{real weddings} Cassie & Alex

Hello lovelies! I have such a fun wedding for you today. Just get a look at this gorgeous bride – her gown, her party dress, her SHOES! Meet Cassie, my fellow barre instructor at Work it Out, who definitely didn’t hold back on showing off her dance moves on the dance floor. Get it girl! I was so excited that Cassie wanted her wedding to be a part of the blog – and I just loved learning how much this wedding truly was a reflection of them as a couple. Congrats newlyweds – I’m so happy for you!

1143When / where was your wedding?
September 19, 2015 at the Captain Flanders House on Martha’s Vineyard


What’s your love story?
Alex and I met through a mutual friend, Brandon. Brandon is a good friend of mine from college who moved back to Martha’s Vineyard after graduating. I was visiting him one summer and met Alex, who has been friends with Brandon since they were 5. After that visit, we started talking and eventually Alex visited Hoboken and we went on our official first date. We dated long distance for over a year – I was here and he was in Boston. Eventually, he made the move down here.0411


What made your wedding dress you?
I take very little credit for the dress choice! Since my mom works in bridal, I left most of it up to her and trusted her and her colleagues to select the perfect dress, and they did! I wanted something classic but also couture, so I think the lace in the Pnina Tornai dress top was the classic and the bottom of course was the couture. I also loved the back of the dress with the illusion look. As a dancer, I knew I would be moving and grooving on the dance floor all night, so I wanted to change into a short bridal reception dress, which is where the Mark Zunino dress came into play. He made me the short dress, which was so fun, comfortable, and let me dance all night freely!064507000677

What’s one wedding detail that really defined you as a couple? Made the wedding feel like you?
The band was amazing. We had the Joanne Cassidy Band, and they just made the night so much fun. We wanted great entertainment and they lived up to everything we could have imagined. It was a nonstop dance party, which is so us!


What’s one piece of advice you’d give to future brides?
Enjoy it! I had so much fun planning and Alex and I enjoyed being engaged very much, which just built more excitement for the big day. We made sure to enjoy our wedding day, we danced all night, and we had the absolute best night with the people we love the most. Last piece of advice – eat! Everyone said you don’t eat at your own wedding, and we did not! Luckily, our caterers packed up two meals for us and we ate them at the end of the night. Still delicious!1512Photography: Jamie Levine Photography; Venue: Captain Flanders House; Dress: Pnina Tornai; Reception dress: Mark Zunino; Band: Joanne Cassidy Band

{real weddings} Leah & Nick

Leah and Nick’s wedding was a special one to witness…Their love for each other is just so sweet and was apparent the entire day. Not only was I able to attend this beautiful wedding, but their nuptials also brought me back to the city of my alma mater, which always warms my heart. I’m so happy for these two — and hope you enjoy their love story and gorgeous wedding photos below!NickLeahWED01When / where was your wedding?
Our wedding ceremony took place at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Richmond, VA on Saturday, June 27, 2015. The evening reception followed at The Jefferson Hotel.

What’s your love story?
Nick and I met at Hardywood Brewery several years ago in Richmond. We had mutual friends and ended up in the same group that night. We got to talking over some beer and street food and there must have been something in that beer because the following week at a local 5K (at the same brewery), I had a feeling I was going to run into him again. (Of course after running a race and looking as glamorous as possible in leggings). Our groups of friends ended up together again that night and after talking the entire night, we ended up making plans to go running and eventually started dating.NickLeahWED230

nickleah-99What made your wedding dress you?
I loved my dress! It was pretty comfortable and I really liked the classic style with the embellishments around the neckline and the train.NickLeahWED249

Tell me a little about your wedding style and why you chose the historic Jefferson Hotel.
I wanted a classic, pretty, romantic style for the wedding along with some personal touches. My florist really helped make it personal, our head table was probably one of my favorite details — Our florist found the perfect romantic looking flowers and a sequin runner that really added a cool look. With the candles on top, it reflected really nicely and was so pretty. Nick and I always loved The Jefferson and usually take out of town family members to see the historic hotel. It has become one of our favorite places in Richmond so we thought, why not do our wedding there? The price was also comparable to other Richmond venues and we loved that it was in the city so our guests would have a lot to do.

nickleah-243What’s one piece of advice you’d give future brides?
This may sound silly, but don’t lose sight over the most important detail of the wedding — You are marrying your best friend and all the people you love the most will be there to celebrate it — so don’t sweat the small stuff.  

