Adventures of a Bride-to-Be

Our bride-to-be Jenn is now a married woman! Her happy day was just this past Sunday and while we don't have any pics yet, we will have a post-wedding feature from the bride herself after she returns from her honeymoon.

In the meantime, she did provide this photo of items "leftover" at her wedding! What a considerate bride to post her lost and found!

Congratulations to Jenn & Stephen - wishing you all the best!


Knoxville, TN Map

Congratulations to Julia and Matthew getting married this weekend in Knoxville, Tennessee!

This bright and cheery map is the perfect piece for this charming city boasting the World's Fair and University of Tennessee. The couple added important icons for them such as Market Square, Old City, Toddy's and local BBQ joint Pig Roast.

The map wouldn't be complete without the Smoky Mountains and Tennessee River, and even features the bridges crossing the river!


White House Pilates Bride-to- Be Tips

Get Moving!

Grab your best bridesmaid and take a walk, go for a jog, just get outside and move!

Think of it like a social event! A chance to bond and talk while you get fit together! Plan on meeting up 2 or 3 times a week, after work, on your lunch break, or early in the am. No excuses! You don't want her to bail on you, and you can't bail on her!

Even just walking can make a difference in your body, your mood, and your friendship!
Boost your walks with bursts of energy and adding some small friendly competition: "I'll race you to the end of the block!" or "Let's sprint the rest of the way home!"
To healthy living,
Caroline Londergan
Owner, White House Pilates


Adventures of a Bride-to-Be

I am less than a week away from my wedding day and I'm feeling it. When I say "feeling it," I mean the stress of planning such a special event. The one goal I set and was adamant about following through with was to get everything finished a week prior to our wedding, so as to not have any worries. I did a fairly good job of completing everything or delegating tasks I knew I wouldn't have time to get to, but I neglected to take into consideration that the "to-do" lists wouldn't be the only cause of stress.

With such a special event as a wedding, there are many expectations from family and friends. I am honored that people are so passionate about our wedding, but unfortunately not all expectations can be met. For the most part people understand, but it still takes a toll on you emotionally to let people down or hurt feelings. It's the part of wedding planning that everyone talks about, but you secretly think you won't have to deal with. Let's be real, you will. And if you let it get to you, it will cost you dearly (I'm pretty sure I've covered my seamstress' house payment this month with the non-stop stress-induced dress alterations!)

My advice to Brides-to-Be is to follow the directions all those wedding websites give you to manage stress (they all have the same advice for a reason.) Even if you feel like everything is smooth sailing, make sure to implement their advice.

And another bit of advice I can give you is to enjoy the hiccups. Because of the numerous alterations to my dress, there was not time for it to go back to the boutique for a final steaming. I offered to do it myself (I have a steamer and some serious steaming skills!) and called my neighbor (who also happens to be one of my bridesmaids) to help and we had a grand time getting buried in tulle and laughing about me being the only bride that would steam her own dress. Those are the hiccups that make up the best memories. I can see us as little old ladies years from now sitting on our front porch, sipping lattes and talking about the day it took us 4 hours to steam my wedding dress!

With Love,


New Orleans Map

We love the cool blue look of this New Orleans wedding map! The design is simple, showing off the key locations for the wedding - reheasal dinner, ceremony, reception and after party.

The map also conveniently shows the chosen hotel option and the famous city streets such as the downtown Bourbon Street. The flowing Mississippi River makes a commanding presence, but the most endearing aspect of this map has to be the adorable Fleur de Lis compass!


New Series: White House Pilates Bride-to-Be Tips

We are excited to team up with the lovely Caroline Londergan of White House Pilates in Hermosa Beach, CA to bring you weekly tips for keeping in tip-top shape for your wedding, and really for a healthy lifestyle all around.

Caroline was the first to introduce the amazing benefits of Pilates to The White House, the United States Secret Service, and the Washington D.C. SWAT Team. She is a Certified Pilates Instructor through the PhysicalMind Institute/The Method Pilates as well as a Certified Yoga Instructor with the Yoga Alliance. Caroline expanded her knowledge of Pilates by studying with Stott Pilates, Balanced Body University, and the Pilates Method Alliance.

After eight years of touring and dancing professionally, Caroline opened White House Pilates in Hermosa Beach, CA in 2009. She embodies a healthy and active lifestyle and enjoys sharing her knowledge and technique with clients...and we are happy to share Caroline's tips with you, our Lucky Orchid Wedding readers!

