’ll open up the box and enjoy!

Brian’s best friend, a comedian, was the officiant and as you can tell from the pictures he had the couple laughing throughout the ceremony!

{Photos by: B. Adams Photography}

After the ceremony guests headed into the country club where they were greeted by beautiful blooms and rich colors.

A yummy cake and dessert bar were available as well some some dino-inspired favors!

{Photos by: B. Adams Photography}

Let’s get to know the Millers a little better!

How’d they meet?

“Work! He started a year after I did. We worked in the same department, but not on the same team. He’d tend to come visit to joke around or say “Hi”, but mainly to steal candy from my desk.”

Such a flirt! Soon their flirting turned to love. Brian decided the perfect time to pop the question was right after they bought their home…

“The day after we closed on our house, we went there to clean since it had been vacant for some time. We were arriving at the house later than expected, so I was in a rush to get in and get going. As soon as we pulled up, I hopped out of the car to go let us in the house and open the garage to unload. When he didn’t immediately follow, I went out to check on him and he was out of the car standing there empty handed… I started getting irritated and asked why he wasn’t unpacking the car.  He said “let’s go inside first so we can talk” and I replied with “oh no” and he laughed. We walked into the kitchen and he got down on one knee asked me to be his wife, and I, again, answered eloquently with “yea, duh”.”

Was it a surprise or did she know it was coming?

“Mix of both... I knew it was coming eventually.  He told me he had gotten his grandma’s ring to reset, and I knew it had been ready for a few months. I thought it would happen when I was dressed up and prepared, like our anniversary or my birthday, but of course, instead, he chose the day I was in yoga pants, no makeup on and hair on top of my head.”

Once she was settled into the new house and the ring was on her finger, Elizabeth’s next order of business was dress shopping…

“I came to Something Blue with an entourage of important people – my mother-in-law, sister-in-law, mom, sister & close cousin. I had somewhat carried a vision in my mind of what I would like, but after everyone running around the store pinning 20 dresses, I had a whole variety to try on. It was great! I was able to easily view all of the different cuts and styles I’d seen on “Say Yes to the Dress” and rule out any that may have been a prior possibility.”

How did she know her dress was "the one"?

“I just felt very glamorous and beautiful. It just felt special so I knew it was the right pick.”

When it came to other aspects of wedding planning, what was Elizabeth’s favorite part?

“Planning out the décor and color scheme! I went to a lot of resale shops and had a lot of DIY projects that made it feel less cookie cutter and more personal and eclectic. The flowers we actually bought wholesale and arranged ourselves which was super fun but a little labor intensive.”

What about her least favorite part?

“Seating chart. This was the hardest thing to do. Trying to mix and match family and friends was a challenge and of course there is never an even number of guests.”

Finally it was wedding day! Elizabeth says one part of the day was hands down her favorite…

“Our ceremony. My husband’s best friend, who moonlights as a comedian and host, married us. He was hysterical but also thoughtful. I think I got the most compliments on our “amazing officiant”. Thank you to whatever online ministry that let him become ordained!”

That’s awesome! Now that its all said and done, is there any advice Elizabeth would give to other brides planning their own big day?

“You can plan for days, but things will fall through the cracks and that’s OK.  No one knows but you. I had a power point, spreadsheet and a wedding details guidebook that was distributed to all my vendors, and I still managed to forget this and that. It happens! 

Also hire a day of coordinator. Don’t just rely on your maid of honor or family member. It gets chaotic and everyone is busy and also trying to enjoy the day; it’s worth the money to have a third party step in. It will allow you a little more freedom to just soak in the day instead of worry about little details.” 

Congratulations, Elizabeth and Brian! Thank you for letting us share your beautiful wedding day! Check out more of their gorgeous pics by B. Adams Photography in the gallery below!

{SBB Bride of the Week} Stephanie

S T E P H A N I E + J A K E

{September 22nd, 2018}

{Photo by: Kaula Marie Photography}

{Photo by: Kaula Marie Photography}

This bride, you guys! She is so beautiful inside and out!

We’re so excited to introduce you to Stephanie.

Stephanie chose the prettiest Essense of Australia gown and it looked SO amazing on her!

She spent the morning of her wedding getting ready with her closest family and friends, including some seriously cute flower girls…

{Photos by: Kaula Marie Photography}

Stephanie wanted to give gifts to a few very important people in her life: her nephew Connor, her mom and her dad.

All of their reactions are so sweet but we’d say Dad takes the cake!

{Photos by: Kaula Marie Photography}

For her gorgeous flowers {more of which you’ll see later at the reception}, Stephanie worked with Blossom Shoppe {an SBB preferred vendor!} to create some insanely beautiful bouquets and arrangements!

