The Storm before the Calm

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As I drive home this morning from the Fiance’s house, I see the sun rising ahead just in the distance over my truck hood. It’s quiet and at 6 am in the morning people are barely out, even out here in the country. It reminds me of the quietness that life can bring, and it makes me thankful that I am here on this Earth existing even if only long enough to see one more sunrise. These past 2 months have taken a very interesting and life changing turn. I knew I had to write this morning because I have been feeling it in my very bones. I needed to pen the craziness that has been life lately. I need to share the pandemonium in case someone else out there was experiencing something similar. I feel like since the eclipse the world has just been in a giant state of unrest. Our very Earth is revolting against us as a human race. Devastating loss has been felt on a global level. Floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, helicopter crashes…..it’s enough to make one stay in bed and hide all day. I have had SO MUCH change in my life in the past few months that there have been some days where I just don’t know if I can do it anymore. A beloved friend even said she was starting to wonder if I am cursed. I choose not to believe that though. I think these trials have been an extreme lesson in patience….something that I am lacking in. I think if I can just hang on a little bit longer and have faith in the process that something will turn around. And it always does. It just may not be on my timing.

Ok enough of the serious chit chat. Where have I been for so long and what have  I been doing in my life??? Well, I left my long time career in business management. I took a 30 day sabbatical and just basically disconnected from the world around me. My fiance did the same and we spent that entire time spending every single day together, cooking, shopping, travelling, and just loving life together. It was truly the best experience of my life. I have no regrets and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Sure there were financial struggles along the way with both of us not working but everything worked itself out and I can honestly say it was an eye opening experience for the both of us. I am embarking a new career in insurance and I take my state exams later this week. I  learned that my mom’s side of the family is actually Scottish and not Irish like everybody thought so I have been doing a lot of research on that. My beloved and I are building a house together and we have actually moved our wedding up a year to ensure that we are legally married for this insane house adventure. Isn’t she pretty????? LOVE!

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It has only been a month and it has sure been a rollercoaster already. House is slated to be finished early next May so we are super excited and cannot wait! But back to the wedding stuff. We have changed our wedding plans so many times (hey I am not-so traditional after all!). We had finally settled on the idea of getting married in Miami just the two of us on a sailboat. Less than a month after we booked these plans, Hurricane Irma decided to rip up the coast and hit Florida. It is making landfall there as I type this actually. It was kind of a wake up call for us and we decided that we would get married here at home with just a few friends and family. So in about 6 weeks from now we will be getting married early in the morning one sunny Fall Saturday on the very property where our house will stand. We are truly starting this venture from the foundation up. While we are very excited about our non-traditional outdoor handfasting, moving the date up a year has created some serious stress! My tulle skirt is not finished yet and I am still playing around with the complete wedding day look. We don’t have time to order the wedding bands we want from Hawaii made from Koa wood (fiance’s family hails from Hawaii), so we will be getting tattoos on our wedding day. I will be getting one on my ring finger and since DF already has tattoos on his fingers he will be getting a wedding cuff, or bracelet, tattooed on his left wrist. As much as I love tattoos I have to admit I don’t actually have one yet. So this will be the first ink for me. Couldn’t think of a better time to do than on my wedding day right? I’m thinking of having something like this pictured here. For some reason I love the simplicity of this. I’m not complicated and I think this gets the point across perfectly! Still playing around with the ideas though. Image result for girl wedding ring tattoos    Our wedding schedule will basically look like this……everyone will arrive at the site early that morning. I am doing my own hair and makeup and my son will be riding with me to the property. We already had our photographer lined up and one of my dear friends makes cakes professionally so she is doing an awesome red and black gothic lace cake for us. We will have a traditional handfasting with our guests watching in front of a backdrop of hay bales with fall mums and pumpkins on the very soil where the house is being built upon. After the ceremony we thought about smashing pumpkins. Kind of like the whole glass breaking tradition but with a twist since we are big time Halloween aficionados. We will then celebrate our nuptials with cake and champagne. Or fall cider. Not sure yet which we will decide on. I thought about doing Mead from a local meadery that we have here but to be honest mead knocks me on my ass. I clearly have no viking blood in my veins! After the ceremony my son has an all day band competition to attend and we will head out to get our tattoos. That evening we will be staying in a swanky city hotel and eating at an extremely over priced Italian restaurant. We will retire with a great bottle of wine or maybe just go see a movie. We’re playing it super casual and I couldn’t be happier about that actually. I’m not much for pomp and circumstance. The less attention, the better!!!!!

