Thursday, February 28, 2019


Velvet Skinnies// Handbag ( on sale!!)

What a week! I constantly felt like it was a day earlier than it really was (I still do!!). I have had a LOT of work this week. I'm preparing to speak in front of a group next week in Richmond, so some preparation for that as well as some more wedding planning and the usual work, it's been a lot! Plus, I have a press dinner tonight which I am looking forward to because I have really been wanting to try this restaurant that recently opened in Pittsburgh! 

I've also been ordering lots and lots for the new house! I get the keys at the end of the month!!! I've lined up movers and am planning on working extra this month so I'm able to focus on the house a little extra for a few days in early April! I am not quite sure yet, but I don't think I'll be quite living in the house until May. I have both places, which is nice but puts me in a bit of limbo for the month of April, we shall see! 

I also tackled making appointments that have been on my to-do list for weeks. Why is it that I always put off the easiest of tasks? Like making a dermatologist appointment, getting my oil changed, etc. It's so simple but they are often the things I check off last. Glad to have a bunch of things scheduled now, though! Phew. 

Wearing: I have been wearing this gorgeous white top constantly. The fabric is incredibly luxurious and it is so well made. It's simple so you can wear it year round but I can't wait to wear it with white skinnies come summer!

Eating: I want to try this Philly Cheesesteak cabbage wrap!! I love cabbage so I'm definitely intrigued to try this! 

Drinking: I want to try to make this spicy jalapeno grapefruit margarita. YUM!

Sale-ing:  The Shopbop sale is still going on through March 2nd! Shop my favorites, here.

Sale-ing II: Have you all heard of Orchard Mile? It's such a great site with lots of high-quality, classic pieces. They are mostly designer and pricey but they also have really good sales! Some pieces I am currently loving from their sale: this gorgeous floral blue dress, this embellished neutral sweater, these wardrobe staple sandals, and this stunning cream sweater.

Sale-ing III: The Tory Burch private sale just started today!! Definitely check it out- this is usually better than all of their other sales. 

 You guys should watch these cute videos on Uplift! They're short and sweet and give you a quick daily dose of happiness!

Listening: OMG. You must listen to the 'Cold' podcast. I'm not a huge podcast person but I like to listen to them on long drives. This weekend, while driving to The Greenbrier, we started Cold and the first episode or two were kind of lame in my opinion... but, as you keep listening, it gets CRAZY. Like so insane it's unbelievable. But it's a true and tragic story. I highly recommend it. 

Loving: So I saw this lamp a while ago and LOVE it. I want to use it in my bathroom. It's a tiny little lamp so I just couldn't justify the $250 price tag. Lo, and behold I found an almost EXACT look-alike for only $75. Win! From the same site, I am also loving these chinoiserie-style end tables and this lamp!

Wanting: Not too much on my radar this week- good for my wallet, ha! 

Quoting: 'Forever is composed of nows.'' - Emily Dickinson// See more of my favorites, here. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Wedding Wednesday: My New Monogram

Wedding Wednesday: My New Monogram
If you are married, did you change your name? I'm quite fond and attached to Carver (my current last name) but I am also happy to take my fiancé's last name. His last name starts with 'S'.

Right now, my middle name is Elizabeth so I will be dropping that and Carver will become my middle name. I have never been attached to Elizabeth so I'm really fine with dropping it!

So, my monogram will go from sCe to sSc! It's exciting but also a little weird because when I see sSc, it's unfamiliar! Our married monogram will be sSa.

As you all know, I love monograms. In college, I swear I had everything imaginable monogrammed. Since then, I have toned it down but I still love monogrammed pillows, jewelry, linens, barware, and stationery.

I definitely think there are subtle and elegant ways to incorporate monograms into so many things! My favorite subtle monogram tip is to do a small monogram in the same thread color that you are monogramming.

