Monday, March 31, 2014

WeddingMix Giveaway

One of our favorites - Ariane Fisher is back to tell us why she regrets not having video for her own wedding, plus she's giving you all an amazing $100 Video Package Giveaway from her company WeddingMix!
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5 Moments I'm Kicking Myself for Not Getting on Video + A Giveaway

I was lucky to marry my man. It certainly wasn't fated. We were sooooo different when we started dating. Somehow, we made it past the awkward dating phase… past the "aww they're so cute"... past the "when are you two getting married already??"... and finally got engaged.
 

That's where the fun began. Unlike many women, I hadn't been dreaming of my wedding day since the age of 5. I had no grand vision. Backyard barbeque would have been fine by me. Luckily, my man declared, "We will have a huge party on our meager budget. I'll plan it. You make it happen."
 

Our priorities were the killer bar band that would refuse to play any dumb wedding songs, and the top shelf liquor. Between the band, the booze, and our huge guest list, there went most of our wedding budget. So DIY it was.
 

Despite the strict budget, our wedding was an extravaganza to say the least. Yet, there was one crucial detail that was completely left out -- we didn’t have a wedding video.
 

Sure, our guests took pictures of our vows and cake-cutting, but I realized too late that it was the wedding planning details and candid reception moments that actually meant the most to me.  Thinking back now, here are the 5 priceless moments from our wedding that I wish I had caught on video:
 

1. Dress shopping. It was fun. I went with my mom, sister and two best friends. The arguments of who looked worse in the dresses were kinda hysterical. And come on, you have to do the twirl!
 

2. DIYing. While I didn't have a vision for my invitations, I did want them to be unique. So I learned how to print and emboss. We had a glue gun/embossing party. Yes, there was alcohol involved. And glitter everywhere. I'd love to relive my father-in-law sprinkling silver glitter onto purple paper. I'm sure that never happened before or since!
 

3. The Bug-Eyes Oh, the bug-eyes. I had a $500 budget for a wedding dress. What was a girl to do? So, I taught myself to sew and spent the money on top-shelf fabric. I didn't account for the alterations though. My friend, who is a seamstress, gave that to me as a wedding gift. Unfortunately, we didn't take into account that altering the neckline would have unintended consequences. The nineteen yards of fabric (literally) in the skirt portion, weighed down the top, so the alteration made the dress VERY low cut. I never wore low cut outfits. And pre-kids, I was sporting some nice boobage. The very first time my man saw me in the dress was in the church… coming down the aisle. Me and my boobage. And I wish I caught his bug-eyes on video!
 

4. Our Drunk Moms. Our moms are not big drinkers, but who can refuse a live band and Jack Daniels. And what could be more entertaining than drunken moms in a mosh pit???
 

5. Camping Adventure Honeymoon. Lastly, the honeymoon. We did a two week adventure around western Oregon, northern California and a bit of Washington. Skiing, hiking, dune buggies, camping… we did it all. And I have no video of it! I totally wish my man got video of my face plant on a black diamond slope of Mt. Hood.
 

We were so bummed about not getting video that we decided to help everyone else get an affordable wedding video of their favorite moments. You can use our WeddingMix app or rented HD cameras, so that your friends can help film your wedding video - from the proposal all the way through the honeymoon. You even have the option of importing all the photos and videos your friends upload to Instagram!
 

Here's an infographic I created to help you capture those key wedding moments on photo and video. Even if you don't use WeddingMix for your wedding, this graphic is a great cheat-sheet to make your wedding planning easier. 


And to sweeten the pot, we're giving away a $100 WeddingMix package which you can use for a free app package or apply toward a camera package. And every entrant gets a 10% discount coupon for their reservation!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
The Giveaway ends April 13th, so be sure to click and enter at the link above! Wedding Mix is a great and affordable way to make sure all of those moments don't go missed! And to see what else they are up to check them out on Facebook & Twitter!






Thursday, March 27, 2014

Chernaya Bridal House

I Guess I Do is proud to announce the opening of Miami's newest premiere wedding salon - Chernaya Bridal House. Located in the heart of Miami's Design District, among other prestigious stores like Celine and Hermes, sits the perfect new spot for luxury brides. 

Chernaya prides itself on being a destination for brides striving for a more fashion forward and avant-garde look. With name-worthy designers like Zuhair Murad, Elie by Elie Saab, Rafael Cennamo, Sareh Nouri, Suzanne Neville, Tara LaTour, & Elie Youssef, Chernaya is certain to have everything from classic to couture! 