Nick and I would get into fights over small details during the wedding process — like how we were wording the church programs or what we should wear for our engagement pictures or “Did you see my updated pins on our wedding board?… what do you mean you don’t like it…”. Emotions were so high and we each wanted everything to be so perfect for one another on the big day. I doubt anyone really remembered the church programs or what we wore for our engagement pictures. And after it all, my favorite part was walking into the church and seeing Nick and actually going through our ceremony and the vows. There is and never will be anything like the ceremony or celebrating with our closest friends and family at the reception. nickleah-187Photographer: Megan Garrison; Venue: The Jefferson Hotel; Church: Cathedral of the Sacred Heart; Wedding Planner: Jennings Whiteway of Belles & Whistles; Florist: Jen Wiley of Wiley’s Florist

Throwback Thursday: Fancy Friday @ Vineyard 29

The below post started with a simple image I found on Pinterest last Spring and couldn’t wait to share with you all. It just so happens that this same pin has been getting some extra love on my Pinterest this week and why shouldn’t it?! It’s barre + wine + bachelorette party all wrapped up into one! Since it’s Thursday and my girl, Brittany hosts her Throwback Thursday post series, the timing couldn’t be better to share this little post with you again. I love when the stars align. Keep reading to see where I would have had my own bachelorette party had I known about this then!

My Own Balance
Vineyard 29

When I saw this image on Pinterest earlier this week, I got giddy. I knew something exciting would be coming once I clicked through to Well+Good – and boy, was I right. A barre class followed by a vineyard tour in Napa Valley?! Where can I sign up? Vineyard 29 that’s where. They call their program “Pilates Essentials” – which has all the essentials for the perfect bachelorette party. The package includes a pilates or barre class, tour, spa lunch and a case of wine (more info here) – Seriously, why didn’t I know about this before my bachelorette party?!

Someone who lives closer to California than me, please go and report back. Until then, have a great weekend my loves!

image via Well+Good

{real weddings} Natalie & Ryan

I always say the best part about this blog is the people it’s introduced me to. Today’s bride, Natalie, is just another one of those special people. Natalie was a regular in my Tuesday morning barre class (I say was only because she moved out of Hoboken after her wedding), as she was dedicated to looking and feeling her best for her wedding day. Of course, I wanted to learn more details about her wedding, which brings us to today’s post. If it weren’t for Natalie I also wouldn’t have been introduced to the beautiful work of Abby Grace — a photographer who also loves to photograph ballerinas! (Where do I sign up?!) I hope you enjoy today’s “southern romantic” wedding and their adorable love story.
View More: http://abbygracephotography.pass.us/jenkins-weddingWhat’s your love story?

On Friday, September 6, 2013 at noon Ryan got a call from a good friend Nick asking to join him for a road trip to UVA. At the last-minute, he had an extra ticket to the football game and asked him to go. Obviously, he was in. The next morning, Ryan joined Nick’s UVA friends at a backyard party just outside the stadium. True to form, the guys threw a party riddled with kegs, fried chicken and corn hole. Little did Ryan know that in a couple of hours he was going to meet his future wife!

I was invited to the tailgate by Emily, a mutual friend of Nick’s and was only planning on staying for a few hours (I didn’t have a ticket to the game). Ryan can remember the exact moment when I approached him with the pick-up line “I like your silly band bracelet. Did your daughter make that for you?” Ryan doesn’t remember many moments in his life where he was as nervous as he was here — but he told me that his niece Katherine had made it and we continued to chat. I like to say that I remember Ryan following me around like a puppy dog, but Ryan has a different recollection. As game time approached, Ryan offered to buy me a ticket so we could continue hanging out. We bought two tickets in the nose bleed section — and it was hot and still and felt like a sauna. We stayed at the game for maybe 10-15 minutes (5 minutes worth of game time and Oregon was up 3 TDs already) before we both were sweltering and went to a local spot to grab some food. Ryan even forced down some fried green tomatoes (not his favorite) just to impress the beautiful southern belle in his company. Ryan remembers being impressed with my knowledge of college football and my sweet southern charm. We finally made it back to the tailgate, exchanged phone numbers and have been together ever since. Who knew a random day of football could have turned into such a great thing!

