Tag Archives: Wedding Wednesday

Spring Wedding Options

what to wear to a spring wedding

This year’s wedding season has a different meaning for Steve & me. Sure, we’re looking forward to our wedding, but we also have a few others before and after! We’re super excited to celebrate with our friends around such a big time for us, too. Planning for their weddings is giving me a great excuse to think about something other than our big day. It’s also an excuse to pick out my outfits, something I have so much fun doing!

You might be surprised to hear this, but while I own lots of dresses, I can wear very few to a spring wedding. (That’s one of the reasons I signed up for a Rent the Runway Unlimited subscription again.) I’ve gone through my closet to evaluate what could work for a formal event or cocktail hour.  Obviously this floral dress was on the top of my list, as were fun dancing shoes. While both of these items are no longer in stores, I rounded up similar products I found in case you’re also in need of ideas about what to wear to a spring wedding.

What to wear to a spring wedding?

I know, I know: floral for spring, groundbreaking. But there’s a reason this trend pops up year after year. Just how adorable are these floral dresses?

what to wear to a spring wedding

Wedding Guest Shoes

And of course we can’t forget a fun pair of shoes. I love a pair of fringe shoes I purchased last year from Banana Republic. The store has similar pairs this year, and there are plenty of options in all colors:

what to wear to a spring wedding

Whatever you wear, just be sure you can dance in it. You wouldn’t want an uncomfortable pair of shoes or tight dress to ruin your time as a guest at a wedding this spring!


Wedding Wednesday: Out of the Office

Charleston bachelorette partyImage via Gal Meets Glam

Well, I’m about to put up my “out of office” email and don my “do not disturb” hat. I’m so excited to be traveling to the East Coast tomorrow for my bachelorette party! I had a hard time choosing where I wanted to travel because there were just too many good choices! As much as my friends and I love Vegas, I decided it isn’t exactly the atmosphere I wanted for this girls trip. I loved Austin when I was there two years ago, and could see myself going back with friends but instead wanted somewhere new. In the end I chose to have a Charleston bachelorette party despite never having been to the city. From what I read, Charleston seems like the perfect combination of night life and charming daytime activities. And the weekend we have planned will reflect that.

I’m packing a bag for the range of activities and to fit into that cheery, preppy Southern vibe I gather Charleston has. Here are some of the items in my suitcase:


As for what all we’ll be doing, my five friends and I will end up all being in Charleston for a relatively short time. So we aren’t trying to cram too much into the trip. Instead, we have a few things planned but are keeping the rest of the time open to wander at will. Charleston is a super foodie town, and we were even too late making reservations two weeks in advance to the most popular spots. Thankfully there are a lot of options, and we did get a few good restaurants on the calendar.  And since everyone  suggests the carriage rides through historic Charleston, we purchased tickets for an afternoon. Other than that, a trip to the beach, a rooftop bar and perhaps a to-go coffee from the Butcher & Bee are on my list.

I hope you have exciting weekend planned. I myself am excited to get started on mine early with a Charleston bachelorette party!


Wedding Wednesday: Bridal Shower

Pinterest Bridal Shower

One of the best parts about being engaged (besides getting closer to Steve!) has been celebrating with our closest friends and family. A lot of our friends have witnessed the evolution of our relationship since the beginning. For example, at my friend Amanda’s wedding in November, a college friend and her husband were laughing remembering when Steve and I came to their Washington, D.C., wedding nearly four years ago. Steve and I had only been dating about four months. Apparently when I RSVP’ed they were like, “Who is this random Jennie is bringing to our wedding?” It turned out to be my future fiancé!

Pinterest Bridal Shower

While on that trip, Steve and I stayed with my friend Amanda (above). She lived in a studio apartment, and I shared her bed with her while Steve graciously slept on an air mattress. Amanda and I gossiped about our relationships late into the night. At one point, Steve called out through the dark, “You know I can hear you!” It’s happy memories like that at the beginning of our relationship that make celebrating our impending nuptials with the same people so fun! For today’s Wedding Wednesday I wanted to share photos from my friend bridal shower in Chicago. It was the perfect Pinterest bridal shower, as described by Amanda, the hostess with the mostess. Keep reading to see more amazing decor and bridal inspiration.
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Save the Date

creative save the date

Monday marked three months until Steve’s and my wedding. Eek! One thing on our list that we’re currently executing are our invitations. The invites will be quite different from the save the dates we designed as a couple on Photoshop. Our invitations will take a traditional route, while Steve and I put our heads together to make what we felt was a creative save the date. We wanted something that showcased us as a couple. We also wanted it to involve social media.