{Photo by: Kaula Marie Photography}

{Photo by: Kaula Marie Photography}

I meeeean, so pretty right?!

Stephanie grew up in Crown Point and married the love of her life, Jake, at First United Methodist Church right off the square.

As you can imagine, the ceremony was absolutely beautiful!

{Photos by: Kaula Marie Photography}

For the reception, guests headed to Aberdeen Manor in Valpo.

You already know this venue does it up between the suspended cake and snow fall during the first dance.

But it was Stephanie and Jake’s decor and personal touches that really made the venue shine.

The evening ended with a sparkler send off, because after a wedding this beautiful is there really any other way to go out??

{Photos by: Kaula Marie Photography}

SO pretty!! We can’t get over the color scheme! Perfection.

We’ve seen how beautiful their wedding is but let’s learn a little more about the newlyweds!

“Jake and I have known each other since we were in the 7th grade but never talked much. We saw each other out one night 3 years ago with some mutual friends and started catching up & hit it off from there!”

When he was ready to propose, Jake made sure to include the people who mean most to them..

“Jake proposed to me with both of our families present the day before my birthday. We went out for a nice dinner & I came home  to “our song” playing, candles lit everywhere and rose petals leading to my niece and nephew holding signs asking if i would marry Jake. My family & Jakes family were all there. I turned around and he was down on one knee.”

Was it a surprise??

“I had known Jake bought a ring... he’s not very good at hiding surprises lol! He was acting pretty weird at dinner and he was stalling a lot. I had thought maybe something was going on but was still overwhelmed when it actually happened.”

I asked Stephanie to tell us all about her dress shopping experience!

“I had only gone to Something Blue and one other salon before finding my dress. I think I tried on about 20ish dresses altogether. There was one in particular my mom & I really liked that was posted on Wedding Gown Wednesday that we kept looking at over and over. Colleen was awesome & was super patient with me bouncing in between 3 dresses that I really liked. But, I ended up with the one I saw online! 

I knew my dress was the one because it was everything I had wanted in one dress. I felt the most “bridal” and elegant in it.”

Let’s talk wedding planning! What was Stephanie’s most favorite and least favorite part of the whole process?

“My favorite part of the planning was definitely wedding dress shopping and bridesmaid dress shopping. Aberdeen also does a really fun day where you try alllll of their food...needless to say that was a pretty great day too. 

My least favorite part was probably planning the ceremony. There are so many tiny details that you have to make decisions on that you don’t even think about. At one point, I was ready to have everyone else just make the decisions for me!”

Now that the day has come and gone, Stephanie has some sound advice for brides currently planning their own wedding…

“Make sure that the bride doesn’t go last for hair and makeup! I made that mistake and we were rushed. Also, to make sure that you are actually dancing, enjoying the food or eating the cake at the reception. The bride (and groom) need to enjoy the party more than anyone & it’s important to make sure that you’re not running around or focused on mingling the whole time. 

I think the best advice is to make sure to remember to enjoy the moments even when they’re stressful. There are so many times during the day or during the planning where it’s easy to be just stressed about how everything is running and you can end up not really soaking anything in. You wait your whole life to plan your wedding and get married and it’s over in the blink of an eye. So make sure to stay present in every moment!”

Congratulations, Stephanie and Jake!! Thank you so much for letting us share your beautiful day, we wish you nothing but love and happiness! Be sure to check out more of their amazing pics from Kaula Marie Photography in the gallery below!

{SBB Bride of the Week} Heather

H E A T H E R + N I K E

{August 18th, 2018}

{Photo by: Emily Christine Photography}

{Photo by: Emily Christine Photography}

I mean come on! How pretty is she?!

Meet our beautiful bride, Heather!

Heather chose a super gorgeous, unique lace gown from Allure’s Wilderly line. There are so many details we love about this dress - the lace, the color, the BACK! Ugh, so good.

A mom of 3 kiddos, Heather made sure her daughter Brynn and sons Cameron and Kai were also looking their best on the family’s big day!

{Photos by: Emily Christine Photography}

How sweet are those kids?? You know we squealed when we saw those little bow ties!

For her flowers, Heather worked with Brumm’s Bloomin’ Barn to create her super gorgeous bouquets.

Lots of green with pops of ivory looked absolutely perfect with Heather’s ivory-nude gown!

{Photo by: Emily Christine Photography}

{Photo by: Emily Christine Photography}

Heather married the love of her life at the Lighthouse Restaurant in Cedar Lake.

Their adorable children served as flower girl and ring bearer {x2!} and they couldn’t have been cuter if they tried!

{Photos by: Emily Christine Photography}

The reception was held upstairs at the Lighthouse.

This space is just so beautiful!

Heather and Nike had special touches throughout including a popcorn bar courtesy of Ladies Gourmet!

