#OOTD365: January 8 – January 14, 2018

By Erika, Fashion Expert

Week two of the #OOTD365 Challenge is in the books.  I’m getting into the groove of shooting my looks in the morning before I head to work and finally set-up the 2nd bedroom at the apartment to be my in home “studio” for the time being.  Here is what I learned this week:

  1. I wear a lot of black. Like a LOT! I realize that it’s because my style uniform is black and white (or cream) so there is a ton of it in my closet.  After Wednesday, I made a conscious effort to wear more color.
  2. My color was still pretty muted. It’s winter.  It’s cold.  It’s the cold winter. I should punch up my colors.  I’ll try harder this week.
  3. I missed dressing up! Last week I had a couple work from home days and days where it was too cold to leave the house.  I missed dressing up!! So yay for that!

Remember to follow YCS on Instagram (@yourchicisshowing) and check out the rundown of last weeks looks below!

Jan 8Jan 9Jan 10Jan 11Jan 12Jan 13Jan 14

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XOXO, Erika

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YCS Bride Guide: 3 Tips to Help You Say Yes to the Dress

By Erika, Fashion Expert

Hey gorgeous brides! Today, we are here to talk about “The Dress” (cue dramatic music).  One of the things I was NOT prepared for, especially as a fashionista, was how intimidated I would be by picking out my wedding gown.  From the moment I got engaged all anyone could ask me about – after asking if we had a date set – was “The Dress.” If I had a dollar for every person who told me they just knew I was going to pick an incredible, fashion forward, stunner, well, let’s just say I wouldn’t be budgeting within an inch of my life.

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Honestly, I was mortified that I was going to pick a wedding gown that didn’t live up to everyone’s expectations.  I expressed this to one of my bridesmaids who reminded me that it didn’t really matter what every else’s expectations were as long as the dress met MY expectations.  I was still skeptical but kept that in mind as I went on my quest to find the right dress.  To help you navigate your quest to “say ‘yes’ to the dress” here are some tips that I found helpful:

Do your research but remain open minded. Being a bride with NO idea what she wants is actually a little frustrating for your bridal consultant.  There are so many styles, silhouettes, shapes, cuts, and colors to wedding gowns that coming in with no idea – about what you like or hate – means that you and your consultant will have your work cut out for you.  You’ll likely spend more time talking about what you hate instead of really narrowing down gowns that contain features you love and that are flattering.  Go online, look at magazines and even check out your own closet to see what you like.  While you can certainly narrow down certain silhouettes you’re excited to try, also try to narrow down fabrics, materials, necklines, embellishments or details that you love.  When I started my pinterest board (years ago) I would randomly add dresses that caught my eye. When it came time to buy my dress I went back to that board and realized that a majority of the dresses I picked had a couple very distinguishing factors.  I realized that is what I was drawn to and made it a priority to try on dresses like that.  I also tried a few different silhouettes to compare – one of which my consultant suggested.  I had an idea of what I wanted but I was still open-minded.

Skip the Peanut Gallery – at first. I got this piece of advice from MANY people and I thought it was crazy. But the more I talked to past brides, and even remembered helping a friend pick out her dress, the more I realized they were right.  A LOT of people suggested that I do a dry run of trying on gowns without an entourage. When you’re making such a big decision it is easy to get wrapped up in what Mom, Grandma, Auntie, or Besties want in your dress and forget what YOU want in your dress.  I booked three appointments at three bridal salons to narrow down my choices before bringing back my mom, godmother, and future mother-in-law to help make a final decision.  Full Disclosure: I ended up falling in love and buying a dress that day. Since I was on my own I called my mom, sent tons of pics, and did a quick little FaceTime.  I hadn’t planned on getting a dress but I think part of the reason I felt so good about the choice is because I didn’t have a lot of other voices in my head.

