Shopping with the Groomsmen

This day was so exciting! From the very beginning I knew exactly what I wanted Tim and his groomsmen to look like dress wise. I had a vision that was so specific, but I seriously didn’t even know where to start. I’m one of those people that has a hard time putting into words what I’m looking for because I’m so visual. Before knowing who was going to dress the guys for this special day, I was starting to worry that I wasn’t going to find EXACTLY what I was looking for. And let’s be honest, I had never gone tux shopping with anyone before so I didn’t even know what to expect! Tim suggested going to Friar Tux from the beginning, but being a guy his reasoning was, “they’re close by”. Of course convenience is a plus, but I was also looking for more than just that. Now that shopping with the groomsmen has passed and the big day is almost here, here is why we went with Friar Tux for all of our needs and why we will never go anywhere else!

Personability

Being a bride alone is just plain stressful. There are so many decisions to make, and although a lot of them are fun, it can easily become overwhelming. When shopping for Tim’s look and his guys, it was important to me that the process be stress free and also have the process be personable. In order to grasp the idea of the big day, I wanted the stylist to be willing to sit and listen to my vision rather than just dressing them for any old wedding. During our appointment, it was so nice to be HEARD! Our stylist, Eric, made sure to ask important questions regarding color schemes, my vision, and also all of our requests. This made for a great first impression and immediately relieved my stress about it all.

Endless Options

I guess when I envisioned going tux shopping, I didn’t imagine having very many looks to choose from. If we’re being honest, I thought I would only have three to choose from. My naive brain told me tuxes were plain and simple! While waiting for our appointment (not long at all), I was shocked at how many tuxedo options there were to choose from. Lined along the wall as you will see in the photos below, your imagination can really go wild. My worry about not finding what I wanted immediately went away after browsing the store!

No Pressure

Tim’s first worry about this process was having to buy a tuxedo. I’m 100% the spender and he is the saver in this relationship, without a doubt. When I told him I wanted tuxedos to be the look and Black Tie to be our dress code, he panicked about the price. Guests shying away from buying one, his groomsmen not being able to get them, and the whole deal. After our appointment at Friar Tux, Tim was surprised to learn that there was no pressure to buy. Not only for him but for everyone! The rent option is so convenient for people who don’t want to fully commit to purchasing a tux. The main worry for people I think is buying a tuxedo and not having anywhere to wear it too, which I totally understand. So the rent option was a game changer for Tim and his groomsmen!

Convenience

Tim was right, convenience is pretty nice! But I’m not just talking about the location. Though on their website if you click HERE, they do have a store locator which is very helpful. Besides that, you can literally get the tux from anywhere— not just in the store! You can sit on the couch, do it on your phone, go in store, whatever you prefer. Besides the ordering process being a breeze, the pickup is fast too. As a bride, its one less thing to worry about for me since I know the groomsmen had the pick up date just the way they wanted it.

Sizing

Tim’s groomsmen sizes are literally all over the place. We have three who are super tall, some very short, and then in the middle. Not only different heights, but also different body sizes. When getting Tim fitted first for his tuxedo, we had to play around with some sizes. He has very long arms but a bit shorter (still super long) legs. So the standard size for Tim didn’t work. Thankfully Friar Tux takes this into consideration, and we had no problem mixing and matching his sizes to get the look perfect look. They took the time to make sure Tim was comfortable which was so nice!

So, if you couldn’t already tell, we fell in love and found our forever tux shop: Friar Tux! I’m so happy with how the looks turned out and I can’t wait to see them on the wedding day next to our bridesmaids. Not only that, but to see Tim just at this shopping day made me emotional! I’m pretty sure he’s supposed to cry when he sees me, but I already know I’m going to cry when I see him in just six weeks. Since I’m sure you are dying to see what the look is, without further ado, here is a sneak peak!