Below are some shots of their launch party with models sporting their designer gowns, along with jewelry by Amoreh, and shoes by one of my personal favorites - Aruna Seth.








So calling on all of my Florida brides and any bride looking for the latest luxury bridal experience, book your appointment at Chernaya online, by phone at 305.576.6000, or by emailing info@chernayabridalhouse.com

And be sure to show them some love and "like" them on Facebook to stay up to date on their latest trunk shows, events, and discounts!



Monday, March 24, 2014

Martine & Chris : Sarelle Photos

Meet Martine & Chris. Not even a little rain could stop them from undoubtedly celebrating having a blast on their big day. While Martine's love for planning may have inspired her to start her own wedding planning company, This Modern Love Events, LLC, She didn't love dealing with the ever-dreaded guest list drama.

Enjoy Martine's I Guess I Do moments in her own words below...

Chris and I got married on May 25, 2013 in Montreal Canada. We are both from the US (he's from Wisconsin, I'm from New York and we both currently live in Connecticut), but we fell in love with Montreal the first time we visited there 4 years ago over our birthday weekend (yes, we both share the exact same birthday of May 10th--we were just born two years apart). 

When we got engaged, we knew we wanted to have a destination wedding because 1) anyone who knows us knows that we LOVE to travel 2) Since his family still lives in Wisconsin, they would have had to travel regardless, so we thought it only fair to make everyone travel and 3) It was the best way to keep our guest list under control since we were mostly paying for the wedding ourselves. We had an incredible turnout though--about 120 guests came from all over (New York, Connecticut, Wisconsin, California, Florida, Oregon, North Carolina, etc.) to celebrate our wedding weekend with us. 



Since we opted to pay for most of the wedding costs ourselves, we had to greatly limit the number of people we invited. I come from a HUGE family and we would have had to invite them all if we had the wedding locally in NYC or CT, so we thought having a destination wedding would get most people to understand that we were trying to have an intimate wedding. 


My I Guess I Do moment came when there was a HUGE amount of drama amongst my side of the family regarding the guest list--I had one cousin get extremely offended that she wasn't invited to the wedding (even though I only see this person once a year and we never talk otherwise). On top of that, I had my dad add in all these last minute people to the guest list (something that caused us to get into a huge argument). I had to explain to him about why we simply couldn't afford to keep adding people to the guest list. This all happened about 3 months before my wedding and prior to that, I was enjoying every moment of wedding planning. I was pretty upset for a week or so, but after making a few concessions for my dad's sake, decided that I wasn't going to let anyone tell me what I HAD to do or who I HAD to invite. We wanted to be surrounded by people who actually loved and cared about us, so we knew we had to stick to our original plan of keeping the guest list in check. 




And in the end, I'm so glad we choose to invite the people we did. It was the most perfect day ever because not only did I get to marry the love of my life, but we had a whole weekend with the friends and family we were closest to. I'm so happy I get to look back on our photos and video and am able to identify each and every person in the room celebrating with us.

Despite the bit of frustration I experienced with the guest list, I found myself still loving all things weddings (after all, I had been a featured blogger on WeddingBee, so I decided to change careers and start planning weddings professionally!) I got my certification through the Association of Bridal Consultants and recently launched my own wedding planning company, This Modern Love Events, LLC.

 Wedding video courtesy of WeddingMix:


Photographer: Sarelle Photos Reception & Ceremony Venue: Hotel Nelligan  Day of Coordinator: Rachel Cripps-Gervais of An English Rose  Officiant: Brother Rolph Fernandes  Baker: Les Glaceurs  Florist: Madame K Floral Designs  Makeup: Katherine Cloutier of Kat & Lea Maquilleurs  Hair: Priska Laurent  Invitations, Menus, Ceremony Programs: Megan Brusca of 1ofAKindCustomDesign  DJ: DJ Yo-C  Ceremony Musicians: Cadenza Strings   DIY Videography: WeddingMix  Wedding Gown: Pronovias Benicarlo Bride's Shoes: Kate Spade
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And if you loved the look of Martine's wedding, she can help you plan & create a style of your own! Check out This Modern Love Events and show her some love on Facebook, Twitter, & Pinterest!








