The First Look Blog - The Truth About Your Wedding Invitations

If there is one thing I know to be true, there are endless blogs and websites that offer advice and tips to brides as they begin planning their big day. The First Look is a blog created by Dara Lynn Smith where she gushes over making planning a wedding easier and a lot less stressful. 

I'm excited to have joined her on her blog to give some advice of my own. 😉 Click below to read more about The Truth About Your Wedding Invitations. 💌

Photo Credit:  Deni Dom Films

Photo Credit: Deni Dom Films

What No One Tells You About Being Engaged

Although it feels like a forever ago, it was only a short time ago that Gus and I were engaged and planning one of the most important days of our lives. It is one of the most meaningful experiences we’ve ever had as well as one of the most stressful experiences too.

Here are 3 of the most important lessons I learned about being engaged.

Photo Credit -  Dipp Photography

Photo Credit - Dipp Photography


No matter who it is - Mother, Mother-In-Law, Friends, Co-workers, that random person in the store - everyone has an opinion about YOUR big day. It’s almost like a tube of toothpaste. Once you open the cap, if you aren’t too careful, the toothpaste is just going to keep flowing out. And in no way do I mean to demean the advice of your loved ones. Most are just trying to be helpful. But too much of that help can sometimes feel really overwhelming. 

Advice - Limit what you tell folks about your big day. If they aren’t really apart of your bridal party or wedding vendor team, they really don’t need to know #allofthedetails about your plans. Some loved ones won’t understand why you want to do a first look or not want to do a bouquet toss. That’s ok, because at the end of the day, YOU and your future spouse need to be happy with how you want to shape YOUR DAY.


PHoto Credit:  Kristy & Vic Photography


One of the biggest disappointments from our planning experience was truly knowing the difference of a “dream budget” and what our “actual budget” was. Although we paid for parts of our wedding, we still had a lot of help from family and friends. It was truly a blessing as we were gifted some of the main items (my dress, our cake to name a few) so we could concentrate our budget on other items that were details we wouldn’t have had.  Another disappointment was the reality of planning on a tv show to real life planning. When visiting the first florist we initially booked, I fantized about a bouquet being built in front of me and hand picking the flowers, in person, that would go into the floral details of our big day. Boy was that bubble burst. Not only did they not build any bouquet in front of me, but they didn’t have any fresh flowers in person PERIOD. After two other big let downs, we terminated our contract and found an amazing florist (who did build the bouquet in front of me). 


Advice - Before you go visit any venues or book your first vendor, write out wishes and needs on a sheet of paper and have an idea of what your budget really is. You will need an initial list of guests to really help you get an idea of the cost per guest. If you need an idea of what to write down, click here to download a sample worksheet that you can work from to get started.


Photo Credit:  Erica Melissa

Photo Credit: Erica Melissa


Yes, this is one of those pieces of advice that you’ve probably heard from 90% of the people you chat with. From experience, you and your fiancé have to mentally make the decision to do so. And trust me, with all of the details that can go awry, it’s super easy to displace your anger or disappointment on your partner. This is why at one point of our planning story, Gus and I decided that any time we would spend together on a date would be just that - a date. There would be no talk of wedding planning unless we had both agreed to set that time as planning time. One of the ways we did that was by playing games of UNO until our food arrived to the table. One of our favorite restaurants even dubbed us as the “Uno Couple” because of how much entertainment they received from watching us play (it was super competitive and there may have been a few choice words shared). 


Advice - God willing, this is the one and only time you will ever plan your own wedding. That is one of my hopes and prayers for all of my brides. But you and your fiancé really need to agree ahead of time on what details or possible occurances you are willing to entertain or shoot down. This is, in a way, a build up to what marriage is like. Being a team that works together to make the best life possible WITH one another. #foodforthought


At the end of the day, everyone’s wedding planning experience is different. You can watch #allthemovies and read #alltheblogposts, but no one experience is ever alike. My hope for all my brides is that no matter what their planning experience was like, that they feel nothing but calm and peace as they get ready for their big day. I call it the “calm of the storm” GET THE REAL NAME. (Eye of the storm?)


If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me at the button below. I’m more than happy to share some of my experiences from my big day. 

Real Weddings: Danny and Monica Part I

From the moment I had our first conversation, I knew Monica was excited to see what we could do. Her wedding theme was a little different from most brides I've met. It wasn't a specific color theme nor was the wedding going to go for your typical glitz and glamour style. Instead her and her fiance, Danny, wanted to celebrate their family's homeland. Their theme was Cuba Nostalgia. 

Photos Courtesy of J. Garcia Photography

Photos Courtesy of J. Garcia Photography

They wanted to travel back in time before the 1960's, when the revolution began and communism took over what was once a beautiful island. Being of Cuban descent, I have only heard how beautiful and lively Cuba was during the 1940's and 50's. Monica wanted to bring the theme clearly to guests without being tacky or too literal. What we came up with together was fabulous. 

For her place cards, we created a graphic of two dominoes. If you are not familiar with the game, take a look here. It is common in a Cuban household that one at least have a "deck" or set of Domino pieces or "fichas". Each domino is like a playing card, showcasing a set of numbers between zero and twelve. In the design we created, one domino was to signify the table number while the other had the guest's name. Monica attached rustic skeleton keys to each place card that doubled as a bottle cap opener. The keys would be used later at the reception when guests were treated to large Coke bottles, like the ones purchased from the Bodegas in Cuba. If a guest was confused about their table number, they could take a look at the back of the place card and find "Table __" written on the back.

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On each table, there was a black frame that had a larger domino with the corresponding table number. We also created one for the Sweetheart table that was appropriately filled with hearts. 

Photography: J. Garcia Photography

Venue: Douglas Entrance

Favors: Imagine Wedding and Events


Keep a look out for Part II for more great photos from this unique, authentic wedding.

The Start of a Beautiful Wedding: Alysha

A lovely start to a magical event.

A lovely start to a magical event.

There are many Brides who celebrate their new chapter in life by infusing a theme around their Wedding. Whatever they choose is part of the experience that they are trying create in order to make their big day that much more memorable. 

Save the Dates are where it all began for Alysha. Alysha came across our site online and had been looking for a specific look for her upcoming nuptials. I should say that she was really looking for a specific way to compliment her theme. Her theme is inspired by the Disney animated film, Aladdin

As exciting as it is to develop ideas/items for all types of occasions, this Save the Date was truly special to bring to life. Keep a look out for more shining, shimmering, splendid details as we continue to create a whole new world of items for Alysha and other featured Brides that are planning the biggest day of their lives.