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WEDDING

STYLE, WEDDING

BACHELORETTE OUTFITS & WEEKEND RECAP

I am back and so excited to share what can only be known as the greatest bachelorette party weekend everrrrr! It was an epic adventure from Dallas to Austin and back with my best girlfriends, and culminated in the sweetest bridal shower hosted by my aunt. I spent weeks leading up to the trip shopping for and planning the perfect outfits for each activity of the weekend. Seriously, y’all should have seen the detailed list I had going. So without further a-do, below are highlights of my bachelorette outfits and weekend events. Hope this gives you some inspiration if you are currently planning your own or your bestie’s bachelorette party!

Cactus Top: Vici | Cactus Shorts: Vici | Clutch: Elaine Turner | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban | Necklace: A. Marie Jewelry (old)

Our first day in town was spent driving from Dallas to Austin, which of course meant a lengthy pit stop in Waco at the Magnolia Silos was a MUST (and if you don’t know about the Magnolia Silos, just turn on HGTV and you’ll figure it out pretty quickly). We thought the Silos might be a little quieter on Thursday afternoon than on a weekend, but they were just as bustling as you’d imagine! We strolled through their massive home goods store and, by some miracle from God, I exercised self control and walked out of there with only a “TEXAS FOREVER” t-shirt in hand. Then we grabbed lunch from one of the many food trucks they have parked on site, and sat at a large picnic table, chatting with other tourists who, like us, had gone out of their way to visit Magnolia in Waco. I’m glad to know I’m not the only “Chip and JoJo” nut out there! Last on our list before continuing on to Austin was to wait in line at the Silos Bakery for one of Joanna’s delicious creations. Inside, the bakery was decorated as cute as you’d imagine, and picking just one cupcake from the hundreds on display was nearly impossible. In the end, I selected a lavender lemon cupcake with lemon buttercream and it was nothing short of HEAVENLY.

Romper: Vici (blue here, yellow here) | Heels: Nordstrom | Clutch: Gigi New York | Earrings: SUGARFIX by BaubleBar for Target

When we arrived in Austin, we checked into the Driskill Hotel which is just dripping with old world Texas charm and located in the middle of the action on the infamous 6th Street (because you can’t go to Austin for a bachelorette party without hitting 6th street!). We spent the evening bar hopping on 6th, as well as hitting newer hot spots on Rainey Street where we danced the night away to some epic cover bands. On this particular night, my MOH had arranged for all the girls to wear black and I donned this adorable white romper with my “Bride” pin and pop-of-yellow heels.

Romper: Elison Rd. (similar here) | Wedges: BC Footwear | Sunglasses: Ray-Ban | Necklace: Gorjana | Hand Chain: Jacquie Aiche

All day Friday was spent floating the San Marcos river with ATXcursions. We could not have asked for a more beautiful day to float and ATXcursions made the whole trip so easy and stress free. We just showed up to their offices in our bikinis with a case of beers and they literally took care of the rest – transportation, tubes, ice chests, lockers, etc. – we didn’t have to worry about anything except making lots of new friends on the river!

After the river float, with crispy skin from the sun, I threw on this romper and our plans for the evening included something I was very unsure about, but turned out to be one of the most fun & memorable parts of the trip – going to see Esther’s Follies Comedy Show! We had read 5-star reviews ahead of time that described the comedy show as a musical, so I had no idea what to expect and I was feeling so hesitant. A musical comedy show??? How weird… But it was HILARIOUS. We walked out of there with sore cheeks and minds blown (oh yeah, there was also magic). If you are in Austin, I highly recommend you make time to catch a show!

 photos: Paisley Lane Photography Dress: BB Dakota (on sale!) | Heels: Nordstrom

Finally, Saturday was spent packing up, grabbing one last delicious meal in Austin and heading back to Dallas for my bridal shower on Sunday. The shower was absolute perfection down to the last detail. So many wonderful ladies from all stages of my life came to celebrate and we had a grand ole time sipping bellinis, eating brunch, playing games, opening presents, and taking lots of silly pictures in the photo booth my aunt had set up. I felt strange not wearing white (since I’m the Bride, HELLO), but because our wedding colors are peach and yellow, I just couldn’t resist wearing this perfect peach lace dress that still had a bridal air about it.

