I Guess I Do

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Bridal Fashion Week

Bridal Fashion Week Spring 2014 continued with the industry's heavy hitters - Vera Wang, Monique Lhuillier, and Oscar de la Renta

Vera Wang played with color once again. Last year she used both black and tan organza, which I thought was edgy and I actually liked it. This year she did the black and white trend that was huge at Fashion Week this past September. Sorry Vera, but I'm not a fan. They may work for the runway, but I just can't envision these dresses walking down an aisle. 

Monique Lhuillier had lots of sixties inspired mod dresses along with her signature lace and organza ball gowns. Overall I liked the collection, especially for brides looking to elope or who are looking for shorter dress options. 

Last is Oscar de la Renta who played with pale colors. He used blue and pink hues mixed with Ivory organza. I'm always a fan of color as long as it doesn't distract from the bride herself - which is why I think I dislike Vera Wang's collection this spring. 

What do you think Un-Brides - Would you don any of these dresses on your day?

Monday, April 22, 2013

Bridal Fashion Week

Bridal Fashion Week Spring 2014 was held in New York this weekend with Marchesa & Temperley London kicking it all off. Marchesa's designs ranged from whimsical A-Lines to asymmetrical sheaths. Marchesa is now taking the peplum craze to the bridal world, which I think is a cool trend for the coming year. Temperley London is known for their simplistic flowing gowns that would be great picks for rustic or beach weddings. Kate Middleton is a huge fan of their line. 

I love seeing fashion week looks, not because I can afford them, but to see what trends will become mainstream by next year. Pick out some styles you like and other more affordable designers will be sure follow suit. I loved a Pnina Tornai gown and found an Enzoani gown with same shape for a third of the price. Don't obsess about the label, obsess about the fit. 

Below are some looks from the Marchesa and Temperley shows. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

To Video Or Not To Video - That Is The Question

So when it comes to weddings, a photographer is always a given, but not everyone decides to have their wedding captured on video. It's often an option that is desired, but not high on the priority list and is likely to get cut when the budget gets tight. But it's the video that captures the details that would otherwise be forgotten in photographs.

Working in the television industry, I knew that hiring a videographer was going to be important to me. Kyle and I looked at it as if we were buying a gift for ourselves. While it may have stretched our budget at the time, we knew it would be worth it in the end. 

But also working in the television industry, I knew I was going to be picky. My matron of honor's sister, a photographer for BCBG, came across Full Frame Digital Cinema out of Nashville. I fell in love with their work and modern feel. I looked at many other videographers in the Los Angeles area, but in the end it always came back to Full Frame.

Jeffrey, Dave, & Matt did an amazing job at capturing every detail and making us look classy (for a wedding that lasted until 2am - that was going to be a large feat).  Below is their Same Day Edit they did for our wedding. Enjoy!

I would highly recommend having a video made of your wedding. Every bride I talk to wishes they would have had something shot and edited together. If you don't have room in the budget, be sure to have a friend shoot the ceremony and reception. You can easily edit your own footage in iMovie.  

You will be thanking yourselves in the years to come.

Monday, April 15, 2013


9/11, Columbine, Sandy Hook...time after time I find myself glued to the TV, watching hour after hour of coverage - always being left with the same feeling - numb.

No matter how long I watch, I can never seem to wrap my head around the tragedies that we have come to know all too well. Always so many people talking, but there is nothing to say. 

Throughout the nation, we may feel helpless, but maybe it takes situations like these for us to pick up the phone and call to say 'I love you.' We don't say it enough, but it's days like these that remind us how important those three little words can be.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Mackenzie & Eric : Denash Photography

Meet Mackenzie & Eric. What I love more than anything else about this wedding is that there is no doubt in my mind everyone had an absolute blast that weekend - which is what a wedding should be all about. Looking through these pictures made me wish I was on the beach having a drink with them! Their I Guess I Do moments include a flower letdown and a music mishap. Enjoy Mackenzie's story in her own words below.

My husband, Eric, and I met on St. Patrick’s Day in 2005. It was our freshman year at Ohio State. We fell in love over a game of flip cup and the rest is history. I had never pictured myself in a big, puffy wedding dress. In fact, I had never pictured myself in any wedding dress. Many of my friends have secret wedding Pinterest boards. Some are even labeled “Party Ideas” to disguise the fact that they’re planning their future wedding. Kudos to them, but that was just not me. The only detail I was adamant about was the location. When I was 13, my parents took my sister and I on a vacation to the Dominican Republic. I fell in love with the country. Its glistening waters, white-sand beaches and lush landscape had me sold. By the end of the week, my 13-year-old self had declared to my parents, “I am getting married here.”

