Thursday, October 16, 2014

Brunch Bridal Shower

Well, I don't know about you all, but I am really feeling fall this year! I am really excited about the cool weather, wearing sweaters, and bundling up under blankets. This weekend is especially exciting because we get to celebrate the Deep Roots Festival in our sweet little town of Milledgeville. This makes it feel like it's officially fall around here. It is especially exciting because my bridesmaid Ana-Maria and her hubby are coming to visit! 

This fall has been extremely busy so far; Mark and I have been traveling to Atlanta almost every weekend for our wedding events and for Amber and Joe's wedding events! 

One of the wedding events recently, was one that myself and another bridesmaid planned for Amber. It was a brunch shower, which turned out amazing! 

Becca and I started the planning months ago after we settled on a date. The theme wasn't even questionable, considering that brunch is one of Amber's favorite things. 

We decided that I would be in charge of decor and Becca would handle all the food, which only makes sense because we love each of those things (I mean I love food too... but I would rather craft all night than cook!). 

We decided on a theme of burlap, sage, and cream- very simple, yet classy.

Let me just walk you through all the great stuff we did: 
I always have so much fun decorating for a shower or party. I made some fun banners for the gift area and the special seat for the bride. I also create a "Bride" pin for Amber to wear at the shower (which can be seen in the seat). One of my favorite crafts was writing on the chalkboard signs- I think they add a lot of fun to the decor!
Here is the mimosa bar, because what kind of brunch shower would this be without mimosas? After all, "brunch without mimosas is just breakfast." I created the banner from scrapbook paper, some rope, and a gold paint pen-easy as that! We had a few different juices available for guests to mix with their champagne: orange, cranberry, grapefruit, and pineapple. For garnish, we had blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, and pineapple. One of the guests was a soon-to-be mom, so for her we provided some sparkling white grape juice instead of champagne (she said it tasted pretty much the same)!
We asked that guests go ahead and write their addresses on an envelope to save the bride the trouble of doing it herself (great idea Becca!). Also, we picked out some recipe cards and asked that guests leave the bride with one of their favorite recipes.
The favors were so cute! We purchased some small jars and filled them with delicious jam. We also made some miniature biscuits to go with them. I attached some tags to the jars that said either, "Jam packed with love," or, "Spread the love." How cute is that?! Thank you pinterest
And here is the beautiful bride-to-be! She was a champ and participated in one of our games- if you said the word "wedding," you had to wear the tiara until someone else said it! Let's just say, it was passed around quite a few times. We also played some bridal bingo, which I like to believe makes the gift opening a little more exciting for the guests!

What are some of your favorite themes for a bridal shower? Do you have a favorite shower game?

 In my opinion, any shower with mimosas is a good one!

Food Menu: 
Grits with cheese, bacon, and chives
Pancakes (plain and chocolate chip)
Lime cupcakes with cream cheese frosting
Fruit Tray
Mini Quiche with cheese, spinach, and ham
Homemade cinnamon and walnut bread

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Choosing Bridesmaids

If you are living in Georgia, you understand that the start of the fall season this year has been magical, which is totally unlike this lovely state. The first and second day of fall have been cool and windy- it has been so awesome and making me want to stay home and snuggle up with some coffee (a girl can dream!).

In the mean time, I have been staying busy with wedding stuff every weekend (travel, travel, travel, ATL here I come!) and becoming an aunt to the most perfect baby boy, Killian!!

One of the first things we did after the engagement was decide who will be in the bridal party. It was probably be one of the easiest decisions I have made during the wedding planning process.

So, of course I have to blog about it: how do you choose? What things do you need to consider?

Fortunately, for me, it didn't take much considering.

It was a given who my MOH would be: my bestie and 'friend soul mate' Amber. I feel very fortunate and excited that my best friend, twin bride, and MOH is getting married three months before me-it's like a dream come true that we get to plan our weddings simultaneously, because it has made the whole process even more fun. It is especially nice to have a friend who will tirelessly discuss weddings with you because she also wants to talk weddings 24/7. I will be the MOH in Amber's wedding coming up in December (less than 100 days ahh!)
It is important that your MOH be someone reliable and someone who will make your life as bride as easy as possible (Thanks Amber!). Typically, this person is a sister or close friend.

I decided to have four bridesmaids total, why? Because, 1. I'm OCD and wanted to have an even number of bridesmaid on each side of me during photos and 2. because these ladies are my four closest friends, so it was really an easy decision. They are my closest friends for reason, they are funny, loving, giving, and most importantly-reliable women who I can always lean on.

Each each of my bridesmaids entered my life at a different stage and has remained close to me over the years.

Becca and I met in middle school, continuing our friendship through high school, college, grad school etc. We met during the awkward/immature stages of life and it's safe to say that, although we have grown up, we might still be a little silly and immature when we get together. I planned Becca's bachelorette party back in the day and was her MOH as well!
She is probably the prettiest red head I know!

Ana-Maria and I met during college, but our friendship really flourished during grad school when we realized that we were in deep! Without her, I'm not sure I would have survived! I was a bridesmaid in Ana-Marias wedding almost two years ago and helped plan her bachelorette party!
Psych nerds for life.

Brittany and I met during college and she was my big sister in Phi Mu. We were instant besties and were also roomies for a couple years in the best house ever (I mean, it had a pool with a slide!). I was MOH in Brittany's wedding this past May!
My most talented bestie!!

I sent all of the girls cards from Etsy, but Amber's was a little different since she is the MOH.

I am fortunate that my decision of who to choose was so easy! It is important to choose bridesmaids you are close to, who are reliable, who will be there for you, and who you will have fun with!

What are some characteristics you find important when choosing a bridal party?

Monday, August 4, 2014

This Bridesmaid is Engaged!

So, other than my girls day post I have been kind of elusive... BUT, in my defense I have been busy!! I started a new job, Mark and I moved to a new house, and most recently- WE GOT ENGAGED!!

What a happy surprise!

Mark proposed July 25th- a little over a week ago...

