My Bridal Shower

All photos from today’s post are taken by Madeleine Wilson Photography. Thanks Madeleine for capturing my special day <3

Good Morning! After a frantic couple of days in Seattle in which I ran around like a headless chicken picking up last minute items for the wedding, returning impulse purchases, crafting, mailing, packing, etc, etc. I am finally in Calistoga! I planned for my summer internship to end a week before the wedding so I would have an entire week to relax and finish up wedding details in Calistoga before the big day. I can be a bit high strung. I actually cried every year I went to prom because something little would go wrong or wouldn’t work out and it threw me into a bit of a panic. However, I am determined not to allow something little to take away the joy from my wedding day. Combatting control issues and/or anxiety is not an easy process but I know that by allowing myself to enjoy a few laid back days prior to the rush of family, friends, and activity I am more likely to be in the right mental state to combat any hiccups.

Today I want to share photos from my bridal shower on July 15th. My Mom hosted the most lovely pool party for the fabulous ladies in my life and my maid of honor (& best friend) Nicole surprised me by hiring Madeleine to come and take photos at the shower. I planned the date of the shower back in February and crossed my fingers that Washington weather would comply so we could have a pool party. Well, Washington-you delivered! The day of my bridal shower was 90 degrees and sunny. Though I am normally someone who prefers to be poolside rather than in the pool, even I had to jump in (a few times, actually!)

How cute is my Mama in her pink gingham dress? She bought it just for the shower because she thought it felt like me, awww.

My Mom and friends worked so hard to give me a beautiful shower. I actually think the shower was great practice for the wedding day because it made me realize how awkward I am as the center of attention. I was so happy to see friends that are making the trek down to Napa Valley for the wedding, as well as family members who sadly are not able to make it.

I wore a dress I picked up from BHLDN several months back. I loved the delicate blue ribbons, subtle girly-pattern and and pearl buttons up the back. Very bridal am I right? Sadly, my exact dress is no longer available but there are so many cute little white dresses (on SALE) at BHLDN for any other brides to be.

My bikini seems is totally a summer blogger-classic. I didn’t branch out or invent the wheel here! I eyed the white scalloped piece for a few months before deciding my bachelorette and bridal shower were the perfect excuse to pull the trigger. I personally love that the bottoms provide a little bit more coverage than my average bikini (perfect for when you’re frolicking around the yard in front of your Grandma and future mother-in-law). Since the bikini top & bottom are sold as separates you can mix and match different scalloped styles to cater to your individual body type and preferences. I personally also LOVE this top and this one piece by the same designer.

One of my favorite portions of the bridal shower, was a game organized by my maid of honor in which all the guests wrote a piece of marriage advice on a slip of paper and I picked my favorite. I loved taking a moment to read everyone’s tips and tricks. Some of the advice was silly, most of it was heartfelt and some of it was a little dirty, ha! I saved every scrap of advice and plan to save it to look back on and remember the wise women in my life.

My Mom’s friend made us the cutest and most delicious banana rum cake.

Childhood photos of Jordan & I were strung up along the bushes.

I am so grateful for my friends and family for throwing me such a fun backyard bridal shower. The day was the perfect summer party filled with yummy drinks, good people and even a photoshoot.

Wish me luck over the next week, hopefully, I’ll be lying in the sun reading a few trashy gossip mags and relaxing with my cousin Genevieve until guests start to arrive in Calistoga.

My Last Sail before the Veil

Guys, last weekend was one of the busiest and best of my life. From Thursday to Sunday I was surrounded by my best friends and closest family members every moment. Since three of my six bridesmaids live out of state I decided to jam pack my bachelorette and bridal shower into one weekend. Since there are so many photos and memories I want to share from both events I’ll be breaking up the weekend into two separate posts, beginning with my bachelorette party today.

Saturday morning all of my bridesmaids met at 9:00 am to carpool to my Aunt & Uncle’s boat for a full day of fun in the sun. I put together bridesmaid boat bags to surprise the girls. Each tote had a reusable waterbottle, flip flops, a nautical hair tie, sweatshirt for the boat, cute temporary tattoo, face mask, mini nail polish, sugarfina candy, chocolates, a mini bottle of champagne, robe for getting ready at the wedding and a card from me. I wish I had taken photos of the bags and everything in them. Honestly, creating the bridesmaid bachelorette party gift bags was one of the most fun parts of wedding planning.

