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Pre-Wedding Day Prep {Part 2 – Nutrition}

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!

Start Early
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.

Reduce Stress
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!

Get Sleep
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!)

Stay Hydrated
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 ashley.krauss@gmail.com. Ashley is generously offering complementary consultations to anyone referencing this blog post.

Stay tuned for “Part 3” – Exercise Tips!

Vendors we Love: Timothy Burke Mannle Photography

VENDORS WE LOVE // TIMOTHY BURKE MANNLE PHOTOGRAPHY
Learn more about Tim, where he pulls inspiration from + how to ensure you get the perfect couple shots!


We love this couple. How fun are they?!
Joshua Tree National Park – Cali

“SOMETIMES IT MAY LOOK LIKE I’M ZONING OUT…I’M REALLY TRYING TO TUNE IN TO SO MANY DIFFERENT THINGS!”
-TIM


THE MAN BEHIND THE CAMERA

I’m a husband, a dad and a photographer. I love spending time with my family and cannot get enough of my kids. If I could dance and be silly with them all day long, that’s what I’d do. It could be the Frozen soundtrack or 90’s hip-hop, either will work. I’m easily lost listening to music (I use to be a battle DJ). To explore and be adventurous are good things. I’m always thinking of the next destination and where we can go. It doesn’t have to be a big trip. It could be down a country road, driving by the horse farm, around the corner from my house. I’m a dreamer. I’m a lover of all things analogue and tangible, from vinyl to film. Being able to actually touch what you’ve created is simply satisfying. Remaining connected and finding balance are important aspects of my life. I’m inspired by so many things and hope that I inspire too.

THE MIND OF A PHOTOGRAPHER // FILM BY: SHANE FILMS

THE ENGAGEMENT SHOTS!
It’s all about the connections… between the landscape, the couples + the camera! Being comfortable is EVERYTHING!


Tongva Park
– Santa Monica, Cali.


Q&A

WITH TIM
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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.”

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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!”

ALSW + TBM PHOTOSHOOT COLLAB!
Coffin’s Beach – MA., Pronovias chiffon + tropical florals!


Q&A

WITH TIM
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How did you get into the wedding industry?

“After college, I worked in a photo lab for about 6 years. I was also a competitive DJ back then. I didn’t know it at the time but the skills I picked up allowed me to get my start in the industry. About 10 years ago, I was working at a country club. Whenever there was a wedding, I would chat with the photographers and DJ’s. I ended up becoming good friends with one of those DJ’s and he gave me a great opportunity to get started.”

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What is your favorite part of a wedding day?

“It’s definitely a first look. It’s such an intimate moment. It’s also an incredible culmination of emotions for the bride and groom that I get to capture. Pure happiness!”


We love how Tim played with the landscape to give you a skewed sense of reality.

THE VENDORS!
Gown : Pronovias “Dramia” // Veil: Tia Mazza “VPF23” via A Little Something White Bridal Couture // Photographer: Tim Burke Mannle – TBM Photos // Location: Coffin’s Beach – Gloucester, Mass. // Hair: Epic Beauty Boston // Makeup: Makeup.by.marlo // Model: Alexandra Bettencourt // Florals: All Purpose Flowers

THE WEDDING DAY!
Being able to truly capture the magic of a wedding day, is something spectacular. Most often a photographer only has one chance to get the shot!

Check out our bride Eva + her hubby below!


Can we discuss our bride Eva in her Suzanne Neville “Rosa” gown… STUNNING!


Q&A

WITH TIM
///

What should a couple expect when working with you?

“A fun, laid back experience. I like to think of shooting with my couples as the three of us just hanging out and I happen to have my camera.”

///

What would you say is your “style”?

“I never know how to answer this. I love to create a clean and natural image that is more or less honest to the moment.”


“Eva’s wedding day was a spectacular mix of glam meets nature, designed by Lindsey at Amy Champagne Events.”


THE VENDORS!
Gown : Suzanne Neville “Rosa” // Veil: Tia Mazza “VPF23” via A Little Something White Bridal Couture // Photographer: Tim Burke Mannle – TBM Photos // Location: Bear Mountain Inn – Bear Mountain, NY // Wedding Planner: Lindsey – Amy Champagne Events // Hair + Makeup: Family Friend // Invitations + Paper Goods: Minted // Cake: Lovely Cakes // Florals: Forever in Bloom


Q&A

WITH TIM
///

What do you feel is most important when meeting with a couple?