Remember that “No” is a complete sentence.  Bridal salons are in the business of making money.  And their consultants are compensated for selling gowns.  So, it’s entirely possible, that you could end up with a consultant who is pushy or just gasses you up to try to get you to buy a gown from her.  It’s OK to say “No.” It’s OK to say “I need to think about it.” It’s OK to say “I’ll make another appointment.” At my first appointment I tried on about 6 dresses.  There was one that I liked – which was NOT the style I originally thought I wanted.  But, I liked it none the less.  The consultant “jacked me up” (added a head piece, belt, veil and even held dresses similar to my bridesmaids’ dresses behind me) so I could get the full picture.  I like the dress but wasn’t totally sure.  But she really wanted the sale.  She pushed me to order it that day so I didn’t have rush fees, because it might not be there next time, blah blah blah.  She almost had me convinced I needed that gown.  Like I was thisclose to canceling my other appointments and buying that gown.  I liked her, she made me feel pretty, and she told me it was the ONLY dress for me. But, in a moment of brief clarity, I remember I had other appointments and told her I would be in touch soon.  And, I kid you not, the MINUTE I left the salon and called my mother about the dress I couldn’t even remember it.  Not one detail. When I tried on the dress I ended up purchasing, I couldn’t imagine NOT getting married in that dress. Even now, I can’t imagine, 6 months after I got the dress, I still can’t see myself wearing anything BUT this dress. The point is, the consultants will make you feel good; but remember to pick the dress you love, not them.

I have so many other tips that I could share with you but then this would turn into a novel, not a blog post.  Ladies, your dress is a big part of your day, so always go with something that makes you happy and feel like the best version of yourself. Happy Shopping!

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XOXO, Erika

#OOTD365: January 1 – January 7, 2018

By Erika, Fashion Expert

I survived my first week of the #OOTD365 challenge.  A couple of bad weather days meant that I was more casual throughout the week than I would have normally been.  Hopefully, I’ll be putting in a full week at the office the week coming up and will have some more variety in my looks.

Here’s what I have learned so far:

  1. I didn’t think I would feel like snapping photos before work but I feel like doing it even LESS after work.  So I get up and get going 10 minutes earlier to build in time to shoot.  Not so bad on days I don’t workout.  Horrendous when I’m already up before 5am for a workout.
  2. Even when I just threw something on I found myself thinking about it more than usual.
  3. Everyone got very invested very quickly.  When I set out to do this, I wasn’t sure that anyone would care.  How wrong I was.  Friday, I worked from home in my PJs all day and didn’t actually get dressed until the evening for a family dinner. Then, I forgot to take my photo before dinner.  I had a few texts, DMs, and FB messages asking me where my #OOTD was.  I didn’t post it until 11pm-ish, but I DID get it posted.  I’ll do better guys!

And, in case you missed any of the looks (follow YCS on Instagram to see them real-time) here are the looks from January 1 through January 7. Instagram and Facebook are the only places where you can get designer and brand details for each of the outfits.

Jan 1Jan 2Jan 3

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Jan 5Jan 6Jan 7

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XOXO, Erika

YCS Academy Launches “6 Weeks to a Fashionista” Online Course

By Erika, Fashion Expert

Today’s blog post has me downright GIDDY! I am SO excited to launch the YCS Academy in 2018!  The YCS Academy has been something that has been on my heart to launch since I first started the Your Chic is Showing blog back in 2012 (yep, it’s been that long!). I have always wanted to teach people, especially women, about fashion and style through classes and workshops.  I even had a few false starts along the way (it happens, that’s how business works). But this? This is not a false start.

It. Is. Happening.

On February 15th the first YCS Academy Course, “6 Weeks to a Fashionista,” will be launching online! To say I am excited is a complete understatement! I AM ECSTATIC!

About the Course

Have you ever wanted to hire a personal stylist but didn’t have the money or weren’t sure what you would get? Have you ever felt yourself in a style rut or searching for a new look? Do you hate shopping? Are you tired of the “same old, same old” when it comes to your fashion? Is this the year you take the phrase “New Year, New Me” to heart? Do you simply need a change? Then this course, “6 Weeks to a Fashionista,” is for you!