{Photos by: Emily Christine Photography}

So pretty! We love how light and bright the reception space is!

Heather and Nike’s love story began when they met through a mutual friend in high school.

But the best part is how Nike decided to pop the question…

“He proposed to me on a private plane ride over the City of Chicago during an evening when they had fireworks at Navy Pier!

It was definitely a surprise; I almost refused to go on the ride with him -- It was supposed to be a gift to his Dad for "fathers day" but his dad is a Hammond Police Detective and had gotten a 'call-out' and couldn't go. Nike convinced me by saying it was non refundable and they couldn't reschedule for a different day.”

Smooth! After saying yes to Nike it was time to say yes to the dress..


”My dress buying experience was honestly probably the easiest part of the entire planning process. I had walked into the store on a whim with one friend, without an appointment during a jewelry trunk show and everyone did their best to try to accommodate me trying on a few dresses wherever they could squeeze me in at. I tried on 2 dresses and instantly fell in love with the one I chose.

I had pictured myself in a 'simple' dress, definitely a little more form fitting yet still elegant. I saw a few dresses on Something Blue’s facebook page and had them in mind. I tried one on, liked it but it didn't have that "feeling". The minute I tried on the other, my best friend Sara's eyes lit up when she saw it and I immediately fell in love when I turned around in the mirror.”

How could you not? It’s so gorgeous! What was Heather’s favorite and least favorite part of planning her big day?

“My favorite part was by far deciding on decor and coordinating everything together.

My least favorite part was having to work on the seating chart -- I was overwhelmed with trying to please everyone and finding them a seat they'd be happy with!”

When the wedding finally arrived, what was the bride’s favorite moment from her special day?

“It was after our first dance. We did a dance and included our 3 children into it. It was the first dance as an official "family" and I truly enjoyed that!”


Now that she’s hitched, does Heather have any advice for current brides-to-be?

“Don’t stress the little things as much. Yes, some of the tiny details have the largest impacts, however some non-important elements take the most time and they end up really not mattering in the end.

Also make sure to soak up the day in its entirety. It goes by way too fast and the memories need to last a lifetime!”

Congratulations, Heather and Nike!! We so enjoyed getting an inside look at your beautiful wedding and sweet family! Check out more pictures from their big day in the gallery below!

{Do's and Don'ts} Sweating for your Wedding

Sweating for your Wedding

Tips from a certified personal trainer

sweating2.jpg

We’ve allllllllllllllllllllllllll been there, we have a huge event coming up and need to look our best… but can’t seem to get it together. The pressure is ON, you whip out every dieting tip and trick you’ve ever heard of, and you hit the gym 6x a week to “work off” the calories you “indulged” in during the day. Let me stop you right there- I am here to save the {wedding} day!

I am a bridal consultant, but I also am a certified personal trainer. The entire reason my love for fitness was sparked in the first place was because I realized through working in this industry how many women hate their bodies and don’t know how to get themselves out of the hole they have dug. The good news is, your fiance loves you regardless of your weight {otherwise he wouldn’t have proposed!!} but I think we can all relate to wanting to look our personal best, and a lot of the times that means losing a pound… or two… or ten. No shame in your weight loss game. Without further ado… the do’s and don'ts of losing weight for your wedding.


Do-

…. seek help professionally. There is no shame in hiring a personal trainer to help you reach your goals. Not only are they trained professionals that can get you to whatever desired outcome you want to achieve, but they also will do so in a way that challenges you and progresses you safely. Group training is also a great {and cheaper} option! The commitment to schedule a time frame either with a personal trainer or for a group class will help you actually follow through.

Don’t-

…..do cardio for 60 minutes straight 6 days a week. Cardio is great, there is no questioning that. For weight loss though, no beuno! Your body adapts quickly to cardio, and the only way to progress is through incline or speed. Now, think about it… is it worth it to run on the treadmill at full speed at a 12 incline for 60 minutes? I think not. Which brings me to my next point…


Do-

… LIFT WEIGHTS. Resistance training burns more calories than running at a steady state. Also, when you build muscle your body is burning more calories during the day. Win-win. I wouldn’t recommend cutting cardio cold turkey, but I would recommend incorporating weight lifting into your cardio routine with a focus more on weight lifting. MYTH: lifting weights will make you “bulky”. TRUTH: lifting heavy weights, while eating in a strategic surplus constantly for MONTHS will make you gain weight and muscle which may appear bulky. { V important, needed to address.}

Don’t-

… follow a cliche diet just because your third cousin told you she lost 30 pounds doing so. The only “diet” that works is putting yourself in a caloric deficit. Which means eating less than what what you burn in a given day {this includes more than just the calories you have burned working out, but also the calories your body needs to function on a daily basis}. Just to give you a number to work with- most moderately active women need about 2,000 calories per day. This is tricky, because you don’t want to under fuel yourself- you could see a weight gain if done so improperly. But, this is just some basic knowledge that not a lot of people talk enough about. Also, keep in mind what worked for your third cousin may not work for you. Everybody is different, and has a different level of energy expenditure in a day.


