Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Why Most New Year's Resolutions Fail

f you're one of the many people skeptically writing up your New Year's resolutions for 2015, this post is for you. Sure, you may have had resolutions before, maybe for more years then you can count, but they never seem to stick. What gives? Why haven't you succeeded in fulfilling your goals?
You can and you will succeed if you understand why most resolutions fail. Aside from setting realistic goals, here are the top reasons you may be coming up short when it comes to achieving success:
Your Resolution is Not Specific Enough: This is a big one. Whether you're creating wedding day goals or everyday ones, you MUST be specific. It isn't good enough to say, "I want to lose weight." How much do you want to weigh? How are you going to do it? Who's going to help you or where will your weight loss program take place? It's okay if your resolution is more than one sentence long, in fact, it's better. The more details you incorporate, the more likely you are to succeed, because you're backing it up with a plan.
Your Resolution is Not Measurable: Sometimes we like to include feel good resolutions like, "I want to be a better person" or "I want to be a confident bride." Unless you can define what either of those mean and figure out a way to measure it, you're setting yourself up for failure. That's not to say you shouldn't aim for these things, you may just have to tweak it. If being confident means standing up for your wedding hopes and dreams, you can make it measurable by rephrasing it as, "I will be able to express my wedding day vision whenever challenged to change my decisions." While you can make this statement more specific, it's now measurable in that you can tally up the times you are able to confidently express yourself.
Your Resolution is Not Time Bound: Open-ended resolutions are about as successful as no resolutions at all. You can't hold yourself accountable for your actions if you don't have a time-frame. This is critical. Having a date to complete your resolution by creates a sense of urgency to get it done. If there's no deadline, you'll find plenty of excuses for not getting it done. Be your own boss and give yourself a project due date. It's the only way to have a successful goal.   

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Three Things Every Groom Can Be Thankful For This Holiday Season

Josh Womack of Laughstaff is back with some more humor and advice for the groom in this guest post. So all you grooms out there, sit back, relax, and enjoy this post written with you in mind.
In most weddings the groom is unfortunately an afterthought to the bride....well not only the bride, but the reception venue, church, deejay, dessert, etc. Yes it's true, the groom is technically there but the day belongs to the woman in white. A groom is like the single mother of the wedding. He does a lot of things behind the scenes that will never get the glamour or attention of his bride's dress. 
If you know a groom-to-be in 2015, pat him on the back and remind him of these little takeaways that EVERY groom can be grateful for. 
1) You're Not the Bride, Hallelujah! - Leading up to the wedding the bride can endure a lot of stress. The centerpieces have to be perfect, the bridesmaid’s dresses have to be a favorable color AND the bride herself has to show off her best self in the dress (ask some previous brides about the time and dollars that went into a personal trainer or eight-week tanning package, these things add up). 
I love being a guy. As we age and the crow's feet form, we become ‘distinguished’ and as the grey hairs pop up it just reflects wisdom and life experience. Women are held to a standard of beauty that the media almost makes unattainable. Be supportive to your bride-to-be, but be grateful you don't have to wake up at 5:00 a.m. to start working on your hair (and if you are bald, double bonus). 
2) The Bachelor Party - I'm not talking about some Vegas debauchery or a story that ends with "Brad ended up getting the midget stripper's number." The chance to get together with the bros for some golf or even a nice dinner should be cherished. As we get older, the chance to 'get the band back together' becomes less and less frequent to due obligations of family, parenting, job, etc. 
The bachelor party might be the last time all of your current and childhood friends get together so live in the moment and soak up the old stories & open-mouth smiles. The next time you all get together one of the guys will be missing, probably because you’re at his funeral. It’s the truth! Don’t shoot the messenger. 
3) No More Dating – Let’s be honest, it’s a self-obsessive jungle out there. Between selfies, Tinder, Instagram and the usual run-around that comes with finding the one, there’s a certain calmness knowing that part of your life is in the past. I know the thrill of the chase and the first kiss is always exciting, but the games people play aren’t. Why hasn’t she texted back? Is it a bad sign we hooked up after our first date (answer is usually yes)? Was she not a fan of Jason Aldean? I knew I should have taken her to see Hootie (Darius Rucker to the intellectual)! 
So chin up future groom, the future is bright. Embrace the new chapter and smile on the past, but gear up for what lies ahead. 
Josh Womack lives in Cleveland, OH and is the founder of Laughstaff, a speech-writing company that uses stand-up comedians as consultants to best men and matrons of honor around the world. Laughstaff has written over 140 speeches and will help you deliver a wedding toast that is heartfelt, hilarious and memorable. Follow them on Twitter @Laughstaff and check them out at

