Got The Ring…Now When Do You Start Planning?


Congratulations on that sparkling ring on your finger and the glow on your face! You are a bride to be and nothing is more exciting then that. Although this is one of the most exciting times of your life it can also be one of the most stressful times. You can start planning whenever you would like! Most newly brides want to start planning right away. So what is the first thing you should plan? Pick a date and a place! We would like to help, starting with finding a place for you to get married.

Unless when dreaming years ago about your big day you decided the place you will marry then finding a wedding venue can be a tedious and stressful task.

Before you start looking, it’s important to ask yourself a few key questions so you know the types of venues you should be checking out.

1.)What’s your budget and how much are you dedicating to a venue?

2. How big is the guest list?  After all, if you know you’re inviting 200 friends and family then you can’t choose a tiny venue on a lake that holds only 60 people.

3. Are you going to have the reception and the ceremony in the same venue?

The answers to these three basic questions will help you to determine what direction you will be heading while choosing a venue. Weddings have came a long way over the last few decades and not all our held in a traditional manor. Many are catored and tailored around a couples unique personality and life style. Here are a few different examples of vendors you can choose from.


▪   Beach

▪   Bed & Breakfast

▪   Boat

▪   Botanical Garden

▪   Community Center

▪   Country Club

▪   Historic Home

▪   House

▪   Library

▪   Loft

▪   Marina

▪   Night Club

▪   Park

▪   Restaurant

▪   Rooftop

▪   Ski Lodge

▪   Theatre

▪   Vineyard

Once you find a destination or theme of your choice you want to be sure to ask the venue manager some questions. You can find every bride must asked questions at the link below:

Make sure that you don’t only ask the questions, but do a walk through of every venue. Some places may look better online than they do in person. That is the last thing you want on your blissful day is a not so perfect venue. Also make sure to take some test pictures to ensure you will have great lighting for those million dollar photos of your first kiss.

By following the checklist above you should be able to choose a wedding venue that is perfect for you and your special someone. After you venue is decide on you can start the fun planning and decorating!

Newly Engaged…What Now?


The love of your life just proposed in the most perfect way and you said or shouted “Yes!”, Congratulations! You are officially an engaged bride to be and your man is no longer your boyfriend, but your fiancé!

While you’re luxuriating in the jubilation of being newly engaged, you may also be thinking “What Now?” you have no clue what to do next? Wedding planning can be the most exciting time of your life, but also the most hectic, stressful, overwhelming, frightening, nerve-wracking, pondering, time of your life. So what can you do now to make this experience a great adventure?

Here are some first essential steps to take after your engagement.

  1. Celebrate with your fiancé’, yep he’s graduated from boyfriend to fiancé! Make sure to take time for the two of you, after all this is a celebration of your love for one another. You can go on a romantic trip just between the lovebirds or you can throw a big engagement party including your family and friends! You can also use this time period to get your engagement photos taken! Some unique ideas to celebrate and have memorabilia of this special time: create a YouTube video with photos from your dating relationship, take an engage-cation ( a vacation with just the two of you), throw a party, get your engagement photos done, or go create a keepsake at a local paint your pottery boutique!
  2. Set a Date! Believe it or not the second people find out you are engaged the second they will ask when is the wedding!
  3. Keep a journal! There will be plenty of times you will come up with an idea or someone will tell you a great inkling for your wedding. You will want to write these all down so you can remember in midst of the chaos!
  4. Determine your wedding budget. There is nothing more frustrating to a bride then planning their dream wedding and realizing they can’t afford it. Determining a budget will help you still have your dream wedding, while finding cheaper options!
  5. After you have decided on a budget, think about exactly what type of wedding will be perfect for you as a couple! Some get caught in thinking you have to have a traditional wedding, but really you need to do what you feel comfortable with. If traditional is not your style, figure out what is!
  6. Last but not least, if all of this is way to overwhelming for you and you do not like deciding all of the millions of details involved in wedding planning then hire a wedding planner! There is ABSOLUTELEY nothing wrong with that, after all planning a wedding can turn into a full time job and this is their profession!