Do-

… STAY consistent. Whatever you choose to do, if you are not doing it consistently you will not see results. Just think, you didn’t get to where you are now overnight. So don’t expect to lose 10 pounds in a week. Stay consistent, and the work will pay off.

Don’t-

… set unrealistic goals. Piggybacking off of what I just said above… Rome wasn’t built in a day! A realistic weight loss goal in order to maintain your lean muscle mass would be about 1-2 pounds per week. If you lose more, not the end of the world, but don’t expect to be down 10 pounds a week.


Do-

… order your wedding gown according to what size you are NOW. We totally understand you want to lose weight, every bride usually does. But, we have to keep in mind that wedding gowns can realistically only be taken OUT an inch or so depending on the designer. You can ALWAYS make a gown smaller, we just can’t make it bigger. So, the safest option is to always order bigger. It will give you piece of mind that if you don’t lose the weight, no biggie!

Don’t-

… stress yourself out over it. Your weight doesn't determine your worth. You are loved no matter your size, and you are going to look BOMB in your wedding gown!

WHEW! That was a mouthful. I hope you all took notes. Just kidding, but I hope you took a thing or two away! Remember, at the end of the day you are marrying the love of your life who loves you no matter what & the rest is history.

sweating1.jpg

{SBB Bride of the Week} Kelly

K E L L Y + J P

{August 2nd, 2018}

{Photo by: Blu Tree Studios Photography}

{Photo by: Blu Tree Studios Photography}

We are so pleased to introduce you to our beautiful bride, Kelly!

Kelly was married on a gorgeous summer day in Wheaton, Illinois.

She chose a stunning WToo A-line gown for her big day. She even had extra lace added to make it all her own!

After getting ready with her girls {and getting her makeup done by the amazing Krissy V}, Kelly shared a first look with the first love of her life - Dad.

{Photos by: Blu Tree Studios Photography}

Kelly had her flowers done by Jasmine Galleria and the end results were absolutely beautiful!

{Photos by: Blu Tree Studios Photography}

{Photos by: Blu Tree Studios Photography}

Before walking down the aisle, Kelly wanted to share a special first look with her soon-to-be hubby, JP.

The happy couple also took the opportunity to read their vows to each other.

Blu Tree Studios Photography was there to capture the moment JP saw his gorgeous bride…

Kelly and JP were married at Danada House. They were blessed with the best weather for their big day!

As Kelly walked down the aisle it was hard to choose whose reaction to look at first, JP’s or the mother of the bride, who wiped away tears as she watched her daughter.

{Photos by: Blu Tree Studios Photography}

After the ceremony, guests headed to the main house to celebrate the newlyweds!

We love their personal touches, like golf balls instead of traditional place cards.

{Photos by: Blu Tree Studios Photography}

Let’s get to know the newlyweds a little better!

They met 5 years ago through JP’s cousin…

“I worked with her and she said, “I want you to meet my cousin.” And I thought, “Yeah, sure, ok!” because I did not think it was going to happen. Well, we met and went on a double date with her and JP’s best friend. It was not the best first date! We both look back and laugh at it, but something clicked with the both of us and we have been together ever since.”  

How did he pop the question??

“I had just started a new job about a week prior and he wanted to take me out to celebrate. We had plans to go on a Saturday, but then he had said he wasn’t feeling up to going and that we would go on Tuesday (turned out that Cooper’s Hawk was too busy to accommodate JP’s plans that night). Tuesday came along, and I wasn’t feeling well and tired from work. During the day I contemplated texting him saying I did not want to go, but something kept me from sending that text. I got home, he greeted me and rushed me to get ready. I couldn’t understand why. We went to Cooper’s Hawk (one of our favorite places and somewhere we spent some time when we first started dating) for wine tasting and it was busy, but the manager helped get us a spot at the wine bar (which I thought was weird). We went about our night, talking and laughing. Looking back, there were so many clues! Just as I was getting ready to finish my last glass, a plate with two candles, cheesecake pops, and a ring box came to us and before I could realize what was happening, JP swiped the ring box, brought me over to an open space and was down on one knee. I was so surprised and happy! After I said, “Oh my god” too many times, I said yes! Then suddenly, I saw my parents and his parents who were there the whole time taking pictures and videos! It was such a wonderful surprise. Definitely the best day ever.”

You had us at Cooper’s Hawk {yum}! Was Kelly surprised??