Friday, December 19, 2014

Bridal Body Image

Today I have the pleasure of sharing this wonderful guest post by Teresa Foss-Del Rosso, image consultant and owner of DC Elite Image. She offers great advice and tips on loving the skin you're in!
So you met the man of your dreams, got the perfect ring, and set the big date! Now comes one of the most important decisions you will make regarding your wedding planning, selecting your dress! Suddenly all kinds of thoughts flood your mind…what styles are best for your body type, why did you eat that pint of chocolate gelato last night, why didn’t you start taking those Barre classes six months ago. This is going to be one of the best days of your life, so you want to look and feel your best but those few extra pounds you’ve been wanting to lose are front and center. Positive Body Image is something every woman struggles with, especially on her wedding day. Here are some tips to keep you grounded and focus on learning to love your natural body shape! 
First And Foremost, Remember HE LOVES YOU JUST AS YOU ARE!  He wants to spend the rest of his life with you, whether you lose those ten pounds before the wedding or not. In his eyes, you are the most beautiful woman in the world already. Don’t do anything drastic. 
Embrace Your Beautiful Self
                                                                                                                                                                           Celebrate your natural body shape and know that your physical appearance is just one side of you. It doesn’t reflect your character, value as a person, or how loved you are. And you are loved! 
Learn The Styles Best For Your Body Type
If you are unsure of your body type, consult an image consultant or wardrobe stylist to help you figure out what styles are most flattering for your height, weight, skin tone and natural shape.
Strive To Be The Best You                                                                                                                                                                                           Not Beyonce, Giselle, or Chrissy Teigen. Set realistic goals for yourself and be confident in your own skin. Instead of focusing on the parts of your body you don’t like, focus on your favorite attributes and accentuate them. If you have great legs, think about doing a modern bride look with a short hemline or a front slit to show them off. If you have a buxom bosom, show off your curves with a feminine sweetheart neckline. Do you have wide hips but a small waistline? Try a princess-style gown that will show off what you love and conceal what you don’t. 
Do Not Try Any Crazy Crash Diets Or Workout Routines                                                                                                                                         Stick to the basics. Eat healthy, stay away from processed foods and too much alcohol, drink lots of water, and do some type of physical activity for at least 30 minutes 3-4 times a week. 
Create An Inspiration Board                                                                                                                                                                                     Look through bridal magazines and design an Inspiration board or make a Pinterest board with your findings to keep yourself organized. Show your wedding planner, stylist, and friends and plan a shopping trip with these ideas in mind. Stay positive and open-minded when trying on different styles to see what looks and feels best. 
Love Yourself                                                                                                                                                                                                       Everyone has had days when they don’t like parts of their body or the way they look. Remember to truly find your own style and have positive body image, you need to embrace, accept, and respect your natural body shape, skin tone, and other attributes that make you the beautiful unique woman you are. 
Teresa Foss-Del Rosso is the owner of DC Elite Image, a boutique image consulting company specializing in helping professional men and women look and feel their best in preparation for weddings, galas, and other special life events. Teresa has been in the fashion and beauty industry for over 15 years and has her BA in Fashion Merchandising from Marymount University. Some of Teresa’s work experience includes being a MAC-trained Makeup Artist, Stylist, Freelance Writer, Dating Coach, and Model. Find out more at and on Twitter @dceliteimage or FB at

Friday, December 12, 2014

Time Saving Holiday Shopping Tips for the Busy Bride

Shoes? Check. Invitations? Check. Bridal Shower? Check. Holiday shopping? Uh oh. If you're worried about the time crunch between now and the holidays or the thought of gift shopping in the midst of wedding planning is overwhelming, try these ideas.
Gift Cards: Okay. Not original or the most fun gift to give, but if you're really cutting it down to the wire and feeling stressed out, it's the best way to go. You can purchase them from the convenience of home while you're in your PJs if you have to. And there's practically a gift card for every need, so you won't find yourself frustrated at not finding the perfect gift for your best friend or your grandfather. If you usually give wrapped gifts, add a note letting people know that due to your busy wedding planning schedule, this year you'll be handing out gift cards but that you look forward to returning to your usual routine after the wedding.
Shop at One Location: Part of the hassle of gift buying is that different people like different things. That usually means having to frequent various stores to get something for everyone. Before you know it, an entire day has come and gone just traveling around from one place to the next. Do yourself a favor this year and pick one store that sells stuff for anyone, regardless of age or gender. Whether you decide on a bookstore, cooking store, or outdoor sporting goods center, get all your gifts at that once place. You can even let people know you'll have a theme this year. It'll definitely save you travel time and you can still come up with some creative gifts for everyone on your list.
Bake or Make Something Tasty: Everyone loves food. If you happen to be a talented chef or baker, this will be easy for you. Spend a couple hours baking cookies, brownies, or whatever else is easy to make in bulk. Or maybe you prefer preserving fruits or making chocolate. If you enjoy doing something, it won't feel like work to you. Outside of making the goodies, you will have to buy containers to deliver your treats in. But this truly is a gift of love for those you love.
Throw a Party: Feeling too busy or too tired to do any shopping or work? Invite those on your guest list out instead. Treat them to dinner, a game of bowling, or even a movie night. Aside from making the reservations and sending out a quick invite letting people know this treat will be in lieu of a wrapped gift this year, there's not much else you have to do. Show up, have fun, and pay for the bill. A night out gives you some down time without the wrapping paper or clean up.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Secret to Stopping an Argument with your Fiance (or anyone else) Before it Starts

