5 Things to Do After Getting Engaged

OMG you’re engaged! Now be prepared to face an endless list of things to conquer in order to plan the biggest party of your life, that will take MONTHS (shit, maybe even years) to plan & will last a duration of approximately 5 hours. Is it all worth it? Abso-fucking-lutely. This is the day that you are exchanging vows with the person you’re going to spend the rest of your life with and celebrate with your closests friends & family. Make it a memorable one.

Now to the lists of 5 things YOU MUST DO after getting engaged. Take notes.

1. Talk $$ Weddings are fucking expensive! After the frills of becoming a feyonce have died down, you need to discuss your wedding budget. Speak with family members and your hubby to see what a realistic budget would be. Now, stick with the budget. Good luck.

2. Hire yourself a planner You wouldn’t give yourself your own root canal, would you? Leave it to the professionals and hire a planner for your wedding. Do not make the mistake of going solo on planning the biggest event of your life! If you can’t afford full service planning, look into hiring a day of coordinator to set up your decor and pack up at the end of the night – it is 100% worth the investment. (PS If you’re in Arizona and I highly recommend Kate & Company!)

3. Pick a Venue/Date I’ve combined these two because sometimes you have to be flexible to get what you want. If you fall in love with a venue but your date isn’t available, pick another date! Once you’ve selected a venue and your wedding date, the ball gets rolling.

4. Send out your Save the Dates As soon as you select a date, notify your guests! If you’re having a destination wedding, you’ll want to do this as soon as possible to allow your guests to take time off work and plan for traveling!

5. Book a Sandals Honeymoon I’m not kidding,Sandals was the best experience of my life. Imagine waking up to breakfast in bed, walking down to grab a mimosa at the beach bar, scuba diving in crystal blue waters, endless buffets, unlimited french fries & wine – literally heaven. An all inclusive resort is THE way to go for your honeymoon and you will seriously regret not doing so. Click here to check out the amazing Sandals resorts.



Here’s me and my boo at the Royal Caribbean Resort in Montego Bay Jamaica

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Trending // Rent The Runway

Want your wedding party to look *flawless* without breaking the bank? Renting dresses is a popular & frugal option for wedding day attire. Let your bridal party look like a million bucks with only spending a hundred or so. 

Here are my favorite bridesmaids dresses from Rent The Runway. 

Jill Stuart Dayglo | Original $298 Rental $75

dayglo jill jill stuart

Jill Stuart High Maintenance | Original $348 Rental $40

high maintenance jill

Badgley Mischka Stormy Skies Sheath | Original $440 $75 Rent

stormy skies 3

 Monique Lhuillier Red Mark Dress | Original $445 Rental $75

 red mark dress

ALONOVA Violet Gravity Sheath | Original $1400  Rental $200

violet sheath dress

Badgley Mischka Corundum Sapphire Gown | Original $790 Rental $80 sapphire gown

 Badgley Mischka Award Winner Gown | Original $620 Rental $70

award winner gown

Badgley Mischka Kellee Gown | Original $660 Rental $115

kelee gown

Monique Lhuillier Fallen Rose Petal Gown | Original $598 Rental $100fallen rose modern bride

Badgley Mischka Glitz Gown | Original $650 Rental $90 

glitz romance gown

Would you rent a wedding dress for your wedding day? Comment below for your chance to win a $10 Starbucks giftcard! 


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Free Wedding Printables \\ Suite 1

I love when couples bring a little personality to their wedding.We’ve seen the same old “pick a seat not a side” (sorry, if you had this at your wedding) signs. Time to spice it up, people!

Here are a few free wedding signage printables designed by moi! Right click to save individually or, click here to download the entire Modern Bride Wedding Printables \\ Suite 1.  These would be perfect in a sleek white ikea frame, or you could print them in vinyl and stick to a mirror for a trendy look. Enjoy!

we can dancetrust me you can dance

mutual weirdness forevertill death do us party
lets do the damn thingit was always youheck yes i docan i get a witnessDo you want The Modern Bride delivered straight to your inbox? Click the follow button below!


OMG! Shoes

Your wedding shoes will be the most important pair you’ll ever wear in your life! Spoil yourself a little and purchase your dream shoe (within reason). Be sure to keep your wedding location & venue in mind. If you’re walking on cobblestone streets, I suggest a wearing a practical wedge. Wearing a simple dress? Go for a fun, kick ass  statement heel. If you’re a girl who just doesn’t wear heels, opt for flats! Here are my favorite wedding shoes, with links to buy (you’re welcome).

Valentino Bow d’Orsay Pump 

valentino courture platform pump modern bride

J Crew Roxie Pumps

roxie pumps modern bride

 Badgely Mischka Blossom Silk Ruffle Pump

badgely miscka modern bride

Pour La Victoire Evelia Sandals

pour la victorie shoe modern bride

Miu Miu Crystal Pump 

miu miu

Kate Spade Charm

lovingly caputred by Sarah Danaher (Ampersand Photography, © 2012) 

Vera Wang Lavender

vera wang the modern bride

Jimmy Choo Diva Crystaljimmy choo wedding shoe modern bride

Steve Madden Stacy 

steve madden stacy

Christian Louboutin 

christian louboutin flats modern bride

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Top Wedding Regrets

Think of planning your wedding as #yolo. You don’t want to have any regrets when it comes to planning your wedding. Here are the top regrets couples have when planning their wedding. Take notes, fiancees. 

