Watters: Real Bridesmaids

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Watters. The opinions and text are all mine.

I’d like to dedicate this post to my beautiful bridesmaids. There isn’t anything I wouldn’t do for these girls, and they made me feel the same throughout all of my planning, bachelorette party, and wedding day.

 All photos by  Brant Smith Photography

It was so magical seeing all of them in their Watters bridesmaids dresses! The color palette was even more stunning when they were together. After everyone had their dresses on, they surprised me with a gift…

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Throughout the day, they had been documenting me getting ready with a Fujifilm instant camera. They had created this book ahead of time filled with their letters to me about our friendships together. All morning, they were sneakily taping the photos they were taking into this book… including a photo they had taken of my mother, my sister, and me not even 5 minutes prior to handing me this gift! I can’t believe how much thought they put into everything! I will forever be grateful… and so begins my letters to them.

 Wearing  Lottie

Wearing Lottie

Dear Kat,

My wonderful maid of honor! I’ve always said and will say again how great you are at handling the everyday things. You have the most common sense and practicality out of everyone I know. Even though I helped you with academics throughout college, you helped me with things a young adult should have already known, like how to boil an egg or fold clothes!

Living with you during college was the reason I laughed the hardest throughout those years. You’re so silly, and we clicked so easily! That’s probably why I was so excited to live with you yet again when we were in our late twenties!

You will always be a friend I will cherish throughout life. Thank you for taking on the stress and challenges of being my maid of honor, even though you had to help with a ton of other weddings, showers, birthdays, family matters, and more. You are superwoman, and I hope I can do as much for you that you have done for me! Roomies for life!

 Wearing  Summer

Wearing Summer

Dear Angela,

My baby sister! We’re finally both married women! I loved being part of your special day, and I’m glad you were able to be part of mine. Thank you SO much for taking care of the family side of things, fighting some of my battles, and listening to me vent. You always reassure me when I only have criticism for myself, and you keep me sane! I could not have done it without you.

Even though I’m the older one, I feel like you’ve lived a lot more life than me, and I applaud how you handle every situation that’s been thrown at you. Thank you for being so generous, kind, and thoughtful to me.

I’m lucky to be able to tell people that I’m actually close to my sister, and that we’re just alike when it comes to the core. I can’t wait until Ashton has a little cousin to play with, and we start our own family traditions together.

 Wearing  Aldridge

Wearing Aldridge

Dear Jean,

My fellow crazy cat lady! Thank you for coming along on this journey with me! I know you had to sometimes step out of your comfort zone for me, and I truly felt special that you would do that for me.

Even though we don’t see each other a ton, and we lived relatively far from each other all the time, I love that you make time for me when you can. You’re one of the most down-to-earth, candid, no BS girls I know. Not to mention you have impeccable taste in music, art, fashion, and books. Thank you for randomly surprising me with books, photos, and inspiration!

Few people have influenced me in life, but having you as my friend definitely steered my towards certain taste and aesthetics over the years. I’m so glad to have you in my friends circle.

 Wearing  Deni

Wearing Deni

Dear Jen,

It was so funny how we discovered how alike we were in college! There were so many situations where I felt alone until I talked to you. I appreciate how honest you are and how you go to such great lengths to be a good friend. Because of you, I’ve learned to say yes to more social situations LOL.

Even though you and I have lived in different cities, it never felt like you were far. Like even now, when you’re in Austin! We always pick up where we left off whether it’s through text or in person, and that doesn’t come easily to me!

I love that you have a huge heart, think to put others first, and are always there when I need advice. You are someone who shows friendship with action and not just words, which is something that can be so rare these days.

I’m so lucky to have you as my friend and as a bridesmaid! I can’t wait to see you again in January!

 Wearing  209

Wearing 209

Dear Marie,

My History Day, MST Day, multimedia capstone, piano, travel, and everything partner! Wow, we’ve been through SO much together!

I know I mentioned this before when I asked you to be my bridesmaid, but it’s so amazing how close we were when we were younger, drifted apart in college, yet still found our way back into each other’s lives. And now, we’re closer than ever! ……….’Til death do us part ;)

Thank you for being down to be my bridesmaid and to always hang out with me, be creative with me, and inspire me! You are crazy talented and push me to be better in so many ways! As a left-brained person who loves creativity, I find it to so fun and refreshing to be around an actual right-brained person.

You’re such a great friend and an independent and driven person. I can’t wait to see where your future takes you, and I will always be there to cheer you on!

 Wearing  Fiona

Wearing Fiona

Dear Sandra,

My wonderfully talented, outgoing, bubbly, and hilarious friend! You’ve always been so easy to talk to, and I’m so glad to have gotten close to you throughout college.

I love how you always make the effort to get people together or make everyone feel special, whether it’s a birthday, engagement, or any other celebration. You selflessly pour a ton of heart and energy into others, including me, and I don’t know how to repay you!

Thank you for being my bridesmaid, making “special” cookies for my bachelorette, and making time for me when I visited California!

I miss you and selfishly hope that you’ll be back in Texas for good so I can see you more often again! I’m so excited for your special day too, and I hope I can help you as much as you helped me!

 

Thank you again to Watters for having my girls’ backs like they had mine! They were the perfect dresses for the perfect bridal party.

watters

Zenni: Stylish & Affordable Eyeglasses

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Zenni. The opinions and text are all mine.

I don’t know about you guys, but my optometrist visits are in late November/December. Yep, right around the holidays. And once in awhile, I like to splurge on some eyeglasses! It used to put a dent in my wallet too… but now, I’m so glad I’ve discovered Zenni! Their eyeglasses are some of the most affordable I’ve come across, AND they’re super stylish!