YOUR CHIC IS SHOWING PRESENTS

Our online class “6 Weeks to a Fashionista” will give you all the tools you need to unleash your inner fashionista! Whether you need to learn the foundations of style, are ready to take your style to the next level, or just need a refresher course as the seasons change – this class is for you!

Over the course of six weeks I will personally take you through a step-by-step process designed help you discover and unleash your inner fashionista.  Each week a video lesson will walk you through each step of the journey to help you understand your body shape and color story, discover your personal style, and identify wardrobe fundamentals. You will also be provided with weekly guidebooks and workbooks to help you on your journey. All students will also have access to me via email and a private Facebook group where you can ask questions, share ideas, and experience the benefits of working with a personal stylist.

At the end of your six week journey you will be ready to reveal your inner fashionista for all the world to see!

Weekly Curriculum

Week ONE: Discovering and Understanding Your Body Type 

Week TWO: Discovering and Understanding Your Color Story 

Week THREE: Dressing Your Body Type and Understanding Proportion 

Week FOUR: Discovering Your signature Style 

Week FIVE: Closet and Wardrobe Fundamentals 

Week SIX: Hair, Make-Up, and Undergarments 

Limited time offer!

For a limited time, we are offering this course for just $349.

That is a discount of $150 off of the regular price of $499!  This price is only available through January 31, 2018 so you do NOT want to miss the opportunity to register early and get the discounted rate.

Register Now

Do NOT miss your opportunity to register for this class and reap all of the incredible benefits – including valuable information, workbooks and guidebooks, and exclusive access to style expertise.  Class space is limited!

If you are serious about discovering your inner fashionista and upping your style game, you NEED to be in the class!

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XOXO, Erika

#OOTD365

By Erika, Fashion Expert

Happy New Year! Who is excited for all that 2018 has to bring them?! I know I am! This year is going to be huge and I’m so excited for everything that is in store for everyone in the YCS Family!

As I started planning for 2018, I decided I wanted to do something a little different.  If you follow YCS on Instagram, then you already know that I am launching the #OOTD365 challenge! I am going to make an effort to document my “Outfit of the Day” (#ootd) every single day in 2018.  I know, it’s a big task to take on.  Mostly because when I come home from work the first thing I do is change out of my clothes and throw on leggings or sweats or a bathrobe, ha ha! However, one of the things I promised to do in 2018 was be more transparent; and, one way to do that is by sharing what I look like everyday, not just on my very best days.

26173554_10101813034825560_8714587560023204706_oDay 1: January 1, 2018 #OOTD365

So many people have an idea about what it is to be a style blogger, own a personal shopping and styling business, and be a self-proclaimed fashionista. Especially because Facebook, Instagram and Twitter show only the best of the best moments.  So, in 2018, I’m giving everyone a peek behind the curtain.  For every perfectly curated look, there are 5 shirts and 3 skirts on the floor, 2 days of terrible outfit choices and LOTS of days where leggings, jeans or joggers are all that I have in me.

You guys are going to get to see it ALL!

The Rules

There are a few rules that I will follow during my #OOTD365 journey.

  1. REPEATS ARE ALLOWED – Listen, I’m not a Kardashian and I cannot afford to wear a different outfit every single day of the year.  It would be nice but it isn’t realistic.  ESPECIALLY given that my extra coins are going towards our upcoming wedding. Plus, some things I really, really like and will want to wear again.  And, this is real life, how many of us can really go three hundred and sixty five days without repeating a single look?
  2. MULTIPLE LOOKS, MULTIPLE PICS – On days where I have more than one outfit I will try my best to post all of the looks that day.  The only exception is workout gear.  I can’t promise I’ll always remember to snap an #OOTM (outfit of the morning) when I’m hitting the gym at 5am.
  3. WEEKLY RECAPS – Each Monday I’ll post a recap on the blog of my looks for the previous week.  This will help keep me accountable AND consistent with my blogging.  The only week I plan to take off is the week of my honeymoon.  I promise to warn you guys before it happens.

