Grey Likes Weddings Rockin' a new rock?!

Knowing you’re going to be a wife in short order is a wondrous feeling.

Leading up to the big day, I imagined that nerves would be running through me, but the closer you get to sharing your commitment, the more confident you feel. That is a truth most brides might not believe – but it’s not only possible, it’s probable.


The final steps I’ve been following from my family, friends and wedding planners have helped me catch my breath over the past month:

– Allow for last minute expenses and changes: Odds and ends will surface that weren’t in the “master plan”; it’s an inevitable truth. Know in advance that you’ll have to part with some extra funds (and add-in a little extra stress) in your final weeks.

– Go with your gut: Looking back on the stylistic, logistical and emotional decisions I made, one trend was clear – gut ruled almost all of them. A few times Tim and I went with our third, fourth or fifth thought, but overwhelmingly, the first choice you’re drawn toward is that one that you will choose.

– Let it go: Your wedding may be your vision, but you can only enjoy the process and the time right before if you let go of things not in your control (like the weather, how your family or guests feel, and – in general – every, single “what if”).

– Always pack water and salt: Through your final fittings, vendor visits, and being constantly on to go, you might get a little faint at times (or at least I did). I always pack a small water bottle and pretzels with me just in case, and it encourages me to drink more H2O throughout the day. I’ve also stopped locking my knees…

– Consider emergency essentials: Heel protectors for grass and friction paste by Band-Aid will be saving the day in small but quite worthy ways. Video your bustle being done and opt for airbrush makeup, too!

I’m looking forward to being a wife and joining several of my fellow Blogstress Mavens very shortly.


Engagement image via Maria Vicencio Photography // Bride and groom image via Top of Blogs

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While we’re all busy planning our lives as brides, I had a chance to catch-up with a fashion blogger who’s been busy being a wedding guest. It’s hard to play up your personal style while playing it down enough so you don’t detract attention from the bride.

Below Maria Abad (Maria On Point) from Washington, D.C. shares tips and tricks for wedding attendees, including her favorite presents and pins. As my go-to resources in D.C. for fun professional and personal style, she hits the nail on the head when it comes to tying the knot.

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Q: You’re a fashion blogger in the nation’s Capitol: What is the fashion scene like in D.C.?

A: The fashion scene in D.C. is very chic, fashion-forward and bold. Whether you go to a bloggers’ event, a ladies lounge or a new product launch, you’ll always find Washingtonians wearing stylish outfits.

Q: What are the current trends in fashion that you’re seeing at weddings across the country?

A: I’ve seen a lot of people wearing lace and neon dresses for the wedding ceremony, and floral prints and peplums for rehearsal dinners.

Q: How can wedding guests get playful with fashion, without outshining the bride?

A: A statement necklace or earrings are always a good accessory to highlight your outfit as well as colorful/fun shoes.


Q: What are tips for packing for a wedding weekend – domestic and abroad?

– Domestic: Make sure you pack print or fun color jeans versus your usual blue jeans with a nice blouse and a blazer. Jazzing up your travel outfit is always fun! This will help you be prepared in case you have to rush for a pre-rehearsal dinner outing and you have no time to change. Pack a statement necklace, fun clutch and simple top so you can wear this at after parties if you feel like changing from your wedding outfit.

– Rehearsal dinner: unless told it’s casual, pack two semiformal dresses that if you find out the wedding is not too formal when you’re already at the wedding place, you can use that one instead of your other more formal option. Find out if rehearsal dinner is at a garden or the beach, as this will tell you what footwear to pack.

– Wedding day: If you know you’ll be dancing all night in your high heels, it can’t hurt to have fold over flats in your bag so you can change late at night. Don’t worry about packing bobby pins, tissues and those; most brides have all those goodies in the bathroom for their guests. Nail polish always chips so I always bring the color I have on with me so I can reapply when needed.

– Abroad: The weddings I’ve been to abroad tend to be dressier than in the U.S. They’re usually black tie so pack long dress, high heels and a statement clutch. If the wedding is in Cancun, Tuscany or Provence then you know you have to pack summer friendly outfits, as you’ll be enjoying the beautiful sights. Make sure you bring your camera, power converter if you’re bringing a curling iron, as the power outlets are different in Europe and other places.


Q: If wedding guests want to give a fashion-forward gift to the bride-to-be, what do you recommend?

A: For a fashion-forward bride-to-be I would give her a fold over clutch by Clare Vivier (a girl can never have too many clutches), in a bold color or cool print (leopard) that she might not necessarily buy herself. She can take her fashion-forward gift with her on her honeymoon! If you really know her style, I would also consider giving her a funky, edgy and fashion-forward piece of jewelry. Studs are always a safe bet and look good on everyone, something like arrows or chevron style along with a spiky Stella & Dot renegade cluster bracelet will make her jump from joy.

Image of Maria Abad via Maria On PointBCBG dress / Jimmy Choo sandals / Louis Vuitton vintage clutch // Collage courtesy of Maria Abad from Polyvore // Wedding guests via Caught the Light

Bachelorette parties have a stigma of penis straws, Chippendales, boas and bad lingerie. These items make me cringe for many reasons, but mostly because I prefer to save bridal attention for the wedding day. Now when you tell your beloved besties that you’re not game for the average bachelorette, there may be tears. (Putting sashes, veils and thongs on a bride is easier than being on the receiving end.) However, it’s more than possible to achieve a balance as long as you’re surrounded by people you love.

