Every bride wants to look and feel her best on her wedding day. Today we kick off part two of our three part series focusing on things you should be doing now to make sure you are ready for the big day! Last time we touched on beauty….today we talk nutrition! We sat down with owner Ashley Krauss, who is also a health and wellness coach (we just love that entrepreneurial spirit), to find out her top nutrition tips for brides.
After working with thousands of brides over the years, the common theme I hear time and again is that brides want to look and feel amazing on their wedding days. While for many brides, this means losing some degree of weight and toning up, for others it’s simply that they want to move through the wedding process with more energy and less exhaustion. Nutrition plays such a critical role in all of his, yet I find many brides downplay its importance. I always advise my brides to pay close attention to what they are putting into their bodies daily, even if they aren’t trying to lose weight, but especially if they are! Below are some of my top tips!
Changing your eating habits? I encourage you to start early. You should begin your wedding-day nutritional regimen 4-6 months prior to your first fitting. If you have a substantial weight loss goal, I would recommend even more time. Additionally, you are going to want to reach your weight loss goal by the time your first fitting begins (about 2 1/2 months before your wedding) and then plan to maintain from that point on. If you continue to lose weight after your first fitting, you could be looking at a higher-than-average alterations bill.
Focus on progress, not perfection
A wedding often turns even the most laid-back woman into a perfectionist. So much emphasis is placed on having the “perfect day”, and it’s easy to fall into the trap of looking at things in a very black-and-white way. Weight loss is not a linear path and there is no such thing as perfection. Focus on making progress and allow for some set-backs, and you will be much more successful.
Nutrition is 80%, Exercise is 20%
While exercise is amazing, improving your nutrition is correlated with much success in losing weight and gaining energy than simply exercising more. As an avid Peloton rider, I often hear fellow riders ask the instructors where they get their abs from…and their answer is always “my abs are made in the kitchen.” There is so much truth to that, and while I always encourage exercise, the biggest change you need to make is with what you put in your mouth.
Don’t Go It Alone!
Want to make sure you stick to our goals? Grab your fiancé, maid of honor, bridesmaid, even mom to lose weight with you! After all, you aren’t the ONLY one who wants to look good on your wedding day! When you pair up with someone else, you hold each other accountable. And accountability is proven to be a huge motivating factor for those trying to lose weight. It’s easy to cheat on ourselves, but it’s harder to cheat on someone you care about. Pick one or two people who you know are truly motivated and ask them to get healthy with you. And then after your wedding, think of how amazing you will feel knowing that you inspired someone else to get healthy! I would also advise working with an expert who can help you evaluate your goals, come up with a program to make those goals achievable, and hold you accountable.
You’re probably thinking, “I’m planning a wedding, is this tip a joke?” And I get it. I remember being so stressed out while planning my wedding, and I wish I could go back and have a do-over (same guy though!) Research shows that the more stressed we are, the more cortisol is released into our body. And a higher level of cortisol is linked to weight gain, especially in women. Additionally, when we’re stressed, we tend to engage in habits that aren’t waistline friendly, such as eating and drinking. So acknowledge that while you can’t get rid of stress completely, you can take some steps to reduce it. Add exercise, get a massage, get some sleep, and delegate some of your wedding prep tasks!
Try to get at least 6-7 hours of sleep a night on most nights. I know this may sound unrealistic to do all the time, but try to achieve it as often as possible. Even if you aren’t getting the full 6 hours, stack the odds in your favor that the sleep you get is restful. Studies show that those who are chronically sleep deprived have a much harder time losing weight. In this day and age, we tend to tie our self-worth into how “busy” we are, and so many people wear sleep deprivation like a badge of honor. It’s not, and it’s not going to serve you well in your weight loss goals!
Listen To Your Gut
Gut health…say what?!?! It’s not the most fun topic but quite important if you’re trying to lose weight. Even the healthiest of foods, like fresh fruit and veggies, are much less nutritionally dense today than they were 30 years ago. Add in all of the processed, sugar-laden food present today and our bodies are not functioning optimally. Your gut may very well be lacking in the good bacteria that keeps it healthy, as they are not given an environment to grow and thrive. This can lead to bloating and other digestive issues. We recommend adding an excellent quality probiotic to your diet each day as well as eating clean, unprocessed foods as often as possible (do 80% of your shopping at the perimeter of your grocery store and you should be good!)
Water, water, water!! Drink as much water as possible. A good rule of thumb is to aim for ½-1 ounce of water per pound of body weight. So a 150 pound person should be drinking 75-150 ounces per day. Water does so many things for our body – aids in digestion, helps our brain function optimally, and actually helps us feel less hungry. In fact, the next time you think you’re hungry, drink an 8 ounce glass of water first. Our brains often mistake thirst cues for hunger cues.