Finding The Perfect Pieces For Your Big Day


On a day as special as your wedding, every bride dreams to look as eloquent and stunning as a queen. Everything you wear will certainly add to your exquisiteness and wedding jewelry customs an essential part of your wedding apparel. The jewelry you wear should match with your dress and should also be comfortable for you to wear. Of course, you want your jewelry to attract the guests but you don’t want it to outshine your wedding gown. Any accessory that you chose to wear should compliment your wedding gown.

Choosing the right wedding jewelry will not only enhance your looks but will also help to boost the splendor of your wedding gown. For many brides, wedding jewelry is a piece of love and commitment that will be with them forever. Here are some tips for you if you are a bride who isn’t sure where to start on the jewelry hunt.

When you are choosing your bridal jewelry, decide if you are going to purchase or rent the jewelry. If you feel that wedding jewelry is just part of your wedding day, you can choose renting your wedding jewelry. When you search online, you can find a number of shops that offer wedding jewelry for rentals. You can also take advantage of your friends and family, who may have jewelry you can borrow, maybe it will fit into your something borrowed something blue! Your guests will not have a clue how you obtained your jewelry, but they will notice the jewelry on you.

The wedding jewelry you wear should match with your wedding gown. Make sure to finalize your gown and place the order before you shop for wedding jewelry. The color of the wedding gown is the first factor that will determine the style of jewelry you choose. When you have your wedding dress ready, you can easily decide the jewelry you are going to wear that will augment your style. The pattern and the design of the dress will  also have influence on the jewelry you are going to buy.

Don’t postpone the purchase of wedding jewelry. Most jewelry can be purchased as it is from the store but for some cases, you may have to place an order or request the shop owner to make some changes in the jewelry. You want your jewelry to compliment your appearance. When you start the shopping process you can go look at vendors near you. If you find a style or patter you absolutely love, you don’t have to by it at the store. A lot of times you can get a better deal online. So make sure you check online as well.

Finding Your Ideal Dress On A Budget


You are engaged, congratulations! This is the most exciting time of your life. You have begun your wedding planning! A lot of times the most exciting part is finding the perfect dress. You have dreamt of your big day and all eyes watching you as you walk down the aisle in that gorgeous gown. So what do you do when you find the gorgeous gown and the price is out of your range? Well, now a day there are plenty of options including renting a dress. So the big question is should you rent or buy your dress?

Typically if you are purchasing your wedding dress, you use it only for a couple of hours. Then it occupies the rest of its life in storage, till maybe your daughter’s wedding. So it is definitely wise to consider the cost of the dress and how important it is for you to own it.

There are three categories of bridal gowns, according to Carley Roney of ‘’ website

1) Custom design or couture dress-

You go to a designer or dressmaker and get a dress designed and stitched from scratch. These are most expensive, starting from $1000.

2) Custom order dress

You go to a salon or store and try on a sample designer dress, available in sizes 8, 10, or 12. Once you place an order, the dress is cut to your size and several fittings maybe required. Prices start around $600.

3) The ready-to-wear dress

You can buy off-the-rack and take it home immediately if no alterations are needed. These are least expensive and start at $250.

After considering these three categories your decision for renting a wedding dress or purchasing one should be a little more clear. Just remember do what will make you happy, this is your big day! 

Sticking To Your Bridal Workout Plan


The holidays tend to be a difficult time to stick to your workout plan and your healthy eating. You are busy shopping, visiting friends and family and hosting many parties. Just because you are having fun does not make your wedding any further away! Here are some expert wedding workout tips from

Write down your goals. “When in doubt — write it out.” When you put down on paper what your ultimate goals (as well your mini-goals along the way) you’ll be more likely to commit to staying on your workout schedule.

Schedule your workouts: Honor your calendar. Be sure to put every single workout into your calendar so you will be more likely to honor your schedule.

Clear your pantry of all garbage foods (all of it!). Eliminate all of your trigger foods from your kitchen including processed foods, sweets, and not good-for-you carbs. If they are not within reach you will be less tempted to indulge in treats.

