Brides Must Read: Preparing for Hair & Makeup Trials

Hair and makeup is crucial on your big day in the sense that you obviously want it to look perfect for pictures. Keep in mind that you don't want your hair and makeup too drastic from your everyday look. You don't want to look back at pictures and regret how you did your hair and makeup because it was too "extreme" or "outlandish." It is highly recommended that you have trial runs and test out a number of different looks so you know what is best for you. You should plan to have trial runs 1-2 months before your big day, depending if and when you are getting bridals done. If you want bridals done with the same look you're going to have on your wedding day then you may need to have these appointments earlier. You can even plan to go from your trial run to your bridals to take advantage of your beautiful hair and makeup.

You should also start collecting pictures (I recommend Pinterest for easy organization of these ideas) now and save them in your wedding book to show whomever is doing your hair and makeup what you like and the look you're going for. When you make your appointments make sure that the stylist or makeup artist is available on your wedding day. If your ceremony is at 10am make sure they are open to do your hair and makeup early. It is very important you go into the trial run appointment on time so that you can see how long it will actually take to do your hair and makeup.

Some brides forget that when you get your makeup done to still look natural and yourself. You wouldn't want to do a dramatic smokey eye when your everyday look is usually mascara and a little bit of eye shadow. Your husband won't even recognize you! Makeup artists will tell you that especially on your wedding day you should look naturally beautiful and not have a lot of eye makeup. Yes, go get some fake eyelashes or go get extensions if you want, you should go all out for your day but veer away from being overly makeup dramatic. You wouldn't want to take away the attention from your beautiful dress now would you?

Depending on where you get your hair and makeup done keep in mind that it can get pricey. Most places will charge your for the trial run. Some hair stylists will even charge per "look" as you change styles from up-do to down, or curly to straight. If you have a friend that is good with hair and makeup that is definitely the best route so you don't have to break the bank. It even gives your friend a great opportunity to be apart of your wedding day, and I'm sure they'd be honored to help. Some brides even do their own hair and makeup. If that's you, more power to you. Whatever you decide remember to look natural and know that you will look gorgeous no matter what you do.

Thinking About Having A Luncheon?

Deciding on whether or not to have a luncheon is usually up to the Grooms family since they're the ones who will cover the cost. If you have a long break between the time of your ceremony and time of your reception then I would highly recommend a luncheon. It gives you more time to spend with family and friends, especially those who have traveled to be there for your big day, instead of leaving your guests hanging between events.

Who do you invite to the luncheon? Again that is up to you but remember this is supposed to be a smaller, more intimate gathering, so usually it's just family, the wedding party, and then maybe a few close friends who traveled to come to the wedding. It will be easy to try and invite everyone you know, but remember keep it small. If you and the Groom's family decide a luncheon is needed, let them know ahead of time how many guests you will have so there's enough room for everyone. You don't need to send invites to this you can just let your family and the wedding party know when you talk about the wedding plans. Also consider a location that isn't too far from the temple or where the reception is going to be. You and your family and friends will need to change before the reception and possibly need to help set up so a good in between spot is ideal.

Besides eating great food you can also have a little program if you want to. I had my mom and aunts sing a song (it's a tradition) and I played a video I made of pictures of me and Ty from when we met until that point. My brother and cousin (who I am very close to) were serving missions at the time they sent in a little video to us and we played those. We then had my sister, the Maid of Honor, and my brother-in-law, the Best Man, give their speeches. After that, Ty and his dad said a few words and it was great. Depending on what all you do at the luncheon it usually lasts around two hours.

I hosted my luncheon at Hayden's Grill, in Tualatin, Oregon where a lot of people have wedding receptions. It was perfect. They had it all set up before we arrived since we were all rushing over from the temple. The food was amazing. My mother-in-law and I were in close communication and we picked the menu together to make sure there was food everyone would like.

I loved having a luncheon where I could talk with family and friends and not have to rush off to take pictures or talk to someone else. If you have the time for it, I would highly recommend it. If you are getting married around lunch time or in the late afternoon then an alternative might be to have a breakfast. The luncheon should be a casual setting where everyone just comes in Sunday dress. It gives you a chance to relax and take a deep breath on a day that otherwise was start to finish, hectic.

