Your Last Minute Pre-Wedding Day Checklist! Start making notes! :-)

vintage-20's-bride-art-wedding-planning-vintage-wedding-vintage-bridal-retro-wedding-1

 

Last Minute Checklist

In the craziness of all the day-of excitement, it’s so darn easy for even the most detail-oriented person to forget to take care of some last minute wedding details, whether it be to make sure grandma Irene’s restricted diet dish with the special gluten free details is accounted for or to pop a couple of breath mints before the big kiss. I know it can and will be so easy to forget some minor and major details for your big day! I know I did.

So, I decided to make this list of things I think are most important as far as last minute wedding details that could ruin your big day if not attended to and if you don’t make that checklist! So, read mine and let your worries fall to the wayside! :-)

1. Check in with your vendors.

“Confirm arrangements with your pros and make sure they all have exact directions and a contact person’s cell phone number,” advises Julie Pryor of Pryor Events in Los Angeles.

2. Prepare final payments.

“Pay your vendors ahead of time,” says Emilie Duncan of Emilie Duncan Event Planning in Columbus, Ohio. “Then you don’t have to try to remember what is owed to whom on your wedding day.”

3. Have an “insurance policy.”

“When your vendors collect your final payments, have each of them sign a note indicating he’s received it,” advises Samantha Goldberg of Gold Events Planning in New Jersey. “Then if anyone claims he wasn’t paid, you will have proof that he was.”

4. Create tip envelopes.

“If you plan on tipping anyone, such as the banquet captain, wait staff or DJ, prepare envelopes with their names and insert the correct amounts,” says Duncan. “Sealed envelopes are a whole lot safer than a big stack of bills in someone’s pocket!”

5. Bring extra cash just in case.

“You might want to give a gratuity to someone who you feel has gone above and beyond the call of duty,” says Kathi R. Evans, event coordinator for All the Best Weddings and Celebrations, based in New Jersey.

6. Drop your luggage off early.

“If you’ll be staying overnight at a hotel after the reception, bring your bags the night before or have a friend or family member drop them off the morning of the wedding,” suggests Sarah Lusardi, wedding planner for NY Engagements, LLC, in New York.

7. Pack for your honeymoon early.

Doing it sooner rather than later is the way to guarantee one less worry,” says Pryor. “Also, make sure your passports and travel documents are in order.”

8. Pack properly for your destination wedding.

“Make a list of all the important things you need to bring and, if possible, pack them as carry-on,” says Cindy Clearwater of SunCelebrations in the Virgin Islands. “You may be able to pick up such necessities as drugstore items at your wedding destination, but don’t assume so.”

9. Have wedding items in place before the big day.

Lusardi suggests having your wedding favors, toasting glasses, cake knife and server delivered to your reception site a few days beforehand. For anything going to the ceremony site, designate a trusted friend or family member to get everything there before the guests arrive.

10. Put your signature-drink recipes in writing.

“Give a list to your bartender the day before, so he doesn’t forget exactly what you want,” says Sasha Souza of Sasha Souza Events in California.

11. Name those tunes.

Songs are often covered or remade by different bands, so double-check with your DJ or band leader that they have the versions you want.

12. Have a discussion with your photographer.

“Leave nothing to chance. Give him or her a list of people you’d like to have photographed together,” advises Pryor. “He’ll probably get the obvious ones, but if you want a picture of your sorority sisters or everyone who flew in for your wedding or your new husband’s coworkers, let your photographer know in advance.”

13. Create a wedding-day photography schedule.

Jean Picard, state coordinator for the Association of Bridal Consultants in California, says this is the best way to keep things moving smoothly. “For example,” she says, “if the bride, the bridesmaids and the bride’s family are being photographed at 3:15 p.m., this means they need to be at the location at 3:00 p.m., fully dressed, coiffed and made up. You don’t want a bridesmaid thinking she can pull into the parking lot at 3:15 p.m. with rollers in her hair and her dress in a garment bag!”

14. Create a day-of itinerary.

“Write a detailed schedule for the bridal party and family to be distributed after the rehearsal,” suggests Jo Ann S. Woodward, wedding coordinator in Texas. “This lets people know where and when to arrive for photographs and so on.”

15. Review printed materials.

“Be sure to carefully check place cards, table numbers, menus and programs for errors several days before your wedding,” says Pryor.

16. Make your guests feel loved.

“Have thoughtful welcome gifts with personalized notes waiting for your guests in their hotel rooms,” adds Pryor.

17. Line your cards up.

“Arrange all your escort and seating cards in alphabetical order ahead of time,” suggests Souza. “Bring an extra copy of the seating arrangements or give it to a bridesmaid and let her be in charge of it.”

18. Hydrate your flowers.

“Have a vase of water ready for bouquets when it is hot and dry outside,” Goldberg advises. “Certain flowers, like hydrangea and lilies, need water, so if you want your bouquet to live past the ceremony, don’t let it get thirsty!” Souza adds, “Order a few extra boutonnieres in case some die or are lost.”

19. Figure out how to get your gown to your location.

If you and your bridesmaids expect to dress at your ceremony site, don’t end up trying to fit large garment bags into one car along with you and your maids. If you have a plan in place, you’ll avoid stress.

20. Get your limo driver’s number.

“Don’t forget to bring his cell phone number in case you change your exit time or leave something in the car,” suggests Isha Foss, wedding consultant and owner of Isha Foss Events, based in Virginia. “At midnight, it won’t help to have only the office number.”

21. Arrange transportation home for your bridal party.

“Don’t strand your attendants at your wedding location!” says Duncan. “If they’re planning to arrive via shared transportation, make sure they have a ride at the end of the evening as well.”

22. Prepare for rain.

“If you’re planning an outdoor ceremony, be sure to have a tent set up and umbrellas on hand for guests just in case,” suggests Goldberg.

23. Nominate a gift caretaker.

“Designate in advance someone to take your presents home,” suggests Foss. “Give her a house key so she can have everything there for you when you return.”

24. Designate a wedding-day supervisor.

“Have a well-organized relative arrive early at the ceremony and reception site to ensure everything is in order,” suggests Lusardi.

25. Give your legal documents to someone responsible.

“Appoint someone to keep your signed marriage license until the end of the evening so it doesn’t get lost,” says Duncan. “Some honeymoon locations will give you special perks if you show proof that you’re honeymooners. That license may be all you’ll have.”

26. Don’t go hungry!

“Pre-order breakfast delivery to your hotel room the morning of the wedding,” says Souza. “Going through the day on an empty stomach isn’t helpful in dealing with all the excitement.”

27. Make sure everyone knows when it’s over.

“Double-check the end time of your wedding with your venue, as well as the time it must be cleared out, and give this information to all vendors,” says Foss. This will prevent unexpected overtime fees.

28. Pack a big-day emergency kit.

Lusardi suggests including bobby pins, hairspray, face powder, lip gloss and lipstick, hemming tape for last-minute repairs, traction pads for heels, a pair of panty hose, an umbrella and a shawl, stain remover, tissues and backup copies of your music choices should something happen to the originals.

Most of all and finally...Enjoy your wedding day!!

Oh and trying to stay calm, relaxed and pretty is pretty important too!

Hugs!

XOXO,

Kirstin@froufroulebleu.com

Check out these Wedding Cake Alternatives that will wow you into trying something different!

wedding-cake-alternative-cream-puff-tower-13

‘Let them eat cake’

Seriously now, who says you can only serve cake at a wedding?! These days there are so many fun ideas to really put a modern and edgy spin on the traditional wedding to match your personalities…be it quirky, artsy, green, traditional, international or just plain fun!! It is so great to watch your desert choices shine through on your special day and how fun that your choice can really reflect your personalities and become a real wow factor that makes your day something unforgettable to everyone! Hey, if a traditional wedding cake isn’t really you then why not treat your guests to a taste of you as a couple with a fun and unique treat!