Girls Nights
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Here are some ideas for the bashful bride:

1. Go to a new city: You may love to table-hop in NYC or dress for the white party in the Hamptons, but what made my bachelorette party special was going to a new locale. Everything is an adventure in a new city, which makes it instantly entertaining and provides a lasting memory.

2. Let go of the planning: You might be worried that your ladies have some tricks up their sleeves, but if you love them the way they love you, you need to trust them to make the right choices based on your interests. I had a hard time refraining from making reservations and time-coding my trip, but in the end it was more exciting not to know what was around the corner as opposed to landing with my itinerary.

3. Create a #hashtag: You may not like to bring social media into your wedding, but you can instantly have a virtual photo album of your bachelorette if you create a hashtag. When I returned home I immediately had hundreds of memories after only a few clicks on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And I didn’t have to play photographer.

4. Spread the word: You might be shy about being a walking advertisement, but it only takes a few words to be showered with attention. I was wary of being a glittery gaggle of girls, and opted not to pose with a crown. But we did mention why we were celebrating every chance we got, and it did reward us with more than a few special deliveries (nearly all of the champagne kind).


Each girl has a unique personality and favorite destination. For me, Miami was the perfect mix of waves, cocktails and beats. Our group scored by going boutique; The Gale in South Beach happily accommodated eight girls looking for a luxury spot without the hustle and bustle of large chain. Ensuring that our hotel had a pool and beach access gave us the convenience of limiting cabs and maximizing our time outdoors. For sun worshipers with a soft spot for hot jams, Miami is the ideal destination.


Now, if only we had known it was Fashion Week for Swimwear ahead of time…

Girls image via Getty Images and Huffington Post // Ocean and historical images via The Gale

One year ago when I got engaged, it seemed impossible that I would ever get nerves about my wedding. The date was far enough away that there was time to pour over every bridal magazine as if it was a dream – one far away in a distant land.


With two and a half months until my wedding, I can confirm I now have nerves. Teeth-grinding, sweat-inducing nerves. I am a walking contradiction, but be that as it may, I need to find a way to settle myself before October approaches. After all, it’s only one day.

One of the largest issues I’m facing has nothing to do with my husband-to-be. It has to do with the fixation of over a hundred pairs of eyes. Will my dress meet expectations? What if I hate my make-up? Will I have the stamina to keep up with the booze?

Most of us have not “performed” solo in front of such a large audience for such an extended period of time. Recently, I’ve polled my married and betrothed friends about how they are dealing with pre-wedding stress and found some solutions I hope to use in my daily routine:

– Move. Exercise is the number one stress reliever that I don’t engage in. Instead of running, I’m going to try and extend my morning, afternoon and evening walks (even if I’m in stilettos) and perhaps bring yoga back into my life.

– Lean In. Bridal parties and families exist for a reason – they are cushions. If this detail or that detail becomes too much, I plan to ping my ladies for advice instead of trying to take everything on myself.

– Snooze. Gradually begin to give yourself minutes back in the evening. Get into bed a bit earlier, and increase your sleep slowly to get in a better pattern, which will help your brain to calm itself. (You may even have new bedding to indulge in!)

– Look Back. The best advice I’ve received is to imagine my wedding differently. I’ve been living with my fiancé for a long time, and we’ve been dating even longer. The commitments we made and love we share were solidified a while ago. Our wedding is just the public party for something we already hold dear.


Do any other brides out there have more advice to impart? Please share!

Bridal photo via Sakura Photography // Linked hands photo via Marilyn’s Keepsakes

Leading up to our engagement shoot, all I could think about was the weather. Having already canceled on our photographers twice, we were desperate for some sunshine and low-humidity, (which in swamp-laden D.C. is a near impossible feat during the summer). The clock ticked and we were halfway into June, but luckily all signs pointed to “go” for an upcoming Saturday.

As I fretted about what ensemble would be the best – am I a quirky girl (absolutely not), a classic girl (better not to pretend), an edgy girl (does edge rhyme with cuddle), or what? I heard the rumors: “don’t wear print on film,” and, “make sure to match your outfits,” but when it came down to the day of our shoot, all that really mattered was confidence and a smile.

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Shunning advice I paired my favorite print shorts with my favorite bright top and sprinkled on copious amounts of gold accessories. I also decided to bring a clothing change. Yes, it’s high maintenance in theory, but if you’re willing to strip-down en route, you can’t really be classified as uptight. I was happy with my makeup and excited about my blowout; I had checked all of the boxes!

As prepared as I thought I was, when we arrived to the park what I didn’t anticipate was extreme nerves… Oh, the park is open to the public (duh)? And I have to exaggerate (it’s a camera)? Um, we’re really doing this shoot for three hours (sweat seeping through)?


Here are some lessons learned:

Maria Vicencio came prepared. She and her husband (let’s please swap careers) had advised us to drink a lot of water and offered shots – not a bad option – to calm our nerves. It really did become important that we were well hydrated, and it’s best to bring extra bottles of water.

– We started out in the most private area of the park we could find, which helped us build confidence for the first 15 minutes of the shoot. It might seem odd, but if you have an arsenal of jokes to make each other laugh, you’ll be better for it.

– Wear comfortable shoes! Even an inch or two of heel can cause discomfort. You’ll be walking, and running, for a fair amount of time. So if you need those spikes in your shot, bring them with you and do a quick swap.

– The photographers want it all: joy, laughter, love, calm, longing… It’s exhausting, so a slow evening afterward is probably a good choice for most.

After three weeks of waiting we were thrilled to see ourselves looking happy as clams:




What was your experience like leading up to your shoot?

All images via Maria Vicencio Photography