2018, The year of Change

2018, The year of Change

 

I can’t even wrap my head over the fact that today is the last day of 2018. This year has been one of the most difficult but also most joyish years of my life. The memories I have made throughout this year are some of the most important memories I know I will ever have and I feel beyond blessed this year to have experienced all that I got to experience. Because of this, I thought it would be fun to write an overview of my year type blog post, highlighting the top moments, good and bad, that have shaped my 2018. Before I begin though, I am aware that it has been a long time since I last posted a blog post and I am so sad that that is the case. My life has been pretty crazy since the wedding but my goal in the next few weeks is to post many different blog posts catching you all up on my beautiful wedding, amazing mini moon/honeymoon, and just life in general. But for today, if you would like to read more about the best year of my life, just keep on reading. 🙂

 

January

The first month of the year I started off by saying that this was going to be my “perfect” year. Sitting here today, I have learned that there is no such thing as “Perfect”. One of the biggest lessons 2018 has taught me is nothing is ever going to go as “perfect” as you think, but that’s for another blog post. Though this is true, I really did find the perfect for me wedding gown and in the beginning of January, my grandmother bought it for me and we picked out the bridesmaid dresses from David’s Bridal. Finding such a picture perfect princess gown was something I had dreamed of since I was a little girl and I remember when I turned and faced the mirror for the first time, I couldn’t help but smile. In that moment, it became real to me that in 9 months, I was going to be walking down the aisle to my best friend in this dress. No words can truly express how I felt in that moment and I am so happy that I had one of my bridesmaids record that moment for me.

February

My happy moment though, did not last long because that following month, I became very sick. The first couple weeks of february were straight hell. In and out of urgent care, the emergency room, not being able to eat solid food,dehydrated constantly, being told I was fine when I felt like I was dying and finally going through an endoscopy to learn that I had gastritis and an hiatal hernia. Throughout all of that, I also started to suffer heavily with depersonalization and dissociation symptoms. Now I had experienced these before but never this strong and unfortunately, these would continue to affect me for most of 2018. Though the beginning part of february was probably the hardest weeks physically and mentally of my life, the month ended with me finally getting the stomach medication I needed, celebrating valentines day for the first time as an engaged couple, registering at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and finally, Tom leasing a 2018 honda civic hatchback.

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March

March brought another first for Tom and I, our first overnight trip away together just the two of us. March 21st marked 5 years since Tom and I became an official couple and even though every year we tried to go away for our anniversary, something always happened that made our plans fall through. This year was different though. This year, we finally went away and even if it was just one night near Mohegan Sun, it was such a fun and special trip for the two of us. Not only did I get to taste my first warm Krispy Kreme doughnut, I also got to gamble for the first time and spend quality time with my husband to be.

April

To help booked couples see how their wedding reception will go, Fox Hill Inn has a mini reception/tasting each year specifically for booked couples. April was the month Tom and I finally got to experience a taste of what our wedding night would be. We got to taste a bunch of different delicious food, dance some, and even get a special deal on different wedding day stations for our guests. This fox hill mini reception was definitely the highlight of April for me because it really got me excited for my wedding and also relaxed me on some of the details for that day.

May

May, however, was another month where there were good moments, but also defining tough ones. For the good, May was the month we selected our wedding menu, I decided to get my hair dyed blonde ombre, Megan had her Bridal shower and probably the most important moment of all, I finally graduated DCC after 4 years with an associates in general studies. May though was also the month I had my last therapy session with a therapist I really loved and trusted. When Lori informed me she would be leaving, I felt my entire world turn upside down. Lori made me feel less crazy, she believed in me and she respected my medication fear. Losing her was beyond hard but the things she had taught me in the months prior were things I was able to carry with me and though I know I will eventually have to find a new therapist, Lori showed me i’m not as broken or messed up as I once believed.

June

June was a happy month. Adrian, my best friend’s son, turned one and we had a wonderful birthday party for him. It was so unreal to me that he was already 1 when it seemed like just yesterday he was this infant lexi placed in my arms. Watching him grow was definitely one of my favorite parts of this past year. My cousin Michael and his fiance Megan got married which caused Tom to finally get to go to a wedding. That day was just filled with love and once again, really made me excited for my upcoming nuptials in 4 months. I also got a job as a temporary program assistant in my office which brought much more responsibility to my life and though at times this job would make me want to scream, I am so happy I was able to have had that experience. Lastly, June was the month where me and my girls finally did a pre-wedding activity and went to the Bronx zoo together. We even made minnie mouse hats to wear so everyone knew this was a pre-bachelorette outing!

July

July was also a fun month. Tom turned 23 and we went on our annual Ocean City NJ vacation trip with my family from Pennsylvania. Like always, that trip was nothing but fun but this year it was so sentimental thinking back to last July when Tom popped the question at the top of the wonder wheel. July was also the month that Tom and I got pre-approved for a mortgage. At the time, I cried with happiness but my little naive self was not prepared for all that was soon going to hit me because of it.