View More: http://abbygracephotography.pass.us/jenkins-weddingWhen / where was your wedding?
We got married May 16, 2015 in my hometown of Hanover, Virginia. It is located about 15 minutes north of Richmond. We got married in St. Ann’s Catholic Church. My family has belonged to it since I was 9. Our reception took place at the Hanover Tavern. The Tavern was built in 1733 and is one of the oldest working taverns in the country. I loved the history involved with our venue as well as the beauty and location. Our wedding took place on a beautiful spring Virginia day. Most of Ryan’s family had not visited Virginia prior to our wedding and it was a perfect way to show off my hometown!View More: http://abbygracephotography.pass.us/jenkins-weddingView More: http://abbygracephotography.pass.us/jenkins-weddingWhat made your wedding dress you?
I LOVED MY DRESS! I know every bride says this (and I hope they do!). I only went once to try on dresses and this was the last one I tried on. I really did not want a strapless dress. (I felt I was too old to wear one.) My dress was not strapless — it had illusion lace on the top. It was gorgeous, but I did not love it on me. After talking to the ladies at the salon, we were able to make the dress strapless. I really wanted a lace dress. This dress was just different from all the others I had tried on that day. I did not want to take it off once I put it on, my mom still says the dress was so me! I am a very girly girl and always love wearing dresses. This dress was just so flowy, romantic and me!

When we were cutting the cake I dropped a fork full of cake on my dress! I had navy icing on me the rest of the night, anyhoo my mother took my dress to the cleaners the Monday after the wedding. Thankfully it came out right away and my mother was getting my dress preserved. The man asked if my mother wanted to come back and watch them put it into the box! I found this so cute that he asks this to the mothers. I still can’t believe our wedding is over and my dress is stored away!View More: http://abbygracephotography.pass.us/jenkins-wedding

What was your wedding style?
When we first got engaged people would ask what my “wedding theme was?” I was clueless and came up with my own. I called our wedding “southern romantic” — and I think I pulled it off pretty well. Our colors were navy, gold, pale pink, and mint green. I went a little overboard on the colors, but I think they ending up looking beautiful. All the colors worked together very well. My mother and I made a lot of the decor, it was a lot of fun painting and glittering everything! I also ordered a lot of things on Etsy. I have a girl I have ordered many things from in the past. She worked with me and made a lot of the table details. I just loved our table settings/center pieces! It all turned out beautiful!

Thankfully I got married in May because peonies are my favorite flower. Our florists did a beautiful job having my vision come to life! Of course I got a lot of inspiration from Pinterest, but I had to be careful not to go too crazy with details. My cake toppers were my favorite! We have a black lab named Magnolia. She could not spend the day with us, so my cousin made us a cake topper of her holding a sign saying “I do too!” Another favorite thing was the groom’s cake. Ryan loves Goldfish crackers. He is always stealing them from his niece and nephews! I had a cake made in the shape of a Goldfish cracker! It was adorable and Ryan was very surprised by it! I really enjoyed making all the details special for our day. It is really what made our day so special for us. It also made me very happy when people noticed the details and said how much they enjoyed it all!View More: http://abbygracephotography.pass.us/jenkins-weddingView More: http://abbygracephotography.pass.us/jenkins-weddingWhat’s one piece of advice you’d give other brides?
BREATHE! No matter how big or small your wedding is, it is a BIG deal for you. You’ll cry about things and have arguments with the ones you love during planning, but all because it means so much to you and them. The day will be wonderful no matter what happens that day! Something will turn out different then you thought, but it is OK, you are the only one that will know that! Our venue space was not done and we had to go to plan B! I was in tears the day before, but the day ending up being amazing and beautiful! Everyone had a BLAST! Stories are still being told about our day! Just breathe often and enjoy the day! I still can’t believe we got married and the day has happened! It was an amazing day!View More: http://abbygracephotography.pass.us/jenkins-weddingPhotography:  Abby Grace Photography; Event Planner: Kat of Dear Sweetheart Events; Venue:  Hanover Tavern

Q&A with The Registry Less Traveled and a GIVEAWAY!