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Since only a few of his groomsmen were able to make it the same day as Tim, you’ll have to wait just a tad bit longer to see the whole group together! Friar Tux did an outstanding job and these looks really do pull together the whole bridal party for a very Spring black tie wedding. 45 days and counting…

Thank you to Friar Tux for sponsoring this post. All opinions and thoughts are 100% my own.

XO,

Danielle Alana

My Brunch & Bubbly Bridal Shower

I’m so excited to share all the details of this special day with you all! My bridal shower with my closest girlfriends was seriously a dream come true. I truly a girly girl at heart— I love all things pink, feminine, and anything to do with dessert or brunch. This theme fit me perfectly and my Maid of Honor’s really did an outstanding job. I created a Pinterest board with all of these detail photos and everything, so if you would like Pin inspiration on your Pinterest you can follow the board HERE. Just simply re-pin to your own board and save ideas for the future or for a friend. Other than that, everything that I could possibly link is located at the bottom of this biog post! Also before I get questions, the location of my bridal shower was at a family friends house so unfortunately you cannot rent this location. Enjoy these photos and if you use any of these ideas please tag me! I would love to see.

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Location: Family Friend’s House

Outfit: Dress | Heels | Necklace

Glam: Makeup Artist | Hair by Me

Photographer: Sydney Bliss Photography

Food: Dessert | Donuts | Bubbly Bar (store bought) | Brunch

Rentals: Tables | Chairs | Umbrellas

Arch: Made by Tim’s Dad for our wedding ceremony | Schlueter Sign

Decorations: Hanging Decor (family friends) | Bubbly Bar Sign | Balloons | Flowers

Games: Would She Rather | Bridal Bingo

If I forgot to link anything please feel free to comment and ask or send me a message on here, Instagram or email.

XO,

Danielle Alana


Two year blogiversary

Happy (late) Birthday, Danielle Alana! Wow. Two years old! Time seriously does fly when you are having fun. I started this blog not really knowing what would come of it, or how long I would do it for. Fast forward to now and it is definitely more than I could have ever imagined, and I mean EVER imagined. You see, I found out about bloggers through Pinterest. If you don’t already follow me on there, click HERE to follow. I always searched for outfit inspiration (and still do) to help pull together my outfits. I would either do general searches like “Spring outfits” or “fall looks”, or I would look more specifically. “Black boots outfit”, “white top look”, you get the point. But almost every time I looked regardless of what I typed in, I kept seeing the same faces popping up. At first I didn’t think anything of it but after a couple months of it I finally got curious. Are these just store models? Who are these girls? I either want to shop at the store or I want to shop these ladies closets! I always pinned the stuff I was looking up, but I never clicked on the links. Until one day…I did. And it didn’t take me to a weird site. It took me to a blog. A fashion blog, to be more exact. Who knows what I was doing that day, but after I realized I wanted to look around more I just went on my laptop and searched this site. I was on this blog for HOURS you guys. Hours. And the blog was The Sweetest Thing by Emily Gemma. I read everything, I shopped, I watched every video she has, and then I went over to Instagram. After that it was a game over. By the end of the week I was following her and at least 100 other people. FINALLY- the faces I had been seeing all over Pinterest, I was finally able to put names to them. I still remember this experience very vividly, because never in my entire life had I felt so inspired and so interested in something. After spending who knows how much time (probably an unhealthy amount), I asked myself this question. “I’m so in love with this blogging thing. I’m a girly girl— I love clothes, makeup, talking about hair and chatting lifestyle. What is stopping me from starting one of my own?…Nothing.” The next day I hired a web designer, and my blog Danielle Alana was born. The domain was bought and after 5 months of hard work, decision making, and creating my blog went LIVE, on March 7th, 2017.