Picture this: You come home after a long day of work and wedding related appointments, only to find your fiancé sulking over some leftover takeout. When you ask what's wrong, he begins telling you how you're always coming home late, you never go out anymore, and how this whole wedding thing is taking up all your time. What? Did you just hear him right? Here you are planning every detail of what's to be the most important day in your lives and he's complaining! You're doing the best you can to get every detail taken care of in between work and laundry. Maybe if he were to help a little more, you would have more time. You can see where this is going and how an argument can ensue.
Whatever the case or subject matter, however, there is a secret tool you can use to help diffuse arguments before they start. It takes practice and a cool head on your part, but it works. In psychology it's called the disarming technique. With it, you "disarm" your opponent by finding some truth in what they are saying. That's the hardest part, but generally you can find one point no matter how small, to agree with. In the case above, you might respond with, "You're right. Planning this wedding is taking up a lot of my time and we haven't been going out together as much." This response will shut down the argument factor, because you are essentially agreeing with your partner.
Next, try and put yourself in his shoes. "You must think I've totally forgot about our relationship and what this wedding is about in the first place?" Empathizing with your partner shows you are trying to understand where he is coming from. It also opens it up for a good, honest communication about how he's feeling. Addressing and validating your fiancé's feelings is critical in your relationship. After listening to him, share your feelings too. Saying something like, "I wish I didn't have to spend so much time away from you either. Maybe we can brainstorm some ways to relieve some of the things I have to get done or come up with a date night schedule?"
You can see how this entire example is responsive rather than reactive. That's what your aiming for in all relationships. The disarming technique will work with family members, friends, and wedding professionals too. And while it sounds simple on paper, it's actually quite hard to put into practice when you're in the heat of the moment. But it's not impossible if you practice and keep using it. It's an excellent secret weapon to stopping arguments before they start.

Friday, December 5, 2014

3 Things You're Doing that Adds MORE Stress to Your Life During the Holidays

'Tis the season. With December underway, it's crunch time to get your greeting cards out, shopping done, and baking in the oven. Lest you forget, you're engaged too and there's no real break when it comes to wedding planning. How do you juggle it all? Start by taking a look at these three things that could be causing additional stress during the holiday season.
1) Taking on Too Much: If you're already feeling overwhelmed with wedding  planning and the thought of the upcoming holiday is giving you anything but joy, maybe you have too much on your plate. Don't volunteer to host a holiday dinner party or cook if you don't have the time or energy. Decline invitations to parties if you're feeling like you're spread too thin. Or skip the holiday shopping if it's stressing you out. Tell everybody, that you'll get around to gifts after your wedding if you have to. The important thing is knowing when you're doing too much and setting limits.
2) Not Asking for Help: If you have a lot on your plate and are finding it difficult to get everything done, it may be time to call on some backup. Enlist the help of others when it comes to holiday preparations. Ask your fiancé to help with your greeting cards or spend an evening with your girlfriends getting the house decorated. In addition to offering support and helping you stay motivated, you'll feel less overwhelmed and have more fun when your work is a team effort.
3) Not Taking a Break: Planning your wedding is a big deal. It's probably the biggest event in your life. Even so, remember that your life can't revolve around planning a wedding. It has to be the other way around. That said, it's important that you take the time to enjoy the holidays. Everybody needs a breather and this is the perfect time to pick several days off from wedding stuff. However you choose to celebrate, do it fully without wedding worries getting in the way. It will help you enjoy the season more and hopefully recharge your "bridal batteries."

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

November Appreciation: Weddings by MP (MP Media)

MP Media or Mark and Pamela are UK wedding photographers extraordinaire. Fine art photojournalism at it's best. I appreciate them allowing me to use their fabulous photos on the blog! And if I make it to England one day, I hope to thank them in person and convince them to take some family photos for us in the beautiful English countryside!  Here is more about them, along with some of their work.
Weddings by MP (MP Media) consists of a team of multi-talented individuals, led by Mark and Pamela. The company specialises in Fine Art, and provides both photography and videography services around the UK and worldwide. Mark and Pamela are directly involved in the creation of fine art photography and film, and its subsequent post-production. They are supported by a team of professionals who ensure the very highest levels of customer care are met.