Here are some really fun, interesting and fabulous ideas!

Enjoy!

xoxo,

Kirstin @ FrouFrou Le Bleu

wedding-cake-alternatives-6wedding-cake-alternatives-cake-pops-4wedding-cake-alternatives-cake-pops-7wedding-cake-alternatives-cannolis-vintage-inspired-8wedding-cake-alternatives-cream-puff-tower-vintage-inspired-desert-alternatives-10wedding-cake-alternatives-cupcake-tower-vintage-inspired-cupcake-tower-shabby-chic-cupcake-tower-12wedding-cake-alternatives-cupcake-tower-vintage-snspired-cupcakes-12wedding-cake-alternatives-donuts-2wedding-cake-alternatives-Little-petite-fours-cakes-mini-cakes-vitage-inspired-adorable-little-cakes-wedding-9wedding-cake-alternatives-mini-cakes-8wedding-cake-alternatives-mini-desert-bar-vintage-inspired-wedding-deserts-5wedding-cake-alternatives-oreo-cookies-1

 

Happy Planning!  

It’s Fall! Time to put the finishing touches on your Winter wedding! Check out these beautiful vintage winter wedding ideas!

winter-wedding-ideas-vintage-winter-wedding-19

Winter Weddings!

10 New Winter Wedding Ideas

My favorite time of the year is Fall, mainly because that means it’s almost Winter! Even though I live in Southern California, I still do appreciate the cooler “sweater” weather, that crisp feeling in the air and just love getting ready for the holidays! My husband told me I should be living in New England and I am born to be wearing cozy sweaters, hunter boots and bundling up by thee fire with a nice cup of coffee!

Snowflakes and pinecones are tried-and-true winter wedding motifs, but don’t feel bound to these seasonal standbys. Here are 10 ways to reinvent your winter wedding! Is this you? If so, check out some of these great ideas and photos to see if anything works for your theme and decor!

1) Wedding Colors

Reds and greens certainly reflect the season, but overdo this color combo, and your wedding may seem more holiday-oriented than you intended.

What’s Hot Now: Consider a less-is-more approach to your color palette: Silver and white with crystal accents can add some serious glamour to your winter wedding. For your ceremony, try a white velvet aisle runner trimmed with white satin ribbon, or decorate the altar with a crystal curtain backdrop adorned with hanging strands of elegant white phalaenopsis orchids. If you’re exchanging vows outdoors, get your guests in on creating the ambience by giving out clear umbrellas to friends and family members as they arrive.

2) The Flowers

Red roses, calla lilies, and amaryllis are decidedly winter wedding flowers, but if you step outside the flower box, and you’ll find a variety of options for winter blooms.

What’s Hot Now: Consider fuller flowers, such as white hydrangeas and soft ranunculuses. White boutonnieres can be handsome when they’re accented with greenery, but they also look great with a simple white ribbon. Add sparkle to your bouquet by wrapping the stems in ribbon embellished with crystals.

3) Invitations

Since winter weddings are usually held indoors (it’s an ideal time for ballroom receptions), they often call for a more formal invitations.

What’s Hot Now: A black-tie event is nicely conveyed by heavy cardstock and a navy blue, chocolate-brown, or even eggplant font with hand calligraphy. For a fresh way to achieve a formal tone for your winter wedding, use thick, frosted Plexiglas invitations in white scripted ink. Send the sturdy invites out to all your guests tucked into silver envelope liners.

4) Centerpieces

Go beyond glowing candles to add both warmth and romance to your reception site.

What’s Hot Now: If you want to heighten the drama, bring in the icy outdoors with ice-carved vases on your reception tables. Have your florist fill the vases with tall winter-white branches and hanging crystals to reflect the light from the tables. Surround the centerpieces with votive candles, and top your tables with white dupioni table linens and frosted glass china.

5) Escort Cards

Miniature sleighs and holly motifs stamped onto your escort cards would spell out the season pretty clearly, but they might not dazzle your guests.

What’s Hot Now: Leave everyone awestruck as they retrieve their escort cards by making the entire table sparkle. Have the cards hand-calligraphed in silver ink and attach them to individual crystals with a ribbon. Hang each from an oversized crystal candelabra centerpiece for a new take on the popular escort card tree.

6) The Music

A classical pianist playing during dinner is a sure way to create an elegant ambience, but consider a more unexpected accompaniment.

What’s Hot Now: For a twist on the tunes, consider hiring an a capella quartet to sing background music at your reception. Have the group sing your favorite jazz and pop songs to set a welcoming and festive tone for the evening. If you’re into a more classical sound, hire a cellist and ask that Vivaldi’s “Winter” be included in the repertoire.

7) Cocktail Hour

A winter cocktail hour calls for warm, comforting drinks. You really can’t go wrong with hot chocolate and warm apple cider, but it’s your wedding — why not take every opportunity (drinks included) to add an element of surprise?

What’s Hot Now: Serve up white hot chocolate in small espresso cups and eggnog in small punch glasses for your guests as they arrive. At the bar, offer saketinis (Japanese rice wine and sweet-flavored vodka) in glasses rimmed with sugar crystals.

8) The Cake

A wedding cake trimmed in red or green ribbon or topped with roses looks pretty, but bakers who are willing to push the fondant envelope can reflect the winter in totally creative ways.

What’s Hot Now: Play up the season with a white, vintage-style cake, dusted with edible silver powder. For accents, have your baker add a white sugar ribbon and crystal drops cascading down one side of the cake.

9)Favors

Food wedding favors are always a hit, but if cookies or truffles seem passe, try new treat ideas to send your guests home satisfied.

What’s Hot Now: Give out small packages of chocolate-covered cranberries or roasted chestnuts. An over-the-top idea that will undoubtedly impress: Have your caterer set up a hot chocolate and churros station to top off the evening.

10) Honeymoons

While many couples flee the blustery weather for warmer (and sandier) locales for their honeymoon, a winter wedding can segue perfectly into a snowy escape.

What’s Hot Now: Embrace the season and rent a cozy log cabin for a week in Lake Placid, or join the jet-setters at a luxurious hotel in Aspen for some serious skiing, wining, dining, and snuggling.

Ok, let’s get started with ogling over some gorgeous photos and ideas!!! The best part! :-)

Happy Planning!

winter-wedding-ideas-vintage-winter-wedding-1winter-wedding-ideas-vintage-winter-wedding-7winter-wedding-ideas-vintage-winter-wedding-2winter-wedding-ideas-vintage-winter-wedding-3winter-wedding-ideas-vintage-winter-wedding-9winter-wedding-ideas-vintage-winter-wedding-11winter-wedding-ideas-vintage-winter-wedding-4winter-wedding-ideas-vintage-winter-wedding-6winter-wedding-ideas-vintage-winter-wedding-14winter-wedding-ideas-vintage-winter-wedding-15winter-wedding-ideas-vintage-winter-wedding-12winter-wedding-ideas-vintage-winter-wedding-24winter-wedding-ideas-vintage-winter-wedding-18winter-wedding-ideas-vintage-winter-wedding-27winter-wedding-ideas-vintage-winter-wedding-28winter-wedding-ideas-vintage-winter-wedding-8winter-wedding-ideas-vintage-winter-wedding-16winter-wedding-ideas-vintage-winter-wedding-22winter-wedding-ideas-vintage-winter-wedding-17winter-wedding-ideas-vintage-winter-wedding-21winter-wedding-ideas-vintage-winter-wedding-20winter-wedding-ideas-vintage-winter-wedding-29winter-wedding-ideas-vintage-winter-wedding-25winter-wedding-ideas-vintage-winter-wedding-26winter-wedding-ideas-vintage-winter-wedding-34winter-wedding-ideas-vintage-winter-wedding-30winter-wedding-ideas-vintage-winter-wedding-23winter-wedding-ideas-vintage-winter-wedding-31winter-wedding-ideas-vintage-winter-wedding-5winter-wedding-ideas-vintage-winter-wedding-35

xoxo,

Kirstin @ FrouFrou Le Bleu

 