He had [apparently] been planning the whole thing for months and basically all of our family and friends were involved.

It just so happens that we were already planning a visit to Las Vegas to visit my brother and his fiancĂ© and also, to attend a baby shower for my future nephew.

Mark had suggested a "fancy dinner night" at one of the many beautiful restaurants in Las Vegas. He ended up choosing Olive's, which has a balcony over-looking the famous Bellagio water fountains.

During dinner, a photographer was taking pictures of different couples during the water fountain show, so of course we welcomed her to take our photos. She later came to us and stated that her memory card, "messed up," and asked if we would like to re-take our photos. We readily agreed and got up right before the 8:00pm show and watched it together for a few minutes. We turned around to take a couple more photos and the photographer said, "one more!" That's when Mark looked at me and said, "Are you ready?" and got down on one knee.

I was taken aback at first (who wouldn't be??), until I quickly realized what was happening. Mark started into a beautiful speech, pulled the beautiful ring out of his pocket, and asked me to marry him (of course I said YES!). It was a perfect moment and a perfect engagement that I will certainly never forget.

Thus, I will no longer be, "always a bridesmaid."

And that has been a high point of conversation since the engagement....
"What are you going to do about your blog? Are you going to change the name? What are you going to blog about?"
As for now, I have no intent on changing the name. I have loved being a bridesmaid for all of my friends and think it is one of the most important roles we play as friends. I also plan on taking good care of my maids, because after all, they are my favorite women.

Also, I chose the blog name because I thought it was catchy and part of the old saying "Always a bridesmaid, never the bride." Not because I was bitter about being a bridesmaid so many times, those are memories I treasure.

There is still plenty to blog about regarding my own bridesmaids- how did I choose? How did I ask them? What gifts will I buy? My own bachelorette party... the list goes on and on!!

So, for everyone asking- No! I do not plan on changing my blog!

Bridesmaids are important too :)

Friday, August 1, 2014

Girls Day!

I don't know about you all, but I love a good girls night and in my opinion they don't happen often enough around here.

I just love getting to hang out with my best gal pals and doing all the girly things we can think of. Which is exactly what we did a couple of weekends ago when I traveled up to Alpharetta from Milledgeville for a day (and night!) filled with girly activities.

It all started a few months before when Amber told me that her fiancé was going to be out of town- we decided this would be the perfect opportunity to have a girls night- no-boys-allowed- kind of weekend.

We began the day prepping for spent several hours at the pool with drinks and snacks, including some yummy sangria Amber made. 

The 6 hours of pool time was followed by dinner and drinks at a place called Vintage Pizzeria in Alpharetta (I recommend the "Blue Pie" if you are a fan of blue cheese- yum yum!).

After dinner we headed back to Amber's place, opened up some wine, and set up the crown jewel of the evening-- a face mask bar:



We all created our own, different, concoctions to try and afterwards we were all raving about our baby-soft skin!

The night ended with some Cards Against Humanity, more wine, and capped off by watching "The Sweetest Thing," one of my favorite movies of all time!!

I definitely recommend you all try a face mask bar- this is a great activity for a sleep over with your bridesmaids or best girlfriends and will certainly leave your skin feeling refreshed!!

What are some of your favorite girls night activities??


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Spray Tan Review

Because, what could be more important to a bridesmaid than a good spray tan?

Afterall, you are in the photos forever- so it's important to look your best. And for me, looking my best includes a tan-preferably without having to deal with the actual sun. 

I was recently at a girls day event where we spent time at the pool with some cocktails and one of my fellow girlfriends mentioned something about a spray tan. While we were on the topic I started discussing the different spray tans I have I tried and what I thought of them. 

And that's how this blog post was born... 

Here are all the spray tans I've tried and my thoughts on them:

Spray Tan Booth: I have tried a few different spray tan booths, but Versa Spa has been the best by far. 

It was so fast, easy, and included a moisturizer pass as well. The color turned out awesome, not orange at all. It was around $25 at the place I went (not too shabby) especially since it lasted about a week. 

Sometimes when I think about doing a spray tan in a booth I think about that episode of Friends where Ross gets a spray tan and it goes horribly wrong....

...Thankfully, the directions are much simpler these days with no counting involved!

(If you're concerned about toxins, there are some places that offer organic solutions). 

At home spray tan: I have used Salon Bronze Airbrush Tanning System from Sally's. I absolutely LOVE the color that comes from this spray tan. Not too mention, it's only $12.99 to order online and the refills are only about 8 or 9 dollars. This spray tan has lasted my about 4 days on average. 

However, it can be difficult to do at home. My boyfriend has been a trooper and spray tanned me a couple of times.  Trust me when I say-it takes some practice and good lighting! 

Nowadays, I only use this spray tan when I'll be wearing a dress that covers most of my body just in case we have some issues with missing spots. I wouldn't recommend this before a beach trip unless you're a professional!

Spa Spray Tan: This has been, by far, my favorite type of spray tan. The kind where you go into a spa or tanning salon and a professional sprays you with some high quality tanning solution. I feel that this is the way to go, because you get special attention and they always make sure that you are totally covered. Also, this type of spray tan has always lasted at least a week as well. 

The downsides? Well, you have to get naked in front of a stranger (I usually leave my undies on) and it costs a little bit more- around $30-$35 dollars. But, like I said, I think it's totally worth it! 

So, there ya go! My two cents on spray tans because I haven't been in a single wedding where I didn't get one before the big day! 

What spray tans have you tried? Did they work? Not work? Tell me everything! 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Bridal Shower In Progess- Easy DIY project

One wedding down as MOH this year, one more to go!

For now, I am on hiatus from official MOH duties. I have a good bit of time before the serious planning begins again, but that doesn't mean I'm not constantly thinking of ideas for Amber's upcoming bridal events!

Amber's wedding will take place during December. For now, I'm in the midst of figuring out details for her bachelorette party in NOLA, the bridal shower I'm planning with Becca, and the bridesmaid luncheon my mom is planning.

