How To // Frost a Cake

So the beautiful and kind girl, Stephanie Beck, that did my cake was sweet enough to make a “How To” video for us on how to frost a cake.  So if you have an inclination to make your own cake…  Here is the perfect how to video for the base frosting of your cake!  Oh and I have to quickly tell you how amazingly pretty her cake turned out and how even BETTER it tasted!! It was an almond poppyseed cake with cream cheese frosting, um yeah the best thing EVER. Everyone could not get enough of it. Anyway, without further ado… How To // Frost a Cake.

Product Review // Tinge Floral

Ashley Beyer is amazingly talented.  Her arrangements are beautiful, soft, and simple yet elegant.  About a year ago she did my sister-in-laws flowers (who happens to be Ashley’s sister) and I remember falling in love with her bouquet, which I had never been a huge fan of bouquets but man oh man is all of her work stunning.

Not only did Ashley create the most beautiful floral arrangements for mine and Bennett’s wedding but she became the designer for our entire reception. And let me tell you how nice it was to be able to trust her to take complete control over reception decor and know it would be exactly what I had envisioned. It was a HUGE time saver and stress reliever.

So if you’re still on the hunt for the perfect florist. Tinge Floral by Ashley Beyer is definitely the way to go. You can check out her website below.

Tinge Floral

Tinge Floral

Photo by Mandi Nelson

Destination Wedding // Packing List

If you are getting married out of state I cannot emphasize this enough… MAKE A PACKING LIST (and check it twice). Seriously, this is your big day and you do NOT want to forget anything of importance. Below is a brief packing list my mom and I made to help you out if you’re stumped or nervous you’re forgetting something. Also, I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and we need a temple recommend to be sealed so this may not be applicable to all of you but you can replace it with any documents you may need for your ceremony (Marriage License perhaps??)

  • Wedding Dress + Shoes
  • Wedding Accessories (Headband, Earrings, etc.)
  • Bennett’s Wedding Ring
  • Make-Up (I did my own make up so I had specific Wedding Make-Up different from my day to day)
  • Temple Recommend (or Marriage License*)
  • Perfume
  • Hair Products (Curling Iron, Bobby Pins, Elastics, Brush, etc.)
  • Any Prescriptions
  • Warm Clothes (We were in DC + NYC for our honeymoon, if you’re going tropical replace with swimsuits!)
  • Shoes (good walking shoes)
  • Day to Day Make-Up
  • Toiletries (Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Face Wash, Floss, etc.)
  • Lotion
  • Underwear (yeah, ya definitely don’t want to forget this)

Another thing you may want to consider is packing all of your wedding items (shoes, accessories, make-up, dress) in your carry-on. If the airport loses your bag you could be in deep trouble… Especially your dress! And you can carry-on your dress and depending on the plane and airline they will most likely let you hang it in the closet. Or if you are super paranoid you can put it on your lap 😉

* Depending on what state you are getting married in you may have to bring the Marriage License with you or the state/place will hold your Marriage License for up to 6 months (how perfect for us quick engagement folk).

Best of luck brides! What is on your destination wedding packing list?

Destination Wedding

Mandi Nelson Photography

Don’t Forget the Fiance

This is probably the most important thing you should remember while you are running around with your head chopped off trying to plan your wedding. Don’t forget to spend time with your fiance and just forget the wedding plans. This was something I was pretty worried about when we decided to get married so quickly. From balancing 19 credit hours, working a part-time job, and trying to plan the wedding without my mom here to help (she lives in West Virginia serving a LDS mission with my dad) I was extremely nervous our relationship wouldn’t get the time and attention I wanted it to get.

But thankfully I had a lot of people who were willing to help me plan and coordinate. (Don’t ever be afraFiance Funid to ask for help, you may be surprised how many are willing and wanting to help!) Granted I did have a few breakdowns (what bride doesn’t though??) and there were times where I thought there was no way our wedding would ever come together. But I went to Bennett a lot, not all the time for wedding things because we live about an hour away and it can be hard to coordinate but we were able to spend the time together and he always makes me feel amazing when I’m with him and the worries of school, work, and wedding planning would generally fade away.

So again I can’t emphasize this enough… MAKE TIME FOR YOU AND YOUR FIANCE! And don’t make the time spent together all about wedding planning, go on dates, laugh, hang out, and talk about your future together. This really is a fun time in life even though it can sometimes seem like the most stressful. Spend that time with the love of your life and you’ll come out of your bridezilla coma and become overwhelmed with the thoughts of your future’s together.

Invitations 101

All that matters is you get to marry the love of your life… But you are putting in all this effort for a reception so you want people! Nobody will show up to your wedding if you don’t invite them, so get going on these ASAP! Here’s a few quick steps to get you started.