So in a nutshell this has been my life for the past few months. Crazy busy with a side of change. Hopefully even with the career change and the new house venture I will be able to post the next 6 weeks updates about the wedding. Granted it won’t be anything spectacular but it will be sweet and meaningful to us. And in the end that’s all that really matters anyway.

Have a great Sunday! ………..Gigi

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What a busy Summer! I’ve been away too long

profile picHello all my lovelies out there in Bridal land. I digress that I haven’t written a post in a very long time. Shame on me! But I have a very valid reason. My fiance and I both quit our day jobs and took a 30 day fitness sabbatical. That’s right….we both totally stopped working. And basically stopped everything to concentrate on ourselves and our health. So for the past 30 days my little marital minions I have been hitting the gym 6 days a week. What! Gigi you must be crazy. Like a fox I always say! But there is method to my madness so hear me out. I have a very tiny dress to fit into next October peeps. Granted it is not the traditional wedding dress (of course not. This is ME we are talking about here). But it has a very tiny and a very defined waist. 50’s style, swing skirt, flaming red and absolutely gorgeous! Now don’t worry….I’ll post pics when the time is near and when I can actually get the thing zipped up. Because apparently when I ordered a medium they thought I meant in children’s. Ahem.

I have travelled a bit. Done some neat things with my son’s marching band. Got to hear NKOTB (don’t judge….I was working the concert to raise money for the kids band account. I didn’t purchase a ticket or anything. Now Breaking Benjamin would have been another story but anyway…). Got to play with like 140 baby goats at Prodigal Farms kid day (see the adorable pic of me goat whispering on the right there. I was wearing my Not-so Traditional Bride shirt but you can’t see a good shot of the front. Bummer). Goat I started another blog. Yes that’s right…..I am cheating on NSTB for a little while. I am moving away from doing real time weddings and more towards online wedding support and wedding blogging. I do after all have the coolest wedding blog online but who’s telling? So if you know anyone who is stuck with a wedding question or who just needs a few badass ideas then tell them to hit me up. I am always lurking in some dark corner of the internet (and it usually involves Halloween weddings). I mean come on… I am getting married next year on a Sunday before Halloween. A girl’s gotta dream ya know?

 

For those Brides looking for a bit of fit, check out my new blog……Gym Girl Gigi (still on WordPress of course). While it’s not the snarkiness you enjoy here on NSTB, I do have some great recipes and fit tips to help everyone create your best version of you. And of course there is a lot of humor involved. I mean come on….what did you expect???? I will eventually post videos for that blog on Youtube (my channel is Gym Girl Gigi as well). If only I could combine my love for weddings and fitness???? Oh wait… I am. I am becoming a fit coach. Starting this fall, I will be teaching a Bridal Bootcamp in my area. I can’t promise you the best workout of your life but I can promise that there will be an occasional beer involved. Or hard cider for those of us gluten intolerant gals.

That’s enough for the check in for the moment. Please don’t get discouraged. I promise the light at the end of the blog tunnel is near. I will be blogging normal as usual now that the craziness here has died down a little. It took me awhile and some soul searching to come to my decision to phase out what I call “live weddings” but I think it is neccessary. I have developed a very devoted audience both here and on my Twitter (@ NotsoBride) that I would like to continue to cultivate. I’m still that girl out here kicking ass and taking names in the bridal world. I just needed a little time to breathe and figure out what direction I needed my passion to go. So expect more of my hilarious humor, my odd bridal musings, and my crazy wedding ideas. Afterall, someone has to up the coolness factor in the bridal world. Why not me? 🙂

 

Cheers!    Gigi

The real reason why you want to get married (and it shouldn’t be your wedding).