Yes, you read that right! Today’s post features my very, first giveaway on the blog — who doesn’t love free stuff?! But first, let me introduce you to Beth, owner of The Registry Less Traveled — the personalized gift shop, specializing in etched glassware. I was introduced to Beth through this beautiful bride — and couldn’t stop myself from interviewing her and learning more about her incredible small business. Please take a few minutes to learn why Beth opened up shop and be sure to check out her website! Don’t miss the giveaway at the end of this post for your own custom order!!LessTraveled72014-102What made you decide to open your own business? And when did you open?
I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur, but never new what the right business was for me. I wanted it to be something I was passionate in, but also something I could start with little risk. I received my MBA a few years ago and not long after decided to take a break from the grind of the corporate world to travel and live in Spain. I was enamored with the culture and in particular the Spanish outlook on work. When I returned I was particularly drawn to the idea of being my own boss and having the flexibility in a career to balance work and fun while doing something meaningful. I saw many of my friends be successful in at-home sales businesses, but couldn’t bear the thought of needing to depend on my close friends and family to get the business started.

It wasn’t until I was planning a bridal shower for my sister that everything clicked. I browsed her wedding gift registry looking for a gift and got lost in the midst of dish towels and blenders and was less than enthusiastic about gifting any of those [ridiculously overpriced] items to my sister. I laughed and thought, “Nothing says I love you like a dish towel, right?!” At any gift-giving event I had ever been to, it was always the custom or personalized gifts that left a lasting impression. When my brother announced his engagement, I purchased a set of personalized etched wine glasses, which ended up being their favorite gift. The concept was simple, yet elegant and I took a shot at trying to make them myself. After my first successful attempt at etching a wine glass, it was then that The Registry Less Traveled was born.LessTraveled72014-17What’s the meaning behind the name, The Registry Less Traveled?
The Registry Less Traveled is a play on words from the Robert Frost poem, The Road Not Taken.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— 
I took the one less traveled by, 
And that has made all the difference.

I was inspired by the idea of offering registry-like gifts with an “off the registry” personal touch. When it comes to gift registries, take the one less traveled by :)

You make so many great gift items! What’s your favorite piece to date that you’ve made?
Thank you! I recently starting making hand painted pillows using people’s handwriting. My grandfather who is 95 years old has a note from my late grandmother. I was able to paint her handwriting onto a pillow and he has said it is a treasured keepsake and reminds him of my grandmother every day. Talk about meaningful! Each pillow I have made since has a special story to go along with it. I love being a part of that.LessTraveled72014-87One piece of advice for someone looking to open their own Etsy shop?
First, do it! Etsy is an amazing outlet to showcase and sell your handcrafted items with little risk. However, to do so, create a strong and cohesive brand so your items do not get lost in the shuffle. The marketing and packaging is often just as important as the actual items. Finally, having a strong foundation of quality customer service is what keeps people coming back. One of my professors once told me that it takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience. In a feedback-driven environment like Etsy, this is so important to remember. With that said, you can’t please everyone and mistakes do happen, but use those opportunities to delight the customer. It goes a long way.

What’s your drink of choice?
A nice, cold Blue Moon with an orange slice!registrylesstraveledBeth caught wind that I love champagne and designed these custom champagne flutes for me – So cute! Want your own custom glassware?!

GIVEAWAY TIME! To enter, please visit The Registry Less Traveled — and leave a comment below with your favorite item from her shop! Winner will receive their own personalized item — a custom order up to $30! Winner will be chosen on Monday at random. Good luck!!

{event recap} Brides & Bubbly: BYOB Bridal Bootcamp

Another Brides & Bubbly in the books! Last June, I hosted my first Brides & Bubbly event with Work it Out — and here we are, one year later, still going strong! Last night, we teamed up with popular Hoboken faces — Hoboken Girl, EVJ Wedding Co., & The Bloginista — for a BYOB {Bring Your Own Beau} Bridal Bootcamp. These brave couples came out in the rain for a one-of-a-kind killer bootcamp class, led by Vanessa, that had them doing wheelbarrows & piggy-back rides and chanting “sweating for the wedding!” It was an intense workout, but they all had smiles on their faces — and the encouragement between the couples was just so cute to watch! Post-class, everyone enjoyed a much-deserved drink and went home with an awesome swag bag and raffle prizes!

