Tag Archives: Weddings

Wedding Mondays

It is becoming harder and harder to keep up with Yow Yow! these days! I think I just need one full day a week where I can just dedicate solely to blogging. If only… right? After a long work day, coming home and spending a few more hours on Yow Yow! is proving to be difficult. It’s almost 10:00 PM right now even and I was just on my way to bed until I had a change of heart. We haven’t done a Wedding Mondays post since almost the beginning of the month and I wanted to get in at least one today if I could. This Wedding Mondays video is v. special. Not only is it a blogger that I adore and follow, but it also takes place in Washington. (whoop whoop!)

Bethany and Cory’s wedding video is beautiful from start to finish. Goodness, the dress, that headpiece, Lake Cushman. I know you all will enjoy this video as much as I did! That first look is going to make you smile. To follow Bethany on her blog, click here!

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Wedding Wednesdays – Wedding Confidence


Weddings are entrenched in age old traditions and rituals that some of us in the modern world choose to partake in and others that we leave behind. Today we’re going to talk about some things that have been  bothering me since I got engaged over 6 months ago and that, my friends, are wedding diets and bridal expectations.

I’ve had poor body image since sixth grade. My eating disorder began gradually in seventh grade and became uncontrollable my freshmen year of college. 3 months of inpatient rehab later, hours of therapy, an unbreakable support network of the best friends a girl could ask for, and I would consider myself in recovery for the last 6 years. I’m not perfect and my past with my eating disorder does not define me, but I still find it influencing my body image and relationship with food as years go by.

The reason I bring up this issue now is that in my last post I blogged about the joys of finding the perfect wedding dress. I absolutely LOVE my dress, I cannot wait to wear it for an entire day because it is beautiful and I feel beautiful in it. But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t having an internal battle with myself and my dormant eating disorder. Wedding dresses are beautiful, but you aren’t always going to fit into the sample size dress. You are also sometimes going to get measured in front of a mirror in your bra and underwear, something I like to think of as my own personal hell. All I could think was, thank god this is happening now, when I am strong and stable in my recovery.

First thing’s first, a wedding diet is an option, NOT an obligation. Going on a wedding diet is not like hiring an officiant or getting a marriage license, it’s a choice, not a necessity and you can still tie the knot without one.

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Let’s Talk About “Unplugged” Weddings

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This photo was floating around the internet earlier this week and I thought that it would make a pretty good post as I have a few thoughts that I can weigh in on… Two of my dearest friends are getting married next year and I really have no doubts at all that their weddings won’t be amazing. However, a lot can change in the next year and trends are always coming and going so there are some things we should discuss.

Lately, I’ve seen a few weddings disclose to their guests that they want the ceremony to be an electronics-free zone. Despite how much time I spend on social media through this blog and my job, you may think that I would oppose this idea. I am, however, in support of it and here’s why:

  • No matter what you think, there is no way that the photo you capture on your phone will ever be as good as the photographer(s) that the couple has hired. Think about where you’re sitting, how unsteady your hand might be because you might be emotional and the not-so-perfect view you have.
  • You are not a professional. Let the pros do their job. After all, they’re getting paid for it! You should just enjoy yourself.
  • Let yourself be in the moment. If you’re too busy trying to get your photo, you’re going to miss that moment where you get to really soak in the bride walking down the aisle right in front of you.
  • It’s tacky – like the way people still bring their iPads to take photos at concerts. That’s what this looks like.
  • Lastly, for the photo above. Don’t obstruct the groom. This is his big moment too.

I know it’s hard, but you can put your phone away during the ceremony. You’ve got the whole rest of your night to whip that thing out and hashtag the crap out of the couple’s big day.


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Wedding Mondays

We’re doing things a little bit differently today! Instead of our usual wedding video, we’re sharing with you a v. adorable save the date. Now, there’s plenty of different ways that you can do Save the Dates and when you’re considering yours you should try and think about what both you and partner want. Are you wanting to be pretty simple or do you want to spend a little time on it. Not everyone has the time to do videos for theirs, but they DO end up being my favorite. In a lot of different articles that I’ve read about wedding planning, it seems like it’s very easy for couples to get carried away with all of their DIYs and projects, but I’m always reading the same advice – pick the few things that you want to make your own. When you’ve decided on that, stick to it, and stop looking at Pinterest so that you don’t go crazy and add more work to your plate. Not everyone can be this couple in the Save the Date video above, but it’s nice to dream.


