Tips for Wedding Dress Shopping

Okay, so you found your soulmate and you set the date. Now you have to find “THE” dress. I didn’t realize how much pressure goes into finding “THE” dress, (thank god they serve champagne!). I tried on several dresses before I found my dress. I seriously lost count of how many I tired on or bridal shops I visited. I went into the whole process pretty blindly, I thought that was a good strategy. In hindsight, I wish I would have done a little research beforehand. I had a rough idea of designers and styles from working with past brides and friends but I didn’t really consider what I wanted. I’ll say one thing, finding a bridal gown can be as stressful as you make it (try not to overthink it, even though it might feel like there is a giant mountain of pressure). Below are a few friendly tips from my journey, I hope it helps you in your quest to finding “THE” dress. 

Go Early

People say you should order your dress 6 months prior to your wedding to give the designer 12-16 weeks for production and then time for alternations. It seems like a long time, but you may not find ‘THE’ dress on the first round, so doesn’t hurt to start shopping early. (Also, keep in mind you can rush order dresses but it will cost you some extra $$).

Set a Budget

This is really going to help you in your search. You can also be very upfront with all the bridal shops and ask them price ranges for their dresses. It’s good to upfront in this department both for you and the stylist. 

Request a Senior Stylist

This helped me a ton! I felt like their knowledge was on-point and very helpful when I was deciding between designers, fabrics and just overall style. 

Do Your Homework

Like I mentioned above, I wish I would have done a little research before jumping into dress shopping. There are so many types of dresses – Trumpet, Mermaid, Ballgown, Sheath, A-Line, Mini, etc. If you kind of know the style you like or look on your body it will be easier when you arrive to start picking through dresses. Also, try on dresses that you’d never typically try, some might surprise you! 

Keep the Viewing Party Small

Yes, it’s so fun to get all the bridesmaids and the mothers together but it can quickly get overwhelming with opinions and extra thoughts. Choose the group wisely!

Eat

Don’t starve yourself before your appointment. Trying on dresses is weirdly exhausting and no one loves shopping when your starving. So make sure to eat a healthy breakfast or light lunch and bring some water to wash down that champagne. 

Glam It Up

Since you will be trying on so many pretty gowns throw on some lipstick or a fun sparkly earring. Doesn’t hurt to play the part a bit. I wouldn’t recommend a full face of makeup, just a little glam to get you in the mood.

Bring Heels

I wish I did this at every appointment! Bring a pair of shoes that may be similar to what you will wear on the big day. It helps give you a little lift and idea of height in the dress. (and I think you always feel a bit sexier in a pair of heals anyways!)

Nude Undies

This is a big one, grab a pair of nude panties. You don’t want bright red or black undies showing through. Here is a great pair: Commando Thong 

Be Comfortable and Feel Fabulous

If you made it this far, here is the best tip of all and might be a bit clique but it’s soooo true. Find something that is you. Find something you feel comfortable in and something that makes you feel fabulous, sexy and like a bride. It’s an interesting combination to find, but stay true to that gut feeling. 

To help in your search, here are some of my favorite bridal salons here in the Northwest:

Good luck!!! 

Xo, 

Kayla 

10 Reasons Why Hiring a Wedding Planner Will Change Your Life

I’ll start here, I just hired a wedding planner for my upcoming wedding and I am wedding planner.  It was honestly the first thing I realized I needed when I started planning. I too felt overwhelmed with the deadlines, decisions and countless ideas. My fiancé, bridesmaids and both my mother and future mother-in-law were all extremely supportive but even with the world’s best support system I needed a direct sounding board and voice of reason – I needed a wedding planner. 

I mentioned this in a recent blog post, (read here if you missed it: Newly Engaged Planning Tips) the foundation of your planning should be focused on your guests list, budget, date, and venue; but hiring a wedding planner is a very important piece as well. 

Sure, you might have all your vendors nailed down and a rough timeline pulled together, but who will be onsite with you to help to make sure all those little details come together and everyone stays on schedule? Wedding planners are really the glue to your day. No matter the scale of their involvement, they are hired to help your wedding day and details run smoothly. 