Thank you, Ashley, for taking the time to share your wisdom with us! If you have any questions or are looking to get a jump start on your nutrition, please contact Ashley at firstname.lastname@example.org. Ashley is generously offering complementary consultations to anyone referencing this blog post.
Stay tuned for “Part 3” – Exercise Tips!
What moment would you say was the most memorable one you’ve experienced at a wedding?
“It was a couple of years ago at a destination wedding in Mexico. I got super emotional during the best man’s speech. It’s a good thing I had the camera in my hands; it helped me hide the tears flowing down my face. The best man was the groom’s older brother. When he opened up about their relationship, and how he’d moved away at some point, he got choked up, and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I’m one of six kids and my siblings are a huge part of my life. His openness and vulnerability in that moment about his relationship with his brother was so beautiful and completely resonated with me.”
If you could give a few tips to a couple to ensure that they have great photos what would it be?
“Communication, comfort and chaos!The big thing is really being comfortable throughout the whole process and relationship. This will allow us to communicate and not be afraid to say what comes to mind. Also, when we’re comfortable together, most importantly, you’ll be comfortable in front of the camera. Lastly, the chaos; embrace it! Acknowledge it and give it space. The day is going to be crazy and that’s ok…haha I’m there for you!”
The all ivory bridal party is such a stunning one to say the least!
Cake dusted in gold by David Alan Catering.
SUZANNE NEVILLE DESIGNER SPOTLIGHT | MARCH 7th – 10th
We are thrilled to be hosting a Suzanne Neville Designer Spotlight from March 7th-1oth! During the event we will be showcasing some of Suzanne’s newest styles, best sellers from past seasons, and some of our personal 2019 faves! “Designer to the Stars”, English designer Suzanne Neville’s gowns are breathtakingly beautiful…modern, yet timeless! Purchase your gown during the event and receive $300 OFF! Appointments are required. Please contact us on our website or at 203-309-5110 to request an appointment!
“I’M KNOWN FOR MY CORSETRY; IT’S ONE OF MY SPECIALTIES…I’M ABLE TO HIDE SCAFFOLDING WITHIN EVEN THE SOFTEST LOOKING OF SHAPES.”
– SUZANNE NEVILLE
BOOK YOUR APPOINTMENT TO TRY ON THE LATEST DESIGNS!
Your venue and date are set. You took our advice from the last two weeks and figured out which bridal boutiques have both the right price range of gowns and will deliver the best experience (missed those blog posts – read here and here). So now it’s time to get shopping, right? Almost…..
Bridal gown shopping is not like shopping for everyday clothes. Your bridal gown will likely be the most unique and self-expressive garment you ever wear in your life. If you are like most of our brides, this is the first luxury clothing item you have ever purchased and will probably be the fanciest piece of clothing you ever wear. Bridal gowns come in a variety of shapes, fabrics, colors, and sizes. What’s more, many designers offer the ability to make changes to the pattern of the gown (what we call “customizations”) to make it uniquely yours. What does that mean? You need to make sure to work with an expert to get it right.
At A Little Something White, our bridal stylists are experts in connecting your personality, body type, and wedding day vision with the perfect gown for you. All three of those factors are incredibly important in finding the right gown. ALSW bridal stylists collectively have several decades of experience in working with and styling brides. What’s more, they have a lifetime of experience in connecting with people, and that is one way I believe we differentiate ourselves from other stores out there. You will be treated with an unparalleled amount of kindness and respect. I digress….
In order to ensure that there is a both a bridal stylist to work with you and an fitting room available, we strongly encourage you to make an appointment for your visit with us. Additionally, this allows you to connect with your stylist prior to the appointment so that she can learn about you and your wedding and have some gowns picked out for you.
However, if you find yourself wanting to come in at the last minute, don’t be afraid to call us to see if we have last minute availability. We often can accommodate same-day requests, especially during the week. And if you walk in without an appointment, know that you’ll be greeted with a huge smile and open arms, we just can’t promise that we will be able to fit you in on the calendar at the exact moment. But that’s what coffee shops are for, right? In that case we would likely send you out for a cup of coffee and then ask you to come back a little later when something opens up.
Click here to schedule an appointment or call us at 203-309-5110. Happy Shopping!!