A lot of what I own is monogrammed with sCe and to be honest, I won't necessarily be replacing the items, but just adding in more items with my new monogram! Like I said, I am attached to Carver so I don't mind that I will have a home filled with my single girl monogram, too! I wear a signet ring on my pinky finger every single day that is monogrammed with sCe and I plan on forever wearing it and never having the monogram changed!
weezie monogrammed towels
The first item I have ever gotten with my new married monogram on it are these Weezie towels! It was such a lovely gift from the Weezie team! Not only did I need new towels for my new house, but it was SO much fun to see my new initials in the flesh for the first time.

I was sent the Starter Pack set which is 4 bath towels and 2 hand towels. I got the light blue color in the Ardsley font and they could not be more gorgeous. They are so thick, super absorbent and I love that they do not produce much lint! 

Did you know that the super traditional way to do a married monogram is to do 'groom first, groom last, bride first'. This is because you are 'technically' not supposed to separate the man's name from their last name.

Nowadays, it's flip-flopped to be bride's first, groom's last, groom's first'...ladies first, duh! Honestly, I'm usually one to go with the more old school option, but in this case, our married monogram would have literally spelled out A-S-S!!! Certainly can't have that so we are adopting the more modern trend and doing sSa as our married monogram. Although, it would have been hilarious had we chosen the former! 

We are going to go with tradition in using the woman's monogram on linens (hence why I used my new married monogram on the towels) and then our married monogram on things like barware.

I am not doing a wedding monogram (or at least as of right now I'm not) and if anything will be monogrammed for our wedding, it will be little touches like cocktail napkins. 

Again, as much as I am a traditionalist, when it comes to monograms, I honestly would throw what's 'right' to the wind and use whatever monogram you think looks best!

I also fully plan on using my monogrammed items in my home before we are married. That's a major no-no if you are following tradition- you are not supposed to use your monogram until you are married (bad luck!!!), hence why a lot of invitations use the bride and groom's first initials.

At first, I thought that I would wait until we are married, but, I honestly could not care less. I am not going to let beautiful items sit in a closet for an entire year just waiting until it's 'appropriate' to use them. 

We have already received so many beautiful things from our engagement party that either has my new last name on it or our married monogram. Plus, since I am moving into my new home soon, I am needing to order so many new things like towels, bedding, etc. that just can't wait until my shower/our wedding! It just doesn't make any practical sense to order things with my single monogram just because it's considered 'bad luck'. I'm just not superstitious like that!

I will say, I won't personally be wearing anything with my new monogram until we are officially married. I guess I'm half sticking with tradition, hah! So for example, I will be ordering monogrammed Jack Rogers as my dancing shoes (during the reception) when I don't want to wear my heels any longer and won't wear those before the wedding. I also wouldn't wear a monogrammed robe (with our married monogram) on my wedding morning and I won't use stationery or wear jewelry with my married monogram until after the wedding. But seriously, to each their own- I truly think this type of thing doesn't matter!

Also, I probably will not be wearing anything that says 'Mrs. S___' on it. I don't really love items with Mrs. on them. I have no reason as to why and no judgment when others wear it, it's just not my thing!

Did you take your husband's last name? Do you do your married monogram or your personal monogram on items in your home? 

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Shopbop Sale!

The Shopbop sale is happening now through March 2nd! This is a great time to score those pricier pieces that you have been eyeing. It is a tiered sale, so the more you spend the more you save! Use the code GOBIG19 at checkout. 

15% off orders of $200+
20% off orders of $500+
25% off orders of $800+ 

I'm including only a few, high-quality items that are worth the price, in my opinion! Most of these items I own myself and a few are on my wishlist!

Travel Guide: The Greenbrier Resort, White Sulphur Springs, WV

Travel Guide: The Greenbrier Resort, White Sulphur Springs, WV
Today I'm recapping my weekend trip to The Greenbrier Resort. This is a photo and text heavy post, so keep scrolling! The Greenbrier holds a special place in my heart because my parents took us when we were younger- so going back this past weekend with my fiance´ was so much fun to reminisce and show him one of the most beautiful places in the country!

How To Get There
If you aren't familiar with this gorgeous resort, I'll give you the run down. It is situated on 11,000 acres in White Sulphur Springs, WV (very close to the border of Virginia). It's an easy 4-hour drive south of Pittsburgh and 4 hours southwest of Washington DC. You can also fly into Greenbrier Valley airport as well as take the Amtrak. 

