You have been chosen to stand next to the bride on her most special day. What an honor and so exciting! However, if we’re going to be totally real with each other, we both know there are many more hats to wear aside from the “ride or die”. You’re going to do an amazing job!! Here are some of our favorite picks to keep the day, and your job, running flawlessly.
#1- Bumble & Bumble Pret-a-Powder – B&B make exceptional hair products. End of story. This dry shampoo/style holder/volumizer was recommended to me by a good friend, and I am thanking god she forgot it at my house! Keeping yesterdays style, while providing a fresh new bounce will be perfect for any bridesmaid (or bride), that love more calm, slept in hair.
#2- Laura Mercier Flawless Skin Tone Perfecting Eye Gel Crème- Maybe you’re jet lagged, maybe you went out with the ladies last night, whatever the case may be, this incredibly smooth eye cream brightens and de-puffs your eyes. Don’t hide from the wedding pictures this time; your dark circles can do that.
#3- Burt’s Bees Facial Cleansing Towelettes- These are a personal favorite of mine, and I feel a complete necessity when traveling; (also to keep in your bedside table when you are too exhausted to make it to the sink). They smell like magic, take off all dirt and makeup, and aren’t filled with drying chemicals! With all the curling irons and blow dryers, the bridal suite can get sticky. Bring these along to freshen up before makeup!
Want some serious Maid of Honor points?? Pack a bag for the bride with some comfies so she feels right at home.
#4- Honey Bunny’s old T-shirt- We all love sleeping in a guy’s shirt, calm any nerves or re-instate their excitement to be together by bringing along her favorite for the night before, or hair and makeup.
#5- J. Crew Women’s Vintage Sleep Set- I have an infatuation with sleep sets, and J. Crew. These are made from their “Men’s” cotton (to give the feel of vintage men’s starchy sleep sets) and are AMAZING. Guarantee relaxation for her.
#6- Ugg Slippers- Guarantee the MOST comfort for her.
#7 & #8- J. Crew India Lace Bralette and Boy Thong- Whether the bride wants to feel sexy all day (who doesn’t), or her and her new husband are running away together immediately proceeding the wedding; pack her some lingerie! We love this elegant romantic combo from J. Crew.
#9- Anthroplogie Rolling Leather Weekender- You need a killer bag to put this all in! Anthropolgie is on the top of our list for anything from décor, to clothes, to scents. With amazing style and craftsmanship this bag could be an amazing Maid of Honor gift that will remain classic and strong for years to come.
#10- Rhoto Cool Eye Drops- Again, maybe you went out last night, maybe you didn’t. These eye drops will brighten and soothe even the most red and tired eyes. You put these on your “must have” list, and we won’t tell the bride what time you got back to the room.
#11- Sweetriot Dark Chocolate Bar- What’s the one thing you give to a stressed woman, or a thrilled woman, and get the same reaction? Chocolate of course! Or vodka, but this is the next best thing. And the very best of its kind! With all organic ingredients, vegan, dairy, GMO, and gluten free, you can feel good about indulging! As if that isn’t enough? Sweetriot supports fair trade sourcing cacao exclusively in Latin America. Delish!
#12- Bath & Body Works Aromatherapy Stress Relief Candle- With scents of Eucalyptus and spearmint, this will fill a jittery room with the perfect calming scents to set the tone.
These are our top picks to keep everyone, (Including yourself!) happy and excited! Other things to consider, asking the planner for a copy of the timeline and protocol, bride and groom’s parent’s cell numbers, umbrellas (for rain or heat), and of course bobby pins!
We know this is a lot to take in, and you are probably feeling a little overwhelmed. If there is one thing we can suggest, stay calm, and remember what an amazing day this is, and what an amazing compliment to you for being chosen.
Working out is hard. Sometimes it feels like the stars, planets, and moon have to be perfectly aligned for us to feel completely ready to take on 60 minutes of heart pounding, exasperating exercise. But damn are we always glad we did. Not to mention the pressure you soon-to-be brides are under!
With the craziness, of work, friends, family, emotionally unstable dogs, it is so hard to find an hour! Great thing is, you don't always need an hour, or a gym membership, or Nike Air's. We know how important it is for you ladies to feel your absolute best and most confident on your wedding day, so we have compiled our favorite workouts to give you the little push or high five you may need and absolutely deserve.
Alyson's #1 go-to:
A good leg day makes me walk like I own the place (okay, maybe the day after leg day, or 3 days, whatever). However, if I only have a couple of minutes and I want to get my heart pumping and feeling strong, I go straight to my core.
I will typically start with mountain climbers to get my body warm and heart rate up. I don't have a certain amount or reps that I do. I find a good song and and do as many as I can while the tempo is up, take a rest when it slows a bit and speed back up with it.
Crunches with an Exercise Ball[caption id="attachment_2025" align="aligncenter" width="315"] http://www.leanitup.com/14-uber-lower-abs-exercises-to-flatten-your-belly-and-carve-out-a-sharp-v-cut/4/[/caption]
For a little extra coordination work and fun, reach and grab the ball brining it down over your head and returning it back to your feet. Don't have an exercise ball? No problem. Improvise with a couch cushion, laundry basket, or gym bag full of towels!
Planks[caption id="attachment_2031" align="aligncenter" width="446"] http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/basic-workout-side-plank[/caption]
Don't be scared of them! Plank's are your friend. 60 seconds looking ahead, and without collapsing, switch to side planks and hold for 60. Looking for a challenge? Add some dips in there! Lowering your hips to the ground and returning back to side plank position.