Rest days are important. So many brides to be think they should spend every free chance at the gym to achieve their best body — but you can overdo it and ultimately cause more damage if you do not take a day off from time to time. Your body needs to rest in order to repair itself after super-tough workouts, including CrossFit, boot camps and long runs. At least one day per week should be devoted to rest.

Aim for inches lost and not pounds. The scale does not tell the whole story. You will get a better idea of how well your body is responding to exercise when you measure inches lost.

Be sure to mix it up. After a few weeks, your body will adapt to any workout routine, so be sure to try something new once in a while to give your body and mind a boost. For example: if you normally go for a run on Saturday mornings, switch it out for a kick boxing or spin class once in a while.

New York City-based trainer/blogger Margo Donohue of Brooklyn Fit Chick

Envision your arms and shoulders on the big day and do something small each day to reach your goal. Start with a few pushups a day and get into a daily routine. Add a few reps each week.

Workout buddies make great dates. While we’re quick to forego a workout to stay late at the office, we won’t bail on a friend.

Attitude is 80%, so don’t beat yourself up if you miss a day. Life happens, so just focus on something you can do, such as eat a healthy meal and drink more water.

Document your own before/after story. Be accountable to someone, and schedule weekly weigh-ins and measurements.

Add your workouts to your weekly calendar and set alarm for an hour before so you can finish up whatever you’re doing to make sure you get to class on time. And if you can’t break, reschedule your workout for later in the day when you can.

When the stress of wedding planning has you overwhelmed, schedule a sweat session to clear your mind. Opt for a high intensity class (like boxing) or something more Zen (like yoga). 

FITiST co-founders Neda Talebian Funk and Caroline Limpert

Explore indoor activities. There are a lot of ways to move your body indoors that are motivating, rewarding and fun. Try a swing dance class, take up boxing, do a Pilates reformer session, or hire a trainer to teach you some Olympic lifts. Participating in indoor activities allows you forego the worry of being foiled by the weather, and having an activity to look forward to all week will ensure that you push hard through your regular gym workouts.
Do fewer repetitions at a heavier weight. If you usually do 12-15 lunges per leg, switch it up. Try doing 8-10 reps per leg but with a more challenging weight. You should push yourself — it should feel like there’s no way you could squeeze out one more rep. For an even harder challenge, do 5 sets of 5 reps per leg at the heaviest weight that you can sustain while keeping perfect form. Women tend to be stronger than we give ourselves credit for, and continuing to do higher reps cheats you of the fat-burning, muscle sculpting benefits of a low rep/high weight program! Follow the lower rep program for 4-6 weeks and you’ll see (and feel) the difference.

Come up with a pre-workout ritual. This will vary from person to person, but find something that works for you that you can do before every single workout.  Examples include getting a black coffee, watching an inspiring video, re-reading your list of goals, listening to a particular song that pumps you up, doing some breathing mediation, foam rolling, repeating a mantra, sun salutations, posting that day’s workout on Facebook, or even a combination of these things. Whatever you choose, just make sure that it makes you feel energized and ready, and it’s something that you can repeat. This will provide a mental barrier between the stresses of life and gym-time, allowing you to properly switch gears and prepare you to work hard.  Eventually, just the act of performing this pre-workout routine will put you in the mood to work out.

Take on a sport and learn to execute just like an athlete. I have my clients take on a fighter’s mentality. I just make sure they get fit, not hit. You will feel the physical as well as the mental benefits of working out with a purpose.


Pros & Cons of Planning Your Own Wedding


Many couples still want a  “do-it-yourself” wedding especially those who have tight-knit extended families or other robust support networks.

    For most, though, professional services are a must to make their weddings happen. The most common thing to do is blends of do it yourself and professional help.

    Couples who want to put their own personal stamp on their wedding, or who are trying to balance time beside money, should listen to both heart and head. Something important to consider when doing it yourself is you are not alone. Be sure to “cash” in our your family members with special talent.

Do you, or close family members, have a special skill you want to showcase?

  • If you love floral design, you can buy cut flowers or use blooms from your garden to make your own arrangements.
  • If you’re artistic, you may prefer to design your own invitations or programs.
  • A mother with a knack for dressmaking might make you a gift of a gown.

