Wedding Tips, The Do’s and Don’ts and What I’ve Learned

Wedding Tips, The Do's and The Don'ts and What I've Learned, bridal shower, m and g to be, bride to be, melrodstyle, wedding, bridal,

If you’re reading this, then we are officially in Puerto Vallarta celebrating our 1 year wedding anniversary (cue the music/happy tears) woohoo!

Shut the front door?! Is this real life? Are we really celebrating our 1 year as husband and wife already? Where did the time go? WTF? OMG! This is CRAZY!… Pretty much what is happening inside my head right now as I’m drafting this post.

Wow, omg, where do I even begin… ummmm, let’s see. There’s just so much that is running through my head right now.

I recently watched my wedding video and went through my camera roll, and watched all the snapchat stories/videos our friends and family sent us. Not going to lie, I got a little teary eyed. The reason why I decided to draft a post around the topic: Wedding Tips, The Do’s and Don’ts and What I’ve Learned, is because so many thoughts were running through my head from what I would’ve done differently, the what ifs, if only – to the should’ve could’ve would’ve. I mean, obviously none of this really matters now and regardless, I have no regrets. BUT, I definitely wanted to share my thoughts on a few points in hopes this would somehow help a bride-to-be.

So here it is…

  • DO: Hire a wedding planner. I would’ve been lost without my dear friend/wedding planner Evelyn (@harlowplanning). She was seriously my wedding god-mother/therapist/EVERYTHING.
  • DON’T: This is where things get pricey because you steer away from what a wedding means, and start spending money on shit things you really don’t need just to please your guest. BIG Mistake. HUGE (in my Vivian voice from Pretty Woman)!
  • DO: Instead of gifts, have your guest contribute to your honeymoon. Create a honeymoon fund website. Obviously, this only applies to couples who already live together and don’t need housewarming gifts.
  • DON’T: Keep your wedding favors simple. Ask yourself, would you realistically use this (xyz) if it was gifted to you? Is it a waste of money? The majority of your guest end up leaving the favors behind, so try to get something that is practical to use or something fun/unique. I mean, there’s just so many wine openers a person can own, amirite or amirite?
  • DO: Make sure you hire a really good photographer and videographer. These two are probably the most important of them all and where I would put extra $$ because these are the memories you’ll forever have.  You can never re-do your wedding if you end up being disappointed with your photos and video. And make sure you give them inspiration to look at for the big day. You must be very specific as to what you want them to capture because once the moment is gone and has passed, it’s too late to recreate.
  • DON’T: Please, I repeat, please don’t be a bridezilla. I wasn’t quite a bridezilla, only probably during the time we were planning my bridal shower because I’m very particular aka like to have full control of everything so letting go of some of the responsibilities and pass them down to my bridesmaids was tough. Honestly if I knew then what I know now, then I would’ve been more chill about it, but that’s the thing, you won’t know until you experience it.
  • DO: Make sure you have a good DJ. Music is everything.
  • DO: Create a hashtag and a snapchat filter for your guest to use on social media.
  • DO: Photo Booths are so much fun so I would highly recommend having one at your wedding.
  • DO/DON’T: Do have an open bar (maybe just during cocktail hour), but don’t keep it open all night. Although you want everyone to have a good time, you also don’t want everyone do be s** faced at your wedding, ya know what I’m saying?
  • DO: Write your own wedding vows. I think it’s so special and more meaningful when couples do this.
  • If you’re planning a big wedding but are on a budget, still expect to pay a pretty large amount, because let’s be real, a wedding is so expensive even if you try to cut corners (I tried) or DIY your entire wedding (yup tried this, too). I don’t care what anyone says, it’s expensive planning a wedding. period. the end.
  • This is a no-brainer, but make sure you have an inspiration board or a vision of how you want your wedding to be. Create a Pinterest account if you don’t already have one. If you have no direction, then good lawd! You in trouble… just kidding! But seriously, it’s a MUST.
  • Remember, this is YOUR big day and the wedding should be filled with nothing but love and happiness. The importance of a wedding is that you (the bride and groom) are gathered around the people you love most, and are there to celebrate YOU. Often people forget the true meaning of a marriage. It is not a big party to host your friends and family. It is a time for your friends and family to join YOU to celebrate YOU, and your love together as a couple.

