New York Bridal Fashion Week Instagram Inspo

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The bridal world is absolutely buzzing with excitement about New York Bridal Fashion Week, starting Friday! The top designers are adding last minute, final touches to their Fall 2015 collections that will debut and every shop owner and blogger is packing their bag to head to the party.

Fashion Week is a great time to get inspired for your own bridal look! To make sure you don’t miss a beat, I’ve rounded up my favorite Instagram accounts for the best Fashion Week coverage.

#1: @theknot

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No surprise here. The bridal mainstay that offers advice, inspiration, etiquette, and more is also all over Fashion Week. They offer glances backstage, celeb sightings, and the most gorgeous new designs.

#2: @corbingurkin

Carol Hannah by Corbin Gurkin

You may have come across some of Corbin’s amazing work behind a camera, but if you’re not following her Insta account, you are missing out! Including sneak peeks of her inspiring shoots, Corbin is one of the best fashion photographers. You’ll enjoy her unique views from bridal’s biggest week.

#3: @amsale

AMSALE BRIDAL SHOW

In addition to being an amazing artist, Amsale Aberra is one if the most personable bridal designers. She breaks up the endless images of white dresses with her industry wisdom. You also get to see flashes of her incredible bridesmaids line, @amsalebridesmaids as well.

#4: @moniquelhuillier

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You’ll recognize her gowns from some of the most gorgeous celeb weddings, and I’m sure her new collection will not disappoint. Monique also loves to show off her inspiration and her beautiful models.

#5: @thewhitedress

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This is my favorite bridal shop on Instagram. They carry the most gorgeous designers, and the amazing owner has even written her own book about bridal! Follow these ladies as they travel to New York to make their picks.

#6: Your favorite designer!

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If you’ve already done a little research and found you are drawn to a specific designer or two, make sure to follow them to see the latest collections.

 

Enjoy all the gorgeous runways and revel in the mass amount of pretty coming your way. Also, stay tuned for our wrap up of the hottest new trends from fashion week!

 

Happy planning!

Link Love

 

Hello, lovelies! I am so sorry I have abandoned you all for so long! But no fear, I will be back and better than ever soon! There is some big news coming down the pipeline, so stay tuned!!

 

To hold you over in the meantime, here are some links to some amazing prettiness!

 

This gorgeous bride and her maids got ready for the stunning Charleston wedding at the Wentworth Mansion!

 

Wedding cakes have come a long way since the towering, tiered confections of the early 90’s. Check out these 8 amazing styles.

 

Bridal portraits and Lowndes Grove are two of my favorite things, so obviously I loved these gorgeous photos.

 

Go behind the scenes of one of my favorite fashion shoots from Charleston Weddings Magazine at the Dock Street Theater!

 

Happy planning!

The Guest List

Photo by Kimbry Studios via Bridal Guide

Photo by Kimbry Studios via Bridal Guide

Alright folks, buckle down for today’s post. After a few weeks of gorgeous inspiration and happy endings, today is a day to get real. Let’s talk about the one thing that is causing some major stress in my otherwise blissful life. The guest list.

As y’all will soon find out, we decided very early on that the SC Aquarium was going to be our incredible venue! This wonderful place did come with a slight downside – we have to narrow our ceremony to 175 guests. That seems like a lot of people, right? I thought so until I started writing down names. After all, I was the one that originally suggested we get married on the beach with only 25 or 30 guests! But once you add up immediate family, aunts, uncles, cousins, best friends, etc. etc., well, it gets a little out of hand.

Photo via Walcot Hall

Photo via Walcot Hall

Our preliminary guest list is at 260 right now. Since our wedding will be a destination for a large percentage of our guests, 2 things could happen. First possibility: People decide they can’t travel and we end up with only half of the guests we invite. Second possibility (and the more likely in our case since we are getting married on a holiday weekend): Everyone decides that they need a vacation and your wedding is the perfect excuse and almost everyone decides to come! We’ve decided to expect that more people will come than not and are working on narrowing the list down to about 225. So this assumes that about 20% of our invitees will sadly decline. And we will miss them! (But will also be sighing in relief. A little bit.) From what I’ve read, this is pretty standard, so I think we will be safe!

