wedding planning

Honeymoon Packing: The Five Essentials to Bring

No matter where your honeymoon is taking you, these five essentials are perfect for any newlywed!

Eberjay Intimates - the softest pjs I have! 

Eberjay Intimates - the softest pjs I have! 

Sexy Lingerie: Obviously, I had to start with this one. TIme to put that lingerie from your bridal shower/bffs to use! If you’re only bringing a carry on and don’t have much space, just bring a couple items to make the honeymoon fun and show off the #sexybride look ;)

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Camera: Your iPhone does not count. Try bringing a camera that isn’t your phone so that you and your boo can have all the quality time without your phone’s natural distractions.

 

 

 

 

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Journal: Wherever you’re traveling, it may be nice to bring your journal and spend some time reflecting and being intentional.

Some prompts to get you started:

  • What are 5 things you and your partner want to accomplish in the first year of marriage?
  • What were your emotions on your wedding day?
  • List 20 things your grateful for.
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Book: It’s your honeymoon, but girl still needs some time to herself! Being together 24/7 is fun and all, but there may be moments when one person wants to do a different activity. For example, my husband was going to the gym every morning but I preferred to hangout in our gorgeous outdoor space in the room. Bring a book or kindle with you for breaks on the beach, bedside reading, or airplane commutes.

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Medicine: While I wouldn’t wish this on anyone, both my husband and I got food poisoning on our honeymoon! It was très romantique hearing each other vomit one after the other. Ultimate marriage test.

Bring your meds of choice (I prefer herbal) in case anything happens to be prepared for whatever situation may arise, though I hope it doesn’t!

 

 

Extras: There are so many other fun ideas for newleyweds to bring on their honeymoon, like matching luggage tags, shirts (I saw five couples while traveling that had matching husband/wifey shirts), special champagne or liquor if you've got a carry on, and so much more. But now that you've got the basics, everything else is a bonus :) 

Simple as that! Hope you have the best honeymoon ever!

How to Have the Best Wedding Morning Ever

Photo by Amanda K White Photographer

Photo by Amanda K White Photographer

The night before my wedding I did not sleep. I had allll the aim of heading to bed early and was cozied up by 11pm, but my excitement and nerves kept me awake throughout the whole night. I did not let that stop getting more #weddingdayglow and used that energy to wake me up early in the morning. The hours before the wedding celebration were honestly some of my favorite moments, so here’s how to have the most fabulous morning ever before you tie the knot.

MORNING MEDITATION

You can meditate wherever you are. I luckily had the privilege of having my wedding right by the water, so I woke up at the crack of dawn at 6:15am, got myself a hot water with lemon and walked to the water for a short gratitude meditation amidst the birds, bay, and trees.

You can do this everywhere and it’s the easiest way to start your wedding morning with peace. As the saying goes, “How you live your morning is how you live your day, which is how you live your life.”

See, mornings count!

WEDDING DAY YOGA

Yes, you’ve heard us #preach all about wedding day yoga as that’s part of our business after all, but I got to first hand experience what this was like for my own wedding and it was a transformational and powerful experience. Could not recommend it ENOUGH.

I opened the invitation to all of our wedding guests to join the morning class, and we had 38 people show. At 7:30 am in the morning on a Saturday. Hello #tribe, I love you. The yoga instructor (aka best friend and cofounder of wedwell) started out the class with an incredibly beautiful intention setting, and some sweet words about the bride, ahem, me. Crying.

We ended the class with a giant group hug where my friends & family from all over the world were connected and spreading so much love.

Photo by Amanda K White Photographer

Photo by Amanda K White Photographer

HOT TUB RELAXATION

I hope I’m not the only one who is obsessed with hot tubs. Just the act of being able to go into a hot tub makes me so excited/relaxed at the same time, so naturally I wanted to go into the tub after my morning yoga class. My wedding was at a resort so it was easy to do, but if you’re wedding is somewhere else you can do this by going to a local gym, spa or hotel for the morning!

PADDLE BOARD

This one is more applicable if your wedding is near the water, but the mindset of this activity is all the same! Get outside with your best friends! My husband and his groomsmen started the morning with a group paddle board session. Apparently three of the guys fell into the cold water, but at least my husband didn’t get cold feet (ha ha ha).

