wedding wednesday no. 14 // how to stay organized during wedding planning

Today, I wanted to share a few thoughts in partnership with WeddingWire on how to stay organized during wedding planning. These are tools and tricks I’m using that have added structure to my unorganized planning mentality, and in turn, made for an incredibly enjoyable, fun-filled wedding planning experience!

DRESS   white tweed dress   |   SHOES   chanel ballet flats (similar here)   |   EARRINGS   pearl studs

Immediately after getting engaged, I made a promise to myself. I was going to enjoy the wedding planning process. To soak it in, be thankful for every decision and to-do list item, and not let it stress me out or get the best of me. After all, this is the one time in my life I get to “fret” over flowers, bands, cakes and dresses. And at the end of the day, that should be a joy!

Some things are easier said than done, as we all know, and I quickly realized the secret to enjoying wedding planning, as opposed to letting it completely unravel you, is to stay organized!

Let me be the first to admit that I am NOT an organized person. I’ve always had a laid-back, “things will happen the way they’re supposed to” mentality by nature… a definite 9 on the Enneagram scale through and through. And as that’s been wonderful for navigating the ups and downs of day-to-day life, it is not your friend when planning a wedding!

So today, I wanted to share a few thoughts in partnership with WeddingWire on how to stay organized during wedding planning. These are tools and tricks I’m using that have added structure to my unorganized planning mentality, and in turn, made for an incredibly enjoyable, fun-filled wedding planning experience!

Let’s dive in, shall we?

How To Stay Organized During Wedding Planning

 

1. Create a Separate Email Address

Right out of the gate, I realized the wedding planning process was going to involve a lot of emails. From reaching out to vendors to sending ideas to my mother to coordinating wedding parties and so much more, my “wedding mail” quickly started to overtake my personal inbox. Every time I opened it up, I would feel overwhelmed instead of excited. That’s the opposite of what we’re going for!

Save yourself the trouble and create a separate email address used solely for wedding-related email. This helps you keep everything in one place, as well as separating the “business” of planning from your personal life! Plus, it ensures that important wedding-related items don’t get buried in your personal or work life, and vice versa. Trust me… it’s so much easier to manage! (And here’s a fun idea… use this as an opportunity to create an email address with your new last name!)

2. Make a WeddingWire Account

In my opinion, the more help you can get, the better. My WeddingWire account, which is completely free to create and use. has been such an asset during this entire process. Like I said above, I’m not organized by nature, but the incredible tools offered by WeddingWire help to keep me on track and on top of what feels like the millions of details associated with planning. There is an entire “Planning Tools” tab devoted entirely to helping you! Here are a few of my favorites:

  •      Checklist Tool
    • The beauty of this online checklist? It offers suggestions, according to how many months out you are, for what to accomplish and when. The best part, though, is that it enables you to create customizable tasks for every stage of your wedding planning journey! Check off what you finish, plan for what’s ahead, and see it all online no matter where you are.
  •      Budget Tool
    • Budgeting is one of the most important parts of wedding planning, y’all. If you have a budget, it can make your life so much more straightforward. If not, things can add up without you even realizing! The budget tool allows you to track your spending (key), customize the numbers and even schedule payments.
  •       Vendor Manager
    • Before I started wedding planning, I had no idea how many incredible vendor options there are out there. From flowers to dance floors and everything in between, comparing services and managing it all can get overwhelming! That’s why the vendor manager has been such a blessing. It allows you to manage and remember all of your vendor details, save notes about each vendor, compare prices, save contact info and even message vendors! Fun fact… I decided to look for a different wedding band a few weeks ago, and was able to message so many other options through this tool to check availability!

These are just a few of the many, many tools and resources available via WeddingWire. I can’t wait to share more about the platform. and how I’ve loved using it to plan my big day, soon!

3. Use a Single, Dedicated Notebook

Let me tell you… using my Sweet Caroline Designs planner has been a lifesaver in terms of staying organized. There’s a little pocket at the front where I store all of my printed materials (brochures from vendors, reception floor layouts, song lists, quotes, etc) and tons of blank, lined “note” pages at the back where I’ve scribbled notes on every wedding vendor call, in-person meeting, and random idea that’s popped into my head. Having it all in one notebook, as opposed to papers floating all over the place, has been incredibly peace-giving. I highly recommend finding one single, dedicated notebook for storing all of your wedding details, ideas, and appointments!

4. Have Thursday Recap Meetings

I know this may seem random, but Thursday recap meetings are a tradition my mom and I started accidentally, and have found to be invaluable to our planning process ever since! Why? It started because Thursdays seemed to finally be the first day out of the week we had time to take a breath. I would go over to take a long walk with my mom, and on it we’d survey everything we’d accomplished the three days before, and everything that needed to be done in the week ahead!

