Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Wedding Wednesday: How I'm Preparing for the Wedding

 We’re under two months when it comes to our wedding countdown, and I’m kind of in disbelief. While we’re finally going to be in town more after having a busy summer of travel, I know that these next two months are bound to fly by with fun events taking up most of the weekends. I feel good about where we are with planning and feel like most of the details left to sort out are on the smaller side, which is a relief. I’m still on the hunt for outfits for our parties and wedding weekend, but if that’s the most overwhelming of my to-dos I feel like I’m in a good spot.

I know many people probably think hitting two or three months out is crunch time when it comes to getting in shape, but overall I’m afraid y’all may find this post a bit boring. While I’d love to feel and look my best on our wedding day, I had no intention of doing that in a way that would add to my stress or leave me feeling like I don’t look like myself. So, for the most part, my routines have remained pretty consistent to what they were pre-engagement. I’m breaking this post up into three categories: health, fitness, and appearance, but keep in mind, I know there’s a lot of overlap within them! 


I think since graduating college and probably even in college, but I can’t fully remember my mentality back then, my mentality has been everything in moderation. I love snacks and definitely have a sweet tooth, so while I know many people aim to change their diet in order to help look and feel their best for their wedding, I haven’t done too much of that. There are plenty of people out there who are more motivated by the idea of a wedding diet and execute that successfully, but that wasn’t something I was eager to prioritize.

As someone who identifies as a planner, I try to map out my meals for the week ahead over the weekend so that I only have to go to the grocery store once and don’t end up having to deal with the “what’s for dinner” dilemma nightly. Typically, I’m choosing lunches and dinners that are filling and healthy so that when I do want to snack, have dessert, or do something with friends on the weekend, I don’t overthink what I’m consuming. Hunter and I tend to make dinners more than going out to dinner which tends to allow us to eat healthier options than if we were going someplace for a meal. When I do go out to dinner, I don’t think much about what I’m eating and instead just choose what sounds good. 

The major aspect of health I’ve been focused on since getting engaged is establishing doctors in Birmingham since I plan to be here long-term. I put this off for a while when I moved to Birmingham, and then COVID made it trickier to go in to see doctors and since then, I was pretty lazy about setting up appointments. I’m now on my way to having a few different doctors here that I’ve established care with and plan to continue to see as long as they’re still in the network when Hunter and I combine our insurance plans. After putting this off for so long, it feels good to know that I have somewhere to go should a health issue arise. 


I didn’t touch on this in the health portion of the post, but I knew it would be addressed here, so just to be transparent I haven’t had a goal weight/size/weight loss goal during wedding planning. Instead, I’ve just been trying to remain consistent with the workouts I love while adding in exercises here and there that can help tone areas of my body that I may not be as confident about. I don’t own a scale, so I have no idea whether or not any of this has been “successful” from that standpoint, but I feel good, which is what I find to be more important.

I’ve been going to MPower in Birmingham for the past few years and have been pretty consistently going to 4-5 classes per week. MPower is a pilates studio that teaches the Lagree Method on a megaformer. Since I don’t fully know how to explain the class, I pulled this from their website: “The innovative exercise guarantees results by melding together elements of Pilates, cardio, and stability training. Through slow, controlled movements, this method strengthens your body, lengthens your muscles, burns fat, improves endurance, and jump-starts your metabolism.”

Having played soccer growing up and then running cross country in high school, cardio in the past has always been my priority when it comes to my workouts, but after trying MPower I think my body has enjoyed being able to focus on something different. They have a lot of locations and class times, which has been great for fitting it into my schedule, and I’m way more likely to do a workout when I have the accountability of a class time and instructor. 

So while Pilates has been my major form of workout I have been mixing in cardio when I have time or want to. It has been too hot this summer to go for a run (which I really do enjoy, especially when at the lake), so instead, I’ve been incorporating jumping rope into my routine a couple of times a week. Since I usually go to MPower in the morning, I’ll grab my jump rope (which was a prime day impulse buy) and jump rope for 3-4 songs before it gets too hot out. I hope that once the weather cools down this will help to maintain some stamina to be able to add running back into my routine! 

If I had to choose an area that I’m most insecure about I’d choose my hips and thighs, but since those will be covered by a wedding dress I’ve been adding in a few exercises to tone my arms since those will be visible. My brother had a pull-up bar in his bedroom growing up, and one summer he challenged me, saying that I wouldn’t be able to do 10 pull-ups by the time the summer was over. I proved him wrong, and now years later as payback, took the pull-up bar from his room in Fairhope to Birmingham with me. I remember feeling so strong that summer and also never felt like my arms looked so toned, so a couple of times a week I’ve been trying to do a few pull-ups. I’m not back to 10 yet, but given how sore my arms feel after doing them maybe we’ll slowly move in that direction!