Enjoy your morning and do whatever makes you the happiest! For me, it’s yoga and nature. For you, that could be reading or writing. Start your day intentionally and the rest of the day will flow.

 

 

The Best Way to Avoid Wedding Day Stress: Organization

written by Helen Schulthesis

Ah, organization, the often overlooked antidote to stress.

As a new bride, I’m sure you’re painfully well aware that your wonderful wedding day will be chock full of small yet important details. If left unattended to, those tiny details can cause a huge headache or outburst, putting a damper on this significant day. 

It is my firm belief that if all these details are planned in advanced, the smoother the day will go and the more relaxed you’ll be. No one likes a bridezilla, and trust me, it’s actually not fun to feel like one. If you have a wedding planner or coordinator, you can rest easy that most of the heavy hitting will be done already, but if you don’t, it’s time to open up google spreadsheets and make some lists. Light a candle, breathe deeply, and most importantly, give yourself enough time to figure everything out.  

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First and foremost, create a timeline for the wedding weekend listing each task or event, the timing, and people involved. You can create this in google drive, and send it out to your wedding party and family— make sure everyone knows who’s doing what in advance and that all questions are answeredWithin this doc you’ll also want to include phone numbers and names of important vendors and members of the wedding party so that people can easily get in touch. Believe me, you won’t want a million people approaching you like you’re a phone book at your rehearsal dinner. 

Next, ensure readings, vows, toasts, and anything else that needs to be printed is done a day or two beforehand! Trying to find a printer last minute or reading a toast from your phone is an etiquette faux pas. If there are important things that need to be brought to the venue (card box, guest book, favors, etc.) designate a responsible friend to organize and place these items appropriately.

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You probably know this one already, but be prepared for “day of” emergencies with a good bridal kit. Make your own or find them on Etsy! I always bring band aids, perfume, bobby pins, stain remover, blotting papers, gum and tissues. On that note, make sure to designate fifteen minutes to eat while getting ready and be sure to drink enough water— you’re going to want to feel confident and radiant during your ceremony, not wobbly and nauseous.  Getting ready with your girls is definitely more fun with a good playlist and a wireless speaker— so have your bestie set something up in advance (and make sure songs are appropriate enough for Grandma!)

 

Lastly, please, please, please do yourself a favor and have a rain plan in place. Weather is a major stressor for many brides, but it doesn’t have to be! Knowing you have solid plan in case of inclement weather will free up your mind for the upcoming celebration. With all the logistics and details organized in advanced, you’ll be free to spend the precious hours before your wedding sipping mimosas and bonding with your babes. Now that’s a wedding day well planned. 

 

#wedwellbrides: Willa from @viathevan

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I'm sure you've already heard all about vanlife through the popularity it's gained on instagram and the intriguing New Yorker article, but have you ever been curious of how couples actually do it? I mean, what is it really like living together in that tiny space? I (Lilia) and am all for the trend and Olivia is not so sure!

We got to chat with Willa, one half of the instagram @viathevan where she and her husband moved into vanlife one year after getting married. Read below for all things marriage and #vanlife related...who knows, maybe you'll be inspired and try van life out for yourself! xx

What was the hardest part of planning your wedding?

Knowing whether we were making the very best decision. You don’t think you’ll be the couple that frets over whether your dinner napkins should be ivory or off-white but once things really start to come together, you don’t want anything to be out of place. People are always saying that guests won’t notice those little missteps but truthfully, it’s not about what your friends and family do or don’t notice, it’s about knowing you and your partner created something magical, something as close to whatever you deem ‘perfect’ as humanly possible.

What was it like doing vanlife after getting married? 

It was like getting thrown into the marital gauntlet. We were married for exactly one year before moving into the van- our first night in the van was the day after our anniversary- and while we had spent a lot of time together over the course of our first seven years, van life was something new entirely. Luke and I share the same moral compass, spiritual beliefs and life goals but as far as the day-to-day, we’re opposites. We quickly found that in order to live happily together in such a tiny space, we had to make sure we weren’t compromising on our desires. We would often take turns picking the day’s activity or would take quick jaunts on our own. In the end, we fought a lot (typical) but became better communicators and learned what each of us needs to be our best partner selves.

What was the best part of being engaged?