As the bride and groom having a luncheon allows you to make sure you thank everyone for coming to the wedding and for everyone's help. Not only is a wedding expensive, but it is a lot of work. Make sure you express gratitude to your parents and everyone else.

My friend Ashley and her husband Robbie walking into their luncheon

Robbie's father giving his speech

Tips For Men: Getting Permission From Daddy

Asking your girlfriend's father for his permission to marry his daughter is tradition. It allows for the father to "consider" the groom's ability to love and care for his daughter. It gives the father and the groom chance to get to know one another and feel comfortable around each other. Before you make a huge decision like this you want others to be on your side-you want their blessing and that is just what this is. You're getting the father's blessing to marry his daughter. If your girlfriend's father isn't involved in her life or has passed then you would ask her mother and maybe her older brother if she had one.

Now most of you are wanting the how-to on how to do this, because it very well can be intimidating and a little scary. If I was a guy I would be feeling the same way and I am very glad I didn't have to ask my husband's father or mother for permission to marry their son. Truth is, there really is no how-to because everyone is different and every circumstance is different. Here are some tips that I recommend based on other people's experiences as well as my husband's.


  • Make sure your soon-to-be bride has no idea you are planning on talking to her father. It makes it more of a surprise for her.
  • Usually most guy's talk to the bride's father the week before or few days before they plan on popping the question.
  • Be prepared for questions he may ask and be relaxed. Hopefully you have met him a few times before this point (for your benefit) and can anticipate what he may ask you.
  • If you can't meet to talk to him in person, then arrange a phone call where you are alone and won't have any distractions or interruptions. 
  • Practice in the mirror a few times before you call or meet him.
I unfortunately knew my husband went to go talk to my dad it was just too obvious. My husband came to visit me for the weekend as he was living in Washington I was in Oregon. Apparently he had the ring in his pocked the entire weekend and was just waiting for an opportunity where he could talk to my dad without me knowing. My dad was working crazy long hours at the time and whenever Ty tried to slip away without me knowing my dad couldn't meet up. So one night we were watching a movie and eating ice cream and my mom yelled to Ty that my dad wanted to talk to him. They went on a drive and I might add it was a long drive. I knew Ty was planning to propose soon so I knew that's what was happening. So when he got home I pretended like I didn't know what just happened even though I did. The next day he ended up proposing and I had no idea it was going to be that soon so it all ended up working out.

I have never known of anyones father turning the man down except in some TV shows so your chances are in your favor. You got this!

Jef Holm asking Emily Maynard's father permission on The Bachelorette

To my LDS Brides: Right After He Proposes

This post is directed to my LDS brides who are preparing to get married in the temple. First off, congratulations on the engagement! It's such an exciting time. The first step you need to take after you have gotten engaged and chosen a date is call the temple. Remember that they are closed on Monday's. I was engaged on a Sunday and I was so excited to call the temple and schedule a date and time and it felt like an eternity waiting until Tuesday. Anyways, call and set up a sealing time and of course when you want to take out your endowments if you haven't been through the temple yet. Usually it's up to the bride on when she wants to get her endowments out, but most brides get their endowments out a few days before the wedding. In order to set a date with the temple they need some information:

  • Your full name
  • Your fiancé's full name
  • Your membership numbers if you have them, otherwise they can look that up
  • The date and temple your husband got his endowments out
  • Your addresses and phone numbers
  • How many people you are expecting to come to the sealing
  • The date and time you wish to get married

When you get to the "picking a time" part of the conversation they will tell you immediately if it's available or the times/dates they do have available. They will also give you sealing availability based on the size of rooms they have and how many guests you told them would attend. They will grab your e-mail addresses so they can send you information a couple months before and encourage you set up a date and time to get your endowments out if you haven't yet.  

When you schedule the sealing time you may want to plan out how the day is going to work, including the weather. Consider a 1:00pm sealing in July. Just about anywhere you'll be outside taking pictures in the mid-day sun. It will probably be sweaty and uncomfortable for you and those in attendance. Also consider a 9:00am sealing means you need to get to the temple an hour before, so 8:00am and have your hair and makeup done before then. Your day might start at 5:00am or earlier depending how long it takes to do both. Or, if you're going to a salon or a makeup counter they might not even open until 8:00am or later, unless they're giving you special treatment. In my opinion, however 11:00am is close to perfect as you can get. It gives you time to have a nice morning, get ready as needed, and avoid the heat if it's a summer wedding. There are a lot of things to consider when scheduling a sealing time and there is no perfect answer. The time may change drastically based on your individual circumstances.