I highly recommend taking an hour or so every Thursday to have a little recap meeting with yourself or whoever else is involved in the planning to “get your bearings” and look at where you are in the planning process. Thursdays are the perfect day, since you can see what you accomplished that week, and make a game plan for what you want to knock out over the weekend and the next week! Make it fun and incorporate coffee, a walk, wine or all of the above!

5. Take Photos of Everything

Trust me. Take photos of everything. And then save them all into a “Wedding” album on your phone! Whether you’re choosing a wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses, flowers, table settings or anything else, take. photos. of. it. all. With all of the different meetings (you may go to five different florists, for example) options, and decisions to be made, it is so helpful to be able to pull up photos instead of relying on memory.

This was particularly helpful in deciding on my dress! I would think I had found “the dress,” only to go home, look at photos and realize I hated the way it photographed, or looked from the side, or showed in a certain light, etc. Even if you don’t think you need to, take a photo anyway and thank me later!

These tips are ones anyone can use, regardless of budget! And I feel strongly that if implemented, they will make your wedding planning experience efficient, memorable and fun.

Since I’m still in the thick of it, I would absolutely love any tips YOU have for staying organized during wedding planning! Share your insight in the comments below!

Love from Texas,

Kate

Thank you, WeddingWire, for sponsoring this post.

 

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my fresh 4 minute face routine

I am so excited to start the new year with a fresh skincare and makeup routine, and am already loving the effortless look it gives me while also being incredibly beneficial for my skin! Oh, and did I mention it takes me 4 minutes flat to complete?!

If there’s one thing life has gotten since getting engaged, it’s busy, y’all! Juggling wedding planning along with a job and a social life is not for the faint of heart, and with everything going on, I’ve started looking for ways to streamline some of my daily routines.

I am usually the girl who has a million random products floating around in her bathroom, but not anymore. At the beginning of this year I decided I needed a simple, quick skincare and makeup routine, and one that was most importantly good for my skin! After all, I am after that bridal “glow” come June!

After making it through the winter with smooth, hydrated skin thanks to this miracle product (check out the 1.5K reviews of similar groupies like me) I decided to look into Clinique!

I’ve been familiar with this line for years but hadn’t really used it until my introduction to moisture surge this past winter. Well, y’all… I walked away with 5 amazing products that have completely transformed my skincare and makeup routine, and am so excited to be sharing them with y’all in partnership with Nordstrom today!

1. Pep-Start Exfoliator

This two-in-one exfoliator and cleanser is now the first thing I use every morning, and the thing I use to wash away makeup at the end of every day. Y’all… it’s changed my skin! I had never been consistent with an exfoliator before, because they were either too strong to use every day (and who has time to keep up with all of that?) or too gentle to make any difference. This product has solved all of that, as it can be used every day and doubles as a cleanser!

I love the fresh, uplifting scent and best of all, how crazy smooth it makes my skin. I look forward to using it every morning and night. My skin feels amazing afterwards!

2. Clinique ID Moisturizer + Concentrate for Lines & Wrinkles

I know that title is a mouthful, but something tells me you are going to be seriously wow’d when you hear just how cool this moisturizer is! (I know I was!)

The Clinique ID line lets you mix and match different hydrating bases with serums that target different issues so you’re getting a product that’s specifically formulated for your skin type and your needs. I combined the Lines & Wrinkles concentrate with the Moisturizing Lotion base for hydration that perfectly targets my dry skin. My face literally feels like velvet after I apply this.

But, the options are endless! Start with either the Moisturizing Lotion for dry skin (like me!), the Oil Control Gel for oily skin, and the Hydrating Jelly for normal skin. Then, choose what you want to target! Pores & Uneven Texture? Uneven Skin Tone? Irritation? Fatigue? There’s a concentrate for each… all you have to do is pick one, combine with the base, and you’re set!

I love that this product is paraben, phthalate and fragrance-free, not to mention that it keeps my skin soft and moisturized all day long! I use this every morning before I start my day and each night before I go to bed.

3. CC Cream

There was a day when I wouldn’t feel “dressed up” without a full face of foundation. Not anymore!

In an effort to simplify my makeup routine and be kinder to my skin, I decided to give this CC Cream a try. Turns out, it’s my new favorite thing. It’s lightweight, uber-moisturizing, and the coverage is amazing! Y’all, I don’t even wear concealer over it. (I’m not in these photos at all!)