Our cute nautical tats

A few of the girls’ flip flops, mine were white and said “bride” of course!

When I arrived on the boat it was decorated with the cutest banner, mini fairy lights and nautical-Taylor Swift signs. One sign said “you don’t need to save me, but would you sail away with me”, it was the perfect mash up of the day’s theme and my favorite thing (Taylor Swift, hehe).

We sipped champagne and snacked on cheese and crackers as we sailed from Magnolia, through the Ballard locks and to Lake Washington. Of course, we blasted Taylor Swift and danced on the back of the boat as we gazed at the beautiful Seattle skyline from Lake Union.

At one point we gathered in a circle on the front of the boat and the girls went around in a circle and each said their favorite thing about me. It was so heartfelt and meaningful. I couldn’t ask for a group of girlfriends that is more caring. Each and every one of my besties goes to the trouble of really seeing me for who I am.

We anchored at Andrew’s bay where we pulled out the paddle boards and the cutest rainbow floatie. Normally I am hesitant to hop into any water, especially lake water but it was such a warm day the water practically called out to us. Jordan was on another boat fo his bachelor party and the guys anchored in the same bay as us. We snuck over on the paddle boards to say a quick hello and steal provisions (:

Before we knew it the sun was setting and it was time to head back to shore. My aunt and uncle drove us back to dry land where Kaila, Nicole and I immediately scarfed down three very large servings of French fries while the other girls headed back to the house to decorate as a surprise for me. The day went by SO fast I was so happy I could look for the sleepover shenanigans that night.

All of the girls chowed down on cheesy pasta and put on face masks. The long day made us hungry (somehow…even after all the fries) and I hate to admit I wasn’t super diligent about sunscreen so I needed a little help on the hydration front.

After we ate the girls presented me with a few of their gifts! My friend Claire gave me a perfect day of emergency kit for the wedding, Kaila gave me the best lingerie and all the girls contributed to a photobook with photos of me with them and heartfelt notes that made me tear up.

For some reason, I decided to only put the mask on the bottom half of my face 🙈 #champagneproblems

Kaija worked on painting a sign for my wedding day (so thankful for my artistic and crafty friends) while Nicole led the rest of us in a creepy sleepover game called “werewolf”.  When we started to get sleepy we curled up to watch Legally Blonde but couldn’t make it halfway through before we had to retire to bed. Perfect sleepover!!!

The next morning we walked to brunch at Serendipity in Magnolia for a quick breakfast (and much-needed coffee) before my bridal shower. Nicole and I felt a little like our past sorority girl selves giggling in our matching sweatshirts at brunch. Afterwards, we all walked back to the house for a quick photo shoot of our matching sweatshirts before car pooling to my Mom’s house for the bridal shower (post coming soon!)

I don’t know how to say it without sounding completely cheesy but every aspect of the bachelorette party was “above and beyond”. My friends worked so hard to give me the perfect day and it surpassed even my wildest expectations. I am so grateful for such a great group of women, I will cherish the memories from the boat day and sleepover for the rest of my life.

My aunt and uncle were so sweet to not only let my friends and I go out on their BRAND new boat but to let us take over their house and kick them or for the night. The party could not have happened without them and I am incredibly humbled by their love and support.

 

The weekend flew by SO fast. I can’t believe how much love and fun we fit into three short days. If anything, bachelorette-bridal shower weekend helped to prepare me for wedding weekend. I know it’s going to zoom by in the blink of an eye, this weekend’s festivities were an important reminder to live in the moment.

What to Wear to Every Summer Wedding

In addition to celebrating our own wedding this summer, Jordan and I are excited to attend the weddings of a few of our best friends. And of course, half the fun of any event is deciding what to wear. I like to decide on an outfit for a big event like a wedding as far in advance as possible. By choosing my dress and shoes a month or two in ahead of time I can spend the week leading up to the event collecting the perfect accessories. I always try to keep in mind that dressing for a wedding takes a bit of consideration; one must consider the venue, formality and of course, the couple. A semi-formal wedding in a garden calls for a radically different look than a semi-formal wedding at a rooftop bar or in a ballroom.