Let me just start by saying that I am counting down to this trip to NOLA... it is going to be mind-blowingly awesome!! But for now, I must concentrate on the bridal shower!

Becca (fellow bridesmaid and third part of our friendship trio) and I decided to plan this shower together. Becca and I have been friends since the seventh grade... which makes me feel old and she is actually the one who introduced me to Amber. I really can't imagine planning this shower with anyone else.

Oh, by the way, it's a brunch shower- who doesn't love a good brunch event?? I know I do.

Of course, the first thing we did was create a secret Pinterest board with our many ideas, giving us the opportunity to plan stuff without Amber knowing. We have seriously come up with some good ideas and I can't wait until I get to share it all!

However, the shower isn't until September...

For now, I leave you with this creative, easy, DIY project...

I bought some simple, black, plastic tubs for Brittany's bachelorette party in order to create some survival kits. I wanted to "fancy" them up a little bit and I came across an idea to spray paint plastic tubs so that they look like metal. Let me tell you, it turned out awesome!

Plus, it was so easy!

I looked for some spray paint at Hobby Lobby and made sure to read the label to find out if it would work on plastic. I chose this brand:

                                             I went with gold, because well...I love gold.

                                     Here is the before picture, you can see it is just a plain ol' plastic tub.

                          Ta-da! Here is the after picture. Now the tub looks like fancy metal!

The spray painting part was easy and not as messy as I had envisioned. We had a couple extra boxes from stuff that was shipped to the house, so I put the boxes outside on the grass. I just followed the directions on the back of the can, and voila!

These will be put to good use at some upcoming events, especially the brunch shower. I'm picturing these guys holding some ice and champagne bottles-- because you certainly can't have brunch without mimosas!

I'm looking forward to sharing more details on the brunch shower... eventually! 

Has anyone thrown a brunch shower before? I always love hearing different ideas!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Graduation Party

Recently, I spent a weekend celebrating a BIG event- Mark's graduation!!

We had been looking forward to this weekend for a long time and it was well worth the wait. My parents, Mark's mom, and Mark's brother came down to visit and we had ourselves a graduation cookout.

We had all of the classic cookout foods- burgers, hot dogs, bratwursts, deviled eggs, potato salad, coleslaw, chips and dip, soda... and that's really not all of it. Our families were very generous in the amount of food they brought! Of course, the crown jewel of the food (in my opinion) was the cookie cake!

I made this sweet little "Celebrate" banner for the food table using scrap book paper for the flags. I found some big glittery-gold letters on sale at Hobby Lobby (score!). The table was also covered in graduation cap confetti, which I am still finding in the carpet!

We put up as much "class of 2014" decorations as we could! Including some festive "2014" streamers wherever we could fit them. I also decorated the chalkboard in the living room, which I try to do for any special occasion!

While searching Pinterest for decoration ideas, I kept across graduates holding signs that said "I'm done!" and I just loved that idea. I'm not sure Mark loved it as much as I did (I think it's really hard to plan stuff for boys, or is that just me?), but he was a trooper and let me take his picture holding it. I think he actually got into it after a while because he started posing with it- adorable!

My favorite decoration was the picture collage in the form of "2014," as you can see in the picture below. It turned out so great and Mark loved it! It was so fun to look through the scrap books his mother had made in high school and to see what a stud my man was back in the day. Mark's mom also emailed me some old pictures too, which I just could not get enough of!

Overall, the weekend was a success and we had a lot of fun celebrating. I have been so proud of Mark and all of his hard work over the past few years. Now, to look forward to life without school!! Congratulations to all of the 2014 graduates!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Savannah Bachelorette Party

This was the first weekend bachelorette party I have ever attended or planned and I consider it a major success! If anyone is thinking about going to Savannah, GA for a bachelorette party, I highly recommend it! It was the place to be for bachelorettes!

We arrived to our hotel Friday, changed into our tutu's and went to eat at this yummy mexican restaurant called Cilantro's that was walking distance to the hotel. I had the most delicious chicken tacos! I called them that morning and they graciously took my reservation for 10 people.

After dinner we walked down to the end of the block to wait on our bike tavern, so of course we all got a drink to go--- this is a perk of Savannah, you can take your alcoholic beverage from whatever establishment you bought it at and take it with you!

We met up with the bike tavern crew and loaded up! (FYI you have to sign a consent for not wearing helmets). The bike tavern was SO much fun and it's a great group activity!! Don't let them fool you though, you work hard and pedal a lot during the tour.

Our tour was specifically for bachelorette parties, so we had a scavenger hunt list of silly activities for the bride to complete. The tour guide told us that if the bride completed everything on the list she would get a t-shirt, so that became my mission for the rest of the tour!

{My biggest complaint about the bike tavern was that alcohol was not included, which I felt was very misleading. I suppose I could have asked about it, but being that it was called a "tavern," I had just assumed it would be included. During the tour we made stops at several historical bars around Savannah and bought drinks there. However, this didn't dampen our experience. We had our playlist going and all the gals looked like they were having a blast pedaling around!}

After the bike tavern ended we did a little bar hopping and danced the night away. Well, the bachelorette danced the night away for sure- so much so, that she won a dance contest!!! It was a great way to end the evening.

The next day we woke up and headed out to Tybee Island and spent a few hours on the beach. We came back and everyone got ready for the lingerie shower! Our rooms shared this big terrace that over looked the river and part of River Street- it was so beautiful! I set up a little bar in one of the rooms and we gathered on the terrace outside of the room while Brittany opened her gifts.

After Brittany finished opening gifts we played the "quiz the groom" game and her fiance impressed everyone with his adorable and funny answers!

After the lingerie shower, we headed to dinner at the Moon River Brewing Company. I don't know about everyone else, but I had something called "The Tacodilla" and I suggest everyone try it. It. was. so. good!!

Last, but definitely not least, was Savannah Smiles- a dueling piano bar. If you have never been to a dueling piano bar, I suggest you plan to visit one this weekend... ASAP! I can't even begin to tell you how perfect this place is for a bachelorette party. I think there were about 7 or 8 other bachelorette parties there and one bachelor party. The place was crawling with soon-to-be-wed folks! I highly recommend anyone in the Savannah area visit this establishment (even if you're not there for a bachelorette party).