Fast forward thirteen years: I was engaged to the love of my life but every time someone asked me about flowers, dresses or linen colors, I was repulsed. Eric and I discussed the idea of a destination wedding and he eagerly agreed. We knew we’d get some pushback because the idea was so unique, but I just could not partake in a traditional wedding.

After countless hours of research, we decided to get married in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Their high weather season falls in late winter/early spring. St. Patrick’s Day was the only day of significance in that range. Oh, it falls on a Saturday? Done.

I very bravely chose an all-inclusive resort to host our wedding without ever doing on onsite visit. Upon arrival, I could not have been more thrilled. The grounds were beautiful, the weather was perfect, the water was warm and the drinks were flowing. The resort was better than I could have dreamed. Forty-six of our very closest friends and family joined us in Punta Cana for our wedding celebration. Our guests’ arrivals were staggered throughout the week so we set up shop near the pool each day to greet them. Each time a new couple arrived, excitement washed over me. This is real. They are here for us. We are getting married in paradise!
We spent the week eating fresh seafood, drinking cerveza cón limón, lying under thatched roof umbrellas on the beach and dancing at the pool bar.

I Guess I Do Moment #1: The day before the wedding, my sister and one of my bridesmaids set up what would fondly be remembered as “The Wedding Olympics”. We played various silly games on the beach. Some games centered on items we found at the resort and most included alcohol. One game involved putting a coconut in a pair of pantyhose and tying them around the waist. The object of the game was to move a beach ball from Point A to Point B, using only the coconut. This involved a lot of questionable movement in the hip area. My mother-in-law started for our team. She was having a lot of trouble directing the beach ball and somehow hit herself in the head as the coconut swung through her legs. She ran out of the game as blood gushed down her forehead. Let me remind you, this is twenty-four hours before the wedding and my mother-in-law (who I love dearly and hope is okay but will also be in a lot of pictures) just hit herself in the head with a freaking coconut. Luckily, the cut ended up being fairly small and she was feeling okay otherwise.

I Guess I Do Moment #2: Weddings at all-inclusive resorts are designed to be turn-key. I loved the limited choices on flowers, linens and cakes flavors, but I did have one requirement: no daisies. The morning of the wedding, the bouquets showed up. They were beautiful, they were colorful, but they were mostly daisies. I ALMOST lost my cool until my sister reminded me that I did not care about wedding flowers.

I Guess I Do Moment #3: Our reception dinner was held in a BEAUTIFUL open-air steakhouse on the beach. I spent hours putting together the perfect dinner playlist of beachy songs. Unfortunately, there was a misunderstanding (or bad Spanish to English translation on my part) because we were in fact NOT allowed to play our own music during dinner. If you've ever been to an all-inclusive, you'll remember that most restaurants are themed by country. In the Dominican, Steakhouse = American, so we enjoyed our wedding dinner to the tunes of '90s country (think Billy Ray Cyrus' Achy Breaky Heart, George Strait and Garth Brooks). My husband and I started laughing each time a new song came on. Several of our guests commented on our "interesting" dinner mix. I will never hear Achy Breaky heart again without thinking of that night.

I Guess I Do Moment #4: I’d like to think I was ahead of this trend. A couple of years ago, I sat down with a glass of wine to watch Disney’s ‘Tangled’ (yes, I’m a Disney dork). In the movie, Rapunzel’s parents release floating lanterns every day on her birthday, in hopes of her return. I immediately fell in love with the idea of floating lanterns at our wedding. This was pre-Ashley Hebert’s season of the Bachelorette, pre-Nick Lachey’s wedding, pre-every other show and wedding in the past two years. I searched endlessly until I found floating lanterns that were bio-degradable and wouldn’t kill every fish in the Caribbean Sea upon landing. I had it all planned out: we would release the lanterns on the beach, and then move straight into our first dance. Halfway through dinner, I turned around to see our sweet wedding coordinator (bless her heart), attempting a test lantern. She was gripping the lantern with all her might but it pulled ferociously in the wrong direction before eventually catching fire. Winds were coming off the water at 40mph, straight towards the palm-studded resort. Our wedding coordinator returned, apologizing profusely. We would not be able to release the lanterns.