All in all it was a jam-packed, fabulous weekend! If you are thinking about visiting Austin (or Waco), go!! And I hope I’ve given you plenty to do when you get there!

STYLE, WEDDING

BACHELORETTE PARTY INSPIRATION

Photo via Etsy.com/Preparewear

My bachelorette party is next weekend y’all!! I am so excited to have a few days off from work, spend time with all my best girlfriends, and perhaps get a little rowdy in the city of AUSTIN! My amazing MOH created a fabulous bachelorette party itinerary chock full o’ brunch, queso (Welcome back to my life, Tex Mex!), river floats, bike tours, comedy shows, and of course nights out at the bars on 6th Street. Naturally I have been feverishly pinning outfit ideas, shopping my brains out and starting my loooong packing list to make sure I am perfectly prepared outfit-wise for the weekend. Since I am not the only one prepping for bachelorette party season, I wanted to share some of my inspirations, whether you are the bride-to-be or an attendee, for the cutest bachelorette outfits for parties anywhere from Vegas or Miami to Palm Springs or Austin!

BRIDE WHITE OUT

1. Lovers + Friends | 2. Socialite | 3. Lovers + Friends | 4. ASTR

If you are the bride-to-be, then white is OF COURSE going to be a priority for your bachelorette ensembles for at least one, if not more, of the nights you spend out. I love when the bridesmaids all coordinate one night in a solid color like black or pink and the bride is in white. It makes for adorable photos and highlights the bride in a way that doesn’t have to involve embarrassing boas, sashes, crowns or novelty jewelry items. This is one of those times when you as a bride get to rock white, so I say embrace it!

WATERSIDE

Photo via Nesting Project

1. Tularosa | 2. Triangl | 3. Show Me Your Mumu | 4. Target

Hey – it’s Spring and the weather is pretty much summer-like in most parts of the country already, so odds are that your bachelorette party will revolve somewhat around a body of water. Whether it be the beach in Cancun, a pool in Palm Springs, floatin’ down the river in Austin, or on a boat in gorgeous Lake Tahoe, you need to have several cute swimwear options for your trip! Bonus if you have custom tanks or sunnies made to wear with your suit that include the theme, destination, and/or hashtag for the bride/wedding! Don’t forget to apply your sunscreen to protect that gorgeous skin and avoid funky tan lines.

DAY TIME

1 Vici Collection | 2. Free People | 3. O’Neill | 4. Vici Collection

While you may spend a lot of time by the water during your bachelorette party, don’t forget about all the other activities you’ll likely partake in during the day. Perhaps some shopping, maybe wine tasting, and definitely brunching! An colorful patterned dress or romper is perfect for your day time activities.

NIGHT OUT

1. Vici Collection | 2. Bardot | 3. Cupcakes & Cashmere | 4. Endless Rose

And last but definitely not least are your night out outfits! Hello, it’s a bachelorette party! Of course you’re going to have a few nights out on the town, and even if you’re keeping it more low key, there’s no reason to not dress up a little! It’s you and your girls and let’s be honest, we all know your girls nights happen wayyyy too infrequently now that we are “adults,” so be flirty and fancy and fabulous for a few nights for goodness sakes!

I could seriously put together inspirations for days and days! There are so many cute things out for spring and summer, it’s so hard to narrow down what I like best. For even more bachelorette party ideas and outfit inspirations, check out my dedicated Pinterest board! I can’t wait to share an outfit post with all of my bachelorette party looks!

STYLE, WEDDING

WHAT TO WEAR FOR ENGAGEMENT PHOTOS


Calling all my engaged couples (and future engaged couples who just don’t know it yet)! I am so so excited to be sharing some tips with you today on what the heck to wear for your engagement photos. This may seem like a trivial thing to worry about, but I am here to tell you that some well-thought out outfits can make your pictures look surprisingly effortless and that much more cohesive and beautiful (I mean your faces will obviously make them lovely no matter what). As someone who loves photography AND who is a bride-to-be, I’m happy to be imparting some wisdom from both sides of the lens. So without further ado, here are my tips for picking stellar outfits for your engagement session.

“Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.” – Rachel Zoe

1. Pick clothes that say who you are as a couple!
Are you a fancy couple, typically in suits and dresses? Are you more casual, rocking tshirts and jeans on the regular? What clothing items really say who you are as a couple? After all, when you are wearing something that feels natural to you, you will look natural in your photos! When I started thinking about what my fiancé and I would wear for our engagement photos, the first thing that came to mind was my cowboy boots. I am originally from Texas and both of us love wearing our cowboy boots to country concerts (we met at a Tim McGraw concert), so this immediately became an important item for us to work around in our photos.

2. Consider the setting
If you’re shooting in a grassy area, wearing green will make you blend right in. Or if you have your heart set on a beach location, boots or sneakers are just going to look out of place. I mean that’s just common sense right? In my case, I had my heart set on cowboys boots AND a beach location, but those two things obviously don’t go together. Thank goodness for our fabulous photographer Emma Hopp who knew the perfect location where we could shoot in a landscape setting on a cliff (in my boots!), then change outfits and head down some steps to the beach in more beach-appropriate outfit.

3. Avoid white (most of the time)
Ladies, I know it’s really tempting to gravitate toward white when you’re doing anything wedding related (bachelorette, engagement party, bridal shower, etc.) because HELLO you’re finally the bride! But white will completely wash you out no matter your skin color. Because photos are all about light, especially if you are shooting outside, solid white items tend to overexpose and make that part of you look like a solid white blob. A guy who wears a solid white button up is almost certainly going to look heavier than he is and his arms will likely blend into his torso. We can all agree that adding pounds is NOT the goal. The exception? Whites with patterns and texture. I had a beautiful white dress I wore for the beach portion of our session and the only reason it worked is because the top half had lots of embroidery and the bottom half was textured with dots and slightly sheer with beige liner underneath. Nothing about it was solid stark white and it turned out beautifully if I do say so myself!

4. Don’t be matchy-matchy, but DO be complementary
Please oh PLEASE don’t recreate one of those awkward family photos where you are your fiancé(e) are wearing the exact same thing…and undoubtedly blending into each other as a result.  What I find to be the best combination for couples is one pattern and one solid. For example, if one of you likes wearing plaid, the other should wear a solid top/dress that complements one of the colors in the plaid pattern. In our case, I found a beautiful floral patterned shirt (similar here and here) to go with my cowboy boots, so then my fiancé (when I say my fiancé I really mean me, let’s be honest here) pulled from the blue color in my patterned shirt and chose to wear a chambray button up (similar here and here).

5. Keep outfits changes to a minimum
Most photographers only allot a certain amount of time for your engagement session, usually 1.5 to 2 hours. And some photographers even limit how many outfit/location changes you can have. Why? It takes time away from what you’re there to do…take photos! Personally, I do prefer one outfit change just so you have a little variety (and in our case I wanted a quick location change too…more on that in a minute), but sometimes just one perfectly chosen ensemble is all you need! I would certainly not recommend more than one outfit change if you can help it.

 6. Don’t forget the details!
And finally, don’t forget all the little details that go along with your outfit choice…makeup, hair, nails, location, and props! If you want to dress fancier, perhaps include props like glasses of champagne and pick a location that would make sense with your attire and bubbly. I wanted a beach location but we also wanted to include my fiancé’s motorcycle with my cowboy boot look, so that meant finding a second location more appropriate for our “prop”, his bike. I’ve also seen couples include things like balloons or their pets and this is a great opportunity to use your prop to complement the colors you’re wearing. And ladies, this should be a no brainer, but don’t forget to get your makeup and nails done with consideration for the colors in your outfit choice(s). And remember that your makeup should be a little heavier than usual to show up in the photos, but you should of course look a way that makes you feel comfortable and like yourself!