Overall, I think the trip was a success. The food was good, the beach was fun, and we found some cool bars to hang out in (or bike on!).

Have any of you ever been to or helped plan a weekend bachelorette party? I have another one this year during November and it will be in New Orleans.

If you have any ideas for weekend bachelorette parties or suggestions on what/what not to do, please comment below!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Quiz The Groom

"Quiz the groom" is one of my favorite games to play at a bachelorette party during the lingerie shower. I love that the groom gets to be involved in the party-from afar. It has always turned out to be a fun time and the guests always love to see how many questions the bride will get right! Not to mention, it's a treat to see what the groom says about the bride.

Here's how it works:
Whoever is organizing the party sends the list of questions to the groom before the party and patiently await the grooms response. I usually ask the groom first to see if he is comfortable participating- I haven't received any "no's" so far! Feel free to use the list of questions I provided, but you could also come up with your own or have invited guests come up with questions! I like to cut the questions into individual strips of paper and pass them at the party so everyone can have a chance to ask questions.

While asking the questions, the bride takes a shot/a sip (depending on how many questions you have, 20 shots might be excessive...) of her drink if she gets the answer wrong. All the guests take a shot/sip of their drink if the bride gets it right!

I have used a couple different versions of this game, but this list of questions is by far my favorite:

1. Who was your first kiss?
2. What is your most embarrassing moment?
3. If you won 1 million dollars, what’s the first thing you would buy?
4. When did you know the bride was “the one?”
5. What is your favorite physical feature on the bride ?
6. What habit of yours does the bride find most annoying?
7. Which of your physical features is the bride’s favorite?
8. What was your first impression of the bride?
9. What part of the wedding are you looking most forward too?
10.  Where did you and the bride meet?
11.  When was the first time you said “I love you?”
12.  Complete this sentence: A perfect wife is one who___________________________
13.  What would you want to eat as your last meal?
14.  Do you think the bride looks best in: PJs, Tshirt and Jeans, or a sundress?
15.  Where is the craziest place you two have had sex?
16.  What is the bride’s most embarrassing moment?
17.  What bra size would you buy the bride?
18.  If the bride could change one thing about you, what would it be?
19. If you could change one thing about the bride, what would it be?    
20. Who is your least favorite person in the bride’s family?

My favorite questions were numbers 2, 11, 16, and 20- talk about revealing!

For the most recent bachelorette party, I had the pleasure of knowing the bride and groom from the start of their relationship. This meant that there was a lot of story sharing going on because so many of the questions brought up good memories. Just another reason I love this game.

Another of my favorite things to do is to write down everything the bride says while shes opening up her gifts. Announce that you will be reading a list of the things the bride will be saying on her wedding night and read all the statements you wrote down. You'll be surprised how funny this turns out to be!! I definitely recommend it.

What are some of your favorite bachelorette party games?

Looking forward to posting about a getaway bachelorette weekend in Savannah- be on the lookout!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Bachelorette Party Survival Kits

Bachelorette parties are fun, but they can also take a lot out of you- especially the weekend getaways! When going out of town, a girl is bound by nature to forget something important for such a trip. This is why I love the idea of having "Bachelorette Party Survival Kits." 

I decided to give this idea a try for Brittany's bachelorette party in Savannah. I haven't put together anything like this before, but I thought it would be a good idea-especially because it was a weekend trip. I thought the guests might appreciate having some things to "survive" off of for the weekend.

These kits were more than just a cure for the average hangover. They include items that girls might have forgotten or might need while they are there, plus a few items to help out with the morning-after-a-long-night-of-celebrating headache. It's just a nice gesture, plus helpful, and a cute idea!

I have seen some people do individual kits for each guest or one big bucket of supplies. For this bachelorette party we had two hotel rooms, so I did one for each room! I used some small, black, plastic buckets for the kits and put some hot pink/zebra tissue paper in the bottom.

Items included:
Sprite                  Bandaids            Make Up Remover Wipes
Saltines                Nail files            Deodorant
Bandaids             Toothpaste         Lint roller  
Ibuprofen            Tums                  Tampons
Hair ties              Q Tips                Shout wipes
Bobby pins          Emergen-C        Mouth wash

I tried to think of everything we might need for the weekend, but I'm sure that there are things I could have added or items that weren't really needed. Although, I will say that the ibuprofen, saltines, and bandaids are a MUST! The options for these kits are endless, really!

I think that the guests really appreciated the fact that these items were available and the thought that was put into this idea.

There was a good bit of stuff left over, so I'm planning on taking the left over stuff for an emergency kit on the wedding day! So, it kind of worked out perfectly. For the wedding day emergency kit I'll probably add things like static guard and safety pins- I think these are essentials.

Bacheloretty Party- check! Next up is the big day for Brittany and Brian, so of course you should be on the look out for a post about that!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


As I have kind of mentioned in previous posts- when I am a bridesmaid I make all of the bride's dreams come true...within reason of course! 

So, when Brittany requested that the bachelorette party have a tutu themed night for her bachelorette party I did what I could to make it happen. I let everyone know in advance so that they could purchase or make a DIY tutu. We will be wearing the tutu's the first night while we ride the bike tavern through the Savannah Pedals company. How fun is that?? When I visited Nashville last year there was a bachelorette party riding a bike tavern and the girls were dressed up in tutu's and USA attire and it looked so fun!

I was determined to make my own and also offered to make Amber's. I searched Pinterest for a while and looked at a few different pins with instructions on how to DIY, then I just kind of went for it. I bought some elastic and tulle and went at it with my sewing kit (thanks grandma!).

Here's what I did:

I used the "Sew-ology" brand of elastic from Hobby Lobby (of course). I bought the 3/4 inch, white polyester, braided elastic, but I think any kind would really work. It really just depends on how thick you want it to be and what you think would be most comfortable. I just wrapped the elastic around my waist where I had planned to wear the tutu, then secured it with a safety pin, and sewed it together.