What to Wear to a Black Tie Wedding

Formal events are my favorite to dress for. Seattle is a VERY casual city, so I cherish any reason to blow out my hair and throw on a pair of heels. I’ve professed my love of Rent the Runway countless times, and I think a black tie wedding is a perfect occasion to rent a stunning frock if you don’t want to buy something you won’t re-wear. Use my link for $30 off your first Rent the Runway order if you choose to rent this wedding season.

I recently ordered the most beautiful gown from Fame and Partners for a wedding we are attending at the end of August. I love that you can customize every gown by tweaking the design in little ways, for instance raising the neckline, closing a slit, adding additional back coverage or removing a train. I didn’t change anything on the dress I ordered because I loved the lemony yellow hue and perfectly placed slits. I can’t wait to dance the night away in this gown at one of Jordan’s oldest friend’s wedding later this summer.

Dresses:

Tulip Dress| This pink off the shoulder gown would look elegant for a black tie wedding at an outdoor venue like a golf club or winery.

Chantelle Dress| Float elegantly through any ballroom in this whimsical black-tie ready gown.

Entice Strapless Gown| Perfect for summer, this happy yellow number looks stunning with gold heels and accessories.

Shoes:

Gucci Sandals| I love that these gold foil sandals have a bit of a vintage vibe with a thick enough heel to dance all night long.

Pink Bow Sandals| Girly-girl perfection the bows on these rose gold heels add the perfect feminine touch.

Feather Fefe Sandals| Carrie Bradshaw herself would be jealous of these glam statement heels.

What to Wear to a Cocktail Attire Wedding

Cocktail attire is a happy medium between “black tie” and “casual” that couples often choose as it suits a wide range of venue choices. A little black dress is always a safe choice for a cocktail party but feel free to be a little more adventurous if you wish. The dresses I picked are quite feminine, but cocktail attire doesn’t mean dressing super girly if it doesn’t fit your personality. There are plenty of edgy, sexy cocktail dresses that work perfectly well for a semi-formal wedding. Or, if you prefer you can pick something a bit more polished and sophisticated.

Dresses:

Embroidered Fit & Flare Dress| While this ballerina-esque dress is a a bit of a splurge it ensures you will receive compliment after compliment with its delicate embroidery and soft feminine skirt.

Gal Meets Glam Tyler (On Sale!)| This fitted cocktail dress is currently 40% off, snatch it in your size before it sells out.

Ferrara Flare Hem Dress (On Sale!)| Lace and embroidered flowers look lovely for a daytime wedding and pairs nicely in the evening with a flute of champagne.

Sky Lace High Low Dress| This unexpected light blue cocktail dress is sure to turn heads at any social gathering.

Shoes:

Izzie Heels| I’m personally in love with these navy satin heels, wear them all summer long with your favorite fit and flare sundresses.

Jewel Wedge (On Sale!)| These pastel wedges feel formal enough for cocktail dress code without sabotaging your ability to dance after an open bar.

Rose Gold Ankle Strap Sandal| These sandals come in every color and have a thick heel that keeps your feet happy all night long.

What to Wear to a Casual Wedding

Sometimes a couple ditches the traditional wedding fuss for a laid-back vibe, other times the venue dictates a casual dress code. Wedding casual and day to day casual should not be misconstrued as the same thing. I once attended a wedding where guests showed up in hoodies and jeans which would have been fine, I guess, had the couple intended their casual wedding to be that sort of casual. However, I dare to venture that MOST couples don’t mean you should wear your old ratty gym clothes when they ditch the formal dress code.

Even if a wedding requires I sit on a bale hay and do the chicken dance on the dirt floor of a barn, you will never catch me in jeans at a wedding. Granted, you shouldn’t wear your best pair of Manolos either…a casual wedding is a balancing act. Since many casual weddings take place outdoors it is important to choose appropriate footwear. A sturdy pair of wedges or cute flats work well for grassy, uneven turf. Since I would rather be overdressed than underdressed (any day) I generally prefer to wear a flowy maxi dress or sophisticated sundress for a casual daytime wedding. A nice jumpsuit is a great fashion-forward twist as well.