   Although beware of some major drawbacks, too. First, you don’t want to impose too hefty a burden on friends, relatives — or yourselves. While your wedding is important to them, they may not be able to afford spending many dozens of hours on wedding-related projects.

    And the last thing a bride needs is to be toiling away in the last hours before her wedding day making favors, or baking, or sewing. Don’t take on unnecessary stress!

    The most practical projects for a D.I.Y. approach are those that can be finished ahead of time and have a long shelf life. Those won’t keep you or your family busy during the ceremony or reception.

  The people closest to you should be able to enjoy themselves as your guests, not cooking and serving food.

Here is a great website with DIY wedding ideas:

How To Choose A Tasty Caterer


As if planning a wedding is not stressful enough, now you have the pressure of choosing a menu that your guest will enjoy. Depending on if you are having an early wedding, a brunch, or an evening event, menu choices have a big impact on what your guests will think.

Do you want a cater?

This is really the first question couples need to ask. It’s always enticing to want to provide food for your guests lovingly prepared by yourselves, or by friends and family. As cost friendly as this option may be, you may not want to have so much on your plate. Sometimes it is easier to just hand the load over to someone else. Employing a catering service makes much more sense, and in the long run can actually save you money. Caterers are professionals, and understand how to purchase, prepare and serve an elegant wedding menu on a strict budget. Amateurs often find that their budgets take a beating as they deal with unforeseen contingencies.

How to choose a cater:

Making sure your cater is a good fit for you is not as easy at it may seem. Here are some steps to take while choosing a Caterer.

1.)            Listen to word of mouth recommendations.

2.)            Schedule a tasting.

3.)            Consider the caterers speciality?

4.)            Consider what services you need?

5.)            Ask for references.

6.)            Inquire about food freshness.

7.)            Call the local health department.

8.)            Ask for a quotation.

9.)            Read the contract.

After you decide on your caterer you will need to choose your menu. There are so many different types of food that you can choose from. Please see this link below to get amazing tips on actually choosing your menu:

Is Hiring Transportation For Your Wedding A Necessity?


It is getting closer to your big day! Your whole wedding is planned down from the color of lipstick you will be wearing to what flavor of cake you will be shoving in your grooms spouse. There is one detail left for you to figure out, “How are you getting to the wedding?”

Here are some excellent tips from on of our favorite wedding websites the

Mistake #1: Not hiring professional transportation

Step one to no-hassle wedding transportation is to hire the pros. You won’t have to worry about coordinating a different ride with several separate cars; your entire entourage can be with you every step of the way if you choose. That peace of mind alone is enough to make transportation a priority in our book — but there’s also the added bonus of having tons of stylish, photo-ready options, from Mustangs and white limos to party and double-decker buses.

Mistake #2: Only considering the standard stretch limo

Like every other aspect of your wedding, your getaway mobile should complement and match your personal and wedding style — after all, this is how your guests will remember you riding off into the sunset. From a sleek silver Rolls-Royce or a pimped-out party bus to a bicycle built for two, there are countless ways to get everyone around in style — including you. Stage a photo-worthy getaway by choosing a ride with flair: We love the idea of a vintage convertible for a rustic outdoor wedding, a pedicab draped with flowers for a laid-back city affair or a tandem bike topped with streamers for a beach event. Want to keep it classic? Try a white Bentley or a black Rolls-Royce.

Mistake #3: Forgetting about your guests

While you’re not expected to provide shuttles for guests, it’s thoughtful to help out-of-town (read: car-less) guests find transportation in an unfamiliar town. And if you have room in your budget, you (or your designated day-of crisis manager) won’t have to worry about giving directions to lost guests, late arrivals interrupting the ceremony, finding a lot big enough for 100-plus cars or making sure that imbibing guests get home safe. A charter bus, which holds up to 60 passengers, will get the job done, but it’s not your only option. A vintage trolley will give your guests a dose of nostalgia (but only for short trips of five miles or less — these oldies aren’t built for highway speed), and yellow school buses make for a charming alternative with a little more mileage (but many of those don’t have air-conditioning, so steer clear during the summer if the trip will be a long one). If you’re not hiring transportation for your guests, post the numbers for a local car service company on your website and also print them on cards to display near the exit so that anyone who has been drinking can make it home safely. You can also arrange to have a stream of cabs waiting at the end of the reception.