Photo via Yours is the Earth Shop on Etsy

Photo via Yours is the Earth Shop on Etsy

But how to narrow down? So many people and so many difficult decisions! I’ve been driving myself crazy thinking how disappointed people would be if they are not invited. My fiancé has helped me to stop and remember – this is our wedding and it is for us. We are not putting on a show for our family and friends, we are committing our lives to one another and we want the amazing people who support us to be there and witness our commitment. With this spin, it’s a little easier. Marginally. I can take off the high school friend that I lost touch with after graduation and the college freshman roommate that I didn’t really get along with anyway. Yay, two down! Remember to celebrate the small victories everyone!

Photo via Southern Weddings by Akil Bennett

Photo by Akil Bennett via Southern Weddings

Our biggest sticking points are family and plus ones. Etiquette dictates that you give every single, adult guest a plus one. We’ve decided to go with this one, as it doesn’t make a huge difference to our count. But I’ve been invited to plenty of weddings solo, so it’s not a faux pas. If your single guests all know each other and will be able to mingle and chat, you can safely drop the plus one. But if you feel your single guest may not know many people, or are very shy in nature, help them out a little by letting them bring a guest. Family is where it gets really tricky. This is where feelings could be hurt and where you and your parents may disagree. This is where I really have to stop and remind myself that this is about me and my fiancé, not about everyone else. I’ve started to approach these invites by group. If I invite my mom’s sister, then I have to invite her brother. If I invite Uncle Larry’s oldest daughter, then I have to invite the youngest daughter too. This has helped my analytical brain to think through this decision logically and to avoid explosion with the mass volume of family I have. The trouble with that solution is that your parents may disagree with your decisions. Prepare yourself with some reasons that you left someone off the list to explain your decision. If you are able to discuss the rationale further than “our list needs to be smaller” chances are everyone will be more receptive (and hopefully less emotional!).

Photo by Tim Will Photography via A Lowcountry Wed

Photo by Tim Will Photography via A Lowcountry Wed

We’ve also decided to go a slightly non-traditional route by inviting some local friends to the reception, but not the ceremony. This is helping us focus on our family and friends that have traveled to be with us, but still have a great time with everyone who supports us every day!

When it really comes down to it, as long as my fiancé is in attendance, that’s really all that matters. So make the list, stick to it, and then forget about it. The day goes by way too fast to spend time thinking about the people you couldn’t invite. Relax and enjoy with those nearest and dearest that will surround you.

Photo by Richard Bell Photography via A Lowcountry Wed

Photo by Richard Bell Photography via A Lowcountry Wed

Next post – back to the pretty! Happy planning, y’all!

Photography

Ok, after another LONG hiatus (sorry!!) I’m back and ready to roll, so get ready for some serious pretty today! I’m featuring the work of my favorite photography team – Ellis Photo Studio! 

Photo by Ellis Photo Studio via The Wedding Row

Photo by Ellis Photo Studio via The Wedding Row

This father-daughter team is always my top recommendation for brides. I’ve worked with Richard and Gillian many times now and it is always a great experience. The very first e-mail I sent out when I started planning my wedding was to them to secure my date! I absolutely cannot wait to work with them.

Photo by Ellis Photo Studio via The Wedding Row

Photo by Ellis Photo Studio via The Wedding Row

I love their clean, photo-journalistic style. The natural light is always perfect! And you couldn’t find two nicer, happier people.

Photo by Ellis Photo Studio via A Coastal Bride

Photo by Ellis Photo Studio via A Coastal Bride

 

You have to check out their website and also follow the links in the photo captions. I can’t get enough of their work, so here are some of their other features!

Christine and Eric on The Wedding Row

Jennifer and Patrick on A Lowcountry Wed

Ashley and Scott on A Lowcountry Wed

Gillian even does her own wedding blog! I read it every day. She finds the most beautiful weddings that I can sit and gaze at for hours! So make sure to check out A Coastal Bride as well.

I could keep gushing about these two all day, and you will too after looking through their work. Happy planning, y’all!

 

Exciting News!

Hello everyone! I am so sorry for the long wait for this post, but I have some incredible news – I am engaged!!!

Engaged!

Engaged!

It was such a surprise and I am SO excited to share my own planning process with all of you! I know what everyone is waiting for, so here is my story.