“That we’re all comfortable with each other. It’s always a great idea to jump on a call, FaceTime or meet in person. It’s really important to make a connection.”

///

Where do you pull inspiration from?

“A lot of inspiration comes from my family and that love. I’m just working with other families. It reminds me of mine and fills me up.”


Check out TIMOTHY BURKE MANNLE PHOTOGRAPHY below!

Real Wedding // A GOLDEN BRUSH STROKE: Gilded + Royal

Cara + Dan // 6.23.18
Wadsworth Mansion at Long Hill Estate // Middletown, CT

“Don’t worry about the weather…No one remembers a sunny day!”
-CARA

THE LOOK!
The gown was fit like a glove, Cara’s Atelier Pronovias “Vicenta” crepe gown with illusion neckline and lace detailing was exactly what this day called for.

THE CEREMONY!
The walk down the aisle of St. James Church was rich with family traditions + tears for sure!

Can we talk about her mothers veil?! Wowzers!

THE GOWN + THE PROCESS // Q&A
WITH ALSW BRIDE CARA
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Q: What did you love most about working with A Little Something White Bridal?
A: I loved how personal the experience was and how exceptional the consultants were. Liz, my consultant, was AMAZING to work with and understood what I was looking for while also showing me lots of different options. I felt so comfortable and not rushed at all, and also had a blast trying on dresses. In fact, this was the only store I went to and I purchased my dress on the first try! ALSW also worked very closely with me to make sure I could wear my mother’s mantilla veil from my parent’s wedding in 1976 and also helped to clean, restore it, and fit it so I had a cohesive look with my gown. I would go wedding gown shopping again at A Little Something White if I could!

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Q: What would you recommend to a new bride beginning her gown shopping?
A: Enjoy the experience, be open to trying different looks (you don’t know what a gown will look like until it’s on you), and bring supportive people (I had my mom, my mother in law, and my MOH/sister in law). Wedding dress shopping is a high point of wedding planning so while you should come prepared for your appointment, you should also have fun with it – you’re trying on beautiful gowns!

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Q: If you could go back in time and tell yourself something about the planning process what would it be?
A: Enjoy it! While there are a lot of logistical aspects of a wedding, all of your vendors are professionals who know exactly what they’re doing and can take care of everyone’s needs — that’s why you hired them! I was amazed at how much fun I had on the actual day and how relaxed I could be because my vendors just ran everything seamlessly. Also, don’t worry about the weather – I was so nervous about the weather, but even though it rained on my wedding day we still were able to take photos outside and do cocktail hour and dancing outside. As the priest, Father Carlson, said during our ceremony, “No one remembers a sunny day.”

The all ivory bridal party is such a stunning one to say the least!

THE DECOR!
Wadsorth’s great room is the perfect backdrop for the crisp white linens, greenery lined head table with pops of royal blues + golds.

Cake dusted in gold by David Alan Catering.

THE LOVE STORY // Q&A!
WITH ALSW BRIDE CARA
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Q: How did you meet your husband?
A: I met my husband Dan during our freshman year at Boston College. We met at the first football game of the season, and were friends for a couple of years before we “officially” started dating during our junior year.

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Q: What was going through your mind as you walked down the aisle?
A: It was a surreal moment and one I had thought about my whole life. I was definitely nervous, and I didn’t want to trip or cry. Once the church doors opened and I had my dad steadying me, I locked eyes with Dan and I knew I this would be a wonderful day– I was marrying the love of my life in front of all of our friends and family. I also hid in my limo with my dad before walking down the aisle, and he gave me two words of advice which also gave me comfort: 1) Don’t trip (haha) and 2) Make sure to always balance work and family.

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Q: If you could go back and relive a moment from your wedding day, what would it be?
A: It’s so hard to choose from! Just the general feelings of warmth, love, and joy that was present with Dan and with all of our friends and family there – they are feelings I will never forget. A few highlights were Dan’s grandfather facilitating our vows, the sense of relief and happiness once we finally said “I do,” the limo ride from the church to the reception with my parents (with champagne), my Dad’s speech (he wrote a poem!), and the reception where every single person was dancing, singing, and laughing — I could go on and on. I’m also so glad we hired a videographer so we can relive our wedding day whenever we want.