Mistake #4: Not verifying the owner of the car

It’s smart to know who actually owns the vehicle you’re renting. If the transportation company you’re dealing with doesn’t have the car you’re looking for, they may “borrow” a car from another vendor (and basically pay them a rental fee). Here’s where it gets sticky: Since you’re one more middleman away from the wedding car of your dreams, you put yourself at greater risk for a late ride or, even worse, a no-show. If you have your heart set on a particular car, you’re better off finding a vendor that actually owns the one you have in mind.

Mistake #5: Skimming the contract

Errors or omissions on your car-rental contract can mean a late or no-show ride (which might mean a late bride and/or guests). You could also be on the hook for an accident that damages another car, for any stains from the bubbly one of your guests spills or for a service fee you didn’t account for in your budget. So read each contract point [link to contract piece] carefully. Before you sign, triple-check that the date; hours; pickup locations; driver’s name and attire; make, model and color of the car; and cancellation and refund policies are all included and completely accurate. Finally, make sure the company is insured and ask if it’s licensed with the county in which your wedding is taking place.

Mistake #6: Only thinking about the wedding day

Between your engagement party, bachelor or bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner, after-party and honeymoon departure you’re going to be making a lot of entrances and exits. Since drinking is usually a part of many of these events, have a transportation plan for all the pre- and postwedding parties, whether it’s hiring a town car for you and a shuttle bus for your guests, or just having detailed cab info on hand at each event. After the wedding, whether you’re off to your new married abode or to the airport for your honeymoon, sneak away in private like celebs in a sleek black Cadillac Escalade or town car (make sure the car is big enough to fit all of your luggage). And to make your return from your honeymoon easier, book a round-trip ride to and from the airport so you’ll have a car ready for when you come back down to earth.

Mistake #7: Disregarding traffic (and other delays)

The timing of your transportation can mean the difference between a wedding that flows effortlessly from event to event, and a day with rushed traveling or awkward pauses and guests who don’t know what to do with themselves. Figure out travel times and routes ahead of time (so you can include them in your contract) and add 20 to 30 minutes of “padding” for traffic and any other potential delays to all of your day-of routes.

Mistake #8: Letting guests figure out parking for themselves

Even if you’re providing transportation, make sure there’s ample parking for guests who prefer to shuttle themselves around. Talk to your reception site manager and find out what your parking options are and if staff (parking attendants and valets) will be available. If it turns out you have to hire an independent service, tailor it to your needs. A full-service valet team, which will park your guests’ cars and retrieve them at the end of the night, is only necessary if parking is scarce at your venue or if the lot is far away, so guests don’t have to hoof it in formalwear and elderly guests can easily get there. If there’s enough parking nearby, you can hire attendants that merely direct traffic, hold signs and guide drivers to empty spaces.

Mistake #9: Skipping the call sheets

Type up “call sheets” with the names of all passengers, all pickup and drop-off addresses and times, detailed directions to and from each destination and alternate routes, as well as you or your wedding planner’s cell number. Give your drivers this information in advance and also pass the sheet to a few point people in each vehicle. Then, the day before the wedding, call to confirm these arrangements with the car company. Trust us, it’s better to be a type A now than have to deal with MIA limos later.

Mistake #10: Leaving out the photographer

Save a seat in your car for your photographer. You’re going to want those shots of you two on the way to the ceremony and of your first moments as a married couple en route to the reception.

Mistake #11: Overlooking your gifts

Although most guests will ship gifts directly to your home, it’s still smart to designate one or two people to drive a larger car to the reception so that you have a place to pack any gifts at the end of the night, as well as any leftover centerpieces, keepsakes or cake.