If a lot of brides are getting married on the day you have chosen, then you might want to consider getting married on a weekday like a Thursday. When we were married the temple had just reopened. Even when I took my endowments out it was the first day it was open (Tuesday) in a month and the session was packed. They said that on Saturday (the 13th) they were going to have eight brides getting married so I didn't want to compete with that. On Friday (the 12th) another girl in my homeward was getting married. I didn't want to divide the attention since many of our guests would be the same people. So I decided on Thursday, August 11th at 11am which happened to be Ty's parents anniversary as well. It was a "meant to be" moment for him. Because I had chosen an "odd" day,  I lucked out and had the brides room all to myself. It turned out that there was only two other brides scheduled that day; one before me and one after me. I didn't see either of them.

My soon to be sister-in-law is in the same boat as we were. She had planned to get married Saturday, December 28th but another girl in her homeward was getting married the same day. She changed her date to Friday, December 27th as to not compete and split the ward. So bottom line, you should go into the scheduling being somewhat flexible.

I was worried that taking pictures afterwards was going to be a struggle if there was another bride close to me. I was pressed for time with the photographer and didn't want her waiting around for previous groups to move. Fortunately, that wasn't a problem for me but I have heard of it being a problem for others. Also, if you choose to get married in a more popular temple, like the Salt Lake Temple, expect to see many brides jostling for photo spots. 

The temple sisters love talking to brides and scheduling dates. They are excited to help in anyway so don't hesitate to ask them questions, and certainly don't be embarrassed if you call them a few times in a day. I had to call at least three times trying to schedule my date and time. 

Many of you probably won't have an opinion on the sealer, but some might. I have a good family friend who is a sealer in the Portland Temple and I wanted him to seal us. I had to make sure he was either scheduled to work that day or that he could be there to perform the ceremony. Also, if you do want a certain sealer it is nice to call them and ask them if they would be willing to officiate in the sealing.

You will also want to consider who you want as the witnesses. Your bishop might talk to you about this when you meet with him, but usually it's your fathers. Also, when you get your endowments out and the day of your wedding, you will have an escort who is already endowed. She will help you get ready and guide you throughout the experience. This person is usually your mom, but if your mother isn't available it can be a close friend or relative. 

Also keep in mind, even though you're getting married in the temple you still need a marriage license.  You can bring that when you get your endowments out. There is so much happening on your wedding day, it is so easy to forget so I recommend giving it to them early. Some states require a serological test. Find out if your state requires this or not and get this done. I will talk more about this at a later date.

The temple will also ask you if you're planning to wear your wedding dress in the temple for the sealing. If you are, they have certain rules and guidelines.

  • It must have long sleeves
  • It has to be white, not ivory or cream
  • There can't be a train on it or it has to be detachable
  • It can't have a low neckline and it has to be long in length
Most brides don't end up getting married in their actual wedding dress. Most wear the dress that is part of their temple clothes that they wear in the endowment session. If you are wanting your dress delivered to the temple beforehand, they can store it in the bride's room for you so it's there when you get there. Just let the temple know this in advance so the attendants can look for your dress' arrival.

If you have a lot of family who isn't able to go into the temple, you may consider having the ring ceremony part outside the temple. Or if this doesn't apply to you let the sealer know you want to have the ring ceremony included in the sealing.

I know this was a lot of information but hopefully it was helpful. Stay tuned for another post about what to expect for the actual wedding day at the temple.

A Post For The MOH (Maid-of-Honor), Bridesmaids, and MOB (Mother-of-the-Bride)

Now I mentioned in the very beginning that I would title my posts for certain "people." With most of my posts being directed to the bride I will direct this to the MOH, bridesmaids, and MOB since the bride doesn't plan her own bridal shower. Now the bride might end up having a few different bridal showers, but as a Maid of Honor, bridesmaids and MOB you are responsible to plan one bridal shower.

  • First thing's first, pick a date that is good for the bride of course. In can be six months before the wedding or the week before the wedding, it doesn't matter. After you decide the date, determine the time of day.You can also make it a surprise shower if you wanted to. 