I rub a nickel-sized amount all over my face after applying my Clinique iD moisturizer, and my skin looks glowy, even and photo-ready all day long with SPF 30 built right in. Can you see the glow in these photos?! I can’t imagine going back to foundation after this! I wear the shade light, for reference.

4. CliniqueFIT Lip + Cheek Flush

I gushed about my love for this lip and cheek tint in my weekly newsletter last Thursday, and it looks like y’all may just have sold this baby out! Did you know that your most flattering blush color is the shade your cheeks turn after an intense workout? That gorgeous flush is so hard to replicate, and in my experience ,there’s something about a dull powder that never seems to come off right.

This teeny little tube of tint, though, has rocked my world. It delivers that gorgeous, deep flush through a gel that also gives yiou a dewy, glowy finish. It’s definitely pricy, but worth it in my opinion. I also dab it on my lips and run over it with lip balm for a rosy pout!

4. Naturally Glossy Mascara

I’m usually a dramatic-lash kinda girl, but after seeing the light, fresh face this routine gave me, wanted some lovely, natural-looking lashes to compliment. The Clinique Naturally Glossy Mascara gives me lengthy lashes that look effortless and completely natural instead of overly made up, and I’m loving the change! Just a few quick swipes and I’m out the door.

I am so excited to start the new year with a fresh skincare and makeup routine from Clinique, and am already loving the effortless look it gives me while also being incredibly beneficial for my skin! Oh, and did I mention it takes me 4 minutes flat to complete?! I’m telling you, total game changer!

I’m only wearing the five exact products featured in this post in the images above, so you can see for yourself the glowy look they give off! Here’s to bridal-ready skin and looking put-together in half the time I used to spend. Let me know if you have any questions, I’d love to help you discover these amazing products for yourself!

Love from Texas,

Kate

Thank you, Nordstrom, for sponsoring this post.

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latest & greatest vol. 75

There’s something about reaching my 75th latest and greatest post that makes me a bit sentimental! We’ve come a long way since the very first roundup of the cutest new arrivals to hit the web, and each Friday since this post has continued to be one of my very favorites to put together!

There’s something about reaching my 75th latest and greatest post that makes me a bit sentimental! We’ve come a long way since the very first roundup of the cutest new arrivals to hit the web, and each Friday since this post has continued to be one of my very favorites to put together. I hope you’ve enjoyed these collages as much as I’ve enjoyed making them!

It seems only fair that the 75th latest and greatest post would contain lots of my very favorite shade… pink! From workout leggings to swimmies, there’s nothing I don’t love this color on. Click below to see some of my favorite new releases!

click directly on an item to shop (clear circle bag linked below)

leggings // blouse // rain boots // swimsuit top // swimsuit bottoms // heart earrings // clear circle bag // heart pajamas

While lots of “sunny and bright” is filling up today’s post, the reality of life here in Dallas is that it’s COLD. I have my fire going and am cozied into my favorite ugg slippers, and I’m still chattering! I’m hoping this weekend is a bit warmer, although something tells me we’ll have more winter weather yet. Looks like I’ll be camped out on my couch, with the fire on, watching movies!

Wishing you a fabulous, warm weekend!

Love from Texas,

Kate

 

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my winter to spring sneakers

I’m not huge on trends, but one look I’m loving lately? The chic sneaker. Friends, let me introduce you to these tan sneakers. They have become my favorite!

tan sneakerstan sneakerstan sneakers

COAT   topshop faux fur coat (similar here)   |   SHOES   steve madden bardo sneakers (also available here)   |   JEANS   dark wash skinny jeans   |   SWEATER   tan turtleneck sweater   |   BAG   chloé mini marcie bag   |   EARRINGS   pearl earrings

It’s official. I’ve packed away my riding boots, and have settled into a new favorite shoe!

I’m not huge on trends, but one look I’m loving lately? The chic sneaker. Friends, let me introduce you to these tan cuties. They have become my favorite!

I’ve always admired the cool-girl vibe cute, casual kicks give to an elegant outfit, and finally pulled the trigger with this tan, platform pair. I loved wearing them in Vail, Colorado, and think they’ll be perfect for transitioning into sunny weather as well!

They’re made with this cool knit material that definitely elevates the look from “sneaker” to something a bit more sophisticated, and in a few different color options as well. (Loving this soft grey, personally.)

I’m excited to incorporate them into more outfits these next couple of months. Quick tip on fit? (Say that five times fast.) Go a half size up!