Thursday, March 20, 2014

RSVP Woes

Not until you plan a wedding yourself, do you realize the importance and power of that damn RSVP card. In the past, I would try to send them back in a timely manner, but was never in any rush. Now, I fill it out the day I get it and put it in the mail the next day. Because I now know there is a bride on the other end waiting with baited breath with what that answer will be. 

Our wedding planner wanted to kill us when it came to the guest list. We were trying to squeeze everyone in and make everyone happy, although our venue could only fit a small number of people. Finally she said, "Do you guys realize people are going to have to eat outside if all of these people reply YES?"

So needless to say the process of receiving our RSVP's was full of anxiety, but we tried to have fun with it. We would take turns opening them and would place bets on Yes or No. And I'm not going to lie, when we got some much needed No's and extra room on the guest list, some celebratory dances did take place.

The reason the RSVP process is so hard is because it's completely beyond your control. But below are a few tips that may make your lives a bit easier.   




1. NUMBER THE BACK OF YOUR RSVP CARDS
While it may seem logical that the first thing you do is write your name on the card, believe it or not, some people forget. They'll just mark two for chicken and then you are SOL. 

Number the back of each card and keep a list of which guest corresponds with that card. That way if #5 comes back without a name, you know who the culprit is. 

2. TIMING IS EVERYTHING
It is customary to send out wedding invitations two months prior to the wedding date. I begged our planner to send them out three months before because we had a lot riding on these RSVP's. 

Our church only fit 100 people and we weren't sure if all of our LA friends were going to be able to come to the ceremony, or just the reception. It wasn't until a month before the wedding after we received our final count from family that we were able to invite them to both. 

There wasn't much wiggle room and every seat mattered. But luckily since we sent invites out a bit earlier, we were able to adjust meals and seating before the deadline with the venue.

3. EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
Unlike us geniuses who were trying to squeeze ten pounds of shit in a five pound bag, leave some room in your seating chart for add-ons. People will bring plus ones even if they weren't given one and people may bring their kids even if the invite specifically said otherwise. I even received a text the day before from someone trying to get invited, Aca-Awkward, I know.

To make matters worse, I had a vision of long tables in a "U" around the dance floor for dinner. Yes, it would make for great atmosphere, but sure was one hell of a logistics nightmare. So anytime the number would fluctuate, I would have a slight panic attack and there would be a phone call leaving my planner with a headache.

So take it from us, who lost about five years of our lives due to this process, plan for the worst, hope for the best, and always send back your RSVP's immediately. NO REALLY. AS A PLEA FROM BRIDES AROUND THE WORLD - LIKE REALLY DO THAT. LIKE HARD.


Thanks.



Thursday, March 13, 2014

Stella & Dot Spring 2014

Meg Gulleman's wedding was featured on I Guess I Do, and now she brings you the bridal spring trend report from one of my favorite accessory lines - Stella & Dot. Enjoy!

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My love for Stella & Dot came on fast and strong. Shortly after my wedding in the spring of 2013 I found myself in between full time gigs and bored out of my mind. My days of lounging by the pool soaking up summer sun enjoying that newlywed bliss were great, but after a few weeks of extended vacation I found myself aching for something to do with my time. A quick scroll through my Facebook newsfeed and there it was, a post about Stella & Dot, this fabulous line of boutique style accessories. How had I not heard of this line before? I took a quick peek at their newly launched summer line and I was hooked.

9 months later (no baby here) and I am loving the perk of running my own Stella & Dot business. While it does take a back seat to my full-time medical sales career, it’s become a fun source of extra income and the perfect opportunity to get away a few nights a month for some much needed girl time. Not to mention it’s filled my accessory closet with some AMAZING pieces.

I wish I had been introduced to Stella & Dot prior to my wedding; I could have done so much with these pretties and my bride-to-be wardrobe. But alas, at least now I can share it with you. Here’s a sneak peak at some of my favorite bridal styles along with my Stella & Dot accessory picks. 




 



 












 
Visit and shop my online boutique: www.stelladot.com/megg


Want a chance to win one of my favorite items from the new spring line? Shop online between now and March 30th and be entered to win a pair of our Mallorca Chandeliers. 

Place an order of $100 or more and get a bonus entry. Winner will be announced on my Facebook page so be sure to like it here!



 


Monday, March 10, 2014

Adam & Miyong : Red Couch Photography

Meet Adam & Miyong. Their wedding happens to be one of the chicest and coolest I've ever seen. And as amazing as it looks in photos, apparently it was even better in person. When I asked a guest how it was, the response - "They nailed it. Best wedding ever!"