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Last Weekend’s Halloween Weeding

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I think as I’m getting older, I’m enjoying Halloween less and less. So this year when my friend and co-worker asked me if I would join him as his +1 to a wedding on Halloween, I jumped at the opportunity! First off, I’ve always wanted to go to a wedding on a holiday. There’s a huge faux-pas around weddings on holidays because people like to complain that they are being taken away from their own personal holiday to celebrate a couple’s big day, but let’s just be real here for a second – whatever you would’ve been doing instead of that wedding still probably could’ve been just as lame. You want to throw a wedding on New Year’s Eve, 4th of July, or Halloween? Sign me up! That’s booze, food, entertainment, and a dance party provided for you. What more could you want?

It’s not a secret. I love going to weddings. Each one that I’ve been to is very different and I think there’s something that can be learned from every experience. So of course I shared everything that I observed with Mandi the next day after, but thought that some of you might enjoy this as well.

I sometimes hate pros and cons lists, but this seemed like the easiest way to organize.

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What I Loved:

  • The theme – I’ve never really heard of a wedding that wasn’t themed and happened to be on Halloween. This one in particular wasn’t even Halloween themed though. The dress code ended up being a little bit of steampunk – a style of dress that the groom normally wears and nearly every guest dressed on par. It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen! Since I didn’t know the couple, I played it safe by wearing a dress and the tiniest little top hat hair clip atop my head. There were 6 other people wearing the same small hat so I felt like I was nailing it.
  • Personalized wedding – I had heard from other guests that the couple loved decorating, making things, and of course Pinterest. The personality of the couple shined through in every aspect of the big day. This is a bold statement as I’ve been to quite a few weddings, but this one felt the most personalized weddings I’ve ever attended. You could tell that there was a lot of love and heart that went into every piece. Even when we arrived to the venue two hours early, the bride, groom, and wedding party were still running around trying to get things done. It didn’t matter, it all looked great anyways!
  • Bridesmaids in colors – The bridesmaids all wore dresses in similar fabric, but in bold colors like red, yellow, blue, pink, orange. You may think that the rainbow look is a bit much at the front of the alter, but they all looked stunning.
  • The venue – I had never been to a wedding on a ranch before and I sometimes find the whole idea to be a little bit risky for a lot of reasons. However, the couple did their best to really spruce things up. There were lots of decorations everywhere and they were able to transform the venue into a very beautiful space. The major downside though? Poop smells everywhere and lots and lots of bugs.
  • The bride and groom’s speech – I found it really sweet that the bride and groom took some time at the end of dinner to thank their guests in their own personalized way. Instead of reading their own words though the bride ended up writing a speech for the groom to say and vice versa. It ended up being one of the funniest parts of the evening and really enjoyable for the guests regardless of how well you knew them or not.
  • Personalized vows – The ceremony itself was about 15 minutes, which was awesome because the heat was so unforgiving that day. I especially love the trend of personalized vows at weddings though. Nearly everyone is doing it and I hope it squashes out all those boring traditional ones that people still continue to do. I’m not sure why anyone is still choosing to do their vows like this.

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Not so much love:

  • Cocktail Hour – The best part of this was the cheese and crackers. I don’t know why or what was happening, but the cheese was exquisite. I even tried to go back for seconds right before dinner, but it was all gone. What I didn’t love though? No other appetizers except for chips and salsa. This was one of my biggest negatives because I just don’t believe that this is appropriate as an appetizer for a cocktail hour or a wedding.


