June 2017 | Brittany Ann Courtney

A fashion and style blog for the lover of all things sunny and bright.

Friday, June 30, 2017

5 Things to do Once You're Engaged

Congratulations! You're ENGAGED! O-M-G! How absolutely exciting and simply wonderful! Don't even begin to think about the wedding. Enjoy this special and romantic time between you and your now FIANCE! If you're not engaged, then hover over any of the images below and pin this post to your Pinterest board for future reference! 

I thought I would give an update on the wedding planning. I am one that certainly has taken time to really figure out what it is that Pat and I want for this special day. I thought I wanted one thing and then I thought I wanted something else but now I am happy to say over the course of these past six months, we have discovered what it is we want for our wedding! You'll have to stay tuned for more on that another time!

I have recently have had a few more friends get engaged and immediately they seem stressed because they feel the pressure of finding a venue ASAP, finding a dress, knowing the color schemes, trying to determine the budget, etc. I have been telling them this is one of the most amazing moments you'll ever have in your life and you are rushing through it. This moment  comes once, the man of your dreams asked you to stand by your side- that is incredible, and you said yes to being his number one supporter, said yes to being his partner in crime. That calls for a celebration and calls for a time in your life to hit pause and simply soak it all up-together. 

I have a "The Story Begins" Pinterest board {here} that I have pinned anything and everything wedding to over the years,  but I have never been one to know where I wanted to get married, what color dresses my girls would wear, time of year, etc. My best friend Brianna thinks its hysterical that I am so detail oriented and I never took the time to think about any aspect of the wedding. The only thing I ever thought over the years was that I wanted Pat at the end of the aisle!

Today I am sharing the first 5 things to do once engaged. 5 things to do before you even think about researching venues and looking at them! I swear this helped me begin the process and I hope it helps yours!

#1) Buy a wedding planner binder & keep absolutely everything in it. I bought this cute striped one from HomeGoods for less than $15. I told myself any notes I write down, any ideas I think of, any papers received from touring venues, etc. it all would end up hole punched and filed in my wedding planner. This one that I bought has different tabs such as "Budget", "Guest List", "Venue" etc. to keep the binder organized.  In each of these categories there are a few sheets that provide you with some tips and statistics and it prompts you with different questions to make you think about that point of the process. It has really been insightful and helpful. Most of the planners come with these tabs and charts! My friends have this one & this one  and they seem to love them so you could always try one of those. They're from Amazon, you know you could get it in a few days and be organized!

#2) Make Lists and of course, put them in your planner! Pat and I each made a list of our top priorities. Mine was obviously longer than his, but hey, now I have his thoughts in front of me to look to!  Is it super important for you or your fiancé you have the wedding in your hometown? A favorite family vacation spot? Could you live if your Aunt Beth wasn't there? Could you be okay if your best friend Allie wasn't able to make because of a destination location? Have you always dreamt it would be at a rustic barn? Is there a specific date that holds importance to the both of you and it has to be that day?
We made a list of the characteristics and overall feel we wanted for our wedding. I think of something intimate, something romantic, something out of this world beautiful. I have totally discovered I am not a traditional bride by any means. I don't like most wedding dresses, I don't picture all the girls and guys matching each other, I don't picture the typical dances, I don't see a reason to even have a cake, I am just going with whatever Pat and I love! 
We made a list of the top people we wouldn't be able to marry without. We sent them texts and said this what we are thinking for our wedding. You are absolutely so important to us and we can't imagine this day without you. Do you think you would be able to travel to X if we had it there? Do you already know of a date that you have previous plans on?
We thought about other weddings we have been to and we made a list of what we liked and didn't like about them for our wedding. What works for one couple is totally different for the next! We went to a wedding where the Bride & Groom were gone for a long time for more photographs after dinner. I felt they didn't have a lot of time on the dance floor which they didn't mind, but for me, that is one of the most exciting parts to a wedding so I would have been upset! It's just good to think about all of these things and get them written down so you can refer to them as you begin to plan!

#3) Reorganize the Pinterest board. Okay, this one may seem silly but chances are you may be   like me and have been pinning anything beautiful and wedding related for years now. You're taste has changed, trends have changed and you need to refocus. I kept my "The Story Begins" board but made a  new, separate "Mannella Wedding" Board. I went through my original and re-pinned my favorite things that I could actually see coming to my life at my wedding. I pinned ideas for favors, bridesmaids gift ideas etc. If you aren't sure if you're going to have a rustic wedding or a city chic wedding because there isn't a venue at this point, no worries. I would just keep editing the board as you advance through the process. That way, you always have  a clear idea of what it is you are creating with your wedding! You'll be able to show your mom, sisters, mother in law, wedding planner, venue coordinator, etc. what you are trying for and will be able to share your ideas easily! 

