Save The Date: Behind the Making of our Wedding Crest with Brittany Branson

Happy Wedding Wednesday, everybody! *GIVEAWAY ALERT* Keep reading to find out! Now that my guests have had plenty of time to receive their save the date's from us, I've decided to share this very special creation with you. Save the dates have a very unfortunate acronym so I'm going to keep spelling out 'save the date' for you. ;) Typically, you'll see save the date cards with photos of couples on them. In my line of work,  I often feel that my family and friends get sick of seeing pictures of me- because I certainly get sick of looking at myself! I also knew I wouldn't be able to commit to one picture of us to live on someone's fridge for 6 months! Therefore, I was inspired to shake things up a bit with our save the date's. Cue Brittany Branson.

I came across Brittany's Instagram in the fall and I was immediately attracted to her bubbly personality and stunning designs. My wedding planner, Karina Lopez connected the two of us and decided to create a custom wedding crest, also known as a watercolor heirloom crest. Brittany thrives o working with couples who aren't afraid to get creative! In that, she loves using their love story or unique aspects of their personality as her inspiration for creating their custom wedding art.

After some careful thought and research, Brian and I pulled together all of the things that embodied our relationship. These ideas were then sent over to Brittany and we gave her creative reign to make something special. And boy, did she deliver! 

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Our requests to Brittany were fairly simple. We wanted our crest to represent the aspects of our relationship but in a tasteful way. Here are the things that we brainstormed about our relationship that we wanted embodied within our crest:

-Downtown Buffalo cityscape // where we first met and fell in love
-Palm tree leaves // we love the beach & traveling to warmer climates
-Walter, our dog, in a bowtie  // we wanted him represented in a way that wasn't overkill, I think she did so well with this concept! 
-A yellow umbrella // How I Met Your Mother reference - one of our favorite shows
-Hydrangeas & white roses // my favorite flowers
-Established in 2018 // for the obvious reason of getting married in June 2018!

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It's simple, thoughtful and yet so meaningful to Brian and I. I know we'll be able to use this crest for years to come. Spoiler alert: I believe we're going to use the crest on our custom stamps for our formal wedding invitations. We also can add it to little details at our wedding as well as frame it in our home for years to come. We had the crest implemented into a simple design on Minted and printed it on a thick card stock through them!

I'm currently running a giveaway on my instagram account to receive your very own custom watercolor heirloom crest! You don't have be engaged to enter to win, this crest could be special for any family at any phase of life. In order to win you must:

1. Follow @CaralynMirand & @ByBrittanyBranson on Instagram

2. Subscribe to CaralynMirand.com by typing in your email (on the sidebar of the blog page on your desktop or on the bottom of this page if you’re on your phone) 

3. Comment on my instagram post why having a custom family crest would be special to you

4. For bonus entries: tag any friends including bride to be's who'd love to enter

Giveaway will run Wednesday, March 14th at 12:00pm EST until Saturday, March 17th at 12:00pm EST. Must be following both of us to enter, subscribed to my website and commented on my photo. No purchase necessary! Winner will be chosen by a random name generator. 

 

What do you think of my crest/ save the date?! Leave your reply below. 
Special thank you to Brittany Branson and Minted for collaborating with me on this post!

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Wedding Wednesday: The Perfect LWD with David's Bridal!

As I’ve been deep in the wedding planning process,  I’ve been on the hunt for EVERYTHING LWD (Little White Dress) for pre-wedding festivities. I’ve searched high and low and I haven’t been able to find many options that were high quality, unique, affordable and SIZE INCLUSIVE! This is why I’m so excited to partner up with David’s Bridal to share the little white dresses they have to offer for events surrounding the wedding. Not to mention, I am into their accessories too. They were kind enough to send my favorite dress from their collection to see how I’d style it for my upcoming wedding events.

I will link all of my outfit details in this post so you can shop directly from this page by clicking the text in bold or the product images!

Click to shop the   dress ,    purse   and   earrings  ! 

Click to shop the dress, purse and earrings

David’s Bridal is an incredible destination for casual, on trend styles at an affordable price! I was pleasantly surprised to see the variety of styles and sizes for all the events surrounding the wedding: whether it’s for an engagement party or photos, bachelorette party, bridal shower, rehearsal, honeymoon, celebrating your first anniversary - David’s Bridal offers so many options at an incredible value for every body type.

Whether you’re a bride to be or not, white dresses will always be timeless! I know I'll be wearing my LWD's long after my wedding. Switch up your accessories to keep the look fresh. You can throw on a leather or denim jacket and re-wear this dress over and over!