  • Dinner – This is probably the thing that wedding guests care about most at any wedding. My coworker was a vegetarian and the dinner was BBQ from a food truck, however, he let me know that the couple had asked for dietary restrictions when he RSVP’ed so I wasn’t worried early on. However, the worry set in when we were the last table called up to get food and by the time we got there a lot of the food had already run out including the rice, which was one of the few vegetarian dishes served in the buffet line. Also, the best part of dinner was the garlic bread, which is a side so dinner was a flop overall.
  • Bathrooms – A wedding venue can’t always be 100% perfect. The venue was beautiful and rustic, but there were some parts that were REAL rustic – like the fact that there were porter pottys instead of real bathrooms. They were the nicest that I’ve ever come across (not saying a whole lot), but it still wasn’t great. My coworker and I didn’t have a bathroom to change in when we arrived to the venue so the two of us had to take turns changing outfits in the back of my car!
  • Timing – It’s one of those things that people overlook as being important, but as someone who used to do quite a bit of event planning, this is something that I pay close attention to. Since the wedding itself was kind of carnival themed – there was an hour and a half after dinner that was set aside for dessert (pie!) and a bunch of carnival games that the couple had set up in a separate space. This was really cute and included a ton of homemade games like Skeeball, balloon darts, shooting games, corn hole, etc. but it turned out that the 90 minutes of time was too long. The dance party was happening right after this, but I was starting to get a bit restless and didn’t want to spend that entire time eating pie so I wanted to dance party to start sooner. If I could’ve done things differently, I think I would’ve had both things going at the same time to give guests options. By the time the dance party had started, more than half of the guests had already left.
  • Photobooth – The backdrop was cute. The props were there. The only thing that wasn’t present was an actual photographer. If you don’t have someone taking photos, you should give your guests a way to take the photos themselves with a clicker. Everyone that went through the photobooth had to awkwardly ask other guests to take pictures of them and it just disturbed the flow.
  • No hard alcohol – This was the first time I’ve ever been to a wedding where there was zero hard alcohol! In the past, I used to think that it wouldn’t make much of a difference, but I started to notice that it did more and more as we went further into the night. As much as I love my beer, wine, and cider, I really wanted a signature cocktail of some sort. Someone recently let me know though that these are actually really expensive. I think my reaction was something like, “Really?! Even if it’s just two signature cocktails?!”
  • Open Mic speeches – So the award for the most awkward part of the evening goes to the moment when the bride and the groom opened up the reception floor the rest of the guests for open mic speeches. There’s a couple reasons why this is a huge no-no. This can go on for much longer than you want it to and secondly, #nofilter. As in #nofilter from the guests’ mouths. There were a number of guests from the groom’s side that came up kind of saying the same thing “Hey so-and-so, we don’t really know you so well, but congratulations!” “We never get to see you very much and the last time we met you and etc, was last Thanksgiving and you seemed really happy…we wish we got to see you more!” “We’re so happy for you, but we wish you would come visit us more so we can get to know you better.” AGH! Trainwreck! Just a tip – if you’re going to have people do speeches at your wedding, make sure you approve everything.

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Wedding Wednesdays: Wedding Dress Shopping

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I have a big secret that I’m going to share with you today. I bought my wedding dress already. I bought it back in July in Los Angeles, my hometown, where I went with the leading ladies in my family. Wedding dress shopping is something that can seem overwhelming unless you take the right steps prior to the big shopping day. Today I will let you in on why my shopping day was so successful!

First, I went wedding dress shopping two times prior to the official shopping weekend. This was extremely helpful as it took the edge off when I eventually went as I felt comfortable in wedding dress boutiques and knew the right questions to ask. During these two preliminary shopping trips I was also able to try on plenty of different dresses so that by the time I got to the big shopping day in L.A. I knew the general color, style, and fabric that I preferred for my dream dress, which brings me to my second point.

Second, I tried on every single wedding dress silhouette, color, and fabric that is available prior to the official shopping weekend. You can scroll through Pinterest and ‘pin’ your dream dress a million times, but your opinion may change when you actually try the dress on. It’s important to give every type of dress a try, you may be surprised and fall in love with a ball gown when you always thought you’d end up in a mermaid. Keeping an open mind will eventually lead you right to the dress of your dreams.

Third, my Maid of Honor, is my sister and she’s pretty much the best person on Earth. She planned us quite possibly the most fun, girly, and organized wedding dress shopping day ever. We started our day with champagne and donuts while watching Say Yes to the Dress and doing our hair and makeup. My sister made us appointments at three shops and in between shop one and two we stopped for much needed brunch fuel. I would highly recommend keeping your shopping day to 3-4 boutiques so as to not overdo it by trying on way too many dresses. Also putting on gorgeous white dresses is surprisingly exhausting, especially when you’re having a glass of champagne at each shop!

Fourth, I knew my budget and stuck to it. I refused to try on a dress over my budget knowing that if it was already over without alterations it would completely be out of my price range after alterations and accessories (veil, shoes, belt, whatever you need to complete your bridal look). Wedding dresses are completely overpriced, let’s just be honest, we’ve all seen Say Yes to the Dress. I had no intention to spend $5,000 on a dress I will wear once for a few hours. Because of my strict budget, I shopped at smaller boutiques focused on local designers and also seriously considered a pre-owned or secondhand dress. Lucky for me, my perfect dress ended up being wonderfully under budget.

Fifth, I wasn’t afraid to commit. Once I found my dream dress I purchased it and made a conscious effort to stop paying attention to any pictures of wedding dresses unless they’re the pictures of me in my dress, which I must admit I look at weekly. That’s normal right?

