Sunday, June 1, 2014

Countdown to the Big Day: A Groom's Timeline

Image courtesy of June Bug Weddings

It's not difficult to find a checklist for brides counting down to the Big Day. You have that under control, but you may be getting a little tired of answering the same questions from your groom. Here, I've put together a checklist/timeline for your groom so he can be prepared and not have to run to you when he doesn't know what's next (or be so graciously reminded by yourself). So, send him the link to this page in your loving emails to one another, and let him read on... 

So! You've proposed... nicely done, and Congratulations! ("finally" her mother will have said), but you can't sit back and relax now, you've got some things to do still. Even if your adoring bride is handling the planning, there are still some details that she can't take on.

Image courtesy of Mike Arick
You've given her the most beautiful and cherished piece of jewelry she'll ever wear, and now she's in a frenzy of planning, asking your opinions on things you might not have one on. Even if you couldn't be bothered, it's important that you listen, weigh in on decisions, and always be on her side. 

Image courtesy of OnceWed
1 year before. Choose your groomsmen and choose wisely. These are the few men who are standing up with you on one of the most important days of your life. Discuss with your fiancee how many you both want in the wedding party and try to keep things symmetrical. If this can't be done, don't go overboard on one side, but I'm sure your single brother Mike won't mind escorting two lovely ladies down the aisle. Choosing your Best Man cautiously is vital; he'll be planning your bachelor party, coordinating groomsmen, holding your bride's wedding band, and giving a toast at the reception. And, unless you've got serious family issues, your brothers and your fiancee's brothers should be included - friends come and go, but family is forever. 

Image courtesy of WeddingGiftsDirect
9 months before. Register for stuff. Choose what you want to stock your new home with, and do it together. A variety of price points is also a must for your guests. Keep in mind that people will choose couples gifts over ones suited for one or the other - like a blender vs. a year subscription to XBOX (trust me, I've seen it). These are wedding gifts, not stuff-I-want-but-don't-want-to-pay-for-so-someone-else-buy-it-for-me gifts. 

Image courtesy of ABCnews if you can believe it
8 months before. Start getting fit. No one's asking you to be able to run a marathon one your wedding day, but you might want to start developing better eating and exercise habits right about now. This thumb weight pictured above should do the trick. 

6-7 months before. Choose your wedding getup. Find a suit or tux you love (and probably get it approved), and find a tailor you trust - check out review resources like the wedding specific WeddingWire. You'll also want to give your groomsmen plenty of time to get their suits or tuxes. Trust that at least one of them will wait until the last minute, so keep on top of them. If your groomsmen are getting their attire at the same place, you may want to designate your Best Man to be the pick-up artist a few days before the wedding, and drop-off dude afterwards. 

4 months before. Plan your honeymoon! This one is pretty straight forward. 

2 months before. Write your vows. Writer's block is real. There are things you want to say to your bride, but waiting until the last minute may leave you blank. 

find these here
find this here
1 month before. Buy groomsmen gifts. Get a little something for your guys to thank them for standing up with you on your wedding day. A quick search on Etsy yields hundreds of ideas, from handmade to recycled to things you didn't even think of. Try engraved flasks, initialed toiletry bags, personalized bottle openers, beer mugs, or cuff links to wear at your wedding. 

1 week before. Pick up your tux. Make a day of it. Go with your groomsmen to ensure proper fit, then hit the gold course or batting cages afterwards. Your bride will appreciate not having to worry about your wedding attire two days before your walk down the aisle. Get a haircut, too. Never, ever get your hair cut the day before a big event. trust.

After the wedding. Write your Thank You notes. Not optional. It's easier if you do this right after the wedding, and trust me - your guests notice when they are long overdue, or don't arrive at all. 

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Five Tips to Lessen Stress While Planning a Wedding

While caught up in the whirlwind of planning a wedding, it is easy to forget to take time for yourself. Suddenly, in addition to responsibilities at work and at home, you find yourself faced with coordinating dates, contacting vendors, setting appointments and making decisions at every turn--it’s exhausting!

A truly radiant bride starts inside: do whatever it is that makes you feel restored. Stress is nearly impossible to avoid, but incorporating the tips below can help alleviate some of the extra tension you may be feeling during this exciting (and crazy busy) time.

Drink enough water. Every system in your body depends on water and even mild dehydration can leave you feeling tired and drained. Getting at least eight 8-oz glasses per day is a good rule of thumb. I read somewhere (maybe on webmd, but more likely buzzfeed) that drinking a very cold glass of water when you're feeling a bit tired can actually help perk you up! 

