Keep Your Eyes Above the Carpet

Sitting down at an initial appointment with a couple, I first ask a simple question to get the conversation started...

"What are your MUSTS in regards to your wedding venue?"

"We would prefer a hotel so guests don't have to drive to the venue. We are expecting 300 guests so we need the ballroom to be large. We would prefer a venue with a view from the ballroom. We would like an outdoor ceremony..." they respond.

I know it's coming, and the dreaded must finally slips off of her tongue...

"We have to have a venue that doesn't have ugly carpets. No bright colors and no patterns and that's an absolute MUST."

If you've never thought of it before, I guarantee you will think about it when planning begins but I am here to tell you that the carpet doesn't matter.

I repeat.

The carpet doesn't matter.

Of course it is going to look hideous when you walk into an empty room in the middle of the day, sun shining through those windows and all lights on.

But imagine your wedding day...

As guests arrive, they walk into a dimmed room with beautiful uplighting on all walls. There are 15 perfectly decorated tables, with the most beautiful centerpieces you've ever seen, spotlighted by the overhead lighting so that all eyes are drawn there. Each guest looks around for the bar, and then heads straight over for a cocktail and some appetizers. They wander the room, looking at all of the beautiful DIY you've carefully crafted over the past couple months, and are in awe of how beautifully everything has come together.

ugly wedding venue carpet

Did I mention the carpets? NO! Because no one will notice. With the lights dimmed and tables and a dance floor covering most of it, and decor that steals the spotlight, you better bet they won't be able to tell you the color or pattern of the carpet once the night is over.

And so, my point is made.

If you find a venue that you love and hate the carpets, just keep your head up and pretend like it's not there. Because on your wedding day, it will barely be there.

Keep your eyes above the carpet.

A quick tip for venues:

I've managed a couple of properties before and got this comment over and over. But I figured out a way to avoid it. 

1. Set up the room and keep it that way so that it looks like a wedding is about to take place. Yes, it's a lot of work, but I promise it will get brides to like your venue even more!

2. Dim the lights if possible. If there aren't any windows, dim the lights during the day and even for night tours, as it would look during their wedding!

3. Create an ambiance: Turn on some light music, set up some sample centerpieces and a sample cake, and make it look like a real wedding!

Brides often have a hard time visualizing their wedding in a blank room. So if you create that vision for them, they're far more likely to love the vision they see!

Unique Wedding Invitations + Save the Dates // Inspiration

Planning your wedding is one of the most fun, exciting (and sometimes stressful) things you get to do! But, while you’re having a great time planning with you fiancé, your guests are kept out of the loop for the most part...until they receive your invites! Then, everyone gets to look forward to your big day! We’ve pulled together a few invites that we think are fun and unique. Enjoy!

Save the Dates (design), La Trasteria (printing)

Save the Dates (design), La Trasteria (printing)

The Life-Changing Problem with Hashtags

In order to find all of my followers the best wedding inspiration out there, I am on social media all of the time. I spend hours each day on Instagram and Pinterest and the most common way that I find you all the best inspiration is through hashtags.

Typically, I will search some of the following: #engaged, #weddingplanning, #imengaged, #weregettingmarried, #engagementring, #bridetobe, #diy, #engagementphotos...and the list goes on.

But I've found a huge problem with hashtags and I feel the urgency to bring this to your attention.

Take a look at the screenshots below from a couple of hashtag searches I did today:


You may have noticed that some of the photos seem completely irrelevant to the hashtag or you may have found some photos you want to use for inspiration! But take a closer look at the top right hand corner of each screenshot.

You'll notice that there is a number associated with each hashtag and if you didn't figure it out already, that's the number of photos that include that hashtag all over Instagram. Now let's compare the numbers on the left two photos to the numbers on the right two photos. 

#IMengaged = 16,891 vs #WEREengaged = 7,045

#IMgettingmarried = 57,792 vs #WEREgettingmarried = 29,581

I purposely capitalized the words I want you to focus on - "I'm" vs "We're" and when I look at those numbers, it makes me sad.