Kate's gym must: Cardio
I am so much more of a cardio girl than anything else. I love how much energy I gain from it and breaking a sweat is instant gratification! I have two favorites: 1) Going for a good old fashioned run, and 2) Cross Country Skiing. Personally, I think music changes everything. If you have trouble running more than a block or two, consider a change in tempo. Most people think really fast paced music gets them going. For me, it made me go to fast and burn out. I choose something lighter and slower, like Ed Sheeran or Norah Jones Radio. That way I can keep a steady pace.[caption id="attachment_2032" align="aligncenter" width="541"] https://leegrantham.wordpress.com/tag/weight-training/[/caption]
Cardio and Cross Country Skiing slim and tone your entire body. The muscles used support your back and core all day, so keeping them strong is crucial. Not snowy where you are living? Get some rollerblades! It is essentially the same movement and muscle groups, and you will get the most high fives of anyone. Style points for sunscreen and a fanny pack.
Chelsea's cant live without: Yoga
I have been doing yoga for years and have seriously fallen in love. The challenge in new poses, strength you can honestly feel being built, and the calm quiet voice of your instructor clearing your mind, have locked me in.
My favorite pose, and I think incredibly beneficial for any level of yogi, Warrior II Pose into Warrior III Pose.[caption id="attachment_2028" align="aligncenter" width="671"] http://www.yogajournal.com/category/poses/types/standing/[/caption]
These poses really zero in on balance and utilize your entire body's muscle to hold Warrior II and slowly move into Warrior III.
Fit Tip- Jillian Michaels is not in our living room's yelling at us, and following all the Victoria Scret angels on instagram does more harm than motivation-so where do we get our push?? We absolutely LOVE the photo blog theberry.com for their hilarious photos, titles, and captions. They feature a section compiled totally of pictures and phrases to get you feeling 110% ready. Go to their site and check out Daily Motivation or DAMO. (Feel free to also enjoy Shirtless Friday) you can thank us later.
Tweak these and make your own wedding workouts and get going! You are going to look as amazing as you feel.
A destination wedding is such a treat as you get to be in one of your favorite places, with your favorite people. They can however, be that much more stressful as well. We have listed our top 5 categories to run through as you pack for the big trip! Get out your suitcase, pour some tea (or wine), and start getting excited! (Norah Jones radio always help ease any jitters. We promise).
Carry On[caption id="attachment_2302" align="aligncenter" width="590"] This....will not be your wedding dress.[/caption]
Typically we like to keep carry on's short and sweet, a few magazines, snacks, and our wallets. Your destination wedding trip is another story. You will ABSOLUTELY need to be checking your wedding dress, rings/wedding day jewelry, and vows. Too many times are we wearing clothes from high school out of our old bedrooms waiting for our bags to arrive. Somewhat acceptable visiting home, NOT acceptable when your'e saying I-do. Be sure to pass this on to members of your wedding party, Mothers, and Mr. Future Hubby. Dad's always seem to figure it out (thanks to said Mothers..). Be sure to tell the gate attendant so she can give you special attendance.
Electronics[caption id="attachment_2304" align="aligncenter" width="429"] Labels are essential for lost items.[/caption]
These days it seems as though we can't successfully go anywhere without or gadgets fixated to our hands, but with everything on your mind, it doesn't hurt to be extra prepared. Chargers, batteries, cases, etc. It is also recommended to label your items with your name and email address. Many busy brides accidentally leave these leaping from one spot to the next, and who doesn't love a label maker? One hot tip-if you're leaving the country, be sure to bring the necessary outlet converter and remind your guests as well. It's also easy to be TOO prepared, you probably won't need 2 EXTRA "in-case" chargers since chances are 80% of your guests have the same gadgets as you. Over packing can in fact cause more stress. We have proven it.
Clothing[caption id="attachment_2305" align="aligncenter" width="427"] Try and avoid[/caption]
This is REALLY where over packing becomes an issue. Really try and be realistic in what you plan to wear. We suggest laying out your outfits a week or two beforehand. Seeing them everyday will make it easier and more natural to add, subtract, and swap as needed. As much as you will want to wear that gorgeous new maxi you bought before you even lift off, aim for having your bag packed and zipped 4 days prior. Hot tip-if you feel good in them, pack strapless bathing suits to avoid tan lines.
This is important and can get over-looked. Any and all necessary prescriptions, ibuprofen for any stubborn headaches, allergy medicine if you are traveling during allergy season, Cortisone cream for rashes/skeeter bites (or any bad waxes; again, proven), extra contacts, and potentially a mild non-addictive sleep aid. When we have a big day it is almost impossible to get shut eye, and that never leaves us at our best. Remind guests that if you are traveling to a popular or secluded destination, chances are these items will be pricier to buy there, so bring whatever you can.
Oh yea![caption id="attachment_2307" align="aligncenter" width="474"] Breathe in, breathe out.[/caption]
Our miscellaneous pile, also easy to over pack (ie. everyone's junk drawer in the kitchen). Keep a running list a few weeks before you leave, either on your phone or a notepad that is always within reach. Things will pop in your head while running on the treadmill, waiting in line at the post office, and most likely in the middle of the night. A few days before, sort out the necessities and the "I-could-live-without"s, and pack into corresponding categories. We always have an organized miscellaneous bag with us. Our #1 don't forget- your serenity. Keep in mind this is a special time, and reward yourself with a one-on-one dinner with Mr. Future Hubby, some yoga, or a mani-pedi. We suggest all three.