Below are some reasons why I think hiring a wedding planner is 100% worth the investment and truly can change your life, or at least the 12 months leading up to your wedding :)

1.  Organization

A wedding planner keeps the planning process organized and stress-free. It’s our job to be detail-oriented and organized. Our main task is to keep you organized and finalize all those little details. And trust me, there are a lot of little details. 

2.  Money  

Wedding planners can save you money. (I mean, who doesn’t love saving money when planning a wedding!) Planners can offer vendor discounts, they can review your contracts and help find hidden fees and negotiate pricing. 

3.  Industry Knowledge

 Wedding planners have the connections and industry knowledge. Again, it’s our job to network with other vendors and bring you the best of the best. Whether it’s in floral, table décor or the 10-piece band. Most A-list planners will offer you their preferred vendor list with their planning package. 

4.  Experience

 Wedding planners have the experience. Planners know what they are doing. Make sure to do your research before hiring one. Look for testimonials from other couples on their website or reviews on their wedding accounts. 

5.  Personal Enjoyment

Wedding planners allow you to have life outside of planning a wedding. Everyone has a friend that planned their own wedding – remember all those tears? Planners help you enjoy the planning process and again help take the stress out of it. 

6.  Leadership

Wedding planners take the lead onsite.We are the boss day-of. Planners will take charge day-of and answer any question, solve any problem and tackle any conflict with ease. When your wedding day arrives, you will feel confident that you planner has details wrapped up and is ready to execute.  

7.  Timing

Wedding planners make sure everyone sticks to the timeline. Planners help keep everyone on schedule. Have you ever noticed a wedding planner onsite? Mostly likely not, because they are 100% behind the scenes making sure every detail from your hair & makeup being done on time, to the cake arriving on time, to policing the groomsmen’s whiskey intake to the timing of the first dance – They are they to keeping everything on schedule. 

8.  Creativity

Wedding planners help with ideas. Having someone to bounce ideas off throughout the planning process is invaluable. Especially if it’s someone who has the connections and expertise to advise you. 

9.  Vendor Management

Wedding planners can help with vendor management. Planners can handle all the communication with your vendors leading up to the event and onsite. I mean, how nice is that?

10. Budgeting

Last, but very important, wedding planners can help manage your budget. Planners can help breakdown the budget and suggest how much funds should be spent on each category. They can also help with recommendations to help you get the most bang for your buck. 

Happy planning!

Xo

Kayla  

Spring Design Ideas: Michaels New Home Décor Line

Earlier this month Michaels launched a home décor line. If you're unfamiliar with Michaels, it has been the go-to arts and crafts store for decades! Michael’s is one of my guilty pleasures for seasonal décor and crafts and this new décor line takes Michaels to a whole new level. I’m excited to share some of my favorite items. The line features everything from home décor to outdoor furniture and party supplies.

If your like me, 'spring cleaning' is on my to-do list for April so this is really perfect timing - out with the old, in with the new! (But don't tell my fiancé!)

Oh and the best part, most items are on sale and they are currently offering free shipping for orders over $49. (Visit the full store here)

Boho Desert Vibes 

For everyone that is into the uber trendy desert boho theme, they have a Desert Road Collection that offers some really great pieces to freshness up a space. I love all the accent pillows, shelving options and decor pieces. 

Fav Furniture Finds 

For furniture buffs, they have some great smaller furniture pieces. They are cost-friendly and perfect for a minimal accent piece. I really like the modern pieces and I think some gold can add a little glam to any room. 

Outdoor Party 

With spring around the corner they have some great stuff to really spruce up the outdoor patio area as well! Love the grey adirondack chairs, they have a few color options too. 

Enjoy! And happy spring :)

xo,

Kayla 

Wedding Trends: What's in and what's out for 2018

I always get excited this time of year when planners and florist start announcing upcoming wedding trends. Wedding trends can stick around forever (remember the Tiffany Blue?). This year, it’s purple (Ultra Violet), floral is going bold and couples are opting in for a new season to tie the knot. Keeping up with all the trends can be tough but also fun to play into the unique ideas that will be popping up in 2018. Take a peek below. Love to hear your comments!

In: Fall Wedding Dates

The verdict is in, more couples are leaning to fall wedding dates. It’s looking like September and October will be the most popular wedding months in 2018.

