Thursday, January 31, 2013

How to Plan a Wedding Without Losing your Sanity

If you have been keeping up with recent posts, you may be inclined to think that planning a wedding is sunshine and roses from start to finish. Don't get me wrong, with an online wedding planner, wedding planning is easier! But, I'm not going to tell you that you won't have moments where you want to make a run for Vegas and call it quits on all the plans. Yes, I love weddings, they are my passion in this life, but I can't say I didn't have a small handful of "bridezilla" moments during my own 14-month engagement. So whether you're on the verge of losing it now or just having a bad day, sit back, read on and file this little advice post away for future reference.


If you're looking for an instant cure for your frustrations, you need to laugh and be entertained. After my wedding was over, I found a new love for following other bloggers and became instantly obsessed when I found Mama Laughlin's blog about her journey of getting fit, raising two (handsome) boys and looking hot doing it! And then she introduced her readers to Skinny Meg, a bubbly mom of one who lost over 100 pounds and shares her tips and sparkly, chevron style with the world. I kid you not, these women are hilarious! If you don't read their blogs, follow them on instagram, facebook, keek and pinterest, you should, now!
photo credits: Mama Laughlin & Skinny Meg
That brings me to my next point, getting fit and getting engaged go together just as new years resolutions and gym memberships. So go for a run, lift some weights, or take Megan's advice and get in some squats! Trust me when I tell you, sweating cures it all!

Let's get to the real cure for any women's ailment and that's shopping. Of course you could go to your local mall or my second home Target and walk out with a whole new outlook on life or you could stay home in your jammies and shop at the most amazing online boutique ever, Kiki La'Rue. If you follow All Tulled Up on Facebook, then you know my obsession with this store runs deep. You can read more about that here and then immediately after, go buy some cute stuff from them and tell them I sent you!
Piko Top                           
Split Decision Dress
Short Sleeve Piko Dress
Most importantly and in all seriousness, spend time with your friends, family and fiance, minus the wedding discussion. Call up your best friend and go out for a girls day. See a movie, get your nails done or meet for dinner and drinks. Make any wedding-related talk off-limits at least one day a week. If you want these people around after you're married (kidding...kind of), remember to give them a break from your wedding once in a while and ask them about what's going on in their lives too.

And don't forget to do the same on date nights with your guy. Spend time at home getting your guest lists together and venting about wedding-related frustrations and then leave that all at home when you head out for a night out together. It will remind you that outside of wedding plans, life is still there.

Remember you're likely to be more sensitive to little things because you're overwhelmed with everything else. Blow past those minor mishaps and remember the real reason for all the madness...

                                                                Source: via Meaghan Shelton on Pinterest


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Attendant Gifts: 5 Ways to Wow your Ring Bearer & Flower Girl

Hopefully this mini-series on attendant gifts has helped take the frustration out of buying for your bridal party. The hardest part, by far, is choosing for the bridesmaids and groomsmen. So with that out of the way, this third and final post will be dedicated to the best part: the little ones!

When it comes to ring bearers, flower girls, junior brides(maids)/ grooms(men), your gifts of choice can definitely be less formal and more fun. That's not to say that you can't give monogrammed and fancy items, because for the right kid, you can! Just remember (especially with the youngest ones) that toys are always more appreciated than, well...anything else!