“It was a total surprise! We had talked about getting married, we looked at rings a few months before, but every time we would talk about it, his response would be different! One time it would be like, “Yeah, it’ll happen soon,” and the next time he would say, “Well, I don’t know when!” So, it was hard to anticipate. He did such an amazing job surprising me. It was perfect.”

Good job, JP!

Let’s move on to dress shopping!

“It was such a fun day! My sister came home from Germany, two of my best friends joined us, my mom, my dad, my mother-in-law, and my aunt were all there. They helped me pick out dresses and gave very nice but constructive opinions (ha!). Some people say not to bring a big entourage but these people are so important to me that I wanted to share this day with them. SBB did a great job accommodating my large party and my consultant, Amber, was so patient and kind! It was the experience I was hoping for.”

How did she know her dress was "the one"?

“I tried on about 6-7 dresses. I knew I did not want to go anywhere else and that I did not want to try on a lot of dresses. In the end, it was between two completely different dresses: a fit and flare lace dress that was gorgeous and an A-line with a tulle skirt and lace. Everyone told me my face lit up each time I put on the A-line with the tulle skirt. I tried on each dress probably four times before deciding, then I finally picked the right one! And I am so glad I picked that dress because I was able to customize it and add waterfall lace to the skirt and it was perfection (thank you, Naomi!).”

Seriously so pretty. We love the added lace to it!

When it was time to plan her big day, what was Kelly’s favorite part?

“I made sure to share my experiences with the people closest to me. My husband works weekends, so it was hard to do some of the planning together. We did as much as we could, especially toward the end. Because of this, I included my mom, mother-in-law, my aunt and my bridesmaids in much of the process. The whole experience was beautiful and memorable. But, if I had to pick a favorite, I have to pick two! My mom, mother-in-law, and aunt took a weekend to look at seven wedding venues. It was a blast! We had so much fun looking around at these beautiful places, we went to lunch and dinner, and my aunt and uncle even had a little engagement party for me with us and my cousin and her family. It was so sweet. My other favorite part was getting our marriage license together. It was so exciting and something JP and could do, just the two of us.”

It’s not all fun though! What was Kelly’s least favorite part?

“The last few weeks was the most stressful part because you trying to get in touch with your vendors, finalize the same details, and prepare for the big day. The little details probably stressed me out the most. I tend to be a bit of a control freak and I just wanted my vision to come to life. Everything turned out exactly how I had envisioned, so I stressed for nothing.”

The day of the wedding was finally here! What was Kelly’s favorite moment?

“It’s hard to pick just one because the whole day/night was our best day ever! JP and I decided to write letters to each other and do a first look. We wanted to spend a few moments of our special day together just the two of us. I was so excited to see him and for him to see my dress. We when saw each other, we just smiled so big and couldn’t stop smiling the whole night.”

Any advice for other brides planning their own big day?

“Spend your day together! We made it a point to spend as much time together as possible. It was our day and we wanted to experience it together, so once the ceremony and cocktail hour was over, we barely left each other’s side. We did spend some time apart on the dance floor, but we made sure to check in with each other. When I think back on our wedding day, JP is in most, if not all of my memories. Sometimes you get pulled in different directions, get caught up conversing with old friends, and half the night is over before you reunite, so it was important to stick together. If we got separated, we always made our way back to each other.

When people tell you the day goes by so fast, it truly does! The morning getting ready dragged and once I was in my dress, it was like “poof!” and the DJ was packing up his stuff, the tables were taken down, and everybody was gone. Stay in the moment and savor every minute. Take a minute at some point to look around and soak it all in. All those people are there to celebrate you and the love of your life. It is such a special time! Make sure to spend as much time as you can with your spouse because you can be pulled in all sorts of directions and this is your day. Don’t be too hard on yourselves if you don’t say hi to all your guests-they understand! And get a videographer! We haven’t received our video yet, but we cannot wait to relive our day again!”

Great advice!! Congratulations, Kelly and JP!! We are so happy for you guys and can’t thank you enough for letting us share your beautiful wedding! Check out more of their gorgeous wedding pictures in the gallery below!

{SBB Bride of the Week} Ashley

A S H L E Y + S T E V E

{August 18th, 2018}

{photo by: Caitlin Marie Photography}

{photo by: Caitlin Marie Photography}

Meet Ashley {and her hubby Steve}!

Ashley wore a gorgeous Essense of Australia gown for her August wedding.

To say she looked beautiful is an understatement!

{photos by: Caitlin Marie Photography}

That back!! Gets us every time.

For her flowers, Ashley teamed up with Corinne from Forget Me Not Florals to create stunning bouquets featuring pops of her wedding color - coral!

{photo by: Caitlin Marie Photography}

{photo by: Caitlin Marie Photography}

Ashley wanted to share a first look with both her dad and soon-to-be husband.