Getting engaged, planning a wedding, and marriage is about WE and not I. So while it may seem like an insignificant point - a silly hashtag - it truly shows the nature of the wedding industry and starts every marriage off on the wrong foot.

I've got to admit, I do it as well...The Overwhelmed BRIDE...and where is the groom?

The wedding industry teaches each of us that the wedding is about the bride, and the groom shouldn't care about a single details. The groom is almost always forgotten. And while he may not be interested in choosing colors or picking the floral and decor, he is interested in your marriage. If he wasn't, then he never would have popped he question in the first place!

So whether or not he says he cares, believe me, he cares. It may be something as little as the food choices or tasting the cake, or maybe he really cares about the music or a specific scripture he wants read during the ceremony. So no matter what it is, make sure the wedding is about "we" and not "I."

Because starting off a marriage as "I" is already heading in the wrong direction. Each and every day, you'll be making decisions for "we" from this point forward, so start by practicing with your wedding day and I promise, the transition into "we" and into your marriage will be much smoother. Practice makes almost perfect so if you don't start now, you may never get there.

Whether he is there for every wedding appointment or not, put "we" on the front burner and make every decision for the both of you. Now and forever, from this day forward.

#WEREengaged #WEREgettingmarried


The "Shed Before You Wed" Plan

Written with love, by Leah Bahrencu

workout for a bride to be

Are you ready to look and feel like a rock star in your wedding dress? Well it’s time to kick your health journey into high gear.  Make sure you’re following the basics and don’t make it more complicated than it has to be - you don’t need added stress.


This is the most important of all as it is 80% of the puzzle, so you want to make sure you’re eating clean foods, eating proper portions and fueling your body properly throughout the day.


Every morning drink a glass of warm water with lemon.  This will help rehydrate your body, give your body an energy boost and it nourishes your body with vitamins and nutrients you need to start your day.

Also, make sure you’re drinking enough water throughout the day.  Drink half your body weight in ounces.

Portion Out Your Meals

Make sure you're portioning out your meals properly.  When you serve your food on your plate, your vegetable portion should be ¾ of the plate.  Too often we serve the protein or carbohydrate first and we make sure that takes up most of the space.  When figuring out what to cook, plan around your vegetable dish and NOT around your protein. Then you can decide what type of protein and complex carbohydrate you’re going to add.

You also want to make sure you’re not cutting out any food group.  Eat healthy fats, vegetables, fruits, carbs, protein and oils daily. You DO NOT need to cut out a food group in order to lose weight.  All that will happen is you will gain the weight back immediately when reintroducing it into your diet. Learn to portion control. If you ever need help figuring this out, I have a wonderful program that helps you portion out your food according to your body and also focuses on 30 minute workouts.

Grocery Shopping

This seems to be the trickiest of them all.  SO many options and labels that read “all natural” and “fat free!” Basically they are yelling “PICK ME!”  So here is a quick tip: When shopping you typically want to stick to the outer perimeter of the store, where you can gather your fresh produce, dairy products and meat. If you do have to walk in to the aisles, which we all know we have to, make sure you are reading the ingredients.  Basically if it looks like a science experiment, you’re better off without it.  Stick to the basics and the less ingredients the better.


Sometimes we don’t have time to figure out what it is we need to do.  You don’t want to be just a cardio bunny, but need to incorporate strength training and flexibility training as well.  You need to have variety when it comes to your workouts. 

Here is a quick 30 minute HIIT workout to try.  No equipment is necessary!

workout for a bride to be
workout for a bride to be

I share tons of workout ideas and workout moves to try that require no equipment or minimal equipment on my Facebook page so you can check them out if you need any ideas!

Don’t forget, all these things tie in together to get you wedding dress ready.  So don’t focus too much on one over the other.