Sleep well. Seven to eight hours are generally recommended and not making your Zzzz’s a priority (always over Yyyy's in my book) can have negative effects your health, memory, and overall mood. Create a bedtime ritual and make sure your bedroom is quiet and comfortable to ensure the best rest. 

Get up and move. Even regular, moderate-intensity exercise can help boost energy, improve your mood, reduce your risk of serious health conditions, and increase your chances of living longer. Make it fun, find a partner in crime, or try a pursuit new to you to incorporate more motion into your day. Trust me, I'm not saying you should be a crossfit trainer by your wedding day, but a nice walk in the evening after dinner is really quite a nice way to get on the move. Plus, if you want to take your future hubby along, it's a nice way to unwind without technology and just be with each other. Ooo, segway... 

Unplug and unwind. With the vast amount of wedding inspiration available to brides via the internet, feeling overwhelmed is all too common. Instead of investing hours scrolling through Pinterest night after night, filling up board after board, pick a new recipe to make with your main squeeze and log off. The time you spend experimenting and working together to make a meal can help connect and center the two of you--it might just become a new family tradition!

Live Luxe. We think you’re wonderful every day, but while you’re planning a wedding, you ought to feel extra fabulous. Treat yourself to a massage, indulge in a new piece of statement jewelry, or splurge on the nicer bottle of wine just because; spoiling yourself a little falls under the umbrella of self-care in our book and goshdarnit, you deserve it! 

Whether your wedding is fast-approaching or still far away, your engagement can be a happy, crazy, busy, exciting, hectic, frenzied time. Taking care of yourself should be a priority everyday, but it is especially important leading up to your wedding. To (mis)quote Audrey Hepburn, "Happy brides are the prettiest brides". Remember to slow down and celebrate this exhilarating time because The Big Day will be here before you know it!

by Annastasia Gabbert

Follow Anna on Pinterest 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

What They Wore: Our Favorite Looks From The Met Gala 2014

Happily, there never seems to be a a lack of events in Hollywood and New York for us to Ooo and Aah over. Last weekend the Hollywood Elite (and a few C-listers tbh) got dolled up in their finery to hobble down the red carpet and get their photos taken at the annual Met Gala. This year's theme is "Charles James: Beyond Fashion", and if you aren't familiar with that name, you can read more about "America's First Couturier" here

Here I have compiled a collection of my favorite gowns from the red carpet. 

Designer Jason Wu with Dakota Johnson
Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
Here's another, just because.

Dakota Johnson
Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images
Eveningwear in Navy seems to exude class. Add some volume to the skirt right at the hip, some train action, and a sparkly delicate top and you've got a winning combination. I'm thinking do this in Ivory or Blush and I'll get married in it. 

Unlucky-in-love-but-can-sure-write-a-song-about-it Taylor Swift
Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
Blush pink is definitely her color, but probably so is red, blue, green, yellow, brown, well... anything really. I love the feminine scoop of the neckline and the way this silhouette flatters her 6 foot frame... not to mention the beautiful bow in the back and the train. Beaded and embroidered satin silk organza never hurt anyone, except my heart knowing this gown will never fit me! Here's a close up of the embroidery and beadwork...

Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
Model Liu Wen
Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
The peaks at the neckline conjure up memories of a certain Vivian Westwood dress in a certain Sex and the City movie, which I loved then and still do now. Charles James (for whom this Met Gala is themed) was known for his highly structured aesthetic, so it's no surprise that many of these dresses offer a bit of 3D interest and excellent pattern cutting and construction. 

Emmy Rossum
Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
I was surprised I liked this look so much if I'm honest, but canary yellow and purple go so well together here (not just in my garden). While the silhouette is a bit Snoozefest2014, this print elevates it to the next level. 

Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds
Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
These two look as happy and in love as ever standing next to each other in nude and navy, sparkles and velvet, peas in pod. 

Model Arizona Muse
Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images
Let me just say this. If I could wear something like this every day doing everyday things, I would. This reminds me of the costume presentation scene in To Catch a Thief (worth watching just for that!... and Cary Grant), but without all the sparkles and masks. 

Favorite cheerleader Hayden Panettiere
Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images
A rather huge, yet subtle floral print on a silk taffeta pink and purple ball gown makes me happy. Wedding dress, perhaps? 

Charlize Theron
Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images
Charlize doing her thing in black and white with red carpet all over. I love the draped jacket over her shoulders for real, but I'm not sold on the ear cuff. 