...so without further delay...

Go Get a Pilates Ring or Magic Circle!

You've got the bling now go get the ring! This is a great way to get fit at home. The Pilates Ring is available at places like Target or Walmart and it usually comes with an instructional video. You can use this circle for an intense full body workout.

Here are just a few to mention:

Inner Thigh Blaster: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet hip distance apart on the floor. Place the outside pads of the circle between and right above the knees. Pulse the circle 12 times and then hold and squeeze the ring for 12 seconds. Repeat 3 times. Then do the same thing all over again in a bridge. (To do a bridge: Step into your feet lifting your hips off the floor and balancing on your shoulder blades.) Once you get stronger, challenge yourself more by increasing your reps to 20 pulses and hold and squeeze the ring for 30 seconds.

Outer Thigh Blaster: Same exercise as above just change the circle placement. Put your feet through the circle bring the inner pads up above the knees. Press out and engage your glutes (your butt) for the repetitions. Then press out and stay trying to break the circle apart rather than squeezing. Repeat again in the bridge position. This will work your hamstrings, and glutes even harder.

Tone your upper body and arms: Stand with really good posture, your abs engaged and your glutes supporting you. Hold the circle on the outside pads out in front of you like a steering wheel, with just a slight bend in the elbows. Pulse the circle 20 times, and then squeeze for 20 seconds.Repeat 3 times. Move the circle overhead, but still slightly in front of your head on a diagonal. Pulse here for 20 repetitions and squeeze for 20 seconds. Repeat 3 times. Place the circle behind you and hold it on the outside pads and low with the bottom of the circle pointing down toward your heels. Pulse here 20 times and repeat 3 times.

Abdominal Crunches with Neck Support: Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet hip distance apart on the floor. Put your head through the circle with one of the inner pads behind the nape of your neck. Your hands go on the opposite inner pad with your arms bent and relaxed. Look down at your knees, engage your abdominals (pull your navel to your spine) and curl up for an abdominal crunch. Keep your pelvis neutral, with your hip bones and pubic bone staying parallel to the ceiling. Try to maintain a little space below your waist. Once you get stronger, bring your legs up to table top. (Table top: lift your feet off the floor, with your legs in a 90 degree angle, your knees above your hips and your shins parallel with the ceiling) Or maybe even extend your legs out straight to a 45 degree angle. *This is fine as long as you don't feel anything in your back and can stabilize your torso with your abdominals.

To healthy living,
Caroline Londergan
Owner, White House Pilates


Spotlight on: Urbanic Paper Boutique

We love unique finds and this boutique stationery store in Venice, CA fits the bill!

Tucked away by the ocean of Venice Beach, Urbanic Paper Boutique offers a sophisticated collection of unique cards, stylish papers, modern gifts, office accessories and custom stationery. Their store, opened in 2006, features a Bridal Lounge that is a private, by-appointment parlor brimming with inspiration and modern creativity. There you will find and personalize customized wedding invitations, save-the-date announcements and thank you cards that reflect the essence of who you are - in a style that captures your celebration. You can relax in the charming suite, enjoy a sparkling drink, and savor each moment as you plan your special day.

In addition to the Bridal Lounge, Urbanic stocks greeting cards, papers, agendas, calendars, journals, pens,  notebooks, unique gifts, wrapping papers , ribbon and boxes. Their collection of stationery also includes a line of eco friendly products that are recycled, post consumer and made from sustainable materials like soy ink and tree-free paper.

Visit their website and blog for more details and definitely stop by store at 1644 Abbot Kinney Boulevard the next time you are in Venice, CA!


Adventures of a Bride-to-Be

This past week I found myself doing quite a bit of administrative work for the wedding. My laptop and I spent many evenings together on the couch typing out schedules and menus and everything in between. I don't recommend you wait until the last possible minute to do these tasks, as I have done, but then I don't recommend you meet with your Photographer and DJ for the first time a week and a half before your wedding either, which I am also doing. (Remember this post? Nothing's changed.) Thankfully, most of my vendors are also friends, so this last-minute behavior is not alarming to them, but I digress.