August

August began with a camping trip to Gilberts Lake with Tom, my soon to be brother and sister in laws and Victoria’s fiance. What started off as a trip I was dreading, became a highlight of my entire year and one of the most fun trips I had been on in a long time. The following weekend, I walked into my surprise Bridal shower which was also so much fun and Tom and I wound up getting so many amazing gifts. We sent out our wedding invitations to our guests and than got hit with the first of a few house disappointments. When a house we had fallen in love with accepted an offer that wasn’t ours, I was heartbroken. It was like I saw my future in front of me and with a phone call it had all broken away. Slowly though, with Toms help, I got over losing that “perfect” home and we continued our house hunting.

September

In September, my girls and I went on another pre-bachelorette outing and went to Six Flags for the day. I got my hair dyed back to my natural brunette color and my baby girl Luna turned 2 years old. This month I also hit 50 followers on this blog and though it doesn’t seem like a lot, it meant the world to me. Which is partly why, sitting here now, I feel so sad because I hate not posting here for all of you but life and mental illness have just gotten in the way so much and have prevented me from having any motivation to write lately. I can only hope that 2019 will be the year where I really do keep up with my blog and also, finally, start a youtube channel.

October

October. Oh October. This was the month that highlighted my entire year. I had an amazing bachelorette weekend at Mohegan Sun with my girls, a fun-filled rehearsal dinner and after party at Olive Garden and Round one, a relaxing salon day the day before the wedding with my girls and of course, the most important event of all of 2018, my wedding day. October 28th 2018 was the day I finally married my best friend, my soul mate, and the love of my life. Our Disney themed wedding was a day straight out of a story book and better than anything I could have ever dreamed of. After our wedding, we also got to have a wonderful mini-moon at Cove Haven which was the perfect way to end such a fairytale month. It’s crazy to think I started October 2018 as Kaylee DeMarco but ended it as Kaylee D’Ascanio.

November

Our actual honeymoon started in November. But November was also the month that my position at DCC ended which also ended my 4 year long job in the student financial services office. Having to leave a job I love and more importantly, coworkers who had became family was one of the hardest things I had to do and something I’m still struggling with. But when I think of November, I think of our magical honeymoon. Leaving the day after thanksgiving, we began our honeymoon in North Carolina where I finally got to meet Tom’s family down there. After 4 days there, we headed to Florida where I finally got to experience all the Magic of Disney World. I won’t lie, I cried when I saw the castle for the first time. Ending November in the happiest place on earth, well, I couldn’t ask for anything better.

December

The start of December, Tom and I boarded our 8 day Eastern Caribbean Carnival cruise, our last part to our magical honeymoon. We got to visit Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, Grand Turk, and St. Kitts. When we returned, it was back to the real world but my annual cousin shopping trip with grandma for christmas, my 23rd birthday, and Christmas itself all helped to make the adjustment from paradise to back home a little less stressful.

And that brings us to today, December 31st 2018. The last day of such an incredible year. As you can see, this year brought many ups, as well as some downs. I started off this year as a fiance and am ending it as a wife. I hope you enjoyed reading this post about my 2018 but now I want to hear from you. Tell me in the comments below what was one defining moment for you in 2018. If you enjoyed this post, especially the pieces about our wedding, mini moon, and honeymoon, than please keep your eye out because my plan is to post a lot about these three things in this upcoming month! Until than, Happy new years everyone! I hope 2018 was a great year for you and I hope that 2019 will be even better! 🙂 

Until next time,

Kaylee D. ❤

20 Tips for a Kick-ass Bachelorette Party!

Hello my darlings!

Can you believe October is already half over! Time is honestly flying by! As many of you know, my wedding is literally around the corner, 12 days away to be exact, and to say I am stressed out is an understatement! Thankfully though, I was able to escape all the wedding planning stress this past weekend and just get away with my girls for what turned out to be a pretty amazing Bachelorette weekend! So today I thought it would be fun to share with you all what my girls and I did this past weekend through a 20 tips for a kick-ass bachelorette party blog post! Below you will find 15 different tips that I followed this weekend plus 5 other tips that I wish I had followed along with some pictures from this truly crazy weekend! So if you want to learn more, just keep on reading! 🙂

 

#1: If you can, go for a whole weekend

From the very beginning of planning out my bachelorette weekend, I had wanted to go from Friday to Sunday. Unfortunately, due to money and work schedules, we were only able to do a Saturday to Sunday getaway. Even though we all had a great time, some things felt rush and I definitely wish we had that extra day and night to do stuff so if you can make it work, I highly recommend getting away for a full weekend with your girls. Remember, you’re only going to have one bachelorette party, you might as well make it the best you can!

#2: Buy and wear special outfits for your Bachelorette weekend

Your bachelorette weekend is all about you and what better way to show this than to wear an outfit that screams you are a bride-to-be. Pick out an all white outfit that you feel your absolute best in. Make sure to take into account what the weekend will consist of so you don’t under or over dress however. If you don’t know where exactly you’re going that weekend because it is a surprise, have your maid of honor or bridesmaids just give you a clue on the dress code. For myself, I knew I was going to Mohegan sun and we planned to hit the clubs and the casino so I chose a more club like attire for the first night. I picked out white skinny jeans and this button up white long sleeve crop top from Charlotte Russe as my Bachelorette night outfit and I couldn’t be happier with how it looked. I added this flower crown with a small veil from Icing to top off the whole bride look and for some of the night, also wore one of my bridesmaid over the knee heeled black boots (more on that later). I truly felt more confident than I had in a long time walking out in that outfit which set the tone for the whole night! On Sunday, since we were going to the aquarium, I simply chose to wear my Bride T-shirt from David’s Bridal and high waisted jeans from Charlotte Russe with a cardigan. I also wore my bridal flower crown because why not! Like I said, you’re only a bride once, why not live it up!

