Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Our Engagement Photos

White Maxi Dress (comes in 7 colors here) // Lavendar Maxi Skirt // White Crop Top // White Button Down // Blue Button Down // Jeans // Khakis 

If you follow me on Instagram, then you may have seen that we took our engagement photos last week! So today, I will be sharing them with you! 

We got engaged in December (you can read how/where we got engaged here), so I wanted to wait until Spring when the weather was warmer to take our photos. We originally planned to take our photos the weekend of April 7-9th in Charleston, however, Shane got really sick a few days before that weekend and we ended up having to postpone. We rescheduled for a different location closer to home for logistics reasons, and of course it rained I was slightly panicking when 3:30 PM rolled around and the skies were still gray, and the rain was still falling. However, god must have been on my side this day because about two hours before our scheduled shoot time, the skies opened up, the sun came out, and the light was so dreamy y'all! 

Anyway, when we first started planning and deciding on vendors I knew pictures were single handedly the most important thing to me. The way I see it, at the end of the day the only tangible thing left from an engagment and wedding, are the photos. I love bright, vibrant, airy pictures, so my quest for the perfect photographer came down to two very similar photographers and we ended up landing with the amazing Jessi Nichols of Jessi Nichols Photography. It was also really important to me to have a photographer I could connect with! While Jessi and I had crossed paths in Clemson, we didn't actually know each other outside of social media. However, I had read many of her blog posts and Instagram captions and knew I loved her already (insert heart eyes emoji). Isn't it funny how you feel like you already know someone based off of their online presence?! In short, we love her. 

I wanted a backdrop similar to what we originally planned in Charleston, so I researched a few hashtags that pulled up different wedding photographers photos and took a look at the locations they tagged in our area. I kept coming across pictures taken at "The Ivy Place" and loved every single one of them. So, we decided that would be our new location! We also had friends who did their engagement session there, which was the perfect affirmation that it would be sure to impress! 

In terms of outfits, I wanted to know where we were taking our pictures prior to planning what to wear. With that being said, I felt like our new location was perfect for a more casual look. And honestly, that's our personality anyways. It was important to me that we tried to wear light colored solids as I felt like that looked better together, and created less "clashing." And ofcourse, I wanted to wear white for one of our looks. 

Okay so this was way longer than I anticipated it to be, but I hope you enjoy them and can't wait to hear what you think. Thanks for reading! 


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Crochet Peplum Top

Selwyn and Myers Park are some of the prettiest neighborhoods in Charlotte! Shane and I always enjoy driving around Queens Road and looking at the giant homes. We can dream, right?! Anyway, that's where these pictures were taken! A few of you were asking on Instagram, so I figured I'd include it in todays post. 

I'm a sucker for neutrals because they're easy and timeless. So when I came across this top online at Nordstrom, I knew it would pair perfectly with white jeans or shorts. Although it's only April, it's pretty hot in North Carolina, so light and airy clothing are a necessity. This top is just that, and I love that it still adds texture with the crochetwork and ruffled hem! It fits TTS (I'm wearing a small) and is only $70! My shorts are only $60 and come in a few colors! I like these because they're slighlty high-waisted, and the frayed spots lend the perfect worn look.

I unexpectedly had to start looking for a new car this week. At first I felt overwhelmed by the thought of that, but I forgot how fun car buying can actually be when you find something you really like! 


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Blush Ruffled Dress

Good Morning and TGIF! This has been the longest week of all time, am I right? We are headed to Miami this morning, and rumor has it that Justin Bieber is staying at our hotel! Oh heyyy, biebs (insert waving hand emoji). 

I love this sweet ruffled dress because it combines all of my favorite trends for spring in one outfit! Ruffles, blush, an open-back... and it has little hooks in the front, so cute! I don't know why, but this dress reminds me of a butterfly, is that weird? Anyway, I paired it with my Marc Fisher wedges but you could easily do a heel, or cute flats if you wanted to dress it down. I also really love how turqouise looks with blush, if you haven't noticed - you'll see me wearing turqouise accesories all summer long. My favorite pieces are by Julie Vos, her jewels are middle of the road in pricing, and great quality! So if you're not quite ready to splurge on a Yurman piece, I highly reccommend checking her site out here

I hope ya'll have a great weekend! Stay tuned for potential Bieber sitings during our Miami trip on Instagram, xoxo. 