In addition to posting my outfits I’ll share tips and tricks (per usual), give you some insight into why I chose what I chose, and, as always, I will share details about the brands I am wearing and where you can purchase the items.

And, honestly, #OOTD365 is just the beginning.  All year long you’ll get to peek behind the curtain.  YCS will continue to take you behind the curtain on the wedding planning process with the YCS Bride Guide AND later this week I’ll be launching an online class that will not only take you behind the curtain but will also help you unleash your inner fashionista.  Seriously, 2018 is about to be EVERYTHING!

I can’t wait for you all join me on this #OOTD365 journey and, if you’re up for the challenge, share your photos, tag YCS, and use the hashtag so I can see what you’re rocking on a daily basis.

Remember to follow YCS on Instagram (@yourchicisshowing), Twitter (@urchicisshowing), and Facebook (www.facebook.com/yourchicisshowing) to keep up #OOTD365.  And be sure to bookmark and follow the YCS Blog to keep up on our latest posts.

Cheers to an INCREDIBLE 2018!

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XOXO, Erika

YCS Bride Guide: Picking the Right Venue

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By Alexis Vardakas

Editor’s Note: I am so very excited to have former YCS team member guest writing for the YCS Bride Guide!  I am thrilled for Alexis who is going to be a 2018 bride like myself and am so happy that she is willing to share her point of view on the wedding planning process and share some tips and tricks with the YCS Family!  Stay Chic! XOXO Erika

Hello everyone! It is good to be back writing for Your Chic is Showing; I have missed you all. Erika and I both have the joy of planning our weddings for next year and with that, she asked me to contribute again. I hope some of my tips help you with the craziness that is wedding planning. For this blog post, I wanted to focus on picking the right venue.

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As soon as I got engaged, the first item I wanted to tick off my list was getting my date and venue squared away. Due to family, work and jobs, we knew we had a very short list of dates that we could use. Also, if you have not seen already, venues book up quickly and far in advance. Besides the price (obviously), what you need to remember when picking your venue is to consider what is important to you or it can get far too overwhelming.

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Some questions to ask yourself when you visit various venues include:

  • Is it the style we want?
  • Is the the date we want available?
  • Are accommodations included or nearby? Does that matter?
  • What are the food and alcohol selections/options?
  • Where is the venue located?

Before getting started, I knew the style I wanted and the price point for my venue. Therefore, many of the venue choices seemed like they could be “the one” until I made a list of what was important to me. I did know that having the date I wanted was important. Another important factor for us was having accommodations onsite because we have many people from out of the country who will be coming to our wedding. I also really appreciated when a venue had an onsite area to get ready since I am doing both the ceremony and reception at the same venue.

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I made my list of all the necessary points into a pretty excel spreadsheet and compared them to each of the venues we considered.  After that, there was one venue that had more positives than any other venue we had looked at and it was clear that we needed to move forward with that one. Keep in mind that the venue that you finally choose may not even be on your radar or vice versa.  In the beginning of our process the venue we ended up choosing did not seem like the front runner until we laid everything out. I knew there would not be a “perfect” venue because a perfect venue does not exist; but, I knew this checked most of our boxes and we could make it ours.

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The number one important point to remember when wedding planning is to make your wedding a reflection of you and your partner and everything else will fall in place! I wish you all luck in your search.