  • Figure out where you are going to have it. A lot of times it is at one of the bridesmaids houses or a good friend's house. If you're going to go all out, you can do it at some fancy hotel, restaurant etc. 

  • Decide on a budget and who is paying for what. It is kosher to ask all the bridesmaids to help pitch in. Make sure everyone knows how much they need to pitch in in advance. It can get expensive to reserve a hotel room or a botanic garden especially once you add in the cost of food, decorations, gifts etc. 

  • Pick a theme. Depending on where you have this shower might depend on what theme you decide on, but a lingerie theme is always fun, or if she has a favorite color you can do a lot of decorations with that color. Keep in mind that themes often lead to easier planning and more fun of course. 

  • Determine the guest list. Everyone who is invited to the shower should also be invited to the wedding. If it's a surprise shower you can ask her mother, sister or groom about attendees, but if it's not just consult the bride. If you're doing just a girls shower then make sure the bride and groom's close female relatives and friends are invited. If you're going to do a couple's shower then obviously make it more coed friendly, don't just plan a traditional shower and invite the boys as well. This will obviously make it a larger event which will require more food, more space, etc. If you're on a tighter budget I would do a girls only shower. 

  • As for invites, they don't need to be too fancy just as long as they reflect the theme of the shower. You can make them, or they have cute ones online or at any store. Make sure there is an RSVP on the invite to either the MOH or a sister and have guests RSVP a couple weeks beforehand. 

  • Choose the food. Depending on what time you decided on determines what food will be served. For example if you do a Saturday at 11am then plan on "brunch type" food. A weeknight at 7pm  says that dinner won't be served, but there will be desserts and light finger food. If you want dinner to be served then make your time a little earlier and maybe you include that information on the invite. If you're going to be at someone's house then maybe you want to consider getting a caterer. Another idea could be to find out where the bride and groom are going for their honeymoon and do a dinner that replicates something they will be eating on their honeymoon. Have some hors d'oeuvres and then of course some amazing dessert for later. You can do homemade or from your best local bakery. 

  • Next up, entertainment. This can get fun. Besides the opening gifts, visiting, and food you need to have some games planned. Here are some fun games and great suggestions if you're struggling coming up with your own ideas. The newlywed game is a classic and must-play. I played this at my bridal shower and for every question I got wrong I had to chew a huge piece of bubble gum. It wasn't so fun for me but the crowd sure got a kick out of it. Another way I have seen this done is for every question the bride gets right she gets a dollar and everyone she gets wrong the person that asked the question gets to keep the dollar. 

  • Lastly, let's talk about gifts. On the invites most include where the bride is registered so guests can get something off their registry or if it's a lingerie theme include the bride's sizes. When you're opening presents have the MOH or sister right down which guest gave which present so the bride can do thank you cards. 

Hopefully this post was some help to you in planning the bridal shower. Bridal showers are fun and an opportunity where guests can shower the bride with love, gifts and good wishes. Happy Planning!

My bridal shower hosted by my bridesmaid Katie Falk and MOH Kaitlyn Giles

The Best Way to Organize your Wedding All in One Place

Something that brides typically don't think to do is to create a blog or website for their wedding. It is perfect for friends, family and guests to get information on the couple, and all the wedding details. It is such a cute, smart idea and I wish I would've done it. If you are engaged for four months or longer then you should definitely find the time to create a blog or website. It doesn't take too long, but if you are feeling like you don't have the time your wedding planner (me) can help you. This is right up my alley.

Things to include on your Blog/Website:

-Your Story: how you met, how long you have been dating, when he proposed, etc., etc. This can be very entertaining and everyone loves to hear the story of how you met. You can also include a portion about the bride and the groom separately.

-Wedding Accommodations: Where your guests should stay. Usually you have a few hotels close to where the wedding will be. As the bride it is your responsibility to you call the hotels and get prices. Sometimes they will give you a good deal on some rooms if you tell them it's for your wedding. Your guests will be very grateful for that.

-Directions to Wedding: You will want to include maps and directions to the ceremony, reception, rehearsal dinner etc. and anywhere else that guests need to be.

-Carpooling: If there will be carpooling available for family etc. to get to the destinations.

