Why I’m Glad I Postponed My Wedding

When the entire world shut down back in March, I’ll be honest, my fiancé and I were not concerned at all about our September wedding being affected. We were exactly six months out from our wedding day when quarantine began. I was much more hopeful back then, convinced that my fiancé and I would really get to spend quality time together, finalize some wedding plans, and then all this would be over just in time for our outdoor wedding in Connecticut. 

Fast forward two months later, and not only does March feel like it was 100 years ago, but my fiancé and I have made the tough decision to postpone our wedding to June 2021. After hours of discussion, it became clear that this was the right thing to do for us, and now that it’s done, I actually feel relieved. Here’s why postponing my wedding doesn’t feel like the end of the world like I thought it would. 

I Don’t Wake Up Filled With Anxiety

 

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Well, at least not wedding-related anxiety. When we began our quarantining, I remember saying to my fiancé, “thank God our wedding is in September! It’ll be back to normal by then.” HA, I was so young and naive back then. As time went on and stay-at-home orders lengthened, we realized that this wasn’t something that would go away overnight. When we began to understand how much of a crisis this really was, I began lying awake at night wondering if this would, in fact, impact our wedding. As the weeks went on and we had to cancel our engagement party, my fiancé postponed his bachelor party, and we moved the date of our joint shower, the lead-up to our wedding was becoming more about whether or not it would even happen versus celebrating the fact that it WAS happening. We both hated that what was supposed to be one of the most exciting times in our relationship had been hijacked by anxiety. Since making the decision to postpone, it feels like we’ve taken back control of our day. Now, we can plan confidently, without question and really soak in this (once again) exciting time. 

We Were Able To Get A 2021 Date

When we started talking with my parents about the possibility of postponing, I was very adamant about waiting until July to make the decision. I was worried making this decision in early May was jumping the gun. I kept wondering, “What if things get better by July?” However, my mom was very adamant that we needed to make a decision soon in order to secure a new date. And, as always, my mom was right. When we started calling our vendors to see what kind of availability they had for summer 2021, it was already slim pickings. In addition to all the March, April, and May couples rescheduling, there were couples who’d gotten engaged before and during the pandemic who’d already booked their vendors. We were luckily able to secure the last available June 2021 date that any of my vendors had. Had we waited until July to make the call, we would’ve been sh*t out of luck and would’ve had to wait another two years to get married. And trust me, after two months working, living, eating and breathing in the same one-bedroom apartment, I’m unsure if we would’ve made it to the altar (JK, love you!). 

Vendors Are Being Super Understanding

Another reason I was hesitant to pull the band-aid off and postpone was the headache I thought it would be to reschedule all of our vendors. Since we’re getting married outside, we have a different vendor for everything. From catering to rentals to planners, etc., we had to find a date that worked for 10+ vendors and we were unsure what kind of financial hit it would take on our budget. Would they make us pay another deposit to secure a new date? Would we still have to fork over the money based on our original financial timeline?

Thankfully, right now, vendors are being super accommodating and basically doubling as therapists. From the pep talk I got from our stationery vendor to the reassurance of my hair and makeup artist that this was the right move, everyone has been so kind and considerate. We were able to move everything from one date to the other without extra payment or hassle. They simply updated our contracts and sent them back to us. They’ve made this process so much easier than I expected, and it makes me even more excited to work with them next year. 

People Have Stopped Asking Us What Our Plan Is

“What are you doing about your wedding?” was the new “So when are you getting engaged?” The wave of anger and frustration that came over me when people would ask me that question was reminiscent of when I would be asked about when we were getting engaged. Since I couldn’t necessarily snap back with, “whenever we damn well please” in this instance, I was forced to utter “I don’t know” with a fake smile in an effort to mask the anxiety I was constantly feeling. Now that we’ve set a new date, I don’t get antsy phone calls from family members or friends wondering what they should do about their plane tickets or hotel reservations. That in itself is reason enough to just bite the bullet and reschedule, IMO. 

We Wanted To Have The Wedding We’ve Always Wanted

I know some couples have decided to get married on their original date with a limited number of guests and then plan to have a larger celebration later, and I am all for that. However, for my fiancé and I, we want it all at once. When my parents told us we could keep our original date, but we’d likely have to make some concessions, like getting rid of our raw bar or seating people six feet apart, this picture of what our wedding would look like started to change, and we didn’t want that. We want all of our family and friends on a crowded dance floor, mask-free, without worrying that they’ll get sick if they attend. We didn’t want our older guests having to decide between their health and our day, and that was ultimately what pushed us over the edge. We wanted the day we’d always dreamed of to come to fruition, without any limitations. 

It’s Helped Us Put Things In Perspective

 

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no but seriously there are no rules anymore. Invite who you want, cut who you don’t want.

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Okay, don’t roll your eyes just yet. One thing that was hard for me to wrap my mind around was the fact that on September 12, our original date, we weren’t going to be getting married. I had this date in my mind for so long that I couldn’t move past the idea that it was no longer ours. I said this to my fiancé, to which he replied, “It’s not about the date, it’s about the day.” He talked about how when he pictured our wedding day, it wasn’t about it being on September 12. It was about having it exactly the way we pictured it, whether that’s four months from now or nine or 100. 

It hasn’t been an easy road to get to this place of being happy with our new plan. I never expected this—but since when is life predictable? If you’re considering changing your date, I’d encourage you to do it and get some control back in your life. Yes, it sucks, but I promise you’ll feel much better after you make the decision—which I highly recommend chasing with a bottle of champagne to ease the pain.