Once again, I couldn’t have done it without my team at Work it Out and the fabulous local vendors who donated their services including: Hudson Cakery, Sweet Dani B, Yummie by Heather Thomson, The Salon by Soon Dar Secrets & EVJ Wedding Co.

To all our guests, thank you for coming — and congrats on your upcoming weddings! Enjoy the photos!


IMG_5326all photos c/o Tulle Wedding Skirts, Inc.

Throwback Thursday: Bridal Bootcamp with My Own Balance

I’m linking up with my blogger bud and fellow University Dancer from my college days, Brittany of My Own Balance, for her Throwback Thursday series. Every Thursday she features an old post worthy of posting again for new readers or those who may have missed a great, timely post. And the timing of today’s post couldn’t be better! I’m re-posting Brittany’s guest post of her tips for getting in shape for your wedding from last summer and teasing my next Brides & Bubbly event — BYOB {Bring Your Own Beau} Bridal Bootcamp, which is next Tuesday, June 2! Be sure to click here for all the event details and leave a comment below if you’re interested in attending next week!
My Own Balance
I think you’ve all caught on that fitness is a big part of my life, so I’m pretty pumped to share this guest post with you! Keep reading for Brittany’s Bridal Bootcamp from My Own Balance — and her tips for getting in shape for your wedding!
bridal bootcamp.jpg

Hi all! I’m so excited to be here guest posting today! I met Caitlin back when we were in college and in the same dance company. I can’t believe how long ago that was now! It seems like yesterday!

Dancing evolved naturally for me into a passion for fitness. It is part of my lifestyle and I love blogging about my adventures in fitness and healthy living at MyOwnBalance.com. As a fitness blogger, one of the biggest questions I get asked is how do I get in shape for my wedding? We all want to look great on our big day, so I’ve put together a few tips on how to look your very best when you say “I do.”

1) Make a schedule. The number one rule of bridal bootcamp is schedule it in! With everything that is going on in your life right now it will be easy to brush off your workouts, especially if you have to think too hard about what to do. Schedule in your workouts every week and stick with them.

2) Try some new classes or a trainer. One of the quickest ways to get in shape is to confuse your muscles by trying something new. Pick an activity that is challenging and will push you to your limits. HIIT and tabata training are both extremely effective forms of interval training that are focused on pushing to your max efforts and with short recovery periods. Barre classes work your muscles until fatigue, while working with a trainer ensures someone will push you pass your limits. It doesn’t really matter what you do as long as it is challenging for you.

3) Squeeze in some double sessions. Sweating twice a day is a great way to kick your metabolism into gear and really see results.  A word of caution, don’t schedule a super intense workout both in the morning and in the evening. Instead try doing a yoga sequence when you wake up and then go to a spin class after work.  Or try Zumba in the morning and then 10 to 20 minutes of strength in the evening. Be sure to incorporate rest days and don’t repeat double sessions every single day.

4) Strength train. There is a common misconception that cardio is the best form of exercise for women and the more cardio you do the more weight you will lose. In fact, your muscles continue to burn fat much longer after a strength session than a cardio session. This means that the best way to lose weight and look toned is to add in some strength sessions to your routine. I recommend targeting arms, shoulders, back, abs, legs and seat, which will ensure you look great in your dress and on your honeymoon. Lifting heavy weights will not bulk you up but if you prefer lighter weights, try a barre class, which relies on low weights, high reps and working muscles to fatigue.

5) Purchase some DVDs.  Between work, wedding planning and trying to maintain some semblance of a normal life it can be so easy for workouts to hit the back burner.  Invest in a few good DVD options so you have something on hand and ready to go when you are at home.  Even 15 minutes is better than nothing!  A few of my favorites are TurboFireJillian Michael’s Body RevolutionPhysique 57 and Zumba.  There are a ton of great options out there so just read a few reviews to find the right one for you!

6) Rest. This is the most important tip!  Without rest your body can’t recover and the change you want to see won’t happen. All your hard work will pay off once you’ve allowed your body to rest and recover.