All the best,

Alexis

Epic Chic Collection

Epic Chic Collection

MuuBaa real leather jacket
$225 – brandoutlet.borderfree.com

Silver shorts
$13 – riverisland.com

Adidas originals sneaker
$63 – ssense.com

Handle bag
gamiss.com

Dsquared2 hinged bangle
$215 – rebelle.com

CLUSE dial watch
$120 – very.co.uk

WithChic golden necklace
$19 – withchic.com

Angora hat
assemblynewyork.com

Lime Crime lipstick
dollskill.com

Nail polish
etsy.com

YCS Bride Guide: Rules of Engagement

Bride Guide Logo

By Erika, Fashion Expert

First, let me apologize.  If you follow the YCS or my personal Instagram, you have been subject to the slow leak of our engagement photos for the last two weeks.  I can’t tell you how many people have texted, DM’d or emailed me asking for the full gallery of our photos!  But, because we wanted to share them with you guys first, we’ve only been sharing a limited amount of photos on social media.  Today, the wait is over!

View More: http://terribaskin.pass.us/rogeranderika

Now, on to the important stuff – the Engagement Photo Shoot!  You have probably heard me gush ad nauseam about our wedding photographer Terri Baskin of Terri Baskin Photography.  But trust me, she is worth every, single glowing word!  As I mentioned in my post about choosing vendors, I had seen a LOT of Terri’s work via my friends who have used her and also by following her on Instagram.  I KNEW I had to work with her.

View More: http://terribaskin.pass.us/rogeranderika

One of the perks of booking a wedding package with Terri is that it includes an engagement shoot.  A lot of people – especially men – don’t understand why engagement shoots are necessary.  Well, there are a lot of reasons, five of which Terri so eloquently outlines in her own blog post “5 Reasons Why Engagement Sessions are Important.”

For us, the two most important reasons for our shoot was to get comfortable with Terri (she is, after all, going to be spending the majority of one of the most important days of our lives with us) and to get comfortable in front of the camera (not an issue for me, but Roger HATES taking photographs).  Terri spent a few hours with us shooting at Howard University and at Historic U Street in Washington, DC. After a while, Roger and I were totally comfortable being silly and crazy and even forgot the camera was around during some moments.  Terri was totally a friend in my head before our shoot but we’re bonafide buddies after the shoot.  Roger even said it was “enjoyable and she made it a really good time.” And remember, that is coming from a man who HATES taking photos!

View More: http://terribaskin.pass.us/rogeranderika

When you’re going to take your engagement photos, there are a few factors, besides your photographer, to consider:

  • Location, Location, Location – Roger and I knew that we wanted to shoot at Howard University.  That was a no brainer.  We went to college there and it was a friendship from Howard University that brought us together several years after we graduated. But, even up until the day of the shoot we hadn’t landed on where we wanted the locale for our 2nd outfits to be.  As Roger was dropping me off to get my hair and make-up done he suggested we shoot at the various murals on U Street.  It was such an “a ha!” moment that I KNEW we had to try it!  Lucky for us, not only is Terri an amazing photographer, she’s incredibly flexible!

View More: http://terribaskin.pass.us/rogeranderika

View More: http://terribaskin.pass.us/rogeranderika

  • Hair and Make-Up are Must Haves – Even for the super laid back and casual bride, hair and make-up are a must for your engagement shoot.  Even if you want something natural that looks like you on any given day, you should still have your hair and make-up professionally done.  For photographs, you need to turn up the volume, even for natural looks.  A professional will know exactly how to help you achieve a fully glam look, a “no make-up” make-up look, and anything in between!  And having healthy, flattering hair will only ensure your photos look gorgeous for years to come! Oh, and you can’t forget your manicure for all of those close-ups of your ring!

View More: http://terribaskin.pass.us/rogeranderika

View More: http://terribaskin.pass.us/rogeranderika

  • Grooming Matters – Professional services aren’t just a must for the bride-to-be; they’re also important for the groom.  Make sure your guy gets a hair cut, beard trim or fresh shave ahead of the photo shoot.  These photos are equally important for him!