Out: The 2 Piece Wedding Dress

I personally loved this look in 2017, but it looks like it’s on the way out for 2018. Sad to see it go. 

In: Tropical Floral Themes

You will see this look a LOT in 2018. From place settings to full arches to the bridal bouquet. It will be big, beautiful and in full force!

Out: Succulents

Very beautiful in years past, but floral designers are moving away from the succulent décor this year.  Again, another one I am sad to see go.

In: Bold & Moody Color Tones

Like I said, Ultra Violet is the wedding color of 2018. So expect to see florist using bold colors, texture and moodier color tones like: purple, blue and grey. 

In: Romantic Boho Theme

This trend really shinned in 2017 and it is sticking around for 2018. This trend was really all about the laid-back romantic look: the flowy gowns, floral crowns and beautiful vintage furniture.

Out: Mylar Balloons

These were always my go-to décor piece for so many events, but I have to admit they are a little played out. Bye-bye big shinny balloons (fingers crossed it comes back in… 2022?!)

In: Vintage Table Décor

Yup, still in for 2018. I love seeing couples mix and match their table settings with vintage pieces. It really adds some dynamitic and timeless touches. You might see softer vintage pieces this year like lighter colored glass mixed with colored candles.

In: Smaller Weddings

Have you heard the new term, ‘Microwedding’'? Seems like couples might be opting into hosting a more intimate gathering rather than a 200 person shindig. The microwedding guest list will consist of family, close friends and the bridal party. Think 30 max, tiny. Learn more at PureWow.com.

Out: Donuts

We saw tons (and ate tons!) of donuts in 2017. Cake anyone?

In: Cakes too pretty to eat!

Okay, so this was in last year too. But you will see more of it and even more delicate cakes popping up. I personally love it, I love a traditional wedding cake and why not make it too gorgeous to eat!

In: Long Sleeve Wedding Dresses

You might have guessed that from the fall wedding trend but you will see more brides in long sleeve this year. Some of my favorite designers are playing into the trend: Sarah Seven, Hayley Paige and FLORA.

Winter Inspired Wedding Shoot

In early December, I pulled together a team of Pacific Northwest wedding vendors and coordinated a styled wedding shoot. You might be thinking, ‘what is a styled shoot?’ (It’s okay, I've been asked this question multiple times!) A styled shoot gives vendors the opportunity to collaborate and showcase unique ideas, upcoming wedding trends and theme ideas.

We did the shoot at Swiftwater Cellars, a winery in Suncadia Washington. The venue is about an hour and a half outside of Seattle. I choose this venue for the shoot because I was craving a snowy backdrop and the venue is stunning in the winter. Summer too, take a peek here

The theme is Winter Romance, I incorporated blue and sage green tones and mixed in deep reds with pops of light pink and vintage gold pieces. My inspiration was really the winter season, (and I secretly want a winter wedding!). Many couples in Washington get married between May and September, obviously our warmest and non-rainy months of the year. So, I wanted to showcase how you can have your wedding in the winter without it being holiday inspired.  

The floral was fresh and dramatic, which really bought the shoot to life. The table setting was a collection of vintage pieces from the flatware to the cookie bar. The gown was elegant and the backdrop of the mountains was stunning. Every little detail came together perfectly. Please view the slideshow below (full album on Facebook) and I’ve listed all the vendors involved; ALL fabulous and ALL highly recommended!

Enjoy!

Kayla

Vendors:

Source: https://lumaweddings.com

Party Tips & Ideas! NYE - Let's Celebrate!

New Years is one of my favorite holidays but every year it sneaks up on me. This year we are having a very low-key celebration with close friends; but I wanted to share some fun decoration ideas that I’ve done in the past that are quick, easy, cheap and look awesome!

Balloons

These never go out of style so why not make them a little glam! Once you’ve inflated your balloons add a light coat of gold paint (or any color that goes with your color scheme!) to the bottom of the balloon. You can also use clear glue and sprinkle gold or metallic glitter on the balloon for some extra sparkle! (Tip: Make sure to use a light coat of paint or glue so it doesn’t weight the balloons down)

Party Signage

You can find the cutest printable templates on Etsy or you can design them yourself on a chalkboard, wood sign or glasses mirrors. I’m in love with my vintage letter board (on amazon for just $30 bucks!). Adding some signage to the bar and food areas allows you to bring your decor to life.