But even The Best Wedding Ever has it's I Guess I Do moments. Miyong is not only gorgeous, but a great storyteller. Enjoy their entertaining story in her own words below... 

“Oh, that’s interesting.” 

I can’t tell you how many times I heard that response when explaining how my bridesmaids would be wearing their choice of metallic sparkly dress. And if not those actual words, there was at least the quizzical stare back… Yes, my bridesmaids were going to wear sparkles in an outdoor fall wedding. And they were going to look kick-ass. 



I’ve always had a strong aesthetic opinion – I’m that annoying person who walks into a room and starts staring at walls and visually reorganizing everything. I also follow the personal mantra that you should always be true to yourself and stand up for what you believe in. So despite any doubts, when it came to my wedding, I had confidence in my overall vision – but dang did I feel pressure to deliver on it. There ensued my I Guess I Do moments… 

Adam and I met in 2008 when he moved from New Jersey to an apartment across the street here in LA. He was friends with my roommate Lindsey, so we would hang out and go on hikes in that hip part of town called The Friend Zone. Eventually, after I became single and he had confessed his love for me, we started dating. Three years later we were engaged and began planning the biggest party of our lives – a task that brought out some really “fun” parts of our personalities. 

The Ceremony

I think it’s funny that the point of getting married and having a wedding is really rooted in the ceremony, but it always seems to be an afterthought when planning the whole event. Adam and I both grew up Catholic, so it would have made sense for us to be married in a church by a priest. We held out for a while, thinking maybe by a miracle we would meet a priest we shared some fundamental views with and who would marry us outside, off of “holy ground”… but that didn’t happen. A real issue for us was that we felt it would be hypocritical to be married by someone who would not honor that same right for a gay couple. We have too many friends and family we feel should enjoy that experience and can’t, so instead we decided to ask our close friend Tyler to marry us. It wasn’t easy to break the news to my mom who always envisioned her daughter walking down the isle in a church with crosses and the Suffering Jesus. It was also hard for her to understand why we would have a friend and not a religious figure perform such a holy ritual… I asked her to please trust me and after an exhausting amount of arguments, she finally relinquished. 


I felt bad that I was letting my mom’s expectations down, but I knew that only meant we had to really get the alternative right. Adam and I put a lot of thought into how we could make the ceremony unique and meaningful without being obnoxious and realized it just had to reflect US. We asked more of our friends to participate – one to speak on love, one to speak on faith and two more who sang like angels. It ended up being more than we could have dreamed up - 20 minutes of our lives we’ll never forget. Even better, our parents and guests said it was one of the best ceremonies they’d ever been to – the drinks beforehand may have helped, but those were their words, not ours! 

Bridal Party Look

I work at E Entertainment, which grants me access to the style kings and queens of Hollywood - plenty of people to shake me and smack me on the face when I tell them I don’t want anyone in my bridal party to match. I get it – it’s tradition, it’s classic, it’s timeless… but for me, I just wasn’t into the bridal look. Long white dress? Fine. But fully matching bridesmaids and groomsmen just weren’t going to be my thing. I wanted everyone to look amazing and feel beautiful, effortlessly. The only thing is, looking “effortless,” actually requires some effort – especially with the guys. 


Adam was in charge of ordering the guys’ ties, and though my gut was telling me to intervene, I resisted. It was about thirty minutes before pictures were supposed to happen and my bridesmaid Lindsey approached me with a strange expression on her face. The guys were wearing “backup” ties because the ones they were supposed to wear hadn’t arrived yet. She started describing them, but I stopped her when she got to, “duck pattern.” Needless to say, they went tie-less. *

You envision, you put a whole look together, and then something goes wrong. But you know what? It really didn’t matter, because when I see the photos I think everyone looks stunning and happy and that’s all I ever wanted in the end. Sometimes the mistakes add a little bit of charm!

*The ties did end up arriving after the ceremony, if you notice the wardrobe addition. 



DIY  

If you’re someone who has a very specific idea of what you want your wedding to look like, you’re probably also someone who is going to take it into your own hands. When I was a kid, I remember my mom getting a “Do-It-Herself” tool kit as a gift from one of her friends. You see, my mom is someone who takes DIY to an entirely new level – the woman has painted the whole exterior of the house with a paintbrush… TWICE. I’ve taken on a lot of my mom’s DIY attitudes, so of course when it came time to turn my visions into a reality, I rolled up my sleeves and began with the first of many DIY elements – invitations.