You can also use ribbon, but I figured I would be movin' and groovin' a good bit so I wanted something a little more reliable!

I used 6 inch tulle, cut into approximately 20 inch strips. You want the length of the tulle strips to be twice the length of how long you want the skirt to be because when you tie the knot you will be folding it in half. So, if you cut 20 inch strips, your skirt will be about 10 inches long.

I used a basic slip knot to tie the tulle onto the elastic, shown here:
Fold the piece of tulle in half and hold behind the elastic.
Then fold the top part of the tulle over the elastic; leave enough room to pull the the tulle in the back through the hole
Pull the tulle from the back through the hole.
Then pull it tightly, and voila!

This is what it will look like after you start putting the tulle on!

This was a really easy project and much less expensive than buying one (plus, it turned out adorable!)- I have seen them for around $20.00 or more and I made this one for about $7.00. You really can't beat that! Another bonus was that it only took about 30 minutes to make!

Have you ever made a tutu or something similar? What worked for and what didn't?

Keep an eye out for my upcoming bachelorette party post! You will see pictures of all the lovely ladies dressed in tutu's!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Tips For A Memorable Maid of Honor Speech

One of the duties a MOH must confront is writing a speech for the rehearsal or wedding-and that can be a daunting task- Where do I start? What do I say? How long should it be?

My first wedding this year is coming up in about a month, so I have been doing some research on this very topic. I came across some different blogs and posts on Pinterest with tips for writing a great speech and overcoming speaking in public (this can be really nerve wrecking for some).

Here are some of the things I found really helpful:

To be confident:

-Practice and know that you are prepared. Don't wing it and don't read straight from your paper.

-Share stories and feelings- don't just write a speech, write something from the heart and be sincere. This will make it easier to remember!

-Don't drink too much before you start your speech, wait until you're done to start boozing it up! (You don't want to be a hot mess in front of all the guests...)

Tips for the speech:

-First of all, keep it short. This is another reason it is important to practice, so that you can time it! Don't ramble on forever (like, 5 minutes) telling stories that no one can relate to.

-Introduce yourself- who are you? how do you know the bride and groom?

-Say your thank yous- thank the bride and groom, the bride's parents, and anyone else who helped to plan and put on the event.

-Greet the happy couple and tell them how amazing they look!

-Add some personal touches- share story of how you know the bride and groom, but stay away from too many inside jokes that the crowd wont be able to relate to. Also, make sure you include the groom in your speech as much as the bride. Nothing is worse than a speech dedicated to your lifelong friendship with the bride and not about the couple and their big day.

-Toast to the couple. A simple, "cheers," will do, but I have also read some more elaborate toasts as well. (if you search "wedding toast quotes" on Pinterest, you will find a million ideas!).

I hope this was helpful, I know that these tips were very useful to me as I was writing my next speech!

Have you found any tips that were useful for speech writing??

Good luck out there to all you MOH's, Best Men, Fathers, Mothers etc etc who will be giving speeches one day soon! Remember- practice makes perfect!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


I realized that I should be using this hashtag more often... I mean, I think it could turn into a movement (especially now that the spring wedding season is approaching).

Recently, I was reading over this Buzzfeed article again and thinking about how truly relevant it is to my life right now.

There are some things that you won't truly be able to understand or appreciate unless you have been a bridesmaid before.... 

For instance, while planning the Monograms and Mimosas shower I went to Hobby Lobby A LOT. When I was getting all packed up to go to Atlanta for the shower I realized I have SO MUCH BURLAP. SO. MUCH. I have different sizes, different colors, different shapes.... I mean, if you need some burlap, just let me know and I can hook you up!! 

I was discussing this excessive burlap issue with Amber and we were joking that I should have tweeted about it. Really, I should be tweeting whenever something like that happens and using the hashtag #bridesmaidproblems... 

Going back the the Buzzfeed article, number 8 and number 9 are my life right now. 

I have a long list of events to plan and be a part of this year! Mostly showers and bachelorette parties, but also a bridesmaid luncheon. Also, I have never been a part of so many secret Pinterest boards in my life! #bridesmaidprobz

Secret boards are the bomb because you can use Pinterest for inspiration, but keep all your ideas a secret. For instance, myself and Jenny had a secret board for Monograms and Mimosas that we used to communicate ideas for decorations, gifts, and food. 

I currently have a secret board for a brunch shower, bachelorette party, and bridesmaid luncheon. All of which are events that are being planned for someone who frequents Pinterest. I have a feeling that I will have more before the year is up, especially now that you can have an unlimited number of secret boards. #bridesmaidproblems

In the near future, I will start worrying about the bachelorette party in Savannah going smoothly, preparing a speech for Brittany's wedding, and the day of Brittany's wedding! #bridesmaidproblems All of which I am also very excited for of course.  

Now, I know it's kind of funny to think about hashtagging all of this stuff and let's be honest-I will be sending out more and more of these kind of tweets as the weddings approach. However, at the same time, I think these #bridesmaidproblems are some of the best problems to have because I get to plan/be a part of stuff for my closest friends and I love it.

Are there any of you who can relate? Comment below to share some of your own #bridesmaidsproblems or tweet me @kaytinsley using the hashtags from this post!

I'm looking forward to writing blogs on the bachelorette party that's coming up in just a few weeks! Also, look out for a blog on speech writing (dun, dun, dun...)!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Q&A Bachelorette Parties

Over the past few months, I have received a couple of different messages from friends with questions regarding bachelorette party etiquette. Let me just say first, that I love it when people ask me questions about anything wedding or bridal party related. I try to be as helpful and honest as possible when giving my opinion on the situation.

Here are the questions--

"I'm getting together my list of the bachelorette party. I wanted to invite school friends, but we can't fit even half into the wedding guest list. Is it okay to invite them to the bachelorette party, but not the wedding?