Anything Gold or Silver

If you were you walk into any local craft store you’d be covered in gold and silver. These are the two NYE staple colors so have fun with them! Whether it’s more balloons, tassels for the bar, confetti or gold twisted paper straws. (also found on amazon for just $6 bucks!)

Fancy Cocktails

This can be easy! Below are a couple of my favorite bubble cocktails. You can also go the super-easy route and just pour some bubbles and garnish with fruit or herbs, adds some glam and gives the bubbles a little flavor.

French 76

  • Vodka
  • Simple Syrup
  • Bubbles (prosecco or champagne)
  • Garish with a Lemon Twist

Jingle Juice

I shared this on my last holiday post, but I thought I’d throw it at you again because it’s delicious and great for a party. It’s easy, you can make it bulk and you can add in some bubbles to give a NYE twist!

  • Vodka
  • Cranberry Juice
  • Club Soda
  • Bubbles (prosecco or champagne)
  • Garnish with fresh cranberries and rosemary

Happy New Years everyone!

Xo,

Kayla

How to host the best party, the easiest way!

I know you could have guessed it, but I LOVE to throw a good party. I mean who doesn’t love going to a good party!

We are on the eve of hosting our first holiday party and I thought I'd share some tips and ideas that can really work for any party or event you may be hosting. You will notice a theme, I’m all about keeping it as simple as possible.

Tip #1 It's All in The Details

I think the key to every good party is having a consistent theme throughout and touching on that theme with little details your guest will remember. This weekend, since it’s in our house, I’m going with a ‘Whoville Christmas’ theme. I’ll add some pops of colorful décor on the bar and mingling areas; and include little touches throughout the party: bowls of colorful candy, custom signage, funny cocktail napkins, etc.

Extra Christmas ornaments are always an easy way to create a decorative piece, just drop a few into some hurricane vase or jars. Fresh garland is a nice touch as well. You can find it at local trees farms, it's usually $5 per foot and it really helps bring color and texture into the space, and bonus - It's makes the whole room smell like Christmas!

Additionally, I will throw in a few surprises like a guest Santa, unexpected carolers and fresh baked to-go cookies as a thank you gift for our guests on their way out. Again, it’s all in the details. (see more ideas below in the gallery)

Tip #2 Make The Bar Easy

Sometimes it can become overwhelming trying to please everyone, specifically their drink of choice. My goal has always been to keep the variety and selection simple, (which makes it easy on your guests as well). My selection this weekend is a mix of light and dark beers, one red and one white wine, a variation of whiskey options and a pre-made vodka cocktail (Jingle Juice recipe from Baked Bree). If that seems like a lot, you can always cut it down and just serve wine and beer. Oh, and don’t forget a few water stations or bottled water.

Tip #3 Communication 

Communicate with your guests! Whether it's through a digital invite (my preferred method is Paperless Post) or an old-fashioned invite. Just make sure your guests know what is going on. Don't forget the main details like: date, time, location and the mini details like: parking info, attire, options for plus ones, etc. The more prepared your guests feel the more comfortable they will be.

Tip #4 Snacks

Rule of thumb, if you serve booze you have to serve food. Again, I keep it simple here too with timing being key. If you party starts in the earlier evening your guest might arrive hungry or assume you are planning to feed them. In our case the party starts at eight so we planned on lighter and sweeter snacks assuming guest will arrive post dinner. Either way, I’m mixing in some meat skewers, baked brie, festive snacks like popcorn and chex mix, and of course holiday treats like sugar cookies, ginger snaps, etc. 

Tip #5 Create a Pre-Plan

Don't wait until the day before your event to get all your errands done. No one enjoys running around like a crazy person gathering last minute details, plus that leaves WAY too much room for error. I pull together a checklist of everything I can think of, and start checking off my list five days prior to the event; that way there is more time for things you may have forgot, less stress the day-of and you have more time to get ready and enjoy the party!

Happy planning!

xo, 

Kayla