Her dad couldn’t help but play a little trick on Steve before he got to see his bride…

{photos by: Caitlin Marie Photography}

We love a dad with a good sense of humor!

Ashley and Steve were married at Sandy Pines and guys - we can’t even begin to tell you how much we love this venue!!

When Ashley met Steve, he had a bandanna on {which Ashley says is his signature look}.

Before their first kiss at the altar, the groom and his groomsmen put on bandannas to give a special nod to this on their big day.

{photos by: Caitlin Marie Photography}

The reception was held in the pavilion at Sandy Pines and was decorated with a rustic theme.

A fire pit and s’mores bar were a big feature at the reception - one of our favorite parts of having your wedding at this location!

{photos by: Caitlin Marie Photography}

Ashley and Steve met in high school but it was their love of billiards that brought them together!

When Steve finally popped the question, Ashley was more than ready…

“It was just the two of us kind of at random but I knew it was coming. For heaven sakes we dated 6 years!”

When it was time to try on wedding dresses, Ashley already had one in mind thanks to our Wedding Gown Wednesday!

“I had seen a dress on Something Blue’s gown of the week and fell in love. That was even before we were engaged so when I went to try dresses on I put that specific one on and fell in love! I tried on numerous occasions and still went back to that one!”

When it came to wedding planning, Ashley said she was super OCD about her big day…

“I wanted everything to be perfect and even though I had 1 year and 9 months to plan it was still very stressful. I loved looking up ideas on Pinterest and making things!"

daddance.JPG

Finally it was time for the wedding! Ashley’s favorite moment?

“The daddy daughter dance. We started with a slow song and then broke into a dance - three songs from my genre and three from his. It was awesome."

Any final advice for brides currently planning their own day?

“I suggest for other brides to start early, don't try rushing things and everything will be amazing.

Keep your stress under control because no matter how well prepared you are it will happen."

Congratulations, Ashley and Steve and thank you so much for letting us feature your beautiful wedding! Check out more pics from their big day in the gallery below!

Bridal Buzz

{2018 Trends}

Not to scare you or anything, but 2018 ends in a month. Say what? When, how, where? Don’t blink, it will be 2020 before we even know it. #Ahhhhh

So, as we wrap up this crazy year, we’d like to take a second to reflect on our favorite trends of 2018!


Unlined

This one will make you say “ooooooooo la la”, and may give Grandma a heart attack, but hey it is sure to make a statement! This trend came earlier in the year and we have far and few brides brave enough to rock it, but as the year progressed several unlined gowns started rolling in and more and more brides ventured to try them on. Brides even began to request unlined gowns over gowns that are lined. We found that an unlined gown at the top allows for the dress to hug your body closer, because there is less material. So, it shows your natural curves a bit better!


Nude undertones

This one is one of our ALL time favorite trends… ever. Why? Well, let me tell yah. When you have a wedding gown that has an undertone that is darker than the ivory lace on top, it creates a contrast which then allows for the detail of the gown to shine through 10x better. A lot of girls are hesitant at first to try a gown on that is “darker” than what they imagined, but in reality, the ivory lace on top still gives a very bridal vibe. Our fav undertone specifically is a deeper nude, because it gives the boldest contrast with the gorg detail! Oh, and we don’t see this one goin’ anywhere anytime soon.

Off the shoulder

    Mmmmmmmm, where to begin?! We LOVE a good off the shoulder. You know what we love even more than a good off the shoulder? Creating custom off the shoulder straps on a gown that is strapless. Why would we do that? So, when you’re ready to raise the roof on the dance floor with your new mans you can whip off those straps {which can be like arm jail sometimes, honestly}. So you get best of both worlds, a gorgeous yet elegant off the shoulder gown… *whips straps off*... and a strapless gown that you can dance the night away in. Who doesn't love a good outfit change?

Iridescent sparkle

What is iridescent sparkle in the first place? It is a clear beading that is much less harsh than a silver rhinestone that can be placed all of your gown to give it a gleaming look that will catch the light and sparkle as you move around. It is a super romantic way to… light up the room… no pun intended!

2018 has been a dream, we have gotten the chance to meet so many amazing brides so we cannot wait to see what 2019 has in store for us. Trends may come and go, but our brides are truly timeless! Who knows, puffy sleeves and hats may come back in style?! {I’m kidding, I’m kidding- or maybe I’m not… no one knows.} Only time will tell what 2019 has in store for us, but stay tuned for next months segment of Bridal Buzz where we predict what trends 2019 will bring us!

{SBB Bride of the Week} Christina

C H R I S T I N A + S T E P H A N

{November 25th, 2017}

{Photos by: Timothy Whaley & Associates}

{Photos by: Timothy Whaley & Associates}

Meet Christina!