#3: Buy either buttons or sashes for you and your crew to wear that weekend.

Just like you want everyone to know you’re the soon to be bride, you also want everyone to know who your bridesmaids are. You can either use buttons or sashes for this. I chose to pick up some Bride and Bride’s crew pink and black buttons from Spencers for my girls and since I had 6 people coming including my mom and soon to be mother in law, it worked perfectly because the package came with 6 bride’s crew buttons and one bride one.

 

#4: Figure out a timeline for the night

This one we did, however, we planned the wrong timeline. We decided to first get all ready and dolled up at the hotel and drink some before heading out to dinner. We then went from the restaurant to Mohegan Sun. Though this worked out fine, if we had altered the timeline instead to going out for dinner first and than going back to the hotel to get ready and pre-game, we all would have drank more and been more tipsy by the time we got to Mohegan and therefore wouldn’t have bought as many drinks as we did. Even though we did pregame some, (my maid of honor and one bridesmaid finished an entire bottle of wine), the buzz had definitely worn off by the time we got to Mohegan sun. Which brings me to my next tip;

#5: Bring alcohol and pre-game at the hotel

Buying and bringing alcohol to drink in the hotel before heading to the club/bar, will save you money in the long run. Now of course this only works if you have someone as your DD or you’re taking an Uber or taxi but if that is the case, I highly recommend it. I wish I had gotten to drink more of the Mikes that I had brought instead of just two and a half before heading out.

#6: DIY Koozies

I knew I had wanted to get custom Koozies for the girls and me for this weekend but found them to be quite expensive through Etsy. Instead, I ordered plain white and blue koozies from amazon and using acrylic paint, painted each one in each girls respective color. To go with my Disney theme. I wrote Happily Ever After Bridesmaid/Maid of Honor/Mother of the Bride/Mother of the Groom/ Bride. I think they came out pretty good and my girls loved them!

#7: Penis Straws…need I say more

What’s a bachelorette party without some Penis things. A perfect way to incorporate this without being over the top are these cool penis straws I got from Spencers. I got the colorful pack but they also have a pack with glow in the dark ones. Add that to a #bride cup and you’re all set!

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#8: Invest in a Polaroid camera

This is something I will be getting before my mini moon and honeymoon because it made for some really cute vintage themed photos. One of my bridesmaids brought hers with us and it was such a fun way to capture some of the memories from our trip. My maid of Honor picked up these really cute glitter frames from Marshalls and together, it made for a great memento from a weekend away with my girls.

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#9: Pick a fun restaurant with your favorite food to eat at

My favorite food by far is steak so it was a no brainier we would go to some sort of steakhouse for dinner. Since Texas Roadhouse was the closest to our hotel, we decided to go there and i’m so happy we did. Not only did I get some really delicious prime rib and shared a really fruity alcoholic beverage with my girls, I also got to ride on a saddle while my girls cheered as our waiter announced to the entire restaurant I was “celebrating my last few days of freedom”. The whole moment was one that made for some great pictures and an even better video.

 

#10: Don’t over eat or stuff yourself

Though it might be tempting, try not to over eat or stuff yourself when out for your weekend. At Texas roadhouse, I really wanted to eat multiple rolls and get cheese fries but knowing I had a long night of dancing and drinking ahead of me, I made sure to eat light since I know my stomach. Plus, if you’re going someplace where there is food, you don’t want to overeat at the first place of the night and have no room for treats later.

#11: Wear cute but comfortable shoes

This is something I know to do yet somehow let two of my bridesmaids talk me into wearing one of theirs over the knee black heeled boots. We weren’t even at Margaritaville for 10 minutes before my feet hurt so bad I had to take them off. Thankfully, my mom was willing to let me wear her long dark brown flat boots and she bought herself a pair of Toms from the shoe store within Mohegan Sun. If you know your going somewhere with a lot of walking, dancing or standing, wear shoes that you feel comfortable being in for a long night to avoid any barefoot scenarios.

#12: Have all your bridesmaid wear one color

This is something I wish I had coordinated but for some reason didn’t. It didn’t hit me how much I wish I had done this though until we went to Avalon where three other Bachelorette groups were, two which had all their bridesmaids in black. If I could have done something different this weekend, I would have had all my girls dress in sapphire blue to really show that we were a group out celebrating.

#13: Pace yourself when it comes to drinking

This is an important one that I think we all followed pretty well. Of course you want to drink and have a good time but if you don’t pace yourself, you’ll either be so wasted you won’t remember anything or you’ll pass out before the night is over. Neither of which is a fun option.

#14: Make sure to take lots of pictures and video with a good reliable camera

Once I got back to the hotel, I realized over half of the photos took that night came out blurry. I thought my Note 9 camera would have been good enough but I wish I had followed my gut and bought the vlogging camera I’ve been wanting for months, the canon m50, before this trip. I know if I did I would have gotten many more pictures and videos throughout the night and also much better quality ones.