View More: http://terribaskin.pass.us/rogeranderika

  • Styling – While I would obviously love for ALL brides and grooms to call me to help style them for their engagement shoots (check out Veronica and David, whom I did help!!); even if you don’t have a pro, what you wear is important.  Most couples have a dressy and a casual look for their engagement shoot.  You’ll want to consider clothing that is complimentary and whether you want your outfits to coordinate.  Bright colors photograph really well; however, in our case, because we were against the pops of color on the murals, black on black worked well for us.  Also, consider your groom.  While I would have loved to have taken our photos in ball gowns, I know Roger is only putting on a tux for REALLY special occasions (like our wedding).  We landed in the middle with him rocking a suit with a elegant but chill vibe by ditching the neck tie!  Both of you guys should be comfortable for the shoot!

View More: http://terribaskin.pass.us/rogeranderika

View More: http://terribaskin.pass.us/rogeranderika

  • Have Fun! – This kind of goes without saying but remember to have a good time during your shoot.  Roger and I spent much of our engagement shoot laughing, giggling, and just having a good time.  Much of the time it felt like Terri was simply documenting us sharing our own inside jokes or secrets.

View More: http://terribaskin.pass.us/rogeranderika

View More: http://terribaskin.pass.us/rogeranderika

Before I share a few more photos with you guys, I definitely want to highlight the vendors who made our engagement photo shoot possible.  We had an excellent team and these photos would not be what they are without them!

Locations: Howard University and Historic U Street, Washington, DC

Photography:Terri Baskin Photography

Hair & Make-Up:Corps D’Elite

Styling:Your Chic is Showing

View More: http://terribaskin.pass.us/rogeranderikaView More: http://terribaskin.pass.us/rogeranderikaView More: http://terribaskin.pass.us/rogeranderikaView More: http://terribaskin.pass.us/rogeranderikaView More: http://terribaskin.pass.us/rogeranderikaView More: http://terribaskin.pass.us/rogeranderikaView More: http://terribaskin.pass.us/rogeranderikaView More: http://terribaskin.pass.us/rogeranderikaView More: http://terribaskin.pass.us/rogeranderikaView More: http://terribaskin.pass.us/rogeranderika

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Erika

YCS Bride Guide: 5 Tips for Choosing Your Wedding Vendors

Bride Guide Logo

By Erika, Fashion Expert

Saying “yes” to your fiancé is, obviously, one of the most exciting and important days in your life.  Once you say yes to your fiancé there are dozens more “yeses” to be said.  Some of the most important people you will say “yes” to are your wedding vendors.

Choosing the right wedding vendors can be a difficult and daunting task. In fact, I found picking vendors to be a little bit overwhelming.  Sure, I had a few people I knew we HAD to have; however, the sheer number of vendors to be chosen and decisions to be made can make the entire process feel staggeringly large! Everyone around you makes a huge deal out of your wedding.  Vendors are doing any and everything to prove to you they are the best fit for your day.  Both your already married and single friends will have strong opinions about why you just have to use their florist/caterer/hairstylist/etc.  And, if your experience is anything like mine, you might even have friends, family, and acquaintances offering up their services for the big day.  As if turning down a complete stranger isn’t hard enough!! As the bride, we want everything for our day to be perfect and it can feel like a lot of that rides on choosing exactly the right vendors for the wedding.

Vendor selection can feel like a heavy job that not everyone understands or appreciates.  Luckily, I’m here with a few tips that will hopefully make choosing your wedding vendors a little bit easier.

1. Ignore Other People’s Opinions

Getting married is kind of like having a baby in that EVERYONE has an opinion about how your wedding should be.  And, I’m not just talking mothers of the bride or groom here.  I’m talking bestie, coworkers, even your regular Starbucks barista.  Seriously, everyone has some thought about what will make your day extra special.  News Flash – it’s not their day!  It’s a day for you and your fiancé.  You don’t have to listen to anyone else’s opinion – ESPECIALLY if they aren’t financially contributing to your wedding.