Model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
This unexpected little number made it to the top of my list. Balmain-esque (maybe it is) piecing and hardware makes me a little jealous I don't have a leather jacket anymore. There's a lot going on here; gold metal, leopard printed calfhair, black leather, belt thing. Simple makeup and hair really was the ticket to pulling this off. Could have lost the earrings? 

Designer Olivier Theyskens and Felicity Jones
Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images
Standard tux. Gorgeous dress. The piecing of the satin gives this gown a ton of visual interest without going over the top. Feminine sweetheart neckline with a bit of a bustle at the back and a sweep train make this the winning black number from the evening. 

Janelle Monae
Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images
Capes are coming, watch out. While at Bridal Market this year we started to see little hints of them around the bridal and accessory booths. The shoes however, have got to go... with a different outfit.

Cobie Smulders
Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
Simple ivory, low-cut, sheath silhouette, figure hugging top... then BOOM. Can't get enough of gold leaf right now. That reminds me - I need to go to the craft store and get some gold leaf for the side table I'm refinishing like this (post about that later).

Isabelle Huppert and Naomi Watts
Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images
Sequins, beads, petals, paillettes, feathers, scales, illusion neckline, tulle, silk... just throw it all together and you'll get this incredible duo. Okay, maybe there aren't any feathers or scales, but it looks like it. I adore this menswear-inspired-but-keepin-it-ladylike suit covered in sequins (or beads), and Naomi went a little wild with her dare I say Black-Swan-meets-Bjork-Swan? 

Tell me what you think! Did I miss anyone? Did I get one of these wrong?

Let me know below, I'd love to hear your opinion...

xxoo Suz

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Making Your Own Brass Himmeli Decor Objects

I've been obsessed with these geometrical 3D brass himmeli objects for a while now (at least since I was searching for unique Christmas gifts last year). 

I have since made a few of my own, and I'll show you how below.



from HRUSKAA's Etsy listing here

They are super versatile and as long as you have some patience, you can play around with shapes and design.

Reasons to love:
- can be used to house air plants
- look cool mounted on the wall
- make several smaller ones to use as ornaments (wreath, mantle, christmas tree, holiday table, etc)
- build around a bottle or small planter for decor or gifts
- quick and easy build!

My versions...

Icosahedron (20 sided)
Icosahedron around a vintage Chambord bottle found at a local thrift store
using aluminum rods instead of brass
a few different styles and sizes

To create you own, you will need the following:
ruler from college, box cutter from the olden days
1. Several metal rods of your desired color tubing, found at your local hobby store (I found mine at HobbyLobby, but have since found them cheaper here). I used 3/32" wide tubing, but feel free to play around. I suggest not going any smaller as it becomes difficult to wire together.
2. Ruler
3. Pencil
4. Cutting mat or board (I used a small one from the kitchen)
5. Box cutter or razor blade (I wasn't going with a single razor blade, surely I would've ended up in the hospital)
6. Wire thread (I found mine at HobbyLobby as well, but you can use regular sewing thread with a beading needle, too) 

Step One: 
Measure the tubes to the desired length of each side of your shape. For the larger shape (icosahedron), I measured each to 3", which creates an object that is 6" wide. You will need 30 pieces for the shape above.

Step Two:
Using your cutting surface, use your box cutter to "roll" the tube back and forth, creating a score in the metal. Keep rolling and applying pressure until it snaps off (I didn't get a photo of this, boo!). be careful!

Step Three:
Once you have your desired amount of pieces, you can begin to put them together using your beading wire. If you're doing the 20-sided one, you will work with all triangle shapes. Keep adding tubes to your shape by re-threading others and make your way around the structure (silly me didn't get a photo of this, either. Cutting myself some slack though, this is my first DIY post).

from Martha Stewart crafts department, and yes, you can use any hollow tube
you can find! Coordinate for a wedding with those darling paper straws, perhaps?
Step Three: Part Two:
I found that the structure wasn't as sturdy as I wanted it to be, so I re-wired each one again. This made it nearly unmovable (thumbs up!). If you're making many of these (say, for wedding decor), you might skip this step. 

Step Four: 
Enjoy these babies wherever. Mine is currently atop a few coffee table books in my living room.

If you want to get crazy, hunt for some cool vintage bottles or little planters and build your shape around them. You don't have to worry about placing your item inside until attaching the last few tubes. The one I created around the vintage Chambord bottle (pictured above) is now one of three holding fresh flower stems on my dining room table.

For a housewarming gift (someone move somewhere!), I will create a more intricate one surrounding a lovely bottle of vino (yum) to be kept as a keepsake. I will post that as soon as I can.

Have fun with this... and post your creations below! 

Susan @ SimplyLuxeBridal