Ben and Aly

My fiancé, Ben, and I met when I started working at the Wentworth Mansion in July of 2012. He had worked as a bellman at the Mansion for a year after moving to Charleston from Virginia. After a couple of months, he asked me out to see the open mic stand up at Big Gun Burger and the rest is history. We’ve been inseparable ever since!

Ben and Aly Beach

He proposed on Sunday, February 23. We had driven down to Beaufort for a couple days getaway after a long, busy stretch at work. After we checked into our hotel, we went for a walk to their beautiful waterfront park and sat on a bench swing overlooking the bay. He started talking about our relationship and how well everything has been going for us, but I still didn’t suspect a thing because he does that all the time! As he was wrapping up, he said, “So now I’m going to get down on one knee…” and I burst out with “No you aren’t!” Undaunted, he knelt in front of me and asked me to marry him. I was already crying happy tears and was totally unprepared for his next move! Out of his pocket, he pulled a diamond ring that I had had my eye on, but thought that someone else had bought from the antique store! He had bought it 5 months before and held onto it, waiting for the right time. He even had it sized perfectly! Through my joyful sobs, I said “Yes. Of course!!”

Engagement ring!

When we got back to the hotel room, the lights were dim and there was champagne on ice. It was a bottle of Vintage 1999 Dom Perignon that his best friend had given Ben for officiating his wedding! I’m sure I’m a little biased, but it was the best champagne I have ever tasted! After toasting each other, I called my mom, and what we have dubbed the “media frenzy” began! Our phones started to ring constantly with calls and texts of congratulations. We were astonished by the amazing outpouring of love and support! We spent two perfect days in Beaufort basking in the sunshine (both literally and figuratively!).

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Now, the planning process has begun! I know that no one will believe me when I say this, but I had honestly never thought about what I wanted for my own wedding. It has been overwhelming to say the least. (I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir here, but I’m totally with y’all now!!) So I hope you will all join me on my wile ride of planning and I promise to share all the best tips and tricks I find along the way. And of course I’ll keep directing you towards the best inspiration around!

 

Bridesmaids

I’ve heard so many brides say that one of the most stressful parts of wedding planning was choosing a bridesmaids’ dress! So many brides want their girls to love the dress, look great in it, be able to afford it, and be able to wear it again after the wedding. Those are a lot of qualifications to fill, even if you only have one maid! I am convinced that the embarrassing photos from the 80’s could have been avoided if finding a dress would have been easier! Luckily, you don’t have to subject your girls to the terror of taffeta because there are so many great resources dedicated to making your dress search a cinch! Whether your maids are all in your town or scattered across the globe, I have some great shopping tips to help you mark that off your list fast.

This site is a revolution. Sign up for an account, enter your wedding date, and bridesmaids’ e-mail addresses, and you are halfway there! Each person will receive a link to your showroom, where you can gather the styles you like and your party can vote and order directly. It will even generate a suggested “order by” date based on your wedding date and remind your group to get those orders in! You can narrow your dress search by color, designer, theme, season, body type, and price. And the icing on the cake? They have collections of ties and other accessories so you can match the guys up! Wow! They don’t even stop there. They have accessories, flower girl gowns, and little white dresses too. A true one stop shop! They professional stylists are always on hand to help you pull your look together as well. So what are you waiting for? Go get started!

Bella Bridesmaid - Showroom photo by Peacock Photo

Bella Bridesmaid – Showroom photo by Peacock Photo

If you are more of a touchy-feely, try on type of girl, you need to get yourself to a Bella location. Not only are there 43 locations nationwide (so all of your girls can get into a store), they carry so many GREAT designers! You can also get mom all set here, too. They have lines of mother-of-the-occasion in addition to their cute stuff for the younger crowd. So find your nearest Bella location (I’m lucky to have one just a few blocks away on King Street!) and have a fashion show! You’re sure to find something perfect that everyone will love.

 

You may have already noticed, but your favorite two brands have expanded to weddings! All the things you love about these two brands great ready-to-wear items are carried over to their special occasion lines. You already know how these clothes fit you, so there’s not much guessing on sizing either! J. Crew offers extra support in coordinating your group and keeping everything on track too. So extend your preppy love affair to your big day! These reliable retailers will make sure everyone is looking great!

modcloth

This online retailer has always been the best go-to for amazing vintage finds and those quirky fun pieces to complete your closet, but now they are set to help out on your wedding day too! Their carefully curated collection of dresses now allows you to search for special occasion gowns in addition to the great categories they already have! Need any more proof that this will be a great option for your girls? Check out the recent endorsement they got by the gurus of everything wedding – Style Me Pretty! These two awesome sites are partnering up for a gift card giveaway, so make sure to enter for that as well!