Images: Shutterstock; betchesbrides / Instagram

It’s Time To Stop Shedding For The Wedding

Ever since I got engaged nine months ago, I’ve noticed a strange trend. I mean besides the constant “It’s raining on my wedding day” nightmares that keep me up at night and the ever-present fear that by the time I’m hitched I’ll have less than $10 in my bank account. I’m talking about the constant messaging telling me I need to start “shredding” or “shedding for the wedding”. Every day I see a new article about pre-wedding juice cleanses and wedding diet plans, and I’ve pretty much had it. The idea that women need to hit a certain weight or look a certain way on their wedding day in order for it to be “the best day ever” is an outdated concept rooted in sexism. Here’s why I’m 100% OVER shedding for the wedding, and why you should be too. 

It Feels Like Society’s Beauty Expectations Of Women, On Steroids

Women have been held to unrealistic beauty expectations since the beginning of time, but since getting engaged, I’ve found that this expectation of having the perfect body (whatever that means) is on a whole other level. Whenever my friends got engaged they would all say, “My wedding diet starts now”. They were literally getting engaged one day and counting calories the next. I didn’t quite understand their reaction, but now, I totally get it. I’m constantly inundated with wedding content about workout regiments, foods to avoid and skincare routines (apparently I’m months behind on this). It doesn’t matter whether or not you’re engaged, if you’re a human woman who goes online, you’re no stranger to the expectations society has for us. The only difference is that when you’ve got a ring on your finger, there’s an impending deadline to achieve the aforementioned perfect body, and it’s your wedding date. 

It Feels Like A Prerequisite For Getting Married

Look, I understand wanting to look and feel your best on your wedding day, I know I do, but that means different things to different people. You may have a goal weight you’ve been trying to hit and the wedding day is a good motivator, or you may feel perfectly comfortable in your own body and not feel the need to do anything (more power to you). But whatever your situation is, losing weight shouldn’t feel like a prerequisite to getting married. Content about what you should and shouldn’t be eating before your wedding and articles that claim the hardest part of wedding planning is your fitness routine (has this person ever made a seating chart?) might make you question if something’s wrong with you if you’re not dieting or amping up your workout (myself included). If you find yourself thinking like that, try to block out all the social media noise and focus on doing what makes YOU feel like your best self. I know it’s easier said than done, but maybe unfollow the #weddingworkout hashtag for a while. Don’t worry, you can still get a marriage license even if you’re not going to bridal boot camp. 

Designers Are Becoming More Size-Inclusive

You shouldn’t have to feel like you need to drop weight in order to fit in a wedding dress. Cookie cutter dresses are a thing of the past, and bridal designers today are making wedding dresses for all body types and sizes, not just the stick-thin models who debut them on the runway. Supermodel Ashley Graham recently teamed up with Pronovias to launch her own size-inclusive collection, while Fame and Partners launched a capsule collection for the modern woman with David’s Bridal and new wedding dress company Floravere has gowns up to size 26, ensuring women of all sizes they’ll be able to find something that makes them feel like a million bucks. If you’re worried you’ll have to lose weight to find a gown that fits you, you can kick that fear to the curb, because it’s become much easier in recent years to find the perfect gown, no matter your body type. 

Grooms Are Held To Different Standards

After being inundated with ideas of ways to change the way my body looks in time for my wedding, I asked my fiancé if he noticed anything similar. He hadn’t. I can’t say I’m surprised that there’s not this insane pressure on men to look a certain way for their wedding day, but it was disappointing to hear nonetheless. I wanted to see if there was any content out there aimed at the groom’s physical appearance on the wedding day. Come to find out, there is, but it’s scarce. I found a list of things grooms should do leading up to the wedding, and the only appearance-related tip was for them to get a haircut. And on their 12-month checklist? Apparently all they need to do is whiten their teeth. No gyms advertising groom boot camp or weight loss tips for men before they go tux shopping. Sure, not all men care as much about their appearance as Tom Sandoval, but why are only the brides being told they need to shed for the wedding in order to “look our best”? I’m exhausted just thinking about all of the things I’m supposed to be doing to my body to get it “wedding ready”, meanwhile my fiancé’s downing fried chicken and playing video games not worrying about what the f*ck he’ll look like six months from now. Ugh, to be a man. 

It’s Time To End The Madness

Look, I’m not saying that dieting and exercising before your wedding day is a negative thing, but I’m tired of reading articles that imply feeling your best on your wedding day means you have to be working out and dieting beforehand. Shouldn’t you feel your best on your wedding day because you’re marrying the love of your life? Or because you’re about to attend the best party of all time? Why is weight loss so intrinsically tied to how we feel about ourselves, and why is that link only reserved for women? Your physical appearance might be a part of your wedding day journey, but it shouldn’t hijack what the day is really all about. So, let’s shatter the notion that those surface-level things are in any way the key to having a happy and joyful wedding day. It’s time to say f*ck it and halt to a stop on our never-ending journey towards unattainable beauty standards. The best way to get “wedding day ready” is to be 100% you.

 

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Images: Jason Briscoe / Unsplash

7 B.S. Wedding Traditions You Can Totally Skip

When it comes to 2020 weddings, there are no rules. As a fellow bride-to-be, I’ve realized there are a lot of wedding traditions I’m not into. While you may feel guilty about not doing everything your mom did at her wedding, just think, there were probably some traditions her mother did that she boycotted (it’s a vicious cycle, you see?). For example, my grandma told me it used to be tradition that the bride changed out of her dress at the end of the night and put on a suit to go off on her honeymoon. Sounds miz, right? I’m assuming all I’ll want to do is change into sweats and PTFO. My mom sure as hell didn’t do that, and I bet yours didn’t either, so don’t feel guilty about skipping one of these seven wedding traditions that should prob be retired any way. 