Here are a few other LWD’s I’m loving:

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Another reason I’m loving David’s Bridal are their accessories! They’re on trend and extremely affordable. Here is the necklace I’m wearing above as well as a few extra that I’m loving:

For anyone looking for little white dresses, definitely check out David’s Bridal for all of your bridal needs and beyond. To find a store in your area, click here. I was really impressed by their latest offerings and I think you will be too! They're affordable, great quality and size inclusive- three things that go a long way around here.   

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All photos by Ryan Kell

This post is sponsored by David’s Bridal but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Wedding Wednesday: Our 6 Month Countdown

I seriously cannot believe we're more than halfway to my wedding- Brian & I got engaged in June 2017 and we're getting married in June 2018! Time has been flying by- being engaged is fun but planning a wedding is a whole different ball game. Up until this point, the wedding day has felt like a distant thought but now that the new year is here, it's time to kick wedding planning mode into high gear.  Yesterday on my Instagram and Instagram Story, I asked if you were interested in a more consistent #WeddingWednesday series! It seems like you are so I am so excited to give you some updates! For anyone who has never planned a wedding before or for anyone just curious about the planning process, here's where we're at 6 months out! I also wanted to give a shameless plug to all of my incredible vendors that I've had the privilege of working with. 

✔️Location & Date: Buffalo, NY - June 29, 2018

This was one of the first things we needed to figure out in order to set a date! We toured a few places and decided on a location and date. It will be a one stop shop, so ceremony & reception all in one place! For privacy purposes, I'd like to keep the location on the down low until after the wedding. But I cannot wait to share with you!

✔️Photographer: Colin Gordon Photography

This was one of the easiest decisions that Brian & I made, for any Buffalo brides out there looking for a photographer be sure to check out Colin and the blog post that I did on working with him!

✔️Florist: Buds & Blooms Floral Studio

My girl Delaney over at Buds & Blooms is seriously THE BEST and easiest to work with! I cannot wait to see our vision come to life

✔️Wedding Planner: KC You There

Karina has been incredible to work with! I feel incredibly grateful and lucky that we are able to work with a wedding planner to make sure everything goes smoothly. Check out the post I did on why you need to hire a wedding planner

✔️Desserts: B Sweet Designs

Marisa at B Sweet Designs is a visionary! I've never met anyone so passionate and good at desserts! I'm so excited to see what she creates for our wedding. 

sneak peak of some florals and colors we're deciding on! 

sneak peak of some florals and colors we're deciding on! 

Other things we've been able to cross off the list:

✔️Selected Our Bridal Party

✔️Got The Dress!

✔️ Booked our music

✔️Created a wedding website

✔️Created first few drafts of guest list

✔️Set up our gift registry

✔️Selected the menu at our food tasting

✔️Created our wedding website with guest information

✔️Booked hair & makeup

✔️Set up guest hotel accommodations

✔️Figured out theme/ decor

✔️Set a bridal shower date

This may seem like we have a lot done but when it comes to wedding planning, there's always SO MUCH more to do! Here's what we'll be working on within the next few months and I will definitely be able to share more with you as I do it:

🔲 Mail our Save The Date's

🔲 Cake tasting

🔲 Decide on bridal party attire

🔲 Rehearsal Dinner location

🔲 Wedding day transportation

🔲 Start planning honeymoon

🔲 Wedding rings

To any fellow brides to be out there, my biggest token of advice right now is to not take those typical "wedding schedule trackers" too seriously. They will give you heart palpitations and stress you out. Instead, use them as a rough guideline of things you'll need to do but don't stress about them too much. I've been doing my best to be positive about everything, but I won't lie- it's definitely overwhelming and stressful at times. You just have to keep reminding yourself that ideally you'll only do this once so try to enjoy it as much as possible. At the end of the day, it's about marrying your best friend and that's all that matters to me!

Many of you voted that you loved and wanted to see more wedding content, is this the kind of stuff you want to see? If not, leave some suggestions below in the comments! 

Bridal Fashion Week: Exclusive Look at Paloma Blanca

Calling all brides to be! Or anyone who loves bridal gowns- this one is for you! I'm excited to share a behind the scenes look at my trip to Bridal Fashion Week in partnership with Paloma Blanca. This was my first time being involved with Bridal Fashion Week and it was incredible! Planning my own wedding has ignited a true passion around all things bridal- especially dresses. I just LOVE looking at how many different versions of white gowns there are. That's why I've teamed up with BRIDES Magazine to show you a sneak peek of Paloma Blanca's Spring 2018 collection. Dress shown below is style #4792.

Paloma Blanca has been a recognized and trusted name in the Bridal Industry since 1937. As the success of their company has grown, their commitment to brides and retailers has far exceeded industry standards. Paloma Blanca takes great pride and care in the design and creation of each individual gown from their own manufacturing facility in Toronto, Canada. Basically our neighbor, fellow Buffalo girls!