The most stressful part was the guest list. My gosh, I cannot even tell you how stressful this was. Who do we invite? Is it rude if we don’t give them a plus one? I mean, they’re not married so not giving them a plus one is fine, right? My wedding planner did say that 10-15% of your guest won’t show up even if they RSVP’d. When she told me this, I said “Yeah right! All of my guest who RSVP’d will show up.” But she was right. Which leads to the most expensive part of a wedding: the food. This was also a tough one to decide what food.

My wedding planner also did say that you end up losing friends along the way. Psshhhh, I laughed and rolled my eyes. Thought she was crazy, out of her mind. Again, she was right about this one, too. It’s unfortunate that this was true and that it happened, but like they say, “some people are only meant to be in your heart, not in your life.”

If I could re-do my wedding all over again, what changes would I make? Hmmm… I would do a destination wedding for sure. The original plan was to get married in Palm Springs or Hawaii. I knew I wanted a outdoor garden themed wedding, and don’t get me wrong, the location I had my wedding at fulfilled my garden-theme expectations/dreams, but I would definitely change the venue even if it were held again locally. Also, I probably would’ve had a second dress. I did, however have interchangeable sleeves for my dress – one for the ceremony and one for the reception.

Gosh, I’ve learned so much during and after planing my wedding. It was stressful, quite possibly one of the most nerve-wracking things I’ve ever had to plan. Just thinking about it makes me feel like I need a drank. LOL!

I feel like I covered everything, unless I think of anything else, I’ll be sure to share on Instagram stories (@melrodstyle). If you’re interested to see more about my wedding, then head over to Instagram and type in our wedding hashtag #MandGtobe.

I really hope this information was somewhat helpful for some of you, and as always if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment down below or DM on instagram.

Stay tuned for next week’s post where I share a few fun facts about George and I, along with a fun video. 🙂

In case you missed last year’s video right before our wedding, here it is again.

Ok, now where was I?… Oh, yes soaking up the sun.

Excuse me señor, can I get another margarita, for favor?! Gracias. 

xo

What It’s Like Being A Full Time Blogger

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What It’s Like Being A Full Time Blogger…

Well… it definitely has it’s pros and cons. I love being completely transparent with all of you guys because that’s just the kind of person I am in real life – duh. I thought I’d share the good, the bad and the ugly side of blogging, and what it really looks like.

From an outsider looking in, it seems so glamorous and perfect, free clothes all day everyday, fun trips, fancy brunches… seems like a full time vacation, right?

Don’t get me wrong, I am so grateful for all the opportunities and beyond blessed to be where I am today with my blog. I am not complaining nor am I asking for a pity party. What I am saying is that as a blogger (I’ll speaker myself), I will only share positive content on my social media channels – whether it’d be fashion, beauty, lifestyle, travel related topics to anything that I love sharing, and occasional personal posts. At the end of the day, my job requires me to be on my phone 24/7. It’s a business I’m trying to run, and I need to keep it very professional but authentic as much as possible. So before anyone makes assumptions that our lives are so “picture perfect”, you should really think before assuming because you never know what someone is going through. We’re humans. As much as our social media shows otherwise, it’s not as pretty as you think. It is only natural to think that we live the most amazing and glamorous lives, because no one wants to share anything negative, I mean why would you? I know I don’t. I hate being around negative people.

“Must be nice to be traveling.” “Oh, must be nice eating brunch in the middle of the week.” You’re so lucky.” “Ugh, I wish I had your life. ” 

Must be nice? Yeah it actually is. It’s nice being able to treat myself for working hard. It’s the perks you get for hustling. Lucky? perhaps. Lucky I get to wake up and work hard to do what I love.

Just a few comments I get on social media. I don’t understand why people think that I was handed everything to me. That’s not the reason why I’m doing what I’m doing and get to do what I love to do as a job. I work extremely hard to get to where I am today. You want it so badly? Then go get it. MAKE IT HAPPEN. HUSTLE. You want to start your own business? Then get up and do it. Figure it out. I did. There is no 9-5 for me. I wake up and get on the computer, and start working. And sometimes don’t end my day until past midnight, but guess what? I love it. I love what I do so it doesn’t seem like work to me.

The Good…

Free clothes, meeting new people, attending events, getting paid to do what you love, share your work with your followers… I can keep going on all the good from blogging. I am so thankful for all of my followers/readers who show me nothing but love and support on this platform and social media. You guys are seriously the best!

The Bad…

People think it’s so easy being a blogger. It’s not, you guys. It’s a lot of work. From shooting all day multiple outfits a day, changing in your car (yup that’s normal), trying to have a real life outside of blogging. You never clock out. There’s no off-button. Sacrifices are made constantly.

