View Posts By:




5 Ways to Keep Your Bridesmaids (and Their Wallets!) Happy

Being a bridesmaid is the end-all, be-all of best friend duties… and one your lovely ladies will most definitely take seriously. But, if you love your girls (and we know you do), then keeping it as cost-effective as possible is beyond important. So today we’re turning to our friends at Vow To Be Chic for their advice on how to do just that. Scroll below for happy maids in five simple steps.


We’ve all done the bridesmaid dance a time or two (or three) and there’s nothing more annoying than trying to squeeze ten different body types into one gorgeous style. That’s why we’re all about letting your besties choose from an array of stunning dresses, aka, making sure they feel confident in a style + color combo that flatters their every curve. We suggest teaming up with a stylist (like the talented ones at Vow To Be Chic) to help guide you to the mix and match combos that will really make a statement. They know their stuff, you guys, so you can totally trust them.


One of the biggest expenses of bridesmaid-ing is all of the little accessories your ladies have to buy along the way. So rather than asking them to stock up on new jewelry, we suggest buying them the essentials as a sweet present that really shows them how much you care. And you don’t have to get crazy with gorgeous sparklers… keep it simple with beautiful earrings and show-stopping bracelets. Oh, and bonus points if you have your maids wear their own shoes. ‘Cause that’s just comfy AND cost-effective.


From the bachelorette party to the bridal shower to the engagement party and everything in between, your out-of-town maids are sure to be feeling the travel cost heat. So instead of asking those ladies you love to fly in for a special bridesmaid dress shopping excursion, curate your very own Vow To Be Chic Bridal Suite, then invite your besties and have them order try-ons. Your maids can pick a day to host their own personal fashion show (with bubbly, of course) and send you photos of the big reveals. It’s just as much fun at zero the cost.


Take it from someone who has been there, bachelorette parties can get crazy expensive. So why not relieve some of that financial stress from your maids and DIY your “night out” with your friends. Think an at-home spa night just days before the wedding filled with tasty treats and drinks. You can kick back in your robes, sip champagne and watch all of those movies you grew up loving. Sooo fun.


Of course, nothing saves more than renting your bridesmaid dresses. I mean, you can literally save your besties hundreds of dollars on gowns, alterations AND dry cleaning just by hopping online and kicking back in your yoga pants. (Champagne is optional.) And it’s sooo simple. Just head to an online shop (we suggest Vow To Be Chic), peruse the stunning lineups of top-quality designer dresses, consult a stylist and start curating. With Vow, your besties will receive their dresses (with a backup size!) two whole weeks before the Big Day and can simply return it once the party is over with pre-paid packaging. Vow will even dry-clean for you. We love that.

Head to Vow To Be Chic today to start your journey to seriously happy maids. And don’t forget to use promo code SMP10 for 10% off a rental!

Photography: Kate Botwinkski | Photography: Brian Flint Photo | Photography: Stellar Exposures | Photography: Ashley Largesse Photography | Photography: Boone Studios | Photography: Jill Doty Photography | Photography: Abbi Hearne | Photography: LA Exposures | Photography: Emily Harris Photography | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Vow To Be Chic

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
From the pages of the
{ The latest from our most exclusive, hand-picked list of vendors }
4 Ways to Include Every Kind of Mom in Wedding Planning

“I think you need a grand five tier cake.” I sat staring, open-mouthed, at my usually laid-back mom. This was the same woman who, through the florist and caterer meeting had stayed largely silent, saying “whatever you like!” The baker did the math on a napkin for us – the cake my mother was suggesting was 450 pieces of cake to our 120 guests. Rest assured, we ultimately found a cake compromise. I was surprised, but maybe I should have seen this coming – my mom is French and I know how that country feels about desserts.

Having any loving relative involved in this special time is a huge blessing. The fond memories you’ll make by having these women at your side while you embark on this new adventure will be treasured – but there are bound to be times when you all differ in opinion. So, to help you navigate the mama-minefield, we’re outlining four different mom styles, and how to involve them in your planning process while staying sane.

The Traditionalist

Some women are bound to care more about adhering to tradition, whatever that may be for their family. It gets even harder when families bring different sets of traditions to the table. If these wishes don’t necessarily fit with your modern vision for the day, the best advice is to find a way to honor each family member, without sacrificing your own vision. Find out what your mother cares about and pick something you’re comfortable incorporating that will make her happy. It might be a short reading during the ceremony, photos of loved ones on the cake table, or a bouquet toss. Involve them in the parts of planning that will feel familiar – like setting up your registry, or shopping for stationary.

The Specialist

If you are lucky enough to have a mom with a particular area of expertise – you can expect a lot of opinions. This is my mom, who is a professional photographer. While all the extra input might be overwhelming, think of this as an advantage, and accept some extra help. Let your mom take one thing off your plate, but don’t forget to voice your opinion. I put my mom in charge of booking a photographer for our big day, but before she got to work, we looked at portfolios together online so she could get a sense of the styles my fiancé and I liked. With her input we found an incredible professional at a fair price that we all loved!