Not hiring a videographer 

I’ve heard so many beautiful speeches, vows and seen some crazy receptions that were not captured on video! Imagine reliving your wedding day, hearing your vows and being there & in the moment. THAT is why you should hire a wedding videographer. On a budget? Ask your local videographer if they’ll make a highlight film with the top 3 events you want captured at your wedding.

Not going on a honeymoon

If you don’t go on your honeymoon immediately after your wedding, or you don’t have one planned yet – your chances of actually going on a vacation with your new hubby are slim. Make sure you carve out room in your wedding budget for your honeymoon. Even if it is a weekend getaway- you deserve to have the first few days as newlyweds alone.

PS I highly recommend Sandals! Photo below is from the Sandals Royal Caribbean in Montego Bay, Jamaica


Having a large bridal party

I’m just going to be blunt – if you have selfish, asshole friends and invite them to be in your bridal party – there will be drama. Choose your bridal party wisely. You are going to bore them with wedding talk, invite them to pick out wedding decor and many other things. Make sure they truly love you and have your best intentions in mind!

Being a micromanaging bride or groom

Some couples get so caught up in the decor, timeline, and details of their wedding they forget the real focus of the day. Put your family members or bridal party in charge of decor and details, have a glass of champagne and RELAX. You’re about to marry the man or woman of your dreams, nothing else matters.

Hiring a friend as DJ, photographer, videographer

Please, for the sake of your sanity and friendships, do not hire your friends as these vendors UNLESS that is their full time job. Leave it to the professionals and invest in a good DJ, photographer and videographer. I’ve seen so many beautiful weddings ruined by ametuer ‘friend’ vendors. Don’t do it.

Large guest count

The #1 budget breaker of your wedding will be your guest count. The higher guest count the bigger the bill. I always tell couples to make an A, B & C list to prioritize their guests. First send out invitations to guest on your A list, and when you receive NO on your RSVPS, then send out invites to the B list and then C list. Need more info on this strategy? Check out The Knot’s guide here.


Second to the not hiring a videographer, almost all of my couples in their last weeks of planning say to me “I wish I would have eloped”. Planning a wedding is a daunting task, and again, couples can lose focus of the true meaning of a wedding. If your family will flip their shit if you eloped, consider a destination wedding. Your guest count will be small and most resorts offer inclusive packages, or you could even get married at Sandals for FREE.


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Modern Wedding Signage

Wedding signage allows couples to provide information to their guests in really cool ways. If you’re using wedding signage, try to keep your fonts in the same typography family, or use a combination of a script font and standard font to create a simple and unified look.

Here are some of my favorite, modern wedding signage ideas:

Acrylic Hashtag Sign Ditch the chalk sign and go for a modern, sleek acrylic frame. Get yours here

julie and chris modern bride signage

Laser Cut Signage The beauty of laser cut items is that they can be as big or small as you’d like! Get the Cheers pictured below here. 

laser cut images modern bride signage

Custom Lifesize Letters Bring your wedding theme to life with these tall and bold letters. 

large cut out letters modern bride wedding signage

Mirror Signs Recycled mirror & flower garland, voila! large mirror wedding signage modern bride 

Marquee Signs Say it loud with these bright marquee letters. DIY your own here.

modern marquee lights

Wed Tech

Technology is a beautiful thing. It can engage your wedding guests and make them feel connected to your special day. It can capture priceless moments in your life that you will never get to relive! Here are a few of my favorite wedding tech tools for the modern bride!

Riley & Grey 

Riley & Grey’s collection of beautiful, crisp wedding websites literally make me drool. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing, but the tools that they offer for you and your guests are pretty f’n cool. 

riley & grey keeping guest organized modern bride

Here is a quick roundup of what Riley & Grey can do for you: 

1. Custom Domain Name 

2. Mobile, Tablet &  Desktop Friendly 

3. Guest Concierge : provide your guests with information on travel, timeline, things to do & a link to your registry!

4. COLLECT RSVPS!! Brides, please save yourself from the wedding fiery hell of rsvps. Have your guests RSVP online for the sake of your sanity.

Speech Booth

Speech Booth lets your guests leave a video message for you and will compile all of the messages into a video! Turnaround time is only 1 week. At $499 this is a pretty good steal and photobooth alternative!


The Appy Couple 

The Appy Couple takes it one step further than Riley & Grey. The Appy Couple features:

1. Live Photo Stream – hook this up to your venue’s monitor to stream the live feed! This is also great to share with your guests who are unable to attend. 