The Ugly…

Expect people to continuously dismiss your work as a real job. Some companies – even family and friends don’t take you seriously. I think it’s because they don’t get it. They don’t understand what you are trying to build. You’re constantly having to prove yourself and educate people to understand your business and what blogging and social media has evolved to today. It’s a constant battle between being so passionate about something you strongly believe in and often questioning yourself “What am I doing with my life?” – quite possibly start believing “they” who don’t believe in your work, which leads to shutting down.

The struggle is real sometimes.

At the end of the day though, I would not trade anything in the world. I do not miss my 9-5 corporate job. I am forever grateful and blessed to be able to blog full time and share my life and love with you guys. You all mean the world to me, seriously.

I really hope this shed some light to anyone reading, and possibly educate anyone out there that is new to the blogging world or didn’t quite understand it before. As always, if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below or DM on instagram @melrodstyle.

xo

Girlfriends Who Easter

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I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love to brunch. Brunch is such a delightful affair. The workweek is over, and it’s all about enjoying your time off. Plus, there’s food, which is obviously the most exciting part.

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This week is all about Easter, so Sunday brunch with girlfriends seemed fitting. I invited my two favorite blogger gals Enocha of Locks and Trinkets and Elizabeth of A Keene Sense of Style to brunch at Manuela – a relaxed and informal atmosphere. Right up my alley. Manuela brings southern charm to the Arts District with their locally-grown produce, and a variety of vintage furniture throughout the restaurant. It was a gorgeous place to take photos. Besides, what’s a blogger brunch without taking a million photos before eating, right?! 😉

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No better way to celebrate the holiday than gathered with your best gals over a delicious meal and yummy lattes. Sounds like the perfect way to end the weekend.

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I decided to switch things up this Easter. Instead of a pastel color, I opted for a metallic-shimmery lacquer – Worth A Pretty Penne. It has a slight rose-tinted silvery-copper tone that has quickly made its way to my top favorite colors this season.

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photos: Stefanie M Mariee

I hope your Easter is filled with nothing but good memories. Whether you’re meeting up with friends or spending it with your family, the most important thing is to be surrounded by those who mean the world to you.

 

Happy Easter!

xo

Hauser Wirth and Schimmel

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photos: Stefanie M Mariee

I went to see the Jason Rhodes installation at the Hauser With and Schimmel, and it was amazing!

xo

SHOP THE LOOK:

Blazer (similar) | Sweater Dress (similar) | Bag | Boots

How I Started My Blog + Blog Tips

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I cannot believe my blog is turning 7 this year (insert clapping hands emoji here).

I decided to share how I started MelRodStyle in today’s post, plus share a few blog tips.

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HOW I STARTED MY BLOG:

I always knew I wanted to do something with fashion.  I went to FIDM and worked in the fashion industry. I remember working in a showroom, and how much clothing I would be gifted. I seriously played dress-up all day and put looks together. Ugh, I loved it, but there was no way of me showing these outfits, other than to George or Boo Boo Kitty (true story). There had to be some way I could share my outfits with my friends – I thought. Mind you, social media didn’t really exist.

Then one day, I was sitting in my car looking over a FIDM newsletter I received in the mail, and came across a blogger. It immediately caught my attention, and went online to find out more about this whole blogger thing. That’s when I stumbled upon a few other bloggers, like Cupcakes and Cashmere, Fashion Toast, Sincerely Jules, The Blonde Salad. I knew right then and there that this was it. This was the platform I needed to be on. I could share my outfits. It was perfect. I was so excited, you have no idea!

And just like that, on June 15, 2010, my blog was born. Not a clue in the world as to what I was doing. I was just going with it. My blog was mainly focused on OOTDs and DIYs. Also, my blog was once called Modanista Junkie. Moda is Fashion in Spanish. I thought I was being clever by making up a word (sigh… don’t ask). That quickly changed. Thought MelRodStyle was more fitting, since everyone called me Mel or MelRod anyway.

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BLOG TIPS:

How to start a blog? Just start.

If you’re new to this blogging world, then guess what, you’re already ahead of the game because any fashion/beauty blogger that began their blog around or before 2007-2010 will  agree with me that they had no clue what they were doing and didn’t realize that blogging would be what it is today. All you newbies out there get to see all our trials and errors.

Don’t try to perfect every little detail on your website. Just buy the domain, and start creating amazing content. Make sure you have good quality images though. It’s all about the lens.

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BRAND COLLABORATIONS:

Advice to brands: Send straight-to-the-point emails. Make it short and sweet.

Make sure you know the blogger you are reaching out to. I cannot tell you how many emails I receive that read: “Dear Melanie, we’ve been huge fans of your blog for several years now”…. Well if that was the case, then you’d know my name is not Melanie. Also, don’t send out “Dear Blogger” emails (insert eye rolling emoji here).

I created my blog as a hobby. Never in a million years did I think it would be what it is today. I thought I would have my blog as a hobby and continue to work a 9-5 job until I was able to pursue my own business (shoe line and open my own store). Things are so different now. I get to be my own boss. I get to make what I thought was just a hobby a career. Is this real life?

There has been several times where Brands don’t feel that they should pay influencers. My favorite is when they reach out to me to offer content to share on my blog, and provide a list of requirements, and tell me they do not have a budget for this collaboration. Now what do I get out of this? Nothing. What do they get out of it? Free advertisement. Brand exposure.

I think it’s very important for companies to know that some of us bloggers make a living out of this. And although it’s nice to receive free gifts, gifts are not going to pay the bills, unfortunately. Bloggers provide a service just like any other company does, like a spa, a hair salon, the list goes on.

I work with many PR agencies that loan me styles to shoot, however; there is always a mutual agreement of some sort, plus I have amazing relationships with most of these companies.

Is it ok to promote brands for product in trade? Sure, why not. Is it rude to say no? Absolutely not. It is up to you how you wish to proceed with every partnership. Whether it’s kindly declining or agreeing to their terms. I do both gifting terms and paid, depending on the collaboration.

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photos: Stefanie M Mariee

BUT BLOGGING IS EASY… WHAT? LIKE IT’S HARD?!

Insert laughing emoji here, here and HERE!!! What people do not understand is that blogging isn’t that simple. There’s a lot that goes into creating content. You don’t just grab a camera, point and shoot. You have to pay attention to your surroundings, your backgrounds, the lighting, the angles, and most importantly that your outfits are on point (or whatever you’re shooting is amazing). There is so much work that is put into creating content.

DO I LOVE BLOGGING?

OMG, yes! It’s so much fun. I love what I do. I love creating content, meeting new people, making new friends, and of course having your support.

You have no idea how blessed and thankful I am for having you all by my side on this crazy-fun journey of mine. Somebody pinch me.

 

xo

SHOP THE LOOK:

 

Eat Crateful

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I hate to admit it but with my busy schedule, I often skip meals, which is the worst thing you can do. The worst part is that when I do eat, it’s all  junk food.

Being a blogger and always on the go, Eat Crateful has honestly helped me stay on track and make sure I get my meals in between my crazy-busy-days.

If you’re not familiar with Eat Crateful, allow me to fill you in… Eat Crateful is a gourmet meal delivery service created by top chef and celebrity nutritionist Cristina Bowerman. Their program allows you to select from their menu (Chef, Fit, Vegetarian, or Paleo), customize your meal plan, and schedule a delivery time that works best for you. You’re getting healthy and delicious meals delivered right to your doorstep. How amazing is that?!

Check out www.crateful.la for more information. As always, if you have any questions, comment below.

xo

How I Edit My Instagram Photos

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“How do you edit your Instagram photos?” “Love your photos?” “What filters do you use?” The most popular questions I’ve gotten. Well, you asked, I answered.

If you scroll a few months down my feed, you’ll notice that my photos use to be very blown out, I would whiten every single background, even moody (love a good moody shot). I used to be very particular with my feed and how every single photo looked. I was OCD with the editing and filter usage. I kept my filters to a minimum (two I think), and it HAD to look perfect. “Now wait a minute… but my life isn’t perfect so why am I trying so hard?!”  Yeah, I know. Pretty silly right?… LAUGHING OUT LOUD.

My feed has changed since. Now, I just look at what looks best, which has lead me to use multiple filters. I love more natural backgrounds, still with moody/contrast tones as before. I just love that feel, ya know? I just post whatever looks and feels right to my liking… does that make sense? It’s not that I don’t care about what my feed looks like anymore, it’s more about liking how each individual photo looks rather than stressing if my feed looks consistent or if this photo looks ok next to the previous edited photo. I still think that my feed is cohesive and still remains somewhat of a consistency, however; in a more “go-with-the-flow” kind of way. I guess you can say that. I don’t know, it’s really difficult to explain it but you get the gist of it, right?!..

Anyways, moving on. I listed the apps and a quick rundown of the filters I use.