THE DETAILS!
The Shoes, The Earrings + The Rings!

THE PARTY!
Dance, Dance, Dance the night away! It’s so Ranunculus did it again with their mix of delicate peony accents and twig detailing for height.

Don’t let us forget to mention the Cigar Rolling Station… Ohhh the Cigars… They were a hit!

THE VENDORS!
Gown + Veil: Atelier Pronovias “Vicenta” via A Little Something White Bridal Couture // Photographer: VO Photography // Ceremony: St. James Church – Manchester, CT // Venue: Wadsworth Mansion – Middletown, CT // Hair and Makeup: Your Bridal Suite // Band: Jim Scianna Trio // Invitations + Paper Goods: Jessica McSweeney // Cigar Roller: Up in Smoke // Catering + Cake: David Alan Catering // Florals: It’s So Ranunculus // Videographer: Barnberry Productions // DJ: Jock in the Box // Furniture Rentals: AFR Furniture Rentals & Event Furnishings // Tent Rentals: Taylor Rental + Party Plus of Orange, Branford & Monroe

Suzanne Neville Designer Spotlight: March 7th-10th

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!

Request an Appointment!

Real Wedding // MOUNTAIN MIST: Linen, Lace + Greenery

Elizabeth + Charlie // 9.15.18
Ausable Club // Keene Valley, NY

“It feels like it was all a dream!!
-ELIZABETH

THE LOOK!
Perfectly fitted in her Mira Zwillinger “Sophia” tulle gown, Elizabeth couldn’t have looked more effortlessly beautiful! Hints of subtle sparkle and floral appliques scattered through out, made for an ideal compliment to the Adirondack mountains.

THE CEREMONY!
Stunning Mountain backdrop and cloud filled skies beautifully captured by Tomas Flint (Adirondack Wedding Photography).

THE GOWN // Q&A!
WITH ALSW BRIDE ELIZABETH
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Q: What did you love most about working with A Little Something White Bridal?
A: “The whole process of finding a dress and coming in for fittings was so easy with ALSW but my favorite part was when I found the dress ALSW popped a bottle of champagne for us! We had looked at dresses a few other places in NYC before and none of them even allowed alcohol so it was a fun surprise when I found my dress.”

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Q: What would you recommend to a new bride beginning her gown shopping?
A: “I would just recommend planning out enough time to try on as many dresses as you can. I thought I had an idea of what I wanted going into the process and ended up falling in love with a very different dress than I expected.”

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Q: If you could go back in time and tell yourself something about the planning process what would it be?
A: “I would definitely remind myself to relax and not stress over the details too much. There will always be minor last minute issues but everything will work out in the end and no matter what goes wrong it will still be one of the best days of your life.”

THE DECOR!
Tan linens, floral chandeliers + birch accents. Such a chic design by Juniper Events, such an elegant way of bringing the outdoors in.

Can we discuss the lush florals by Trillium?!

THE LOVE STORY // Q&A!
WITH ALSW BRIDE ELIZABETH
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Q: How did you meet your husband?
A: “We met in high school but did not start dating until college. Charlie went to the same college as his sister who was my best friend in high school and they were only an hour away from my college. We started dating when I would visit their school. Charlie’s sister was my Maid of Honor in our wedding.”

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Q: What was going through your mind as you walked down the aisle?
A: “I was definitely concentrated on not tripping and a little anxious about everyone watching me. I was also feeling really lucky while walking down the aisle for so many reasons but mainly I was feeling very lucky to have my dad walking with me. He went into cardiac arrest a year and a half earlier and almost did not make it. I was so happy he was with me and in great health!”

///

Q: If you could go back and relive a moment from your wedding day, what would it be?
A: “I would love to relive the whole weekend. It all went by so fast sometimes it feels like it was a dream.”

THE DETAILS!
Jpaper’s nod to nature are sleek + personalized with this custom designed invites! Can we talk about how cute the grooms crescent moon tie is? Lee Allison Co. ties… We “Love you to the Moon + Back!”

THE PARTY!
Cheers, ribbon frosted cake + Confetti Bombs! The live band Carnivale made sure the dance floor was never empty.

