2019 Wedding Trends

I love this time of year. All the new and exciting wedding and event decor trends start to surface! Here are my favorite wedding trends for 2019. Enjoy! xo

Moody Floral

YES! Moody floral is still all the rage.

Floral Installations

This season couples are opt’ing in for more natural and dynamic floral installations for their wedding celebrations. A designers #dream.

The Modern' Wedding Dress

Megan Markle may have brought back the traditional wedding dress, but brides in 2019 are opting in for more traditional and modern designers. Some of my favs: Sarah Seven, Elly Sofocli, Rime Arodaky

Velvet

I personally love this trend. I had velvet blush napkins at my wedding this past fall and loved the rich texture and softness.

Coral and More Coral

Bring it! It’s the Pantone color of the year and we will see this color A LOT this year.

Gorgeous Wedding Cakes

Again, cakes too pretty to eat are still in the mix. I’ve said this before, but wedding cakes are less about eating them and more about a decor piece for the reception. Some of my fav cake designs are from Hey There Cupcake, almost too amazing to eat!

Custom Invitations

Invites are moving towards custom designs. From the monogram to a detailed map for guests to enjoy. My favs: Grey & Cake and Swell Press

Extreme Bachelorette and Bachelor Parties

Okay, I love this one. Go big or go home, right?. Top Destinations: Miami, Nashville, New Orleans, Austin and New York.

Our Wedding

I’ve been thinking about this blog post for so long and I’m so excited to share all the beautiful details with you all. It is difficult to explain how magical the experience was – hence the timeline of this blog post! Regardless of the timeline, the day was perfect and everything I dreamt it would be. I had an amazing vendor team, all our favorite people in one place, all our details came together perfectly, and I got to marry the man of my dreams – Seriously, the list could go on and on. 

My only complaint, it went by way too fast. #sayseverybride 

Being in the industry and submerged into the hustle of event planning as a full-time gig, I knew how fast the day would come and go. I prepared myself early on – I tried not to get too wrapped up in the details or let the planning consume me. Truthfully, I did feel pressure to have the most picture-perfect wedding. Whether that was from being a wedding planner myself or being one of that last single ladies in my crew to tie the knot. Either way, I tried to keep it light and enjoy the planning process. I also had the most incredible support from my vendors, bridesmaids, family and fiancé. Again, regardless of the pressure to have an insta-worthy wedding. I can say, after it is all said and done, no one can prepare you for how incredible it is to marry ‘your person’. All the little details flutter to the bottom of the priority list once that first look happens.  

Our Wedding Week

The week of our wedding was an even mix of relaxing and hectic as I'm sure most people experience. Jay and I decided to road trip down to La Jolla from Seattle. We had 22 hours together in a Toyota 4Runner, jam-packed with wedding decor. We passed time with murder-mystery podcasts, country music and Starbucks drive-thrus (hitting several along I5).

We spent the first few days in La Jolla organizing wedding details. Picking up alternations, stuffing welcome bags and finalizing details for our pre-wedding events. 

Once our families arrived the whirlwind began! The first gathering was on Wednesday night, two eve's before the big day. My mom hosted a welcome happy hour on that Wednesday, which happened to fall on Halloween. The following day, we had our rehearsal in the afternoon and dinner at George's at The Cove. After dinner, Jay and I hosted a welcome party at the La Valencia Hotel for all our guests. I know, it sounds like a lot of 'pre-wedding events' but I do suggest hosting a welcome gathering of some sort if you are planning a destination wedding. All the pre-wedding gatherings gave everyone a chance to meet and mingle. But most importantly, they gave Jay and I the opportunity to see all our guests before the big day.

The Wedding Day

The day started bright and early! Hair and makeup was done by Beauty by Stacey. I decided to go with a modern look with a little glam. I went with a dark lip and my hair slicked back, I kind of felt unstoppable. Ha. Once the photographers and videographers arrived the villa filled with a good chaos.

Jay and I had our first look at the hotel and that moment was everything – Like a giant rush of energy. Jay and I keep a running list of moments we have together - You know the moments when you feel butterflies or your heart skips a beat, a first kiss, the first date - You know the lovey-dovey stuff. Well, that 'first look moment' tops our list. You spend a year planning a wedding and at times, I think you get swept up in the details. The dress, the flowers, picking the colors, the party favors, the music, etc. the list goes on and on. But the moment you see the person you’re soon to marry it is so surreal and amazing all at the very same time. 