Gender-Specific Wedding Parties

Look, it’s 2020. Gender fluid, gender neutral, whatever you want to call it, we can all agree that the gender lines are blurring, and therefore, there’s no reason to be a stickler about your best friend from college standing on the groom’s “side” because of the gender he was assigned at birth. Mix it up and go half boys and half girls, have your brother stand on your side, etc. Nobody’s going to be sitting at the ceremony whispering, “oh my God I can’t believe she has a GUY standing on HER side,” and if they do, they’re a f*cking idiot and shouldn’t be invited in the first place. Plus, women’s pantsuits are so in right now, so if you’re a woman in the groom’s wedding party, just channel your inner Ariana Madix circa Tom and Katie’s wedding and own that sh*t. 

Your Parents Giving You Away

This may have been a thing back in the 1800s when literal 14-year-olds got married because they were going to die by age 30, but now that you’re a grown-ass adult, there’s no need for mommy or daddy to “give you away”. The whole idea of them handing off ownership to your spouse is pretty objectifying, IMO. Not to mention, not every person has a great relationship with their parents, and this wedding tradition can just put extra pressure on an already tense dynamic. If you want to skip this one but still compromise, you can have them walk in front of you, or at the beginning of the procession with the groom’s family if they’re salty about you walking solo. 

Gift Exchange

Advice for wedding dress style: wear whatever the fuck you want

— betchesbrides (@betchesbrides) November 10, 2019

IDK who invented the idea that couples need to give each other gifts before the wedding ceremony, but isn’t like, your marriage enough of a gift? Yes, I know that sounds cheesy, but when it comes to saving money, I will use all the cliches I can to get me out of buying a really expensive watch for my fiancé (sorry, babe!). Writing a personal note should be gift enough, since you prob just spent your life savings on this massive party. I am officially launching my campaign to end pre-wedding gift exchanges between couples. WHO’S WITH ME?! I’ll take this all the way to Congress if I have to. 

Wearing a Veil

I know this is one I’ll catch a lot of heat for, and I’m ready for it. When I discovered the historical meaning behind why brides wear veils, I was appalled. Basically, wearing a veil was intended to keep the groom from seeing the bride until she got up to the altar so he wouldn’t see her and run for the hills. Wow, that is so thoughtful of the inventors of the veil to hide the bride’s face until it’s too late in case the groom didn’t like her looks. A more modern-day reason to pass on a veil is the cost. Do you really want to spend $800 on a piece of tulle? I’m sure most of you reading this think I’m a veil-hater and are probably still going to wear one, but I’m just here to tell you that if you’re on the fence and the notion of “tradition” is preventing you from doing you, I’m here to tell you that it’s perfectly okay if you don’t wear one.

Evening Weddings

Picture this.

Late night wedding ceremony and reception, brunch menu, open bar.

GIRL. Lemme write this down for future purposes.

— jaya. (@jayacancook) December 30, 2018

I’d venture to guess that the majority of weddings take place at night (mine will be), but if you’re not into the idea of a nighttime party, why not start it earlier in the day? My cousin is having a brunch reception that goes all day and I’m not going to lie, I am STOKED. The idea of eating brunch food, getting wasted, and being in bed by 7pm sounds like heaven on earth. Is that an over exaggeration? Probably, but let’s face it, I can’t stay up all night anymore and so the idea of getting the party started early, and ending it early, sounds lovely. Plus, all-you-can-eat brunch food? Hmm, maybe I should change my start time to 11am.

Bouquet/Garter Toss

The only thing worse than being seated at the singles’ table is the dreaded bouquet and garter toss. As if a guy literally crawling up his wife’s dress in front of his entire family isn’t mortifying enough, think of all the single guests at your wedding you’ll humiliate when you toss a bunch of flowers at their faces. Also, someone could get SERIOUSLY injured. At my friend’s wedding last year she hiked the football bouquet like an NFL Pro-Bowler and almost took out half of her single guests. I mean, respect, but drunk people don’t have the best reflexes, so that could have been a massacre. 

Wedding Cake

I'm not getting married but I might schedule some wedding cake tastings just for fun

— Betches (@betchesluvthis) February 3, 2020

My fiancé doesn’t like frosting (I know, he’s literally a serial killer) and I don’t want an icing-free cake at our wedding, so we’re not having one at all. We’re doing a donut wall instead because I’m #basicandproud, and that way people can bring their dessert on the dance floor. We also realized that at the last four weddings we’ve gone to, we didn’t eat the cake. It’s my personal goal to make sure every guest feels sickly full at the end of the night and they can’t get there with a small slice of cake, so bring on the dessert bar! If you want a cake just for the photo opp, your caterer might be able to whip up something small so you can at least have the picture. 

The new wedding rules are that there are no rules, so don’t be afraid to do you. As long as you have good booze and awesome music, everyone will have a good time. 

Images: IVASH Studio / Shutterstock; betchesluvthis, betchesbrides, jayacancook / Twitter

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Wedding Dress Shopping Tips I Wish I’d Known Before I Went

Preparing to go wedding dress shopping is like having sex for the first time: you can read a million articles online and listen to all your friends talk about it, but there’s a good chance the real thing is still going to be nothing at all like what you expected. 