Dresses:

Gal Meets Glam Sarah | The sweet pink floral pattern on this Gal Meets Glam sundress is perfect with wedges for a casual backyard wedding, as an added bonus you’ll rewear it with a denim jacket for a casual everyday look all summer long.

Tie Neck Flounce Dress| How sweet is the bow on this punchy mini dress?

Rhodes Floral Dress| This sexy sundress is definitely on my summer wish list.

Pink Scalloped A-Line Dress(Also comes in Black)| Something about scallops always makes me swoon. This scalloped mini dress is perfect on its own or is a great blank slate for any number of accessories.

Lavender Off the Shoulder Mini Dress (On Sale!)| I picked up this dress last summer and can vouch it is prettier in person than in the photos. I like to pair it with heels and dangly earrings for an evening out.

Floral Maxi Dress| A breezy maxi works well for warm outdoor weddings in the summer sun.

Shoes:

Sadia Sandals| These sandals would look just as cute with a flowy sundress as they would with jean shorts. The floral detailing makes them appropriate for an occasion like a wedding provided it isn’t too formal.

Metallic Wedge Sandals| I think metallic spruces up a simple wedge for a more pulled together look.

Tatiana Pearl Slides (On Sale!)| These pearl slides are quite the statement, pair them with a dress that isn’t too busy for a perfectly polished look.

 

A Few Tips for Dressing for a Wedding:

  1. Keep in mind the crowd, if the affair takes place in a religious setting or you know either family dresses conservatively, respectfully cover up (or bring along a shawl/cardigan).
  2. Dress for the climate! If you’re attending an outdoor wedding be sure to check the forecast ahead of time and bring something to throw on halfway through the evening when the sun sets.
  3. So often when you look for wedding attire online you find dresses that are so clearly bridesmaid gowns. Please, don’t wear a bridesmaid dress unless you really are a bridesmaid. It’s not that bridesmaid gowns aren’t pretty they’re just so…”bridesmaid-y”. There are so many beautiful options for wedding attire, you’ll find plenty of gorgeous formal, semi-formal and casual pieces.
  4. Everyone knows not to wear white as a wedding guest, however, if the wedding forums have taught me anything it’s that there is a massive gray area when it comes to what constitutes a white dress. Does an ivory floral dress count as white? What about a blush dress with white lace overlay? Is a champagne nude too close to white? Every bride seems to have a different opinion. If you’re close to the bride feel free to ask what she considers “white”. I personally could care less if guests wear white-floral or faint blush but some brides seem to disagree. When in doubt opt for a look that doesn’t include white and could not be mistaken for white.
  5. I’d be lying if I pretended I regularly tailor my clothing. I wear most pieces off the rack even if minor adjustments would improve the overall fit. When it comes to wedding attire, especially black tie, give yourself time for alterations. Most women aren’t the exact same size on top as on bottom, meaning a trip to the seamstress/tailor will massively improve the appearance.
  6. Keep the occasion in mind. A wedding is all about celebrating the love and unity of two people. Weddings have come a long way and today many couples ditch traditions that don’t have meaning to them (Can I get a HALLELUJAH!). Glancing at the wedding blogs you’ll find Harry Potter inspired weddings, festival-like weddings and even circus themed affairs. If the wedding has a specific theme feel free to dress accordingly, otherwise stick to safer clothing options. I love trends, flamboyant colors and bold fashion statements but another person’s wedding isn’t the time to draw tons of attention to me. Choose your outfit wisely by picking something flattering that doesn’t scream “I wish this were my day“.

 

 

Do you have any weddings to attend this summer? Where is your favorite place to shop for wedding guest attire?

Dance as Confetti Falls

In October I created a 101 in 1001 list of goals and to-dos and I’ve slowly checked items off the list over the past eight months. Last weekend Jordan and I decided to join two of our friends, last minute, at Paradiso an EDM festival in eastern Washington. To be honest I haven’t attended an EDM show since I was newly 21 and I was fully convinced it was no longer my scene. Most nights I feel pretty incoherent by 9:30 and its a rarity that I am able to form comprehensible sentences past 10:00. But between finals, wedding planning, my internship and journal applications the past few months drained me mentally. A weekend dancing in the sunshine with the friends who introduced us sounded like exactly what I needed. To my complete and utter shock, Jordan agreed and on Friday night we found ourselves happily cuddled up in my friend’s family cabin near crescent bar playing Monopoly Deal and chatting about our excitement for the festival the next day.