While health and fitness contribute to appearance, my biggest focus when it comes to appearance has been getting my skin under control. While I haven’t felt overly stressed during the wedding process, I do think having an additional category of a to-do list each week may have unrecognizably been more of a stressor than I felt. I’ve had an issue with a stress rash before once in college, but that one presented itself on my arm, and instead, this time the rash decided under my eye would be a good place for it. Overall, I’ve been lucky to not have too problematic of skin, but this was a huge blow to my confidence especially since covering it up felt like a chore, but if I didn’t it looked like I had been crying. 

My dermatologist prescribed a topical cream to me that has worked really well, and another thing she mentioned as a potential solution was LED red light therapy. Conveniently I had just been emailed about a red light therapy device made by Omnilux, which I decided to give a try before looking into this service at my dermatologist. Combined with the topical cream my dermatologist prescribed, this has completely cleared my face of the rash and has other benefits as well. I use it about 3 times a week with each session lasting 10 minutes, and while I joke that I look like a self-care serial killer I do think it has helped to reduce some of my fine lines and wrinkles while overall evening my skin tone. It is not inexpensive, and I was sent mine for free, but after seeing the results I now understand why people pay for this kind of service at the dermatologist, so I’m especially grateful to be able to use this at home! 

I can't believe I'm sharing this but here's a look at the transformation:

Since I’ve been so focused on getting rid of my under-eye rash, I haven’t been all that focused on other areas of my body, which honestly may be for the best when the goal is to feel good and look like myself! 

While I know that this may not be as helpful if you were hoping for exercises or meals to slim down fast or anything of that variety, I hope that other brides who may be thinking of ways to personally get themselves ready for their wedding can hopefully bring things back into perspective and keep a healthy relationship with their food and fitness routines.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Wedding Wednesday: What's Been On Our To-Do List Lately

 Aside from right after we got engaged I feel like this past week has been one of the most productive when it comes to wedding planning. I shouldn’t be surprised that was the case since I went to Fairhope with a long to-do list of what I wanted to get done with my parents and for the most part, we tackled it all! We’re going back to Wedding Wednesday roots a bit in this post with the overall layout of the post, but looking ahead to the next three to four weeks of Wedding Wednesday posts has me especially excited for the content I’ll be sharing! 

Floral Design Meeting

This was a major check off of my list while in town. I finally got to meet our florist, Katherine, in person at our reception venue to go through all of the ideas I had as well as the proposal she had put together. I’m not sure why this felt like it was going to be such a to-do in my head, but meeting with her to discuss everything and hearing her ideas and ways to make them happen truly put me at ease! We talked through some logistics, her overall process, and everything I had mapped out on Canva for each setting at the venue leaving me so confident about what she’ll be putting together for us! 

First Dance and Father/Daughter Dance Song Selection

Since I feel like I’ve had enough decisions on my plate I’ve outsourced song selections to my fiancé and dad. Both delivered and came up with great options for each of our respective dances. 

Food Selection

We’re not totally nailed down on this yet, but we are getting pretty close. What I did that I think helped to make sure everyone had a say in what will be served is having my parents each come up with their ideal menu independently and then Hunter and I doing the same thing. After everyone had done that we compared them and were then able to adjust accordingly based on the variety of the selection, pricing, and narrowing! 

Bridesmaid’s Dresses Arrived

I had in my head that bridesmaid dresses wouldn’t be in until after Labor Day and was pleasantly surprised when I received an email a couple of weeks ago that they had arrived! This gives everyone plenty of time to get any alterations done that they may be interested in. 

First Alterations Appointment For My Dress 

In addition to our flower meeting, this was a big reason I went to Fairhope a couple of weeks ago. It was so fun to see my dress again in person and my mom and I were finally able to see it with the shoes, earrings, and veil I had selected. Overall it fits pretty well, but for comfort’s sake, I want it a bit tighter in the top so that there will be no need to adjust it during the day and then it needed to be hemmed to the proper length. My next alterations appointment all they should have to do is add in the bustle and make sure I like the way it feels and we will be good to go!