VSCO:

Want to know my secret? Ok, are you ready? I use EVERYTHING! Lol, just kidding – but I kinda do.

A6: Aaahhh good ol’ A6 – probably the most famous & most used filter bloggers have used or still do. I’ve notice I use this every once in awhile. Not as often as I use to but still great, especially for photos you absolutely think are trash. This filter has saved a lot of my photos that almost never made it to the gram.

C1-C3 & E1-E4: I always play around with these to get the right tones. I can’t really narrow it down because while one will work for one photo, it may not necessarily work for another… Does that make sense?! I hope so… moving on.

J1, J2, J5 & J6: These have been some of my favorites for sure. If you’re like me, and like moody, these are great.

SNAPSEED:

I use this app to control the brightness and exposure of my photos. You can also tap a specific area of the photo to change the tone, which is ah-mazing!

FACETUNE:

This is what I use to use to whiten out the backgrounds of my photos. I still use it from time to time when necessary. It’s great to smooth out any blemishes. I also use it to remove certain things, people, stains, etc. that are photo bombing my photo… yeah, this app can do that.

LIGHTROOM:

I just recently started using this app even though I’ve (for some odd reason) have had this app on my phone for years. It’s great for selfies. 😉

So there you have it ladies & gents. I hope this helped you out, and as always if you have any questions, just leave me a comment below or feel free to email or DM me on Instagram. 🙂

xo

One Dress Three Ways Lookbook

 

Hey boos! Yesterday, I shared how I styled this fun dress, three ways. Today, I’m sharing my very first look book of the year (yay!).  I hope you enjoy it, and subscribe to my channel. Don’t forget to give this video a thumbs up.

For outfit details, click here.

xo

 

Holiday Gift Guide For Him Under $100

 

Not sure what to get the mister for Christmas this year? Didn’t realize Christmas was around the corner and need a last minute gift? Don’t worry. I gotchu boo. Get your special someone something special (obvi) but that’s also affordable.

I’ve created a holiday gift guide for him that’s under $100. I hope this is helpful for anyone that is not done shopping for their boo’s.

xo

Entree Biggie Smalls Dad Cap by: Forever 21

Men Faux Leather Gloves by: Forever 21 

MEN Faux Leather Low-Tops by: Forever 21 

Dock Peacoat by: Nordstrom

The 4 Elements of the Perfect Shave Sandalwood Kit by: Nordstrom

Mr. Burberry Set by: Nordstrom

‘Cooke’ Slipper by: Nordstrom

Cashmere Beanie by: Nordstrom

Men Faux Leather Baseball Cap by: Forever 21

Men Canvas Matte Watch by: Forever 21 

Wide-Brim Wool Fedora by: Forever 21

Men Mirrored Aviator Sunglasses by: Forever 21

Snow Days Bundle by: Forever 21

Faux Leather Moto Jacket by: Forever 21

Moto Drawstring Pants by: Forever 21

Men Plaid Flannel Scarf by: Forever 21

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What To Wear For The Holidays Under 100

 

The time has come. Holidays are here, and the real important question is what do I wear for…?

Whether you’re attending a fancy holiday party/event, or going to a company party, Christmas dinner, or anything holiday related, I’ve got you covered boo. I decided to put together a few holiday items that are all under $100 – duh. Because why would you spend more than that?

Scratch that. I’ll speak for myself. I don’t like spending a lot on clothing or accessories because I don’t think you have to in order to look ahmazing!

Velvet Bardot Top – TopShop

Velvet Pleat Midi Skirt – TopShop

ASOS Tulle Prom Skirt with Multi Layer and Trim – Asos

Semelle Pendant – BaubleBar

Black Velvet Seduction Bodysuit – Windsor

Burgundy Intimate Velvet Dress – Windsor

Gold 12 Row Rhinestone Choker – Windsor

Natural Faux Fur Scarf – Windsor

Katie Black Full Sequin Formal Dress – Windsor

Black Pretty Young Thing Blazer – Windsor

Navy Longing Velvet Mini – Windsor

Cressida Natural Sparkling Goddess Dress – Windsor

Black Ombre Sequin Pants – Windsor

Black Star Dust Glitter Romper – Windsor

Rose Gold Holiday Cheer Jumpsuit – Windsor

Black Slit Life Living Midi – Windsor

Burgundy Puppy Love Jacket – Windsor

Gray Velvet Renaissance Booties – Windsor

Natural Buckle Down Heels – Windsor

Black Faux Fur Clutch – Windsor

Happy Holidays and Happy Shopping!

xo

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