marketA few weeks ago I sat in Big Ed’s eating breakfast with DF in our favorite spot by the window indulging in a gut busting omelet when a flurry of happenings began going on across the street at Market Hall, one of Raleigh’s wedding venues. Deejay’s rentals were moving in event equipment and I have to admit I was less fascinated with my omelet and more interested in the two vans that had rolled up chock full of wedding paraphernalia. It appeared that they were having a Sunday wedding (my favorite of course) and at 11 am on this overcast day the whole family was here to set up. I couldn’t tell if the bride or groom was a part of the set up mob but everyone started unloading buckets of florals, handmade cakes, decorated pallet wood, and all sorts of other fun wedding necessities. I got really excited of course because I love anything that has to do with weddings. It made me want to rush right over and help which of course I couldn’t because DF wouldn’t be too keen on that since I hadn’t had a real day off in weeks. Not to mention we were taking the Viking out for an all day ride since the rain was holding out. I left willingly without much pouting but it did get the wheels in my little brain turning. Just as to how different the wedding industry has become even in the last 10 years. How more couples of being financially responsible about their wedding choices and budget when it comes to their big day. I say good for them! There needed to be a major shift. The focus needs to be in the marriage, the couple, and the relationship…not on the price tag of their wedding. A $500 wedding can be just as meaningful as a $500,000 wedding. Lose the hype. Don’t fall prey to the glitz and glamour. Hear me when I say this…..You do not need to be rich to have a nice wedding.

Why am I saying this you may think? Gigi aren’t you a wedding planner? Doesn’t your bread and butter come from the wedding business? Well yes it does but I truly believe that there are alternative ways to do things when it comes to a wedding. No one says….oh you are a financially struggling couple trying to pay off your bills and you want a nice wedding but it’s totally okay that you don’t break the bank to do it. The wedding industry pushes dresses that cost over $10,000 and engagement rings that cost twice that. Sure it’s nice but is it necessary? No. Think of it this way…who are you trying to impress here? It isn’t yourself. I would go tomorrow to the Justice of the Peace and marry DF and have no issue with it at all. Because I am not doing it just to have a wedding. I am doing it to spend my life with the man I love. No other reason than that.

afd8d0c4c43f0d028e56f526c0318796--disney-pumpkin-cinderella-pumpkinOur own wedding has been changed and then changed again. Finally I think we have found a place that will work for what we are wanting. It will be less than 25 people, low key, and in this awesome rustic cabin complete with wood paneled walls and a stone fireplace. I simply love it. But even without the cute little cabin, and the guests, and the fall decorations….I would still marry DF anyway. I am marrying my best friend. That’s all that matters. I wish the wedding industry would put more emphasis on the marriage and not just the wedding. There are a lot of disillusioned brides out there that just want to get married to have the fairytale. Well my friends, the fairytale isn’t real. Things just don’t just magically fall into place when you say you I do’s. It’s hard work. It’s sacrifice. It’s dedication…to yourselves and your marriage. The wedding is just a big event for one day only. Your marriage will last a lifetime. Concentrate on the details of your relationship far more than the details of your wedding. Things don’t have to be perfect. I promise no one will notice if your Aunt’s homemade wedding cake has a slight lean to it. The guests will all eat it anyway. No one will remember the forgotten guest favors or the fact that some of the blues in the wedding flowers don’t match each other perfectly. What does matter is your love and commitment to each other!

Hope this post is given you a little food for thought so to speak. It all boils down to this…if  your fiancé lost his/her job tomorrow and you were flat broke and could not have a big wedding…. would you still marry them? If the answer isn’t a 100% yes then you need to do some serious thinking my friend. Simple as that. Not to be Debbie Downer but don’t rush into a mistake if your heart just isn’t in it.

Everyone have a safe and happy 4th!

Cheers!   Gigi

Crazy, fun ideas to try out for your wedding day

Manicure1Guess who’s getting married? ME! And that means I am a bride just like you. I love reading all of the new bridal mags every month to seek out more wedding inspiration. The one thing I love the most is when they feature new bridal trends. Anything wacky or off the wall and I’m down (although I haven’t jumped on board with the unicorn trend yet. That one I just don’t get).  From crazy bouquet ideas to shimmery glitter wedding day nails, I love it all. I found some really neat trends I would like to share with you Brides just in case you see something that you would like to try at your own wedding. There are two that I am going to do at my own wedding next October. Can you guess which 2?

 

  • Crazy nails. Who doesn’t love some funky nails for a wedding day??? Long gone are the traditional French tips. Color and design are in. Whether you choose a professional manicure at a salon or choose to have your bestie put on some Jamberry nails for you to rock….the options are endless for today’s bride! 

     

 

  • Colored hair. More and more brides are optioning for stand out hair color on their wedding day? Why not? Paying with color is fun! If you aren’t down to commit to a total mane overhaul then consider temporary color or even colored hair clip ins. You’re hair dresser will thank you (not really). 