Telling our engagement story! Luke was so proud of the ring he snagged me and the location of our proposal that both of us just lit up when someone asked about how it happened. Montana has become our favorite state as a couple and jump at any opportunity to return.

What shifted for you since getting married?

Honestly not too much. I think the first year we were both just so high on life. All we wanted to do was scurry home and snuggle. We were living in the same apartment as we always had been but now it felt even more like home- there was a family inside that had so much potential for growth and change. Not that it wasn’t there before but we’d talked about getting married since year 1 so it was wild to realize that big life checkbox had been accomplished.

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What would you tell other brides-to-be right now?

Ooph, such a tricky question! You start to get advice from so many angles that sometimes your eyes begin to glaze over #guilty. If I could travel back in time and tell my earlier planning self one tip it would be this, listen to your little gut, don’t settle, find exactly what you’re looking for because it’s out there and you’ll be so so incredibly happy that you did. I spent every one of the 365 days of planning looking for very specific pieces; flatware, florals, garlands, runners etc and the entire time I kept asking myself if it was going to be worth it. For me the answer was yes. All the time I dedicated to eBay that I will never get back made sitting next to my husband, smiling at not only all of our friends and family but out at the party I put together, that much greater! So maybe more universal, find out that thing that’s really really important to you and don’t give up on making it a reality. You got this.

What was the biggest surprise you had while planning your wedding?

How many people accepted our invitation! You go into your numbers with the assumption anywhere between 15-30% will decline but I think we had just a handful of people who weren’t able to make it. Our venue was sent down from wedding gods and didn’t have a cap so it was definitely the more the merrier!

How have your perceptions on marriage shifted since being married?

Will Smith was quoted recently talking about marriage in a way we don’t often hear but we feel is an important part of finding your life partner,  “[Jada’s] happiness was her responsibility and my happiness was my responsibility and we decided that we were going to find our individual internal, private joy and then we were going to present ourselves to the relationship and to each other, already happy. Not coming to each other, begging with our empty cups demanding that she fill my cup and demanding that she meet my needs. It’s unfair and it’s kind of unrealistic and can be destructive to place the responsibility for your happiness on anybody other than yourself.” We dig that. Less pressure on your partner to complete you but rather to accompany you down life’s path. We’re two different people who decided to link up, and essentially come to all future decisions as a unit- something inherently difficult to accomplish. We’re going into our third year knowing that everyday we choose one another and this life we’ve created.

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#wedwellbrides: Lilia

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Since our very own Lilia Karimi, wedwell co-founder is getting married July 14th (so soon!) we were so excited to feature her in our #wedwell brides series. Lilia and her fiance Quinn, have been #relationshipgoals since day 1, and Lilia gives a refreshingly authentic overview of what wedding planning looks like in a balanced, ambitious relationship. 

What has planning your wedding been like?

I had no idea what to expect from wedding planning (I’ve only been to a handful of weddings myself and am the first out of my sibling/cousins to get married). After a few weeks of the blissful engagement began the less pleasant part of figuring out how to plan a wedding. It was hard to navigate where I fit in. Everyone makes it seem like the wedding is all about the bride, so I was super shocked when my parents had a million opinions on everything (as did my fiance!).

What's the biggest difference you've seen in your relationship since being engaged?

There’s this new feeling of doing things together as a “family unit”. Before when I made decisions, I really only had to think about myself. Move to Mexico? Sure. Live somewhere with ten other people? No prob.

A few months after we got engaged, I decided to leave my full time job to pursue a startup (oh hey, @wed.well). Before, I would’ve jumped to do this without consulting anyone super seriously. After being engaged, it became more of a conversation, like, “are WE going to do this?”

This trickles down into financial decisions as well, where there is less you vs me - and more, what purchases do we want to make together? How could we be spending differently?

At what point in your relationship did you know you wanted to marry that person?

I knew he was my soulmate before we even started dating. I remember telling my mom, “I’m not sure if I should date him. He’s the type of guy I want to marry - so if I date him now, I’ll never date anyone else!!”. That thought was so terrifying at the time - my college self looked down on the version of just dating one person (lol).

What parts of wedding planning have you and your partner disagreed?