We were shocked to wake up to gray skies and wind on Saturday morning. I attended Paradiso, the same festival roughly 5 years prior and ran around in a bikini all day in an attempt to stay cool, none of us really packed for cool weather. We huddled indoors playing games all day (Splendor, SO MUCH FUN)and crossed our fingers praying for the rain and wind to stop.

When we finally caught a shuttle to the gorge the sun seemed to be breaking through the clouds. We bid our driver adieu and headed into the festival grounds ready to dance the night away happily together. No more than an hour after we arrived thunder rumbled and cold, heavy raindrops splashed down from the sky. An echoy voice from the main stage warned the crowd of ravers in teeny tiny bikinis and rainbow beaded bracelets to make their way back to their cars. The main stage was a giant metal structure (as most stages are) in the middle of an open field and lighting struck in the distance. The show was cancelled.

We tried not to panic but my friend’s cabin was almost forty minutes away and our shuttle driver wasn’t answering the phone. We huddled under booths with vendors as the festival security made their way through the venue ordering everyone to leave. Slightly paniced but doing my best to remain positive in the cold and dreary conditions I started singing Imagine Dragons’ “Thunder” (all 8 words of it I knew) as I danced around trying to keep warm. My friend Kaila joined in and our little group of four remained optimistic that the show would reopen. The rides all stopped, the vendors cleared out and security frantically tried to herd 29,000 confused concert-goers into the field of tents where many of them would likely return to soaked belongings and muddy surrondings. Just about an hour later the Paradiso app alerted attendees that the festival would reopen and the whole crowd seemed to cheer all at once.

The skies stayed clear for the rest of the night and we froliced, pranced and cartwheeled around Paradiso like our tennis shoes weren’t flooded with water and our once flawless makeup wasn’t runny and ruined. We danced, hugged, met up with both new friends and old. We toasted with champagne as DJ Snake played his last song and we stared happily up at the stars as glittering confetti fluttered down from the sky.

Back to my 101 in 1001 list, one of the simplest tasks on my list was to dance as confetti falls. Though confetti is quite literally shredded paper it never fails to mesmerize me and make me smile. As I danced beside my friends and fiancé Saturday night I was filled with glee. The night somehow felt more special because the thunder and rain transformed the relatively ordinary concert experience into a triumphant adventure.

Jord & I snuggled up on the ferris wheel together.

If I’ve learned anything in the five years since the last Paradiso I attended, it’s that life doesn’t usually go as you anticipated. It’s the unexpected experiences, overcoming struggles, the surprise encounters with strangers who become friends and the sunsets that only come after a thunder storm that make the journey all the more beautiful. This weekend taught me a valuable lesson, cliché as it may be, life isn’t always about dancing in confetti, sometimes life is about learning to dance in the rain (and sometimes that is just as magical).

 

May 2018 Favorites

Most months seem to fly by, but May felt like four months jam-packed into one. The month started off with non-stop studying and a few minor panic-attacks as I prepped for my Spring semester finals and ended in just as much go-go-go chaos. I am not one to glorify busy-ness. I very much enjoy a life that is regimented and complete with time to reflect and drink my hot lemon water and read/journal each night before bed, thank you very much. With so much new-ness the month threw my routine out of whack, and while there were SO MANY happy moments I am eager to settle into a productive routine that allows me to stay on top of my laundry, workout routine and to-do list (while still enjoying a little fun in the sun) this June.

Finishing 1L Year| It’s been almost a month since I submitted my last final and I finally stopped having anxiety-ridden nightmares about my property final! The completion of my 1L year feels like a major accomplishment. I can distinctly remember how nervous I was sitting in my car before the first day of my law school orientation (last June at this time). Reflecting on this year and looking back at undergrad, I have to admit I appreciate school so much more after a few years in the “real world”. I am proud of my accomplishments this year and I am ready (well, almost ready) for 2L courses in August!