 

 

Pre-wedding Skincare Woes and tips to help you avoid them!

pre-wedding-Skin-Care-1

Beauty Bummers

This was a fun post for me to write. I am a closet skincare junkie and am obsessed with beauty, spas and wellness. I get excited at the sheer thought of a lavender scented oil and some Enya playing in a treatment room, lol. So, even though this post may not be all about spas…you can think of your skincare regime as a journey to your personal wellness and you can do treatments at home which will help prep your skin for your wedding day. Don’t worry..you can get some amazing spa and pampering time in on your honeymoon. 😉

Ok, as a bride, of course you’ve taken great care to make sure you look picture-perfect from head to toe, right? Designer pumps are on your pedicured feet, and your glittering flowing white dress is accented by gorgeous headpiece you’ve chosen or the perfect vintage inspired veil which will lie atop your beautify; flowing locks pr perfectly coifed up do!

You feel confident and beautiful, am I right? No one can steal the spotlight from you on your wedding day! Then.. the horror..before you turn the corner to walk down the aisle, you take a quick look in the mirror to discover that a flaming red pimple has taken up residence in the space between your perfectly shaped brow, eek!! You open your mouth to scream, but instead, you wake up in a cold sweat. It was all a pre-wedding nightmare.

To any bride slacking off on their daily skincare regimen, don’t let this nightmare become your reality! Use the months during your engagement to whip your pores into tip-top shape, no matter what the present-day condition of your complexion may be. Every bride can have skin that radiates with a natural glow..all it takes is a little preparation and special attention to detail. Here are 10 tips I’ve put together to help you achieve gorgeous skin by the time your wedding day arrives! Hope it helps! It’s helped me writing this even if I am already married! Every girl needs a little skincare help to give us that special glow!

Get ready to inspect those pores

Alright girls..pull out a magnified mirror, turn on a bright light (Oh no!!) and take a long look at your reflection. Do you have dry skin or an oily complexion? Knowing your skin type will help you decide which skin care regimen is right for you. If you suffer from regular breakouts or acne, you may need to seek the help of a professional to ensure your skin is in great shape by the wedding. Some medications take up to 12 weeks to take effect, so book an appointment with a dermatologist for a consultation at least six months in advance of the big day. Even if you don’t have a year to prep your pores, it’s important to adopt a healthy skin care regimen as soon as possible! I think you will thank me on your wedding day!

pre-wedding-Face-Skin-Care-Wellness-3

Drink plenty of H2O!

It’s no secret that drinking water is good for your health. And while experts can’t prove that drinking pure H20 will give you clear skin, it can’t hurt to cut carbonated beverages from your diet and drink more water instead! I always wonder if thats true so I slack on drinking water myself, but I will tell you that once I start pounding the water, great things start happening in my body and my skin does indeed have a much prettier look! Some attribute a glowing complexion to water, and that may be true. Experts report that drinking two or more glasses of water a day increases blood flow to the skin, perhaps giving the organ a little boost at the same time. Fine lines and wrinkles may become more visible if you’re dehydrated, so drink plenty of water in the months before your wedding to look and feel your very best. So drink up my Ladies!!

Wash your face every day

Regardless of how much makeup you wear, it’s imperative that you wash your face every night before you go to bed in order to maintain a clear complexion. Use a cleanser that will effectively wash away makeup, dirt and bacteria from your face, and when you’re traveling, use makeup remover towelettes as a convenient alternative. When in doubt, reach for a foaming cleanser that rinses with water — it works well with most people’s complexions, including those who suffer from breakouts. No matter what skin type you have, always use cold water to rinse the suds away — skin could become irritated when exposed to hot temperatures. I also notice that if I have any broken capillaries (which I do sadly), that the warmer or hotter the water is…the more irritated they become. Keep it cool..

Bad Blemish!

No matter how hard to you try to keep your skin in tip-top shape, the stress of planning a wedding is bound to leave you with a pesky pimple or two over the course of your engagement. I find this still to this day during a stressful time or that “time of the month” especially.  To safely zap a zit, dab a small amount of benzoyl peroxide on its surface before going to bed. The blemish should dry out and reduce in size, and in some cases, it could completely disappear by morning. Whatever you do, never squeeze or pick at a blemish (although so tempting!!), even if you’re in a pinch! Doing this could result in an infection, or worse,  leave you with a permanent scar. eek!

Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize, did I say Moisturize??

pre-wedding-facial-pamper-spa-wellness-7

Skipping the use of a daily moisturizer will most likely wreak havoc on your skin. Whether you wash your face in the shower or in the sink, apply a moisturizer immediately after drying off — skin is porous and will absorb liquid best during this time.

Those with oily complexions may choose an oil-free moisturizer that’s applied only once a day, while those with dry skin may need a product that’s applied in the morning and at night. Remember, you don’t have to treat all patches of skin the same. Pay attention to which areas are dry and oily, and moisturize accordingly!

Get your beauty rest girlies!

Never underestimate the power of getting a good night’s sleep. It’s not just good for your well-being, but your skin will benefit from a good snooze fest, too. The body produces more proteins as we sleep, rejuvenating tissues and cells, so getting enough rest is important to having healthy skin. Ever notice how on a night you get awful sleep you look awful too? (insert smiley face here!). Sleep deprivation can leave you looking puffy with dark circles under the eyes, so avoid over-celebrating at the bar with your bridesmaids or any late-night wedding planning, especially right before the big day. Make a conscious effort to get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep every night and you’re sure to look and feel your best as a result.

Keep Makeup Brushes Clean

Not only can dirty brushes muddy the colors of your makeup palette, but they’re full of dirt and bacteria, too, which can be detrimental to your complexion. No bride needs to deal with blemishes, so clean makeup brushes regularly with a little shampoo and water to avoid any breakouts on the big day. After rinsing the suds from your brushes, hang them up, bristles facing down, and allow them to dry completely before using them again.

Try some at home face masks

pre-wedding-skin-care_2

While masks shouldn’t replace your daily cleansing routine, wearing one regularly can improve your complexion. Masks melt hard sebum that resides deep in your pores, removing grit and grime that most daily skincare products are unable to do. Plus they look funny and you can scare anyone around you while wearing. haha!

Those with oily skin should wear a mask every other day to remove oil and dirt, while those with dry skin should wear a mask sparingly — just once or twice a month. Even though masks work well with most skin types, don’t wait until right before the wedding to try one for the first time — there is a small chance that you could have an allergic reaction!

Slather on that SPF!

Many brides want their white dress to pop against bronze, sun-kissed skin, but exposing yourself to the sun’s harmful rays without wearing sunscreen is dangerous to your health. To prevent skin from burning, choose cosmetics with built-in SPF. These makeup products should include a label with PA+, PA+ or PA+++ to indicate the level of UVA protection in the formula, but achieving full coverage doesn’t stop there. Most women don’t wear a makeup application heavy enough to protect them over the course of an entire day, so it’s best to layer moisturizer with SPF 15 or higher on skin before applying a base. When you’re outdoors for a significant amount of time, always reapply sunscreen and makeup to ensure long-lasting coverage from morning to night. Finally, don’t forget to wear lip balm that’s SPF 30 or higher to maintain a perfect pout — a very important accessory for a successful first kiss as husband and wife!

Hope these tips helped and you will be on your way to a fresh face for your wedding day!