-Attire: What you expect guests to wear for the rehearsal dinner (formal or not), and any other wedding festivities.

-Weather: This is especially important for out of town guests traveling to the area. Be sure to update this regularly especially the week before. A direct link to a page with the forecast that guests can check so they know what to pack and bring would be helpful.

-Registry: A lot of guests lose their inserts from the invites that tell where you are registered. on where you are registered. Your blog can contain that information easily for your guests to reminded of those locations. Even easier for them, you can provide links to your registries that they can follow and purchase the gifts online.

-RSVP form: If you are requiring your guests to RSVP to your wedding this is a lot easier than sending in a form. They can just go to your website and RSVP there. This way you can make sure you get all your RSVP's quickly and track them easier. Make sure you include when you need this done by.

-Poll: This can be used to gather real information or just for fun. You might ask for a song or drink requests. Or maybe you'll see which bridal member will be the first to cry at the wedding etc.

-Contact Info: This is perfect so you can gather guests addresses easier and quicker than making a page on Facebook or going through old address books of your parents. Who is sick of getting a notification every time someone posts on So and So's getting hitched page with their "Congratulations" and address? I know I am.

-Open Houses: If you're going to have an open house in the groom's home town, include that date and location.

-Guest Book: You can include a guest book where guests can type a message online whether or not they are able to attend.

-Wedding Party: You can introduce your wedding party with pictures and a little information about them.

-Honeymoon: If you want to include your plans for your honeymoon you can do so on here too.

-Wedding Itinerary: This is such a good idea if your having a lot of events. I had a friend who had a dinner for out of town guests at her house with the date, time, location, what was going to be served, what to wear, directions etc. Following that was the bachelor and bachelorette parties with locations, times etc. The next day was a spa day for the bridesmaids and a golf date for the groomsmen, and that night they had the rehearsal dinner with again, location, time, attire, directions, what was going to be served etc. Then of course all the information for the wedding with even more details. This is a very important piece to include. All the different events can very hard for guests to keep track of so having it all typed up for them so they can just print it off will help it all run more smoothly.

I love to go and look at different couples wedding websites and blogs, not only because I love weddings, but also because everyone's is so unique. Making a website or blog is really the best way to keep all your information organized and in one spot. Once you make your website or blog get the word out via social media or by any other means but also remember to put the web address on your save the dates, announcements/ invites.

Here are a few examples of wedding websites and blogs.

Lisa & Ryan Barker

Sarah & JJay Jensen

Avoiding Becoming A Bridezilla

Overtime I have collected a few tips to remember that will help you avoid becoming a "Bridezilla", as well as minimize your stress. No one wants to be a Bridezilla, but sometimes in the heat of all the planning we lose our cool. Hopefully this list will speak to you and you can remember to be kind and appreciative to those who are helping you plan your wedding.


1.) Delegate sensibly. Delegating is key to keeping you sane. You CANNOT do this on your own. Fortunately, there will be tons of people eagar to help and be part of the day. Just make sure you give assignements to people that are capable of completing them. Your mom probably shouldn't plan your bachelorette party. Your grandma shouldn't be setting up chairs and tables. And your eight year old sister shouldn't be in charge of the parking situation. Also, don't overburden family and friends. They will want to enjoy this day with you.
2.) Sometimes family/friends/ etc. can be overbearing. Listen to every word of their input and thank them.
3.) Consider getting a wedding planner. If there's a lot to do and you and everyone else can't afford the time required to plan everything you need then this is a must. Generally speaking, the bride needs to be able to contribute a full 12 hours per week for planning, organizing, preparing, and getting the wedding put together.
4.) Take pictures and notes at bridal and event shows. This will help you when you start really planning your wedding.
5.) Be patient with your family, especially if they're helping split the bill. They just want the best for you and aren't trying to make you upset. It's a stressful, busy time and remember they're on your side.
6.) Put your foot down when you need to. If you're very set on a specific caterer then explain that without being too selfish. Let your mom know what is most important to you.
7.) Compromise. If you really want that caterer, and your mom has a strong opinion about the DJ then maybe you let her pick the DJ and you the caterer.
8.) Keep lines of communication open. Let your friends, family etc. know that they can come to you about anything. My mother-in-law came to me about the bridesmaids skirts I picked out. She explained that they weren't the most flattering on my sister-in-laws and offered to pay to have someone make the skirts. I was flexible on this, and the end product turned out great.
9.) Remember your marriage is more important than the wedding. Sometimes in all the hustle and bustle we overlook this and lose sight of what's really most important. In the end it doesn't matter who took your pictures as long as you have them, and who did your hair.
10.) Cross-off "non-essentials." If you're on a tight budget and trying to save money then go through your list and decide what is most important to you. Maybe you don't need to have that makeup artist who charges $100 an hour or those $500 shoes with the diamond studs.
11.) Have fun, you'll be married in the end.

