Blogger Bride

Pure Barre: An Ideal Workout For Brides-To-Be

purre barre

Most brides want to take steps to look their absolute best for their big day.  That may entail things like getting a tan or whitening their teeth, but I’ve observed that, above all, most brides feel the need to tone up before their wedding. I certainly felt like it wouldn’t hurt to find a new workout routine, and when I found out that Pure Barre was opening a studio in my neighborhood, I thought I’d give it a try.

Pure Barre is a full body workout that’s becoming very popular all over the country, and has become a favorite among many celebrities. It’s a 55 minute workout that is sort like a mixture of yoga, Pilates and ballet. Every class focuses on working out arms, thighs, bottom, hips, and abs; trying to target all the popular women problem-areas. The whole class is low impact, protecting your joints by avoiding jumping or bouncing. Every strengthening section is followed by a stretch, making it easy to push through difficult workouts. One of the main keys to success of the class is to make sure you perform everything in small isometric movements to isolate the muscle group quicker.

My first class was extremely interesting; I’ve never done a workout quite like Pure Barre, and I’d like to think I’ve tried many different classes, but Pure Barre is in its own league. The class starts off with an intense warm up that includes planking and pushups, and then continues to go through all the different focus areas. The instructors are all helpful and encourage everyone in the class while playing fun and upbeat music to motivate all throughout the session. The next day I was sore in areas I’d never been sore before, but surprisingly enough I was eager for more.

Pure Barre has different package specials, including a bride-to-be package. If you’re interested in trying a Pure Barre class, make sure to wear pants or capris. Socks are also required and then all equipment is provided for you.

I took full advantage of the bride-to-be special and attend religiously. I love the way I feel after every class and can absolutely see that I’m building toned muscles.

Everybody will find their own desired way to bridal fitness but it’s important to remember to start the process early as there may be stumbling blocks, changes-in-direction or even a required push to step up results before the big day.  However, it’s critical to remember that this push needs to be healthful and energy-building as the months leading up to your wedding will be very full with preparation and lots of fun activities, and you’ll want to be your healthiest!

 

Selecting The Perfect Church For Your Wedding

StAugustineWedding117One would think choosing a church for one’s ceremony would be simple, but I found it to be a bit more complicated than expected. It was very important to me to have our wedding in my hometown, Orlando, FL. Picking our reception location was easy; my godparents live on a beautiful property in the Gotha area of Orlando. They have seven and a half acres on a lake, and I knew it would make for an ideal tented, rustic/chic reception location.

I grew up Methodist, and still belong to a Methodist church in Orlando, but Charles was brought up Catholic, and we both decided that we wanted our ceremony to be Catholic. I had to basically start from scratch when it came to selecting our Catholic ceremony location.

I started by looking up all the Catholic churches that were near my godparents’ house. The closest church to their home was a very large and well known Catholic church in the Orlando area. My mother and I attended the Christmas Eve mass to examine the size, look and feel of the church. It was very voluminous and grand, and all of the people who were there seemed to truly love their church. I thought “This could very well be the church!” After Christmas settled down, I emailed the church to gather all the information for having a ceremony there, and what the pricing situation was. I’d always assumed that a church rental for a ceremony wouldn’t be more than a couple hundred dollars; this church started at $1,200.00 for non-members. There was also a complication in booking the church. For a Catholic ceremony, you have to take pre-marital classes that last 6-8 months, and this church wasn’t going to allow me to reserve my date until after my classes were complete. I didn’t want to take the gamble of someone else stealing my date, so I decided that church just would not do.

After researching a few more Catholic church options, I stumbled upon a charming little Catholic church that I often passed when I lived in Orlando. The church is also close my reception location, but I overlooked it at first because it was a Maronite Catholic Church, as opposed to a Roman Catholic Church. I did my homework and found that there are many types of Catholic Churches, and that they’re all recognized by the Pope as equal. My fiancé, mother and I attended a mass one Sunday and absolutely fell in love with the people, charm, and most importantly the priest. Everyone in the congregation made us feel at home. We all knew right away that we’d found our church.

Finding the all-important perfect church location for your ceremony can be overwhelming, but just remember to do your research early, attend a service before-hand, and get on the church calendar/marriage class roster as soon as your decision is made.  Once these steps are underway, you can feel excited that you are well on your way toward your perfect church wedding!

Tips From A Recent Bride

Lauren and Ryan

Even as an experienced wedding planner, there were still things I learned from my own wedding! Here are my tips for brides-to-be:

  • Print out labels for your RSVP cards and put them on the back of the card, or write numbers on the back. You WILL get RSVP cards back that do not have return address on envelopes and the stamp from the post office from where it shipped from will only go so far.

  • Go to wedding expos! See what and who your choices are first hand and in person. Bridal shows give you a chance to see everyone in one place whether you are looking for one vendor or all of them, and you don’t have to drive all over town to find out they are what you are looking for. Hint: Take your fiancé! If he/she isn’t  a part of the wedding planning, they sure will appreciate you after a bridal show experience!