     

 

  • Teepee reception. This concept is fairly new to the wedding scene but one I love. I think have either your ceremony or reception in a teepee is a totally fabulous eco experience. They come in different sizes and several event companies have now started renting them for weddings. Think you can pull this awesomeness off? Btw I love the bottom look so so much! 

     

     

     

  • Non-floral bouquets. More and more brides are choosing NOT to use flowers in their weddings? WHY??? Because let’s face it….flowers are freaking expensive. Not to mention the thought of those beautiful cut flowers just waiting to die off after the event. If you want a perfect way to remember your wedding day then consider a bouquet that has nothing to do with flowers at all. That way you can display it’s loveliness Forevah and Evah (play on the Priest from The Princess Bride there folks for your enjoyment). The most popular options are broach, shell, and paper bouquets.

 

 

  • Fairy hair. For those brides who have just a little bit of the Netherworld in them this might just be the look to try. Fairy hair is basically stands of color fused to your own hair. It’s pretty, sparkly, and will make any raccoon insanely jealous. Hint of color peaking through your hair on your wedding day is totally unexpected and yet amazing. It’s not permanent so you can have it removed after the wedding.

 

 

 

  • Henna. I’m not going to lie….Henna gets me excited as shit. I freaking love the way Henna looks on a bride. It looks so elegant and yet exotic. It’s kinda a big deal…meaning you have to have it tested first to make sure you don’t have a reaction. Then you have to have the Henna applied several days before the wedding to make sure it “takes”. You definitely don’t want dye bleeding onto your dress from a hasty Henna job! Find a reputable person that has been doing Henna for awhile. Don’t just pick some chick off Craigslist. Because once you put it on it can take weeks to come off. You want to make sure it is done correctly the first time.

 

 

  • Floating wedding reception. Why have one reception when you can have several? If you have ever heard of a floating bridal or baby shower then you know what I am talking about. Going from house to house of different hosts to get a different experience at each. If you have some really awesome friends (or even better, decent family), consider having them be a host for your floating reception. That way you have fond memories of your wedding day celebrating at the homes of people you love!

 

  • Trash the Dress. Most of you have already heard of this by now but if you haven’t it’s definitely not for the faint of heart. So the story goes that you will only get married this one time in this one dress. Why would you ever keep it or give it away when you can trash the dress (destroy it) thereby ensuring a long and happy marriage. Pretty cool concept with wicked looking photos!

 

 

  • Couples boudoir shoots. Who says the two of you can’t have fun before, during, and after the wedding day? Boudoir shoots with both the bride and groom are a great way to represent their individuality and sexiness. These are pics you will keep forever people. What can be better than taking pics with your man while you are strapped into a sexy as hell corset with 6 inch heels? Now that’s making memories folks!

 

 

I hope I have given you a tad bit of inspiration. Weddings don’t have to be traditional and boring. Makes your unique!

So I’ve cheated.

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Bet that headline got your attention! Good. Because I have a confession to make. I have been cheating you all. I have been cheating myself and more importantly I have cheated my family. At this point you must be confused. Let me explain.