My response was something like this:
"In my opinion this would be a little taboo. Typically when you are inviting guests to showers or parties it is expected that they will be invited to the wedding also. I think that most guests assume this as well. However, some people feel that the bachelorette party guest list is a little different because it's more of a fun night out on the town and you should invite whoever you want! The ultimate decision is up to you of course and whatever you are comfortable with."

Meagan told me she was leaning towards the first option, but she was most concerned about hurt feelings. That is something I have heard from several brides, but it would be impossible to invite everyone you know or everyone you have ever met to your wedding without the expense becoming outrageous. Every bride has their own budget and I think that is something folks need to realize. Just because you were close to someone once upon a time, that doesn't mean you are going to be invited to their special day (too harsh?).

The other question was related to do asking party guests to chip in:
"I've called about 8 different limo services asking for quotes. When you did this for the other bachelorette party, did you ask all of the guests to pitch in or did you pay for it all? ...I didn't know how you would go about asking everyone to pitch in if that's even appropriate. Obviously, I wouldn't ask the bride to pitch in!"

My response?
"I asked everyone to pitch in. I think it's kind of expected that for bachelorette parties all the guests chip in for things like that. Weddings and all things wedding related cost a lot and I think people expect to pay a good bit of money for these activities. For this, I would send everyone a message and let them know the plan in advance and what they might be expected to pay for (and how much)."

Something I should have added was that the price should still be as reasonable as possible. For example, if you only have 5 guests, try to avoid a really costly hotel that would be expensive even when split between everyone. I always try to be conscious of things like this. When I'm thinking of costs I usually think, "Would I be okay with this if someone asked me to pay this much?" (I think Emily ended up going with a taxi service to save some $$ because it was a small group)

Now, really these are just my own opinions on the matter. In the end the bridesmaid or bride should do whatever they are most comfortable with planning or asking people to contribute to the event.

I hope this was a little helpful for anyone out there planning a bachelorette party or shower.

Are there etiquette questions coming to mind after reading this?? Let me know and I will do my best to help out!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Monograms & Mimosas

This weekend was filled with wedding festivities and some time fulfilling my bridesmaid duties!

Myself and the Matron of Honor, Jenny, put together a Monograms and Mimosas shower for Brittany and it turned out beautiful! This is a great shower to throw for your bride if she loves monogrammed apparel and mimosas (but then again, who doesn't love mimosas?!). 

Here is the invite with the monogram info we sent out and a photo of a delicious mimosa: 

Since Jenny and I were hosting together, we split up all of the duties- I was in charge of all the decorations and Jenny put together the menu. The hit food items were tortellini salad  and spinach and artichoke bites. They were so delicious and everyone loved them, along with all the other food!

As soon as Brittany requested this shower, I envisioned the exact decorations I wanted (thankfully Jenny is easy going and loved it all!) and they turned out pretty much exactly as I had pictured. 

I used scrap book paper to make the banners- to me it's the best deal and it always looks so good. You can cut it into any shape/size and there are different patterns and textures you can choose from. Plus, Hobby Lobby has a great selection that is inexpensive and occasionally on sale. 

I had these great drink dispensers that allow you to add decorations to the bottom-how awesome is that? You can change the decorations to match the decor of whatever event you might be hosting. 

We had plenty of champagne, but we also made sure to have some sparkling white grape juice for the junior bridesmaid or anyone else who didn't want alcohol (the junior bridesmaid-and her mom- really appreciated it!). 

The honorary bridesmaid, Kristina couldn't make it to the shower, but she did make these adorable chalkboards to add to the decor: 

We didn't play any of your typical bridal shower games because we had a small group who knew each other already, so the shower consisted mostly of girl talk over mimosas. 

However, we did have an ongoing game throughout the shower titled, "Bridezilla," that I found here on Pinterest. It consisted of having to wear the silly tiara if you were caught saying any of the 'taboo' wedding words like, "wedding," "bride," dress," etc etc. Let's just say, it got passed around a LOT! 

Here is the beautiful bride wearing the dreaded head piece (although, she totally pulled it off in my opinion!):

All in all it turned out amazing and the bride got some of the cutest monogram gifts! I ordered her an adorable monogram beach hat from Etsy-perfect for the upcoming honeymoon!

I was so pleased with how all the decorations turned out and the food was so delicious. I highly recommend the M&M shower to anyone looking for a fun shower plan.

We ended the day by fulfilling some of the classic bridesmaid duties, including putting together favors, goodie bags for the hotel, and labels for the 'dancing shoes.' It was actually really fun and basically a slumber party. We were paid in pizza and wine- which, I don't know about you, but that is good payment in my book! 

**Be on the lookout for a post about the upcoming bachelorette party and nuptials**

Friday, March 14, 2014

March Wedding Madness

The title of this blog post represents my life this month-there is so much wedding stuff going on for so many of my friends! You may have been preparing your brackets for March Madness, but that is nothing compared to preparing my calendar for the month of March.

I attended my friend Brittany's (insert link) bridal shower a couple weeks ago and it was lovely!! It was headed by her mom and a family friend and they did such a great job with food (it was delicious), decorations (adorable, especially the printed paper straws), and the yummy champagne punch (who doesn't love a boozy punch??). 

As the Maid of Honor in Brittany's wedding, I have been preparing for all my shower duties, but she also has a Matron of Honor. We split up the typical bridal shower duties- I was in charge of collecting bows for the rehearsal bouquet and handing the bride her gifts, while Jenny wrote the list of names and gifts for thank you cards. I have to say that having another MOH has been awesome!

I also attended Amber and Joe's engagement party (which you can read a little more about on Amber's blog). One of the other bridesmaids hosted and it turned out to be amazing!! She had the cutest decorations and a whole smorgasbord of food that was scrumptious and homemade! I was completely impressed.

My boyfriend and I brought the standard gift of a bottle of booze, but I also made Amber a ring dish (with her soon-to-be new initials) following the idea from this blog post. It turned out so adorable:
Needless to say, this month has really been testing my MOH credentials, but I have enjoyed every minute of it so far and I have felt like a success!