  1. Seek Inspiration // My go to inspiration site is of course Pinterest, probably like everyone else… But hey they do have some great inspiration ideas that may kick start you own brilliant design or you may find the exact one you want. Whatever you end up finding there is never any harm in seeking inspiration.Pinterest Inspiration
  2. Find Your Designer // Look around or ask around, find someone who can create the invitation you imagine or who can create a beautiful one on their own. But find them quick! You never know how long the person you want could take creating them.
  3. Guests + Addresses // I will warn you: this part is extremely time consuming and sometimes a big hassle! Get going on this immediately or you will regret it and may miss some people that you wanted to get an invite to… Whether you create a Facebook event or ask each person GET IT DONE.
  4. Pack + Play // Putting your invites together can actually be pretty fun. You get to see what they look like and your wedding feels that more real. I would highly recommend gathering friends and family. Not only do you guys get to catch up while doing something fun for you wedding but it will save you A LOT of time. So hang out, make some snacks (not messy ones, you don’t want those beautiful invitations to have food smears), and pack up those invites!

That’s really all I have for you for wedding invitations. It varies with each person and there are a lot more minor things to go into your invites but as you begin these steps everything will come together great 🙂

Product Review // Alta Moda Bridal

Alta Moda Bridal were the angels when it came to my wedding dress. The Knot recommends to start shopping for your wedding dress 9-12 months before your wedding… I had 2 1/2 months!! Too say the least I was shocked! However, with their help I was able to have my dress custom designed and come just in time for my wedding and pictures.

They were so helpful and always remained in touch throughout the entire process. I always felt like I could reach out to them when I would have my panicked bride moments wondering how in the world we would ever get this dress done in time. However, with a lot of reassuring and a lot of work on their part I was able to get my dress in time and have it be the dress of my dreams.

If you live in Utah I would highly recommend checking them out! They have amazing service, can help you design your dream dress, help you finish the look, and get it in time for your wedding!

Alta Moda Bridal

Alta Moda Bridal Final Review // PHENOMENAL

Finding the Right Wedding Photographer

The photographer is one of the most important decisions you will make during the wedding planning process. Like I briefly mentioned in The Wedding To-Do List post previously, you want to find the right photographer because they will be taking the photos that you will be looking back on the rest of your life. The pictures your photographer takes becomes your tangible memory book. Ensuring you pick a photographer you love should be on the top of your to-do list. So how do you find the photographer that will really capture your special day?

  • Style // In my humble opinion finding the photographer with your style is CRUCIAL! Do you like the photos more edited? Natural? Indoor? Outdoor? Artsy? Portrait? If you pick a photographer that isn’t your style you most likely won’t like the pictures, no matter what you or the photographer are doing. Here is a sample from the photographer I used for my wedding and she is AMAZING! Her style is very natural and simply beautiful which is my personal preference for style.

Mandi Nelson PhotographyMandi Nelson Photography

  • Availability // Is your photographer going to be available on your wedding day? Check this first! You don’t want to get your hopes up for a photographer and find out they aren’t available. So ask if they are free on your wedding day and how busy they will be your wedding week. You want your photographer to be able to put their full focus on your wedding and not be distracted by the thousand of other weddings they have coming up. Most are very professional but it’s always nice to check. Also, make sure that they can book a time for engagements and bridals quickly since you are on a tight time crunch!
  • Budget // Don’t even think about a photographer out of your budget… It’s just like trying on a dress, if you try one above your price range you will fall in love and then everything else will seem only mediocre even if they are amazing.
  • Recommendations // It’s always nice to know you’re photographer is loved by many. So ask around and see who people suggest. You don’t have to rely on google for all the answers, your friends or family may have the perfect photographer for you.

Keep in mind if you have a short engagement you will need to find a photographer as soon as possible. Between research, hiring, booking an engagement session, getting those back, and picking the picture for your invites it takes quite a bit of time. From the time we got engaged and received engagement photos back (not picking one and printing it for invites either) it took us 6 weeks. So get on this as soon as you can! And remember your photographer should be completely your and your grooms choice. Pick the one you love that will portray your big day just the way you’ve always envisioned.

PS: Here’s a great site to look for photographers you need in your area if the recommendations you receive aren’t quite what you are looking for! It’s called Thumbtack. Best of luck!

The Wedding To-Do List

You’re engaged to your best friend and love of your life and all you want to do is get going on your life together.  But you have a short planning period and what feels like a loooooong time to wait. So it’s time to get started on the wedding plans to not only achieve the wedding of your dreams but also to make the time you two have to spend apart go just a little bit quicker.