Shopping for a wedding dress was one of my favorite parts of wedding planning thus far. I truly did not anticipate having such an easy time choosing my outfit for the big day and feel lucky to have had such a supportive team of women during the process. Here’s hoping all of our future wedding planning decisions are as easy as finding a wedding dress!

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Wedding Mondays

Happy Monday (I almost wrote morning) evening everyone! We’re a little bit turned upside down today because it was not only a Monday, but also we fell back for daylight savings, and it was storming like crazy overnight in the Bay Area. I can’t remember when I’ve seen rain like that – probably in Seattle. I’m back to feeling like I have a much more regulated work schedule now so tonight, Yow Yow! has my full focus. And my dearest Jennie should be happy to know that we’ve got two more wedding videos in the queue after this one!

We  don’t have a wedding post to accompany this video today, but there are a lot of things that we love about this video that we’ll share. Still, even to this day, the first look still gets me. I’m so weird, but I was on the edge of my couch just thinking to myself “Is it gonna happen? Is it gonna happen? Is it happening yet? It’s happening!” Right now, all of my best friends are envisioning me in that exact moment. Secondly, that intro, the bride being the happiest ever, and WOW – can we just take a second to admire that reception space? Uh, we want to get married there.

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Wedding Mondays

Just because Yow Yow! hasn’t seen a Wedding Mondays in about two months doesn’t mean we’ve given up on it! This usually just means one of two things a) I’m really busy (which is true!) and b) there just hasn’t been any great wedding videos that I’ve wanted to share for awhile… until NOW. If anything actually, I’m thinking about weddings even more now because two of my favorite girls will be brides next year!

I’m catching up on two weeks of wedding posts from my favorite blogs today and this video was actually oe of the first that I started watching from the day. There’s no dialogue, which is fine, but the details that are highlighted in this video are beautiful. It all looked like an amazing day for the couple and their guests. Here’s hoping that my two weddings that I’m attending next year reach these levels! I have no doubts.

Also this bride had two dresses. You know how we feel about that. <3

To view the rest of the post, click here to be directed to Green Wedding Shoes.

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Wedding Wednesdays: Finalizing a Venue


HOT NEWS! My lovely fiancé and I finally decided on our venue and as of today, have signed the contract! It’s all very exciting and stressful and expensive and perfect all at the same time. I’m starting to realize that’s what most of wedding planning is: exciting, stressful, expensive, and perfect.

I know you were on the edge of your seat after the last post about venue hunting and so without further ado; we have obviously decided to get married in Yosemite National Park because how could we pass on that? We are both avid hikers, climbers, and travelers so choosing to get married in a National Park was like hitting the jackpot.

Here are three things we considered when finally choosing our wedding venue:

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Wedding Mondays

I thought we were going to miss it! I was very very close to just closing my laptop and heading off to bed, but it doesn’t feel right to do that when you haven’t watched a single wedding video all week long and today is that day when you’re supposed to post one. And Jennie and Ashley are waiting ;) Aren’t you, girls?

Well, I have something to say about this wedding video. I don’t like this song. And I almost wanted to pass over it because of that, but then I reconsidered because I found another cheesy detail that I also thought that I would dislike, but then came to love – the fact that this couple had a red carpet at their wedding. However, when the bride and the groom are scriptwriters working in television and having their wedding take place on the CBS Studios Backlot, they can pretty much get away with anything. Really though, the details looked so good that I didn’t have a bad thing to say about it by the end of the video. In fact, I thought their reception set-up was absolute perfection. Need further proof?

We hope you enjoy Lauren and Andy’s wedding details and video as much as we did! See the rest at Green Wedding Shoes!

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Wedding Mondays

There was just too much quirkiness in this video that made me have to share this with you all today. Actually though, we’re behind on watching wedding videos! I didn’t watch any last week which meant I had two weeks worth to catch up on (in reality that’s not a whole lot since not every post comes with a wedding video) I was kind of captivated by this one at the start because doesn’t it just look like so much fun? I also think that the details from the post of the couple’s wedding were super sweet – the home flags that they incorporated into their photos to the black bridesmaid dresses from ASOS. Also we forgot to mention, it’s a Washington wedding! YAY!

Bonus: Now, not all of our wedding videos get to have this, but we also happen to have their proposal story and photos from Green Wedding Shoes too. Enjoy! This is our gift back since we missed last week. Sorry!

To view Anje and Alex’s wedding on Green Wedding Shoes, click here!