Ring Bearer and Flower Girl Gifts

  • Something Similar: Especially if the kiddos will be with the wedding party when getting ready for the wedding, think about giving them similar if not the same gifts as the adults. Let's say you've decided to get your maids matching, monogrammed button-downs for the morning-of...have one made in your flower girl's size so she can feel like a part of the group!
Ring Bearer and Flower Girl Clothing
Photo Credits: Millie'sGiftsSomethingGlitzyThePinkPixieShopLittleGentlemen
  • One-on-One Time: Spend the day with him or her! As part of their gift, spend an afternoon getting pedicures, going to the baseball game or grabbing lunch.
  • Something to Play with: Go straight for their little hearts and get them the toy they've been dying to have! Or better yet, get them a gift card and let them pick out whatever they want.
Ring Bearer and Flower GIrl Toys
Photo Credits: Melissa & DougAmazonBuild-a-Bear Workshop
  • Something Personalized: Personalized items are still a good idea! Just make sure it's something they will use, like a monogrammed backpack for school.
Ring Bearer and Flower GIrl Personalized Gifts
Photo Credits: stargazinglillyTheStylishLetterGator TotsPottery Barn Kids
  • Something to Keep them Busy: If they don't fall asleep by the end of the night, chances are the kids of your wedding party will be bored at some point. Think ahead and grab them some activity/ coloring books, crayons and small toys they can entertain themselves with! (The Dollar Store has GREAT options for this!!)
Ring Bearer and Flower GIrl Activities
Photo Credits: The Dollar TreeWalmartFive BelowMelissa & Doug
Well, that wraps up the series on attendant gifts! Do you have more questions or a post you'd love to see on the blog? Comment below and tell me! I'd love to hear from you!


Monday, January 28, 2013

Boudoir: Why it's a MUST for Brides!

Happy Monday, ladies! Let's start the week off with one of my favorite new(er) bridal trends, shall we?

Bridal Boudoir

Maybe you've noticed that brides-to-be are loving the idea of boudoir photography sessions. If you're on Pinterest, you've probably come across (or re-pinned) photos like these:

Sexy Boudoir
                                                                                                                                       Source: via Meaghan Shelton on Pinterest

Cathedral Vel Boudoir

                                                                                                                       Source: via Meaghan Shelton on Pinterest

Maybe you're loving the idea too or maybe you're just an admirer of the beautiful images. Either way, you can't deny that when done tastefully, boudoir photography is simply stunning.

If you are even the tiniest bit interested in partaking in one of these sessions yourself (or even if you aren't), do it! Think about the smile on your groom's face as he receives an album filled with sexy photos of his soon-to-be wife on the morning of your wedding. Think about having your photographer snap a few stunning shots of you in your veil, sans clothing or in the seductive lingerie for under your dress.
Victoria's Secret Model Boudoir
                                                                                                                            Source: via Nina on Pinterest

Trust me, this isn't just a gift for your guy, it's a fabulous gift for you as well. Imagine the liberating feeling of getting all dolled up with the deepest of smoky eyes, your highest of heels and your laciest of undergarments. You will leave that session with your head held high, oozing confidence the way a woman should! It won't matter that you wish your stomach was flatter, your boobs were bigger or your hips were smaller. A photographer with experience in boudoir will elicit your inner sex-goddess, shoot from flattering angles and give the Victoria's Secret girls a run for their money (minus the airbrushing)!

Casual Boudoir
                                                                                                                         Source: via Katherine on Pinterest
                                                                                                        Source: via Samantha on Pinterest

Still not convinced? I'll let you in on a little secret...5 months before my wedding, I had boudoir photos taken for the hubs. Like many women, I had seen the posts on wedding forums and photography blogs and was intrigued. But two things were holding me back: cost and my insecurities. I didn't want to spend a couple hundred dollars on photos in which I looked uncomfortable or unattractive. So I waited...and then I was introduced to Heather Roth Photography and I immediately signed up for her upcoming boudoir event.

I am so glad I did! Heather was absolutely amazing! Before we began, she had champagne waiting to calm the nerves and gave me tips on how to look comfortable and make the most of our short time together. Before I knew it, I had forgotten that I was scantily clad and was shockingly comfortable in front of a woman I had just met. I absolutely LOVED working with her and would do it again in a heartbeat!