I’ve been two-timing my business. You see…..I have only been on my own for about 2 years. I used to be an event planner for a venue hall where I worked with a team. Don’t get me wrong….I loved it but I always felt like I was missing out on the big picture. Like there was something more. From the time I was about 8 years old I have always wanted to run my own business. I grew up watching my grandfather, grandmother, and father all own their own ventures. I just knew that when I grew up I would have my own someday too. It was always a question of timing though….it never seemed right. I tried to get things off the ground but previous obligations always held me back from achieving my full potential. This past year was a huge wake up call for me. I had a cancer scare which threw my whole outlook on life into a giant tail spin. I experienced an unusually high amount of loss. Just as I thought the black cloud above me was about to pass I was yet again faced with some other insurmountable issue. It was enough to make the best of us crack. So knowing myself and how I process information, I decided to see a certified life coach to get some insight as to what I was doing wrong. Her perspective was life changing. I highly recommend getting an outside opinion when you are faced with strife that you just can’t shake. In a nutshell she told me that I was cheating. Cheating my business. Cheating my family. And cheating myself out of a life long dream. How was I cheating? I was continuing to work at a job that didn’t serve me any longer just to make sure the bills got paid. It was a never ending cycle and vicious loop of being constantly mentally drained and physically exhausted. The plan was to continue my employment until the Holidays before I could make a clean break and start the New Year all on my own. Needless to say, I didn’t make it that long. My blog started to suffer. My twitter became quiet. My overall excitement was dimming. My office orchid almost died because I never had the time to actually go to my office that I was now paying rent on. I never seemed to have time for anything anymore and I was just burnt out. So I had to make some hard choices. Continue what I was doing to pay the bills and let my fledgling business suffer or say enough is enough and branch out on my own. Is it a stupid idea? Yep. I have no financial safety net. My plan was to save up at least 6 months of living expenses before I went free falling into the no job netherworld. I have not gotten the chance to do that so I am basically starting this adventure on what limited savings I have and the whims of my fabulous fiancé. Point blank….I cannot fail. Not because I am so afraid to lose everything I have worked so hard for. I have done that before and started over completely twice. That I can handle. I can’t fail because I will be disappointing myself and doing a huge disservice to all of the Brides out there that need me. I can do cool things. I can take nothing and turn it into something amazing. I can beat the heck out of a budget to exhaust every single last penny to make sure my couple gets exactly what they want. I can negotiate with the best of them. I have so many neat ideas and tricks that my feet hit the ground in the morning and the first thing on my mind is ….How can I save my Bride some money today? It sounds ridiculous and in reality it is. But this is my drug. It’s my high. It’s what I live for. So no more cheating. Period. I do this all the way or not at all. I have so much to give my couples. And I have so much to give myself. I have worked for years to create a little, happy, artistic bubble for myself. I daydream about this. The day I walk out. The last time I punch in. The day I start supporting myself off the sweat of my own brow. The moment I start investing in me. I am way too smart to be busting my ass for someone that doesn’t appreciate or care about my talents. Boss gets a dollar while I get a dime. I don’t think so. Not anymore. Exactly two weeks from now I become my own boss. Permanently.

No more cheating.

Cheers!     Gigi

 

 

 

Can’t find the right dress??? Then just make it!

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Okay I admit….I hate clothes shopping. The process of getting undressed and redressed about a million times just annoys the crap out of me. So you can imagine how much I enjoy wedding dress shopping. For my brides, I love it. For myself, I do not. I would rather stick my head in a bucket and just not deal. Which is how I came to the ultimate decision of making my own dress. Yes I know…..it’s a crazy idea. Which fits in with me perfectly. Let’s be honest….to be a wedding planner you have to be a little off in the head. You also have to be a creative genius and extremely organized but that’s neither here nor there for the purposes of this blog post. Is making your wedding dress for everyone? Oh gosh no! If the very thought of crocheting a potholder gives you the cold sweats then this just ain’t your bag baby. And that’s ok. Not everyone wants to run from fabric store to fabric store obsessing over tulle and French lace. That is why wedding dress designers get paychecks my lovelies.

How does one go about the process of creating her very own, one-of-a-kind, super special wedding dress? Easy. Lots of Tequila, too much Pinterest, no social life, and a burning desire to be an overachiever. All kidding aside, as with anything you have to have a plan. And then a back up plan in case your original plan tanks (as most of you know by now I am the Queen of back up plans). Making your own dress isn’t for the faint of heart. Its grueling, exhausting, and more often than not creates a lot of fear and doubt about this wild and crazy decision you have made. Have no reservations! If thousands of bad ass chicks on YouTube can do it then so can you right???? Ha!

The plan of attack should be something like this…..head down to your local bookstore, drink some coffee (a lot of coffee), browse through the latest bridal mags, and get a good solid idea of how you want your wedding dress to look. This may take some time to finally figure out so don’t get discouraged! Consider the styling. Do you want something traditional that you would see in a bridal salon or something off the wall and unique like a dress you would see featured in Offbeat Bride? Once you have a clear understanding of the direction you want to go, you can make a collage of images you like and begin constructing some sort of pattern for how you want your dress to look. Take my advice and go look at wedding dresses. Only to check out their construction. Look at the sewing, the seams, the lace, everything it would take to recreate that very same dress. Still undaunted? Good.  Then you can proceed to Phase 2, or what I call the are-you-sure-you-want-to-spend-this-much-on-lace phase. Making your own dress can be as cheap or as expensive as you want. Come up with a reasonable budget and stick to it. Otherwise the glittery buttons and pretty ribbon may just blow that budget right out of the wedding water! It will help you out a lot to watch about a gazillion wedding dress tutorials on the internet, check out assorted sewing books, and scour dress blogs for tips of the trade. Anything that can make your dress making as painless and stress free as possible! But trust me…..there will be stress. Its your wedding day! And you are making your own dress. Of course you want to get everything right! It’s a process. I have been working on just my skirt for 4 months now and I am not even finished yet! This is the look I am going for below. I am debating adding some nude colored tulle in for effect (I just adore the two toned look). Since it will be the end of October when we get married I will also wear either a lace sleeved bolero or a little hand knitted shrug to keep me warm. We are getting married outside after all.