I am so excited for today’s vendor feature!!! Dan Gombos started Shindig Lighting after seeing that the the wedding market was lacking in lighting production. And now, years later, he is THE person to go to in Connecticut and the surrounding area if you want the best of the best in lighting for your wedding! Not long after starting ALSW, I had the opportunity to meet this insanely talented (and incredibly nice) guy. Little did I know that Dan would end up working with TONS of ALSW brides. Read on below to find out how Dan approaches the wedding, what you should expect when working with him, and his favorite design that he has ever created! Thank you, Dan for taking the time to talk to us!
ALSW: How did you get into the wedding industry?
Dan: I worked for a catering company in Westport as a high school summer job. Toward the end of summer, after working enough events, I asked my boss what service was “missing” in our area. Without hesitation he responded “lighting”. And the rest is history. The next week I went out and started buying lighting fixtures (with no knowledge whatsoever of what I was doing) and hustlin’ to get those bookings!
ALSW: What is your favorite part of a wedding day?
Dan: While we’re not always on-site during the reception, our favorite part of the day is setting up. We love the energy and comradery of being around the other vendors. That’s where our relationships are made and help us do our job better!
ALSW: What do you feel is most important when meeting with a couple?
Dan: Since our business is very visual, it’s extremely important that the client understands the image we’re trying to paint and vice-versa. Lighting and decor is possibly the most foreign vendor a couple will book; a lot of words and phrases will be met with blank stares. It’s our job to convey, through words and visual imagery, what we’re talking about and how these services could be incorporated to their wedding.
ALSW: Where do you pull inspiration from?
Dan: We work hard on being ahead of the upcoming trends, which means, for the past 2 years, we’ve been looking alot at Australia. This upcoming season you’ll find a lot of lighter wood / rattan and natural colors from us. We invested heavily last year in certain items and have added a few more for this season. We’ll keep recommending these items and designs for the next year but will take cues from other parts of the world for what will be popular next year.
ALSW: What should a couple expect when working with you?
Dan: We consider ourselves a boutique company and only take a few events a day. This allows us to keep our services personal enough where we can really get involved and develop a design that is cohesive with the rest of the reception. While most couples are hesitant to give a vendor a “budget”, it’s crucial for us to know what they’re comfortable investing. We like to work backwards with a starting figure to make a cohesive design rather than work UP to a budget and play around with “which items can we mix-and-match to get to this number”?
ALSW: What would you say is your “style”?
Dan: We like to be on-trend but also offer classic options. We have classic styles of chandeliers (crystal, iron orbs, edison bulb beams) but also have more modern and current options (geometric brass, rattan market baskets, sputnik gold chandeliers). Our custom fabric options allow us to be traditional for a wedding or we can change the texture and style for a bar mitvzah. Flexibility allows us to adapt to what are clients are looking for.
ALSW: What would you say was your favorite design you’ve created so far?
Dan: This past summer we were hired to create a custom grid “chandelier”, which consisted of 3 10′ x 10′ lattice frames. From the lattice we suspended, at various heights, various sized iron orbs with chandeliers inside the orbs. In addition we also suspended, also at various heights, different sized grapevine balls wrapped with twinkle lights. In total we hung about 3 dozen fixtures, a dozen from each lattice section. Each lattice section was then suspended at different heights above the dancefloor, which really gave a unique texture to the ceiling area as well as creating great depth in the tent!
Below are a few of Dan’s favorite photos displaying his work! For additional photos, please visit the Shindig Lighting website!
Congratulations are in order for Liz and Russell who were married on September 29, 2018 in beautiful California! Liz was stunning in her Pronovias Devany gown. The place where Liz and Russell got married will always have a special place in their hearts. From Liz, “We met and live in Malibu, California and were married in the hills at Triunfo Creek Vineyards in Agoura Hills, CA. Both our home and the venue survived the Woolsey fire with minimal damage, but our community and our hearts are very much still recovering and will be for quite some time. We are thankful that our wedding day is a time we can look back on with such joy and gratitude, remembering that special place and how beautiful the weather and the hills were. It is tragic to now look at those same hills and see scorched land, but we are grateful that we still have each other. My beautiful dress also survived the fire, and I’m looking forward to hopefully passing it on to my daughter one day.” Below are a few of our favorite photos from her big day as well as details from Liz about working with ALSW and her wedding day!
ALSW: What did you love most about working with A Little Something White?
