the wedding chronicles | decision #11

THE FLOWERS

figuring out the flowers for our wedding has been an exciting process.  now, i may not have inherited my mother’s green thumb (at least not yet), but i do recognize and appreciate beautiful bouquets and buds and arrangements when i see them.  i can honestly say i had nearly as many floral magazine tear-outs as ones for the wedding dress!  and if the sky was the limit as far as the flower budget goes, you would see fresh flowers everywhere.  they would be on the church pew ends, they would be on an arch over the entrance to the reception, they would be the centerpiece for every table in the room, they would be fragrant and lush and in sight no matter where you look.  but, fresh flowers everywhere come at a steep cost, and as i have expressed previously, unless you have an unlimited budget, you will have to compromise at some point.  with all this being said, i am not at all discouraged about what my budget is for the flowers.  you just have to get creative with what you pick and where you use them and no one will be the wiser.  🙂

let’s take the centerpieces for starters.  big, blossoming centerpiece bouquets are often so beautiful and picturesque and certainly wedding day appropriate.  however, when you have a guest list of over 150, you’re going to need a lot of tables which of course means you’d then need a lot of centerpieces.  as much as i wish i could work fresh centerpieces into the budget, i also recognize that fresh centerpieces often cannot be repurposed, which means their beautiful lives are very short-lived.  you see how things start to come into perspective?  with this being known, it’s actually kind of a neat thing because then your centerpieces can be whatever you want them to be!  you could of course do silk flowers if you still want something floral, but just hop on pinterest and you’ll find thousands of floral centerpiece alternatives, many of them which you can do yourself.  i’m sure you’ve been to receptions where a picture of the newlyweds is in the center and surrounded by tealights galore or even where other common interests of the couple are used to depict one table from the other.  think maps of where the couple has vacationed together or pieces of music from their favorite composers.  really the options are endless!  i’m very excited for our handmade centerpieces and cannot wait for them to be revealed to our guests in april.

now, as far as flowers go elsewhere in the wedding (bouquets, corsages, boutonnieres), i decided real flowers were my heart’s desire, because where would the world be without real flowers!  many of the magazine pages i came across depicted the popular styles of today, which include lots of faded eucalyptus and soft pastel colors and even a few succulents here and there.  and although something like that would be perfect for our spring wedding, i wasn’t emotionally moved by them and didn’t feel they fit into our overall theme.  so, when my mother came in town for some wedding errands one weekend, we looked through all my ideas together and, thankfully, had the perfect luck in finding the combinations of greens and pinks and whites that would fit in just right for our big day.  the bridesmaids will hold some beautiful bouquets of greenery; the mothers’ and grandmothers’ wrist corsages will be simple and elegant; phillip, his best man, and the groomsmen have boutonnieres with ingredients inspired by my croatian heritage; and last but not least, my bouquet is going to be a fabulous combination of varying shades of pink with lots of different flower shapes and, in my mind, is going to be a spectacle in and of itself!  i can hardly contain my excitement!

the wedding chronicles | decision #6 and decision #7

THE COLORS & THE BRIDESMAID DRESSES

about a month ago my mom and i took my bridesmaids kari, jamie, and sarah out to go shopping for their dresses here in atlanta.  we fueled up with an energizing breakfast at the local flying biscuit and then headed to the salon to see if we’d have any luck.  i was certainly hoping that would be the case considering that sarah was moving back to california and that football season would easily get in the way of scheduling more appointments that worked for everyone.  i’ll spoil things right now and tell you that with a group of supportive girls around me, we made easy work of finding looks that flattered everyone.

tiaras for everyone!

now, before i get into all the juicy details about the bridesmaid dresses themselves, let’s talk about another wedding decision that oftentimes goes hand-in-hand with them:  the wedding colors.  if i’m being honest, my ideas about the colors for our wedding have changed nearly a countless number of times.  first it was oxblood and sage (inspired by a wedding magazine article), then it was pretty yellow roses that caught my eye at church, and then a pale pale green i thought was certainly the way to go.  this was all fine and well until kari, jamie, and sarah all started trying on dresses for me and i realized my color vision was a little off.  although the pale and dusty green i picked out was pretty in my mind, in person it didn’t quite match what i was picturing.

thankfully the salon had rows full of dresses and i was grateful the girls didn’t mind trying on dress after dress.  sometimes that’s what you have to do to figure out what you like and what you don’t like.  plus, seeing a dress on your body can be much different (and sometimes much better) than how it looks on the hanger.  i mean, you might as well try on as much as you can while you’re there and make the most of your time!