 

Try to keep your design as simple as possible. If you have never sewed before doing something ultra blingy and fancy probably is not your best option. You could also find an existing dress and repurpose it. Take for example the steampunk bride below from Offbeat Bride. She totally remade an existing dress and added an old parachute to it and dyed it to create her perfect vision of the dress she wanted to wear on the big day. It turned out hella awesome!

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If you can’t sew well or don’t have a big grand vision then you can always use a hand me down dress or buy one that’s used and redesign it. Take this dip dye job to an existing dress below. I just love this look!

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Or you could take the inspo from this bride who actually crocheted her own wedding dress while riding the bus every day. I think it turned out stunning! I wish I was this talented. I can barely make a pot holder LOL!

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You don’t have to be Martha Stewart to come up with some pretty cool ideas. That is what Pinterest is for sweetheart! Have a cram session and Pin or print idea some ideas that appeal to you. Then watch just enough YouTube videos about making your own dress to be dangerous and you should be good to go! Just don’t be like me and go crazy in the craft store. It’s so easy to do I tell ya!

Keep it simple, keep it fun, and create the right dress for you. After all, you only wear it for one day. Don’t stress too much if a seam is crooked or the lace hangs a little low. I promise people will be more impressed with the fact that you created your own dress than the lack of double stitching on your hem.

Happy dress creating!      Gigi

Eloping…what it means for modern Brides.

elopingEloping. Brings up thoughts of just the two of you running off into the sunset doesn’t it? Eloping can means many things to many people. To me it brings up an image of a private and quiet ceremony with just the two of you professing your love. To some people it means a destination wedding or an impulsive trip to Vegas. Whatever the word “elopement” means to you please understand that it can be a beautiful thing. There is nothing better than just the two of you exchanging your vows (and nothing more budget friendly either). Big weddings aren’t for everyone. If the thought of a buffet table or a dance floor makes you all cringey then perhaps you and your beau should consider an elopement. Contrary to the popular belief that an elopement is just the two of you, there are actually options for say less than 10 people to witness your happy nuptials. Many of the smaller venues offer elopement packages. But first we are jumping the gun here. Let’s talk about the different types of Elopements.

  • Just run away and get married. This is your typical Vegas style shotgun marriage. No one knows about it ahead of time and its just the two of you. Often this may be a impulsive spur of the moment wedding. Guaranteed to piss off a few family members! Also guaranteed to save a lot of money and be a lot of fun for the couple. That air of excitement can be intoxicating! An officiant usually presides over the nuptials instead of a pastor or priest. There may or may not be a small reception or celebration to follow. Notification of your vow exchange is usually sent out after the blessed event takes place. Cute post cards can be super helpful for this. Check out Vistaprints selection. http://www.vistaprint.com

 

  • Planned Elopement, just a few bystanders. This kind of elopement is usually planned with little to no guests in attendance. It can take place anywhere really….a private garden, a quiet little B&B, a friend’s backyard. There may or may not be traditional wedding attire worn. Anyone able and willing (and legal) can officiate and typically there is a small celebration to follow. Invitations may or may not be sent and a standard email or a wedding website will work nicely to notify guests.

 

  • Destination Elopement. Couples may often opt for a wedding and a honeymoon at the same time. A quiet ceremony on the beach can be just what the doctor ordered for a couple looking for some privacy with some exotic flavor. Why not say your vows on a beach in the Virgin Islands or on top of a windswept mountain in Iceland? While sometimes difficult to plan because of the remoteness, a travel agent should be able to help you with all of your needs. And if they can’t….they can find the right people who can. Consider wedding & trip insurance as well as a back up plan. You know…..just in case there is a hurricane or a blizzard.