One time I was upset with my family about something related to the wedding. I didn’t want my fiance to know about the issues because I didn’t want him to also get stressed about the wedding, so I didn’t tell him. He only found out when I couldn’t contain my emotions and had a major breakdown at home. This brought up the conversation of how we need to approach difficult things together - not individually. Especially important as we get married and start making “family” decisions.

What's been the most confusing part of getting engaged?

Getting engaged was confusing for me because it felt like I didn’t do anything differently with my life, but everyone started congratulating me and getting so excited as if I had done something so incredible! Haha!

In my head, we’ve been in love for five years now - so what is it about weddings and actually getting engaged that makes everyone want to celebrate? Like helllloooo, we should be celebrating love ALL the time - not just when we commit legally! However, I LOVE any opportunity to celebrate so it was equally thrilling.

 

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#wedwellbrides: Alexa

Real talk with Alexa from @thebreezybride, her wedding, and the transition to marriage. 

What was the hardest part of planning your wedding?

For me, it was balance. I started a new career six months prior to my wedding and was eager to excel on all fronts. I was lucky enough to have an amazing planner (@tessalynevents), but even so, planning our wedding felt like a full time job. When I had five spare minutes I always devoted them to work, wedding planning or some social obligation. That meant that I made very little time for myself, which retrospectively made me more stressed. Managing our family's expectations wasn't as hard as I expected, but it was taxing at times. 

What shifted for you since getting married? 

As an only child, I've always been independent and extremely close to my father. It's been interesting to notice that to a certain extent, getting married means relying on my husband for certain things I used to rely on my father for (read: car help, taxes, etc.). Also being married means I now make decisions as a team and not just an individual. If I want to jet off on a trip, I need to consider our long term goals instead of my short term impulses. I also feel much more grounded and relaxed, I'm not sure why but I felt like I started living more once I got married...Probably because I'd been planning the damn thing for 1.5 years and could finally relax once it was over. On a more obvious note, our bond truly deepened when we made that commitment to one another and it became a lot easier to be vulnerable. 

What would you tell other brides-to-be right now? 

Have faith that everything will work out perfectly—even if it doesn't. As a bride-to-be, I placed so much pressure on myself to make everything perfect and look perfect. The truth is that nothing is ever perfect and you just have to go with the flow. You uncle might have a bit too much whiskey, your bridesmaid might wear yellow nail polish instead of a neutral, but that shouldn't take away from your experience. It's your day after all. 

Also, you're still you on your wedding day. I was frustrated that my wedding dress showed one of my tattoos, but I got that tattoo for a reason and I shouldn't try and hide it to fit some archaic bridal beauty standard. Do whatever feels true to you and trust your instinct above all else. 

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#wedwellbrides: Emily

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Find her on instagram, @itsapetitelife

What has planning your wedding been like?

Planning my wedding has been a dream come true. I’ve had this day planned for as long as I can remember so being able to now actually put my ideas together is the most incredible feeling. We’re only a few months into our engagement & have two years before the wedding but we want to be as organised as possible to hopefully keep the stress at bay & make it as enjoyable as possible. I’m not having a wedding planner as I feel I know enough & am capable to do it all myself with the help of my wonderful fiancé who has the same taste as I do, & my incredible bridal party. Saying that though, there’s so much more to think about than just flowers & candles. And as much as I would love to say “It’s all about the bride!” I’m starting to now realise that isn’t so true!

What's the biggest difference you've seen in your relationship since being engaged?

It’s funny because the morning after my now fiancé proposed, we woke up & both said that we automatically felt a shift in our relationship. Even when i’ve been in long term relationships before, there’s always been that every so slightly worrying thought of them finding someone else, however as soon as there’s a ring involved, there’s that sense of security & our relationship now feels completely settled & ready for the next chapter. 

What was going through your head during the proposal?

Kristian did an incredible job with the proposal! He took me to Paris for a long weekend & proposed to me the second night we were there whilst having a meal in the Eiffel Tower. I was so wrapped up in the fact that I was going to Paris that it never even occurred to me the reason why we were going. The Eiffel Tower lights up every hour on the hour from dusk till dawn, so at 8pm Kristian took me outside just as the light show had started & whilst he was making his speech, my mind (and heart) were racing. “Eiffel Tower, romantic meal, the lights, YES!” I couldn’t string full sentences together in my head.  But there certainly was no question of whether we were ready or not because of course we were. And I still smile thinking about it months after.

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