Our Highland Park Village Engagement Photos

You guys I’ve been so excited to share these pictures with you! David and I took our engagement photos a few weekends ago and I’m over the moon with how they turned out! Our photographer Luisa is amazing and she and her husband have such an eye for capturing these special moments. We went to Highland Park Village to take some photos along the tree lined shopping areas and overgrown ivy walls. It was so pretty and just how I wanted it. Then we made our way over to Flippen Park to take some shots in the gazebo there and by the fountain.

I wanted our engagement photos to be really classic and something that reflected us. I knew taking photos in a grassy field outside the city was way not our style, so we chose to stay in the city. Highland Park Village is where Dallas’ top 1% go to shop. It’s a really lovely place and so much fun to stroll around with a cup of coffee. Lord knows I can’t afford to shop there yet!

David is wearing a suit from Brooks Brothers and I’m wearing a Ralph Lauren gown. I actually found my dress on eBay for $50 and got tons of compliments on it! Anyway, I can’t wait to show you the photo we choose for our save the dates we’re sending out in January! Hint: It isn’t a photo in this blog post!

flippen park engagement

$13 Steve Madden Wedges!

steve madden wedges

steve madden wedges kate spade purse

Hey everyone! I had to share this great shopping find from a week ago with you! I’m a sucker for a great bargain hunt and my favorite thing to do is shop for summer and spring clothes in the fall and then fall and winter clothes in the summer and spring. You get the best deals! Last weekend when I went shopping, Steve Madden was having a 70% off sale on summer sandals and these super cute wedge sandals were (wait for it!) $13 originally $100!! Score!

Here’s a link to them! They make me about 6 feet tall so they’re very high. I’m 5’8″ for reference. These are so cute with white frayed jeans and a chambray top! I can’t wait for spring to wear them. It’s like 32 degrees right now in Dallas so these sandals will be in my closet until further notice!

Fall Style Classic: Flannel at the Dallas Arboretum

dallas arboretum pumpkin village

arboretum pumpkin village

Hey everyone! It really feels like fall right now in Dallas and I just got around to visiting the Dallas Arboretum’s Pumpkin Village! Its been raining a ton here and there were a few hours of sunshine Sunday morning so David surprised me with tickets! Last Christmas, he surprised me with tickets to their 12 Days of Christmas light display and that was lovely. The Pumpkin Village may have topped it though!

dallas arboretum

cinderella pumpkins

dallas arboretum photos

So everything was soaked when we walked through there but that didn’t stop me from wearing my favorite leather boots and sitting on damp pumpkins! David followed me around taking photos as requested and made sure to get a cute one of me in the pumpkin patch wearing this adorable Lauren James flannel boyfriend shirt. I bought it last March during one of their sales and I kid you not it was on clearance for $8! I should have bought two and could smack myself for not. Here’s a similar one, although not on sale.

I definitely recommend investing in some flannel for fall and winter. Its always been a staple in any wardrobe and I can’t fathom it going away in the future. My favorite times of the year to buy flannel shirts, dresses, and even blankets are in late winter or early spring. Brands like L.L. Bean, Kiel James Patrick, and J. Crew put a lot of their winter basics on sale or clearance right around then so its the perfect time to stock up! As for now, watch for Christmas sales from these brands because they do a lot of gift-giving promotions and things like flannel scarves are popular sale items! Happy shopping!

 

 

Saying Yes to the Dress: Wedding Dress Shopping Tips

patsys bridal boutique

bridal accessories

patsys bridal boutique bride

Hey everyone! I’ve been a little MIA recently but I just needed some time to relax and watch nonstop fall Hallmark movies with my dog and cat. But now I feel rested and ready to get back to blogging and sharing some fun wedding news! I SAID YES TO THE DRESS! Its all I can do not to share the actual dress with you but since David might see it, I definitely can’t. Plus, the surprise will be worth it!

I was definitely surprised by how different the experience was than I thought it would be. I haven’t been shy about sharing with you how my self-esteem isn’t always great and I genuinely worry about my weight. I really let it impact how I approached dress shopping, but honestly, once I was in a dress, my insecurities melted away. I felt so beautiful! So I’m sharing my dress shopping tips with you real quick!