After our first look, the bridal party hopped on a historic white trolley to take photos around La Jolla. I remember taking mental photos when we were riding around on the trolley. It was so fun to have all our best friends together, dressed up and all sharing rose out of classy black solo cups!

When we arrived at the The Darlington House, I saw the hustle happening in the back of the venue. Our day-of planner and florist had it all dialed in and calmly under control. I can't explain in full appreciation how nice it was to be able to relax and let the day happen - and actually enjoy it! 

Just before 3 p.m. we lined up outside the venue, like we rehearsed the day before. My younger brother walked me down the aisle. That was a very surreal and emotional moment for me – I kind of felt like I was walking on air as I walked down the aisle to Jay. As soon as our eyes connected all my emotions were at ease. Our officiant told our love story and blessed us as we started our new chapter. We shared our vows and we had a tribute to my father played by Gemini Strings. 

After we said I do, the rest of the evening flew by. We sat down for dinner around 5:30 p.m. and enjoyed a family style menu. Our cratering team was a dream to work with. I had told them I wanted dinner to feel like a long-romantic Italian dinner party. They nailed it. The sunset fell between our last bite and starting speeches and I remember both our faces hurting from smiling and laughing so hard.

Since we had spent so much time with all our guest leading up to the wedding, I felt like Jay and I were able to actually enjoy the reception - our dinner, the drinks (specialty his and hers cocktails to be specific) and the band! To be honest, I didn’t eat any cake (other than a bite when we cut the cake!) and or a late-night slider. I guess I was too busy dancing to notice! 

We didn’t make it to the after-party, but I will say it was a day I will never ever forget.

The Dress

I wore a dress by Sarah Seven, Hotel Living. I have to note, and my bridesmaids and mothers will agree, I tried on hundreds of wedding dresses. I was almost convinced that I wouldn’t find the one, then I retried-on Hotel Living at the Dress Theory in Seattle. I knew the second I put it back on it was the dress I was searching for – classic and elegant, modern but sexy. I dropped the back and added buttons down the back of the dress. Everything else I left as is. I loved it. I wore Jimmy Choo blush sued heels. My hair piece was from BHLD and earrings from a local consignment shop in Kirkland. My day of jewelry was custom made by Rachel Brooks Jewelry. Jay surprised me with a gold band and gold bracelet with a single diamond pendant as a wedding gift. He had the gold band engraved with our wedding date 11.2.2018. One last fabulous item, I wore a pink fur cape. It was the perfect tone of pink to tie in the old Hollywood glam that I was going for. 

Jay was dressed in Hugo Boss tuxedo pants and wore a midnight blue tux jacket, and he was SO handsome! My bridesmaids wore Show me Your Mumu and Groomsmen were all in Tuxedo's from A Better Deal Tuxedo.

Our Vendors

Our day ran so smooth, thanks to all my vendors. I have such a new found respect for all wedding vendors. I can't thank ours enough for all the hard work they put in the months leading up and on our wedding day. We are forever grateful. 

How to Try and Stay Sane While Wedding Planning

I wrote a blog post earlier this year about the importance of hiring a wedding planner, if you haven’t read it and your engaged, start there – and then continue here. 

I hired a day-of planner and looking back I wish I would have hired a full planner from the beginning. (Again, read the post, I have a full list of reasons why). Planning a wedding is super overwhelming. For a long time, I felt like I couldn’t say that because, well – I am a planner. But the reality is, it is crazy stressful! Planners help smooth out the details and let you enjoy ‘being a bride – planning all the fun details’ part while they are the ones finalizing the contracts, organizing vendor details and juggling the logistics. Wouldn’t you rather sit back sip champagne and shop for the zillion white dress you need? Um, yes. My hand is raised. 

After we got engaged I took a few months to let it all soak in and then I jumped into planning. I felt ahead of the game, I knocked out some of the big stuff way early - I booked the venue, hired the catering team, found my florist, locked in an amazing photographer and landed a killer band. Then I over thought everything. Did I make the right decision? Did I pick the right vendor? Are my save the dates going out too late? I hit a point where I needed to stop and reflect on it all. 

I Hit Pause

After hitting pause, I let the details rest. I’ve heard rumors planning a wedding is like a part-time job (again, another reason to hire a planner). It’s crazy how many hours you can spend on Pinterest or Instagram, just scrolling thought countless wedding ideas. What I did realize early on, even with the over load of choices, I liked the feeling of doing a little at a time. That way it gave me more time to focus on the details that were important to me. It helped make the planning process feel a little less like a daunting to-do list.