At the time, Heather asked for permission to share my images on her blog and I declined for fear of future employers finding them, but I regret that decision now. I wish I would've allowed my photos to inspire other women to take part in their own now, I am doing it here. I had the album given to my husband on our wedding morning and he was shocked! I'd say that's a good way to start your marriage ; )

I know you're ready to see why I love Heather's work so much. You can see some of her boudoir sessions herehere, and here. Then head over to Heather's blog  and portfolio and check out all of her work. Just go for it and contact her already! You will thank me later! :)

If you don't live in the St. Louis area and are still interested in doing a boudoir session, email me and we will find a photographer in your area! And if you've already had your boudoir photos taken, comment below and tell me about your experience!


Friday, January 25, 2013

Fall Engagement Session: Julie & Scott

I am not going to lie, wedding photos are my guilty pleasure. Good or bad, I could look through the albums for hours, discovering all the little details that make every wedding unique.
A close second to the wedding album are the engagement photos. With the right photographer, these images tell the story of each, individual couple. It's an opportunity for Facebook stalkers outsiders (and even friends and family) to catch a glimpse of what makes your relationship work and how the two of you mesh together. That's why, to end this week, I've chosen to share a collection of engagement photos that showcase the best of this beautiful couple.

After meeting at the Kentucky Derby and dating close to 18 months, Scott & Julie were engaged in 2011 on Christmas morning. 
This past September, the couple joined Denver photographer, Gino Siller for engagement photos at Lone Hawk Farms in Boulder. The lovely autumn backdrop combined with the perfect country props hint to the couple's rustic-chic wedding theme. Siller so perfectly showcases the couple's carefree personalities and love for one another (and their pups) in this magazine-worthy combination of images!
The two will tie the knot in August among the breathtaking mountain views in Breckenridge, Colorado.

Sweaters Engagement Photo

Smile Engagement PHoto

Shadow Engagment Photo

Engagment Photo with Hay Bails

Silly Engagement Photo

Engagement Photo with Shoes

Save the Date with Dogs

Vintage Truck Engagement Photo

Ring Shot on Boot

Engagement Photo by Lake

Engagement Photo near Barn

Outdoor Engagement Photo

Pitchfork Engagment Photo

 Engagement Photo on Truck Bed

Wanna see more? Go check out Gino Siller's blog for more of his gorgeous work and stay tuned for a wedding recap on this couple's wedding at the end of this year!

Would you like to see your wedding or engagement featured on All Tulled Up? Email me at AllTulledUp{at}gmail{dot}com for more information! 

*Photo Credits for all images to Gino Siller Photography*


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

7 Secrets of Gracious Brides & Grooms

Believe it or not, it's not that uncommon to read in a bridal magazine or online forum about guests not receiving thank you cards (in a timely manner or at all) or even having time to visit with the bride and groom. Awful, right?

Although your wedding day is a celebration of your marriage, the celebration, itself, would be lacking without the attendance of your guests. Don't be that couple. Make each and every person feel like your guest of honor with ease!

Thank your Wedding Guests
  • Give a Quick Speech: After your you and your wedding party have been announced and seated, take a moment to stand up and thank your guests for coming. It doesn't have to be long or Oscar-worthy, just make sure that you both say a few words of gratitude to kick off the party!
  • Bride and Groom Speech
                                                                                               Source: Uploaded by user via Mon Amie on Pinterest

  • Leave a Note: When arranging your favors, think about adding a printed, personal "thank you" to your item(s). If tying a note onto your favor isn't an option, try handwriting one on a chalkboard at the gift or photo table, where guests will see it as they enter the reception
    Wedding Reception Thank You

                                                                                          Source: via Meaghan Shelton on Pinterest
  • Think Ahead: Taking "thank you" pictures at the wedding has become quite the common trend and for good reason! It saves you from choosing cards later and the photo serves as a memento for guests to keep. The options for this photo are endless! Involve you wedding party, use a handwritten sign, DIY a "thank you" banner in your wedding colors or simply choose your favorite photo and have your photographer add the words of your choice over the image in his/ her editing.
Bridal Party Thank You Card
                                                                                                                      Source: via Meaghan Shelton on Pinterest