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Planning Resources

 Rachel Allan dress // Earrings // Clutch // Jeffrey Campbell Heels, sold out similar here

Wedding season is upon us! Today I will be starting a new wedding series. Wether you're newly engaged, or in the midst of planning that big day, planning an event of this size and magnitude can be stressful. I will be sharing a few tips and tricks on different parts of the planning process that have really helped ease the stress and made this an exciting process for us!

  • First things, first. The budget. I had no idea what "reasonable" was for anything, and I didn't know where to start with allocating funds towards each category. WeddingWire provides a "planning tools" tab that hosts a "budget" option from the drop down menu. Here you can enter what your total budget is, and the site automatically disperses it into each category for you. This was a dream! I finally felt like I had some sort of idea on how much we should be spending on each vendor. The site breaks down the budget into 4 categories: estimated cost, actual cost, amount paid, and amount due. This helps me keep track of wether we are over or under budget, and how much we still owe after our initial deposits. I also knew my grandmother was paying for my dress, so I took that category out of our budget and it automatically redispersed those planned expenditures into the other remaining categories. 
  • After we got engaged, we couldn't wait to check out venues. We knew we wanted to get married in Charleston, but were clueless on the available options. This is where WeddingWire really became helpful. WW has a "venues" tab that allows you to find vendors in your preferred location. I love this feature because it provided real reviews on the venue, and ranked each venue out of 5 stars based off the reviews. It also allowed me to see pictures of each venue, and message the vendor directly for pricing information, questions and scheduling tours. 
  • After finalizing our venue and date, we started researching other vendors. Next on my list was photography. Just like the "venue" tab on WW, the "vendor" tab allows you to select photography and your desired location from a drop down menu, complete with ratings and reviews from hundreds of photographers in the area. We opted to pick a photographer outside of our venue location, and were able to search that too.
  • What's next? I had my venue and my photographer, the obvious to do's. But, I wasn't sure what to work on next. Halppp! I went back to the "planning tools" drop down tab, and saw a "check list" option. Hallelujah! This gave me a check list complete with timeline by month and exact day within that month. As time goes by, you can check off what you have completed and what you have left to do, and it even tells you if you're overdue. Preciate the accountability, WW!
  • Now that some of the major details were ironed out, it was time to create our wedding website. This is a great resource for guests to refer too. They have tons of wesbite themes by different designers to choose from, and even an option for matching invitations! 
  • Tips: If you're like me, and always on the go, WeddingWire also has an app you can download, that will help you keep track of things when you're not at a desktop. If you're not quite sure what kind of dress you want, or what color scheme you like, theres a category for that too! I love that everything is sourced from real experts, engaged couples, married couples, and weddings! There's a category for everything, so make sure to spend some time perusing the site! 

I feel like this is stating the obvious, but if you have room in your budget - I highly reccommend a wedding planner. When we first got engaged, I actually asked my readers for advice on planning a wedding and the number one piece of advice I got back, was booking a planner. Our venue actually required at minimum, a part time planner, so we decided to choose Candice Lorraine from Ooh! Events. You can also use WeddingWire to locate a planner! See the "Wedding Planning" tab for a list of options - including Ooh!.  I cannot rave about Candice enough, ya'll! Talk about a serious planning resource. Candice manages the team of planners at Ooh! and has quite a few years of planning experience under her belt. What I love most about her, is that she truly loves her job and it's noticeable. Talk about a breath of fresh air! A planner can help you budget, provide reccommendations for vendors they have had good and bad experiences with, schedule meetings for you, help with seating charts and ideas, give you floral inspiration, provide rentals etc. The resources are endless! Most planners will also provide the option for full service, partial service, or day of coordination. So if you are like me, and actually enjoy the creative side to planning an event, hiring a partial planner is perfect for bringing your vision together and executing it! 