Here’s a little snippet of the to-do list I created that gave my wedding planning an outline so I didn’t feel like I was completely drowning. Yours may be slightly different but it’s always nice to have a starting point!

  1. BUDGET // This should be the number one (ahem ahem) on your to-do list. You cannot do anything with your to-do list until you know how much you can spend. You can’t hire, book, or look until you know what you can/want to spend.  So look at your budget or talk to your parents and figure out the budget as soon as possible.
  2. Flights + Hotels // This is obviously not applicable to everyone but if you are planning on getting married out-of-state you will want to get on top of flights and hotels as soon as you possibly can. The longer you wait the more expensive it will get (and it could get booked out and you will be left without anywhere to stay or a form of transportation!).
  3. Wedding Dress // I almost feel shameful for pushing this to number 3… Almost. But after you have your budget and places to stay you can have loads of fun finding the wedding dress to make you feel absolutely beautiful on your wedding day. So browse Pinterest, google shops and boutiques around you, and just have fun constantly being on the hunt for a dress that screams you.
  4. Venues // Ceremony and/or reception, get it booked! You have a short engagement and if you’re around the holidays or wedding season the venue you want could go quick. So start the hunt and once you see what you love, get ‘er done.
  5. Planning Your Wedding Photographer // With our short time frame we needed to find a photographer quick. You’ll need to get on this because you need to get your engagements done as soon as you can so you can give the photographer time to edit, you can find the picture(s) you like for your invite, and print them so they are ready to go for your invitations. Photographer is crucial to book, but make sure to find one that you love and can show your style through the pictures. You will look back on these pictures for the rest of your life… No pressure 😉
  6. Invitations // The focus should be on the step you and your fiance are taking to spend forever together but you’re are creating all these fun wedding plans anyway… So what’s a party without the people?? Get going on invitation design and guest list next, you will want to celebrate this monumental day with the ones you love and send an invite that is yours and your future husbands style.

This is just a starting point, if I added the whole list this post would be way more than any of you care to read. But before I ask what’s on your to-do list, here’s a mini list of things you shouldn’t forget to add:

//colors//cake//catering//your first apartment//flowers//bridesmaids+dresses//

//thank you’s//register//fiance’s ring//marriage license//shoes+make up+hair//

Best of luck future brides! I would love to hear what is on your wedding to do list.

The Wedding Planning Journey

Getting engaged is one of the most exciting things to ever happen.  When I got engaged on September 6 I remember I COULD NOT stop smiling.  It was the happiest day of my life up to that point.  But a couple days later as the excitement settled and I was able to unscrew my smile, the wedding planning chaos began. I immediately purchased a notebook and right away the first couple pages were filled with “must-do” items for the wedding and all I remember thinking was “crap, how will this ever get done in time for our wedding??”

Now depending on how long your engagement is you could have plenty of time to perfect every last wedding detail. However, I had exactly 77 days until we were to be married… And along with planning chaos I needed to manage 19 credits, be a great employee at my part time job, and coordinate wedding plans with my mom who lives on the other side of the country. So if you also feel ridiculously overwhelmed with balancing your crazy life and planning your dream wedding, you are not alone. So please chime in on how you have managed to plan your wedding as I share how I have planned mine and maybe we can make life just a little easier for those future brides with a chaotic life and a short engagement entering the wedding planning journey.

The Wedding Planning Journey

09.06.2014

Provo Chalk Block

Mixed Disco Fevah

Mixed Utah

Mixed 20's (beanie view)

Mixed 50's

Mixed Groovy

Tis the foursome

Mixed Chalk Art (3, try dose)

So this was a few weeks ago but I’ve been so busy with school and work I haven’t had a chance to post so now I have a ton of these pictures built up!  So you’ll be getting more posts coming up now (: sorry for my disappearance!  Anyway, this is from Provo Chalk Block.  It was so fun!  What they do is have a ton of artists come and draw way cool chalk pictures in the parking lot.  Unfortunately, when we went it had just rained so most of the pictures were either covered or washed away… BOOOOOO!  But we did get to see a few cool ones (shown in the last pic) but that’s why there’s only one chalk picture haha.  

What Chels and I had a ton of fun with (since we didn’t have too many chalk pics to look at) was these fun billboard type things that you could stand in front of and get fun pics!  There were ones from all different times (like the 20’s, 70’s, etc.) SO FUN!  And it was at the Riverwoods Mall so we of course had to do a little shopping after.  I got this super cute skirt from Called to Surf for $12! Gotta love sales right?

Anyway, hope all is well with everyone and I’ll do a fashion post next, since it’s been so freakin’ long!

xo, Bri

Ps: Check out my hot friend Chels’s IG: @chelseyannlarsen