The business began six years ago with Mark being the main photographer. Pamela focussed solely on marketing, and became more involved in post-production three years ago. Her talents were evident and extended beyond her original marketing expertise, as her original background is in fine art, and this will always remain her first love. The company has grown consistently each year; they not only maintain strong relationships with their clients, but also with key organisations within the wedding industry.

Their clients provide inspiration, as their requirements are different; from the style of each wedding to the detail, each product is tailored to each client's personal specifications.

In an industry dominated by trends; this has never influenced MP Media's style, and the company continues to invest in latest technologies to ensure their clients receive the very highest quality of products and services available.

With numerous awards to their name, the MP Media team still regard their greatest achievement as the continuous feedback received from their clients complimenting them on the outstanding level of service received.
Below is an example of some of the images Team MP captured at Terri and Paul's wedding in the United Kingdom
View for additional information.
Also visit on Twitter @MPMediaTeam 
Facebook at
Instagram at
Pinterest at

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

November Appreciation: Wedding Market

Wedding Market provides industry news, market trends, and marketing information for the international wedding market and bridal marketI stumbled upon #WeddingMarket Twitter chat for wedding professionals a while back and have been hooked since. Host, Julie Albaugh, does an amazing job of making everyone feel welcome and provides a supportive atmosphere for networking. She brings some pretty interesting and famous personalities on the chat too! Some of the Wedding Market guests have included Cake Boss, Disney Weddings, Preston Bailey, Sharon Sacks, The Knot and WeddingWire. Wedding Market was selected as #3 of the top 10 Social Media influencers in the Wedding Industry by Wed Biz Media. With so much to learn in the ever-changing wedding industry, this is one networking group you don't want to miss! Every Wednesday at 1pm EST on Twitter.
To learn more visit:

Monday, November 24, 2014

November Appreciation:The Giving Bride Lingerie

It's always great to share the work of others, especially when they are invested in helping those around them. Enter Maggie Gillette, Founder and Creative Director of The Giving Bride. Maggie combines her love of fashion and philanthropy by designing beautiful lingerie and giving a portion of each sale to women's charities. Here's a look at some of her lovely lingerie and a little more about it in her own words: 
Started in 2012, The Giving Bride creates timeless lingerie for the discerning bride. Our classic styles are made from luxury fabrics and high end finishes and are embellished with French lace and hand placed Swarovski crystals.  
Our goal is to make beautiful lingerie that a bride will want to wear on her wedding day-and all the days to come after it!  The Giving Bride Lingerie is currently available for purchase online (we also ship internationally through, though we may be in stores in the US soon.
The Giving Bride also has a strong focus on making our clothing in an ethical manner.  All of our lingerie is made in New York and a portion of every purchase goes to women's charities.  Our current partner is a domestic violence shelter outside Chicago.  
For more information visit

Friday, November 21, 2014

November Appreciation: Glessner Photography

I connected with Glessner Photography on Twitter and was immediately taken with how friendly and talented they were. Their photos are creative and fun and captures the excitement of the moment. Thank you Eric and Betsy for graciously allowing me to feature many of your photos on the blog. Have a look at some of their great photos below and learn more about the dynamic duo in their own words:
We are a husband and wife team based around Johnstown, PA. We are looking for kind, fun, and easy-going individuals to photograph who enjoy and appreciate photography as much as we do.  We specialize in wedding photography with dramatic lighting and a semi-fashion look.  Our love for photography really began after our first child, Mylee, was born in 2008. The desire to capture special moments only grew when our son, Liam, was born in 2010. We loved taking pictures of our children throughout the years and it has led us to broaden our photographic horizons. We now have evolved into photographing engagements, weddings, maternity, newborn, sporting events and senior portraits. Our goal is to keep growing as photographers with each click of the shutter and become the best photography team in the area. We would love to be able to photograph your special event!
For more information contact Eric and Betsy Glessner at (814) 487-1331
Twitter @EricGlessner      Instagram at
Pinterest at  
Facebook at