Expect the Best Experience

I had read reviews of a few dress boutiques I was interested in going to and the bad reviews scared me off. A few brides said that the associate said they were too big for a certain dress and others said the seamstresses were rude. Having read all of that negativity, I was terrified to go to my dress appointments. I was already sensitive about my weight and knew if someone made even a small comment I would lose it. But I couldn’t have been more wrong! Everyone that helped me try on gowns was amazing and did their best to make me feel comfortable. So expect the best experience!

Try on Every Dress Style

I thought for sure I’d wear a high neck, low back ball gown. Nope!! The first wedding dress I tried on was one I had been dreaming of and met all my specifications. I HATED it. I came out of the dressing room and already knew this wasn’t going to work. So I decided to try on several other gowns and I ended up with a very different dress than I thought I would because it was simply more flattering and I felt amazing in it.

Dress Sizes are Strange

I’m a size 8 in dresses but I was a size 12 in wedding dresses. Ummm what? Wedding dress sizes are different from street sizes. Whatever size you are, expect to size up a bit. I was able to squeeze into all of their sample sizes but when they ordered a 12 for me I was a little depressed. Luckily, the girls at Patsy’s Bridal (where I bought my dress) were super sweet and explained that the sizing is always weird.

You’ll Be on the Fence About a Dress

I really thought I’d find the dress, cry, and buy it. Nope. I actually found my dress, tried it on, kept trying on dresses and comparing it to the original dress, and then put that back on. I stood there for a good 10 minutes totally unsure if it was “the one.” Finally, I asked the girls at Patsy’s if they’d get me a tulle petticoat to go under the skirt to make it more Cinderella. When that didn’t totally sell me, they brought a cathedral veil and blingy necklace. WOW. I knew it was the dress after they “jacked me up.” And I can’t wait to show it to you!

 

How to Choose a Wedding Venue

Hey loves! It’s been quite a few months since I wrote about wedding planning and figured I’d share a few details! I’ve been wanting to write this blog post for awhile but held off until David and I could make things official… but we chose our venue! We will be getting married next October at the Warwick Melrose Hotel in Dallas! I snapped a few photos of the ballroom, linens, and table set up to share with you guys! I’m completely in love!

Choosing the venue was the biggest relief for me and allowed everything else to fall into place. We saw so many venues and while we liked quite a few, the Warwick Melrose just stood out to us because of their customer service and how elegant it was. It suited our taste perfectly.

But right now, I wanted to share a few tips for choosing a venue with you!

Figure Out Your Theme

Someone asked me what my theme was for our wedding. I kind of laughed and said “the theme is wedding.” I knew right away that I wanted a traditional, formal wedding and needed to find a space that reflected that. The Warwick Melrose has a beautiful, elegant lobby that immediately sold me on the rest of the space. First impressions are everything! The theme of your wedding whether its going to be rustic, modern, minimalist, glamorous, or black tie will dictate the venue you end up choosing.

Make Sure You Have a Budget

This doesn’t even need to be said, but I’ll say it for the people in the back- have a budget!! We saw quite a few places that were over our budget and lots that were under as well. We ended up being the most interested in places that offered on-site catering and provided things like tables, chairs, linens, china etc. Those “little” things add up fast so when they’re included in the venue you choose, its great!

Calculate Taxes and Fees

Most of the time venues give you a total estimate that includes things like taxes, service fees, and gratuity. However, always double check to make sure its included so there aren’t any surprises later. We only encountered that happening once or twice but the few extra thousand dollars had us heading for the hills!

Watch for Red Flags (even small ones)

Not everything about a venue will be perfect but little warning signs should be considered. For example, David and I went to one venue and the event coordinator was 10 minutes late and seemed a bit, how do I put this delicately- high. I knew very quickly that she might not be reliable on our wedding day so we decided to move on.

Luckily, Abby at the Warwick Melrose was super helpful and easy to work with. She answered all my questions and was very reliable. She totally sold us on having our wedding there!

I hope this helps you when you go to choose your venue! Now that we’ve chosen ours we’ve been all about wedding colors (more to come on that!), invitations, and finally- dress shopping!