The resort as it is now was opened in 1913 and 27 US Presidents have stayed there. 

A long-standing 'secret' was housed in The Greenbrier during the Cold War: An underground bunker that was used as a fall out shelter for members of Congress. The classified bunker was released to the public in 1992 and has since been open for tours! We took a tour on Friday afternoon and it was so much fun to learn of the history behind this bunker. Not to mention to hear about the construction of the bunker- the walls were 5-feet thick concrete! You aren't allowed to take photos during the tour because the bunker is now home to data storage for a bunch of fortune 500 companies so they don't want there to be a chance of data being compromised! 

Before the Greenbrier was a resort, it served as a relocation center for enemies of the State during the Second World War and then used as an Army hospital. 

The property was decorated by a famed interior designer out of New York City, Dorothy Draper (she was cousins with Eleanor Roosevelt and Sister Parish). It was then reopened as a resort in 1948. Draper's decor style is 'more is more'... it's LOUD and colorful and somehow it all comes together in an absolutely incredible, timeless way. She loved roses and the color teal which definitely stands out in the decor. The state flower of West Virginia is Rhododendron which she incorporates throughout the decor. She also loved the Hollywood Regency style which you can see throughout the hotel- bamboo style furniture, chinoiseries touches, and more are so beautiful! After Draper's passing, Carleton Varney took over as president of the company. 

You can easily spend one night or an entire month at The Greenbrier. There is so much to do and see.

There are 4 ways to stay at The Greenbrier. A historic home, cottages, resort rooms and The Windsor Club. There are 710 rooms!! We stayed in a signature resort room. Our room was a Draper Suite which is one big room that has a bedroom area and then a huge living area. I wanted to steal all of the furniture for my new home, haha! Plus the bed was insanely comfortable and there was ample counter space in the bathroom and also two large closets for our things!

Winter Package
The prices for The Greenbrier obviously change throughout the season so you can keep an eye out for the special offers that they have throughout the year. Right now, though, they have a wintertime package and the value is so good.  It's $699 for two nights (there is also a 3-night option) and that includes early check-in (at noon) on Friday and late check out (3pm) on Sunday. This is what we had and it was SO nice to be able to take the day off on Friday and arrive at The Greenbrier around 11:30am. We had the entire day to enjoy. Plus, the 3pm checkout on Sunday was so nice because we didn't have to pack the night before or rush to pack up in the morning! We actually spent our Sunday morning in the spa and came back afterward to pack up. So leisurely. You also get $200 resort spending credit and breakfast in the main dining room (tons of delicious food).

Things to Do
There is a lot to do and see at The Greenbrier. They have different things available for all of the seaons, too. So, although it was cold and rainy outside, we had plenty of things to keep us busy. Plus, they have activities for all ages. We saw a lot of children during the weekend so it is a really family-friendly place but was also nice and romantic for our getaway, too. 

On this trip, we did the Bunker Tour, took a horse-drawn carriage ride around the resort property, went bowling, and went to the spa! We were supposed to do Falconry lessons (so cool, right?!), but unfortunately, it was pouring rain all Saturday so we went bowling instead!

There is also a casino- only guests of the hotel are able to get in. I'm not a casino person at all. I usually find them to be tacky. However, this was the most beautiful casino ever. It blended right into the resort! I put $5 into a slot machine and that was about it! But, my fiancé was into the Fanduel section where you can place bets on sporting events. It was very well done and so beautifully set up that I did not mind lounging in one of the beautifully upholstered seats and enjoying a glass of champagne. 

They also give you a calendar in your room each night with the next day's schedule. Things like what movie is playing in the theater and more. 

There are so many different options when it comes to food at The Greenbrier. Whether you have picky children, are eating a special diet, or are a self-proclaimed foodie (like us!!) there is truly something for everyone. There are six restaurants/cafés and five bars/lounges. We ate at 3 out of the 6 restaurants.