XOXO,

Kirstin @ FrouFrou Le Bleu

 

 

21 Day Fix Program by Autumn Calabrese – Lose Weight and Get in Shape for your Wedding day!

21 Day Fix EXTREME gives you everything you need for serious results.
bridal-motivation-facebook-cover

OK..so, who’s ready to get in shape and lose weight for your wedding day?

Ok, first of all, make sure you follow my new bridal weight loss and fitness page here called fit and fab bride – click RIGHT HERE for my Facebook page accountability group for brides just like you! here is my personal coaching page as well, I am not a coach with beach body, but just offer a free page for you to feel inspired and motivated. – https://www.facebook.com/coachkirstinlawrence

21 Day Fix EXTREME gives you everything you need for serious results.

So I  decided to do this post because I really want to tell you all about this great new program called the 21 day fix by beachbody! I just started it myself and so far I am amazed with the results, so far I have lost 5 pounds in 10 days. Yes I am serious! What’s crazy is…the amount of food I am eating, I mean..I am never hungry and I was shocked when I got on the scale and saw I was 5 pounds down already, um..score!! My favorite weight loss system I have ever done! I am loving the container system and the half hour amazing workouts are fabulous, super quick and easy to follow. The results are amazing and I will post a couple results of real girls who have lost weight and got in amazing shape using this program at the end of the post! I recently decided to become a beachbody coach after seeing friends have amazing results with the program. One friend lost 11.5 pounds in the 21 days and another friend lost 10 pounds. Yayy! I mean, how cool is that? Another passion of mine is Shakeology by beach body and the reason I decided to become a coach with the company. So, I lost my baby weight (my daughter is 1 and 1/2 now) of about 55 pounds in about 15 months drinking their yummy chocolate shakes, see below for my shakeology weight loss, I replaced one meal a day of their chocolate shakes and then watched what I ate and did cardio and yoga 3/4 times a week! I still drink them today and this is what brought me to the company and now I am also excited about the 21 day fix. I am drinking my Shakeology on the program and most days I will replace a meal with a shake, or have a shake as my snack. Yum! Anyhow, on to the 21 day fix and why you have to do it with me and join my challenge group for your wedding (insert huge smiley face here!!)!!! See below for Challenge groups I am always hosting for free and again I am not a beachbody coach, but I do still offer a great private (as in none of your friends can see posts on Facebook timeline) free support page!  Make sure to follow me on Facebook for  challenge groups updates!  Here is my Facebook page! “like” me here now for motivation, updates and new products! CLICK RIGHT HERE for my Facebook page and make sure to like me! Again, here is my personal fitness and health coaching page, blog also coming soon! :-) https://www.facebook.com/coachkirstinlawrence. If you purchase the program, please email me at froufroulebleu@gmail.com and I will friend you and add you to my private support group of women for help and motivation, this is a separate page I offer and not my normal Facebook “like” page. Would love to be a part of it and join our fun group!

21-day-fix-bridal-wedding-boot-camp-lose-weight-4

 

Ok, so What is this 21 Day Fix thing?

21DayFix-lose-weight-for-your-wedding-day-get-in-shape-for-your-wedding-1

21 Day Fix is a nutrition and fitness program that makes losing weight so simple, anyone can do it. Easy-to-follow portion control and 30-minute workouts take the guesswork out of losing weight to help you see results fast—up to 15 pounds in just 21 days!  Whether you want to lose a few pounds before your next vacation or jump-start a bigger weight-loss goal, 21 Day Fix is the program for you. It’s simple, it’s fast, and it works. If you’re ready to get serious, 21 Day Fix can help you lose the weight. A wedding day is the perfect start to this program because you are more motivated than ever to look fabulous for your upcoming special day! Not to mention your honeymoon…if you plan to be going somewhere bikini friendly! eek!

Ok, so why is the 21 Day Fix so effective?

Because it’s so simple! You don’t have to count calories, points, or log your food into diet software. With 21 Day Fix, everything is laid out for you. All you have to do is use the specially designed portion-control containers (they are so darn cute!!), pick your choice of food from a very long list of the different categories of approved foods (carbs, veggies, etc.) and then do one 30-minute workout per day. that’s it! Commit to it for 21 days, and you’re going to love your results. I am in my first week and will for sure be posting my results as well..keep watching this page or check out my website here! I will be starting a fitness blog as well so I will make an announcement when this is launched and be sure to give you that info once I have it for you!

What makes the 21 Day Fix unique?

It’s the only fitness and nutrition program that combines portion-control containers and world-class workouts. By placing equal emphasis on fitness and healthy portion control, 21 Day Fix can help anyone lose weight—and keep it off—in a way that’s simple and sustainable. Whether you want to lose 10 pounds or 100 pounds, you can do it with this program. The amount of food is crazy, one day I was in “food coma” after a salad I kid you not! I then decided I was still full from lunch and so I ended up having one the yummy huge shakes I told you about called Shakeology for dinner with fruit and some almonds on the side It is like a creamy shake and feels like desert (only much healthier!) and very filling!

How does the 21 Day Fix work?

With the 21 Day Fix container system, you’ll learn how to create healthy portions simply and intuitively.  It shows you how
to eat whatever you want, in the right amounts, so you can reach your goals fast.  No guesswork, and no calorie counting! I love how it is teaching me how to eat. I am a mom of two and I run all over the place constantly and have completely lost touch with how to actually sit down for breakfast or lunch. I am either eating in a rush, having a meal replacement bar in the car…or when I do get to prepare myself something…I am eating standing up in my kitchen while I take care of my kid’s needs! Ugh. It gets crazy! So, this is really a great learning experience for me and I feel like I have the assistance of a real dietician who is helping me, plus I have the benefit of weight loss, win-win situation. Oh and the exercise program is fabulous and Autumn Calabrese is so easy to follow and she really makes it easy for you to get through it. I have never been an “at-home” dvd exercise person at all, I have always preferred the gym or outdoor activities like power-walks etc. Now that I have these DVDs I will be doing them for years! I love how there is a different dvd and exercise for each day (cardio, upper arms, lower, abs, Pilates (did that yesterday, ouch!) and even yoga! Lots of Variety with the 21 day fix I am telling you!

Who is Autumn Calabrese and why did she create the 21-day fix?

A rising star in fitness circle, Autumn Calabrese is a celebrity trainer and National Bikini Competitor. Her 14-years in dance studies sets her base to lay her foundation for her approach to exercise and wellness. Certified from NASM and AFPA, Autumn is the founder of Mighty Mommies Fitness. Through Mighty Mommies Fitness, she taught women to take care of their body and feel strong and sexy during pregnancy while raising their family. She started working on portion controlled systems to control accurate serving size while eating in 2012. Autumn’s knowledge and motivational training have earned her a reputable name in Los Angeles. Some of the famous celebrities trained under Autumn’s supervision are:
• Brooke Burke
• Rachel Zoe, and
• Tom Bergeron
Autumn- Versatile in her skills, writes for MomzInTheMix.com. Her workouts are also featured in
• C Magazine
• LA Parent
• The Palisadian Post
• Daily Candy

A few real live 21 day fix results pics! (mine included, scroll down.. :-)

21-day-fix-results-pics-lose-weight-for-your-wedding-day21-day-fix-results-before-and-after-lose-weight-wedding-day-bridal-bootcamp21-day-fix-results-before-and-after-pics-wedding-day-lose-weight21-day-fix-results-before-and-after-wedding-day-weight-loss-bridal-bootcamp

Beachody Works!

