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


Wedding Diary #2 | Halfway There

Wedding Diary #2 coming in hot! When I wrote my first wedding diary pretty much immediately after getting engaged, I was SO ahead of the game. I felt confident, ready, and super prepared for pretty much everything. Well, that was 3-4 months ago at this point and I can tell you right now I am feeling the COMPLETE opposite. I feel really stressed, behind, and worried. Here is an updated checklist and a side by side comparison to Wedding Diary #1 update.

Wedding Diary #1 Checklist, September 2018

Wedding Diary #1 Checklist, September 2018

Wedding Diary #2 Checklist, January 2019

Wedding Diary #2 Checklist, January 2019

to purchase this spreadsheet, click here.

Ok, not side by side photos. You’d think if I have a blog that I’d be pretty tech savvy but it’s actually the complete opposite! Anyways, the first checklist is what I had crossed off this list back in September, literally 19 days after being engaged. You can read my first Wedding Diary here. The second one is my most recent checklist as of now, January 2019. It’s probably just me (since I’m such a huge planner) but I feel like I’ve BARELY got anything done since the last time I updated you guys! Hence why I feel really stressed out and also worried. Here’s the thing: holidays are great and all but not when you’re in the midst of wedding planning! All the festivities completely through me off my wedding planning train and now I’m just trying to get back up to speed. But for a type A personality girl, it feels like the end of the world!

Ok, ok. I can’t be that hard on myself, I know! Everyone deserves to celebrate the holidays and relax no matter what is going on. With that being said, I will give you updates on what has been crossed off the list since we chatted last about all things wedding.

Save the Dates

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Our Save the Dates are out! In case you missed it, I shared our cards in this blog post here, explaining the company we went with, and of course what they look like! Minus a few hiccups with getting those out, aka sending some to the wrong addresses, I was relieved to get those sent to all our family and friends. Which brings me to my next thing we crossed off which was…

Engagement Photos

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I was SO excited to finally get these crossed off, mostly because I just wanted to see what they looked like and show them off! Our wedding photographer, Dakai Reyes, BLEW us away with how incredible these photos turned out. It made me even more excited about the wedding since (to me) the photos are the biggest deal! Aside from of course getting married to Tim ;) Also side note: Dakai and I are NOT related, we just happen to have the same last name! I will be sharing a majority of our engagement photos on my upcoming blog post about Pre-Marital counseling, so stay tuned for that— but until then, here is a little peak!

Wedding Invitations

Along with Save the Dates and engagement photos comes wedding invites! I got a little ahead of myself, invites have not been sent out yet. BUT, the order is placed and I’m waiting patiently with our customized stamps ready to go and get them out. You’ll notice on the checklist that it says 2 months before, but we are sending out invites (hopefully, depending on when they get here) the first week of February so it’ll be 4 months ahead. With our venue, we need final numbers almost a month before the wedding, and you know there are always people who send the RSVPS in late so we need plenty of time to do all the logistics.

Hair & Makeup

Besides dress shopping, the engagement party, and basically everything else this has been probably my favorite part so far! My Makeup Artist is booked for the big day and after 2 trials we got the perfect look down. I shared it on my Instagram stories back in November I believe and I got SO MANY compliments. I was overwhelmed with how many replies I was getting to my stories, which just reassured me even more that the look was perfect for the wedding. As far as hair goes, my girls are booked! In two weeks Tim and I are taking a road trip to Arizona for my hair trial! If you’re on Instagram as much as me, you’ve probably seen a ton of this salon. Two lovely ladies from Habit Salon will be flying down for the wedding and I’m so stoked! I booked them before getting a trial because let’s be real… the work is amazing, I don’t need proof! But I’ll be doing a trial just to play around and finalize the style I want.

The Wedding Dress

I’m not going to go into a ton of detail because I’ve talked a lot about this already! I got my wedding dress and it should be here in less than a month. February we will start alterations and I get to try it on again which makes me smile from ear to ear! I’ve never felt more special in this dress you guys, you have no idea. I’ve been tempted more then a few times to post a picture of it but I know that is so bad. Instead I stare at it every night and just get excited! If you want to see and get an idea though, head over to this blog post to see what I look like in a wedding dress! Also, all of my bridesmaids officially have there dresses after going and trying them on so that is one more thing crossed off the list!