Photo via The KNot. Check out the rest of the terrible dresses in this blog post!

Photo via The Knot. Check out the rest of the terrible dresses in this blog post!

If you still can’t find something everyone will like, just go bridezilla on them and insist on that taffeta from the 80’s. They’ll cave in a heartbeat. Kidding! They’ll love you for being so thoughtful. These are your besties, right? Don’t sweat it. Happy planning, y’all!

 

 

 

Valentine’s Inspiration

happy valentines

 

It’s that special day, y’all! Whether you love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is a great source of romantic inspiration! I personally love it – so much pink! So many flowers! And it’s the best excuse to wear glitter after New Year’s. So if you’re looking for some inspiration for your big day or just a little romance to get you in the holiday spirit, read on!

 

 

 

And last, but not least, a recipe for sugar hearts!

Happy Valentine’s Day, lovers!

Michael and Shannon at the Wentworth Mansion

Michael and Shannon

I love elopements. The intimacy of just a bride and groom and their commitment brings out the most precious, heartfelt emotion and such contagious excitement. Michael and Shannon were such a joy! Their quiet ceremony was just beautiful. You could feel the love radiating! And Kim Graham was there to capture it all. So take the rest of this snow day off and snuggle up with this warm couple!

Michael and Shannon Photo by Kim Graham

Michael and Shannon

married

Michael and Shannon

Michael and Shannon

Michael and Shannon

Michael and Shannon

Amazing, right?! Lots of love to these wonderful vendors!

Venue: Cupola at the Wentworth Mansion

Photography: Kim Graham Photography

Hair: Tease Dry Bar

Bouquet: Frampton’s Flowers

Officiant: Rick Burton

 Pin any of these images on Pinterest!

Link Love!

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So the Super Bowl has come and gone, and whether you were rooting for the Seahawks, Broncos, or just the commercials, it is back to planning! I’ve rounded up some amazing links to get your swoon on.

The photo above came from this drop-dead gorgeous engagement session on Magnolia Rouge!

This wedding featured on A Lowcountry Wed has a stunning bride, picture-perfect location, and amazing coral bridesmaids!

The Wedding Row always features amazing Charleston weddings, but this Folly Beach affair has to be one of my all time favs!

Ok, I had to include one football link… Surprise your groom with any of these perfect themed cakes!

Happy planning!

 

Planning Help – Lover.ly

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Happy Thursday everyone! I’m sure you can all tell how much I love the Wentworth Mansion, but thanks to the winter storm, I was stuck there for a full 36 hours this week! It’s a beautiful place to be stuck in the ice, but I’m ready for a break. So today, I’m going to share one of my favorite weddings planning sites with you. Lover.ly is an amazing resource. It’s like Pinterest, but just for weddings!

loverly

There are so many functions that make Lover.ly easy to use and easy to find inspiration for each and every aspect of your wedding. When you sign up, they will as you to take a short style quiz and then select images that best match your wedding style! You can also browse their entire database of photos. You can search by category, color, or keyword. Then, when you find things you absolutely adore, you can save them into bundles or LOVE them! Bundles are similar to Pinterest boards, you can sort images to see them all together. When you love a photo, it just saves it to your profile without putting it into a specific bundle. You can see my bundles here and the images I’ve loved here!

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Lover.ly is also great because it credits the vendors used from each photo, so if you absolutely adore someone’s work, you can contact them! Many images are also posted by vendors themselves, so you can shop directly from the photo. Your other favorite bloggers use Lover.ly too! Southern Weddings posts some beautiful images from their submissions. Grey Likes Weddings also posts amazing inspiration! There are so many other excellent blogs that contribute as well.

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So if you are a bride or just a wedding enthusiast like me, go give it a shot! Always remember though – it is just inspiration. Don’t get overwhelmed in all of the details! Your guests may not remember exactly what your centerpiece looked like, but they will remember your gratitude for their presence at your special day. But now I’m getting sappy. I think its from all those hours stuck in a Victorian house…

Happy planning y’all!

 Pin any of these images on Pinterest!