I had the opportunity to check out some of their dresses that they were debuting exclusively at Bridal Fashion Week, I chose three of my favorites to show you all! Be sure to visit their site if you are interested in making an appointment with them. They will without a doubt set you up with an incredible dress! 

Dress #1: 4787

I just love the silhouette on the one below. It has a perfect mix of simplicity and detail. I have always found myself gravitating towards a plunging V neckline, its perfect balance of sophisticated and sexy. The nude mesh paneling underneath the lace gives a hint of modesty while still keeping the dress structured. The drop band at the waistline is extremely flattering for those ladies with a pronounced lower waist like I do!

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Dress #2: 4784

This dress immediately caught my eye as soon as I arrived. I haven't seen anything like this, I believe they call this a modern lace. It just has a perfect balance of sweet, playful and sophisticated. This dress actually makes me envision this bride running through a field of green! It's just so whimsical and fun, perfect for an outdoor wedding. I also adore the matching flower lace veil. Its simplicity is a perfect balance to the dress.

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Dress #3: 4795

That racerback though! I just love the uniqueness of this one- it's sporty, girly and chic! If you think about it, the back of your dress is what people see for the first hour of its public existence at your ceremony. Why not make a statement in this eyelash lace back? From the beautiful lace to the beaded belt, this one is such a showstopper. 

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Paloma Blanca truly has something for every bride! Whether you're into lace, florals or beading- they've done a great job at giving their customers a little bit of everything. I was extremely impressed with the intricate detailing on each gown. To try on your very own Paloma Blanca gown, check out the Bridal Shop Locator here!  I had an incredible time viewing the Spring 2018 collection. Thank you to Brides Magazine for making this possible! To any of my upcoming brides, if you haven't bought your dress yet- you should consider a Paloma Blanca! 

This post was sponsored by Paloma Blanca and BRIDES Magazine.
All thoughts, opinions and experiences are my own. 

Let's Get Caught Up: Volume 1

Sometimes when life brings you new opportunities, it's hard to keep up with blogging! So something I wanted to do is introduce a new series called "Let's Get Caught Up" where we all share what we have been up to recently! I think it's so important to reflect on your week and the discoveries that you made, so I'm very excited to share this new series with you all! 

Some things I've been up to lately:

It's been a long time since I've been home for a full week in Buffalo. When I'm traveling (for different modeling jobs), it's very important for me to have some "family time" at home for at least a few days to ground myself. It's the perfect time to get some personal and professional work done!

 Here's what I've been up to in the past few weeks:

  • Went to a bachelorette party in Concord/ Gilford / Alton Bay, NH to celebrate one of my girlfriends, Courtney. Her wedding is in a few weeks on top of a mountain, we have to take a chairlift to the ceremony! So excited for that!
  • Said goodbye to my lease and purchased my very first pre-owned vehicle! I researched, went test driving and negotiated. With just a teeny help from Brian- I handled it all on my own! Adult-ing hard over here.  I ended up with a Mazda CX-5 and I'm loving it! Overall, it ended up being a pretty painless experience. 
  • Photographed by the legendary Nicole LeBris Creative in Jersey City during one of my NY trips! This mama-to-be is a visionary behind the camera. I was overdue for some new images and I wanted to shoot with her before she has her baby girl, which can be any day now! Pictures coming soon. My girl Maxey Greene styled the shoot. Check out her styling website (and a sneak peek of our shoot) here! 
  • Celebrated my future in-laws’ 40th wedding anniversary. We were all supposed to travel down to Florida for a long weekend, but Irma had other plans. We ended up having beautiful weather in Buffalo for some fun filled family time! 
  • Toured the brand new Whole Foods in Buffalo! I was so honored to get an exclusive look of the store before it opened. I was incredibly touched by the thoughtful product sourcing from local companies. If you are in the area and haven't gone yet- that is a must!

Some things I'm loving:

  • What is it about wedding videos? They always make me cry, even if I don't know the bride and groom personally. One of my favorite bloggers, Mallory Ervin posted hers today and gave me all the feels. 
  • I've been on the hunt for comfortable, stylish, pointy red heels. DSW is my go-to for shoes since I wear a size 11. These are still in the mail but I'm so excited to try! Ok fine, I ordered these too... just to see. :) Can't beat that price!
  • JUMPSUITS! I'm loving the trend but I've been hesitant to try. Curious to know if there's any curvy girls out there who have rocked the look? I recently ordered a few from Nordstrom and I'm hoping to pull off one for a wedding guest look. 
  • Spaghetti squash. It has become a weekly staple in my household! Ever since I found Damn Delicious' "how-to" guide on how to cook one perfectly, I've been on a major kick. I've perfected my chicken pad thai - you don't even miss the rice noodles! Maybe one of these days I will post my recipe. 

What have you all been loving lately? I can't wait to read what you have been up to in the comment section below!