  • Please, oh please, don’t buy a dress that weighs more than you. I had a light strapless dress and the only thing I could think about 30 minutes until the end of the reception was taking it off! (And no, not only for that reason). You don’t realize how much a heavy dress can interrupt your night.

  • Do schedule a little nighttime photo shoot with your photographer. We did pictures around 10:00pm when everyone was comfortable on the dance floor. We snuck away and took some great shots, along with having a little breather and a few minutes of sweet alone time.

  • If you choose to wear a veil, as much as you love that veil and won’t have another opportunity to wear one, let me just share my experience before you make the decision to wear it the whole day. Everyone that hugs or dances with you will tug on the veil (without knowing, of course) and whatever style your hair was at the beginning of the day will look torn up! If I were to do it again, I’d take it of after dinner!

  • Do a fake cake! The bottom layer of our 5-tier cake was the only part of the cake that was real so we could cut into it and get those priceless pictures of smashing it in each other’s faces. The rest of our cake was in the kitchen already sliced and put out right after we cut into it. Instead of having waitstaff at your cake table for 30 minutes making a mess, it was already done.

  • Make an email address only for wedding correspondence. I had (my name)2B(future last name) and it worked great! If you want to stay in contact with any of your wedding vendors after the big day, send an email to specific people politely asking them to update their address book.

  • Do eat! My hubby and I didn’t make it around to everyone’s table. If that’s rude, we sure didn’t get any complaints. We noticed as we were eating, people came to us that were going to leave early or knew they weren’t going to run into us on the dance floor later.

  • I worried up until a few weeks before the wedding about what “Our Song” was going to be. It’s really easy getting frustrated finding a song if you don’t already have one when you’re listening to every word making sure its perfect. However, not you, your hubby, or your guests will hear every word like you did listening by yourself. My advise, pick a song that’s just special between the two of you.

  • Do make sure your in-laws and parents have a speech planned. Our wedding was pretty traditional. The groom’s parents threw the rehearsal dinner, where his parents said a little something, and my father had a toast at the wedding. I know it sounds very traditional, but it really sets the tone for two families becoming one. Everyone could feel the love our parents had for us and our new spouse with the words they spoke.

Do you have any tips you’d like to share? Leave them in the comments below.

Blogger Bride: Kari Selects a Location

For couples who are from two different places, picking a venue can be difficult. Mike’s family is from the north and mine from the south so we decided to go with an East Coast wedding somewhere in the middle. We wanted to find a place that fit our style, budget and wasn’t too difficult for traveling guests.

The first venue we visited was the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina.

Biltmore Estate Wedding

We loved all of the options for venues on the property and fell in the love instantly. It had character and charm! The next step was looking at the pricing… let’s just say we fell out of love! This was a good starting point as we then had something to compare other venues to from that point forward.

The next stop was the Old Historic Rice Mill in South Carolina.

old historic rice mill 2

We drove up to Charleston and back just for a quick venue tour. On our way there we kept saying “This is the venue.” The front of the building was beautiful and the location on the harbor was great. After going inside we knew this wasn’t what we envisioned from the pictures. Mike and I spent a couple hours roaming around Charleston trying to figure out what about this venue didn’t work for us. It was back to the drawing board!

The final stop was last month at the Old Cigar Warehouse in South Carolina.

cigar warehouse

This location is a relatively new event space in the heart of Greenville. It had all of the components that we were looking for on our wedding day. Mike and I were grinning ear to ear the entire tour. I think I was so excited and busy asking questions that I forgot to take pictures!  That day we drove around to a food tasting then a photographer. By the end of the weekend we had nailed down the venue, photographer, caterer, DJ, and officiant!

Mike and I can’t wait until our November 15 wedding at the Old Cigar Warehouse with a dream team of vendors!

Blogger Bride: Meet Ashleigh

ashleigh and charles

Three-and-half years ago while celebrating my birthday, I was introduced to what I knew instantly was someone special. A friend of a friend of a friend brought my husband-to-be along for the celebration.  Charles and I instantly had a connection and were even holding hands by the end of the night. We had our first date at Bahama Breeze a few days later, and as we were getting to know each other I thought to myself, “this guy is definitely marriage material!” By the end of the summer we were officially “an item.”

The recent proposal took place in Savannah, Georgia.  Charles first told me we were going on a camping trip on those dates, but then plans had to change when he saw that it was going to rain that weekend… sneaky, sneaky.  He took me to a beautiful bed & breakfast that exuded old Savannah charm. After we got settled in, we took a bike taxi to find a place to eat for dinner. Charles mumbled the location to the taxi driver, and we arrived at a stunning square in front of The Old Pink House. Charles sat me down on a bench and recited a poem he’d written for me. I was crying so hard at the time I didn’t even hear it. Of course I said yes. The rest of the weekend, I was on cloud nine!

Over the years we’ve grown a lot as a couple. We’ve had our good times, our share of bad, gone through deaths, adopted a lab-mix together, and at the end of the day I can honestly say my fiancé has proven to be not only great marriage material but truly my best friend!

Watch for my posts about our wedding plans!