At the end of this month, I will be attending a friend's wedding and I am not in the bridal party. I can't wait to attend that wedding and help to celebrate my the big day as a guest! 

Next weekend, Jenny and I are throwing a Monograms and Mimosas shower for Brittany. We have been planning it for months and I can't wait to blog about it. 

Be on the look out for photos soon! 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Golden Birthday

I hate how absent I have been from the blogging world. I don't even want to admit how long it's been...

My only excuse is the start of my new job! I have been so busy learning all about my new job duties in crisis assessment and about the company I am working for. So exciting! 

Besides that, I have been involved in wedding stuff galore during this glorious month of March and it's only about half way over! I have been to an engagement party and a bridal shower and there is still more to come that I will be blogging about soon- I promise!!

I'm not sure if I mentioned this, but I also want to blog about other events that I plan or that I am involved in and any good DIY, recipes, decorations etc. that I come across. 

Hence the name of this blog post about my golden birthday party [for those who don't know what a golden birthday is, it's when your age is the same as your birthdate. For me, I turned 26 on the 26th of February]. 

I had a big party and a lot of friends came to town to celebrate with me. We had it at our favorite restaurant in downtown Milledgeville- Amici- and reserved the upstairs party space. 

The theme was all gold and black to fit with the golden birthday theme. Even my dress fit in with the theme! 
I made black and gold flag banners out of scrap book paper (from Hobby Lobby of course) and we set up an awesome photo booth complete with props:
I also made the glittering gold numbers from craft supplies at Hobby Lobby:
Not to mention these delicious chocolate cupcakes with gold sprinkles and gold wrappers... YUM!

All in all, it was a successful birthday and I recommend everyone take advantage of an opportunity to celebrate their golden birthday. If anything, it's an excuse to dress up and make fun treats! 

I can't wait to blog about the bridal shower and engagement party I attended recently. They were so beautiful and fun! I have also had a few friends ask me questions about etiquette, so be on the look out for a Q&A post! 

I have missed you blog!! I promise to never neglect you like this again! 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Problems Only Bridesmaids Will Understand

Has it really been almost two weeks since my last post??

There has just been so much going on that I have [unfortunately] been neglecting my blog… shame, shame.

Just a little bit of what's being going on in my life...
I had a big birthday party this past weekend to celebrate my upcoming golden birthday- I will be turning 26 on February 26th. This is something of a tradition in my family and I was surprised to hear that some of my friends had never heard of this concept! My birthday is one of my favorite days of the year and always has been.

I was offered a position as a crisis assessor for a local behavioral health center and orientation starts Monday! I am beyond excited and this will be my first, "big girl," job using my degree, so there has been a lot to celebrate lately.

This time of the year is the best for television because all of my favorite TV shows are starting again after a long winter break: The Walking Dead, Glee, Grey's Anatomy, Scandal, Game of Thrones… I could go on.

But enough about my life, let's get back to the important stuff.

One of my brides, Brittany, started a Facebook group for all the bridesmaids in order for us to have easy access to each other and so that she can keep us updated on all things wedding related. Occasionally, something funny gets posted like this BuzzFeed article about problems only bridesmaids will understand. One of my favorite things about the article is the tagline, "So much drama, and it isn't even your wedding."

Now, I have mentioned before that I have been lucky enough to have pretty easy going bride friends. However… and I'm just gonna say it… there's going to be some kind of drama either way, small or big. Am I right my fellow bridesmaids??

I only want to touch on a few of these today, but I have a feeling I will be referring back to this post more than once.

Number 2: All your free time will be dedicated to wedding activities.

This could not be more relevant to my life right now. The month of March is fully dedicated to weddings and as the MOH for two weddings this year, I am fully committed to these events. All of my bride friends live in Hotlanta, so basically every weekend in March I will be traveling to see them. I have two bridal showers, an engagement party, and a wedding to attend. That being said-- I wouldn't miss these events for anything.

Numbers 5 and 6: The bridesmaid dress will not be flattering to your body type and it isn't cheap.

I have to disagree with these because my brides have been conservative with price and I actually love the two dresses I will be wearing this year. Anyone ever heard of Little Borrowed Dress? If you haven't, go check out their website immediately and recommend it to any of your friends who are engaged or close to it!

Basically, it all comes down to number 25: Crying off your makeup because you're so happy for the newlyweds. This is another one of those, "that's what being a bridesmaid is all about," moments. Any drama seems to disappear the minute you walk down that aisle and celebrate the marriage of two people you love. Just remember number 25 during those times you feel like throwing the bride into a chokehold because she added one more thing to the to-do list.

Good luck out there bridesmaids!

Join me for my next blog post, I'll be sharing all the details from my birthday party!!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Dress Shopping And Opinions

Who has been watching the Olympics?? I have only been watching a little bit because I don't find the Winter Olympics as exciting as the Summer Olympics…. really the only sports I enjoy watching in the winter are ice skating and ice dancing- which is probably a little stereotypical.

We are also in the middle of an ice storm here in GA, so I have had a lot of free time on my "snow day" to make a big breakfast, put some yummy chicken in the crock pot, and of course to write a blog! It is snowmaggedon part 2 here- be safe everyone!

This past weekend I accompanied my bride-to-be friend Amber for wedding dress shopping. I have only been shopping for wedding dresses one other time with Becca about 4 years ago. I guess this is because the first shopping trip for wedding dresses is usually reserved for the mother of the bride? Well, I know that will be the case for me one day. My mom has repeatedly said, "I hope you know that no one else is going dress shopping with us when it's your turn." She obviously feels very passionate about this! Although, she always cracks a little and says I am allowed to bring one, maybe two friends.

But, enough about me!

Dress shopping is a really fun and special time. I was so excited to be able to go shopping with amber, along with most of the bridesmaids and the grooms mother. We went to this bridal shop in Cumming, GA where they not only sell bridal gowns, but also prom dresses. The place was crawling with high school girls trying on prom dresses (most of which were very scandalous)!!