Mistake #12: Not considering your dismount

Modes of transportation like horses and carriages, sporty cars, motorcycles, Vespas and tandem bikes are super-stylish, but they also make a super-stylish exit in a wedding gown hard. Getting out of a lowrider gracefully or moving on a two-wheeler requires some skill, especially in a dress and heels. So before the wedding day, think about how you’ll make your exit from each vehicle. If you can practice while inspecting the car in person, even better.

Pros & Cons of DIY Wedding


Getting married is such a fun and exciting time in your life, but it can also be a hard time. A wedding is expensive and one reason that so many brides decided to do it themselves (DIY). There are many benefits of a DIY wedding, so let us tell you just a few and where to start.

Create your budget.
Then, comparison shop. Some of the investigation you’ve already done will help you make some decisions. Once you know what kind of budget you’re working with, you can use some of that information to eliminate vendors that might be inflexible or out of your range. Now you can get serious about choosing whom you want to work with.

Meaningful ways to add to the celebration, and still cut costs:

Have a clear idea of what you want will help you say no to the upsell of items that would put you over budget.

Learn to say no. Learning to be polite but firm is one of the greatest cost-cutters and stress-relievers. Bridal salespeople will try to “steer” you in certain directions — after all, their job is to upsell. Having a firm, clear vision of what you want will keep you on track. By the same token, a reputable professional will look for ways to help you achieve your vision without breaking a bank

Talk about your wedding. By sharing some of your ideas with friends, family, co-workers — even those who work in the wedding business — you might discover a great money-saving tip or the name of a wedding vendor who might do incredible work at a discount.

A great resource for all of you DIY brides is this website:

Although doing a DIY wedding is good and cheap you don’t want to DIY with everything. Here is some advice from a beautiful bride about the the behind the bliss work she didn’t want to do on her big day!

Hire a cleaning crew! I did entirely too much work at my own wedding! I also crazily planned a three-day event with a rehearsal dinner and goodbye brunch. I strongly advise you hire a crew, so you can do your getaway and get out of there, and also not strap your guests and friends with any work! The day is emotionally exhausting (and exhilarating) enough. You don’t want to be physically exhausted, too, as you leave for your honeymoon!

Hire a wedding cinematographer / videographer. You want to be able to sit down and have the feelings of the day rush over you later — the sights, the sounds and music, the scents of the flowers, the emotions and feelings, how your dad looked walking you down the aisle or giving his toast, how the groom looked when you first saw him, how great you looked in the perfect dress with your hair and makeup, how your felt during your first dance, how hilarious your friends looked on the dance floor, and how your family, your aunts and uncles and maybe grandparents looked at that moment in time.

Formal or Casual Wedding on a Budget


You are planning your wedding and having the time of your life! Out shopping with your girlfriends and day dreaming about what band will play at your wedding. Don’t let those day dreams take over your budget. We are here to help you stick to your budget.

First thing is first. Make a list of everything you want in your wedding. If you do not have an endless amount of funds in your budget, there will be some things you will need to get creative with. Also, it’s important for you and your future spouse to sit down and have a serious conversation about what matters most to you for your wedding. This shouldn’t be a conversation with parents or your friends, but one between the two of you to determine what you want. By having this discussion in advance of reaching out to parents and vendors, you’ll be better equipped to work as a team going forward.

Next determine how much you have to spend. Before you can create your wedding budget, you will need to know how much you have in your account. Some traditions suggest that the bride’s parents cover the wedding and reception, then the grooms’ parents cover the rehearsal dinner. Times are quickly changing though and each person has a different family situation. At some point your groom and you will need to decide who is paying for what.

Following the creation of the budget will be looking at different vendors. Make sure you take the time to compare different vendors and their policies and prices. It is very easy to get caught up in the moment and think you have to have this certain vendor, but one little mistake like that can throw you way over your budget.

Some additional ways to cut costs are:

  • Change the date –
  • Keep it small 
  • Buy your own alcohol 
  • Hire a cheaper photographer 
  • Get a local band 
  • Keep it casual 
  • Bake your own cake 
  • Make your own invitations.
  • Plan your own wedding.

 You can find a helpful wedding cost estimator at the link below: