Fashion Friday: Blue Embroidered Shorts

Phew, it's Friday! I had fun writing the wedding series posts this week. If you missed any, just got back to Monday's post! Today's outfit is super fun, casual yet can be dressed up (I just might wear it tonight for my husband's bday celebration!) and adds a touch of color. I feel like it also looks stylish but effortless. Oh, these shorts are also to-die-for comfortable!


These shorts are my favorite! I love the feminine detail, tassel drawstring and the fact that they're not too short or too long. That's always the deciding factor in my shorts game. They also come in red which is super fun, too! The only reason they're wrinkled is because we were driving, so I was in the car for about an hour or so before these pictures ;)

I decided to pair them with a really casual shirt and tuck it in to dress it up a little. I absolutely love the detail on this top! It's sold out which is so sad, but I've found tons of white tops with sweet details below.

Here are the wedges you've seen a lot lately! With good reason, friends. They are so comfortable!


And of course, wouldn't be a fashion post without a little photo bomb action from Lincoln.
Shorts- now 50% off! / Top- sold out, more options below / Wedges / Wreath 
I love these type of go-to outfits that take 5 seconds to throw on but make you look really put together! These white tops make any outfit just a bit more fun and feminine with their details (even if they're not shown in white, they do COME in white):

SALES:
Anthropologie: up to 50% off Summer Tag Sale!
August Cloth: (one of my fave clothing boutiques!) their sale section is so cute!! Plus discount with MICHAELA15 for 15% off any item.
LOFT: 40% off dresses and skirts
J.Crew Factory: up to 60% off select styles + 50% off clearance with code TOOCOOL
Nordstrom: fun sale finds!
Macy's: extra 20% off select departments + 100's of new deals
West Elm: 30% off rugs + free shipping with code EXTRAHOT

Hope you have a wonderful weekend! I'm off to California to visit my family for a week!
xoxo

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Wedding Planning Q&A

Hi friends! I hope you're enjoying this little series this week. I always love reading about people's wedding planning experiences, so I thought you might, too! I asked for any questions you might have about planning a wedding and so today I'm answering them... let's get started!

How did we handle plus-ones at the wedding, for the bridal party and rehearsal dinner?
For us it was simple. If a friend or family member was dating, engaged or married, they could bring a plus one. We didn't have many discrepancies here, as we knew all of our friends SO's so we named them by name on the invitation so there wouldn't be any confusion. It worked out really well!


What'd you do for RSVP's?
This was something I was determined to save money on, so we opted to have our guests RSVP online on our Minted Wedding Website (which I LOVED!) For me personally, if I were to have guests RSVP via mail, I would have enclosed postage for them (just seems like the right thing to do!) so in order to avoid that + more cost of paper goods, we did the online RSVP. I'm SO glad we did this, as not only did it save money but it also made things so easy for me because of the way Minted's website worked. I could literally download the spreadsheet of those who RSVPed Yes in order to give to my planner and make our seating chart. You can read more about it here.
What's the most important info to include on the wedding invitation and what goes on an enclosed card?
We decided to put our full names (I'm traditional like that!), the date, time, venue name (no address on the invite) and "dinner and dancing to follow" so guests knew there was a reception. Then we had an additional card inside the envelope which detailed the address of our venue, directions to follow to get there, and directions on how to RSVP via our wedding website. We had a few elderly folks on our invite list, so we needed to detail this out pretty good for them to know how to RSVP ;) 

What wording did you use on your invitation?
I learned that there are many feelings on this topic. I will just leave it at that! Ours said:
***
Mr. and Mrs. _____ (bride's parent's names here)
Request the pleasure of your company
At the marriage of their daughter
Michaela Noelle Warner
to
Joseph McCann Beel
Sunday, the eighteenth of September
Two thousand and sixteen
at four o'clock in the afternoon
Holman Ranch
Carmel Valley, California

dinner and dancing to follow
***
There are many ways to do this, in fact I'd say most people just say "Together with their families" these days. Since my parents were paying for the wedding and this is the way I'd seen it done on my friend's invites, this is how we did it.
How did we budget? Percentage of budget to what aspects of day?
This is a hard one! We didn't really have a set percentage of the budget planned to go to certain aspects of the day. But what I will do is break down what they turned out to be.
Venue: 23%
Catering: 25%
Alcohol: 5%
Flowers: 10%
Vintage Furniture: 1%
Decor (guest book, signage, spot calligraphy for wedding invites, market lights, linens, candles, lanterns, postage, pillows, blankets, cake topper, bean bags, straws, cocktail napkins, favors): 7%
Photography: 10%
Dress: 2%
Planner: 5%
DJ: 2%
Cake: 1%
Tips: 2%
Lodging: 7%
*I also borrowed a couple friend's and family's decor items and services which brought the cost of a few things down a little. So grateful for that! 
How did you choose a photographer?
I answered that more in yesterday's post, but the biggest things were her style, timeliness, the fact that she shoots with film, how she conducts herself at weddings and events (professionalism) and the fact that I had seen TONS of her work and it was consistent. 

Can you share your wedding timeline? How much time should we allow to get ready?
You can download our wedding timeline here, made by Engaged & Inspired, our planner. Always, ALWAYS add in more time than you think for getting ready as a buffer! Also, ask your photographer how long they'll need for portraits to make sure all pictures have enough time.
Anything we wish we hadn't spent money on?
My mom's going to die over this, but I really would have been just fine with a single layer cake on a pretty cake stand, adorned with flowers. It would have saved probably $250-350! She wanted a 3 layer cake, so that's what we did ;) I mean, it turned out gorgeous but I'm just saying I could have skimped there. I also could have done without the favors, which were jam jars, but they were so cheap ($120 total), that it didn't really matter. The cute floral straws I bought were also so cheap, but they barely got used, so I guess I could have saved on that cost. My parent's were ADAMENT about these bacon wrapped shrimp appetizers. I don't like bacon or shrimp, so those easily could have gone for me, but they're the thing people comment about the most!! ;)

I noticed you wore your hair up and then let it down. Can you cover how you did that and if you had to wear your hair up a certain way? When did you have time to change it?
Yes! I'm so glad I did that. I talked about that here as well and you can download our timeline here to see how that worked, but basically, I wanted my hair two ways in pictures. One way to show off the back of the dress and wanted it down as well, since that's how I feel most comfortable. My hair stylist curled all of my hair before doing my updo. Then when she let it out, she re-curled a couple sections to make sure the curls were even throughout. I don't think it required anything crazy special, but be sure to talk to your stylist about it! We did the hair change during cocktail hour.

What are the most important things to focus on ASAP, right after engagement? 
I know this time can feel really overwhelming! I would say secure the date and the venue. The venue is one of your biggest costs, so getting that solidified helps you see where you stand for the rest of your costs and budget. The day we got engaged, my parent's actually conveniently spent the day in the town we knew we wanted to get married in. When I called to tell them the news my mom said, "I just met with the coordinator at the venue and these are the dates available...!" We decided on one within a week. Then I'd start looking into photographers and videographers since chances are you're going to have a couple in mind you already like and you don't want them to be booked. Next up I'd search for a planner and go dress shopping. Sometimes dresses take a while to come in, so the sooner you go, the more options you have available.
And of course, don't forget to focus on your MARRIAGE! That's what comes out of your wedding day ;) You can read my thoughts on wedding planning here!
Photos: The Poffs 
What are the things that made the biggest difference on the wedding day?
Our wedding day was freaking HOT. I'm just going to say it how it was! I didn't want umbrellas up at the ceremony, but it wasn't an option. Our guests would have straight up melted. So those made a huge difference, along with the little umbrellas I ordered a couple of weeks before the wedding as we were watching the weather reports. Another detail that made a huge difference was our wedding planner. No way it would have been so smooth without her! I also would have been very stressed without her. Finally, our DJ! He was so good and kept the party going, guests flowing, and played the best music. Never a dull moment! From an emotional standpoint, the 10 minutes my new husband and I got to spend together right after the ceremony were SO wonderful. Highly recommend.
What did you splurge and save on?
I think you can see that in the above percentage budget...but venue, catering, flowers and decor! ;) My dress was surprisingly super affordable. Yay! 
I hope this was helpful! Thanks for reading, friends. Let me know if you have any other questions. I'd be happy to answer around our anniversary this year.
xoxo
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12 Things We'd Do Again at our Wedding


Back with another wedding related post, since I'm calling this my wedding week series! I hope yesterday's post was helpful. Last year I had some sweet ladies share what they'd keep and change about their wedding day here. But today I wanted to share the things I would do all over again, just the same! These are in no particular order :) 


1. Hire a wedding planner. Allison from Engaged & Inspired (she just sold her company and it's in capable hands but I just loved Allison and Audrey!) are the biggest reason our day went so smoothly. Not only just the day of, but also the 6 weeks leading up to our wedding. I had lots of questions that they answered quickly, they took care of ordering things for me, making sure deliveries would be on time, did our timeline, and set up all of our decor perfectly! I would have been stressed, not to mention my family would have been stressed, had we not had them!!

2. Our timeline. I got tons of questions about our specific timeline, so I'm actually giving our exact timeline to you right here. You can download it and use it for your big day if you want! It's REALLY specific, so beware ;) A few of the biggest things we did in the timeline that I loved were build in extra time for getting ready, giving McCann and me 10 minutes to be together just us two right after the ceremony, being really specific about leaving and arriving times for the bridal party, putting every single detail in the timeline (because it was so comprehensive, I sent it to all family and friends involved in the wedding so they knew exactly what to expect! This also helped my parents be able to visualize and walk through in their mind what the day would be like), we loved being able to join cocktail hour with our guests (more on that below) and I love how we did my dad's speech as a welcome toast at the beginning of the reception and the other two toasts after guests got their dinner.

3. Doing a First Look. This is where the bride and groom see each other before the wedding ceremony, in order to get their portraits taken care of beforehand. The two big reasons I would HIGHLY recommend doing a First Look are 1. You get all of your bridal party pictures done before the ceremony! This saves so.much.time later on in the night. So much so, that you get to join cocktail hour and spend time with your sweet guests who traveled from all over to join you! 2. It really helped calm both of our nerves. Our First Look are some of my favorite memories of the entire day, because we got to talk to each other, he got to spin me in my dress, and we got to be together before the ceremony. I was really nervous about just seeing him at the end of the aisle, so this totally helped relieved those anxieties! You can see our first look here.

4. Getting my hair changed. You'll see in the timeline that we actually scheduled in my hair change, because it was really important to me to have my hair down for the reception. That's how I usually wear my hair, so I knew I'd love pictures of myself with my hair the way I feel most comfortable. (The funny thing is, I actually love our portraits with my hair up! :)) But I'm really glad I did this because it gave me a few different options for our pictures to choose from. We had my hair stylist stay in town until the hair switcharoo, which was super nice of her!! The whole change took about 15 minutes.

5. The Foot Washing Ceremony. When we told people we were doing this at our wedding, we got mixed reactions. We both felt strongly about doing it, so we held our ground and I'm so glad we did. As Christ Followers, it was meant to symbolize serving one another and putting the other above ourselves, humbling ourselves as Christ did for us. Jesus washed his disciples' feet and commanded us to do the same, so it was a meaningful first act as husband and wife to us.

6. A poraroid camera guestbook. We have both pulled this book out multiple times and looked through it, remembering everyone who came to our wedding! So fun! I only wish I had given someone the job of making sure EVERYONE did the guestbook ;)

7. Getting married on a Sunday! I'm not sure why I loved this so much, but I did! It was A TON cheaper and I loved that our ceremony was almost like a church service :) The song we walked out of the ceremony to had the lyrics "Hallelujah, Sunday morning. All I ever needed, wanted..." (an adorable country song by High Valley) I also feel like this is the same concept as a Friday wedding-- your guests will probably need to take a day or two off work, so why not?!