For breakfast, we ate in the main dining room. It is so beautiful in the main dining room but it's nice in the mornings because people are a bit more casual in jeans. You can order from a menu, but I highly recommend the buffet. They have everything. My breakfast favorite is always smoked salmon bagels and there was an entire station devoted to this. This breakfast is all included in the Wintertime package I mentioned above!

For lunch, we ate at Draper's both days which is kind of like an old school soda shop. The food is so good and has everything from a cobb salad to chicken pot pie. My fiancé and I loved the peach bourbon milkshakes- SO good.

We ate at Prime 44 West for dinner on Friday. It is a gorgeous steakhouse that is NBA-themed (in the most tasteful way you can imagine). We had filet and scallops and lobster mashed potatoes- the dish that they are known for!

Then, Saturday night, we dined in the main dining room which is old school elegance at its finest. You are seated under the most beautiful crystal chandeliers, white tablecloths, monogrammed silver, a pianist playing, and the best service. This is the story I always love to tell- when we went to dinner with my parents when we were children, my dad had the waiter come out and present us each with jewelry on a silver domed platter. We were so young and naive that we thought everyone got jewelry since the restaurant was the fanciest we had ever been to, hah! It was really my dad's doing since it was their wedding anniversary and he didn't forget us! I joked to my fiancé questioning where my 'jewelry course was', ha!

If you are considering The Greenbrier, I would highly recommend it. The service is second to none, the atmosphere is incredible, there is so much to do, delicious food, and accommodates people of all ages!

More Travel Guides:
- Belmond Charleston Place
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort
- 76 Main Nantucket
- Paris, France
- Zero George Charleston
- The Hay-Adams, Washington, DC
- Prince of Wales Hotel, Niagra-On-The-Lake, Ontario
- New Hampshire
- Ritz-Carlton Reynolds Plantation
- Charleston, South Carolina
- Scottsdale, Arizona
- Celebrity Cruises Equinox
- Nantucket, Massachusetts
- Berlin Woods Treehouses
- Portsmouth, New Hampshire
- Nashville, Tennessee
- Cleveland, Ohio
- 21 Broad, Nantucket
- Los Angeles, California
- The Willard Intercontinental
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- The Ivey's Hotel, Charlotte, North Carolina
- Nantucket, Massachusetts: Where to Eat
- San Fransisco, California
- Galley Beach, Nantucket
- Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia
- Christmastime in New York City
- Washington, D.C. Bachelorette Itinerary

Monday, February 25, 2019

Louis Vuitton Favorite MM Review

Louis Vuitton Favorite MM Review

Louis Vuitton Favorite MM Review

Louis Vuitton Favorite MM Review

Louis Vuitton Favorite MM Review

Louis Vuitton Favorite MM Review
Jeans (similar)// Chanel Ballet Flats (similar)
Lip Color (in berry)

My Goyard Review is one of the most successful posts in the history of Summer Wind! I just recently reviewed my Chanel ballet flats and after that, there was an influx of requests for me to review other designer items that I own. 

So, today I'm reviewing the monogram Louis Vuitton Favorite MM. It was a highly requested item to review when I asked all of you via Instagram. 

Is the MM the only size? 
The MM is the largest size and the PM is the smaller size. 

What are the measurements? 
22x6.7x1.6 inches.

What can you fit in it?
It's really roomy. I can comfortably fit my Louis Vuitton wallet with my keys attached, my iPhone XS Max (same size as the 7plus), several lip glosses, a pack of gum, sunglasses ( even in their case), and there's still a lot of room to spare.

Where did you buy it?
I bought it at the Louis Vuitton on 57th and 5th in NYC. It's hard to track down! You can also find it on sites like The Real Real and eBay

What is the price?
The MM is $1020. The PM (smaller size) is $830. In terms of resale, this style of bag really holds its value. The LV Favorite MM in good condition is $900ish on resale websites and I've often seen them sold for more than they actually cost just because it is a highly desired bag! 