#15: Make hangover kits

I had always planned to make next day hangover kits but time just got away from me and I never got them done. If this is something you would like to do, Pinterest has a ton of ideas on making the perfect ones! I was going to take a tumbler and customize each one with the girls name and than put in the tumbler Advil, gum, a hair tie, makeup remover wipes, tums, Pepto, band-aids and lotion.

#16: Create a special frame picture of the night

This was another Pinterest find that I wanted to do and then completely forgot to do it until I arrived. Basically, you take a white board and write or print out either Kiss the Miss goodbye or Kisses for the Future misses and than, using a Polaroid camera, you take pictures of each girl and than of yourself and each girl not only signs the board, but they also kiss it. Than you put the board in a picture frame. This is something i’m so mad I forgot to put together.

#17: Go to an Aquarium or zoo

On Sunday, we decided to have a chill day at the nearby Aquarium and it was so much fun. My girls and I are huge animal lovers so something like this was the perfect way to spend our last day celebrating together.

 

#18: Get Bridal Crew shirts

Another idea I had and wanted to do but never got to doing so. The buttons were perfect for Saturday night in our clubbing outfit but I wish I had gotten custom shirts done for Sunday’s adventures. It would have been a nice addition to our weekend and made for some really cute photos.

#19: Buy a souvenir(s) to symbolize your weekend

I’ve always wanted to collect something and I finally decided this past summer to collect shot glasses. So of course, I had to get a shot glass from each place we went to this weekend. Not only does it make a great addition to my collection, each time I look at those shot glasses, it will remind me of the amazing weekend I had with my girls! I did get a couple of other souvenirs, including this adorable Penguin backpack that I am absolutely in love with. I have been searching for the perfect penguin purse or backpack for years now and I finally found it in the Mystic Aquarium gift shop.

#20: Finish the weekend off with some food with your girls

Last but not least, finish off your girls weekend with some yummy food. My second favorite food is pizza so I was very happy to finally be able to get pizza from the Hollywood famous pizza place, Mystic Pizza. The pizza was really good and made me want to finally watch the movie my mother had always talked about.

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So there you have it, 20 tips for a kick-ass bachelorette weekend. Though it took a lot to organize, I am so happy with how everything came out! I hope you enjoyed this post, I certainly enjoyed writing it for all of you and reliving this weekend but now I want to hear from you! Do you have a tip that I forgot? Or maybe have a funny bachelorette experience you want to share? If so, drop a comment down below! 🙂

 

Until next time,

Kaylee D. ❤

 

10 Tips for an awesome Bridal Shower!

Hello my darlings! It seems like it has been forever since I posted on here and I truly do apologize! Between wedding planning and my new position at work, I’ve been so busy that I’ve hardly had time to just sit down and write for all of you! This weekend, however, was my semi-surprise bridal shower so of course I had to give you all a quick over view on how that went a long with some helpful tips that helped make my Bridal shower one that I will never forget! Since Tom and I have not found our own place yet, all our gifts are being stored at my grandma’s house but I do hope to do a post within the next week or so with an overview of some of my favorite gifts we received Saturday so if that is something you’re interested in reading about, just keep a watch on your email! 🙂

So to start off, I say semi-surprise because, despite my family’s effort at trying to keep the date a secret, my aunt slipped on vacation and said the date out loud. So I knew my shower was going to be on the 11th of August but I didn’t know where. My family decided to make me believe I had to go to my church before my shower to go to a blessing for my moms friends daughters son when in reality, I was going to be walking right into my shower without any idea this was the case. I won’t lie, I was so angry that morning about going to this “blessing” because I had so much to do to get ready for my shower. Which brings me to tip number one!

Tip #1: Wear a white dress

If, like me, you know what date your shower is, my suggestion for the bride to be would be to get a nice white dress that you feel comfortable but also beautiful in. It took me awhile, but I finally found this little beauty at Macy’s! It was exactly what I wanted, tight fitting and sparkly lace! For the first time in awhile, I actually felt beautiful which is exactly how you want to feel at your bridal shower! Plus, you’re only going to be a bride once so why not wear white every chance you get during pre-wedding events!

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Dress: https://www.macys.com/shop/product/sequin-hearts-juniors-sequined-lace-bodycon-dress?ID=6016875&CategoryID=18109#fn=sp%3D1%26spc%3D65%26ruleId%3D78%26kws%3Dwhite%20lace%20dress%26searchPass%3DexactMultiMatch%26slotId%3D16

Tip #2: Welcome all of your guests personally

Once I arrived and realized this was my shower, I went around to each one of my guests to welcome them and thank them for coming. I started with all my bridesmaids and then made my way around the room giving everyone a hug. I feel this is important because your loved ones took the time to come and celebrate you so it is only right to personally greet all of them and let them know how thankful you are that they came.

Tip #3: Either let your groom stay the whole time or invite them for presents and dessert

Traditionally, the bridal shower is meant for just the bride and the women invited to her wedding. However, I knew from the start I wanted Tom to be there to open up presents with me and enjoy our cake. When you think about it, these are gifts you and your partner registered for together and gifts you both are going to soon use in your new life as a married couple. It only makes sense that they get to experience the same excitement you have when opening all those presents for the first time. Tom wound up staying pretty much the whole time and I honestly wouldn’t have wanted it any other way!