I anticipated each file I needed to create taking a couple hours tops. I was wrong. Take this case in point; my seating chart. I was a "Ctrl C" and "Ctrl V" maniac for the first half hour, trying to figure out where to seat everyone. I finally gave up, enlarged the font, printed and cut out each person's name. I then spread my guests all over my coffee table and played a game of musical table-numbers with them until I had placed each person at a table I felt they'd be most comfortable. That project took the better part of my morning, and I still had schedules, menus, programs, dj lists, a photography list and who knows what else to get through. I knew it all needed to get done though, so I glued my eyes to the monitor and continued typing. I kept in mind that as hard as I was working, those waiting for the files were going to be working harder to make my special day amazing. This thought helped motivate me to get through it all.

I just sent files for our wedding program, menu and place cards off to Laura (please do not be last minute, as I was) to create coordinating pieces for our wedding day. I'm looking forward to seeing her beautiful stationary displayed for our guests to admire.

{the pieces will coordinate with our beautiful invites!}

With Love,


Mailing Your Invitations

By the time you are ready to mail out your invitations, you have most likely already spents many months (closer to a year for some) planning this special day. And if you have chosen to have your envelopes hand-calligraphed, you are definitely making a statement about the the value you have placed on your invitations and your guests receiving them. It's a great first impression for your upcoming wedding!

So now that it is time for you to send these beautiful invitations, here are a few tips to make sure they make it to their recipients quickly and in nearly the same condition as when they left your fingertips:

1. Be sure that you weigh one fully assembled invitation to determine the proper postage. With the rules at the post office constantly changing, you don't want to get stuck with all of your beautiful envelopes returned to you with "postage due" stamped in red across the front!

2. It is also a good idea to send one or two "tester" invitations. These can go to people such as your parents, sibling, maid of honor, or even to yourself (although many couples like to keep their own invitation unmailed as a keepsake). This will ensure that you have used correct postage, and will also give you an idea of how your invites will look when your guests arrive.

3. Having the post office "hand stamp" your envelopes is an option to consider as well. You will notice that when you receive mail there is the red marking across the stamps indicating that the item was processed through the mail. When you request that your items be hand stamped at the post office, a postal worker will count your postage on each envelope and physically stamp, or process, it by hand instead of sending it through the machine. Keep in mind, though, that sometimes this will leave excess ink that can be smeared if your invitations are stacked on top of each other.

After you have followed these simple steps, your invitations are ready to go out in the mail, and your guests will surely appreciate the time and effort spent creating the perfect "first look" into your big day.


Fort Worth, TX Save the Date Map

If you talk to anyone from Texas, they will most likely rave about what a great state it is. I've had first hand experience with my soon-to-be brother-in-law...who happens to be from...Fort Worth, Texas! This map isn't my sister and her fiance's, but it does make me think of him and I can see all the Texas charm he speaks of right here in this sweet map!

This map features the downtown Fort Worth skyline, a point of pride for any local, and also includes the famous Stockyards as well! The Trinity River runs directly through the city and leads you to the beautiful Texas Christian University - home of the fiesty Horned Frogs...take a look at that mascot!

The couple used this map as their save the date indicating a formal invitation to follow. The reverse side of the map included the accommodations options for guests travelling in for the wedding.

Giving your guests this information in advance allow's them to plan ahead in terms of flights, days off of work and, most importantly, budgets.


Adventures of a Bride-to-Be

The day my dress came in, I was promptly called by Veronica, the saleswoman who has walked through the entire process with me. It's such a nice touch to have someone dedicated exclusively to me, as purchasing a wedding dress is a grand experience and having that familiar face to go to makes everything run so smoothly. Veronica explained to me that I would come in to try on the dress and then we would set a separate date for alterations. I didn't really see the need to try on the dress twice until she explained to me that the first try-on would simply be a celebration in which I could bring champagne and sweets and invite people to see the dress. I thought that was a perfect idea, since when I originally purchased the dress, it was on a whim and I was all alone. I invited my mother and mother-in-law to-be, along with my bridesmaids to come along. We had such a great day and I'm so glad I decided to give them a sneak peek of what's to come!

I went back a few days later for alterations, thinking there wouldn't be too much involved in the process. When I arrived, the seamstress and her assistant were sitting in the chairs awaiting my arrival. I slipped into my dress (with the help of Veronica) and came out to reveal their upcoming project. Those ladies got up from their seats and came at me with pins and tape measures and padding and Lord knows what else. I felt like Cinderella with two little Fairy Godmothers buzzing around me. When they were done I was in awe. They had transformed my dress from beautiful to breathtaking. And to think, I really didn't want much done to the dress. If you are reading this as a Bride-to-Be, my suggestion would be to go into your alteration appointment with an open mind. Let your seamstress make their alterations prior to offering your own suggestions. They will probably amaze you with their expertise.

