Helpful Tips

Having A Detailed Backup Plan For Your Wedding

TPC Sawgrass Wedding - Tonya Beaver Photography

Here in North Florida, we see a lot of outdoor wedding ceremonies. Most venues have a great indoor space that they reserve as a backup, in case of rain. Which let’s face it, happens a lot here, especially in the summer months. (Side note: did you know that Jacksonville gets an average of 14 more inches of precipitation every year than Seattle, which is “known” for it’s rain?)

But what if you reception is planned to be an outdoor event? It may not be as simple as “we’ll just move inside.”

We’re working with a sweet couple getting married in October, and planning a “dinner under the stars.” Today we met at the venue to talk through all the logistics. As we talked, we came up with very detailed Plan A and Plan B options. Because of the logistics of the space, the two are very different. In fact, quite a bit of the reception schedule will change from Plan A to Plan B.

As you are working through your plans, be sure to think through all the logistics from the guest perspective. Talk to your venue staff about the timing of weather calls, which could be anywhere from 2 hours to 24 hours, depending on the complexity of the setup. And communicate Plan A AND Plan B (and Plan C and D if needed!) to all the wedding professionals that will be on-site on the wedding day. But don’t wait until the day before! Preparation is key when dealing with Mother Nature.

Note about the photo above: we were playing beat the clock with a storm rolling in just before this ceremony! Luckily we made it, and Ashley and Matt were married in a beautiful ceremony at TPC Sawgrass.

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!


Honoring Your Dad At Your Wedding

Mike & Marta Sat 0312 SPEC

Weddings are often full of very “girly” moments shared between the bride and her mom – picking out the dress, getting hair and makeup done, etc. Dad is usually expected to show up with the checkbook. In honor of Father’s Day, we thought we’d look at some ways to make Dad feel extra special on your wedding day.

  • Ask your dad for a military medal, a tie you particularly love, or a piece of jewelry you could incorporate into your wedding day ensemble as your something old.
  • If you won’t be seeing your fiance before the wedding, stage a first look with your dad. Fathers often get very emotional the first time they see their little girl in their wedding gown and veil!
  • Take dance lessons with him, and your father-daughter dance will be a big hit.
  • Create something special for him to wear. Dads often look like all the other groomsmen or ushers, wearing the same tuxedo or suit. Get a special tie for him to wear, or add something unique to his boutonniere.
  • Ask your dad to sign your marriage license as one of the witnesses.

Do you have a special way you are including your father on your wedding day?

(Photo above from Marta and Michael’s wedding earlier in 2014 – copyright Deremer Studios)

Spray Tanning and Your Wedding


Artistry By Erin

Let’s face it ladies: hardly anyone looks great in white. Unless, that is, they have a beautiful tan! Many of our brides are turning to spray tans to get a golden glow before their wedding – without the cancer risks or tan lines!

I asked two Jacksonville-area spray tan artists for some tips.

What should brides or bridesmaids look for in a tanning company?

Make sure it’s a legitimate business, spray tanning is an intimate service and you want to be with a professional. If they operate out of a salon or studio or they come to the privacy of your home its much better than you going to their home.  Also look at pictures of their work, before and afters are great. If they have reviews, check those out as well. – Erin Foster, Artistry By Erin LLC

A bride or any spray tan client should always ask the technician what type of solution do they use? Is it sugar based? Is it one color or do you add drops? A good solution should be sugar based. It draws the melanin forward and tans you what you are capable of tanning, not giving you a false color, hence ORANGE! By adding drops to the solution you tend to add too much DHA and tends to turn orange. – Kimber Newton Blair, Elite Look Tanning

How many days before the wedding should brides or bridesmaids get a spray tan?

Get your spray tan 2 days prior to wedding. The day before wedding you are busy with rehearsal and last minute details. If a mani-pedi is done after spray tan, let your nail technician know to not SCRUB. Elite Look Tanning solution last 7-10 days with proper lotion and tan extenders are used and after care instructions are followed. – Kimber Newton Blair, Elite Look Tanning

Should anything be done to prepare the skin for tanning?