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Tip #4: Buy special Bride and Groom cups or Tumblers

I may have a slight cup, mug, and tumbler problem but when I saw these exclusive bride and groom tumblers at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, I just knew I wanted them for my bridal shower. Having them that day just added another special touch to the shower and now we both have another tumbler we can use at home that will always remind us of that special day!

 

 

Tervis Bride and Groom Tumblers: https://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/tervis-reg-bride-groom-cheers-2-pack-wrap-tumblers-with-lids/5180197?skuId=65110690&mcid=PS_googlepla_brand_googleplascatchall_online&product_id=65110690&adtype=pla&product_channel=online&adpos=1o1&creative=45758750869&device=c&matchtype=&network=g&mrkgadid=2974383472&mrkgcl=609&rkg_id=0&gclid=CjwKCAjwwdTbBRAIEiwAYQf_E_ZV7QfQ-b9jJqtWMv8I1lxzlEzsJwx14SlDC44ziRu6_pzPqCRvkRoC3cIQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

Tip # 5: Have a special Bride Chair

This was such a cute and special touch that my mom thought of and I absolutely loved it! Since the bride is usually stuck in a chair basically the whole shower opening presents, my mom decided to buy me a special pink fluffy chair to sit in! That little touch really made me feel like a princess that day!

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Pink Butterfly Chair: https://www.kohls.com/product/prd-3278151/simple-by-design-sherpa-memory-foam-butterfly-chair.jsp?skuId=61023532&ci_mcc=ci&utm_campaign=ACCENT%20FURNITURE&utm_medium=CSE&utm_source=google&utm_product=61023532&CID=shopping15&utm_campaignid=174293612&pid=googleadwords_int&af_channel=CSE&gclid=CjwKCAjwwdTbBRAIEiwAYQf_E0wB9xwKpMUJwykmw1dW3TI3Dwb97_GLPT12shQBYxayeXAcftHFkRoCjQsQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds&dclid=COfngcTv8twCFaK5swodnpcGZA

Tip #6: Have unique present games such as The Story of us

This was definitely one of my favorite parts of my shower. My mom had found the idea online but took it up a notch by creating her own version. Basically, she wrote out a story which was the story of how Tom and I met but for 48 of the words, I had a present to open that corresponded with that word. Now these presents were just little items but it was such a cute idea and I loved how my mom was able to incorporate all of it but with the story of Tom and I.

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Tip # 7: Have someone you trust or even hired someone to take pictures

This was something I was so worried about but thankfully my cousin who was here visiting from Texas took a ton of amazing photos for me. You might not think having photos of you and your soon-to-be husband opening up your gifts or your shower decor would be important but years from now you’ll be happy you have photos of your special day.

 

 

Tip #8: If you have a lot of presents, considering doing dessert half way through to keep your guests interested.

We were very blessed to receive so many beautiful presents! My mom alone got us so many presents that it filled one table! So, not to cause our guests to become bored, we decided to break for cake before we opened up the presents from both his and my mother. Not only did it give the guests a chance to get up and mingle, it also gave Tom and I time to get up and stretch a bit before returning to our chairs to finish opening our gifts.

Tip #9: Have a slideshow playing during the shower

I was so happy my soon-to-be sister in law decided to create a slideshow because, as you all know, I just love pictures! Not only were there pictures of Tom and Me throughout our years of dating, but she also included pictures from our childhood which made for many “awh!” moments during the shower. My favorite part though was the pictures of me and my grandfather when I was a child. Since he passed away before I turned 13, having those pictures there made it feel like he was there with me on such a special day.

And finally, Tip #10: Remember to breathe and enjoy the day

Wedding planning is stressful and when it comes time for the bridal shower, it really hits you that very soon it’s going to be your wedding day. The bridal shower is the mark of that final stretch of something you’ve been planning and looking forward to for months. The most important tip of them all in my opinion is to just remember that today is your day, you should be enjoying it just as much as your guests. At one point, I was just sitting in my chair, watching my guests smiling. One of my bridesmaids asked me if I was enjoying the view and I just smiled and said I’m just taking all of this in. It’s not everyday your loved ones all come together to celebrate you. Cherish these moments.

So there you have it! My ten tips to make your Bridal Shower even more special! I hope you enjoyed this post and if there is any tip that you think should be added to this list, drop a comment down below! 🙂

Until next time,

Kaylee D. ❤

5 activities to do to bond with your bridesmaids!

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Hey everyone! I hope you all are having a wonderful weekend! Today, I finally got to meet up with some of my bridesmaids to go over things for the wedding because 2 weeks from Monday we will officially be at the 5 month mark! From the start, I knew I didn’t want to be a bride who only met with her bridesmaids once or twice before the wedding. Instead, I wanted to plan many different fun activities that we could do all together! Not only is it fun to do different things with your girls before the wedding but it also gives the girls a chance to bond and get to know each other if they haven’t met the other girls before. So for today’s blog post, I thought I would share with all of you 5 fun activities to do that will help you and your bridesmaids to bond!