I’m sure you already noticed but she looked AH-MAZING in her strapless, satin Essense of Australia gown!

Combined with her Edward Berger veil {from SBB} and her gorgeous bouquet by Flowers with Jazz, Christina was walk-down-the-aisle ready!

{Photos by: Timothy Whaley & Associates}

Christina married her husband Stephan in a gorgeous ceremony at Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church…

{Photos by: Timothy Whaley & Associates}

After the I do’s, guests headed to The Odyssey in Tinley Park!

To say the hall was covered in gorgeous blooms is an understatement! We’re such big suckers for beautiful flowers!

Know what else we’re suckers for? Dessert.

And there was a LOT of it at this reception!

{Photos by: Timothy Whaley & Associates}

I mean, so pretty right??

OK, let’s get down to the details! How did Christina and Stephan meet?

“We met at IU Optometry School one of our first days there. I messaged him on Facebook after finding out he was Greek too and we hit it off. We began as friends and we would study together all the time and then one thing led to another.”

How did he pop the question?

“I was doing my rotations for school in Chicago and he was working in Munster, Indiana. My birthday had been a few days before and he told me he wanted to take me to dinner and come stay in the city for the weekend. He booked a room at the Godfrey Hotel and told me to meet him there (I was staying at my uncles' house in the city). So I get to the hotel and meet him at the room and when he opened the door there were rose petals leading from the door onto the bed. I kind of laughed because I thought this was for my birthday and had always told him he wasn't romantic. He was already dressed and told me to get ready so we could go to dinner since we had reservations soon. I got ready quicker than he expected and when I finished he had to kill some time so he told me that the reservations had gotten pushed back. I sat on the bed and started looking through the menu of the place we were going to and I hear him messing with the safe. He kept opening and closing it and made some comment like "Look the safe works!" and I told him to stop messing with it because he was going to break it and we would have to pay for it. He goes, "Ok, ok! Hey, why don't you come over here and take a picture with me." So I walk over and he's on his knee with the ring and says (what I can remember even though he claims he said a lot more) "Christina Alexandria Kouklakis, will you marry me?" and the only thing I could get out of my mouth was "How did you get that already?!" to which he responded "Are you going to answer me?" Of course I said yes and then begin to try and call my family. No one was answering their phones. No one. So he tells me let's just go to dinner and you can call them when we get back. We get in the Uber and drive to the restaurant (Chicago Cut) and he's trying to keep me outside by telling me we need to take some pictures and let's look at the water. After 10 minutes I was ready to go inside, I couldn't understand why he didn't want to go in. Finally, he gives in and we walk into the restaurant and I look to the side and I see my whole family and his! He had been trying to hold off going inside to give the restaurant time to seat everyone so it would be a surprise!"

Oh my gosh, so sweet!! Was it a surprise or did she know it was coming?

“We had designed my ring together at Albert's. We couldn't find one that we liked and decided designing it would be the best option. Stephan's only rule was, even though I knew what it would look like, he didn't want me to know when it would be ready and when he picked it up. The lady who was helping us when we went to pick out the center stone told us it would be at least 2-3 months before it was ready. In actuality, it took about 2 weeks. So I knew it was coming but I didn't know when."

Let’s talk dresses! How did Christina find “the one”??

“I had gone to look at dresses in Chicago at some salons and could not find anything that I liked so I was becoming really frustrated. I came to Something Blue and immediately found 2 or 3 dresses that I really liked and that my dad really liked as well. He wanted to be the one to give his approval on the dresses my sister and I picked when we got married since he was there when my mom picked out her dress. 

Originally I had another dress picked out and was going to go back into Something Blue with my mom, sister, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, mother-in-law, and grandma to show them what I had picked. A few days before, my sister saw a dress on Something Blue’s Facebook and said that even though I had picked a dress I HAD to try this new one on before making a decision. When we got to the store and I put it on I loved it. It was classic. It had just the right amount of lace, a long beautiful train with buttons going down the back and hugged my figure the way I wanted. Put it together with a cathedral veil and it was perfect!"

We agree!

When it came to planning her big day, what were Christina’s favorite and least favorite parts?

“I really liked the planning process in general. I liked picking out flowers and decorations and deciding what the invites would look like! 

My least favorite was the stress. We couldn't find a venue for the longest time that could fit the amount of people we were having (think, My Big Fat Greek Wedding- almost 500 people). Figuring out the date was another headache. If the hall could do it, the church couldn't and visa versa, we were bringing people from Greece so trying to coordinate with them was a challenge.”

What was her favorite moment from her wedding?

“After we were married. Our reception was so fun! Everyone seemed to have a great time!”

Now that she’s a married woman, Christina has some advice for future brides…

“Enjoy each moment. Definitely start early and do the big things first- hall, music, photographer/videographer, etc. 