I thought I had done truly everything to ensure a successful shopping trip when I went searching before my wedding. But despite researching styles, saving screenshots, coming with the proper entourage, and reading all the tips I could find, there is no set of materials out there that can adequately explain the reality of wearing pasties and heels while a stranger helps you step into a ball gown that fills the entire dressing room. (Fun fact: it’s actually just as hard to step into dresses with a more streamlined silhouette. A mermaid style, for example, has such a small opening for your feet that the process of drawing it up over your body once you step in is a fun guessing game you play with satin.) I digress. 

“I love shopping for wedding attire” – said no one ever

— betchesbrides (@betchesbrides) July 29, 2019

The point here is that I did all my wedding dress homework, and I was still not at all prepared for the reality of searching through acres of tulle and chiffon to find the dress that embodied, well, me. Everyone’s big day (or days) of dress shopping can be different, but here’s hoping that the following tips will make your path to finding that dream dress just a little simpler.

Be Open To New Styles, But Don’t Feel Like You Have To Try On Something You Hate

Advice for wedding dress style: wear whatever the fuck you want

— betchesbrides (@betchesbrides) November 10, 2019

You don’t have to put on everything the bridal stylist brings you. Staying open-minded is important, but if the dresses you’re seeing in your dressing room are not you at all, speak up. It can be harder than you think, especially if you’re the kind of person who can’t even tell her hairstylist you hate the bangs she gave you. 

And on the flip side, don’t be afraid to change your mind. If the lace sleeves you thought you’d love just aren’t working, take a breath and try something different. Feel like a giant cotton ball in that voluminous organza gown you were sure would scream “you”? Same advice as a relationship that’s gone past its expiration date: move on, and don’t look back.

Choosing *Just One* Can Be Borderline Painful

 

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Now who’s holding this up while we pee? | @whatmaddness

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There’s a reason we all love charcuterie boards so much: they’re all about options. A wedding dress, multi-faceted as it may be, is still just one dress. It can be really hard to choose between different styles, especially if you love parts of each of them, or are a Gemini. So, if your parents refuse to pay for two and you can’t swing the added cost yourself, what’s the solution? Try asking about options for accessories and for customization. A modern, sparkly fit-and-flare can be made dreamy and romantic with the addition of some simple detachable tulle sleeves. (Tulle is inexpensive, and any seamstress can design them for you.) Dying for a mermaid or sheath silhouette, but also love the drama of a more va-va-voom style gown? The same thing can be done for an overskirt. You can have your Cinderella look, and just detach the tulle for a sleeker look that’s easier to move around in when it’s time to get down at the reception. Genius.

Consider Not Just Your Wedding Day, But The Time Leading Up To It

All brides deserve a medal for working out like an olympic athlete for a year just to fit into a dress they are wearing for a wedding they spent their entire life savings on.

— betchesbrides (@betchesbrides) September 23, 2019

How do you envision the way you’ll be spending your time in the days leading up to your big day? Are you okay with going in for bi-weekly custom alterations and spending whatever time you have left shopping for heels of the exact height you need? Or are you more interested in relaxing as much as possible, going in for one fitting, and leaving it at that? Choose your dress accordingly. You can have what you want in terms of alterations if you’re willing to put in the time, but it’s another layer of decision-making to put on yourself. If the thought of adding more to your wedding-planning plate gives you stress hives, choosing a more low-key dress you love as-is is a better idea.

When In Doubt, Sleep On It

The idea of going home empty-handed after a day of trying on an endless array of dresses can feel disheartening. But you don’t have to look at it as a defeat. As long as you start your search early enough, taking your time is not going to hurt anything, and in fact can prevent you from making a bad decision on low blood sugar after trying on your 45th dress of the day. If you’re feeling pressured, overwhelmed, or just hangry while at your third salon, consider calling it a day and going home to consider your options. You’ll either wake up the next morning totally sure you really do want that long-sleeved lace gown, or thankful that you didn’t commit to buying anything yet. 

So, after all this, you may be left wondering, Carrie Bradshaw-style, if the end result is really worth this whole process of finding, altering, and perfecting your wedding dress for one single day of your life?

The consensus? It absolutely is.

And here’s why: It’s not just about looking good. That’s a big part of it, of course. Your dress should make you feel beautiful, confident, and excited. But it shouldn’t do only that. It should also help you to execute the overall vision of your wedding that you see for yourself.

In your wildest dreams, are you in a castle tower with a rose-covered trellis like in a Taylor Swift music video, looking out a window as your fiancé rides to you on a white horse (despite the fact that he’s from Los Angeles and, to your knowledge, has never ridden a horse)? Or do you picture a long church aisle, candles everywhere, and a veil that trails your gown by 30 feet? Maybe you’re in comfortable lace, barefoot with your hair down on a beach at sunset, ready to dance the night away. It’s important to think about the big picture, because it’s easy to see something in the mirror that’s glamorous and exciting, and that’s great—as long as it completes the vision you have for the big day itself. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a gown that’s beautiful, but ultimately interferes with the experience you want, and no dress is worth that. Keep that in mind, and you’ll end up with a gown that’s perfect for you, the day you envision, and all the photographs you’ll be hanging in your living room for the next 50 years. A marriage is fantastic and all, but the wedding dress? That’s forever.