It still makes my heart happy to share this story, even though blogging is absolutely NOTHING what I thought it would be. I started because I simply wanted to. Once I realized there was literally nothing in the way, there was then nothing to stop me. I will admit though— I was naive in the beginning. All I thought it entailed was taking photos in clothes, posing and writing. Ha! Here we are two years later and I can tell you its nothing close to that, and I’ve thought about quitting more than once. If you read my blog post yesterday, about what I’ve learned from blogging, you know what I’m talking about. But during the last couple of months I’ve had the biggest realization. Since this “ah ha!” moment, things have only gotten better. So let me tell you about it…

Starting last Fall, I began to feel so much pressure when it came to my Instagram and Danielle Alana. I’ve always been hard on myself, but I started getting even MORE hard and a little harsh. So much that I was kind of losing interest. One thing after another, things started to go down hill. I dreaded going to take pictures. I then hated every picture Tim took of me. None of blog posts or Instagram posts were good enough. In order to keep an engaged audience, I needed to be posting every single day, maybe even twice a day. I wasn’t even close to anywhere near that. My clothes all of a sudden were ugly and hideous. I started telling Tim that this wasn’t worth it anymore and that I hated doing this. It just wasn’t making me happy anymore. Come Christmas time, I pretty much took a two week hiatus from Instagram. I stopped it all— the photo taking, writing blog posts, even responding to emails. I took a step back and really reflected on what I was doing. Then it hit me… I had fallen into the comparison trap. Not just a “I need a pep talk” comparison. I was DEEP in it and it was going to take awhile for me to come out. After realizing what had happened to me, I asked myself three major questions. 1. What is the goal of my blog? What is the goal of Danielle Alana? 2. Why do I blog? What about this makes me happy? 3. Am I ok with being “different”?

Before I give you the answers to these questions, I want to say this. I started this blog at the age of 19 and I had no idea what I was doing. I just wanted to start a blog because I liked all things girly— clothes, makeup, hair stuff, lifestyle, like I said before. It was so me! All of the girls I followed did it, so why couldn’t I? I had no goal for this though. I was just going to try it out and see what happened. What I looked up to in the beginning of bloggers though was wrong reasoning. I saw the money and the lifestyles and just knew I wanted that. Again, read what I’ve learned from blogging to see my thoughts on that. After taking a step back from everything, these are the answers to my major questions that have now put everything into perspective.

1. What is the goal of my blog? What is the goal of Danielle Alana?

The goal of Danielle Alana is for woman EVERYWHERE to feel welcome, have a community, and feel inspired. I want Danielle Alana to be a space on social media and here where ladies can go for whatever they need. Recommendations on makeup, help finding a cute pair of shoes, learning about healthy living—anything from fashion, beauty or lifestyle. After a long day of work, I want ladies to feel they have a space to be inspired and have fun. Key word: have fun. At the end of the day, checking out my profile on Instagram and watching my stories is just fun, isn’t it? After we all go through the day to day things like work, errand running, chores, etc., it’s nice to unwind and relax. Most importantly though, I want everyone who follows along to remember I am a real human being just like them, and that Instagram is a total highlight reel. So at the end of the day, my goal for my blog and Danielle Alana is to inspire women and create community among all who love fashion, beauty, and lifestyle while interacting with one another, gaining ideas and also enjoying themselves!

2. Why do I blog? What about this makes me happy?

This question was the one that was making me struggle late last year. Because like I said earlier, I wanted to quit and I wasn’t happy. It was after asking myself this question that I realized what made me happy, and also what was making me unhappy. I was on a down hill spiral because I started playing the COMPARISON GAME. I can’t believe I just typed those words out. It took me forever to come to terms with it because I didn’t want to believe it, mostly because I was embarrassed since I had fallen into this terrible trap, and also because I told myself I never would… but it was too late. I was in the thickness of it. I’m pretty straight forward for the most part, so once I accepted it, I talked myself through it and was over within a day I feel like. Which leads me to my next question…