8. Spending a little more on flowers. Let's be honest, I love flowers. I kinda went overboard with our wedding flowers, but I'd absolutely do this just the same all over again!! All of our guests told us this was the most beautiful wedding they've ever been to because of the venue and the gorgeous flowers. The whole day and evening felt like an enchanted garden. My florist Michelle Lywood made all my flower dreams come true and then some! She blew me away. I may have gone over budget on this, but to me (and my mom, maybe not my dad...ha!) it was well worth it.

9. Getting lots of photos. AND hiring an amazing photographer & videographer! These two go hand in hand, because they are the only thing you're really left with after the wedding day is over (other than your new spouse, of course!) Photographers are one of the things I would say to make sure you don't skimp on. Follow along with them for a while and ask to see full wedding collections from them, so you know exactly what to expect for your day. I've known our wedding photographer, Danielle Poff, for years and I loved her style, her timeliness, her casual yet professional demeanor, the fact that she shoots film, and the fact that she blogs full weddings so I could see what her work was truly like. A vendor we decided on a little last minute was our videographer, John of United Media Films. Looking back, I'm not sure why it took us this long to hire him. He was INSANELY talented and our wedding video is so precious to both of us! He also filmed our ceremony and speeches, so we'll have those to watch every year on our anniversary. You can see our video here.

I remember my mom being a little confused as to why we would need to leave the reception during dinner to take more photos. Sorry for calling you out, mom ;) But another thing I'm so glad we did and made a priority because our sunset pictures are some of my favorites! The light is stunning! You couldn't even see all the bugs that were flying around us while taking them. And everyone was eating, so we weren't THAT missed. 

10. No bouquet or garter toss. We both find these things a little awkward and cheesy. At our wedding, it was pretty clear we wouldn't be doing them as we didn't have anyone who would catch either thing! But even if we did, I'm glad we opted out of this "tradition".


Photos: The Poffs

11. Putting time into the special details. From our signature cocktails to our vignette seating on the lawn outside of the dancing barn, to the rosemary at each place setting clipped from my grandma's garden, it was just so special. I loved that we printed photos of each of our parent's wedding days and had those set up at the reception. This was a way to honor them and to remember my husband's father who was already in Heaven at the time of our wedding.

12. Going with an amazing caterer. I'm putting this on here for us + my parents because I know this is one of their favorite elements of our wedding day!! Our food was insanely delicious if I do say so myself. We used Paradise Catering and everything from our tasting to the communication throughout the engagement to the food on our actual wedding day was incredible. We even had an ice cream bar and it was so fun! I think the food is something that people come to a wedding to enjoy and so if you have delicious food, your guests are happy!


Those are a bunch of the major things I'd do just the same on our wedding day! What would YOU do the same if you were to get married again?!

xoxo



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How to Start Designing Your Wedding: Choosing a Color Palette

With wedding season in full swing, I thought it'd be fun to do a bit of a wedding week series! If you're engaged or know anyone who is, this will hopefully be a really helpful series of posts for you :) Also, any chance I get to talk about weddings (or ours, in particular) I just love!

As a little girl, I'd often dream about what my wedding would one day look like. Of course at that time, Barbie and Ken weddings were a common occurrence (I'd even go so far as to pick wildflowers for Barbie's mock-bouquet). It's memories like this that remind me that even from a young age I've had a relentless passion for celebrations, beautiful and meaningful details, flowers, and love.

It was SO fun to dream up what I really want our big day to look like and feel like. While getting caught up in the inspiration and endless possibilities of decor is fun (sometimes!), I always tried to remind myself what's most important: we wanted to create a marriage more beautiful than our wedding day, because that is what lasts! While we were planning our wedding, somebody actually had the nerve to tell me our "wedding didn't matter" and all the details I was pouring my heart into were literally meaningless and dumb. I was obviously taken aback! First, did he know what I did for a living? Design and details are my joy! Second, who says that to a new bride planning her wedding?! ;) We wanted to have a beautiful wedding day, because thoughtful details and beauty evoke feelings of love, and that's what a marriage is all about. Love. 

And almost two years after our wedding, I still look back on it and am SO happy I spent time pouring into the details, thoughtfully choosing pieces and elements for the day. I see a dahlia or clematis bloom or a piece of mercury glass and immediately am taken back to our wedding day. Countless people who attended our wedding continue to tell us what a romantic evening our wedding was. 

All that to say, I personally think details matter (unless it causes you a ton of stress-- then maybe don't worry about it! But for me, planning our wedding was the best 9 months of my life ha!) Today I'm sharing how you can start the initial dreaming and planning for your big day!

Where to Start? Create a Vision for Your Day!

I had a general idea of the feel I wanted for our wedding. I envisioned it being romantic, a bit eclectic, warm, sophisticated but totally comfortable and inviting. We aren't formal people, so we didn't want anything overly formal. We want our guests to feel loved and experience our love on our big day, so setting the backdrop for that was our goal. Creating this vision is what the foundation was to our design elements.


Here was my inspiration board for our day!

Choosing a Color Palette



Our colors were lavender, blush, navy and a touch of silver (against the grain for a time when gold is still reigning!). When I was choosing a color palette, I wanted something light and airy. I thought lavender and blush would be perfect for that. Initially navy wasn't in the mix, but upon further consideration, I thought adding in a hue with some contrast to make the lighter colors pop would be beautiful, both for the day of and in our pictures. It also added a masculine touch.

Tips on choosing a wedding color palette

  • Go with what you love! This may be obvious, but don't choose colors that aren't your favorite, just because someone else is pushing for them. You need to be happy with the palette. After your initial ideas, maybe run it by someone who will be honest. There are some colors that just don't photograph as well as others, if you're worried about your pictures. Red, bright fuschia and darker colors like that can tend to be trickier, although not out of the question. There are also some colors that just don't work well together (like I recently saw a dark purple and green wedding palette...yikes!) so that's why I'm suggesting to show it to someone first :)

  • Look to your venue for inspiration. This is true for all details of your wedding, but perhaps the colors and feeling of your venue will spark your inspiration for the colors you use. Our venue was outside, so I incorporated a lot of greenery into our centerpieces and bouquets, with pops of our main colors.

  • Take note of the season. If it's an October affair, deep purples, berry colors and gold would be beautiful for fall. Summer? Maybe a sorbet color palette would be nice.

  • Use the color wheel! As a design student in college, I know how helpful of a tool this can be. If you know you want to use pink as a color, but don't know what to pair it with, look to the right, left, and across from pink on the color wheel to find good, complimentary matches. My favorite color palettes are monochromatic, which uses one hue in a variety of tints and shades; analogous, which combines colors that are right next to each other on the color wheel; and complimentary, which is a more bold look using colors directly across from one another on the color wheel.

Determine the Use of Color



Once you land on a palette, I found it was helpful to determine how much and where each color will be used. Here was our break down:


Lavender: Flowers, bridesmaid dresses, envelope liners
Blush: Flowers, bridesmaid dresses, ribbon on bouquets and favors, linens, ribbons on escort board
Navy: Groomsman suits, napkins, and ink on signage
Silver: Vases, votives, and chargers



Once you break it down like that, you can better envision the amount of each color to be sure you like the ratio. I knew we wanted to use navy sparingly, so other than the guy's suits, we reserved navy for small details like signage and napkins. This works really well technically as well, since navy is the darkest color and would need a lot of light colors to balance out the darkness of the navy.





Some of you might be wondering what your style even is. Start by asking these questions.

Find Your Style
  • Where will your wedding be?

  • What are some words to describe your vision?

  • What is your color palette?

  • Where are your favorite places to shop for home decor? (Hey, your home decor style will definitely relate to your wedding style!)

Our style was aided by our venue, Holman Ranch. It's a rustic, yet elegant ranch in the hills of the Carmel Valley. Accented with stone, wood, a refined barn, and sweeping views of the hills, this really helped us find our style. We incorporated wood signs, natural/organic looking arrangements, highlighted the view at the ceremony, and accented with soft linens and upholstered furniture. To keep things fun and interactive, we had a smore station around a fire, cornhole and horseshoes for guests to play at the reception.


Photos: The Poffs 


Hopefully this helps you get the ball rolling if you're engaged or planning a wedding! If I could go back to one day in my whole life, it'd be our wedding day. It was so special!
xoxo
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