Thursday, November 20, 2014

November Appreciation: Laugh Staff

Funny man, Josh Womack and Laugh Staff caught my eye and tickled my funny bone on the world wide web. Who can't use a little help and humor when it comes to speech writing? I love what this team is doing so much, that I had them write a guest article for this blog! Here's more about Laughstaff and a couple of new promo videos too!
Laugh Staff was founded in March of 2013 by Josh Womack and Cameron Amigo, two-part time comedians from Cleveland, OH. Laugh Staff’s goal is to help best men and maid of honors deliver hilarious and heartfelt wedding toasts. Laugh Staff aims to prepare best men and matrons of honor with great content and a working script for them to wow the audience (the best man’s dance moves will cancel out the great speech later in the night, but nothing we can do about that).
The comedians at Laugh Staff realize public speaking is a fear of Ebola-like magnitude and are crusading to help best men and maids of honor everywhere.
As of right now Laugh Staff focuses on the wedding industry, but plans to move into the realms of corporate & retirement speeches along with helping all the single ladies, all the single ladies (you just sang it in your head, right) AND single guys write their online dating profiles. By 2014, 7 out of 10 relationships will start online. Laugh Staff doesn’t want to speak for you, we just want to help you speak for yourself.
Check us out at 
Twitter @Laughstaff
Facebook at
Pinterest at

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

November Appreciation: Hitched in a Hurry

I was introduced to Karley Kiker and her book, Hitched in a Hurry, not long ago on a Twitter wedding chat. Having a short engagement myself (several years ago), I immediately knew she was onto something with her book for brides and grooms who want to plan their wedding in 6 months or less. More about Karley and her book, in her own words:
Hitched in a Hurry: The ultimate how-to for a speedy "I do" is a guide for brides planning weddings in six months or fewer. Packed with tips, charts, and organizational tools tailored to fit tighter timelines, Hitched in a Hurry also contains interviews with real-life couples that successfully turned short engagements into lifelong love affairs. So forget those Wedding World naysayers (You'll walk the aisle naked!) and toss aside that traditional 12-18 month timeline, too. If you and your fiancé have said we will to fast forwarding to I do, then kick off your heels, lace up those running shoes, and prepare to plan. The finish line isn't that far away! 

HOW HITCHED MEASURES UP (and stands out!) 
  • Traditional planning guides assume brides will be engaged for 12-16 months, making Hitched in a Hurry the only complete roadmap on the market for women planning weddings in six months or fewer.
  • At 118 pages, Hitched in a Hurry is the perfect length for a "bride on the fly" who doesn't have time to read a 500-page tome on wedding planning.
  • Every chapter of the book ends with a real-life love story and an interview with a former speedy bride-to-be, providing "It CAN be done"-encouragement for readers.
  • Condensed planning timelines, checklists, creative gift ideas, suggested registry items, Q&A sections, budgeting insights, after-the-aisle tips, and other workbook -type materials are included inside Hitched in a Hurry to make the wedding planning process as simple and straightforward as possible.
  •  Hitched in a Hurry combats the "This is YOUR day"-lie by focusing on building a healthy marriage rather than just planning a bride-focused event that's over and done in a 24-hour period. The book also contains a whole chapter written from a man's perspective (Chapter 8, "Guy Talk"). Imagine that!
  • About The Author
    A graduate of Pepperdine University with a degree in Creative Writing, Karley Kiker interned for Us Weekly and D Magazine, worked as an au pair in Southern France, and attended parties as a society columnist for People Newspapers before speeding through a 4.5-month engagement and marrying her handsome husband, Taylor. She lives in Dallas, Texas. Hitched in a Hurry: The ultimate how-to for a speedy "I do" is her first book. Most importantly, she is saved by the grace of Jesus Christ, who wrote her the most beautiful love story imaginable and has continually provided for her in every season. (Eph. 3:20-21 says it all.)
    For more information visit or or to purchase the book on Amazon visit,

Friday, November 14, 2014

November Appreciation: Leah Moyers Photography

I was fortunate to connect with Leah Moyers nearly a year ago, when I needed a photograph for an article I wrote for Chicago Style Weddings. She was professional and reliable and her photos were fantastic. I've enjoyed working with Leah ever since. Thank you, Leah! Here's more about her and a look at some of her wonderful work. In her own words:
I'm an East Tennessee girl with a background in fine art photography. Educated in Baltimore (BFA from MICA) and Chicago (MFA from SAIC) living in Knoxville, TN- I'm a traveling wedding and lifestyle photographer available to work locally and worldwide. I am honored to be a member of the WPJA, Fearless Photographers, and a Rockstar Approved Vendor with Rock n Roll Bride. My work has been featured on Offbeat Bride, The Knot, The Bride Link, H&H Weddings, Huffington Post Weddings, Bridal Balance, The Chicago Sun Times, Chicago Style Weddings Magazine, A Bicycle Built For Two,Yes Bride, and more. 
For more information, visit Leah's website at
Twitter: @LeahMoyersPhoto

Thursday, November 13, 2014

November Appreciation: Knotsvilla

Meeting new people at wedding Twitter chats is a fun part of this job. That's where I met Gee, who hosts #WeddingChatter weekly. She maintains an awesome blog filled with lots of cool details, photos, and wedding inspiration. More about Knotsvilla here from the founder herself.
KnotsVilla (previously known as Everything Weddings And More) is an international wedding blog, founded September 2nd 2012 with the sole purpose of helping Brides with Inspiration and Education for a smooth wedding planning process. I created this blog just a few months after I planned my own wedding and decided to give back to the community in one way I knew best; Blogging!