The Cool Companion

Maybe she eloped for her own wedding, generally shies away from voicing her opinion, or for whatever reason doesn’t have many strong feelings about weddings. It’s great to have a laid-back confidant throughout wedding planning, but don’t let her lack of firm opinions prevent you from making memories together. Involve your mom in something activity based, where her company is more important than her input. A menu tasting, china pattern shopping, or site walk-through are all great examples. If you know you’ll be faced with some tough decisions across the day, you can also include a friend who is sure to tell it like it is. No matter what you’ll be glad you had your mother by your side for a few key events.

The Party Animal

On the other hand, there are certainly those moms who have been waiting for this moment their whole lives and intend to make it the party of the century. This is great if you also want a huge bash, but the party she has in mind may end up larger than you hoped. If you envisioned a smaller, more intimate affair, or disagree on how to spend wedding funds, the best course of action is an honest conversation. If your parents are footing some or all of the wedding bill, you may need to make some compromises, for example, on extending invitations to their friends. If you and your fiancé are covering the cost yourself, you need to stick to what you are comfortable spending. Regardless, the key is to clearly communicate what is important to you, as well as where you are, and are not, willing to compromise. Then,involve your mom in all the celebration decisions that will be right up her alley – favors, or dance playlists, for example.

Style Me Pretty Contributor – Chloe O’Sullivan is a freelance writer and sales director based in Washington DC (soon relocating to Northern New Hampshire).  When she isn’t writing, she can be found trying new restaurants, planning her next trip, or hiking with her soon to be husband.  



Vault CTA

Vault CTA

Your Blueprint for a Modern Wintry City Wedding

Although this city wedding is layered with modern detailing, I can’t help but fall head over heels for the classic black and white captures that Blaine Siesser snapped up. And can we talk about this Alon Livne dress for a sec? Allll the heart eyes you guys. If you’re planning a city fete, might I suggest spending some time pinning this one in The Vault. Start to finish, it’s a gem darlings.


From the Bride… We met when we were twelve and thirteen at Camp Tamakwa and our relationship just lead from there. He finally proposed on the Saturday before the College for Creative Studies finals week because he wanted to really catch me off guard. We had planned to go out to dinner with both sets of parents. My mom had continuously asked me to get my nails done all week, but I was too distracted by my work to think twice about it. The night of dinner I did not bother to put on makeup or do my hair, threw on a pair of jeans, boots, and a sweater. My parents repeatedly asked me to dress more nicely for dinner which I kindly ignored. Josh asked me to come to his place before dinner for a drink which I was happy to do to get away from my parents nagging me about my outfit choice. I walked up to his door and found that he was in a suit holding flowers, and that the hall was decorated top to bottom with balloons, flowers, and framed pictures of us. He got down on one knee and I said yes. It was simple, intimate, and romantic, just like us.

On our wedding day I was most excited for Josh to see me in my wedding dress for the first time during our first look. I could not wait to see him all morning. Looking back, my favorite wedding memory is seeing Joshua for our first look. Seeing the expression on his face is something that I will never forget. My favorite wedding photo was taken during those first moments. DeeDee Hoffman our planner and Bruce our florist designed most of our day and planned it beautifully. Some styled elements I really enjoyed though were the bridesmaids who wore black slip dresses from the reformation, with black strappy heels, and I left jewelry up to them as long as it was minimal and gold or silver. We custom designed our rings. They were both rose gold, but mine had a diamond set in the ring. Mine is engraved on the inside with “I got my eyes on you” While his says “You are everything that I see” lyrics from our favorite Drake song.


Vault CTA

Vault CTA



Photography: Blaine Siesser Photography | Videography: Visi Productions | Event Design: Dee Dee Hofman | Wedding Coordination: Dee Dee Hofman | Floral Design: Breath of Spring | Wedding Dress: Alon Livne | Wedding Cake: Home Bakery | Invitations: Cartoleria | Reception Venue: The Westin Book Cadillac | Wedding Shoes: Stuart Weitzmen | Bridesmaids Dresses: Reformation | Make Up: Chante Cutter | Hair: Luigi Bruni Salon | Lighting: Affordable Party Lighting | DJ: DJ Whip | Band: Your Generation in Concert | Groom's Suit: Freeds | Officiant: Temple Israel | Catering Director: Emily Fredericks | Ceiling Design: Mandel Display | Ceremony Venue: The Westin Book Cadillac | Linens: Event Theory | Photo Booth: Tap Snap | Rentals: Pruett Custom Events | Rentals: Event Theory | Rentals: Elegant Events | Room Draping: Ritz Event Furnishings | Veil: Heirloom

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
‘Bachelor’ Contestant Shares Dating Advice For All Single Ladies!