Today on the Bridal Boutique: Wedding Belles Tank by Kiss My Southern Sass

Looking for some cute shirts for your bridal party?

We are loving these tanks from Kiss My Southern Sass! With light blue lettering and a customized back, they're personalized for the Bride, the Maid of Honor, and each Bridesmaid! For the southern sweetheart who needs her girls by her side, these Wedding Belles tanks are perfect for the bachelorette party, the bridal shower, or even to wear while getting ready on your big day!

Click the link below to order these or to browse more adorable designs from Kiss My Southern Sass! And don't forget to subscribe to the blog so we can send next week's featured Bridal Boutique item, straight to your email!

Bride Tank by Kiss My Southern Sass
Bride Tank by Kiss My Southern Sass
Bride Tank by Kiss My Southern Sass
Bride Tank by Kiss My Southern Sass
Bride Tank by Kiss My Southern Sass

All photos courtesy of Bleudog Fotography

bridal boutique

If you have any comments, feedback, or even suggestions for products, please feel free to contact us at

My Wife Needs My Conversation

Written with love, by Pastor Dave Page

As a pastor, the biggest complaint I hear from women is, “My husband just won’t talk to me.” Why is that scenario so common? Men and women are very different. He doesn't have the same emotional intensity that you do. Men are often taught to suppress their emotions - big boys don't cry.


Biological Differences

Researchers took little girls and little boys between the ages of 4 and 6 and hooked them up to microphones and studied them as they played on the playground. With little girls they found out that 100% of the things that came out of their mouths were verbal. They were either talking to another person or talking to themselves. Ladies grow up and still do this. I hear a conversation in the other room and ask, “Honey, who are you talking to?” “Oh, it's just me talking to myself,” she says.

When our two girls were little they liked playing with dolls. They enjoyed having the dolls talk to each other. One time they handed the dolls to me so I would do the same thing and honestly I didn't know what to do. I was at a loss.

Little girls love to talk and they grow up and become women. One study found that the average woman speaks 20,000 words per day with gusts up to 30,000!

When they took 4-6 year old boys and put microphones on them they found that 60% of what came out of their mouths were verbal, and 40% (nearly half) of what came out of their mouths were sounds like vroom. We guys still do this. We drive down the road and go vroom, vroom. The study found that the average man only speaks 7,000 words per day. She speaks generally three times as many words per day as he does.

In general, little girls are better in conversing and communicating than little boys. This becomes a lifelong habit. Your wife has a much greater need for conversation than you do.

Newlywed Marriage Advice

Here’s how it plays out. He goes to work and uses up all his words at work. She goes to work and uses up just some of her words. She arrives home before he gets there and is loaded for bear! She's got a few thousand words saved up. He walks in the door looking for peace and quiet and she is looking for conversation.

“Honey, how was your day?” she says. “Ugh,” he says. “What did you do?” she asks. “Worked” he says. “Who did you see?” she asks. “Roy,” he says. No wonder we miss each other. We need to learn to meet in the middle. We must understand the gender, emotional and biological differences. Gentlemen, please understand that she needs your conversation. I know work is hard but learn to have something left for her when you get home so that the two of you can communicate.


Conversation Defined

Conversation is essentially verbal attention. He values what she has to say so he’s giving her attention. When you sit, talk, listen, interact and look your wife in the eye, regardless of what she’s talking about, it means you’re interested in her, her day, and especially how she feels.

Talking and listening to each other is the beginning of communication but the need for conversation is not met by simply talking. It is met when the conversation is enjoyable for both persons involved. Unless conversation is mutually enjoyable, a couple is better off not talking to each other at all.


Characteristics of Good Conversation

1) Using it to inquire and discover each other

2) Focusing attention on topics of mutual interest

3) Letting spouses talk about themselves

4) Balancing the conversation so both have an equal opportunity to talk

5) Giving each other undivided attention while talking to each other

Conversation fails to meet this need when...