Liz: I had a few negative experiences before my MOH found A Little Something White Bridal on a whim from a random google search. I have a thicker body (size 14ish), and the previous try-ons I had were so difficult because the places I went not only had limited dresses in my size (or none at all), but the women were almost annoyed to have to cater to my size. The dresses I managed to get on were not flattering, and it was really discouraging to see myself in the mirror, especially when – like most women – I had always imagined that moment being magical. At A Little Something White, Amber was so welcoming and immediately I could tell this experience was going to be different. She was warm and kind and did not shy away from finding me plenty of dresses to try on. She made it happen for me, and as a result, I felt beautiful and confident and found my wedding dress!!! I cannot say enough about how wonderful my experience at your boutique was. I have talked to many brides and you’d be surprised at how many have such negative first experiences, and a tough time finding the right dress. I am very thankful that I had such an amazing, fun day at A Little Something White Bridal!
ALSW: What would you recommend to a new bride beginning to gown shop?
Liz: Quality over quantity. Also take your time and DO NOT compromise. Don’t go alone, but don’t bring too many people (I chose to just go with my MOH, but we facetimed my future MIL once we narrowed things down).
ALSW: If you could go back in time and tell yourself something about the planning process what would it be?
Liz: Enjoy it. Seek out the joy and the fun and excitement in all the planning. It’s not all going to be exactly the way you want it to be, but it’s going to be what you make it. If you stress out and get frustrated, you’ll make it a miserable experience. If you choose positivity, you’ll make it a hopeful and joyous experience (not just for you, but for everyone involved). Your emotions and demeanor rub off on all people involved in the process. You affect others, and you have the opportunity to bring light and fun to the chaos.
ALSW: How did you meet your husband?
Liz: Russell and I met and became friends when I was in the process of taking a job out here in Malibu. He was a part of the group I hung out with when I was making visits out here, and we immediately clicked (as friends). We grew closer when we started confiding in each other about the people we had crushes on at the time. I totally friend-zoned him. I eventually moved out here and about after both of us were rejected by the people we liked, he took a chance and asked me out on a date. His exact words were “I feel like I’d be an idiot not to try. Not to ask you out on a date and just see if something could be there.” A year later, he said to me, “a year ago I said I’d be an idiot not to ask you out. Today I feel like I’d be an idiot not to ask you to marry me.” The rest is history…
ALSW: What was going through your mind as you walked down the aisle?
Liz: Finally. I hope my dad keeps walking and doesn’t break down. I wish my mom were here. Everyone’s looking at me. Oh my gosh. I love him so much. Look at his face. He’s crying. I love him so much. Here we are. I am here. This moment is happening. Woah. I’m marrying him right now. Don’t trip, don’t trip, don’t trip.
ALSW: If you could go back and relive a moment from your wedding day what would it be?
Liz: The dancing. All the dancing.
Now that your venue is selected and date is set, you’re likely looking at what bridal boutiques to visit so that you can shop for your bridal gown, and there are many options out there! Last week we advised first narrowing down your selection to the stores that have the correct price range of gowns you’re looking for. Once you have done that, how can you pick the best stores to visit?
One thing that is important for you to know is that brides LOVE to leave feedback about their wedding vendors. That means for someone like you who is newly engaged, you have access to feedback from real brides about their experiences working with that vendor. Most review-based sites will offer an overall star or number rating but will also give brides an opportunity to share their experience, in words, for future brides.
Your goal in picking the best stores to shop at are the ones that are going to deliver an exceptional experience for you and the people you bring with you. You want to pick a place where brides say they felt part of the family, where they were valued, where they felt celebrated, where they felt supported in their decision making process, and where the store stepped up to help when something went wrong. Yes, that’s right…don’t be afraid of a store where a bride mentions that something went wrong and the store was there to fix it. That’s the exact place you WANT to buy your gown from! Pick a store that is going to have your back in any situation. You want the store that is going to go the extra mile for you at all times. The stores that have great reviews are typically stores who went above and beyond for their brides. Also important is to see how a store responds to a negative or difficult review. Is that store empathetic and understanding or combative and defensive? These responses speak volumes about the type of store you’re dealing with!
In our opinion, the best review sites out there are The Knot, Wedding Wire, and a store’s own Facebook page. Yelp also has reviews, but they randomly hide certain reviews and make them difficult to find, which we thing does a disservice to people who spend time to write a review! If our brides are going to take the time to review us, we feel like that should be front and center! At ALSW, we are incredibly proud that no matter what site you visit, you will see stellar reviews by former brides for you, our future bride, to read!
In addition to reviews, look for stores that have won local awards in their wedding communities. Awards are often earned by both a combination of brides voting and other wedding vendors voting. This means awards are often an endorsement by other wedding vendors, who have a trained eye for spotting the best of the best. Many local publications run “best of” contest for local businesses. If your area has one, see if your local bridal salon has come up as a winner in the weddings category!