 Wearing  Laze 158125

Wearing Laze 158125

Ordering from Zenni was so easy, especially since they have a Try On Tool! For my first frames, I got the tortoiseshell Laze. I’ve had a similar frame shape before and wanted to go with something more familiar, but I thought I’d branch out and actually get a pattern on the tips. It went perfectly with one of my cozy fall outfits!

For my second pair of glasses, I went with a shape I had never tried before… square! I LOVE this style so much!

I absolutely love the gold rims and matte black wire detail on the brow! It adds that bit of sharpness to outfits! Not to mention, they’re super comfortable! If you’re looking for your next pair of glasses, I highly recommend heading to Zenni for stylish, affordable, and high-quality eyewear.

Zenni

Lessons Learned From Our Wedding

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of WeddingWire. The opinions and text are all mine.

 All photography by  Brant Smith

All photography by Brant Smith

Wow! It’s been almost a month since our wedding, and I feel like a whole new woman. The stress disappeared instantly, and it was all worth it. Not worth doing again, but totally worth it this one and only time. Here are the top 5 lessons I’ve learned from wedding planning.

1. Delegate/Ask for Help

This one seems like a no-brainer. But as a Type A personality, it was hard to let things go. And that was because I thought I had it all figured out! I had planned 75% of my wedding within 3 months, so I had the mentality of, “Duh, I got this.” I was even ahead in my WeddingWire monthly checklist (heck yeah)!

But unexpected things pop up. Parents want to invite 50 more guests. Wedding favors didn’t turn out the way you thought they would. You have too much on your plate to run errands after work. I thought I could provide all the answers, but it turned out Brian and our friends were saviors. Brian was at the front lines dealing with parents’ requests, my creative friend Vivian of Lefty Design volunteered to make us last-minute wedding favors, and, once again, Brian stepped up to purchase all of the alcohol and miscellaneous supplies for the wedding. These tremendously helped me in the last month of the wedding when I was breaking out in stress acne and cried more than I had cried the entire year!

2. Expect the Unexpected

You can’t expect everything to go right at your wedding. I came to terms with that the morning of. I let EVERY expectation go. And I had never felt more calm.

On my way to the venue, Brian called from a friend’s phone to tell me he lost his phone… Okay, no problem. We came up with a game plan for communicating with family.

Our guests drank all of the Hennessy, Jameson, and white wine during cocktail hour, despite us researching alcohol quantities on WeddingWire’s forums and our bartender and coordinator giving us their estimated amounts. Our coordinator said, “I’ve never seen this before.” So proud of our friends, ha! Brian made the call on how much more liquor to buy because the bartenders were willing to go on a liquor store run. Crisis averted.

One of our friends got laid out flat during my bouquet toss! I had to walk over fire ant hills during my ceremony (“as long as you keep moving, they won’t get you”). I went to change in my bridal room and saw a random girl sleeping in a chair. I went again for another outfit change and a GROOMSMAN was sleeping in the room!

I was just going with the flow, so it was all simply amusing! I’m so glad I faced the day with that attitude instead of wanting everything to go 100% smoothly. All of these were so unexpected but made our day SO memorable and a million times more beautiful.

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3. Everything Will Work Out

I was talking to someone about my wedding worries, such as details being forgotten (plates, napkins, cutlery, etc.), but they told me that everyone is so willing to help out that I wouldn’t even need to worry about it. Her example was that they forgot to get plates for the cake at their wedding, but a cousin volunteered to go buy some before she even realized there weren’t any plates! Just like the alcohol example in #2, we didn’t even think of the possibility of running out of THE MOST important liquor (Asians love that Henneyyyy) by cocktail hour. But our coordinator notified us right away, and we were able to get more! Just don’t even stress yourself out thinking of worst case scenarios because things will sort themselves out!

4. Spend on What Matters to Both of You

Everyone has their opinion on what weddings should include. Fancy menus. Elaborate seating charts. Videographer. What was most important to us was good food and good alcohol to keep our guests happy! I didn’t spend much on decor at ALL because we wanted a simple venue that was beautiful in itself from the get-go. Floral was a little more expensive but that was to make up for the lack of extra decor.

We didn’t spend a ton on invitations or save the dates either. I’m lucky that I know Photoshop and have design skills to create my own, but this was in addition to us not caring about fancy stationery. We also researched fancy cake ideas on WeddingWire, but we ended up going with something that was truly us: berry Chantilly cake!

I also didn’t care to come up with ideas and material for a seating chart and opted to go with ushers instead. To be honest, I don’t know if they got my list of table seating at all, but everyone was able to find their seats! Another example of “don’t worry too much because everything will sort itself out.”

5. You WILL Go Over Budget

I asked our main vendors for estimates such as food, floral, and alcohol, but you never know until get closer to that final guest count! And we dropped a pretty penny on more alcohol because of our Hennessy debacle. But also, small things really add up. I’m a spreadsheet type of planner, and I still didn’t think to add in menu stands for each table, last minute ideas such as customized coffee sleeves, our last minute wedding favors, the extra hair stylist we needed, and our personal sign-in table decor. You truly can’t think of everything in the beginning phase of planning! So yes, do plan to go over your original budget!

Thank you for reading and following along on our wedding journey! A huge thanks to all of our vendors for making our day so easy. And another huge thank you to WeddingWire for being my resource for the past YEAR!

Here is a beautiful sneak peek of our wedding day by Thy Ngo!

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Coordinator: Love + Sparrows
Floral & Design: Love + Sparrows
Venue: The Venue at Waterstone
Hair & Makeup: AKP Artistry
Hair pieces: Maggie Wu Studio
Wedding Dress: Mockingbird BridalCristiano Lucci
Bridesmaids Dresses: Watters
Suits: The Black Tux
Photography: Brant Smith
Videography: Thy Ngo
DJ: RLF Society
Catering: Andy’s Catering