Would I do it again? In a heartbeat. We felt like we were living in small Caribbean town with forty-six of our favorite people. Regardless of the time, we could walk out of our beachside bungalow and run into the smiling faces of our closest friends and family. One of the biggest pros to having a destination wedding is having all week to talk to guests. I didn’t feel pressured to talk to every single person during our reception dinner. Whether it was over fresh mangos at breakfast, lobsters at lunch, while sipping (or chugging) beers at the tiki hut, or over shots of mamajuana on Beebe Island (our own private area of the lobby bar); I can honestly say that I had quality conversation with every single person at our wedding.

One of my favorite memories of the entire trip happened right before the ceremony. We finished pictures early, so we went to the tiki hut on the beach. As we waited for the Dominican judge to show up (we’re on island time, right?), my bridesmaids and I ordered Presidente beer and hotdogs for a pre-wedding snack. There I was, sitting by the sea in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Waves crashed behind us as we drank beer and enjoyed each others’ company. As I looked around the table at my five closest friends, I was euphoric. How many brides are this relaxed minutes before their wedding? My bet is, not many.

As the judge pronounced us man and wife, we kissed and heard champagne bottles popping in the background. Michael Franti’s ‘Say Hey’ blasted through the salty air and perfectly reflected the tone of the entire week. As my husband and I danced up the aisle, champagne glasses in hand, I knew we made the right decision.

My advice to future brides:
1. You can’t please everyone, so make yourselves happy. This wedding is about you and your future husband.
2. There is a certain amount of stress that comes a few weeks before the wedding, regardless of how laid-back you try to be. Something will probably go wrong. Think of it as a great story instead of a great tragedy. At the end of the day, you will be married to your best friend so relax and enjoy it!


Dress: Maggie Sottero  Photographer: Jeff Borts of Denash Photography  Venue, Flowers & Cake: Iberostar Resort, Punta Cana, Domincan Republic

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The ironic thing about wedding vows is that while being the most important aspect of your wedding, they are often the most overlooked. With all of the hustle and bustle of everything else going on, it's easy to put them on the back burner.

Kyle and I chose to write our own vows. We figured over half of the country had broken the traditional ones, so why not give it a shot? It sounded like a good idea at the time, but when the week before the wedding rolled around and neither of us had written them, we started to wonder what we had gotten ourselves into.

It's tough because you have so much to say and only a couple of sentences to say it. You want it to be the perfect mix of sentimental and sincere, but staring at a blank piece of paper can be daunting.

That's where Emmy nominated and Humanitas Award winning screenwriter Karen Leigh Hopkins comes into play. Karen is most known for her work in movies 'Stepmom' and 'Because I Said So.'  She is now taking her work from on-screen romantic comedies to real life romances with The Wow Vow - a personal vow writing service.

With The Wow Vow, Karen aids you in writing your own wedding vows from beginning to end, and guides you through the process of articulating your thoughts onto paper. Most importantly, her job is to help you say what you mean and mean you say and give attention to an aspect of the wedding that is most worthy of it.

To book your first free consultation email info@thewow-vow.com. And as an added bonus to all of my Un-Brides, mention I Guess I Do and receive an Exclusive $100 Discount.

For further details and information visit www.thewow-vow.com

Monday, April 1, 2013

Be Our Guest

If you're anything like me, you spend more time worrying about what you're going to wear to a wedding rather than worrying about that plane ticket you should have bought months ago.

Picking out a dress as a guest can be just as tricky as picking out your own wedding gown. You want your dress to fit the occasion and not stand out too much as to distract from the bride. You also want to stay the hell away from white. Don't tell yourself it's cream, anything in the vicinity of white is sure to get some stank eyes coming your way.

And don't forget you'll be dancing - well you should be at least. So try to remember comfort. I always suck in my stomach in the dressing room mirror forgetting that in order mimic this look, I would have to suck it in and not breathe the entire night. And let's be honest there's no way that's going to happen when there's wedding cake involved. 

And lastly the sweat test. Most of my weddings are back in the humid Ohio weather which I always seem to forget and trust me this girl sweats. Last summer, despite my double Spanx, I still had a major case of swamp ass. I tried to discretely have Kyle block me, but that plan went array when he got drunk and he started pointing and yelling "Swamp Thing." Cute. 

Below are some looks on my radar for wedding season. I think the first look (minus the hat) could work for a spring wedding, the second for a cocktail attire wedding, and the third is a chic choice for a beach wedding. I paired them with some accessories for a little more color and edge.  Enjoy!