 

  1. Trip to the Zoo

Everyone who knows me knows I absolutely love animals and love to go to the Bronx zoo. This is why I immediately knew I wanted to go to the zoo with my bridesmaids before the wedding. Going to the zoo is a great activity because let’s face it, who doesn’t love cute animals! Some zoo’s also have rope courses and zip lines for additional costs that really can help your bridesmaids grow closer and rely on each other.

 

  1. Paint and Sip

Two Fridays ago I got to experience my first paint and sip and I absolutely loved it! It was so much fun and I knew instantly this was something I would love to do with my bridesmaids. It’s a great activity to do with your bridesmaids because not only do you get to drink wine, you also get to be creative and create a beautiful painting that you get to bring home with you. It’s even better if the person running the event allows you to create your own image for everyone to create because it makes it very personal to you and your girls.

 

  1. Amusement park

Going to an amusement park ensures a full day of thrilling rides, yummy food, playing games and just overall fun! This is a good bridesmaids activity because, similar to the zoo, it’s something fun you can go to as a group. Also, with all the crazy wedding planning going on, being able to scream on roller coasters is a perfect way to release that built up tension and stress.

 

  1. Beach getaway

Now this is actually the plan for my bachelorette party! Instead of just a one night party, turning your bachelorette party into a full weekend away with the girls lets you not only have more time to bond with your bridesmaids but also allows for a whole weekend away from all the crazy wedding stress. A beach getaway is especially nice because during the day you have the beach to relax, swim and tan and than once it’s later in the day, you have the boardwalk which consists of cute stores, fun amusement parks and of course, yummy food! There are also usually clubs nearby, depending on the beach, that allow you and your girls to go out, drink, let loose, and just have fun dancing!

 

So there you have it, 5 fun activities to do with your bridesmaids! Now I want to hear from you, if you are already married, what is a fun activity you did to bond with your girls? And if you aren’t married yet, what’s a fun bridesmaid bonding activity that you would want to do? Leave your answer below in the comments and as always, I hope you enjoyed what I had to say!

 

Until next time my darlings,

            Kaylee D. ❤

10 tips/advice when planning your wedding

pexels-photo-256737.jpegHey everyone! As many of you know, I’ve been planning my wedding now for about 9 months and within those 9 months, I’ve learned different things that I thought would be fun to share with all of you since today marks 6 months until my wedding! Being a bride on a budget, I know first hand how stressful planning your dream wedding can be and though I’m sure I will learn even more within these next 6 months, for now, here are my top ten wedding planning tips/advice!

  1. Don’t be afraid to have a Friday or Sunday wedding

When Tom and I first started discussing what date we wanted to become married, we were only looking at Saturdays within our chosen month. However, once we began visiting venues, it was clear having a Saturday night wedding would not only cost us a lot more money but also make our minimum guest count rise and create stricter time boundaries. For example, one venue’s cost per plate rose over $20 for a Saturday night wedding and required no less than 150 guests. We also would have to have our ceremony start at 6 meaning it would be dark outside by the time we even started photos. Despite this, I was still against having our wedding on a different day of the week because I was worried my family would be upset. However, once Tom and I found our perfect venue, it was clear to me that getting married on a sunday was the best option overall. Unlike Saturday, I would be the only wedding that day meaning we could have our ceremony start whenever we wanted. The price per plate would be under a hundred and we only had to have at least 100 guests, which with a guest list of 130 wouldn’t be a problem. I won’t lie, when I announced our wedding date, I had multiple family members get upset over the fact it was a sunday. This bothered me but in the end I realized this, the people who matter in my life and who love me and Tom are going to be there no matter what. This isn’t just some party, it’s my wedding and there is enough notice in advance for family and friends to take off of work if need be and for student to let their teacher know they won’t be there the day after the wedding. So if having a Saturday wedding just isn’t what you want, either due to money or other reason, than don’t have a Saturday wedding! I promise you your wedding will be just as if not even more amazing on a Friday or Sunday as it would have been on a Saturday and the people who matter in your life will be there no matter what.

 

  1. Listen to your partner Remember it’s his day to!

Shortly after getting engaged I noticed a lot of people, especially vendors, always referring to the wedding being the brides day. As the bride, it is tempting to do everything how you want and not think of anyone else. However, this isn’t just your day, it’s his wedding day too. Some partners might want their future wife to decide everything and if that’s the case, than that is fine but there are many partners out there who want to have a say in their special day too. It’s important to remember this day if about the two of you and therefore decisions about this day should be made together. You might be surprised with the ideas your future husband comes up with. For instance, I didn’t think Tom wanted anything to do with creating our centerpieces but when he approached me with these amazing ideas, I couldn’t believe how perfect they were. It meant a lot to me that he took the time to think of our wedding centerpieces and it warms my heart knowing he wants to be a part of our wedding planning process. By listening to your partner and sharing ideas with each other, it will make the whole process a lot more fun and relaxing because everything isn’t just on your shoulders. You guys are about to become a team in life, what better way to begin than planning the most special day of your lives together.