Remember, your diet will play a huge part in your results.  You can’t expect to look great eating cheeseburgers everyday.  There is no need to crash diet though!  Make sure you are eating balanced meals containing whole grains, lean protein, low-fat dairy and tons of fruits and vegetables.  Counting calories may also be effective for you, just make sure you are getting the right amount!  If you are too crazed with wedding planning to even think about cooking nutritious meals, try a meal delivery service.  I used Diet-to-Go for my wedding and found that it worked great.  Another option is to use a meal prep service like Blue Apron, Plated or Hello Fresh, which provides you with fresh ingredients that you cook up to create a healthy meal.

Commitment, hard work and keeping your eyes on the prize will help you look your very best on your wedding day! Be confident with your body and your results and know that your spouse-to-be is going to love the way you look no matter what!

Thanks for the awesome tips, Brittany! For more fitness fun, be sure to check out Brittany’s blog, My Own Balance.

{local vendors} Fox Events and Design

Here I go again making new friends with amazing women around town who also happen to be wedding vendors… Never ceases to amaze me how much talent and passion there is out there! Which brings me to introduce you to Britney, owner and visionary, behind Fox Events and Design. Read on for more about her event planning business and photos from a recent bridal shower she did in NYC!

From Britney…When I started my career I was producing events such as Sundance, the Super Bowl and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. I eventually decided to leave sunny California behind because I fell in love with a New York City boy and moved on to the city that never sleeps. After designing my own wedding off the beaten path in Costa Rica, I knew my passion for design and producing events was now going to be focused on weddings and helping other brides have a truly incredible big day. With that said Fox Events and Design was born and it has been an exciting, passionate journey of mine ever since!

I love everything about the planning process, from the initial meet and greet with my bride/groom/clients, to finding a destination for a wedding or location for an event. I have established a trusted book of amazingly talented vendors and artists who I work really well with and always deliver.

Being able to help my clients vision come to life is a pretty amazing feeling and something I am so thankful to be able to continue to see and hopefully feel for a very long time!



Location:  Riverpark in The Cube 
Cake:  Hudson Cakery 
Balloons:  Party City
Stationery:  Juniper Street 
Flowers and Event Planning:  Fox Events and Design

Wedding in Wine Country

I got to spend the past weekend in beautiful Sonoma County, California celebrating our dear friends, Allison and Matt, as they tied the knot. It was such a breath of fresh air to spend a few days outside, biking, sipping wine and soaking in some much-needed sunshine. But all that aside, I was so honored to be a part of this couple’s special day — and witness the most touching ceremony I have ever attended. With hand-written vows and a performance of Ryan Adams’ “When The Stars Go Blue” by the bride’s cousin, there wasn’t a dry eye amongst the guests.

I wanted to share some of my own photos of the wedding, so as not to keep you waiting…with the hopes that I can get my hands on the professional ones soon!

IMG_4775{The happy couple wine tasting at Kunde Family Winery before the big day}

IMG_4797{All the ladies with the bride at the Welcome Dinner}IMG_4800{And all the gents with the groom}

Matt and Allison Rehearsal{The best rehearsal exit I’ve ever witnessed}


IMG_4882{First dance}

Matt and Allison Wedding{An intimate newlywed moment in the vineyard at Paradise Ridge}

Congrats Allison & Matt! I’m so happy for you two — and so grateful to have been there to celebrate with you. Cheers to a happy and healthy marriage!

all photos c/o Tulle Wedding Skirts, Inc.

{real parties} Kerry’s Bachelorette Featured on The Bach

It’s always fun to take a trip down memory lane…especially when it involves warm weather, the beach and an awesome time spent with people you love! So it was no exception to relive Kerry’s bachelorette party from last summer on Shelter Island.

I’m thrilled to share with you this “Real Bachelorette” feature on the ultimate bachelorette party-planning site, The Bach! They captured our weekend getaway perfectly — mapping out every step of our trip. Be sure to check out the full feature here.

IMG_2771{Enjoying some afternoon cocktails at the über-trendy Sunset Beach}

The Bach really is a genius idea. It’s a one-stop-bachelorette-planning-shop for all you bridesmaids out there asking yourselves where to even begin to plan a bachelorette party. Pick your city. Browse venues, restaurants and activities. Create your itinerary. Email your guests. Such a simple idea – and such a great site! Be sure to check it out when planning your next bachelorette bash!The Bach Postcard

Top photo c/o Tulle Wedding Skirts, Inc.