Groomsmen Gift Guide

In our wedding industry, much of the emphasis is placed on the bride and their bridesmaids. Every Instagram post, Pinterest pin and magazine article usually focuses on the girls. Rightfully so, yet we can not forget the men, after all they are your husband’s best friends. Today, my post goes out to them. I am rounding up some great gift ideas for your groom’s guys in this groomsmen gift guide.

For starters, take note of your guys’ interests. You may want to consider personalizing your gift to their personality.

For the sophisticate

Nothing impresses houseguests like personalized barware. Groovy Guy Gifts has some great options including this glass and wood decanter. I recently received this decanter engraved with a masculine “V” for my brother-in-law who is getting married next year (yay a family wedding!).  I chose not to have the ball engraved, but that might be a great way to make each gift as unique as the guys you want to honor. It is really a handsome piece and would make a nice addition to any bar cart. I also love the look and shape of this golf themed decanter as well as the idea of personalized whiskey stones to complete the gift.

For the working man

Whether he is working behind a desk or with his hands, there are some great gift ideas to be shared.  One of my favorite items might be this waxed canvas apron with leather details. I love how versatile it is depending on your friend’s hobby.

For the jet setter

Traveling for business or for pleasure, you can still travel in style with one of these masculine and fashionable gifts. I am clearly a fan of waxed canvas and this dopp kit is another fave.  Uber hopping is hard work, so make things easy with a simplified wallet like this minimalist leather number.

Whatever you choose to gift them is just the icing on the cake of your friendship, but it sure is nice to thank them for standing by you for all those years as well as on your wedding day.

Photo credit: Love & Light Photographs

Florals: Reynold’s Garden Shop

Venue: Mallard Island Yacht Club


A Retrospective for our Anniversary: Our Wedding

Today is my 7 year wedding anniversary and thought it would be a perfect time to share the day that started this wedding planning journey of mine.  Real talk here: Sometimes I feel silly telling people that my career as a wedding planner came from “planning my own wedding” because for some reason it doesn’t feel as legitimate as getting a degree or doing an internship, however I knew during those six months of planning (really? yes! so do-able) that it was something that I was good at and could actually give it a go. Luckily I had some trusting people in the beginning that knew that a formal education didn’t give you the skills to be successful as a wedding planner but I digress and share with you the highlights of planning my own backyard wedding today and what I would do differently. All photos by our photographer, Jen Causey.

Invitation designed by my friend Maie at Noon Designs. I always admired her artistry and knew that I had to have her design our wedding invitations when the time came.

First and foremost, I knew that I wanted to get married in my parent’s backyard. We do not have a huge backyard but it was the perfect size and just intimate enough for our 100 guests. I wanted it to feel like a dinner party with lots of candlelight, good food, drinks and conversation. I am pretty sure we achieved that. When I look at these pictures, they are filled with so much love with all of our favorite people under one tent something that I realize is once in a lifetime. And yes this was also the day that began my love affair with Sperry sailcloth tents.

My day began unlike most brides that I have the pleasure of working with because I wasn’t at the salon or sipping champagne with my bridesmaids. Yet I couldn’t wait to get up that morning, get outside and start arranging flowers, laying out our custom floral runner, playing with the floorplan and setting up our DIY photobooth. The weather was a bit cloudy and it was my first time experiencing the stress that I would go through as a planner deciding on whether or not our processional from the church to the house would need to go to Plan B or if we would get lucky and the sun would peek out! The exhilaration of it all was almost as exciting as saying “I Do” and I think that this was my first sign that it was meant to be.

Trust me that I was ahead of the trend here. Again, this was 7 years ago and mustaches and polaroid photo booths were cutting edge. :)  P.S. These are my parents. How cute are they?!

For my wedding day, I also had the pleasure of meeting and working with Dorian at Wallflowers and since then she and I have had the pleasure of collaborating on many weddings together. During these seven years, I have cultivated and cherished my relationships with so many wedding vendors. It is truly one of the best parts of the job!

My flower girl, Ivy and ring bearer, Beau (playing on the foosball table that we painstakingly hand-painted to resemble brides and grooms) are now all grown up and still as cute as ever!

In all the weddings that I plan, I like to include a detail that is a nod to the couple.   In our case, Lucas and I met in Spain so our ceremony programs had artwork of a Madrid map on them. Romantic and personal.

Quick story of us (in case you are interested): We both studied abroad in Madrid in 2001. Met, dated, went back to our respective colleges, stayed friends. Fast forward to 2005, and we moved back independently to Madrid to teach English. Rekindled our relationship, dated long distance for a year (super long distance with him still in Madrid and me in New Jersey), moved to Boston, lived together, broke up, got back together, got engaged and then got married! Quite the adventure! We have known each other now for sixteen years and our courtship was pretty awesome experiencing and traveling together in Europe. For our 10th anniversary, we plan to go back to Madrid and I am already dreaming of the tapas and wine.

We were married in a Presbyterian church near my house by Lucas’s dad, a minister. It was so special to be married by someone who knows us so well.  I still remember the feeling of turning the corner, arm in arm with my dad, as our guests stood up and I just kept my eyes on Lucas because it was so overwhelming and humbling. It is so easy to get wrapped up in all of the details of the wedding decor and of course I love all the details as much, if not more, than the next girl. But this moment is what it is all about!

I am so incredibly lucky to have some of the most steadfast girlfriends a girl could as for. I wish I could have had ALL of them by my side that day but we decided to keep our bridal party small so I chose four. Meaghan, my college roommate for all 4 years and Carrie, Alex and Ellen, childhood friends and still the most loyal friends to this day all these years later.

I chose J.Crew bridesmaids dresses in “fatigue” silk taffeta. I still love the style of having the girls in the same color and fabric but letting them choose the style that fits their body. Every one wins.

my “bride moment”

Now for the “what would I do differently?”. To be honest, not much. Wedding blogs were just hitting the scene, I didn’t have a Pinterest account or gorgeous calligraphy signage, or styled invitation suite photos,  nor an intricately displayed escort card set up, and I drove myself to the salon but it was exactly the day that I wanted. As a wedding planner and designer, OF COURSE I love those details and can not wait to brainstorm the next elaborate design, however it is so important to remember the intention behind those details and the reasons for why you are getting married in the first place. So that you can dance to “We are Family” in a circle or shed a tear to a funny and heartfelt speech, and to awkwardly and earnestly dance with your spouse for the first time in front of everyone you hold dear. It is truly why I became a wedding planner so that I can help you experience and live in the moment when your time comes.

In conclusion, I am sharing one of my favorite photos of our day because I think that it pretty much sums it up. Me, upstairs in my parents room, before stepping into my wedding dress observing the caterers scurrying around (no doubt making sure they didn’t mess anything up) in anticipation of  the day and our life to come.

Fun Fact! My first feature on Style Me Pretty was my wedding. See more here!

Happy Anniversary Lucas!! I love the life we have created. Thank you for supporting my dream.