In my opinion, having a wedding party that consists of your closest friends and family makes the wedding planning process less stressful. Not only are they your support system in difficult times, but more importantly they are there to help you with whatever you need to celebrate one of the most memorable days of your life. Not everyone picks their wedding party the same way. Some make it all family members; some perhaps choose childhood friends. Adrian and I had thought about who would make up each of our sides, but we couldn’t have been happier when we nailed down the final list of names. Now that we’ve secured a date at our dream venue, it’s time to put together each of our parties and turn up the creativity juices on how to ask them!
Deciding Who To Ask
My party consists of 4 guys and 4 girls. A good majority of them are friends when college while the rest I’ve known since living in Arizona. I wanted to put together a group of my closest friends that all have a similar personality as I do because if I’m not allowed to lift a finger on the day of the wedding, I needed a team that all share some form of my type-A personality. This is the most rock solid group of friends I could ever ask for, especially if I’m going to frequently throw spreadsheets, timelines, and Pinterest boards at them for ideas. Each member of this group knows how to keep me calm and prevent me from stressing out. I can honestly say that not many people have been able to do that with me and I am forever grateful for my A-team (get it, “A”-Team?).
Adrian lived in Arizona for about 18 years and has developed some many lifelong friends here. His party also features 4 guys and 4 girls and are the tightest knit group I’ve ever seen. While they may not have type-A personalities like my team, they know how to have a good time and make sure Adrian feels special on the big day. Since the majority of his group lives in Arizona, they’ve been with us on many day trips, parties, and even there when we got engaged! They would do anything for Adrian and I’m so happy he’s got such a great group of friends to be by his side on our wedding.
Alan’s Colorful Cases
Adrian and I decided that our wedding colors will be navy, grey, and peach. I wanted to incorporate those colors throughout my ask gifts as much as I could so I started with 4 wooden boxes from Michaels and the first letter of each of the girls’ name. To incorporate our color palette, I painted the box navy and grey and painted the letter peach, which I then placed on the top of the box. Next I filled the box with navy tissue, peach nail polish, a silver/grey compact mirror, a ring pop, a bottle of peach scented lotion, peach schnapps, color swatches of the wedding colors, and a pair of earrings (each girl getting a different navy set of earrings that fit their personality). I also put on the inside cover of the box “I found my man, but I still need my girls, will you be my groomsmaid?”.
The men were a little easier and I decided to get them each custom engraved silver tankard (that famous glass that’s held in Samuel Adams beer logo). After everything was sent, I asked if they’d videotape themselves opening their gifts. Seeing their reactions was a very memorable moment for me knowing that they are excited to share our big day with us!
Adrian’s Personalized Pouches
Adrian took a different approach for asking his girls. Instead of a box, he went with a makeup bag with each of their initials sewn on them. He then stuffed the bag with items personalized to their taste, like a Harry Potter bookmark for one of the girls, or items that are Disney themed. He did include color swatches, a ring pop, and nail polish for all the girls. For the guys, he got them a personalized engraved glass decanter.
With regards to selecting our best man/maid of honor, Adrian decided that he will have a maid of honor since he’s known his best friend for so many years, and I chose to have a best man because he has been a major rock in my growth and development not just professionally, but also socially as a gay man.
Don’t Forget the Little People
In addition to our rather large wedding parties, we are also having 2 Jr. grooms maids, a flower girl, and a ring bearer. We kept things simple and asked them by giving them massive amount of candy (who can say no to candy).
We are so excited to share our big day with are wedding parties. They’ve been there for us whenever we needed them, and to have their support on our wedding day means the world of us. Hold on tight everyone let the wedding planning commence!
A good house isn’t a structurally sound house unless it has a concrete foundation to support all the many details that go into making it a home. The same can be said about planning a wedding and deciding what are the basic elements that are important in order to plan one of the most important days in your life. For some people, it’s finding that perfect date or an ideal location, but for us, we decided to focus on both since they go hand-in-hand.
The Perfect Date
For our wedding, it was already tricky enough that we have family and friends all over the country and in order get most of them here comfortably, we knew that the date was the important factor in the beginning steps of planning. We researched that Sundays and winter months are usually cheaper with wedding venues and wanted to make sure that we planned out the event far enough so that we can save up accordingly. We decided on January 14, 2018 because it was on a weekend where our guests didn’t have to take too much time off of work before the wedding, AND it was the day before Martin Luther King Jr. Day which gives a holiday buffer for those that need to fly home.
East Coast vs West Coast
After we decided on a date, we began to check with venues to see if they had it available, along with the other must have’s in our wedding that meant a lot to us. Looking at both the size of our families and friends as a whole, the majority of the guests live in Arizona so thus it was important that we find a place in Arizona that’s not too far of a drive for everyone. While Boston has so many amazing coastal venues with picturesque views, we knew it would have been difficult to for our Arizona friends and family to fly so Arizona was the ideal location. Besides, who wouldn’t want to fly from 20-degree weather in Boston to sunny and warm Phoenix where it’s 70 degrees in January?
With a date in mind, and knowing the venue has to be in Arizona, we were off to search for a venue and sign a contract. Arizona has so many wonderful options, but just like finding your significant other, trust your gut and when you come across the right venue, you’ll know that it’s the one.
Trends and fads come and go but classic styles are timeless. One of the most classic looks is strong hair and nails. Hair and nails are made from the same type of cells that are organized in a different way. Both use the same nutrients to grow. While these nutrients are generally easy to attain in a regular diet, many people still aren’t getting the right nutrition to keep their hair and nails strong and healthy. Dry, brittle hair and nails are some of the indications of illness, so if you have these symptoms, here are the nutrients you need to get in your body ASAP.