 

  • Mini Wedding  (aka Elopement 2.0). Having less than 20 guests can still qualify as an Elopement. This is for the couples who want most of the jazz of having a wedding without all of the cost, planning, and hassle. Invitations are traditionally sent out ahead of time. The event may take place locally or at an out of town venue within driving distance for the guests. The bride can choose to wear a wedding dress if she fancies it. There may even be attendants on either side. A small reception will usually follow with a cake cutting happening sometime during. The couple may or may not choose to do a registry with the wedding being this small. But as I always say…since it is your wedding then you do whatever the heck you want! Just enjoy it 🙂

 

So now that we have an idea of the different types of Elopements….where can you elope? ANYWHERE! Get married in your favorite Museum, in a park, in your cousin’s back yard, at a beach B&B, in your fiancés hometown…..just anywhere you choose really. There is no end to your options.

Make your day the way you want it. Dress as you like. Invite who you will. Ride off into the sunset in a rickshaw if you want! You won’t have a single regret as long as you go with your gut feelings about what works and what doesn’t. Figure out your needs as a couple, your budget, and whether not eloping is the best option for the wedding you want. If you don’t mind ruffling a few family and friend feathers then things might turn out better than you could have ever imagined.

Happy running off and getting married!    Gigi

Wedding Lookbooks. Why all Brides need one!

lookbook

Ever heard of a lookbook? Sure you have. If you have ever watched any sort of reality tv show about fashion then you are familiar with this End All, Be All of magical books that showcases the designer’s work. Brides need one. They need a space and place for all their wedding designs and dreams to become a reality. Plus it helps having all of your ideas in one place. That way you can just carry it from appointment to appointment with all of your wedding info in one portable cute little place. I am going to give you a sneak peak of my lookbook. Ta-Da! See the pic above? Come on now…..you guys know I am not going to reveal all of my little tidbits of information. I want you to come up with an design your own!. Nor am I going to show you any actual bride pages in the honor of privacy for past couples. But I do have a new Bride and I am working on her page right now so I can show you a little bit about how I do the set up. Other than my planner, this book is like my bible. I carry it to every single bride meeting. It helps me keep the colors, theme, and all the little details about each and every wedding straight.

So how can you make your own lookbook? It’s easy enough really. Just pick a base book like a scrapbook or photo album and begin your adventure. Start by collecting paint chip samples to reflect the colors you want in your wedding. Then add photos and pics of things that you think are really neat and want to try out….like an awesome floral or a great tabletop set up. Build your pages to reflect the kind of things you want to see at your wedding. It’s kind of like Pinterest or a vision board only in toteable form.  Each page can have a different theme….one for dress ideas, one for reception brainstorming, one for ceremony suggestions. It’s your book so make it reflect your style and your day. *A little hint….tape runners from craft stores are amazing for this kind of work. Never bother with glue sticks or scotch tape again!

Sorry for such a short post but busy busy going into the weekend! I also want to wish a huge congrats to the couple that won the Free Wedding Planning Giveaway….Jason & Kym! I am so excited to help you put together one bad ass November wedding. Can’t wait to get started!

Enjoy your weekend!

 

Cheers!     Gigi

Hey dress designers! How about making wedding dresses for Real bodies?

curvyWe need a movement people. Like…..now. I am so disappointed to see full page wedding dress ads featuring shapeless and uncurvy girls. Look around. Do most brides look like that? Nope…..not even close. So what’s the deal? How about featuring some good ole average bodies in the bridal mags? Sadly I fear we won’t see it anytime soon. Most designers cater to a market of a slender and select few. Some of us girls just want to enjoy our veggie burger ya know? I’m speaking from experience here. I have gone from a skinny mini size 2 to a healthy and curvy size 8. Now while that may not seem like a big deal….I am very short and petite. Only 5’1 and shrinking by the day. While I am not large by any means, do you know how hard it is for a short girl with wide hips and a big booty to find a sexy wedding dress? Hard people, hard. That is why resulted to making my own wedding dress. Going wedding dress shopping just terrifies me. I have gone before and ended up leaving empty handed and in tears. Not every wedding dress off the rack will fit every single body that tries it on. It is easy to get discouraged when every dress you fall in love with looks like absolute crap on you. So listen up designers. We need dresses for every size. We need dresses in different colors. We need dresses for short girls and tall girls. We need dresses for flat chested gals and big booty’s. We need pants suits for brides that don’t want to wear a dress at all. We need to feel unique, sexy, and fierce. Don’t just stick us in yards of white fabric making us feel like tents. Give us options! And good ones. I’m going to list below the major deficits I see within the bridal industry. I don’t see enough of these choices out there and I truly hope that changes. Hopefully this blog post will be read by the right person who will send it to a designer (or two) who is open minded enough to consider the fact that non-traditional brides are okay!! And that there is a HUGE market for these brides. We just want to be given the same experience on our wedding day just like everybody else. More sizes on the rack. More designs to choose from. More colors. Just give us more!