In other news, today is my sister’s birthday! She moved back to Dallas after graduating from Texas A&M last spring, and so I’m so excited to finally get to celebrate with her in-person. Our family makes a BIG deal about birthdays, y’all… starting with a 5:45am wake up to everyone singing “Happy Birthday” while carrying presents into the room! (So yes, I’ll be making the drive to my parent’s house before 6am this morning.) Then it’s a birthday breakfast of choice for the birthday-ee (she’s chosen monkey bread) and whatever you desire for dinner and dessert. Happy birthday, Steele!

Love from Texas,

Kate

P.S. I have a new Happy Mail newsletter going out this afternoon! It’s featuring some of my favorite healthy snacks and a beauty product I’m loving. If you aren’t already, click HERE to get on the list!

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lights, camera…

wedding wednesday no. 13 // our custom wedding monogram

for today’s “Wedding Wednesday” post, I am absolutely thrilled to share with you the stunning custom wedding monogram Pam from Shuler Studio created for me and Andrew! And y’all, I’m giddy just typing that sentence!

If there’s one cliché this southern girl has completely bought into, it’s a deep, deep love for monograms. I think the first monogrammed item I ever owned was a Vera Bradley duffle bag I got for my 13th birthday (throwback, anyone) and ever since, that collection has steadily grown!

So when it came to dreaming up my and Andrew’s June wedding, I instantly knew of one special touch I wanted… a custom wedding monogram.

I love that a custom wedding monogram is something you can use for years and years to come, not just a single day! And that’s exactly what I so desired with ours…  an elegant, beautiful and timeless design that I could use throughout our home and belongings for a lifetime.

Do you remember my first ever “Wedding Wednesday” post? I shared the three words I settled on to describe my dream wedding day, and mentioned wanting to incorporate a custom wedding monogram. (You can read the full post here.) Y’all were so kind to leave some incredible recommendations! After pouring over those and doing tons of pinteresting, instagram hashtag stalking and blog browsing, I finally came across Shuler Studio and immediately knew I found exactly what I was looking for!

So for today’s “Wedding Wednesday” post, I am absolutely thrilled to share with you the stunning custom wedding monogram Pam from Shuler Studio created for me and Andrew! (I’m giddy just typing that sentence!)

Our Custom Wedding Monogram

Swoon. I don’t think I’ve ever been so in love!

Initially, I had no idea how the custom monogram design process worked. To be quite honest, the whole thing felt rather daunting to me. Creating something completely custom from scratch? Talk about pressure!

As they often do, however, things became much clearer after a bit of browsing! The Shuler Studio website has a “Monograms” tab, which lays out the three different design options. I was pleasantly surprised to see how affordable they were!

 

The Pricing

 

Depending on the level of customization you’re looking for, prices range from just $10 to $450. And let me just say, if this is something you’re not wanting to devote a huge sum of money to, you can purchase a stunning pre-made monogram on her Etsy page for $35. (Type in your two letters in the shop search bar to see the options!)

Upon reaching out to Pam, the talented wonder behind Shuler Studio, about the monogram design process, she so graciously offered to design my and Andrew’s monogram. So, completely custom we went!

 

The Process

 

And how exactly did that process go? First, I filled out a questionnaire and sent in some monogram inspiration. (Speaking of inspiration, take a look through the Shuler Studio Instagram feed… I could spend hours on there!) I decided on a “duogram” featuring a “K” and “A” both for aesthetic reasons, and so we could use it before the wedding itself!

Upon submitting those initial materials, Pam had an initial design concept back to me within TWO. DAYS. Here I was thinking this would take months and months… no, no! Two days!

She encouraged me to print out the monogram, draw and doodle on it, and get back to her with thoughts. I did this, sent them in with a few ideas, and was pleasantly surprised to receive the second design draft in, again, in two days. It was incredible!

After thinking through the second draft, I realized I wanted to change the direction of the monogram. I was wanting a masculine “A” and a more feminine, symmetrical “K,” which involved shifting gears a bit from my initial idea. But y’all, when I shared this vision with Pam, she was nothing but accommodating, encouraging and, again, insanely prompt. On the third try, it was perfect!

 

The Finished Product

 

Nearly a week and a half after reaching out to Shuler Studio, I had the custom monogram of my dreams!

I am over the moon, to say the least, and can’t stop thinking about different ways of using it. That’s where y’all come in! I would just love any and all ideas, so please feel free to leave links and thoughts in the comments of this post. I’ll be pouring over each one!

I can’t end this post without saying this… if you are looking to get a monogram designed (for a wedding or otherwise) I cannot recommend Shuler Studio enough! Truly, y’all. This process has been, by far, one of the things I’ve most enjoyed about wedding planning to date, and I am so excited to incorporate this stunning design into our big day, and the rest of our lives!