Enjoy the process! The day of the wedding make sure you have someone in your wedding party have an "emergency bag" with them full of things you might need-- including a snack and some water! The day goes by quickly so make sure you have fun and don't worry about what might go wrong or what things should have looked like."

Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful wedding day with us, Christina and Stephan! We wish you a lifetime of love and happiness!! Check out more of their big day in the gallery below!

{SBB Bride of the Week} Ashley

A S H L E Y + M I C H A E L

{September 22nd, 2018}

{Photos by: Monica Z. Photography}

{Photos by: Monica Z. Photography}

We are suckers for a long sleeve gown!!

Could our bride Ashley look any more gorgeous in her crepe Essense of Australia dress?! {The answer is no}

Even she couldn’t hold back her tears as she looked at herself in the mirror on her big day.

Another tearjerker? When Ashley saw her dad for the first time…

{Photos by: Monica Z. Photography}

For her flowers, Ashley worked with Main Street Florals in North Judson to create beautiful bouquets for herself and her bridesmaids!

floral.jpg
{Photos by: Monica Z. Photography}

{Photos by: Monica Z. Photography}

Ashley married her husband Michael at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church in Michigan City.

This church is beyond beautiful!

{Photos by: Monica Z. Photography}

For the reception, guests headed to the Uptown Center.

How cool is this venue? It never disappoints!

Ashley made all of her own centerpieces and decorations…can we get a round of applause??

{Photos by: Monica Z. Photography}

How did the newlyweds meet?

“We met through friends. Found out that we had many of the same friends but never had met each other!”

How did Michael pop the question?

“Michael proposed to me May 8th of 2016 which happened to be our one year anniversary and Mothers Day. He got our families together at the tulip festival in Holland, Michigan. We celebrated the first part of the day having a cookout for our mothers. We then started taking pictures in the beautiful field of tulips. During this time it was just him and I and I was laughing because I didn't know which camera to look at as everyone had their phones out. I turned towards him and there he was, on one knee, asking to marry him. It was such a great day, and of course, I said yes!”

Was it a surprise or did she know it was coming?

“It was Mothers Day, of course I was surprised! I thought nothing of it. I was having a great enjoying our families together for Mothers Day, little did I know, they were all there for me.”

I asked Ashley to tell me all about her dress buying experience.

“The moment I walked into Something Blue I knew that I was going to walk out with the most gorgeous dress. The staff is wonderful and very helpful. I believe I tried on 10 dresses and I never felt pressured into buying or rushed to get out. I do not live in the area and the staff worked well with me on appointment times and all fittings! I am completely happy with Something Blue and I strongly recommend this bridal boutique!

How did Ashley know her dress was "the one"?

“I came in knowing exactly what I wanted. I wanted a long sleeved dress with a beautiful train, along with some sparkle and lace. I picked out about 10 long sleeved dresses that I wanted to try, and my favorite I saved for last. When it finally came time to try on my last dress, I knew it was the one from the moment I put my arms in the sleeves. It had the perfect amount of lace, sparkle, and it had a long beautiful train with more lace and sparkle. It was gorgeous, everything I expected!”

Let’s talk wedding planning! What was Ashley’s favorite part?

“The decorations! I made all of our decorations! Centerpieces and table garland. Michael and I also created our own seating chart, itinerary, and menus through Photoshop. Weddings can be quite expensive so we made everything by hand to save. My centerpieces and table garland were actually made out of all Dollar Tree flowers! This was all a very fun process.”

What about her least fave part?

“Saving up sucked! From the time we actually started planning, we had nine months to save and pay off everything. It took hard work and we had to cut back on our social lives for the time being. However, since we are a team, we did it!! It was worth it in the end.”

The big day had finally arrived! What was Ashley’s favorite moment?

“My absolute favorite moment was walking down the aisle with my dad and seeing the man I am going to be spending the rest of my life with. This moment was everything!”

Any advice for SBB brides planning their own wedding?

“My best advice to give would be to sit down and talk with your fiance. Make a budget and stick to a plan. Weddings are expensive but with a plan you can make anything happen. Make a list of things you look for when choosing a venue. When looking for venues, make sure they meet your expectations, and it is in your price range. Create a spreadsheet of every venue you visit and compare prices. Consider what each venue has to offer within those prices. Don't spend too much on extravagant decorations, all eyes will be on YOU! Book in advance. Check out dollar stores, amazon, etsy, or even make things your own. Use Michael Arts & Crafts 40% off coupons. Lastly, breathe. If you need help, ask for it. Know that there will be enough people the day of to help and take care of things. This is your day, so enjoy!”

Thank you so much for sharing your special day with us, Ashley and Michael!! Check out more of their wedding pictures in the gallery below!