3. Am I ok with being “different”?

Pretty much every article I read, or podcast I listen to about blogging I feel has the same exact advice. “Make sure you're posting twice a day!”, “Just be yourself!”, “You need to be on all the time”, seriously over and over and OVER again. I have a problem with this advice though. You know why? Because some of it isn’t realistic. Posting twice a day? Hell, I’m lucky if I can get one post up a day. Why, you ask? Because I have a full-time job and blogging isn’t my full-time job. I wipe butts for a living and I go to work in athleisure wear with no makeup. The weekends are really my only time to snap a photo- and sometimes my weekends I just want to take to myself and relax! Or, normally, they’re just super fricken busy. Being on all the time— definitely not me. I’m a total introvert and if I’m not in the mood to chat or be on I just flat out won’t be. While I’m not on stories, I’m mostly just curled up in a ball being quiet! Being yourself, can also be difficult sometimes. Especially as a blogger. I have REALLY gotten a lot better at this and learned a “dgaf” attitude over the past couple of months, but social media is social media. Regardless of what tips and tricks you have, everyone at one point or another is going to feel social pressure to either try something new or act on something that isn’t like them. And in my opinion… that is just life. So am I ok with being “different”? By now you know when I say “different” I am talking about not following these blogging standards that people made up. Posting every single day, always following these strict guidelines that are the key to success, etc.. Yes, I am 100% ok with it. One question I can continue to ask my followers over and over again is “Do you like to see real life on here or pretty pictures and saturated things?”, and not once has the vote seeing pretty pictures and not real life won. I mean never. My polls are usually 2 votes for that, and a crazy ridiculous amount for real life. So every time I am proven by my followers, by you guys, that real life wins—always. I value what my followers have to say and I know that me and my tribe prefer realness over any other blogging “rules”. So this could mean for me, that it takes me way longer to go full-time with this. And money from my blog may not be flowing in as fast as I’d like it too. But I am OK with that. Because when it comes to my goal for blogging, it is to serve other women and to create community, not to be money hungry and serve myself.

I can’t tell you how good it feels to type all of this out in a blog post. I’ve been holding this bottled up for a few months now, and I’ve almost felt like I’ve given birth to a new me. I have a whole new perspective on blogging, what my goal is, and what brings me so much happiness through all of this. After losing my dad in February, I felt it even more then ever that life is just too short. You need to do what makes you happy, and you need to find purpose in your doing and give it all you got. To my lovely followers- thank you for accepting me for who I am and choosing to stick around. Here’s to always keeping it real and having fun!

XO,

Danielle Alana

What to wear to your bridal shower

Today is my bridal shower which means… the wedding is right around the corner! As of today we are a little less than 3 months away from the big day and we are SO ready. Even though our engagement is only 9 months, I am definitely getting so nervously excited to marry my best friend! With today being my shower I thought I would write a blog post sharing some of my bridal shower dress ideas. A lot of you ladies are also engaged so you probably have a ton of festivities coming up, whether it be your shower or a bachelorette party. And if you aren’t engaged— rest assure I linked some dresses for you guys to wear to your friend or family members shower.

To shop any of the dresses just click on the image and scroll through to see all of them. Happy shopping and happy Sunday friends! To see all the bridal shower details and the fun— head on over to my Instagram to watch stories.

Bride-to-Be Ideas

Bridal Shower Guest Ideas


I can’t link to Lulus for you guys, but that is also a GREAT option for dresses for bride-to-be or guest!

XO,

Danielle Alana

Our Wedding Registry | Part 1

OUR WEDDING REGISTRY! I am so excited for today’s blog post mostly because YOU are all so excited about it! A few weeks ago on stories I asked if you guys would be interested in two part blog post on our wedding registry. The first part would be sharing with you all the details! Where we registered, why we picked the stores we did, and every single thing we asked for PLUS things that are on our wish list that you can’t register for. Part two will be in the future (say around 3 months from the wedding, that’s the plan!) and I will be sharing everything we got from our registry, what we didn’t get from our registry, and then some pointers! I think (haha) we will use everything we registered for, but say we got something that we haven’t even touched, I’ll let you know in that blog post. But here we go, part one!