KnotsVilla aims to bring her readers as much as it can about planning the wedding and enjoying the journey. The goal is to keep the readers informed about the fast growing Wedding industry and offer help to anyone who may be planning or just searching for more information/ideas.

While this blog's main goal is towards the Bride and her Groom, KnotsVilla is also passionate about highlighting great wedding vendors and connecting them with potential clients. In the perfect world, KnotsVilla would be the place where the Bride and Groom learn how to visualize their wedding, plan it, and also connect with the Vendors of their dreams! 
Knotsvilla's major style of posts are:
Real Events (Weddings, Engagements, Anniversaries, etc)
Color/Theme Inspiration Posts
Advice for Wedding Planning
Bridal Style/Fashion Posts
This year KnotsVilla turned 2 and decided to give a twist to the kind of real events featured on the blog. While KnotsVilla is in love with the classic wedding/engagement styles, our readers seemed to be more intrigued with more details. So as of September, KnotsVilla began to focus more on Theme-ful, Prop-ful Color-ful, Culture-ful events. Whether it's a Vintage Picnic Engagement session or a South African cultural weddingKnotsVilla wants to see them all.

About the Editor
My name is Gee and I'm the editor of KnotsVilla (once upon a time known as Everything Weddings And More). A Christian Girl, born and raised in Nigeria, and currently globetrotting North America (Canada to U.S.A to Canada) for different reasons, such as School, Work and Marriage. As of today, I reside in the beautiful city of Toronto where I live the life of a full time housewife and professional wedding blogger.

Like a few others out there, my passion for Wedding Planning was brought to light after I planned my wedding in June 2012. After my wedding, I realized I had too much information and guidance left in my head to just ignore the urge to help fellow brides in the process, so KnotsVilla came to life! 
I love blogging and researching about pretty things like weddings. I also love networking - I am shy in person but I do well with meeting people online! Being the chatty girl I am, I started a twitter chat all about weddings called #WeddingChatter. Myself and fantastic brides and vendors meet on Twitter every Friday at 3 pm EST to chat (tweet) about weddings. You are invited!

Contact Knotsvilla;
Twitter: @knotsvilla
Instagram: @knotsvillaWeddings
Pinterest: @knotsvilla

Friday, November 7, 2014

November Appreciation: My Hotel Wedding

Lauren and the folks at My Hotel Wedding are amazing. Not only is their website loaded with great information, wedding inspiration and insider tips, they are always adding extra touches. Be sure to check out their Wedding Wednesday videos. Here's more in their own words:
When planning a wedding in her own family, Lauren found that most wedding websites came up short when it came to finding not only wedding inspiration but also actual insider tips and tricks of the trade. Using her extensive experience in luxury hotel event management and her talent for creating world-class parties and events, Lauren founded My Hotel Wedding in 2012 as a solution to this need. My Hotel Wedding supplies couples with both knowledge and creative ideas for their dream hotel weddings by featuring real hotel weddings, fabulous fashion inspiration, wedding planning tools, and tips from seasoned hotel wedding professionals.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

November Appreciation: OFD Consulting

I wouldn't be where I am today if it weren't for the wonderful Meghan Ely. She is the wedding business coach who helped me visualize my dreams, with Bridal Balance. Not only is she knowledgeable, dependable and hard working, she is fun, friendly, and easy to work with. More about Meghan and her company in her own words: 
OFD Consulting owner, Meghan Ely, combines in-the-trenches event experience with a love of marketing, public relations and the wedding industry to empower her clients to take their businesses to new heights.
After graduating magna cum laude with a degree in Public Relations from James Madison University, she began her career at a historic southern estate, where she steadily increased sales before joining a five-star, five-diamond property for several years. In early 2009, with over 200 weddings under her belt, Meghan launched OFD Consulting.
Meghan is a regular contributor to The Knot, and is a WeddingWire Education Expert. She is a frequent guest on a number of industry blogs, most recently serving as one of The Special Event's "Voices of TSE" for 2012 and 2013.
Meghan is a sought-after speaker on a broad range of wedding marketing and wedding PR topics at industry events and conferences. She was the charter Marketing Director for the Richmond Chapter of the National Association for Catering and Events (NACE) and now serves on their national education committee. She is also a member of the Association of Bridal Consultants and regularly writes for their industry publication Wedding Planner Magazine.
Meghan was honored as one of the "Top 40 under 40" by Style Weekly Magazine. She is an adjunct professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, specializing in public relations and branding.
To learn more visit OFD Consulting at or on Twitter @OFDConsulting and Facebook at