Social media/our online presence played a large part in our relationship since the beginning. We met on OKCupid, moved our conversations to Gmail, then text, then to in-person. In the early flirtatious days we often commented on each other’s social posts. (This was back when writing on Facebook walls was cool. We cringe when some of our public messages show up on the site’s “On This Day” feature.) Now, between my blog and Steve’s job at a social media agency, there’s not a night that doesn’t go by that we’re not sharing social posts with each other on the couch. Therefore when it came time to make a creative save the date, we felt it was time to unveil our bitmojis in the form of a Snapchat mockup. We hired Steve’s coworker to do the art. I have to say, I like the artistic license she took with the flower in my hair.

Our friends caught on to the cards right away. Our parents, well, they just complimented us on such cute cartoon characters. We were really happy with our design turned out, and I like seeing that it sticks out on our refrigerator among all of the more traditional save the dates. The point of this Wedding Wednesday post is to share that you can bring your own personality into weddings. And it can begin with the first branded piece you share publicly with your guests. I’ve pulled some other creative save the date cards as inspiration. Continue after the jump to get your creative juices flowing.

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Wedding Wednesday: Being In the Wedding

how to be a good bridesmaid 1

In continuing with my wedding Wednesday theme, I am writing about another aspect of weddings today. The aspect of being a bridesmaid. I’ve been in a few weddings, the most recent one being my friend {and former blog partner} Amanda’s Chicago wedding. The day was just so much fun and special – I was honored to be help her and Brian celebrate their love.

Going into their wedding day, I had the mindset that it was Amanda’s day. I tried to ignore all of my little concerns (would my curls stay? would Steve remember the gift?) to make sure all of the bride’s were addressed. In the end, I would like to think I succeeded! (I even took it upon myself to help Amanda in to her shoes, that’s me up top.) There are so many ways to be a good bridesmaid. As I’ve already learned from my bridesmaids, it’s not all about helping the bride into her dress. Today I’m sharing five tips on how to be a good bridesmaid, as well as some gorgeous photos from Amanda and Brian’s big day. Keep reading for both!

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Wedding Wednesday: Finding the Ring

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I was recently talking to a girlfriend who confided in me that she and her boyfriend looked at engagement rings (eeeee!). The conversation was so exciting, and it brought me back to almost a year ago when Steve and I started seriously looking at rings. We went to a very fancy jeweler in Lincoln Park simply because they carried rings by the designer that I thought I wanted. Steve and I each had a glass of champagne and picked out a favorite ring. But we left a little overwhelmed and knowing there was still more ring shopping to be done! Thankfully, with the help of experienced friends and a {different} jeweler, Steve surprised me with an amazing ring!  For today’s Wedding Wednesday, I thought I’d take you through some of things we found to be helpful when engagement ring shopping.

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  1. Shop together in-person. Some couples might agree that they want the ring to be a surprise and I think that’s great. But, I found a lot of value in trying on rings in-person with Steve. It helps to see the cuts and metals on your own hand to know if what you see in magazines will resonate with you on your finger day to day. Your partner can also take notes about what you like so you can still be surprised!
  2. Follow your instincts. As I mentioned, Steve and I went to a specific jewelry store first because it carried a certain designer. Although the salesperson there was perfectly nice, we didn’t really connect with her. Thankfully, we found someone else who patiently helped Steve better understand what to look for in engagement rings, was sure to invite us to a wedding ring Trunk Show, and has kept up with us via email so we can ask any questions we may have about my ring at any time. It’s great to feel as if we’re actually in control and can trust the person we’re working with.
  3. Do. your. research. Don’t just trust the first jeweler you meet to sell you the diamond and ring. Don’t commit before talking to your parents, your friends (who’ve been there), and reading up on your options. Going in feeling knowledgeable about the four C’s will help you be more confident in your purchase. (P.S. I found a lot of great infographics on Pinterest that break down the ring shopping process.)engagement ring shopping
  4. Don’t get caught up in designer names. In the end, you are going to look at your engagement ring everyday, so you – and probably your partner – are the only ones who should have an opinion. It doesn’t matter if the ring is by a well-known designer or just something you dreamed up and a local jewelry designer helped come to life. You just need to love it.
  5. Lastly, let people spoil you. As I’m enjoying finding out, people want to make you feel special during the engagement process. So have those glasses of champagne while ring shopping, gush to your friends about it, and don’t be afraid to celebrate once the engagement finally happens. It’s just the start of many more celebrations!