I hope these tips help inspire you and give you good ideas to work off of! No matter what, have fun and be YOU as a couple. You may end up using these photos for years to come as Save-The-Dates, Christmas cards, or photos you have framed around your home or office, so you want them to be an expression of your true selves. Congratulations!

All photos: Emma Hopp Photography

WEDDING

MY PRE-WEDDING SKIN CARE ROUTINE


fresh Toner | Clinique Moisturizer | Origins Mask | Glamglow Mask

With my wedding less than 5 months away, I have officially deemed this year “My Year of Great Skin.” I have never been one of those people to give my skin the love it deserves and as I’ve gotten older it has really started to show. No, I’m not going to be dramatic and claim that I’ve already developed wrinkles in my late 20s. However, my pores have gotten larger, my skin turns red with the slightest irritation or dryness, and while it used to be okay to fall asleep one night or two without taking my makeup off, I now immediately pay for it the next morning with new breakouts forming. So once the clock struck 2017, I began researching good skin care products to keep my skin in top shape leading up to the wedding and beyond. Below are 4 products I currently have on repeat as part of my wedding skin care routine, and I cannot tell you how many compliments I’ve been getting from friends and strangers alike on how great my skin looks!

fresh Umbrian Clay Purifying Facial Toner
Use: 2x daily
This is the first thing I put on my face every morning, and the first thing I apply after washing my face at night. Shake well first (the clay separates and settles to the bottom) and use just a few dabs on a cotton pad. While I don’t feel it has completely delivered on its promise to minimize the appearance of pores, it does wonders to soothe my skin and give it a nice matte finish. This 7oz. bottle lasts approx. 6 months.

Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel
Use: 2x daily
Once my toner has soaked into my skin and dried for about a minute, I immediately follow it up with this moisturizer. I love it because it’s a gel that’s extremely quick drying and doesn’t leave your face feeling greasy. It’s also made for combination or oily skin (I am definitely the latter!), so I feel like it works wonders to hydrate my skin and control my oil production. Just one dime-sized pump is all you need! It usually lasts me at least 6 months and even comes in a travel size so you can keep up your routine on trips.

Origins Original Skin Mask
Use: 1-2x weekly
This is the gentlest mask that leaves your skin feeling baby soft! The rose clay has such a pleasant smell and doesn’t cause any harsh tingling, redness or drying out like more potent masks out there. I keep this by my bathtub and usually use it once a week after I’ve taken a relaxing bubble bath and washed my face. I use about a nickle sized amount to spread a thin layer over my face, let it dry for 10 minutes, then wet my hands and gently massage it off. I’m currently going on 9 months with the same bottle (but I am getting close to running out).

Glamglow Supermud Mask
Use: 1x weekly and as needed for spot treatment
This is a much more powerful mask. A thin layer is all you need and you can immediately feel it start to tingle. But once it starts to dry, you can see all the little holes where it is vacuuming out your blackheads and you just know you can kiss future breakouts goodbye! I use it once a week either on my t-zone or as a spot treatment if I notice a breakout coming on. Otherwise, I have no major need to put it on my entire face. I really love the Glamglow line and can’t wait to try some of their other products. The 1.7oz pot should last you at least 4 – 6 months.

Aside from these products, staying hydrated, eating well (my diet is mostly paleo!) and getting rest are ESSENTIAL to keep breakouts and unwanted fine lines at bay. It is so easy to get stressed and lose sleep during the wedding process. I’ve found that making it a point to focus on ME and my overall health is truly what’s keeping me so even-keeled leading up to the big day.

Do you have any skin care products you swear by? I would love to hear what you recommend to keep your skin looking flawless!

STYLE, WEDDING

WILL YOU BE MY…?

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We are 10 months away from the big day today! There’s still lots of time left, but since we’ve been engaged for 8 months now, I was getting antsy to get my bride squad locked down. Let’s be honest, I’ve known exactly who they were going to be for YEARS now (and probably vice versa). There are so many cute ways to ask your best girls to be your bridesmaids these days and I knew I wanted to do something special. So I turned to Pinterest to put together some inspiration for building a “Will you be my bridesmaid?” box to send each girl that would be uniquely me.