Keratin, a form of protein, is the primary component of hair and nails. It comes from skin cells called keratinocytes and is tough, which is why nails and hair feel stronger and harder than the rest of your body. However, to produce keratin, your body needs amino acids, which you can only get by eating protein.
Protein comes in many forms including lean meats, like chicken, sirloin, and round cuts, dairy, nuts, soybeans, and protein powder.
Zinc is a mineral that is vital for healthy cell division. The parts of your body that rapidly reproduce (cells, hair, nails) need a constant flow of zinc in order to generate strong cells. A zinc deficiency manifests itself in many ways, but the most notable are slow-growing, splitting, discolored nails.
The best food source for zinc is seafood. Oysters contain the highest levels of zinc. If you can’t stomach the thought of slurping these slimy delicacies you can relax, zinc can be found in some red meats and beans.
Like the commercial says, “Milk, it does a body good.” Calcium is vital to creating strong bones, teeth, nails, and hair. It is one of the body’s most sought-after minerals, so when your system lacks sufficient calcium, you can see it in the health of your hair and nails.
Most of us are familiar with standard calcium-rich foods as we are taught from an early age that dairy products, white beans, leafy greens, nuts, etc. help your bones grow strong. What many people don’t know is that vitamin D and other nutrients necessary for calcium absorption are less well-known so consider supplementing with a can of tuna to increase your vitamin D levels.
Prolonged periods of stress definitely affects your nails and hair. Fortunately, magnesium is the best all-natural anti-stress mineral. It prevents hair loss and unsightly ridges on nails which can be caused by poor diet and untenable stress.
Magnesium isn’t a well-known mineral, but it is present in plenty of nutritious food as noted on the chart below. Pumpkin seeds are inarguably the most magnesium-rich food, followed closely by dark chocolate. Now you have the perfect excuse for snacking on a square of chocolate.
Biotin (also known as vitamin H) is highly regarded as a hair-saver. Doctors prescribe biotin to sufferers of alopecia, an autoimmune disorder marked by hair loss. In fact, the H in vitamin H stands for haar and haut, or hair and nails in German.
Biotin is found in bananas, which have the highest concentration. Legumes (including peanuts and lentils) also are rich in biotin.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
The fatty acids in omega-3s keep your keratinocytes healthy so you can grow long, strong hair and nails. Salmon, tuna, mackerel, and even sardines are full of omega-3s. If fish isn’t your thing, you can also enjoy walnuts, flaxseed, and even eggs to get a sufficient daily dose.
It seems that we rarely encounter a babydoll that doesn’t have her lips dolled up. Whether its stain, gloss or stick, pigmented pouts are everywhere, and we’re pretty excited about it. There are many options for lip products on the market and navigating which ones we should wear can prove challenging.
To help you make sense of all of the different ways to accessorize your lips, we’ve pulled together a guide of which products to use when. We’ve also added tips on how to make sure the look lasts. Whether you’re going for a matte look, nude gloss or a bombshell red lipstick, we’ve got you covered.
First and foremost, find the lipstick consistency you love. Creamy, shiny or matte, lipstick’s options are endless. If you are using a bold color it should be the focal point of your look. For longer lasting color, match the shade with liner, or use a nude liner around the outer edges of your lipstick so that the color won’t bleed. When using red, keep the rest of your makeup somewhat natural – minimal mascara, no eyeshadow and a hint of blush to keep from seeming overly done up.
A lip stain look can be achieved by using either a stain or applying lipstick with your finger over lip balm. Save this look for when you want a hint of color, but you don’t want to look dramatic. Stains tend to stay on longer than glosses and creams, so use a stain when you’ve got a long day (or night) ahead.
Lip gloss is good for days when your pout is a bit dehydrated. We do, however, advise against wearing gloss on windy days while your hair is down. Even the least sticky of lip glosses will attract your hair!
Dear Sabrina: How important are brows to your overall look? I over-tweezed my brows and now they look sparse. How can I make them look fuller before my wedding day? – Browless Britney
Britney – I am so sorry that you over-tweezed your brows but just know that it happens to the best of us. Oh are there some horror stories I could share with you!! Let’s tackle your question in three parts.
How important are brows to your overall look?
I cannot stress enough how important they are to the overall look on your wedding day and just for everyday beauty. They are what frames the windows to your soul (your eyes). Having great brows, defined brows and well maintained brows is powerful and contributes to a ‘pulled-together’ look. As a makeup artist I am constantly asking my clients to grow them out so we can rehab the mistakes.
What tips can you give us for perfect brows?
The best tip that I can give you is put the tweezers away, let your brows grow for 4-6 weeks and give me a call to make a brow appointment. If you don’t have 4-6 weeks for regrowth, we can give you a brow tint to tint the hair and a little bit of the skin to give the illusion of hair. Also you can pick up any brow kit that will help you fill in your brows and make them more groomed. We love Urban Decay’s Brow Box – available at Urban Decay, Ulta and other beauty stores.
If our brows and lashes are sparse how can we help them to look fuller?
Eyebrow and eye lash tinting is great to give that illusion of fullness especially for eyebrows that are growing out. To encourage growth, try mixing castor oil and coconut oil together to create a custom lash and brow serum. Your brows will be healthy and fuller in no time.
Don’t sweat it, dolls! As the temperatures begin to climb in AZ (can you say 96 degrees in mid-March #dolls?), we turned to our stylists for some simple tips to keep you fresh and dry on your big day, and the days leading up to and long after you walk down the aisle. All you need is some baby or talcum powder, a large makeup brush, and a little help. Simply brush a light coat of powder over your chest, back, underarms and any other area that may need attention (under the bust line or around your thighs). Don’t be afraid to ask your maids for help reaching your back. We all know they will do anything for you! Now you are ready to dance the night away with your handsome husband.