2. Communication – you can send emails to your guests or instant message your wedding planner. 

3. Printable Cards – Cute infomation cards to share how to download your app!

appy couple 2

Slow Motion Photobooth 

Slow motion for me.Because, Juvenile said so.

Bad Ass Event Lighting

Event lighting can completely transform your wedding venue and truly WOW your guests! If you’re in Arizona, check out Karma Lighting

karma event lighting at soho63`

Insta Print

This is probably my favorite wed tech item ever! This sweet printing system will print your Instagram photos, has the ability to custom brand your photos, capture them all in one place and even print from Instagram videos! Rent Instaprint for your wedding or event for only 

instaprint 2 instaprint 1


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The New Processional

Please do not walk down the aisle to the bridal march. This is not your grandmother’s wedding. Bring some personality to your wedding by selecting a processional (the bridal party entrance to the ceremony) song that you and your fiance love. Here are a few of my favorite, unique wedding processional songs.

Sam Smith | Latch (Acoustic)

The XX | Intro 

Coldplay | Magic

John Legend | You & I 

Sia | Breathe Me

Sleeping at Last | Turning Page

Iron & Wine | Such Great Heights

The Verve | Bittersweet Symphony

Simply Three Trio X Imagine Dragons | Demons 

Beyonce | Halo 


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Anything But Cake

One sweet thing about working in the wedding industry is that I get to try a lot of cake. There’s good cake, dry cake and wtf is this sh!t cake. I love when couples give their guests something unexpected as dessert for their wedding. Here are a few of my favorites.

Personal Mini Pies

mini pies modern bride

Photo by Kahki Bedford

Tiered Macaron Cake

macaroon modern bride

Photo by Alixanne Loosle

 Donuts for Lovers

donut cake modern bride

Photo by Kahki Bedford

Choclate Dipped Marshmallows

wedding dessert marshmallow

Photo by Sweet and Saucy Shop

Mini Chocolate Cheesecakes

chocolate cheesecake

 By Gigi’s Cupcakes

 Or, you can really wow your guests with an entire dessert bar! 

Sweets Bar

wedding dessert bar

Photo by Delassie 

dessert bar 2
Photo by Heidi Lau


ice cream bar wedding dessert

Photo by Fiona Clair


Vendor Love \\ Monique Hessler Photography

 There are certain wedding vendors who genuinely love their craft, and that shows in their work. Monique Hessler, owner and lead photographer of Monique Hessler Photography, is one of the sweetest souls you will ever meet.  I admire her ability to capture the true and raw love story of each and every one of her couples! 
What sparked your interest to be a wedding photographer?
I first fell in love with photography in high school, when I had to take a fine art and “taking pictures” seemed easy enough! As soon as I was introduced to the complexity of using a film camera in manual mode, capturing raw emotion, then developing and perfecting it in the dark room, I was hooked!  I have been a photographer for 15years, and specializing in wedding photography for 5 years.  After getting married myself, I was instantly inspired to capture other love stories and bring to life the emotion, joy, and incredible experience of the wedding day.
What is your favorite element of being a wedding photographer? 
It is so difficult to choose my favorite part of being a wedding photographer.  I absolutely love witnessing the couples entire journey to the wedding day.  Being there for the couple and sharing excitement during the engagement process, as they prepare and count down to the most incredible day of their life.  Then seeing them on the wedding day and celebrating that it is finally here!  Forming a friendship with the couple and capturing the milestones in their growing love story as they have children.
What is your favorite part of the wedding day? 
I have so many favorite parts of the wedding day!  Witnessing the first time the bride and groom see each other, and the emotion they share as they walk down the aisle without having to say a word.  The bride’s father trying to hold it together as he gives his daughter away, and then squeezes his wife’s hand as he sits down to watch his daughter say i do.  That love glow that the bride and groom share during portraits as they are finally all alone and can take in the magic of the day.  It is such an honor to capture and freeze these incredible moments for the couple to relive for a lifetime.
What advice would you provide to a newly engaged couple? 
I would tell them to wait a few weeks before planning, just enjoy your engagement excitement before jumping into the details!  The planning process can get overwhelming, but always remember what this is all about…It is about you two and celebrating your lifelong commitment to each other,  surrounded by those who love and support you.
What should couples look for in a wedding photographer? 
In many cases, you spend more time with your photographer than you do with your spouse on the wedding day!  It is so important that you choose a photographer that you both feel comfortable with, and enjoy being around.  When interviewing photographers, make sure to ask them any questions that you have even if you think it’s a “silly question”, every concern and question is important!  Look at their portfolio and beyond great lighting and technique, do they capture the details and moments the way you would want them to on your wedding day?  Ask to meet with them before making your decision to see if you make a great fit!
What new trends do you love or are you looking forward to in 2015? 
I love providing the latest trends that my couples request, but ultimately I strive to capture classic work that will last a lifetime.  I have the most amazing couples lined up for 2015 that I have already formed such a great bond with!  I can’t wait to witness and capture their wedding day as their plans come to life!