Wedding Planning Weekend in Calistoga| Halfway through the month my Mom and I popped down to Calistoga for a weekend of sunshine, wine and wedding planning. I had my hair and makeup trial, we tasted cakes and catering and obviously, we made time to lay out by the pool and brainstorm bridal shower ideas. It was so sweet to snuggle up for a sleepover with my little sister Gigi who is currently in the girliest stage and to see my brother, Dylan’s, 5th-grade space themed band concert. Gigi was more than happy to offer her opinion at the cake tasting and demonstrated exactly how she would walk (or should I say strut) down the aisle tossing petals as the flower girl. On the last day of our long weekend, my Mom and I soaked in giant mud baths praying our skin would come out soft and glowy. While I didn’t totally notice a difference in my complexion, it was the best to spend a day at the spa with my Mom. Now that we are less than two months from the wedding I am a ball of anxiety…I need all the spa days I can get (;

Taylor Swift Reputation Tour| Of course, attending Taylor Swift’s Reputation tour is at the top of May’s highlight reel. I attended both the Red and 1989 tour with my aunt, uncle, best friend Nicole and cousin Genevieve (you were at Red in spirit Gen). Dancing to live Taylor Swift with my favorite aunt and uncle and two of my best friends by my side is a dream come true.  This year we attended the show in Seattle so a few friends were able to join us for a Taylor Swift pre-party before heading to the show. On the way to the concert we shoved four girls in the back seat of my friend Kaila and Ilich’s car and we blasted old school Taylor songs as we sang st the top of our lungs. Singing in the car on the way to the show was almost as fun as the actual performance! As expected the set, fireworks, costumes and choreography were all AMAZING. I might have teared up a little bit during the rainbow performance of Shake it Off. Why do Taylor Swift concerts make me SO emotional? Taylor Swift puts on a truly jaw-dropping performance, I’m already ready for the next album.

Deadpool 2| While I normally dislike superhero movies (sorry not sorry) I have a soft spot in my heart for Deadpool (or is it Ryan Reynolds? Whose to say…). I don’t always love going to the movie theatre but when I do it is at Big Picture the tiny boutique theatre that serves candy in chilled glasses and delivers champagne and pizza throughout the film. Truly the only thing that could make the experience better would be a masseuse willing to give foot and/or scalp massages throughout the film. If you haven’t watched yet and you want a low key film that will make you laugh, check out Deadpool 2.

Starting my Summer Internship| This week marks the end of my fourth week at my first legal internship working with domestic violence survivors and dependency cases. I definitely plan to share more about my summer internship experience at the end of the summer, but for now, I just want to say how excited to work with real clients on real cases. This week I worked on my first assigned memo for an attorney (instead of for a legal writing class) and I am SO nervous. It’s one thing to write a research paper for a class, it’s an entirely different realm to write for an actual case…that matters. By the end of the summer, I’ll be one tiny step closer to becoming a lawyer so I like to think these little moments of nervousness and doubt see helping me grow bit by bit.

Seeing my Hard Work Pay Off| While I’ve always enjoyed school and considered myself a “good student”, I’ve never been as narrow-minded and obsessive about grades as I am in law school where the stakes and competition are high. Grades feel more important than ever in law school and the difference between a B+, A- and A feels dare I say…life changing. I would never have felt particularly disappointed by a B+ in undergrad or high school (sure an A was better but I didn’t micromanage my GPA to the third decimal point like I do now). I was SO excited to earn an “A” in Property, the 5 credit class I poured weeks and hours into studying, the rest of my classes this semester weren’t bad either. Good grades at the end of the tunnel make all of the weekends spent at home with a study guide and a new pack of highlighters (instead of out with friends and family) feel worth it. Now I’m currently in the midst of my journal application…here’s to hoping that work pays off too.

Educated| By far the best book I’ve read since picking up “Americanah” in December, I cannot recommend Educated highly enough. I read this book during finals week as a study break treat. The author’s true story of growing up in rural Idaho on a junk yard with a family who didn’t believe in educational institutions was beyond fascinating. I didn’t want Tara’s story to end!

 

What are you looking forward to in June? What was your favorite part of May? I’d love to hear about a little (or big) moment that added a little sparkle to your life over the past month!