Images: Tom The Photographer / Unsplash; betchesbrides / Twitter (3), betchesbrides / Instagram (2)

I Tried Microblading & It Changed My Life: Everything You Need To Know

Anyone who knows me knows I’ll go to great lengths to look good. I know we’ve all said that before, but I actually mean it—I pay a random woman to squeeze every pore on my face once a month just to have glowing skin, I drive over 200 miles to get my hair highlighted because no one compares to my stylist back home, I’ve tried every disgusting juice cleanse there is, I’ve even put sheep’s placenta on my hair. The list goes on. Unfortunately for me, all the work I put into looking good also takes away valuable time I could be using to do more productive tasks, like starting new shows on Netflix. So when I found out about microblading, a beauty treatment that promised to make me look good and save time getting ready (my version of heaven), I knew I had to learn more.

At first, I thought microblading was just tattooed-on eyebrows for people like me who over-plucked them when they were 16 and it was cool to have no eyebrows, and then they never grew back. But through some research, I learned that microblading is actually way more common than I thought. When done right and by the right person, it’s a treatment that could significantly improve my LIFE by giving me perfectly sculpted brows 24/7. (Sounds dramatic, but I really don’t think it is.) I went from having a couple measly little hairs as eyebrows to actual eyebrows with shape, so I’m officially ready to take over the world now. Read on for details on my glorious brow (and life) transformation, and of course, the photos. Praise be. 

The Process

Kendra Bray, owner of Better Brows & Beauty, is basically a brow artist and therapist all in one. When I first walked into her salon, I couldn’t believe I was about to get my first tattoo ever, let alone two in the center of my face. I was on edge, to say the least. But, like I am about mostly everything else in my life, I was being way too dramatic about it. In my defense, yes I was nervous about the final results of the treatment, but mostly about the pain. 

We started with an initial consultation where Kendra sat me down and talked to me about what I wanted to achieve with my brows. Like every other basic bitch that has any beauty treatment, I heavily emphasized that I wanted a natural look. I already have botox and lip fillers, and I didn’t need people noticing another drastic change on my face. Little did I know, Kendra is an actual saint who works with you through EVERY step of the six-week-long process. Yes, you heard that correctly—good things take time, and that means two appointments with time for healing in between. 

In our first appointment, she began the micropigmentation procedure. Micropigmentation, a fancy word that real artists like Kendra use, is the process of depositing pigment into the skin’s dermal layer. Microblading is micropigmentation, just in tiny hair-like strokes with the permanent makeup. She started by numbing me with cream, and then tested out the needle on my eyebrow to see if I could feel it. Let me tell you people: I’m a huge wimp when it comes to pain, and this did not hurt AT ALL. 

Since I was still a nervous wreck, she’d stop every couple of minutes to show me the results to make sure I still liked the direction she was going in. Turns out I know nothing about brow shapes, and truly did not need to micromanage the process, but having her work so closely with me on them helped ease my angst throughout the procedure. 

By the end of the first treatment, I was excited to get out into the world to debut my new brows. Since they were fresh off being recently tattooed for the first time, they are a bit darker than they were going to be at the end of it. 

My brows, before and after the first appointment: 

The Aftercare

The ONLY downside to this whole shabang is that you’re told not to get your eyebrows wet for a week after the first treatment, meaning you have to awkwardly keep your head out of the shower faucet. If you get moisture on them, it’s not the end of the world— it just might affect the outcome of the shade. However, you really want to avoid touching them at all (except for applying the healing gel) during that first week post-treatment. Speaking of, Kendra gave me an aftercare gel to apply twice daily throughout the week to help keep my brows clean and prevent dryness. She warned me that they might become a bit flaky with dead skin (since they’re essentially healing tattoos). Here I am thinking “I’ll just do what I always do when something pops up on my face: pick at it until it’s gone!” This is a huge f*cking no-no. Kendra assured me that this was one of the most crucial parts of the healing—do NOT pick off the flaky parts or you could risk damaging the pigment. Luckily for me, Kendra’s talents and experiences were unmatched, and I didn’t have very much flakiness anyway. I literally went to the MTV VMAs four days after my treatment (and just in time to raise my new brows on the red carpet at the love of my life, Big Sean— we made eye contact, and I’d like to think it was because he loved my eyebrows). 

The Final Results

So now that I’m a micropigmentation expert (ha!), I can tell you this: your brows morph a lot throughout the weeks following the first appointment. For the first week or so, they’re dark AF, and by the time you’re ready for the second and final appointment, they’re almost too light. At that point, I didn’t care what color they were, I was just ecstatic to finally have actual eyebrows with an arch and shape. The second appointment is a touch-up session, where your stylist will fill in any holes, go bigger, or make any adjustments on the shade. By the end of it, you have new brows that last twelve to eighteen months.

See below for my transformation from beginning to end. 

As you can see, Kendra nailed it with my “natural-looking” request. One of the best parts about having these babies is that I can wear no makeup and still look put-together. Or, if I want to put on a full face (a rarity for me), I can simply color them in just a tad with a brow pencil, following my new amazing shape. 

To say this has altered my life for the better would be an understatement. It’s sped up my morning routine and increased my confidence a ton. Not to mention the compliments it’s earned me (one person literally said it was the “best and most natural microblading they’ve ever seen”, which I’m getting written in calligraphy to frame on my fridge). 

I’m getting married in October 2020, and although I hate wedding planning, I feel ready to get married with my beautiful brows. Brides (and anyone trying to improve their lives), run, don’t walk to get microblading done.