1) Demands are made

2) Disrespect is shown

3) One or both spouses become angry

4) When it is used to dwell on mistakes of the past or present

5) When one spouse goes into problem solving mode

It wasn’t difficult talking to each other during your courtship, was it? That's a time of information gathering. Both partners are highly motivated to discover each others' likes and dislikes, personal background, current interests and plans for the future. But after marriage, many women find that the man who would spend hours talking to her on a smart phone, now seems to have lost all interest in talking to her, and spends his spare time watching television or hanging with his friends.

If your need for conversation was fulfilled during courtship, you also expect it to be met after marriage. And if you fell in love because your need for conversation was met by your spouse during courtship, you risk falling out of love if that need is not met during marriage.

So let’s talk to each other and let’s have fun doing it!

Learning to Trust // My Proposal Story

December 8, 2012

We're packing up and getting ready to leave for Santa Barbara for the night to spend some time with my boyfriend's sister and her boyfriend. We have nice dinner plans with them so of course, that leaves me with one big question...

What should I wear?

Of course I mumble, "I don't have any clothes!!" Which, in girl terms, means I've worn everything I own once and don't want to re wear it. Naturally, I can't find anything I would like to wear, nothing is looking up to my standards, and I get into a bit of a bad mood.

My boyfriend offers to pick out a dress so he grabs one, packs it in my suitcase, and it's time to get on the road.

"I don't even want to go anymore!", I blurt out, still in a bad mood from the attire situation.

And as usual, he responds with, "Trust me. It's going to be fun!"

I grumpily walk to the car and we get on the road. He continues to tell me, "It will be so much fun - just trust me!" And my bad mood continues.

(I know, I'm seriously crazy when it comes to picking out clothes!)

We make our way up the 101, exit off of Kanan to go through the canyon and after about half an hour we make it to PCH. Frank makes a left turn and immediately I blurt out, "Wait, you're going the wrong way! Santa Barbara is North!"

Being the gullible girl that I am, he tells me that there is traffic that way so we're taking a different route. I still have no idea how I believed that, but I did.

After about another 10 minutes, we arrive at the Malibu Beach Inn (a hotel I've been saying I want to stay at for years) and he pulls up to the valet. Immediately, my bad mood is gone and I get the biggest smile on my face! He tells me that he decided to take me out of town for the weekend instead of going to dinner with his sister in Santa Barabara. And I am so excited that I finally get to stay at this hotel!

We have dinner plans in about an hour so I get ready and we sip on some cocktails as we watch some seals play around in the ocean, right in front of our balcony. Those little seals have got my attention and Frank goes to change the music on the ipad and grabs my hand...

He turns me around and there he is, on one knee, with the most gorgeous ring in a little black box and it's all a blur from there. I grab him and of course say, "YES!" without hesitation and he puts that sparkly diamond on my finger and the rest is history!

Moral of the Story: TRUST

From the time we were packing our bags, he told me to trust him and I didn't listen. We then got in the car and he told me to trust him, and I didn't listen.

But in relationships, trust is one of the most important qualities to learn. And I am just now beginning to make that work...because it's hard! But if you love him and he loves you, then he's not going to lead you in the wrong direction. And you need to tell yourself that each and every day.

So no matter what you are doing, or where you are in your lives together, trust is such an important quality not only for you to have in order to feel at ease, but to show your spouse that you trust him or her. There's nothing worse that feeling than your spouse is questioning your every move, so work on that trust each and every day instead of living in defensive mode all of the time.

I didn't trust my boyfriend, and he ended up proposing. How crazy is that??

You cannot live a full life without trust.

You cannot be spontaneous without trust.

And you cannot have a fulfilling, beautiful marriage without trust.

So no matter how hard it may be, trust is something that brings your relationship to the next level (literally, in our case) and will allow you to live that fairytale marriage you are looking for.

malibu wedding proposal
malibu wedding proposal
malibu proposal
malibu proposal

Do you trust your spouse's every word and every move? If not, how are you working on getting there in your relationship?