I started my journey at 180 after the birth of my seconds daughter, here is me “before” in October 2012 about a month after I gave birth to my 2nd child and right underneath is my “after” pic…of me now in May 2014!…I still drink Shakeology and am totally addicted to it now! I honestly crave those shakes! It’s amazing dense nutrition full of vitamins and super foods plus they taste amazing! My total weightless since Oct 2012 is 60 pounds!

beachbody-before-me-post-baby-2012 

me-21-day-fix-results-1

As promised my actual before and after the 21 day fix results. I am finally updating! I did the program for 27 days and had a couple set backs! Hey, I am human! Point is…I stuck with it and I love my results!

My before pics for the 21 day fix – 127 pounds (I am 5 ft 3)

21-day-fix-before-pic-121-day-fix-before-pic-2

 

Drum roll… tada..My after pics for the 21 day fix! My results – a loss of just under 7 pounds. 120 and 1/2 pounds was my weight after completing the 21 day fix/ 

21-day-fix-results-pic-1 21-day-fix-results-pic-2  21-day-fix-results-pic-6 21-day-fix-results-pic-5

And…how could I forget, my Selfie :-)

me-selfie-2

before-and-after-post-mom-facebook-page

Honeymoon Bikini Dreaming?? A little motivation for you to start this program!!

21-day-fix-get-in-shape-for-your-vintage-wedding-lose-weight-wedding-day-bridal-bootcamp-21-day-fix-program-beachbody-1121-day-fix-lose-weight-for-your-wedding-get-in-shape-for-your-vintage-wedding-bridal-bootcamp-stylish-bikini-1021-day-fix-lose-weight-for-your-wedding-bikini-diet-honeymoon-diet-bootcamp-9

 Want to Join my 21-day fix Challenge Group?

It’s super exciting to see the girls on my 21 day challenge group doing so well and getting amazing results! One of my girls lost 11.5lbs in just our first week weigh in. Since summer weddings are fast approaching, I’ve decided to open up the challenge once again for July and Aug. Give me 21 days…. Working out 30 minutes a day following and exact meal plan with portion control container so you know exactly how much of each food group to eat (super easy!! I am doing it and I can tell you it is easy and fun!). Nothing complicated here… Super simple and easy a child can do it, all you need to do is commit and show up in our supportive Facebook page on occasion to get results. This is an online challenge so anyone in the US or Canada can join. It’s a fun filled group of devoted and motivational individuals!! Along with me sharing my own struggles (and lord knows I have many! ha!) as I do this program with you!! If this is something you’re interested in doing send me an email to froufroulebleu@gmail.com. Lots of fun girls in the group who are serious about getting in shape and losing weight, brides and non-brides too! Open to anyone!

Hope this inspired you! I decided to do a different kind of post today and I know everyone loves a little health and fitness inspiration so hopefully I have given it to you and inspired you to try the 21 day fix with me! Email me at froufroulebleu@gmail.com if you are interested in coming on this journey with me! Remember to like me too on Facebook here !

Are you ready to lose weight and get in the best shape of your life?

motivation-facebook-moms-12

Ok ladies, who wants to join me and be a part of my next challenge group for brides!! I am setting up an accountability group and starting one soon! Email me at froufroulebleu@gmail.com and let’s do this together! Looking forward to hearing from you! Make sure to like me on Facebook too! :-)

xoxo,

Kirstin @ Froufrou Le Bleu

21 Day Fix

Spotlight on Craftsy.com – online classes on baking, sewing, jewelry, clothing design & photography classes and more!

Craftsy-DIY-your-wedding-day-create-your-own-veil-vintage-design-your-own-veil-online-online-video

Have you heard of Craftsy?!

The company I am spotlighting today has developed a sort of online creative university.

It’s a website designed with creativity in mind- a place in this world where creative people can go and make new things, learn techniques from experts and polish up or advance in crafty skills.

Craftsy is a website chock full of instructional videos (really good ones!) from anything from vintage cake design, to Vintage style veils and headpieces, to retro bombshell dress designing, to knitting or vintage inspired designs, all sorts of sewing and even photography. You get the idea and I could go on.. on and on, the classes are endless.. and that’s just a small preview! In the next few months they will be adding even more courses to their catalogs!

Here is an example of just a few of their classes below..a little snippet..

 

You can take classes on your own schedule, and at your own pace, but still be able to interact with your classmates and instructors. So cool!

Craftsy produces four to six new classes a month. Courses generally cost between $20–$50.Around half of the courses are filmed in the company’s Denver studios, with the remainder being filmed in the instructor’s studio or shop. Videos also include a 30-second repeat feature to enable students to rewind to sections they have missed.

Courses are delivered by experienced craft teachers and video courses are typically 10 lessons long, amounting to five hours of video tuition. Courses paid for never expire, so can be rewatched and searched to find a particular section. Students who are having difficulty with a particular method or technique can also post a question and photo to get help from the instructor or other people taking the class, with the question appearing as a pop-up bubble below that section of the video.
In addition to video lessons, Craftsy has a range of downloadable step-by-step craft workshops, combining photographs and instructions. Workshops typically cover one project, whereas videos cover several projects or techniques.

Check out all these fabulous sewing and design classes, um…wow!

Craftsy-Sewing-Classes-online-classes

Wanna start your own cake business and looking for ideas?

craftsy-cake-design-classes-vintage-inpired-tiffany-blue-cake-how-to

Ever wondered about becoming a wedding photographer or learning more skills?

craftsy_wedding-photography-the-romantic-portrait-session-learn-photography-classes-online

Who’s ready to sign up for some classes? Hurry 50% off sale ends soon!

Craftsy

DIY your wedding

I also love their array of wedding related instructional video classes below. So much fun and perfect way to DIY your wedding. I designed my own veils and floral headpieces for my bridesmaids and it was so much fun! Oh and wait until you check out their cake design classes!, they are very popular and the teachers are amazing! It’s all very fresh, modern, professional and edgy as well.  This is a great way to learn and super fun! I also love that you can keep your classes to refer back to and watch again..

Here is a little below about their wedding related classes...there are of course a ton more here..

craftsy-vintage-veil-designcraftsy-vintage-cake-design-classes-online

I personally am in love with Craftsy! I am now officially addicted to learning new ideas and picking up new talents constantly. What a fabulous site! I am so happy to share it with you..

Enjoy!!

Hugs!

Kirstin@FroufrouleBleu

 

Lose weight and get in shape for your wedding day with Yoga and Cardio. How to get your Sexy back & keep your sanity!

lose-weight-with-yoga-wedding-day

I decided to write this article because I feel losing weight and getting in shape after having a baby have lots of similarities. When you’re getting married..you want to push to look your best in your wedding dress and feel amazing, after having a baby..you have probably gained the baby weight  (for me it was a lot!) and want to feel amazing again..just like you did on your big day! :-) I had a baby 11 months ago and have been working hard on getting myself in the best shape ever and also losing the weight. Everyone loses weight different…for me it has been watching what I eat.. cutting out carbs and eating a ton of fresh fruits, veggies and proteins! I have used meal replacement shakes (shakeology) for one meal a day.. and I also started juicing along the way too. I go to the gym 3-4 days a week where I do yoga, the elliptical and run on the treadmill. So far I have lost all the baby weight (I gained over 65 pounds this pregnancy on my 5 ft 3 frame!) and now am just feeling amazing and the best I have ever felt! It was not that hard because I enjoy it! I think my favorite part is yoga and the serenity it gives me, although running on the treadmill makes me feel so alive!

Anyhow, moral of my story..is that I want my brides to have that same excitement about themselves on their wedding day and it is easier than you think! How you lose the weight and get into shape is highly individual and what works for others may not work for you. You have to find your niche and go with that. Some of my friends love step or zumba classes, whereas I really just love my yoga and some cardio and that’s enough for me. You need to find a good fit for you!

How you feel on your wedding day about yourself is so important. You really want your confidence to shine through and when that happens…you will just glow from the inside and your smile will feel so genuine and that internal beauty will shine as well as the gorgeous bride you will be on the outside!Since I have had such success with yoga and cardio,.I am going to talk about that and give you some great tips, hopefully it will help you!