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A Month of Gratitude

What better way to celebrate November and Thanksgiving than dedicating this month to showing my appreciation for those wedding professionals who have helped me or this blog in one way or another. I asked them to write up a bit about themselves so I can feature it here this month. For those who weren't able to send in something or who were too busy, I'll mention them in our Wedding Wednesday Weekly Roundups. If I've forgotten anyone, it was unintentional (forgive me in advance). Gratitude quotes and tips will round out this month of appreciation.
Of course, none of this would be possible without a few personal thank you's of my own. So I've included the top 10 things I am thankful for outside of work. I encourage you to do the same. In addition to being therapeutic, it might just help you appreciate some stuff you weren't aware of before.
Appreciation: My Top 10 List (in no particular order):
1) My Husband- A wonderful husband and terrific dad, I'm fortunate every day for all the things he does, love he provides, laughs he induces, and support he gives.
2) My Family- They may be a little quirky, but they're family. I'm so thankful they raised me the way they did and taught me that I could do anything. Their love is endless.
3) My Princesses- Our two very active little girls keep me on my toes and make me laugh and run daily.
4) My In-Laws- Okay. How many people get to say that? I am blessed with the best in-laws ever! Not only are they there when we need them, they create special moments every time we get together. 
5) My Health- Sure I could use a bit more sleep and a few less calories (I blame the kids), but not a day goes by that I don't appreciate my health. I wouldn't be here without it!
6) My Home- When I got married, I knew I wanted not just a house, but a home. We've slowly created one and each day I look forward to making it the cozy, warm living space I always imagined it to be.
7) My Time- It's not a lot during the day, but I appreciate the moments I get to spend one on one with each of my family members. These are the special times in life I remember most(although it's not a bad idea to write such memories down).
8) My Talents- It takes talent to be able to juggle so many things. I'm good at multitasking and time management, so I can accomplish more than it might seem possible. By no means perfect, but very thankful to have been bestowed with such gifts.
9) My Friends- We all need friendship. I have been blessed with knowing some amazing people. Each different in his or her own way, but I've learned something from every one of them. And for that, I am grateful.
10) G-d- Without my spiritual beliefs and G-d, I don't know where I would be. But I trust and depend on Him always to get me through each day. Amazingly enough He does!  

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Spooked About Your Upcoming Wedding?

So, your wedding is right around the corner and all of the sudden you're beginning to get the wedding day jitters. You ask yourself, "is this normal or not?" Having cold feet or jitters about your forthcoming nuptials can be totally normal. After all, this is a major life change. How do you know if it's normal for you? Use this quick guide to check out your feelings.
1) It's Wedding Day Related: If your worry and uneasiness seem to be about the big day itself, consider it most likely normal. Every bride wants her wedding day to go off without a hitch. If your main concerns are about the venue, music, and other day of happenings, do what you can to take care of business and then rest your worried mind. Enjoy your engagement and have fun on your wedding.
2) You Don't Know What to Expect Afterwards: You love your fiancé, but aren't sure how this whole marriage thing is going to change your relationship. Will it be just like when you were dating? Can you handle all his quirky habits once you're living together? These thoughts are also pretty normal. Entering a new phase in life is challenging, because it presents you with a huge change from your norm. It may help to discuss some of these issues ahead of time or get premarital counseling. It'll be a learning process for both of you. Remember love and patience, always.
3) Is He the Right One: If you are asking this question now, you better answer why you said "yes" in the first place. If you were certain the entire time and only now with your wedding a few weeks away you're asking yourself this, it's probably a good case of cold feet. Being 100% certain about anything in life is unlikely. Here you have to look at yourself and your relationship together. Does it work? Are you in love? Do you have the same goals and wants in life? Most of these questions, you should have answered way before he proposed. If you've been skeptical your entire dating relationship, you may want to put the wedding off until you sort out what's going on.
4) You Don't Want to be Tied Down: If you are spooked about the notion of marriage and aren't sure how you got to this point, take a good close look at what you want in life. Marriage means being committed to someone for life. It's a partnership and that means give and take. It means making decisions and creating a life together. If you're used to a single life and can't imagine another person being a part of it at all times, marriage may not be for you. Your jitters are real and you need to be honest with yourself and your partner.
5) It Wasn't Your Choice, Really: If you feel like you were pressured into getting married, "felt bad" about turning someone down, or have another reason why you may have said "yes" when you really wanted to say "no," then call off the engagement now.  Sure, it's embarrassing and you spent a lot of time and money, but it's better then going through with it and being unhappy.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Three Tips to Start Your Marriage Off Right