 

  1. Remember this is yours and your fiance’s special day, no one else’s!

Going off of the previous advice, this is honestly the most important tip/advice of them all! When planning your wedding, what matters is you and your fiance, that is it. I can’t tell you how many times so far I have had family members, friends, even bridal party members make comments on how we are doing things. Since we are having a Disney themed wedding, Toms brother loves to make fun of our theme and compare it to a child’s birthday party. At first, this was really upsetting but I just kept telling myself that it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, this was the wedding theme that both me and my fiance wanted. I am a Disney-aholic and I have known for years I was going to have a Disney themed wedding. Tom was on board with it and that was all that mattered. People are going to criticize or make you doublethink decisions  you make for your wedding but if those decisions make you and you future husband happy and it’s what you guys want, than nothing anyone else says should change that. You’re only going to have one wedding, why make it anything but what the two of you want.

 

  1. Don’t be afraid to speak up but be polite about it

Shows like Bridezilla, though hilarious to watch, can make a bride feel like they can’t speak up when things aren’t going how they pictured. This is not true. As I stated before, this is your wedding day so if something is happening that you don’t want, you need to say something. The thing to remember though is be polite about it. Don’t scream and yell that you’re not getting your way but instead nicely bring it up. If your bridesmaids like a dress but you really want them in a different dress, politely explain that to them. They aren’t going to be mad at you and if they are just kindly remind them that this is your wedding day and that if they were getting married, you would wear what they want you to wear. If the truly are your friend, they are going to understand this. Disagreements are going to happen but as long as your nice about things, than stating the fact that this is your wedding and standing up for yourself is not a bad thing.

 

  1. Don’t let vendors intimidate you or pressure you into booking them before you are ready.

I wish I had known this before meeting with vendors. Vendors main goal is to get you to book them and they are going to be as pushy as they can to get you to sign that contract as soon as possible. When I won a free engagement photo shoot at a bridal show, I was thrilled to meet with the photographer to discuss the details of our shoot. However, when we met with him, all he wanted to discuss was being our wedding photographer. Book after book he showed us and kept talking about the packages and prices and the awards his company has won. I originally wanted to wait till after our engagement shoot to decide but by using the scare antic that by than our wedding date could be booked, we wound up booking with him that night. Though our engagement photos came out great, we did run into multiple problems that now worry me for our wedding day. I wish we would have waited and met with other people before signing the contract. Photography is very important to me so I just hope that come our wedding photos, we don’t have any issues. When going into vendor appointments, make it clear from the start you are just looking and comparing right now. They aren’t going to be happy with this and will still push you to book but you need to stay strong until you are 100% sure this is the vendor you want to work with.

 

  1. Don’t be ashamed to buy things that say Bride or have anything to do with being engaged/getting married  

Listen, you are only going to be a bride once (hopefully), so have fun and enjoy it! Recently, I have bought multiple products that say Bride or anything to do with getting married. I’ve had people tell me it’s dumb to have these things and that it’s obnoxious but honestly I don’t care. Years from now, I will still have these things to remember the crazy wedding planning process and maybe even pass them on to my own daughter when the time comes for her to get married. So buy those bride pajamas and “I can’t keep calm, I’m getting married cup”, this is your only chance to do so!

 

  1. Go to Bridal shows

When I went to my first bridal show, I was so overwhelmed because at the time, we didn’t even have our date set. However, I had a ton of fun, learned a lot, and even won free stuff! Bridal shows are a chance to meet different vendors, try some yummy food, and just enjoy the fact that you are getting married! In total, I went to three bridal shows and I enjoyed each one of them! We have all our vendors now but honestly if another bridal show pops up, I will most definitely go anyway.

 

  1. Have an engagement party!

So this obviously happens before any of the rest of this, possibly before you even have a date picked but it’s still important! An engagement party or get together is a chance to celebrate your engagement with your friends and family and pretty much start off the entire wedding planning process. An engagement party is also a great place to announce your bridesmaids and make them feel special. At mine, I had made boxes up for each of my girls that contained a hand-painted glass, bridesmaid sunglasses, hand sanitizer and other little things and presented it to them one by one a long with a short speech. I felt it made the whole thing more personable and was so happy I had a chance to do something like that in front of my family and friends. Wedding planning is also going to be stressful so having one fun party to celebrate your engagement before diving into wedding planning also is a great way to prepare for that stress.

 

  1. It’s okay to want to dress up and look nice for your bridal shower

For some reason, most bridal, like baby showers, are surprises for the bride. The bride isn’t allowed to know when her shower is, where her shower is, or even help plan anything to do with her shower. Now i’m someone who doesn’t like to be unprepared and enjoys looking my best at family gatherings, especially one centered around myself. I told my mom and maid of honor that if they must keep the date a secret either tell me the morning of or make sure I think I am going somewhere else where I put makeup on and do my hair nice. I also told them I want to pick out a dress and if it must be a surprise, make sure to have the dress there for me to change into. Some of my family and friends were upset that I felt like this but I look at my bridal shower just as everything else, this is my day. If I don’t look how I want on this day, overall I will enjoy it less than if I did. This is just me and that is okay. They need to understand this and if you are like this as well, just know it is okay to feel this way and your family and friends need to obey your wishes and if they must keep it a surprise, do it in a way these wishes are still met.