This post is in partnership with WeddingWire. All thoughts, writing, and opinions are my own. 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Five Best Places To Eat In Charlotte

Good morning and happy Sunday, everyone! Today I want to talk about my five favorite places to eat in Charlotte. I'm a big foodie and going out to eat is one of my favorite things to do, especially if we are trying somewhere new. Narrowing it down to five was not easy, because there are a ton of great places to eat in Charlotte, but here are my top picks and why!

1. The Cellar at Duckworths // I get excited just thinking about The Cellar! This is hands down my favorite dinner spot in the city. The Cellar is a 1920's inspired speak-easy restauraunt that's known for their hand crafted cocktails and gastropub fare. It's located underground and features it's original brick walls and exposed ceiling joists for the perfect prohibition era feel. You must try the Red Rum cocktail, Truffle Mac & Cheese, and the Carmelized Brussel Sprouts! They're also well known for having the best Filet in Charlotte.

2. Good Food on Montford // GFOM is a household favorite for us. We eat here at least once a month! This small, yet inviting space has the perfect ambiance for date night and complements the tapas style menu perfectly. The food really is good, too! The menu changes seasonally and uses only local and organic products. Some of our year round favorites include the Garganelli, Pork Carnitas, Steamed Bun, and the brownie is a must for desert! 

3. O-ku // New to Charlotte, O-ku presents authentic asian cuisine with a southern flare.  We love this place. Our first experience was at their Charleston location, and we were so excited to see them come to Charlotte! The atmosphere is super trendy and "alive" and provides the perfect precursor to a night on the town. My favorite things on the menu include the Sugar and Spice cocktail, Potato Roll, Edamame with Spiced Chili glaze, and the Yellowtail Carpaccio. 

4.  Soul Gastrolounge // Similar to The Cellar, Soul Gastrolounge embodies that laid back speakeasy feel. Another tapas style restauraunt, Soul is known for their sushi and eclectic cocktails. Our favorite thing on the menu is hands down the Asian Glazed Pork Belly Tacos! These are to die for and come with a chunk of watermelon on top. Also reccommended are the Shells & Cheese, and the Sushi Fondue Roll. 

5. Amelies French Bakery // This is a tough spot to fill. I have always had a sweet spot for french bakeries and pastries. I grew up going to Switzerland where the french bakeries were abundant, so it's tough to find anything comparable in Charlotte. However, Amelies comes close. I love that you can sit on the patio when the weather is nice, and the food is great! My favorite thing on the menu is the Ham & Gruyere Tartine. This comes toasted on a traditional french baguette. We also like the breakfast croissants, and their summer salads. 

Ironically, we are off to brunch this morning! I hope everyone has a great Sunday funday! 


Friday, April 7, 2017

Chambray Romper

Chambray Romper // Sancho Hat // Block Heels // Louis Vuitton Handbag similar here // Earrings // Watch // Link Bracelet // NARS lipstick in "Anita" // BareMinerals Gloss in "Hot Shot"

Happy Friday! What a day it has been. Shane started feeling ill earlier this week, which is completely unusual as in four years time he's been sick for maybe a total of five hours. Initially we thought it was the flu and it would blow over in 48 hours, but when 48 hours came and went and he was only deteriorating we went to the doctors. So, after an entire's day worth of blood tests and doctors visits, we still won't know what's going on until Monday. So please say a little prayer for him this weekend!

Anyway, I've been on a romper kick lately and I cannot get enough of this one! Rompers are just easy, you don't need to worry about finding a top or bottom to go with each other, you just throw it on and go. I also really appreciate the quality of this one, it's a little pricier for that reason but the fabric is soft, thick and comfortable. I'm also really loving it paired with these new Dolce Vita sandals! They come in three colors and I really want the sand option next!

What's everyone doing this weekend? We were supposed to be wedding planning in Charleston but in light of how Shane's feeling, we will be post poning our trip and taking it easy at home.



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