What we really need (IMHO)……..

lpus

More curvy options. I hate saying plus sized. It sounds so negative. Curvy is sexy.

 

Black-Wedding-Dress-8

Black wedding dresses. Goth girls need cool dresses too!

 

colored dress

Colored wedding dresses. This dip dye dress is freaking amazing!

 

pants

Pantsuits. Um hello? Can we say fierce AND functional? Not all gals dig the dress.

 

short

Styles for short girls. Without a billion expensive alterations!

 

tall

Dresses for taller gals. That are flattering with plenty of extra length.

 

curves

Dresses for fit gals to help show off their curves as well!

 

pregnant

Maternity wedding dresses for the pregnant gals. Do you know how hard it is to find styles that fit??!

 

What kind of Not-so Traditional bride are you? Would you like to see more of a selection on the rack at your local bridal salon? I know I would! I would also really like to see more Not-so Traditional brides in the magazine spreads….more curvy girls, tattooed girls, crazy haired girls, ethnically diverse girls, androgynous girls. Just a better diversity of all the brides out there. Not every bride is 5’5, a size 2, with a great rack and a six figure bank account.  Let’s tell the wedding dress industry: Study your market better. Bring to the table more than what you are currently offering. You won’t be disappointed. There IS a market for the different brides out there!

I hope you are able to find the dress of your dreams! If you know of any designers that are really killing it for all brides out there then please feel free to comment and share.

 

Happy Memorial day and Monday!    Gigi

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back up plans. How every Bride needs one!

stopWell, this week has been an interesting turn of events. I have been so busy that I have barely gotten to blog. Bad Gigi. I will try harder guys I promise! The theme of this mornings blog post is back up plans, and how every Bride needs one (or in my case 5). Why have a back up plan you may ask? You may be thinking, I have a wedding planner…don’t they take care of any issues? Well, yes and no. They can advise you but they cannot make the ultimate end all be all decisions about your wedding. You do that. Which is why you need a good back up plan in case a vendor or your venue bails last minute. I don’t mean to stress you out but this is a reality that has happened before. It happened to me this week. My ceremony/reception venue is now a no go. Which means I have to completely change my wedding plans. Everything was based around that location….from the wedding invites to the food trucks. Now I have to start at square one again and I have to admit I am a bit distressed. I have to decide if I want to just have a simple wedding with maybe just the two of us or do I want to try to yet again figure out the details for at least a few people to be there. I kinda just want to crawl in a hole about the whole thing. Since I’m a wedding planner I am exceedingly picky about all of the details. And I had them all worked out and was extremely happy with everything. Now that things are back up in the air again I get this great sense of uncertainty. Sure I have thought of back up scenarios but I honestly thought everything was concrete. I never imagined being at this point with no wedding plans. These are the things bride nightmares are made of folks! Hence a back up plan.

What makes a good back up plan? Consider that every single vendor you have booked calls you in the next 5 minutes and cancels. hurricaneHave you thought about what you would do? Before you start downing Tequila or eating mass amounts of cupcakes, take a breath. Sit down and come up with a list of local vendors that could be your second choice if your first backs out. What if your officiant moves or your reception hall closes due to a major water main break? What if a hurricane hits the weekend of your wedding? What if your florist goes out of business? All of these scenarios are definitely possible. It’s always better to be over-prepared then under. Go through your contracts if you have your vendors already booked. Read the fine print and find out what will happen in the event that they can not attend your wedding. Will your officiant provide a back up if they get sick? If there is a kitchen fire and you can’t have your reception at the banquet hall you want, will they refund your money? Find out all of the details in advance so that if this happens you are fully prepared to handle it. Remember, the most important part of the day is the two of you and your marriage. Everything else just fades into the background really. In the grand scheme of things those guest favors just aren’t that important.

Have a stellar weekend!    Gigi