  • Make the Rounds: Although this may be an obvious one, it's not to be overlooked! All of your guests want a chance to talk with the newlyweds, so make it easy for them and visit each table at some point during the reception. If you really want to make your guests feel special, think about dining with them! I came across this idea on Wedding Bee discussion boards last year, where a couple left two open seats at each table on the seating chart and rotated tables during dinner.
  • Choose Thoughtful Favors: The wedding favor can either be a useful token of appreciation or a waste of your money. Choose an item that your guests will enjoy! Whether it's as simple as a coozy or as elaborate as a gift basket, keep it practical!
Coffee Favor
                                                                                                      Source: via Erin on Pinterest

  • Welcome Visitors: In the case of a destination wedding especially, hotel welcome bags are a must! Even for a local wedding, you will likely have guests traveling to your event and welcoming them at their hotel check-in with a bag of goodies will start their visit on the right foot! Fill the bags with snacks, water and local favorites. It is also a fabulous idea (though not mandatory) to invite out-of-towners to your rehearsal dinner.
Out of Town Guest Bags

                                                                            Source: via Kristy on Pinterest

  • Conquer the Cards: I know from personal experience how overwhelming your list of "thank you" cards to send can be! But the best way to attack the long list is to start right away. Before the wedding, send out a card immediately after receiving any gifts and cards! Once you've settled in after the honeymoon, make it a point to write a stack every day until you're finished.
Do you have any other tips you'd like to add to the list? Comment below and tell me what you think!


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Attendant Gifts: 5 Keys to Awesome Groomsmen Gifts

Last week, per a reader's request, I started a series of attendant gifts, beginning with the bridesmaids. So today, we will continue with the equally important and confusing groomsmen gift-giving. If you missed the first post, you can check that out here and get all caught up.

The same basic rules apply, but the categories are, of course, different. Choose two or more options below and/ or combine them for awesome groomsmen gifts!

Groomsment Gift Ideas

  • Something Practical: Like my guidelines for bridesmaid gifts, groomsmen gifts should also be practical. Do not buy your wedding party something they will not use after the wedding day unless you also give them something they will! The options below can be used as color-coordinating, wedding-day attire and later, worn again at the office!
Groomsmen Clothing
Fossil 'Grant' Bracelet WatchArgyle Dress SocksYellow & Grey Stripe Necktie
  • Something Interest-Related: Generally, your groom and his friends will have similar interests so use that to your advantage! If they don't share similar interests, choose a gift that represents each guy's individual taste. Do they hunt or fish? Are they die-hard college football fans? 
Groomsmen Sports Gifts
Nike Cardinals ShirtPersonalized Man Cave SignRealtree Otterbox
  • Something, Drinkable: Okay, this one is a cinch! Men are easy to please, right? Get each of the guys a 6-pack of their favorite brew or even one that represents your wedding location! (If you're tying the knot in Mexico, give them some Corona or Dos Equis)
Groomsmen Beer Gifts
Beer of the Month ClubMR. BEER Premium Beer KitPandora's Bock-Breckenridge Brewery
  • Something they can do together: Especially if your groomsmen are traveling for your big day, sending them out for a night on you and your guy is a fabulous way to show your appreciation! You can tie this into the interest-related category by sending them out for a sports event or just send them out for dinner and drinks at a local hangout. Either way, they get to enjoy themselves and your groom gets a night off from wedding chatter! 
  • Ask your Groom: Last, but probably most important is to involve your guy! Ask him what he thinks they would like best, about the specific interests of each guy or even what he would want to receive as a groomsmen. If nothing else, he will definitely lead you in the right direction and get you started. 
What are you planning to give your groomsmen? Comment below and tell me about your own great ideas! And to ensure you don't miss any more posts, join the blog here! Stay tuned for next week's post on the little ones...