Brazen Thoughts

Just a peek into the things that go through my head daily

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Thank You to Our Parents

There is no gift out there that can say thank you enough to our parents for helping us plan this wedding, but I’m going to find something! I’ve scoured the internet for ideas and here are a few that I was able to find that I fell in love with!

 we ❤ this! Brush Stroke Plates

 we ❤ this! Words Work Prints

 we ❤ this! Whisper Hills

 we ❤ this! Paper Ramma

 we ❤ this! Lovey Dovey Creations

Do you have any ideas for gifts for your parents? Let me know!


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Getting Mail!

If there is one thing that I miss about living in the modern age, it’s that we never receive fun mail anymore! Everything is electronic these days, even many wedding invites. While there is nothing wrong with adapting to the electronic age, I love arriving home to envelopes that aren’t bills or junk! I have to say, this is one of the best things about sending out your invitations. I am so excited to get home each day and see who has sent in their RSVP! We went pretty traditional with our invites and response cards, but here are some couples that had some fun with it:

rsvp1Wedding Bee

rsvp2One Wed

rsvp3Katie Kerr

Would you go the traditional or funny route?

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Creating a Schedule

One of my biggest strengths is that I’m organized to a fault. I can be spontaneous, but I’d much rather have my days planned out in order to keep on task. This attribute is coming in very handy when it comes to wedding planning. The hard part is, while I’m super organized, I’ve never planned an actual day of wedding before, so my timelines are a bit off from the norm. Luckily, I’ve surrounded myself by professionals that, having done this many times, know what the day should look like. My day of coordinator Amanda and I have been emailing regularly with my vendors to create a schedule that will keep the day flowing smoothly, the stress low and the fun on 10!

I cannot stress enough to brides to be out there, don’t leave your day to chance! There will be something that you forget and you don’t want to be scrambling at the last minute or have to show up late to your own ceremony!

I found the most complete list of how much time you should expect to spend on each section of your day from Bridal Guide. That way, you can work backward from your ceremony time to see when you should start your pampering for the day! I personally love excel spreadsheets for this type of thing. As you can see below, the sheet is color coded to tell everyone where they need to be and when!


Or you can have some fun with it and do something like this:scheudule1

Both ideas from The Budget Savvy Bride

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Specialty Cocktails: Summer Edition

It’s almost time for my favorite season of the year, summer!! Which brings me to my final specialty cocktails post. How refreshing do some of these drinks look?!

summer11Pineapple Margaritas / Tequila Blackberry Lemonade / White Strawberry Sangria

summer12Frozen Cherry Mojito / Peach Flip / Sparkling Watermelon Chiller

summer13Swimming Pool / Creamsicle

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Rehearsal Dinner

If you know anything about Chicago, you know it’s a sports kind of town! Good or bad, we love our teams and no one more so than Dan. So when I found out that they were putting in a Chicago Sports Museum and it was two doors down from the Westin, I knew we had to have our rehearsal dinner there! The restaurant associated with the museum is Harry Caray’s 7th Inning Stretch, an iconic restaurant group in the city, so I knew that the dinner would be spectacular, and coupled with the fun and games of the museum, it’s the perfect place to go!

We spoke with Dan’s parents, who will be hosting the dinner, and after looking at a few other places downtown, they were sold as well! We all knew that the food options would be perfect for the variety of people that we have coming, and we also thought about traveling from the ceremony space to the dinner and wanted to make it easy on all of us. Friday night is not an easy time to navigate the city, especially when you don’t know where you’re going!

rehearsal1Traditionally, the grooms family hosts the dinner and would be in charge of formal invites, menu, location, etc, but with many couples’ deviating from tradition, you can get creative! You don’t have to have formal invites, most times only close family and bridal party are invited, so you could get away with an easy email, or you could ask for help from your guests and go with a pot luck dinner at someone’s house. Whatever works best for you! It used to be that all out of town guests were invited, but these days, with so many couples getting married away from their hometown, that could mean a second wedding! Because of this, you can alert any guests who will be around your venue that they are welcome to join you for drinks after the dinner is over.

This should be a time to relax and have fun with friends and family, keep it lighthearted and enjoyable! I recently read a great tip while researching the rehearsal dinner: there should be no tasks that are left for after this event, everything should be done and ready to go, so that you can appreciate all your hard work!

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Sunless Tanning

As someone who worked in a tanning salon for years, I can appreciate the bronze glow that comes from tanning; what I cannot appreciate is the very harmful side effects that come with it! That’s why I’m a huge advocate of spray tanning! If you’re like me, this is already on your wedding week to do list. If done correctly, it gives you a beautiful, even color and can help you to look slimmer in the process!

Here are some tips to get the best sunless tan!


-Stay away from machine or booth spray tans; always go to someone that sprays you so that it is customized.

-Take it for a test ride! Go to the salon and try it out first! Maybe before your bachelorette party or another wedding you have coming up. This way you know exactly how the tan wears on your skin, and if you even like it at all!

-If you are getting a manicure and/or pedicure or need to wax, make sure to do it before your tan.

-Shower before your appointment. This will help to open up your pores for the color. Do not put on lotion after your shower as this will block the color!

-During that shower, exfoliate and shave. This is probably the most important step because if your skin has too many dead skin cells, the color will not adhere to your skin properly.


-The color takes some time to develop in your skin, so don’t be nervous that you aren’t dark enough.

-Make sure the technician puts the color blocking lotion on your hands and feet. If not you could end up with cheeto like fingers!


-Wear loose fitting, dark clothing and no bra if you can, since your skin may still be wet after the tan.

-Avoid sweating or water of any kind (even rain water). This could cause your tan to spot or wash off in certain places, but not others!

-After 8-10 hours you can shower and apply lotion, which will help to keep your color looking like new!

-If you have parts of your body that rub against your dress, rub some baby powder on them, which will help to minimize irritation.


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We’re getting down to the wire and finalizing a whole bunch of tasks. While doing this, I thought about programs for our ceremony. To be honest, I think that most often they are a waste of paper and money. Half the guests don’t read them and the other half use them as a fan. I wasn’t super excited to go down this path, until I found a downloadable Word document from The McBaileys. I immediately fell in love with this program! It’s fun, lighthearted and most of all, US!

 we ❤ this!  #weddingprogram  we ❤ this!  #weddingprogram

All you have to do is download the template and edit to fit your wedding! You can change the colors, wording, anything you want! After that, you can either choose to print it on a home computer or send off to have it printed elsewhere. Easy peasy!

Now that I’ve found a fun wedding program, I feel much better about purchasing them. At least I know that our family and friends will have a good laugh while waiting for us!