With Love,


Sanibel Island Map & A Custom Sticker

This adorable map of Sanibel Island in Florida is the perfect keepsake for a wedding rehearsal dinner on the island town. The tropical wildlife is a perfect reflection of the diversity of the island.

This map includes animals from sea horses, whales, dolphins, an alligator (or croc?), a parrot, a manatee and even an island cow!

The couple opted to have a custom sticker made as well to use with their set.

Calligraphy style is Chaucer.


New DIY Compass Kits

Can't get enough of our adorable compasses? Love the idea of DIY projects? Now you can purchase your own Do-It-Yourself compass kit!

Kits are available in sets of 10 and will include 10 compasses and 10 insert cards in either white, natural white, black or purple - all for just $55!

Please note that calligraphy is not included in these DIY kits, so be prepared to add your personal touch! Compasses are perfect for weddings, birthday parties, showers, dinner parties, any occasion!

Email us at laura@lhcalligraphy.com for more information or to order your kit.


Welcome Bags for New York Hotel Guests

It's no secret that we think welcome bags for your out of town guests are a great idea (and of course think a personalized map tote is the perfect way to package the welcome!), but if you simply don't want to think about items to include then you most likely don't want to think about stuffing the many bags yourself either!
Well Sara's Gracious Goodies in New York can take all the hassle out of this special detail (for you NY brides)!

Not only is their website completely adorable, but it's also easy to navigate and place your order! This mother-daughter founded company specializes in hotel packages, party favors, gift baskets and custom creations. The best part is, Sara's Gracious Goodies will deliver your assembled bags directly to your hotel(s)! It doesn't get any easier. This is great not only for weddings, but they also cater to corporate events as well.

Plus, they use the finest local New York vendors including Tate's Bake Shop, North Fork Chips, Hampton Popcorn Company, Selmas, Route 29, Delancey Dessert Company, Serendipity and many more!

Visit the Sara's Gracious Goodies website or blog for more details. And if you aren't in the New York area, this is a great to simply get ideas for what to staff in your own wedding day welcome bags!


Adventures of a Bride-to-Be

Today was one dedicated solely to wedding planning. Stephen had the day off and I put in for a vacation day so we could get some important “to-dos” taken care of. We planned to go to the courthouse for our wedding license and then drive down to Temecula to meet with our Wedding Coordinator at Ponte.

We started the morning at the Starbucks drive-thru, because who doesn’t need a latte when you’re up early enough to be the first in line at the courthouse? Thankfully we filled out our application for a marriage license online, so when we arrived at the courthouse, the lovely lady at the front door let us “Advance to Boardwalk” and get directly in line with all the other crazies (did I just say that out loud?) If I was only allowed to give you one bit of advice, it would be to bring a camera! There were quite a few people dressed and ready to get married at the courthouse and at one point, both Stephen and I were a bit jealous. We had plenty of time in line to laugh about how we could have saved a lot of money and drama if we just got married there. And the outfits we thought up to wear for the “big day” were even more hilarious. It’s possible that if I’m having an overly terrible day, I might return to the courthouse for a good laugh. There is some serious creativity going on in that building!

After more than a few good laughs at the courthouse it was time to head out to Temecula. We arrived early, so we went into Old Town Temecula for a good ol fashioned breakfast and some antiquing. I’m still searching for milk glass, so if there’s an antique store on the way to anywhere these days, I’m in it. After a bit, it was time to head up to the winery and meet with our coordinator at Ponte. We made final decisions on food, linens and our wedding day timeline, then went into the tasting room to finalize our wine list. Neither Stephen, nor I are big fans of white wines, so I brought one of my bridesmaids up a few weeks back to help with those selections. We were able to solely focus on reds today, which is always a treat for us. Our selections were made and the day was a success.

We marked quite a bit off our “To Do” list and had a great time doing it! My goal is to not have anything left on the “To Do” list two weeks prior to the wedding, so as to not have any reason to stress out. I’ll let you know how that goes!

With Love,


Related Posts with Thumbnails