OUR WEDDING REGISTRY

WHERE DID WE REGISTER?

Crate & Barrel and Target

I’m so happy with our registry so far! Registering at both of these places was so easy and such a breeze. We wasted no time on setting ours up, literally no time. We got engaged Saturday, September 1st and went to do our registry the next day on the 2nd. Ha! We didn’t add everything that day, but we added a majority of stuff. I highly recommend going in person at least once with your honey and getting the handheld devices to add stuff! I thought I was clueless on what to add, but once you walk around you definitely see what you need and don’t need. I’ve never moved out and have nothing, and Tim’s stuff is either used or really old, so we needed pretty much EVERYTHING.

WHY DID WE CHOOSE THESE STORES?

I’ll answer the easier one first, which is Target. I mean do I need to explain? I’m obsessed with Target and have walked up and down the home and appliances aisles for years and just dreamed about the day where I could get certain things for my house. A vacuum, coffee maker, cute blankets, you name it and I was pretty much excited about it. I’d say the majority of our registry as you will see from Target is home stuff. I only did a few kitchen things from there, like an instant pot and our coffee maker because Target had the brands I wanted. Everything else is lifestyle and home needs. As for our second registry, Crate & Barrel, I was open to other places. I actually really wanted to register at Williams Sonoma because of how fancy and pretty there stuff is! But when we walked in, I was immediately turned off by the service we got and realized they didn’t have what we needed. I’ve only ever browsed until I went to seriously register, and then just noticed I didn’t like anything and wasn't familiar with it. Crate & Barrel was our second option, and when we walked in that store it was a whole different vibe! Amazing customer service, we got our device to start adding things to our registry, and everything popped out to us. Oh we need this, and that, I like that brand, etc. In Williams we were just confused!

WHAT ELSE DID YOU “REGISTER” FOR?

Honeymoon Fund, New Home Fund & Misc.

We are doing our wedding website through The Knot, and they had the option to add multiple funds. We are incredibly lucky, so all we need to pay for is our food and activities on our honeymoon. So we’ll take all the help we can get on that! Another option was a New Home Fund. Tim and I are hoping to buy next Spring, so any little bit helps in this area too. Some other things that are on our wish list (I call it that since we aren’t registered for them) are these things:

Amazon Prime Subscription

Hulu Account

Food Service (ie. Hello Fresh, Blue Apron)

Netflix

Tools for Him (tool kit)

Yard Tools (lawn mower, rake, etc.)

We actually have Netflix already, but those are ideas! These are useful gifts from people since they can sign up, put it under our names, and pay for it for a year (like Hulu) or 6 months (like the food services). I had a couple wedding guests ask me if I had things on my wish list that I couldn’t register for and I thought these were great ideas! We also aren’t registered for tools and such since Tim has them! Let me know if you have any others in the comments below.

SHOW US YOUR REGISTRY!

Without further ado, here it is!

TARGET

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CRATE & BARREL

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When we first did our registry Tim thought I was adding way too much. If you or your future spouse is the same way, here is my take on it. This is a once in a lifetime thing! You will never have a wedding registry again. Of course people can buy random gifts, but when will it be appropriate to ask someone to buy you all your pots and pans? Your blender? Or your knife set? Never really. This is an exciting time— you’re getting married! So take advantage and get everything you need. After weddings for some comes babies, and then it isn’t about you anymore. So have fun and get what you need! And don’t fret about the stuff that you don't use for awhile, because at least you have it for the future right?

A lot of you engaged ladies wanted to see this blog post, so I hope this helps! Like I said in the beginning of the post, I will be doing a follow up Our Registry blog post around September sharing with you the after math. Gifts we didn’t get, if we had to buy anything on our own, what we love, what we wish we did differently maybe—everything & anything. If you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to comment or DM, I’m always here for ya!

XO,

Danielle Alana