Is it worth the price?
While I love Louis Vuitton monogram canvas bags, you do have to realize that it is just that: canvas. The bag is exceptionally made. It gets so much use because it's not only beautiful but has also been designed with function in mind. The bag has held up very nicely with years of wear. So yes it is worth the price to me because I love it and use it all of the time, but you have to remember that a huge part of that price is that you are paying for the luxury and name. In terms of designer handbags, I find a lot of the iconic LV bags to be pretty reasonably priced compared to other high-end brands, though.  

Is this a classic bag? Will it go out of style?
I think the classic LV designs are timeless. The Favorite MM is definitely a classic LV style. I think the design is simple enough and functional enough that it is a bag that you could use for the rest of your lifetime. I think a lot of people would beg to differ, though. For example, I love my LV Speedy 30 just as much as the day I bought it 6 years ago, but I think some people would argue that it is out of style right now. I don't carry it as much as I used to just because I don't usually need to carry that much stuff around with me and if I do, I use my Goyard St. Louis

Does it come with both the short gold strap and the long leather strap?
Yes, it comes with both and you can remove the leather strap if needed. You can also buy different straps for this bag- LV has different offerings that you can switch out, but I am perfectly happy with the straps that it comes with! 

Do you wear it both ways? Short and long strap?
Yes! I use it as a crossbody the most but I use the shorter strap mostly in the evening when I am more dressed up. I have also used it as a clutch (without any straps), too! The straps are not adjustable in length but I find both to be the perfect length. You can actually remove the leather strap entirely and then you can just tuck in the gold strap if you want to wear it as a clutch. 

Does the bag close with a button or is there just a flap?
The bag closes with a magnet. It's strong but I wouldn't necessarily travel with it where pickpockets are prevalent. I didn't bring this bag with me to Paris for that reason. 

What is the interior lined with?
It's a beautiful burgundy canvas that is strong and sturdy and doesn't stain easily. 

How do you store it?
I just keep it in the dustbag that it came with. It's stored upright on a shelf in my closet away from direct sunlight. 

Do you get a lot of wear out of it? 
Yes! A lot- it was well worth the price if you calculated the price prie per wear! Like I mentioned before, it's so functional. It's cute, simple, and holds alot. I love it when I am out running errands because I am completely hands-free and it doesn't bother my shoulder like a tote or shoulder bag does. 

I don't buy a ton of designer bags. I own few, high-quality bags that each serve a purpose. So for example, I do not own another brown designer crossbody bag. So whenever I need a brown crossbody, this is what I use! I find that I use this bag more often in the summer months. This is because, in the winter months, I wear a lot of black, and I have other bags that I like to pair better with black. The Favorite MM is perfect for the spring/summer/fall months when I'm in navy more than black. 

Do you ever buy preowned LV bags?
No, I personally have not but I am not against it at all! I just find that the preowned prices of popular LV styles are too close to the original price so it really just makes sense to buy my own new bag! But I think it's a great option if you can find an LV bag that is a good deal for resale- you just have to make sure you are shopping a reputable site. If the price sounds too good to be true, it's probably not real. 

More Designer Reviews:

Let me know if you have a specific designer item that you'd like mt to review next! I got a lot of great ideas from you all on Instastories, but I'd love to hear more! 

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Saturday Shopping

Happy weekend, everyone! I hope you all have a great weekend planned! I am at the Greenbrier- one of my favorite spots so be sure to follow along on Instagram.

I also want to do a little overhaul on my makeup and skincare come early spring so these are the products that have been on my wishlist! 

Friday, February 22, 2019

Off to The Greenbrier!

As of reading this, we are off to The Greenbrier for the weekend! My parents have taken my sister and me when we were younger, and I am so excited to be back at one of my favorite places. It will be a fun weekend getaway- just my fiancé and me!

If you haven't been, I highly recommend it. It is old-school traditional in the way everything is done without feeling stuffy. It has a warm southern welcome feeling. The decor was done by Dorothy Draper and then kept up by Carleton Varney who took over for Draper. Think lots of colors, bold prints. Nothing is subtle, nothing is minimal and yet it all flows so incredibly well together and has such an elegant vibe to it.