Rehearsal Dinner

It’s going to be a big one! As most of you know, our bridal party including flower girls and ring bears is quite large. We’re at over 30 people which means more at the rehearsal dinner! We got this set and booked at our venue the night before and invitations for this have also been ordered. I’ll be sending these out in April/May and they are literally just waiting in a box to be delivered, ha! Mexican food is my comfort food and also my favorite, so we’ll be having a fiesta the night before to get ready for the big day.

I definitely didn’t touch on everything that has happened since my last diary, but I wanted to make sure I touched on the important stuff that has since been planned. The point of these diaries was to keep you all updated on the wedding process, how things have been going so far, and also as something to look back on for me that will forever be here on my blog. Since our engagement is a total of 9 months, I’m rounding up 4 posts and it is hard to believe that this is my second one. In other words, this means I’m halfway done! Which also means, we’re halfway to the wedding. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again- I’ve been dreaming of this day for a long time. Now it’s here and happening. No more wondering on who I’m going to marry— it’s Tim! And wedding details, no more wondering and worrying because it’s being planned and it’s also happening! In the midst of being stressed and worried throughout all of this, I try to remember these little details and how I really am going to miss this so much. So if you’re engaged or about to be married, my tip for you is soak it in- the good and the bad! It’ll be over before you know it. So cliche, but after hearing it a million times I finally understand it.

Another wedding diary will be coming around March or April, so stay tuned! Until then you can follow me on Instagram here and be on the lookout for updates.

XO,

Danielle Alana

Our Save the Dates

Ah! I can’t believe it. The time has finally come. Our Save the Dates have been sent out and friends and family are receiving them. It’s so exciting to get pictures from people and sharing the excitement with everyone we love. It makes it real now that everyone is (sort of officially) invited! No turning back now ;) Of course though, I wanted to keep all of you updated on this since these play such a big part in the day of! I’m giving you all the information in today’s post including the company I decided to go with and why! Without further ado, here they are…

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Aren’t they just so pretty?! I’m SO happy with how they turned out. Like I mentioned in my first wedding planning blog post (if you missed it click HERE), our wedding colors are very Spring! All the pinks, blushes, golds, which is my favorite. I’ve wanted a Spring wedding from the start because those are just my favorite colors since they’re all so light, bright and happy! Our Save the Dates reflect the gold wording which is the extra touch I was looking for. I’m the type of girl that’s been planning her wedding from a very age young, so of course before we got engaged I REALLY started looking at things, not just pinning them. And by that I mean really focusing on brands. I knew the look I was going for for invitations so I actually started comparing prices and seeing what was out there that was similar to my style. It came down to Basic Invite and I had chosen everything before we even got engaged, ha! So when they reached out to me saying they wanted to collaborate, I sent them the LONGEST email ever about how much I loved them and how I was already planning on using them. It was seriously the greatest day ever when this happened, ha! Aside from getting engaged of course. ;)

Now to break down and get into specifics on WHY I chose them. The number one thing I was searching for was a variety of colors for invitations that came with a good price. A lot of the invitations that I liked only had a few colors to choose from, and none of them met my needs for being exactly what I wanted. The second thing I was looking for was also price. Our guest list is quite large (we’re at over 200 guests if you can see the stack of those envelopes!) so I knew my order was going to be big to begin with but I didn’t want the numbers to be big. Basic Invite met all these requirements and even more, like these:

Custom Samples

I’ve ordered 3 cute wedding invitation samples so far just to make sure I’m getting it right. I’m exploring all the colors as well as all the add-ons, wording I’m using, etc. The samples are a VERY decent price so I’ve been able to try anything and everything.

Over 40 different colors of envelopes

I’m sticking with plain white, but I thought I would highlight this for you guys. If you want to choose a different envelope color other then white, they have a ton. This would be great for someone trying to mix in multiple different colors or going outside the box!

Over 900 Wedding Invitation Sets

I was on Basic Invite for no joke 2 hours when I first started looking. I was browsing through a TON (900 to be exact) of wedding sets because there was just so. many. options.

Free Address Collection Service

This played a HUGE PART into why I chose Basic Invite. Since our guest list is big, I was dreading writing down so many addresses. And Tim doesn’t have good hand writing (sorry honey) so I knew it would be all on me. I spent just an hour entering in the addresses to my guest book on Basic Invite which were saved to my account and then when it came time to order I just hit “select all” and was able to have them all nicely printed and I didn’t have to pay a PENNY for it.

If this blog post didn’t sell you on using Basic Invite then maybe this will: customer service. I’m a very visual person, hence why I’ve ordered multiple wedding invite samples. Every time I hopped online a member would be available to chat and I loved having that. At this point I know all of them by name and I think they recognize me too! All my questions have been answered which is what I need, and I need details!