Write Love Notes

Then, I wrote love notes. I loved falling in love with Jay, and I loved retelling our love story. So I started writing down little memories and giving them to Jay. It help me kick up those butterflies and give him a little love too.

A Little Spa Time

After that, I sat down and scheduled out my beauty appointments. Sounds high maintenance, but if you know me well, you know I can spa like a champion. So I made sure to schedule out a few facials and massages to gear up for the wedding but also chill myself out. 

Plan A Girls Night

I scheduled a couple girls nights. I feel like we (brides) ask SO much of our besties the year of the wedding that sometimes it feels good to go out and throw back a few cocktails and let the girl chat take over. 

Sweat

I started committing to my workouts. That ultra-thin bride body your supposed to have – Okay, I 100% feel the pressure. I’d be lying to you if I said I didn’t have this feeling like everyone is expecting you to drop 10 pounds and look fabulous. Well, F. How I am I going to do that and balance work, my hectic schedule, life and all the random stuff along the way. Well, I haven’t figured out how to balance this, nor have I have dropped the 10 lbs or I am I trying too. But I have enjoyed mixing it up and committing to my workouts. I’ve been doing a lot of different classes (Class Pass is amazing for this!) and sticking to them. Helps me reduce stress and makes me feel accomplished and a little more toned. 

Listen to Mom

Lastly, advice from my mom – relax and enjoy it. She also always tells me - Life is about choices. You will realize quickly there are so many choices to make while planning a wedding. I think if you try and slow it down and really enjoy it (don’t overthink it, don’t stress about it, do a little at a time) you will be a lot less stressed along the way. 

Good Luck!

xo, k

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  

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.

Our Engagement Story!

I woke up Monday morning this week completely overwhelmed with love and gratitude, and was immediately hit with a flood of cyber Monday shopping deals. I wanted to just pull the covers over my head and hide. How can we bounce from an amazing holiday gathering like Thanksgiving to cut throat deals and shopping madness - So instead of hustling the online shopping scene, I decide to write and share a beautiful story about our ENGAGEMENT!

I know, crazy. I’m still on cloud nine, might stay up here for a bit.  

Planning events for a living, I knew 'engagement season' was upon us but I had no idea I personally would be thrown into the mix. Well, I lie, I knew I wanted to marry Jay and I knew he had been looking at rings, but I really had no timeline on when I thought the question was going to pop. Jay and I had been dating since fall of 2016, we met through two mutual friends and I’m pretty sure after our 3rd date, I knew I was going to marry him. Before meeting Jay, I really didn’t believe in the whole ‘love at first sight’ or ‘soulmate’ thing. And don’t get me wrong, I do believe in love, and still cry during most rom-coms and at alllll weddings, but I guess before I met him I hadn’t really felt that ‘rock you to our core’ type of love – And trust me, I loved every second falling in love with him.  

(And I’m in tears) Okay, here we go with the sweet and juicy details.

The proposal happened the eve of Thanksgiving. That day my mind was preoccupied with prepping the house for our guests, attempting some new recipes, finalizing place cards and running a million little errands. So, little did I know Jay had a proposal up his sleeve. I had invited my mom, my aunt and Jay's mother and his grandmother over that afternoon for wine, apps and to help prep the stuffing (really it was just a fun way to get all the ladies together before the big feast). Everyone says you don't see a proposal coming but I honestly didn't think Jay could pull off a surprise. Not that he isn't 100 percent capable, but as a planner, I'm just tough to surprise!

So, the ladies show up that afternoon and we are about half way through the stuffing prep, stories and are being shared back and forth and our doorbell rings. I wasn't excepting anyone, and Jay had mentioned he had a late work meeting, so I went to answer the door assuming it was a late Amazon package… I opened the door, and there he was. Down on one knee. I think we both forgot what was said, but I said YES. Probably the easiest answer I've ever had to give! Jay’s dad was in the wing snapping photos and thanks to our security camera we got it all on tape too! It was amazing, and we got to walk inside and share the news with both our families. As a planner, I couldn't have planned it better or more thoughtfully. 

It made Thanksgiving that much more special. I had been so looking forward to hosting our families and getting everyone together and to throw getting engaged to the man of my dreams on top, it was just amazing. Truly a dream come true.  

So yes, I said yes. We are now engaged, and I hope you all are excited to watch the wedding planning begin 😊

xo, 

Kayla

PS - See the full proposal video on my IG page @kaylacookevents