The bridal consultant suggested that Amber try on a dress in all different styles because you never know what style you will actually look good in and fall in love with (despite what pictures you have pinned on Pinterest!).

I feel that one of the essential duties of a bridesmaid or maid of honor is to be fully supportive of the bride and of course Amber looked amazing in all the dresses she tried on. However, it was obvious to see that she had found THE dress after seeing the look on her face. As a bridesmaid (or really anyone who attends dress shopping) it is important to be supportive of the bride and encourage her to go with her hearts desire….

You should only give an opinion if you're asked.

Actually, this applies to anyone who knows anyone who is getting married. I have had several of my bride friends become overwhelmed by the unwelcome opinions of family members, friends, coworkers etc etc. When a bride asked for help, by all means give advice or assistance- otherwise I strongly suggest keeping your opinions to yourself.

Back on topic- Amber chose a dress and of course it looked amazing! I can't wait to see her walk down the aisle in it!!

The next step was choosing the bridesmaid dress. I have always been willing to pretty much wear whatever the bride wants me to and it seemed like the other bridesmaids felt the same way (we are a pretty easy going bunch). Amber knew that she wanted us to wear a long dress, so we all picked a different style, tried them on, and pretty much agreed immediately on the dress we liked the most. So easy! The dress is so comfortable and is going to be so elegant when we get them in the color of choice-eggplant.

I was grateful that Amber allowed us to have a choice, but if she had picked something out and told me to order it I would have done that too. This is what happened in the last wedding I was in and it worked out perfect- everyone looked amazing! It is the bride's discretion.

If you're asked to be a bridesmaid and you say yes, this means that you shouldn't be too picky when it comes to choosing what you will wear. The bride has a vision of what she wants her wedding to be like and (in my opinion) you shouldn't try to change that too much. Now, don't get me wrong if the bride is asking you to wear something you are completely uncomfortable in- you might want to bring it up.

Just remember: it is the bride's day and it really is all about the bride! (However, I do appreciate that commercial {I can't remember what it's for} where the company explains that the wedding day is all about the bride, but the bride is only looking at the groom. Isn't that sweet?).

Regardless, this is a time for the bride to feel special and I don't think that anyone should take away from that with their actions, words, or opinions.

Keep up the morale and follow through with your duties! The bride picked you to be in her wedding because she loves you and considers you to be a special part of her life.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

On Being A Bridesmaid

There are so many blogs about weddings, wedding planning, the bride, etc. that are so helpful to the planning process. What about the events leading up to the wedding and the people who plan them? I think these parties, showers, and weekend getaways are also important to the planning process, even though the bride and groom don't typically plan them. These are events to show love to the bride and groom from the people who know them best and love them the most. These are also important events to prepare the bride and groom for the wedding and life as a married couple.

This is where us bridesmaids come into play.

The word bridesmaid is defined simply as, "an attendant of the bride," or "a woman who accompanies the bride on her wedding day."

But, a bridesmaid is so much more.

We are there from the beginning attending to the bride's every need and trying to assist the bride any way that we can.

This past weekend I was at a bridal shower for a close friend getting married in March. While I was there I was chatting with my friend Casie who is going to be a bridesmaid in a wedding later this year. This will be her first time as a bridesmaid and she is so excited, but she also wasn't really sure what exactly she should be doing.

Casie explained, "I've made sure to ask the bride if I can help her in any way and I have offered to help her with anything she needs, but she usually says that she has it all under control." My reply was, "That is exactly what you should be doing, be there when the bride needs you." Now, if she was the MOH my response may have differed slightly because there is always more responsibility when acting as MOH.

So, what are the duties of the bridal party??

Here is my short and sweet version of bridal party duties:

The Maid of Honor (aka The MOH)

This lovely lady is typically a family member or the bride's closest (and most responsible) friend. I say the most responsible because the part of the MOH is usually very important.  She is there for the bride every step of the way, keeping her calm and collected, and is usually in charge of wrangling the rest of the bridesmaids. The MOH will be responsible for planning a shower and the bachelorette party, preparing a speech for the wedding, and buying a gift for at least one shower and the wedding. Basically, she is the #1 go to gal for the bride throughout the planning process and the wedding day.


That being said, the bridesmaids are just as important to the wedding and planning process. These ladies are typically family (with the groom's side also included) and the bride's closest friends. They should also be a responsible bunch of women. The bridesmaids main duty is to basically be there for the bride whenever necessary and to offer assistance to the MOH.

The Best Man 

Similar to the MOH, this guy should be reliable and close to the groom. He is responsible for planning the bachelor party, wrangling all the groomsmen, and preparing a toast for the wedding. The best man should be available to assist the groom in whatever way necessary and to keep the groom calm and collected throughout the process and especially the day of the wedding (we want to avoid cold feet!!).


The groomsmen are typically family and close friends of the groom (the bride's family is often included as well). They are to assist the groom and the best man in whatever way possible. Their duties usually include: decorating the getaway car, helping plan the bachelor party, or anything else the groom and best man might need.

Miscellaneous Tips: 

  • Every person in the bridal party is typically responsible for paying for their own travel and attire. 
  • It is acceptable for any person involved in the wedding (or not) to plan a shower for the bride and groom. 
  • All members of the bridal party attend the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner
  • Bridesmaids and groomsmen should mingle with guests and encourage dancing (if that's even necessary!)

Not only is it important for the bride to understand what to expect from her bridesmaids or the groom from his groomsmen, but it is important to realize what is expected of you as a part of the bridal party. Of course, these are just suggestions based on tradition and each wedding will be different and require different responsibilities. Also, remember that you don't have to say yes to being a bridesmaid- you may not be financially able to commit or that may not be your thing. If you are part of someone's wedding day, the key thing to remember is to make them feel special, remind them that you are there for support in whatever way they may need, and be ready to have some serious fun with your closest friends!

(If you are looking for more information on bridal party duties, I recommend checking out Lauren Conrad's blog, Bridal Guide, The Knot etc. for guidance)