Firstly, I needed a card to ask the actual question. For the other gifts I included, I decided to have a sort of spa theme to the box. I found adorable heart-shaped bath bombs with dried flowers that just scream bridal. I also wanted to include something handmade in Nashville, where the wedding will be, so my mom found delicious-smelling candles that perfectly fit among the other items in the box. And what’s a spa day without a fresh manicure? I turned to Essie’s Wedding Collection and found “Steal His Name,” a shade of pale peach that gives a nod to one of our wedding colors (scored them for cheap on eBay!). Finally, no bridesmaid box would be complete without a mini bottle of bubbly. I opted for a sparkling rosé that complemented the peach color palette and finished the look with personalized gold bottle labels.

As far as assembling the boxes, I took one of each item to the craft store and found plain, brown boxes that everything nestled perfectly in. I selected ivory tulle as filling/padding inside of the boxes. I also found gold polka-dotted bags to place the bath bombs in to keep them from crumbling in the box. And finally, I picked out a spools of lace to tie around the outside of each box. They looked sweet and rustic and gave off the exact feeling I want the wedding to have.

The girls loved them and they all said YES! Mission Accomplished.

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Champagne labels: Etsy | Bath bombs: Lush | Nail polish: Essie ‘Steal His Name’ | Candles: Sweet Tea Candle Co. | Cards (not pictured): Etsy

STYLE, WEDDING

WHITE DRESSES

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Oh my gosh, y’all. This is the day every girl dreams of. I have seen probably every single episode of Say Yes to the Dress and Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta, picturing what my day would be like when it was finally my turn. And I have to tell you, it came and went in the blink of an eye.

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I already knew there were a handful of designers I loved and wanted to be able to try on. Actually, if I’m being completely honest, there was one dress in particular that I have been drooling over for years. Yes, YEARS. I found a little boutique in Nashville called White Dresses that carried the designers I liked and immediately called to snag an appointment. A sweet girl with an even sweeter southern drawl set me up with an appointment and casually mentioned that if there were a specific dress I wanted to try on, to let her know and they would contact the designer to have the sample sent in. UH YES PLEASE. I told her the style number (which I embarrassingly know by heart) and she said they’d have it in for me to try on. My excitement went through the roof!

On the day of the appointment, I woke up early to get a little work out in and get myself beautified. Because if you don’t look good and feel good, how are you going to be able to envision your beautiful self in a wedding dress?

It was just me, my mom and my aunt attending the appointment and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Just two women who are very important to me and not a whole bunch of conflicting opinions (that’s one thing I have to thank Say Yes to the Dress for teaching me). When we arrived the two girls who own the shop let us in and locked the door behind us. They only accept 1 bride at a time in their store, so we were their complete focus for the next 2 hours. Brides, I strongly recommend finding a boutique like this. I wasn’t fighting other brides to try on something they had in their dressing room. Any dress in the store was fair game (aside from budget constraints). It made the experience so personal. I had their complete attention, no distractions. And did I mention they were the sweetest girls ever? That was the cherry on top.

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They had my requested dress ready to go, but I decided to try on 5 or so other styles first so as to not cloud my judgment. There were some stunning dresses. Man, it really made the decision hard. In the end, it was the one I had been dreaming about for so long that won my heart. Even though the sample was old, dirty, flat, a little tattered (remember, this dress has been around for years), it was the sweet, romantic, elegant dress I had always imagined. You’ll have to wait until the big day to see it, but I promise IT’S GOOD.

To sum up, my advice for you brides-to-be when it comes to trying on wedding dresses is 1) Keep your entourage small, 2) Find a boutique that takes only one appointment at a time (and make sure you MAKE an appointment), 3) Keep an open mind, and most importantly 4) Savor the moment! Even though we still have a year ahead of us before our wedding, the planning process feels like it’s already flying by. I mean I already have a dress!! Who does that? Enjoy this exciting time and soak it all in!!

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I said “Yes” to the dress!