 

  1. Wedding planning is stressful but it also should be fun and memorable so enjoy the process and document everything.

Planning your wedding should be the most stressful/amazing process ever. This is the day you have been dreaming of for years. This is the day that you will be marrying your best friend. When you think of the months leading up to this day do you want to remember being stressed and crying because things aren’t going perfect or do you want to look back and remember the joy you felt when you booked things for the first time. That feeling you got when tried on your wedding dress for the first time and just knew it was the one. If you understand that everything is not going to be perfect and that’s okay, the pressure of planning your wedding decreases and you can actually enjoy the process. My last piece of advice for you is truly to document everything with your wedding planning process because years from now, you will be thankful you did.

 

Well that’s it for now. Even writing these I thought of a few more but as we get closer I will do another post similar to this one for you all. I hope you enjoyed these 10 tips/advice for planning your own wedding and maybe even learned something. If, when reading this, you thought of any more that might be good for me to know, please comment them below! 🙂

 

Until next time my darlings,

Kaylee D. ❤

5 tips/pieces of advice for wedding Save the dates!

Hello everyone! I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend! Today has been nothing but getting things done for the wedding for me. After watching Bridezillas last night (yup another guilty pleasure reality TV show) I pretty much had a breakdown realizing how much stuff Tom and I still have to do for the wedding so decided to dedicate all of today to wedding planning. The biggest thing I got accomplished today was finally printing out address labels and putting our save the dates in envelopes to be sent out. Because of this, I thought for today’s blog post, I would post my 5 tips/ pieces of advice when it comes to Save the Dates for your wedding. So if you’d like to hear them, continue reading. 🙂

  1. Choose a Magnet instead of just a card

            This is my biggest piece of advice when it comes to deciding on your save the dates. When Tom and I discussed what type of save the date we wanted, I knew right away I wanted a magnet. Unlike a card, a magnet is less likely to be lost or misplaced because once your guest receives it, they will more than likely put it on their fridge. This also helps to make sure your guest doesn’t forget your special day because every time they go to get something out of the refrigerator, they are reminded of when your wedding day is.

  1.    Design your save the date with your partner

        Or at least ask them first if they want to be included in the design process. You’ll be surprised at just how much your husband wants to be included when it comes to wedding details. Tom and I actually wound up having two different save the dates because my mother and I had designed one quickly when she had gotten a coupon to get 5 free magnets from Shutterfly. She received this coupon four more times and each time she did, she got 5 more magnets. It wasn’t until we had 20 magnets that I actually showed Tom our design and to my surprise, he did not like them at all. Since it was about the time we needed to send out our save the dates, Tom and I decided to create a new save the date magnet and together we came up with the perfect one. It worked out well though because we decided to send some of our guests, especially the children who are invited, the ones my mother and I created and send the rest the ones that me and him made together. Since the ones my mom got were free, it really wasn’t a big deal but if you spend money on save the dates that you like and find out your partner doesn’t like them once they arrive, you could lose money and cause an unnecessary argument with your spouse to be.

  1.  Use Shutterfly (Not a sponsor!)

My mom and I are a fan of all Shutterfly products, especially their photo books, so when Tom and I had to get our save the dates, my mom immediately suggested we check out Shutterfly and I’m so happy we did. Shutterfly not only has a ton of different templates that are easily customizable but also have very reasonable prices. Shutterfly also constantly has deals going on and once you order from them once, they will start to send you multiple coupons for free and discounted products (minus the shipping). As a bride on a budget, I highly recommend Shutterfly for your save the dates as well as other Wedding stationary you may need. Below you will see both the save the dates we used and I will also include the link to Shutterfly for both of the templates at the end of this post in case you guys like them and want to use them for your own save the dates! 

DSC00448.JPG
This is the one Tom and I designed together
DSC00445
This is the one my mom and I designed
  1. Either order or print out address labels

Tom and I didn’t order address labels because we just figured we would write out the addresses but unless you have super neat handwriting, I highly don’t recommend this. As soon as we started to write out the addresses, it was clear to us that we just couldn’t send out our wedding save the dates like that. Not only was our handwriting messy but writing out 65 or so addresses was too time consuming and tiring. Instead, Tom picked up some address labels and by using a mail merge in Microsoft Word, we printed out all of our addresses out on labels. This made the process much easier and faster because all I simply had to do was peel each label and put it on the envelope. So if you want to save time and hand cramping, either order or print out your own address labels and skip the handwriting.

  1. Make your save the date short and sweet

Think of the save the date as the preview for the wedding invitation. The only real important information that should be included is your wedding date (duh) and the name of the place you are getting married.  The save the date also doesn’t have to be, and shouldn’t be, as elegant and fancy as your future wedding invitation. So make your save the date fun and maybe include a picture (or two or three) of the two of you. This puts that personalized touch into your save the date that your guests are going to love.

So there you have it, my 5 tips/pieces of advice when it comes to save the dates! Do you have anything to add to this list? If so, drop a comment down below, I would love to hear it! Otherwise, I hope you guys enjoyed this post and if you want to be notified every time I post something new, hit that follow button! 🙂

Until next time my darlings,

Kaylee D. ❤

 

Link to the save the date Tom and I designed-

https://www.shutterfly.com/cards-stationery/save-the-date/romantic-type-save-the-date-stationerymagnet?productCode=1257984&categoryCode=60412&skuCode=1257985

Link to the save the date my mom and I designed-

https://www.shutterfly.com/photo-gifts/magnets/love-connection-magnet?productCode=1102412&categoryCode=1084048&skuCode=1102413