#4) Ask everyone around you what they loved about their wedding, what they like in others they have gone to and what they would do differently. Ask them for tips, advice, ask them to tell you everything. I previously worked in an office of almost all women and some of them gave me the best tips and advice. Most were around my age or a few years older and had been in that cycle of attending 5-8 weddings a years while planning theirs or have been recently married. I think by nature, most people want to be helpful, and what girl doesn't want to talk about her amazing wedding all over again? It's one of the most special day of their lives, ask them to tell you everything! I wrote down some tips and advice they provided and now I have it in my binder!
#5) Register with WeddingWire or some online wedding planning tool that can help you get started. I quickly discovered that WeddingWire was an amazingly easy place to research potential venues, vendors, find inspiration, contact venues, etc.  Once you know the date you can add it to your profile and they create a checklist for you to keep you on track for planning. They have everything you need I swear! I noticed they recently came out with SNAPCHAT filters (here) that you can use for all wedding events! You choose the design, customize the verbiage on them, and then set the time, date and location radius. You can create them 24 hours before the event up to three months out from the event. I am super excited about this because you can have all of your friends use the filters and then add to one big story and save it.  It's going to be such a great candid way to remember all of these events: Bachelorette party, bridal shower, dress rehearsal, wedding night. I can not wait! 

I hope you found this post to be helpful. These are the first 5 thing I recommend doing before you begin the hunt of your venue. But don't forget to take the time to relax and enjoy the moment with your significant other. This is the beginning of an amazing adventure you two are about to take on.
Cheers to that!
xx, Brittany Ann 

In case you have missed it, I posted about mine and Pat's relationship here and shared a little bit about the proposal and my advice on a long distance relationship. We grew up in the same town and started dating in high school. While it wasn't all rainbows and butterflies trying to navigate a relationship being long distance for six years, we like to think it was a breeze as now we are in the same place together! :-)

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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

July Fourth Outfit: Stripe Romper

 Stripe Romper // Louis Vuitton purchased through here // Similar Wedges // Mac Lipstick "Relentlessly Red"

Today I thought I would share another July Fourth option. The holiday is one of my favorites because it's usually spent outside! I love any holiday that allows you to gather some friends and family together, enjoying some delicious food and yummy drinks! My parents have a big backyard and we love to let the dogs run wild,  play corn hole and bocce ball for hours! Pat's mom loves fireworks regardless of it being the Fourth or not, so we always end up going downtown or somewhere to see them! The Fourth of July always is a special time for Pat and I. It was just two years ago when we brought out little Ruby Bear home from the breeder! Pat and I always celebrate this day! It was the best day of our lives!  Do you have any specific plans for July 4th? Any traditions?!

I love this romper for a few reasons. It's actually a good length! I tend to struggle in finding rompers that fit me right because they seem to be made too short and my hips and butt are a bit bigger meaning it hikes the romper up even more! I often look in the tall section so I can get the coverage that I want. I also usually try strapless versions because they can sit a bit lower on your chest and provide a schmid more length! However, this romper from Asos is the perfect combination of length and fit for me. I would say it runs true to size. The brand is Pretty Little Things, I love this brand and always love what I order from them! My romper is sold out,  I did some shopping and found this red off shoulder gingham one & this solid version of mine to be super cute. I included a few more options in the widget below too!

xx, Brittany Ann

In case you missed it, I posted another July Fourth outfit inspiration a few days ago here. You have to see how adorable Ruby looks in her American flag bow!

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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

What to Wear to a Summer Wedding 2017

Maxi Dress (similar here & here) // Piñata Earrings // Similar Clutch // Wedges // Mac Lipstick  "Lickable"

Wedding season is in full swing and I thought I would share 3 things for what I look for in finding the perfect dress for a summer wedding. 

Number One: Something that is comfortable.
There is nothing that comes above being comfortable, especially for a a long day of socializing, dancing and drinking! You absolutely do not have to sacrifice comfort to look good for the event! If you put something on and you can't imagine being in it for hours upon hours of eating, drinking, dancing and potentially being hot in it, then on to the next one! Just be patient and give yourself enough time to find the dress weeks before the event!

Number Two: Something that is different.
 I think wearing something that is different than the usual brings out confidence. I love hearing "oh that is different", not what you typically see. If what you are wearing remains in the perimeter of being classic and eloquent than opt for something that is a bit different than what you think someone would typically gravitate towards. Maybe this is a big full skirt, like here, and wearing a bodysuit like this one, underneath. Perhaps its a jumpsuit like this one, that you wear instead of a cocktail dress! I feel that I am young and I love style, I don't look for something that I think others will be in!