DIY Invitations? Welcome to Hell. From the design in Photoshop to the actual printing, cutting and hand painting, I did it all. Here is where you need to have a sense of humor and some friends. I was super upbeat and inspired until I was painting the 75th pocket fold invitation with what now seemed like the mark of the devil AKA our wedding date: 10... 19… 10… 19… Someone kill me. (We had 100 more to go.) On the verge of a long-avoided meltdown, I called my friends Jen and Shannon to come over. They arrived, bottles of wine in tow, and turned the awful task into an outdoor drinking activity – something we were already really good at. It took a few bottles and another week of tricking friends to come over and help out… but we finally mailed them and they looked fabulous. A great reward for the hours of work poured into the mundane task. 


The truth is, I’d take “interesting” over ordinary any day… I don’t think that our wedding was exceptionally alternative, but I think it was different enough that people noticed and felt that it was something special. And things did go wrong (i.e.: the dance floor went MIA, my dad decided to change our Father/Daughter song right before our dance, a few spray paint projects never dried, among other things), but nothing kept us from completing the end goal, which was to marry each other… Interesting or not, everything else was the cherry on top. 

Photographer: Shannon Varis Oberg at Red Couch Photography  Dress: Manu Garcia
Venue - Flying Caballos Ranch  in San Luis Obispo, CA  Flowers: Collaboration with Mollie Garbutt at Say Flower Co.  Catering: Trumpet Vine  Headpiece: Doloris Petunia  Shoes: Rebecca Minkoff  Invitations: Paper Source  Rental Company and Day-of Coordinator:  All About Events






Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Bachelor






I've been an avid Bachelor watcher since the very beginning - Season One with Alex. But I have come to terms with the fact I would never get cast on the show. 

1. You would never see me caught dead in a bathing suit on TV. I wouldn't be the one playing chicken on his shoulders splashing around in the pool. I would be the one wearing a maxi dress cover up drinking margaritas in the corner. 

2. I felt weird calling Kyle my fiance after ten years together. And I'm supposed to do that after three weeks? I have bags of spring mix salad that have sat in my fridge longer than that. 

And after all these years, Kyle has realized that if you can't beat em - join em, and started a Bachelor draft with our friends. I have won two years in a row, but sadly I think my streak is up. This year I decided to pick someone I actually liked (Renee) so I'm out of the running. But Ps. I just saw online that she's engaged to her childhood sweetheart - and in better news, he's hot! Go Renee!

Now the two token hot blondes are left, imagine that. I think he'll go with Claire. Yeah she's batshit but I'll give it to her - she has some nicely groomed eyebrows. I find myself staring at them and thinking about how I haven't gotten mine waxed in months, only to have to rewind and watch that part all over again.

Either way, I'm sure the finale on Monday will undoubtedly be the MOST CONTROVERSIAL FINALE IN BACHELOR HISTORY.

Right.






Sunday, March 2, 2014

Oscar Best & Worst Dressed

Overall, I thought everyone on the Oscar carpet looked nice - and no real crazy hot messes. I thought Ellen did a great job at keeping that snooze of a show upbeat, and I am thrilled that Mathew and Jared won. If you haven't seen Dallas Buyers Club, please do so. It's phenomenal.

Below are my picks for Best & Worst Dressed of this year's Oscars.

Best Dressed: Kate Hudson in Atelier Versace Spring 2014. I'll have what she's having. She has been turning it out lately and is looking better than ever. Everything from her skin to her dress is glowing. Love!

Best Dressed Runner-Up: Matthew McConaughey in Dolce & Gabbana and Camila Alves in Gabriela Cadena were definitely the Best Dressed couple of the night. That is a picture of a classic Hollywood at its finest.

Worst Dressed: Liza Minnelli - A blue satin jumpsuit will never do anybody any good. And did my niece talk you into putting those colored highlights in your hair? She tried it on me at Christmas, but I didn't cave.

Worst Dressed Runner-Up: Margot Robbie in Saint Laurent. You still looked stunning, but I barely recognized you. You were one of my best dressed at the Golden Globes and I had such high hopes for you. With that severe hair color and makeup, in your case, I think blondes do have more fun.