Photos by Hannah Drews Photography


Wedding Wednesday – Where to Find Inspiration

Wedding inspiration

Once I started wedding planning I felt bombarded by ideas. There’s the obvious Pinterest, friends’ suggestions and that wedding magazine my mom left on my coffee table (which was fun to leaf through). At first I just shut down, but it’s now to the point in the planning process that I realized I need to envision what I want our wedding to look like – and make sure I have fun while doing it! For today’s Wedding Wednesday post, I wanted to share three ways I find wedding inspiration. They all help me consider what I want our style to be and build up a bigger picture with darling details.

Wedding inspiration1. Style Me Pretty – I absolutely love this site’s layout. They choose the dreamiest weddings to feature in easy-to-scroll through inspiration boards. It’s really just one covetable detail after another. Looking for ideas to feature your engagement ring in photos? Scroll through the hashtag #SMPringselfie on Instagram for ideas.

Wedding inspiration

2. Green Wedding Shoes (Instagram) – I love the idea of having offbeat details at my wedding, and Green Wedding Shoes on Instagram is the perfect place to find those. Sure, I may not go all out for a Katy Perry/Care Bear themed wedding (it’s a real thing), but I can certainly appreciate a bride’s desire to make the big day her and the groom’s own. When I see photos that speak to me I screenshot them and upload them to my Pinterest board.

Wedding inspiration

3. The Knot’s enewsletters – Since signing up for The Knot, Steve and I have been receiving an enewsletter with personalized details for our wedding. It’s extremely scary to see that email pop up and remind me: 7 months until the big day, but it’s also helping us stay close to on track. The newsletter tells us what we’re supposed to do during what point of the planning process, and sends important tips or considerations.

wedding inspiration

With so many wedding inspiration and ideas, there’s no way Steve and I could be behind in the planning process, right? Haha, wrong, but we’re trying not to stress. It’s helpful to look at our month-by-month list (from The Knot) and just work through things one at a time. And if choosing my table settings doesn’t get done until next month, so be it. There are more important things to me when planning for my wedding.

Photos details: Black cut out shirt c/o Dress.fo | Hair by Goldplaited | Lipstick – Mac Liptensity in Hellebore


Wedding Wednesday – The Venue

University of Dayton chapelA photo snapped of us (very graciously by a student) outside of the University of Dayton chapel last spring – this was the day we decided to hold our wedding here!

I know I’ve been pretty mum on wedding plans aside from an initial engagement post and life update. Steve, my fiancé, was worried my lack of sharing on the blog meant that I for some reason wasn’t excited about our wedding; his concern is crazy but also understandable since I share so much else on here!

There’s no lack of excitement over being married to Steve, but when I think about the wedding planning there is some anxiety! As I talk to more brides it’s nice to know I’m not alone. Sure, some women have been envisioning their dream wedding for years, so the execution of the details is exciting to them. But for many others, a wedding is such a large undertaking, the many decisions make it hard to focus on the fun end result. Being eight months away from our wedding date I am still relatively calm, though not quite on top of The Knot’s planning calendar! There was one decision that was quite easy for Steve and me, so I thought I’d share that today.

Choosing our venue

One of the few things I’d had in mind for my wedding for many years was where it would be. I went to the University of Dayton for undergrad and it was the best four years of my life. The campus culture there is so unique that those happy memories really stay with many alumni forever. I know this because my grandpa, my parents and many other family members also attended UD. Without this post getting to be too much of an ad for the college, I’ll just say the college holds such a special place in my heart that I always loved the thought of getting married there. Especially after the University of Dayton chapel renovation turned it into a lovely venue.

However, since Steve went to Michigan State University and we met in Chicago, I was no longer holding on to the hope that we would get married on UD’s campus. He had no connection to the college and planning a wedding several hours away seemed tough. We have a church in Chicago, so after we got engaged we began researching getting married in the Second City. With all the options and many expenses my head started spinning! Steve saw this and recognized that it was making it difficult for me to move forward with decisions.