Images: Better Brows & Beauty

7 Wedding Trends From The Last Decade That We Never Want to See Again

While a typical engagement doesn’t last 10 years (although it might feel like it), there are some popular wedding trends that have been around that long. Look, I love a good wedding detail that’s a little off the beaten path—it keeps things fresh—but like your d*ck of an ex, some things are meant to be forgotten. Here are seven overused wedding trends we should leave behind in the 2010s and never look back. 

Flower Crowns

spring wedding trends

To be honest with you, I was never a big fan of this nature-inspired hair accessory, even when it first came on the bridal scene. I never quite understood why someone would voluntarily opt for a headpiece that was once covered in dirt when there are so many more stylish options out there that will last longer than your bridesmaid’s latest f*ck buddy. I get that it might have a whimsical, free-spirit vibe that you’re trying to give off, but take a yoga class or try out aromatherapy instead. Nobody came to your wedding to see you try out your newfound inner Janis Joplin. Please spare us and opt for a rose gold headpiece if you still want to be basic trendy. 

Photo Booths

Photo Booth Wedding

The idea of a photo booth is extremely repetitive. First of all, you’re paying thousands of dollars for a professional to basically be your paparazzi for the night. If you want pictures of all your guests making silly faces, place your photog in the middle of the dance floor when “I’ve Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas comes on and everyone’s 4+ drinks deep. There’s also a very high probability that your guests have their cell phones with them and will take more than enough impromptu selfies. Set up a shared folder, ask all your guests to drop in their images from the night before, and there you have it. You’ve created your own digital photo booth without spending a dime. You’re welcome. 

Over-the-Top Rustic Details

It’s time for a rustic intervention. Everyone stop what you’re doing and put down the re-purposed window panes, the entire tree’s worth of wood slices, the old dresser drawers full of mason jars, and the football field’s worth of burlap. It’s too. much. At this point people are digging through their grandma’s attic to find anything from before 1980 and made of wood to use as wedding decor. You don’t need to do this! I promise there are plenty of other decorative elements out there that will help you evoke the rustic vibe you’re looking for. Ask your wedding planner for help and don’t resort to random crap from a yard sale. Lauren Conrad might be able to pull off a wedding adorned with charming flea market items, but I assure you, you cannot. 

Matching Bridesmaids

A lot of people have already done away with dressing their bridesmaids to make them look exactly the same, but I’m officially declaring it dead. You heard it here first. With literally millions of options for bridesmaids out there, there’s no reason to dress all of them the exact same. They’re your friends, not your Barbie dolls. Mix-and-match bridesmaid dresses doesn’t have to mean letting them pick whatever the hell they want. Whether you pick a specific dress for them to wear and let them select their neckline, or you offer them a range of color options in a specific style, we believe in giving direction but not making them look unidentifiable. 

Bouquet/Garter Toss

Please don’t @ me for this one. I know it’s a long-held tradition that didn’t just become a thing this decade, but it was alive and well at many celebrations over the last 10 years and it shouldn’t be. Not only does it call major attention to the single people (doesn’t playing “Single Ladies” by Beyoncé do enough damage ?), but I for one cringe from secondhand embarrassment when I see the groom crawl up the bride’s dress to retrieve the garter. But hey, if you feel confident enough to do that with your grandma in the front row, more power to you. 

Social Media Wedding Planners

wedding hashtag

For some strange reason a surplus of wedding social media services became trendy this decade. If you’re not sure what I’m referring to, there were literally companies you could hire to do the social media for your wedding. Like your wedding is its own f*cking brand. From helping you come up with a hashtag and helping your guests use it, to gathering all the images your guests took the night before (isn’t that the purpose of a hashtag?), this pretty much just seems like a fake job you’d see on The Bachelor. None of these tasks require hiring and paying someone, so I beg of you, don’t fall into this money trap. 

Etsy-Themed weddings

I admit, I’ve fallen victim to the power of Etsy many times. I go wild adding everything to my cart, like creative signage, guest book options, etc. before I realize I’m about to check out with $2K worth of crafts in my cart. My advice? Slow down. Do you really  need 15 signs that point guests towards the bathroom? Is it really necessary to paint every guest’s name on their napkin? When you find yourself obsessively clicking “add to cart”, step away from the computer and remember you’re not Oprah and you don’t have an endless supply of cash.

I’m just a girl standing in front all you brides-to-be asking you to help me in my pilgrimage to leave the trends of the last decade behind us. I promise, there are many more new trends coming this decade for you to abuse! 

Images: Shutterstock; CL-Medien, MakeStory Studio, / Shutterstock.com; Micheile HendersonUnsplash

The Best & Worst Winter Wedding Trends To Expect In 2020

Calling all Bridezillas who get off on cutesy winter wonderland vibes: the WeddingWire Winter Wedding Trends list is now available to the masses! Because we want to help you make the least offensive wedding decisions possible, we’ve shared our opinions on which trends to follow and which ones to avoid like the plague. Maybe print this out for future reference.

Buffalo Check

Buffalo Check

WeddingWire says: From getting-ready attire for the wedding party to cozy blankets for the guests, this pattern is an on-trend winter staple.

We say: Methinks that if my first thought after seeing this “buffalo check” pattern is “oh, that reminds me of the flannel the dad in Making A Murderer was always wearing,” it’s probably a hard no for your wedding. This pattern is literally like, the JCC youth basketball team of fabrics. It’s nothing to be proud of and CERTAINLY nothing I’m down for my mother to photograph. 