I can’t wait to hear what y’all think about it. As always, thank you for tuning into another “Wedding Wednesday” post, and for letting me share this season with you!

Love from Texas,

Kate

P.S. Here are some gorgeous new wedding-white dresses I think are to die for! Simply click on a dress to shop it.

recipe // my mama’s cranberry salsa

A gorgeously fresh, unique and delicious treat, I’m thrilled to be partnering with Bloomingdale’s to share this family-favorite recipe, my mama’s cranberry salsa, with you!

cranberry salsa recipe, bloomingdale's wedding registrycranberry salsa recipe, bloomingdale's wedding registrycranberry salsa recipe, bloomingdale's wedding registry

Of all the wedding-related requests I’ve been receiving from y’all as of late, would you like to hear one of the most common by far? Advice on wedding registries!

“Where are you registering?” “Any tips on what to register for?” These are the exact questions I, myself, started asking shortly after getting engaged. The whole idea of creating a single list that covers everything you’ll ever need (ok not really, but you know what I mean) can feel so overwhelming. Where to even begin?

Naturally, I turned to the expert on all things cooking and kitchen-related, my mama! I grew up watching her create the most amazing dishes in our home, and always hoped one day I’d be as proficient a chef as she. Just as I thought, she had tons of great insight into the wedding registry process.

The very first item she insisted make it on my list? The Cuisinart Food Processor! She has used hers for years and years to create some of my lifelong favorites, including this unbelievable cranberry salsa. A gorgeously fresh, unique and delicious treat, I’m thrilled to be partnering with Bloomingdale’s to share this family-favorite recipe with you, along with why the Bloomingdale’s wedding registry program is one of the best I’ve found!

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Cuisinart 14 Cup Food Processor // Striped Aprons (also in navy and black)

To start out, let’s chat about why both my mom and I are loving the registry experience at Bloomingdale’s. With all of the choices, expectations, input, and opinions surrounding wedding registries, I knew I wanted an online registry experience that was organized, incredibly easy to use, lovely and convenient. After all, you don’t only want the process of registering to be enjoyable… you want your guests’ gift-buying experience to be effortless and easy as well!

The Bloomingdale’s website alone is so beautifully laid out, easy to operate and lovely to look at. It’s clean, it’s organized, and I feel excited about all of the gorgeous options instead of overwhelmed! Plus, Bloomingdale’s has made their registry not just easy to use, but helpful. Don’t know where to start? Check out this checklist (pun intended) that walks through everything from place settings to stemware. This guide provides amazing insight into best products and brands, and if you’re moving (like we are) you can choose when and where gifts will ship to in the future. A few other perks I’ve particularly enjoyed:

  • 20% off dresses, suiting, intimates and more
  • 10% off everything left on your registry for six months after your wedding
  • 20% off a one-time purchase in the three months after the big day
  • amazing gifts with completion

You’ll also find Bloomingdale’s carries all of the best brands, including La Creuset, Nespresso, and the hero of today’s recipe, Cuisinart! And with that said, let’s move into the recipe! Trust me, y’all. It is incredibly simple to make (thanks to this tool) and such a crowd pleaser. In fact, I’m planning on bringing it with me to the Superbowl watch party I’m headed to in a couple weeks!

My Mama’s Cranberry Salsa

  • 1 (12 oz) bag fresh cranberries, rinsed and well-drained
  • 1 bunch cilantro, washed and spun dry in a salad spinner with at least 1-2 inches of stems removed
  • 1 bunch green onion, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and cut into 4-6 pieces
  • 1/3 cup lime juice
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  1. Combine cilantro, green onion, and jalapeno into food processor. Pulse until consistently chopped into fine pieces.
  2. Add cranberries into food processor mixture. Pulse until cranberries are coarsely chopped. (Cranberries should be in halves and pieces.)
  3. Transfer mixture to bowl.
  4. Add lime juice, salt, and sugar. Mix.
  5. Refrigerate for two hours or until sugar has dissolved.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

cranberry salsa recipe, bloomingdale's wedding registry

As you can see, this recipe is so easy, and so unique! The key to the perfect texture? The Cuisinart Food Processor. And now that I have one of my own, thanks to the amazing deal I found on it at Bloomingdale’s, I can’t wait to recreate even more of my mother’s favorite recipes!

You can check out my Instagram Stories today to see a video step-by-step as we photographed this.

I plan on doing a more in-depth post on everything Andrew and I are registering for soon, so leave your questions (and your recommendations) below! And if you’re looking to begin your registry, start here!

Love from Texas,

Kate

Thank you, Bloomingdale’s, for sponsoring this post.

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