Leading up to a wedding we were traveling to in Columbus, Steve out of the blue offered to look at wedding options in Dayton on the way. Hearing this I immediately perked up. He said if he’d known that would have made me so happy, he would have suggested it weeks prior. Part of the reason I was so happy about our decision to get married at UD was Steve’s selfless suggestion. I knew I was with the right guy if he was attune to what I really wanted without me even coming out and asking for it.

What’s left to do

So we’ve booked our venues in Dayton, Ohio, and I’m happily moving along with some of the other details, like the dress and floral arrangements. Other, smaller-to-me-details like table settings are coming a bit slower. Have you planned a wedding before? How did you get yourself motivated to nail down every detail? I’d love to hear your experience and tips so that I can stay on track with our spring wedding.


Wedding Wednesday – Shared Space

Northern Lights Candles

As I mentioned, my fiancé and I recently moved in together. We are having such a fun time spending each day to day together without one of us having to go home to our own place. So far the hardest, but smallest, challenge has been trying to fit all of my things into our small space. We spent last weekend organizing everything I moved in, and now that we’re past that, the next step is to be making our modest apartment a home for us both. Thankfully, I had help from Northern Lights candles for a part of that.

Northern Lights Candles

Northern Lights is a manufacturer of high quality scented and designer candles. As soon as they reached out to introduce themselves to me I knew that the items they offered were ones both Steve and I would love to incorporate into our home decor. For “him” we chose a Blackberry Brandy scented candle, since he loves cocktails. The candle caught my eye because of the cool cork top – it’s a unique piece of decor!

Northern Lights Candles

For myself I chose a Orchard Pear scented candle that came in an amazing mirrored jar. It’s sitting out near my makeup stand, a corner of the apartment that I carved out for myself.

Steve and I are enjoying these cozy additions to our homes and each take turns lighting a candle when we get home so the delicious scents will greet whoever gets home second. They’re small but special items that have helped turn his home into a place that’s ours.

I received these products free of charge but the opinions express are my own.


He Popped The Question

SIncerely Jennie Engagement

Last week I was so excited to share on my Instagram that Steve recently popped a BIG question, and I said yes! We got engaged nearly two weeks ago and I’m still trying to get used to our new titles (fiance/fiancee) and the ring on my finger that keeps catching my eye. It’s such a fun time that I can’t even begin to think about planning a wedding, but trust me, people are asking! Instead of focusing on that, I still want to take some time to enjoy our engagement. Read on to hear a little bit more about it.

Photos by Hannah Drews Photography

SIncerely Jennie Engagement

The evening of our engagement I dashed out of work to meet Sarah and Hannah for a supposed “champagne campaign” photoshoot. I was running late and flustered by all I still had to do that night. Sarah and I walked over to Millenium Park, where the photoshoot was going to happen, and we started to get out our supplies for the pictures. I had already touched up my makeup, but wasn’t too worried about my appearance since it was Sarah’s thing. So when she said, “Wait! I forgot lipstick!” and walked out of the frame, I patiently waited. But that was when the surprise happened.

SIncerely Jennie Engagement

As soon as Sarah walked away to “apply her lipstick,” I saw Steve come around the corner behind a row of trees. At that point I had an idea this might be the engagement, but truthfully was overwhelmed and also didn’t want to throw Steve off. He later told me my complete silence and lack of reaction really made him nervous!

SIncerely Jennie Engagement

Once Steve got to me he started doing his spiel. It was going in one ear and out the other as I watched him nervously hold a ring box in his hand, so I told him to wrap it up. (I later asked him to redo his speech when I could actually listen.) Steve got down on one knee and asked if I’d marry him, to which I of course said yes!

SIncerely Jennie Engagement

From there our group celebrated with champagne, and then went to the Chicago Athletic Association Hotel for even more celebrations. I want to say thank you so much to the hotel staff who helped make our night so special! From the personalized congratulations card to the engagement menu at the Cherry Circle Room, it made the engagement all the more real and fun!

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The last few weeks have been so fun and special and I am grateful to have shared it with so many good friends. Steve also shared the news in a bit of a more public way. If you want to hear Steve’s side of how we met and why we’re an “OkCupid success story,” read the blog post he wrote for Huffington Post. I look forward to eventually sharing more with you about our wedding and planning as it begins to come together, but for now I’m perfectly happy focusing on our engagement!

SIncerely Jennie Engagement