Yoga

Practicing yoga yields a myriad of benefits, ranging from an increase in flexibility to weight loss in the long run. “Yoga is a good way to elongate muscles that become contracted during other forms of physical activity or due to long periods of inactivity,” Sabu explains. “It also increases the range of motion and lubrication in our joints, which results in a sense of ease and fluidity throughout the body.” Practicing yoga also helps improve muscle tone and strength because you learn how to carry your weight while executing the poses. No external weights are used during the workout, making it perfectly safe for individuals with sports or any form of injuries to rehabilitate and strengthen their bodies without further injuring themselves.

Regular practice of yoga also results in an alert and calm mind. “Yoga is the only exercise, aside from Pilates, that allows blood to flow towards the head and brain through inversion poses such as the downward facing dog or standing forward bend,” Sabu reveals. “This rejuvenates the mind while building upper body strength and improving flexibility in the lower back and legs.” The breathing techniques you learn during yoga will also help in quietening your mind to relieve stress – a skill that will definitely come in handy during your stressful wedding planning.

Just because yoga is a low-impact workout that comprises mostly of stretching and breathing techniques doesn’t mean it doesn’t aid in weight loss. Higher intensity forms of yoga such as Vinyasa and Hot Yoga is great for weight loss as it keeps the body in constant motion to build up the cardiovascular system while simultaneously stretching and toning the muscles. “As compared to running or other high intensity exercises, yoga is a more complete workout because it works the cardiovascular system while stretching and toning the muscles – the 3 criteria every complete workout is made up of,” Sabu shares. For optimum results, try a combination of Hot, Vinyasa and Sun Salutation Yoga lessons if you’re a veteran yoga practitioner. For beginners, it is advisable to start with a basic Hatha Yoga class to learn the fundamentals before advancing into more challenging classes.

Certain yoga poses such as the plank, boat and triangle poses are especially helpful in firming up the mid-section, waistline and arms. The plank pose and its variations requires you to support your body weight using your arms and core muscles, thereby strengthening and firming up these areas. The boat pose is especially useful in toning the upper thighs and mid-section while the triangle pose and its variations stretches the side muscles and targets the waistline. Maximise your practice by keeping your core muscles engaged by tucking in your belly during every yoga pose for a trim and fit waistline.

Running

Running-Bride_Lose-Weight-for-wedding-day

Benefits

There are many methods of exercising to lose weight, but using a treadmill can be a particularly wise choice due to its many advantages. One of the most significant advantages is its convenience. Commercial treadmills are available for purchase so you can use one in your home, making for highly convenient workouts. Treadmill running at home allows you to escape from having to fight bad weather running outside or investing time commuting to and from the gym. Treadmills also offer more precision than running outside, as you will be able to gauge your speed, distance and number of calories burned each workout. Running on a treadmill for weight loss also allows you to multitask — or distract yourself — by reading a book or watching TV during your workout.

Disadvantages

Of course, treadmill running for weight loss may not be ideal for everyone. If you have joint problems, the high level of impact may aggravate your injuries, in which case a rowing machine or exercise bicycle might be preferable. And, running on treadmills can be boring with the lack of changing scenery. This boredom may cause you to reduce your workout time and you’ll end up burning fewer calories. Treadmills and gym memberships can also be expensive, so you may find running or riding a bicycle to be preferable for weight loss.

Rate of Calories Burned

How much you get out of your treadmill workout depends upon the speed at which you run. If you weigh 180 pounds, running at a pace of 5 mph will burn 686 calories in 60 minutes. If you maintain a rate of 7 mph, you’ll burn 986 calories in 60 minutes, while a pace of 8 mph will burn 1,157 calories in 60 minutes. Most treadmills have an information panel that allows you to track how many calories you’re burning throughout the duration of your workout so you can adjust speed accordingly to meet your goals. Seeing this information can help motivate you to get the most out of your workouts.

Advanced Techniques

If you aren’t satisfied with your weight-loss progress when running on the treadmill, you can try some advanced techniques to speed up your efforts to slim down. Incorporating some high-intensity interval training, in which sprints are alternated with periods of slower jogging, can help you burn calories efficiently and overcome any frustrating plateaus. Additionally, increasing the incline on your treadmill runs will help you burn more calories and build muscle tissue — which helps increase your metabolism — at a greater rate than endurance workouts with no incline.

The End Result

So how often should you practice yoga and running before you see any changes in your body? Ideally, five times a week, but I truthfully can only manage 3/4 max. I think 3-4 times a week on a regular basis to start to see results. Diet should also play a part in any weight loss plan. Try not to deprive yourself of certain foods; the plan might backfire when you over-deprive yourself and end up overeating. Instead, keep to a clean and healthy diet to complement your exercise regime and reward yourself with an occasional treat every now and then. As an example, I recently started having half and half in my coffee twice a day..rather than Nonfat milk, which I have had for years. It just is so boring to me now! If you can have a few vices while still eating healthy, then by all means go for it! Enjoy yourself..while also remaining mindful of what you are eating at the same time. :-)

It isn’t too difficult to see why yoga is growing increasingly popular, especially among the female population, as a weight loss exercise. Even though yoga is a low-impact exercise, it works the cardiovascular system as hard as and burns just as much as or more fat than high-impact exercises like running do. So, why no do both!? 😉

My last tip would be to just have fun with it! This is your body were talking about the best thing you can do EVER…is to nourish it…and it will nourish your soul!!

Enjoy your workouts, being healthy and your wedding day!

Hope my tips have helped!

XOXO,

Kirstin @ FrouFrou Le Bleu

Sources – The knot/Nest, Pinterest Images, wikipedia

Your perfect destination wedding – Tips on planning your faraway affair!

destination-wedding-couple-on-beach-eloping

Modern Day Solution: A destination wedding!

For today’s bride, planning a perfect wedding is still the ultimate dream! And like most women living in the 21st century, it needs to be exciting and most of all…personal! Destination weddings are a very popular wedding trend because the guest list is smaller and more intimate. With family and close friends as guests, the event allows for a reunion with those who mean the most to us. And because destination weddings are unconventional, couples can control how long the celebration will last. Sure, planning a wedding from afar can be a challenge, but if you take advantage of the many resources available to you, the process can be smooth and the event – spectacular! Here are a few tips and ideas for a wedding to remember!

1. Claim Your Discount
Bringing 80 guests to Aruba? Don’t forget to ask the hotel for discounts for you your guests. “Remember, the resort is very interested in having your guests’ business, so they shouldn’t be charging you the absolute full price of the event,” says Carley Roney, The Knot’s editor in chief.

Many destination spots now offer wedding packages and business is booming for some. Sandals Resorts, for example, has seen a big uptick in its wedding business. Last year, the resort experienced a 15% increase in revenue over the previous year. That’s not so surprising given the generous wedding packages it offers. In fact, people planning a tiny wedding of four can even get married for free, provided they book a six-night honeymoon in one of the resort’s concierge-leve suites (or any other premium room). The package includes a Caribbean wedding cake, champagne, the bride’s bouquet, the groom’s boutonni re, a Waterford crystal, a pair of “just married” T-shirts and more.

Regardless of the size of your wedding, however, you should be sure to negotiate with vendors. If there are certain items included in a wedding package that you don’t want, ask for a credit. And if a property won’t drop its rates substantially, look for free upgrades for you and your guests instead. For example, at their hotel in Oahu, the Felipes got a free night and an upgrade from a regular room to the hotel’s best suite.

2. Be Kind to Your Guests
“If you want to do a destination wedding, you have to make it affordable for the people who are coming,” says JoAnn Gregoli, a New York-based wedding planner who specializes in destination weddings. So, lovely though it may be, don’t pick a location that will cost a few thousand dollars for the weekend.