Exfoliating well is key to getting a good spray tan. Shave at least 24 hours prior. Moisturize the night before but not day of.  If possible do not wear deodorant, perfume or lotion the day you get your tan or wash it off just before the tan, those things can create a barrier on the skin. – Erin Foster, Artistry By Erin LLC

ELT sells a Coconut Walnut Scrub to use prior to spray application. By using this scrub, it will not leave a residue like a sugar or salt scrub. You will want to shower, shave, and exfoliate right before your spray and DO NOT use lotion, oils, or deodorants after shower.  – Kimber Newton Blair, Elite Look Tanning

What should be worn during the application? 

For the tanning process they can choose what suits their comfort level. They can choose to be nude, topless with panties or with a bathing suit/bikini.  Here again this is why it is good to know and feel comfortable with your spray tan tech – it’s an intimate service and you want to be in a comfortable environment. – Erin Foster, Artistry By Erin LLC

spray legs

Elite Look Tanning

Will the color rub off?

When the spray is applied there is an instant bronzer in the solution that acts as a guide color for the tanning tech.  Essentially it is makeup, and yes, with friction it can rub off.  That is what is washed off with the first shower after the product has set on the skin for 8-12 hours (some you can even sleep in and cleanse off the next day). Once you’ve been sprayed, allow a few minutes of dry time before dressing. Wear loose dark clothing and you can still go about your day, it will only rub off if you actually try to rub at it. Once you’ve done the first shower and washed off the guide color, the tan itself wont rub off on anything. – Erin Foster, Artistry By Erin LLC

After spray, wear dark loose clothing like a sundress or large t-shirt and shorts. Nothing tight to the body so be prepared to not wear your undergarments home. You are dry when you leave so tan will not rub off but some will dome off on the inside of your clothing or sheets when sleeping. EVERYTHING washes out!  – Kimber Newton Blair, Elite Look Tanning

Do you have any tips for extending the life of the tan?

Most tans will last 7-14 days depending on their skin type and after care. To extend the life, cleanse using a light weight gel cleanser, nothing to thick or opaque, use also a light daily moisturizer. No oils, nothing to thick. The DHA in the solution has tinted the top layer of skin cells most people regenerate new cells every 7 days, the more moisturized the skin is the longer the skin will remain tan. Avoid using alpha hydroxyl acids, salisylic acid or any chemical or abrasive exfoliatants. After care is so important to maintain your tan. – Erin Foster, Artistry By Erin LLC

To extend the life of your spray tan always wait the 8 hours to shower then moisturize daily. Use Elite look Tan Extender and moisturizer all over body.  If honeymooning in warm place make sure to wear a sunscreen for you do not have a real tan!! You can receive UV same as with out a spray. We have only tanned the top layer of your skin and you shed dead skin cells every second of the day. Soft, moisturized skin is the key!   – Kimber Newton Blair, Elite Look Tanning


Tips For Moving In Together

Tips for Moving In Together

It’s inevitable. Whether you wait til after the wedding day, or take the plunge before, eventually you will have to do it. MOVE. IN. TOGETHER.

Most of us have shared living quarters before: parents, siblings, college roommates. But living with your significant other is a whole new ballgame. Here are some tips for coping with this adjustment:

  • Before the move, go through all your stuff. Decide what to keep, what to donate, and what to sell. Take a good look at the space you are moving into, and decide what can logically fit in that space. This is true if your significant other is moving into your current place as well – before all their boxes arrive, eliminate any extras you can. If both of you have had your own places, you might have two coffee makers, two toasters, etc. Decide whose will be kept, and whose will be sold/donated.
  • Have “the money talk” before moving in too. It’s better to discuss financial matters ahead of time, and definitely before getting married. Your new spouse’s financial picture will also become yours, so you should know all about their income, credit score, credit card debt or student loans, assets like savings and investments, and other financial obligations.
  • Also discuss household chores. Will you take a divide and conquer approach, where you’ll clean the bathroom and he’ll do the laundry? Or maybe you’ll do the yard work and she’ll handle the finances. However your new life looks to you, you should be sure that your partner is on the same page! This teamwork will save many arguments down the road, and will also lay the groundwork for compromising in the future.
  • Don’t forget about date night. Or alone time. When you live together, it’s easy to become stuck in a rut. Make time for fun activities together outside the house, but don’t lose touch with your friends either. Set dates on the calendar for both date time and friend time, and be sure to stick to this habit.