Classic Bridal Beauty Files: Oil Pulling

Apr 15, 2014

Have you guys heard about oil pulling? I feel like everyone has been talking about it and after staying up too late one night a few weeks ago, reading countless articles and watching one-too-many YouTube videos {this was my favorite - I'm really addicted to her YT now!}, I was convinced of the many benefits oil pulling offers and decided to try it out.

via my Instagram - are you following me? ;)
It basically consists of taking a teaspoon of coconut oil {you can also use sesame or sunflower oil} and swishing it around in your mouth for 20 minutes when you first wake up and then spitting it out. The process is supposed to pull toxins from your mouth - it's also said to freshen your breath, whiten your teeth, detoxify, help with digestion and a myriad of other positive things. It's supposedly an ancient Indian ritual and I really couldn't wait to try it out.

When I woke up the next morning, the idea of swishing a clump of oil around in my mouth seemed way less fun and enjoyable but I took a small spoonful of organic coconut oil and started swishing. I really did not enjoy having a lump of oil in my mouth but once it melted it wasn't as bad. It immediately seemed to start growing by leaps and bounds and I felt like I had chipmunk cheeks after only 2-3 minutes of swishing. After 4 minutes, I was done - I spit it out in the trash {don't spit in the sink - the oil will harden and clog your drain} and rinsed my mouth out with warm water and brushed my teeth. I will say my mouth felt really clean afterwards and while I didn't really enjoy the "process," I'm hooked enough to give it a go a few more times to see what happens.

I love that it's a natural way of detoxifying and whitening teeth and {if it works}, it would be a great bride-to-be beauty regime!

What do you think? What are your thoughts on oil pulling? Have you tried it yet? Do tell! ;)

Classic Summer California Wedding {with two gowns!}

Apr 14, 2014

Catherine and Peter wed in June at the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa in Oja, Calif. The bride donned different gowns for the ceremony and reception - both stunning and an idea I absolutely love! Wouldn't it be fun to have two dresses? Oh, and there's a Love Actually -inspired 'scene' during the ceremony - too cute for words! / Photos by Christine Chang.

Says Catherine, "The best advice I got as I was planning our wedding was simply 'pick what you like' and 'don’t overthink it,' which seems ridiculously obvious in hindsight. But after you get engaged and you finally choose a date, everyone starts asking you, 'What is your vision?' I wasn’t the kind of girl who grew up fantasizing about every detail of her wedding so I had no idea! And after looking at hundreds of gorgeous photos of other people’s weddings, I couldn't decide what my 'style' was. So, I started by focusing on the feelings I wanted to have present during my wedding weekend: joy, romance, and fun. My fiancĂ© and I wanted everyone to feel like a huge part of the experience, to connect with each other and to relish in the overflowing love we have for each other and them!

Basically, I realized it wasn’t the details people would remember, but the feeling of the weekend. From there, we decided that our venue would have to be a great location for an easy getaway so our guests would feel like they were on a mini-vacation and be encouraged to hang out for the whole weekend. We decided on the stunning Ojai Valley Inn because the event areas were absolutely beautiful and they offered so much for everyone to enjoy from the pools to hiking, golf, and an adorable downtown area just minutes away. We kept all the weekend’s activities 'on-campus' so everyone could easily attend, mix and mingle, including our Rehearsal Dinner, Welcome Reception, Wedding, and Brunch. It also helped to make planning easier since their stellar catering staff helped to streamline the process.

Once we had decided on the venue, we let the location and time of year of the wedding guide the process. The ceremony was held in an intimate courtyard overlooking the valley, so a simple arch covered in greens and a sprinkling of flowers under the oak tree helped enhance the natural beauty of the setting.

Says Vikki Marsee, the wedding coordinator, "This was one of the BEST moments of the whole wedding. The bride is a huge fan of the movie Love Actually and so the groom planned it that during the ceremony, one of their friends was to say a reading, but in fact, he did it all with signs. It started with the same music that was playing during that part in the movie (thats the "go with it" sign) and he showed the rest of the signs, basically saying a very similar thing to the movie (to me, they are perfect vs to me, you are perfect). She cried like a baby and it was amazing!"

Golf carts waited for the guests after the ceremony for the short ride down the path to the Cocktail Hour at the Herb Garden where they served 'Pink Moment' cocktails and Cucumber Mint Jalapeno Margaritas that made even the drinks colorful and bright and gave a nod to the specialness of the location (Ojai has a daily 'pink moment' during the sunset over the mountain).

The reception was on the Herb Garden lawn, so by selecting seasonal flowers in bright but varied colors, incorporating fresh herbs, and using varied containers and votives provided by our incredible florist, we captured a feeling of a romantic, yet unfussy straight-from-the-garden arrangements. Tables were named after places that were significant to our relationship, including where we met! Since we were outdoors we wanted to protect our guests from the sun, but not block out the beauty of our surroundings. 

Our dinner was served 'Family Style' to encourage interaction among our guests and Peter and I had a few surprises throughout the night to make for an exciting event. I serenaded Peter during my speech, backed up by my bridesmaids and friends with a guitar, tambourines and homemade signs for our guests to sing along. For dessert, we brought in a froyo truck as an unexpected summer treat where guests could add their own topping, which added a whimsical touch.

Together with our rental company, we designed a tent that felt open, festive and romantic using fabric and market lights. We got a great boost from Mother Nature since we were celebrating under a Super Full Moon! 

My husband is Korean, and I’m half, so we had treat bags filled with Korean candies as our 'Thank You' favors that were given out before the end of the night when we had a 'Sparkler Send Off' grand exit.

The most incredible moment of the night came when right after we had made it through the pathway created by our guests with sparklers, our wedding coordinator ran up and told me to look to my left, and BOOM!! My husband surprised us all with an incredible fireworks display to cap off the most romantic and fun day of our life!"

Thanks so much to Vikki Marsee, of All You Need is Love Events, for submitting this beautiful wedding and big congrats to Catherine and Peter! xx.

Credits: Venue: Ojai Valley Inn and Spa, Oja, Calif. / Coordinator: Vikki Marsee, of All You Need is Love Events / Photographer: Christine Chang / Rentals and Lighting: Town and County / Music: Scratch Weddings / Video: Cinevent Production / Floral: Twig and Twine

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Groom's Style File: Classic Striped Suspenders

Apr 11, 2014

I've always loved how suspenders look on a handsome man. There's just something that feels so classic and timeless about them. And I don't think I need much more evidence to support my claim than these photos I shared earlier in the week from Courtney and Jonathan's classically cool California wedding.

So dapper. It's just perfection, is it not?

Want the look for your groom + groomsmen?
Jon and the boys' suspenders {ahem, braces as the Brits say!} are from the British designer Albert Thurston. The groomsmen wore this style and Jon wore a style similar to this.

I'm also loving these formal striped diagonal suspenders from Brooks Brothers:

Images by Henry + Mac and Brooks Brothers. This is not a sponsored post.