If you're recently married, you may be wondering, "how do I start my marriage off on the right foot?" If that thought crossed you're mind, you're already one step ahead of the game. You understand and appreciate that marriage, like most relationships takes work. Here are a few simple things you can do to begin your happily ever after!
1) Have Dinner Together:  Sounds pretty simple, but with busy life and work schedules, it's easy to take little things, like dinner, for granted. But eating together gives you both a break from the busyness of life. It allows you to sit together and enjoy each other's company, and if done right, focus on your relationship. Dinners are best unplugged. That means no interruptions from phones, emails, television, etc. Talk about your day, your hopes, dreams, or even your fears. Make sure to listen to your partner too. Even if you're not all that interested in your spouse's latest lesson plan for school, make an effort to hear him out. If he's telling you about it, it's important to him. So make it important to you too. If it's impossible to have dinner together because of conflicting schedules, set aside some time together each day to have "unplugged" time and listen to each other. It could be over a cup of tea or breakfast in the morning. But make a point to talk and listen to each other uninterrupted.
2) Pay a Compliment or Two:  Another important way to help your relationship is to compliment one another. Everybody wants to know that they are good at something, that you appreciate what they do, or that you admire some quality of theirs. Sure you may have told that to your husband before you married him, but it doesn't end there. Make it a point to acknowledge your spouse's talents, character traits and other things he does. It doesn't have to be excessive, but enough that he knows you appreciate him and all he does. You can thank him for always helping clear off the dishes or remind him how much you love his humor or commitment to family. These little reminders go a long way in keeping the love alive.
3) Make a Plan:  It helps to start your married life off with a plan: a household chores plan. Doesn't sound all that romantic in helping your marriage, but some structure is important in relationships. By creating a plan, you give each other a set of responsibilities around the house each of you are in charge of. A clear plan limits the need for conversations like, "honey, did you take out the trash" or "who's paying the bills this month?" Sure, every once in a while you may need a reminder, but beginning your marriage with a clear idea of who's doing what will help you find balance and reliability in your relationship.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Plan Your Wedding More Productively with these 10 Steps

Feeling overwhelmed? Afraid you're not on track with all your wedding planning details? Nip the wedding worry wart in the bud with these 10 productivity tips!
1) Make a Schedule: It's easy to forget about all the things that have to get done before the big day if you don't have a schedule. If you fall into this category, sit down and make one. Don't make it too complicated either. Try starting with what you need to accomplish this week. Jot it down and then allot the specific days and times you plan to work on it. The hard part is sticking to it!
2) Limit the Time You Spend on the Web: Surfing the web for inspiration and wedding ideas is fun, but can become quite time consuming if you don't check yourself. Give yourself a set time (e.g. 30 minutes) to be online and then turn it off and start getting stuff done.
3) Get Organized: If your wedding information and research is all over the place, you'll find yourself spending a good deal of time looking for everything before you can get start getting any work done. Set up a wedding work space and files so you know where to find your vendor information and all the important details when you need them and without delay.
4) Say "No" to Interruptions: Friends keep calling for updates? Family wants your help, but you don't have time? It's okay to tell people "no" every now and then. You have a lot to get done. Let people know you are busy and don't have extra time while you are planning your wedding. Or do what need to get accomplished first and then make time for everybody else. Let them know your plan and it can be a win-win for all.
5) Don't Let it Pile Up: It's easy to let your to-do list pile up. If you keep putting aside tasks that need to get done, that's exactly what happens. If possible, tackle easy tasks as they come in, like opening up your mail, scheduling appointments, or writing thank-you notes.
6) Wake Up Earlier: Getting out of bed a few minutes earlier can put you ahead of schedule. Even ten minutes earlier, can give you extra time to eat a healthy breakfast, meditate, or otherwise, take better care of yourself or finish up a project you were working on the night before.
7) Turn Off Distractions: When you're working on wedding planning, do it fully. Turn off your computer, television, and other distractions that can pull you away from the task at hand. Doing this will help you get more things done in less amount of time.
8) Check Your Time "Wasters:" It's a good idea to sit down with yourself and figure out what's consuming most of your time. Do you get distracted easily? Do you find yourself sleeping in because you're too tired? Are there too many social commitments? Look at what's occupying most of your schedule and see how you can fix it to better manage your productivity.
9) Get Motivated: A little motivation can go a long way. Sometimes all you need is someone there to help cheer you on and make sure you're on track. Choose a person you trust and enjoy working with and ask them to be your cheerleader. Have them check in with you every few days to make sure you're sticking to your schedule and have your priorities in order. Choose someone who can pitch in and help if you need her too, as well.
10) Take a Day Off: Whether it's on a workday or a weekend, dedicating a full day to planning your wedding can help you get caught up. Make sure you use it wisely, however, and keep in mind the other 9 tips so you get the most out of your day.