We will be sending our super cute wedding invitations in February which means we’re about two months away from ordering those! Basic Invite has so far been a dream to use and it makes me even happier that they wanted to work with me! If you have any questions or anything that I didn’t touch on— please let me know. Until then, early 2019 I will be revealing our invitations!

Thank you to Basic Invite for sponsoring today’s post.

XO,

Danielle Alana

Wedding Dress Shopping with Essense of Australia

Ugh, what a dream! I’m so excited to share today’s blog post with you guys because it's all about, WEDDING DRESS SHOPPING! Two weeks ago, Sydney and I drove up to Upland to check out Deborah’s Bridal and try on some wedding dresses by Essense of Australia. First of all, I can’t believe the time has finally come! I’ve walked past countless amounts of stores and day dreamed about the day when it would finally be my turn. Now, we’re eight months away and the countdown has begun! I tried on a handful of STUNNING Essense gowns, that I’m going to show you today and I’m so excited to see which dress style is your favorite. I tried on everything from long sleeve, to ballgown, to mermaid style. Deborah’s staff pushed me to step out of my comfort zone and really embrace the feeling of being a true bride. I tried on styles that I never would have if I would have gone on my own, and they made sure to make me look picture perfect! We had so much fun accessorizing the dresses, and dressing them up to make it look like the real thing.  This really helped me picture what I will look like on my big day, and it made it that much more special. Enough chit-chatting, let’s talk wedding dresses!

Style D2388

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This Essense of Australia gown captured my heart the moment I tried it on.  The elegance of the color and little design was breathtaking in my opinion. And the train… I’m a sucker for a good train.  If you look closely at the back, you can see the detail that creeps up my shoulder. So dainty and feminine, even in the front! I tried an updo with this dress to feel out the different looks that would compliment it.


Style D2520

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I was pleasantly surprised when I tried this on because I thought it was gorgeous on the hanger, and I loved how it looked on. My favorite thing about it was the layers— it just added a little more personality to the dress and made it that much more dreamy.  I mean look at me, I was having a Cinderella moment FOR sure. If you asked me what my style was, this wouldn’t come to mind. After trying it on and having my princess moment, my horizons broadened and I entered a whole new world. My self confidence was boosted from “only one style looks good on me” to “I can try new things and see what works”.


Style D2471

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Similar to the dress prior, this one was also one of Essense's ball gowns. I had another moment dreaming because this dress was PINK! In bridal terms, it was a light blush.  But in case you haven’t seen the colors of my blog, then you know I’m a pretty big fan of this color. The top part of this dress was truly highlighted when it came to the design. The beading, and sequins, was stacked onto this dress.  So much I felt like I was glowing from within!


Style D2548

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When I think of different dress styles that come to mind, this isn’t something I think of.  But after putting it on… it was more my style then I ever thought it would be. All of us had too much fun accessorizing with the added headpiece, I was feeling major Great Gatsby vibes! I’m a huge lace lover, so the beauty that this dress holds from head to toe is mesmerizing.  I keep going back and looking at it because it is just SO pretty!


Style D2475

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This dress tied with dress number 2 for first place. I have a lot of dress trends that I like, some of them being lace, open backs, strappy backs, trains, the list goes on.  Since this dress was different then any of the others I tried on, I felt like this one really stood out to me. It gave me the real bride feeling with the full bottom and then adding the flowers. Just seeing myself in these photos gives me the chills because I really WILL be a bride in just a few short months!


What I like so much about Essense of Australia is the wide variety of dress styles they have.  As you can tell from my pictures, no two dresses are the same.  There is something for EVERY girl. Whether you want a stunning ball gown, a long sleeve beauty, or a unique mermaid- they have it all. And for one second, let’s talk about prices. All of these wedding dresses were so decently priced. I see it on TV, or I see it on the internet, that to get “the perfect dress” you need to give an arm and a leg just to buy it.  Trying on these Essense of Australia reassured me that I don’t need to SPEND a million bucks to FEEL like a million bucks. Whether you’re a bride-to-be, or dreaming of your big day, I encourage you to visit one of their retailers and pull some Essense of Australia gowns off the racks. Trust me when I say you won’t be disappointed! Comment below what wedding dress is your favorite-- I’d love to hear!


Thank you to Essense of Australia for sponsoring today’s post.

XO,

Danielle Alana