Number Three: Something that accentuates one of my features.
Along with #2 providing confidence, I believe that showing off a feature of yours that you love and feel good about brings confidence. It may not be something that reveals your chest or accentuates your butt, however, it could be wearing a color that makes your eyes "pop" or something that complements the amazing skin you have! I'm going to guess that like me, you don't often wear a beautiful dress and attend a night of romance and celebration often. Wear something that makes you feel amazing!

Shop similar styles for your next wedding! Click on any of the images below.


Monday, June 26, 2017

July 4th Outfit Inspiration

Happy Monday everyone!
Pat and I had a wonderful weekend. My little sister, Kristen, came into town to spend some time with us and I just love having her around. She is an easy going, down for whatever kind of a girl and it always feels good to take a small break and just relax! She has never been to Winston, so we took her to some of our favorite spots. Like always, it went way too fast and I have to drop her off at the airport soon (insert sad emoji)! Ironically enough though, I will see her in a week when Pat and I drive home to Pittsburgh to celebrate the holiday with family and some of our friends!

The Fourth of July is only about a week a way! I love this holiday, spending time outside with family and friends has always been a favorite of mine. And what would be any celebration without planning what cute outfit you will wear first?! Whether you like to dress up in a dress and some wedges as I have in the above, or take the more causal route with some jean shorts and a tank, I have rounded up some of the best americana pieces for you in the below widget! Simply click to find out the product details and to shop for your perfect July 4th outfit!
Have a good one!
xx, Brittany Ann 


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Seersucker & Summer Flowers

Seersucker Shirt Dress (more here & here) // Wedges (similar here & here)  // Louis Vuitton Bag (similar here

This summer dress is one that will be on constant repeat for me! I am huge fan of anything this blue color, especially when it has these tiny little seersucker stripes. It's a shirting cotton material, super light weight and breathable which is PERFECT for the hot heat and high temps! I had said to Pat I am surprised these flowers didn't wilt away while I was holding them-it was super hot when we shot these! I love how the hem is longer in the back, perfect for wearing all day long and you don't have to worry how you are moving or what the back is doing when you're running through the store! Haha, is this just me that thinks of these things?!
xx, Brittany Ann
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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Summer WishList

Happy SUMMER!!! 
Today is the official start to summer and I thought what better way to officially bring in my favorite season than by rounding up my favorite items for the Summer! These items are a collective group from my favorite, easy to shop retailers. I have purchased from these stores over and over again (all through online of course) and have loved what I have bought the first time, I buy again and again!
Here's to summer nights, sun kissed tans and fruity tutti drinks!

 *My exact swimsuit is sold out but I linked similar ones in the below widget!*
Shop my summer picks in the below widget! Just simply click on any of the images below to be redirected to shop! 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Franck Provost Hair Line

We have all been there, if you're having a bad hair day, then your day is shot, am I right? Hair is something that directly correlates with my mood. If I like how my hair looks, then chances are I am in a fabulous mood and I am loving whatever the day brings! Well, I thought I would share with you a new hair line that I have been trying out. Industry veteran and top hair stylist, Franck Provost, has exclusively created a line for Ulta Beauty. The line is designed to enhance texture, strength, moisture and protection- all without having to pay big salon prices and going to Paris itself to get these designer products! I have been using the product for the last month and a half.

My absolute favorite product? The Oleo Nutrition & Softness collection, the shampoo, conditioner & 3 in 1 leave in conditioner. This collection is made from macadamia, grape seed and avocado oil- ingredients that reinforces the structure of the hair fibers and help protect it for the sun. It's doing its job because I have noticed an increase in the softness of my hair and less break aways or "snapping" when combing my hair. One of my favorite hair styles are the soft beach waves. I have noticed that after showering and once my hair is dry, I can quickly wrap the hair around my iron (I use this one) and my hair curls easily and falls softly! I like loser, more wavy like curls latelly and using the Oleo Nutrition and Softness collection has certainly helped me achieve this look!

If you're a blonde, I highly suggest the Blond Shine & Highlight Shampoo & Conditioner. I have noticed that my blonde bottom and balayage pieces framing my face look much brighter. When you have this ombre and balayage color differences- I love this added feature from simply shampooing and conditioning my hair!

All of the product smells like higher end salon product. Who wouldn't love this? The line is super affordable, averages around $12-$14 per bottle and the way I think about it is, you get what you pay for. I have been one to grab a $5 shampoo and conditioner as I am running through Target like a hurricane, but honestly did any of those do anything for my hair? No, not really, except maybe just cleaned it but I didn't notice any other benefits or changes in the overall feel of my hair!

Treat yourself every now and then girlfriend! A good hair day keeps the anger away:-)
Thanks for stopping by!
xx, Brittany Ann 

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