Just so you all know, The Greenbrier has a really good deal going on right now that you can take advantage of through March 17th- it's their wintertime package and not only are the packages priced really well but they also have perks like early check-in/late check-out, $200-$300 resort spending credit, breakfast in the main dining room (which is SO good), and more! 

It's a great weekend getaway and definitely worth it to experience one of the greatest resorts- especially at the discounted price. If you are a skier, it's right by Winterplace Ski Resort. Although we love to ski, we are going to use the weekend to relax. It's a Pittsburgher's favorite spot, too, because we are just about 4 hours away, so it is an easy drive! 

Be sure to follow on instastories! In the meantime, I thought I would share what I am packing for the weekend. Since we are not flying, I'm not limited to a carry-on which is SO nice so you can bet I am overpacking. I love that The Greenbrier has dress codes and there are lots of excuses to get dressed up but we will also be doing a lot of casual things, too! 

Before going on a trip, I will oftentimes lay out my outfits in a collage format to make sure they all look right together. I usually do this for week-long (or longer) trips. This is definitely more of something a blogger/influencer does to make sure that their outfits complement the settings that they are in, but it can also be helpful for you to maximize your wardrobe's potential. For example, if you are limited to just a carry-on, laying out all of your outfits on a screen can show you how you can re-wear and re-use as many pieces as possible!
For this collage, it has helped me to see what I can edit out. There is no way I need 5 dresses for 3 days, so it's easy for me to just delete and then remove from my actual pile! 

Shop the Pieces:

Thursday, February 21, 2019


We got our hair done by Courtney and my makeup was done by Tamie! We wore these white gowns

What a wedding weekend it was!! My high school bff is officially a Mrs. and it was SO much fun. The weekend flew by and everything was so beautiful. There were so many special moments and I was just so honored to be included in the joy-filled day!

We have a lot of weddings this year but this was our first that we have attended as an engaged couple and it was even more fun. It got us so excited about our own day next year. It was also special because my parents were there, too!!

Wearing: I wore the Zadi dress again for my friend's rehearsal dinner! It is now on major sale!

Reading: Top Dog Names of 2018. Henry didn't make the list- he is the only Henry dog I have ever known, actually! 

Sale-ing: Nordstrom's Winter Sale is currently going on. You can get up to 40% off! It ends on 2/24! There are a lot of good Ted Baker pieces on sale!

I have not seen a really good movie in a long while. Here is a list of the 63 most anticipated movies of 2019! I'm excited for Dumbo, Lion King, Aladdin, and Toy Story 4... basically anything Disney, hah!

Listening: I have two road trips- one this weekend and then another in a few weeks. Therefore, I want to listen to a podcast! I have only ever listened to Serial, so do you guys have any recommendations? I have heard Cold is good!! 

Loving: I love the game Scattegories but do not own it- I just ordered it to have on hand for game nights in my new house! 

Wanting: We had a lot of snow on Wednesday and I am at that period where I am SO over winter. I'm very ready for spring to begin and for the ground to at least be dry for once!! Hence all of the spring things I am loving. Obsessed.

Pittsburgh-ing: Did you hear that DiAnoia's (a personal favorite) is expanding with a take-out counter?! SO excited! The meatball bombs sound incredible. 

Smelling: At my friend's rehearsal dinner this weekend, they had small votive candles as our escort cards which was such a cute idea. The brand is Votivo and the scent is Tuscan Olive and it smells SO good. It's light and fresh with a hint of sweetness and a hint of musk. 

Traveling: This weekend, I'm headed to the Greenbrier with my fiance. He has never been so I am very excited for him to experience one of my favorite places in the entire country! 

Quoting: 'Never look down at anybody unless you are helping them up.' // See more of my favorites, here. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Wedding Wednesday: Dress Shopping in Charlotte, North Carolina

hayden olivia bridal dress shop in charlotte north carolina
About a month ago, I visited my sister in Charlotte, North Carolina! I went with my parents and my aunt and uncle (who live in Georgia). Callie moved to North Carolina 2 years ago and she loves it there. I miss her so much and wish she lived in Pittsburgh but I'm glad to see her happy and thriving. Plus, it's so much fun to visit her! Charlotte is such a nice city and Callie always knows all of the best spots to show us.