Mother of The Bride Dress & Rehearsal Dinner Dress Selected

My mom and I both knew that finding outfits for her to wear could be a challenge since she doesn’t love shopping. I sent her on a mission to get a feel for things she liked the weekend before I came home and she ended up finding her Mother of the Bride dress then! We continued to look to make sure it was her favorite when I was in town and during that time were also able to get her rehearsal dinner outfit and what she is planning to wear to our Birmingham engagement party. I’m a bit jealous that she has more outfits figured out at this point than I do! 

Flower Girl Attire

My niece is our flower girl and she’ll have just turned one at the time of our wedding. We had been putting off buying her dress until we had a better idea of her size and whether or not she would be walking. We’re still not sure if she’ll be walking at the time of our wedding, but since she’s measuring tall (I guess they call it long for babies) we went ahead and got her an 18m dress instead of 12m. I think we’ll have something as a backup in case she spills or needs a change of clothes, but I really like what we ended up ordering for her. 

Gift for Hunter

After reaching out to quite a few different places I finally found a place that could do my dream wedding gift for Hunter at a somewhat reasonable price! I was about to throw in the towel and am so glad that I didn’t since judging from the proof I’ve seen they are going to be perfect! I’ll share more after I’ve given them to him on our wedding day since I have a feeling they are something many grooms would love.

Linen Final Selection

We finally put in the order for our specialty linens and the check has been sent which feels good since I think they will make such an impact in our space! I used a new to me company that I have a feeling is going to make a name for themselves in the wedding vendor realm. I’ll share more once I have pictures of the linens in action! 

Invitations Arrived

If you’ve been following these posts somewhat closely then you may remember my one major meltdown of wedding planning so far came with figuring out a time to look at and order invitations. Of course, my stress of timing with those was for nothing since they arrived earlier than I had expected. We even already have the finished envelopes back from our calligrapher which has me ambitious that we may be able to put everything in the mail ahead of our goal send date! 

On the to-do list for the next week or so:

I’m trying to get a lot knocked out the remainder of this week and early next week so that come Thursday I can check out of wedding to-dos for a fun trip that is planned! I feel like publishing these to-do lists holds me pretty well accountable and I’m optimistic that’s the case with this one too. 

Decide on scripture and songs for the ceremony.

Once those are decided I’d love to go ahead and make/order the wedding ceremony program so that most of our paper orders will be finished! 

Select wedding bands and order Hunter’s. 

Call the makeup artist to confirm numbers and schedule a trial.

Schedule a second dress alterations appointment (I’m hoping to line it up with the above so that I’m able to see everything together before our wedding day).

Begin stuffing and stamping invitations to send ahead of our “goal” mail-by date.

Decide on bridesmaid’s gifts.

Pass along addresses and numbers for rehearsal dinner and bridesmaid’s luncheon.

Decide on hostess gifts for parties.

Look for dresses for engagement party and rehearsal dinner. 

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Wedding Wednesday: Overall Design Inspiration

It was apparently wishful thinking that I was going to have a new Wedding Wednesday post up before leaving town last week. We went to Colorado through the weekend to celebrate Hunter’s cousin’s wedding and had the best time exploring Steamboat Springs and enjoying cooler weather! We’re now officially the next family wedding on his mom’s side after his sister’s wedding earlier this summer and this most recent one. Having been to quite a few receptions in the past few years it can be hard not to want to think through ways to make yours feel different. I keep having to remind myself that I don’t have to reinvent the wheel but instead add small personal touches that may make an impact on the overall feel both for us and for our guests.

With that in mind, today’s blog post is a look at my design inspiration for our big day! The other weekend when we were at the lake with Hunter’s parents, his dad was the one to point out that we were officially three months from the big day, which was equal parts exciting while also being a bit overwhelming. There is still quite a bit to accomplish, but I feel good about all that we’ve gotten done so far. I’m heading to Fairhope this afternoon for a floral design meeting tomorrow and my first dress fitting on Friday, which are two check marks I’m ready to have next to my ever-growing list. I’m sure my parents will be thrilled to see all that I’ve got down for us to accomplish while I’m in town, haha. 

I know I’ve mentioned it in previous posts, but I’m visual to a fault, and seeing different ideas as they would look together is important for me to get a feel of how it will come together. I put together the below design inspiration board to share with our planner and florist to keep us on the same page as we discuss things and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t make me excited to enter our reception space after our wedding ceremony. I have a feeling it’ll be better than the pictures, even if only because our friends and family will be there to enjoy it too!

Since I don’t want to give everything away to guests that may be joining us hopefully, this image and no description about each thing gives you enough of an idea without giving the final product away! 

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