Keep in mind, There's no "best way" to get married everyone does it differently.

Here are some websites that I have found useful to help with ideas and planning.

How To Make Your Guest Book Significant

Remember to have some form of guest book at your reception. A guest book allows you to look back and see who was there on your special day as well as let your guests leave you a nice message. There are so many options for a guest book and all are equally neat, it just depends on what you want and how creative you care to be. You can have an engagement picture framed with a white matte border and have guests sign the matting around the picture. You can make a photo album book of you and your fiancé with pictures of you two and have guests sign pages around the pictures. I have seen tons of different creative ways to do a "guest book" without actually having a book. Theses include: signing their names and advice on puzzle pieces, corks, rocks, etc. A very unique guest book I found was to have a polaroid camera sitting out with blank pages. The guests take a picture of themselves and then sign their name. I would have loved this idea for my wedding. Ty and I look back at our guestbook at least a few times a year especially on our anniversary. There were so many people there that if we saw them on the street we wouldn't know who they were. It's not us being ungrateful of their presence, but because they were friends or coworkers of our parents (you'll have a lot of those), it would have been nice as we were reading their note to have a face to go with it. I also wish I would've had an option for couples to write down advice for us. I recommend having both of these options at your reception if you can. It is really fun to sit down together and look back at these things and memories of your wedding.

Help A Girl Out

Hey All!

So this is going to be a post not about weddings but about helping me out. Thank you SO much for reading my posts and helping me build my traffic on my blog and website. However, I have still not received any comments on anything I write and would LOVE to hear from my readers. So comment away. Let me know if you're liking what I post, or have any questions etc. etc.

Also, I am looking to start getting some advertisements on my blog, but before I do I need more traffic. So spread the word. If you know of anyone who is engaged or soon to be engaged and is looking for a wedding planner and some help share with them my blog and website.

Lastly, if any of you know any advertisers who would be interested in putting some ads on my blog let me know.

Thank you for all the support I have received. You guys are awesome and keep me going.

The Importance of Writing Thank You Cards

After the honeymoon and after you've opened all your lovely presents it's time to start writing and addressing your thank you cards. Make sure while you're opening your gifts that you designate someone like your mom to write down all the gifts you received and who they were from so you can be thorough in your thank you cards. Writing your thank you cards does take a while, but it is worth it and your guests truly appreciate it. As a rule of thumb you need to have all of your thank you cards sent out no later than two months after your wedding. That is a really easy deadline. Ty and I had all our thank you cards out less than a month after our wedding. So I challenge all your newlyweds to have your thank you cards no later than a month after.

This past August I attended a friend's wedding with a gift, and I have still not received a thank you card. Since that wedding I have gone to other weddings and brought gifts, and received their thank you cards. The long wait leads me to believe they aren't sending any. It makes me feel that my gift and presence there was insignificant to them. Don't be like this couple. Express your gratitude as quickly as possible.

You can find really cute thank you cards online. I have seen some where the couple has "thank you" written on a small chalkboard or piece of paper and they take a photo with it on their wedding day to use for thank you cards later. Or you can choose a wedding photo and create a thank you card from that. These are really cute ideas but you have to wait until you get all your wedding photos back from the photographer, which can take a while. Or you can also just buy some at Target like we did. I have known a lot of couples that do that. Do whatever is in your budget, because remember you also have to get stamps for them all too.

Make sure you are genuine and express true gratitude for their gift. Include what you like about it, or how it will be put to good use. Thank them for attending if they did. It is so important that that they feel that you appreciate their friendship and for bringing you a gift (because they really didn't have to). The notes don't need to be more than a few sentences, but you need to handwrite each one. It takes time but shows them your truly appreciative.

Happy Writing :)