Elevated Yet Cozy Fireplace Mantels

Photo: Emily Steffen

WeddingWire says: Guests will feel like they’re at a five-star ski lodge while sipping drinks by the fireplace.

We say: I’m actually into this. Have you ever noticed that when people are sitting around a hotel fire, they don’t talk? Like, everyone collectively stares at the fireplace as if they are waiting for it to do something? I have, and I definitely see myself appreciating an antisocial corner a fireplace when I’m tired of trying to make small talk with the strangers at my table.

Fil Coupé Detailing

Image Courtesy of Alexandra Grecco

WeddingWire says: Shimmery thread is being woven into eye-catching patterns on dresses from designers like Lazaro and Alexandra Grecco.

We say: Despite being totally uneducated when it comes to expensive fashion, especially expensive wedding fashion, I’m going to go ahead and trust WeddingWire that these “Lazaro” and “Alexandra Grecco” people are “admired in the industry” or whatever stoic fashion people say. Crazier wedding fashion risks have been taken (looking at you, see-through corset dresses), and the shimmery thread is a nice festive touch, so long as you don’t take it overboard and look like you got stuck in a spool of tinsel or stuck aluminum foil to your dress.

Custom Iced Sugar Cookies

Image: Cat Mayer Studio, Sweet Kiwi Cookies

WeddingWire says: Whether they’re served at the wedding, given as favors or included in welcome bags, they’re the perfect personalized treat. 

We say: Sugar cookies were always THE dessert I’d flock to at sleepovers back in the day, so I’m happy to see that adults are not above them. I will literally shove anything (well, anything edible) into my mouth after a few cocktails, so I’m scared of what might happen when faced with my favorite childhood dessert. And the personalization aspect is cute and right in line with the general trend towards personalized weddings that we’ve been seeing lately. The only caveat I will give this trend is that if you’re serving it at the wedding, it’s got to supplement the cake and not replace it. What? I’m hungry after all that drinking dancing.

Padded Headbands & Pearl Embellishments

Image: Maria Mack Photography

WeddingWire says: Hair accessories are going glam this winter, adding glitz to dresses and suits alike.

We say: Right after we thought we’d put our Blair Waldorf days behind us, headbands are back in style again. Go figure. The trend seems to be “the more extra, the better”, so there’s a strong chance your kids will be asking why you were wearing a mini-helmet at your wedding, but that kind of goes for anything. At least it’s not a tiara or a flower crown.

Hot Drink Bars

hot chocolate

WeddingWire says: Replacing the mimosa bar, hot toddy and hot chocolate bars will keep guests warm as temperatures drop.

We say: Let’s calm down with the “keeping guests warm as temperatures drop.” You know what will keep your guests the warmest? Keeping them inside. Can you imagine being freezing and then having someone trying to assure you with, “don’t worry, there’s hot chocolate!!!” No, bitch. I’m still cold. Nonetheless, it’s a cute and fun idea, just not an excuse to have your entire wedding outside in sub-zero temperatures.

Rusty Brown and Emerald Green

Image: Jessie Casey

WeddingWire says: Nothing says winter quite like deep earth and jewel tones on attire, table linens and florals.

We say: I actually love this aesthetic for a wedding. The term “rusty brown” doesn’t exactly elicit classy, beautiful vibes, but that’s why you need to trust the experts sometimes. I mean, the pictures speak for themselves. 

Holographic Details

WeddingWire says: Iridescent décor elements incorporate an icy look on invitation suites, chargers, tablescapes and more.

We say: No, no, no, guys. Just because it is winter does not mean we are suddenly Elsa and Anna from Frozen on our WEDDING DAY! Iridescent “icy” designs are cute for like, your bachelorette party, but I cannot imagine who is incorporating this into their wedding planning unless their wedding also happens to be unicorn or mermaid themed (and if that’s the case, I’m not coming). 

Maximalist Wedding Gowns

Image: Lacie Hansen Photography

WeddingWire says: Minimalistic dresses are taking a backseat this winter while puffy sleeves and embellishments steal the show.

We say: I mean, wedding dresses always were and always will be “maximalist” simply considering, you know, that they are huge white gowns costing $5,000 and you’ll only wear it once—but yeah. 

Florals Spray-Painted With Metallics

WeddingWire says: A nod to New Years’ favorite color palette, metallic paint adds dramatic shine to a bouquet or centerpiece.

We say: Can you imagine finding your place card at the wedding, sitting down, thinking “what’s that smell?” and then realizing it’s the bouquet of flowers in front of you because they are spray-painted the same way that offensive song lyric was spray-painted in that weird alleyway? DIY is cute for that kind of girl but I just…thought we were better than this. 

I wish all of you winter wedding betches a lifetime of marital bliss. Sans the buffalo check, I hope!

Images: Shutterstock

9 Things I Didn’t Believe About Wedding Planning Until I Started Planning My Wedding

As someone who’s written about weddings for the last several years, and attended/been in more than a handful, I thought when it came time for my own I would have this planning thing down. I used to say that when I got married I wouldn’t get stressed out about dumb sh*t (lol) and I would do what I want without other people’s opinions influencing me (ha!). So when I got engaged this past June and started planning my wedding for next September, I was just as surprised as anybody that I totally did not have this planning thing down. After going through the first six months of planning, my new M.O. on weddings has become, “Don’t judge a bride until you walk a mile in her wedding shoes,” and damn, those shoes are hard AF to walk in. 

Below are nine things I thought about weddings that flew out the window when I started planning my own. 