One thing a lot of people said to me was that hiring a wedding planner was a waste of money.  I’m an event planner, I KNOW how instrumental having someone else help you with the details, logistics, and bringing your vision to life can be.  Plus, given the fact that I have an incredibly demanding 9 to 5 and I am moving, hiring a wedding planner was a no brainer for us! If I had listened to other people’s opinions, I’d be knee deep in moving boxes, centerpieces, and who knows what else as we speak!

It’s great that folks have ideas for your wedding. But you are not obligated to take any of their advice.  “No” is a complete sentence.

2. Prioritize, Prioritize, Prioritize

Weddings can get to be very expensive very quickly.  Sitting down with your fiancé to prioritize what matters most to you BOTH will help you prioritize where to spend your money and which vendors are most important to you.  I’m not saying that you have to go with the most expensive bakery if the cake is incredibly important.  But if cake matters and programs don’t then you can probably spend more time focusing on selecting the best bakery for you and less so on a printer (wedding kits at Michael’s are a wonderful thing!).

When we started planning our wedding, I knew a few things that mattered a lot to me and my fiancé Roger.  We cared a lot about the food, the music, and the photography.  So we knew that carefully selecting exactly the right vendors for those parts of the wedding would help bring our vision to life.  What was less important (but still important) to us? Something like our invitation suite.  We knew wanted something beautiful and sophisticated.  But having to sit down and go through HUNDREDS of various weight stationary and dozens upon dozens of fonts was just something that neither of us was interested in doing.  So with the help of our wedding planner we found a phenomenal designer and printer on Etsy who has created a beautiful invitation suite and bridal stationary for us.  And it was a fraction of the cost of traditional invitations.  Honestly, you probably wouldn’t know the difference except is just told you.

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3. Interview and Meet Your Vendors

When you are on decision 3,573 it is going to be tempting to phone in some of your vendor decisions. DON’T.  Especially if you do not personally know your vendors.  Take the time to reach out to, talk to, and meet (if possible) the vendors you will be working with.  Having a trust and comfort level with your vendors is huge.  Ask them for portfolios of work and references.  And CALL the references.  Dig around.  It’s OK.  And should be expected.

I simply adore our wedding photographer, Terri Baskin.  She’d shot weddings for a few of our friends and I had the chance to see her (or not see her, she’s super discreet) in action at a friend’s wedding two years ago.  I just loved her work and was 99% certain I wanted to hire her for our wedding.  But, I also had two other photographers whom I was interested in working with – especially because they were local to Philadelphia.  From a pricing standpoint, their packages were all about the same; therefore, cost wouldn’t be the deciding factor in who we chose.  I reached out to all three photographers and from the beginning my experience with Terri was phenomenal.  From our email interactions (she was the only one who asked to know more about me and Roger and our story), to the ease of getting the contract together (Terri answered ALL of the questions I had), to the materials she provided (she sent us an electronic welcome kit AND a beautiful kit in the mail that outlined EVERYTHING we needed to know about our engagement and wedding photography) Terri has been top-notch.  No other photographer compared to Terri on the front-end.  And so it was a no brainer that we should hire her to capture the best moments from our big day.

If I hadn’t “kicked in the tires” on the various photographers we might have ended up with someone we weren’t happy with shooting us.  On a side note, I’ll dedicate an entire post to our engagement shoot and give you tips for how to get through it! You’ll learn lots more about Terri there!

4. Do Your Own Research

I get it, you’re busy and weddings take a ton of time.  But do some of your own research.  It could be the difference between having a $500 bridal bouquet and a $200 bouquet. You are not obligated to select the first vendor you meet.  If you get a quote or package you are not thrilled with then do (or get your wedding planner to do) some comparison shopping.  I did this with flowers.  We aren’t having a ton at our wedding and I pretty much openly balked at the pricing we received from the first decor and floral company we met with.  I’m sorry, but I’m just NOT paying $35 per Calla Lily for my bridesmaids.  #kanyeshrug. My wedding planner and I started making phone calls and sending emails until we found a vendor we were much happier with.