Because Callie doesn't live in the same city as the rest of us, I wanted to make sure I was able to try on wedding dresses with my mom, sister, and dad all together at least once. I knew it would be great to go dress shopping in Charlotte because it has some great bridal boutiques and my aunt who lives in Georgia would also be able to join us, too. 

hayden olivia bridal dress shop in charlotte north carolina
Because I don't live in Charlotte and because Callie has only lived there for two years, neither of us knew where to go for wedding dress shopping! I asked all of you on instagram, but the format where you can recommend places only lets you use a few characters, so all I got were names. But, that was a very helpful place to start!

The top recommended places were:

Since this was my first dress experience, I wanted a place that carried a bunch of different brands including some of the brands I thought I might be interested in (Rosa Clara and Ann Barge to name a couple). So I turned to WeddingWire, which had many reviews for each dress shop. 

If you are not familiar with WeddingWire, it's a website that is SO helpful for any bride-to-be. They have reviews for all sorts of things like venues, florists, bands, etc. and you can sort everything by location, budget, etc. This has been a lifesaver to me in so many ways. I also set up a wedding website using WeddingWire. The templates for wedding websites are free and really easy to set up. I have mine set up private so my guests can enter with a password I have shared with them but you can make yours public, too! 
hayden olivia bridal dress shop in charlotte north carolina
The reviews on WeddingWire were so insanely helpful because I was able to see what would be the best fit for me. We only had time to visit one place in the morning so that was also a factor. How cute is my mom? My dad took my phone during the appointment and snapped all of the photos, including this one of my sweet mom! 
hayden olivia bridal dress shop in charlotte north carolina
We decided that Hayden Olivia would be our choice and I am SO glad. The reviews were all spot on- it was gorgeous, featured many different brands, and our sales associate was so sweet, helpful, and knowledgeable. Plus, they were having a trunk show of another brand I was super interested in: Sareh Nouri.

One thing that is great about reading reviews- especially for bridal boutiques is that some places let you choose the dresses you try on and others choose for you so it's nice to be able to find out this information using the reviews! 

For this appointment, I wanted to try on one of everything. Meaning that even though I thought I knew exactly the type and brand of dress, I wanted to be totally open-minded and try things on that I wouldn't necessarily pull for myself.

There are so many times I have tried things on and have been shocked by how much I love them. And same goes for the many times I have tried things on that look great online or on a model and then they just look awful on me. So, I tried on something with sparkles, something fitted, something with lace, something in a color other than white, a ballgown, etc. If you know my style, you can just tell which dresses are just totally not me- but it was still really fun to try everything on! Obviously, I'm not sharing the styles I loved the most! 

It was kind of a crazy feeling trying on the dresses. It didn't feel 'real'- kind of like I was playing dress up! Eventually, we landed on two dresses. One was exactly what I thought I wanted and the other was very much what I had in mind with a bit of a twist that I wouldn't have chosen for myself. The one with the 'twist' made my aunt and mom cry!!! I loved it, too, but I also loved the first one that I tried on, which was the other contender. 
It started to feel real when the veil was placed on my head. I really felt like a bride then and it brought tears to my eyes (and I'm not a crier at all). 

I'm not one to make a quick snap decision. I am always very careful with my decisions and usually, I am pretty decisive- I know what I want. So, I felt like I needed to think about things because I felt like if I couldn't easily decide between two dresses then maybe neither of them were my dress! I was also worried that if I decided on a dress well over a year out, I might get bored of it by the time my wedding actually comes around! 

So, I left thinking about it and then after a few weeks of sitting on it, I have decided to look further! I will say, though, after trying on what seems like one of every style, what I thought I wanted is exactly what I loved and felt best in. I'm still going to be open to trying things that aren't exactly what I am looking for but I have a much better idea now! I can't wait to try some more wedding dresses later this spring!! Thank you to WeddingWire for sponsoring this post! 

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