You can submit a request for a group wedding discount online

You also can save your guests money by telling them that their presence at your wedding is the only wedding gift you need, says TheKnot’s Roney. If you’re not willing to give up the registry completely, be sure to register for some inexpensive items.

3. Fair Warning
With a destination wedding, save-the-date cards are crucial. Send them off as early as possible, preferably at least eight months in advance, says Roney. “Remember, this is a destination wedding, and your guests may be planning their family vacation around it,” she says. Giving them a heads-up allows them to shop for the best airfares and work the trip into the family budget.

4. Know the Legalities

If you’re going international, be aware of the legal requirements, says Roney. Many places have marriage fees and residency requirements in addition to a slew of other red tape. England, for example, has a seven-day residency requirement. If you’re tying the knot in Venice, Italy, you’ll need certain documents translated into Italian with special seals from the secretary of state where the documents originate. Other countries, like Mexico, require you to take

chest X-rays and blood tests.

5. The Wedding Planners
Given the added complications of destination weddings, a good wedding planner can be a godsend. After all, you might have to communicate in a foreign language and deal with people who live in a foreign culture. The best favor you can do yourself is to hire an onsite wedding planner.

The easiest way to do it: Hire a wedding planner in area who specializes in destination weddings, and let him or her work with an onsite planner. “It’s sort of like going to a doctor,” says the Association of Bridal Consultants’ Monaghan. “He can take all the information, all the history, all the symptoms and then call a specialist.” And don’t worry about having to pay two fees, says wedding planner Gregoli. The services of the local wedding planner are generally included in the overall price.

How much do wedding planners charge? Whether it’s a flat fee, a per-hour fee or a combination of the two, prices vary by region. Generally speaking, the total fees account for roughly 10% to 15% of the cost of the wedding, Monaghan says. But remember: A good wedding planner can help keep other costs in check. He or she should be in a position to bargain with vendors, who are always looking to curry favor with high-volume professionals.

To find a good planner, start by asking friends and relatives for referrals. You can also check with a reputable wedding association, such as the Association of Bridal Consultants or the Association for Wedding Professionals International for destination wedding planners in your area. TheKnot.com also has a helpful database of wedding Web sites organized by region, each with a list of wedding coordinators in the area.

6. Don’t Stress Out
Wedding planners say destination weddings are less stressful than traditional hometown hooplas, since many of the details are simply out of the couple’s control. “It’s the level of trust that matters,” says Gregoli.

Attention, A-types: If you’re planning an island wedding, set your watch to island time and your mind to island mentality. Vendors there are likely to be slower to respond to requests than mainland vendors might be, Gregoli warns. “Just be aware things could be delayed, and don’t stress.”

That said, if there’s an element that’s really important to you say, the band or the photographer you could always bring your own. For a wedding Gregoli recently organized in St. Thomas, the couple flew in a band from New York, and the extra cost didn’t throw the couple over budget. “The food was cheaper [than it would have been in New York], so it all balanced out,” she says. They put the band (six people in all) in an affordable motel, and since the band agreed to a lower fee than they normally charge in New York, the total cost was less than $6,000 the New York average, Gregoli says.

7. Visit at Least Once
For a bigger wedding, at least one previsit is necessary, says Roney. So, alas, in the name of research, you just might have to take an extra trip to paradise with your honey. Tough work, but nobody said planning the perfect wedding would be easy.

Check out my next planning post on destination weddings, when I will reveal my top pics for locations!

Enjoy Planning and Dreaming!

XOXO,

Kirstin @ Froufrou Le Bleu


# 1 – So you’re engaged! Now what?

vintage-engaged-couple

This is a first of my series & steps on planning your wedding! So here we go…

So, it happened, huh? The question you have been dreaming about hearing for so long…spent your days and nights imagining how it might go down and what the love of your life might say! Then one day.. BAM it happens…Will you marry me – Veux-tu m’épouser?, Quieres casarte conmigo? …whatever your language may be..It is  truly one of the most exciting four words you will ever hear in your lifetime no matter how it happened! Here you are…engaged! You now wonder…where do I go from here! Well, don’t fret, I have a few tips for you and an idea of where to go to make it feel easier, organized and stress free!

Step 1…dream a little dream..

The first thing I honestly did when I got engaged and mind you this was 2004, was go straight to the newsstand and bought myself a big old pile of bridal mags! I know these days there are so many online resources, blogs & planning sites out there for your enjoyment and hey, I am one of them so trust me I get it. I like to promote myself as a great outlet for brides, but there really is something to just actually going old school right off the bat..and having physical magazines to get cozy with and pour over, grab a cup of coffee or tea on the sofa, get in your sweats and flip through and get dreaming! Keep an eye out for dress styles you like, ring settings (if you haven’t chosen one yet), decor that makes you go “wow, I love that”! and venues you are loving. Then..bookmark them (yes with a real live physical bookmark!) or tear them out and start a scrapbook with sections. Another thing I always loved was the ‘real wedding’ sections…make sure note what other brides have done style-wise and brides you can relate to and see what inspires you! My main tip for the dream phase is to just gather your thoughts, ideas and styles you like, but to not run out and make any decisions yet. It is so fun to dream, feel relaxed and enjoy this special moment you are about to embark on.  Who knows, maybe you prefer to elope to an amazing tropical island to bask in the sun just with your honey and enjoy the special big day the two of you and make it a wedding/honeymoon all in one! The world is your oyster and only yours as a couple…so don’t let other’s opinions of what you “should or shouldn’t”  do…deter you! Do what feels right to you!

Step 2…Let’s pick a date! 

So, what does your gut tell you? Do you imagine a lovely spring or summer outdoor wedding with gorgeous blooming flowers, or the ocean.. or the smell of pine trees in the mountains in the warm evening Summer air? Or, does an amazing cozy, candlelit snowy winter wedding…complete with horse drawn carriage and a big roaring fireplace at the reception get you excited? So hard to choose! You will need to decide which season you feel fit for your wedding and once you decide that…you can plan the date! Keep in mind the climate, convenience for your guests and costs of travel for everyone. If you are inviting many out-of-town guests or planning a destination wedding, you will need to give them lots of notice and send out save-the-date cards as soon as you know and such notice let’s people book their flights early!

Step 3..Set the budget! 

When your eyes are bigger than your wallet and you are looking at $7,000 dresses, but you know you really can only afford $1,000 or less…as hard as it is, you know deep down it’s time to get down and dirty with the budget.You need to be planning a wedding you both can truly afford with no worries. Once you decide on a budget, it will help you narrow down locations (venues) and to see what is available! Decide how much you can spend and how you want to spend it! Don’t worry..there are tons of cool choices at any and all budgets! You just must be creative! Also think about DIY for things like veils and headpieces, that’s what I did! Lots of great ideas and tutorials online and it’s a lot of fun as well!

Step 3…Location Location..

This was such a fun part of planning our wedding. I just loved visiting all the venues, looking and dreaming what it would be like to have our wedding there! I think firstly, you must determine what type of theme you have in mind. What feels right to you and is “very you” as a couple? For us, I have always loved anything vintage and my husband had a dream of a beach wedding in the Caribbean. What we ended up settling on…was a vintage “floribbian”  vintage cuban type theme (you’re like “what is that”?!) I promise to post pics of our wedding..with a touch of seaside elegance thrown in, ;-). The whole thing felt us as a couple, touches of vintage, love of the ocean, the music…you name it! Point being..think of where you might be headed theme-wise or decor and let that help determine what type of venue you might book!