If there’s anyone qualified to dish out dating advice, it’s sweet Sarah Vendal from the most recent season of The Bachelor. She didn’t find her happily ever after with Nick Viall but she’s continuing her search for love and having some serious fun in the process. Read on for her words to single ladies everywhere, including how the show changed her outlook on relationships for the better.

Tell us about your experience dating Nick on The Bachelor!

Sarah: Dating Nick on The Bachelor was a whirlwind from the get-go! When you’re chosen out of thousands of women who put themselves out there for this, you think to yourself “Holy moly, maybe he is the one for me!”…well, at least that was how my mind worked.

So from meeting him on night one to our first group date just hours after, it was an emotional rollercoaster. You want it to work so badly, but the little disconnects that are just normal dating red flags in real life for you to think about make you feel like the relationship is on eggshells. In hindsight, I knew he wasn’t going to be for me, and he knew that as well. It was very obvious who he was genuinely interested in, and I wasn’t one of them, which is so okay! Our conversations were just never there, and our chemistry was missing.

The whole experience teaches you so much about yourself and your feelings! We joke about it now, but really you learn to identify and verbalize your feelings like a professional. I also learned to take risks. You come back from the show and you feel like you conquered the world. In my opinion, that’s why so people change up careers, or where they live. You’re like, if I can survive that, I can survive whatever else I was scared to try before this.

How has being on The Bachelor affected your dating life today?

I do have to say dating after the show has set some crazy expectations. I mean, we were just conditioned to expect an engagement after 60 days, so if I’m talking to someone and we haven’t had the “What are we doing here?” talk after 30, I’m like…sooo, what’s the deal?

Jokes aside, dating after this show has become simplified for me. The Bachelor teaches you to ask the hard questions early on. While that never used to be my typical style, I found it has helped me to stay focused on what I want rather than spend time with someone who I know wants different things out of a relationship than I do. If you ask the hard questions on the show, the worst that can happen is…well, a lot. You publicly go home on national television. So scary, but you risk it anyway.

Post-show if you ask the hard questions, the worst that can happen is that you’re privately rejected and no one is the wiser. It’s much easier to accept rejection now, so you feel ok putting yourself out there more. But it has also made me more accepting, more willing to hear someone out I might not have heard out before, and it has made me all the more of a romantic. Sorry boys, but I’m still a sucker for roses – white ones!

Any tips for leading an adventurous, fun-filled life while searching for love?

Omgosh, so many! Say yes to things, but don’t be afraid to say no to something you don’t want to do. Being decisive used to be incredibly hard for me. I’m a people pleaser and I hate the thought of disappointing someone. However, the more I just decide what I want to do, the better I feel, the more effort I put into other things and people, and the more confident I am all around.

I also say spend alone time. Don’t be afraid of it. I LOVE taking myself to the movies, or to grab lunch. Also, make time for all your friends and make plans. I love having something to look forward to, especially with summer coming up!

Lastly, be open with what insecurities you have. I have them. Everyone totally does, men included! You never know when you might meet someone who fears the same things you do.

What does a perfect first date look like to you?

FUN! My goodness, if we can’t have fun right off the bat, I’m worried. Ultimately I want a best friend, but that doesn’t mean chivalry goes out the door (and for me that extends to the whole relationship). I look for a man who opens the door, walks on the side of traffic on the sidewalk, and for the first date, plans. It doesn’t need to be big at all, I just like to see that there was some thought put into it.

When in doubt…activities are best! Breweries, sporting events, hikes, walks, food festivals, the county fair, bowling, heck…take me grocery shopping for all I care. I’m just always drawn to things that can spark a flirty, sassy, and somewhat competitive conversation in the beginning.

I do have to say, at the end of the day, on a “perfect” first date, it won’t matter what we do. It’s just a feeling of attraction, respect, and curiosity for one another that I look for to see if there can be something more. We could literally be sitting on the side of the road with a flat tire, waiting for AAA and I’d be in heaven if those intangibles were there.

Fill in the blank: I’ll know I’ve found “The One” when __

I’ll know I’ve found “The One” when I say “Babe, I’m feeling Mexican tonight” and he says, “Blended or on the rocks?” I’m not serious, but I kind of am. This is the hardest question! I don’t know the answer, to be honest. But when I find him I’ll be sure to let you know what it is that made me know he was my one!

Vault CTA

Vault CTA



Photography: Garrett Richardson | Videography: Jessica Casprowitz | Event Planning + Design: Events by Talissa | Floral Design: Compass Floral | Jewelry: Love Tatum for Shoppe California | Hair + Makeup: Suzie Moldavon | Hotel: The Inn at Laguna Beach | "My Happy Place" Custom Hat : BORN + MADE | Beach Cruiser: Pacific Beach Bike Shop | Beach Umbrella: Kerry Cassill | Signage + Calligraphy: Letters To You | Wardrobe Stylist: The Stylist LA