5. Negotiate and Ask for Discounts or Special Rates

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It’s OK to negotiate or ask for special rates from your vendors.  Now, I’m not suggesting you go haggling with all of your vendors (that’s annoying and kind of disrespectful); but, you can definitely negotiate with them.  For example, if you’re paying for 10 girls to get their hair done then ask out some sort of bulk pricing.  Or, check with your venue about off-season or off-day pricing.  We were able to score a great deal with our venue by having our wedding in the off-season. If you’re having live music at the reception check to see if there is the option to also have them play for your ceremony at a slightly discounted rate.  There are all sorts of ways for you to save a couple of dollars while still being respectful to your vendors.

Introducing the YCS Bride Guide Vendors

I hope you brides (and grooms!) find some of these tips helpful as you are planning your wedding.  Beyond some vendor-search tips, I’ve also had a TON of people ask me for details on the various vendors that I am using for my wedding.  Therefore, I’m happy to share with you the “YCS BRIDE GUIDE” page on this site, which is where you can find details on ALL of the vendors we are using for our wedding.  As we are still finalizing some of the vendors, check back often as the page will continue to be updated throughout the wedding planning process.

Thanks for checking us out this week on the YCS Bride Guide!

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Erika

Introducing: Epic Chic Collection x XVI I XIV by YCS

By Erika, Fashion Expert

As you all know, YCS has been working on a TON of new stuff for you guys!  Beyond new content (are you enjoying the YCS Bride Guide?), I’ve been working behind the scenes on some exciting projects.  One of those projects officially launches today . . . the Epic Chic Collection x XVI I XIV by YCS!

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If you know anything about me then you know I LOVE a good t-shirt! Remember, I even did an entire series on how to wear white t-shirts back when YCS first started?! Seriously, a comfy t-shirt is one of my favorite things in life!! I’d always wanted a t-shirt collection to be a part of what YCS and xvi I xiv offered and now that is a reality!  I’m so excited to start selling our “Epic Chic” Collection brought to you by xvi I xiv.

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The Epic Chic Collection is an affordable line of  casual t-shirts, sweatshirts, and accessories.  With fun sayings like “Chic Happens” and “Do Epic Chic” you can let your style do all of the talking for you!  We’re kicking off the collection with five slogans to pick from – so there is definitely something for everyone in this collection! And, everything is priced between $15 and $34 – that’s it! Beyond adding these cute items to your own wardrobe, they make great gifts for the upcoming holiday season.

To order your favorite items from the Epic Chic Collection, simply click below:

ORDER NOW

Items are produced and shipped every three – yep, three – days, so you’ll have your goods in no time!

And, because I love you guys so much, I’ve styled a few of MY favorite pieces from the collection to start giving you ideas.  I can’t WAIT to see how you rock yours!

Black. Educated. And Chic.

This shirt is, by far, my favorite in the collection.  Anyone who sees you will know what you’re all about! The world is at your fingertips, Sis!

EPIC CHIC COLLECTION: Black. Educated. And Chic.

 

Not My Best Day

We ALL have bad days.  This shirt is a reminder that we are all human and that some days will be better than others.  Just because it isn’t your best day that doesn’t mean you can’t still look cool.

Epic Chic Collection: Not My Best Day

Chic Happens

Chic happens – especially when you’re around.  Remind everyone that chic is happening wherever you are.

EPIC CHIC COLLECTION: Chic Happens

So who is going to be the first to order from the Epic Chic Collection and tag us on IG so we can see how you styled it?  You know that, of course, I’ll be shooting in several of these looks for you all.  If I wasn’t packing to move, I’d be playing dress up as we speak!

Can’t wait to see how you’re going to show your chic in our collection!

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Erika