1. I Won’t Worry About The Little Things

Boy, was I wrong on this one. In fact, the little things are ALL I worry about. I constantly run through all the wedding signage we’ll need in my mind and whether it matters if the fonts on the table numbers match the font on the bar sign. I worry about trying every appetizer during cocktail hour or that I’ll be in the bathroom when the band plays “Sweet Caroline.” I never worry that our caterer won’t show up or that the band will suck. Why would I worry about major issues like that when I can stress about how the welcome table will be laid out?

2. My Wedding Won’t Cost That Much

Them: What’s the craziest thing you’ve done while planning your wedding? Me: I agreed to pay the band $200 extra to have someone play a 2 minute sax solo during the ceremony

— Ashley Fern (@disco_infern0) July 26, 2019

I’d like to think I’m pretty well-versed in how much different vendors cost, so I have no idea what the hell I was thinking when I said this. Especially since we’re having a tented reception in my grandma’s backyard, and that sh*t ain’t cheap. Every time I see a new bill come in, my heart stops beating for a split second and I honestly wonder how big of a problem it would be if I served McDonald’s instead of beef tenderloin and just made a Spotify playlist for the reception. 

3. I’ll Never Compare My Wedding To Someone Else’s

I have so much respect for the brides that sign up for Four Weddings. I truly can’t imagine willingly subjecting myself to having my wedding scrutinized by three strangers—I’m critical enough on my own. It’s hard not to compare yourself to other people in general, especially when so many friends are getting married around the same time. I find myself thinking about what I’d do differently or the same whenever I attend another wedding, which is actually kind of annoying because I’d like to be able to get drunk and enjoy myself. Plus, I sure as hell don’t want people to be doing that at mine. 

4. There’s No Point In Stressing About The Weather Since You Can’t Control It

not to be dramatic but if it rains on my wedding day I might kill someone

— Betches (@betchesluvthis) December 13, 2019

HA! This is actually laughable and I’m not even sure I ever really believed it. This is, without a doubt, the number-one thing I spend the majority of my time thinking about. There is honestly nothing in the world more terrifying than the idea that it might actually rain on my wedding day. The closest I ever get to a serious mental breakdown is when I spend more than 30 seconds thinking about a monsoon beginning as soon as I walk down the aisle. 

5. This Whole Planning Thing Is Going To Bring My Mom And I So Much Closer

I will admit, my mom and I haven’t really fought about wedding planning, which I know is rare/weird (I’m sorry if that makes you want to punch me in the face). But it’s definitely not bringing us closer. At the very beginning when we were trying to sort out all the vendors, my mom and I would text and talk on the phone multiple times a day, which was a lot, and it felt like I was engaged to my mom instead of my fiancé. She definitely triggers me with some of  her ridiculous suggestions (like having guests move their own ceremony chairs to the reception tent), but overall the ride hasn’t been too bumpy so far (knock on wood—we’ve still got nine, months to go). 

6. I’ll Get My Way On Everything

I know this sounds like a ridiculous thing to think, but when I was wedding planning in my mind, nobody was there telling me I couldn’t have our family labradoodle walk down the aisle (I’m still not 100% convinced that won’t be happening), so I never foresaw any issues. I didn’t think my photo booth idea would get shut down by my fiancé or that my idea for a limo bus instead of going to our cocktail hour would be considered a waste of money. I’ve only recently come to the conclusion that I don’t NEED everything on my wish list. I know, I’m so mature. 

7. It’ll Be Easy To Make Our Guest List

Pretty sure my wedding vows said "in sickness and in health" but nothing about dealing with in-laws over Thanksgiving, yet here I am

— betchesbrides (@betchesbrides) November 26, 2019

It would be so cool if there was an etiquette rule that said, “If you haven’t spoken to your great aunt in two years, she doesn’t need to be invited”, so I could just point to it and that would be that. Unfortunately, no such thing exists and people are left to their own judgment when deciding who to invite. Making the guest list was like a balancing act. From trying to keep it under a certain number, to accommodating my future in-laws’ list, while also keeping my mom from inviting everyone she’s ever met, it was one of the hardest parts so far and I’m very thankful it’s over. If you’re going through it now, my best advice is to pick your battles. If you don’t win this one, you’ll win the next. Why does planning a wedding sound like being at war?

8. I Don’t Understand Why Someone Would Want To Elope

Because of all the reasons I just listed and 10,000 more, I truly believe that people who elope are geniuses and we should all be more like them. 

9. Are Post-Wedding Blues A Real Thing?

Me: I’m just going to have a simple wedding.
Also me: pic.twitter.com/bubmgscPmk

— Amber Pera (@AmberPera) December 4, 2019

Absolutely, yes. My mom told me she sobbed on her wedding night because it was over. I’ve heard from all my married friends that they miss being engaged and wedding planning, so I’m trying my best to soak it all in, despite the challenges that come with it. I’m not looking forward to the day after my wedding when I realize it’s all over. Who knows, maybe I’ll end up crying in the back of a limo like a contestant on The Bachelor who’s just been kicked off. Sorry in advance to my soon-to-be husband, but hey, we said in sickness and in health right?

To all the brides I’ve judged before, I’m sorry. there’s a lot I thought I knew about weddings, but just like anything else, you don’t really know until you experience it for yourself. I’m walking a mile in all of your wedding shoes and wondering how the heck you did it. Cheers to you! 

Images: Andre Hunter / Unsplash; betchesluvthis, betchesbrides, disco_infern0, amberpera / Twitter