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Wedding Wednesdays: Picking A Venue

Mandi Wedding Venue

Eric and I have been engaged for almost four months. Four months is a long time, some people plan an entire wedding in four months (which by the way is nuts, don’t do that.) And you know what we’ve done in four months? Not a whole lot. We’ve spent two weekends looking at venues and have come up with no venue and therefore no date. For us, choosing a date and finding a venue come hand-in-hand. We didn’t want to be stunted by this “must have” date to then find a perfect venue without any availability. We did narrow down the months we liked the most and therefore are open to any weekends in April and September 2016. The problem is that now April seems impossible as time continues to fly by and we haven’t gotten that much closer to finding our perfect venue.

About all Eric and I knew going into venue scouting was that we like the idea of having a venue that represents us – meaning outdoors. Eric and I have spent our last 6 years together hiking various mountain ranges, summiting peaks, biking around cities, running through parks, and bouldering and so for us, emphasizing the outdoors is key. Getting married in Northern California is both perfect and stressful because we literally have TOO MANY options. I know, I know, that sounds ridiculous, and please feel free to play me the world’s smallest violin for this sob story, but it’s true. There are hundreds of wedding venues if you keep an open mind and aren’t exactly sure what you want and this becomes overwhelming quickly.

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Wedding Mondays

Traditionally, wedding videos come at the end of a featured wedding post. Let me walk you through what I see – you’re sitting where I’m sitting, you’re going through a wedding blog and you’re drawn in by the first photo. As you scroll down, you start to see photographs of the dreamy wedding gown, the bride getting ready with her bridesmaids, the alter set up, the tables of the reception, the bride and groom having their first look or their first touch, the reception, the dance floor and the party. Everything starts to pull you in even more so that by the end of the feature, you’ve fallen in love with so many of the details that you just HOPE that there’s a wedding video at the end to tie it all in together. I would say 80% of the time the weddings featured that I seem to love don’t include a video. However, today we got lucky.

There is an extremely sweet story tied to this wedding feaure so please go ahead and read the whole thing here at Green Wedding Shoes.

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Wedding Mondays

These past few weeks have been a complete blur for me – so much of a blur that we’ve skipped Wedding Mondays for almost three weeks! The more I watch wedding videos the more picky I have started to become. It’s almost amazing to me now that I can watch 7 seconds of a video and stop it without watching the rest. That’s not something that was the norm for me. Way back when, I would watch each video from start to finish because I just had a lot of hope that a) wedding videos could turn it around a minute in and b) that it’s not about the video, that it’s still about the love. What are these words I am spewing? I don’t even know. It has been a long day and I’m doing something that I normally would’ve done on a Sunday. Tonight, I really needed a win though. I needed to see a good wedding video and I’m not sure what I was looking for, but this was beautiful and that’s enough for me. It’s a good way to end today.

To view the entire feature (and trust me – you’re going to want to!) visit Style Me Pretty.

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Wedding Wednesdays: Budgeting

Creating a wedding budget is simultaneously one of the most important, stressful, and challenging aspects of a wedding. Lucky for us, we have a wedding planner to help us get organized. But even before our wedding planner was involved, we sat down and discussed our budget together and with our families. I thought it would be helpful, since talking about a budget is such a dull topic, to make this blog into a sort of handy list. So let’s dive into some things we considered in creating our budget for our wedding.

1. Talk to your family

First thing’s first, who is financing this wedding? Traditionally, the bride’s family funds the wedding entirely with the groom’s family covering the rehearsal dinner/Friday evening events. Now that we’re in 2015, this isn’t as much of a given as it used to be and nor should it be. Besides the obvious sexism ingrained in the bride’s family covering all the costs, it is just not realistic for a lot of families to finance a wedding anymore. Have you seen the cost of a caterer? For my fiance and I, we have decided to finance a majority of the wedding ourselves, but our families are kindly pitching in as well. Knowing what they can contribute from the beginning gave us a framework for our overall budget. A good way to approach this is to have conversations with both of your families separately and simply let them know that if they want to help financially, it’s much appreciated, but by no means should they feel obligated to do so.

2. No debt

By no means should anyone, ever, under any circumstances, go into debt to have a wedding. I mean, come on people. Weddings are getting out of hand as it is and you want to go in debt for one? Buy a house for Pete’s sake! Keep in mind that you are entering into a marriage and don’t lose sight of the overall meaning of a wedding. Also remember that no one is going to pay any attention to your centerpieces. At the end of the day all that matters is that you and your partner have declared your love and lifelong commitment to each other in front of all of your closest friends and family. Not to mention have the party of a lifetime afterwards. I don’t know about you, but I’ve thrown pretty great parties with some simple decorations and some good whiskey and ginger beer.

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