Step 4…Guest List

First thing to ask yourself with this next step is what size wedding do you envision.  Do you want an intimate affair with immediate family? Or a huge blowout with everyone you know? We decided on a smaller wedding, mainly with our budget in mind because we were paying for most of it ourselves and also…we felt we wanted just family and a few very close friends. I think our guest list was around 50 people with about 45 showing up. If it all works with the budget then plan a size to best suit the two of you without feeling too overwhelming. I know many people I talk to have huge extended families and they end up having these huge, crazy, amazing weddings which can be so fun!! We both have  very small families and so went with that and had a lovely intimate affair. Again, do what feels best for you as a couple and don’t let parents pressure you with adding more to the list. Remember you need to feel happy, safe and comfortable with the number. In closing for step 4, have your guest list nailed down, you will need to go through it with a fine toothed comb and really decide if you have to invite EVERYONE on the list …especially if it’s really crazy huge. Make a note of things like…maybe you have not talked to a guest in over a year, or if they are your parents friends and not yours specifially..do you really need to have them there? Really think about these things and most likely you will have to start weeding out some of your list to fit your budget and happiness.

Step 5..Start planning..enter..Computer world..

So as I said earlier, I do love me a pile of wedding mags, but the other truth is…there are just so many online planning and ideas options for you right there at your fingertips and you should most definitely take advantage! Step one in this category is.. if you are not on Pinterest yet, then go on and sign up now!.. www.pinterest.com , then start a Pinterest wedding board  (don’t worry if you are worried about friends and family who are on Pinterest seeing your plans, don’t fret because you can set up a “secret” pin board.) Basically, you can search on Pinterest for ideas you want to see photos/pins of…and then re-pin them to your board, so it is basically a virtual scrapbook of sorts! I have to warn you, it is SO addictive so be careful! ha! It really is so much fun though and helps you and your wedding take shape in the form of your inspirations and ideas you love! Check out my pinterest page to get an idea of a few of my pins www.pinterest.com/froufroulebleu. I would then suggest you get on all the wedding blogs and subscribe to each and every one that you fancy! You will then receive updates via email when there are new posts and can get right on your laptop, ipad or PC and read all about it! Blogs are so amazing, which is obviously why I started writing one..and really just an amazing outlet for brides and has everything a  magazine can offer! I feel bad saying that because I SO appreciate actual magazine editorial and it’s so sad that it’s such a dying breed these days, but such as life. I do recommend checking out all the blogs that fit what type of wedding you are planning…so for instance you are probably here with me reading this because you are planning a vintage inspired wedding, so check out the vintage blogs! :-). So glad you found me! Bottom-line..get searching online and it’s amazing how much will be useful to you for everything wedding related! Inspiration galore!!

Step 5 …onto the really fun stuff…the dress!!

Ok obviously this is my favorite part! I think once you have nailed down a few of the key points to your wedding, it’s fair to say that you are ready to start dress shopping! Definitely start looking approx 12-14 months before wedding… really the earlier the better. Most gowns take anywhere from four to six months to order from the designer (sometimes longer!), and then you have to have alterations on top of that, so it’s best to start shopping early, and try on a TON of dresses so that when you make up your mind, you’ll know for sure. Go to many stores and try them all on! Try on every style out there, even if you think you’ll hate it. You just never know until you have it on your body…what it can do for you. Also, remember that wedding dress shopping is a very different experience than regular dress shopping. Gowns are constructed better, and therefore look better on you. Which brings me back to my point….many styles you think you might hate ..will possibly look really good on you, so don’t discount it, try it first! One last word of advice..don’t bring too many people with you dress shopping. Bring one, maybe two, trusted friends or family members that will be honest with you, or go alone when you’re first trying on dresses. Nothing’s worse than a fellow shopper who tells you that you look good in everything, or having about 10 different opinions. I actually preferred to shop alone and actually got my dress online and had it altered locally once I received it. Really it’s to each their own. Best of luck with the best  and most fun part and give yourself plenty of time!

Step 5…hire a planner or designer if you can and your budget allows..

Not every budget will allow for a planner, but if you decide on a venue that has no planning included (i.e.; meal plans, onsite catering and banquet team) and is a real bare bones location..then you may need the entrusted help of a planner! We used a planner for a few of the aspects of our wedding…which was held at a very bare bones yacht club which I don’t think ever had a wedding held there, really old school and dated, but right on the SF Bay and a view of the city! Our planner was great and such a help to us at the time because we were planning our wedding to be held in California.. from abroad in England where we lived at the time. She did a lot of the design aspects and fit it all within our budget and worked with us so amazingly well from afar! She had a gorgeous draped fancy looking tent on the deck with pink colored lighting and set up a cool “cigar lounge” area with couches etc. and it was so much fun (remember we had the vintage beachy cuban theme). Anyhow, she also helped us with a few other aspects like ceremony, favors and music and had a staff there who managed everyone the day of wedding. We only had partial planning and I did most of it myself, so this brought the cost way down. You want to relax on your big day and to know that it’s all taken care of …is an amazing load off your back trust me!

So.. .in closing, I think that covers the immediate steps you should follow once engaged! Of course theres are a zillion other things to plan and I will be covering more of these steps in further posts soon! Stay tuned for my next planning post!

Any questions, please do not hesitate to ask!

xoxo,

Kirstin @ Froufrou Le Bleu

married-couple-vintage

Keep Calm, Breath….and Marry on..

keep-calm-marry-on

Getting married & planning a wedding is one of the most exciting times of your life! It can also be one of most stressful. The happiness and excitement of your big day getting closer..could also bring along with it a number of pressing ‘to do’ lists on the calendar and many things going on in a zillion directions. While planning and executing your dream wedding, I am sure you will encounter a number of situations that may stress you out, but never forget, stress is not good! The more you panic & worry, the more things will be likely to go wrong. The key really lies in getting things done with a healthy mind and body. Remember that this is a celebration of a new beginning in your life, and it will go well only if you are happy, content and in a good state of mind. So in-between the eventful days of your dream wedding planning, do not forget to de-stress, to stay relaxed and focus on your future. Here are a few tips to help keep you calm during this crazy time.

Yoga – According to self magazine.. “Namaste the stress away! Women who had gone to the mat at least once a week for two years or more released 41 percent less of a tension-triggered cytokine (a type of protein) that can make you feel tired and moody compared with yoga newbies, a study in Psychosomatic Medicinenotes Meditation”. I know I feel an amazing sense of bliss after a good yoga class. Some days I might have to force myself to get there, but once I do..I am so happy I made myself take the class..I feel energized, centered and very peaceful. A unforgettable feeling and very addictive.  So, trust me, even if you are a yoga skeptic…take the plunge during this time and try that class, you won’t be sorry! My personal favorite classes are Vinyasa Flow or Ashtanga yoga & I love the calm feeling I have after class. The benefits are endless and watch your stress melt and your confidence soar!

Take walks in Nature – Connecting with nature is an effective way to reduce stress and create peace.  I cannot tell you how much peace I feel when taking a walk through the California redwoods and smelling the trees or walking along the rugged coast as I take in all the sounds and smell the ocean. It does not matter the amount of time spent doing this technique, one minute can be just as beneficial as one hour. This can be done at any time throughout the day and as often as needed. Give it a try!

Do something you enjoy to relax – This could be anything from lying on your sofa reading a fun magazine (try to stay away from Bridal Mags just for a little bit) to going out to get a mani-pedi, to cooking, to going out for a fun day shopping with your BFF. Whatever your relaxation and fun “thing” is…make sure to take time to do it…and often!  Trust me…it will make you feel much much better and relaxed, you deserve it! Don’t worry…all the wedding stuff will be right back where you found it when you get back to it in a few hours.

Enjoy yourself and take care of you! We want you to be stress free!

Namaste,

Kirstin @ Froufrou Le Bleu

marilyn-namaste