when shopping with your bridesmaids for their dresses, here are a few bits of advice.  if you and your girls are anything like me and mine, many of them (if not all of them) have different body shapes.  what this means is that a single style might not work best for everyone.  now, if your vision is for all the girls to wear the same dress, just know you might hit some snags in this regard.  and, if that is the case, it’s extremely common these days for girls to wear different style dresses that complement one another and oftentimes also the bride’s dress (such as the neckline or cut or fabric).  this can help your bridesmaids feel their most beautiful because they’re in a dress that makes them feel comfortable and confident.

next, unless you want everything uniform, maybe entertain the idea of putting the girls in different shades of the same color or even different colors altogether that go with your overall theme and vision for your wedding day.  this one is totally personal preference and all i’ll say about my girls is that they look like perfect angels in gorgeous shades of blush.  🙂

and finally, as mentioned in previous posts of the wedding chronicles, remember that the decision is ultimately yours as the bride.  it is extremely kind to be sensitive to your girls’ preferences and opinions (and i’ve always appreciated when i’ve been treated this way as a bridesmaid), but it is your wedding day after all and that’s what is most important.

r+f for everyone!

as many of you know, i am always on the hunt for a good skin care regimen.  i wouldn’t say i have the worst skin i possibly could, but i never turn down the chance to try something new to improve my face.  as such, i was approached by a rodan + fields skincare consultant (someone very close to me and whom i trust) to talk about my options with this revolutionary skincare line.

first, if you were not already aware, the r+f skincare line is developed by the same doctors who brought you the proactiv line of products.  proactiv has proven to be a trustworthy and reliable product over the years, so when r+f was introduced, it’s no surprise that people were ready to give it a try.

second, you can kind of mix and match what you want to use.  they offer several package treatments, but if you want to start out with just a facewash and lotion, for example, you have the flexibility to do so.

third, you don’t have to go into a store to purchase.  some folks might be uncomfortable pursuing and ordering skincare treatment in person, so r+f is solely offered through online ordering.  the product ships directly to your home/office/wherever, a convenient perk.  even more so, they make the replenishment ordering process easy by automating it every 60 days.  if you don’t need more of the product, though, simply adjust your ordering/shipping for that time.

so, now that i’ve totally convinced you to get in a touch with an r+f consultant (and if you don’t have one, i have someone who would be perfect for you!), let’s talk about my experience so far.  after doing a little homework, i decided to purchase the unblemish series.  i thought about just doing the facewash and toner, but it made more sense financially to order the entire bundle and go from there.  the package provides instructions on how best to use the products you’ve purchased.  for example, besides just how to use each of the four steps in the unblemish regimen, i was given a schedule of how to integrate these products into my daily routine.  so, for the first week, i only use the products every other day in the morning.  then, i increase to every morning, so on and so forth.  this approach gives your face the opportunity to adjust to the new products you are using.  if your skin doesn’t respond well to using the products twice a day, for example, then you can reduce to using them just once a day.

before day 1 arrived, i decided to do what all good skincare companies do:  take some before pictures!  i switched to selfie mode and snapped these few pictures.

after taking a look, i realized they were pretty standard, in that i looked so sad!  i decided to retake with a bit cheerier attitude.  🙂

so!  next is to get started, yes?  yes!  first up is the facewash.  this purple creme facewash is very gentle, and that comes from someone who has very sensitive skin.

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next is the toner.  this is probably going to sound weird, but i always love when a toner is part of a skincare process.  it makes my skin feel so fresh and clean!

once the toner dries, i put on the acne treatment.  a little of this stuff goes a long way, so i’d recommend one pump from each side.  remember, you can always add more later.

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finally, apply the lotion.  with this dry winter upon us, it’s even more important than ever to hydrate your skin properly.  a light lotion before you go out the door is the perfect ticket!

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i’ve only been using this line for a couple weeks now, and although there isn’t a noticeable difference at the moment, i’m hoping that after about two months total my skin will be a bit more consistent and smooth.  you always need to give your face time to acclimate to a new set of products, so let’s see what kind of magic r+f can do!

something special

of the gifts for me under the tree this year, one of my favorites (among many) is a necklace designed by a girlfriend of mine.  i was in awe when i unwrapped the tissue paper – a simple necklace with character, it is perfect against a solid blouse or, as i am wearing, on something with more of a subtle print.

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the prism pendant is unique and, i think, will easily be a conversation starter.  it’s classy and simple and intriguing all at the same time, so don’t be surprised if you see it on me a lot.  i tend to wear out the pieces i love, which probably isn’t a bad thing.  🙂

as i wore it around town while running errands, i smiled as i realized that i know the person who created this necklace.  i know how much work and creativity she put into it, and that’s pretty special if you ask me.  a thoughtful gesture like this necklace is one that will last a very long while and will be something i look forward to wearing often.