THE SPARKLER SEND OFF!
Twinkle, twinkle…

THE VENDORS!
Gown + Veil: Mira Zwillinger “Sophia” via A Little Something White Bridal Couture // Photographer: Tomas Flint – ADK Wedding Photography // Location: Ausable Club – Adirondack, NY // Wedding Planner: Mimi Wacholder from Juniper Events // Hair and Makeup: Katherine Elizabeth Salon // Band: Carnivale // Invitations + Paper Goods: JPapers // Cake: Centerplate // Florals: Trillium

Tip of the Week: Book An Appointment

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!!

Vendors we Love: Shindig Lighting

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!

Real Wedding Wednesday: Liz & Russell

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.

Location: Agoura Hills, CA
Venue: Joseph Ramli Photography
Florals: Greenwich Floral Design
Venue: Triunfo Creek Vineyards
Rentals: A Rental Connection
Coordinator: Stop and Stare Events
Alterations: A Stitch In Time Bridal
Suits: The Black Tux

Tip of the Week: Do Your Research {Part 2 – Reviews}

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!

Happy Shopping!!

Pre-Wedding Day Prep {Part 1 – Beauty}

Today we kick off part one of a three-part series focused on helping you to look and feel your best on your wedding day! There are three critical areas to focus on in the months before the wedding day – skincare, nutrition, and exercise – and we have discovered that most brides start thinking about these much later than they should.

Erin Infantino of Simply Gorgeous by Erin graciously agreed to meet me for drinks (coffee for me and celery juice for Erin!) to share what a bride’s skincare regimen should be in the months leading up to her wedding day and why this is so important! Erin has been a makeup artist for over two decades and has done the makeup of countless ALSW brides.

Every bride wants her skin to look flawless on her wedding day. What I have noticed among my thousands of brides over the years is that they all have questions about skincare. And the one important thing to know is that makeup will only look so good as the skin it sits upon. My personal philosophy is to make skin look flawless with as little foundation and concealer as possible. No one wants a caked on face! This is where a good skin care routine comes in. I recommend starting about six months before your wedding day, if possible. The sooner you start a good skincare routine, the more time you will have to reap the rewards of it. Below are some of my top tips. I could probably go on forever but I don’t want to overload you with information!

Drink Water
If you think you drink enough water, you most likely don’t! You should be drinking roughly half your weight in ounces of water. If you weigh 150 pounds, you need to drink 75 ounces of water. Throw some lemon in it and just make it happen.

Always Wash Your Face Before Bed
Even if you didn’t wear makeup that day, you still touched dirty surfaces and surely touched your face. Wash all that bacteria away and prep your skin with products your skin can soak up and benefit from.

Schedule a Personal Consultation with a Skin Care Expert
Every woman has their own unique skin so a personal consultation with an aesthetician or skin care expert is smart. Oily skin has different needs than dry skin or sensitive skin, and you want your own personal skin care goals to be addressed. Don’t try to get advice from a sales rep behind a counter. Make sure the individual has been educated and trained on the skin’s anatomy and what ingredients you should use or stay away from.

Gut Health
Let’s talk “gut health”. Too much sugar or dairy in your diet will wreak havoc on your skin. Our gut is our second brain and tells our body what to do. Our skin is our largest organ so if something isn’t right internally it will manifest itself in your skin. Keep sugar, dairy and alcohol to a minimum. Take a probiotic that’s suitable for you – I recommend a high quality one that requires refrigeration. Health is always a worthwhile investment.

Add These Products to Your Regimen
One product all skin types can benefit from is a Hyaluronic acid serum. This is naturally found in our bodies and is nothing to be worried about just because it has the word “acid” in it. It’s a hydration booster and plumps up the skin to appear nice and healthy and vibrant. Even if you’re oily, you can be dehydrated and you can benefit from this. Its meant to be worn under your moisturizer or can be worn alone if you’re excessively oily. A second product most skin types can benefit from is Vitamin C serum. Make sure it’s an L-Ascorbic as this tends to cause less or no irritation. This brightens the skin, feeds the skin’s strength, and fights off free radicals and toxins in the air.

Your Daily Routine Matters
If you decide to do facials, please, PLEASE invest in good at-home skin care as well. It’s pointless to get your car detailed and washed if you’re never going to maintain basic cleaning in the days afterwards. The same goes for your skin…what you do day to day matters most!

Thank you, Erin, for taking the time to share these tips with us. Erin and her team can be reached at erin@simplygorgeousbyerin, on Facebook, and on Instagram!

Stay tuned for “Part 2” next week – Nutrition Tips!